Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hillary Clinton on Meet the Press: No 'Faux Democracy' in Egypt

I watched this NBC segment with David Gregory's interview of Secretary of State Clinton. But Clinton made the rounds of all of the Sunday talk shows, and LAT has the details, "Hillary Clinton says U.S. not pushing for ouster of Egyptian President Mubarak":

Reporting from Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday called for Egypt to move toward "real democracy" but also made clear that the United States was not demanding that embattled President Hosni Mubarak step down in the face of continuing demonstrations.

In a series of television interviews, Clinton also eased slightly off the administration's threats on Friday to yank Egypt's billions in aid, saying such a step was not now under discussion.

Clinton spoke warmly of the Egyptian military as a "respected institution" and advised it to help move the country from its current unrest to an "orderly transition."

"We are urging the Mubarak government, which is still in power; we are urging the military, which is a very respected institution, to do what is necessary to facilitate that kind of orderly transition."

She spoke to NBC's "Meet the Press," "Fox News Sunday," ABC's "This Week," CBS' "Face the Nation," and CNN's "State of the Union."

U.S. officials are looking for what they are calling "managed change" -- a gradual transition to elections that lead the way to a greater sharing of power and economic reforms. With the Iranian revolution of 1979 in mind, they fear an abrupt transition that would lead to turmoil and a possible seizure of power by what they feel is the wrong kind of leadership.

Egypt has a powerful military that has kept the ruling party in place for more than 30 years. Its largest and best-organized opposition group is the banned Muslim Brotherhood. In this environment, other opposition groups have not been able to develop, and that absence could make a democratic transition difficult.
And at Politico, "Hillary Clinton calls for 'real democracy' in Egypt":
“Real stability only comes from the kind of democratic participation that allows people to feel that they are being heard,” Clinton said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” calling for “real democracy.”

She warned that the U.S. would not accept two alternatives as potential ends to the current crisis: “democracy of six months or a year and then evolving essentially into a military dictatorship” or – a scarier specter for American policymakers –what she described on NBC’s “Meet The Press” as “faux democacy like the elections we saw in Iran…where you have one election 30 years ago and the people stay in power and become less and less responsive to their people.”