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NewsHour host Jim Lehrer asked the VP if it was time for Mubarak to go. Biden's response:
“Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”
Mubarak has been in power since Reagan. Opposition is silenced. Torture is commonplace. He's been grooming his son to replace him. The people are - as the world can see - extremely unhappy. His government has responded to the unrest with violence, arrests, and has severely disrupted Internet and mobile phone communication there. What does a guy have to do to get labeled a dictator in this town?
We all realize politics in the Middle East are absurdly complex. There are lots of of rightful questions and concerns we have when governments fall there and our tendency is prefer the devil we know. But this administration needs to wake up. Like the Tunisians, the citizens of Egypt want liberty from an oppressive government that we have helped keep in power. As the world's biggest cheerleaders of democracy we should do more than have Hillary Clinton shrug her shoulders and urge both sides to show "restraint."
These people don't "hate our freedoms" as much as we like to think. What they hate is our foreign policy, and our coddling of oppressive dictators.
*pun was indeed intended.
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