CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: This is in response to Sharif Lone’s letter of January 19 titled “Secular values and dictatorship”. One thing is clear from the Tunisian example — that people in the Middle East have given up any hope that the US can be a force for democratic change. As the uprising spread in Tunisia, the administration of US President Barack Obama stayed largely silent, until the day Ben Ali fled. That was when Obama issued a statement condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters and applauding “the courage and dignity” of Tunisians.
By then, it was too late. The US-backed dictator was gone, and the Arab world chalked up another example of how Washington favours stability over democracy.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2011.