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I think it's a ham-fisted attempt at that, but also - since most US foreign policy is for domestic consumption - to wave the "hey, we're the good guys!' flag at home.

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to pretend that after 50 years of instituting and supporting some of the most odious, violent and repressive regimes on the planet that the US has any interest at all in peace or democracy.

Clearly, it has none at all. But it's very useful to pretend that it does.

Now that Sharp has been identified as the - reluctant - saviour of Egyptian democracy, no one needs to ask who sponsored Mubarak, who trained his secret police, who supplied military aid, or who kept the country impoverished in the first place.

For many avid readers, the narrative is now full of hope that the rioting African savages can be civilised into modernity after all - but only when gently guided by the wise and mature counsel of a more serious and established intellectual tradition.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 12:29:35 PM EST
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