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Sun Dec 11, 2011, 01:27 AM

A gap between US ideals and regional policy (Middle East)

As Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa became the champions of their own destiny this year, the paradox of relations with the West has been as stark as ever. The United States and other western democracies have long claimed to be advocates of political freedoms and human rights in the region, yet sometimes with obvious double standards.

Almost a year later, and Washington is still playing catch up. The Obama administration has talked tough on Bashar Al Assad's regime in Syria, and backed the GCC plan to push Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, yet there are obvious tensions. The United States continues to sacrifice its own standing in the region in favour of its reflexive bias towards Israel. And for all of the Obama administration's statements about human rights, no one doubts that many in Washington miss the warm, predictable relationships with dictators... itizens of this region are willing to bridge the divide. If Washington, London and Paris are true to the ideals they espouse, now is the time to show it... http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/editorial/a-gap-between-us-ideals-and-regional-policy

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