The "Moderates" Are Fanatics, Torturers and Killers

[Guardian-UK] Mai Yamani - As the Middle East lurches from crisis to crisis, Tony Blair, George Bush and Condoleezza Rice compulsively repeat the word "moderates" to describe their allies in the region. But who are they, and are they moderate? The Saudi Wahhabis are, after all, fanatics; Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is intolerant of dissent; and Jordan, the state closest to the Western ideal, is a marginal player. These countries' appalling human rights records, lack of transparency and repression rank them among the world's least moderate. Bribes, beheadings, and the oppression of women and minorities are traditional, and because whatever is traditional is not radical, it must be moderate.

2007-02-07 01:00:00

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