Monday, January 31, 2011

Mike Huckabee: The Egypt protests threaten the... whole world!

Mike Huckabee recently commented on the recent Egypt protests. Here is what he had to say:

"[T]he events of the past few days in Egypt have created a very tenuous situation, not just for Egypt, not just for the Middle East, but for the entire world, and the destabilization of that nation has the potential of cascading across the globe."

It seems as if Huckabee is here arguing that the ongoing protests in Egypt is a bad idea. It is quite remarkable that Mike Huckabee seems to oppose these protest, but it is hardly remarkable since a number of other American politicians have made similar statements in the past few days.

I am a political scientist, but I cannot claim that this field is one where I hold any form of vast expertise in. That means that whenever someone makes an argument on the issue, I try very hard to understand their argument to see if they may actually have a point.

On this issue, I cannot say that I do -- for a number of reasons:

1) If a pro-democracy movement would actually spread across the world, that cannot be a bad thing at all. What does Huckabee fear? That the Chinese folks will finally stand up to their regime? That the Saudis will grow tired of their monarchy? Or that the Iranians would pick up their gloves and start protesting again? Can someone please explain to me real slowly why this is bad?

2) Even if this would spread, it seems overly dramatic to suggest that these protests could be "cascading across the globe". What does Huckabee think? That the people of France or the Canada may suddenly roam the streets to protest the leadership in their country? No, this will not even spread to Zimbabwe or Burma. It can spread to some countries across the region, but once more, is it a bad thing that people in Yemen may get to abort the corrupt regime there?

The easiest explanation for this claim is that Huckabee is afraid that a new regime may become more hostile to Israel. This is easily also true. In a poll made in 2006, 92 percent of Egyptians declared that they saw Israel as an enemy. Huckabee and other American politicians are thus worried that this would lead to greater threats to Israel. They thus prefer a dictatorship that is friendly with Israel rather than one that is democratically elected since such a regime most likely would become more opposed to Israel.

At least we know that Huckabee isn't necessarily all that positive to democratization.

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