February 9, 2012
Is Exporting Democracy Subversive?
On Sunday, February 5, the Egyptian government announced that it was bringing criminal charges against 43 the leaders (19 of whom are Americans) of foreign-financed non-government organizations (NGOs). Particularly prominent targets were the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, two American-led NGOs attempting to bring democracy in Egypt through fair elections. These arrests followed police raids on nine nonprofit NGO group offices -- raids which involved the confiscation of money, computers and files. Official U.S. reactions were swift and forceful. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "[w]e are very clear that there are problems that arise from this situation that can impact all the rest of our relationship with Egypt." President Obama had previously expressed this sentiment to Egypt's acting chief executive, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Moreover, forty members of Congress had sent...(Read Full Article)