Notas ao café…

Seis meses após o Cairo

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Dezembro 30, 2009

Petar Pismestrovic, «Kleine Zeitung»

Seis meses após o discurso de Barack Obama no Cairo, os jovens no Médio Oriente começam a perder a confiança na administração americana o que não é uma boa notícia para o desejo do Presidente americano de iniciar uma nova era no relacionamento com as comunidades muçulmanas. De Marraquexe a Teerão, dois em cada três habitantes do Médio Oriente têm menos de 30 anos e, como escreve Andrew Albertson na Foreign Policy, o futuro das relações dos EUA com o mundo muçulmano está nas mãos destes jovens:

[…] Across the Middle East, Obama elicited surprisingly positive responses in public opinion surveys early in his administration, and Middle Eastern youth were particularly receptive. They saw in his identity as much as in his words the hope of change.

By now, however, disappointment is beginning to set in. The president’s inability to rein in Israeli settlements in the months since the Cairo speech is one chief complaint. But there’s more. In that message, pointedly directed at the region’s people and not just their governments, Obama also raised four key “human dignity” issues: democracy, religious freedom, women’s rights, and development. Since then, the administration has done almost nothing to back those words up with actions, a fact that has not gone unnoticed.

To be fair, the United States faces an uphill battle. Authoritarian leaders from Morocco to Tunisia to Jordan, each bent on staying in power indefinitely, have worked diligently to close down rallies, civic organizations, and any hint of political space in recent years. […]

Unfortunately, rather than standing up to such authoritarians to try to reverse the tides, Obama seems to be caving to pressure. Strongman leaders such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bet that, because of their importance to U.S. diplomatic goals in the region, they could pressure the White House to reduce its support for civil society groups in their respective countries.

[…] My conversations with young activists in the region continue to give me hope that the Obama administration has a unique opportunity to shift perceptions of the United States among youth in the Middle East. But doing so will require effective new initiatives on the goals the president raised in his Cairo speech, including democracy, religious freedom, women’s rights, and development. And it will require sustained efforts to listen and respond to the region’s people — not just their governments.

Chan Lowe, «Sun-Sentinel»


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