House Arabs’ hypocrisy, inconsistency and self-contradiction are appalling. James Zogby’s piece in today’s Counterpunch would’ve led you to think he’d spent the last four decades of his life in the trenches of Egypt with his ear to the ground. For Zogby, the overthrow of Mubarak is a cheap opportunity to present himself as in tune with the populace’s demands. Sentences like this could understandably come from any of the millions of Egyptians who spent the last few weeks revolting against their tyrant:
The problem of not listening to Arab voices is not only a problem for those presidents who have fallen or those who are still at risk; it is a problem for the West as well. For too long, the US, Great Britain and others have ignored the concerns and sensibilities of Arab people.
Failure to listen is as much as a problem for James Zogby as it is for Arab presidents and the West. How can someone who had hosted Mubarak’s ambassador on his show and hosted Mubarak’s foreign minister now pretend he was on the people’s side all along? Hosting representatives of the Mubarak regime conveys disregard for the Arabs whose opinions he feigns to care about. Just a few days into the uprising, Zogby was adamant about ignoring popular will: “Don’t go supporting and sprinkling holy water on a revolution when you don’t who’s behind it and you don’t know where it’s going.”
It will no longer be possible to operate as if Arab public opinion does not matter.
Does that mean he’ll be shutting down AAI and Viewpoint soon? Here’s to hoping.