My first introduction to the politics of the middle east was from the pages ofr a Leon Uris novel. That was not an unbiased source. I was much older before I read Revolt in the Desert by T. E. Lawrence. From that, I got a real understanding of the idea that my enemy's enemy is my friend and how that works in tribal cultures. As I now read what some Progressives are saying about middle easter politics, I think that they too are following that line of reasoning.
The United States has a long history of supporting some very bad people for a similar reason. The name of Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi comes to mind, not to mention Indonesia's Sukarno or Cuba's Fulgencia Batista or Egypt's Mubarak. It is a lesson that we never seem to learn, because, eventually, the stability we seek always breaks down and those we supported can only maintain their position through violent repression of dissent.
One would think that progressives would not make the same mistake, but they seem to always find a way to make heroes out of some very bad people just because they offer opposition to another "enemy". Oh, what evils we perpetuate just to make a powerful friend. Such actions should garner the derision of all Greens. Especially in the Middle East where the perpetuation of power means continues the suppression of the rights of women in many countries, denying them the right to education, the freedome to travel as they please or even to drive a car.
Cynthia McKinney's was applauded by many for taking part in the Gaza flotilla. Her words were definitely anti-Israel, but in the name of peace and the recognition of the rights of the Palestinians.
Her subsequent actions, participating in an Iranian show Conference, issuing press releases that in support of Lybia, have squandered much of any good will she might have gained. Now, I read a post calling for Greens to distance themselves from McKinney. Rather, it seems to me, that in her search for anti-Israel support she has chosen to align herself with the wrong people.
In a search for a possible Presidential candidate for 2012, I hope that Greens realize McKinney has left us, no longer standing up for woman's rights in oppressive societies with dictatorial leadership. Be it Iran, Lybia or Syria, there is little doubt that the Arab Spring will turn into a Winter of our Discontent when seeming progresswives align with the likes of Ahmadinejad, Qadaffi or Asad.