Robert Grenier, former director of CIA's Counter-Terrorism Center, wrote a very critical op-ed on Al Jazeera regarding U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

He said the U.S. doesn't uphold democracy in the Middle East, which is highly hypocritical given the country's explicit ideological allegiance to freedom, democracy, and the universal rights of people. 


The U.S. favors stability in the region and therefore backs heavy-handed regimes that can deliver that.  However, the people in that region are now rebelling against their U.S.-backed rulers.


Rattled, the Obama administration is urging calm, peace, restraint and reform.  However, what the protestors want is democracy and the removal of thoroughly discredited autocrats who are incapable of reform, said Grenier.


The protesters, who have put their lives on the line to assert their rights and their human dignity, are listening in vain for a ringing endorsement of freedom from the US.


Grenier said he understands the US is a superpower who wants counter-terrorism assistance and regional stability from whoever rules these Arab countries.  However, its backing of dictators goes beyond just the exigencies of great-power interests.


Rather, it betrays the fundamental belief that democracy in the Middle East cannot deliver the US interest of  peace and stability in that region.


The US believes people of the region are not ready to shoulder the burdens of freedom, said Grenier.  America, on its part, is unwilling to face the risks and uncertainties of democracy in those countries.