The World’s Dictators Love the Unrest in Ferguson

How It Works
Aug. 19 2014 1:08 PM

The World’s Dictators Love the Unrest in Ferguson

Hkg10090474
Law enforcement officers monitor a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 18, 2014.

Photo by Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

With tear gas and military hardware hitting the streets of an American city, the world’s dictatorships—which are typically on the receiving end of U.S. criticism for their crackdowns on public protest—are having a field day turning the tables on Washington. Egypt is the latest country to express its deep concern, reports the country’s English-language Daily News:

A spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, in response to a question from state-run news agency MENA, said the ministry is “following the escalation of protests and demonstrations in the city of Ferguson and reactions thereto”.
The spokesman referred to comments made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Monday as a reflection of the “international community’s position towards these events” including the calls for “restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion”.
Advertisement

The call for “restraint” definitely seems like a deliberate echo of the kind of language favored by the U.S. State Department during anti-government protests in Egypt.

The Egyptians are hardly alone. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency has editorialized that the “racial divide still remains a deeply-rooted chronic disease that keeps tearing U.S. society apart” and that “what the United States needs to do is to concentrate on solving its own problems rather than always pointing fingers at others.” Russia’s foreign ministry has urged “our American partners to pay more attention to restoring order in their own country before imposing their dubious experience on other nations.” Iran’s FARS news agency is devoting heavy coverage to the “war zone” in Ferguson

Obviously these are self-serving statements, and as bad as things have gotten in Missouri, it doesn’t in any way minimize or even contextualize the state-sponsored political repression in these countries.

But it certainly doesn’t hurt to look at events in America from the outside now and then.

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.