As you reflect on the prison sentence imposed on former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, recall that his country was the second largest recipient of US aid - after Israel as the first - and was seen as a "friend" of the West.
By cynical as you also reflect on the fact that the sentence just imposed relates to the killing of protestors in Tahrir Square last year - not the large amount of outrageous actions of his Government over the years (think, torture!).
Robert Fisk, veteran Middle East journalist and reporter, writing in The Independent, also reflects on the Mubarak sentence.
Of course, we were not asking about the death sentences at the military courts in the 1980s and 1990s – and we can't, can we, when the military is still in power in Egypt. Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the field marshal who runs the country, never suggested these courts – and their death sentences – were wrong. Mubarak was fighting "terror", wasn't he? On our behalf, I believe. For he was a "moderate", a friend of the West, and maybe that's why Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, got off. Will they leave the country? Will they quit Egypt? No doubt.
So that's the story. Let's not mention Bashar al-Assad here. The Egyptian court was meant to be a lesson for him. Kofi Annan was down in Qatar, talking about the Syrian government's sins yesterday. But, then, there are some problems, aren't there? Didn't Mubarak receive a few "renditioned" prisoners from George W Bush; tortured them, too, at Washington's behest? And didn't Damascus also torture a few "renditioned" prisoners – the name Arar comes to mind, a Canadian citizen, sent off from JFK for a touch of torture in the Syrian capital? Yes, our "moderate" Arabs were always ready to help us, weren't they?"