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Friday, February 4, 2011

Why I Support The Egyptian Protesters

I am a Tea-Party conservative, and I support the Egyptian protesters.

First, I refer you to my motto: Freedom is wasted on him who will not make others free.  Everything else is details, which begin here:

  • I feel that for the United States to not support the protesters is morally repugnant and strategically counterproductive.
  • I feel that President Mubarak should step down, that an experienced interim, caretaker successor should succeed him, and that neither man should stand in the regularly scheduled election next September.
  • I feel that this will create an opportunity for (not guarantee) a real democratic structure to emerge and solidify over time.
  • I feel that the immediate threat to Egyptian liberty is their current government which the United States seems to support but I do not, and the next threat to Egyptian liberty will be internal extremists, which the United States opposes and so do I.
  • I feel that the worst possible consequence of a successful revolution is an extremist-led Egypt which will simply continue the subjugation of the citizenry, with the added evil of starting a regional war.
  • I feel that the worst possible outcome of a failed revolution is a wave of murder and torture sweeping Egypt at the hands of government-backed thugs.
  • In either case, if the United States does not support the protesters at this time, in this place, then all of our words about freedom and democracy will fall on deaf ears for a generation at least.  We will lose any moral leverage we might have on the streets where things are outside of the control of any government, and in coffee shops where meetings are held, and decisions made by those without marble columns and granite walls.  Where it counts.
  • I feel that United States support for the protesters will be welcomed in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria.  It will be reported favorably by Al-Jazeera (in any language) before it will by CNN (in any language).  It will not only provide a moral and practical boost to the protesters who seek freedom; US support for the protesters will help inoculate the eventual democracy from domination by extremists.
I do not begrudge the United States our previous support of Hosni Mubarak.  This was in the interest of peace, and dates back to the monumental Camp David Accords negotiated with Anwar el-Sadat.  Things have changed, however, and the policy has, in the space of a weekend, gone from merely outdated and distasteful to dangerous and obsolete.  The world is changing, and if we show adaptability while living up to our core values, we will be in a better position to deal with whatever negative consequences may accompany the good.

If, on the other hand, we demonstrate a dogmatic stiffness which causes us to betray our own stated principles, we will be in a very sorry position indeed, and even our victories will taste like defeats as we struggle to salvage credibility.

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