American Elephants

Egypt. by The Elephant's Child

The thing about watching the drama of the protests in Egypt is that we don’t know anything.  We get confusing bits and pieces, snapshots here and there.  Americans are inclined to root for freedom, but there are forces here we don’t understand, and most of us don’t speak the language.  In a way, the more glimpses we get, the less we know.

Drudge has a story to the effect that America has secretly been backing the rebels. Who knows whether it is true?  Peter Wehner, writing at Commentary, says that this turmoil is vindication for Bush’s Freedom Agenda.  In a November 19, 2003 speech at Whitehall Palace in London, President Bush said:

We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine, in the past, have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. …

As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found.

Now we’re pursuing a different course, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. We will consistently challenge the enemies of reform and confront the allies of terror.

This was widely criticized,  but surely it is better for the United States to say up front that we don’t tolerate oppression for the sake of stability, and that tyranny is unacceptable.  Isn’t that who we are? We are Americans, and we advocate freedom, and oppose tyranny.

Simple and straightforward.

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