Saturday, February 5, 2011

Staying Out Of It

There is a certain amount of concern in Western circles that the Muslim Brotherhood might rise to power in Egypt, if Mubarak is forced out. This is problematic for the United States, rhetoric-wise. Up until now, our normal way of going about things has been simple - the dictator that's on our side is better than the democracy/republic that isn't, even though we've claimed exactly the opposite. This has been, we all realize, part of the problem.

The only way to solve this problem is to meet it head-on. Everyone realizes that nations, like people, look out for their own interests, even when they begrudge them that fact. Either the United States is going to have to make its actions match its rhetoric, or make the rhetoric match its actions, if we ever want to be free of people who are aggrieved by the disconnect. This isn't to say that everything will suddenly be peachy if we do so.

But the people of Egypt aren't concerned with the interests of the United States, nor should they be. And, despite what we like to say, the people of the United States aren't really concerned with the interests of the people of Egypt. Given that, everyone understands that anything that we attempt to do over there will be for our benefit. And that's likely to create more ill-will than simply staying out of things might. So maybe the best thing we can do for everyone involved is nothing at all.

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