The US government poses as the international champion of democracy and liberty, but the objective real-world consequences of its foreign policy of global intervention effectively hold back progress in this direction. It is no accident that the revolutions in Iran, Libya, and Syria (where only a few hundred have so far turned out for Egypt-inspired protests) are meeting substantial resistance, while in the US protectorates – Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Djibouti – the protests are more successful.
Unless the administration is willing to take advice from the more embittered neocons, Glenn Beck, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who rail that Mubarak was “betrayed” by the West, this disparity points to the only rational response to the Awakening by the US: Washington must get out of the way. Amid calls from many liberals and some neocons to endorse the democratic movements, and the opposite advice from the Beckians, the US government must resist the temptation to meddle in any manner whatsoever – and this includes pumping in money and resources to handpicked “democratic” parties and organizations via USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. Such efforts are bound to boomerang, just as our previous support to the reigning dictators did.
Our national interests were never served by supporting brutal kleptocrats like Mubarak, and his cousins across the region: nor are they being served by “democracy promotion,” either. The Founders foresaw that the American example would inspire efforts to achieve liberty beyond our shores, and one of them, John Quincy Adams, had this advice to give:
“Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
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