Leon Wieseltier: American Liberals and the Streets of Cairo

Leon Wieseltier: American Liberals and the Streets of Cairo – ‘…the Obama administration, and American liberals more generally, have been caught intellectually unprepared for this crisis. The administration’s predicament, it must be said, is strategically complicated: since Mubarak may fall, it cannot afford to alienate the protestors, but since the protestors may fail, it cannot afford to alienate Mubarak. Our officials have been improvising, not altogether brilliantly…Obama replaced the freedom agenda with an acceptance agenda. His foreign policy has been conducted in a vigorously multicultural spirit…It was a terrible mistake for Obama to make democratization seem like an “imposition,” with its imperialist implications, and to conflate it with military invasion. The promotion of democracy is a policy of support for indigenous Egyptian, or Arab, or Muslim democrats who are just as authentic as Egyptian, or Arab, or Muslim autocrats and theocrats, and certainly more deserving of American respect…’

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