Saturday, February 12, 2011


The people of Egypt will face a challenging but maybe rewarding path to freedom now that Hosni Mubarak has resigned as President.
I would like to defend the Obama's approach to the situation in Egypt. I believe he balanced well the need for the American government to do business in that country through a government on one side, and the long-term benefit to America and the world to do business with free, democratic countries as opposed to dictatorships.

In some cases, the right decision may be to support a dictatorship against its opponents by fighting with it or giving it money to fight those opponents. Egypt was not at this level. The foreign aid that went to Egypt was not really for the purpose of fighting opponents of the Egyptian government (although that foreign aid is still a way of supporting the government and at some point would have been inappropriate), and the remarks by Hillary Rodham CLinton about Egypt being "stable" (although by HILLARY, not by Barack), were also not assistance. It was diplomacy. It was a way to do business with the undemocratic Egyptian government, which is the right decision in other cases.

As the protests continued, it became more and more clear that it was not a good deal to business with the Egyptian government because it was so unpopular. At this point, the American government moved to a stage of encouraging the Egyptian government to change, which is right in some cases too.

The situation in Egypt did not reach the stage when the U.S. stopped doing business with Egypt, set up sanctions, or invaded it. All of these stages may be appropriate in extreme cases, but they were not in this case.

I wonder if Wael Ghonim, the man in Egypt who worked for Google and became a hero to the revolutionaries, will win a Nobel Prize?

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