The power to decide …


“The wholesale repudiation of Bush’s foreign policy included the rejection of anything resembling his “freedom agenda,” which looked mainly like an excuse for war. But whatever one’s views of the Iraq war, it really does not seem too much to ask of American liberals that they think a little less…The bizarre irony of Obama’s global multiculturalism is that it has had the effect of aligning America with regimes and against peoples. …

I appreciate this logic, but where does one draw the line between intervention in revolutions that are “real” and ones that are not? 

At the very least, I think that we can attempt to refrain from reducing the complexity of the situation by saying that even if we, individual Americans, are for the Egyptian people, that does not necessarily mean that the American government should simply reflect a 1:1 correspondence with our beliefs. 

First of all, realistically, there is no telling if U.S. support would be helpful, or if it would only be used as an ideological weapon against these people in the streets; the desire is not the act. Second, should the U.S. even be in the business of dividing “good others” from “bad others”? It’s not just “where do we draw the line?”, but “what does the power to decide where the line should be drawn already imply?" 

It does, however, seem that the U.S. is already intervening, and has been for decades, via the billions of dollars in aid we supply to Egypt … among other countries. But very few were calling for the end to such practices before the people took to the streets, and such calls gained very little traction. How could people be activated toward these issues, which might indeed end our support for dictators without the attendant problems outlined above. 

The power to decide …

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