Support the revolution

Jan 262011
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

The Tunisian revolution was the first domino in a web of revolutionary dominos that have started falling through the Arab World, and it looks like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak might be the next to fall.

After more than 30 years of repression and corruption under Mubarak, Egypt deserves a new government, and the United States needs to start urging forward the wave of popular revolt that could wash over the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

For the second straight day on Wednesday, protesters took to the streets of Cairo and other major Egyptian cities such as Alexandria. Under the threat of police crackdown against any public gatherings, Wednesday’s protest groups were smaller than Tuesday’s unprecedented mass protests, but, according to the BBC, about 700 people were arrested and two are dead in the uprisings.

Although the United States has been supportive of Tunisia’s popular overthrow two weeks ago, U.S. officials were quick to urge Mubarak to reform his government to prevent an overthrow, fearing that a regime change could destabilize the region and lose the United States a valuable regional ally to more popular anti-Western Islamists.

But, if the U.S. government really is interested in spreading democracy in the Middle East, it must get behind popular protest and support democratic change, warts and all.

America’s democracy-building experiment in Iraq has been a failure. Instead of meddling with Arab politics and supporting authoritarian allies like Mubarak, the United States should start supporting the Egyptian protests and any that follow.

The Arab world is ripe to overthrow its oppressive regimes and institute new, democratic ones. In the name of freedom and democracy, the U.S. should support popular revolt and any democratic –– even anti-American –– governments that result.

 Posted by at 3:09 pm

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