Without a strong showing of U.S. support for its allies and values, the hard-won gains of the past decades will be lost, perhaps irretrievably. Iraq, where tens of thousands of American soldiers were killed or wounded, is drifting into Iran's orbit.
"We need passionately moderate Muslims", argues former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Moderates, yes, but not tepid or vacillating moderates; instead, moderates with vim, ready to engage and to bring about change.
Late last month, President Barack Obama met with Morocco's King Mohammed VI in Washington for their first face-to-face meeting. The result was a bitter disappointment for supporters of human rights and international law.
As Morocco's strategic partner, the U.S. must ensure that its dollars, military support, and political support generate momentum for human rights. Moroccan authorities shouldn't be allowed to presume that their relationship with the U.S. is a blank check.
To date, only presidents have fallen from power during the Arab Awakening -- no king has fallen from his throne. Arab monarchies are of course not immune to the forces that brought down some of their republican counterparts, so why have they all thus far survived?
Judging by the context and content of the national addresses delivered within hours of each other this weekend, Morocco's King Mohammed and Syria's Bashar Al Assad could not be farther apart from each other.