When U.S. politicians discuss critical Middle East matters, their remarks either display an ignorance of facts, are shaped more by political needs than reality, or are just plain dumb. Egypt provides a case in point.
Calls in Washington to suspend military aid to Egypt are fueling an already blazing fire. Although a serious review of the $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt is long overdue, raising the threat in the midst of a burning crisis is dangerous.
Let's not repeat the failure of nerve we showed in the past with Tiananmen Square as we respond to the democratic aspirations of those in Tahrir Square. As the world watches, the administration's window of opportunity is closing quickly.
Some would have us believe it was beyond the power of the Obama administration to stop the violence, because the leverage of the administration on the Egyptian military was limited. But this doesn't pass the laugh test.
In the days since it became clear that Mr. Mubarak did not receive the White House's initial message, Mr. Obama has been huddling with advisers to discuss a range of more drastic options, including changing the message's font altogether.
If we perpetuate the cycle of dictator addiction by continuing to so forcefully back all those other dictatorships around the globe beyond Egypt, we will be helping guarantee other overdoses in the future.
There is little reason for the U.S. to fear a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood. If Egypt is allowed to find its own way, the problem of extremism could well fade as disaffected youth at last find hope at home.
Nearly 8 long years ago, the Iraq War was wrongfully started under the guise of spreading democracy in the Middle East. And now, I sit and watch real democracy take to the streets in Egypt brought on by average citizens.
We in the West and those of us laying the foundational stones for digital citizenship, have much to learn from our Arab friends. They have shown a remarkable degree of self-organization using the new technologies.