The lesson for America is to give priority to its national interests, not abstract democratic theory. Most importantly, Egypt’s adherence to Camp David is the foundation of U.S. Middle East policy and Israel’s security, and Mubarak never wavered in his commitment to the treaty. In the 2012 Egyptian elections, by contrast, Mohammed Morsi was not alone in questioning Camp David’s legitimacy. Even secular politicians attacked its central element, “land for peace,” implying that withdrawal could ultimately be an option.
Moreover, keeping the Suez Canal open is critical to the world economy. An unstable Egypt inevitably raises international fears that terrorists or saboteurs will obstruct the canal, with potentially devastating consequences. Global oil-price increases last week underlined this fundamental geopolitical reality.
We should insist on Egypt meeting its international commitments, and worry less about second-guessing what could be a lengthy transition to representative government. That does not mean abandoning America’s commitment to its own ideals, or ceasing to insist that any Egyptian government respect individual rights, such as those of religious minorities such as Coptic Christians. But it also means remembering our own fundamental priorities in the Middle East, and having a more realistic understanding both of Egypt’s basic circumstances and our ability to influence Egypt’s domestic politics than we have displayed since the Arab Spring began.Update: Finally, Harpoon Siddiqui gets a clue (not really). The headline of his latest screed: Democracy good for everyone except "Islamists".
You got that right, Harpoon.
Update: This is Islamist "democracy":
Erdogan’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) stands accused of stealthily inserting radical Islam into Turkey’s political system to the point of arresting a broad range of opponents, from NGO activists to professionals to military leaders.
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