It's difficult to know what to make of the Egypt situation. It is clear that there is a genuinely popular movement kicking off there; our instincts ought to be to support such a movement. On the other hand, there are clearly some radical elements in that movement -- and we all remember how well it worked out when we backed the popular movement led by the radical Fidel Castro in Cuba. What happens to be popular at any given moment may not be virtuous, and there are good reasons to be suspicious about the virtues of some of the leadership elements here.

One might be inclined to look to guiding stars, but they are giving mixed signals on this issue. For example, John Kerry is strongly in favor of backing the democracy movement.

...tear gas canisters marked “Made in America” fired at protesters, United States-supplied F-16 jet fighters streaking over central Cairo.
Normally when Kerry starts talking like that, I know just which way to lean; but then comes Richard Cohen, another man whose judgment is highly reliable.
The dream of a democratic Egypt is sure to produce a nightmare.

Egypt's problems are immense. It has a population it cannot support, a standard of living that is stagnant and a self-image as leader of the (Sunni) Arab world that does not, really, correspond to reality. It also lacks the civic and political institutions that are necessary for democracy. The next Egyptian government - or the one after - might well be composed of Islamists. In that case, the peace with Israel will be abrogated and the mob currently in the streets will roar its approval.
The man I really want to consult I don't know how to reach. Our translator/interpreter in Iraq -- he was also my roommate for a while -- was a man from Egypt. He was an older man, just old enough to have only white hair, and a poet in his native Arabic: he was working on a Ph.D. in his spare time. I remember watching President Obama's inauguration with him, on AFN. He was crying -- literally with tears streaming down his face. I asked him why, and he said it was because "This could never happen in my country."

By "this," I took him to mean the peaceful transfer of authority between parties and individuals who disagreed about the right thing to do (peaceful and friendly, even -- Bush was quite jovial about getting to get on that helicopter and get out of town).

My sense is that he would want us to back the movement, because it offers hope instead of only stability. Hope includes the possibility of disappointment: it is hope, after all, not certainty. Still, it is one of the great virtues. Perhaps we should practice it now.

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