Sunday, February 27, 2011

Their Moment, Not Ours

Hands off the Arab revolutions, including Libya, Andrew Sullivan says to U.S. busybodies:
We in the West...are proud of and attached to our liberties because we and our forefathers grasped them for themselves. This mix of patriotism and liberty is vital and necessary. To have freedom imposed is to create chaos and resentment. To have the people grasp it for themselves is to expand the horizons of a stable democracy. There will be failures and successes....We should do all we can to assist if asked. But this is their moment, not ours, their countries, not ours, and it is time to let go of the neurotic need to control the entire world and to force it into our own ideological templates. It is time to watch and listen and engage and support. It is not time to intervene.
Good advice, until our interests are threatened, such as by al-Qaeda finding a safe haven somewhere in Libya or Egypt threatening to abrogate its peace treaty with Israel. Resisting the impulse to meddle may improve our position with the new regimes, but it doesn't guarantee that they'll be friendly. It's also an incredible stretch to talk about stable democracies when there still aren't any Arab democracies at all, including in Egypt and Tunisia.

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