Tag Archives | Egypt

The Middle Finger to History

The years between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, became known as the “Holiday from History,” a period in which America thought it could withdraw from the burdens of engagement with the world and focus on the pursuit of domestic prosperity and other really important issues like […]

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Ten Ways Obama Has Failed as President

A poll released last week had some pretty bad news for congressional Democrats heading into the midterm elections. But buried in the poll numbers was a figure that just might constitute an even more important turning point. Respondents were asked: “On balance, do you feel that Obama’s presidency so far has been more of a […]

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The Paradox of Pacifism

Over the past few weeks, the foreign policy anti-interventionists—a coalition of cynical establishment “realists,” blame-America-first leftists, and libertarian millennials disillusioned by the Iraq War—have given us a lot of excellent advice about the potential costs of getting involved in the conflict over Ukraine, about the dangers of escalation, about the virtue of caution. Somehow they […]

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The End of ‘Islamic Democracy’

Top Stories of the Year: #4 With the beginning of the Arab Spring about three years ago, we entered the post-9/11 era—an era in which the biggest story is no longer the conflict between radical Islam and the West but instead is the Arab world’s conflict with itself. This is the year in which the […]

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The Forward Strategy of Capitalism

George W. Bush used to talk about the Forward Strategy of Freedom, which is perhaps looking a little better now that we’ve seen some vindication for the notion that Arabs and Muslim would be willing to stand up for freedom. An unappreciated part of that strategy was Bush’s push for global free trade, with the […]

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Freedom Is Child’s Play

For the short term, I expect the Middle East to be a close-fought battle between the forces of (relative) progress and the forces of religious obscurantism. Over the long term, I am more optimistic. The reason is that there are too many good ideas loose in the world, they are too easily available, and they […]

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The Muslim Civil War in Egypt

Here’s a good symbol of the recent turn of events in the Middle East: troops from Mali marching in a Bastille Day parade in Paris, in gratitude to the French for helping to defeat Islamists in Mali’s north. Yes, I know, Mali is not in the “Middle East.” It’s in Sub-Saharan Africa, or maybe just […]

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A Little Rebellion Now and Then

The decision by Egypt’s military to intervene and force out the country’s Islamist president has produced a lot of hand-wringing about how this is an attack on Jeffersonian democracy. The irony is that this is “democracy” in the most literal, original sense, in a way that would have been easily recognized by the Ancient Greeks […]

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Egypt’s Do-Over Revolution

A little over a week ago, I wrote about how the post-Arab Spring Middle East was entering a new phase, one in which secular liberals and their sympathizers are beginning to realize that they have to fight the Islamists with everything they can muster. On Sunday, that battle got a lot bigger, with Egyptians pouring […]

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Observations of a Bystander

Writing about foreign policy these days is an exercise in frustration, because the United States is in the unusual and unnecessary position of being a bystander to world events. The reason is that President Obama is deeply committed to a policy of inaction, or more accurately, action so halting and reluctant as to be nearly […]

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