REFLECTIONS

Posted on February 4, 2011

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FOREIGN POLICY AT CRUCIAL CROSSROAD

The desire for a friendly regime in the Middle East has often driven our foreign policy to the dismay of masses in those places we try to help, resulting in disastrous outcomes. However, today our position should be to promote free elections in Egypt.

In past cases, ordinary folks see that when it comes to them, all the high ground claimed by the U.S. has no meaning. We must do better in Egypt for us and for the protection of Israel.

Just a few past examples: We supported Saddam Hussein and Iraq in their eight year war with Iran. Later we declare war on Saddam and Iraq, not once but twice.

We supported the Shah of Iran in 1979, and Ayatollah Khomeini took over the government there with the result we are still at odds with Iran. We supported the Mujahidun in the 1980s Afghanistan war with the Soviet Union, and now former Mujahidun fighters are members of the Taliban who we are battling in Afghanistan today.

We supported the Fadeh in the January 26,2006 Palestinian elections, and terrorist Hamas won an upset victory. We have been on the wrong side several times in Lebanon.

Of course, we have always believed we were doing what was best for our position in the Middle East. The problem was that we supported dictators or persons rather than the people.

One cannot predict the outcome of a free election like held in Palestine in 2006. However, we should be ready to deal with them and not let fear of an unfriendly regime make us discard our cherished ideas. After all, we deal with left, right, religious and non-religious governments all over the world.

Let’s not make the same mistake we have made in the past. In Egypt we should support what is right for the Egyptian people. I am confident that this will keep the extremists out and cause goodwill to prevail toward the U.S., something no amount of money or coaxing can ever achieve.

The theme of our foreign policy should be to support the people of a nation, not a personality. In the long run, that will serve us best, and remove the label of hypocrisy that is attached to us at the moment. This will help the U.S. and Israel keep peace in the Middle East.

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