Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Editorial: All eyes on U.S. in Egypt debate

Oh my, aren't we self-important today.

To the unnamed Courier editor, the most important question about what's happening in Egypt is: "what is America's role in this?"

It couldn't be, "What's best for the people of Egypt?" of course. Or even the more-our-viewpoint but less self-absorbed "What will the Egyptian people want the US to do?"

The editor's narrow, all-about-US perspective, as often expressed in our foreign policy, is exactly why the Middle East has been in constant turmoil since the end of the Ottoman Empire. That mindset has us pursue policies promoting our short-term economic and strategic interests at the ultimate expense of the people of the entire region, leading inevitably to backlash, both against the despots we prop up with our bribes and subsidies and against us directly along the spectrum from popular suspicion to violent terrorism.

We have to hope that we will eventually learn our lesson and realize that supporting popular aspirations for self-determination and quality of life is the only way to build positive, long-term relationships internationally. We simply have to stop using people and start doing what we can to help. In many situations the best way to do that is just back off and quit trying to manipulate them.

Please, editors, focus your attention on your readers and what's happening here in your circulation territory. You haven't anything like the experience or knowledge to speak with the slightest authority about foreign policy or world events, and writing on them just makes you look foolish.

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