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Values and Interests

It occurs to me that the whipsawing of the US position on Egypt over the past few weeks was due to a perceived conflict between our values and our interests.

There are legitimate interests in the stability of Egypt: the treaty and continued peace with Israel, the Suez canal, the bulwark against terrorism and Islamic extremism.

On the other hand there are the values which we espouse. Foremost among them democracy and freedom. There are the aspirations of the younger generation of Egyptians to take hold of their country, their destiny and imagine a new future for themselves and their compatriots. There are also the values of human rights, which the US has sadly often celebrated in the abrogation of them for people termed terrorists and imprisoned without accusation nor trial.

Perhaps with nonviolence and the legacy of the a peaceful revolution the people of Egypt and Tunisia can teach us all in the 21st century to walk like an Egyptian.

(cross posted at

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