POMED Executive Director Andrew Albertson discusses with other experts on the need for the United States to strongly support the democratic aspirations of those calling for change in the Middle East.
The Obama administration has begun taking many of the right steps already. Aware of the dangers for U.S. interests posed by governments that resist democratic participation even as their people become more educated, affluent and connected to the outside world, they have repeatedly raised with Arab leaders the need for comprehensive reforms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presciently warned regional foreign ministers two weeks ago, “Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries’ problems for a little while, but not forever.”
For far too long, the United States has relied on leaders in the Middle East who maintain their rule through coercion. Against the backdrop of appalling violence in Tunisia and Egypt, and the stark moral legitimacy of protests sweeping the region, the bankruptcy of that approach has never been clearer.
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