Some current Egyptian protesters are angry at America -- not because they are Islamists who support terrorism, but because they support secular, classical-liberal figures like the late Mohammed Noah, who encouraged free markets and outreach to Israel. They resent the U.S. government for backing people like former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi.
The U.S. government does at least criticize leaders like Morsi, and Hosni Mubarak before him, when they behave in authoritarian ways -- but we don't stop selling them military hardware. Defense contractors don't have much incentive to obsess about what regimes will do later with the weapons sold to them now.
With power changing hands in Egypt once again, maybe it's time for us to butt out. Let them sort out their own politics -- instead of us helping train police and arm soldiers who beat up the protesters who may become the next generation of leaders.
Suggesting that will get me called an "isolationist." But there's nothing isolationist about it. America can have a huge impact on the rest of the world even without deploying the military or government-funded foreign aid. We already do.
Let our movies play in theaters across the world. Let our rock music alarm mullahs. And let neoconservatives fund overseas sales of books filled with ideas local autocrats consider dangerous. But the neocons should spend their own money -- not that of taxpayers.
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