-- While 48 percent of Egyptians say suicide bombings are never justified, 32 percent say "rarely," 12 percent say "sometimes," and 8 percent say suicide bombings are "often" justified. Half the people of Egypt believe there are times a suicide bomb is the right answer.
-- Half of all Egyptians have a favorable view of Hamas, and one in five has a favorable view of al-Qaida.
-- Three in four Egyptians believe cutting off the hand of a thief is proper punishment. Four in five favor stoning adulterers to death. And 84 percent favor executing Muslim converts to Christianity.
-- Eighty-two percent of Egyptians regard the United States unfavorably, and 48 percent rate America "very unfavorably."
-- In a Zogby poll in 2010, 90 percent of Egyptians named the United States and Israel as threats, 86 percent said Iran had a right to pursue nuclear weapons, and 77 percent thought it would be a good thing if Tehran got the bomb.
Thus, if free and fair elections are held and the new government of Egypt, in Bush's words, responds "to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite," Egypt will become more Islamic, more hostile to us and Israel, and more supportive of Iran.
If that is a likely result of free and fair elections in Egypt, why does the U.S. government favor free and fair elections in Egypt? And if democracy in the Middle East could get us kicked out of the Middle East, why do U.S. policy-makers favor democracy in the Middle East? Does the U.S. government believe what it professes to believe? Would we support a "million man march" in Riyadh, as President Obama did in Cairo? Will we call for elections in Bahrain, where a Sunni king rules a Shia-majority statelet and the U.S. Fifth Fleet is anchored?
Not one of our Arab allies is a democracy. Should they all, as Mubarak has been told by Obama to do, prepare for a "transition"?
Across the Middle East in the last decade, we lost 6,000 soldiers and spent hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet we have never been more disliked, more reviled, more hated in that part of the world.
If the advancement of our democratic ideals imperils what the U.S. government says are our vital interests, is there not something fundamentally wrong with our Middle East policy?
Why keep borrowing untold billions from China, putting America's children eternally in debt, to pursue a policy in the Arab world that has made this once-admired nation thoroughly detested across the Arab world?
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