Democracy from within

Remember those days when the United States would leap eagerly toward any chance to defend democracy and gain allies?             Our dear country would throw funding, weapons and soldiers at any expense just to see if we could find some friends.             You know…Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kosovo… I could go on.             Clearly, not all of these endeavors worked out quite like we planned. Well finally, it seems the United States has learned something of a lesson.             After the successful democratic uprising in Tunisia, a country oppressed for twenty three years under an autocratic regime, the U.S. may have finally noticed that not everyone needs our help.             The newest and most surprising revolution that we have not yet involved ourselves with is in the country of Egypt. After thirty years the dictator who calls himself “President”, Hosni Mubarak, the people of Egypt have decided enough is enough. In mass protests, which in recent days have sadly turned violent, tens of thousands of Egyptians, organized through social media websites and word of mouth, have taken to the streets. Their demands are for basic reform of government, democratization and for Mr. Mubarak to step down. However, they are very clear that they do not want the U.S. involved.             Now first off, it is clear that Egypt is not like many of the other countries we have invaded on a whim. For one thing, unlike Iraq and Vietnam and Korea, it actually has something to do with us.             Aside from Israel, Egypt receives the most foreign aid from the U.S. of any country in the world. Last year, Egypt received $1.5 billion in economic and military aid from the United States.    In addition, it has served as our greatest ally in the Middle East, a relationship predicated on Egypt’s cooperation with the United States on a number of issues, including the War on Terror.             Unfortunately, the United States is not taking this sideline position because it has truly learned a lesson, but because our involvement may prove to be strategically dangerous in the long run.             The U.S. doesn’t seem to care if Egypt is ruled under democracy or under tyranny, as long as they’re on our side.             President Obama himself has avoided from asking Mr. Mubarak to step down, by only saying “The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people”.             Ultimately, if the U.S. ever had a truly just cause to support democratization, now would be the time. However, we need to invade Egypt not with our tanks or fighter jets, but with direct words of support and encouragement.