We face an ongoing and potentially deepening recession at
home―so how can we justify to the unemployed and
underemployed in the United States the incredible cost of
maintaining a global empire? Moral arguments aside, we must
stop sending hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign
governments when our own economy is in shambles.
American media and talking heads repeatedly pose the same
loaded questions: Should the administration encourage the
Egyptian president to remain or to resign? Should the US
ensure Mohamed ElBaradei or current vice president Omar
Suleiman succeeds current president Mubarak? The best answer
to these questions is that we should just do nothing, as
Eisenhower did in 1956. We should leave Egypt for Egyptians
to figure out.
Some may claim that this is isolationism. Nothing could be
further from the truth.
We should enthusiastically engage in trade and allow travel
between countries, but we should stay out of their internal
We are in fact more isolated from Egypt now than ever,
because the regime we propped up appears to be falling. We
have isolated ourselves from the Egyptian people by propping
up their government, as we isolate ourselves from Tunisians,
Israelis, and other recipients of our foreign aid. Their
resentment of our interventionist policies makes us less
safe, because we lose our authority to conduct meaningful
diplomacy when unpopular regimes fall overseas. We also
radicalize those who resented our support for past regimes.
Let us hope for a more prosperous and peaceful era for the
Egyptians, and let us learn the lessons of our thirty year