The Corner

Betraying Arab Liberals

Hosni Mubarak arrested Ayman Nour, the leader of the Ghad Party, after he dared to challenge the leader in elections.  The Bush administration has been largely silent as Mubarak cancelled subsequent municipal elections and started to abuse dissidents .  Condoleezza Rice visited Cairo and failed to mention democracy.  Now, the Ghad Party has posted a video (CAUTION- GRAPHIC) alleging to show a young activist tortured at police hands.  The caption reads, in part, “thank you America for supporting Mubarak’s regime.”  The anger generated by such gratuitous abuses are why it is in our national interest to support rule-of-law and liberal reform.  If we abandon liberals now, after encouraging them to step forward, we may pay a very steep price down the road.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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