The American people still do not grasp the significance of the Arab Spring. All too often we interpret the emergence of a new leadership in terms of religion. There is no doubt conservative Muslims have greater power under the new leadership than they enjoyed under previous dictators. All too often Fox News and conservative commentators discuss changes in terms of America. President Mursi in Egypt or new leaders in Tunisia and Libya are interested in what is best for their societies, not what is best for the United States. We have to cease establishing an American interpretation for all Middle Eastern events and changes.
President Mursi raises the important question for Egyptians as to whether he seeks to go back to a more Conservative society in which religious leaders wielded power or accept the reality of his people’s need for a modern society. In Tunisia there is need to move forward and avoid killing the tourist industry because a few Salafists do not like drinking or female rights. Middle Eastern nations have to decide whether modernity is the future or economic stagnation?
The most important support the USA can offer the Middle East is pushing for an independent Palestine, and helping the region come together with joint economic ideas. There is need for a Middle Eastern Economic Union that includes Israel. THAT is what US foreign policy should seek.