Lee Smith has a special Monday edition of his Mideast column today in Tablet Magazine to respond to the events in Egypt. His take? We are witnessing the fourth test of George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda”—the notion that “promoting democracy in the region was not only good for the Arabs, but also in America’s national interest”—and that if the first three test cases (Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza) are any indication, we should not be optimistic. Smith argues:
That the United States will not come to the aid of its liberal allies, or strengthen the moderate Muslims against the extremists, is one reason why the Freedom Agenda is not going to work, at least not right now. The underlying reason then is Arab political culture, where real democrats and genuine liberals do not stand a chance against the men with guns.