I like Ross Douthat, though he isn’t producing quite the same calibre of material writing for the New York Times as he did when he wrote for The Atlantic. He writes a pice in today’s New York Times on Egypt, noting that Mubarak’s Egypt is probably the place most responsible for Revolutionary Islam — had Mubarak not imprisoned, tortured and exiled so many people — especially clerics and religious activists — there would be no international Islamic revolutionary movement. A little simplistic, but mostly true. He also notes the difficulty facing Washington policy makers in dealing with Egypt as the alternatives — an Iran-style Islamic revolution (highly unlikely) or a return to Nasserist anti-Americanism (even less likely, I think, though who knows?) exist as possibilities with Egypt.
In the end, the, Douthat does understand something:
The only comfort, as we watch Egyptians struggle for their country’s future, is that some choices aren’t America’s to make.
Some? How about many? How about most?