For U.S., Matching Moral and Financial Support for Revolts Proves Difficult
WASHINGTON — After six months of struggle inside the White House to reconcile American interests in the Arab uprisings with American values, President Obama on Thursday sought to portray the region’s revolt in the historical tradition of the American Revolution and the civil rights movement....
The model, the president suggested at one point, was the integration of Eastern Europe into the West after the fall of Communism, urging Congress to create “enterprise funds” to invest in Tunisia and Egypt, and presumably in other places where dictators have yet to fall. “Successful democratic transitions depend upon an expansion of growth and broad-based prosperity,” he said.
But this is not 1989. In global politics, as in life, timing is everything. The Middle Eastern and North African states now in various stages of upheaval have come to democracy in an era of painfully tight budgets in the United States and economic crisis in Europe....
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