NYT’s Douthat says all that wonderful Middle East stability gave us 9/11

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My big new theme is, Let the political imagination of the north African Arabs come and ravish the United States. Open up the crusted channels of our thinking. When all that Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations can talk about is stability, i.e., protect Israel at any cost. Here is Russ Douthat in the NYT, serving as a realist listening post (I’ve eliminated the on-the-other-hand dithering, you can find that at the link):

As the world ponders the fate of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak, Americans should ponder this: It’s quite possible that if Mubarak had not ruled Egypt as a dictator for the last 30 years, the World Trade Center would still be standing….

The memory of Nasser is a reminder that even if post-Mubarak Egypt doesn’t descend into religious dictatorship, it’s still likely to lurch in a more anti-American direction. The long-term consequences of a more populist and nationalistic Egypt might be better for the United States than the stasis of the Mubarak era, and the terrorism that it helped inspire.

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