Tunisia shows bankruptcy of US supporting brutes

Former long-time CIA officer Bruce Riedel wonders what the US should do in the Arab world in light of the upheavals in Tunisia.

What about the people living in US-backed dictatorships across the region, or is the only concern how poor little Washington may handle it?

Barack Obama’s challenge in Egypt will be to avoid tying America to Mubarak and trying to hold back the winds of change that are coming while not destabilizing a critical ally. The United States has a poor track record of pulling off that difficult balance. In Pakistan, George Bush hung by his man Pervez Musharraf far too long. The result is that Pakistanis hate America.

What has just happened in Tunisia is a revolution in Arab politics. No one knows now if it will be a one-off or the beginning of a trend. For President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, the region just got a whole lot more complicated.

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