We did not invent democracy. We have not, all propagandistic, patriotic blandishments to the contrary, even perfected it. Who are we, really, to tell the citizens of Egypt, or Turkey, or Syria, or Iraq, how to achieve it? It is a messy, long process, especially in countries where there is no history of democratic rule. The historical perspective we need to even BEGIN to understand what is happening in Egypt and elsewhere will not even be available until after I am gone. That is just the way it is. However, that won’t stop the pundits from bloviating and pontificating (how those words sound like excretory functions, which they are). David Brooks isn’t the only culprit. The US is the empire now, and is seen as such from more parts of the world than it is not. There is a new Orientalism afoot, and it ain’t pretty. Edward Said, where are you when we need you? I would love to be able to hear your insights on the events of the past few years in the Arab world.