Ultimately, Western Europe decided that the choice between communism and fascism was a false choice. This was a decision that Europeans made for themselves, but America played a crucial role in bolstering the European liberals who won over their societies. The sentiments one heard coming out of Tahrir Square in recent weeks made clear that there is, in fact, a constituency in Egypt for liberalism. Egyptian politics, it turns out, is not simply a horrifying choice between secular autocracy and Islamism. Many of these liberals have been looking to America—and specifically President Obama—for moral support. In the weeks and months to come, he should not disappoint them by being too quiet or too cautious.
Essential reading from TNR.