Ethnocentric liberals (yes, I know they profess to be multicultural) say that the Middle East is not prepared to develop democracies.

In an open letter to the President, Arab leaders beg to differ and urge the U.S. to stay the course. An op-ed was adapted from the letter:

“We know that some in the United States, worried by recent Islamist gains among voters in Palestine and Egypt, are having doubts about the wisdom of pushing for freedom and democracy in the Middle East. These worries are exploited by despots in the region to perpetuate the untenable status quo. But there is no way to advance liberty without inclusion of all elements that are willing to abide by democratic rules and reject violence.

“Democratic participation is the only way to combat extremism and pressure all groups, including Islamists, to moderate their stance in order to maximize their share of the vote. The United States should continue to press for an end to repression by governing regimes of democratically minded liberal and Islamist groups, and it should emphatically distance itself from such repression and condemn it in the strongest terms whenever and wherever it occurs. We are confident that if Arab citizens are able to have their choice, they will choose democracy, freedom, peace and progress.

“Perhaps emboldened by the impression that America is wavering in its support for democracy, some autocrats have recently intensified repression. This makes the need for sustained U.S. and international support and pressure more urgent than ever. The region needs to hear again that the course of freedom and democracy is the only course that America, guided by both interest and principle, will support.”