George Allen: U.S. Should Support Free and Fair Elections in Egypt
5:39 PM, Feb 1, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
George Allen, Virginia's former senator and governor who's running for another term for the U.S. Senate, expressed support this afternoon for "free and fair elections" in Egypt.
Asked during a phone interview if he disagreed with the Obama administration's approach toward Egypt, Allen told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: "It’s difficult to know what’s being done that’s not public. I would hope what’s being done privately is [that U.S. officials are] telling Mubarak, 'Look people aren’t supporting you, transition toward free and fair elections.' Our goal should be a friendly aligned country, by aligned I mean sharing our interests as Americans."
Allen hopes that Egypt can adopt what he calls the "key pillars of a free and just society": freedom of religion, freedom of expression—including women’s rights—private ownership of property, and the rule of law. "Countries that have those pillars of a free and just society, the people have greater prosperity, longer lives, and happier lives. Usually, they’re not belligerent toward the United States either," said Allen, who served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
While some on the right are wary of the protests in Egypt--and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R., Mich.) has gone so far as to support Mubarak--Allen's support of the administration's approach is in line with the Republican leadership's position.
Update: Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich have criticized the administration for not openly supporting the Egyptian protesters enough, while Mike Huckabee, fresh off a trip to Israel, says there is "real shock and surprise down to the average on the street Israeli citizen at how quickly the Obama administration abandoned a 30-year ally and a long standing friend to peace and stability President Mubarak." Perhaps the divide on the right over Egypt is becoming more pronounced.