How Must the West Guide the New Middle East?

Western foreign policies, guided by maintaining political and economic hegemony, have ignored the social and moral content of their assistance and funds. As long as there is no connection between the money and what it does, the West will contribute to future disasters. Economic interests that exploit natural resources should promote nation-building, not private portfolios; that should direct Western foreign policy. There needs to be synergy that is sympathetic to social needs and problems.

Recent uprisings have opened the table to many new guests. It would be a terrible waste to make people scramble for crumbs, when they could eat with dignity and self-respect.

No more snacks and finger food; they want a place at the table: a constitution, an independent judiciary, and separation of religion and state -- for starters.

That is the challenge to Western strategists. It can create a New World; it has done so before and it can do it again.

Getting rid of dictators is not only physically liberating, but changes consciousness. The West should know how to advance governments "of the people, by the people, and for the people." That is the true flag of nationalism.