Mideast Protests and President Bush's 'Freedom Agenda'

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Egyptian anti-government demonstrators wave their national flag as they gather at Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 6, 2011 on the 13th day of protests calling for the ouster of President Mubarak.
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As political unrest spreads across the Middle East, analysts here in the United States wonder whether and how U.S. policy has influenced the protestors. How does the U.S.’s increasing role in the Middle East since 9/11 — in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the Israel-Palestine conflict — relate to the current political instability in the reigon?

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration. He believes the protests in Egypt and throughout the Middle East confirm President Bush’s beliefs about freedom in the Arab world.