Would Richard Cohen be willing to jettison U.S. or Israeli democracy as cavalierly as he is willing to take away the freedoms of 85 million Egyptians [“Overrated democracy,” op-ed, July 9]? When he fears that Egypt may promote policies he opposes, he arrogantly claims his will should be carried out, rather than that of the people. After all, he says, an authoritarian government is more likely to keep them “out of trouble,” and democracy in Egypt could endanger peace, cause instability and fail to protect minorities as “the people are not always wise.”

Under democratic regimes, the United States and Israel are almost constantly at war, have a spotty history regarding minority rights, have caused instability and don’t always make wise decisions (building illegal settlements rather than negotiating for peace is one that comes to mind), yet Mr. Cohen doesn’t call for dictators to bring stability to these nations.

One wonders what is behind this hypocrisy other than the fact that it is easier to take away “their” rights than “ours.”

Beau Obetts, Annandale