The junta also wants the Constitution to specify that the military will set its own budget which will then remain secret. It also wants “Bill of Rights” provisions to ensure personal freedom and minority (i.e., Christian) rights.

Naturally, most civilian politicians are horrified. And those most upset are the partners who made the “revolution”: the Islamists and the Justice Party, the left-leaning “Facebook kids.”

This brings us to the true core policy issue regarding the “Arab Spring.”

It is true that the army is selfish (ensuring its budget) and repressive (arrests of bloggers and others by violating their freedom of speech; murdering Christians at the Maspero massacre). Yet in the context of the situation are they the bad guys who should be opposed by U.S. policy?

This is a classic problem. Remember that Obama, and before him the “neo-conservatives,” said that America’s sin in the region was to back some dictators. The idea is that this realist policy by America antagonizes the people and makes them hate the United States.

As a result, pressure builds and Islamist movements grow and become more radical.