The revelation of the year was the realization that America’s foreign policy isn’t so bad in comparison with leftist foreign policy. We saw this with the Arab spring. The U.S. had supported dictators in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, while the left supported dictators in Libya and Syria. The American-supported dictators were gone without a great deal of violence, but the situation was quite different for the leftist-supported dictators. Libya’s Gadhafi didn’t hesitate to use mercenaries to attack his own people, and Al-Assad in Syria has killed thousands in his attempt to retain power.
This isn’t to minimize how brutal rulers like Egypt’s Mubarak were, but it does show that democracies when dealing with dictatorships don’t have a lot of options. In retrospect, supporting Mubarak wasn’t so bad, though he should have been told to urge his people to become more moderate if they wanted democracy.