This blog and this author have given poor Mr. Friedman grief in the past for babbling nonsense. So it's only fair that we give America's favorite random idea generator credit when he comes up with a surprisingly cogent paragraph:
When one looks across the Arab world today at the stunning spontaneous democracy uprisings, it is impossible to not ask: What are we doing spending $110 billion this year supporting corrupt and unpopular regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are almost identical to the governments we’re applauding the Arab people for overthrowing?
Overlooking a few technical details -- such as Afghanistan and Pakistan NOT being almost identical to pre-revolt Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya -- the general idea seems vaguely correct. Why pour in US aid to finance a very unhappy political equilibrium?