[A] new freedom agenda for the region [Tunisia, et al.] must be articulated. This should emphasise our shared interest in promoting liberal democracy, meaning elected governments that respect the fundamental rights of their citizens.
Let us recall the long-standing socialist critique of liberal democracy that we discussed earlier in the week. Liberal democracy is the terminology used to describe capitalism with democratic formalities like elections, "individual rights," and so on.
By definition, capitalism implies that significant parts of the economy will be privately owned, as a kind of property. Private property might be a family owning a food truck; it might also be a multinational corporation owning the water supply of a community, as was attempted in Bolivia in 1999. You have to be able to distinguish between the two if you want to have anything meaningful to say about private property. Some forms of private property may be endorsed by the broader community; others will not.
Socialists criticize liberal democracy for deliberately confusing the two kinds of property. For example, you will often hear mainstream politicians using the language of the "small" (small business, etc.) in order to promote the interests of the big and powerful. Political operatives can't come out and say they are in favor of further centralization of power in the economy, because this would be unpopular. So they use a coded language of "individual rights," the implication being that even if you and a multinational corporation enjoy the same rights in principle, you sure as hell won't enjoy the same rights in practice. As far as the powerful are concerned, that is all that matters; moreover, they hardly object to regarding themselves as exemplars of enlightened societies where everyone has rights!
That's the scam of liberal democracy as far as socialists see it. "A new freedom agenda for Tunisia" will mean pushing property rights for the big and powerful within the country (because, you see, they are best positioned to "push" in the first place!). The post-revolutionary difference is that big western firms will be able to monopolize what matters in Tunisia, as opposed to an autocratic domestic government. This is how men of principle, like Mr. Khalilzad, choose to distinguish themselves in the world.