Posts Tagged ‘Mubarak’

More on Egypt

Why do we assume these protesters represent a majority of Egyptians?  If several hundred thousand Americans called for Obama’s resignation–as they have at a great many public events–no one calls for the President’s ouster.   But here we do, even though we know these primitive tribal people can be whipped into a frenzy on the basis of rumors and the most blatant propaganda and, furthermore, we have no reason to have any confidence what percentage of the Egyptian people they represent.

Why is our President so tergiversatious.  One minute he’s for Mubarak. Then the protesters.  Then the process.  Doesn’t his own ideology of pro-Third World nationalism counsel him the best thing to do is shut up? Indeed, in this instance, his instinctually anti-imperialist views accord with my own ethnocentrically-based anti-imperisalist and anti-interventionist views.  But it appears, as is often the case in his contradictions, that his ego is the trump card.

The media has concluded “Mubarak must go!”  Why believe them?  Musharraf stepped down in Pakistan, and the place is still a mess.  Little people-power revolutions occurred with great fanfare in Lebanon and Iran with mixed effects.  The former led to Hezbollah’s greater political power, but Lebanon, for various cultural reasons, is still a halfway decent place to visit.  Iran, by contrast, shut them down, as Mubarak seems resolved to do, and there the silent (or easily cowed) majority has accepted the legitimacy of this turn of events.

The worst case scenario of this situation in Egypt to me is as follows. One, US military traffic in the Suez Canal is not permitted.  And, two, out of misguided “outreach” and “idealism,” a Muslim Brotherhood dominated regime continues to receive billions of US Aid each year as ransom for not attacking Israel (as opposed to being a quasi-ally, as it has been for the last 30 years).

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Events in Egypt

I am not enthusiastic about the current events of Egypt.  My heart does not swoon for the “oppressed” Egyptian people, nor does it delight in their intefadah.  The Arab world is troubled because of the Arab people. The choice in Egypt appears one of the Muslim Brotherhood or a dictator that is friendly, more or less, to the United States.  I’ll take the latter, thank you very much.  Similar events occurred in Iran in 1979.  Everyone in the western liberal establishment was thrilled to see the oppressive Shah go . . . but we ended up with Khomenei.  The Palestinians recently had elections and brought Hamas to power.  The Lebanese, Hezbollah.

No one likes to be oppressed.  Some of the protesters and their aspirations are undoubtedly legitimate, but an oppressive country whose major counterweight is an illiberal, oppressive religion gives me no confidence.  I instead presume that all these years of alternating secular dictatorships, anarchy, and theocracy have damaged the people.  I assume they lack the decent habits necessary to flourish in freedom. I assume a great many want democracy to allow popular Islamic supremacy, oppression of the Copts, and other causes that I have no love for.  The indiscriminate violence of the protests suggest my instincts are correct. And since my own country and countrymen are my chief concern, I would prefer to take my chances with a stable, nonagressive leader like Mubarak than an unknown alternative.

At the same time, I imagine we cannot significantly affect the outcome of this flare up of tension.  So we’re probably best disposed to await its outcome and hopefully find in the end a leader we can do business with.

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