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As Long as We Remember...

February 11, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

Joe Charlebois

The Tunisian spark that lit the powder keg on January 25th has been roundly praised throughout the Western world as a revolution that will bring the end to the 30-year autocratic and repressive regime of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.


Just a month ago he was being praised as a key figure in maintaining peace in the Middle East. The United States has been funding him and his military with billions of dollars for years.


With the decay of the Egyptian economy and food concerns, President Mubarak had lost his ability to lead his own nation. He has created enemies over the years and has held a tight fist on his people.


Even with good intentions the protestors, who have called for Mr. Mubarak to step down immediately, are playing into the hands of anarchists. There is little debate that the Egyptian people have suffered under Mr. Mubarak. There is even less debate that economic reforms needed to be made to allow those in poverty to seek economic freedom.


An orderly and well thought out transition needs to happen. This government can’t possibly survive the level of unrest that exists today without becoming an even more oppressive regime intent on eliminating any freedoms the people now have.


If this “revolution” is somehow co-opted by the anarchists, Egypt will be lost. No matter who steps into the void with Mr. Mubarak’s departure, they will not be able to create a democratic state that the West truly desires. There is no formal orderly succession that is taking place. Opposition leaders, such as Mohammed El Baraedi, who are calling for immediate resignation, don’t have plans in place to ensure that factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood wouldn’t gain considerable sway within the framework of a new government.


For those who take the Muslim Brotherhood at their word that they do not seek to influence future leadership within Egypt are deluding themselves. It is just a matter of time before the peaceful autocracy of President Mubarak may be replaced with a dangerous theocracy aimed at the destruction of their neighbors to the north as well as Europe and North America. I reach this conclusion, not so much based on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood’s actions within the confines of Egyptian borders, but rather the pilot program it launched in Palestine under the name of Hamas and its own charter.


Remember, the United States – as well as most Western nations – called for an independent Palestinian state that would have a democratically elected government that would allow the Palestinian people to control their own destiny in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A long overdue home for Palestinian people was eventually hijacked by the power of Hamas – an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.


The actions of the Egyptian people should not be seen as another 1776. It is not. This is a sudden disruption in the system of government – there are no replacement plans and no specific leaders with a Declaration of Independence or a Constitution that guarantees individual liberties. Freedom to practice one’s religion may well be curtailed in the next incarnation of Egyptian rule. What is to become of the nearly 10 million Christians and Jews who live in Egypt? Egypt already doesn’t recognize any other religion outside of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.


What Americans are being sold through the lens of a distorted media is that this can only lead to a “democratic Egypt.” Common sense tells us otherwise. It can obviously lead to disaster in the Middle East.


Israel and Egypt have led a peaceful existence since the late Seventies. But the sudden uprising in the streets of Tahrir Square in Cairo may lead to an unstable interim government, or a military state may end up allowing those not friendly to the West or Israel to gain control of the government and an extremely powerful army.


It is understandable that freedom loving people would like to see other peoples fight for those same freedoms that we experience, but there is no place like America.


Whether Omar Suleiman – the head of Egyptian intelligence – can be a transformative figure is yet to be seen; but it would be a good step. Now that the people have forced the ouster of their president, we’ll see if what they wished for comes true.


Be careful.


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