33 Comments

How will it end in Egypt?

I don’t know what to make out of Egypt.  Everyone thinks Mubarak will step down, but he hasn’t yet.  The protests are getting uglier.  So will this end more like the fall of the Berlin Wall, or like Tiannamen Square?  Will Egypt be more like Iran’s government or Turkey?  Is democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan spreading to places like Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia?  What the heck is going on in Tunisia anyway?

Feel free to answer any of these questions, because I really haven’t a clue–especially when it comes to Tunisia.

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33 comments on “How will it end in Egypt?

  1. I think the answers to those questions are anyone’s guess. But I think we are making a big mistake not supporting Mubarak who has been an ally to us. I don’t like dictators any more than the next person, but what message do we send to the rest of the world when we are so quick to bail on our allies? And when this is over and Mubarak is still in power, will he still be our friend? If he steps down or is removed, will his successor be an ally? That’s something we can’t predict, so this may end up going against our nation’s best interests. We can support Mubarak now and push for reforms later. But if we don’t support him, we won’t have much leverage with him in the future and likely won’t have the trust and credibility to push for reforms under new leadership. I seriously doubt this is a true Democracy movement to begin with, so I’m not expecting any reforms to take place through this uprising. Therefore or best bet is to suck with Mubarak.

  2. Lol, sorry about the spelling errors. I was using Swype on my DroidX and it guessed wrong on what I was trying to spell, so it spelled “or” instead of “our” and “suck” instead of “stick”.

  3. @Tara,
    It’s called no entangling alliances. We shouldn’t be doing anything about Egypt.

    @MH,

    News on Tunisia:
    http://www.antiwar.com/regions/regions.php?c=Tunisia

  4. @Jon
    No entangling alliances is not a founding principle.

  5. Thanks for the links Jon, but it doesn’t appear to me that the dust has settled in Tunisia yet. The president is gone, but do they have a democracy?

    Tara, I understand the apprehension. While Mubarak is certainly no saint, it could be worse if some sort of religious group takes that government like in Iran or Afghanistan. But from what I’m reading, it seems the Egyptians don’t want any type of religious government.

    From what I can tell, it looks like the army and police are interested in dumping Mubarak, yet keeping the police state. I don’t think the government for the Egyptians will change much if the new VP comes to power. I don’t believe the army or police are interested in freedom or democracy, so I don’t see this as a Berlin Wall moment, but rather a Tiannamen Square moment with an orderly transition of power from one thug to another. What does this mean for the U.S? I don’t know. I have no idea if Egypt will be fundamentally different for U.S. relations. For the Egyptians, I think this is just going to be like the Iranian democratic uprising that was put down.

    I do think that the founders weren’t interested in entangling alliances. It wasn’t until World War 1 that the U.S. got involved deeply in the problems of Europe. Prior to that, the U.S. was quite isolationist, and most in the government clearly advocated isolationism, a far cry from our massive interventions throughout the world now. I think Ron Paul is the one person who wants to get back to less interventions, more in line with the founder’s principles.

    I also wonder if U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq has led to more people to push for democracy. With democracy protests in Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt, it seems like an interesting coincidence. I wonder if Bush’s legacy will be admired by future historians if there is more democratization in the Middle East. Despite all of Iraq’s problems, the people have a voice, and it seems like Iranians, Egyptians, and Tunisians see something they want.

  6. @MH,

    Our Iraq and Afghanistan true republics or our they just puppet governments of the US? I don’t know, just wondering. If they do have an effect on making people desire to overthrow tyrants I would think that is great. But would that have happened regardless? I don’t know.

    Let’s remember why much of that part of the world is under tyrants to begin with:

    When Iranians took U.S. officials hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, Americans were mystified and angry, not being able to comprehend how Iranians could be so hateful toward U.S. officials, especially since the U.S. government had been so supportive of the shah of Iran for some 25 years. What the American people failed to realize is that the deep anger and hatred that the Iranian people had in 1979 against the U.S. government was rooted in a horrible, anti-democratic act that the U.S. government committed in 1953. That was the year the CIA secretly and surreptitiously ousted the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, a man named Mohammad Mossadegh, from power, followed by the U.S. government’s ardent support of the shah of Iran’s dictatorship for the next 25 years.

    See:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/hornberger/hornberger21.html

  7. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.

  8. As far as I understand it The US cannot afford for thier not to be a pro US governmetn in Egypt. Egypt contols the Suez canal. They could easily block the shipment of goods through it( especially oil).

    The destabilisation of Egypt could lead to the doubling of oil prices. possibly leading to oil shocks like those seen inthe late 1970’s.
    with the world only just recovering from the GFC, An increase in the price of oil could be the push that sends the US economy back over the edge.

  9. You ask me if something similar to like Tunisia could happen in Egypt? In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood is more like a force of resistance especially since the last elections when they withdrew after the first round. If anything happens in Egypt they will join like in the Kefaya the enough is enough movement a grass roots movement against Mubarak s regime editors note.

  10. @Mormon Heretic
    I was thinking specifically of our alliance with France during the Revolutionary War when I stated that non-entangling alliances was not a founding principle. It may have been the ideal, but I don’t think the founders were opposed to alliances if they were in the nation’s best interests.

    @Bishop Rick
    Well said.

  11. Sclerotic regimes like those of Mubarak never know the depth or expanse of their real opposition because they are so busy suppressing it..This creates the condition for a field-grade officers coup to install a reformist government which Egypt has experienced whenever a government has overstayed its welcome….If the Mubarak government in Egypt is replaced by a revolutionary anti-US fundamentalist regime citing the Tunisian example in the name of democracy all US policy in the Middle East since 1973 becomes unhinged. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran will look like inconvenient by comparison……………………

  12. Well, Mubarak finally stepped down, and without bloodshed. I am quite surprised. Good for Egypt. But I still wonder how this will play out. The Egyptians are announcing “Egypt is free!” I hope that is true, but I still wonder if it is too early to proclaim “Mission Accomplished.”

  13. @Mormon Heretic

    Perhaps good for Egypt in the sense that it may be getting what it wants, but this is probably not going to be good for the US or Israel or much of the world. This looks too much like a fundamentalist Islamic movement, and that is never good for western civilization.

    As far as “Mission Accomplished,” I suppose that depends on whose mission you are referring to. I’m sure the Muslim Brotherhood and their sympathizers are quite pleased with what has been accomplished. But any hope for genuine Democracy died in Egypt when Mubarak stepped down, so if you are referring to Democracy when you say “Mission Accomplished,” that notion would be terribly premature.

  14. What can we say about a movement supported and encouraged by Ahmadinejad and Iran? Particularly when the rallying cry is “Death to Israel?”

  15. Tara, are you aware of the pro-democracy protests going on now in Iran? Ahmadinejad isn’t too pleased that the Egyptians have inspired his own people.

  16. @MH
    I’m not sure where you get that Ahmadinejad isn’t too pleased about what’s happening in Egypt. “Iranian leaders have praised Egypt’s revolution,” according to CNN. So if you want to characterize Iran’s protests as pro-democracy, the fact that Iranian officials are condemning it, but praising Egypt’s so-called pro-democracy movement, has got to tell you something about what’s really going on in Egypt.

  17. I am not at all surprised that ahmadinejad is trying to exploit and influence the egypt issue for propaganda. certainly the united states is trying to influence egypt toward democracy. but the iranian people seem to understand egypt better than ahmadinejad.

  18. @mh
    What benefit would Ahmadinejad have in trying to exploit Egypt for propaganda? To try and fool the world into believing that he is in favor of democracy? I suppose that is possible. But if that’s his angle, then why would he display a “Death to Israel” placard immediately after voicing his support for the movement? The only freedom he supports is freedom from the US and Israel, and he said as much. He certainly wants them to be free to elect a fundamentalist Islamic government. This is about something much different than democracy. Ahmadinejad predicted the formation of a world government, ruled by the 12th imam. “Hearts and beliefs are swiftly leaning toward forming a global governance and the necessity of the rule of the perfect human, linked to the heavens,” he said.

  19. ahmadinejad would like an iranian style government in egpyt. that’s why he is exploiting egypt.

  20. Well, you summed up my point well, but that didn’t seem to be what you were trying to say.

    I just don’t think Ahmadenijad is exploiting events. He just happens to approve of them.

  21. given iran’s new protests, then it seems to me that ahmadinejad has bigger problems at home than spreading his style of government to egypt. it seems to me that the egyptian protestors have more in common with democracy than iranian-style government, don’t you think?

  22. @mh
    given iran’s new protests, then it seems to me that ahmadinejad has bigger problems at home than spreading his style of government to egypt.

    I don’t think he’s actively spreading it as much as he’s just commenting on it. But who knows, maybe he can multitask.

    it seems to me that the egyptian protestors have more in common with democracy than iranian-style government, don’t you think?

    I’m not so sure. Is a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy democratic in nature? Or does it have more in common with Iranian-style government? If you look at the link in my comment, #13, it seems to suggest that what the Egyptian people want is more in line with what Ahmadinejad wants, which is an Islamic state.

  23. Time will tell. I don’t know if the US government is over or underestimating the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Muslim Brotherhood is a Sunni organization, not a Shiite organization. I can’t see how Iran would be supporting the Muslim Brotherhood when al Qaida is not friendly with Iran’s Shiite government. While I’m sure Iran would like a friendly neighbor, I’m not seeing the Muslim Brotherhood as a friend to Iran. Are the Iranian protestors fans of Muslim Brotherhood? I don’t think so.

  24. @Mormon Heretic

    Yes, time will tell. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see everything work out well for everyone, but right now, I have no good reason to believe that it will.

    Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood may have their differences, as I understand. But I also understand that they are united in some things, as in their opposition to Israel and what they consider a Zionist-American project in the region.

    Here is an article detailing the relationship.

    You seem to be making a connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaida, when in fact, although bin Laden and al-Zawahiri were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, they’ve denounced it for decades as being too soft. On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood is supportive of the activities of al Qaida, except when it comes to the killing of Muslims. Clearly, they are not entirely on the same page here, so even if al Qaida isn’t friendly with Iran, that wouldn’t affect the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. Not that Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are in complete agreement either, as I stated earlier. But where all groups do come together in agreement and support of one another is in opposition to Jews and Americans. In other words, they all agree on the ends (the destruction of Israel and the establishment of Sharia law everywhere they can), they just disagree on the means to get to those ends.

    I’m not sure it matters whether or not Iranian protesters are fans of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  25. I saw this interesting link at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_egypt_al_qaida

    Al-Qaida No. 2 issues video after Egypt upheaval

    By LEE KEATH, Associated Press — Fri Feb 18, 8:20 pm ET

    CAIRO — Al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, issued the terror network’s first message since the upheaval began in Egypt, saying the country’s rule has long “deviated from Islam” and warning that democracy “can only be non-religious.”

    The wave of popular protests that ousted Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, appeared to have caught al-Qaida off guard. The terror group had long called for the destruction of Mubarak’s regime — and al-Zawahri, an Egyptian doctor, was part of a militant uprising against Mubarak in the 1990s that was crushed.

    But the demonstrations were led by secular, liberal activists calling for greater democracy — in stark contrast to the Islamic state that al-Zawahri and al-Qaida call for. In past videos and messages, al-Zawahri has frequent denounced democracy because it replaces God’s laws with man’s.

    ]]>

  26. It begins to look more and more like a brutal civil war in Libya, with the possibility of Egyptian troops being drawn in on the side of the rebels. We are only at the first act of this production.

    http://debka.com/article/20712/

  27. It is interesting to me that Khadafi (however you spell it) is blaming the unrest on al Quaeda. Is that a ploy?

  28. Ploy or delusion. Hard to tell with that guy.

  29. While we’re watching Libya, Egypt is also spiraling downward rapidly — enough so that Secretary Gates went to Egypt yesterday for emergency consultations. Radicals have quickly displaced the “democrats” that were in the main Cairo square, and Iran is funneling aid to the more militant portions within the Muslim Brotherhood, displacing the more aged MB leaders. Thousands were involved in seizure and burning of State Security buildings in Alexandria and other cities this weekend.

  30. Here’s a really interesting post contrasting foreign policy idealism vs realism.

    FireTag, that is a troubling sign. I hope democracy takes hold. Libya seems to be in all-out civil war now. That will be another interesting place to watch.

  31. Libya does seem to be a civil war, but not one the rebels have any chance of winning from the incompetence with which they’re fighting. They’re fighting like little kids play soccer — chasing the ball around the field in a swarm trying to kick it as far as they can. They’re paying no attention to elementary things like forming or protecting supply lines.

    The loyalists can easily hold off any offensive until the rebels run out of fuel, food, ammunition, and men. Meanwhile, Col Q has them penned up in a triangle of territory east of the Gulf of Sirte while he annihilates rebel enclaves in the west, he has a navy to hit them from one side, has cut reinforcements from Egypt, and can bring up a huge reserve of mercenaries from his previous adventures to the south in Chad and Niger.

    This is the Continental Army trying to hold New York from the Redcoats in 1776. Any Valley Forge is still to come.

  32. Interesting link you left about idealism vs. realism. However, I’m not sure that it is particularly idealistic to support policies that seem realistically likely to get a lot of democrats killed. 😀

    And it doesn’t have to do with cost and benefits for the US. It has to do with telling the difference between ruthlessly trained professionals playing against the little kids kicking the soccer ball around the field. It helps if the idealists actually have a few Captain Moronis on their side.

  33. Is this time-warp Tuesday?

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