Egypt Meltdown

Matters in Egypt seem to be coming to a head. My impression is that within the next few hours Mubarak will either have to crack down hard with martial law or leave the country. According to Salon, the White House has signaled it would prefer the latter. But there are new reports that the army is siding with Mubarak. At the moment, it doesn’t seem that Mubarak is leaving.

A writer for Forbes says that what a majority of Egyptians want is not a western-style democracy, the tender hopes of the NRO staff notwithstanding, but some form of Islamic theocracy.

Egyptian values, in other words, are far from liberal—even if some of the protesters currently out in the streets might be. This, of course, runs counter to the idea that has taken hold in many quarters: that the end of the Mubarak era will inexorably lead to democracy in the heart of the Arab world. But numbers don’t lie; Egyptian society as a whole is both religious and deeply conservative.

Israel probably has good reason to be worried. And there’s no question that if Mubarak goes, the extremist teabagger Right in the U.S. will howl that Obama “lost Egypt.” But if there’s one thing I wish people would learn, it is that the U.S. can’t control what goes on in another country. And propping up pro-western dictators because the alternative seems worse always seems to backfire in the long run.

2 thoughts on “Egypt Meltdown

  1. ‘And propping up pro-western dictators because the alternative seems worse always seems to backfire in the long run.’
    That list is way too long to even attempt to post this early in the morning. It stretches from countries south of our border in South and Central America, across the Pacific, SE Asia, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
    We have ben instrusive and controlling, invasive when needed, and have essentially bribed and propped up dictators for fruit, water, minerals, oil, etc.
    Almost every one of these situations has come back to bite us in the ass over time.
    Ah, but the righties will tell us it was all to spread freedom, liberty and democracy. Really? What, because nothing spells freedom, liberty and democracy like a bribed and propped up brutal dictator? Uhm, no, it was for American corporations to either acquire or control fruit, water, minerals, oil, etc. If anything else came of it, it was a side benefit.
    When the USSR was around, it gave little countries and their populations choices of which to hate worse when their leader allied themselves with one or the other. And in comparison, we came out ahead more often. Now, we’re the only super-power left on the block. And when protesters see tear-gas canisters with “Made in the USA,” they’re not thinking, ‘Oh, good, well at least the US still manufactures something over there,” No, they’re thinking we’re the ones supporting their suppression, not the alternative. And when their dictator is at the end of his rope, NOW the USA seems to come out and say, “Tsk, tsk, you should either let up or leave.”
    So, if the Egyptian people decide on an Islamic Theocracy, it wouldn’t surprise me. Their Mullah’s seem far better in comparison to what they’ve seen of American moolah. The afterlife seems better than no life at all, like they’ve got now. To people in many countries, American style “democracy” usually comes in the form dictator backed by a tank, a plane, a helicopter, a drone, a soldier, a cop, or, if not a bullet, a cloud of tear gas. And we wonder why they’re chanting “Death to America,” and not “USA! USA!! USA!!!”?
    We’ve never been that idealized pure Godly state that righties seem to think we were and still are. And if even they do look, they don’t see reality. If we are to be a country that truly promotes democracy, freedom and liberty for people around the world, we would have to change the behavior we’ve had for over a century. They see a pure white virgin, when they need to see the addicted pimp who thinks little of enslaving brown people if it pads his pockets.
    And maybe if we didn’t have righites and conservatives and their beloved corporations setting our agenda’s, maybe that can yet happen. I just wouldn’t put any money on it.
    And if any rightie reads this, I do love my country. I want it to be better than what it is now, and has been for a long time. I do want us to be that ‘shining city on a hill,’ not just for people in other countries, but for ourselves, too. And right now, we ain’t that city, we’re a slumlord who has aspirations of spreading, or at least holding on to, his real estate holdings.

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