My interest in Chaos drew me to this topic. In my last blog on Tunisia where I observed that it was a prefect case study for unpredictability of chaos, I predicted that the revolution could spread to Egypt. Little did I realize that the revolution would actually result in ousting of the Egyptian President. Though this did not actually happen, the chances of Mubarak continuing as President are zero. This does not mean Egypt will enter a Utopian phase now. The situation is not unlike what happened when Anwar Sadat was assassinated. There are a lot of possibilities for Egypt in the next year or so. Will Egypt’s new vice president Omar Suleiman, step in to fill the void left by Mubarak? That’s a definite possibility. However, so far he has been saying he will hand over the reigns to democratically elected officials.
Will there be elections and democracy as we understand in the west be possible?
Will radical elements take over the country and what happened in Iran, after Shah is ousted or Afganistan during Taliban reign take place? If it does, would that be democratic (of the people, for the people and by the people)?
Will Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize winning former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who appointed himself as the representative of Egypt middle class be elected to be the leader? I doubt Egypt middle class is that stupid to elect him.
In this if you were to search for Mubarak on Google news the following headlines come up:
Analyst: No Sign Egyptian President Mubarak Will Step Down
Voice of America – Peter Clottey – 1 hour ago
Photo: AP An Egyptian political analyst told VOA there are no indications that beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak will step down and cede power, …
Video: Egypt Military Promises No Force Against Protest
The Associated Press
Post-Mubarak transition in works, analyst says; others see regime ploy – Politico (blog)
US settles on delicate course to oust Mubarak – Washington Post
CNN International – Reuters
On Egypt, US must stop walking the democracy tightrope Chicago Tribune – Javeed Akhter –
34 minutes ago
Mubarak has brazenly held sham elections every few years and gets re-elected by 90 percent … After all, Mubarak has been at it for more than 30 years. …
Video: Israel express support for Egypt
Hosni Mubarak, Troublesome Ally – Wall Street Journal
Israelis shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak; Update: NPR … – Hot Air
Coptic Christians Worry About Future Without Mubarak
Wall Street Journal – Marc Champion – 4 hours agoBut most want President Hosni Mubarak to stay in power. Fear of what may follow the removal of Mr. Mubarak, a secular strongman who has ruled the country …
Christians divided over Mubarak’s future – Financial Times
Jimmy Carter: Mubarak Will “Have to Leave” – CBS News
Egypt protests: Americans escape on flights from Cairo; Jimmy … – New York Daily News
Jimmy Carter: “Mubarak Will Have to Leave,” “The People Have Decided” – Slate Magazine (blog)
The Canadian Press
Reading all these you would think that everyone cares passionately what the Egyptians want and spreading democracy in the world is an ideological goal. If that’s the case, no one should be worried that Muslim Brotherhood may come to power. But everyone, with right reasons, is worried about radical elements taking control of the country.
For all the talk about spreading democracy, no one talked about the dictators in Egypt, Yemen, Algeria all these years. In fact, US supported them in every way. Did the world not know that human rights in these countries were dismal and violations took place everyday. But US and the west is opportunistic in the spread of democracy.
There is hue and cry in circles within the country and even in Israel that Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton are supporting people of Egypt rather than Mubarak.
Whether you agree or not with the fact that it’s the right thing to support the people and not a dictator, US really does not have a choice in this matter, if they don’t want to alienate Muslims all over the world any more than they did in the past. Let Egypt settle their internal problems, and support whoever is democratically elected.
The main thing west can do is to help other dictators in the region take precautions to avoid the contagion. It’s like the spread of H1N1. If you have good immunity, then even if you are exposed to the virus in the worst way, you will be unaffected. However, once a person is infected, all you can hope is for the patient survives with little or no side effects. As the infection spreads, you can prevent the contagion by vaccinating the public. In the same way, the dictators should be encouraged to reform, spread the loot back to the people rather than hoarding (you can’t take it with you when you die or deposed so how much of the loot is enough for one politician?), help take care of the poor and needy in the hour of need. If they do that, the pressure on all of them will be gone.
Once the contagion is contained, everyone can count their blessings (if true democracy emerges in the infected countries that can be a great blessing) and move on.
Rest assured, it will take more than this revolution or the next to make Middle East a paradise for the people that live there. They have oil everywhere. Just like as long as gold, oil and diamonds were in Southern Africa, Africans suffered at the hands of slave masters, Middle East is cursed with abundant natural resource that’s going to continue to haunt them. But there is hope for them that the developed world might completely deplete the oil resources and hence give them freedom.
In the mean time, the US should stay on the sidelines and watch the show as it unfolds. Of course, if we truly care, let US give a helping hand.