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« Mubarak resigns | Main | If Kadhafi goes, can al-Megrahi be far behind? »

February 12, 2011

Comments

Kevin

In the year ahead, Egyptians will be free to speak their minds...

Provided that the military agrees with what they're saying...

Frank Warner

I think the military is going to sit back for a year. Say what you want. The test is late next year. Will someone start applying the muzzles?

Kevin

I was under the impression that Egypt has been a military dictatorship ever since Mubarak took over. I'm quite ignorant about Egypt, so that might be a completely false statement. Do you know?

If it has been a military dicatorship, then what has changed other than the name of the leader? If on the other hand I'm totally off-base, how is it good to replace whatever type of rule Mubarak wielded with a military dictatorship?

This whole thing baffles me. I'm pro-democracy. Democracy promotes freedom, which is the most important thing a government can do. But the 'will of the people' can be a deadly thing when the people will sharia law into place. sharia most certainly does NOT increase freedom.

Egypt could become a deadly cancer like Iran. Remember, Khomeini had the support of the vast majority of Iranians in 1979. And now it's the world's largest exporter of terrorism. If the polls saying that 80-85% of Egyptians support implementation of sharia law, then there's very little doubt that they will be the next terrorism supporting up and comer.

On the other hand, how can I not support democracy? I'm almost as big a fan of it as free Frank. I honestly don't know what to support over there.

CJW

And no one should confuse one democratic election with democracy.

Kevin

What/who do you support for Egypt, CJW? It seems like one of those situations where we're damned if we do, damned if we don't and damned if we're indifferent. Damn.

CJW

I'd put Obama in charge over there. His job is done here in the U.S.

Frank Warner

Yes, Egypt was a military dictatorship under Mubarak.

In fact, every dictatorship is a military dictatorship. Mubarak's problem, from a dictator's point of view, was that he did not keep up the instruments of terror, like secret police, to secure his power. He also raised expectations with promises of democracy and then broke the promises. He made it too easy for the armed forces to abandon him.

We backed Egypt's relatively weak, but unacceptable dictatorship because we were trying to protect a relatively new democracy, Israel. The trouble with that deal, complete with a $1 billion a year bribe to whichever dictator was ruling Egypt, was that it locked out the truly permanent solution, peace through freedom.

As I've said, the danger is in the first stage of democracy, if Egypt really can carry it out. Right now, many Egyptians, radicalized by the dictatorship's repression, are looking at the fall of Mubarak not as freedom to pursue happiness without an illegitimate government's chains, but freedom to destroy Israel.

That attitude will change in freedom and democracy, which tends toward tolerance and peace, but the change will take at least a decade or two. In the meantime, Israel is in real peril.

There really is no alternative to promoting democracy throughout the Middle East. We have to do all we can to protect existing democracies, but we have to stick to the principle of liberty for all.

By the end of the 20th century, every democracy on Earth owed something to the United States for defending or providing its freedom. There's no reason to backtrack now.

CJW

Bad Vibrations From Cairo

George

Happy Washington's Birthday!"

Frank Warner

Yes, happy birthday, George Washington!

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