On Egypt

Sunday’s CNN and BBC and FOX are all reporting on the revolution in Egypt. It is just that, and so far pretty peaceful.

Early on, police reacted violently. For that matter, so did a few pockets of dissidents, burning some police stations. It is uncertain how prisoners took over and escaped from prison, but the fact that they raided the prison armory and started a battle is as unsettling to the Egyptian populace as it is to the authorities.

Media will try to blow it all out of proportion, but the handful of folks that raided the Cairo Museum were caught by citizens (and three police who remained on duty) … no “antiquities” were stolen, but the gift shop was pretty well cleaned out. Students and Citizens formed lines around the museum to prevent further incursions.

The thing to understand is that Egyptians really do NOT trust their own corrupt police. Never have. And they have been Mubarak’s primary tool in suppressing freedoms. On the other hand, the Army rolled in, were greeted by general protests (because they represent the Government), but rocks weren’t being thrown at tanks; neither army nor citizens escalated any tensions; and one officer (who probably agreed with his people) was actually carried around on the shoulders of protestors. Many folks have relatives in the army … many have already (or will) serve.

When I watch media videos, I watch what is happening in the background. The answer is, not much. Folks are walking not running, marching not rioting, and just PROTESTING! And yes, in any such situation, a few idiots will raid a store or throw rocks, but I do not see much of this happening in a variety of civilian and media videos that have made it through the Net or the airwaves.

A few weeks ago, the word on the street in Morocco (The U.S.’ oldest ally) was that “Mubarak is an ***hole.” Their Government supports the US, but with regard to Mubarak, even people on the other side of Africa said Mubarak has to go.

Over the weekend, the Egyptian leadership was shaken up (and changed) … with caution, Mubarak may step down and Baradei take over as an interim leader. Elections will be called (although this may take a year or two). The Muslim Brotherhood is not all that popular, but they will pick up a minority of seats in Parliament.  The Egyptian People will continue to hate Israel (being defeated in a few wars still sticks in their craw), but they’ll still get along with Jews and Christians. The Government will retain its Peace Treaty, but will object more often when things go awry.

If their were a time for laissez faire, this would be it. When Fatah won a democratic election, the US intervened and still denies it ever happened. Had we applauded, we might have avoided on-going conflict. Support for democracy includes supporting its results and The People that create it.

I have many disagreements with our President, but he was elected. In International Relations, he deserves support. As long as he stays out of Other Peoples’ elections.