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February 11, 2011 2:37 pm

Mubarak Out

avatar by David Brog

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Hosni Mubarak...Exit. Photo: Ramy Raoof.

President Mubarak is stepping down.  And freinds both real and virtual are in high celebration mode.  But I cannot join them.  What exactly are we celebrating?

Yes, Mubarak was a despot who denied his countrymen democracy for the last 30 years.  But until last month he was among our closest and most important allies in the Middle East.   Have we been pursuing an immoral policy for three decades?  If yes, where are the mea culpas from those who were so chummy with Mubarak until so recently?  How is it that President Obama is as sanctimonous today as he was when he called our Iraq war — to depose a far worse tyrant — “stupid.”

Yes, all people deserve democracy.  Yet I’ve been lectured over and over on the fact that democracy is a long process.  It takes time to develop democratic institutions.  George Bush was foolish, I am told, to try to impose democracy on the Middle East too quickly.  Where are all of these pragmatic critics now?  It seems that they are out celebrating the birth of instant democray in Egypt ….

What’s important is not who wins the battle today.  What truly matters is who ultimately emerges with power in Egypt.  And as of today we have absolutely no idea who this will be.  Will our Google hero Wael Ghonim and his friends emerge as the leaders of a brave new democracy?  Or will they be among the first executed by the new despots who ultimately seize power?

We have seen this movie before.  After a similar middle class revolt in Iran in 1979, those who ultimately seized power arrested, exiled and executed those democratic souls who had opened the door to them.  In the 2006 Palestinian elections, Hamas emerged victorious and eventually carried out a violent coup to seize power in Gaza.   Those who opposed Hamas were not just thrown from power.  They were thrown from the roofs of tall buildings.

I pray that true democrats willing to respect the will of the Egyptian people and live in peace with Israel emerge victorious in the power struggle now underway in Egypt.   But I cannot celebrate so long as this remains so unlikely an outcome.  We know not where the whirlwhind now unleahsed will lead.

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  • What a neat article. I had no iniklng.

  • Jay Bailey

    Mr. Brog,

    You write with refreshing clarity. Your pen flows with the ink of sound and strong reason and I appreciate your boldness. You are right in your assessment and let us now hope that many others will see through the fog of euphoria to the hard cold realites of the challenges that lay ahead for Egypt, Israel, the Middle East and the United States.

  • Education

    This points to a larger issue – the fact that creating a constitutional republic takes time and education. Egypt, if they are wise, could look to the U. S. for guidance and insight.

  • Cindy

    Well, I am in complete agreement with his writer. Like babies, people don’t know what they want. They want “rights” but they don’t want “responsibility” that go with those rights. Mubarak may not have led the country under democracy but maybe the people aren’t ready for democracy. As an American, democracy is all I know but in other countries, they may not know how to live and I think that causes more disarray. Only time will tell…I have my hunch that more countries will follow suit and then a “peacemaker” will come in and “deceive” them all…its biblical! People get ready..know your creator and know His word!

    • Barbara Mitchell

      @ Cindy… are so right.Look what happened in East Germany too, these people do not know what to do with new found freedoms because they have been terrorised for so long, and as you said they live in disarray, because they don’t know how else to live, and the life of freedom they so desire might not be what they thought it was, because it require responsibility. {Not that all who live in Democracies/Republics are responsible]. Knowing the Lord at this time is imperitive!!! He is our ONLY HOPE!!!!!

      • Hope

        Yes on this article – to the fact that the outcome is still unknown and that democracy takes time. But per a previous post, the situation of Eastern European countries is unlike this situation. Those countries had to learn democracy following the collapse of the USSR, but they did not face the kind of ideologies that the MidEast faces. The big difference is that we know the outcome in Eastern Europe, for example, in E Germany already, and that outcome was ultimately peaceful and freedom-loving, though not without difficulty. Other EEurope countries have managed to maintain their freedoms since the 90s and not replace the power void with a tyrannical govt. There is still a very real threat in Egypt and the MidEast, and the outcome is still unknown.

  • Right on themark. Sometimes the evil we know is more desireable than that we don’t. The Obama admin has been all over the map, and I fear has emboldened groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. I hope I’m wrong.