Monday, January 31, 2011

Revolution In Egypt

If you have been paying attention to the news this past week you will know that there is a movement in Egypt to over throw their President Hosni Mubarak. Citizens have taken to the streets in protest, the military has issued curfews, and world leaders are calling for Mubarak to step down or at least come to the table and discuss solutions.

Mubarak has been president for 30 years in a country that does not hold free elections for their leader. Well they do but it is similar to what Iraqis free elections were like under Saddam Hussein, full of corruption and not free at all. The People of Egypt are protesting because of the high inflation on food prices, high unemployment, corruption in government, and lack of civil rights for their people. Eygpts military in turn has kept things peaceful as possible but has also shut down internet and cell phone networks to help control the spread of information. The military has also called for President Mubarak to listen to the people before things get out of hand.

All of this has placed The United States in a bit of a tight position in who to support. The US backing the protesters and free elections could bring a rise to power the Muslim Brotherhood which has imposed its power and will throughout country's in the arab world. This in turn could make the situation worse for our friends in Israel. Of course backing the President Mubarak would go against all of our ideals as a nation.

The risk to our interests in Israel needs to take a back seat to a bigger issue of a country and strong US Allie that is in turmoil. When we set out to free the people of Iraq and start a democratic government there, it was our hope that democracy would rise throughout the region. In Egypt it has come time now for that to happen and the people want change and the freedom to have their voices heard. The United States needs to makes sure that we do everything we can to support a smooth transition to a democracy because what we have been doing in the region these past 10 years has helped lead to this outcome.

As I write this now it seems President Mubarak is getting the message that He can not just live with the status quot and needs real and long lasting reform to occur in his country. I will be watching along with the rest of the world in seeing what happens. Hopefully it will be resolved before things become out of control and spill over to other nations in the region. Opening up free elections, improving civil liberties, and in the end Mubarak stepping down as President will be the only way this will be resolved without major bloodshed.

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