Friday, February 11, 2011

Voices from Tahrir

My heartfelt congratulations to the people in Tahrir Square. Now that Mubarek is gone, what next?

Will the U.S. be happy with the results of a free democratic election, no matter who becomes the next Egyptian leader? Even if the Muslim Brotherhood gains seats in the newly formed Parliament, it does not mean it is not a democratic process. The Brotherhood, as I understand it, represents no more than 25 or 30 percent of the population, but that is a significant minority which must be heard.

The fear is of course that a new Egyptian democracy will be hijacked as it was in Iran June a year and a half ago or back when the Shah was removed from his throne during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The people of Egypt are not going to let this happen: theirs is an educated and intelligent movement and they have history to learn from.

The U.S. can not support democratic elections in the middle east and then quarrel with the results.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Will the people in Tahrir Square be happy with Suleiman as interim president -- until the September elections?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wael Ghonim--is he the one?

I'm not so sure. A brave young man, yes. But the leader of the opposition -- maybe not.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An Orderly Transition. . .

I keep hearing this phrase on the cable channels, over and over again since the beginning of the peoples' protest in Egypt over a week ago.

What the pundits are saying is that they want a continuation of the regime with different faces but the same philosophy which is to maintain an autocratic hand on the people and above all, preserve the peace treaty with Israel.

The Middle East is experiencing a wave of desire for liberty and preserving a peace accord with Israel is not going to stop it. I think our President has expressed the perfect pitch up to now. Now, however, he's going to have to be seen as siding with the demonstrators and preventing a massacre by the Egyptian troops (not necessarily the military, but the police or perhaps just hired goons) as a result of Mubarek's sly manipulation of the situation. This morning, bus-loads of armed and violent "thugs" motored onto the streets of Cairo, creating the first signs of violence into a week-long peaceful protest. This allows Mubarek the pretext upon which to order the army to exert force -- in order to keep the peace.

He needs to go now, even if that leaves a void in the government. ElBaradei is probably not the man to lead a new government in Egypt, but he might be able to muster enough support to maintain order until a new leader is chosen.

These are smart, sincere people who should be heard. Let us listen, Mr. Obama.