EGYPT, THE REVOLT AND THE WEST
Allowing Egyptians choose their own leaders and making them believe in that very process will put Egypt on a high pedestal as the most populous Arab country with credible electoral system and good democracy.
There are now hundreds of thousand of Egyptians demanding fair elections as against a president mobilizing a bullying state apparatus against the crowed seeking freedom.
The moral imperative is clearly that he leaves office immediately. Repressions by forces loyal to him have rather worsened an already tensed situation and has exposed his real taste for dictatorship.
Washington’s influence over Egypt vastly outweighs London’s that is why Obama has come under intense domestic and international pressure to direct the outcome of events in Cairo but has remained reticent for reason very obvious that he may not want
the world to know the extent of influence the US has over Egypt and still pursuing more. The Suez Canal is a major trade root for the West, Egypt also buys almost all of it’s wheat from the US. Not forgetting the supplier o crude and the supplier of gas to Israel, a major ally of US etc.
There are mainly two divided thought or school of thoughts. One sees the event in Cairo as a dangerous instability in a tricky part of the world where crucially a radical Islam is a factor. A preferred comparison is with is with the Iranian revolution of 1979 when popular demands for democracy was hijacked by religious fanatics being Muslims. Therefore the main opposition in Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood as Muslims, is feared by the West as a threat to their interest be it trade or real politic. Then Mubarak looks like a secular and a long-standing ally who should not be allowed to please a fickle mob at least not in the absence of clear alternative which we saw in Tahrir square where pro-Mubarak supporters and the demonstraters clashing to make the situation look more of a section of the citizens wanting him to go and another wanting him to stay. It could delay Mubarak’s exit whiles measures taken to either make the future successor his ally and time to fold up and probably clear all evidence that could be used against him in future.
In contrast the other school of thoughts sees the development as a the beginning to ending dictatorship in the Arab world and therefore the West should embrace the popular revolt with exuberance and consign Mr. Mubarak to the dustbin of history, haven’t served his need.
Looking at the situation, it will be a wrong move for Egypt to hold an early election for a successor and it will again be a wrong move if Mr. Baradei becomes the successor. The reason that, the situation will mean a win for El Baradei not necessarily because he took a front line in the revolt but because, as the main opposition leader, the incumbent considers him an enemy in the political arena and therefore would not like him to be the president. Probably, someone from his party or the smaller opposition parties.
There is plenty in the Muslim brotherhood’s past doctrines and rhetoric to cause alarm and therefore the fear of the West; it is more unless an ideological relation to Al-Qaeda which makes it more dangerous for Egypt in case it controls power.
Nevertheless the Muslim brotherhood stands clean in terms of who started or organized the protests. It did not organized mass protests, nor has dictated their demands. The crowds are clearly not the vanguard of some fanatical religious uprising. People should understand that it was started by ordinary Egyptians who wanted a better life and are demanding the obvious political change. Mubarak and the West are not in a hurry to replace a repressive secular regime with a repressive conservative one anyway.
I totally see it unreasonable the fact that the West thinks putting trust in leaders such as Hosni Mubarak is a mark of strategic caution. I think it’s a reckless gamble of future instability. I also think the approach of trusting people to choose their own leaders which in itself is a gamble is a better chance of preserving the West’s moral authority or influence and retaining some popular goodwill in the Arab world.
Ben Ali of Tunisia is gone but there is still chaos, who will oversee a smooth transition there? A big question!
As it looks now, Mubarak should be allowed to oversee a smooth electoral reform and transition with the watch of organizational bodies and countries that matter and appreciated by all at the end of the day.