February 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm #122890
Mubarak has officially stepped down from power in Egypt. What will this mean for U.S. relations in the Middle-East going forward? Your thoughts?
February 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm #122898
It’s funny, you know. So many of us think purely in terms of principal actors in these things. As if there were no supporting cast.
We forget that Egypt, despite the antiquities, and the tourist photos of people on camels, is a modern nation. Go to their government portal – http://www.egypt.gov.eg/english/ – and check it out. There is a fully functioning modern public administration.
So while the transitional decision-makers may well be the military, if Egypt is to propel its economy forward, there will need to be decision-makers in place who can tend to all those things a modern public administration and economy needs thinking about. And even the Muslim Brotherhood expects to be able to go to the DMV and not wait in line for hours.
I think every western stakeholder needs to keep that in mind. Certainly, there is a need to be vigilant regarding those who might wish to exploit a transitional stage to their political advantage, but for the most part, the US needs to approach Egypt with the assumption that it will remain economically responsible, and that all the things subsumed by that (e.g., responsibility in its military actions and governance) will be in order.
I think, as well, insomuch as the success of this populist movement may have energized populist movements in other nations where the military and leadership may not be so hospitable, there is a need to assist (NOT guide) Egypt in negotiating this transition as smoothly as possible, since it now has, like it or not, an example-setting role; both for the populist movements, and for the leaders who might be facing a change in their status.
February 11, 2011 at 8:32 pm #122896
February 11, 2011 at 9:55 pm #122894
We must acknowledge that this is an enormous opportunity for Eygpt and the US. However, we should reserve full judgement until the transition from Army control to civilian control is complete.
Revolutionaries often become divided once they vanquish their common enemy. We need to beware that one dictator isn’t replaced with another. Our support of the Egyptian people will prove vital in ensuring democracy thats hold and thrives.
February 12, 2011 at 12:18 am #122892
Proves Egypt is a modern city of modern people using Twitter and the internet. People do win – much like China. You can fight city hall and win – if people will stick around.
OTOH – Egypt needs tourism. Other countries need the canal. Its not like the country can drop off the face of the map.
As Mubarak steps down – how far does he step out? Will he step down and step away?
On a scary note – Egypt also has a long history of H5N1 or bird flu. Source: ( http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/country/cases_table_2011_02_09/en/index.html ) Hence a functional government and virus survailence needs to remain.
Others can assist but should not guide internal politics. Its the whole “We the people” instead of “We tell the people”
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