I am having a great deal of difficulty in understanding what is wrong about what is occurring in Egypt. “Lost the Middle East,” hell, we lost it forty years ago when we starting adopting policies that were contrary to what most people in the region considered to be reasonable.
Egyptians are rising up because they want to be able to have leaders who represent them rather than foreign interests. Sounds good to me and there was a document back in 1776 that said pretty much the same thing and did not have a caveat about one’s having to be a Christian to aspire to such. Is an Egyptian peasant less a human being than I, “all men created equal?” Is an Egyptian some unthinking beast who, lacking an Ivy League education, cannot possibly understand the fine distinctions that I hear incessantly on television from the American “experts” who explain what is going on on the streets of Cairo?
Now what will happen if Mubarak goes (Inshallah!) and there are eventually elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood wins. By all accounts they are relatively moderate and are unlikely to declare war on any of their neighbors. They do not threaten the United States. They are unlikely to close the Suez Canal as they need the income. So? What are they going to do? They might hold the popular referendum they have promised that will reverse the peace agreement with Israel, but if they were to become belligerent Israel could squash them in short order. I have seen one pundit suggest that they could use their large army to seize Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, but does anyone really consider that a possibility? Any new Egyptian government will be confronted with the same problems confronting the old Egyptian government, namely feeding the people, though hopefully with less corruption that will make the feeding process more equitable. Most governments in the second and third world manage to muddle along without declaring war on all their neighbors, particularly when they don’t feel threatened by the sole remaining superpower. Get it? Leave them alone and they will leave us alone and will hopefully sort out their own problems. There is a persistent strain of punditry in the US that thinks that we know better than anyone else when it comes to the proper ordering of the universe, but it is clear we don’t. We have effed up repeatedly in the past fifty years. Every time I hear Hillary speak it is like the proverbial fingernails going across a blackboard and if I were an Egyptian I would wonder who the hell authorized you to tell me and my people what to do?
So praytell, if anyone on TAC can tell me why we should be talking about losing anything and why we should feel we have to get engaged to “moderate” Egypt’s development to produce a correct outcome, please enlighten me.