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The Rushin' Revolution By Michael Podwill / February 5, 2011 Egypt is in a state of turmoil

por Danuta Patterson (2020-04-17)

The Rushin' Revolution

By Michael Podwill / February 5, 2011

Egypt is in a state of turmoil. Revolution is in the air. And the world's reaction is, well, revolting.

After a welcome pause, President Obama is treating this crisis like he treats everything else: with a dizzying sense of urgency. "Stimulus" had to pass right now - or America would go down the tubes. The bill was enacted, some $900 billion was borrowed and burned, and a year later we learned that "shovel ready" jobs - or any new jobs - were a myth.

"Healthcare" had to pass - immediately - or America would get sick and die. Precious few even knew what was in that contentious bill. Most still don't. But the Democrats heeded the call and got out the vote. ObamaCare passed - and now a second federal judge deems it unconstitutional.

And then there's Egypt. Per Tuesday night's message, which was apparently directed more to the Muslim world than to America, Obama virtually endorsed a swift boot for Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak when he said: "An orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now."

Never mind that no one, in Egypt, in Washington or anywhere, has a clear or honest indication of what's going on or whom would replace the Egyptian leader. The important thing is not to think, rather it's to follow Obama's lead and act. Now.

Will this be an Egyptian revolution? A democratic revolution? Or, perish the thought, a radical Islamist revolution? Who knows? Those who might know are obviously not saying so at this point. And those in Washington certainly don't know at all.

The signs pointing to a democratic finish are not very promising. That the media so pointedly discusses the "fact" that the Muslim Brotherhood is neither seen nor heard in the streets evokes suspicion. So does the growing frequency of marchers showing posters of Mubarak with crude Stars of David inked across his face. Such democracy ain't exactly kosher.

For America, there's a lot involved. And the American president should be giving ample thought to seeking a resolution in line with American interests as well as those of Egypt's supposed freedom lovers. But Obama is different, and amazing as it seems, we can only hope for so much from this "citizen of the world."

What the secular world surely does not need is a replay of 1979's events, the ones that led to the ascendancy of the Ayatollah Khomeini and his virulent Islam ism. Some say that Iran was "lost" by Jimmy Carter. In large part, they're right.

Iran today is a multi-level fiasco. The harsh regime of the mullahs and Ahmadinejad is nightmarish. Internationally, Iran is in bed with rogues like North Korea and Venezuela, and inclined to export instability anywhere. Their clients, from Hamas to Hezbollah and beyond, provide a breeding ground for intolerance and hatred. Their quest for nuclear power and their diatribes against Israel, including ongoing threats to wipe that state "off the map," ramp up tensions worldwide. And the violent way in which Teheran quelled their own street demonstrators last year (while Obama stood mute, waiting to "engage") is ample proof that life for many Iranians is a private hell.

We have to hope that Egypt won't likewise be lost - to the Muslim Brotherhood or something else - by Barack Obama.

That Hosni Mubarak has been autocratic is not denied. It's a tragedy that, over the years, he didn't see fit to try and institute meaningful democratic reform. Whatever efforts he made in that direction were obviously too little, too late. In some ways, he could be the Tsar Nicholas II of the 21st century. And we all know what his departure led to.

But while the world is busy throwing Mubarak under the bus, let's remember that for America - and for a number of American presidents, including Obama - he has been a reliable ally. He took Egypt's reins during a most chaotic time - in the aftermath of Anwar Sadat's assassination (by elements within the Muslim Brotherhood). He established control in Egypt when that country could easily have fallen into major disorder. He honored the peace treaty with Israel; a cold peace but a peace nevertheless. Mubarak's Egypt has been an island of relative stability in a most volatile sea. And this military man kept his country out of war for all those years. Who knows how many of the young demonstrators marching in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria might have been killed - or might never have been born - otherwise?

It's unsettling that Barack Obama plays such a pivotal role in this event. His words and actions seem to bear no relationship to the real world. They are tools of the chronic campaigner, designed to titillate for the moment. Real cause and effect lag far behind impressions and histrionics. He speaks with hopes of touching a nerve and then he moves on - only to speak again. But because he's president of the United States, his words do have an effect on others.
In an effort to appease the Egyptian street (and be on "the right side of history"), 무료드라마다시보기 Obama reportedly advised Mubarak to announce his refusal to run for office in the upcoming September elections. Mubarak complied - but the demonstrators were not satisfied. So Obama fed the beast again - by demanding big change now.

Drama of the moment notwithstanding, prudence would suggest that an orderly transition, over sufficient time, might serve Egypt best. The current government could thus try and ensure stability while proper efforts are made to set up the process for determining Egypt's best choices. A rush to dump Mubarak now could plunge that nation into a dangerous vacuum, ill serving the demonstrators and all of Egyptian society. Such chaos would truly benefit very few - not Egypt, not America, not Israel. The only possible beneficiaries would be the Muslim Brotherhood, the regime in Iran and their friends worldwide. Should we be working to advance them?

We have to wonder if Obama understood as much when he issued his most recent dictum for change now. If he didn't understand, he has shown once again that words have no meaning to him, and that he's in way over his head as president. If he did understand, we have to wonder whether or not he's serving America's best interests.

Michael Podwill's Viewpoints appear in The DC Post website Tuesdays and Thursdays. He is a freelance writer and a creative marketing/advertising consultant. He can be reached at or via website Rushin Revolution