Endemic poverty, oppression, censorship, corruption, and illiteracy (especially among women) are the hallmarks of decades of socialist rule in Egypt. The National Democratic Party chaired by 82-year old Soviet-educated dictator Hosni Mubarak is a nationalist, socialist, defacto one-party regime and also a member party of the Socialist International. There are three reasons why the fall of the Mubarak dictatorship might trouble me: 1) Mubarak has been an ally (albeit well-paid) of the US; 2) Mubarak has been if not friendly at least not hostile to Israel; and 3) it could be worse.
Here’s Michael Ledeen’s take:
Egypt’s destiny will be determined by a fight among Egyptian people, some of whom wish to be free and others who wish to install a tyranny worse than Mubarak’s. That’s the opposite of freedom. Think about the free elections in Gaza that brought the Hamas killers to power.
Here’s Richard Fernandez’ take:
“The Obama administration is ramping up pressure on President Hosni Mubarak to address the grievances of the Egyptian people and said the government’s response to protests may affect U.S. aid.”
But there were also signs that the Obama administration was looking past Mubarak — to the Muslim Brotherhood, “a hard-line, but nonviolent, Islamic” group. Not only was the president taking both sides of the argument, he was looking to buy insurance for the future.
Here’s the Wall Street Journal:
Arabs perceive Mr. Obama as de-emphasizing democracy promotion after George W. Bush tried to make it a centerpiece of his second term, Mr. Hamid said.
Expressions of “concern” should be condemnation and outrage, Mr. Hamid said. “We are watching history, and Obama is on the wrong side of it.”
Here’s GOP Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s statement on the crisis:
The Egyptian demonstrations are not the equivalent of Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution. The Egyptian demonstrations are the reprise of Iran’s 1979 radical revolution.Thus, America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrranical government capable of harm.
For if Egypt is radicalized, all of the reforms sought by the Egyptian people and supported by the United States with them – including consensual and constitutional government; free elections; open and unbridled media; and Egyptian control of their natural resources – will be lost. Nascent democratic movements in the region will be co-opted and radicalized. The world’s free and open access to the Suez Canal’s vital commercial shipping lanes will be choked. And the Sinai Accord between Egypt and Israel – which must be protected as the foundation and principal example for Mideast peace – will be shredded.
…Inexcusably, this crisis has been hastened and exacerbated by the U.S. Administration’s refusal to whole-heartedly embrace Iran’s truly democratic 2009 Green Revolution. Make no mistake: strategically and cynically, freedom’s radicalized enemy is exploiting a real religion to undermine liberty and true reform just as Soviet communism posed as a secular creed to obtain the same illegitimate ends.
Hillary Clinton was right about one thing: President Obama is not ready for a 3 AM phone call.