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Egypt’s Grand Opportunity for Change

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Egypt has entered a dangerous period in which its future hinges on whether a change in government can be accomplished smoothly. The last thing the protestors want is to get rid of one dictator, only to discover the new government even more oppressive that the one they ousted. The question is, will the new leaders protect basic human rights, implement policies that promote human dignity, and guarantee individual freedoms? The uncertainty is caused by the fact that no one yet knows how this is going to turn out for Egypt. For the USA and many other countries around the world, the fear is that the new regime will govern by a rigid fanaticism, in which human life has no value without strict adherence to religious ideology.

The revolution in Iran in which the Shah was overthrown was initiated by a group of young middle-class students and members of society seeking greater freedoms and greater opportunities. Like the Chinese students in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 the Iranian protestors wanted nothing more than individual freedom and the right to the pursuit of happiness.

The Revolutionary Guard in Iran hijacked the revolution and brought in the Ayatollah and the Mullahs to rule with an iron fist over Iran.

Iranian students tried again in the past two years to demand change, but the forceful and brutal response of the Ayatollah’s Revolutionary Guards shut the protestors down faster than the Chinese Massacre in Tiananmen Square.

The battle is about winning the hearts and minds of the poor and disenfranchised among the Egyptian people. Their support is essential to whoever wins power in the new government in Egypt, assuming Mubarak is overthrown.

I have been to Cairo, Egypt. I have seen the widespread poverty first hand. I’ve seen child labor in factories and the deprivation of poverty for families that live on $2 per day. I’ve seen the merchants selling their meager goods from donkey-driven carts.

I also know what it is like to be poor, hungry, and homeless. The disenfranchised are always the most vulnerable and most easily persuaded by propaganda and false promises.

Egypt is a poor nation, and its leadership is brutally flawed, but Egypt does not threaten Israel or its neighbors. It doesn’t insult world leaders as do Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea.

The big question is, if Mubarak leaves will the Egyptian people be able to freely elect a leader of their choice?

This revolution is about higher education, opportunity, jobs, and more freedoms. Egypt’s stagnant economy and oppressive government are fueling the fire for this revolution. But there will be those among the protestors who have a more sinister goal in mind. They are the oppressors, the extremists, who are no doubt are at work plotting to hijack a legitimate revolution by manipulating the most vulnerable of people—those who want nothing more than a better life.

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About DouglasWWallace

  • The poverty there does not hold a candle to the poverty of democratic India. They do have a solid middle class. But the poverty there is crushing. So the question is when a leader emerges will there be more wealth available to the lower classes in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen (should they join the uproar)? Yemen is even poorer, like the poorest country in the Middle East.

    I wanna see them do a better job at democracy, capitalism and free market than India. I wanna see that. All those countries have one thing in common: huge populations and lots of young mouths to feed.

    I went to grad school with muslims from these very countries. They come here get educated and most stay here. You would be surprised how much they want what we have. Can’t believe it has taken them this long to wake up. They are awake now…I think.

  • John Lake

    One solution then, that presents itself, is for the U.S. to lend some support to Mohamed ElBaradei. How awkward. We stand behind President Hosni Mubarak, who has been our ally, and whose presence denies easy access of weapons to Hamas, and Hezbollah, until he falls, resigns, leaves..then we discover the Nobel Laureate who brings the promise of democracy and freedom.
    ElBaradei has had difficulty with America, mostly with the Bush administration as they struck against Iraq. In fact, Obama in his recent speech praised our impact on Iraq, perhaps with a view to support Mubarak in mind.
    ElBaradei is clearly a twenty-first century thinker, and has the backing of at least the student and youth population of Egypt.
    Everyone seems to agree that the Muslim population, Brotherhood or what may be, will have a fair and legitimate voice in any new government, as we see the future from this point.
    Egypt shares a border with Israel, and for America to take a chance on a random administration would obviously be a mistake.

  • Sadly, the Egyptian revolution is more like a replay of the overthrow of the Shah, than the American Revolution. The poor and the disenfranchised, as well as the middle class, are the true patriots, fighting for indvidual rights, true democracy and the pursuit of happiness. They are also the least organzied to manage a revolution of this size and magnitude. They may very well have the best interest of Egypt in their hearts and minds, but unfortunately for them, they are also the least organized. For centuries the bounty has always gone to those who are willing to fight for what they believe in and are willing to sacrifice everything to achieve victory.It’s no secret which party in Egypt has the organization and the determination to prevail. The world is praying for the human rights of the land of the Pharaoh’s, but only the Egyptians can determine the outcome.