What's Next for Egypt? (And Others)
A question and answer session with yours truly:
Is Mubarak going to stay in power until September?
Sorry to start off this way, but I honestly don't know, and if anyone else has a guess feel free to share it in the comment section. My gut says yes, but it will be bloody(ier) if he stays that long.
Is Civil War a possibility?
Absolutely. You have to understand that the state gets some people rich off of other people. The "others" are protesting. The rich are nervous. So they are going to fight back. Imagine if this type of unrest occured in America. You would have those feeding off the state fighting those who aren't. What thugs would the state hire to quell protestors? Well, if they couldn't get the military to do it, there are quite a number of people on state welfare that would be happy to crack skulls in order to keep the checks rolling in. Maybe it can't happen in America (dream on), but that's a fairly standard tactic I've seen employed in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and now Egypt. Threaten to take away a man's welfare check and he'll ride the streets on horseback whipping protestors.
Why doesn't the US support the protestors, without equivocation?
See here. It's not just the US. Every developed nation wants stability in the Middle East, even at the expense of freedom. Of course, the West set up these dictators, drew most of the lines on the maps, decided who should live with whom, etc. So this is a long time in the making. The West wants cheap energy. The US also wants a place to export dollars (read: export inflation). If the puppet states fall, all those phony bills come back home coupled with higher energy prices. Suddenly, the global empire won't be so cheap. It would be an economic catastrophe.
What does Mubarak mean to Israel?
Better question: why should you care? Israel has never held any values that represent the American people. It's a militant, socialist ethnocracy in a far away land. For whatever reason (there are reasons but they're only important to the power elite), Israel's security must be subsidized by Western nations (taxpayers) for all of eternity, despite the fact that subsidizing Israel's security is the number one reason for ME instability and runs directly counter to the stated Western goal of stability. I never said these people are smart. Anyway, Mubarak's dictatorship helped walk that fine line of stupidity.
Are there any parallels that can be drawn from current events?
Somewhat. When the USSR's puppet regimes started to fall, they went like dominoes. Some have made the same comparison to the West's puppet regimes in the ME. I think it's a farily accurate comparison. The only difference here is that while the USSR was willing, but not able (financially), to intervene in their satellite states, the opposite appears to be true with the USA. They could send in the troops, but it doesn't look like that will happen (thank God.) That means these puppets could be put on the shelf rather quickly.
What is the future of freedom in the Middle East?
I don't see it. I wouldn't mind seeing some self-determination in the ME. Let the people screw things up for themselves (politics always "works" that way), rather than having a dictator screwing it up for them on behalf of world leaders. It's cheaper and more humane that way.
What about the Muslim Brotherhood?
What about them? They're a political organization. The MB has no beef with you or your family. Like every ME political organization, their beef is with political powers in the West and Israel. If you're a LIkudnick, yeah, you should be concerned. If you're a truck driver in Ohio, I can't see why you should be worried about the MB or anyone else in Egypt. You should, however, be worried that no matter who gets into power eventually the USA will show up with your money and hand it over to them in an effort to promote more stability.
Ok, that's all for now. I've gotta run. If you have comments or disagreements, hit me up, but I won't be responding until tomorrow. Lots on the plate.
David in Qatar