Uproar in Egypt

As the drama unfolds in Egypt, it becomes increasingly clear that the United States government will have to make a decision on what side they support. The script is very similar around the world, where certain regimes have been in power for thirty years. There is an unfolding of a grassroots uprising, and democracy and human rights is at the core of the fundamental problem.

In Egypt, there is a call for a Democratic movement and President Obama finds himself in the middle of the conflict. In one breath, the United States is saying we want an immediate change in Egypt with free and fair elections. “Now means now,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said of Egypt’s transition, repeating

 that continued aid to Egypt would be influenced by the government’s responses to the crisis.

On the other hand, Egypt has been an ally to the United States and a close friend to Israel. President Mubarak’s regime has been good for Israel, because it preserved peace on the southern border. Since it was an autocratic regime, it did not have to be responsive to public opinion, and it could take a soft line on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

As long as Egypt took a soft line on what happened to the Palestinians, the Israeli

President-Barack-Obama with Muburak

 government can maintain its current policies. But if the Egypt government became a responsive democracy, it would have to address public opinion and human rights.

President Obama has denounced the Egyptian government’s acts of “suppression and violence” during the protest, and called for “an orderly transition process right now.” Our president has stopped short of demanding that President Mubarak leave office immediately.

At this point, President Obama is doing a juggling act, because there are concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood is highly organized and they will play a role in the new democratic government. This group is a threat to the stability of Israel and rejects much of the United States’ agenda in the region.

President Mubarak has agreed not to run for office in September, but the hundreds of thousands protestors have indicated that’s not good enough. There have been clashes between the pro-Mubarak supporters and the protesters, and it appears that violence will accelerate. Some experts believe that the pro-Mubarak supporters are gangs that are being paid to create more violence and bloodshed.

Nevertheless, their army will be forced to bring order back to the country eventually, and the Egyptian army will be given a wide scope to detain people. The United States finds itself in a precarious situation, because the world is watching and waiting.

The United States has always been a leader for legitimate democracies around the world. Even though these are the values we project, for thirty years Egypt was not a genuine democratic country. President Obama knows that the decisions that our country makes in Egypt will determine what happens to our country in the rest of the region.

As the drama plays out, eventually there will be fair and impartial elections. The Muslim Brotherhood will play a vital role in the transition of power. Political Islam is a reality of doing business and politics in this region of the world and America can not discriminate against the Muslim Brotherhood.

If President Obama and the United States believe in transparency and inclusion in Egypt, the will and human rights of the people must be protected. With hundreds of thousands protesters demonstrating against the government, there is something fundamentally wrong with the present administration.

The United States is in a difficult position, but it should side with the will of the people. The values of democracy, freedom, and transparency are what we hold dear as the cornerstone of country. If we believe in these values, we should want the same in Egypt.

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