Of UFOs, Democracy and Political instability in Egypt!
A number of recent events in the Middle Eastern political terrain highlight the old cliché: If you build it, they’ll come. That cliché has been our maître as a nation in foreign policy and spread of freedom across the globe. We have worked hard to spread these words around the world: Democracy is superior to any system or form of government. When the Uprising in Egypt began about two weeks ago, the suspected lukewarm attitude of our government probably was misinterpreted by Egyptian Democratic Groups: America is hardly serious about supporting Democracy in the Middle East. We know that there are many despots in the Middle East, but we are not ready to contend their authority; we are not ready to rock the boat as long as our country or a close friend is benefitting from the despotisms!
The Egyptian uprising is a sign of emerging success of our campaign for Democracy over the world; yet, we are denying the success of our campaign across the globe. Just like the UFOs that is claimed to have been spotted about the same time on the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel and American Fork and Highland, Utah, we’ve worked hard to spread democracy across many landscapes, wished democracy in many countries just as enthusiasts of UFOs, wished themselves seeing unimaginable objects simultaneously everywhere, funded many groups working to unseat some of our unfriendly governments and like a miracle, we are reaping the reward of unintended consequences. We’ve let the genie out of the bottle and it may just be too late to get it back. When it seems our campaign for Democracy was about to yield some success in the middle east, a political terrain that has pre-occupied our foreign policy and probably our psyche, we are troubled by the successes of our campaign to the extent of willing to throw the advocate of our maître under the bus, because the new development is happening in a delicate part of the world; or, to our previously negotiated political agreement and arrangement.
Is this truly us, or is our campaign for the spread of freedom and Democracy, a fluke? Are we serious about Democracy for the world or is it, democracy only for our chosen few, the rest may choose as they please? Unfortunately, the conflicting message and the fine line that our administration has taken is justifying this paradigm and exhibiting our trepidation when it comes to Democracy in some parts of the world. Listen to a couple of criticism from many political juggernauts: 1) if Egypt’s uprising leads to the replacement of Mubarak, we will label Obama as the President under whose watch we lost Egypt! 2) The threat of the loss of Egypt is a threat to Israeli’s Democracy! 3) The Muslim Brotherhood must not replace Mubarak, even if they are chosen by a Democratic process; 4) we cannot allow a loyal and close friend to be strung out to dry! Is this what we believe or is it, just the difficulty of letting go that is beclouding our sense of good judgment? Are we like those UFOs enthusiasts, who maintain that out of a red light came a firework with phosphorescent silver illuminating Highland, Utah! Are we wishing the unthinkable for a long time advocate of Democracy for all?
Tonight I remember Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the Domino effect and I am tempted to give him his due credit, except for the fact that Dick Cheney may get too jealous and complain about how contrariwise or partial I am on this one; giving credit where credit is due. All the same, it is important that the domino effect of what initially was limited to Tunisia, from an unlikely person and unsuspecting unemployed college graduate, may balloon unto the world stage. But this is what has happened and it is mesmerizing to the eyes of millions watching the events unfold in the Middle East. From Tunisia to Egypt, Yemen, probably to Jordan, Lebanon and maybe the whole middle east. These are trying times and no foreign policy expert can predict the times. There was no crisis, no rending of the fabric of political arrangement in Egypt for close to thirty years, and then all of a sudden: bam! Amy, the times are changing! It may be difficult for us to comprehend why the youths in Egypt want Mubarak to leave after twenty-nine years plus, but the reality is: that type of leader, would never rule a state in the union let alone the good old USA! The concept of getting rid of a despotic leader maybe difficult to comprehend for some of us, when it comes to our personal or close friend’s interests, but the truth is: many people across the globe are yearning for the freedom we enjoy in this country and no one can stop that!
In fact, the current state of instability in Egypt is a sign of success for Democracy and the highest default foreign policy success for an unsuspecting Obama’s Administration. The current administration had suffered a huge setback after the break down of the Israeli-Palestinian talks; and, the failure to move both parties ahead on the two-party state arrangement. In an atmosphere as this, the Egyptian instability from forces of Democracy in the middle east is a windfall for the Obama’s Administration, as we watch senior members of the administration, including senior foreign policy experts, State Department diplomats, the Secretary of State and the Vice President of the United State junketing across the globe, to stop the hemorrhaging and bleeding of the success of spreading Democracy. If the administration is able to halt the hemorrhaging, if it is able to hold forth and accommodate Mubarak to remain head of state in Cairo for another day, it would have succeeded in accomplishing what it never dreamed about: working against forces of democracy, while attempting to balance the confliction in the Egyptian landscape.
Respected observers who once imagined delays in our mobilizing of forces for democracy across the globe are wondering if something greater is amiss with the Egyptian landscape. Well, here essentially, is a learning moment for us with respect to countries like China, Burma and Indonesia. If the Democratic forces in China are able to succeed as far as those in Egypt has done, can we or are we able to manage such crisis? If we are concerned about the difficulty of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, what will a similar upheaval do for another outlier element or group in China? If we are right about our campaign for Democracy across the globe, we must not be surprised by the conventional objects in the sky that is being interpreted as UFOs in Jerusalem, Israel or the hoax in Utah that has gone viral on the WEB! There are illusions associated with success of an unsuspecting drive just as the spectacular sighting of lights in the skies that is being peddled as unidentified flying objects. Successes in the spread of Democracy make a good reading, until it is spotted in an unwanted political environment or when it disturbs an already tense equilibrium.
The maître of one man one vote has a recurring theme throughout the world; however, are we ready to bear the weight of events that surround this maître in some countries. There are some current political arrangements that are not in tune with Democracy, which have worked very well for the governing of the state. With due apologies to political philosophers that have gone before us: For forms of government let fools contend, for what is best administered, is absolutely, best! In the case of Egypt, we do not want to accept the concept of self-determination, because for now, it seems not rather suitable for us and one of our friends. We did not anticipate the mixing together of the Egyptian youth groups’ yearning for democracy with the goal of a group once labeled a terrorist group. Do we have diverse perspectives of the concept of Democracy or is it our premonition that Arabs are not qualified to know what is good for them? Are we saying an unyielding loyalty to despotic Mubarak is much more important than having Egypt go Democratic! Are we subscribing to the notion that there is a dark matter galaxy-X hiding out there in the search for political freedom and democracy? Your guess is as good as mine.