Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt: The turmoil

The time for Hosni Mubarak is over and the time for the military in Egypt is over as well. The only option they have left is to install the opposition leader, Mohamed Elbaradei, as head of state. Elbaradei has some credibility with the Egyptian people. Although after his installation, within three to six months proper elections must be held and a democratic government installed.

Elbaradei knows and understands the US and the West, although he was very critical of the US invasion of Iraq; though the majority of Americans are opposed to this invasion now. Because of Elbaradei's knowledge of US and the West, he will continue to have good relations with the West.

Hosni Mubarak might have installed a Vice President who can take over when he leaves, but there is very little chance that another military leader will be acceptable to the Egyptian people. Given the turmoil, the only solution I think is a properly elected government, a fair and free democracy.

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  1. Actually LD, I don't think the time is over for the Egyptian military, not at all. The military, made up predominantly of conscripts, is well connected to the public. It has their respect and support, unlike the Egyptian police. If the military wasn't so nationalistic it probably would have turned on the protesters days ago.

    ElBaradei may become an interim leader but it is widely expected that Islamists will win the first democratic vote. Bear in mind that Egypt's consitution will have to be changed, institutions reformed, political parties properly established and organized. You can't just put ElBaradei in Mubarak's chair and say "mission accomplished."

    Earlier today The Telegraph noted that Egypt's turmoil, indeed the entire region's, isn't going away any time soon. Food riots are expected soon and severe water shortages loom in the near future. Some figure this is the future for the Arab world for decades.

    It is just beginning to dawn on people that the world of the 21st century is going to be unlike any mankind has ever known. Fantastic, even unbelievable as that sounds, it's true.

  2. MoS, you make good points. However, Egypt has changed and may not accept another military government. Sadat was a military general and so was Mubarak. Mubarak has appointed another military man to be his vice to take over when he leaves. Egyptians will not accept it.

    What Egypt needs is a caretaker government until proper elections are held. Yes extremists may get into powerful positions but that was going to happen anyway given the resentment against USA. Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians and other nations in the Middle East have seen the slaughter take place in Iraq and their governments just stood by and were complacent. This is the fruit of what Bush and Cheney sowed in the Middle East. I don't know what Obama can do to bring down that anger.

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