Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has officially resigned his post . The Egyptian people, while not happy that the Egyptian army has taken control of Egypt, have succeeded in pushing Mubarak out of power.
This could be a good thing or it could turn out very badly.
While President Hosni Mubarak was by no means an ideal political figure or human being, he was a stabilizing influence for Egypt and the United States in the Middle East. The Egyptian people protesting against Mubarak and his regime had every right to demand a democracy. However, even with Mubarak's departure, true democracy is not guaranteed. While Mubarak may have been a autocratic ruler disliked by many, his replacement may be even worse - and more dangerous. The Muslim Brotherhood - a radical Islamic organization committed to rid the world of Western influence and spread Sharia law through jihad - is setting itself up to have a say in the future of Egypt. The government that ends up replacing Mubarak could be more radical than ever - and anti-Israeli.
And what was our government doing during the Egyptian uprising? Not a lot besides showing that it is "Amateur Hour" at the White House. Mixed messages, conflicting information from different sources, and glaring gaffes provide no sound foreign policy on Egypt and what our government plans to do.
First off, Vice-President Joe Biden made a point of saying that Mubarak should not go, but rather stay and address the concerns of the people. A few days later, President Obama said the exact opposite, saying Mubarak should go. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated AFTER Obama's comment that perhaps Mubarak should stay....and so it goes at the White House. It is glaringly obvious that foreign policy is a concept foreign to Obama and his Administration!
And why did the C.I.A. Director, Leon Panetta, come out and state on Thursday, February 10th, that President Hosni Mubarak was going to resign that day? Isn't Panetta supposed to pass on such information to the President of the United States before announcing it to the world? Panetta's words ended up not even being true at the time. Panetta's gaffe served in it's own way to undermine what was going on in Egypt.
White House spokesperson Robert "Fibbs" Gibbs floundered back and forth, saying the people of Egypt were responsible for themselves and their governmental issues, yet at the same time speaking about a list of demands (empty rhetoric as usual) the United States was expecting Egypt to follow. Huh? And one key point that Gibbs and the Obama Administration focused on as though it was of dire importance was that the Egyptian people needed internet access! They had to be back on the social network! Was that a joke?
President Obama doesn't even seem to care all that much, watching from the sidelines and not offering much insight into what the United States government plans to do in order to maintain a relationship with Egypt. Imagine if the events in Egypt had unfolded while George W. Bush was president. Eighteen days of riots and unrest. The people demanding the overthrow of Mubarak. It is a given that the media would have held Bush accountable - demanding to know why the administration didn't know that this was going to happen in Egypt. They would have asked why U.S. intelligence dropped the ball. One very important questions could - and should - have been who will the United States back in an effort to keep Egypt as an ally in the Middle East? Certainly we should not be dealing with terrorists - which is what the Muslim Brotherhood organization consists of. Yet, Obama, when given a chance to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood, did not. Instead, he stated that he wanted to deal with all factions of those who may come to power in Egypt when Mubarak leaves. This includes the Muslim Brotherhood, which should scare us all.
One major - and frightening - statement came from Obama's National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, who felt that the Muslim Brotherhood was "largely secular and very heterogeneous." Not true in any sense. This is an organization committed to Allah. The Muslim Brotherhood believes that the Koran is law and touts jihad as the only way to cleanse the world of western influences. They want to destroy Israel. Guess that doesn't concern the White House too much, as President Obama's nonchalant attitude and failure to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrates how the Obama Administration tends to brush aside terrorists and/or the threat of terrorism to the world.
The Muslim Brotherhood, should they come to power in Egypt, has called for a war with Israel. We are looking at the possibility right now that Egypt could become an Islamist state. Granted, for right now the Egyptian army is control. But who is to say what the future for Egypt will hold? And if the Muslim Brotherhood comes into power and does make Egypt an Islamist state, it is almost a given that war will break out between Egypt and Israel. Should that happen, the situation in the Middle East could escalate and have dire consequences for many countries, including the United States.
For right now, the situation in Egypt seems to have calmed down. The United States military has helped support the Egyptian military - providing military equipment over the years. And as long as the military remains in control of Egypt, at least the Muslim Brotherhood will be kept at bay. For the time being. And hopefully for once, the Obama Administration will not resort to their usual method of handling major foreign political disasters, which translates into doing nothing.
So for all of the people celebrating the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak - be careful what you wish for. Remember when the Shah of Iran was ousted by a revolt? The Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and we all know how that ended. The United States lost a major ally and gained a real enemy. The same could happen with Egypt.
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