The complexity of this Egyptian crisis is extreme on so many levels. These next few days are crucial. Pundits, politicians, world leaders, and the Egyptian protesters themselves all have an opinion on what the Obama administration should be doing and when and how they should be doing it. This is an enormous moment in world and American history and the Obama administration is key in it’s outcome.
Obama came into office during a period of social transformation and reconstruction. His vision ushered in reform and a focus on human rights and “spreading the wealth” as a concept. His intent has been to repair our world image and form a new relationship with the Arab world. Obama originally set the stage in an address immediately after his election to the Muslim world. Then there was the Cairo speech in 2009. After that speech, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC had said who else could have delivered such a speech? Who else, as an American President, could have related more from such a diverse background, where the Arab people could actually listen and understand without so much distrust?
Then there was the huge protest in Iran that may have been premature but with meaningful impact all the same. It was a beginning. They’re surely listening. The seed has been planted. The Iranian protesters were not afraid and are an intelligent people who desire to lead a Democratic way of life as well. The revolt in Tunisia set the timing and the courage of the Egyptian people for this revolt. Social networking set the venue and the capacity to initially and quickly organize and communicate on multiple levels. They all finally had a way to express themselves. And eventually after the network and cell phones were shut down by the Egyptian government, Google and Twitter still came up with a way for the Egyptian voices to be heard. So not only is this a civil uprising for democracy, it’s a technological revolution in social networking especially by those who have been previously oppressed.
Many don’t understand that Obama has a certain style of operating to get to a desired outcome. He’s always attacked and yet frequently underestimated. He plants the seed or promotes the vision. He expects those involved to implement or orchestrate and do the work required for what they say they want. Most are not prepared for the opportunity. He understands that reform or transformation has to take place. He waits; he listens; he researches; he assesses; he strategizes and he goes into motion.
Obama is steady but not radical. He’s pragmatic to the core. He’s often misunderstood because of his futuristic vision that’s tempered by his pragmatic process. Obama and Hillary Clinton are a strong, intelligent and powerful team working off each other’s strengths and loyalties. They are currently walking a tight rope in the middle east especially in this current crisis. They have to keep the violence down and prevent a total collapse in the largest Arab nation that connects to other leading Arab nations. Egypt aids in the protection to Israel as a US ally. It’s the second largest recipient of US aid next to Israel. Our relationship with Egypt is paramount in fighting terrorists and utilizing the Suez canal.
It’s understandable that the Egyptian people are frustrated after 30 years of this oppressive regime, but it would be helpful now to be patient just a little bit longer for a true change for democracy that won’t happen over night realistically. At this point, there are not enough organized political parties to transition into a democracy immediately. The Egyptian people should take this time to get organized to prepare for the free elections and establish a transitional process to prevent leadership by opportunistic and financially backed extremist groups who prey on those who are frustrated and angered. The Egyptian President is having difficulty in letting go, but letting go he must. Although he’s been an ally to the US, he has oppressed the Egyptian people.
President Obama has expressed his respect for the non violent protest of the Egyptian people and the protection and support from the Egyptian army. This need for Democracy is indeed spreading throughout the Arab nations. Obama may not be totally trusted by the Arab community, but he’s certainly more trusted than any counterpart could have been in his place in this time of extreme turmoil and transformation. He’s not George W Bush or Dick Cheney angering the Muslim nations by invading and taking over Iraq under false pretenses while disrespecting the Arab people. And can you imagine the likes of Sarah Palin as President in a crisis of this magnitude? Shudder the thought! The diplomatic envoy sent by Obama to try to speed up this change in leadership to assist the Egyptian people is key to what will take place over the next few days.
The immediate future is world history in the making and the Egyptian life as it was once known will not be the same again. it’s time for Egypt to return to it’s days of advanced culture. The US is invested in this country and we can partner with them to reach a process of democracy in hopefully a peaceful manner. Life in Egypt must return to a structured norm that can begin the preparation for a new elected democratic leadership by the people. Just like the life threatening winter blizzard that is currently sweeping across the US, these are the winds of change. This is going to be difficult. Democracy is new for Egypt. Preparation is the name of the game. Genuine and true negotiation on the part of the Egyptian political leaders unified in this protest and the Obama administration have to be ongoing until the stages are established for a new and mutually beneficial reality.
In the meantime, how long can the Egyptian peaceful protesters maintain a peaceful demonstration while demanding Mubarak be removed from office now, before opposition forces hired by Mubarak or who simply support him, create more violence and disorder defeating the purpose causing mass chaos in the region? The ripple effect continues.
Image: Paris Daily Photo