I haven’t yet written about the demonstrations and turmoil in Egypt, because I keep trying to find a report that seems to have a handle on what is actually occurring there—and even more importantly, what might be about to happen there.
I’ve given up on the latter, though. Once such forces are unleashed, it’s very difficult to know who is in control and who will emerge victorious. That’s the reason that US realpolitikers have tended to support the status quo and the strongmen who represent it.
This article has an ominous tone to me. I have been concerned from the start about the possible influence and popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood, a currently-banned Islamist fundamentalist group that has its roots in Egypt in the earlier part of the twentieth century. And here’s some background on the position of El Baradei, who might (accent on the “might”) be in a position to take charge in a while.
The Egyptian people are protesting in favor of democracy. As a person who remembers the turmoil of the Iranian revolution of 1979—the different groups temporarily united for the Shah’s overthrow and then jockeying for position (vainly) against the fundamentalist Islamists who quickly established their dominance—I have to say the situation makes me nervous. But as my moniker indicates, I’m strongly for democracy—if it goes hand in hand with liberty and is not merely a case of “one person, one vote, one time” and after that, tyranny and rigged elections.
Which will it be in Egypt? Or will it be something in-between? I don’t even pretend to know. Nor, I believe, does anyone else.
[ADDENDUM: El Baradei is now under house arrest.]