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  • Egypt Approaches a Tipping Point

    Egypt remains convulsed by massive popular protests after President Hosni Mubarak sought in vain to appease the opposition.  The police have melted into crowds or holed up at risk for their lives and the once-feared Interior Ministry is under siege.  Army troops on the streets of Cairo reportedly have bonded with the massive crowds and appear to be respected, in contrast to the thuggish police.  President Mubarak, who dismissed his cabinet yesterday, today appointed a vice president for the first time in his 30-year rule, Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

    The army, which always has been the backbone of the regime, remains the single most coherent force in the country and will attempt to restore order and help create a new political superstructure.  Negotiations probably are underway to ease the passage of the unpopular President out of the country, if only as a contingency plan.  The protesters are unlikely to accept the attempted handoff of power to Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s close ally, and will continue agitating for a new government to fulfill their demands for freedom, democracy, increased subsidies for Egypt’s huge population of poor and unemployed citizens, and a myriad of other demands.

    No government will be able to satisfy the pent up demands in all these areas, particularly if the rule of law is not restored quickly.  And then the question will be what law?  The Muslim Brotherhood is sure to insist on imposition of the Sharia and the jostling for power in post-Mubarak Egypt, which has already begun, will intensify.  The demands for increased government subsidies, continued disorder and an uncertain political situation will set back  Egypt’s economy, discourage foreign investment and make it harder to finance Egypt’s huge national debt.

    Such economic trends, higher food prices and a backlash against the Mubarak regime’s backers, particularly the United States, will help create a super-charged atmosphere that will favor radicals, especially Islamists, over moderates.  When the revolution starts devouring its children, the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to emerge on top.

    To help the Egyptian people build a more hopeful future, the United States can do little but to encourage a quick restoration of political calm, reduce loss of life and a peaceful transition that would improve the chances for the establishment of a free and prosperous Egypt.  And once a new government emerges, Washington should continue its aid only if that government respects the rights of its own citizens.  Only such a government could be a true ally in the war against Islamist terrorism.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEW HERITAGE PUBLICATION:

    Bringing Freedom and Stability to Egypt

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Egypt Approaches a Tipping Point

    1. Al from Fl says:

      I don't think that the Obama admin should wait to see what gov't emerges. It should work with the Egyptian army to ensure that a pro western gov't comes into power and then make sure we support it.

    2. Bob B, Boston, MA says:

      Lots of similarities to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, when the Ayatollah Khomeini was installed when the radical Muslims took over Iran in 1979.

    3. Susan C. Sherman, We says:

      The desire for more subsidies from the government, unless I am mistaken is like insisting on water from a dry well. An Egyptian Government, like that in the US, if properity is to be gained must de-regulate and do whatever it takes to open the flood gates for free enterprise to flourish. In short, get out of the way and stop taking the country's treasure…

    4. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I know what Americans can do! Drill for Oil at home and quit sending all those irresponsible rag heads our billions of petrodollars! Gosh! You don't suppose the Progressives want to dry up the money for terrorism by keeping our Capital at home? No, they still will not drill in ANWAR, and they still want to shut down our Oil Industry (even though government gets more money from Oil than the 'greedy oil companies' get.) It really rings nauseatingly insincere when Democrats talk about American Energy Independance, like they knew something, when what they really mean is Americans on bicycles.

      Let's have that genuine Carter moment, when it comes to Egypt, and say the Suez Canal gets plugged. Will the Democrats blame themselves for stopping the Energy Sector in it's tracks? Nah! The whole crazy Mid East Business for a hundred years was predicated on Junk Science. There is no scarcity of Oil because Oil never was a fossil fuel! America wasted billions of dollars and thousands of lives defending Oil. The Progressive plan is to keep America starving for Energy and paying for foreign oil, as if they weren't acting in the American Interest at all!

      It isn't at all suspicious that the Muslim Brotherhood bunch escaped from prison (with outside gunmen helping). Mubarak had better start arresting these guys and quit worrying about the Students.

    5. Pingback: Turmoil in the Middle East, Confusion in the White House | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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