It makes me sick to read, see, and hear the absolutely foolish comments being "confidently" drawn about what will happen in Egypt. So far the only accurate information has come from a group of scholars who predicted almost two months ago that there was a revolution about to take place in Egypt. Once again, as when the USSR fell, the CIA was clueless. Personally, I think the first place to reduce the federal budget deficit is to make major cuts in the budget of the CIA...consider closing it down and shifting intelligence work to other departments. The CIA is almost worse than useless. Remember The Bay of Pigs? They have tortured, lost bin Laden, totally ill-advised the government about Iraq, ignored FBI warnings about a pending terrorist threat to fly into U.S. buildings before 9-11, had no idea about the pending Islamic revolution in Iran, and the list goes on in every corner of the world. The CIA is a failure.
Nobody knows what will evolve in Egypt now, not even the Egyptians. Things in Egypt and throughout the Middle East are in a state of flux. President Obama was first-rate in the way he handled things that were suddenly developing in Cairo. Criticism about Obama in this regard is coming from people who have absolutely no enlightened idea about how to handle things there. He has been in contact with army leaders, and with prodding and encouraging comments, he played a role in the revolutionary fervor without having major violence or guns involved. Amazing. A major revolution without guns! The Arab population is to be complimented. What happens next in Egypt is still evolving. But the Arab, primarily Islamic, people of Egypt have accomplished a peaceful revolution. Amazing! Will it continue? Maybe.
To read some right-wing critics, one would be assured that the Moslem Brotherhood will take over the revolution and call the shots from now on. Wrong! They will play a part, yes. The struggle within the Brotherhood itself in Egypt is still up for grabs. So all these "confident" comments are a lot of hot air...unintelligent hot air. Will the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood unite with Hamas in Gaza and act as one group? Probably not. What about Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, etc.? There are revolutions simmering in those nations and nobody knows how each will play out. Wild conjecture helps no one. Ignorant conjecture serves no positive purpose. Criticizing Moslems is counter-productive.
Here are some often-overlooked facts. Many of the leading Egyptian army officers have been trained inside the U.S. The top army officers in Egypt hold immense profit-making enterprises in many different business venues. There are some top officers that still hold loyalty to Mubarek. I hope President Obama will be able to be objective and thoughtful in dealing with the various factions now vying for positions in the revolutionary future. The U.S. is now under constant pressure by the extreme right-wing to make knee-jerk, selfish business, over-bearing, military-demanding decisions. We have already seen the folly of these U.S. groups in their decisions in the Middle East. Since 1953 the U.S. has made mistake after mistake in the Middle East. To add Egypt to our mistake list would be devastating. To pay attention to the demands of toy soldiers in the U.S. would be a huge mistake.
There are people in the U.S. who scream for democracy in Egypt. These people have no idea what is meant by "democracy." Democracy is government selected/elected by the people. And if the majority vote for a monarch? Or if they vote for a chancellor, as they did when elevating Hitler in Germany? Or if they vote for a religious leader? Is democracy acceptable to us no matter who the people elect? Do people in a particular nation have the right to vote for a leader who is an outright critic of the U.S.? Are the people acceptable to us if they vote for a military government with huge increases in the national budget? Is it democracy if the majority vote for strict Islamic law? Is it democracy if the overwhelming majority vote for a leader who advocates attacking a neighboring nation? People are confused when they throw around the word, "democracy."
Considering what I know about current developments in Egypt, I would think that a sort of "steering committee" of both military and non-military representatives, with army support behind them, should set a course that would result in free and open elections later this year or early next year. Will that happen? Who knows? But making extreme and unintelligent rants about what the people of Egypt should do would be a huge mistake for the U.S. The opinion of the U.S. in the Middle East is currently at a low ebb. To repeat some of the mistakes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld would be a recipe for greater and more permanent damage to the U.S.
Wise, considerate, measured, educated actions are the best way forward. Let us hope that that kind of thinking and action prevails. We don't need any gun-toting, military cowboys. The revolution took place in Egypt without us, and did so without guns and outside brandishing. I certainly hope that continues.