“Egypt” in this case being a polite euphemism for “the dictator Mubarak.”
America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrranical government capable of harm.
For if Egypt is radicalized, all of the reforms sought by the Egyptian people and supported by the United States with them – including consensual and constitutional government; free elections; open and unbridled media; and Egyptian control of their natural resources – will be lost. Nascent democratic movements in the region will be co-opted and radicalized. The world’s free and open access to the Suez Canal’s vital commercial shipping lanes will be choked. And the Sinai Accord between Egypt and Israel – which must be protected as the foundation and principal example for Mideast peace – will be shredded.
Though many will be tempted to superficially interpret the Egyptian demonstrations as an uprising for populist democracy, they must recall how such similar initial views of the 1979 Iranian Revolution were belied by the mullahs’ radical jackbooted murderers, who remain bent upon grasping regional hegemony and nuclear weaponry…
This is not a nostalgic “anti-colonial uprising” from within, of all places, the land of Nassar. Right now, freedom’s radicalized enemies are subverting Egypt and other our allies.
I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters. After reading loads of coverage, my strong impression is that no one knows how much of it is being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood and how much by otherwise apolitical Egyptians fed up with corruption and economic stagnation. The big worry isn’t that the demonstrations are a secret Islamist plot; the worry is that, whatever their driving force, they’ll create a power vacuum that the Islamists will nimbly exploit. Which is to say, I think a lot of this probably is a sort of “anti-colonial uprising,” with Mubarak and his fascist apparatus in the role of “colonizers.” But who cares? Good intentions from some of the kids in the streets won’t stop the jihad.
He ends by saying he’s ready to assist Obama in advancing Egyptians’ “inalienable, peaceful aspirations,” which I take to mean he supports what appears to be the policy emerging from the White House — namely, that Mubarak should stay for now but only as a transitional figure. Remember, the country’s presidential, er, “election” is scheduled for September; if Mubarak doesn’t go now, he’s in for another round of this then. And since his son now has zero chance of inheriting the throne, he has no reason to resist democratizing measures in the meantime. The task for the State Department over the next eight months will be to pressure Mubarak and the military into giving Egyptian liberals every advantage possible before the election, including putting some of them in government and letting them enact popular reforms to build support among voters. That’s the only way I can see to move away from fascism without necessarily playing straight into the hands of Islamists, and I take it that’s what Obama meant by “concrete steps.” We’re going to do what we can to tilt the table towards liberals, because the end is coming soon for Mubarak. One way or another.