Friday, January 28, 2011

Egyptian Army: Shoot the People or Join the Revolt?

Egyptian protesters are, according to reports, focused on getting rid of Mubarak, a goal that, if achieved, would leave the population far short of having achieved any sort of revolution. More to the point is whether the army, now being deployed in view of the apparent defeat of the police by the people, will choose to disobey orders or murder the protesters.

As the answer to this critical question unfolds, Washington remains out-of-sync, failing dismally at the game of catch-up, risking everything it has invested over the decades in Egypt by its lack of sincere sympathy for the Egyptian people.
The Egyptian middle class is risking its neck for freedom, and no one in Washington can bring him-or herself to take its side. What future does the U.S. have in the Mideast if it either destroys (Iraq) or alienates the rising, educated middle class? Would Washington prefer Islamic fundamentalists; zenophobic military rule; or militant, anti-American super-nationalism? Mired in the past, Washington is losing the future, which lies in the hands of young Egyptian soldiers with brothers in their gunsights.

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