The Birth of Democracy

We are watching the birth of democracy in the Middle East. True democracy. We are not watching the invasion of Egypt by a foreign army and the destruction of its country. We are watching the people, as a whole unit, stand up and say ‘Now’s the time. Right now.’

These people are winning. They have gained the attention of the entire world including, of course, that of the leadership of other Middle Eastern countries.

We in the United States have spoken of exporting democracy for quite a while now. OK. It’s happening. We’d best get behind it and appreciate the fact that our own revolution, and that of the French, certainly set the stage and certainly set the markers and the benchmarks and the guidelines which describe exactly how this is done.

The Egyptian people are following our guidebooks to the letter.

They will succeed. No doubt about it.

The beauty of this is that we are now standing here with our jawbones bouncing off our kneecaps saying how the hell did we miss this.

Because we weren’t paying attention. That’s how we missed it. These people in Egypt and inevitably around the rest of the Middle East, they are not watching us. They are watching our founders. They are watching the people who founded the United States of America. Can we wrap our tired minds around this?

I sincerely hope so. If not we’ll wonder what the hell happened and why we are left out.

One of my favorite reads is Stratfor.com. For example, just a few days ago they wrote the following (these paragraphs are widely spaced excerpts):

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak remains the lifeblood of the demonstrators, who still number in the tens of thousands in downtown Cairo and in other major cities, albeit on a lesser scale. After being overwhelmed in the Jan. 28 Day of Rage protests, Egypt’s internal security forces — with the anti-riot paramilitaries of the Central Security Forces (CSF) at the forefront — were glaringly absent from the streets Jan. 29. They were replaced with rows of tanks and armored personnel carriers carrying regular army soldiers. Unlike their CSF counterparts, the demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s exit from the political scene largely welcomed the soldiers. Despite Mubarak’s refusal to step down Jan. 28, the public’s positive perception of the military, seen as the only real gateway to a post-Mubarak Egypt, remained.

The United States, Israel and others will thus be doing what they can behind the scenes to shape the new order in Cairo, but they face limitations in trying to preserve a regional stability that has existed since 1978. The fate of Egypt lies in the ability of the military not only to manage the streets and the politicians, but also itself.

In any case, I’m betting on the Egyptian people.


Copyright 2011 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. No further republication without copyright owner’s permission. Visit Strategic Forecasting at stratfor.com

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