Tales From the Hilltop
An intelligent, yet Devil's Advocate view of the world

Episode Thirty-Six: The Egyptian Uprising

Who says a revolution can’t be televised?

Today’s episode will focus on one happening as I type this, as the people of the country of Egypt are leading a full-scale rebellion against the government and the current president, Hosni Mubarak.

What started out as a mass protest in late January in the city of Cairo has erupted into an all-out civil war in all of Egypt, with ordinary citizens marching, protesting, gathering in massive numbers, wanting the president of Egypt to step down and removing himself from office. Apparently, the citizens have spoken out against the government’s current policies regarding human right, police brutality, corruption, lack of free speech, and current economic policies like minimum wage laws and the high employment rate. (Sounds like I place I know…)

The main issue is that President Mubarak has made it crystal clear that he’s not leaving anytime soon. What troubles me about the guy is that he’s willing to throw everyone else in his cabinet under the political bus but him. He has already made several – if not all – of his cabinet members resign their positions and stated he won’t run for re-election in September’s next Egyptian election. That’s not doing anything to quell the people’s desire to see him go. Apparently, they want this guy GONE. Like last week gone.

Personally, it seems kind of selfish and arrogant of him. If you are the leader of a democratic country that elected you, that means you weren’t inherited a throne, lead a coup to power, or appointed leader by the family of rulers. This also means you’re first and foremost duty is to the people of your country, and if they want you out, the best thing for your people is to be graceful about it, cut your losses, and go. I guess the saying is true, that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Unfortunately, in his quest to keep the power, those demonstrations of civil unrest turned very violent as he has apparently recruited his own forces to counteract the protestors (with weapons like machetes, bombs, and of course, guns) , leaving thousands injured and so far about 400 people dead, which I’m sure will rise exponentially by the time this is all over.

Now, the question for us in America has been, “Why should we care?” Personally, I don’t think we should care, past making sure American reporters are safe. (Honestly, THEY don’t need to be there; I saw Anderson Cooper catch a right hook to him yesterday. Yeah, I think they need to seriously considered packing it up) America is not the world’s police station; hell, we got our own problems over here. I understand that President Obama made comments about the situation; well, of course he was expected to. But the notion that troops are being considered to be sent in seems a little radical. That’s not America’s fight, and you can cry “oil” all you want. Unless the UN as a whole decides to take action to help resolve this – which I don’t see how they can – there’s no reason any outside forces should stop this conflict.

Now, I’m a practical person, and so while I understand what this revolution could ultimately trickle-down to in terms of gas prices in the U.S. shooting up to $4/gallon, no way am I putting the value of human life on that. No one in Egypt should be dying because they want to protest a leader they feel is no longer capable of leading that country. Nor should anyone else feel it’s in their best interest to get involved. I also find it funny that the same people trying to get the US involved in this fight are screaming for troops to be let go in Afghanistan. It sounds a little hypocritical, if you ask me. Especially if troops end up dying in Egypt. That would be nothing more that Iraq/Afghanistan Part 2.

While this episode won’t go into too much detail (quite honestly, because things are changing in Egypt what seems to be by the second), I’m going to end it on this note: Just how important is TRUE freedom? If you know it something that’s worth marching, protesting, and possibly dying for, how can you NOT side with the people on this?

2/3/11

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