Freedom, the right to choose for one’s self, we take as a fundamental right of life. Not all enjoy this right and watching the struggles of the Egyptian people I am again reminded why this right should never be taken for granted. At first I feared that the revolution taking place was going to be crushed by the Autocratic leader, President Mubarak with the force of the Egyptian military. As protesters gathered, a few at first and gradually thousands, the police of Cairo, where the larger protests were taking place, just disappeared, offering no resistance. The protesters grew emboldened by this lack of resistance. Then the protesters called on America to help in their efforts to form a true democracy and remove the martial law that has been in place since 1981.
Does America want democracy for the Egyptian people? Absolutely! Should the revolution fail, can America risk alienating one of its few allies in the Arab World? Absolutely not! At first America’s response was hesitant and really only asked that the protesters be allowed to demonstrate peacefully. The main thought at this point was how is the Egyptian military going to respond; did they have President Mubarak’s back or did they realize they were themselves part of the people? The military shortly thereafter said that it would not shoot at protesters. A government minus military muscle and without popular support from the people has no power. America steps up the pressure some by suggesting that maybe President Mubarak should step down immediately. The Egyptian president’s true colors begin to show.
In the first days, some 3000 inmates were released, I mean, escaped from jails. There may not be proof of this, but I suspect they were released with the President’s approval. Hoping that by adding a criminal element to the protesters, he would have mass looting, forcing the police and possibly military to respond and squash the revolution, before it started. The Egyptian people banded together and protected their neighborhoods and the police disappeared, likely dispersing into the protesters. At this point the military stood pat; did nothing other than the announcement that they would not shoot at protesters. Again, this is only speculation, but I think Mubarak gathered together all his cronies, those that had thrived under his autocratic rule for nearly three decades. Once together, they bought as many loyal thugs as they could find and sent them out into the protesters with the intention of them being aggressive supporters of President Mubarak’s.
The aggressive support for the President came in the form of men on horses, carrying whips and swords and attacking the peaceful protesters. Again, I believe the intention is to whip the crowds into a frenzy, forcing the military to respond. Through yesterday, the Egyptian military had stayed on the fence, so to speak, trying to set a barricade between the President’s loyalist and the protesters. The president feels wounded, in his mind he made Egypt, he is responsible to all the Egyptian people. That is the inflated egotism of a dictator, not in line with the thoughts of a sitting president in a flourishing democracy. At this point all the problems being started during the protest are coming from one place, the president and the military also sees this. If President Mubarak does succeed in turning the peaceful protester into angry rioters, I believe the military will be more likely to cut off the head of the problem. Remove the president and martial law, allow for free election and the people will be content and the land again peaceful.
To the Egyptian people, stay the course, freedom and democracy are within your grasp. When necessary, defend yourself, but stay in control. The military has already shown that it will support your peaceful protest and not just blindly act in the interest of the president. You will succeed! I hope by this time next week that President Mubarak is no longer in power. America wants you to win and when your fledgling democracy stumbles, we will be there to help in any way we can. Freedom should not be guaranteed to an individual country’s citizens, it should be guaranteed to the citizens of the world. THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE WILL BE DONE!!!