Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:31 AM
With all due respect to the protesters, the issue is not whether Mubarak will go, for he will. (The man is 82 and already looks half dead for Christ’s sake!) Rather, the issue is who will replace him. And it appears they have not given any thought whatsoever to this very critical question.
The devil Egyptians know might prove far preferable to the devil they don’t. Just ask the Iranians who got rid of the Mubarak-like Shah in 1979 only to end up with the Ayatollah — whose Islamic revolution they’ve regretted (and have longed to overturn) ever since….
(“Army Pledges No Force Against Protesters,” The iPINIONS Journal, February 1, 2011)
Alas, I have had cause on far too many occasions since pro-democracy protesters overthrew Hosni Mubarak to say, I told you so:
Pro-democracy protesters were ruing the fact that those benefiting most from their blood, sweat and tears are members of the Muslim Brotherhood who, after winning control of parliament, seemed hell-bent on turning Egypt into an Islamic state … like Iran.
(“Military Coup After Just Five Months of Democracy, The iPINIONS Journal, June 15, 2012)
Therefore, it comes as no surprise to me that there are just as many pro-democracy protesters in Tahrir Square today as there were at the height of the protest movement against Mubarak almost two years ago.
Nor is the irony lost on me that, instead of a “benign” dictator, they are protesting against a democratically elected president who fancies himself a latter-day pharaoh:
More than 100,000 Egyptians protested outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Tuesday, fueling tensions over Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi’s seizure of nearly unrestricted powers and the adoption by his allies of a controversial draft constitution.
The outpouring of anger across the Egyptian capital, the Mediterranean port of Alexandria and a string of other cities pointed to a prolonged standoff between the president and a newly united opposition…
‘Freedom or we die,’ chanted a crowd of several hundred outside a mosque in Cairo’s Abbasiyah district. ‘Mohammed Morsi, illegitimate! Brotherhood, illegitimate!’ they yelled.
(Associated Press, December 4, 2012)
Indeed, reports are that these pro-democracy protesters turned into such a menacing mob last night that security forces had to rush Morsi out of his presidential palace for his safety. To be fair, these protesters know that, if Morsi has his way, the devil they had will surely prove far preferable to the devil they have.
Biblical pharaoh did not walk back his oppressive tactics; let us hope a nonviolent way can be found for President Morsi, in a new Egypt, to step back from authoritarianism.
(Washington Post, November 26, 2012)
Frankly, all that is left now is for Egypt to erupt into the type of de facto civil war (between Islamist followers of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim/Christian secularists) that bedeviled countries like Lebanon for decades….