Good Luck, Egypt (you are going to need it)

For Egyptians, 11/2/11 will hold a special place in their hearts, for on this day they threw off the shackles of an oppressive regime. A regime, that in its beginnings probably had the best of intentions for the Egyptian people, but after 30 years, it was time for Mubarak and his people to go. It is pretty apparent that Mubarak treated Egypt like an embezzler treats an American Express Black card. I don't even want to venture down the path of discussing the merits of Mubarak's power and longevity.

The point of this post is that the easy part has been done. Now the real work begins.

Today I tweeted this: Random thought: If you are the opposition and you can't get a majority in a vote, what better way to win than to just take over? #Jan25

Nature abhors a vacuum and politics abhors one even more. Mubarak realized this and though he held on to power for a number of reasons, one must have been that he knew that if he just hopped a plane for Riyadh, the leadership void would be rapidly filled by the closest thing to an organization available and it sure wasn't going to be the peaceful students.

We in the US need look no further than Washington DC for an example of this phenomenon. After the Tea Party catapulted the Republicans to victory in the House last November, it was all sweetness and light. Mainstream Republicans were congratulatory and thankful for the Tea Partiers for giving them a huge majority, but before the ink was dry on the headlines, the power shifting began and it was 'step aside' time for the Tea Party. "Thanks for the ride, fellas, now sit over there while we show you how it is done" seemed to be the attitude of the new leadership.

In Cairo, as genuine freedom-seeking people (likely the majority) teamed up with leftists and the Muslim Brotherhood to topple Mubarak, I fully expect that the Islamic fundamentalist will waste little time consolidating power and control.

Egyptians seem to be a very well educated people and very savvy in the ways of the West as well as very much situationally aware. If they have been watching the world even a little over the past 20-30 years, they know what ugliness can arise from hitching their star to the Brothers. The Army also is going to be there to (hopefully) broker free and fair elections. It is in the Army's best interest to stay on the good side of the US and the West, and that cannot be done under an Islamic theocracy running on Sharia law.

It was joyous to watch the celebration in Tahrir Square tonight but my mind kept drifting to the thought of how fleeting this freedom might be. It is my fervent wish that the citizens of Egypt stay strong and look at the past history of the people and organizations vying for power and not to fall prey to the sweet words of these nascent politicians. Otherwise it will be out of the frying pan, into the fire for most of the people, especially the women.


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