Monday, June 13, 2011
Egypt is a Muslim country. While it has a larger population of minority religions, Islam is fundamentally approximately as important in Egypt's national life as it is in Iran's. Islam is far more important in Egypt's national life than Christianity is in US life. An accountable government of Egypt is going to reflect Islam's importance to the people of that country.
The United States and some seemingly westernized secular activists in Egypt seem opposed to the idea of Egyptians being able elect leaders who represent their values. The United States by offering aid and communicating to Egypt's current military dictatorship that the aid is contingent on freezing Islamist influences from political power, the activists through a number of suggestions to delay elections.
Unlikely in the first election, but in future elections these Westernized Egyptian activists may form the core of a movement similar to that of Iran's Green Movement which, probably in coordination with outside forces hostile to Iran, put forward an evidence-free narrative of stolen elections that ultimately lead to pointless destruction and loss of life.
Nobody in power in Egypt has so far expressed sympathy with either the US goals of denying Islamist parties participation in government or the activist goal of delaying elections. There have been repeated expressions of the desire of the army to return to the barracks and remove itself from what should be a civilian political process.
Just as the US has been working behind the scenes to convince Iraq to host US troops after the expiration of the current status of forces agreement between the US and Iraq, the US is working to pressure Egypt's colonial military dictatorship to remain in power. Unlike in Iraq, we have not yet seen expressions that the Americans consider their efforts successful.
There is a competition of forces in Egypt, and the results of that struggle will be much clearer in September. Until then, Egypt and the entire Middle East are waiting.
Posted by Arnold Evans at 9:30 AM