Après Mubarak, le Déluge
I genuinely, sincerely wish the very best for the Egyptian people. I wish them freedom, health, peace, and prosperity. However, the skepticism in this post of Doug’s and the mockery it elicited in comments fails to recognize that, when Egypt’s
president dictator strongman ruler says that if he left office immediately it would bring chaos, he may well be right.
Successfully stamping out viable opposition over the period of more than a generation, as Mubarak has done, inevitably presents great challenges. How can Egypt make the transition from the present situation where there are no extant liberal institutions, many Egyptians can’t name a prospective leader they’d find acceptable, anybody they can name is part of the present regime and unacceptable to many Egyptians, figures (like Mohammed ElBaradei) who are recognized by foreigners (like us) don’t live in Egypt and are virtually considered foreigners by Egyptians, and the economy is in a shambles, serving primarily the interests of a chosen few?
What’s a poor superpower to do? Short of jumping in the Wayback Machine, setting it to 20 years ago or more, and exerting efforts (which may well have been beyond our abilities) to nudge Egypt gradually in the direction of liberal democracy, it’s hard for me to imagine a course of action that serves our interests or ends well for the Egyptian people.
One suggestion I’ve heard, having the U. S. or a consortium of world powers prop up the Egyptian economy during the transition, simply isn’t on politically. The campaign ads practically write themselves (he donated $x to Egypt while Detroit (insert city name here) fell into ruin).