So what now?
People have been watching intently for weeks as Egypt unraveled under the calls that President Hosni Mubarak step aside. There is no question that what has occurred in Egypt and is truly a historical moment. Where the dialogue diverges is exactly what this revolution means to Egypt, the world, the Middle East, and United States and its allies.
Indeed the United States and Israel have very keen interests in the affairs of the Middle East. In the 30 years that Mubarak has been in power Israel and Egypt have had an amicable relationship and United States has had a pleasant working relationship with Egypt. The problem is the people of Egypt have not felt that same give-and-take and mutually respectful relationship towards them during the last few decades under Mubarak’s rule.
What Egyptian people experienced with suppression of contrary expressions to the government believed in what the government pursued. Many are crediting the Internet including Facebook and Google for helping to push this revolution from mere unrest to revolutionary status. Indeed what happened in Egypt is something to be remembered and something to continue to keep an eye on. What we are witnessing with this new military democracy is an inching closer to a democratic election absent any tampering and perhaps the rebirth of the great African nation of Egypt.
Some have dismissed this revolution in even demonize what this revolution is about. What this revolution is about is young people, the 18 to 30-year-olds, in Egypt standing up for what they believe their country should reflect. These are young men and women of modest and modern Muslim backgrounds fighting for democracy, fighting for a government and a president that respects the people and the ideas that they bring to the public forum. This revolution was organized and has been carried out by the united youth of Egypt. Indeed some older groups including the Muslim Brotherhood had a role in what has occurred in Egypt.
Now some pundits, particularly in the United States, would have you believe that this is all part of some massive subversive scheme by Muslim fundamentalists to infiltrate a secular government. Though there are valid concerns about that as Mubarak was a secular leader and now the country has opened itself up to potentially Islamic rule ushered in by the Muslim Brotherhood the Brotherhood has made it clear that they do not wish to seek the presidency nor a majority in parliament. This may be a strategic move to slowly earn favor among the young people and the people of Egypt to eventually in future elections push forth for theocracy based on fundamentalist Islam. But that is merely a theory, nothing that we can tangibly hang our hats on, certainly nothing that we know without question.
What we do know is that these protests were largely peaceful and democratic in nature. Only when Mubarak’s police in Mubarak supporters arrived on scene to the protests truly escalate to a troubling level of violence. It was Mubarak and his supporters again wishing to suppress opposition that inflamed the situation in Egypt. It was not fundamentalists, it was not terrorists, it was not the majority of the protestors that stirred the violence. It is unfortunate that some look at this, including Sean Hannity of Fox News, and immediately dismissed this revolution as an opportunity for Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to seize power and instill fundamentalist rule. Al Qaeda has not and likely will not have an influence over the direction of Egypt as it progresses towards democracy. Sean Hannity openly deemed of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in discussing their role in opposition of Mubarak and in support of change in Egypt. His condemnations are vast in nature and intentionally so. By labeling the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, who admittedly were condemned by the Mubarak leadership, Hannity succeeds in shifting the dialogue away from meaningful, and honest, discussion on what has occurred.
I do truly believe and hope that Egypt’s future lies in the majority of the protesters who were both vigilant and peaceful in asking for new leadership and a new direction in Egypt. To condemn the Muslim Brotherhood and focus on terrorism where there is little to no connection thereof devalues and dismisses what these protests and successes were truly about. The people of Egypt have spoken and their government has obliged, Mubarak and his cronies have stepped aside to pave the way for military democracy and hopefully ultimately a sustainable democracy.
A group of US military veterans who say they were sexually assaulted by fellow servicemen and then neglected by the military have sued to force reform.
The plaintiffs say the military is too lax in investigating and prosecuting sex crimes and fosters a culture where victims are afraid to report crimes.
The women argue that too few offences lead to court martial, and hope their case will draw attention to the issue.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.
MILAN — Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, who has dodged corruption trials and no-confidence votes with the skill of an Olympic athlete, faced a potentially fatal challenge to his power Tuesday when a judge ordered him tried on prostitution and abuse of power charges.
Berlusconi is going on trial April 6 in Milan on charges that he paid for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan girl and then tried to cover it up. Berlusconi has stood trial on a number of business-related charges, but this is the first time the 74-year-old billionaire businessman is being tried for personal conduct.