Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Events Transpiring Quickly in Egypt

I am getting very upset by what is happening in Egypt. It is time for the United States/ Barrack Obama to quit meddling in the business of this ally. President Mumbarak has heard the people in the streets and has heeded thier calls for his ouster by agreeing to not seek reelection. Ok, that was easy. I love it when the leaders listen to a popular uprising of the people. I haven't seen it happen here in the United States that often. But to Mr. Mumbarak's credit- he did. Good for him.

The strange thing is that now that he has made that commitment, the formerly peaceful demonstrations in Cairo have erupted into violent clashes in the streets. Greg Palkot of Fox News and his camera man, Olaf Wiig, were violently beaten two days ago as they tried to make thier way out of the city. Thank God they survived. Mr. Wiig described moments when he wondered if they would be the last of his life and likened the appearance of his back to "a piece of modern art" (maybe not the best analogy) from all of the cuts and bruises he recieved as he and Palkot tried to get out of Liberation Square with thier lives. The two men said that they were in the streets (apparently trying to leave) when they found themselves being accosted by a mob of people. Mr. Wiig thought quickly and said he looked for a person in the crowd who was clearly appalled by the violence. When he found that person, he grabbed onto his or her lapels and begged for help. He then commenced to lowering his head and pushing his way through the crowd, using his sympathizer as a sort of human shield. Palkot followed.

If the United States should have any involvement in the events transpiring in Egypt in the near future, it should consist of finding the man who helped these Western journalists (Palkot being American) get to safety and giving him a Medal of Honor. His actions deserve to be commended with the full esteem of the United States of America. By helping these men get to safety, he put his own life in danger and that of his family. These are the sort of people who are our allies. Not the ones throwing molitof coctails.

What happened next is most interesting and has been terribly underreported in the media. Pro-Mumbarak forces put the two journalists in the back of a jeep and got them out of the area. They were quickly blindfolded (because they were suspected of being spies) and carried to what I understood to be a police station of sorts. After having thier photos taken they were put in another vehicle and carried out of the city and to safety.

Unfortunately and to my extreme disappointlment, this event was terribly mischaracterized by many in the press, none more notable than the usually respectable Sean Hannity. I am disappointed in Hannity's reporting of the event because, to me it seemed to be a clear misprepresentation of the truth. Hannity said that "Palkot and Wigg had been attacked by Pro-Mumbarak protesters" and by saying that he misled millions of people about the truth as it exists in Egypt right now. The fact is, according to the interview of the two men, they were rescued by Pro-Mumbarak forces, and at least one hero who happened to be in the streets and came to thier aide.

The fact is: 90% of the injuries sustained were to thier backs and the backs of thier heads. As they pushed thier ways through the crowd of demostrators, they describered being continually beaten, punched, slapped, cut and stabbed. The perpetrators of these acts were the violent protesters, likely sympathisers of the muslim brotherhood. There is no way to tell who they were or what thier motives were, because both Palcot and Wiig had thier heads down and were bent over at the waist as they forced thier way through the unruly crowd. When they reached the safety of the Mumbarak forces, they were taken safely away and according to thier first hand account: treated relatively well and helped to escape the country.

Mr. Hannity should correct his comment from last night. These sorts of inaccuracies in reporting can shape public opinion based on false information and can be terribly destructive.

The situation as I understand it is as follows. There was a peaceful popular uprising demanding governmental reform and the ouster of President Mumbarak. He sent the military out to keep the peace, which they did succesfully. The cries from the streets became so loud that the whole world began to take note and President Mumbarak agreed that he, nor his son, would not seek reelection in this year's Presidential election. By this time, Prsident Obama and Hillary Clinton have each sent a half dozen different mixed signals about what our policy would be, Obama even going so far as calling for the President to step down. Hillary Clinton took a better, (although still questionable) approach and said we "want to see a predictable and peaceful transition to a new administration." Does that mean that the United States wants to choose the new President of Egypt? I don't know, but "predictable", somewhat implies that does it not?

It is too bad that Barrack Obama has to be such an idiot. He has really created a tremendous quagmire over there, in that he has lost all trust that President Mumbarak may have had in our Administration. We should have been behind him, quietly, as he agreed to not seek reelection. The protesters went home in large part at that point and many of them even came out in support of him. I can imagine that many of them came out to say "OK, Everybody, he has agreed not to run again! Let's not let this conflict fester to the point of civil war! Go home and we'll have an election in the fall!" That is exactly what I would have been saying anyway. But, no, Barrack just couldn't let it be. He had to call for an immediate departure from office and special elections to fill the office.

It is no coinicidence that about a week after the demonstrations began and just as soon as they began to subside following Mumbarak's announcement of not seeking reelection, the muslim brotherhood showed up on the scene and began instigating violence in the streets. The muslim brotherhood wants the violence to expand so that there will be an emergency election and in the chaos, one of thier own will likely gain control of the country.

The right way to handle the situation at this point is for the United States to reassure Mumbarak that we are behind him through the rest of his term and quietly encourage him to hush the muslim brotherhood as they try to instigate further violence. Of course, our President (a muslim sympathizer himself) would not ever do such a thing. He would not think of encouraging Mumbarak to remain in office and to quiet the muslim brotherhood extremists who have taken over the demonstrations, but he should.

If we could achieve this, the violence will subside and there will be a peaceful election in the fall. If the muslim brotherhood continues to perpetrate violence against its own people, the Egyptian people will be smart enough to see who is terrorizing them in thier own home, and the muslim brotherhood will be denied in its bid for power come fall. Now that is an orderly and predictable transition. There is no reason we should advoctate the circumvention of Egypt's Constituion and its electoral proces and in doing so give the muslim extremits a change to gain a stranglehold on Egypt, our ally's, government. That would be an  immeasurable blow to American and the entire Western World's interests worldwide for decades to come.

J. Daniel Dyas