Friday, January 28, 2011

Unrest in Egypt: What’s going on?

For the past few years Governments and the worlds population have tried so hard to ignore what happens with Big Governments. History time and time again proves this and yet, it's happening again.

As so many keep trying to think on fluffy bunnies and don't pay attention. It makes me wonder what they will do when this actually hits home. The muslim people have been ruled with an iron thumb for so long now. You can't help but to feel sorry for all the lies they have been forced to live under.

Yet even here in America, what so many are trying to do is bring so-called change. This is exactly what that change is. Big Government takes away Freedom. This is what happens under big government and the people have finally had enough.

Those that think we need more Government in America? This is the end result.
Michele Dunne is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. She has served as a specialist on Middle East affairs with the White House and the State Department, and has written widely on Arab politics, and political and economic reform. The Lookout asked her to explain what's going on in Egypt, and what it means for America.

LOOKOUT: What are the protesters angry about, and what do they want done?
M.D.: Protesters have a large number of economic, political, and human-rights grievances. Widespread youth unemployment, rigged parliamentary elections in November 2010, and the prospect of President Mubarak (in power since 1981) beginning another term--or being replaced by his son--are the sparks that set these demonstrations off. The demonstrators are asking for Mubarak to step down and make way for an interim government to prepare for free elections.
Click image to see more photos of the protests in Egypt

AFP/Marco Longari
LOOKOUT: Is there a real chance that Mubarak's government might fall?
M.D.: Yes, there is a real possibility, but that does not seem to be imminent yet. As in Tunisia, the regime would begin to be uncertain if internal security services could not handle demonstrations and the army were called in. Armies generally don't like firing on their own civilians and sometimes will choose keeping the loyalty of the population over defending an unpopular ruler.
LOOKOUT: If so, what might replace Mubarak's regime? What role might ElBaradei play?
M.D.: There is a shadow government and parliament, formed in December, that has positioned itself as the opposition party with which the government can negotiate if things reach that point.  But things are very fluid right now. ElBaradei could possibly play a leadership role within the opposition, although up until now he has been more effective at articulating popular grievances than at organizing or leading opposition groups.
LOOKOUT: How might a shift in power affect U.S. interests?
M.D.: U.S. interests are being challenged here. The United States has been tepid in supporting human rights and democracy in Egypt for years and has to deal with the resentment among Egyptians because of that. Partly for that reason, and partly because of the close association of the United States with Israel, any alternate group that comes to power might distance itself from the United States to some extent.
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