Wael Ghonim over video at #TED. Before the Egyptian revolution everyone was scared except a few and those were beaten up. We are not happy when we see some Egyptians eating trash while others steal millions. The Egyptian uprising started with a Facebook page honoring man tortured and killed by Mubarak. First demonstration was thousands of people in Alexandria, a silent stand. The regime attacked them regardless of how peaceful they were. But people kept protesting, and Tunisia came. Wael was detained for 12 days, blindfolded, handcuffed, he says he does not want to talk about how he was treated. I assume he was tortured. Then he was let go and when he did he saw a changed world. When he saw that he wrote “we are going to win because we don’t understand politics”. We are going to win because we are willing to stand up for our dreams. Egyptians felt freedom approaching. The power of the people is much stronger than people in power.
Egyptians fought bravely, ousted Mubarak and gave power to the military. But it turns out that USA effectively controls the Egyptian Army. It financed it, trained it and should it go into conflict with it, it can easily defeat it. So Egyptian people, whether they are aware of this or not, gave considerable power to USA. In Latin America and other parts of the world, giving power to US backed military would have been seen as a huge step back in time. So this situation must change quickly and in favor of the Egyptian people. It could also change in favor of US and EU foreign policy in the region.
Egyptians deserve speedy and easy visibility on how democracy will be instituted. Also USA has to be very careful not to be associated with the Egyptian military, but instead with the democratic forces which hopefully will take power. It also needs to prevent the brewing of another Mubarak from inside the military, a military who like Hugo Chavez, after trying to take power as a military leader changed clothes and took power through elections but behaves as a military dictator. The Egyptian people, USA, Obama and Clinton in particular, can emerge as winners in this revolution but there are many obstacles ahead.
After failing promoting democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, USA has a chance to do in Egypt with $50bn what it could not do wasting $1 trillion. It can fund the stabilization of Egypt and prevent the rise of terrorism and Hamas type forces to arise out of discontent. Egypt can become what Iraq never became but it is still one of the poorest nations on earth on a per capita basis and it quickly needs a stabilization fund. Right now what the new government has to prevent is food shortages and provide basic necessities for all. That needs short term EU and US Aid. In short, President Obama can do with Egypt what the Neocons wanted and failed to do with Iraq. Helping Egypt at this moment would be greatly appreciated around the world.
Lastly as soon as things calm down, we can all do our fair share and consider Egypt for our next holiday destination. This will help re start the economy.