News reports coming out of Egypt state that there has been a prison break. The Muslim Brotherhood website reported that 34 of their “political prisoners” were among the thousands that have escaped. For those of you who are ecstatic that the bells of democracy are ringing in Egypt and the dictator Mubarak will finally be removed must not have factored in the Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has influenced the creation of global terrorist groups and the spiritual leaders that incite the masses. It is still unknown whether the the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is behind the protest or whether they are just tagging along hoping to sooner or later overtake it. That is the danger in revolutions; the chaotic and unorganized rage of the people can always be guided by unseen forces with unknown motivations.
As American we get goose bumps when we see people taking it to the streets to defeat a tyrant. We love the feeling of freedom when we see a sole man standing in front of a tank, his indisputable courage made of flesh and soul against the steel and iron heart of the dictatorial machine. We remember those rag-tag men fighting, in cloth wrapped feet against the British Empire. Hungry but fed with the spirit that no dictator will ever control them again because in victory or death there is freedom.
When it comes to Egypt, I am cautious because I do not know who or what is behind this new found love for democracy. Is it a ruse to install a different form of government more pliable in the hands of the Islamic extremists? We must look at this in the context of what is occurring in the Arab world. Lebanon threatened with rule by Hizbullah, Tunisia still a cauldron boiling over with the rage of the people and a nuclear Iran shedding a dark shadow in the area. Still we must ask whose hand is fanning the flames? Long term poverty and hunger exacerbated by the current global economic situation seem to be the catalyst, but what is the true motivation?
The media seems to be backing Mohamed El Baradei without looking into his background. There are rumors of both Ikhwan connections and Iranian influence. Regardless, he is no George Washington and probably would be a temporary figure in a new Egypt until the real behind the scenes leaders get a footing. We always want a hero in any movie and the hero is usually armed to the teeth. As this movie plays out, I believe it is the Egyptian Army who will decide the ending. The plot thickens and weaves when we have to factor in if those who run the Army have been recruited by the Ikhwan or even the Iranians.
Either way, Americans have to proceed with caution. Do we back a long-time ally that has had a peace treaty with Israel for the past thirty years? Do we back the protesters looking to establish a democracy with the threat that the democracy will vote in extremists unfriendly to the West and Israel? Or do we let it play out to where a dictatorship is followed by the seeds of a Caliphate?