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Egypt's Revolution May Not Produce Democracy; Updated

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update: 
I've made a mistake about the Muslim Brotherhood, thinking they are one and the same with Gemaat Islamiya. They are not. My reference to the Muslim Brotherhood was based on my knowledge about Gemaat Islamiya. I used the names interchangeably and that was an error. My concern that parties which do not represent the people of Egypt could take control still stands, but I am far less concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood than the article below states. I left the words because it would be confusing to read the comments otherwise. My apologies to the Muslim Brotherhood and thanks to those who brought my attention to my error.

After thirty years of dictatorship, the idea of an Egypt free from the reign of Hosni Mubarak is attractive to many. But removing Mubarak may not bring freedom, democracy or a better situation. 

 
Image: screen shot from therealnews youtube video

We can learn from the bungled disaster of the Iraq invasion by George W. Bush and his neocon morons club. Instead of democracy and freedom, that invasion brought a thugocracy disrupting the fragile balance that had held Iranian and Shia fundamentalist power in check. Saddam was bad news but he also held many worse problems in check. What did it cost to get rid of him? Over a million Iraqi lives have been lost, millions have been displaced. The final outcome of the invasion will probably hand most of Iraq's resources over to China, Russia and transnational corporations. The net gain for the US is hard to say, even harder to see any benefits for America's middle class.

Egypt's bottom up youth revolution is, of course, very different. But there could be some similarities. Taking down Mubarak's police state could produce an even worse situation.


Outside of Mubarak's power base, the largest, most organized power in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, known as Gamaat Islamiya , described by wikipedia as a group considered to be a terrorist organization by the US. There is some evidence that they were actually behind the assassination in 1981 of popular Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, which led to the installation of Hosni Mubarak.  Gamaat Islamiya has called for Egypt to become an Islamic state with Sharia law. Operating underground, the Muslim Brotherhood has systematically attacked Coptic Christian Egyptians, stabbing, running them over with automobiles, raping the women, threatening families in efforts to force them to convert to Islam. This has been reported repeatedly by Christian Egyptians seeking asylum in the US.

Another factor emerging is there are hundreds and possibly thousands of prisoners being released. Hundreds of them are Muslim Brotherhood prisoners. Others may be members of crime groups or gangs.

Most of the protesters are young people, what with 60% of Egypt's population under 20. They know they want change and jobs and better opportunities. But one has to ask what kind of power net or base or system or organization is lying waiting, or has been built, waiting for Mubarak's regime to fall.

Chaos will surely ensue and then power will begin to aggregate. The Muslim Brotherhood is one nationally organized power base. The military is another. Perhaps there will be some gangs that hold some power. They could even kidnap family members of the heads of the military to grab power. The police seem to have disappeared at the time of this writing.

My point in writing this article is to raise the concern that the Egyptian people may need some help from the rest of the world if they depose Mubarak. One solution that has clear liabilities is for the Egyptian military to help the nation go through a legitimate process of democratically electing leaders. But we saw in Iran how fundamentalist Shia forces, mainly powerful mullahs, used secular figureheads to gain power for their forces. Then the Mullahs killed or eliminated the secular people, once the Shah was gone.

Most of the world wants to see the youth revolution in Egypt bear democratic fruit. It is likely that it will be necessary to provide some gentle international help to achieve that outcome. Otherwise we may see a situation in Egypt like what we see in Lebanon, where Iran's fundamentalist Shia Hezbollah has taken over. Is that a democratic situation. It's hard to consider that when Democratically elected leaders have been repeatedly assassinated.

I'm no expert on the middle east, but I've seen enough to know that things are never simple there and there are always lurking groups waiting to grab power. I'm sure that's a big part of the conversations going on at the White House and the State Department.

I'm very excited to see the bottom  up power of the masses standing up to and potentially toppling Mubarak the dictator, with all of his ensconced power. But the masses need their own leadership and bottom up infrastructure. They need leaders. If the Egyptian people are lucky, the military leaders will give the people the space and time they need to find the leadership personnel and infrastructure to create a true Democracy. That kind of luck may be amenable to external help. This is where the USA and the United Nations may be able to lend a benign hand. But providing that kind of help could be dicey since the help may be used by other parties to be spun into adverse framing. Imagine Islamic fundamentalist forces framing US help as anti-Islamic, "American Devils" talk. On the other hand, we know that the US has an ugly history of supporting dictators, so the Egyptian people would be wise to carefully scrutinize any helping "hand" the US offers. 

The media of the world will have a role to play here. Al Jazeera has already played an important role, just showing the massive demonstrations, forcing the rest of the world's media to also cover them. This article raises some questions which I hope are reflected in the conversations the mainstream media explore.

All across the US and the world, people are gathering to demonstrate to support the Egyptian people. This is good. But we need to also come up with ways to help the Egyptian people so their revolution fulfills their hopes and dreams, so it is not stolen from them by another totalitarian regime, possibly one that is worse than the existing one.

I'm thinking that people like Jimmy Carter, people who have a track record of monitoring elections, of helping shepherd democracy should be heading to Egypt.

 

Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

And here's a one hour radio interview where I was a guest- on Envision This, on 10/23/13. And here is the transcript. 

And Rob's quotes are here.

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But after the revolution, the innocent "baby" of a... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:50:30 AM
makes it very unlikely that it will be attained. ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:13:30 PM
Rob, the Muslim Brotherhood is actually pledged to... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:50:59 AM
I was involved in dealing with people seeking asyl... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 10:54:59 AM
An ant-Zionist site is not the same thing as an an... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 1:10:39 PM
Mac, in error, I was treating Gemaat Islamiya and ... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:18:41 PM
One of my father's neighbors in Cali was an Coptic... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:21:58 PM
Here's your chance to address your concerns to the... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 1:26:59 PM
"Oh yeah, we've changed. really."So has the Britis... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 2:37:43 PM
Poor my butt! Don't want to threaten your sterotyp... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 3:18:23 PM
We know your stance on 9/11, Mac. Have you written... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:44:50 PM
If Frost had taken that approach to Nixon, swallow... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:09:12 PM
You started this by encouraging me to write that g... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:22:16 PM
Let's see, how does your addressing you concerns t... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:57:34 PM
This is like the "lesser of two evil argument"! A... by Don Smith on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 10:44:24 AM
I think the government should not be shutting down... by Philip Pease on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:24:10 AM
Democracy brought Hammas to power in Palestine, an... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:26:31 PM
Egypt's current situation is different from Iran i... by Saman Mohammadi on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:35:07 PM
I've seen polls that suggest the opposite is true.... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:44:57 PM
Look at what's happening on the street level. Ther... by Saman Mohammadi on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:52:58 PM
"An Islamic Middle East is taking shape," Ayatolla... by Michaella Matt on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 1:49:03 PM
What would you think he say? He is feigning opti... by Saman Mohammadi on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 2:06:50 PM
Allahu Akbar, meaning in Arabic - God is greater(t... by Adnan Al-Daini on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 3:22:38 PM
You will admit that that radical Islamists aren't ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:27:44 PM
"Allahu Akbar" is Arabic, meaning God is Greater. ... by Adnan Al-Daini on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 4:35:04 AM
I don't think it really answered my question, but ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:20:51 PM
Are you saying you're afraid that DEMOCRACY will c... by zonie on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 1:23:42 PM
Mac McKinney makes incisive and wise comments. We... by Adnan Al-Daini on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 2:36:23 PM
"We really must not fall into the trap of listenin... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:00:02 PM
Actually, I am not a great fan of Islam as a relig... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:24:44 PM
"So I tend to be a fireman trying to put out Islam... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:24:44 PM
Where do you get off with your judgmental BS here,... by Mac McKinney on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:49:15 PM
Well you'll have to excuse my logic, Mac. It's jus... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 10:03:06 PM
Clarity is not always an easy thing to maintain in... by Mac McKinney on Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 at 12:25:20 AM
I now see where you are coming from, and I think w... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 at 8:51:35 AM
Mrs. Clinton recently said she hopes Egypt will em... by Ken the Librarian on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 2:51:48 PM
but since virtually no one knows how we were suppo... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:23:44 PM
Democracy? Anybody? Can anybody name one pure De... by Cliff Carson on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:08:56 PM
"And while we are on the subject, name what countr... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:24:42 PM
I have to agree with you about Germany and Japan a... by Cliff Carson on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:02:46 PM
When we talk about our hopes of "democracy" coming... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:50:21 PM
After twenty something comments comes a fresh comm... by Cliff Carson on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:18:07 PM
Democracy is the theory that the common people kno... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:36:53 PM
May I suggest reading an article written by Giles ... by Adnan Al-Daini on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:58:07 PM
Rob, you spoilt a good article by suggesting Jimmy... by Avi on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 6:18:55 PM
So basically to summarize this article in a nutshe... by Dar Gary on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:09:56 PM
Under guidance of the Ford Foundation and an on-go... by Andrew Johnson on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:10:15 PM
I think you have posed the problem best Andrew.We ... by Cliff Carson on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:44:46 PM
... one little nitpick"supported the Mujahideen an... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:37:03 PM
But the struggle against Communism was a huge mist... by Andrew Johnson on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 6:12:41 PM
All very interesting, in view of Wikileaks cables ... by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:07:36 PM
Yes, the Egyptian citizens have fought valiantly f... by Mark Btok on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:22:22 PM
I don't buy that about Mohamed ElBaradei. I think ... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:32:14 PM
I ain't buying it. I lost my idealism & naiven... by Dan Suilem on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:25:51 AM
The main stream media plays their part in the brai... by Philip Pease on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 10:50:19 AM
Give me a break! None of the Dem elite have cared ... by Susan Lindauer on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 9:26:54 AM
happen, due to our traditional support of brutal d... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:56:22 PM
Hedges tends to indulge in masochistic fantasies. ... by Mac McKinney on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 5:12:17 PM
It reminds one of the old saying if you love someb... by Andrew Johnson on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:07:38 PM
Glad you made it back in one piece, Willy. We awai... by Mac McKinney on Wednesday, Feb 2, 2011 at 12:18:02 AM