We have just witnessed the overthrow of the government of Egypt. For the past several days all the news has been of the people marching in the streets of Cairo demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Well, that has happened. He announced his resignation and the Military will take over until a new government can be installed. As I write this, I ask myself, “Is this a good thing, or is this a bad thing? Is this the equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down or is this another Iranian Revolution?” It is so tempting to be hopeful and believe that this is a revolution of people seeking freedom. Is that what is going on? Is this rebellion what it appears to be? The problem is we really don’t know and neither do the people of Egypt.
Should we believe that this is a revolution much like our own? That this is the same as when we threw off the mantle of oppression from Great Britain? I would like to believe that, but I remember as a very young man how we cheered a radical militant who, with his ragtag army, ousted the dictator Bautista, only to learn to our great disappointment that Fidel Castro was in fact a communist and that his beautiful country would then be cast into despair under his brutal regime. In all the years since, Cuba has never recovered from the communist domination of her people. Even today Cubans are years away from being restored to any semblance of their former self.
Is more disappointment awaiting us?
I have watched the young people in their western dress, jeans and t-shirts with cell phones on their ears and I-Pods at the ready chanting with hope on their faces. In two months will they still be in those clothes or will the girls be dressed in Burqas? Will their pretty faces be covered? Will their hopes and dreams be dashed by oppressive dictators from a religious sect? You see, we don’t know. Will the young men be given jobs with hopes for a future, or will their future be destroyed by radical religious groups bent on domination of the entire Middle East? Again, we don’t know.
For the sake of the Middle East, Israel and freedom everywhere, I hope this is not the case. For the sake of the Egyptian people, I hope this is a revolution similar to our own. I hope the Egyptian version of Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere is there with you and can show you the way to freedom. I hope you can continue to show the courage that you have demonstrated these past few days. When you have to make the difficult choices in the coming days, I hope you make the right decisions. Ronald Reagan told us that all men yearn to be free. I am sure the Egyptian people are just like everyone else.
Egyptians are educated people, with talent in music and poetry. They have existed since well before Christ. Since the early days they were masters of building with great pyramids and statues still remaining after eons of time. Today their future is in their hands. Will they choose wisely? Will they install a democracy? Or will they fall for a Theocracy? In many ways, while they abide in the Middle East, they are Westerners. They have, for years, followed and pursued western ideology.
For now however, like you, I will watch. I will watch hopeful that my worries are silly. I will watch in the hope that Egypt will join The Community of Nations seeking peace, prosperity, and brotherhood with all mankind. I will look for Patrick Henry and hope that he shows up and helps guide these newly freed people in the proper path. Will they seek liberty or will they find death? The choice is theirs.
Ron Scarbro February 13, 2011
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