THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION

Today, Egyptian revolutionaries, through the use of peaceful protests, forced the Egyptian dictator Mubarak to vacate the Presidency of the Egyptian government; for the present, the day to day operation and control of the nation will be the responsibility of a committee, or temporary junta of the Egyptian Army until democratic elections can take place. The final results of the Egyptian Revolution have yet to be determined.

The Egyptian revolution intrigued me; I followed it closely from the beginning. I could not help but compare it to the 1776 American Revolution; the American Revolution was at a different time and under different circumstances but there is definitely similarity in purpose. Personally, I identified with those protestors in Egypt; there have been times in recent years when I have felt that my government was not listening to me, that I was disenfranchised in democratic America.

In the 2000 Presidential elections and the US Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes of a democratic election in Florida, I felt disenfranchised and my interests not being served by my government; for the first time in my life, my American President was not elected in a democratic election, those Florida votes were never counted. Why didn’t Americans rise up in protest?

Again in 2001 and 2003, I could not understand why Americans did not rise up and protest their government’s wars of aggression, because America invaded the sovereign nations of Afghanistan and Iraq despite neither nation being a threat to the USA nor responsible for the September 11, 2001 bin Laden terrorist atrocity on New York and the Pentagon.

Therefore, I could not help but admire and respect the Egyptian revolutionaries that I saw every day, protesting their lack of a voice in their own government.

As I followed the news today, watching various American politicians, American TV and newspaper commentators, and American and other foreign diplomats speculate where the Egyptian upheaval will go from this point; they all spoke with great authority and disagreed with one another, and with me. My conclusion was that these pundits obviously did not really understand popular revolution for the democratic right to participate in their nation’s affairs or even what the word democracy really meant.

I heard media with a national forum speak of democracy and freedom in a context that defied the very meaning of those sacred words, in my own estimation.

And, of course, America’s political crazies told their nationally syndicated listeners all kind of ridiculous garbage. Glen Beck of obnoxious Fox News reported: “The protests in Egypt are being orchestrated by an alliance of Communists and Islamic fundamentalists who seek to overthrow capitalism and make a new world order.”

Watching the various elements of leadership in the Egyptian Revolution interviewed, I was duly impressed; they all spoke with confidence and resolve about what they wanted their Egypt to be, where they wanted their Egypt to go, and most important of all, what they intended their Egypt to ultimately look like in the future based on the role they played in the revolution and their personal purpose. Further, the revolutionaries were hesitant to say their battle was now won; but they expressed resolve in ultimately establishing some semblance of real democracy in Egypt.

But the Egyptians seem to know about democracy; they knew that democracy is more than just elections. And the Egyptians seem to know that there is a great difference between freedom and liberty. In a real democracy, all citizens can vote and a majority rules; but the minority is protected from the tyranny of the majority by liberty and liberty is restricted freedom, freedom that does not infringe upon the freedom of others.

President Obama speaking on the Egyptian Revolution said, “The people of Egypt have spoken, the voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same,”

“Egyptians have inspired us. They have done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of non-violence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but non-violence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more.”

Of course the Egyptian Revolution was not entirely bloodless; over three hundred protestors were killed by the hated police in the early days of the protests. But the protestors did not turn back and soon there were just too many protestors for the dreaded police to kill them all. When the Army was called in to restore order, the Egyptian soldiers refused to attack their own people whom they were pledged to protect.

I have often pondered what America’s own soldiers would do if they were called out to quell protests for democracy by their own American people. Unfortunately, my memory recalls American soldiers firing on and killing American college students who were protesting President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia, on the Kent State University campus, during the 1970 Kent State Massacre.

Indeed, the Egyptian Revolution is an event of inspiration to be admired globally. God bless Egyptian revolutionaries and God Bless the American democratic Republic.

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