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“Let us remember that revolutions don’t always establish freedom. Our own free institutions were not the product of our revolution, but rather the inspiration for it!” –Millard Filmore, 13th President, reprisal by Editor
Egypt - Is this a Peaceful Revolution Leading to Democracy or Can We be Realistic?
By Scott Rohter, February 2011 (Updated August 2013)
These are all places where so called “people’s democratic revolutions” began in order to overthrow a despotic regime, and where these democratic revolutions were later hijacked by authoritarian forces even worse than the original governments that they sought to overthrow.
The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 initially replaced the authoritarian regime of Czar Nicolas II with a weak provisional government headed by Alexandr Kerensky, and then later with a stronger government headed by Vladimar Lenin. After Lenin’s death in 1924, “the man of steel” Joseph Stalin climbed to power over the resistance of all those who opposed him. Many Russians died at the hands of this bloody dictator. If the Russian Revolution began as an earnest desire for reform by the peasants under Czar Nicholas' authoritarian rule, it ended up in the dictatorship of an even worse tyrant than he was, Joseph Stalin, and the brutal murders or forced imprisonment of anyone who was opposed to his brutal brand of socialism. (Communism)
In China, armed conflict had been going on ever since World War I primarily because the Japanese saw mainland China as a great prize to be had for the taking, but the real battle for power in China began in earnest in the vacuum that was left by the defeat of the Japanese forces at the end of World War II. This started with the withdrawal of Japanese troops from the Chinese mainland. There were two main opposition forces in China at that time which had grudgingly co-operated with each other in order to oust the Imperial Japanese Army from their homeland, but after the Japanese forces withdrew, they fought bitterly with each other for the ultimate prize which was control of China.
The Chinese Nationalists were led by Sun Yat Sen, until his death in 1925. After his death, Chiang Kai Shek became the leader of the Nationalist Party. They wanted to establish a constitutional republic on the Chinese mainland. Opposing them were the Chinese Communists led by Mao Tse Tung. Their goal was the complete restructuring of Chinese society. As with the Russian revolution, the stronger and better armed side prevailed, and America did not do everything that we could have done in order to empower the forces of democracy that were led by Chiang Kai Shek. On the other hand Joseph Stalin was very eager to help the Chinese Communists under their leader Mao Tse Tung. So the Chinese peasants who yearned to be free of their Japanese overlords, were instead enslaved by one of their own, a native son named Mao Tse Tung. The Communist Revolution that he launched in China continued even after he defeated the Nationalists and they fled to the tiny island of Taiwan in 1949. The Chinese Cultural Revolution was still being fought as recently as the 1960s.
“Justice deferred is justice denied.” Many Chinese were killed, murdered, or imprisoned in forced re-education camps by Mao and his followers in order to tame the Chinese yearning to be free in the years following the defeat of the Japanese, and during the Cultural Revolution that followed. It is still going on in some cases in China today for any individual who somehow manages to escape the standard conformity of enforced social engineering. For the real tough nuts to crack, there is always the prospect of a jail cell awaiting them as the Nobel Prize winning pro-democracy leader, Liu Xiaobo found out.
In Cuba between 1933 and 1959, Fulgencio Batista had been in and out of power several times. By the time that Fidel Castro mounted his armed revolt in 1959 I am sure that the people of Cuba wanted their freedom too, and reform, but what they got instead of freedom was a Communist dictator who did not permit an open and fair election for 52 years. When Fidel Castro finally stepped down several years ago in poor health, he handed over the “keys to the island jailhouse” to his younger brother Raul. Does this sound like freedom?
In my last example which is Iran, thirty years after the Ayatollah Khomeini took over that country, and hijacked their democratic revolution, the Iranian people still have to look over their shoulder to see who is listening before they begin talking.
What I am saying is this. Just because the people of Egypt want to be free, and they deserve to be free, and we would all like to see them be free, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be given their freedom. All of their hopes and prayers, and all of our empathizing and sympathizing will not help to bring it about either. The Middle East is a tough neighborhood and the toughest guy over there usually wins, not the most well intentioned man or the most well respected man. Mohamed ElBaradei wouldn't last one day in a real struggle for power with the Muslim Brotherhood. The most brutal ruthless killers will prevail there, like Stalin, Mao, Castro, or Khomeini, and not the best dressed or the best spoken among them.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization that spawned Al Qaeda and Hamas. They assassinated Anwar Sadat because he signed a peace treaty with Israel. They are listed as a terrorist organization by Russia. They have been suppressed and outlawed at times in Egypt because they want to establish an Islamist government there. They advocate the destruction of Israel. If they ever gain power in Egypt they will try to cut off the oil supply to Israel through the Suez Canal. That would directly threaten the security of Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t have to be a majority of Egyptians in order to seize power. Only a small minority of Germans actually supported Adolf Hitler when he assumed power in Germany. The same thing was true for Lenin in Russia. The clear favorite in Russia was Trotsky, but that didn’t matter.
There is an old quote usually attributed to Joseph Stalin. “I don’t care how many votes I get. All I care about is who is counting the votes!” The sheer number of votes, or the masses of people that support someone or something means almost nothing. It’s the organization that counts. It’s often said that only 20% of the American colonists actually supported our American Revolution. Yet we still prevailed with a vocal and determined minority, even though we were going up against the greatest military force the world had ever known, and a full 80% percent of our own people didn’t even support the effort. Another very timely illustration of Stalin’s quote is President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel resigning from his post at the White House in order to run as a candidate for mayor of the City of Chicago. Remember what Stalin said. It doesn’t matter how many people vote. It only matters who counts those votes. One person in control of the ballot box can easily render a lot of votes perfectly irrelevant. One person in control of the Muslim Brotherhood can easily dispose of a lot of peaceful Egyptians yearning to be free. The Muslim Brotherhood is a well organized terrorist force, and they are not too picky about where they get their money and arms from. They are well funded by both Saudi Arabia and Iran who are enemies of each other. With this funding they can buy a lot of guns and bullets, and they can buy off a lot of bad guys who are willing to use them, to advance their Islamic cause.
What is going on in Egypt is not an American style revolution, like our War for Independence. First of all there is no Declaration of Independence. And there are no Patrick Henrys or George Washingtons around. There are only a lot of unemployed Egyptian youths standing in the streets instead of looking for work, and supposedly they are dreaming of what it would be like to be free. There are other groups and organizations that are trying to use them, and rise to power on their backs. I think these unemployed Egyptians are dreaming of what it would be like to actually have some money in their pockets. Freedom is a concept I don't think they fully understand yet or even care about. What they probably want is a good job and the economic prosperity that goes with it. They are looking for a leader who will help them get that. And behind the scenes the Muslim Brotherhood is lurking, just waiting to expand their influence. In my opinion that is a recipe for disaster.
Sure enough as I am writing this, there have been reports in the news of a natural gas pipeline explosion and a fire raging out of control in the Northern Sinai Desert near the border with Israel. That pipeline supplies Israel with natural gas. I wonder if that has anything at all to do with the so called “peaceful revolution” that is raging in Cairo. But all of the newspaper photos just show photos of angry Egyptian youths slugging it out on the streets. Why would a natural gas pipeline explosion in the Sinai Desert have anything at all to do with what is going on in the streets of Cairo? Well, first of all because it has been determined that this natural gas pipeline explosion was an act of terrorism, and secondly because provocateurs in both of these events... the pipeline explosion in the Sinai, and the street demonstrations going on in Cairo, are one and the same. Their goals are the same. The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal is the destabilization of the Egyptian government and the termination its the peace treaty with Israel. And their long-term goal is the total elimination of the State of Israel. It always has been and it always will be.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been trying to remain in the background until now, but all of a sudden it is using the bedlam on the streets of Cairo and the current instability of the Egyptian government to strike at its most important target, Israel. If President Obama does not immediately stop calling for Hosni Mubarak to resign, he will further assist in the de-stabilization of Eqypt. Now after seeing this pipeline explode in Sinai, and learning of the assassination attempt on the life of Egyptian Vice President Sulemain, this should give President Obama pause for thought. He should immediately stop calling for the resignation of Hosni Mubarak or it will become increasingly clear that our President wants to use the current instability in the Middle East to force Israel to cut a quick deal with the Palestinians that is not in their best interests. This would only be to enhance his own personal legacy.
"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter