Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More on the Revolution in Egypt

Some of the news reports and blogs that I have read have praised the so-called "success" of the revolution in Egypt in forcing Hosni Mubarak to step down. What many are failing to realize however is that thus far one cannot count this as a success for democracy because Mubarak simply handed power over to the Egyptian Armed Forces. Sure, the Egyptian military says it will rule for only six months and then attempt to form some sort of process that supposedly will lead to a democratic government but as history has shown time and time again it is indeed a rare event for a military in power to do such. Plus, again as history has demonstrated, revolutions have a way of transforming into reigns of terror and/or pure chaos. So a bit of restraint I think is called for before we start getting ahead of ourselves and proclaiming this a success for democracy in the Middle East. In addition, I've also seen many praising President Obama for his handling of this crisis when actually I think his vacillation has exhibited a lack of foreign policy experience that I was initially worried about when he was running for President. Now personally I like President Obama (plus he is technically my boss at the moment), but I don't think this has been one of his finest moments. The international historian Niall Ferguson elaborates on this further than I'm able to do at the moment:

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