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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 05.19.11
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

Arab Democracy

It is wonderful that we have the "Arab Spring" and democracy is erupting all over the Middle East. Egypt, the largest Arab country had an exciting revolution, as seen on television, and forced President Mubarak to resign on February 11, 2011. "Power to the People." <> The protestors who made the revolution appeared to include young and old and male and female. Also, Egypt's eight million Copts (ten percent of the population) were represented and it was pretty peaceful. The revolution was assisted by the Egyptian army, which decided not to kill the protesters as is being done in Syria.

However, events do not indicate a peaceful transition to a new form of Arab democracy. (Diversion -- There are no Arab democracies. Every Arab state is run by a monarch or a dictator and dissent is forcefully suppressed. Lebanon is no exception.)

Since Mubarak resigned at least 30 people have been killed and 450 injured by violence between Muslims and Copts and several churches have been destroyed. The military and police have stood by at the scene and let this violence happen. Further, the new military government has released militant Islamists from prison, including a member of the group that murdered Anwar Sadat. The extremists are calling for an Islamic state.

What will be the outcome of the Arab Spring in Egypt? From America's point of view; a stable and relatively benign dictatorship, if we are lucky. The alternatives are an Islamic state, a la Iran or very weak government with a long period of internal violence among various factions, which spills over into its neighbors, a la Lebanon.

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