Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Obama Has Blown It Again

So, I'm a bit cranky today. A bit of a hangover after celebrating a friend's birthday. I'm getting too old for weekday partying.

However, like most people, I have an opinion about the Egypt situation, which fortunately was formed before I went drinking last night.

Regardless of how the Egypt situation plays out in the long run, America lost a golden opportunity. By playing 'fence' politics, Obama has made sure that once again, we're on the side of self-interest. Only this time, it's not going to pay off.

If Mubarak somehow retains power and keeps his position, the Egyptian people will be seriously pissed. His government is already inextricably tied to the U.S. and the people of the Middle East won't forget that.

On the flip side, if he's ousted, the U.S. has done themselves no favors by essentially sitting on the sidelines. Most of the goodwill and influence we had in the region through Mubarak will be lost. The new government might be democratic, but it won't matter if they feel they can't trust America.

And really, why should they? We profess to promote democracies around the world but what we really promote are leaders we can control. It doesn't really matter what packaging they throw on their regime, so long as the White House can manipulate them.

But the times, they are a-changin'. In the 21st century, I don't believe those tactics will fly any longer. In the age of smart phone globalism, passivity is no longer something that can hide in the shadows. As the U.S. tucks it's tail between it's legs and bows its head, every Egyptian citizen is taking notice.

No comments: