Statement on Egypt

Submitted by kvaughn on Fri, 01/28/2011 - 01:00

It is gut-wrenching to see the violence occurring in Egypt. America should always support those who are interested in establishing constitutional republics that protect the rights of all individuals. Unfortunately, it is unclear that the current protests in Egypt represent this type of movement.

While the current movement in Egypt is easily portrayed as a movement of the people against an unelected government, there is ample reason to be concerned. In short, the current unrest could just as easily turn into "mob rule" rather than a constitutional republic. Before supporting this particular movement, we must first identify the leaders of this movement and understand what they are promoting.

If the leaders are unwilling to identify themselves, we should be very concerned. While identifying themselves puts their lives at risk, true leaders should be willing to take this risk. This was what our founding fathers did with the Declaration of Independence. In fact, leaders of such movements are usually known by their allies - if we do not know who the leaders are, they likely are not our friends.

Further, if the leaders are unwilling to lay out their goals and vision, we should also be concerned. This suggests that the leaders are likely hiding their true intents. History has demonstrated that many leaders of uprisings will grab power at the right point and institute their own dictatorship. We need to look no further than Cuba to see such an example.

Finally, we must ensure that their goals and vision are compatible with our values. If they are unwilling to respect the rights of minorities within their society, we should not support their movement. This does not mean that they have to adopt all of our American views, but they must at least respect natural law human rights.

In short, the current government in Egypt leaves much to be desired, but it is unclear that the current uprising offers a better solution. Until we receive definitive information about what this movement is, the United States should remain a neutral observer.