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Egypt's Lesson for America

Thomas Whitley

Today in Egypt there are an estimated 2 million people in Cairo's Tahrir Square (fittingly meaning Liberation Square in English). The numbers are smaller in other cities such as Alexandria and Suez, though they still number in the hundreds of thousands. The images are amazing. The unity of the Egyptian people is remarkable. I, for one, am inspired by these protests and mainly because the consistent message from the protestors is that they want to demonstrate peacefully, that they want to democratically elect a president. Simply put, they want freedom and they are working in very mature manners (for the most part) to have their demands met.

So, what is the lesson for America in all of this? The world doesn't need us to give them democracy. They are willing to seek it for themselves. We are not the holders of democracy. We have seen this in Tunisia, in Sudan, in Egypt, in Jordan, and maybe soon in Syria. And what's more, America has refused to this point to support the demands of the protestors. Now, I do understand the tight rope that the US has to walk in this situation. They cannot call for the ouster of Mubarak and then have him stay in office and make relations very bad. America does have to take a stand at some point, though.

Court Greene asked a very good question this morning:

So, America, are you going to be pro democracy or just pro democracy for us?