Let’s hear it for Mahatma Gandhi! Let’s hear it for the power of passive resistance! Let’s sit in a circle and go “Ohhhmmmm” for the rest of the day. And then let’s try to figure out what really happened in Egypt.
One minute the country’s military brass were threatening to enforce Mubarak’s tyrannical rule; the next they were sending him packing.
What precipitated such a dramatic about-face?
I would like to think that if enough people peacefully refuse to accept the authority of a despot, the people will prevail. After all, the early Christians prevailed through their ability to accept persecution and return good for evil. The continent of India is independent today because of Gandhi’s philosophy of passive resistance.
I would like to be persuaded that in the bright spotlight of the modern media – international television, Facebook, Twitter and so on – Egyptian army leaders could not bring themselves to gun down thousands of their own people.
If only the same thing had happened in Iran.
So what was the essential difference between the two protests?
My guess is American influence.
After all, the Egyptian military is fundamentally American – funded by U.S. tax dollars, trained in the U.S., in constant communication with their U.S. counterparts and with a thousand U.S. troops shoulder to shoulder with them over there…
I wonder whether someone in the Obama Administration whispered in the ear of someone high up in the Egyptian military.
If that’s what happened, I would have to say the billions spent in “foreign aid” to Egypt was worth it, after all. I would have to say that President Obama showed some backbone. I would have to say bravo to the Americans.
I would even have to revise my jaundiced view of American foreign policy.
But then, I could be wrong – again. It could indeed be Gandhi who brought about the peaceful revolution in Egypt. Not Uncle Sam.