Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt: Be Decisive - Now!

Let’s see, maybe I should, uh, well I don’t know, possibly, .....Don’t want to do the wrong thing here....

Obama doesn’t want to be wrong, so he sits indecisively on the sidelines, ostensibly to see who wins and then try to make friends. Either that or he doesn’t want to anger anyone. The problem with this strategy, of course, is each side is asking for his (our) support. Whichever side “wins” will say we didn’t support them. With that policy, we will probably emerge only slightly damaged if Mubarak retains control. If, however, some other group gains control, we lose big time.

(In fact, one of the front runners, somebody named El-Bareidi, is already saying the US has not supported the “people” to his satisfaction. Not to imply that I support this El-Bareidi guy or not - that is essentially irrelevant to the argument.)

Right now we need to ask and answer two questions;

-Most importantly, who is likely to win; and

-Secondly, who do we want to win.

If we can affect who wins (inexpensively) fine. We decide who we want and do what we have to do. If we can’t affect who wins, then we pick who we think will win, and side with them. Pick the winner. Or in this case, don’t pick the loser.

I will be the first to admit I can’t answer those questions. It appears to me, however, it is easy to pick the loser - Mubarak.

Therefore, this should be Mr. Obama’s statement:

“Mr. Mubarak, it is time you step down. You should either promise to provide fair elections monitored by the international community to elect a successor, or just leave entirely and turn the country over to the military while a new government is formed. We believe the people of Egypt have spoken and indicated their wish to form a new government. We appreciate your assistance in helping to keep Middle East peace, and we will continue to support and aid Egypt if your successor continues with a similar foreign policy. We do not want to push ourselves onto the Egyptian people, and we want them to build their own future. However, if we can assist you or your military in accomplishing the above, we stand by ready to help. The will of the people should always comes first. It is time you honored that.

And to the people of Egypt - we stand with you, and ask that you seek a peaceful, non-violent transition, and form a government that will reflect the diversity of your multitude of cultures and religions. Our thoughts will be with you during these troubled times.”

By the way, you have my permission to use the above statement.

Okay, it’s somewhat wimpy, but here’s the point. Dimes to doughnuts, Mubarak is soon gone. We probably can’t, at this time, pick the winner. But we can sure as heck pick the loser and distance ourselves from him.

What Mr, Obama doesn’t yet understand is that his job, President of the United States, is largely a job of crisis management, not philosophizing and analyzing ad nauseum what is the best move, and coming up with something brilliant like “We encourage both sides to exercise restraint.”

This is not a “win-win,” situation, or even a “win-lose.” It is either a “break even - lose” or a “lose - lose” situation. Making a decision here designates it as the former, not making one encourages the latter.

Mr. Obama, I believe there is no chance for Mubarak to come out on top, thus the award-winning speech above. I don’t, however, have access to the intel you have. That and the fact that I’m not the POTUS means that I can’t make the decision. Therefore, it is up to you to make the decision.

Now make one.

Mercer Tyson

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