We have spent last Friday and this past weekend glued to our
TV’s, pasted to the internet with mass anxiety rising like a Saturn rocket from
it’s launch pad, and the news from Egypt is so bad that adjectives fail.  Mubarak, the now embattled BeAll&EndAll of Egypt’s government
for several decades; the lynchpin to keeping the peace between Egypt and our
closest Middle East ally, Israel, and; the recipient of annual Billions of US
aid (from my taxpayer pocket and yours, too) and our very best weaponry, is now
a Dead Man Walking, or so say the many TV Talking Heads and cyber-pundits.  Did I forget to mention that he was also a
brutal dictator (sorry Joe Biden, you got that one wrong), employing his
dreaded security police (no over-used Nazi comparisons here, folks) to torture
and intimidate – until they all disappeared at some point Friday (our time),
leaving the most educated populace in the Middle East to literally fend for
themselves with knives and clubs to protect their loved ones and property.  Gun control advocates, please take note of
what happens when chaos descends on civilized society – we can all recall the
’92 LA Riots, where similar things happened and whole neighborhoods, like my
own hillside one, were left without police and fire protection for a couple of
days – Police and Fire Dept. officers came door to door to tell us to keep our
weapons handy if we had any because we were on our own.

The sheer fright factor here cannot be over-emphasized.  If you think I am overstating what is going
on in Egypt, you haven’t been paying attention.

And, the US is literally caught between a rock and a hard
place, between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. 
Mubarak has kept Eqypt’s peace with Israel – that is essential to the
stability of our ally, and, indeed, the whole region – and he has done it at
the cost of open ostracism from his Arab brother nations (behind closed doors, not
as much, as we know from recently WikiLeak-ed State Dept. documents.)  For the first week of Egypt’s uprising, it thankfully
did not seem directed against the US – it was strictly the voice of the people,
screaming at the tops of their collective lungs, that it is now high time for
Mubarak to ‘hit the road, Jack.’   The turning of anger toward the US can now be
seen on the protesters’ signs over the weekend – as the incredible, almost
unbelievable Video coverage of the carnage in the streets has overwhelmed
viewers with the stomach to stay with it. 
The scene of that horribly wounded man, literally passing out all over journalist
Richard Engel, bravely reporting from the streets with so many others, is

What comes next for Egypt? 
Does the Muslim Brotherhood now come to the forefront – they usually
work behind the scenes; but their chances have now never been better.  Does some Ayatollah rise up to create another
Islamo-Fascist state, like we saw in Iran in 1979?  Or, does Egypt somehow find its way to learning
how to democratize itself?  It has an
awesomely sophisticated and educated segment of its population.

I have a personal stake – my son is working in Dubai for a
couple of months for his international law firm out of one of their 3 UAE
offices right now.  His email has not
been cut off, because he tells me, his worried father, that Dubai and the UAE
are another world away from Egypt – but, not so Jordan, where the street
protests have begun, and where he also lived for 6 months, doing graduate study
in Arabic in Amman, at U of Jordan, back in 2005.  When my son left for Jordan, it had been
considered the safest of all the Arab countries.  As soon as he arrived, at the start of the
month-long daylight fast of Ramadan, he and his classmates figured out that the
only place to eat or drink while the sun was up (and, it is HOT there!) were
the three American hotels downtown.  The
three which were then bombed that Fall, leaving us unable to contact our son
for half an anguished day after – he was fine.

Al Jazeera’s reporting on the Egyptian convulsion, my son tells
me, is far different from what we are seeing. 
As of Sunday morning, as I write, Egypt just closed down Al Jazeera’s
offices in Cairo.  This revolution, like
the attempted one in Iran some months back, was fueled, coordinated, and
strategized through the use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) – as I
wrote previously here on F&HD, look for more and more of that, as this year

So, now, do we watch other Arab nations collapse and fall
apart as their populations flood the streets also screaming and howling: "I’m
Mad as Hell and I’m Not Gonna Take it Anymore!!!"?  Or, does the military crush this resistance
this time, as the Chinese did in Tiananmen Square, and the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard did so recently?  
When a nation keeps its foot firmly planted on the neck of it’s people,
educated or not, eventually, things get so bad that they have nothing;
therefore, they have nothing to lose.  Nothing
is more dangerous to a government, which must, in the end, govern with the
consent of the governed, sooner or later. 
The recent Tunisian revolution, which some say sparked Eqypt’s massive
social and political heart attack, began when a street vendor again lost his
license and could not work or feed himself or others depending on him – he set
himself aflame and Tunisia’s entire government soon crashed and burned.

We continue to live in interesting times, as the old Chinese
proverb goes.  We all knew that the Arab
street and the many hundreds of millions of Arabs, so many in their teens and
twenties with no hopes of jobs or freedom, would not sit idly by forever.  Now, we get to watch history being made in
the Arab world, because most of the tyrannical leaders waited way, way too long
to face their own threats of internal convulsion.  Turn on your TV, and watch Egypt paying the