I found this picture while watching a Yahoo! Slideshow. This illustrates how long Mubarak has been in power using US Presidents – from Reagan to Obama. The fact that there is even a sign like this irritates the non-interventionist in me.
Our reaction to this revolution will be the true test of our passion for democracy and freedom. It’s easy to support the democratic aspirations of a country like Tunisia, where we have no vested interest. Egypt is a different story.
The response so far shows this difference. VP Biden does not believe that Mubarak is a dictator and should not step down. Secretary of State Clinton believes there should be a transition to democracy but warns that whoever takes over should represent the majority, unlike what happened in Iran 30 years ago.
Can’t we support Mubarak and the people? I would argue no. Egyptians are making it clear that they want Mubarak out. They don’t want the possible successor he chose. Changing the cabinet did not appease them either. It looks like the Egyptians want a complete government do-over where they get to choose who their leader in a real, fair election.
If they’re successful, this may affect the stability of the region and the peace treaty with Israel. So be it. Those of us who truly value democracy and freedom will support the Egyptian people in the quest for theirs. The struggle for democracy and freedom is messy and not without consequence. We just have to look at our own history.