Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak took to the airwaves to publicly state he will
not seek the office of the presidency anymore, thus ending over three decades of
rule. There is a reason Mubarak enjoyed such a lengthy tenure, and he has the United
States to thank in some small measure.
Let’s not kid ourselves. It was in our national interest to have Mubarak in power. His government, no matter how flawed and sometimes oppressive, was predictable, which is a rare commodity in the Middle East. In many respects, Egypt was an oasis of calm in an otherwise tumultuous part of the world. And we have Mubarak to thank, in part, for that relative peace.
Now a greater force is calling — one of democracy. And the American president and parties on both sides are applauding these protests.
But who exactly will fill this political vacuum created by Mubarak’s departure? Are we so sure? Does the State Department know who can and will capably step in and restore some semblance of order? More importantly, will the people of Egypt recognize this new leader, or will we be back to square one, with more riots in the streets and more unrest?
The answers to these questions are less clear. But one thing is certain, the world must be wary of the Muslim Brotherhood. This faction is a radical, extremist group that is both well-organized in the country and has many followers. No one is alleging they have terrorist tendencies ... yet. But should they somehow ascend one of their own to power, we could be facing a “democratic solution” with dire consequences.
Now the Obama administration’s job becomes even tougher. They must in some small way engage in a little bit of nation-building to ensure peace is restored. This president has done a nice job of walking the line of diplomacy in this complicated part of the world. And he has done so with grace — American-style.
It’s reassuring that some parts of the world still look to the U.S. as a voice of reason. We should leverage that respect and use it as an opportunity to sow even stronger ties within the region.
But first things first — make sure the Muslim Brotherhood is not the head of this new government.
Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.