Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A613-W377

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A613-W377


Release Date: February 12, 2011



Topic: Egypt's Revolution -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:埃及的革命 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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Egypt's Revolution

-- Wei Jingsheng



Egyptian people gathered in their Tiananmen Square for more than half a month.  The situation developed so fast that the dictator Hosni Mubarak had to step down.  Mubarak was the longest reigning dictator of Egypt since its independence.  The ones preceding him all died of assassination and military coups.  One of the reasons that he could last for such a long time is because he was very good at using the special relation between Israel and the U.S. to get military aid and others.  He did this by playing a balance between the Arabs and Israel.  Once he lost the support of the United States, he could only step down.


Will the situation in Egypt be sunny and peaceful from now on?  We cannot be so optimistic yet.   Hosni Mubarak arranged for his cronies to take over the power.  Due to the influence of Israel, the U.S. government was not so supportive of the Egyptian people.  The security of Israel is placed above the interests of the people of Egypt.  Yet, the largest coherent anti-government force in Egypt is the religious group called the Muslim Brotherhood.  This situation is inevitably reminiscent of Iran's Islamic revolution.  That revolution created a religious extremist regime which is a headache for the whole world.


The situation now is a little like riding on the back of a tiger.  Rationally, the Egyptians' pursuit of democracy should be supported, especially since this revolution is not a matter in the future, but is already in progress.  However, if it brings a result even worse than the military dictatorship, should this revolution still be supported?  While the major Western countries face this uncertainty, the dilemma is they must make the choice immediately.  This dilemma is the main reason for the policy swings by the Obama administration in the pas more than half a month.


To be against the Egyptian people's revolution is an impossible choice.  The Egyptian people will not accept that choice, and the American people will not accept it either.  So the American politicians must take this basic fact into consideration.  The Obama administration has been trying to seek an adequate compromise in the past more than half month with its policy swings.  In their view and the view of Israel, a Mubarak's government without Mubarak is the safest choice.  But is this the real reality?  We could try to see if one could get an Egyptian government that meets Israel's needs for its security with the strong support of the U.S.


From the Israelis point of view, they might feel that a fragile Arabic government which has to rely on the support of the United States and the West will also have to safeguard Israel's security.  This is the pattern of the past half-century.  Together with oil, Israel is the root cause for the West support for authoritarian Arab regimes.  These authoritarian regimes survive on such an approach as well.  But the Islamic Revolution in Iran broke this pattern.  Not only couldn't the U.S. protect the Shah of Iran, further, the Iran Revolution produced a religious extremist regime that is extremely anti-American, an enemy that is dedicated to make troubles for the U.S. and its allies for a very long time.


Why is this so?  That is because when a totalitarian regime is abandoned by its people, there are at least two options: to walk toward democracy or to a new dictatorship.  The Western democracy has a basic flaw:  its short-term behavior.  Generally, it is less concerned about long-term goals, so there is no attempt to cultivate a country's democratic forces.  In comparison, the local religion has both the traditional social, cultural, and psychological advantages and the funding, thus it becomes the most likely one to enjoy the fruit after the revolution.


This time, the revolution in Egypt has similar issues.  This revolution was launched by many non-religious young people.  The cause of the uprising was not religious.  But in this revolution, the group that is most capable of organizing is the Muslim Brotherhood, which leads to the concern of repeating the road of Iran.  So after more than half month of hesitation, the choice was to go back where it was, to continue a Mubarak regime without Mubarak.


Are the Egyptian people against President Hosni Mubarak as an individual?  Yes, and no.  What they were against was the dictatorial regime of Mubarak, with its corrupt police security.  Will they accept a Mubarak regime without Mubarak?  Of course not.  A new dictator who holds the power of the military and has the support of the U.S. might be stable for a period of time.  However, after people re-assemble themselves, it could be another Iran where even the U.S. could not protect a dictatorial regime abandoned by the people.  When a peaceful revolution is not successful, a violent revolution is hard to avoid.  The people's desire will be difficult stop.  Even without democracy, people are not willing to tolerate autocratic rule.  Didn't the Europeans and Americans have their own share of revolution history just like that?


Therefore, the declared goal of the Obama administration now is not a Mubarak-style government with long-term stability, but a government transition to democracy.  Unfortunately, this might likely be a goal that cannot be achieved.  The problem lies in a new dictator who will not only want to be a transitional bridge according to the wishes of the Americans.  Once he has the power, he will not want to give up the opportunity to be a dictator.  He will have plenty of time to find new supporters.  In this world, it is not only the USA and Israel could supporting dictators.  In addition, the American people and the Jewish people do not like dictators.  So when a government is engaging in foreign policy against its fundamental values, it will be in such a relatively powerless situation.


A wrong decision of the Obama Administration will give an excellent opportunity for the Chinese Communist Party to intervene in Arabic and Middle East affairs.  Once the Chinese Communist Party gets involved, we could predict what kind of consequences there will be.  In the past, the Chinese Communists did not have enough strength, so they could only scratch the surface without the depth they wanted.  But now the Communist Party not only has both money and guns, it will soon get the most advanced weapons technology from the West.  There is no comparison between now and the past.  Therefore, we can expect that the world will enter a new era of instability, even a regression.  The democratic trend since the World War II will enter the most difficult period because of the shortsighted policy of the Westerners.


From the height of the democratic tide of the Reagan era, it took just a little more than two decades for the slide to the current situation.  From economics to politics, the West is in full regression.   We Chinese must give some deep thoughts to this lesson.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's commentary, please visit:



(Written on February 10, recorded on Feb. 11, 2011.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A613-W377

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A613-W377


Release Date: February 12, 2011



Topic: Egypt's Revolution -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:埃及的革命 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生




































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