[Updates at the bottom]
Egypt has sent out the army to the streets of Cairo with reports of gun-battles and deaths everywhere. Media sources are reporting 870 wounded, but this can’t be confirmed as of now.
How important are the events occurring in Egypt today in reference to the United States? Very important.
Any person of history understands that in the 20th and 21st century, how Egypt goes, goes the Middle East. The most distinguished Islamic university is located in Cairo and militant Islamic organizations such as Al-Qaeda are off-shoots from the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist Muslim organization based in Egypt seeking to return to the days of Muhammad.
The very same Muslim Brotherhood has joined in the protests against the Egyptian government adding to an already volatile and fluid scene.
How ironic that President Muburak, a liberal autocrat relative to the Middle East, is in a precarious situation. Egyptians everywhere have ignited with blind resolve inspired by the fall of Marhaba Ben Ali, the dictator of what was considered the most European, ie, stable country, of all Islamic nations-Tunisia.
Egyptians have been chanting for the death of the “pharaoh”, an Egyptian epitaph used against those whom they despise in power. Prominent Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei made a hasty return to Egypt confidently asking for Mubarak to relinquish power in Egypt.
The situation has become so unstable that Mubarak’s own children have already fled the country.
As all this materializes we have a weak and ineffective liberal American president that failed to back the will of the Iranian people as that militant Islamic regime crushed a popular uprising. Which shows that President Obama is without a spine and a moral compass when it comes to crisis situations.
The Obama administration must take action now to manage the revolution occurring on the streets of Cairo and back a moderate or another liberal leader. Doing this will almost ensure that the Muslim Brotherhood does not come into power and impose an extremist Islamic regime that would dwarf that of Tehran in brutality.
Can I say this is President Carter all over again with the fall of the Shah?
Unlike Iran, Egypt is the leader of the Middle East and what happens in Egypt will not do well for Europe or the United States with a nuclear armed Iran and Pakistan nearby, we are looking at what Samuel P. Huntington foresaw. An actual nuclear clash of civilizations.
Update I: Dramatic video of protesters and police clashing in Egypt.
Update II: Live streaming video of news on the disturbances in Egypt here.