The Egyptians have fought valiantly, having thrown out Mubarak and giving power to the military. But it turns out that the Egyptian military is well-controlled by the U.S., as it was the Americans that financed and trained them. It is estimated that the U.S. has given the Egyptian army about $40 billion. So the Egyptians, whether they know it or not, have given considerable power to the U.S. during the revolution. In Latin America and other parts of the world, giving more power to a military body that relies on the U.S. would have meant a huge step backward. That’s why this situation will have to change soon, in favor of the Egyptians. And the best thing that can happen to the U.S. and the E.U. this time is that they will be the facilitators of progress.
The Egyptians deserve a transparent and easy transition toward democracy; the U.S. has to be careful not to be associated with the Egyptian military, but rather with the democratic forces that, hopefully, will take over. The U.S. should also try to avoid the emergence of the other Mubarak, a military man like Hugo Chávez who, after trying to take power by military means, traded his uniform for civilian clothes and came to power, but governed as a soldier. The Egyptians, the U.S., Obama and Clinton can all gain something from this revolution, but there are still many obstacles to overcome.
After the failure that was the attempt of promoting democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. has the opportunity to do well in Egypt. It can spend much less money on this project: a few billion dollars compared to a billion spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stabilization can be found in Egypt and thus prevent the rise of terrorist groups like Hamas that could arise as a result of discontent. Egypt can become what Iraq never became. Egypt is still one of the poorest countries per capita and it urgently needs money to stabilize it. What the government should now do is prevent food shortages and ensure the supply of basic necessities to all its people. Help from the U.S. and the E.U. will be needed to carry this out.
Obama can do in Egypt what the Neocons tried to accomplish, without success, in Iraq. Aid to Egypt in these times will surely be recognized worldwide. As we all want to do our part as things calm down, we can start thinking about traveling to Egypt on vacation. Apart from visiting a beautiful country, we can help our own economy a little.