drink the sweet feeling of the colour zero

So…Egypt, eh?

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There seems to be a lot of fuss in the United States right now over Egypt.  In case you have been living under a rock, Egypt has been busy tearing itself apart as the citizens (millions of them) have taken to the streets in an costly effort to oust a dictatorship that has clung to power for 30 years.

Egypt’s current dictator is a major US ally.  The largest organised opposition to him at the moment is the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that would frankly be exceptionally bad news for anyone who doesn’t believe the same things they do.  While I understand the conundrum from a strategic and military standpoint, I simply cannot grasp at all how there is the remotest hint of a question who “we” (the nations of the western world) should be supporting.

The answer is as obvious as the nose on our collective face: “we” should be supporting the Egyptian people.  Yes, they may vote in a hostile government.  They may even vote in a government that is worse to the Egyptian people than the dictator they currently have.  That is not the point.  It is all irrelevant.  Democracy is a fundamental human right.  The Egyptian people have a right to choose their own destiny; a right to make mistakes – or not – as they themselves see fit.

We should not be fiddling while Egypt burns, making grand proclamations and televised overtures.  We should in fact be sending government representatives into the throng of protesters gathered in Tahrir square with only one question on their lips:  “how can we help?”  We need to be prepared to accept that if the answer is “stay the hell out of our way,” then it is our moral and ethical duty to do exactly that.

From a selfish standpoint, I would prefer it if Egypt didn’t vote in a government that wants to see me either converted or killed…but I would still defend to the death their human right to do so, if this is what they choose.   It is what being Canadian means.  It is supposed to be what being a citizen of any country that supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is about.  This isn’t about me, or you, or anyone put the people fighting for their freedom.  Freedom that isn’t merely what they “deserve”…it’s theirs by right.

Anyone who wouldn’t stand up to defend that right – even knowing the end result holds the possibility of not being in “our” favour – does not know what either freedom nor democracy mean.  Countries and persons do not deserve democracy only when the make the “right” decisions, or when the outcome is favourable to the western world.  Countries and persons deserve democracy and freedom because it is their right.  Inalienable.  Unassailable.  Who they vote for is simply none of our damned business.

Egypt, if we can help…let us know how.  In the meantime; good luck.

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