Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak Resigns!

Shortly after 11:00 a.m. Eastern time today, CNN reported that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak had resigned. Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced on state television that Mubarak had left power and that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would run the affairs of the country. Demonstrators who have spent the past 18 days protesting in cities across Egypt thus achieved their goal.

I am delighted that Mubarak has stepped down, and I am also curious as to what the future holds for Egypt. Let's hope that a just and democratic future awaits the Egyptian people. They've certainly earned it.

During the past 18 days, voices from the far-right and Religious Right have been reflecting on conditions in Egypt. Conservative Christian news sites such as OneNewsNow and CBN posted articles on Mubarak's departure with a positive or neutral tone. However, other right-wing and Religious Right commentators have been less than enthusiastic about events in Egypt.

Some right-wing commentators focus on the U.S. government's sudden chilliness to a former ally. In a commentary at World Net Daily, Pat Buchanan mused on the U.S.'s abandonment of Mubarak when he lost his grip on power. In other cases, he argued, the U.S. had cooperated with other autocrats in the past, only to reject them and label them as dictators when they faced resistance. On February 10th, while speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington D.C., former senator Rick Santorum criticized the Obama administration for siding with the Egyptian demonstrators instead of Mubarak, a long-time ally. This, Santorum claimed, sends a mixed message to the world about America's loyalties.

Other right-wing commentators are worrying about the the role that the Muslim Brotherhood (a radical Islamic group based in Egypt) will play in Egypt's future government. During today's edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Michael Scheuer claimed that the Egyptian government after Mubarak's resignation will supposedly be influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Scheuer asserted that secular democracy will allegedly not take root in Egypt. James Phillips, writing for the Heritage Foundation blog, worries that the Muslim Brotherhood's "totalitarian Islamist agenda" would create enormous problems if the group came to power in the wake of Mubarak's fall. (See blog[dot]heritage[dot]org/2011/02/10/mubarak%e2%80%99s-defiant-speech-escalates-tensions-and-uncertainty-in-egypt/#more-52094)

And, of course, there are Glenn Beck's paranoid rants about Egypt, meticulously documented by Media Matters. On The Glenn Beck Program today, Beck claims that Mubarak's departure will "embolden" demonstrators and dictators alike, heralding "the coming insurrection."

As Egypt's new government takes shape, the world will be watching and hoping for a better situation. What form that will take -- and how right-wing voices and the Religious Right respond to it -- remain to be seen

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