19 minutes ago
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
What To Do About Egypt?
The current uprising in Egypt is in some ways fascinating, and others frightening.
The Egyptians are unhappy with their current government, and are seeking to change the rules. That's their right. They can choose any style or form of government the majority wants. They don't need our approval, right?
That's what my Libertarian side says.
But then there is the more practical side of me. George Washington warned us against getting involved in foreign wars, but the world was a lot larger in his day; Egypt could go to hell in a hand-basket and it wouldn't have effected us for months, if ever.
Today, if 6 people gather on a street corner in Cairo at 9 am and wave 2 signs and a burning American Flag, by 10:30 gas has jumped 15 cents.
One of the basic tenets of Libertarianism is that your rights stop at the end of my nose. Or maybe at my gas pump. Do we have the right to tell the majority of Egyptians that they may or may not choose their own style of government so I can enjoy a consistent price for my gasoline?
What if that style of government is radical, Sharia Islam? A style that could threaten to start a war between Egypt and Israel, one that may eventually involve the whole region?
Has this reached the end of my nose yet?
What about the American troops in Iraq that may suddenly get pitched into this ancient battle?
Not to mention that Egypt has been completely outfitted over the last 30 years with tons of American military equipment; equipment that radical Islamists would not hesitate to use against Israel. Or us.
How's that nose feel?
Sometimes we have to make hard choices about where to allow free will- that doesn't affect our interests- and not to allow irrational decisions that do.
This is one of those times. I just wish I had more faith in the current administration to do the right and competent thing.
Just like the last time that region blew up and we were stuck with Carter. 30 years later we are still living that nightmare.
Are we going to be living with what may become an Egyptian nightmare for 30 more?