Following World War II our U.S. government was concerned with the rise of communism in the world. Europe was in disarray much like Egypt today. Our military took over the role of government to keep order until local democratic governments could develop and take charge. Then our military governments quietly withdrew and each country was on its own.
Hopefully something similar will happen in Egypt today. At the moment the Egyptian military has taken charge and has evidently restored some semblance of law and order. In Egypt, as happened in post-war Europe, many different factions are vying to rise to a position of leadership.
In Europe, under the leadership of President Truman, our U.S. government quietly did everything possible to support those factions that indicated favor for the freedom and concern for a democratic way of life and government. We also, behind the scenes, did all possible to discourage those who were striving to install the autocratic style of government found in the Soviet Union.
The same behind-the-scenes influence was exerted in the Pacific during the post-war recovery. In Korea, the communist North quickly rose to a position of power and boldly invaded the South. Their miscalculation was thinking that Korea was indeed a long way from the USA and that we would not bother to come to the aid of a weak South Korea. Indeed the U.S. was ill-prepared to come to the aid of the beleaguered new South Korean nation. With the aid of the new United Nations, the U.S. did respond and after a prolonged war -- we called it a "police action" -- Korea was again divided roughly along the 38th parallel, where it had been set at the end of World War II.
Greece was another country where the communists fought long and hard to rise to power and take the reins of government. Through much aid, quietly behind the scenes, Greece was able to establish a democratic form of government and began to prosper under their new found economic freedom.
In Europe, as well as in the Pacific, the countries with western-style democratic governments encouraging economic freedom grew to become the economic powerhouses that we see today especially in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Germany. In most cases, the communist-leaning factions fell into disfavor and have mostly withered away. North Korea today, the collapse of East Germany and the fall of the Soviet Union have demonstrated the unsustainability of autocratic militant communistic-style government.
In Egypt today, the players have different names but the contest is the same. Militant Islam, Iranian style, under the name of The Muslim Brotherhood, is doing all they can to take power. The democratic factions, not well organized, are striving for a more western-style secular government. Which will win the battle is not possible to determine at the moment, but the impact of either gaining ascendancy will shape the future of the Middle East and the world tomorrow.
It is incumbent that our government be a player in the contest. We should be aiding and assisting those factions who have a more moderate western-style government as a goal and discouraging the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk in every way possible. The Egyptian people are a proud lot and as their just-now deposed dictator, Mubarak, stated he, and they, will not have their actions dictated by outside forces.
It was announced today that Chief of Staff Admiral McMullen is in Egypt conferring with the Egyptian military. Hopefully the Admiral's visit is a sign that our present administration has been a student of history and "gets it." Hopefully, this administration has a plan to help steer toward a future of some sort of democratic government Egyptian-style. It would be helpful, too, if President Obama "gets it" and begins to refrain from making bold public announcements about how the Egyptian people should shape their future. All help and encouragement to democratic-leaning factions, as well as our efforts to discourage the Muslim Brotherhood, need be done quietly behind the scenes, far from the glare of an ill informed media.
That is the way I saw it.