Tanks roll into Cairo and it is an incredibly hopeful thing. It marks the beginning of the end of Middle Eastern terrorism.
Tunisia has started a wave of revolt against oppressive regimes in the Arab world, and in spreading to Egypt the lid has blown off and a number of other countries in the region are stirring.
For decades most Arab countries have been ruled by repressive leaders who favor their cronies while the rest of the country gets little. Women are treated like property to be controlled, and religious intolerance rules social life. The merging of religious rule with secular state power has amplified the oppression and cemented it in place. This kind of backward feudal government gives rise to the terrorism that has emanated from that part of the world.
When people live under that kind of oppression, they lose hope to the point that their individual lives seem to have no worth at all. This feeds the joining of radical groups, warped religions that give them a sense of importance, and even suicide bombing. At least as a terrorist, people will know you exist.
Regardless of what happens, history is being made because hope has been born in the hearts of many average Arab people who, until now, were of no count. Even if repression politically reasserts itself, the taste of freedom and empowerment has been born, and it will not die easily. It will remain in the souls and spirits of those who awaken, and it will have positive impact in the years to come.
The odds of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt are small and throwing off the yolk is more important than the risk. Yes, there is chaos and it may raise oil prices for a while, it may even cause years of various kinds of instability and a kind of oppression of its own. But where do you start? The U.S has benignly aided oppression in these Middle Eastern countries and it cannot stand. It cannot continue and lead to a safer world. Our best partner in the region, Saudi Arabia, is one of the most oppressive regimes in the world. Where does it end?
Well, apparently, it ends today thanks to the average Egyptian on the street and we need to do everything we can to support them. Over the long haul, these countries changing from within is the ultimate solution to terrorism, not U.S. military intervention or getting frisked down at airports.
I believe that the freedom movement in China, despite the terrible repression by the Chinese government in 1989, did lead to a much freer society that is benefitting from those actions today.
Regardless of the apparent outcome politically, a sleeping giant of force has been awakened in Egypt and will continue into the future, in spite of any temporary setbacks along the way.
This also flies in the face of the neo conservative idea of using war as a tool for Democracy. It is a clear demonstration that change can happen without war, and in fact is far more effective. Over time we will see that this movement was the beginning of the end of terrorism in the region where the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were not.