Hosni Mubarak, the dictator of Egypt for 30 years, has fallen flat on his head Thursday, February 10, 2011; a new chapter has begun for the Egyptian people. In his stubbornness, like Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier of Haiti, he thought he could have resisted the resiliency and resistance of the people or talked them out of their decision to put an end to his outdated, obsolete, dysfunctional and impracticable regime. Fortunately for the people of Egypt, he got it all miscalculated. In this piece, the parallel between the Egyptian revolution and that of the Haitian people in 1986 will be drawn and some degree of light will be shed on why Egypt will not be another Haiti.
After the fall of the dictatorship regime of the Duvaliers on February 07, 1986 in Haiti, a National Council of Government (French: Conseil National de Gouvernement) was formed or instituted to lead the nation through the transition to democratic elections. According to Wikipedia, “The council consisted of a President, Lieutenant General Henri Namphy, and five Members, three from the military and two civilians. The military Members were Colonels Williams Régala, Max Valles, and Prosper Avril, while the civilian members were Gérard Gourgue and Alix Cinéas.” In other words, the military took control of the country; they were in charge.
The Haitian population, in its fury, under the watch of the military, went on a rampage to roast or “Pèlebren” the “Tonton Macoutes,” members of the Duvalier militia, ransack or “dechouke” properties of the Duvalier loyalists, and destroy almost everything they could think of. It was a scene of total chaos and confusion. The military –whose mission was to defend and protect the country, its citizens and properties -did not do anything to secure the country and prevent such ridiculousness from happening. The land, unfortunately, fell in a deep state of insecurity and lawlessness -under the watch of the military.
In Egypt, it was a different scenery. The military did what was necessary for the country by coercing or lobbying Mubarak into leaving power. It is said to be in charge, you see or feel they are, indeed, in charge. They gave the people ample time to express their frenzy in order and discipline until the country was back to being functional again. So far we have not witnessed one Mubarak loyalist being Pèlebrened or burnt to death, one piece of property belonging to his loyalists being ransacked, or one public facility being destroyed.
And in less than a week after its inauguration, the military leadership, in charge now of the country, dissolved the parliament and suspended the Constitution. They just put together “an apolitical and independent constitutional committee” to propose constitutional reforms within 10 days, according to Wael Ghonim, the activist who spearheaded the toppling of the Hosni Mubarak regime. After two months, a referendum would be held on the measures to get the country back on the road, said Ghonim in a statement on the social media website Facebook.
Some people are making the foolish argument that the Egyptians have made a terrible mistake by forcing Mubarak out of power and that they will fall in the same chaotic predicament as the Haitians for having dragged out of power their dictator of 30 years in the same sociopolitical conjuncture as the Haitians in 1986, when they broke or cut the “ke makak” or monkey tail of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who, together with his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, ruled the Haitian nation under a brutal dictatorship regime for 30 years. Such argument is called foolish thinking because Geopolitically speaking, the realities of the two countries are different.
In Haiti, after the end of the Cold War, the US did not need anymore the service of the dictatorship regime of the Duvaliers -whose sole purpose was to fight communism and prevent Haiti from falling in the hands of the communists. The US did not want a repeat of the Castro experience in the region. So they had to keep the Duvaliers -an ally of the United States in its fight against communism -in power for the time being. And once their service was no longer needed, it was time for them to be let go.
A politically stable Egypt will serve best the interests of the US, who cannot afford an unstable Egypt, a longtime and loyal ally, to stage in the region. So America must and will do whatever in its power to prevent Egypt from falling into chaos, a condition which will serve best the interests of the Muslim extremists -who may wish to see that country become a training ground for “terrorists,” which will endanger the security of Israel in the region and that of the interests of the US in the Arab World.
The notion that the Egyptians just made a big mistake for ousting Mubarak because of the possibility that their country may fall into the trap Haiti has fallen after the uprising against Duvalier is preposterous. The US will never let Egypt fall into chaos and will never let anyone not Israel friendly become the leader of that country. So please don’t compare Egypt to Haiti. Though the political landscapes -dictatorship, the military, the people, the US, etc… –are quite similar, geopolitically speaking, they are totally different.
The Haitians need to rip that page from the Egyptians’ “playbook” and use the exact tactic to end the occupation of their homeland by the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (French: Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti, also known as MINUSTAH, an acronym of the French translation) -the Brazilian-led United Nations stabilization force dispatched to Haiti on June 01, 2004 after the coup against former President Jean Bertrand Aristide with the mandate to “concentrate the use of its resources, including civilian police, on increasing security and protection during the electoral period and to assist with the restoration and maintenance of the rule of law, public safety and public order in Haiti.”
If anything, the Haitians have a whole lot of learning to do from the Egyptian revolution. They need to study in-depth all its aspects. For 18 days, these Egyptians have demonstrated to the entire world how an unstructured and unorganized movement can utilize modern technologies (Facebook, Twitter, IM, etc…) to coordinate and mount one of the best and most peaceful political revolts in the history of mankind.
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