Egypt: Skin in the Game

How absolutely exhilarating to watch the events unfold in Egypt. As I sit with my daughter who has been studying Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia telling her to watch closely since history is unfolding right before our eyes, I can't help to worry and wonder what impact this will have on our troops that are still fighting in Iraq. Will this affect the complete U.S. troop withdrawal date of December 31, 2011?

Of course the irony is not lost on me.

Nearly 8 long years ago, the Iraq War was wrongfully started under the guise of spreading democracy in the Middle East. And now, I sit and watch real democracy take to the streets of Cairo and Alexandria brought on by -- not armies, intelligence officers, and private contractors from misguided nations -- but regular, average Egyptian citizens who are simply fed up.

How absolutely incredible to think that in the land of the Pharaoh's where slaves centuries ago built the mighty pyramids, now thanks to the peaceful weapons of the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter such regular working class people are finally having a say in the course of their country.

And as someone who once went up against the forces of government with an interest to hold leaders accountable for the events of 9/11, I happen to enjoy seeing average people empowered by their collective desire to affect change. It inspires me. It gives me real hope.

But where is everybody else in this clarion call for democracy?

Yes, it would seem to be a pretty dark day, and again ironic, when Senator John Kerry is the only person in the room willing to openly embrace the sort of non-CIA led, non-Muslim Brotherhood provoked, and apparently non-Mossad approved democracy unfolding in the streets of Egypt.

Indeed, Senator Kerry seems to grasp the fact that democracy doesn't come a la carte.

So, thank you Senator Kerry for your courage while the rest of our leaders, intellectuals, and experts squirm uncomfortably in their seats buying time, couching words, mincing phrases, waiting for the prevailing breezes. Hypocrites all. Not so easy to support democracy when it conflicts with one of your sidebar interests. Forget about courage when you don't yet know which way the wind blows.

Admittedly, I, too, worry about who will fill the vacuum left by Mubarak. I am aware of the consequences, the unknowns. But that is not because I fear rising oil prices, or worry about Israel, or remain concerned with Obama's unsteady response and how it will ultimately shakeout in the Arab world -- whether it might serve to inspire extremism and anti-American sentiment.

What most concerns me right now is whether the events unfolding in Egypt will directly affect Obama's handling of the other "tricky" situation: Iraq.

And all I can say is that I hope Obama remains steady with his promise of our complete troop withdrawal on December 31, 2011.