Middle East up for grabs

In EGYPT on January 30, 2011 at 05:35



The current administration may not believe in American exceptionalism, but it has been handed a golden opportunity to make America exceptional.

A good first step was putting Egypt’s $1.5 billion U.S. aid package on the table, insisting that, if Hosni Mubarak expects to cash that check, “there must be reform—political, social and economic reforms that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” adding that the Egyptian president “has a responsibility to give meaning to” his recently promised reforms.

The same thing, however, holds true for the Washington ultimatum.

Actually, the government is only saying what every administration since Eisenhower should have been saying and acting upon.

Unlike any other country, America was founded on a Constitution that ensures basic human rights. Yet, for more than half a century, America and the West have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to flagrant human rights abuses in Egypt and other countries they support. Tyrants loot and torture their own people, yet we maintain an uninterrupted flow of aid dollars to ensure low gas prices and protect favorable trade agreements.

Even today, as clouds of black smoke choke much of the Middle East, Western eyes are glued to pump prices, when our hearts should be broken over decades of needless human suffering. And what did we get by compromising our principles? Next week, we will still pay $4 a gallon. And the Middle East is unraveling.

Whether Mubarak stays or follows his family to London, the Muslim Brotherhood has gained ground in Cairo. And Cairo controls the border with Israel, which determines the flow of Iranian weapons to Hamas, the daughter of the Brotherhood. Cairo controls the Suez Canal, the global passageway for oil distribution, which  affects the economy of every oil-producer in the Middle East, as well as the schizophrenic world economy.

Hezbollah has taken Lebanon. If no one intervenes, Jordan will follow Egypt. And Pakistan will not be far down the line with its prize of nuclear weapons.

The Middle East has become a jungle. Rage and revenge are the driving forces. No one can guess what will happen next. Politicians and pundits are turning themselves inside out trying to get their heads around every new, unforeseen development. Trying to connect dots, construct scenarios, predict direction and momentum, prepare for an endgame that no one can envision . . . or dares to imagine.

Oppressed people have discovered that the Tunisia Effect is exportable.

But Mubarak is not the only object of Egyptian wrath. The United States is viewed as his co-conspirator, the muscle that enabled him to hold onto his dictatorship for 30 years.

The mobs hate him. They hate us.

They Tweet anger and revenge and fan the flames on Facebook, forgetting that it was the United States that gave them the social network that overthrew Ben Ali and has Mubarak on the defensive. Forgetting that the $1.5 billion is for them, that we are the givers, not the thieves. They want change, jobs, education. They want to be able to afford food for their families—all of which we want for them. They need to remember, as they struggle to throw off their oppressors, that we are their friends, not their enemies. They enjoy the benefits of inventions and discoveries in medicine, housing, education, energy, transportation and agriculture that came from the West.

Yes, our governments have made wrong choices. But they don’t imprison and torture us. The streets of our cities are not clogged with tanks and troops. Our newspapers print whatever they want. We worship any way we want, read what we want, say what we want, come and go freely, provide for our families. And we are the first to show up with help at the scene of any disaster, anywhere in the world.

Nevertheless, Western governments need to stop compromising their values for the bottom line. We must stop supporting regimes that are guilty of systemic human rights abuses.

Diplomacy is unlikely to turn the tide in the Middle East. One of the most effective things we can do now is go to our keyboards and engage the Egyptian people. Assure them, one on one, that we are with them. If the social network can help bring down governments, it can help to rebuild them. If it can spread hatred, it can spread hope.

Radical? Absolutely!


Crazy is to let evil triumph while good men do nothing. Because the truth is that America is filled with good men and women. America is exceptional.

And despite the self-serving decisions and failed policies of the past five decades, it is not yet too late for the West to serve as an architect of a stable and perhaps even democratic Middle East.

  1. So what should we do? How does an American girl like me go about opening the line of communication with Egyptians?

  2. Mosab,
    I thank God for you. God has blessed us, in this country, with your presence here, which includes the inspiration of your vision for Christian leadership in this world. I pray God’s blessing on you and your dear family, always. I repeat: I thank God for you, sir.
    Most sincerely,
    Elizabeth Ann Kirby

  3. Can there be any meaningful and lasting solution to the problems in the Middle East, whilst we continue ignore the recipe for peace as spelled out by the Prince of Peace, as outlined in Matthew Chapters 5, 6 and 7?

    • yes, there can be a meaningful lasting peace, if in fact it is what the world would demand. until the world refuses to demand peace, and stands by as the arab world murders innocents in Israel, they will not stop.

  4. Thank you for your insightful comments, as always….I just finished reading your book and it gave me a most helpful picture of the ME situation,–though at great personal expense to you, of course. Now I feel I can pray somewhat intelligently for peaceful solutions. This is of special interest to me now since there are some in our family who are working to build better connections between Americans and ME peoples. In fact, they are now in the general area that you wrote about….I was so hoping you would post comments re the current uprisings and situation to provide more context. True to your devotion to an upright cause, they came right through! So, thank you for keeping your followers up to date! I can’t thank you enough for writing your book to help educate receptive hearts and minds. I found great inspiration and fodder in the postscript.I, too, will work to “embrace” the solution….With your service to the cause of the betterment of humanity, I know you will find yourself provided for as in II Kings 25:30 — “And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” God knows a laborer is worthy of his hire and will provide the appropriate and needed connections. With much gratitude for your courage and sacrifices!!! Patricia

  5. I’m a lo-tech guy, but i’ve got Twitter and Facebook accounts. Does anybody know how we can Tweet or connect with people in Egypt? I thought the only ones who can read our Tweets are those who follow us. What about chat rooms? Anybody find any where Egyptians gather? And Mosab, you ought to post this blog again, only in Arabic, so any Egyptians reading this will hear our messages of love and might help us out making further contact.

  6. Mosab,son of Israel. G-d is with you.
    Why not come to South Africa? Our Rainbow nation has many bright colors. You will learn much from us and then why not go back home to your people to tell them what you have learnt? Sometimes it takes just one. Look at our Tata, Mr.Mandela, he was one of the the first to bear arms during the liberation struggle, a Makarov pistol. He hid it years ago on a farm and they are still looking for it. Our struggle was armed and many people died.South Africans can teach you how to Love your ememies. We have been through the process of Truth and reconsiliation and we can teach you how.
    Hope to see you soon.

  7. I also forgot that the Egyptian social network is down. But the Huffington Post reports that people are getting creative:

    “Internet not working, police cars burning,” sent out one Egyptian. “Today marks a great day for Egypt,” sent out another.

    These messages weren’t coming from mobile phones or computers, but from an amateur radio sending out Morse Code somewhere amidst the chaos in Egypt.

    The Egyptian government’s efforts to limit communications within the country has triggered a wave of activism from an international group of free speech activists on the Internet called Telecomix.

    Organizing using chat rooms, wikis, and collaborative writing tools, this largely anonymous group has worked to inform Egyptians about their communications options while receiving incoming messages from them. Telecomix has previously worked on free speech efforts in Tunisia, Iran, China and other countries who have tried to censor or block parts of the Internet.

    Egypt has been identified as a “top priority” for Telecomix on one of its network sites, We Re-Build. It has a wiki set up as a one-stop shop with the latest chat rooms and resources for the ongoing efforts.

    There are roughly 20 extremely active members, 50 active and some 300 total including lurkers, according to chat administrator Christopher Kullenberg from Gothenburg, Sweden.

    “Think of Telecomix as an ever growing bunch of friends that do things together,” Kullenberg says

  8. Psalm 83 is looming on the horizon…and all Americans can think about is gas prices? How about how to put food on the table and take care of their families, because the gov here has thrown our economy down the toilet! America is not the thriving super power anymore that people think it is…we are suffering here, as well. There is widespread destruction and disaster and an uncaring gov who wants to put more of a burden on us. As Christians, all we can do is pray and pray with all our hearts that God will have mercy…but I think the days of reckoning are here. Those nations that come against Israel are coming under His Hand of Judgment… and none will escape. Yeshua didn’t tell us to go into the World and make it better… He said to be lights on the hills and salt for seasoning and healing and to spread the Gospel so that the lost could be saved through believing in Him. That was His commission to us…not saving the world. That’s for Him to do when the Father deems the time right.

  9. Economically the USA has it far too easy. Book are cheap. Petrol is cheap. Food is cheap. Computers are cheap. Housing is cheap. Mortgage interest rates are at a low — only about 6% — they are usually around 10%.

    For example, in New Zealand petrol is now $2 per litre. Let me do the conversion 4 u.

    $2 NZD is about $1.50 USD. 1 gallon is about 4.5 litres. Thus 1 gallon of petrol in NZ is about 9 dollars, or about $7 USD. Further, we are a low wage economy and shipping prices from the USA to here are horrendous. By comparison shipping from China is cheap or sometimes free.

    The world is fast changing. USA haters are at your doorsteps and all over the world. Israel haters are likewise all over the media and the left. Why is this? What are Christians in the USA going to do about all this mess?

    • I am sorry that you pay more for your books, petrol and food than we do, Rob, and I hope New Zealand’s economy improves. But to answer your question, Christians in America are doing what we have always done: praying and interceding in tears around the clock for persecuted and oppressed families throughout the world; sending men, women and millions of dollars to ministries and NGOs that counsel and support; provide millions of tons of food, medicine and clothing; build houses; launch micro-enterprises, build churches, schools and safe houses; train and equip new leaders; sending doctors and other medical professionals to conduct free clinics and give away glasses, wheelchairs and other healthcare equipment; advocating with government and community leaders in other countries on behalf of people suffering human rights abuses; visiting men and women in prisons throughout the world, providing attorneys to fight for their release and caring for their families as well as for the families of martyrs; distributing Bibles and discipleship materials; and broadcasting the Gospel and discipleship programming to the world via satellite, internet and social media. We are living and dying for you and will continue to do so until Jesus returns, even if the whole world hates us.

      • Thank you Jim! So many people, including in our own country, forget or don’t realize all this that you’ve pointed out! God Bless you! <

  10. Whoops, I meant HIGH, not LOW (Doh!)…

    “Mortgage interest rates are at a HIGH — only about 6% — they are usually around 10%.”

  11. Thanks for the post. Enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this topic.

  12. Wow! God has given Mosab a lot of wisdom. Lets all repost this blog. I know God has brought Mosab here to bring the needs and sufferings of those in the Middle East to us in the West. How heartbreaking it is when the media focuses on how this affects us through gas prices and stocks falling. Yes, we are born into affluence and freedom, but with this privilege comes responsibility. We must not be isolated from reality. Our neighbors’ sufferings are our sufferings. As our heart breaks we must take personal responsibility by reaching out in compassion, by caring and encouraging those suffering and showing Christ’s unconditional love. What a great idea of Mosab’s to do this through social networks. A lot is at stake, but God is sovereign. We can make a difference by shining the light of Jesus in the darkness and loving our neighbors in the Middle East unconditionally, as Christ loves us. The people of the Middle East deserve to live without corruption, injustice, violence and suffering.

    “Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering and injustice when He could do something about it.” “Well, why don’t you ask Him?” “Because I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.” ~Anonymous

    • God does not allow poverty, people do. God allows for all of us to be abundant, and free and happy. However, we can’t see it when we are blinded with negativity. Once we find the way throught the darkness into the light we begin to see how we are responsible for our own suffering.

  13. God Bless you Mosab.

    What do you think about this story? If it’s true, The White House, along with other 60’s radicals who are long time friends of Obama, are involved in the Egyptian uprising.

  14. The future of Edom … I am not only talking about the ancient Edom… but also the “modern Edom” (Spirit of Edom that has been brainwashing million people)… Sorry

  15. Mosab, I know you believe in free speech, otherwise you wouldn’t have a blog, and also allow comments. my comment was removed.

  16. When did God ever say there would be a “Spirit of Edom” is it in the Bible? I am a Bible teacher and I am currently preparing to teach the book of Obadiah. Edom was wiped out along with most of the Jews in the year 70A.D. by the Romans. This heresy of the “Spirit of Edom” is only an excuse to hate. Please do the world a favor and go read Matthew 5.

  17. Dearest Mosab,

    I have been waiting eagerly for your next post. I, too a trying to make sense of things going on in the ME.
    I love how you now speak proudly as an American – although you probably already became one years and years ago in your heart and soul. Bono said “America is an idea” and that is certainly true for you.
    I cringe when I hear America bashing, even though I am from Asia. How unfair it is when people criticise America for its foreign policy – never perfect of course, but without it, where would we be now?
    As a Singaporean, I have directly benefitted from US Intervention in WWII where the cruel Japanese surrendered after their own country was in peril.
    So God bless America and may the light of wisdom be with all who govern.


  18. According to Robert Springborg, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, we can expect Washington to maintain business-as-usual with regard to Egypt:

    The military will now enter into negotiations with opposition elements that it chooses. The real opposition will initially be ignored, and then possibly rounded up. The regime will do all possible to restore a sense of business as usual. Cell phone and Internet connections have already been re-established, and automatic teller machines are functioning, though banks remain closed so there can be no run on them. Businesses will be encouraged to reopen, and all possible will be done to ensure a flow of essential supplies into Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez.

    The last challenge remaining is economic. Even before demonstrations broke out a few weeks ago, the economy was just limping along. It is now broken. Even in the best-case scenario of a rapid return to stability, Egypt faces a cash crunch. Capital flight, loss of foreign direct investment, drying up of tourist revenues, downgrading of sovereign debt and commensurate increase in interest, and lost earnings from interrupted production will all hammer the revenue side of the balance sheet. The expenditure side will be placed under yet more stress by acceleration of inflation already running at 10 percent, devaluation of the currency, and need to repair damage resulting from the clashes. Egypt will have to turn to its “friends” if it is to avert economic disaster and if the regime that just narrowly survived defeat is not to be challenged yet again.

    The Obama administration, having already thrown its weight behind the military, if not Mubarak personally, thereby facilitating the outcome just described, can be expected to redouble its already bad gamble. Fearing once again that the regime might be toppled, it will lean on the Europeans, the Saudis, and others to come to Egypt’s aid. The final nail will be driven into the coffin of the failed democratic transition in Egypt. It will be back to business as usual with a repressive, U.S.-backed military regime, only now the opposition will be much more radical and probably yet more Islamist. The historic opportunity to have a democratic Egypt led by those with whom the U.S., Europe, and even Israel could do business will have been lost, maybe forever. Uncle Sam will have to eat yet more humble pie, served up by the dictator who has just been insulting him.

  19. Hey Mosab…

    It was great having you at the bridge church

    Jason Garcia

  20. Interesting post and some great emailed comments as well. Jim Barton spoke well, and I appreciated Joy’s favorable remarks about the USA. Don’t know how things will work out for the Egyptians–hope no Muslim Brotherhood.

  21. “One of the most effective things we can do now is go to our keyboards and engage the Egyptian people. Assure them, one on one, that we are with them. If the social network can help bring down governments, it can help to rebuild them. If it can spread hatred, it can spread hope.”
    This is PROFOUND!

  22. The Middle East is the most important place on God’s earth. The Temple Mount being the center of it all! Without a doubt Israel is God’s time piece and history is ticking away at an alarming rate. Recent events in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and likely soon Jordan, will play out to set up a world situation, that will cause the armies from every nation to surround Jerusalem. As we see these things we are reminded The Lord is coming soon. My prayer is that the Prince of Peace will soon bring lasting peace to the whole earth, but particularly to Abraham’s Children; all of them!

    6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
    7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
    8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
    Matt 24:6-8 (NIV)

  23. Thank you brother Mosab for your insight! Looking forward to your future postings!

  24. Mosad, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and your held beliefs and insight. On occasion I had worked with the Egyptian military in the 80’s I have always felt my counterparts were extremely open and friendly and great to work with. They did not seem to have any Islamic control over tones nor did I ever see any attitude against the people. Our combined operations were all training activities. We did have some restrictions on our movements, it seemed like there was some reason they did not want it generally known we were there, we were restricted to certain locations. We had only good intentions for the Egyptian people and international relations. We never varied from that.
    My concern with the changes now unfolding in Egypt are that the leaders of the activities are not really to help the Egyptian people nor is it in the worlds best interest due to the Brotherhood participation and Islamists that want to institute Shari law as in Iran and you know how that has worked out. I am afraid that the Egyptian people we want to support will be the losers here. Until I read your comments there was no indication to me that there was any real chance that a free people would emerge out of the actions unfolding. I hope you are right that this is an actual people’s movement not the beginnings of another Islamic Iran. The Egyptian people should understand that all my friends and I support the peoples efforts to get a representative Government but we also believe we have done all we could to help them in the only way we could over the years. Again I am not certain the people are going to get what they want and not the next Iran.

  25. As always, you are correct. Thank you.

  26. Mosab,again thank you for sharing your,I believe HOLY SPIRIT inspired wisdom with us.!! To be honest the first thing that comes to my mind is more of your recent “WATCHMAN” cry to the USA government..”you have your heads in the sand.” Most of the people in the USA are VERY LAZY is the heart of the problem..things come to easy here..YHWH blessings will stop when anyone that is in office turns it back on ISRAEL…FREE WILL is what Yahew blessed His people with to see what and where our hearts would LOVE and chase after..!! THE BIBLE IS YEHEW’S OPINION on all matters.!!! May Yahew bless you with HIS truth and may your walk get closer each passing day..may HIS HOLY SPIRIT be what leads your steps..PS 91 and ZEC 2:5

  27. Excuse me so called Bible Teacher… Obadiyah said clearly: me-chamac (me-hamas) that means violence… you don’t know anything so stop talking… the truth.. gangster with this spirit is still throughout the world unless you have closed your eyes…this is not about hate… i support that…

  28. Dear Mr. Ben Paul, I didn’t mean to spread hate and I don’t need to debate you… I wish if you could understand little bit for you are NOT the only one who is learning on the bible (or maybe paleo hebrew bible) or dead sea scrolls.. I dislike debating… if Mosab wants to, he could simply delete and remove my comments… Thanks…

    But how strong a case does Obadiah make for ‘Edom’ being representative of the modern day? The word rendered in English as ‘violence’ in verse 10 is translated from the Hebrew word ‘chamac.’

    From the Strong Concordance:

    2554 chamac khaw-mas’ a primitive root; to be violent; by implication, to maltreat:–make bare, shake off, violate, do violence, take away violently, wrong, imagine wrongfully.

    2555 chamac khaw-mawce’ from 2554; violence; by implication, wrong; by meton. unjust gain:–cruel(-ty), damage, false, injustice, X oppressor, unrighteous, violence (against, done), violent (dealing), wrong.
    ‘Chamac’ translated into modern Hebrew, is pronounced, ‘Hamas’.

    I didn’t address it to a certain ethnicity or group… I am talking about the ideology, SIR… Thanks…

  29. I don’t think the Egyptian people hate us. They need help in Egypt. If you look at the news today, you will understand why I said that. I don’t know if it is power or spiritual the things that went on.

    By the Grace of God, the Military in Egypt will do right by the Egyptian people.

    • If the Egyptians dont hate us, how come they burn American flags as they dance in the streets?

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