For those of us privy to being on the inside of the collapse of the Shah, these times are eerily familiar.

“The palpable sense of relief. The euphoria among the government’s opponents. The carnival-like atmosphere. The explosion of national pride. And the blind faith that the new regime would be more just, more equitable and more democratic than the old. Iran’s masses were no less hungry for democracy than the Egyptians who crowded into Cairo’s central Tahrir Square to demand an end to Mubarak’s rule. Where the Iranians put their trust in Muslim clerics to bring about a just and equitable society, the Egyptians turned to the secular-minded army to give the Mubarak regime a final push.”

The hated autocrat was gone. A new era was ushered in with cheers, tears and the cacophony of car horns.

And so it was in Tehran – 32 years before to the day.

“On Feb. 11, 1979, the commander of the Iranian air force announced on national radio that the armed forces were withdrawing from the fight to save the American-backed regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who had already fled the country three weeks before in the face of burgeoning street protests against his autocratic rule. With the military gone, the Iranian monarchy collapsed and with it any chance that the shah would return from what had been spun as a vacation – ironically to Anwar Sadat’s Egypt. As the troops returned to barracks, Tehran erupted into wild celebrations – punctuated by the deafening din of thousands of horns. ”

Whereas Iranians turned to their muslim clerics, today’s Egyptians are internet savvy. Messages and directives back then, were smuggled over months into Iran on cassette tapes. Today technology could reach thousands within one hour…. But for the sake of remembering, despite the differences, all of us should be wary… For a vacuum has been created. What goes in, will depend for the most part one nothing less than “idealism.” of the Egyptian people. They have the numbers, but do they have the will.

All it takes is one person withing the military of Egypt, to say…. “why not me?” Egypt then goes down the road of ruin similar to the Myanmar Empire (old Burma)…

Turkey faced a similar situation. One idealist, Attaturk prevailed and today Turks are for the most part, a very happy people.

What is best for the US?

Obviously if we learned anything from Iran, it is not to make Egyptians our enemy. That is the single most important objective that the United States must take away from Iran. That anti United States rhetoric from the Ayatollah Khomeini, has dominated our foreign relations from that moment on. All our problems with the Middle East, stem from that denunciation by that one man. How can any Arab do business with the “Great Satin” and go back home to peace? He gets taunted relentlessly by his peers, and therefore because of that, the United States has an uphill battle communicating even the simple basics of diplomacy to those who could be our friends and partners. We have a difficult time persuading them to accomplish things that work best, even in their own self interests, simply because we, … are the ones proposing it…

We, as the father of democracy, need to support those who our daughters pick. Even if it goes against our grain. If a majority of Egyptians pick the Muslim Brotherhood, so be it; we need to treat it as a wise father treats his daughter’s choice of a mate….

“Uh, … are you sure? Well, that’s a surprise. But you know, I raised you to be independent, and if this is who you want, and if this one makes you happy, and if this one you really, truly believe is the right one for you…. and I want you to be honest with yourself right now, well, as long as you are happy, I think it’s a great choice, and I will support you all….”

That solid support hinges on the words…. as long as you are happy. Were it to become known, that their spouse, (new head of government) was to start siphoning out of their bank account, we again side, as should the father of democracy, with the people, and help them explore the options of divorcing and rediscovering who they are….

That was our failure in Iran. Had we supported the Islamic revolution, it would have had to live upon it’s own devices, which were paltry. Instead it lasted fiercely defiant against the Great Satin; in fact, that was the only thing it had going for it. Able to fire up anger over our nations support of the shah, it didn’t need to take care of its people to stay in power…

We cannot give the next ruler of Egypt that option. Instead, we must embrace their choice, and accept that what makes our nation happy, like crappy private healthcare, like working long hours with little to show for it, like having false news broadcast over our corporate media, like working hard hours to pay back the bank collectors, utility company collectors, hospital and medical collectors, as well as paying up front for insurance policies that don’t cover anything,….. may not be their idea of a perfect society…..

We have to wise up and understand that as the father of democracy, our getting pushy and saying: ” I forbid you to marry that man” may actually be the very thing that makes that man appear attractive .. ”

Therefore we have to do the manly thing, swallow our pride, forget our ego, realize our grace, and accept what the Egyptians want, should be what we want too. Only then,… will no interruption occur within our relationship….

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