I recently wrote a piece on the Egyptian crisis posted on the website of The Progressive. I hope that you take a look.
Among other things, I believe that it is critical that the Left and progressives in the USA engage Egyptian progressives and leftists. I find that there are too many occasions where we on the left side of the aisle in the USA get caught flat-footed in the face of world events. In the Mali crisis, for instance, there were many people who wanted to focus only on the French intervention rather than looking at the situation as a whole, despite many of the analyses flowing from the Continent identifying the complexities of the situation, and particular the reactionary role of the jihadists. As i try to say in my commentary, this does NOT mean that we will necessarily arrive at the same conclusions as others, but it means that we learn by engaging with forces closer to the ground. It is also acceptable to withhold comment until one has a clearer sense of what is taking place.
Which brings us to Syria. Why are there so many in the elite who are prepared to suggest war with Syria? While it is certainly believable that the Assad regime used chemical warfare, why is it not the proper response to let the United Nations conduct their research? Chemical and biological warfare, along with nuclear warfare, should be completely forbidden and no power should possess such weapons. Yet many countries do and these weapons can also get into the hands of non-state ‘players.’ Launching military strikes are easy. It is the ramifications that often spin out of control.
Let me close in suggesting that, more than anything else, I believe that the USA must “first do no harm.” Under the banner of ‘humanitarian interventions’ various demons have surfaced. There are too many examples to which one can point.