By Wayne Allyn Root, Former Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee and Best-Selling Author
The media has done it again. As usual, they’ve presented the wrong message to the American people about the Egyptian crisis and it’s not just because of the liberal bias of the U.S. media. It’s also because both the left and right have only one agenda: Sensationalizing the story to raise ratings. Their interest is creating the story that sells best, facts come second.
The media has chosen to sell the storyline told by the rioters and anarchists in the streets. They have chosen to interview only one side, those participating in these protests. But is that representative of the true storyline? Is there another side to the story? Of course there is.
I just got off the phone with a longtime friend- a successful Egyptian business leader. He believes that several hundred thousand people in the streets do not represent the 80 million citizens of Egypt. They represent anarchists, communists, and Islamic extremists- all with an agenda and axe to grind. He says if you polled the people of Egypt today, the majority would support Mubarak. He says that the backbone of Egypt- the business owners, small business community, and middle class still support Mubarak and the military. They are horrified by the mobs in the street and are shocked at Obama’s tepid response to the riots and the one-sided portrayal of the situation by the U.S. media.
My friend asked a simple, but powerful question. “If several hundred thousand people rioted on the streets of New York and demanded Obama be removed, would that represent all of America’s three hundred million citizens? Would the media report this meant the end of the Obama regime?”
Good question. If the Million Man march or the Restore Honor Gathering rather than being peaceful had decided to riot and firebomb the U.S. capital, would the media paint a sympathetic portrait? Would we cave to the demands of a relatively small number of rioters versus three hundred million citizens? I think not.
Has the media bothered to interview anyone on the other side of this Egyptian crisis? Has anyone gone out of their way to interview the shop owners or homeowners not rioting in the streets and ask them if they would rather be represented by Mubarak and the military or allow anarchy and mob rule to determine their leaders?
My friend explained that if the Muslim Brotherhood take over, he, his family, and virtually the entire business community will be forced to leave the country they love. If Egypt becomes a Muslim extremist country, tourism, the #1 business of Egypt, will be extinguished. Egypt’s economy will be destroyed and those who think they are bad off now will experience true poverty and starvation.
My good friend’s prediction is that in the end the military will end mob rule and remain in control, choosing to protect tourism and the business community. If Mubarak actually leaves he will hand-pick his successor from the ranks of the Egyptian military and institute some moderate reforms.
The lessons we can all learn from this crisis:
#1) The media coverage is often based on sensationalism, not facts. Are you certain who the good guys are here? I know I’m not.
#2) It is not the U.S. government’s duty or right to determine other nation’s leaders. Besides, we have an awful track record – see Vietnam, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. At most we should have influence behind the scenes and always in the direction of moderation, reform and democracy.
#3) We should dramatically cut or end foreign aid. The $2 billion per year we borrow from China to give to Egypt is a terrible waste of taxpayer money. And if we bet wrong on Mubarak, and our sophisticated military equipment falls in the hands of Muslim extremists, we have made a tragic error.
#4) Obama’s bans on offshore oil drilling are a disaster and a true threat to our national security. We must drill, drill and drill some more to capitalize on our own rich natural resources, so we are not dependent on our potential enemies for the oil that fuels our economy.
#5) Finally, perhaps we should appreciate our friends in Israel. Perhaps we should point out loudly and strongly that in Israel women and gays have equal rights. Perhaps we should point out that Israeli Arabs have a better life, more religious freedom, more free speech, more economic freedom, more rights than the citizens of any Arab country in the Middle East. Perhaps we should point out that the average per capita income in Israel is $26,600 versus $5,500 in Egypt. Perhaps we should point out that Israel represents an experiment in freedom – just like America – and perhaps we should encourage the Arab world to emulate that democracy.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts." His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com