"As I stand in Tahrir Square on Monday trying to interview protesters, dozens of people surging around me and pleading for the United States to back their call for democracy, the yearning and hopefulness of these Egyptians taking huge risks is intoxicating."
Kristof, who acknowledges that he might be "too caught up in the giddiness of Tahrir Square", tells us of a "pro-democracy movement, full of courage and idealism and speaking the language of 1776". Mr. Kristof quotes "Dr. Mahmood Hussein, a physiology professor", and "Ahmed Muhammad, a medical student". Mr. Kristof tells us that he finds "it sad that Egyptians are lecturing Americans on the virtues of democracy."
However, nowhere in Kristof's op-ed is there a mention of the Muslim Brotherhood and the risk that the overthrow of Mubarak's repressive regime could give rise to something far worse. The masses behind the protests are not all professors and medical students, as this op-ed might have us believe (in fact, they are a tiny minority), and Mr. Kristof nowhere mentions that the protesters have the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr. Kristof nowhere takes into consideration that if an Islamist regime, supported by the masses, arises from this chaos, Egyptians will not be "speaking the language of 1776", but rather the language of the year 776.
One can only ask where was Kristof and where were these fervent advocates of freedom and democracy when 21 Christian Copts were murdered by Islamist extremists in Alexandria one month ago (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/12/ongoing-war-against-middle-easts.html). I didn't witness any protests then. Will these attacks against the Copts end with the overthrow of the Mubarak regime, or will there be a far greater level of intolerance, soon to be officially sanctioned, against this minority comprising some 10% of Egypt's population?
Sorry, Mr. Kristof, but it's not always black and white. Enjoy your "giddiness" while you can. If the Muslim Brotherhood ultimately gains control of Egypt, there will be nothing "intoxicating", literally or figuratively for your consumption, but rather a heretofore unknown level of oppression and suffering for Egypt's Christians, women, dissidents, gays and journalists.
[Kristof's "giddy" column reminds me of Roger Cohen's 2009 op-ed entitled "Iran Awakens Yet Again" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/opinion/11iht-edcohen.html), in which we were told: "Iran, its internal fissures exposed as never before, is teetering again on the brink of change. For months now, I’ve been urging another look at Iran, beyond dangerous demonization of it as a totalitarian state. Seldom has the country looked less like one than in these giddy June days." Regrettably, my guess is that Kristof, exhilarated by the protesting masses, will prove as much on the mark as Cohen.]