Rebranding the revolution
Sir-- The revolution in Egypt came in spite of (or perhaps because of) a long-standing US backing of the country. It was clear from the beginning that the protesters were united on one demand: namely that the regime stand down or allow genuine political reform to be carried out.
It is easy to see that these protesters come from diverse backgrounds, have different political views and do not necessary share the exact same list of grievances. Not if your view of the region is influenced by an unhealthy negative obsession with Islam. In such case, so-called analysts put on their binary world view glasses and see only "Islamists" or "the rest" -- not that they have an accurate definition for each of those categories. They ignorantly put Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran in one bag, and like to think that everyone else that remains falls into what they claim is a liberal category.
With this in mind, Western observers who were against the uprising in Egypt were quick to warn that this was (or will be) an "Islamist" revolution, while those who backed it went to great lengths to stress that the Muslim Brotherhood was an insignificant part of it. They cannot see Egyptians outside this two-dimensional view. That's all that matters: not the humanity and suffering of 80 million Egyptians but how powerful will the Brothers emerge in a democratic Egypt. And if the revolution is going to be a success story then they mustn't appear as having played any part in it.
Of course, religious Egyptian protesters who are not officially part of the Brotherhood would automatically be calculated as part of "the rest", even though many of them may hold views that are more conservative. Demonstrators who complained from the former regime's restriction on religious freedoms or its foreign policy (especially with regards to the US, Israel and Palestine) are also conveniently ignored if they are not members of the Brotherhood. Following this logic you'd be forgiven for thinking that being a cyber activist and a devout Muslim are mutually exclusive.
The fact is this was a revolution of the whole of the Egyptian people, including the Brotherhood (and of course, Christians, too). But the Brothers did not catch up with the revolution late in the day; it was the masses that finally joined their struggle against the regime. Their activists had long been tortured or routinely detained in the regime's jails decades before the 2011 uprising. Every time there was an election, their campaigners were the first usual suspects to be rounded up.
They played a very positive part in the demonstrations and even their former critics commended their role in protecting protesters when they were attacked. They also never sought to hijack the revolution or claim it as their own. In fact they tried to stay out of the limelight to avoid US animosity towards the uprising. They insist that they do not want a "religious state" and called for democratic reforms (although they too need to reform). They are a part of Egypt, so who stands to gain from dividing Egyptians? Why do outsiders push for hatred instead of free and fair polls?
The Brotherhood may not be the perfect party (despite improvements over the years) for everyone, but the unwarranted demonising of the group by non-Egyptians is a great disservice to the whole of Egypt. We have witnessed great solidarity between Christians and Muslims during the anti- Mubarak protests, which shows that Egyptians -- if left to their own devices -- can live together without serious sectarian tensions.
We salute you
Sir-- We are proud of the people of Egypt for their successful peaceful protests and demonstrations against corruption and authoritarian rule, and for justice and democracy.
We salute your courage, intelligence, compassion -- and your perseverance and humanity. You are a model for the entire world and, hopefully, a bold step towards a world of peace and justice for all.
Some of us in the United States are also working for peace and justice through organisations and ideas such as Democratic World Federalists, Earth Federation Movement, World Citizens, World Constitution and Parliament Association, United for Peace and Justice, and many others.
We are also working against corporate monarchy, corruption, and authoritarian rule here in the United States and worldwide. We do honour you for your successful and peaceful fight for truth, justice and democracy.
How it's viewed
Sir-- I don't think conscription is a key factor. It is much more the identification of the ordinary soldiers with the people they are sent to put down. The Egyptian soldiers clearly identified with the crowd, as happened in Moscow during the coup attempt of 1991. On the other hand, Chinese soldiers did not identify with the crowd in Tiananmen Square, probably because the essentially peasant conscripts saw the demonstrators as middle class, urban "smart asses". Equally important is the people's own perception of the system they're challenging. In a dictatorship, people see themselves as having no other means of bringing about change than open revolt, whereas in a democracy, many people will turn to constitutional politics for the same purpose. In a democracy, therefore, anything other than a peaceful demonstration will almost always involve only a handful of extremists, with whom soldiers and policemen will tend not to identify. Even the mass demonstrations of the Vietnam era were perceived by many people, particularly working class people, as merely pampered middle class kids trying to avoid having to fight, as working class kids were having to do. Perception is thus the key.
One of a kind
Sir-- I think you are dead on with your assumption that nothing similar to the Egyptian revolution can happen (I will not say forever though!) in the foreseeable future. Yes, one important reason is the structure of the military; another is the education system: it is more interested in and geared towards generating blindfolded national loyalists than intelligent, knowledgeable and critical citizens, ie not necessarily crying on 4 July.
Another issue, which will not change in US foreign policies is their unconditional adherence to Israeli interests which, in the long run, will be detrimental to Israelis themselves.
One major reason for all the piecemeal efforts towards peace in the Middle East -- the roadmap -- is the lack of a comprehensive plan which would satisfy the majority of players on that stage.
Be the change
Sir-- In 18 days, the youth of our nation changed the face of our country forever. They have achieved what generations before them could not. They will forever be written in the pages of our history as those who could "be the change".
Egypt is a greater civilisation than meets the eye. We are over 7,000 years old and long after we pass these days, made critical by the onslaught of foreign agendas, we will emerge stronger and more united than ever before. We, the people, will continue to carry the deserts in our eyes, tattoo henna to our skin, and the Nile will forever run though our veins.
Till the end
Sir-- In the deluge of events, we are witnessing, one question begs an answer: Why do all totalitarian regimes stick to power to the last second?
To my understanding, they do so to plunder more wealth, to unsuccessfully quench their quenchless thirst for wealth and power. They do so to traffic looted funds before fleeing abroad; to gain time to delete and efface the traces of their heinous crimes committed against their people; and to give their stooges and agents a chance to stage a counterrevolution.
Missing in action
Sir-- The situation of the missing people in Egypt is still critical. All efforts have not managed to get the government to disclose where they are. Talks of freeing political prisoners "soon" are vague. In the meantime, we have to truly fear for the well-being if not the lives of those still missing from the revolution.
These people did nothing wrong. They only wanted a better Egypt, and they participated in the peaceful demonstrations at Tahrir. They were abducted and disappeared.
Together with their families who have searched everywhere for them, we can only hope they are still alive. But the government must answer and must answer now where they are and when they will return to their families.
Sir-- In the NDP, Gamal Mubarak surrounded himself with mega-rich businessmen who sought political careers to promote their business interests. Between them, they introduced far-reaching economic reforms that benefited the businessmen. But any prosperity Egypt ever enjoyed never trickled to the impoverished majority.
Sound familiar, my fellow Americans?
What's his name?
Sir-- Has anybody else noticed that Colonel Gaddafi is such a mystery man that there are a bunch of different spellings of his name all over the media. I've seen Gaddafi, Gadhafi, Gaddafy, and Khaddafi. But then there is always Brett Favre and Ross Perot, so who knows?
Sir-- Amr Moussa is not the answer. Egypt needs a young Western-educated technocrat/entrepreneur in his or her 40s or 50s as president. Moussa is part of the old guard, and a socialist.
Sir-- I really do not know, but how much of this in Egypt is a food riot and how much political?
Where money goes
Sir-- Hillary [Clinton] funded Egypt $150 million three weeks ago. Does she know who she gave it to?
Might happen in US
Sir-- Kind of makes you wonder what will happen in the US when the citizens here have had enough?
Danger of hopelessness
Sir-- Leaders must realise the most dangerous person is the one with nothing left to lose.