When I was faced with troubling decisions in my life, I used to give myself a pep talk. I’d tell myself that there were three things that could happen as a result of my decision: things could get better, they could get worse, or they could remain the same. So, I’d tell myself, there’s only a one third chance that my decision could have a bad outcome. This simplistic way of looking at things ignored, of course, whether mine was a smart decision, that hewed in the direction of better-ness, or a dumb decision, that pretty much predicted the worst possible outcome. The fact remained that there were indeed three possible outcomes.
That simplistic thinking is slightly useful right now. Think back to the Iran protests. I watched those protests with fascination, because I knew that, from my situation in America, things couldn’t get worse; they could only remain the same or get better. (That is not true, of course, for the protesters, who could, and did, suffer terribly if/when the protest failed.) I was cheering at a football game, comfortably aware that a bad outcome would disappointment me, but not hurt me; and very hopeful that things would get much better.
The same cannot be said about events in Egypt. The situation there was bad for the Egyptians but (mostly) stable for the rest of the world, including Israel. The greatest likelihood is that something very bad will happen there, probably involving the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah. I therefore find the news reports, not fascinating, but very unnerving, veering into frightening. The possibility of a good outcome — a democratic revolution — is extraordinarily small, especially with Jimmy Carter . . . uh, Barack Obama at the helm. Yup, this is a time warp moment. It’s 1979 all over again.
Family calls, but feel free to comment here about your take on the revolt and its potential outcomes.