Egypt: Why We Care: The People and Their Military
We understand from public media that the Egyptian Army, unlike the police and security forces, enjoys the respect and support of the people.
[ . . . ]
[Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's] grip on power was further challenged Saturday as the military that he had deployed to take back control of the streets showed few signs of suppressing the unrest, and in several cases the army took the side of the protesters in the capital and the northern port city of Alexandria.
In the most striking instance, members of the army joined with a crowd of thousands of protesters in a pitched battle against Egyptian security police officers defending the Interior Ministry on Saturday afternoon.
[ . . . ]
In other parts of the capital, soldiers invited protesters to climb aboard their armored personnel carriers to have their pictures taken, and in Alexandria, demonstrators took tea to troops.
Above, the crowds greet Egyptian soldiers. Below, demonstrators hoist the flag of the Egyptian Army.
The unity between the people and their military is essential for healthy development of any society, including our own. All Egyptian men serve in the military; everyone knows someone wearing the uniform. All of this helps to ensure that orders to open fire on peaceful demonstrations will not be obeyed.
Why should Americans care? Our military is OUR military, too. You can help to foster this perspective by volunteering to serve yourself [if eligible] or by encouraging those you know to consider volunteering. Show your support any way you can, beyond a magnetic ribbon.
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