Revolution In Egypt

Egypt and Tunisia serve as warnings to any government which serves only its elite:  the people have the power and know now how to use it to overthrow repressive regimes.  Hear that Wall Street?  The power of social media to spread information in the information age is toppling governments in Africa.  Who will be next?

Rioting Egyptians have gathered in the main square in Cairo while others protest in Suez and Alexandria.  President Hosni Mubarak who took control following the assassination of Anwar Sadat is beginning to look like a former dictator.  Recent crooked elections spurred unrest then when Egyptians witnessed the takedown of a corrupt regime in neighboring Tunisia they became emboldened enough to topple their own government.  Mubarak’s Cabinet resigned this morning but this will not placate the anti-government rioters.  Al Jazeera is reporting upwards of 90 protesters killed through government action which now means deploying the army on the streets of Cairo.

This can only end when the President flees the country and leaves his people to form a new government.  How long the generals continue to support him in the face of such violent opposition is the key ingredient at this time.  When they abandon Mubarak he needs a ticket out of Cairo.  I’ve been following this on Twitter and its fascinating to see how powerful such media are and how they can transform lives.

After Egypt who is next?  America?

9 thoughts on “Revolution In Egypt”

  1. John, if the U.S. is next, it will be the Tea Partiers who are in the street in mass numbers and they will be armed.

    I don’t believe that will happen in this country because, first, we have a working (albeit imperfect) democracy. Second, as tough as these times are economicly for many, the vast number of Americans have far too much to lose to risk it by going into the streets for days or weeks or months to seek an nebulus replacement.

    As for Egypt, while this is a necessary and good thing that is happening, it is not without serious concern. There is no identifiable replacement for the stability of Egypt imposed by Mubarak the dictator. There is the risk of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over and creating another Iran. The economic effect, particularly on the oil market, is an uncertainty. And the relative peace and stability of the entire Middle East is a concern.

    What needs to happen is for Obama, preferably in conjunction with other responsible world leaders, to negotiate a transition government leading to a free and fair democratic election. This, of course, would include a safe passage of Mubarak out of Egypt and inclusion of the military in the settlement to keep the peace but not to interfere with the government. A tall order; but necessary to fill the vacuum which will result (I agree with you) from Mubarak’s apparently inevitable departure – one way or another.

    Stay tuned.

  2. The people don’t form governments.

    Elites do.

    Which elites, and how will they enlist the loyalties of the people?

    Mostly it depends on what the army will support, or at least put up with.

    Expect a heartier dose of Islamism and Israel bashing in whatever comes after this, whether or not Mubarak is out.

    It may not look it in Egypt, but remember that this is the birthplace of modern Islamism.

    The green plague is still the strongest rising political force in the Muslim world.

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