Friday, February 11, 2011

Alf Mabruk Ya Masr!

What a wonderful moment for the hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who brought down a tyrant in less than 3 weeks! What an amazing new world we live in where a satellite dish can bring about more change than a cruise missile! And the entire thing happened with a minimum of violence from the protesters - a brutal dictator brought down by peaceful people power! Amazing!

A thousand blessings O Egypt!

From 1952, the modern state of Egypt has been ruled by Egyptian generals who think of themselves as the exclusive protectors of the nation. Over 60 years, there have been internal coups, resignations offered and retracted, assassinations successful and botched, advisers and interlopers from Moscow and Washington, and through it all one thing has remained constant - the space for civilian political discourse, which was so important for Cairo in the years between World War I and World War II, has always been severely constricted. Generals and officers have been all the leaders, and most of the diplomats, business tycoons, technocrats, and politicians of Egypt for nearly 60 years. Husni Mubarak has been neither arrested nor deported. He and his loyalists for the moment remain. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in whose hands Egypt has been deposited, is full of Field & Air Marshals and Lt. Generals of every stripe, and 3 weeks ago they were all huddling with their compatriot Husni Mubarak wondering how they would prevent the tumult of Tunisia from reaching the Nile.

Junior Soprano has been set out to pasture. But the Soprano family business survives. Ruthlessly running a crime family, or a modern Arab nation, isn't as easy as it once was. But nothing today has changed the fact that the regime is intact. The new dictator lurks amongst the members or the attendants to The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. This story has just begun.

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