Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Watershed Event in Egypt

Hosni Mubarak has officially resigned and left Cairo. His future will now be one of cocktails on beaches and old boy retreats with the Stonecutters. What will this mean?

For Egypt, despite the celebrations a lot is still up in the air. The last thing Mubarak did before he left town was dissolve the parliament and hand all power over to the military high command. So it is far from certain that anything like a democratic regime will emerge in Egypt anytime soon. Still, at a minimum this is the first, high profile, example of a successful, NON-VIOLENT (mostly), political movement in the Arabic Middle East.

If anything poses a threat to continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza it is the example of peacefully demonstrating Palestinians refusing to cooperate with the occupation. Until now, no Palestinian movement has entertained the idea that they could get what they want politically without violence. Given the historic, ideological ties between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, that could be about to change.

Egypt is by far the most populous Arabic country. Its citizens live and work throughout the Middle East, sending checks home as they work abroad. The example of a peaceful political resistance to a dictator (even if he ends up being replaced by another dictator) is going to send shock waves around the region and the world.

A friend of mine told me that Chinese news media are being very mum about what's going on in Egypt. The Chinese government do not want wide coverage of what is going on there. I imagine Iran's government is equally nervous about this. What will Iranians do when they find out that Egypt's people successfully pulled off what they narrowly failed to do a couple of years ago?

This is a big big deal.

And before the Neo-cons start to take credit for it. This happened despite, not because of Neo-con, militarist policies in the region.


The Law Talking Guy said...

What is so amazing is that these people were not shouting Death to America or Death to Israel. They were not engaging in religious fanaticism. This was a truly liberal, secular revolution. If Israel can seize the moment to make peace with the Palestinians, and with the US military finally leaving Iraq after years of provocations to Islamists, a period of real liberalization can begin in this part of the world.

USwest said...

My many Egyptian friends are elated.

They do not expect any big changes in Egypt's foreign policy. The one change that they seem certain of is that Egypt will quit selling gas to Israel at deeply discounted prices. My one Egyptian friend told me that Egyptians pay more for their gas than Israelis do. But beyond that, they don't see any reason for a change.

My Iranian friends are equally thrilled. They see this as inspirational for Iran. It was 32 years to the day that their own Revolution started. And they are going to be watching Iran closely on Monday- a huge protest is being planned. Out of fear, the government has set up checkpoints all over Tehran. Arrests have started again. The problem in Iran is not the military. The military will not fire on the people. The Republican Guard and these Islamic militias that run around on motorcycles waving baseball bats on the other hand will. And in that case, the military may fire back on these elements. So Iran may turn violent.