Monday, February 14, 2011

On Egypt

Is a revolution in Egypt underway?

The US government and media's reactions to and analysis of the uprising in Egypt against Mubarak, and now continuing against the military cohorts, has been both predictable and predictably disappointing. But in the wider world, there are some interesting perspectives.

Huma Yusuf, writing in the Dawn newspaper, implores Egyptians to not follow Pakistan's path. The military in Egypt has controlled power in one form or another since 1952, and she warns of the dangers of allowing the military to now assume a 'savior complex'.
"Allowing the military to take partial credit for Mubarak’s deposition would be a disservice to young Egyptians who risked everything for their freedom.As memories from Tahrir Square fade, Egyptians should remember that the fate of their country lies in their hands, not those of the military."
To make sure this is a revolution and not merely a devolution, Hossam el-Hamalawy, opining in the Guardian, presents possibly biased but nevertheless revealing aspects of the struggle. The uprising in the streets were coordinated on Twitter and Facebook, but once the momentum was on, the workers' strikes broke Mubarak's resolve to stay on. And, in a hopeful vision, Hossam sees these strikes continuing until a truly representative democracy sets in.
"Since Hosni Mubarak fled from Cairo, and even before then, some middle-class activists have been urging Egyptians, in the name of patriotism, to suspend their protests and return to work, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies: "Let's build a new Egypt", "Let's work harder than ever before". They clearly do not know that Egyptians are already among the hardest working people in the worldThose activists want us to trust Mubarak's generals with the transition to democracy – the same junta that provided the backbone of his dictatorship over the past 30 years."

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