We raise our glass to the Egyptian people. In the end Mubarak propelled them to irresistible fury with his dotty broadcast on Thursday. It seems that for some years now he’s been drifting in and out of senile dementia, same way Reagan did in his second term. The plan had been to run his son Gamal in the last elections, but that turned out to be a non-starter so they rolled the semi-gaga Hosni out one more time and fixed the results, ringingly endorsed by the US. On Thursday morning Mubarak probably told Suleiman and the US that he was going to quit, then forgot and, braced by a supportive call from the Israelis and a pledge by the Saudis to give him $1.4 billion if the US withheld it, announced that he would be around till September.
And next for Egypt? These chapters are unwritten, but the world is bracingly different this week than what it was a month ago. The rulers of Yemen, Jordan and Algeria know that. Rulers and tyrants everywhere know that. They know bad news when they see it, same way we know good news when we hear its welcome knock on the door of history.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tyrants Everywhere, Beware
I always appreciate leftist Alexander Cockburn's take on things (don't always agree, of course):