Friday, February 11, 2011

Post Mubarak

The popular movement in Egypt has today succeeded in ousting Hosni Mubarak, with power now residing with the military.  Mubarak had remained in power for the better part of 30 years supervised a regime that was authoritarian and recklessly corrupt.  He will likely be missed by few, however this hardly represents the end of the institutionally abusive power structure that Egyptians took to the street in opposition to. Whether Mubarak's removal from office and expulsion from Egypt augers a new era of genuine Democratic leadership within Egypt - as the United States' UN Ambassador Susan Rice seems to believe at a speaking engagement I attended earlier this evening here in Portland - or whether Omar Suleiman and the Egyptian military will be able to continue to subvert the civil society movement and retain control, reamins to be seen.

I should add here that the celebratory rhetoric of the United States government is incredibly cynical when one considers the failure of the US to take a definitive stance on Mubarak while still providing much of the tear gas and equipment which protesters were subjected to.  Effectively, the Obama administration tried to have it both ways, muddled through, and now has been left trying to appear on the correct side of history.  We shall have to see how easily Egyptians are swayed by this apparent American triumphalism.

In the end, let us hope that whatever government results from this shake-up, that it be responsive to local needs and not be so easily subverted by the previous power structure as the similar protest movement in Tunisia has apparently been.

Thanks to my friend Ascher at Hungèer, Cluod for the above photo, and check out his brilliant portrait of Mubarak here.

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