Friday, February 11, 2011

Egypt: what happens next?

< photo of Tahrir Sq thanks to @mohamed.

Huge joy and relief now that Mubarak the dictator, the torturer, the seller of arms to geonocidal regimes is gone.

The central aim of the revolutionaries has been achieved, but there are 6 other aims to be addressed, and this is going to take time. It is going to need patience, persistence, and hard, boring political work.

His regime remains, headed by the unlovely Omar Suleiman, guaranteed by the Army.

We can have faith in the intelligence and courage of the Egyptian people, and we can have confidence in the power of democracy to work through the many problems that still remain.

Now that the State apparatus has been decapitated, we may hope that Mubarak's associates, clients, police and thugs will fade. They are bullies, and therefore cowards. Without an authoritarian structure, their confidence will bleed away. There are thousands of political prisoners yet to be released.  There is still a risk that Suleiman might dare to run a counter revolution. There are many problems to be faced, not least Egypt's unemployment problem.

There will be a revision of the whole Middle East  peace process, and we must hope that the shift in the balance of power will force Israel to negotiate in good faith at last.

Much to be done. But the sheer scale of the achievement of the pro-democracy demonstrators, their unity, their humanity and their courage gives people, especially the youth, throughout the world renewed confidence in the power of non-violent direct action.

Thank you, young people of Egypt, for your sacrifice, courage and persistence. You have not just liberated your country, you have given the whole world hope.

No comments: