Friday, February 11, 2011

A New Alexandria

Finally, after 16 days of protests, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that he was stepping down as President (read: dictator) of Egypt. In power since the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Mubarak has been a rather unhealthy U.S. ally. The largest and most Westernized of the Arab nations, Egypt is a strategic military and political locale and the recent events there have left the U.S., Israel, Palestine and several other Middle Eastern nations wondering about their own futures in the region.

Egypt is also an important anthropological region and a major tourist destination for Europeans and Americans since Napoleon's troops first raided it's tombs in the 18th Century. Indeed, Uncle P has a very strong personal attraction to ancient Egypt and its culture.

So what does all this mean to you and I? In the end, not much. If you are like me (and I have to suppose that you are more like me than you are like a World Leader), it means that a third world dictator has been overthrown by the will of the people, and that political alliances are about to again change drastically in a part of the world where such alliances seem to change at the drop of a hat. Will Egypt now become a true democratic nation? I think it unlikely. Arab nations tend to lean toward theocratic governments, which (in MHO) never really seem to be good for anyone but the fervently religious. The peace accord brokered by Carter, Sadat and Begin may well be at risk of annulment and Islamic extremists may have another foot in the door (much like fundie Christians in the U.S. of late). 

Of course, in Uncle P's twisted little part of the world, I can't wait for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. I can almost hear the lame anthems now: "Don't Cry for Me, Alexandria;" "Light at the End of the Revolution;" "All I Ask of Sulieman;" "Poor, Poor Mubarak" and of course, "Music of the Nile."*

Cynical? Maybe. But you just know that creepy British hack is wondering how he can make a buck out this.

More, anon.

*If you, unlike Uncle P, are not a musical theatre geek, I apologize for the jokes you didn't get in that paragraph.

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