Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt is Far From Free

Like many over the last couple of weeks, I have been keeping one eye on the events that were transpiring in Egypt. A country that has been under a "President" for the last thirty years whose feelings and frustrations over the policies had finally boiled over. It was amazing to see in a sort of time lapse that eventually led to the ouster, or coup as I would more appropriately call it of President Mubarak.

Over the last day or so, as I started to think about it a little more in depth, mostly due to the chatter on Twitter and Facebook about it, it strikes me that it is not all that different than other events in history. Many times populations have protested and eventually over ran the government that was in place. France, Russia .. the list goes on. A different scenario, but how do you think Hasni Mubarak came to power .. on the heels of an assassination.

While it is true the people took to the streets and demonstrated for the freedoms and rights that deserve, I feel in the end they will have gotten few of the things they expect. They want free elections, but what they got was a "transfer" of power to a military council. This is not to say those elections and reforms are not on the horizon, but would it not have been more practical to allow the current regime to govern while reforms and changes are implemented? What the people of Egypt got was initially a transfer of power to the newly appointed Vice President, who was the former head of the Intelligence regime and I would assume a figure many people relate to the problem not the solution, and then a country ruled by a military council. We did not even see Mubarak make the final announcement himself essence, a military coup.

I am not here to say that the Egyptians are not on the path to a new and prosperous democracy which affords them all the rights and freedoms they deserve, but I am saying that lets not be so naive that these are certainties. As I said yesterday on Facebook, these power vacuums do not always lead to great new freedoms and/or leaders. Most times they do not.

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