A letter to the Egyptians: Keep proving me wrong
Dear Egyptian People:
I hereby admit it. You astonished me. I didn’t think you’d pull it off. Skeptical me could only imagine a grim display in an ugly future: Your revolution bathes in blood under a Tienanmen-style bullet hail; the more organized Muslim Brotherhood takes over and gives the regime its coveted excuse to smash you; Mubarak flees like the shah of Iran, perhaps dooming your nation to chaos and eventual tyranny.
You proved us cynics wrong, so celebrate. You can even make fun of me in the blog comments – if you want to take the time. This is your hour, your day, your festive moment – and you deserve it. You have just overthrown a dictator who may have robbed your coffers of up to $70 billion (see the Guardian article here; see doubts about that figure here) and smothered you with a 30-year “state of emergency.” What’s more, you were substantially peaceful; Mubarak’s thugs brought in the violence. I’m with Marc Lynch: “It’s okay to celebrate – to stand in awe of the Egyptian people and their ability to topple a seemingly impenetrable dictator through massive, peaceful protests.” You emulated the Philippines and you have given hope to those bearing oppression’s weight. There are the other Middle Eastern nations – and there’s also Burma.
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