Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Revolution Will Be Televised

About 200 people from all walks of life came to central Tempe last night to show support for pro-democracy protestors in Egypt (and Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan etc). 
People who watch international news have known for a long time that Hosni Mubarek is, at best, an unpopular leader in Egypt. But it seems to have been widely accepted that he was our best friend in the Middle East, a dangerous part of the world. How quickly the mighty have fallen. He’s still in charge, at least nominally, in Egypt but he’s the leader in name only. His departure is a question of when not if. 
This reminds me of the “People Power” movement in the Philippines in 1986 when a petite widow wearing yellow unseated one of Asia’s worst tyrants. No one thought Marcos would give up but faced with overwhelming public opposition, a few brave generals who wouldn’t fire on civilians and Corazon Aquino’s steadfast determination Marcos relented and went into exile. Egypt seems to lack a Corazon Aquino like figure, but otherwise there are many similarities. 
Watching this unfold on BBC (whose coverage is much better than CNN’s) is mesmerizing. I wish our local cable provider carried Al-Jazeera in English. Their website’s coverage is outstanding.