Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak Does the Right Thing, But Why Now?

Mubarak's abrupt resignation just a day after his defiant "I ain't goin' nowhere" speech is welcome news, but now we have to ask ourselves "what the hell?"

The only thing that makes sense to me is that yesterday's speech yesterday was a very public demonstration for a very private negotiation between Mubarak and the United States.  There's no doubt that he wants to keep his ill-gotten gains, and that he wants his friends and family protected from criminal prosecutions in Egypt and elsewhere (e.g., for torture in Europe).  I have to imagine that he wasn't getting the guarantees he wanted, so he engaged in a little brinksmanship to secure those guarantees.  "You won't give me what I want?  Okay, let's set the Arab world on fire and see how that goes for you . . ."

Unfortunately for the people of Egypt, the interim solution of a military-run government may not prove to be much of a difference.  After all, it appears that the Egyptian military is a lackey of the American military.  While the Egyptian people seem to genuinely love their military, and the military's forebearance in cracking down on the protesters was assumed to be a reciprocation of those feelings, the Egyptian military may just have been following orders handed down by the American military.

I hope everything works out, but Washington D.C. does not believe in democracy of any sort (actually, it even views America's degraded form of democracy as a failed experiment), so the people of Egypt need to be on their guard.  They're acting like they've won a championship game, but they really just made it into the tournament.