Thursday, February 3, 2011

Egypt Right Now

One post from Egyptian blogger 'the Sandmonkey' is worth 6 hours of al jazeera, 2 days of the bbc, and a month of everything else.

His account has been suspended, but you can follow him on twitter. Apparently he was ambushed and beaten by police, according to his twitter feed.

Conservatives seem ambivalent about supporting the overthrow of Mubarak, for the justifiable fear that having the Muslim Brotherhood running things would probably be worse. If you believe Sandmonkey's account, it's hard to see how Mubarak hasn't forfeited what little legitimacy he once had. If it were me, I'd roll the dice.

Or for conservatives, here's an apt comparison. If dictatorship wasn't viewed as a bargain deal with Saddam and the Taliban, why are you willing to support it here? What exactly about Egypt makes you think it's less suited to democracy than these places? Now, you may think that the democratic project in these places has been a failure (and you wouldn't be short of evidence to support that view). But either way, it's hard to know how you can support Mubarak without thinking that it's high time we got the hell out Iraq and Afghanistan. Egyptians really are turning out en masse to demand Mubarak's removal, which is more than we can say happened in either of the other two places. Personally, I think it's high time they got a chance to determine their own national future.

Sadly, I'm revising down my estimate of the chances of Mubarak leaving in the short term (pace The Greek, who argued that my earlier prediction was a gimme). The army may not be willing to shoot the protesters, but they seem plenty happy standing by as the police do that job for them. Which is a very different proposition from what seemed to be the case a few days ago.

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