Friday, February 11, 2011

Adieu Hosni

A great afternoon as we learn today that Hosni Mubarak has resigned as President of Egypt after 30 years.   Truly this could not come soon enough.

"Friend" to the West he may very well have been but he was no friend to his own people.   Still, to quote a good line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "I fear there will come in his place."  (III,ii,110)  Democracy may have won one battle, but the war is never truly won until human rights and democracy are truly secure.   As Bill Clinton once wryly noted about Haiti -- and I'm paraphrasing -- a country's most important democratic election is its second.   So we're probably at least four years away before we see whether people power does amount to anything substantive especially in a region that, unlike Eastern Europe, has no real recent memory of a democratic past.

I cross my fingers tonight, but only tentatively.   One can't help but be skeptical even as we're hopeful.

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