Wednesday, July 3, 2013
From the looks of this photo (Washington Post), it appears the 4th of July came early somewhere. The place happens to be Cairo. Had all this happened here--massive protests in the streets, clashes of competing demonstrators, and a military coup taking into custody the nation's duly elected president--we would have thought it was the end of our republic. That's a good reminder not to judge what is happening elsewhere by imagining how similar events would be interpreted here. For in Egypt, this week's events might represent the beginning of the republic, not the end.
I heard one encouraging interpretation on the radio from a local journalist, who is originally from Egypt. (can't find a link, sorry) She thinks that these protesters might have been influenced by events in Iran since the 1979 revolution. There the people also placed their hopes for liberation from dictatorship on a strongly theocratic regime. But by the time this regime showed its true colors, it was too firmly entrenched to remove. Egyptians would evidently rather have chaos, or the return (hopefully temporarily) of military rule, than allow their fairly new government to act in a manner unresponsive to the needs and desires of all of the people.