10 February 2011


Count me among those that dislike NPR's leftist leanings. All that aside, I have found it to be far superior, along with the BBC, to the television media in it's treatment of the events in Egypt.

In many ways, especially in terms of realpolitik, Egypt is a small player. Their somewhat conciliatory attitude toward Israel has been important, but Egypt is still an economic lightweight and a less significant member of the oil-producing nations. Still, Egypt matters.

It matters because it is a young country. Like most of the Arab world, the average age is much younger than in the developed world. This has been a concern for the west due to fears that youth with too much time and too little economic opportunity might turn towards jihad to fill their lives. This idea failed to address the greater desire among many of the young to matter in legitimate ways. This means massing to demand democratic reforms and the end to autocratic regimes. In recent months this has repeated itself across the region, from Tunisia to Jordan and now, most notably, to Egypt.

The people have tasted the ability to effect change. The fact that Mubarak did anything showed them that they can influence him, and having seen him "blink," they don't want to stop until they get all of what they want, starting with his removal from office in name and authority.

Things may get very ugly over the next few days and weeks.

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