Monday, February 21, 2005
I have to admit that I never witnessed such unprecedented demonstrations in Egypt. Here the figure of the president is revered and no one dares to cross this red line. The president in Egypt is like the pope to Catholics or the Imam to Shias, he's infallible and he's eternal. This is the reason why I am very surprised that the issue of Mubarak's fifth term is actually being discussed inside and outside Egypt.
Even though I do respect the courage of today's demonstrators, I'll still vote for Mubarak's fifth term next October! You all know where I stand on this issue. There are currently no alternatives to Mubarak's regime and my president must be pressured to liberalize the political discourse in Egypt so that alternatives start to pop up and then we can be prepared to vote, and not the other way round. Today's demonstrators were composed of leftist radicals, Islamists, and a number of liberal figures. Again, I respect their courage and initiative but they're definitely not my cup of tea.
When people outside Egypt see such demonstrations, they think that the entire Egyptian population is asking Mubarak to step down. This is not true. While millions of Egyptians are dismayed at the state of the country, they are living in political stagnation because they're busy striving to put food on the table. They simply don't want troubles.
Nevertheless, something is beginning to happen in Egypt. In fact, something is beginning to happen all over the region, from the revolution of the purple fingers in Iraq to Lebanon's anti-Syria red demonstrations today. The enemies of freedom as well know that something is happening and they are trying to stop it. They used a mentally retarded Iraqi child in order to blow up a polling station in Baghdad and they used over 300 kilos of explosives to kill the builder of Lebanon Rafik Hariri. An Egyptian columnist once wrote: "50 years from today, our history books will mention that an American president with limited intelligence managed to change the entire political landscape of the Middle East".
UPDATE: I think it is very naive now to call Bush a man with "limited intelligence". From what we've seen so far, I do not consider Bush to be the smartest US president ever nor do I consider him the most stupid. Mick in the comments column solved this dilema. He said that Bush is as stupid as a fox! Well said Mick.