Mona Eltahawy “We've waited for this revolution for years. Other despots should quail” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/29/egypt-mubarak-tunisia-palestine
My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback, as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war with Israel is euphemistically known in Arabic. My parents' generation grew up high on the Arab nationalism that Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser brandished in the 1950s. But we "Children of the Naksa", hemmed in by humiliation, have spent so much of our lives uncomfortably stepping into pride's large, empty shoes.
Ben Ali's fall killed the fear in Egypt. So imagine what Mubarak's fall could do to liberate the region. Too many have rushed in to explain the Arab world to itself. "You like your strongman leader," we're told. "You're passive, and apathetic."
But a group of young online dissidents dissolved those myths. For at least five years now, they've been nimbly moving from the "real" to the "virtual" world where their blogs and Facebook updates and notes and, more recently, tweets offered a self-expression that may have at times been narcissistic but for many Arab youths signalled the triumph of "I". I count, they said again and again.
Most of the people in the Arab world are aged 25 or are younger. They have known no other leaders than those dictators who grew older and richer as the young saw their opportunities – political and economic – dwindle. The internet didn't invent courage; activists in Egypt have exposed Mubarak's police state of torture and jailings for years. And we've seen that even when the dictator shuts the internet down protesters can still organise. Along with making "I" count, social media allowed activists to connect with ordinary people and form the kind of alliances that we're seeing on the streets of Egypt where protesters come from every age and background. Youth kickstarted the revolt, but they've been joined by old and young.
Meanwhile, the uprisings are curing the Arab world of an opiate, the obsession with Israel. For years, successive Arab dictators have tried to keep discontent at bay by distracting people with the Israeli-Arab conflict. Israel's bombardment of Gaza in 2009 increased global sympathy for Palestinians. Mubarak faced the issue of both guarding the border of Gaza, helping Israel enforce its siege, and continuing to use the conflict as a distraction. Enough with dictators hijacking sympathy for Palestinians and enough with putting our lives on hold for that conflict.
The group of young army officers who staged that coup in 1952 claimed it as a revolution, heralding an era of rule by military men who turned Egypt into a police state. Today, the army is out in Tahrir Square again, this time facing down a mass of youthful protesters determined to pull of Egypt's first real post-colonial revolution.
KAREEM FAHIM and LIAM STACK “Opposition in Egypt Gears Up for Major Friday Protest” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/middleeast/28egypt.html
「蜂起」が続く中、国際原子力機関（IAEA）Mohamed ElBaradei元事務局長がウィーンから帰国。また、ムバラクの党である国民民主党（National Democratic Party）側は一連の騒動は（最大野党である）ムスリム兄弟団が仕組んだものだという見解であるが、実際のところ、ムスリム兄弟団は先週の中頃になってやっと反政府運動への合流を宣言したのだった。田中宇はそのメルマガでムスリム兄弟団の役割を重視して、埃及のみならずアラブ世界の再イスラーム主義化、米国の影響力の縮小を予測しているのだけれど、どうだろうか。正直言って、急遽帰国のMohamed ElBaradei、或いはムスリム兄弟団が「革命」のコースにどのような影響を与えるのかはわからない。勿論ムスリム兄弟団は合法団体だが、非合法のアルカイーダにも連なるような原理主義グループはどう出るのか。また、コプト教会へのテロに見られるような埃及社会の宗教的不寛容*1が緩むような方向に進むのかどうか、それも未知数。
TOBIN HARSHAW “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mubarak?” http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-mubarak/
ROSS DOUTHAT “The Devil We Know” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/opinion/31douthat.html
In “The Looming Tower,” his history of Al Qaeda, Lawrence Wright raises the possibility that “America’s tragedy on September 11 was born in the prisons of Egypt.” By visiting imprisonment, torture and exile upon Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak foreclosed any possibility of an Islamic revolution in his own country. But he also helped radicalize and internationalize his country’s Islamists, pushing men like Ayman Al-Zawahiri — Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant, and arguably the real brains behind Al Qaeda — out of Egyptian politics and into the global jihad.
(…) Unfortunately, Middle Eastern politics is never quite that easy. The United States supported Mubarak for so long because of two interrelated fears: the fear of another Khomeini and the fear of another Nasser. Both anxieties remain entirely legitimate today.
The first fear everyone understands, because we’re still living with the religious tyranny that Ayatollah Khomeini established in Iran in 1979, in the wake of a spontaneous revolution not unlike the one currently sweeping Cairo and Alexandria.
The second fear is less immediately resonant, because Gamal Abdel Nasser is now 40 years in the grave. But the last time a popular revolution in the land of the pharaohs overthrew a corrupt regime, the year was 1952, Nasser was the beneficiary — and Washington lived to rue the day he came to power.
Nasser was not an Islamist: he was a secular pan-Arabist socialist, which in the 1950s seemed to put him on history’s cutting edge. But under his influence, Egypt became an aggressively destabilizing force in Middle Eastern politics. His dream of a unified Arab world helped inspire convulsions and coups from Lebanon to Iraq. He fought two wars with Israel, and intervened disastrously in Yemen. His army was accused of using poison gas in that conflict, a grim foreshadowing of Saddam Hussein’s domestic tactics. And his pursuit of ballistic missiles was a kind of dress rehearsal for today’s Iranian nuclear brinkmanship — complete with a covert Israeli campaign to undermine his weapons programs.
The memory of Nasser is a reminder that even if post-Mubarak Egypt doesn’t descend into religious dictatorship, it’s still likely to lurch in a more anti-American direction. The long-term consequences of a more populist and nationalistic Egypt might be better for the United States than the stasis of the Mubarak era, and the terrorism that it helped inspire. But then again they might be worse. There are devils behind every door.