Saturday, February 12, 2011

Megabytes Over Guns?

I’m still trying to figure out what I think about Eygpt.

One theme of the “revolution” has been that it is the latest example of the power of social media – Facebook, Twitter.  The cellphone will set you free.

And to an extent, I think that is true.

Going forward?  I’m not too sure.  I’m afraid I think that Eygpt has traded one dictator for a group dictatorship, the Army.  From a CBS News article: “With 468,000 members, the Egyptian military is the largest in the Arab world. It controls an estimated one-third of the Egyptian economy….”  I really don’t think the guys that backed the last guy are going to turn things over to the “opposition” by way of “free and fair” elections.

I think guns, at least in the near future, will trump media.  I hope I’m wrong; but, I don’t think I am.

1 comment:

The Curmudgeon said...

The Army has controlled Egypt since the monarchy was deposed. So this is nothing new. (Mubarak was a general. So was Sadat. Nasser, I think, was only a colonel.)

Anyway, the Army has apparently enjoyed wide popular support in Egypt during the crisis, playing the neutral's role. The Egyptian Army is not an Islamist institution; it will prevent, if it possibly can, a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood. But that will be more difficult if it really does permit free and fair elections -- and not because the Brotherhood would win a fair election either. Rather, a weak civilian government might be toppled by a determined group of extremists. Always remember Alexander Kerensky.

So even if the Egyptian Army does return to its barracks soon, you may be certain they'll be listening at the windows.