31 January 2011


I didn't really pay attention to events into Tunisia until Ben Ali headed for the exit.

I'm paying much more attention to Egypt.

Mubarak may well be hanging on at the moment and while it seems the army aren't putting down the protests, they aren't actively supporting them either. I don't think even they agree on the right course of action.

I think the best solution might well be for Mubarak to step down, hand over power to the new Vice-President, then hold elections in a few months like Tunisia. In the meantime, the "state of emergency" (it's 30 years old; long emergency) must end and freedom of expression allowed.

I doubt any new Egyptian government will be as friendly to the USA and Israel as the old one; especially as the USA has not only been not actively supporting the protests but also supplied the equipment the authorities have been using, including the fighter jets. The support for Mubarak may well come back to haunt the USA.

Comparisons to 1989 have already failed for one reason; deadly violence. In all bar one case (Romania) no-one died in the revolutions there, although a rumour that someone had was sufficient to bring down the Communists in Czechoslovakia.

History repeats, but it never repeats exactly. I don't know if the fall of Mubarak would cause a chain reaction elsewhere; I suspect a couple of states would be easily able to contain any demonstrations.

I hope that the people of the great and ancient nation of Egypt can have a peaceful and democratic future.

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