By lex, on February 11th, 2011
It’s easy to be cynical at apparent good news coming out of the Arab Middle East. All too easy, safe and perhaps even appropriate – strong hearts have been broken there for millenia.
But for the first time in their 7,000 year history as a political entity, the Egyptians themselves have ousted a dictator. They did it without the help of strangers. They did it by interposing their own bodies between their goal and the power of a ruthless state security apparatus. They did it with an army that was of them, and for them, rather than serving as leashed creature of voracious power. They did it in a really bad neighborhood.
In 18 days they took the first steps toward what took us seven years, four thousand American lives and the better part of a trillion dollars to do imperfectly in Iraq.
Perhaps it will all end in tears. Perhaps the hopes and dreams of the most populous Arab country will have been raised to the heavens only to once again be shackled by new forms of tyranny. It is almost certain that those who hope for a rapid improvement in their daily lives are bound to be disappointed: Perhaps unrealistic expectations could lead to new and ever-increasing instabilities.
All of that is mere conjecture. What we do know is that 80 million minds have been unlocked, 80 million mouths shout in jubilation and that the future of 80 million souls is as yet unwritten. From yesterday to today, that is quite a change.
So give them this.