"All glory is fleeting" as the slave supposedly whispered in Julius Caesar's ear as the conquering hero was riding in his chariot in celebration after vanquishing his enemy.
But certainly the Egyptian people deserve their moment of glory in successfully vanquishing their oppressor, Hosni Mubarak.
Words are hardly adequate in describing the elation we all saw yesterday expressed by the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square in the aftermath of their showdown with Mubarak.
He eventually caved to the inevitable as the people, (with equal gratitude to the Egyptian military) were not going to be denied.
Thirty years of official repression, humiliation, torture, intimidation, police state tactics and absolute suppression of all dissent that so many suffered at the hands of the Mubarak regime seemed cleansed in the exhilaration and knowledge of what they had just accomplished; the peoples revolt and overthrow of the tyrant they had been forced to live under.
The world was privy to this successful people's revolution unfolding before their eyes.
It was not totally bloodless as the regime exacted a toll of some 300 or more dead and hundreds injured. But police state tactics would not be allowed to prevail.
This was a grassroots, non-ideological, non-sectarian leaderless rebellion. The protestors were essentially peaceful and non-violent for most of the 18 day uprising only responding in kind when they were attacked physically by state sponsored police and security personnel.
This was also no military coup in any traditional sense. The army was one with the people even though loyalty to Mubarak continued almost to the last.
From reports the army became indignant with Mubarak when he didn't resign Thursday evening particularly after Vice President Suleiman had led the generals to believe he would earlier that morning. On Friday morning, many of the officers said they would shed their uniforms and join the protestors in Tahrir Square saying to Mubarak "We can no longer stand by you". This must have been the final blow to Mubarak where he finally reached the conclusion his time was up and told Suleiman to announce he was turning his power over to the Supreme Military Council.
The Military Council immediately suspended the Egyptian Parliament, dismissed the Cabinet and suspended the Constitution.
From the U.S., the cable and broadcast networks went into their usual instant analysis mode with pundits and talking heads (the same "experts" who said what happened in Tunisia could never happen in Egypt)at once extolling the Egyptian people while offering their "insight" on whether this was a "military coup" or whether the revolution would devolve into an Iranian type revolution as happened in 1979.
Only one woman commentator (someone who previously worked at the American Embassy in Cairo, had been to university there and spoke fluent Arabic) seemed to offer clear insight and the hope that the U.S. would pull back and let this revolution take its own path as determined by the Egyptian people,( the hope also coming from this corner).
There are sure to be populist reverberations in the rest of the Arab world over the events in Egypt. At the very least the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan (and likely to be in most of the Arab world) show that populist rebellion against official tyranny is NOT inspired and led by fundamentalist, radical, Jihadist terrorists.
The U.S. has been on the wrong side supporting these dictatorial regimes in the Arab and Muslim world whose leaders support our reactionary and absurd "war on terrorism", all in the name of maintaining stability and fighting Islamist terrorism.
The Egyptians (and the Tunisians before them) show the people don't hate Americans. They identify with our own revolution against tyranny.
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