by James Buchanan
A recent news article reports “At least one million Egyptians took to the streets on Tuesday in scenes never before seen in the Arab nation’s modern history, roaring in unison for President Hosni Mubarak and his new government to quit. The army’s pledge on Monday not to use force against demonstrators emboldened Egyptians to push for the biggest shake-up of the political system since 1952 when army officers deposed King Farouk. More than 200,000 Egyptians crowded into Tahrir Square in central Cairo and 20,000 marched in the eastern city of Suez. Demonstrations were held in Alexandria on the north coast, Ismailia and cities in the Nile Delta such as Tanta, Mansoura and Mahalla el-Kubra. Across the country the numbers expressing their anger with Mubarak and his ministers have hit the million mark that activists wanted, according to a Reuters estimate. ‘Mubarak wake up, today is the last day,’ they shouted in Alexandria. The scenes in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, which has become a rallying point for protests over poverty, repression and corruption, were in sharp contrast to Friday when police beat, teargassed and sprayed water cannon on protesters. ‘He goes, we are not going,’ chanted a crowd of men, women and children as a military helicopter hovered over the sea of people, many waving Egyptian flags and banners. ‘Mubarak you coward, you agent of the United States.’ Soldiers, some perched atop armored vehicles defaced with anti-Mubarak graffiti, smiled and nodded as protesters punched the air and shouted: ‘The people and the army are hand in hand … down, down Hosni Mubarak.’ “
The Egyptian military refuses to fire on the demonstrators foiling any plans Mubarak may have had to crush the rebellion. This means that Mubarak is doomed to be overthrown. Various neocons are running around like chicken with their heads cut off, panicked at the thought Israel might be in jeopardy because the Egyptians are toppling an oppressive government. Apparently none of these neocons had any problem with the Egyptian government being unduly influenced –if not controlled by both the US and Israel.
Most Americans probably don’t know that the Egyptian government was being paid $1.5 billion per year to be Israel’s only friend in the Mid-East. This is analogous to a completely spoiled child with violent tendencies (Israel) that none of the other children want anything to do with and the rich parents must bribe another child (Egypt) to be their kid’s friend.
One of the most important lessons that White Americans should learn from Egypt is that a large enough mass demonstration could potentially overthrow a thoroughly corrupt government controlled by a foreign power. Benito Mussolini similarly came to power in Italy thanks to his “March on Rome” which involved about a million of his followers.
A Third-Party political movement in the US would likely need a march by five to ten million people in Washington D.C. to cause a change of power here. Anything smaller than five million would likely be put down by brutal military repression. The Egyptian people have bravely taken to the streets to overthrow an increasingly tyrannical government. Perhaps one day Americans will follow in their footsteps.