‘Go Out’ Pharaoh

Freedom!

Freedom!

Freedom!

The people in Tahrir Square in Cairo called it the Lotus Revolution, but the shout of choice for the past three weeks has been “Go Out!  Go Out, Mubarak!”

Today that finally happened after a false start—or rather last gasp to cling to power backfired yesterday forcing the hand of the Egyptian militaryHosni Mubarak was removed as president and the power shifted to the military high command to restore order and plan for the next steps in the nation’s transition.

No one knows what that might be, but this stage 2 between the fall the Mubarak Government and what is to eventually replace it will be a time of optimism and danger—high danger.  This was the period after the fall of the Shah in Iran where democratic forces were displaced by the clerics and the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed.  A similar fate in Egypt would doom the region for all.

When the Egyptians began rallying in their national square the reaction in Tehran was to hang 73 of the demonstration leaders arrested after the election protests a year ago, a gruesome reminder that there is no democracy in that nation.

The recipe for revolution is hardly the stuff of inspiration:

1.       The people oppressed and often brutalized by their own government

2.       Unemployment high, many desperately poor and hope for jobs and a future have long waned

3.       The people are young, idealistic and ready for change

4.       Tweet and friend, txt and email are the social cocktail fomenting flash mobs

5.       Islam is often their only outlet for protest and radicals dominate it

6.       Mix all ingredients with any hint of weakness and a revolution occurs.

The problem now is that Mubarak is gone and little else will change if the Army has its way.  But the people’s expectations are raised and the crowds in Tahrir Square shout

“Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!”

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