Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, which shockingly a couple of my mates have been, you perhaps may have noticed some degree of unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.
It was all started by the residents of Tunisia finally getting fed up with Dictatorship rule and decided they wanted a democracy. So they did it in the only they could - protests. They eventually managed to “peacefully” hoof their dictator Ben Ali after 30 years.
After seeing this; people in Yeman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and most notably, Egypt have all decided that they’re fed up with their dictators - or in the case of Saudi - their Monarch and fancy dabbling in the art of the democracy. Which is fair enough, if the people want to try it, they should be allowed to try it. And they’ve been successful on varying levels. Tunisia got rid of Ben Ali, Jordan has reduced income tax and raised minimum wage and Yeman, well, Yeman is still protesting, but that’s been drowned out by the media - because they find Egypt that much more interesting.
So onto Egypt. Their leader, Mubarak decided that he would be especially awkward about it and decide that he would barricade himself in his presidential palace and refuse to bow to demands. This was the case, until yesterday, when he gave his first television interview since the unrest began to US network broadcaster, ABC.
-Pull a pose for the camera!
In this interview Mubarak claimed that he didn’t want to step down because “there will be chaos”. Excuse me for saying this, but have you even looked outside recently? You are aware of what is becoming of Cairo, right? It looks like a war zone, mate. But then, I guess, for a dictator of 60 odd years, you would class a democracy as chaos.
He then went to say that “after 62 years in public service, I have had enough”. That’s somewhat excellent news. So why is he refusing to step down until (as he claims) September? He’s playing the classic dictator game of ‘making less sense than rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic’. At least he got one thing right by stating that he would “die on this [Egyptian] soil”. Damn right you will, you will if you don’t leave and the protesters ultimately get to you.
Of course, Mubarak has his own supporters, and they have taken to the streets in protest against the anti-Mubarak protesters. You didn’t need the gift of foresight to know how this was going to turn out. Fights. Both sides are even taking ‘prisoners’. Think of them as POOPs (Prisoners of opposing Protesters).
As until now, the Egyptian Army is still mincing around in the middle ground, not quite sure on which leg to lean on. Even though, officially they are still supporting Mubarak by keeping a heavy guard around his palace - however they aren’t stepping up to the protesters to attempt to calm the situation as apparently ordered to by Mubarak, and they aren’t also siding with the anti-government protesters either. They are literally sitting to one side observing and aiding in the treatment of casualties.
-Some troops have even went as far as to put anti-Mubarak slogans on the side of their tanks.
Time will tell what stance the army decides to take; there are many reasons why they would chose either side, with their benefits, and their drawbacks. But this crisis has the potential of going one of three ways:
1.All out Civil War
2.Mubarak leaves/gets turfed out and a good democracy is called in.
3.Mubarak leaves/gets turfed out and a bunch of nutters manage to get power.
Either way, Egypt will see change. For good, or for bad. And they’re going to have an absolutely shocking clean up bill.
In other news, a Mexican student in London is suing Top Gear for making ‘racist’ and ‘derogatory’ comments about Mexican’s on Sunday’s show. Typical.
It was a joke on the stereotypes of a Mexican. If a person of another nationality started insulting us with our stereotypes, would us British be bothered? No, in fact, we would probably laugh along with it - because, we have a SENSE OF HUMOUR, which turns out to be something that the flatulent, poncho-wearing, ‘tash-sporting, tequila-drinking, lazy slobs from Mexico apparently can’t be bothered to develop. But this is coming from a race who wears bowler hats, pin striped suits with a newspaper under the arm and carries a long un-opened umbrella, even in summer - what would we know? We just want a terribly spiffing cup of tea and a crumpet.