Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Revolution is fun until a chunk of concrete hits you in the head.

Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak (top) and anti-government demonstrators clash in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 2, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
There were those who took the position after Saddam Hussein had been deposed and Iraq was thrust into a violent and bloody sectarian war that perhaps the people of Iraq were better off with a strongman dictator in charge than to have opposing militant tribes fighting bloody turf wars in the villages.  It was a pessimistic view and I disagreed with it.  I referred to that line of thinking as the Saddam the Benevolent Zookeeper theory.  All those animals need a zookeeper.  A fine example of soft racism of lowered expectations.

And now in Egypt, supporters of Hosni Mubarak have taken to the streets to engage the anti-Mubarak  crowd.  And not just by standing on the opposite corner and shouting chants at each other.  No, its more like a scene from Braveheart.  People throwing fist-sized rocks at the other side.   People with whips and chains riding on horses storming into the crowd.  This is some serious anger on display here.  This is a worse situation in my mind than all the people joining together to fight the police.  This is chaos.  It might get much worse before it gets better. 

In a post-Mubarak Egypt, I wonder how long it will take for these opposing sides to come back together and cooperate in some sort of functional representative Government. 

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