The End of Mubarak Inc.

Picture one: Hosni Mubarak laying on a hospital bed, behind bars, being interviewed by a judge. Picture two: two of his sons in front of the judge, behind bars. Picture three: smiling people in the streets of Cairo. The rulers, responsible for more than 800 deaths during the uprisings, and for thirty years of corruption and dictatorial behavior, are finally being punished. Most Egyptians cannot believe what they see.  They knew that the Mubarak family owned half of the national economy, including construction companies, car imports, banks and tourist facilities – which they shared with the high military officers, the family’s best allies.  They knew that poverty, analphabetism and diseases should have been under control for long, but that this didn’t happen due to an elite filling its pockets shamelesly. But seeing the Mubaraks behind bars must have come as a shock all the same. There goes the only sure element in a chaotic country. Mubarak may have been a harsh leader, he stood for Egypt’s honor and had allies he could count on. And now? The whole system is collapsing. What are the military going to do? Are they formenting a coup in order to protect their privileges? What will happen to the fragile peace with Israel? Can Egypt afford more wars?  Will the Muslim Brotherhood turn the country into a fundamentalist state? What will happen to the price of bread and meat? After the first smiles we see worried faces. Vengeance could have a short life span…

Most foreigners cannot weigh the impact of these images either. Hosni Mubarak, one of the best friends of Washington and Tel Aviv, being accused as any normal citizen would be. The Rais falling like an Egyptian Saddam Hussein, except that Mubarak is supposed to be protected, not attacked by the US. How will the West handle democratic elections knowing that there is just one organized and structured political party, the Brotherhood? Probably it will have to just accept the result. As for the average Egyptian, health care, education, food and a job are the most important ingredients, not whether one accepts all Kuran rules or not.

The end of the Mubarak clan may mean the beginning of a better life for more Egyptians. But the chances are much bigger that military rule will take over, with the tacit blessing of the US (and Israel; and Europe?). The generals are not happy with more control over their business affairs, which will be the case when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over. And they know that tability in the region is more important than democracy for their allies, whatever they say in all the so called real democracies. Poor Egypt. Topling this president and getting little in return, except more uncertainty.

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