February 11, 2011 Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak steps down from three decades of ruthless power. The people of Egypt faced him in a battle of wills and won. There are already many talking heads addressing "What next?" I decided that today I would avoid that. At this moment the Egyptian people deserve unadulterated praise from around the globe.
For years these people had to suffer under a crippling economy and threats of unthinkable torture in police dungeons. How often Arabs have been criticized for being fatalistic by Western thinkers. European and American politicians have continually condemned Arabs as inherently "medieval" while simultaneously supporting Arab dictators with weaponry and diplomatic immunity; reducing Arab populations to forced subservience. Two myths are now absolutely destroyed: 1) that Arabs are not freedom loving and 2) that the West is. In the year 2011 Tunisia and Egypt are now on the path to becoming democratic societies--not because of the West--but despite the West.
In the past few weeks Egyptian citizens figured out how to mobilize, resist, propagandize, and maintain their ground. The world was watching and they knew it. The true face of the dictatorship was made public. Mubarak's regime anticipated any violent or fanatical move by the protesters. Several images of so-called misbehaving was all that was needed to justify a military crackdown with US government approval. Instead, the people had signs calling for human rights and freedom. They gathered peacefully and refused to disperse. The majority asked not for his head but his departure. "Irhal!" They constantly shouted, "Go!" He said he would not leave. Finally he was forced to quit. Millions stood up to him victoriously! Today they can celebrate! The world now waits for the next tyrant to fall. The question I pose is not, "What's next?" but "Who's next?"