Have just had the following published over at The Drum:
It’s quickly become fashionable to poor scorn on the high hopes inspired by the uprisings in the Arab world this year.
Commentators, citing the fact that the regions problems have not evaporated overnight, continue talking as if it was the same old Middle East.
We saw one contribution along these lines by the [formerly “honourable”?] Peter Reith who weighed in last month on The Drum dismissing hopes of a transformative change in the region as “naiveté”. He get’s much right.
He’s right that the armed forces are in charge of the country, as they have been “since 1952 without one day’s interruption”. He’s right that the majority of the protesters mainly “wanted lower bread prices,” and an improved rule of law. He’s even right that “there was no revolution in Cairo” this January – not a whole one. Not yet.
Despite getting all this right, in the general thrust of his article, that the high hopes inspired by Egyptian people will likely collapse into economic stagnation and backwardness without Western guidance, he is wrong. So wrong, in fact, that he doesn’t even know what he’s wrong about.
The revolution, by the time it’s finished, won’t just change Egypt, not even just the region, but the whole world…