Walk Like An Egyptian

13 February 2011

Who sang that, anyway? Was it “The Bangles”? Debra Harry? Annie Lennox? Someone else? The first to answer correctly gets to ask “The Mad CEO” a workplace question.
So, he’s gone. Chillin’ like a villain at Sharm el-Sheikh, where, in an apparently unrelated incident, a tourist was recently devoured by a shark. At first, I thought ‘Is he crazy’? Depending on whether the revolution ends here or takes a Robespierran turn, he could be face justice at the hands of an angry mob.
Then I looked at a map. Duh. Saudi ‘Tyrants-R-Us’ Arabia is just a camel’s leap across the Red Sea. Hosni probably has a nuclear powered sub parked in his swimming pool, ready to sail at a moment’s notice.
Now comes the hard, Egypt. With the army in control, any changes are likely to fall far short of the wild expectations of the revolutionaries. The army may have been willing to part with Hosni as a symbolic offering to the mob, but will they roll over as easily if their own privileges and economic interests are threatened? This is the worst legacy of all “coddle the dictator” foreign policies: an armed forces that has morphed into a business, with tentacles deep into every sector of the economy. This same twisted social contract serves to keep all the other members of “Club Tyrant” in power, from Mugabe to Kim to…..take your pick.
Meanwhile, the neighbors are watching anxiously through their drawn shades. How far will it go? If it goes only so far, and vested interests are preserved, we may see a few more Heads of State roll (Make room for one more, King Abdullah!) But if it spins out of control, and the mob pushes for real changes, the blood could reach the river.
Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, check out “Roo’s” bicycle kick goal against Man City. Say what you will about his private life, the boy has that foot-to-eye coordination down

Rupert Scofield


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