It hasn’t taken long to see the frayed edges of the Egyptian overthrow of Mubarak – whether it is the anti-Israel and anti-US cleric addressing a huge crowd in Tahrir Square while Google protest hero Wael Ghonim was not allowed to speak the ongoing strikes, or the disappeared people. The strikes reflect the lack of good jobs and good wages – the unrest has certainly decimated the tourist industry in the short term.
With so many global markets being swamped by China, you wonder how Egypt can begin to generate good jobs, whoever is the ruler. This article by an economist, and the accompanying letters, discusses the disadvantages of free trade from a nationalist point of view. The comments are relevant not just for Egypt, but also for Australia, and of course, the US, who have “offshored” many jobs.
Wouldn’t it be great if one sign of more openness in Egypt would be that entrepeneurs, students and artists would feel more free to visit Israel, and gain from the interaction .. and not have to worry about any condemnation back in Egypt. That would be a sign of liberalism and personal freedom.
All rather problematic. One shouldn’t romanticise the past, but where have all the good times gone?
One positive thing from a US point of view, is their veto of a Palestinian motion to the UN Security Council.