Friday, February 04, 2011

We Are All Egyptians
That's the title of Nick Kristof's op-ed in today's NYTimes
At Tahrir Square’s field hospital (a mosque in normal times), 150 doctors have volunteered their services, despite the risk to themselves. Maged, a 64-year-old doctor who relies upon a cane to walk, told me that he hadn’t been previously involved in the protests, but that when he heard about the government’s assault on peaceful pro-democracy protesters, something snapped.

So early Thursday morning, he prepared a will and then drove 125 miles to Tahrir Square to volunteer to treat the injured. “I don’t care if I don’t go back,” he told me. “I decided I had to be part of this.”

“If I die,” he added, “this is for my country.”
What Mubarak's disgraceful end has done is bind up all peace-loving, freedom-loving citizens of the world in unity with the protests. Any hesitations that were there before - he has at least been a helpful US ally, and maintained a peaceful border with Israel - have fallen away with the brutality of his hired hands.

Rooting for a movement like this, from the safety of America, is tricky. The people could be crushed; the resulting government could be no better. Something indeed worse may come of it for the people of Egypt and the world - some ruler even more oppressive and more dangerous. But that caution hardly seems to matter now. Hundreds of thousands have stood up to their dictator in peaceful rebellion. Greeted with a downpour of rocks and nail-studded clubs, firebombs and razors, they stand there still. What other choice do we have than to believe in and hope for them?

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