Cairo Tahrir Square. February 8, 2011. It takes almost 400 lives and over 6,000 injuries to get Mubarak to step down.
Getting the president of a fascist regime to step down is always a positive thing. But martial law is still in place, allowing police to act as if they are above the law because the state is in an ‘emergency’ situation. Martial law has been in place for 53 years. It seems as though Egypt still has a lot more to fight for.
That aside, Egypt was still victorious that day.
January 25, 2011. Youth pour into Cairo Tahrir Square after deciding they have had enough. The line to get a loaf of bread is insane. The price of that bread is through the roof. Stores are robbed without intervention. And worst of all, the police are corrupt. Bad news bears.
Some things you might not realize: 80 million people live in Egypt. Their military is one of the largest in the world (ranked 10th) with conscription in effect. This means everybody knows someone in the army, or has served in the army before. The Egyptian Army was termed by the media as being “on the people’s side.” Meanwhile, the police were on Mubarak’s side. In reality, Mubarak owned the military and the police. But it was the police who plummeted civilians with a truck, who shot fire in a mass crowd, and who brought horses and weaponry and attacked civilians. As the protestors grew in numbers, the economy halted. Doctors in white suits joined the protestors. Mothers who yelled at their sons for being foolish for protesting joined their sons in Cairo Square. Victory in Egypt and the people won against the police is seen very different in Libya.
Everyone likes an equal fight. Everyone says, “pick on someone your own size.” So why can’t we just accept that air in a war zone is an unfair advantage? Air. It’s quite a powerful advantage.
In Libya the people who have risen against President Muammar al-Gaddafi (in power for 43 years) are putting up a mean fight on the land. Unlike Egypt, the military is not on their side. The people fighting Muammar and his army are termed “The Rebels” by the media. Unlike Egypt’s arguably peaceful protest in Tahrir Square, Libya is being attacked from the sky. The Rebels in Libya are being attacked psychologically.
The United States has joined Britain and France in supporting a no-fly zone for Libya. More countries will surely join in soon. If there is anything we can learn from Egypt and Libya it is that nothing can be changed if the people don’t speak up and protest against injustices.