Almost eight months to the day after the ouster of President Mubarak on February 11th another dramatic set of events set Cairo ablaze. This time, it was not the “people” who were pushing against a corrupt regime but unidentified forces that pushed the army, the riot police, the plainclothes police and some of the 165,000 gangsters who were previously employed by Mubarak (and apparently were still on someone’s payroll), to violently attack a peaceful Coptic Christian demonstration.
The death of Muammar al-Qaddafi and the end of his rule in Libya marks the end of an era. Our untiring colleague in International History, Jeremi Suri, blogs about the historical background.
In a recent Wikileaks revelation, a secret U.S. cable revealed that Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman promised to provide Muammar Gaddafi with military hardware in 2009. McCain and Lieberman were among the last high-level teams to have made such a promise, but they certainly weren’t the first.
This weekend, as Cairo’s protestors struck their tents and tidied up Tahrir Square, a clean-up operation of another sort was underway nearby: in the Egyptian Museum, home to King Tutankhamen and countless other archaeological treasures.