As the Revolution of 25 January unfolded in Egypt, the Canadian government's statements failed to reflect what most Canadians surely felt. On 11 February, just before the dictator gave up, Prime Minister Harper had this to say according to a citytv report:
"We are all seeing what's happening," Harper told a news conference in St. John's, N.L., moments before it was confirmed that Mubarak had handed power to the military. "Transition is taking place in Egypt.
As a former Canadian Ambassador to Egypt said this morning on CBC Radio, Harper's toothpaste comment clearly reflected his regret that the Mubarak regime had been squirted out of the tube and couldn't be put back in its old form. The second-best outcome, then, as expressed above, is that the old dictator "lead change" and "get in front of it". Laughable, if it were not so embarrassing.
Then, hours later, after Mubarak resigned, the statement from Harper's office began: "Canada respects President Mubarak’s decision to step down in order to promote peace and stability in the country" -- as if Mubarak were motivated by noble intentions. A truly pathetic performance, but hardly surprising from a Prime Minister for whom the reactionaries in charge of the Israeli government can do no wrong.
|The view from a satellite: Tahrir Square, 11 February 2011|
and that evening, after the collapse of the regime:
Here is a link to Egypt Remembers, a site being assembled with with the names and photos of those killed during the revolution based on the on-going work of Human Rights Watch. The victims include some of Cairo's 50,000 street children, as my favourite reporter, Robert Fisk, documents in The Independent on Sunday.
The High Cost of Procrastination
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