Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Egypt's former Ruler may soon Walk Free

President Reagan and Former President of Egypt, Hosni 
In February 2011, delirious and near-disbelieving Egyptians in the capital’s Tahrir Square danced and sang as they welcomed the fall of a dictator who had maintained iron control of this ancient land for the entire life span of many in the crowd.
But in a place where the past is always vividly present — if only as a glimpse of the pyramids on the dusty desert horizon — what seems consigned to history sometimes rebounds.
A supporter of Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, 
waits outside the police academy in Cairo during his court 
session on Nov. 29.
On Saturday, Hosni Mubarak, frail but still defiant at 86, permitted himself a small, tight smile of satisfaction as a Cairo judge pronounced invalid, on largely technical grounds, the charges that he had been complicit in the killings of hundreds of demonstrators who had fought to oust him.
With that, Egypt’s autocratic ruler of three decades’ standing was poised to perhaps soon go free, while those who struggled to topple him — igniting the fires of democratic aspirations across the Arab world — wondered whether their sacrifices had come to naught.
Lying on a stretcher, Hosni Mubarak is taken from a 
helicopter to the military hospital in Maadi after 
his trial session in Cairo on Nov. 29.
Egypt was not the first of the countries whose long-oppressed people threw in their lot with the so-called Arab Spring — the uprisings that swept a Middle East long beset by hidebound and repressive governments.
But as the most populous Arab country, with its tattered but long-held prestige as the region’s intellectual and spiritual center, Egypt seemed to many a beacon that beckoned irresistibly.
Supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 
shout slogans outside a military hospital in Maadi after 
Mubarak's trial session in Cairo on Nov. 29.
In many parts of the region, that onetime flame has yielded only bitter ash. Syria has descended into a savage civil war. Oil-rich Libya is riven by competing militia factions. Tiny Bahrain’s Shiite majority, hoping to win consummate rights, still simmers. In strategic Yemen, the Obama administration lends semi-covert military muscle — as in a raid days ago — on behalf of a central government that has managed to maintain only a modicum of control.
And a former military man again rules Egypt.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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