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'Do not go gentle into that good night.' Hosni Mubarak toughs it out as Barrak Obama pleads with him to get out!
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Could it be that Egyptian president Hosni Mobarak has been spending his leisure time these days reading Welsh poet Dylan Thomas? It certainly looks that way. After all what Thomas wrote in 1951 must speak to the soul of 82- year old Mubarak today:
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right.
For the last week or so Mubarak was like an aging champ, past his prime, being beaten down and down again. The world saw, but could not quite believe, that this octogenarian tyrant, with more power than the pharaohs before him, would go without a fight.
The revolutionaries, the children of Egypt who had grabbed the attention of the world and were about to evict the dictator, could not believe their good luck. As they gained momentum every day, it seemed that changing regimes was child's play indeed.
But, it was all rope-a-dope, with Muhammad Ali the model. Rope-a-dope is performed by a boxer assuming a protected stance, in Ali's classic pose, lying against the ropes; allowing his opponent to hit him and hit him and hit him again. The opponent thinks he's winning.... but he's actually tiring himself, while his opponent "rests". The attacker, hoodwinked, is being readied for the counter attack.
In due course, predictably, the attacker flags, thereby creating an opening which can be exploited by the old fox, the real champ... and so to victory, again.
Mr. Mubarak knows this trick, and several others, and he now means to show us each and every one of them. The world has written him off... but that, he knows, is not the end of the story.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Do not go gentle into that good night.
Mr. Mubarak has now let it be known, especially to one time friends who have fast deserted, so many rats, that he will not go, gentle or otherwise; that he will stay until September, 2011 when his term ends.
And so the next phase of the Egyptian revolution begins.
For the last week or so, the initiative was entirely, completely with the revolutionaries. These youngsters, for they are, most of them, still wet behind the ears, seized the world's attention and admiration from the unlikely platform of Facebook. There they called upon all the disaffected of Egypt to rally in Cairo, to rally for change... for an end to Mubarak's increasingly ramshackle administration, contemptible but still lethal.
The response was immediate, electric, overwhelming, as Facebook showed Mubarak and every other unsavory despot on earth that you can challenge regimes the electronic way, that Facebook was good for far more than picking up chicks. Now it could uplift an entire population and topple imperial thrones.
It was crazy, man. The stuff of legend and made-for- television movies.
Mubarak, his back against the ropes, his back against the wall, Mubarak bided his time... and worked furiously behind the scenes, the most active and focused octogenarian on earth.
He had not accepted the "inevitable." He did not mean to go. He would not make it easy, would not gratify fair weather friends and waxing revolutionaries.
They did not know Mubarak and, come what may, he was fully determined that they should.
Mubarak, born May 4, 1928, came from the Egyptian lower middle class. Amenities were few; evidence of scrimping was everywhere. There was too little at hand, too long to wait to get it. And Mubarak, even in his early days, was nothing if not determined, ambitious, never content to make do with less.
Such a man gravitated naturally into the military... for, as always in the history of Egypt... military men knew the better life, the secret to a good life with little work. And if that comfy, privileged life began to pall, they had, one way and another, the means to improve it. Bit by bit, Mubarak mastered these ways, in approved Dale Carnegie fashion making friends, influencing people, especially powerful people, like Anwar Sadat (in power 1970-1981).
Mubarak let it be known to such people that he would do anything, anything at all, to ascend. Powerful people know the value of such limitless assistance, for such people need clean hands and deniability. Helpful people like Mubarak provide both.
And so he moved up, from merely valuable to indispensable, a man of action... a man of destiny.
Of course along the way, he coarsened, as Lord Acton admonished so many years ago. Power did corrupt and absolute power did corrupt absolutely. But Mubarak, having made his deals with the devil, was content... most of the time, at least.
"It is a very tough job," he once told a television interviewer. "All you seem to do is wake up to trouble and sleep to trouble."
Whatever troubles he has had in the past, he well and surely has troubles now and to spare. However, he who made a fetish of unprincipled advancement is yet the Mubarak of old. He has resources, the resources of Egypt, at his disposal. What, then, matter the jeremiads, exhortations and self-serving advice from Washington if that advice does not keep Egypt in his pocket? Make no mistake, Egypt, so hard to possess, having possessed he means to keep.
That is why in these early February days, Mubarak is hard at work. He has discarded members of his government who cannot help him maintain his ascendency. He has summoned his thousands to march in his favor in Cairo and so demonstrate how vibrant and alive his regime remains. And he has informed President Obama and his emissaries, no doubt politely, to pipe down and get out of the way. He is not, after all, dead meat yet.
Mubarak knows, of course, that the odds are against him. After all, the army he once thought was his to command, has now made clear that they will not fire on Egyptians peacefully seeking change. That was a signal indeed about what they thought of Mubarak's chances to remain in power.
Mubarak says he simply wants to serve out his term. But, we all know and Mubarak knows we know, that he is angling for time... time to make a new deal with the devil, a deal that will enable him to keep the power he has given up everything to grasp.
Thus, while other men his age and even younger putter around the golf course today chasing a little white ball, Mubarak is convening all the resources of his diminished but still potent hegemony.
And, at night, he reads his Dylan Thomas and girds his loins, in Biblical fashion, for the last, great fight. For he is Mubarak still and will not go gentle into that good night, but rage, rage against the dying of the light.
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also an American historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author's permission by Rawle Trim <a href="http://RawleTHomeBusinessCenter.com">http://RawleTHomeBusinessCenter.com</a>. Check out Clickbank Predators -> http://www.RawleTHomeBusinessCenter.com/?rd=af4bqihY
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