Das ägyptische Endspiel

PRINCETON – Kann uns Ägyptens lange Geschichte helfen zu verstehen, was der  aktuelle Aufstand bedeutet, der bereits Revolution genannt wird, und wie er enden wird? Ich glaube, ja. Denn schließlich ist es keineswegs ein beispielloses Phänomen, wenn jetzt Millionen auf die Straße gehen, um das Ende des Regimes von Präsident Hosni Mubarak und seiner Nationaldemokratischen Partei (NDP) zu fordern.

Ägyptens Geschichte ist voll mächtiger und berühmter Herrscher: Ramses II zur Zeit der Pharaonen, Saladin, Muhammad Ali, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Cromer, bis hin zum Militärtrio Ägyptens: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar El Sadat und Mubarak. Dies erlaubt die Schlussfolgerung, dass Ägypten Despoten vielleicht nicht unbedingt bevorzugt, diese aber doch akzeptiert und vielleicht sogar glaubt, sie seien notwendig.

Volksaufstände sind nichts Neues für Ägypten. Die Massen haben sich 1798 gegen die französischen Truppen Napoleons erhoben, 1881-1882 gegen die Monarchie, 1919 gegen die britische Vorherrschaft, 1977 gegen Sadat und 1986 gegen Mubarak. Diese Aufstände wurden oft brutal unterdrückt, zuerst durch fremde Truppen (1789 durch die französische Armee, 1882 und 1919 durch britische Soldaten), später durch die ägyptische Armee.

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