Sunday, February 13, 2011


Mubarak is actually gone. I have to admit that right until it happened, I was sure that he wouldn't. My theory, which may still not be that far from the truth, was that he was trying to write and star in his own little Greek tragedy. I thought he was too stubborn, or proud, or delusional to step down, and that the endgame was that he would hold on until things had gotten so bad that it effectively forced someone in the military to assassinate him. I have this feeling, one I can never prove, that he had an image of himself as an embattled and misunderstood man who would never compromise a in matters of his dignity, and the thought of an assassin's bullet actually appealed to him as an honorable way out. Rather than stepping down in disgrace, he would get to say that he held to his principles, such as they were, until the very end.

If true, it would have been the first moment when that most banal of dictators did anything remotely interesting. In times of crisis, people often try to step into dramatic roles and archetypes. They start playing roles and sometimes the gripping events that follow can even succeed at imbuing small men with the pathos of something greater than themselves.

But no matter now. He left before he got to have his Greek tragedy, and we're the better for it. Good riddance, and here's hoping Egypt gets something better than him.

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