Once upon a time Egypt was the epicenter of the world, the Land of the Pharaohs who were more powerful than the 1927 New York Yankees.
Then again, once upon a time the Greek gods by Zeus had clout, Caesar was much more than a salad, folks sent smoke signals instead of tweets,English monarchs did more than just show up at shopping mall openings, popular songs had melodies, Mussolini was left hanging in Italy, Rommel was wearing sneakers and running backward out of North Africa, everybody liked Ike, Nam and not Afghanistan/Iraq was soaking up American blood and treasure, and one could visit the ER without having to bring your accountant along to fill out the forms.
Egypt has been a hollowed-out shell of a country for years, with its seething people feeling humiliated and exploited.
The Egyptian streets have been coated with more protesters than macadam in recent years.
Little wonder that it’s revolution time again in Egypt.
In a stunning display of power, the Egyptian army ousted President Mohamed Morsi Wednesday, putting an end to the Muslim Brotherhood’s hold on power after just one year.
Tanks and troops poured onto the streets of Cairo, and fireworks erupted in Tahrir Square, where millions had gathered to celebrate.
Celebrate what? More uncertainty? More disillusionment with government?
Granted. Morsi and the ruling party had no plan and offered little in the way of real solutions to the major crises facing Egypt: electricity and fuel shortages, a spiraling economy, a lack of security sector reform, rights abuses, and ailing education, healthcare and traffic systems.
But Egypt has a bigger problem, one that seems to have tethered it to the abyss of despair: shredded political leadership.
Members of the deposed ruling party and opposition have lost the confidence of the majority of Egyptians, leaving no one with the political capital necessary to make the tough decisions.
Dictatorship propped up the military, not democracy, seems to be Egypt’s latest plague of locusts.