I remember approx. 50 years ago in the first history class of the new term we started with a new unknown teacher at St. Mirin's Academy Paisley. He came in to the classroom and said good morning and wrote on the blackboard "History began when humans learned to read and write" He went on to say "this happened about 5,500 years ago in the fertile valley of the Nile in ancient Egypt where the first writings known to man were found" That might not be strictly verbatim but it's close and it stuck in my mind at the age of 12/13 that teacher whose name now escapes me installed a fascination and passion in me for history which is still with me today.
I thought again of those early lessons and about Egypt with its ancient history; it's Pyramids and the river Nile when I watched the events unfold on TV from Cairo, tens of thousands of people determined to overthrow their tyrannical leader and his motley crew, American Lackeys every one of them, put there 30 years ago by the USA to protect American interests in the Middle East. Brave people demonstrating against a backdrop of murder, kidnapping, torture and the site and sound of tanks, low level jets and helicopter gunships, they were and are simply heroic and they deserve the support of every democratic fair minded person in the world. It is to be hoped that Egypt and Tunisia will only be the start and other regimes in the region will topple as well.
Hovering over the entire area of the Middle East like a malevolent black cloud is of course the rogue state of Israel now even more trigger happy than ever and becoming more jumpy by the day. The perfidious peace deal between Israel and Egypt was of course done to placate America and many Egyptians have long resented it. Mubarak's overthrow was partly because of his defence of Israel and their treatment of the Palestinians, can you imagine the outrage and disgust felt by many Egyptians when they were forced to tolerate the suffering and carnage suffered by their fellow Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine. Particularly in the Gaza Strip where Israel carried out the genocidal slaughter of men women and children in operation "Cast Lead" Mubarak and his Quisling Govt. despite sharing a border with Gaza turned their back on them refusing to let people out an humanitarian aid in, a shameful period in Arab history.
Prior to the dishonourable peace between Egypt and Israel the cost of defence for Israel was 30% of their wealth, this dropped to 7% after the peace deal so the consequences of an Egypt hostile to Israel could be very significant indeed. The benefits to the Palestinians would be vast and strengthen their cause, this could be massive for the Palestinians and it could also destabilise the region to a very dangerous degree. Israel has shown with increasing ferocity lately that they are bordering on being "a lunatic state" (Professor Norman Finklestein) consider what they did to the Gaza humanitarian relief convoy and their barbaric attack on Gaza. Perhaps they will revert to type and slaughter everyone and destroy everything in sight or maybe, just maybe they will see that the state of Israel is an international crime and take steps to rejoin the human race.