After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Biggest changes in Mideast since Iran-Islamic revolution

See video

The uprising in Egypt is the most important event to take place since the Iran-Islamic revolution.

The best other countries can do at this point is to allow Egyptians to burn their own flame, bleed for their freedom from oppression. This will surely allow many international powers to detangle themselves from the spindly web of allies and weakened treaties in an effort to rebuild a more peaceful, stable nation alongside Egypt.

Having had 30 years to assert his control, Mubarak has rarely shown more than slight concern for his people, denying basic human rights whenever possible, and bowing for electoral changes only when public pressure built enough to seriously threaten his hold on power.

This time, however, it seems like Mubarak is in deeper than he can handle. His desperation first made an international appearance on Thursday when Egypt fell off the face of the planet, shutting down reception to the internet, and effectively cutting 80,000,000 people off from the Internet and every bank, government office, embassy, school and café that relies on one of four major Egyptian ISPs to compete as a modern market.

This, followed by a country-wide ban of Al-Jazeera, fueled the uprising, but also thoroughly complicated issues. Stumping social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, effectively blocked since Wednesday morning,  brings on a whole array of other economic problems, affecting credit markets and more. Because this has never happened before, one can only imagine the fall-out to a working class already enraged by years of institutionalized disregard by the government.

Aside from the nuclear-like side effects of shop and business closures, Egypt’s economy is sure to be licking its wounds for quite awhile. Protester damage is slight in comparison to lasting international reactions, such as Japanese car manufacturer Nissan calling for a halt in production in its Egypt facility for a week, and urging all non-Egyptian workers out of the country.

And they aren’t the only ones. The US, Canada and China are among those evacuating their civilians. While this in itself has chaos written all over it for an already weakened economy, Egypt’s GDP rests solidly at 6 per cent on tourism, a market that, in the face of war-zone labels, is hardly going to stand on its own.

What first began as a reaction from Tunisia’s regime-toppling Jasmine Revolution earlier this month has morphed into a muddy, bloody puddle whose ripples are being felt in many African, Middle-Eastern and
Western countries.

Mubarak, whose ramshackle government’s collapse has long been forecast, is soon to be out of power. Despite many desperate attempts, and far from throwing in the towel, the international community is preparing itself for a future Egypt. One that not everyone is happy to see come.

Israel is uncertain as Mubarak faces being overthrown, which threatens an alliance with Netanyahu that has long kept Egypt from cracking an already cool peace treaty and quietly cooperative security alliance. Such a break will surely send shock-waves through relationships with Cairo and the Gaza Strip, as well as a detrimental dissipation of support to international forces stationed in Sinai.

Obama is making his own desperate attempt to control the riots, as he strongly urges the government of Egypt to make an ‘orderly transition’ to resolutions and peace. By not strongly supporting Mubarak, the close eyes of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Coast states are shifting anxiously towards their own potential riots.

If Obama is willing to change sides and support opposition, they too could potentially be shoved under the bus in an attempt to be on the winning side of the revolt. By not pushing for his resignation, he risks alienating hundreds of thousands of Egyptian rioters. Having already lost allies in Turkey and Lebanon, the decision on his plate is quickly gaining weight.

If it were just about Egypt, the stakes would be much lower. But with Israel’s anxiety towards change, Netanyahu could lose mighty leverage towards a better relationship with the US via the fall of neighbouring regimes by increased hostility towards regime changes within Egypt.

All-in-all, this is leading to a no-win situation for  political intervention. Mubarak hardly has any time left on the clock, the Muslim brotherhood is still lacking the organizational prowess to take the lead, and Mohamed ElBaradei is garnering support despite a history of conflict with the US and other integral powers.

Tunisia started it. Egypt followed, and now the world will never be the same. 

More from Bree Gardner

See more

More in Commentary

Why free trade talks with China failed

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jetted off to Beijing, the media was told to expect the announcement of a free trade agreement, the first of its kind between China and a G7 country. The first sign...

A young Iranian helps Syrian refugees adjust to Canada

A young Iranian, himself, new to Canada reaches out to help Syrian refugees settle here. But with the war in Syria, tensions between Iranians and Syrians are rising. How will he succeed?

Linda Solomon Wood on a Bloomberg presidential bid

What do you think of Bloomberg's intimation he may run for president? I think it's a terrible idea.  The last time we had a strong third party candidate in a presidential race it was Ralph Nadar...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.