The history of Egypt will no doubt change with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak who has led that country for 30 years. The popular protests of 18 days showed the world how unpopular the long time president really was. Thousands of demonstrators listed a number of their demands which included dissolution of parliament, and reforms calling for freedom of the press, more transparent media and the freedom to form political parties. Although the president stated early on that he would not step down, the thousands and thousands that called for his resignation were not to be deterred and Mubarak decided it would be best for all concerned for him to make his exit. It will be very interesting to see what direction politically, the new leaders will take. At this time military leaders are handling the leadership of the country.
The situation this past week in Libya has been much more volatile.
Moammar Gadhafi is insistent that he will not step down as Libya’s leader. Foreign mercenaries and Libyan militiamen who are loyal to the president have tried to quell the uprising against his rule as the opposition has moved closer and closer to Gadhafi’s stronghold in Tripoli. Supporters of the leader opened fire on a mosque where some residents were holding a sit-in in support of protesters in the capital. It was reported that 10 or more were dead and 150 or more were wounded.
Because of the turmoil in that country the safety of Americans and others were of great concern to our national leaders. However they were able to be removed to a safer location Friday. Government officials had hoped to get them out of harms way sooner, but the weather was too bad for the ferry to make the necessary trip. I know those watching the situation closely are uncertain of what Gadhafi may do to those that continue to protest and they wanted to be sure that all American citizens were in a safe haven.
Closer to home we are all watching to see what happens in Wisconsin with the standoff in the capital between the governor and some of the legislation. There are also mass demonstrations going on in that capital because of what the governor wants to do to help curtail the deficit the state is facing. The governor is adamant that a measure is necessary to curtail the power of public employee unions and those in opposition are just as adamant that the measure is not necessary.
The Republican governor has the votes to get his measure through. But at this time enough of the legislative opposition has left town and a quorum is unable to be assembled. State troopers were dispatched to some of the homes of the Democratic senators in anticipating finding at least one who would consent to come back so a vote could be taken. If the measure is successful the state of Wisconsin will no doubt set a precedent for other states to look at when trying to determine how they can best address deficits in their own state budgets.
This outcome of this situation will be worth following since most all state budgets are looking at deficits in funding.
And of course we have all been wondering what prompted the killing of the trees on the campus of Auburn University. Why anyone would be that destructive is beyond comprehension. It has certainly been an issue that both university’s students, graduates and friends have discussed at some length. Although the rivalry has always been intense I have always had the feeling there was a great deal of respect by both universities for each other. The individual responsible for the destruction of the oak trees should be punished to the full extent of the law because he has destroyed part of the history of that university.
Jerome Wassmann is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle.