Egypt Will Burn Its Future If It Burns Its Past

Cultural disruption and the destruction of civilization itself is always the great risk when revolution or war erupts. It is as simple as playing with fire. Might be pretty to look at for a child, but eventually you’ll burn your finger, drop the match, and then be left in the ashes of your home. that is, if you even escape with your life.

What are the Egyptian military chiefs thinking? Better way of looking at it: Why aren’t the Egyptian military chiefs thinking?

I’ve been following the Egyptian triumph-cum-downturn over the last year with great nervousness. Egypt houses the bulk of the world’s ancient treasures, with their extensive museum collections and archaeological sites chock full of statues, art, and other invaluable artifacts. The great fear is that these would be lost to humanity, either by rampant looting, or by riotous destruction or wanton, organized destruction by fundamentalists. These fears are being realized now.

Over the holidays I was mourning the loss of The Institute of Egypt, an archive founded by Napoleon which housed hundreds of thousands of priceless books, journals, and documents — all now burned. Though I have linked articles before, here is another note on it:

Clashes in Egypt Leave Historical Archive in Ruins

I still can’t believe the military junta in charge is allowing the country to spiral out of control and destroy itself rather than simply conduct an orderly and timely transition to democracy. Why? Why eradicate your own civilization? All for fleeting money or power? You could be the heroes of the new country– but you will have nothing, not even the empty echo of good deeds, if you burn the country down around yourselves.

Now with the attacks on Western associations they risk losing their only support in the world and descending into terror-ridden chaos. Just look at the other end of the Red Sea for possible outcomes if you continue down this path. Somalia is not a model of functioning statehood.

Grow up. Do the right thing. Stop fiddling with fires, Nero.

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