Egyptian Protests Continue

It worked. I traded some swamp land for posting with crawdad. He has no idea what sort of trouble a moose can get into. Watch this space for more moose droppings.

We’ve all been mesmerized by what’s going on in Egypt and spilling over elsewhere. Newsweek has an account of the scramble and difficulty in dealing with this from the administration:

Throughout the week, as the crisis gathered storm in Egypt, the administration had otherwise been slow to react, seemingly always one step behind events. This was partly because neither the U.S. intelligence community nor diplomats on the ground foresaw how swiftly the protests in Egypt would gather momentum—even if everyone realized that virtually the entire Arab world is a tinder box of pent-up frustration, with despotic regimes unable to meet the needs of, especially, their youth. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself put it last month, in a speech in Doha that now seems uncannily prescient, Arab leaders would face growing unrest, extremism, and even rebellion unless they reformed “corrupt institutions and a stagnant political order.” It was the starkest warning ever delivered by a senior American official, and a message brought home a few days later when Tunisia erupted in revolt.

Yet, when it came to Egypt, the tone was different, and as the protests in Cairo gathered momentum, Clinton’s initial public comments were a mixture of fact and hopeful fiction. “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,” she said, an assessment that didn’t take long to be overtaken by events.

Whether Mubarak indeed was committed to responding to “the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people” remained an open question. Clinton’s statement, however, had been carefully calibrated, coming after the first round of what proved to be an exhausting week of discussions by President Obama and his top officials.

They then go on, after sipping some kool-aid, to go into realms of fantasy about Obama’s role and influence:

At a meeting on Friday afternoon, Obama and his top officials, including Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon among them, concluded that the time had come for Obama to talk directly to Mubarak. And Mubarak’s address to the Egyptian people had given Obama the opening he wanted. The White House organized the call.

It was an intervention that dramatically—and publicly—escalated the American involvement in the Egyptian crisis. In an address from the White House, Obama outlined what he had told Mubarak, putting the administration unequivocally behind the demonstrators’ demands. “The people of Egypt have rights that are universal,” Obama said in his speech. “And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.” The president also warned both sides against violence but his message was clear: “When President Mubarak addressed the Egyptian people tonight, he pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity. I just spoke to him after his speech, and I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise.” And, said Obama, “we are committed to working with the Egyptian government and the Egyptian people—all quarters—to achieve” those goals.

Well, it is Newsweek after all. Most of what we hear from all quarters tends to be unhappy with Obama’s reaction, and instead demand that Obama push hard for Mubarak to step down immediately, if not sooner.

The Guardian has a great article:

Days of rage in Egypt signify the end of days for Hosni Mubarak’s repressive and bankrupt regime. For 30 years, the president has held his country down through fear, secret police, emergency laws, American cash subsidies and a lamentable absence of vision and imagination. His crude, Gaullist message: without me, chaos. Now the chaos has come anyway. And Mubarak must go.

Five days of rage on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and dozens of other cities have transformed the way Egypt sees itself. For years, they said it was impossible. The regime was too powerful, the masses too apathetic, the security apparatus too ubiquitous. Like eastern Europeans trapped in the Soviet Union’s cold, pre-1991 embrace, they struggled in the dark, without help, without hope. Movements for change, such as Kefaya (Enough!), were brutally suppressed. Courageous dissidents such as Ayman Nour were harassed, beaten and imprisoned.

Yet all the time, pressure for reform was rising. Every day, higher prices, economic stagnation, poverty and unemployment, political stasis, official corruption and a stifled, censored public space became less and less tolerable. Every day, impatience with the regime’s insulting insouciance bred more enemies. Hatred seeped like poison through the veins of the people. Until, at last, in five days of rage, as if as one, they cried: “Enough!” And now, Mubarak must go.

The full article is worth the read. I would say the consensus throughout the world is that Mubarak must go.

Al Jazeera has been having consistently good coverage of the days events. This includes Mubarak’s appointment of a new VP and PM:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed the country’s head of intelligence to the post of vice-president, in a move said to be a reaction to days of anti-government protests in cities across the country.

Omar Soleiman was sworn in on Saturday, the first time Mubarak appointed a vice-president during his 30-year rule. Ahmad Shafiq, a former chief of air staff, was appointed prime minister.

But Al Jazeera’s correspondents in Egypt have said that many of those taking to the streets demand a total change of guard, as opposed to a reshuffling of figures in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

Tens of thousands of people in the capital Cairo gathered on Saturday, demanding an end to Hosni Mubarak’s presidency.

Al Jazeera talks to Mohamed Elbaradei about the oncoming anti-government protests across Egypt

The demonstrations continued in defiance of an extended curfew, which state television reported will be in place from 4pm to 8am local time.

A military presence also remains, and the army warned the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo that if they defy the curfew, they would be in danger.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Cairo, said that soldiers deployed to central Cairo are not intervening in the protests.

“Some of the soldiers here have said that the only way for peace to come to the streets of Cairo is for Mubarak to step down,” he said.

Similar crowds were gathering in the cities of Alexandria and Suez, Al Jazeera’s correspondents reported.

As you have no doubt seen, there is coverage everywhere. Here are a few more highlights:

WaPo’s coverage of the test of US-Egyption relations.

Foreign Policy’s what this does to relations in Egypt as well as the middle east in general.

Some coverage of the looting

And then part of the news has been tools of social media and how they’ve influence events. Here are a few related articles:

LATimes article on small coverage, 8%, but some workarounds

A more in depth analysis of Egyptian internet usage over the last week

And finally, here’s a BBC article regarding tough issues if a revolution does succeed:

In the past year activists have suggested that the former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, could make a suitable, secular transitional leader for Egypt, as he is respected on the world stage.

His sharp criticisms of the Mubarak government since he returned to his home country last year roused many Egyptians who had previously given up on politics.

He has declared that the Muslim Brotherhood should be a political party and worked with them as part of his umbrella group, the National Association for Change, to collect a million signatures for a petition demanding constitutional reforms.

Now watching developments unfold, Mr ElBaradei predicts that the president and his associates will not succeed in hanging on to power.

“The only solution is to listen to the people. The solution is a political solution. The regime has failed and they need to go,” he commented.

Events throughout the day should be telling with respect to how the military reacts and handles the continued protests.

About Bull J. Moose

I eat people like you for breakfast.
This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

165 Responses to Egyptian Protests Continue

  1. crawdad says:

    Welcome to our frontpage.

    • meee2 says:

      We are in wait and hoping the next word we hear from my step-daughter is that she is on safe ground on her way home. Last we heard from her was early last Thursday. She will not be happy about having to leave, though.

    • Nijma says:

      Some Arabic website commenters say the Copts (Christians) should get out now.

      • meee2 says:

        Cell phone service was restored today. My stepdaughter finally got word to the family – she’s not going to evacuate. We trust her to not take any unnecessary risks, but she’s well trained for what she’s doing and tourists aren’t.

  2. Mazel Tov!
    The tabloids are out today – and two subjects emerge
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/tabloids-egypt-comcast/

  3. kk says:

    looking foward to reading you posts bull j moose…congrats

    • Thanks. Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

      • Valissa says:

        AGAIN!

        • No, It’s going to work this time…

          Oops, I better practice that more.

        • Valissa says:

          One of my favorite segments in Rocky & Bullwinkle is “Fractured Fairytales”… that has great political possibillities! btw, we own the entire DVD collection of Rocky & Bullwinkle, got it for xmas a couple of years ago. When my nieces came to visit last year (ages 8, 10) my husband thought they should see what cartoons were like when we were kids. One of them was mesmerized by the show and spent hours watching it while her sister watched a bunch of episodes of Penguins of Madagascar (my favorite modern cartoon) that I had TiVo’d for her.

        • Agree, fractured fairytales is just the best.

  4. DisenfranchisedVoter says:

    Egypt shuts down Al Jazeera bureau in Cairo. Check the Al Jazeera website for most recent updates.

    • Valissa says:

      Egypt moves to shut down Al Jazeera amid unrest
      http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5id8rChuZ08bB6QYD5wIytvv8Jypg?docId=CNG.fae0da60412a671e262f1f5567c43dbb.d1

      On Twitter, an Al Jazeera correspondent, Dan Nolan, wrote: “Aljazeera Cairo bureau has been shut down. Just visited by plain clothes govt security, TV uplink is now closed.”

      In a statement, Al Jazeera said the shutdown — on day six of unprecedented and often violent street protests — was aimed at “censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.”

      “Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists,” it said.

      “Al Jazeera assures its audiences in Egypt and across the world that it will continue its in-depth and comprehensive reporting on the events unfolding in Egypt,” it said.

      It added: “In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society, it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard.

  5. Mary says:

    Congrats, Moose!

  6. Three Wickets says:

    Welcome to the frontpage Bull Moose. This uprising could turn into an interesting Egyptian national referendum on the Muslim Brotherhood who support elBaradei to replace Mubarak’s regime. Inspired by Sayyed Qudt, the strongly anti western and fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood has brought us al Zawahiri the number two in al Qaeda, the rebel group that assassinated Anwar Sadat, the Islamic Jihad and other fairly extreme religious organizations. I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood is much interested in the kind of democracy that everyone on twitter is getting excited about.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Sorry, that’s spelled Sayyid Qutd.

    • Thanks. And yes, this will be the thing to watch. If the MB gets foothold or if they don’t. It seems like they won’t and that one way or the other military elements will be a part of what happens.

    • DisenfranchisedVoter says:

      I agree. Mubarak is a tyrannical leader and I support the Egyptian people in wanting to overthrow him, but the alternative to Mubarak could be much worse for both the West and the Arab world. We shall have to wait and see what happens.

      • 1539days says:

        It’s a story that gets repeated frequently in the Middle East and North Africa. National borders encompass multiple ethnic groups. If the military is in charge, there’s order but little freedom. If the people rise up, the power vacuum is often filled by ethnic/religious extremists and there is violence and opression.

      • WMCB says:

        That’s the thing that is worrying all of us. I have no beef with the people wanting to overthrow Mubarek – he was oppressive.

        The question is always “what will fill the void”? The religious extremists are not the majority in Egypt…. but they weren’t in Iran, either. The problem often becomes that the “average middle class joe”, who was demonstrating for all the right reasons, has no organization and no real plan for how to take over once the dictator is gone. The batshit loony woman-hating mullahs DO have such a plan, and are chomping at the bit to seize the moment.

        Keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer for the people, and especially the women, of Egypt.

        • imustprotest says:

          I agree with you WMCB. They aren’t prepared to lead and fill the void. But at least time there is no Ayatolah waiting in the wings….

        • Sandra S. says:

          EXACTLY my fears, WMCB. This scares the shit out of me.

  7. Valissa says:

    Egypt shuts down Al Jazeera bureau – Network’s licences cancelled and accreditation of staff in Cairo withdrawn by order of information minister. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/201113085252994161.html
    As their signals have been taken off Nilesat, our Arabic sister channels are now broadcasting on the following new frequencies: [then lists frequencies]

    Go Al Jezeera go!

    btw, bully for you monsieur Moose and CONGRATS on your new gig here 🙂

  8. votermom says:

    A moose, a crayfisher, and a clown walk into a swamp…

  9. jeffhas says:

    In other news:

    ‘Moose takes part in online revolution’… says, “I will NOT drain the swamp” to great cheers.

    Looking forward to more Moose Droppings.

  10. yttik says:

    “I would say the consensus throughout the world is that Mubarak must go.”

    To be replaced with what?? The problem with throwing out dictators is that it leaves a void that must be filled. In the middle east there are no westernized democracy just waiting in the side lines to fill the void. Far too often it is simply filled by religious extremists or even worse dictators.

    • Yea, revolutions have a habit of resulting in something about the same or worse. But sometimes it works out nicely.

      • jjmtacoma says:

        Glad to see you posting! Great job!!

      • imustprotest says:

        I agree. Turkey is an example. The military could fill the void temporarily and maintain stability until a legitimate government takes over. The Muslim brotherhood is not that extreme or large. The Egyptian military is respected by the people. Mubarak must step down and perhaps a general step up to the plate making it clear that it is only temporary.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          The Muslim Brotherhood is extreme, made that way in part by its members’ imprisonment and torture under Mubarek. Ahmed al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida’s second in command–or first, if Osama’s dead–is in large part a product of his experience in an Egyptian prison. Neither Egypt nor the world at large needs more like him.

          The heartening thing is that this uprising seems to be led, or maybe “facilitated,” since no leadership group has emerged, by students and average Yusufs who are sick of living under oppression and in poverty. The thing to bear in mind is that free and fair elections may or may not produce a government and social order along the lines of western democracy. For instance, many younger University women have adopted the niqab both as a way of protecting themselves from male students in physically crowded classrooms and as a sign of their allegiance to Egypt and its culture. This is not going to sit well with westerners who have only one model of feminism and a strong desire to impose it on all women, and certainly not with the Islamophobes. The west needs to lay down the “white man’s burden,” once and for all.

        • WMCB says:

          For instance, many younger University women have adopted the niqab both as a way of protecting themselves from male students in physically crowded classrooms

          Sorry okashi, but an environment where women feel the need to “protect themselves” from their male classmates is not just a different, non-western form of “feminism”. It is an oppressive and misogynist society.

          I have zero problem with a woman wearing the niqab, any more than I have a problem with a Christian woman having 14 babies and staying home to raise them. Her choice, fine with me. But I DO have a problem if a society is putting serious and relentless pressure on women to make that “choice”.

          Many women went veiled in Iran prior to the revolution, as an expression of their personal faith. Good for them. Totally their decision in a secular society. After the revolution, it was a long time before being veiled became LAW. In between that time, you saw more and more women going veiled, not because they suddenly discovered their piety, but because the pressure to do so was relentless. Once the tipping point was reached, laws re: covering were easily instituted.

          I understand that Muslim women adopt covering for various reasons, including sincere religious belief. I would not take that right from them. But to ignore that the sheer prevalence of the practice, and pressure to do so, has a clear history of being a marker for oppression of women is naive.

        • WMCB says:

          Can someone fix my tags? Only the first paragraph is a quote.

        • WMCB says:

          Also, I think that societal pressure and/or laws re: religious practice are not only oppressive, but can destroy the meaning of genuine faith as well.

          When I read the book Reading Lolita in Tehran, one story told stuck out to me. It was an older, very devout Muslim woman, speaking of how meaningful her traditional garb had been to her prior to the revolution. It was deeply personal, a way for her to show her voluntary devotion to her God.

          She spoke of her anger and sadness that in requiring the same of all women, the govt had in fact robbed her of public expression of her own deep faith. Because when it’s required of all, then her voluntary choice to do so no longer had any real meaning.

          It was a very interesting way of looking at the issue.

        • angienc says:

          Sorry okashi, but an environment where women feel the need to “protect themselves” from their male classmates is not just a different, non-western form of “feminism”. It is an oppressive and misogynist society.

          Amen, WMBC.
          Personally, I’m sick of the 3rd wavers “feminism” which is basically the patriarchy wrapped in a pink bow trying to tell women “it is OK if you want to be oppressed — it is your choice! Bullshit. It isn’t a choice when you have to do it or compromise your safety.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          The irony here is the university men the women felt the need to protect themselves from are products of the westernized Egyptian elite, members of the universal frat rat culture, not fundamentalist Muslims. They’re probably a good deal safer from Rohypnol and date rape than American college women.

          Western democracy remains in many iterations, including that of the United States, an “oppressive and misogynist” environment. If the veil has been a “marker for the oppression of women,” so likewise has been both the rise of American conservatism and the “liberated/liberal” sexualization of almost every communications medium in the western world. Witness the now-mainstream advertising that promotes images of sexual violence against women, the beauty-pageant and corporate advertizing sexualization of little girls, the level of political attacks from left and right on women running for national office.

          It’s time to lay down the “white woman’s burden,” too. Feminism is going to be shaped in different places by different cultures, an it’s not always going to look like the white American version. It’s one thing to decry oppression and misogyny in third-world cultures and sometimes shakily emerging democracies. It’s perhaps more instructive to realize that those oppressive and misogynist cultures have so far succeeded in freely electing more women to the highest offices in their polities than has the United States, which is so far batting a perfect 0 in that regard.

        • Senneth says:

          Agree WMBC and thank you for your strong words angienc. As a second wave feminist I feel myself much in agreement with your comment.

          Great job Bull J. Moose. BTW what’s the “J” stand for?

    • 1539days says:

      I always found the term western democracy to be strange. Western democracy is democracy. I’d like to see a good non-western example of a democracy.

      • okasha skatsi says:

        Japan.
        India.
        Any Native American Nation.
        Lebanon, before Sharon and Hamas tore it apart between them.
        South Africa (struggling toward, but going to make it.)
        Kenya likewise.

        Niether Greece nor the Roman Republic had anything like real democracy. And it wasn’t until the 19th Amendment was passed that white American women had even the vestige of political clout that women have always had in Native American cultures.

        • 1539days says:

          Are those Eastern democracies significantly different than Western democracy? And if they are, why is it always assumed that the Middle East has to adopt a wwestern democracy?

        • angienc says:

          1539 –no those “democracies” are democracies — your point is well taken. Democracy is democracy; the use of “western” in front of it is pretty much redundant.

          And despite not having what okasha skatsi calls a “real” democracy in practice, it it wasn’t for the philosophers of ancient Greece the idea of democracy wouldn’t exist.

        • angienc says:

          forgot to add: The term “western” in front of democracy is redundant, but it does show where the idea came from — the west. Specifically Greece, despite the fact that it may not have been “practiced” (although I would contend, that it was in fact practiced in ancient Greece & the implementation/idea of democracy EVOLVED).

        • okasha skatsi says:

          Wrong. angienc.

          Democracy developed in pre-Columbian America without any help from the Greeks or Romans. According to Ben Franklin, and he should know, the polity of the Iroquois Confederation was a major influence on the Founders when they created the Ameican system of constitutional government. (Except, of course, the good ol’ Greek & Roman boys omitted the Womens’ Councils and the roles of female elders.)

          The actual forerunner of representative democracy as we now practice it also developed without help from the Greeks. That arose first among the Germanic tribes of the migration era (aka the Dark Ages), with laws established and disputes settled not by the elected tribal chiefs but by popular assemblies. The tradition that the sovereign is not allowed to enter the House of Commons goes back direcltly to the Anglo -Saxon requirement that the chief/king was barred from the asseembly.

          And by the way, you’d be hard put to find any modern society more oppressive or misogynist than ancient Greece and Rome. Saudi Arabia and other Wahhabist societies equal but do not surpass Greece and fall short of Roman misogyny in some regards.

        • 1539days says:

          Then again, Ben Franklin was a supporter of the Articles of Confederation and wary of the strong centralized government of the Constitition.

        • angienc says:

          wrong okasha. Western democracy came from Athens. Furthermore, it was a PURE democracy — every Athenian citizen who showed up at the agora voted — there were no REPRESENTATIVES. It was the actual citizens of Athens voting. It is from ATHENS that what we know of as today as “democracy” evolved. Not Pre-Columbia or any other bullshit thing you want to point to that had no effect on western philosophy. A tree falling in the forest, and all that.
          You are the perfect example of “having a little bit of knowledge is dangerous” because you spread misinformation & you don’t even realize it. You can keep insisting that modern, western democracy did not evolve from Athens, and you will keep be wrong. But that’s nothing new for you.

        • “it was a PURE democracy — every Athenian citizen who showed up at the agora voted”

          Hey, a caucus!

        • okasha skatsi says:

          Thanks, Angie. I needed a laugh.

          Ahens, like Rome, was a slave-based agrarian culture, very much like the later feudal states that actually did develop from them. Plato himself, probably the single most influential philosopher of the ancient world, firmly rejected democracy. His Republic, you may recall if you’ve read it, was to be ruled by philosopher- kings, not a popular assembly. And both his Republic, the Roman Republic, and the Athenian version of “democracy” were firmly misogynist.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          Last sentence to above lost–

          I find it strange that someone who hold herself out as a feminist is so ready to embrace the “virtues” of an anti-feminist origin for American democracy, particularly when an actual feminist heritage is there to be recovered.

        • Three Wickets says:

          I would definitely benefit from a frontpage post on significant matriarchal societies in world history. 🙂 There’s actually not much on the subject online.

        • Three Wickets says:

          Aristotle was more about the democratic process than Plato, though he too was a misogynist. Course we are talking about hundreds of years BC…they were practically cavemen. 🙂

        • Mr. Mike says:

          Well. the Obama crew got the misogyny part down pat.

        • Sandra S. says:

          Okasha,

          I’m swamped, so I probably won’t be around to argue this, but I don’t know (and honestly don’t particularly Care) where democracy came from. Not only am I, frankly, with Plato, and think that democracy is flawed system, but I also know that parallel evolution happens.

          So who particularly gives a rat’s ass which one ours is descended from, especially when ours is so shitty (tyranny of the majority being the biggest problem). I also don’t care how misogynistic the society that invented it was (and don’t kid yourself, life was no bed of roses for women in ANY society, and the myth of a matriarchal pre-History isn’t doing anyone any favors anyway, and it’s just another goddamn variant on the Noble Savage).

          What IS important, is that democracy is marginally more likely to give women and minorities and marginalized groups their basic human rights than a corrupt dictator or theocratic regime in which women don’t get to vote. THAT is what is important in this discussion.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          Sandra S–If you’re referring to Gimbutas in reference to the “matriarchal pre-history,” then you may (or may not) be correct about its mythical status. Gimbutas was for sure dead wrong about the pure patriarchy of the Indo-European (aka Kurgan) steppe peoples that supplanted the Danubian and other pre-I/E cultures, so she may also be wrong about female primacy. What the archaeological evidence does indicate, though, is the high status of women in both cultures.

          If you’re referring to Native American culture, then you simply are not correct at all. Many NA Nations were at least equalist in gender relations. Many Eastern nations, mine among them, are still matrilineal and are matriarchal in practice where not assimilated into the majority white, misogynist culture, whose attitudes toward women are in fact derived from Greece and Rome via Pauline Christianity.

          It’s useful to “give a rat’s ass” about what has gone before to know what has worked to enhance the lives of people in a given society and what has led to oppression. We do know from history that misogyny and patriarchy damage and oppress both women and men. We also know that equalist, or even matriarchal, cultures tend toward ceativity and stability and at least marginally away from violence, with non-lethal intragroup penalties for breaches of the peace and war as a later if not last resort in response to out-group disputes.

          We either learn from history, or we repeat it. Right now we have a large conservative movement that wants to repeat it, specifically its theocratic and/or imperial phases. it’s useful to know that there are proven alternatives to patriarchy in all its forms. Implementing those alternatives is the hard part. It’s a process that is not helped by assertions that a society that was in fact a viciously misogynist, slave-holding oligarchy somehow begot democracy because a small number of men (no women) could make policy via ballot instead of one or two making it by fiat.

        • Sandra S. says:

          What proven alternatives to patriarchy are you referring to? What equalist cultures are you referring to? Eastern and NA cultures (and Danubian etc.) may certainly have been matrilineal, and “honored the feminine” as part of a kind of respect for dualism and harmony, but were not in any way shape or form “equal”.

          Part of that is because culture can only create equality when it has the capacity to overcome biological limitations- here I am explicitly referring to birth control, although other examples exist, many of which are based in the unfortunate fact of sexual dimorphism). Part of it is because by creating an artificial gender dichotomy that builds on and exaggerates sexual dimorphism, we are accentuating inequality, not erasing it, no matter how harmonious the juxtaposition of the two may be.

          I’m certainly not going to refute the toxic influence of the patriarchy, but I’m also not going to pretend that equality has ever actually existed anywhere. It is an ideal to which we aspire. Other cultures have also aspired to it. So far, I’d argue that nobody has succeeded. Even if there were any evidence that real matriarchy had existed anywhere in history apart from isolated tribal pockets, I’d still reject the facile essentialist assertion that leadership by women in any culture would be inherently more peaceful, prosperous, concensus-seeking, or otherwise preferable.

          Finally, a good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from. The biggest asshole in the world could be responsible for germ theory for all I know, but I’m still going to wash my hands after touching sick people. And if we refuse to benefit from the accomplishments of other cultures based on the moral standards of our current culture, we are hobbling ourselves memetically. I’m no fan of cultural relativism, but this strikes me as absurd.

        • Three Wickets says:

          Yes, “no man is an island.”

        • okasha skatsi says:

          “What equalist cultures are you referring to? Eastern and NA cultures (and Danubian etc.) may certainly have been matrilineal, and “honored the feminine” as part of a kind of respect for dualism and harmony, but were not in any way shape or form “equal”.”

          I am referring to Eastern Native American cultures (not Eastern and NA) specifically. And yes, women were equal to, or more powerful than, men in several of those societies. Are you Native? If you’re not–or even if you are– please don’t take it upon yourself to edit our history and make pronouncements about our traditions to fit with your own theories of the universal subjugation of women. Time to lay that white woman’s burden down, sister.

          There is also strong textual and traditional evidence that all social roles were open to women in Celtic cultures before the imposition of Roman Christianity. Having access to weapons and the training to use them properly is a great social equalizer.

          One of our oldest traditional Tsalagi stories, incidentally, tells how a group of evil priests, the Ani Kutani, attempted to gain power over the people. They succeeded for a time by convincing the people that only they could pray the sun up in the morning. When they attempted to subjugate our women, though, the people rose up and killed them all.

        • Sandra S. says:

          Okasha, I don’t know a damn thing about your culture in specific (or I might, but since you haven’t yet referred to it by name I wouldn’t know if I knew). It could be a bloody paradise for all I know. You’ll note that I said nothing about it in particular. What I said was that no culture had achieved complete equality (which I believe to be essentially impossible until biological limits on equality are overcome). I also said that the vast majority of so-called matriarchal societies were not in fact particularly egalitarian. I haven’t seen any evidence to contradict that. As for pre-christian europe, I’m sure it was great compared to what came after, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence to suggest that it was some feminist paradise, either. Go ahead and assume what you want about my intentions and my “white man’s burden”. Obviously as a presumably white feminist you know everything there is to know about me, with your extensive expertise in the field of everything. Actually, you’re right. I’m absolutely out to convert all the heathens and save the savages from themselves. By, you know, attempting to ensure that women everywhere have their basic human rights respected. Boy, I am SUCH a bitch.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          I’m Tsalagi. Please reread above post.

          So how do you define complete equality, if not equal freedom for both women and men to achieve anything they’re capable of and to participate on a level footing in all aspects of society? Traditional Tsalagi women could be and were warriors, judges, healers, diplomats,artisans, farmers. They owned their homes and other property and had the right of divorce at will. They had the means to control their fertility–their “biological limitations” to use your phrase. Mothers and mothers’ brothers had authority over children, not fathers. And “sexual dimorphism” became essentially irrelevant when a woman had access to weapons and knews how to use them. Haudinasone, Seminole, Creek, Choctaw, and other women were likewise at least equal to their men. Assimilation in many cases and for many years set women of these nations back. to circumstances no better than those of the majority culture’s women. That’s changing. The Tsalagi nation had its first Ghigau (Head Beloved Woman) in more than two hundred years with the election of Wilma Mankiller as Principal Chief. If you were to say that no current society offers women complete equality, you might have a case. When you say that no society has ever achieved complete equality, it is simply not true.

          So. What I am trying to suggest is that societies that have achieved equality, even if it has been temporarily lost, just might repay study in other womens’ struggles against oppression and for human rights. I am also suggesting that androcentric cultures based on slave economies might not be the best models, even if they did allow privileged members of the privileged gender to vote.

          It’s commendable–if a bit messianic– to “attempt to ensure that women everywhere have their basic human rights respected.” You’ll find your self-appointed task a great deal easier if you listen to some of those women when they try to tell you about their experiences, instead of telling them that they can’t possibly know as much as you do about their own social context and history.

      • Three Wickets says:

        or a good example of democracy in a poor country.

        • Three Wickets says:

          sorry okasha, was responding to 1539.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          Ya, the nesting. No prob.

          But I think India is in fact an example of a functional democracy in a poor country. Yes, they’ve got problems in the implementation, but so do we, the UK, France and any number of other established “western” democracies that are having trouble with the idea that all citizens should have equal access to the political process and to social benefits.

        • Interesting perspective*. Do you have a web page or anything?

          *Up till that last bit.

  11. 1539days says:

    Oh, this is hilarious.

    This Week on ABC has Christianne Amanpour in her element reporting in Egypt. Apparently, the network took the opportunity to put Jake Tapper in charge of the roundtable back in DC with George Will and Sam Donaldson.

  12. ainnj says:

    I find this quite frightening given the possilities of the alternative regimes. I hear talking heads saying that results such as those after the shah’s ouster in Iran wouldn’t be likely in Egypt, as it’s’ too secular a country. I don’t buy that. Any nation sufferring from oppressive, and just down right ugly political and economic conditions is ripe pickings for all sorts of tyrannical, extremist regimes.

    Meanwhile, I have not been watching wh press conferences, could someone tell me if this is yet another sputnik moment? truly one of the most mindbending ever given by the TOTUS.

  13. ainnj says:

    I find this quite frightening given the possilities of the alternative regimes. I hear talking heads saying that results such as those after the shah’s ouster in Iran wouldn’t be likely in Egypt, as it’s’ too secular a country. I don’t buy that. Any nation sufferring from oppressive, and just down right ugly political and economic conditions is ripe pickings for all sorts of tyrannical, extremist regimes.

    Meanwhile, I have not been watching wh press conferences, could someone tell me if this is yet another sputnik moment? truly one of the most mindbending ever given by the TOTUS.

  14. WMCB says:

    Welcome to the front page, Mr. Moose!

  15. Valissa says:

    Interesting discusion on CNN about the fact that the right to internet access is becoming a civil right. They even mentioned Wikileaks somewhat positively in that context (without trashing them at all as often happens).

    With our own gov’t looking for the right to have a “kill switch” for the internet while this uprising is happening reporters seem to be re-examing the importance of citizens getting information versus the gov’t controlling it.

    Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/01/kill-switch-legislation/

    • WMCB says:

      We need to have a serious discussion about reality in this country. The government’s position here is not mere fear-mongering – they are absolutely correct that there could be security concerns. To argue that this is false is a fool’s errand.

      The truth is that in the event of civil unrest, open communication could indeed allow some really bad and extreme people the tools to foment very nasty stuff. I don’t deny that. I openly accede it. I don’t deny that there could be a cost in terms of security, I just conclude that the preservation of liberty is worth that potential cost.

      • Mr. Mike says:

        We are getting into trading liberty for security territory now.

        • WMCB says:

          Which is only bad if GWB does it. If Obama does it, it’s only prudent. Or the converse – it was fine if GWB did it, but a horrible repressive overstep if O does it.

          Which is why the rabid tribal identifying with R/D, right/left is, in my mind, a bigger danger to this country than either the R’s OR the D’s. Funny how much easier it is to THINK about principles when you have ceased giving a flying fuck which “side” is proposing something.

          It’s very liberating. I love it. 😀

        • Three Wickets says:

          Yay. Liberty is no longer a concept for conservatives and libertarians only.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          We’ve been into that trade for he last ten years. It’s taken bodily assaults by TSA to bring home to much of the nation how bad it is. But the Texas-Mexican border has been a militarized zone for the last several years, with Border Patrol in SWAT configuration patrollng the Rio Grande in airboats and helicopters, automatic rifles at the ready (and devastating the ecology of the region while they’re at it.) Not to mention our very own version of the Berlin Wall and the “Ihre Papiere, Fraulein,” crowd in Arizona.

        • 1539days says:

          This is an unpopular position, but I’ll take passive intrusion over active intrusion. Given the option, I’d prefer that bulk communications were data mined by computer rather than the governemnt deciding to shut down the internet or communications networks for the sake of order.

        • ralphb says:

          My position may be even more unpopular. I don’t there should be intrusion at all.

      • ralphb says:

        People should get over the fear of terrorists. Chances of being injured or killed by a terrorist are less than being hit by lightning. Giving up freedoms out of fear is irrational.

        • okasha skatsi says:

          Truth.

        • Valissa says:

          HONK! HONK!

        • WMCB says:

          I agree. I may be a bit more of a hardliner than some on here, because I think they should not focus on restricting liberties to “protect” us, and instead focus on swift, unequivocal, and if need be even brutal response if it happens – towards the guys who actually did it.

        • WMCB says:

          For instance, the whole war in Afghanistan is a crock. We should have focused on getting intelligence as to where Bin Laden was, gone in quickly, fucking destroyed that place, then come home.

          Yes, there are other terrorist cells there. If they haven’t done anything yet, watch them. If they do something, go turn them to rubble and human pate as well. Briefly, quickly, narrowly, and stop there.

      • “The truth is that in the event of civil unrest, open communication could indeed allow some really bad and extreme people the tools to foment very nasty stuff.”

        But don’t that kind of people already have their own communications networks set up, one way or another? If the web is outlawed, only outlaws will have webs.

    • angienc says:

      Most people have had internet access since when? About 1994? And NOW it’s a CIVIL RIGHT? I don’t think so. I think if you can afford to pay for it, the government shouldn’t deny access to it or limit it — but that doesn’t make it a civil right.
      I remember a Louis Black bit about being on an airplane and the flight attendant informed everyone first, they would have internet access in flight and then a few minutes later apologized & said that because of some problem their would be no internet access in flight & the guy next to him throws up his hands all aggitated & upset & Louis Black pointed out how quickly we expect things — this guy was upset about losing a so-called “right” he didn’t even know he had.

      • That was Louis CK. And yes, great point. He also said similar things about the whole idea of flight and other things. So many things we do are almost magic when you think about them not too many years ago, and yet people still get whiny about it all.

        • Imo the right is for communication and assembly, by whatever technology is in use at the time. The technology is a means to exercising that right. For the government to shut down the technology is violating that right.

      • Valissa says:

        I’m not sure its make sense that internet access is a categorized as a civil right, and I have no interest in arguing a particular point of view on this (I dislike detailed definitional arguments about who has, or should have, exactly what ‘rights’ and leave that to the lawyerly types).

        But it was a fascinating, if brief, discussion by news reporters on the MSM about whether citizens have a right to access the internet in the context of them talking about the fact that Mubarak’s gov’t had shut down connectivity as much as they could as an attempt to reassert control… and that shutting down the internet only made the people of Egypt much angrier at their gov’t.

      • Three Wickets says:

        We’re assembling and expressing here on this blog, though not sure the courts or any of the agencies have specifically defined blogging as a protected civil right.

      • I think there are two interesting aspects of the internet and social gatherings like this.

        One is the internet seems more like a utility, and though perhaps not a right, certainly of interest for the community at large that it be managed and maintained for the social/community good. Like a water utility.

        The other is that when you have such social gatherings, you approach the town square. Then you do actually get into the area of rights because it’s about assembly.

        OK there I go getting serious again.

        • insanelysane says:

          The Internet is a part of the 4th estate. Just as any newspaper, radio station or magazine,the net is a part of that.
          In which case, it should be completely hands off- no intrusion by any gov’t agency. It needs to remain completely in the hands of “the people”.

        • 1539days says:

          So that means the governemnt shouldn’t spend a lot of money to provide internet access when the people can arrange for it themselves.

          Shutting off the internet by itself isn’t infringing free speech. When a political leader shuts it off to cut the flow of information, it is an attack on free speech.

        • Internet infrastructure is more like telephone infrastructure. It’s not something people can do themselves, whether organized or not because it’s nationwide and of course global. So my analogy to water utilities wasn’t very good. It’s something that can only be done and regulated from a central place. A better analogy would be highways, railroads, or the telephone systems.

        • 1539days says:

          The internet isn’t really an infrastructure as much as a series of interconnected nodes. The proporttion of the internet owned by government is shrinking all the time.

          The telephone system is a hybrid of public utility infrasctructure and private technology. The cell phone system is almost entirely run by private industry in this country. It’s possible to create a communication system without government.

        • Wasn’t there a Sputnik moment a while back, where the internet was begun as a system that could survive WWIII because it would be de-centralized? Like, a ‘web’?

          Oh, anyone like sci-fi? P2P pirates with the only system that survives some Orwellian takeover.

          Poor George, now that 1984 has passed, we have to use his own name for the thing he was warning against.

        • 1539days says:

          On the plus side, his real name wasn’t George Orwell.

        • “The cell phone system is almost entirely run by private industry in this country. It’s possible to create a communication system without government.”

          Yes. Still, cell towers and satellites are relatively few. What about person to person using not phone lines but wifi?

        • Three Wickets says:

          Whoever owns it, we have serious bandwidth issues ahead of us. Who is going to make the investments.

      • DisenfranchisedVoter says:

        • insanelysane says:

          It would be fun to hear other peoples first remembrances of their introduction to the www.

          The sound of dial up will be with me until I go to the big internet in the sky.

          eBay started by collectors selling beanie babies. That was the first item sold on eBay.

        • 1539days says:

          I had a webpage up in 1995 that was likely seen by dozens of people. My last html based site was pulled around 2005. Since then I just do blogs.

          I started with e-mail around ’93 then moved on to chat. Then I started surfing the web, but most of the content was either colleges or TV fansites. The internet seemed to blow up around 1997, when the idea of advertising a www site on TV didn’t seem like a stupid idea.

  16. ralphb says:

    Sometimes the best we can do is get out of the way and let history march forward, when other countries are concerned. Looks as if the Egyptian people may work their will and we should only hope it turns out well for all.

    Jordan and Yemen better move fast or they will get carried away in the tide and it may not stop there.

    • imustprotest says:

      I agree with you ralph to some extent. We do need let the people decide who their leaders are, however we ourselves need to be leaders in the sense that we try to help stabilize (behind the scenes) the country until a free and fair election can be held and the people can organize themselves to govern their own country. They have been under dictatorship for 30 years. Perhaps their military or Mohamed Elbaradei, former IAEA official could be a possible care giver president, or temporary until they work things out. Beyond the threat of terrorists per se is the fact that our national interest is at stake. Egypt controls the Suez Canal and thus is a major choke point for oil, minerals and grains internationally. I don’t think we’d like to see $50 a gallon gas prices, do you?

      • ralphb says:

        I might agree except that, wherever we try to control the outcomes, it always comes back to bite us in the ass. It’s their decision and the less we are seen as being involved the better.

        • imustprotest says:

          Yes. But we can privately urge Mubarak to step down. He needs to step down as the situation is intensifying. A lot can, and should be down behind the scenes. You’re right that we have to be careful not to be seen as heavily involved or “controlling” the situation.

        • ralphb says:

          Our “behind the scenes” machinations never stay behind the scenes in the home country. They only stay that way here because of our lazy and complicit media.

          The Egyptian military will probably see that Mubarek steps down if his position is as untenable as it looks.. A nice general to general discussion might be in order and has probably already occurred.

        • Valissa says:

          HONK! I think the US interfere’s way too much in the business of other countries, telling what to do, how to behave and all that. I think it’s fine for the US to try and set an example or encourage certain processes, but since I personally resent it when other people telling me what to do in my life or what I should believe, I can certainly understand other governments and other peoples feeling that way about the US gov’t interference. Being supportive doesn’t have to mean acting in a superior, we-know-best, finger-wagging parental way.

  17. imustprotest says:

    ….” A nice general to general discussion might be in order and has probably already occurred.”
    ———-
    ralph, I agree and hope that is the case.

  18. imustprotest says:

    Laissez faire is not an option. But if we don’t show more support for the protesters on the ground demanding democracy and independence, we will be seen as a country that supports dictatorships. That is why a behind the scenes push to have Mubarack step down and some kind of interim government put in place, not by us, but a person who would have the trust of the people to move the country to a free and fair election.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Why do we always have to jump in. How about the EU, Russia, China, have they said anything. Even the UN hasn’t asked for a change in government…they are urging restraint and non violence, not much more.

    • insanelysane says:

      Hillary spoke on the Sunday talking heads shows. She clearly said the D word and laid out a clear and concise policy of support for the people in the streets and yet, said Egypt has been a leader in the quest for peace with Israel.
      She sounded good. She made US position clear. I feel better with Hillary at the helm rather the Won. I have seen O shoot from the hip too many times with immature and ill conceived “notions.”
      SOS Clinton has a steady hand.

      • lorac says:

        But now The Fraud is sending her to Haiti. Does anyone know for how long?

        • Till SHE decides it’s a good idea to go somewhere else. If Obama grounds her airplane, I’m sure someone would give her a lift.

        • insanelysane says:

          I actually believe that Hillary is in charge of foreign relations. Obama is just a figurehead.
          That said,
          as CIC, I give Obama full credit for the never ending wars.

          I think Hillary would , as POTUS and CIC, taken a far different path re: ME wars.

        • In a debate in 2008 (before the ‘surge’ supposedly worked) she wanted to pull our people out of Iraq without worrying about what would happen in Iraq as a result. She said that was unknowable — the only knowable thing was that our people would be safe.

  19. Valissa says:

    ElBaradei is probably being supported by the UN, given his background with them. No doubt the UN and the US and various Arab gov’ts are all talking with key members of the military and with ElBaradei behind the scenes to figure out a solution with will save face for Mubarak and get him out ASAP. The people have made it clear they want to see him gone. I’m guessing if they knew that Mubarak and his family had left the country things would simmer down quite a bit.

    ElBaradei: No going back in Egypt
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/2011130165636218719.html
    Nobel laureate tells defiant Cairo crowd that he has a mandate to negotiate with Mubarak government. …

    Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading opposition figure, has joined thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in continued demonstrations demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

    The former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told the crowd on Sunday night that “what we have begun cannot go back” referring to days of anti-government protests.

    The National Coalition for Change, which groups several opposition movements including the Muslim Brotherhood, wants ElBaradei to negotiate with the Mubarak government.

  20. Sandra S. says:

    I’m swamped with qualifying exams right now, but welcome Moose!

  21. Nijma says:

    I would be careful about citing al-Jazeera as gospel truth. I have seen them incite the Arab Street with photos of dead babies and I have seen them cooperate with the Islamic Brotherhood’s staged demonstrations.

    It’s true the al-Jazeera English version is slick and sophisticated, but also don’t forget that al-Qaeda trusts them enough to give them exclusive access to their violent Islamist pronouncements.

  22. Nijma says:

    Did the State Department foment the rebellion behind the scenes?

    The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.

    In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for “regime change” to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year.

    The memo, which Ambassador Scobey sent to the US Secretary of State in Washington DC, was marked “confidential” and headed: “April 6 activist on his US visit and regime change in Egypt.”

    Source:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html

    • djmm says:

      That was before the present administration took office. I understand Mubarak was pretty upset with President GW Bush.

      djmm

  23. Valissa says:

    “I would be careful about citing al-Jazeera as gospel truth”

    WTF? AS far as I’m concerned, ALL articles from any news source should be treated with healthy skepticism, and I’m guessing most of not all here feel the same way.

    Also, many news reporters that got riffed from US news organizations have gotten jobs there. And Al Jezeera is at least covering the crisis there.

    Am curious why you are more suspicious of them than other places. Our own newspapers put out propaganda that reflects US imperial goals. As a matter of fact, the ideal of neutral news rarely is achieved. People have beliefs, biases, hatreds, etc.

    • Valissa says:

      Following up a bit more… the history of newspapers is all about opinion and politics and having an agenda. The ideal of neutral and objective news is a good one, but unrealistic and very much a modern one. The owners of news sources have always had rich and important friends & patrons as well as their own political values and connections…always have and that has always impacted the partiality of the news.

    • “Also, many news reporters that got riffed from US news organizations have gotten jobs [at] Al Jezeera”

      Which US news organizations? That might tell us something.

      • Three Wickets says:

        CNN International

        • Valissa says:

          Yup, that’s one. Back in about 2004, 2005 time frame most US news organizations shut/cut down most or all of their foreign offices as part of cost cutting measures. The traditional media/MSM was losing readership and ad revenue was way down. There was a big hue and cry about it at the time.

  24. WMCB says:

    Yup. I tend to factor in some bias regardless of the source. Which is why I don’t recommend single-source news, whether it be AJ, Fox, BBC, CNN, newspapers, whatever.

    Everyone has an agenda, not in the sense of some grand conspiracy, but just due to the fact that their own worldview colors their analysis. US news is about as “imperialistic” as other news is “anti-American”. It’s all just information from different points of view, and ALL to be taken with a healthy chunk of salt.

  25. ralphb says:

    The Day By Day cartoon today is marvelous!

  26. DeniseVB says:

    ^5 to Moose Droppings 🙂 Congrats and can you…

  27. Nijma says:

    Am curious why you are more suspicious of them than other places.
    They are not American and cannot be assumed to have the survival of America to be a primary part of their agenda. I hate to say this but even the Obots are American. Even Chris Matthews. You don’t have be cautious about their material in the same way. And I would include even the level-headed BBC and the conservative Telegraph that I linked to above in that caveat–British interests are not the same as our interests.

    many news reporters that got riffed from US news organizations have gotten jobs there
    How does al-Jazeera have the money to do that? Oil money much? Not that there’s anything wrong with taking oil money. But watch some documentary about them sometime and see how they talk about religion. What is their agenda? Follow the money? You can do that here (we know who The One is beholden to), but not there.

    There used to be a lot less Agenda in the American press as well, but that’s another story.

  28. yttik says:

    Regarding the debate above, I think access to the internet has become a civil right. One important foundation of democracy is a free press and also the right to gather and organize. The internet is now a part of the free press, much like the printing press and TV and radio. It violates people’s civil rights to have a government control all these entities.

    In the US, people who don’t have access to a computer at a public library or something can be completely cut off from the ability to file an unemployment claim or a tax return. Everyday, more and more basic services are only accessible by computer. Where I live in order to file for social security, you either make a 100 mile trip, take a number and stand in line and hope they get to you that day, or you file online.

    • Getting a little theoretical here, but I’d agree it’s a ‘right’ in both senses. Both a ‘civil right’ that the government can’t just cut off for political reasons … and a necessary utility that the government should provlde without cost if necessary (like sewer service).

    • 1539days says:

      Technology is a good tool, but a whole religion was founded by one man nailing a set of beliefs to a door.

  29. Nijma says:

    If you want something out of Egypt besides al-Jazeera, there is a variety of live-blogging links here:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/01/liveblogging-egypt-day-2-contd/70474/

  30. kc says:

    Great post–thanks, Bull Moose. I am also riveted to the TV and Egypt. If our ‘elite’ had any sense, they would note what happens when you dump on the little people for years. Very small middle class in Egypt and we are losing ours here.

  31. yttik says:

    I’m glad Chris Matthews isn’t in charge of US foreign policy:

    “..Well, let me ask you about the prospects we’re looking at as an American. We’re looking at the map of the world right now and where Egypt sits in the world. It’s so strategically located. It has, of course, the Nile River. It has, of course, the Panama Canal…”

  32. Pingback: Iron Veil Threatens Egypt - What America Must Do Now — Hillary Is 44

  33. kc says:

    How can Tweety’s wife stand him?? Maybe she can’t–thought I read somewhere that she was for Hillary, but that can’t be right.

    • DisenfranchisedVoter says:

      I ask the same question about a lot of men I work with. A lot of it has to do with money, security, and staying for the sake of the children. I honestly could not put up with it myself but maybe I’ll be singing a different tune 20 years from now. That said, women in every socioeconomic sphere put up with a lot yet it is always the men complaining about their wives. Go figure!

  34. DisenfranchisedVoter says:

    What are the chances that El Baradei will become the next president of Egypt?

  35. Krugman:
    The Philippine example may also serve as a useful model for what to expect if the [Egyptian] revolution succeeds. The Philippines didn’t turn into Sweden; there was still plenty of corruption, democracy remains imperfect, etc. — none of which changes the fact that getting rid of Marcos was a very good thing.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Would rather hear from Paul about what is happening with Egypt’s economy (it has apparently been devastating in recent years, unlike the booming economy of a nation say like Turkey). The Philippines comparison is facile imho.

      • Paul’s context:
        I’m a bit surprised not to see anyone drawing the parallel that has jumped out at me (maybe because I spent time in the Philippines in 1990 and 1991, working for UNDP): the People Power revolution in Manila in 1986. This has some of the same feeling: a dictator who’s a long-time US client, a mass popular uprising that’s more about the perceived corruption of the government than about any particular ideology; El Baradei seems to be playing something like the Corazon Aquino role.

        The comparison of El Baradei to Aquino may be facile. Of course the big difference is that she began and led her revolution, so she was the obvious leader, so no scramble for who would get it.

        Oh, hi, thanks for the subscription boxes! Y’all are great!

  36. Nijma says:

    The last time I checked, Mubarak was elected to a six year term in 2005.

    If we take to the streets, can we have Hillary?

  37. Nijma says:

    Banned Islamist returns to Tunisia; women’s groups protest:

    Reuters reports that Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the the Islamist movement Ennahda, flew from London to Tunisia Sunday, setting foot in his homeland for the first time since 1989, when Mr. Ben Ali exiled him. Mr. Ghannouchi said he and Ennahda plan to help build Tunisia’s new democracy….

    Women leaders protest Ghannouchi’s return

    Concern about Ghannouchi’s then-pending return sparked protests by Tunisian women Saturday, reports Agence France-Presse. Hundreds of women, including “actresses, university lecturers, and human rights campaigners,” took to the streets in Tunis to show their resolve to maintain the well-established rights of women in the country.

    “We want to send an important message to the Islamists, especially those from the Ennahdha movement — that we are not ready to pull back on or abandon our rights,” said Sabah Mahmoudi, a university lecturer, told AFP.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2011/0130/Islamist-leader-Rachid-Ghannouchi-returns-to-Tunisia.-What-s-his-next-move

  38. Demonstrators are relying on the foreign press to get their message to Obama.
    “Isn’t this democracy?” they asked me over and over when I said I was a journalist from America, incredulous that the country held as the pinnacle of world democracy could ignore such widespread popular sentiment.

    Cairo: Anger starting to focus on Israel, US
    JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN CAIRO
    01/30/2011 21:47

    =================

    US spokesmen lead people on to start their own revolutions — then the US does not support them.

    Bush and the Kurds, Iran last year, now this.

  39. Dare we hope?


    In its statement, carried on Egyptian media, the military said: “To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people… have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.”

Comments are closed.