Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I've been out and must admit that though freezing rain and ice are more treacherous and problematic than snow for getting around, they sure leave the landscape sparklingly brilliant. The trees look like they're lit up from inside. Pretty beautiful.

But also, since I was out, events in Egypt, or at least Cairo's "Liberation Square" have become more clear. The media, as usual, is being way too conservative in describing the clash as between "pro-Mubarak" forces and "anti-Mubarak" forces, doing that false equation of both sides that the right has trained them to do over the past decade (and before, of course, but it became more constant and predictable under Bush/Cheney).

These aren't equal groups of Egyptian citizens demonstrating for their political positions! These were peaceful demonstrators protesting their corrupt dictatorship attacked by plainclothes agents of that dictatorship while the police (many of them as it turns at are police) and army looked on and allowed it.

It may work, as we've seen before, in China in 1989 in Tienanmen Square and in Iran recently when the "Green Revolution" was crushed, beginning with attacks from the same kinds of government security forces or "thugs" as they have been called, correctly.

It doesn't look good for the protesters, but the taste of freedom they had for the past several days and the sense that their country and fellow citizens could be brave enough to confront their government will remain, even if Mubarak ends up staying for the next ten months, or tries to find a way to run again and fix another election.

However Obama and his administration should make some gesture, cut off funds etc., to the army to show that their standing by and allowing government thugs to throw fire bombs and attack peaceful demonstrators (starting with the men on horses and camel whipping members of the crowd, which got its revenge in some cases, and as my friend Lisa pointed out, it seemed even more horrendous and humiliating to see these men whipping citizens for peacefully protesting then even shooting them in some ways, obviously not ultimately) is intolerable in a democracy, which Egypt pretends to be and hopefully is becoming.


Robert G. Zuckerman said...

I spent a week in Egypt in late 2008. I spoke with a number of local people, some of them working in the hotel where I stayed. More than one of them told me that the highest word in their language is "Salaam" - Peace. there and in Jordan, where I next went, men greet each other in the street by shaking hands and saying "Salaam."

Anonymous said...

looks like our (the US's policy) is shifting
AWAY from and agains Mubarak.

what is a most probable outcome (down the road) will be the exact same thing that
when we were through using Hussein in that Iran /Iraq war
we turned tails on him and hanged him..

no the "crowd" is calling for Mubarak to be hanged!

you need to watch an unbiased news station...

Al Jezeera
which has been banned in every state in the USA except 5...

you do NOT have an informed opinion... and should get beyond your "politics' and "passion"


shooting "innocent" people in a Democracy?

where've you been? Kent State? Chicago? Los Angeles? the Mexico/US border? S.E. D.C.? Bombs away over Viet Nam. over Iraq over..Nagasaki , etc.

come up with a solution and I'll vote for you as our

now the army in Cairo is saying "we weren't responsible for the violence. It was somebody else that looked like us. It was (I think they called them "El Tahique or some such)

the cell phone service is now back up and The Crowd is now calling for EVERY EGYPTIAN MUSLIM to show up tomorrow to march...

all of the ministers are now being interrogated

fired and not allowed to travel and all of their assets have been frozen.

seems like a natural course of events are happening...

the old slaves are becoming the new masters
the old masters are becoming the new slaves..


the HOUSING MINISTER has just been arrested!

by who? The Mubarak Gov't? The Military? The Police.

How come the US isn't helping our ally ?
this sure bodes ill for our credibility especially our Intel Network!

don't reat as per usual that this is an attack on Obama... Obama is just our (symbolic) "leader"

Lally said...

anonymous, you're comment questioning how well informed I am is presumptuous, at least, if not also self-righteous and snide, as is your assumption that because I say government thugs attacking peaceful demonstrators has no place in a democracy I somehow am unaware of violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators in our own history, attacks I often personally witnessed or was a target of. I not only try to keep up with Al Jazeera, I read and watch a variety of sources of news outside of the USA as well as many more within it. But even if I didn't, I would still be able to draw the conclusions I do from my own experience, reading of history and the major media, adjusting for the usual bias and interpreting the usual tropes etc., and reason. I stand by pretty much everything I've ever written, with a few exceptions, and there is plenty in what I've written in my books and articles etc. as well as on this blog, which would contradict your criticism(s), as well as those of others who regularly use the comments on this blog to express their criticism of me or differences with my perspective.

Lally said...

Oh and as for my "passion" and "politics"— I hope I never "get beyond" them as you suggest I should. But characterizing it as my "usual" reaction of seeing any criticism, including yours, as an attack on Obama, again you obviously haven't been reading what I've been writing on this blog for a few years now. I have more criticism of Obama than most, but I also have some real experience in politics and knowledge of history and personal experience with the history of my country and times to know that idealism is a useful and fundamental ingredient in making any kind of progress toward whatever goals you or like minded thinkers see as crucial to making a better world, but obviously that idealism will take different forms for different people with different goals, and to achieve the ones I believe in I know it is necessary to fight for them but also to know when to accept a limited objective as the best possible result for that moment. Obama is an enormous improvement over our last president and his administration. He is also a flawed human who has made and continues to make mistakes on many levels, especially on some aspects of his leadership—like clarity of message and communicating that message, conceding too much to the opposition, etc. But I will put his record in his first two years up against any other president since and including Reagan, because Obama outscores them in almost every category that impacts the ideals I believe in.

JIm said...
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JIm said...
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JIm said...

It took you a while. I thought maybe you were agreeing with me.