Amazon.com Widgets

« Links With Your Coffee - Monday | Main | Paul Offit »

Interview With Anti-government Protester at Tahir Square

How many people like this have my tax dollars gone to killing? Who knows.

I have to say, If anyone knows how we can get posterboard to these people, let me know. Their little muslim kitties need bigger signs.


 

Comments

I sincerely hope she gets the freedom she is demanding. My guess is she will get the kind of freedom that gets her stoned to death for not wearing a burqa.

Yeah, that's the worry. I wonder what the divisions in the protesters/demonstrators are. How many would push for a fundamentalist Muslim government vs. how many are wanting an open democracy with religious freedom?

posted this elswhere here recently, but even more appropriate here for a little perspective:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWcKewmyh_o&feature=player_embedded#

How many people like this have my tax dollars gone to killing? Who knows?

not many, i assure you, since there aren't many like this- english speaking, educated, intrnet-savvy, etc. the one's being killed are mostly more like (thanks again, america) the ones in the video i linked to.

this woman is obviously strong, committed, courageous and intelligent. but any savvy observer would have recognized the disconnect between her claim to "not trying to get rid of mubarak, merely impliment democratic reforms" and the signs the people around her are holding up (sorry for you that don't read arabic, though 1, at least is in english) and the video i linked to provides a much better and more accurate picture of what's actually going on there.

keep your hopes up, norm, the egyptian people are educated, semi-secular, reasonable (and cute). you're dreaming.

Most folks seem to report ath mubarak was killing and torturing dissidents. Even in the smart ones.

BTW, I posted this, not norm.

jb, do you read Arabic well? I'd love to know what the other signs say. Did anyone see through the glare to be able to read the USA sign? I'm curious as to the sentiment there.

fwiw, supposedly foreigners thought the US was headed toward another civil war during the Vietnam protests and Civil Rights marches. Yes yes, I know we're talking 2 completely different cultures, but people can surprise you sometimes.

full disclosure: no i don't read arabic "well", but a bit due to i'ts similarity with hebrew, which i do read. i was actually (hanging my head in shame) just sort of assuming what was written there, based on my understanding of what these "demonstrators" want- which is the outster of mubarek, and not merely "democratic reforms", even if mubarek makes them- which is what this woman was saying. that plus the "mubarek out" sign in english, i was using to prove my point (again) that this woman is an exception, very much so, to what the "revolution" in egypt ias all about. and the more you all pretend that's what it's all about, the more you will be surprised at the outcome, if it actually leads to democratic reform- which i have repeatedly expressed my doubts about, and about whether, if it should come to pass, it will lead to anything other than an islamic theocracy.

i hope i'm wrong. because the "fallout" of such a situation will affect me long before it affects you. although it WILL affect you, while your administration sits with it's collective "thumb up it's ass".

or, as i've pointed out elsewhere here, my conspiracy theory- that mubarek's appointment of the chief of the egyptian "secret police" as his vice president- something he never had before- is actually the goal of the u.s. administration, since he's been working with you guys from the beginning, and isn't in danger of imminent death (from purely health issues) that mubarek is.

i hope i'm wrong. because the "fallout" of such a situation will affect me long before it affects you. although it WILL affect you, while your administration sits with it's collective "thumb up it's ass".

True dat. As I mentioned before, I've been watching all of this with a sort of perverse fascination. There isn't much a flutist can do but check the news and try to squeeze in some practice time.

there's not much a flute maker can do, either- except vent on the webz on a site containing a higher than average % of intelligent people, who, by the very nature of the blog, are predisposed to understanding the potential "bad effects" of religion.

BTW, I posted this, not norm.

sorry about that. while on the subjuct, since everything i've ever sent to norm's email addarss has been completely ignored (perhaps because of volume, who knows) and since you are now one of the main "posters", is there any way i can get stuff to you that i think might be worth posting, or writing about? you can get my email from norm, let me know if you're interested.

btw:

Even in the smart ones.

sure, but the percentages, i assure you, are miniscule.

reed1gm@gmail.com

I wouldn't worry, after a few election cycles the stupid ones will realize driving isreal into the sea is really expensive and your america built helicopters clearly have the power of the great satan.

yeah, except egypt has pretty much exactly what we have- thanks to you- and is only ONE of the countries in our immediate neghborhood that would like us "thrown into the sea". :(

Geez, maybe we shouldn't give military aid to dictatorships. That always seems to bite us in the ass.

not sure about this. the nature of the gov't you're "aiding" just has to be taken into account. for instance, cutting any kind of deal with a "democracy", such as that in the u.s., means you have to worry that every 4 years your "deal" is in danger.

with dictatorships, you have to worry basically about the health and longevity of the "dictator"- in this case mubarek is near death and the u.s. is, of course, concerned about who might take his place, and how whomever that might be will keep/not keep the "deal".

and, of course, in the face of a "democratic uprising", the u.s. cannot be publicly seen to object to such a thing- being the "beacon on democracy" and all. :)

beacon OF democracy. but i'm sure you figured that out.

Nick Kristof has a succinct view of what's going on posted with the NY Times today. In under 2 minutes he discusses both the excitement and the possibility of disaster.

Hi all, To all those people around the world who think there is something their governments should be doing. There isn't anything beyond flying your own out that any sane government should be doing.

Do you supprot Mubarrik, in which case when he goes, you can say bye bye to influence, and hi to public condemnation. Or do you oppose and then have him stay (see above) or when he goes you lose control. Best bet Go hands off, call for calm and no violence and promise support for the country. The third is what is happening, I think.

There is though a lot of set in concrete lobbyist attitudes that are coming out of the woodwork, some from 30 years ago. There was some ancient insider on Fox saying we owe Mubarrik for not going full communist dictator and anti israel the moment after Sadats Assasination in 81, instead he stayed friendly and countered Iran. Exactly how long is the US meant to help someone who's time appears to have been gone 10-15 years ago.

Pet peve rant; For the Idiots in my country who were accusing my government of not doing enough to get the phones on in Egypt so they can ring family. 'Grow up' the government in Egypt turned off the phones how exactly will they be turned on against that gov's wishes without a military action.

Some of the comments on the boards in the streets are pretty funny. Like someone holding one saying "Mubarak go away, my hand hurts!"

Maybe the Muslim Brothers will get to power. However they've been in Egypt for a while, and for the moment don't seem to be terrorists. I would like some of you here to remember that islam is not only about stoning people to death, burqas and bombs. For once peoples are acting, and many are already saying it's gonna end up badly. Egypt has been a military dictature for 30 years, with everything it implicates...

some light (but timely) entertainment- always thought it was a great song, from one of my least favorite "periods" :) of american music history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5N7RNQUKts&feature=feedlik

On another forum there is this really cool woman from Cairo who I've been blogging with for years. She's intelligent, kind, modern, forward thinking. She hadn't posted since the internet was shut down in Egypt. She just posted this message.

I just managed to pop in here hardly coz of the lack of freedom Mubarak is imposing on us - Egyptian nation - here ... to all the world now, I am addressing you from the real scenes in Cairo and sending you one true message of what's taking place here.

Mubarak is a tyrannical and dictatorship figure. Its not about him only, the Egyptian nation with all its social different categories are unifying and collaborating against him and against any other corrupt symbol of dictatorship in the whole world to send a message to them through us ... "Power is in people so its no use to practice any tyranny any more".

He and his gang made a low life conspiracy against us his nation ... he made the police kill us, throw tear gas bombs and then throw the dead bodies in the Nile or bury them somewhere unknown, thousands of ppl are injured and there is no blood banks sufficient to compensate them the lost blood, many are killed brutally.

However, our brave nation are not scared from this coward reactions from the police, we - the nation - continued to walk our protests despite the killings. When the number of protesters increased to reach millions, police reacted more cowardly ... they retreated back taking orders from minister of Police to hide and open prison for criminals and prisoners to come out all at one time ... imagine how chaotic and scary the scene is.

This gang's plan was as follows: to hide the police away and to make all those criminals out to scare ppl generally and the protesters to go back home but they failed you know why? coz the protesters were smarter; they divided themselves into groups some fight the criminals, others fight the police, others save their families and properties and others keep protesting ... damn!

After all this blood and lives at stake and Mubarak is still arrogant and sticking to his position not caring even to address his nation with one single message until 4 horrible days!

And then when he realized the world is looking with great worry to whats happening in Egypt ... he kinda felt that he 'must' speak out to the nation not for their sake but in a position of being forced to save his *!

He has to change the government, after its too late. He has to announce that his evil son wont be our president after he is dead, when its too late. He has to appoint a Deputy when he totally refused this to pave the way for his son to rule us, when again its too late. We kept asking him for long all these past 30 years to do that and he never listens but he inflicts physical and spiritual torture on us. Its too late Mubarak, all we need is him to leave us now ... if not, then I am sure ... we are all in a dark tunnel.

Part of his evil tactics and low life strategy onto us - his nation - is to deprive them from means of connection with themselves and the outter world ... he suspended mobiles ph lines, curfews, no internet access to the entire country, criminals on the streets, police beating us up, food shortage, fake government and state TV, suspension of satellite news channels to blind us all.

Its an experience I ll never forget but I am very proud to be part of it.

Still incidents are occurring .. I ll update you with all the truth, nothing but the truth .. if am still alive.

All the best to you all ... pls help communicating this truth to the whole world, for the sake of real peace.

I screwed up on putting the entire statement in italics..

thanks, joann. it sounds like your friend is a bit confused, and making stuff up to explain what's happening- totally understandable, especially from "street level" and especially being one of the minority internet-savvy "intellects" who, as i keep saying, are being manipulated and used.

egypt has had full connectivity, fwiw, till the beginning of this thing just a week ago, so using this as an example of mubarek's "low life" oppression is pretty...um...not true. until the shit hit the fan, of course.

her descriptions of "police oppression" also don't jive with what the egyptian police had been doing till last week (oppressing islamists, not (western) educated people, as your friend seems to be, and not even now- they have acted with remarkable restraint, imo, and the scenes of kissing/hugging between police and protesters in the last week have not, i'm sure, been lost on you.

This gang's plan was as follows: to hide the police away and to make all those criminals out to scare ppl generally and the protesters to go back home but they failed

this makes no sense even as speculation which it is/must be (unless your friend is a member of the egyptian power structure herself, in which case it would be simply a lie. the police are not "hiding", rather deployed in huge force, sympathizing with the protestors in a very public way and, as i said, acting with remarkable restraint. this is all public knowledge, with photos, etc.

i understand why someone in her position might be confused and making things up to try to explain things. but your "reading between the lines" powers may be comprimised by your closeness to this person.

mubareks' "evil son", btw, is long gone- in london, i think- and mubarek's appointment of the chief of the egyptian intelligence agency as a vice president- a position "invented" in the last few days- goes unnoticed by your friend.

physical and spiritual torture... hey, life's tough when you've got a computer, and tougher when you lose access for a few days, but let's have some perspective, here.

she doesn't mention el bardai, or the muslim brotherhood, or any of the other possible successors to mubarek except his "evil son", who is, as i said, long gone and not likely to return anytime soon.

i wish the best for your friend, and everyone in egypt and the mideast right now, but i ESPECIALLY wish that people wouldn't equate owning a computer or knowing how to use it with having an INKLING of what's really going on.

i've offered some hypotheses, and predictions, but believe me, my government isn't exactly giving newspaper interviews either regarding: preparations for war and/or sudden drastic changes in the whole mideast power structure.

and glen beck is just as much of an idiot as you always thought, even more, although (saw a clip yesterday) he uses a few points i've mentioned, along with a bunch of pure crap, to come up with his own armchair version of what may come out of this.

again, hoping your friend is ok. and you still have a valid french passport. :) not that i think that would be the best place to be right now if what i think is happening is actually happening...

user-pic

In light of today's rent-a-mob thugs charging on camels, etc. I am inclined to be more liberal, twice as liberal as yesterday. How could I resent Bush and tolerate Mubarek? If "Ciao"cescu, Kim jung Ill, Kim Jung Um, etc. are no-good-niks, how can one not support the mob (not the governments astroturf rentamob mob) in Egypt? The Shah in Iran was a piece of scheiss. Shit. If need be, Israel can be evacuated to Nebraska or somewhere. The question is do an elite group of ,... nevermind.

I am moving farther left and center at once. 99% of us are "socialists" if we really understand what that means. Down with Mubarek!

Becker, you are no banker, nor are you or the police/bullies ilk. What gives?

Becker, you are no banker, nor are you or the police/bullies ilk. What gives?

not sure what you mean by this. are you asking why i don't support the "mob" in it's "quest for democracy"?

if that's it, well, i do- that is, i wish they (the educated part of the "mob" with the loudest and most literate voices) had a snowballs chance in hell. i wish they truly represented egyptian society, and that they would successfully achieve their democratic ambitions.

but i have explained at length here why i believe this is not the case and won't happen, and how if true democracy does happen these people will be it's first victims. and, for presenting my theory with full mathematical backup blah blah blah, i have been repeatedly attacked for presenting my opinion as fact- which is not the case at all. i present facts which lead me to the conclusions i draw. others are free to find different sources of facts, and come to different conclusions.

i certainly support the idea of democracy. i do not support the REALITY of it in a country armed to the teeth and with a majority (majority- that's kind of important with democracies, ya know) of the population that would like nothing better than to see me, and all my people/nation dead and gone as quickly as possible.

i hope i understood your question correctly- "what gives" doesn't give me much to go on.

Becker, you are no banker, nor are you or the police/bullies ilk. What gives?

not sure what you mean by this. are you asking why i don't support the "mob" in it's "quest for democracy"?

if that's it, well, i do- that is, i wish they (the educated part of the "mob" with the loudest and most literate voices) had a snowballs chance in hell. i wish they truly represented egyptian society, and that they would successfully achieve their democratic ambitions.

but i have explained at length here why i believe this is not the case and won't happen, and how if true democracy does happen these people will be it's first victims. and, for presenting my theory with full mathematical backup blah blah blah, i have been repeatedly attacked for presenting my opinion as fact- which is not the case at all. i present facts which lead me to the conclusions i draw. others are free to find different sources of facts, and come to different conclusions.

i certainly support the idea of democracy. i do not support the REALITY of it in a country armed to the teeth and with a majority (majority- that's kind of important with democracies, ya know) of the population that would like nothing better than to see me, and all my people/nation dead and gone as quickly as possible.

i hope i understood your question correctly- "what gives" doesn't give me much to go on.

user-pic

As for the food riots, if we all become vegetarians, and eat prophylactic herbs, maybe Rodney King will have an answer, we won't have to WWIII over Lebensraum again.

user-pic

"You know those kids who didn’t pay attention in school?

They pretty much run the world now."

That's it!

DumbOxRacy.

Bring it on!

Actually it's the clever ignoramuses who went to business school.

jonathan,

Are you confusing the Egyptian police with the Egyptian military?

the egyptian military has been working alongside the police since almost the beginning of this. and they are calling the shots. as they will continue to do re: who they decide to back in the end.

were you really unaware of this?

it sounds like your friend is a bit confused, and making stuff up to explain what's happening- totally understandable

So you, jonathan, understand more about what's happening in Egypt than an intelligent woman from Cairo?

?????

egypt has had full connectivity, fwiw, till the beginning of this thing just a week ago, so using this as an example of mubarek's "low life" oppression is pretty...um...not true. until the shit hit the fan, of course.

Are you fucking joking here???! Internet connectivity being cut off when "the shit hit the fan" is exactly what she's talking about. sheesh! So, um... yes true.

physical and spiritual torture... hey, life's tough when you've got a computer, and tougher when you lose access for a few days, but let's have some perspective, here.

The physical and spiritual torture of which she speaks is not just about losing access to the computer, and you are perfectly aware of that. You are being disingenous and you damned well know it.

i wish the best for your friend, and everyone in egypt and the mideast right now, but i ESPECIALLY wish that people wouldn't equate owning a computer or knowing how to use it with having an INKLING of what's really going on

What the hell does this comment have to do with anything. Again, you've glommed on to this notion of internet connectivity ina feeble attempt to discredit the view of a woman who has more of an "inkling" of what's going on in Egypt than you do. Unless, of course, you believe that you know more about what's going on in Egypt than intelligent people who are actually living this experience body and soul.

i wish the best for your friend

Bullshit. You wish the best for yourself.

Bullshit. You wish the best for yourself.

this is true, of course. but what's best for me would also be the best for your friend- meaning a true democracy in egypt where the majority were people like your friend. and i don't see this happening, because i KNOW it isn't the case. they just don't have the numbers (if true democracy actually becomes invoved) and if your friend doesn't know it, despite being closer (slightly, geographically) to the events there,, than she will be just as surprised as you will be at the outcome i predict.

and i really do hope i'm wrong, and i really do wish the best for your friend and her educated, semi-secular circle- a tiny minority there. these are just statistics. it's nothing to argue about. and i don't like it when you get nasty with me, because you are generally one of the more open minded people here (or anywhere) and it just continues to make me feel like there's something very wrong with the way i express myself- as opposed to what i'm actually trying to say.

i meant nothing personal, and am truly sincere in my wishes for a peaceful mideast, including (first and foremost- i'm sure you know the french word "triage")- egypt).

sorry i got you so riled up. i'm really working on how to tell the truth without pissing people off. it ain't easy, and i ain't giving up. in terms of who's in more actual danger here- me or your friend- i'd call it a short term toss up, and in the long term (relatively speaking, meaning the next few weeks/months) she's in a much safer place than i am. please remember this if our "communication" is suddenly cut off. peace out.

jonathan, you are telling the truth as best you know it.

She is telling the truth as best she knows it.

I am telling the truth as best I know it.

No one really knows how all of this will turn out.

I'm riled up, yes, but I continue to appreciate exchanging thoughts with you.

peace

Don't take it personal JoAnn. JB is paranoid. But its fine because some people are out to get him. Some aren't, but he is working on them.

newsflash from paranoid central (damn i hate it when i have to say stuff that make the american "tea partiers" look sane, or like they're in the same boat as me, or think like me, which they don't and aren't):

your "non-secret muslim" president has just endorsed egypts "muslim brotherhood"- the sunni "root" from which hamas grew, and a violent terror organization which hasn't done anything too violent for about 5 years- thanks to mubareks oppression, backed (formerly) by the u.s.- as a memmber of a new, theoretical, egyptian democracy. just as he endorsed hizbullah- which still is a violent terrorist anti-u.s./israel group- as a member of the lebanese government- from which they now pretty much control/make up a big chunk of the lebanese army.

i have no problem being labelled as paranoid- believe me i know this is one of the lesser parts of the negative side of my "psych profile"- but being paranoid, in this part of the world, whith the "friends"/allies we've cultivated over the last 30 years (the u.s., egypt, and jordan, to be specific) beats the alternative. as we like to say around here (and you like to poo-poo) "never again".

conspiracy theory central, meanwhile, has a theoretical question for you amerecans: if some sort of "uprising" like this were to happen in the states, how long before the obama administration uses their (conspiracy theoretical) "internet off button"? egypt obviously has one, i'ts not so far fetched, although an american uprising is, the question is meant to by hypothetical and i hope it stays that way.

so, when he/they (hypothetically) hit that (theoretical) "off button": would you, joann, write/tweet/blog/complain about how it represents the oppression you've been living under for decades, as your friend did? and would i try to justify/twist/explain away your complete misuse of example/analogy, as you did for your friend? you noz i luvs ya, but the non-hypothetical answer is: no.

rather, i would try my best to save you from your delusions, perhaps even using harsh language to do so, but for your own good. this is what you should be doing for your friend.

if she's really a friend, and i were you, i'd tell her "wake up! you don't know the first thing about where you live and what you're up against. get out of the country NOW. PLEASE. come to my house. lets go to france together. ANYTHING but stay there to be used as a tool by everyone from the american to the egyptian governments to show the "western media" a completely false picture of what egyptians are really like, and could very well be killed, anyway, for your efforts, if you say the wrong thing to the wrong people."

but that's just me, i guess. i've always considered a real friend to be the one tell you when there's a booger hanging out of your nose. not the one who says "hey, your lookin' grreat today, as always! how the heck do you do it?"

which kind of friend are you?

http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/02/game_over_the_chance_for_democracy_in_egypt_is_lost?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4d4a934f9ed83e1d%2C0

money quote:

the popular uprising has even ensured that the presidential succession will not only be engineered by the military, but that an officer will succeed Mubarak. The only possible civilian candidate, Gamal Mubarak, has been chased into exile, thereby clearing the path for the new vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman. The military high command, which under no circumstances would submit to rule by civilians rooted in a representative system, can now breathe much more easily than a few days ago. It can neutralize any further political pressure from below by organizing Hosni Mubarak's exile, but that may well be unnecessary.

so, in other words, obama's endorsement of the muslim brotherhood in egypt was too little, too late, and will have negative repercussions when sulieman and the army regain control- since they've been fairly brutally suppressing the "brotherhood" (theoretically in concert with the u.s.) for many years.

so, unless this article is completely off base- and i don't think it is- bad call, obama.

but the good news is, it'll still work out in the end, because the aid (military and otherwise) from it's deal with america is too valuable for suleiman and the military to turn their noses up at just because obama is a social nincompoop who thinks too slowly and chose, at a very late point in the cocktail party, the wrong table.

I have been viewing this mostly from a European perspective. I think the coverage in Le Figaro has been quite good and better than most of the US press. TV news, both here and in America, sucks ass and isn’t fit for adult consumption. I think Obama has handled this very delicate situation very adroitly. I can’t imagine how badly Bush and Co. would have fucked this up.

What people need to remember is that this isn’t an Islamic revolution, at least it isn’t now. If we were to act with a heavy hand it would be all too easy for those elements to high-jack these protests. The USA couldn’t possibly give full support to Mubarak and then expect to have any cred when he is finally disposes (and of course he will be…and soon). Next on my wish list would be Saudi Arabia, a bigger shit-hole would be hard to find in this world (and another US “ally”).

What people need to remember is that this isn’t an Islamic revolution, at least it isn’t now. If we were to act with a heavy hand it would be all too easy for those elements to high-jack these protests...

i agree with much of what you say here. but this..sorry, dude, your "sources of information" are quite a bit behind the actual events. (understandable considering their speed and la figaro's obvious political agenda) this (hijacking by islamicist elements) is already well under way, and will be (i think) put down by mubareks chosen successor, suleimen, who controls the army and is still (apparently) willing to work with the u.s. and uphold past agreements.

but if this doesn't happen- if true democracy appears in egypt- believe me, it will be islamicist, and turn quickly into islamic theocracy. it's all about the numbers- does "la figaro" have anything to say about this? do you doubt me that egyptian islamic fundamentalists FAR outnumber educated, internet savvy, impressively intelligent egyptians currently being used and promoted by the media to paint a picture of the possibility of a "modernist, educated, reasonable egyptian democracy" that could beat either the islamic fundies OR the united egyptian army under suleimen? this is a lie, a dream, an opiate meant to put you all to sleep while the real power brokers do their dark business.

so, as for the actual nature of the revolution being non-islamic- this is a dream cooked up by the western media, including (apparently) your sources. and they all have their ass-covering reasons for doing so.

for instance: "we support the idea of democracy, no matter how stupid or unreasonable the "voters" may be. and we have no choice but to do so in public." what all these governments are doing in PRIVATE- including yours and mine and the americans- we may not find out about for years. unless julian assange manages to stay alive and doing what he's doing- and i'm giving that a big fat "no chance", too.

like red said, i may be a bit paranoid. but i know something about spain and it's historical relationship with muslims/jews/the u.s., and much more about egypt and said relationships, and my take on the situation/s is not based on pure bullshit/paranoia. not that i don't have a huge sackful of both of those things. :)

I think Obama has handled this very delicate situation very adroitly. I can’t imagine how badly Bush and Co. would have fucked this up.

this may be true- like i said, if they're supporting suleiman and the army (covertly) and only talking public blah blah about the value of democracy, than they're doing ok. but it's all in secret. there's nothing "adroit" about obamas public stance, except the standard hypocritical "we stand with those who support democracy" bullshit. which is so obviously bullshit, what with american support for dictators over the years, i can't believe anyone buys it.

but diplomacy- real diplomacy- doesn't happen in public. so we'll see, i guess, somehow, even if "they" take out assange.

I remain optimistic. Rough times lie ahead as they always do with a revolution. The Egyptians have suffered too much for too long. They insist on more than the dictator who they are currently subject to.

They insist on more than the dictator who they are currently subject to.

you're right. and they're going to get "more dictator", too. or (slight chance imo) democracy, which will lead to islamic theocracy, and even MORE dictator.

i wonder why they hate mubareks son so much? because, with a little patience, given mubarek sr.'s health situation, that's what they would have gotten. and he (the son) has some kind of western education, and if he'd had the guts to stick around might have pulled off something like what hussien's son (in jordan) or even assad's son (in syria) have done- that is, maintaining agreements/ status quo/ dictatorship, while making small adjusments and exhibiting certain flexibility of thought which they got (i think) from their western educations- which their fathers didn't have. change happens slowly around these parts, but it's not impossible, and, as always, education is the key.

so i really do wonder: what do the (tiny educated minority) of people like joanns friend hold against mubarek's son, specifically, as opposed to the other "dictators" (suleiman and el baradai) waiting in the wings- not to mention the muslim brotherhood and the islamic fundamentalist movement who actually make up the majority of the egyptian population should it come down to democracy.

i don't claim to know much about mubarek's son- maybe the "computer geek" minority knows something about him that i don't- but actions speak louder than words, and he is, as i've mentioned, long gone. bailed. outta there. i suppose this says something about his character, but makes it confusing for me to understand whay the egyptian blogging population continues to heap abuse on him, while ignoring the real possibilities of successors to mubarek sr.- a race mubarek jr. got out of at the very beginning of this thing.

I gotta say, alot of yesterday's coverage on the BBC, NPR and from Kristof with reporters on the street mirrors what JoAnn's friend blogged about. If you want to call that western perspective/gloss, OK, but I'm sure Israel has it's way of viewing and skewing things as well.

Basically, we won't know what will happen until it actually happens. We can be as hopeful as we want, but in the end, it's Egypt's bag of marbles to shoot which ever direction they aim.

in the end, it's Egypt's bag of marbles to shoot which ever direction they aim.

yes, yes, and yes

I'm sure Israel has it's way of viewing and skewing things as well.

as i've mentioned before, i'm a heretic- both religious and political. of course you're right in general and this is true of all publicly professed positions of ALL governments.

but what you're hearing from me is not israel's take (at least publicly) on the situation, rather mine- which differs significantly from ANY governments public pronouncements. fwiw, israels public stance (till now, at least ) is to keep our heads down, and our noses out of it, and profess publicly our support for democracy as a value. in fact, pretty much exactly what america and europe are doing/saying, at least publically.

my points are based on my historical understanding (such as it is) of what governments, and specifically THESE governments, actually DO, and the disconnect there with what they SAY.

for instance, i'll eat my hat if israeli military/air force bases aren't little beehives of activity and preparation right now, though the israeli gov't has made no such pronouncements, rather speaking as i described above.

i would also be surprised if there aren't intense (secret) negotiations going on right now between the u.s. state dept. and suleiman.

anyway, you're not going to get the "official israeli position" from me. as far as "western perspective/gloss", yes, i do think that comes into play re: the western media's choice of who to talk to, and who's views to present. this is not joann's friend's fault- i'm sure she is entirely sincere, simply unaware of her actual position and how she's being used. i don't think it will matter in the long run anyway (except in terms of her actually being in danger of her life), because "democracy" isn't what's going to happen there (in which case she would be in EVEN MORE danger of her life) but rather a military dictatorship will take over, with u.s. blessing/support, and continue the status quo- in which she can continue to blog the "truth" as she sees it to her heart's content, as long as she doesn't criticize the "new pharoh" and his military too much or to the wrong people.

it is, ironically, mubarek's dictatorship, and the new one i expect to fill his shoes, which ALLOW her this freedom. true democracy in egypt, as i say, would lead to islamic theocracy (as in gaza/iran), and she would find her life much more difficult. ironic, i know.

but again: please don't think youre getting the "official israeli position" from me. far from it. this you can get from the papers, and it is as i said: "democracy is good, we're keeping out noses out, and wish the best for the egyptian people." nothing wrong with this, of course- except that it is a pack of lies imo. just like the american/european version of same.

true democracy in egypt, as i say, would lead to islamic theocracy

See this is the point I think Both JoAnn and Gypsy seem to be tagging as the Scewed but not likely offical proclomation. And one you present as fact with certainty rather than opinion with likelyhood.

Maybe our crazy left wing media is feeding us with drams of Egypt becoming the New Jersey of the middle east, but Commentators that seem to have just as much historical context as flute makes in the west bank seem to pretty much Universally say that its a bit of a crap shoot. We just can't tell. This isn't Iran, and it isn't Gaza. That the protests are largely about freedom. Some people want the freedom to twitter, others the freedom to attack isreal, the exact mix, is still unknown.

i think you are confusing my proclamation with the official proclomations, even though i wrote a longish comment right here explaining that this is not the case. no govrenment that i know of, least of all israel's, has claimed (as i have) that true democracy in egypt would necessarily lead to islamic theocracy.

it seems to be my very confidence in making such a proclamation that's bothering you- like, who am i to argue with the nyt, cnn, npr, or the variious governments themselves? they all say it's a crapshoot, dammit, and how dare this flute maker argue with us?

your media, by the way, is not leftist, but rather capitalist- meaning they have something to sell, and that something is what you all want to hear- that democracy itself is a wonderful thing, in all circumstances, and we (the u.s.) are living examples of just how wonderful it is, and how smart we were to choose it, and how if everyone were just like us the world would be so much better.

so, how can i be so sure, in the face of all this "evidence" and testimony- besides living next door to the only historical example of what might happen in an arab/muslim democracy, and who they might vote for, and how that might go:

  1. your media is portraying egypt as cairo. it isn't. egypt is a HUGE country. HUUUUUUUUGE. like, you have no idea. population, over 80 million, about half live in what might be called the "greater cairo area".

now, if this really was all of egypt, it might be a little bit fair to call the outcome of democratic elections a "crap shoot"- although i would STILL stick with my own analysis because of the influence of outside players, like the u.s, e.u. and israel.

but cairo ISN'T egypt. the other 50% or so of the population "down south" are not so concerned about the form of their government, only that it should adhere to islamic values. a pretty good chunk of cairo feels this way too. and ALL of them, north and south, want israel out of the mideast, and the u.s out of egyptian politics- and then, also out of the mideast.

so it's just numbers. the people in the south will vote as their religious leaders tell them to. many in cairo will to. and voila: the results of true democracy in egypt are NOT a crap shoot, and NOT that hard to predict.

but this is all hypothetical, because real democracy will probably never even get a foot in the door there. it's not even, except for some posh areas of cairo, the "will of the people. and it certainly isn't the will of the u.s (no matter what they say in public) or of isreal (no matter what they say in public) or the e.u. (no matter what they say in public) because they, like me, and unlike some of you, apparently, can put 2 and 2, and the one existing precedent (leaving out iran because persians are not arabs- i hope this doesn't come as too much of a shock to anyone :) together. true democracy, in egypt, would be "bad for business" and that's what it's all about.

I think I said that your opinion was unlikely to be the official stance. So i am no sure how you are confused.

well, i didn't see you saying that clearly- rather what seemed to be the opposite- perhaps because of "fast typing disease" which i also suffer from but not as bad as you. so, sorry for my confusion. i think the rest of my comment was pretty clear.

Commentators that seem to have just as much historical context as flute makes in the west bank

"seem"? actually, using joanns apparant respect for people actually "on the ground", i would think you wouldn't be one to fall for this "argument from authority".

may i assume you own an armchair? i hope you enjoy the use of it while world events prove me right. of course, i may be dead by that time, and not around to say "i told you so".

but i'm not TOO worried about this since, as i keep saying, true democracy in egypt is a pipe dream. but if it happens? you might not have jb to kick around here anymore. :)

I own an armchair, Which is why I doubt your certainty, more that their lack of it.

Have you been to Egypt recently?

simple answer: no. i haven't been anywhere recently, i don't even own a valid passport.

but fyi: egypt is (or has been) one of the most popular tourist distinations for israelis for almost 30 years. israeli tourist money is a not insignificant portion of their gnp. so, i have plenty of friends who go all the time, and i get their feedback (while egypt gets their money) and they, and i, as i have mentioned, have many friends (or in my case, aquaintances, really, who i've met through my friends who live here- yes, egyptians come to israel too) who live there. and they're in touch with those friends, just as joann is with hers, so i get to see a lot of the thoughts/opinions of "educated" egyptians (who have the money for computers, and travel) in realtime.

why? are you trying to compare your armchair with my position here? don't be ridiculous.

you would be foolish to doubt my certainty, even though i could, of course, be wrong. and you would be doubly foolish to doubt their (meaning the egyptian bloggers) certainty, even though they are imo almost CERTAINLY wrong. and you would be triply foolish to believe the professed "uncertainty" of the commentators/governments you seem to have so much respect for, from your armchair, there.

we could all be wrong. but my certainty, and that of the egyptian bloggers (though we disagree on many basic matters) is genuine. the "certainty" of a "lack of certainty" (the "crapshoot theory") professed by the news sources and governments you are listening to is a lie- according to me, AND the egyptian bloggers, though we disagree on how things may turn out.

your own certainty in the value of your armchair worries me, frankly, red.

i know this might sound a little confusing- read it again if you have to.

what you're hearing from me is not israel's take (at least publicly) on the situation, rather mine- which differs significantly from ANY governments public pronouncements. fwiw, israels public stance (till now, at least ) is to keep our heads down, and our noses out of it, and profess publicly our support for democracy as a value. in fact, pretty much exactly what america and europe are doing/saying, at least publically.

fair enough

user-pic

Wow, one hopes one hasn't let one's freak flag flap too flagrantly in the flow.

Maybe Norm's too busy to bother with backlogistix in the comments. Anywho, one good last try:

Not to be too ad hominem, but I think mr. becker is going through what i went through when i was living in L.A. right in the , well, edge of the L.A. riots. I suddenly became very law and order oriented, suspicious , sympathetic to paranoia of Glenn Beck proportions.

I went so far as to vote republican against Michael Woo, for mayor, and by 1994, even worse. It was not until H, Katrina that i became ashamed at how easily I had been spooked into becoming, if not a John Bircher, at least a Bircher/Birther (anachronistic, I know) ENABLER. Mr. Becker is under the influence, again not too be ad hominem, it happened to me when the grocery store across the street was burnt to the ground and i had to drive to get milk, "fear conditioning" it is called. Paranoia, prejudice, "hate", really fear seize the bully pulpit of one's executive function, psychologically. Years later one looks back on oneself with Debussyean calm and recognized "lApre-midi d'un Faun": PANIC (Pan=Faun).

I hope Norm is not too spooked by my comment, ad hominem as it is, we are all human, hominem. It is directed at all of us.

As for schizophrenic "word slad", one would hope a chess master (ad hominem!) would be astute enough to be able and willing to distinguish an actor dressed up in a gorilla suit from the real thing, from King Kong (King Kong is real?) ?. Maybe not.

post script, (off topic, yeah yeah) Mark Kelly is, good news, going to shuttle up to space after all. Mark Kelly is not spooked.

dear mr. attempt,

how could i not accept such good natured, well written, self-depecratory, even sympathetic criticism? i will take your words to heart. being able to actually read, you will be aware, of course, of my own awareness of my own paranoia, and that of my nation. i think you can see at least as well as i that "living on the edge of the l.a. riots", times 100, for 17 years might affect even the most judicious person's judgement, and that i am not unaware of such dangers, and have seen many of my friends and neighbors succumb to them in ways much more extreme than mine. self awareness is a precious and difficult-to-find commodity in these parts, or any parts, for that matter, but i hope you understand i do have a certain amount of it and am ever watchful against falling into the easy trap of racism, or the easier trap of the simple "them or us" mentality. i am also aware that, when things get a bit hairy ("hairy" being relative in my situation in ways that you outside israel couldn't possibly know) that i may occaisonally overstep one boundary or another of reason, and i thank you- really- for your timely advice.

fwiw, i CHOSE to live here. which means my starting point is completely insane. the idea being that, from here, there's only up- i couldn't possibly be MORE nuts. so i don't think i'm doing as badly as you seem to be implying, but a timely word to the wise/crazy/paranoid is always appreciated by me from anyone i respect- like you. and to earn that respect, you have to be at least a little bit crazy too.

a tip of the hat, and a heartfelt thanks.

Re the Jerusalem Post. This article explains the angst if the Jews.

What a complex situation... sigh..

wow, i can't believe you posted a link to a caroline glick article! i might have done this maybe once here myself, but probably surrounded it with red flags and qualifiers and "danger danger- not p.c. for 1gm readers" signs.

she's one of my faves, i read her column every week, but sometimes her "crazy" gets a little too much even for me. she's a straight shooter, though, and has access to a lot of info most people either don't know,, or don't know how to put together. i'm glad she's out there "tellin' lt like it is" but frankly didn't think many people outside israel read, or appreciate her stuff. never expected any of it to be posted here, that's for sure.

careful, joann. openmindendness can get you in a lot of trouble. :)

Update from my friend in Egypt. (She's responding to questions from others on the forum, including a guy from Turkey and a guy from the Phillipines.)

Hello my dear friends ... here I am destined to come again

Sorry for making you worry Anajo but outta my hands, been participating in demonstrations in Tahrir and its hard to leave my people. I share with whatever I can, same as many many sincere Egyptian people. There in the million man march or settled demonstrations there ... people are not riots or causing any chaos like the brutal regime is trying to convey to the whole world ... instead, they spread their thugs all around the corners to take the food and medications we are bringing abouts to save our brothers and sisters in Tahrir ... And what do they do with stolen food and medications? They throw it in the NILE! ... thank you Mubarak, he is trying with each and every dirty means to kill people, I am impressed!!!

However, if you asked people there despite their hard conditions, bad health and shot gun fires flying over their heads and sometimes directly into their heads ... they would say persistently "We won't leave over our dead bodies, until we are 'assured' that this dictatorship Mubarak is gone".

Hello Tony bro, thanks for your sustain and care ... Mubarak is a tyranny and let me thank your nation, great Turkish people, for their sincere sustain and their great words for us from Turkey. I am sending you our gratefulness from Tahrir Square. As for Mr. Baradey, we can't say he is our enemy but surely he is not the 'man' or the aspired 'leader' for Egypt especially he spent nearly most of his life away from our suffering and finally came after his time was up to Egypt to state his opinions. Well, to be democratic; we listen to him but not necessarily approve of all what he says. As for "Ehvan-al-muslimin" or "Al-Ekhwan" <---- as being pronounced in Egypt namely Muslim Brotherhood. This is a purely Islamic group founded by Hassan Al-Banna who was shot long ago but still some scholars and some so very believers in him like to join this group, which is not scary or bad coz they "know" very well that Egypt is not Iran or Saudi Arabia who live in the strictness or extremism of belief ... they even understand their fellow Christian neighbors and even the moderate Islamic figures so long our traditions and cultures as well principles are not shaken ... which is sane to all of us, indeed. I can't understand how the people generally are scared of them 'Muslim Brotherhood' when they are not forced to declare that they comply well with this society with all its differences and they are so rejecting and have nothing to do with Al Qaida or Bin Laden ... and so rejecting what the Bin Laden and his followers had done, condemning him in the strongest terms. One of them even came out to declare to us; that if we totally reject his system we would of immigrated to such other countries that are strict in the implementation of Islam ... they added, that they reject this totally coz they are promoters for Islam not distorting it. And if, they lied, then no body will believe them in the future same as nobody is believing Mubarak now and they are entirely NEVER the same.

Anyways, thats what they said and if we want to respect their voices as a matter of implementing democracy then at least we listen and discuss ... elections and pure democracy should be initiated by listening to all our oppositions including the minorities, that if we need real peace to evolve.

Hosni Mubarak tricks are well known by us and even by the smart Int'l community. He uses well the idea of the scary Muslim Brotherhood to scare America and Israel and uses this burnt card to pressure them to help him stay in Egypt and continue his tyranny ... which is quite naive hence, Obama and nearly most of the sane folks urges him to leave 'NOW' ... he uses other tricks recently sending his troops secretly to cause explosions in our gas pipes reaching to both Jordon and Israel to translate this fear out loud ... again naive and low life!

Hello arrow ... nice question but it needs a bit of explanation and clarification: You used the term "voted" which we need now. We never voted for Hosni since 1980. I need to remind you that before Hosni, we were led by this great warrior namely Anwar Al Saddat who was assassinated. He appointed before this time, a deputy to take care of the country until a 'fair' and 'legal' elections take place. This curse, i mean, this deputy was Mubarak who misused the opportunity and took the presidential position since then without any votes or elections until now ... everytime, coming out to nation telling use since decades, I fought in the war and brought you peace, I am working on political and social reforms, I ... blah blah blah and blah. What he was working on very cleverly is how to divide us well low salaries to paralyze us or deprive us from a dignified life, very scary future, imprisoning any one who even have another opinion which could simply be objecting to his, torturing people using his lame police allied system, he even causes a rift between muslims and christians by bombing Churches as the one recently happened in Alexandria in the 1st day of this year! Why? simple answer and well known politically speaking -------> to divide us. When you divide whatever, you manipulate better and best. What is happening now in Tahrir an absolute unity which is not what he wants ... its power .. thats why he is shaking and trembling. I will tell you something I saw in the scene yesterday in Tahrir Square ... Muslims are praying and a huge circle was made around them by their Christian brothers and sisters to watch and protect their backs from any intruders might be sent from Mubarak to finish em up! can you see what I am talking about?! Mubarak only advantage now is he returned our love and unity to us .. only when we realized that he is our real enemy ... without him, we are better and unified.

Further updates: Mubarak continues his dirty plan .. he is chasing international TV reporters in Hilton hotel and others to put em in Jail or even kill em ... why? to blind the eyes of the world from what might happen in Tahrir ... he wants to kill ppl when all the world's eyes should be folded!! Recent news about his wealth estimation ... actually our stolen money taken by him and his family ... reaches 70 billion dollars!!! while reports say that Egypt got more than 40% of its population find no bread to eat. I guess this needs no comment for now ... !

My last lines for now ... I wanna say; Freedom costs much, but its worth it. Even if I and my fellow people will die in Tahrir, we won't stop until we regain back our dignity, revenge for those being killed on purpose by his regime.

Thank you all for caring to read the truth.

btw joann, i know how this sort of statement makes me loved here- and specifically by you :) but your friend is an idiot. mubarek isn't even IN egypt right now, and far from controlling anything. she sounds like a nice...i mean, sincere person but that and 4.50 will get you a cup of latte- if you're smart enough, or able to move to the states. as i advised you to advise her. but it doesn't sound like she'd be interested- rather, she wants to stay and support her internet twisted version of who the egyptian people actually are- courage, as you must know, and stupidity, share a very fine line. still, i salute her courage, and i wish she was right. but she isn't.

small example:

Mubarak who misused the opportunity and took the presidential position since then without any votes or elections until now ...

he didn't "take" the position, rather he was the vice president, who legally was obligated to "take the position" after sadat's assasination- which your friend, again. provides no context for, and barely a mention of.

and as the new leader, he eliminated any "vice presidential position", until a few days ago, when he picked the one guy who has the support of both the egyptian military and the u.s. government, after his own son bailed on him.

you guys really don't know anything about this stuff, and are easily swayed by the semi-literate ravings of egyptian bloggers who think they have actual influence, which they don't.

wake up. and if you have friends in egypt (which i, and my friends, also do) tell them to wake up, too. unless you care more about your political opinions (and theirs) than you do about actual people and their LIVES.

there are even "deeper" ways to think about this, in my acid-addled mind. bits of "history" the egyptians themselves have forgotten, or never known about. here's a major example, imo, of what led to sadat's visit to jerusalem, the resultant peace treaty, and america's subsequent involvement in egypts governmental structure.

not one of their better shows, but not one of their worst, either- (deadheads will know what i'm talking about) in the shadow of the pyramids, 1978:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TPHUHXcbbc&feature=related

again, like the grateful dead here, with only the best wishes for the egyptian people- but realizing my wishes, like the dead's, are not necessarily appreciated.

I've been reading everything that I can access.. the Israeli press, the press from the United States, from France, from Britain, you name it.

and are easily swayed by the semi-literate ravings of egyptian bloggers

Might I also be swayed by the semi-literate ravings of Jewish bloggers? English is for you a native language. This lady speaks a foreign language and does her best to express her views. I wonder how successful you wou be posting something in Arabic?

you don't need to be swayed by anybody's ravings. read between the lines. look for facts. if you see an outright lie, don't just let it slide because you like the way the person writes or s/he otherwise backs up your own preconcieved notions. look for motivations and agendas.

and please-do you think i would stoop so low as to attack the literacy of someone writing in a 2nd or 3rd language? i was talking about ALL of them, not your friend, and by semi- literate i wasn't referring to grammar or spelling issues, but ideas and their organization.

jeez, don't they teach kids how to read anymore?

I don't have my mind made up. I read and attempt to understand.

I understand what you're saying jonathan.

Nothing that I can say to her would matter. She sounds pretty wound up. I could try, but my knowledge of this topic is not good enough to debate it with anyone.

mubarek isn't even IN egypt right now

My information on this topic must be horrible despite reading so damned much about it. I was aware of Mubaraks's son Gamal leaving the country, but I was not aware that Mosni had left.

Just curious, but why do you spell his name with an 'e' ?

why do you spell his name with an 'e' ?

well, if there's an official english spelling i guess it's just a mistake on my part. i spell it that way because the local arabs where i live, as well as the israelis who base their pronuounciation of arabic words on...uh..the arabic pronounciation. in the case of mubrAks name this comes out like something between an e and an a to these english speaking ears, leaning more toward the e, so that's how i write it. but i stand corrected, if the official english spelling uses an a than i'll use it.

fwiw, i have no idea how the "palestinians" in gaza pronounce it, but it would be more like the actual egyptian pronounciation, since they are, actually, egyptians (or were) and use a slightly different arabic dialect with noticably different pronounciation than the arabs of the west bank, where i live. but it is interesting that the one example we have of an arab democracy (in which islamists were legitimatally elected and proceeded to illegitamally eliminate their political opponenents, leading to theocracy and dictatorship blah blah...) are actually egyptian people, though they call themselves palestinians now...

more humble pie : i should have said mubarak isn't in cairo- the last i heard he was in sharm el sheik, near the israeli border (it used to be israel- all of the sinai did, remember? we gave it all back to mubarak's predecessor), but that's about as close to being "out of egypt" as you can be and still be "in egypt". he's hiding out, and i saw on some site i'd be embarassed to tell you i read sometimes that he had actually left the country, and i find this perfectly logical and possible and don't doubt that it's true.

but i shouldn't have written it here as if it were a proveable fact, which it isn't. so sorry about that.

Oh, please.

These Short sighted Morons are the reason we have to worry a about perpetual war. Giving arms and aid to dictators does not support stability or progress. If this hadn't happened Mubarak's son would have had a nuclear program down the line.

And Mubarak's obituary was written long before the USA sent an envoy to talk to him about how he will step down. The idea that Obama went to his base on this, is freaking idiotic.

here, the first example of an actual israeli gov't official (netanyahu) actually saying in public more or less what i've been saying here.

i question his wisdom in doing so- he is, after all, the prime minister of israel and not some unknown internet commenter.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-egypt-could-fall-into-hands-of-radical-islamists-1.341890

Navigation

Support this site

Google Ads


Powered by Movable Type Pro

Copyright © 2002-2017 Norman Jenson

Contact


Commenting Policy

note: non-authenticated comments are moderated, you can avoid the delay by registering.

Random Quotation

Individual Archives

Monthly Archives