While the protests — revolt? revolution? — go on in Egypt, analysts wonder what it all means for Yemen, Algeria, and even Iran.
Meanwhile, Beijing has blocked the word “Egypt” from China’s Sina-Weibo Twitter-like service.
We’ll know for suure which one it is if the rioters storm the U.S. Embassy and take hostages!
It’s the 1970s all over again. What’s next, disco part 2?
Actually, it’s 1920s, 1950s, 1970s, etc, etc, etc all over again. From a blog by a former Egyptian who now lives in Atlanta: http://www.michaelyoussef.com/
The Muslim Brotherhood has been thirsting for power in Egypt for many, many years. Founded back in the 1920s, the aim of the Muslim Brotherhood was to topple the British rule and its puppet Egyptian government. Their goal then was to draw Egypt back into their militant-Islam, Sharia-following, anti-western, anti-Christian fold.
In the early 50 s, the Brotherhood cooperated with Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser and his Free Officers revolution, thinking that they could use him to fulfill their ambitions. But Nasser outwitted them and instead used them to fulfill his personal ambitions. Once he came into power, he threw them into prison. And in prison they stayed until 1971 when Nasser died and his successor Anwar Al Sadat, who was more sympathetic with their Islamic thinking than Nasser was, released them.
The irony is that, in 1981 the same Islamic militants to whom Sadat gave freedom were the very people who riddled his body with bullets on that fateful day of October 6th.
[snip - Mrs Tom]
In America today, those on the left and some on the right who have very little knowledge or understanding of the ethos of Islam and why democracy and Islam could never coexist, are making very naive and silly statements. While we in the West believe that we the people empower government to act on our behalf, Islam believes that the power comes from Allah directly to his prophet and the successors to his prophet the Caliphs who then reinforce Allah s Sharia (law). Talking about democracy and elections to Islamists would be less effective than whistling Dixie.
However, clever Islamists use these words like democracy and election as means to topple secular regimes. And once they take over the reins of power, democracy takes on another meaning, namely killing your opponents. You don t believe me?
In 1979 in Iran, when the demonstrators (many of whom were not Islamists) toppled the government and the Shah left the country, Khomeini used secular minded Muslim Iranians such as Abulhassan Bani Sader and others to his benefit. But once he got established, he killed every one of those freedom-loving, democracy-seeking secular Iranian intelligentsia, thus tightening the Islamic noose around Iran, which is still there today.
In the middle of the 2000s, President George W. Bush pressured the Palestinians to have free and fair elections. It happened. Hamas won the election and took power. And the moment they came to power, they began to kill their opponents so that another election would not take place until they were finally pushed out of the West Bank into the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
[snip - Mrs Tom]
There’s a bit more to the blog, but it’s one of the most concise run-downs of what’s going on, and what will happen if the Muslim Brotherhood take over, that I’ve read anywhere.
Sure is pleasant to see people in the middle east protesting without the required scenes of burning the US flag or the President in effigy, while the camera catches people screaming “Death to Israel, Death the America”.
Ladies and Gentleman, I humbly suggest that there is something going on here that wont allow of templates to work.
First off, allow me to dispose of a few things. This did not start in Egypt, and in my opinion, it wont end in Egypt. This started in the Sahel ( the area just below the Sahara and above the equator). In 2010, there was a pretty severe drought across the Sahel. This lead to crop failures and that naturally lead to people picking up and leaving. What this also caused was a sudden increase in commodity prices throughout the region. I dont mean 10% or 20% but 100 to 200 times the prices people were paying in 2008-9.
Now, you and my might squeal when gas goes from 3 dollars a gallon to 4, but when you are living on the edge and suddenly food goes from affordable and available to unfordable and unavailable, it tends to make people, shall we say, a bit nervous.
So what do we see as a result? Ivory Coast – up in flames. Sudan, In essence a civil war, albeit, one with an election that has split the country, but no resolution. Chad, the dead heart of Africa, is in famine. The migration of people from the Sahel towards the Med cities began almost a year ago and the impact to families across the region is still being felt.
Into this hotbed enters one Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 year old Tunisian. Our news reports him as a fruit vendor who self immolated to protest the government of Tunisia. The story is much deeper than that. He was a college graduate, a good family boy who lived by all the rules, did all the right things. The result? He cant get ahead. He wasnt a fruit vendor because he wanted to be, he was a fruit vendor because thats all he could be.
He knew the world could be more than it was. He also knew what was stopping him from getting it.
He also knew he couldnt stop it by himself. So he gave up. He lit himself on fire and in what might be one the Tunisian governments biggest errors, it was published and broadcast.
His story hit home across the middle east. “There but for the grace of god go I” said many. Before the week was over, many copycats had been seen across the region.
Here we see cause and effect across thousands of miles and millions of lives because of one simple thing. People can and do communicate and make associations without the interference of the authorities. In the west, we think nothing of it, its part of our nature and has been for a long time. Its like fish talking about water, we swim in the freedom to associate to the point that we hardly think about it.
Ten years ago, none of this could have happened. Twenty years ago to conceive of such a thing would be unthinkable. Now, its inevitable that it would happen. Everything everywhere is reported all the time.
Governments, particularly the hide bound political machine governments that make up most if not all of the middle east cannot move fast enough to react to the new reality made from the associations that their citizens are making. I say Governments because I include our own Government in this list. Our own people cant get in front of the news cycle because they dont know how to react to whats going on.
( at this point Id like to interject the idea that this is more like the Tea Part of Cairo than any sort of Islamic resurgence, but thats another comment for another day)
I was recently in the deep part of Egypt, on the border of Sudan and Libya. I spent a great deal of time out in the Oases and in several places that aren’t seen by tourists, unless as I did, they really want to work at it. Its my opinion from that observations of the people I met on that trip that this has almost nothing to do with the previous experiences of rebellion in the middle east.
Throw your templates away folks. We are now in a part of the world where there are no maps.
This is an entirely new thing that is going on, and we best get a grip on what it means very fast.
I do not think that it will end in Egypt.
Ladies and Gentleman, history has a way of creeping up on you seemingly out of nowhere. I’m here to tell you that its my expectation that in a just a years time, the world will look very different indeed.
Frank, I sort it hope to think I agree with you, and that the ubiquity of instant communications is raising the tide of consciousness about what living conditions are like across the world.
But can you explain how come the madrassas aren’t being torn down by this? Also, what can be done about sophisticated social networking PR campaigns like what the Chinese and Russians are doing, where they anonymously pay commenters to talk up the government point of view?
For that matter, what about fake product reviews on Amazon, and comment deletion and editing on Little Green Footballs, etc.?
That should have read “I sort of hope to think I agree with you”…
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