Sunday, February 13, 2011

Egypt 2011:Now what?

I agree with Mimi (and Ian Welsh) that the events of the past 3 weeks in Egypt represent a victory for ordinary people, no matter what the eventual outcome.


Meanwhile the US mainstream press is full of fancy-pants learned assessments of how Obama and the State Department "handled" the events in Egypt, as if we really still have so much influence in the region, which I doubt. I assume Obama hopes the displacement of Mubarak as just so much rebranding, and that may prove be the case(Change he can believe in...). At any rate I suspect Egyptians are less likely to be fooled by mere window dressing and symbolism the way, say, many democratic voters were fooled by Obama.

Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian:"The tyrant has gone. Now the real struggle begins for Egypt"

"The edifice of despotic government totters to its fall. Strive so far as you can to destroy the foundations of this despotism, not to pluck up and cast out its individual agents." This was the deathbed exhortation-cum-warning of the itinerant Muslim Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897) who pursued a long career in political activism and trenchant journalism.

John Dickerson, Slate, Was Obama Too Indecisive on Egypt?
Or did his refusal to meddle actually speed Mubarak's fall?


Ethan 6 or 7, "A perfect symbol of how hard the fight is"

Ian Johnson: Washington’s Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood [via BDR]


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8 Comments:

At February 14, 2011 3:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that the future of Egypt and the rest of the middle east is going to be different than anyone in the power structure in the US, Israel or western Europe could have foreseen even a month ago. The proof of this is that no one, not the CIA, the DoD, the president, the State Department, their counterparts in Israel, and the EU or even any anonymous government spokesmen gave any indication that they had the slightest inkling that Mubarak was in trouble. To expect any of these types to be able to honestly describe what happened, let alone predict what will happen, is foolishness. All of their "analysis is designed to produce an outcome they desire. Pay attention to them at your peril.

drip

 
At February 14, 2011 7:56 AM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

All of their "analysis is designed to produce an outcome they desire. Pay attention to them at your peril.

What drip said.

I think it pointless to ask whether Obama "responded properly." He's a corporate stooge. He responds how his paymasters tell him to respond, without any reference whatever to what us pissants think or desire.

Fuck Obama and what he does. It's totally fucking irrelevant to understanding what's going on in Egypt. The Egyptian revolution has nothing to do with Barack Hussein Obama, miraculous biracial meritocratic bungler.

 
At February 16, 2011 3:20 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Before Mubarak stepped down, "The Daily Yokimachi" (that may be misspelled), English language newspaper in Tokyo, actually headlined something like "U.S. Dictates Terms of Eqypt Concessions." (I keep asking, "Who died and left us boss?") Now that I'm in Singapore, it's hard to understand just what attitudes are--official and otherwise.

 
At February 16, 2011 4:28 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

I think it's going to take time, won't happen overnight but I think the world is moving forward while the U.S. recedes backwards into darkness.

 
At February 16, 2011 5:23 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi all.

Rob, I hope one is not dependent on the other, although they way millions of Americans have been conditioned to worship tax cuts our decline may be nearly inevitable.

 
At February 16, 2011 11:37 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Jonathan,

I don’t see them as being dependent upon one another but it is rather sad to see because it didn’t have to be like this, it wasn’t written in stone. I guess I don’t believe in fate. In the end people never handle power very well. In fact if you give someone some power over others the very first thing they will do is misuse that power. And here we have a bunch of goombahs that have been endowed with power over in Washington D.C., in fact more power than any government has had at any time in the past, so it isn’t surprising that all their decisions are bad. From our point of view I mean.

 
At February 17, 2011 2:10 PM, Blogger micah holmquist said...

Going off of Mimi’s point, it is striking to me how so many people in the U.S. think the U.S. was primarily behind what has happened in Egypt. (The U.S. played a role, but in, IMHO, it was one of reaction and trying to make the best out of the situation.)

Some give Obama credit. Some want to blame him. Some think it is all to the credit of Facebook or Twitter. (By the way, is there anything people can do on Facebook or Twitter, besides specific applications, that people can do on these sites that they could not do online prior to the creation of these sites? I think the answer is no, but I could be wrong.)

Very few see Egyptians as playing a primary role, which is problematic because it appears as if many just cannot see these non-Americans as real people, real actors. And when you have the kind of attitude, it is far easier to justify having drones drop bombs on them.

 
At February 17, 2011 3:34 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Well, that’s all part and parcel with American exceptionalism. Hardly anyone questions the right of Americans to go where ever they please to do whatever they please. These attitudes are reinforced everywhere from fiction books to political speeches and everything in-between. It’s part of our culture.

 

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