Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:22 am Post subject: The Egyptian Revolution
The Egyptian Revolution
The media has done a very poor job of reporting on this historic event. Most media reports were dead wrong. The reporters and pundits were playing catch-up and ineffective. They told us that Mubarak was resigning and he didnít. They told us that various people were being handed power and they werenít. They told us that Mubarak had supporters. The alleged "pro-Mubarak crowds" turned out to be paid thugs. That is not just poor reporting, that is making up news instead of reporting facts.
The army is now in power and the generals are very well fixed and well paid. They are held in check by the young officers and NCOs who know the Egyptian people and refused to fire on the revolutionaries. The army has a conscience because family roots in Egypt run very deep.
Talk of a war of any sort involving the Egyptian army is as crazy as any other media reports for the past 18 days. The army finds itself with a nation to run and a nightmare of elevated expectations on its hands. The generals have promised reforms and the revolutionaries are impatient. The army is going to be fully engaged in domestic affairs for the next few months.
The revolutionaries also have some tough choices to make. The generals are accustomed to pay and perks Mubarak handed out to ensure that they would not turn on him. The revolutionaries need to ensure that the generals can maintain their ostentatious lifestyles in retirement to ensure that they will hand over power to a democratic government. The alternative is an army crack-down and blood bath followed by a bloody coup díťtat.
There are other players in the region, notably Iran and Saudi Arabia who may choose to intervene in Egypt, but no one can guess when or how. The Middle East is in turmoil and no one has the power to take over the region. Various nations in the Middle East are not in a position to start a war while they face the probability of an internal revolution similar to that which deposed Mubarak.
Media fear-mongering about another Middle East war is just more if the nonsense outlined above. Our intelligence agencies and media have completely failed us. The governments in Canada and the USA were caught flat-footed and gaping. Their efforts to pretend that they knew and know what is going on in Egypt are not credible. They havenít a clue and the media is unreliable. Bluntly, I do not trust current media analysis at all.
Many of us followed events in Egypt through blogs and tweets that gave us a sense of the real fears and hopes of Egyptians on the ground and participating in the revolution. Mubarak's efforts to manage information from Egypt failed. Mainstream media coverage from Egypt might have come from anywhere but Egypt when compared to the Tweets. Bloggers and tweeters were arrested, beaten and had their equipment seized.
The mainstream media and some governments protested treatment of reporters and cameramen, but they were not putting their lives at risk and were leaving Egypt after the 'assignment'. Egyptian bloggers and tweeters still have to face the army, secret police and potential retributions for their efforts to become members of a democracy with freedoms and rights.
Excepting for immigrants and refugees, we Canadians cannot fathom the desperation that drove Egyptians to finally revolt. The Americans revolted in 1774 - 1783 as they were cognizant of how a democracy operated, and of the compromises and self-restraint essential to make democracy work. The colonists understood that they were second-class citizens denied the freedoms and rights enjoyed by citizens of their parent nation. Egypt has a Grand Canyon to bridge in comparison. To Egyptians, democracy is a concept worth dying for. They have yet to go through the angst of discovering the many deficiencies and flaws inherent to a democracy.
Egyptians have shattered our perception of the evil people who enslaved the Jewish tribes and whose armies drowned in the Red Sea. Egyptians have show us that they can move mountains with peaceful protest. They have demonstrated to the world the illegitimacy and evil nature of Al Qaeda and violent Islamic extremists in a manner that all of NATOs money and military might has not been able to accomplish.
We are going to have to wait and see what comes of the Egyptian revolution. Mubarak is gone. His secret police are not. Egyptians are watching and will not return to a life of serfdom and no rights. The American revolutionary war took nine years to resolve. Trying to resolve the Egyptian revolutionary war in 18 days is not rational or realistic. Their journey to self-government is going to be long and hard, and I hope successful.
Isn't it amazing all that OPEC oil money was mainly for military weapons, not to protect the despots' people but to kill them when they protest.
However, some of the protests are encouraged by al Qaeda type organizatioins and the Brotherhoods.
I suspect that a lot of 'oil money' is in offshore bank accounts of despots and royalty depending on the nation. Don't forget that personal security forces are expensive as unless well cared for, they may turn on the tyrant or king.
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