Saturday, February 12, 2011

A historic day

What an amazing couple of weeks in Egypt.

The seemingly unmoveable Mubarak regime has gone. A regime not only brutal in the way it usually treated dissent and which had all-but destroyed any organised opposition but which was, let's not forget, also supported and propped up by the West.

In spite of all that a largely peaceful mass uprising by the people has removed them.

Amazing.

While it is a people's revolution the critical part the military played in the revolution should be acknowledged. Surprisingly to me they stood by and let the revolution take its course.

It was a big dipper of a revolution and it was touch and go there for a while.

It looks to me as though the original thinking of the regime was that it would fizzle out afer a few days, so they did nothing.

Then they tried to show that chaos would be the result by loosing off some thuggish 'supporters' to create violence.

By and large, and to their credit, the crowd didn't resort to retaliation with violence and the chaos the regime wanted didn't really happen.

The numbers waxed and waned, but calls for 'million people' demonstrations boosted the numbers again.

It was touch and go on Thursday when Mubarak was expected to resign by just about everyone but didn't.

If there was going to be a violent reaction, the disappointment at that point was going to ignite it.

Again to their credit, the people were restrained but determined.

There are lessons in it too for American foreign policy makers and their western allies, not that they've ever learned from their mistakes in the past though.

Once again they've been supporting a brutal, undemocratic dictator hated by his people.

And think about Iraq & Afghanistan - you can't impose a political system on people, the people themselves have to do it.

As the Egyptians have so wonderfully shown.

11 comments:

Anthony Carlisle said...

The seemingly unmoveable Mubarak regime has gone. A regime not only brutal in the way it usually treated dissent and which had all-but destroyed any organised opposition but which was, let's not forget, also supported and propped up by the West.

Can you explain how you reconcile your views in your post on Egypt with you somewhat different views on the dictatorship which tolerates no dissent, allows no opposition and which is also supported by the West where you happen to live for most of the year? Or is the "hypocrisy" tag on your post an acknowledgement of your own inconsistencies?

LDU said...

I really wonder if there will be much of a difference with Mubarak gone. The military did most of Mubarak's dirty work.

Anthony Carlisle said...

And think about Iraq & Afghanistan - you can't impose a political system on people, the people themselves have to do it.

Perhaps so, but please at least acknowledge the possibility that if it had been left to the people in both Iraq and Afghanistan to remove their own respective odious regimes, Saddam Hussein may have continued in power for another 20 to 30 years and the Taliban regime in Kabul would have continued to support for many years a terrorist group with a policy of committing mass atrocities in western countries. Perhaps you could expand on your criticism of western policies (imperfect though they may be, although Iraq is now recovering well) with your own alternative recommendation for how the Saddam and Taliban regimes should have been dealt with?

Anonymous said...

I have hope and faith on them. It seems the Egyptians are mature and ready for democracy. What about this?
http://bookhaven.stanford.edu/2011/02/human-chain-protects-the-library-of-alexandria-a-report-from-the-most-intelligent-man-in-egypt/

Thousands of Egyptian youth protesters formed human-chains around Egypt Museum and the Library of Alexandria to protect them from ravage and destruction.

M

boyerling3 said...

I'm not going to disagree that Mubarak was a dictator. But it does merit mention that he kept Egypt stable for 30 years. It was the fact that he was in power and that he managed to keep his country relatively stable instead of falling into extremism as some of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or Iran has that led the West to support him. Mubarak also managed to be relatively neutral towards Israel which is definitely an important factor for Western governments.

Since Egypt has had time of stability and modernization it has caught on to democracy as well (much as Turkey did many years ago) now it is the political system that is catching up with where the culture is heading. Of course Mubarak was a dictator, but to suppose that he was like Stalin or Pinochet is just a mistake.

Seabee said...

AC, to believe as you obviously do that the UAE and Mubarak's Egypt are the same demonstrates a total lack of knowledge and understanding of the two.

The post was a brief word about the Egyptian revolution, not a dissertation on the Taliban and Saddam, a subject far too complex to explore here in the comments section.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Carlisle .... you are commenting without a clue... the UAE is not a dictatorship. True its not a democracy... but also not a dictatorship.

Anthony Carlisle said...

Seabee:

AC, to believe as you obviously do that the UAE and Mubarak's Egypt are the same demonstrates a total lack of knowledge and understanding of the two.

And yet you do not refute my contention that both countries are dictatorships, without the basic freedoms such as democracy, rule or law and freedom of speech. And I have yet to see on your blog any explanation of how you reconcile yourself to living in a country that denies its people those freedoms. Now that's okay, we can all be pragmatic in our everyday lives. But if you are going to write a post critiquing the west's support of one authoritarian regime and extolling the virtues of people overthrowing such regime and regaining their basic human rights, you had better be ready to be asked to explain how you see no contradiction of this view with your own acceptance of another western supported authoritarian regime which denies its people those basic human rights. And if you cannot explain this, then is it not an obvious conclusion that your support or acquiescence of the authoritarian regime in which you live is just as pragmatic as the west's support over the years of regimes such as Egypt. The "hypocrisy" tag is appropriate.

The post was a brief word about the Egyptian revolution, not a dissertation on the Taliban and Saddam, a subject far too complex to explore here in the comments section.

It was you who mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan in your post, suggesting that their previous regimes should have been left alone by the west to be dealt with by people power, as with Egypt. I merely pointed out a problem with your suggestion, which you have not addressed, claiming any response to be too complex. That may be so; your readers will draw their own conclusions.

Anonymous 11:43:

Anthony Carlisle .... you are commenting without a clue... the UAE is not a dictatorship. True its not a democracy... but also not a dictatorship.

And so your point then is that's okay to deny the UAE's citizens the basic human rights because their government is not a dictatorship?

Seabee said...

AC, you're simply reconfirming your lack of knowledge and understanding of the difference between Mubarak's Egypt and the UAE.

You're also demonstrating a refusal to actually read what's written but instead to put an interpretation on it that allows you to state your preconceived ideas. I did not say, nor imply, that the Iraq and Taliban regimes "should have been left alone".

Anthony Carlisle said...

AC, you're simply reconfirming your lack of knowledge and understanding of the difference between Mubarak's Egypt and the UAE.

Confirming how? Please explain why the regime in the UAE is different from that in Egypt? Just claiming, as you have now done twice, that I lack knowledge and understanding on this point without demonstrating why does not refute my claims as to your hypocrisy.

You're also demonstrating a refusal to actually read what's written but instead to put an interpretation on it that allows you to state your preconceived ideas. I did not say, nor imply, that the Iraq and Taliban regimes "should have been left alone".

Your original post stated: "And think about Iraq & Afghanistan - you can't impose a political system on people, the people themselves have to do it." The "imposition" of something seems to me to be not dissimilar to "not leaving it alone". Perhaps you should read what's written?

Seabee - you don't answer my questions, just deflect them by stating that I lack knowledge, or didn't read your post or have preconceived ideas. Why is that?

Seabee said...

AC, "you don't answer my questions, just deflect them by stating that I lack knowledge, or didn't read your post or have preconceived ideas. Why is that?"

Because those are the facts.

You've also exposed yourself as a troll, so that's the end of the nonsense.