Monday, January 31, 2011




The current people’s uprising in Egypt has been simmering for a long time. This picture is from the day of a national strike (April 6th 2008). There were further incidents on the same date in 2009. Details of both to be found on Global Voices. The text of the photo reads: Be With The Revolution


Is Mubarak Really a Force of Stability?

Osama Diab
September 13, 2009

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (L) speaks with U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on Aug. 18. (Photo: Jim Watson/ AFP-Getty Images)

…. during Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's visit to Washington, Obama described Mubarak as a force of stability.

Mubarak is a force of instability and unrest.

‘In the 20th century, Egypt saw many attempts to challenge authority outside the system and the law. The country witnessed the assassination of many political figures. In 1990, Rifaat El Mahgoub, speaker of the Egyptian parliament, who was also a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, was assassinated in his car in Cairo by an Islamic group. Anwar Sadat, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Egyptian president, was also killed by Islamic militant groups for signing a peace treaty with Israel. A few hours after his death, Asyut, one of Egypt's major southern cities, fell under the control of Islamic groups for a few days and tens of police officers were killed. For more than a decade after Sadat's death, Egypt suffered from a very strong wave of terrorism that claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and police officers.

‘Besides assassinations and terrorism, Egypt saw at least one military coup in 1952, a revolution in 1919, and a nationwide student uprising in 1936 where hundreds of protestors were killed by the police. Recently, civil disobedience has been common-place, labor strikes are turning into some sort of a national sport, clashes between riot police and students are becoming standard to see on news programs, and deaths are reported daily during election time.’


Spotlight Again Falls on Web Tools and Change

An Egyptian man recorded the turmoil on his cellphone video camera. Scott Nelson for The New York Times

‘….governments have begun to climb the steep learning curve and turn the new Internet tools to their own, antidemocratic purposes.

‘The countertrend has sparked a debate over whether the conventional wisdom that the Internet and social networking inherently tip the balance of power in favor of democracy is mistaken. A new book, “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom,” by a young Belarus-born American scholar, Evgeny Morozov, has made the case most provocatively, describing instance after instance of strongmen finding ways to use new media to their advantage.

‘After all, the very factors that have brought Facebook and similar sites such commercial success have huge appeal for a secret police force.’

Full text of article by Scott Shane here:

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