Chronicles & Dissent
posted by Terry Glavin at 10:58 AM
Beautiful. Egyptian street slogans translated. Yalla, Egypt.http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/01/egyptian-slogans.html
Very moving. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hBV0ApIh_4
"Leave, leave you traitor, you sold your country to Israel"You may be sure that if Angry Arab is supportive of this revolution, the results will be Hamas-like. It is the unfortunate fate of the Arab upheavals that democracy doesn't grow out of them.But of course, I wish to be mistaken.
The reality on the streets in Egypt belies the "analysis" put forward by Snoopy. The ferocity and depth of these protests have shocked even their most hopeful supporters. Reports from the scenes in Tahrir square in central Cairo describe a level of cooperation unseen in recent memory; people share their water, bring each other blankets, hold hands to ward off security forces and face down tanks in a scene widely-regarded as Egypt’s Tiananmen Square moment. These protests are nonsectarian and do not hew to established ideologies, disproving yet another common assumption in political science about the so-called “exceptional” Arabs who, we are are told, are moved mainly by ideological slogans along sectarian or religious lines. None of this is happening at present in Egypt.What will become of these protests? I cannot tell. But the modus operates of viewing Egypt, by extension the Middle East, through the narrow prism US interests (referred to as "stability"), only serves to distort the fight for dignity and rights being waged brave souls all over Egypt. As for Israel lets not forget that Egypt's policy of supporting the blockade of Gaza and aligning itself firmly with US interests is not popular. Mubarak rules Egypt with bayonets, so too does the Israeli occupation, both meet the criteria of criminal tyranny. Lets hope that they both fall.
Brad: You might find a remedy for your confusion by shedding just a tiny bit of your pathological antipathy to what you call the "criminal tyranny" of Israel. One of the great things about what is happening in Egypt is it's probably the first time in half a century that an opposition has arisen without the Muslim Brotherhood / Hamas anywhere near its core, and the MB's disgusting ideological complaints nowhere near the protest's casus belli. It is no coincidence that just one result is something that actually challenges the existing order.I've noticing in recent days a pathetically transparent effort on the part of the Islamists and their pseudo-left collaborators in the "west" to appropriate and reinterpret the events in Tunisia and Egypt. Their so-called anti-war line on Afghanistan ("peace" aka "stability"), only serves, to paraphrase you, to distort the fight for dignity and rights being waged by brave souls all over Afghanistan, and Iran. It is tragically funny. Funny because it's a pantomime that can seduce only stupid people (who then go about with their 'troops out' stupidity on public display), and tragic because of the very real possibility that if a true revolution begins to emerge in Egypt it is just as likely to be commandeered by an Islamist counterrevolution before it flowers, as occurred in Iran in 1979.I have no idea where this is going, and neither does anyone else. I'm with Snoopy. I'm just savouring the moment is all.
I don't disagree with much of what you wrote. In fact I stated a differing variation of that in the first paragraph. Just saying that the attempt to reframe or interpret Egypt through the narrow prisms of "stability", "western interests" (whether American, Israeli, in fact they are intertwined) or that of the Islamists is noxious. An assault against the dignity of those doing the heavy lifting, with much bravery, in the streets. Yalla, Egypt!
Hypocrital Brad bemoans others for "viewing Egypt, by extension the Middle East, through the narrow prism US interests (referred to as "stability)" instead of seeing the Egyptian revolution for what it is, a spontaneous outburst of people looking mostly for freedom and democracy. But of course, he himself has his own wittle "prism," by which Israel has to be dragged into every discussion as in "as for Israel lets not forget that Egypt's policy of supporting the blockade of Gaza and aligning itself firmly with US interests is not popular. Mubarak rules Egypt with bayonets, so too does the Israeli occupation, both meet the criteria of criminal tyranny. Lets hope that they both fall."No, let's not. And let's try not to be the first to drag Israel into the discussion and then have the bloody chutzpah to accuse others of attempting "to reframe or interpret Egypt through the narrow prisms of 'stability', 'western interests' (whether American, Israeli, in fact they are intertwined)." Now that is what I would call "noxious".
Of course I meant "hypocritical."
You may want to reexamine the chronology of this discussion. Snoopy plucked out a chant, out of many, and and babbled something about Hamas. What I'm saying is that lets not pretend as if we're discussing an uprising in a place that is not the second largest recipient of US aid (a huge chunk feeding the Egyptian military). The sentiment that Egypt has fully aligned itself with US policy and interests in the region against its own people-and the hopes and aspirations of Palestinians-is evidently heard amongst the slogans on the street- the rallying cries of diasporic Egyptian communities in solidarity with the uprising. I've been to Egypt. We're talking about a justifiably widespread opinion here. Deal with it.
I see. Snoopy mentions Hamas and you use it as a springboard for your latest anti-Israel harangue. Yes, many of the Egyptian people are hard-core anti-Israel, conditioned to be so by decades of ceaseless propaganda (hence the cold peace). But to think it's down to Gaza is to ignore history. These are the same folks who assassinated Sadat for signing camp david, who make "I hate Israel" a hit single and watch unceasing horrific anti-Israel and anti-Jewish movies and TV. These Egyptians -- and you're right there are many -- are the poster children for why the main obstacle to peace in the middle east is Arab/Muslim rejectionism. And that rejectionism has existed and festered long before 1967, when Egypt was in control. To blame it on "oppression in Gaza" is to be ahistorical and / or wilfully ignorant.
And for what it's worth, in case my position is misconstrued, I'm all for the Egyptian revolution. It may not turn out the way it should for the Egyptian people, but I'm glad they're getting their chance for freedom. I only hope they have the opportunity, wisdom and means to take it and not get sucked down the Muslim Brotherhood hole, which is the road to nowhere.
The cringe in your voice tells me something. So does the evocation of "the same folks". What we are seeing in the streets of Egypt is a thrilling display, the sight of youth overturning a pharaonic power. A dictatorship losing its ability to impose fear and will in front of our very eyes. Why the cringe not only from you but also the American establishment, media pundits, Arab autocrats, Israeli leaders and others. The threat of here, to paraphrase Weiss, is that the Egyptian revolution will false choice of secular dictator-or-crazy Islamists by showing that Arabs are smart articulate people who can handle real democracy if they get to make it themselves. The people on the streets are displaying a humanity and courage that points to a vision beyond the limited prism we're used to using when thinking about the Arab world. That's no doubt scary to many. The times are a changin
Wow. not only can he detect non-existent "cringes" in my "voice" -- contrary to my specific words, mind you -- he also finds hidden meanings in that dark phrase "the same folks" when referring to the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters. A flawed telepath, to be sure. And one who doesn't score any points and certainly doesn't add credibility by quoting that maniac Philip Weiss, who apparently has only one meme -- It's always Israel's fault -- running through his brain. I guess the meme is catchy. PS: Brad. If you actually read what i wrote, instead of looking for non-existent evidence of my "cringing," you'll find that I specifically stated I was pleased the Egyptian people have taken this chance for freedom and democracy. I only hope they don't blow it. You, apparently, believe the anti-imperialist nirvana already is upon us. I prefer to wait until all the facts are in and the brouhaha dies down. I can only imagine you were just as gleeful when the Shah went down -- and what a tribute to freedom and democracy his successors turned out to be.... after all, they are anti-American.
What is we started the clock at 1953. When the CIA backed a coup to overthrow elected Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddegh? His nationalization reforms angered western oil interests so he had to go. That's an entire chapter that may shine light on the present.So what about Egypt. There's no nirvana and the odds are always against those--the protesters--who have less institutional power. But they have demonstrated, before our eyes, that many of the taken for granted assumptions (shared oddly by a brand of Islamists and western triumphalists--turn off CNN folks) are not only wrong but serve to actively distort struggle for dignity and rights in the region.
Nice bringing in Mossadegh to answer a merely analogous point about Iran and not actually addressing a single substantive point, including, and particularly, the one about your apparent -- but not real -- powers of clairvoyance. It's ok though, I'm well used to this style of "argument" from the anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. anti-zionist crowd. It's the only way you can convince yourselves you've actually carried a debate.
Right. Because it was substantive to insinuate that Egyptians are en masse hard core "anti Israel". That what animosity exists is the product of "anti Israel propaganda" rather than, oh, I, don't know, Israel's relentless occupation of Palestine aided and abetted by US client regimes. Just a thought. You support the Egyptian people in the abstract as long as they meet your rather narrow ideological spectrum which, evidence abounds, offers them little in the way of the freedom they are fighting for.
Amazing what you come up with. First of all, I don't recall ever saying anything to the effect that "Egyptians are en masse hard core anti Israel," so thanks for putting those words into my mouth. Second, I never said anything about "anti-Israel propaganda," other than that it indicates a mindset among a signifant number of Egyptians. Third, that mindset existed long before 1967, so unless by "occupation" you mean the establishment of Israel in 1948, the attitude of that signifcant portion of Egyptians has little or nothing to do with the "occupation," (which doesn't exist in Gaza anyway, but hey, I suppose that's a minor quibble). Fourth, and this is the money shot, this notion of yours that I "support the Egyptian people in the abstract as long as they meet my "rather narrow" ideological spectrum, is extremely revealing. I suppose, by "narrow ideological spectrum, you're referring to "liberal democracy and freedom," so yes, that is what I support, but not only for the Egyptian people, but for all people, everywhere. I see you're more than happy to settle for less, like, say, a Muslim brotherhood dictatorship a la Hamas or Iran. And actually, the so-called "narrow ideological spectrum" is the ONLY thing that offers them the "freedom they are fighting for." What freedom does the Muslim brotherhood offer? In fact, what other freedom, other than that provided by liberal democracy, is there? Is this what happens to people who get their information from Mondoweiss?
Hard to debate someone who piles distortion after distortion. In the meantime here's a useful primer.http://sarthanapalos.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/a-guide-how-not-to-say-stupid-stuff-about-egypt/
Buddy, the only person doing any distorting here is you, and, unlike you, I have demonstrated how you distort my words (and of course put words in my mouth). Primo example: "Egyptians are en masse hard core anti-Israel." Never said it, though you claim i did. Now it's your turn, since you brought it up. Please, provide a single "distortion" that I am to have "plied." Come on. Just one.Must be the Mondoweiss effect.
Your words are clear enough and they represent a perspective that it becoming increasingly irrelevant. Zizek, that eccentric gesticulating genius, has his finger on the pulse. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/01/egypt-tunisia-revolt
Can't even list one, eh? So much for the so called "piles of distortions" then. Thought so. Definitely the Mondoweiss effect.
Oh one more thing. This "you're becoming increasingly irrelevant" shtick is itself irrelevant, not to mention quite hilarious coming from the pen of a regressive leftie who can't bear to hear that the only road to freedom humans have been able to come up with is our flawed liberal democracy, which is why I wish it on Egyptians and all other peoples of the globe. As is so often the case with reactionary lefties, you seem to think that saying something is "irrelevant" or whatever putdown is au courant actually makes it so. It doesn't. What's proven to be irrelevant is the hypocritical anti-"imperialist" pseudo-marxist nonsense you and yours spout with the regularity of Old Faithful.
Brad:I'm enjoying this, if only because your suggestion that it is to denigrate how smart Arabs are by merely showing concern that Egypt could end up a Muslim Brotherhood shithole. That's like saying Iranians and Afghans are stupid because of the way the Afghan freedom struggle went in the 80s and because the Khomeinists killed the Iranian revolution in 79. And it won't help to always bring the Yanks into it. Sure, Mubarak gets a lot of American dough. If I'm not mistaken, the U.S. is also the largest donor of humanitarian funding to Gaza. You would do well to stick to what matters. When you use the term "we" and the U.S and the CIA in the same breath I can only assume you are a Yank, unless you simply need to be told, when you're saying we: Speak for yourself. Or as I'm sure you would prefer, Not In My Name. You also say you have been to Cairo, which, given your tone, suggests that you might be one of those who has attended those lovely annual rage-fests about U.S. Imperialism and Zionism.Explain, succinctly, or leave.
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The dick can't debate. He just regurgitates talking points, and when called, simply avoids the issue entirely and changes the subject. His talk about Israel's "expansion" is revealing though, given that the "expansion" has, over the past 30 years, included giving back Sinai, leaving Lebanon, leaving Gaza and handing over large swaths of the West Bank to the Palestinian authority. Also note the glee with which he quotes the (yet unauthenticated) so-called Palestine papers, which, if you put the worst interpretation on it (which I don't share) simply indicates the Israelis are as disinterested in flimsy peace deal as the Palestinian leadership has proven to be when it blew off Camp David and Taba in 2000 and Olmert's offer in 2008. Yet somehow, it's "expansionist" when the Israelis are said to have done the same thing (which is in major dispute, by the way, by independent observers and the Palestinians themselves). Hamas believes it, though, which obviously is good enough for ole' Brad. No surprise, since he seems to take offence when others express concern that the MB might hijack the Egyptian revolution.
I would take the NGOs' call much more seriously if it also addressed the issue of why there is a blockade in the first place. I note that in this press release, the word "rocket" never occurs, nor does "Hamas". Do they really expect an end to a blockade without a an enforced promise to end once and for all the firing of rockets? Without that, the press release has an air of unreality about it and about as much substance as a piss into the wind.
1. Am I doubting its veracity? Yes, i definitely doubt its veracity. "Doubt," as in, I have no way of knowing whether it's a true account, neither do you, and therefore, certainty is only for true believers... oh wait.2. Your debating style excludes a lot more than the word "dick." It also excludes supporting points you make with facts, or supporting outlandish claims about your adversary with evidence or examples.3. Amnesty et al are dismissed because, as I mentioned previously and you conveniently choose to ignore, they want an end to the blockade without an end to the situation that brought about the blockade. You say you'll take their word. For what? It isn't their word that's in question. It's their judgment, their refusal and/or inability to say anything about the key underlying issue leading to the blockade, in the same way you choose to ignore it. 4. Back to the prism, though this time it's an undefined prism, presumably so you don't have to justify blowing off hopes for liberal democracy. 5. My pandering? What pandering? Can you back that up with anything I've said? Don't think so. Won't be the first time, since I'm still waiting for a single example of those piled on distortions you were going on about earlier.You're a piss-poor analyst, and an even worse psychoanalyst. Don't give up your day job, assuming you have one.
Brad failed. He's gone. Thinks this place is a leaflet repository. All that fervent typing, a waste. Life is so unfair.
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