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Shi’ism and Social Protest

Shi’ism and Social Protest

by Juan Cole and Nikki Keddie

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Dispatches From Cairo: The Worst So Far

Posted on Dec 20, 2011
AP / Nasser Nasser

Egyptian protesters run through the streets of Cairo as they are chased by army soldiers.

By Lauren Unger-Geoffroy

(Page 3)

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), came in first in most of the nine governorates, while the Salafi Al-Nour Party came in second, followed by the more liberal Egyptian Bloc.

In the first round of elections, the FJP and Al-Nour raked in about 70 percent of the votes, while the FJP reports it received 3,565,092 out of 9.7 million valid votes. Salafi (fundamentalist) Al-Nour took in 2,372,713.

The Egyptian Bloc came in third place, winning 1,371,713 votes, or 13.4 percent. That group said it was in second place, following the FJP, in upper Egypt.

In addition, there were votes cast for independent seats.

* * *


Square, Site wide

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said that the military did not use any live ammunition in the confrontation at the Cabinet building and that its duty was to protect the building, which had been breached by protesters. So several hundred soldiers rushed at the protesters, beating them with sticks, kicking them and using electric shock devices, and chased them into side streets.

It is grimly amusing as the police and the army take turns in casting blame, relying on a script similar to the one used last month when it was the police doing the killing. In the new violence, an Interior Ministry official denied police were involved. “This situation has nothing to do with the police or the Ministry of Interior, and we do not have forces at the site of the clashes,” said Gen. Marwan Mustapha, a ministry spokesman.

* * *

Monday was the birthday of the slain Alaa Abdel Hady. Monday the slain Ahmed Mansour was supposed to receive his graduation certificate.

Blogger Michael Nabil has now been sentenced to two years more after being charged with “spreading false news” and “insulting the armed forces” in his blog.

On Oct. 30, Alla abd El Fattah, activist and winner of the Reporters Without Borders Special Award in Deutsche Welle’s Best of Blogs competition, was arrested on charges of inciting violence against the military during the Oct. 9 Maspero demonstrations.

* * *

Sunday night I opened my apartment door to walk my 17-year-old handyman down to let him out of the building, hoping not to see the new building guard, who came up the previous night and kicked out the teenager while we were working on a cabinet on the floor in front of my door. “No man after 10 p.m.,” the guard said disapprovingly.

As I threw on a head scarf and stepped out, the handyman said: “Ya, Louna! Careful! Your hair!”

There was a bit showing.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, December 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

The military has been in power since 1952, when Nasser made a coup against King Farouk.  They are not going to “go gentle into that good night”.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

The End, for Now
Published: December 20, 2011

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

It should be known, I am the worlds foremost expert on all things Egypt, I have seen King Tut,.... studied Egyptian Art and have a mummy!

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By gerard, December 21, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

To sum up and emphasize an important point, this report said:  “Why did the army do it? What actually happened? It seems that a fight between a young Ultra (a member of a nationwide group of football fans who have been involved in the protests) and the military in which he was beaten mercilessly was the spark that set off this frenzy of brutality in Cairo’s tinderbox.” An “ultra”  (implying well-known (presumably popular) sports figure (and “radical”) got involved (somehow) with the (violent) military who beat him mercilessly, which furnished the “spark.”
  Vitallly important point for protesters:  Do not “engage” (antagonize, provoke, confront aggressively, invite, attack, give an excuse to “armed forces” who are trained only in the use of violence. Be cool. Do not invite aggression. Instead, remain steadily objective, alert, open,
observant, nonthreatening. Do not offer or react to taunts, insults. Try not to escalate emotions in any way.  Maintain as much objectivity as possible.
  All this is extremely difficult—but essential—and also entirely new to most people, who find it “counter-intuitive” and even preposterous. It takes a lot of radical psychological re-orientation and deliberate intellectual understanding, yet tens of thousands of people are trying to make the transition to the next stage of human history—a world no longer dominated by massive organization for wars and cruelty. They are trying to “defuse” anger and hate and replace it with thought and understanding. Don’t knock it!  It’s the only hope we have to avoid hysterical mass insanity.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment


I read that post once. You profess others opinions to be important.


The Washington Post
By Jason Ukman

“In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration”.

You were saying others opinions matter?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 21, 2011 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Imax, check out my post Shenonymous, Dec. 21 5:32 am, put your
best glasses on and read carefully…all the way to the end.  No further
post will respond to anything further you say.  So take all the swipes
that will make you feel better.  I’ve given my sentiments, there is
nothing more to say to you.

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sofianitz's avatar

By sofianitz, December 21, 2011 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Lauren, Lauren,
Are you awake?  Do you live in the world with the rest of us?  How can you not realize that since 1967, or 1973 at least, it has been impossible for Egyptians to live in a free and just society?  Are you blind?  Are you deaf?  The Egyptian military establishment directly controls at least 40% of the wealth of the Egyptian economy, and thanks to $39.3 billion of military “aid” from the United States since 1973, is the bought-and-paid-for agent of the US State Department and US CIA/Military Intelligence.

Do you think they are going to let you have a “free society” in Egypt?

You’re young Lauren.  You just watch, and see what happens. You will learn, and you will understand that it takes more than a few thousand heroic demonstrators dying in the streets to defeat an Empire.

I am with you, in the hope that Empire shall one day be defeated.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 9:28 am Link to this comment


I’m familiar with President Obama’s
Cairo speech. What sources have you
provided? Perhaps you posted them on
another thread.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 21, 2011 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

IMax, Dec. 21 6:05 am - stop being so lazy and read the sources
I provided.  Why are you being such a dunderhead?  What “seems”
to me also issued from the mouths of Arabs themselves !  Do read
Salameh Nematt’s lengthy article.  As already stipulated, whatever
evolved since Obama’s inspirational speech is a matter of politics
and much water has passed down the Ganges.  No further discussion
from my computer will be forthwith coming on this now boring issue.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 21, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Imax, as you shuffle along walking your blind dogma, it seems a necessary part of it to tell people what they think, what they saw and how they felt, sort of like the Republicans telling the American people what they want as if giving a gift!

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment


Protests in the Middle East was not a surprise to the world and nothing lay dormant pre-Obama. - You may be too invested in Obama to see.

If you look back at reporting during the years of 2003 - 2008 you’ll see that many people warned of possible uprisings and chaos in the Middle East. Both before Saddam was deposed and after. In fact it was an argument often used against removing Hussein from Iraq.

You and others failed to hear and see until it was on your television and in your face.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 7:05 am Link to this comment


Source material in support of your many claims?

Remember: Nothing is valid without accompanying supportive sources. - Your rules. Remember?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 21, 2011 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

You quoted me accurately. Imax, but you err in deduction.  The
world of seeming is the world of appearances, not actuality. I was
specific in saying “seems” as I noted much protest activity exploded
rather soon after, to the complete surprise of the world, and I know
of course there were many triggers, but they laid dormant during the
Bush regime. 

President Obama recognized, in his rousing 2009 speech in Cairo, here
that the felt stresses between the West and Middle East have “been fed
by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims,
and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often
treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”  These are
his quote, verbatim.  In a dramatically new strategy, he called for an
increase of democracy, openness and freedom across the Muslim world. 
And it was only weeks later, those ideas were braved for the first time in
centuries, when the Green movement took to the streets in Iran in
protest at the so-called stolen election.  The rest is history.  Salon
reported on it, Friedman of NYT wrote about the effect of Obama’s
speech. Salameh Nematt of the Daily Beast writes of the varigated
reactions throughout the Arab world.  There were many more which I
don’t intend to list here.  If you are interested you can do a google

This is not to say anything more about Obama and the Middle East.  That
is a different topic and what he did since that unprecedented speech is
debatable with criticism as well as praise.  It is not my intention to take
up that discussion here. 

You might be more introspective of your assessment of what you read
for you continuously make grandes erreurs de l’intuition.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 5:37 am Link to this comment


Perhaps I misunderstood. Perhaps you altered and toned down your original assessment of President Obama’s effect on the world.

You write: “It seems to me that the Middle East remained stagnant with regard to any changes until President Obama’s Cairo speech that electrified the Arab world.”

Reading that comment it does appear as though you believed no changes (the stagnant Middle East)) were in the coming until Mr. Obama’s speech in Cairo.


If the data I shared here was not fully sourced then I don’t understand the term as you use it.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

Imax you have invented a melodrama here.  The only thing that is
obvious to you is your own small-minded figment.  You are noted
to think you have resourced your opinions but in fact you have not
and do not.  Go ahead and have fits about it if you must.

If you would review the beginning of this forum you would see exactly
what was said.  But you have blown it up out of proportion just so you
could have more and more to blather about.  A good deal of my focus
is on ‘real’ life not the artificial theater of a blog.  You might try to focus
more on the real world yourself. 

I suggested that the Cairo speech Obama delivered had the germ of
inspiration that could have had some effect on the psyche of the long-
suppressed people.  Nothing more.  It doesn’t matter one f’n gram how
much Obama is now loved by the world.  In your hubris and to whatever
degree you need to swell up your sense of yourself, you pushed this
thread to a level of your own making. Actually you tend to the boring and
of course we can get beyond this conversation, which is hardly an
argument.  Bonsoir

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment


Yes, yes, and yes!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

The velvet revolution of Czechoslovakia is an indication of how a peaceful revolution can be done, but I also know Egypt is no Czechoslovakia!

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By MeHere, December 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

It’s not about Obama. The effect of US policy in Egypt and other countries comes
from years of supporting rulers and their military.  Obama, regardless of what he
says or may have said, just follows in that tradition.  Americans must understand
historical events in foreign countries (as well as here) with a long-range view.  A
protest outburst may be spontaneous and become a spark but true change involves a process.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment


Can we get passed one part of your argument? I can only say again how the current U.S. House and Senate have nothing to do with Egypt, voting in Iraq, the Arab Spring or Arab attitudes toward President Obama.

Obviously domestic politics takes up a good deal of your focus. I assure you it means absolutely nothing to an Egyptian in protest in Cairo. - We all get how much you hate republicans and you think I’m one of them*.

The subject of Egypt and the Middle East:

You truly stump me. I simply asked for something of substance. Something which supports your many strong opinions. You keep repeating with how your opinions of Egypt and the greater Middle East, although contrary to a few recent studies, is far superior. Anything I may present is beneath contempt and obviously corrupt.

In your previous reply you argued my posts invalid as nothing was ‘sourced’. Clearly I offered well sourced material. Why would you try such an argument? It was odd, to say the least.

You now set up a scenario wherein the Brookings Institute, the University of Maryland, Zogby and the Arab American Institute is the result of “psychology of the masses.” - OK. Might you offer anything, aside from another of your opinions, as evidence that Arab sentiment is contrary to the latest research (the source material you keep demanding)?

Lastly: You did make me laugh here. I must be partisan while you are not? ....LOL


*I voted against Bush. Twice! I have yet to vote for a republican candidate for President. Don’t you dare question my bonifides like you know something about me. Exactly how pampas and judgmental will you allow yourself to get?

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By Shenonymous, December 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Imax, as an American it is thin of you to think I would discuss
world affairs especially under the title “Dispatches from Cairo…”
without a view to America’s involvement whatever is its degree.
Much intervened between Obama’s Cairo speech and two years
later.  This fact is never taken into account, of course by how the
surveys are framed for whatever motives.  As I said, propaganda
greatly influences unsophisticated minds.  You don’t seem to know
much about the psychology of the masses. Reports of Brotherhood
coercion of voters in the election, which has just as much verity as
your reports, which would show, if true, that sentiments are not as
they appear.  M’thinks you need to review all the comments of this
forum to be able to follow the reasons for the discussion in the first
place and that you intruded your partisan views without any substance
behind them.  While you seem to have given some stats you did not
give the source of them.  Just saying a poll was taken does not say much.

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By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Demonstrations in Egypt, which lead to the fall of Mubarak, took place in Feb. 2011. It’s at least interesting to note that in July, only five months later, Arabs “felt that Obama had not met the expectations he laid out in the June 2009 Cairo speech.”

I see no evidence that President Obama’s 2009 words effected the fall of President Mubarak. To conclude that they did, it seems to me, is an emotional conclusion.


Arab world’s ratings of Obama, US plummet:
By Karin Zeitvogel (AFP) – Jul 13, 2011

WASHINGTON — Two years after US President Barack Obama called in a groundbreaking speech from Cairo for a “new beginning” in relations with the Muslim world, his popularity among Arabs has nosedived, a poll released Wednesday shows.

An overwhelming majority of more than 4,000 people surveyed in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, told the Arab American Institute that they felt that Obama had not met the expectations he laid out in the June 2009 Cairo speech, the poll found.

Obama called in his Cairo speech for an end to the cycle of “suspicion and discord” between the United States and Muslim world, and outlined a new US blueprint for the Middle East, which included a Palestinian state and efforts to defuse a nuclear showdown with Iran.

But the poll found that Arabs see the Obama administration’s handling of key Middle East policy issues as having made no contribution to improving relations between them and the United States.

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By upgradeyourlife, December 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

I’m so sick of hearing about this violence. These regimes are like leeches
hanging on until you literally have to take them off. Throw the bastards out,
it doesn’t matter how.

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By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment


Why has it proven impossible for you to discuss world affairs without the bulk of your focus being U.S. domestic politics? Egyptian don’t give a damn about how we personally feel about republicans in the House of Representatives.

You present no evidence that Obama has had a demonstrable effect in the Middle East. You only reiterated your opinions. Can you offer something of real substance?

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment


My last couple of posts were fully
sourced. Those were not, as you insist,
my stats.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Since you put it on a comparative, no I do not believe one was
more electrifying than the other, they were equally electrifying. 
You always want to put things in the comparative which I think
completely misses the worth of different events.  You can go ahead
and be an advocate of GW Bush’s action, I call it coercion.  Speaking
out for a democratic process after bombing the hell out of Iraq as a
colosal mistake, then occupying it up the wazoo instead of focusing
on Afganistan where the real criminal Talibani and alQaeda holed up
and now we see it should also have included Pakistan, was not the way
to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. 

Yes I do think Obama inspired the Arabs as many many of them testified
in actual interviews.  Obama however is not more than one man.  He
must have the cooperation of the American Republican dominated
Congress as well as other nations.  Even though the Democrats have a
majority in the Senate, it is too slim a majority for much if any legislation
to get passed.  Involvements that usurp the sovereignty of nation states
must be entered into very gingerly, with very careful steps.  It is a very
thin line that has to be negotiated.  You know this as well as most who
are conscious of political dynamics.  It is not even arguable.

It is not surprising that Obama’s popularity is “reported” to have waned
by some partisans particularly with the propaganda that a provincial
people are spoon fed.  However, if an unbiased survey were taken, just
as is happening in the US where Obama’s popularity has leaped to 76%
(reported by Gallup and Brookings today) in the last few months where
more truth is leaking out into the public and a public waking up due to
the Occupy Movement.  Your stats are specious and hearsay.  Since you
provide no references, you also know you are not offering anything that
can has any basis for belief.

Trying to shut up my inquiry into your patronizing opinionations as
“emotional” is a bit of a hoot, Imax.  It is your usual retiring tactic. 
We have much experience of your trying to jockey yourself into a
position of dogblog power.  It is glaringly noticeable that you do not
specify exactly what is emotional.  Try getting real statistics instead of
what you can stitch together from reading media reports.

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By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment


I was hoping we could discuss the matter without you injecting your emotional responses to U.S. domestic politics.

So you truly do believe the election of Mr. Obama changed the world. - I wish the people of the Middle East felt the same way.

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By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment



U.S. News & World Report
November 23, 2011

Arabs Like Saddam, Hugo Chavez, More Than Obama

Despite intense and sustained efforts to woo the Arab world with money and nice words, a newly released survey of the region finds that President Obama is at the bottom of a list Arabs admire most.

Obama is admired by just 4 percent of Middle East Arabs in the new survey released by the Brookings Institution and University of Maryland.

Above him:

13 percent prefer Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinajad.
6 percent prefer dead Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
5 percent chose Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Even 5 percent chose French President Nicolas Sarkozy over Obama. And when asked if there could be just one superpower, who would they like it
to be, Arabs snubbed Obama again. The top choice, with 22 percent, was China, followed by Germany (15 percent), Russia (12 percent), France (10 percent) and Pakistan (7 percent).

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Alas, yes!  But I think Obama is supportive of the liberal democratic
processes in the Middle East, and elsewhere, like North Korea.  How
he can legitimately be supportive of the underlying question of what
is appropriate action of the US is the pointed question?  His approach
is to let world organizations take the lead, and the US assist.  Of
course the American conservative hawks, who cannot stand it when
the US takes a secondary role in world domination, as well as, and
maybe not so ironic, the far libertarian leftists taking a opposition
extremist position who want no intervention at all, are in vitriolic
disagreement.  So for Obama it is damned if you do or damned if
you don’t.  Either one is for democracy or one is not.  Either all
people have a legitimate voice (the Egyptians, and all other Arabs)
or they do not and must continue to submit to the centuries-long
tyrants.  Either we are members of the human race of the entire world,
or we are tribal and isolationistic who only mouths that all humans are

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By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment



The Washington Post
Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 07/12/2011

Arab world’s views of U.S., President Obama increasingly negative, new poll finds
By Jason Ukman

The hope that the Arab world had not long ago put in the United States and President Obama has all but evaporated.

Two and a half years after Obama came to office, raising expectations for change among many in the Arab world, favorable ratings of the United States
have plummeted in the Middle East, according to a new poll conducted by IBOPE Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation.

In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush

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By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment


You believe a speech from President Obama was more electrifying to the people of the Middle East than the sight and knowledge of Iraqi’s voting in local and national elections for the first time in history?

Before you answer may we revisit recent

After Saddam’s fall, before Obama announced his candidacy for president, the Egyptians were able to vote for more than a single candidate for President for the first time in generations. For the first time in Saudi history the state opened elections to local committees. Election reforms, some meaningless and others significant, were seen in Jordan, Qatar, and the UAE. - We might add to that how Afghan’s were seen voting in national elections for the first time in Afghan history. - All before the world heard the name, Barack Obama.

I’m no fan of George Bush but, it cannot be denied that the Bush administration pushed and cajoled each of the above nation states toward election reforms. Like I said, some of those reforms, at least on the surface, appeared insignificant. Others, in Egypt for example, were quite significant.

So allow me to ask again. You believe words from Obama changed the world in the minds of the people of the Middle East? I have my doubts about that.

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By gerard, December 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

shenonymous:  Yes, and in addition, the Cairo speech was such a seeming relief from oppressive U.S. policies of the past, indicating an open opportunity for US to withdraw its support from dictators in the area and adopt policies more favorable to human rights—most probably the basis for the Nobel.  But alas!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 20, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Even with the overt acts of the Bush regime, it seems to me that
the Middle East remained stagnant with regard to any changes until
President Obama’s Cairo speech that electrified the Arab world.  I
tend to think his rousing encouragement had a residual effect on the
emotional/intellectual population who had been harboring resentment
against the oppression of the string of tyrants for a hundred years if
not longer.

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By balkas, December 20, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

silenus, yes,
no easy does it with with old ‘nobles’ and old sacerdotals nor with ‘neonobles’ and neoclergy.
or,i shld say, with same old same old ‘nobility’; for that ‘nobility’,i conclude, wants to stay ‘noble’, ‘wise’,
‘guiding’,setting up rules for the ‘ignobles’ forever and not jus for a few millennia.
and that’s why the ‘nobles’ and solely the ‘nobles’ control high army echelons, cia/fbi/city police.
protests, uprisings, revolutions have not worked thus far. in europe, over centuries, there were hundreds
of peasant and citizen rebellions against ‘nobles’, but nearly all euro lands are still ruled by an extremely
warlike and unjust clero-noble class of people.
even a great revolution of ‘17 had failed us; i.e., in obtaining coveted peace, equality, etc.
it takes lots of time, suffering, sacrifice, devotion, perserverance to build a viable political party which, i
think, solely cld change things in favor of the ‘ignobles’, peace on earth, and preservation of [?all] life on
this planet.
protesters do not know or are not, seems, aware of the facts i just posited.
be certain that the ‘elite’ and the frightened/bedumbed out-of-their-wits-most-of-the-99% wld utterly
defeat them! tnx

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By gerard, December 20, 2011 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Militarized power most often seeks some sort of violence—a “fight”—because soldiers and police (for obvious reasons called armed FORCES) are equipped and trained for a fight. If they can “set the stage” they know they will “win” by physically suppressing opposition because the human body is weak and easily injured and put out of commission.
  Non-militarized power seeks to avoid violence and “fights” because it seeks not to harm bodies but to lift souls. Nonviolent resisters enter situations as confrontations not to “win” or “lose” but to convince militarized systems to see beyond suppression and to change injustice,, inequity, cruelty voluntarily without injuring and killing.
  Militarism is the ancient way, deeply habituated.  Finding alternatives is relatively new, largely uncodified, experimental, creative.  Those who uphold it believe that human beings, intelligent and merciful, are fully capable of inventing solutions to disagreement and injustice by using mercy and mutual understanding.
  The last two paragraphs in the present article on Egypt tell quite clearly how important every single person is at a time of confrontation. 
  The article is very true and tragic but not surprising. It would bear detailed study and raises many questions too deep and important to be discussed superficially here. I wish there were a forum ... or better yet, many regional and local forums that could use this article as a text for serious study.
  We are all desperately ignorant in so many ways. Thank you for this enlightening article, Truthdig.

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By Watchpocket, December 20, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not think that the change that is happening in the East is what george bush
had envisioned. I also think that the OWS movement is sympathetic with the
common people of Egypt and not the military.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, December 20, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

One justification President Bush gave for removing Saddam Hussein from power was an attempt to “transform the Middle East”. Will history record that less than two years after Saddam was removed a powerful form of transformation began in the Middle East? - It’s an interesting question.

It’s ironic that we’re now seeing OWS supporters in solidarity with what President Bush had so passionately spoken of in 2003 through to 2008.

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By Shenonymous, December 20, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Egypt had provided the world with the most noble model of the will
of the people.  Millions of us were uplifted and inspired.  After the
skirmish in Tunisia and reason d’etre for the uprisings, Egypt
catapulted the world into a protest movement transormed the world.
Essentially and substantially it was an anarchistic impulse, though, a
passionate upwelling from the bile of the people, and the world has
seen everywhere where anarchy has reared, its mindless head, where
passion rules without the rational principle, that the energy eventually
and too soon gets dissipated into a vanishing cloud of emotion.  It is
the cause of a doomed protest that in effect inexorably wobbles into the
ever-open arms of the military rulers, the junta.  It is not without serious
consequences that the anarchist Egyptian protesters had not coalesced
their objectives and formed a cohesive organization that could assume
the politics that would be necessary for effective change.  As it is, the
poor saps will inherit only what anarchy promises: A good start but not
able to cross the finish line.

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By balkas, December 20, 2011 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

i had not expected that a protest in egypt wld exact any changes for better.
i always expected that the army and ulema wld turn against the protesters.
the protests in egypt cld work if world ruling classes, along religions, wld support
protests against unjust ‘elites’.
but they never had, nor will they ever, i expect
this the case in u.s also. protests here wld not change anything. one has to get
political to get the ruling class just to listen up let alone allow any chnages it
doesn’t want. tnx

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By Silenus, December 20, 2011 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Revolution is not all sunshine and lollipops. Many who back the prospect of revolution are too loyal to nonviolence and become uneasy, or give up, when violent tactics become necessary. Their support is disingenuous, because they’re usually relatively comfortable.

If we want a revolution, we have to be prepared to traverse the dark forest.

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By Union Member, December 20, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does the Obama administration support the Egyptian military?
Does the President support the military brutality?
Obama must say so immediately; non of this, “Both sides need to show restraint
Is the U.S. with the people of Tahrir Square or does it support the military?
Which is i?

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