Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Quo Vadis, Egypt?

Amr Bargisi

"But regardless of my own opinion, what is clear is that Egypt lacks the sort of political culture that can sustain a liberal democratic regime. The superficiality of the opposition's demands is matched only by the absurdity of the regime's discourse. Without knowledge of the likes of Locke and Burke, Hamilton and Jefferson, my country is doomed to either unbridled radicalism or continued repression."

5 Comments:

At 12:07 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=206277

 
At 12:32 PM EST, Blogger kellie said...

'Cause voters in our liberal democracies are always spendin' their time with noses deep in Locke and Burke come election time. Oh yes.

 
At 4:56 AM EST, Anonymous Bob said...

I was about to write what I see Kellie has already said: that I don't see much evidence of the reading of Burke, let alone Hamilton, in many democracies I've spent time in.

Portugal's democratic culture had never been well developed and was utterly crushed after several decades of Salazar's dictatorship, yet it is a pretty well functioning democracy now.

Brazil has had very weak democratic political culture under a succession of dictatorships, but has managed to make a transition in the last period.

 
At 10:04 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Egypt is not Portugal, Brazil, or Indonesia, or even Tunisia where literacy is real.

Even PBS noted Thursday night that rumours had been spread that foreign journalists were "Israeli agents provocateurs". (pernicious rumours is what I think the reporter said).

Most of what I see on CNN has been amplifying the scope of the anti-Mubarak protestors whilst deriding the pro-Mubarak protestors, and also emphasizing the panicky departures of thousands of tourists and western workers.

CNN's skewed reports are why I always default to Bloomberg Business News where at least they report on the various ways the Cairo protests have/are totally disrupting the Egyptian economy.

I find it astonishing that so many have been so easily duped by so much filtered 'reporting', infected by magical thinking.

Tens of Millions of Egyptians depend on daily subsidized bread. It seems very selfish of Tens of Thousands of twittering protestors to actually put the lives of millions at risk.

Consider that Lebanon has been the sole example of Arab democracy - and that the Cedar Revolution has now led to Hezbollah control of parliament.

I guess we should be grateful Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood does not have a standing, well armed militia like Hezbollah.


K2K

 
At 4:23 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

This report by Sara Topol seems to confirm K2K's information:

"“We’re hearing there’s a lot of propaganda on the news, foreign elements in the square manipulating the situation,” said Nazly Hussein, who set up a makeshift media center in the middle of the grass where protesters have pitched tents. Nazly says people on the square heard rumors about Hamas elements, Afghanis, and American agents. “They’re trying to get people to dislike foreigners on the square.”

The paranoia is pervasive. When I interviewed a man waiting in line for bread yesterday, I was accused of being a foreign agent once more. As we walked briskly back to the parked car, a man followed us asking for my ID. “Israeli?” “Israeli?” he kept asking. My translator and I got in the car.

Because of state television and what I’d been hearing on the streets, after a time, I decided it was too dangerous to tell people I was a foreign reporter—and I’ve been forced to watch the violence and sloganeering without asking people about their motivations. Some anti-Mubarak protesters continue to approach me and ask me to tell the world that they want Mubarak out, and that they’re not leaving until he goes. But it’s becoming ever more difficult to paint a clear and complete picture of what’s going on."

http://www.tnr.com/article/world/82807/egypt-protest-mubarak-journalists

 

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