When this website was younger and less widely read, I easily wrote what I thought on an almost daily basis. In 2001 and 2003, during 9/11 and the run up to the invasion of Iraq, I wrote my perspective quite fully. In reviewing those perspectives, they seem to have held up with the passage of time. In the past three years, I've tried to write less, focus on managing this site, and encourage others to write more. Most of the 14 writers on this website can post anything they want, anytime they want, with no editorial review by me. In fact, I've held back in an effort to give others the stage, so to speak. But with so little appearing so seldom, I'm starting to write more when I feel a topic tugging at my brain. Then, the very sudden death of my younger brother has also nudged me toward the feeling that there is little reason to hold back what I want to write. Finally, just because we are a locally oriented website is no reason to avoid important national issues. So life is indeed a journey. And here is my take on the recent events in Egypt.
These past few days, as I look around the Internet for news on Egypt, there seems to be no insightful analysis of why and how that crisis is playing out. Our media seem to be surprised at each new day's events and merely reacting to those events. Our government is putting out absurd declarations and instructions to Egyptians and to Mubarak. If any reader has found an educated perspective, feel free to comment and add links.
I predict that by Sunday Mubarak will either be gone or the country will be in a civil war. The people have effectively communicated to Egypt's leaders and the world that peaceful change is desired, now. Mubarak's speech last night could only have been made with U.S. support of his stay in power; we provide him with billions of aid each year. We will probably learn in some Wikileaks process years from now that Obama and Hillary Clinton have been two-faced during this past week, telling Americans one thing, and Mubarak another. The U.S. government fears if Mubarak falls, more Middle Eastern tyrants will fall. And our effort to control the Middle East will falter or experience a setback. Yes, since the fall of the Soviet Union, we have had our sights set on control of the Middle East.
After his speech last night it seemed obvious to me that violence would break out today. No special insight - just the way it always happens. The people show in a peaceful way they want change, and then the powers-that-be find a way to incite violence and blame it on the people.
Bill Clinton and the U.S. government used that tactic in Seattle in 1999 when they allowed a few anarchists camouflaged in black clothing sufficient time to cause bedlam and then sent troops in to violently crack down on peaceful demonstrators. So it will be in Egypt. The pro-Mubarak mob now attacking the peaceful demonstrators are, without any doubt, security forces in civilian clothes. Our news media will be overly cautious to call them out, as our government does not want truthful reporting. Our government does not want the people to have real democratic power.
Al Jazeera has been blocked from broadcasting in the U.S. for years because the U.S. government - Clinton, Bush and Obama - do not want us to learn the facts in the Middle East. Indeed, even the Al Jazeera website has been blocked by our government during times of crisis - especially in 2003. One of the biggest charades in our country is that we have a free press without censorship.
In the Middle East people are rising against tyrants who have been supported, for decades, by our government. To avoid violence, Mubarak could have resigned days ago and international monitors could have supervised an election for a new government. Instead, western democracies, including the U.S., stood by like deer in headlights, no doubt secretly supporting Mubarak's power. Now we will see widespread violence in Egypt and it will spread in the Middle East. In the chaos, most of the democratic leaders will probably be assassinated and new tyrants will be set up with U.S. help.
Yes, gentle reader, the U.S. has not supported democracy in foreign countries at all - neither before nor after World War Two. Read Wikileaks for an interesting look at some of the facts. Obama will condemn the violence, all the while knowing our actions have enabled it. My hope is that Obama and Hillary will actually take this opportunity to change, from policies that support tyrants and have been in place since WWII, to ones that support the rise of genuine democratic movements.