Tag Archives: Democracy
Title quote via MSNBC from a pro-democracy demonstrator celebrating in Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square following the resignation of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, Feb. 11, 2011.
The US media reported yesterday that Hosni Mubarak had finally resigned, the message conveyed to the world by his Vice President and Torturer-in-Chief, Omar Suleiman. Of course, the pro-democracy demonstrators wildly celebrated Mubarak’s resignation – think of it: in 18 days they had toppled a tyrant without resorting to violence, even in the face of provocation from Mubarak’s street thugs and vicious secret police — but I also thought it was interesting that Hosni is now ensconced in his estate on the Red Sea, surrounded by razor wire and heavily guarded. Some may interpret this arrangement as protecting Mubarak’s corrupt hide, but it could also be seen as a prison from which he could be quickly transferred to a jet bound out of the country, forced into exile by the praetorian guard now ‘protecting’ him from his own people. Then again, perhaps they are merely holding the deposed dictator for trial – the people have demanded Hosni be held responsible for his brutal reign, and they want to know where all the money went. In the wake of the news that Swiss banks have frozen Mubarak’s bank accounts purportedly containing billions in purloined US dollars, they just might find out.
While we celebrate with the Egyptian people emerging from 30 years of darkness under Mubarak, it must be said that, now that Mubarak’s gone, only a part of Egypt’s journey to a free democracy is complete; next, the pro-democracy forces will have the hard work of purging the government of Mubarak’s corrupt cronies, if they won’t leave willingly, and pressuring the military, which has dissolved parliament and taken control, to allow a democratically-elected civilian government to flourish. On the latter score, it’s heartening to note that while the top officers are Mubarak appointees, the rank-and-file in the military are conscripts closer to the demonstrators than the generals, and the scenes of peaceful protestors happily riding on the tanks US foreign aid purchased should have brought that point home to the brass hats. Without the lower ranks solidly behind them, there can be no military coup d’etat.
Meanwhile, public crackpot Glenn Beck has been regurgitating bizarre conspiracy theories alleging that the overthrow of the vile Mubarak is part of some kind of dingbat Marxist-Muslim ‘New World Order’ plot with US progressives to bring about an Islamic Caliphate that will rule the Middle East and Europe. Fox News’ squirrel-bait embarrassment apparently believes freedom and democracy are fine for white Americans, but should be off-limits to darker-skinned Egyptians. (Perhaps this is why his TV audience has dropped by half in the past year – most of us, whatever our political leanings, think democracy, individual rights and liberty are good things for the world.) However, Beck is almost right – there does seem to be a New World Order brewing, but not the evil Commie Caliphate he imagines. Instead, all across Africa and the Middle East, from Tunisia to Iran, the citizenry is yearning for secular government of, by and for the people, dedicated to equality and justice, with the same rights and freedoms Americans are supposed to enjoy. Of course, to corporate scambots like Rupert Murdoch’s rodeo clown, the idea of self-rule and freedom from foreign exploitation is anathema, and the events in Tunisia and Egypt should be sending a chill up spines in the other corporate suites of the world; these non-violent revolutions were also about economic justice as well as getting rid of tyranny, an economic justice the corporate autocrats despise and fear. Whatever meaningless label the Becksters want to hang on it, it is not religious in nature and neither is it some silly strain of Islamic Communism – it is the same thing Americans fought for over two centuries ago: freedom from distant powers and homegrown despots taking your money and deciding your fate without your consent.
© 2011 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.
Not that the Egyptian people are experiencing independence and self-rule quite yet — the military is in change for now — but in 18 days the pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square and elsewhere in Egypt brought down a vicious dictator without resorting to violence. A toast to the freedom-loving people of Egypt. The Daily Beast has this:
“One day after vowing to serve until September, Hosni Mubarak has resigned the Egyptian presidency. A military council will now take over the country—and its first act, troublingly, was to suspend both houses of parliament, sack the cabinet, and announce plans to govern with the head of the Supreme Court. Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi will lead the council. Mubarak fled Cairo to his estate on the Red Sea.”
And read the AP coverage here.