Friday, January 28, 2011

Best Wishes To Egypt’s Lovers Of Liberty

Here in New England it’s close to four in the morning; in Egypt it’s Friday afternoon, and there’s no way of knowing how the anti-government protests are doing since Mubarak’s government took the unprecedented act of shutting down the Internet and all other communications out of the country.

I’ll go to bed soon. Don’t know what will happen while I sleep. A very good friend of mine emigrated from Egypt, and his family’s there still. I want to be hopeful but dare not; for the past ten years and more, anytime I thought to feel hope on the liberty front, in my country or any other, it only led to disappointment.

Yesterday I shared a note an Egyptian man posted on Facebook before his government shut down the Internet. That’s what I do: post things on blogs. It’s not much – it may not be anything – but it’s still more than anyone in Egypt can do right now. Of course, as an American living in a Free Democratic Republic, I can also inform my duly elected representatives that I want them to stop giving support to the repressive Mubarak regime that ha ha ha ha ha.

I knew I couldn’t finish that with a straight face. The American government no longer listens to the American people – if it did, Janet Napolitano would be out of a job and so would everyone else in the TSA.

Maybe someday they’ll start listening again, before things get as bad here as they are in Egypt this afternoon. Maybe the protests in Egypt and Tunisia will spark a freedom renaissance in the Arab world. Or maybe I shouldn’t tempt fate with my hopes.

But I can’t help myself. I’m a misanthrope to be sure, yet somehow can’t entirely give up on humanity. We’ve come this far, and for all the recent stumbling I still can’t bring myself to believe we can’t go any further.


Anonymous NoStar said...

Obama is pushing a law that will give him the power to shut down the internet, just like in Egypt.

I'm sure he would only use this power for good purposes.

BTW, Jen, what sway you must have over the powers that be. Your blog is the only site I have been able to get to. Not facebook, not MSN, not Wine Commonsewer, Not reason. The TV is also not working. Comcast must be in league with the gubmint.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think Mubarak is oppressive wait until he is overthrown by the radical muslims and see what oppression really is. This is not freedom fighters trying to create a democracy this is radical muslims intent on turning Egypt into another Iran.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Anonymous, last I heard the main speaker for this possible revolution wasn't anyone in the Muslim Brotherhood, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner whose name escapes me -- no, not that twit Obama, the Egyptian guy who actually deserved his prize.

Even in Iran, radical Muslims didn't cause the revolution, but stepped into the power vacuum it left. Hopefully, Egyptians will bear that cautionary example in mind. And even if -- fate forbid -- the new boss turns out as bad as the old boss, overthrowing the new boss will be much easier if he doesn't enjoy the billions of dollars in US support that the old boss Mubarak does.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Not Anonymous said...

Radical Muslims don't even get much support in the countries they DO rule. They're tolerated with a wary eye (much like our present leaders and police forces in the US) but all save for the fundamentalists would rather have more liberty than they get.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"stepped into the power vacuum", that is the point! It is rare that common citizens can overthrough a government and install a government of the people. Chaos will always be used by those who want power.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Even so, that doesn't justify the US' continued support of a dictator. Those teargas canisters used against the protesters ... I didn't feel the slightest whiff of patriotic pride knowing they were all Made In USA. Quite the opposite. Nice reputation the Land of the Free has: talk to the Chinese if you want to buy cheap toys for your kids; talk to the Americans if you want to buy tools to keep your population oppressed.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most weapons of war sold in the worldwide market come from China, Russia and North Korea. And not by just a small percentage either. China sells about 1000 times more small arms to oppresive countries then the entire western world does. It is very likely that Egypts tear gas came from Russia or China.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

The teargas canisters were stamped "Made In USA," O Anonymous Patriot. The US has given Mubarak's repressive government more than a billion dollars in "aid" each year; what the hell did you THINK it was spent for? If you're an American, your tax dollars -- like mine -- went to pay for the tools used to oppress the Egyptian population.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally oppose all foriegn aid or any form of spending our tax revenues on a foriegn country. However I assume you know as does everyone that if Egypt were unable to buy tear gas from the U.S. there would be many other countries willing to sell it to them.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

They couldn't buy foreign tear gas with our tax dollars, though. Much of our foreign aid is actually welfare for domestic weapons manufacturers. Mubarak used American money to buy American weapons to oppress Egyptian people.

And our whorespawn vice-president refused to call Mubarak a dictator when asked about it.

8:44 AM  
Blogger James Hanley said...


The leaders of this protest are predominantly nominally Muslim but secular leaning young people. They're being joined in sizable numbers by Coptic Christians, who so recently benefited from those radical, oops, I mean moderate, Muslims acting as human shields around their churches. And while the Muslim brotherhood does indeed desire an Islamic government, they renounced violence years ago and have stuck to that pledge--they're not the violent radicals of yesteryear.

But thanks for playing typical American know-nothing bigot. Why if another five seconds had gone by, I might have forgotten about the existence of people like you. That is, if we could just get five seconds of silence to try to forget about people like you, I'd be grateful.

No, there's no certainty that this will have a good outcome. There's reason for cautious optimism, but great trepidation. Revolutions rarely avoid getting brutally suppressed, and when they avoid that they rarely manage to establish a regime any better than the one they just toppled.

But still, we can avoid the bigotry and recognize who's actually leading these protests. Unless your ugly American persona is just too damn good a security blanket for you to give up.

4:39 PM  

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