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Sunday, 30 January 2011


I have found it personally moving to watch the momentus events in Egypt that have been beamed on our television screens these past few days. The scenes of popular revolution in the streets evoke memories of the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 when the people of East Berlin and other cities took to the streets and overthrew unpopular dictators. What is different today is that the governments of the USA and UK (among others) seem more muted in their calls for democracy and freedom for the people of Egypt, compared to their statements and actions in 1989 demanding democracy for Eastern Europeans. Is this because we were opponents of Eastern Europe in the Cold War, but the dictators of Egypt and other corrupt Middle-Eastern countries are our allies? In the Orwellian double-speak of our leaders:

The United States has a close partnership with Egypt and we’ve cooperated on many issues including working together to advance a more peaceful region.

According to Robert Baer, former CIA case officer:

If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear—never to see them again—you send them to Egypt.

And, in a grotesque irony, the man in charge of the “disappearing” has just been appointed Vice-President, supposedly in order to lead the transition to an open society!

Supposedly he will bring “stability” to Egypt. Steve has written a good post on “stability” and how this is considered such an important quality in a country, except when it isn’t.

The photograph above is from the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s photostream and is reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Posted by bigblue on 30/01/2011 at 09:40 AM
Filed under: AfricaEgypt • (2) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Tunisia as model


I thought I would accentuate the touristic nature of where I stayed in Tunisia last year, with this miniature style photograph.

I was interested to see Tunisia in the news recently for social unrest resulting from political protest.  While we were in Tunisia we met a young man who basically told us

You only live once. In Tunisia,
we eat what we want,
drink what we want,
**** who we want.
We just don’t mention politics.
Our rulers don’t like the people to be interested in politics.

According to the BBC, dozens of protesters have been killed by police. The unrest in Algeria and Tunisia may be linked, and protesters are using social media tools. One of the BBC articles also says the protests may have been partially triggered by unflattering revelations about the Tunisian government on Wikileaks.

Posted by bigblue on 11/01/2011 at 08:28 PM
Filed under: AfricaTunisia • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share