Friday, February 11, 2011
Arabs, as a people, take huge pride in their culture, history and contributions to human civilization. They are a "nationalist people." And so having an American military invade Iraq, telling Iraqi's what to do (and how to do it) doesn't unite the place in a way that we are seeing in Egypt right now. It is organic. Everyone can come together, though very chaotic, to throw out the old and join in on the new. They can unite in protest, taking responsibility for their future.
If history is judging George Bush, then so be it. Arabs, really like most peoples' of the world, do not like things placed on them. If Bush could have done anything it should have been without the army. But we must wait to see what emerges in Egypt to declare the 2/11 revolution a staring example. As nearly all post-revolutionary counties remind us, the transition to democracy is rough path... at best.
UPDATE: Roger Cohen had now down just that! It goes like this: tweets, blogs, newspapers, magazines, books.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Surfing the Casbah: Behind the Savage borders of the Middle East
Like it? Good for a paper book. But so much for that!
Well not to get too far off topic, but when I was in that stage of the project a friend and journalist, Josh Wood, contacted me from Beirut to write an article about the thing ... it was later published in the Christian Science Monitor.
Anyway, dear Josh has been in Cairo this week trying to cover the protests going on there and has had some life-threatening experiences that highlight how dangerous it can be there. From his blog:
Thursday was a glimpse of hell.
As the reports filtered in of foreigners coming under attack and arrest across the city as the regime and Mubarak supporters vehemently tried to silence the media, my colleague Sam Tarling and I were heading across town, from Dokki to the edge of Midan Tahrir. We were previously staying at one of my friend’s places in Dokki but for unclear reasons his landlord gave us the boot around noon time, screaming at us to get out of the apartment. My friend was not at home, there was little to be done. On the street outside, our luggage drew a bit of attention, not in the good way. We quickly got a cab, as we got in some men in the street yelled at the cab driver for assisting foreigners.
I am not a rookie to life-threatening situations, but this was by far the scariest thing I have ever seen. I now realize that there is a clear difference between having a chambered pistol being put to your head and being at the hands of a mob with machetes.In the mean time, Josh is OK and still blogging. I suggest you give him a read if you're looking for some on-the-ground action from Cairo..