In keeping with my last posts here are some tweets from those trying to create change in Egypt:

The Big Pharaoh

Sandmonkey:

Rasha Abdulla

Zeinobia

Seif Moussa:

Marie-France Lakah

Cairowire:

Ahmed Ezzat

and one tweet from a person named Melinda Carter who asks a great question:

I’d love an answer and the people in Egypt risking their lives fighting the Muslim Brotherhood would too.

BTW here is a handy dandy map of some of yesterday’s marches

Because of personal issues I haven’t given the events in Egypt any coverage, that couldn’t really been helped but for all the fuss about fiscal cliffs and pregnant princesses the protests of the last few days might in fact be the most consequential events of the 21st century, for the entire world.

On Thanksgiving day just a few hours after being praised by Obama/Clinton team for his role in the cease-fire that prevented Israel from wiping out Hamas sites where rockets had been launched against Israel from (a cease-fire the Muslim Brotherhood needed badly to safe face) President Morisi claimed far-reaching powers over the state and the courts in a rather dramatic move that caught many Egyptians by surprised and was almost totally ignored by Americans busy with Turkey, Football and Black Friday shopping.

Since then there have been loud protest reaching a point where Morsi actually fled the palace for a short period of time.

However the Muslim Brotherhood was not going to sit back and let this happen, yesterday they organized counter-protests and that means violence:

The Egyptian army has begun to clear demonstrators and media organisations from outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

It follows violent overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi that left five people dead and 644 injured.

Yesterday While picking up a pizza at a local place the protests were on the air on a satellite channel in Arabic, the owner of the place in Fitchburg talked about the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood in an attempt to suppress protests.

There isn’t much news in English from the Horse’s mouth but here is something from the Egypt Daily News.

First of all, I would like to thank you. If it wasn’t for the massive organised effort and insane amount of money that you poured into having a strong showing in Giza and Alexandria last Saturday, and the full Panic mode that you put all the secular people of Egypt (who are now the majority after five months only of your rule), we wouldn’t have seen yesterday’s massive, nay, colossal turn out in all of the governorates. Not only did we pack Tahrir, we completely covered the huge area surrounding the Presidential palace (despite security checkpoints placed there by your security forces to divide the crowds and make the numbers look small, and which were naturally removed by the protesters), not to mention the massive turnout in Alexandria, Assiut, Minya, Daqahliya, Suez, Port Said, 6th of October, Mahalla, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Damanhour, Damietta, Aswan and others.

Wanting to get a few from the front lines I took a look at the twitter feed of Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey to get a better idea of what is going on and discovered something interesting…

As might be expected there is a lot of arabic as Egyptians of all types talk about what is going on here

That’s a real problem for a person like me who doesn’t know arabic, but there is one thing he says in English loud and clear:

Who is Gehad El-Haddad? Let me introduce you or more properly I’ll let him introduce himself:

So it seems to be Mr. El-Haddad is deeply involved in both the Muslim Brotherhood and in media. As the Brotherhood man involved in TV I would expect he’d have a lot to say about what is going on, so I looked at his twitter feed, Here is what the front page of his twitter feed looks like as of 8:48 AM EST Thursday

This screen shot seemed odd to me, so I kept scrolling down for a 2nd then a 3rd and then a 4th. Then I came to the 5th page:

Now doesn’t it strike you as odd that you have to go down 5 pages before you find a single tweet in Arabic, and that a retweet?

If this man is communicating to the people of Egypt, to the Arab world, to people who follow Islam, surely you would expect to see a large amount of tweets in Arabic with the odd English tweet mixed in more like our friend Sandmonkey?

Why is this so? The answer can be found in Sandmonkey’s twitter feed

Here is what I think. I think this fellow Gehad El-Haddad’s twitter feed is for lazy westeners who don’t want to sort though arabic, I think it exists to build a real time narrative for the western world. As Nervana Mahmoud puts it in the Daily News of Egypt:

The Muslim Brotherhood is waging a war of perception, not just for domestic consumption but for a western audience, too. Perception is crucial for two reasons: To defeat non-Islamist opponents, who may lose faith quickly when watching the endless number of pro-Morsy protestors in comparison to their relatively lower number in Tahrir and, secondly, to convince western nations that Islamists are the only reliable, powerful force in Egypt and that they are backed by the “majority” of Egyptians.

That’s why Mr. El Haddad’s tweets are not in Arabic. If you consider how easily the west bought the Hamas narrative I can see why he would be sure to tweet “facts” in a language that the lazy western press could understand but the majority of Egyptians would not.

Update: Instalanche! and more from Stacy McCain and Captain Ed

My previous post on Afghanistan was rather depressing but in case you missed it earlier this week I saw one of the most hopeful signs from the Arab world that I’ve seen in year in the form of this article in the Arab news.

The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?

These are incredible words and even more incredible words follow

The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.
These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.

This is something I’ve long waited to see come out of an Arab writer in an Arab paper, the ending is earth shaking:

The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is absolutely no reason why the Arab world shouldn’t exceed Israel by every possible measure because they have the single most valuable resource in the world in incredible quantities but totally undeveloped. Their PEOPLE!

But for that to happen thinkers and writers like Abdulateef Al-Mulhim need to be embraced.

If the Arab world spends a few decades concentrating solely on the advancement of their own population they will move forward at such a pace, in education, in science, in standard of living that generations unborn will wonder how the were ever kept back from their potential.

Let’s see what can be more symbolic than the US Embassy being stormed and the US flag torn down on 9/11

Egyptian demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad.

Update at 2:07 p.m. ET: CNN reports that U.S. security guards fired a volley of warning shots as the crowd gathered outside the embassy walls.

So I turn on the TV and what do I see, a CNN story about the Al Qaeda Leader’ Ayman Al Zawahri brother calling for the release of the 1st world trade center bomber on 9/11 before covering the story

On MSNBC Chris Matthews is talking are we better off than 4 years ago (now they say yes)

Am I actually seeing this?

The Jimmy Carterzation of Barack Obama is now complete but will the MSM give this any play, and more importantly if they do cover it how will they blame it on George Bush?

Update: Apparently They’ve hit the US Consulate in Libya too. How Stupid does Greg Sargant feel today writing this headline

I don’t know Greg, it’s sure looking 1980 ish to me today.

Update 2: I guess Greg Sargant has a point because even the Carter Administration wouldn’t have issued a statement like this after being attacked.

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims

No that is not a photoshop or a parody, that is the start of statement from Barack Obama’s US Embassy on 9/11 when our embassy has been stormed.

If the Hilary Clinton State department under Barack Obama OK’ed this statement they should be run out of office on a rail.

Update 3: Ed Morrissey

The money word there, of course, is “abuse.” If speech is illegitimate because it offends religious sensibilities, then we’re on the doorstep of yelling “blasphemy.” In practical effect, that’s what the embassy is pushing: There’s not a syllable wasted here on condemning the cretins who climbed the embassy walls and tore down the flag — on 9/11. The denunciation is reserved for the blasphemers, who in this case turn out to be Egyptian expats who made an amateur film about Mohammed that’s presumably being used by Islamist demagogues over there to whip up the crowd. Every now and then, the Organization of the Islamic Conference pushes a blasphemy resolution at the UN designed to carve out international exceptions to free speech laws for insults to religion, i.e. Islam. The statement from the embassy is precisely the mentality they’re trying to cultivate. All that’s missing is a call for criminal penalties, but that’s less important to the anti-blasphemy bloc than western officials groveling to their sensibilities. Mission accomplished.

In my opinion these people are our enemies and should be treated accordingly

Update 4: While our liberal administration offers apologies, Stacy McCain prepares to send his son to war.

This administration’s idiotic policy blunders — and not some movie — are to blame for the signals of weakness that make these thugs think they can attack us with impunity.

Weakness inspires aggression, and war arises not from the power of our enemies, but from the foolishness of our leaders.

America would not be attacked if we were respected. We are not respected because our enemies believe we are weak and cowardly, and they believe this because our leaders don’t often enough remind them that our sons are strong and do not fear them.

The American people will be safer — and the entire world will be safer — when we have leaders who deserve the confidence of a nation willing to send its sons to war if need be, but who yet pray for peace. America’s strength is the best hope for peace.

The enemies of America are the enemies of peace, and they should be warned: My strong son – like the sons of so many thousands more Americans – is prepared to come kill you.

I think today proves Glenn’s statement more true than ever before: “They’re not anti-war, they’re on the other side.”

Mark Steyn’s brilliant piece on the Arab spring contains a paragraph that is likely oft passed over but deserving to be highlighted.

Whatever one feels about the sharia-enforcing, Jew-hating, genital-mutilating enthusiasts of the Muslim Brotherhood, they do accurately reflect a significant slice — and perhaps a majority — of the Egyptian people. The problem with the old-school dictators was that in the end Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gaddafi didn’t represent anything other than their Swiss bank accounts.

This is the wild card, in Egypt, Libya, Syria and the rest of the Arab world. The axiomatic truth that people should have the right to govern themselves directly classes with the reality that what the people want doesn’t include what we would consider basic human rights.

Let us not forget that the reason why Japan is a country that respect these same rights, is because they were imposed by a victorious United States and allies.

Let us not forget that the slave trade internationally was suppressed by the might of the British Empire not by the altruism of Spain or their former colonies or the Arab world.

Let us not forget that the reason why India is the largest democratic nation in the world is because those democratic traditions came from their colonial masters and those same principles only have any bearing in many spots worldwide because the sun never set on that British Colonial empire.

The days of Kipling and colonialism are over. We are not going to invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity, nor should we, but that doesn’t mean we should be silent about the values that we believe in, assuming we actually DO believe in them nor give financial and material support based on those values.

It’s up to the Arab World if they want to live in the modern world or not, but if they choose to live in the middle ages, persecute Christians and treat their women like chattel, they should not expect our support or succor.

And if they choose to make war against Israel or support those who would kill us and do so as the will of their populace they should be prepared to meet the consequences of a free people’s free decisions.

Rights come with responsibilities, lets hope the leaders who rise from the Arab spring selected by the popular will choose to be responsible.

Their call.

General John Burgoyne: “…You will understand Sir, I hope, since you seem to be a gentleman and a man of some spirit in spite of your calling. If we do have the misfortune to hang you, we shall do so as a mere matter of political necessity and military duty without any personal ill feeling.”

Richard Dudgeon (Disguised as Rev Anthony Anderson): “Well that makes all the difference in the world of course.”

Lawrence Oliver & Kirk Douglas The Devil’s Disciple 1959

I couldn’t help think of this speech when seeing this video yesterday.

We referenced this video yesterday but decided not to play it on the air. Forgetting the argument of propriety it loses something without the video component. Atlas cheers and Smitty put it well:

Yet somehow the collision of Dylan and Gaza becomes so horrific that you may forget to laugh.

What’s horrific is you’ve replaced a set of dictators who employ various degrees of repression and murder, with a different set of people doing the same thing on a different scale. The murder and repression remain constant.

It would seem to me that the problem isn’t the form of government but of culture. If your culture believes it is right and proper to slaughter and repress people of certain colors and religions it doesn’t matter who rules, you’ll get a culture that produces repression and murder. Replacing a single murderous barbarian bastard with a group of 100 murderous barbarian bastards or 1000 murderous barbarian bastards is not solution, it just means a larger set of murderous barbarian bastards choosing a different set of targets.

I mean look at the news out of the UAE today:

A United Arab Emirates court on Sunday sentenced a blogger and four other democracy activists to prison terms after finding them guilty of charges including insulting the Gulf state’s leaders.

And this is one of the least repressive regimes in the area.

It’s axiomatic that all people, including Arab and Islamic people, have a basic right to self-determination. All people have the right to govern themselves as they see fit.

It is also axiomatic that religious and cultural minorities in any area have the right to live freely without fear of slaughter and oppression.

This is the dilemma, it would seem under the current Arab/Islamic culture we are told to choose one.

I refuse!

I submit that if a culture of a country forces such a choice then the problem is not the country and who rules it, but the culture that supports it.

Via Glenn, Legal Insurrection and Andrew Sullivan (who still has some scruples as this link indicates) comes a story that will likely shock the vast majority of readers who don’t pay attention to the realities of the Arab world:

While walking in the street someone pushed me from behind with such force that I nearly fell over.

Turning around, I found myself surrounded by five men, one of whom tried to punch me in the face. I stopped the attack by pointing out how shameful it was for a Muslim to assault a guest in his country, especially during Ramadan.

Relieved that a seemingly random assault was over, I was appalled by the apology offered by one of my assailants. “Sorry,” he said contritely, offering his hand, “we thought you were a Jew.”

Shaking his head in disbelief on hearing the news, an Egyptian friend sympathised: “That’s stupid, you are obviously not a Jew.”

The chilling implication I was left with was that, had I been Jewish, the assault would have apparently been justified.

That’s bad enough but I found his description of an encounter a few days earlier just as…interesting (emphasis mine):

Eventually one of the men struck up a conversation, revolving primarily around what exactly I was doing in Egypt at a time when most foreigners had left.

My answers met with furrowed brows and clearly dissatisfied shakes of the head, when suddenly, raising his hand in front of his mouth in a conspiratorial gesture one man shot, “I bet he’s from Israel” into the ear of his friend so quickly as to be barely discernible.

I was shocked. In nearly six months of living in Syria, where orchestrated hysteria about Israel is integral to the very identity of the state, I had never heard the accusation surreptitiously levelled against me.

The accusation Accusation! Who does he think he is David Rosovsky?

Ask them, Sister tell them I am NOT A JEW!

As a person constantly mistaken for a Jew (particularly when I wear my beard) I’m disgusted.

Considering that this comes a day after the unrepentant speech of one of the Fogel Family’s murders and the declaration that any Palestinian state much be Judenrein this shouldn’t get me all that worked up.

(BTW if you are a Huff-po reader crying “misinterpretation” perhaps you can explain why Politico reports he has explicitly called for this in the past and tell us; how many Jews currently live in Gaza?)

I should be more charitable, after all Dinham article plainly reveals the antisemitism and the paranoia behind it that is the reality of the Arab Middle east to a BBC audience that doesn’t acknowledge its existence. Of course Dr. Jack Shaheen will likely disagree.

But I feel bad for the Egyptians in question as well. Their mistake made them look bad in the eyes of the western media, if only they could find some way to isolate those troublesome Jews this would not be an issue. I wonder how that can be done?

Let’s be blunt, if the Jews in Israel thought of the Arabs the way the Arabs in the Middle East thought of the Jews every Arab east of the Nile and west of the Jordan would have been slaughtered decades ago.

Can we now stop the pretense that the Arab American Anti-Discrimination group cares about actual Arabs:

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a longtime Washington civil rights group, repeatedly asked the German-born Syrian composer and pianist Malek Jandali to reconsider his piece choice, Jandali told POLITICO. When he refused, Jandali was told today that he couldn’t perform at this weekend’s event.

Jandali’s “Watani Ana: I am my Homeland” doesn’t specifically mention Syria or the broader Arab Spring uprisings, but is heavy on the themes of freedom and liberty. Jandali calls it a “humanitarian song.” But lyrics include “oh my homeland, when will I see you free” and “When the land is watered with the blood of martyrs and the brave/ And all the people shout: Freedom to mankind.”

I’m really surprised that there are no linked to this politico story in Memeorandum, Yeah I’ve been heavy on Weiner but this IS news. We bloggers can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Next time this group decides to hit the US and Israel or to defend critiques of Islamic terror, lets keep in mind what side they were on when an Arab government is shooting their own people.

Update: I want to repeat a point I’ve made before. All of these Arab countries should have governments that reflect the consent of the governed. There is a lot of fear that once these governments reflect the will of the people, they will choose war with Israel. I share that fear, but in the end the people need to govern themselves, and they also need to suffer the consequences of their choices.

If Arabs choose peace with Israel, they should benefit from the advantages of it in terms of trade, economy and cultural exchange.

If Arabs choose war with Israel, they should reap the rewards of their defeat, including the loss of territory, the destruction of their armies and the slaughter of their Armed forces.

Populations will not mature politically until they gain not only rights but the responsibilities that come with them.