Egypt Has Come Unhinged This Week
Matt | On 28, Jan 2011
The shit has hit the fan in Egypt. That’s the simplest way I can describe what’s happening in the North African state and Middle East leader.
If you haven’t seen any media this week, you’re missing out on some major international news. Protests by the oppressed people of Egypt have rocked several of its largest cities. They are opposing the almost 30-year iron-fisted rule of Hosni Mubarak. The citizens of the country want their freedom and have caused major havoc to start to get it.
Are they anywhere near freedom? Umm .. not yet. But, it’s a start.
Friday evening (Cairo time) the authorities issued a curfew that was pretty much ignored by the people. You could clearly see buildings on fire, protesters in the streets, and general chaos. They targeted the state broadcasting building and also the headquarters of the ruling NDP party. Better yet, they DESTROYED the NDP building, as it was seen engulfed in flames.
There’s a tricky dynamic going on here. There are four main players at work – government, police, protesters, and the army. You would think that the government, police and army would be totally against the people. But, in this situation, the army has somewhat turned a blind eye to the protesters. They were called out to stop the police brutality. Observers noted that some of the army members voiced their support of the protesters. As a government, you never want your own army against you (in a democracy or a dictatorship).
It’s weird .. and you can believe that will play out as this drama continues.
The kicker for me was a report on the BBC that said ALL Internet connections and mobile phone service had been disconnected by the government. WHAT IN THEE HELL??? By Egyptian law, the government can force the companies that provide these services to cease operations.
That’s when I knew this shit was serious. Dictatorial governments are scared to death of a free flow of information. So, they terminate it. The issue here is that they terminated communications for 82 million people. Think about it.
Observers seem to think that this started because of the events in Tunisia two weeks ago. The president was overthrown there after a 30-year rule. Could the Egyptians be inspired to do the same thing? We will continue to monitor the situation.
Finally, all of this mess puts the U.S. is a tricky position. Egypt is an ally of ours, but they treat their people like shit. We don’t support that kind of behavior, but we are too knee-deep in other Middle East foolishness to reprimand them. Nothing comes before our precious oil and wars! ::side-eye::
The Obama Administration has issued pleas for calm from both the government and protesters. But, ummm maybe Barack and Hillary missed the memo that an entire nation of 82 million people are without all modern forms of communication!! I don’t think that non-violence memo will get to them anytime soon without a carrier pigeon.