Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Reality of Tahrir Square

The Egyptian military attacked protesters in Tahir Square today. Some 1100 civilians have been injured through weeks of violence all over Egypt as thousands of people attempt to protest the way the Egyptian military wants to handle the new Egyptian constitution. This crisis has been going on for months and has perhaps reached the boiling point. The military has promised elections within a week but their original deadline has already past.

The military wants its budget and operations to be autonomous of the new government. Many Egyptians fear a state-within-a-state would exist. So they protest. Al Jazeera has excellent coverage. Unlike the birth of the Arab Spring, however, the poetry of protest is gone. This is about the interim military government ceasing power long enough to protect its infrastructure and capabilities. This conflicts with the democratic ideals and the situation seems to be escalating. In Egypt today it seems democracy itself might be up for grabs. Protestors do not want the kind of government that will be up for election soon.

Meanwhile, in Syria a bloodbath rages. Is there a better example of Western political hypocrisy in the world today than the response to the crisis in Libya versus the crisis in Syria? Somehow the Arabs get to handle this far more deadly situation for themselves. Why? Because there's more oil in Libya. It is as simple as that. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, seems to enjoy more popular support than Gaddafi ever did, however. Syrians rally by the thousands for him though, in truth, much of it is probably staged.

Watching all this unfold over my iPad I did laundry, looked at contemporary works of art in Art Authority, wrote some, went for a couple of walks in the woods, drank a couple of Foster's beers, listened to classical piano music. Jennifer made a wonderful chicken pot pie. My daughter enjoyed it as much as I did. We laughed during dinner and spoke of holiday plans to come. It was gray outside. Most of the leaves have fallen.

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