Egypt Awakes

UPDATE: See Al Jazeera’s reports below and read Ahmed Moor (who recorded the video below)’s account of today’s events at MondoWeiss.

Led by what appears to be a girl and a boy, a group of Egyptian protesters chase the riot police.

Helena Cobban of Just World News asks if the Arab world is finally waking from 40-year sleep:

In Egypt, the long-entrenched, US-backed-to-the-repressive-hilt Mubarak regime is facing one of the most serious challenges yet to its control.In Tunisia, the long-entrenched, strongly US-backed Ben Ali regime is history, and citizens on the streets and in their gathering places are right now determining how their country will governed in the future.

In Lebanon, Hizbullah and its allies– who span all the country’s different religious groups– today succeeded in having their candidate, Najib Mikati, named as the next Prime Minister. The pundits at the NYT might huff and puff (and the news editors give massive amounts of space to reporting on how Israel views matters in Lebanon– much more, I think, than they have ever given to how Lebanese people view matter in Israel!) But this is what has happened. And though notable Israeli securocrat Giora Eiland warned yesterday that “Now all of Lebanon looks like Hizbullah, and could therefore be a legitimate target for Israeli attack”– Well, Israel and whose political support is going to undertake such an attack? (The ambitious young US military analyst Andrew Exum parroted Eland’s argument today. Quite without thinking through the many changes in the M.E. region between Israel’s last attack on Lebanon in 2006, and today. Also, back in 2006, did Hizbullah’s much greater distance from the halls of power in Beirut’s Serail save the country from massive devastation by the Israeli air force? It did not.)

In Palestine, Abu Mazen and his long-entrenched, strongly US-backed “PA” regime are buckling under the facts of its complete failure in its pursuit of diplomacy with Israel and its failure to protect East Jerusalem and other occupied Palestinian land from the depradations of Israel’s continuing colonial juggernaut– as well as under the clear revelation of those facts through the most recent “Palestine Papers” distribution.

Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, and other Arab countries have also been seeing some significant popular unrest… However, one other player in the Middle East is currently notable because it is “the dog that isn’t barking” (pardon the metaphor, which is derived from Sherlock Holmes.) This is Saudi Arabia, which throughout these past 41 years– and most particularly since the killing (assassination?) of King Faisal in 1975– has been a central bulwark of U.S. policy both within the Middle East and far beyond.

You can read the rest here.

3 thoughts on “Egypt Awakes”

  1. Cobban is an Orientalizing buffoon so it’s no shock for her to write what she wrote. It is a shock to see it reproduced here. The “Arab world” [nice formulation] awakes from a “40-year sleep”; ignoring the 1st Intifada as well as the democratic elections that brought Hamas to power, ignoring the emergence of Hezbollah as thus-far successful and socially rooted movement resisting Israeli power; doubtless there’s much else. But this is what happens when you look only at the top: you get formulation’s like Cobban’s. I see no need to follow her.

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