Tags: history in the making

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Viva La Revolución!

Why I'm Paying Attention to the Protests in Egypt
And Why You Should Be, Too

  • It's a revolutionary revolution. Never before has a people risen up together, as citizens, to peacefully overthrow their government. Men and women, children and adults, Coptics and Muslims; they're all working together to bring about a national change, regardless of any personal differences. Never before has there been a peaceful change of regime so vehemently demanded by a people, not a militia or a coup. If these protests succeed, they suggest an existence personal power unheard of in modern society, bogged down so heavily beneath the red tape of governments, major corporations, and investors. They suggest that a population actually possesses the power to fight back against chronic unemployment, without the use of guns and violence.

  • The domino effect. Protests ripple throughout Sudan. Oppressed Syrians keep an eye and an ear out to what unfiltered news is available to them for word of Egypt's fate. Jordan's king sacks his entire cabinet. Israel calls for peace. Why? Because Tunisia kicked the corrupted Ben Ali out of their country, a man who single-handedly siphoned off $40 billion a year from the Tunisian economy for himself and close members of his family, and they succeeded. For the first time in history, Arabs are rising against corruption and expelling their dictators, and as one succeeds, every other one is granted a little bit of hope for the future of their own country. Where before there were only failed spots of unrest as in Iran, now there is a very tangible possibility for success.

  • Guess where your gasoline comes from? Al Jazeera has reported that, according to the Suez Canal, traffic through the canal has not been effected by the protests--and that it has, if anything, actually increased. And yet oil prices are already beginning to spike--what's going to happen to them when Mubarak is gone and a potentially unstable temporary government erected in his place? What if other Arab countries begin to protest as well?

  • Egypt could become the first democratic country in the Middle East. Just. Think about that for a moment. One of the oldest civilizations in the world, adopting a true democratic government, run by and for the Egyptian people. What are the people of Jordan going to think about that? Of Saudi? Of Lebanon? This could start WWIII, or it could be the spark that ignites real governmental reform in the Middle East. Finally.

  • Obama's silence is deafening. And you know what? It's also ringing in the ears of every Egyptian citizen in that country. He addressed our nation only last week in support of the Tunisian people's bid for reform--after the fact, of course--but made no mention of the way Egypt's capital was currently burning to the ground. As this Egyptian-American so eloquently points out, Obama speaks for all of America when he speaks of freedom and of liberty and of basic human rights, and yet due to his puppetry of Mubarak and the domination it gives him over other countries in the Middle East, he has yet to support--after eight days now--this bid by the Egyptian nation for just that. What will happen if the US loses its grasp of political influence in the Middle East? What will happen if they transfer it over to the new Egyptian government? What will become of American foreign policies now that they're blatant manipulation has become so transparent? What, if anything, will the new Egyptian government salvage from its relationship with America after we so callously snubbed their revolution?

  • No matter which way you look at it, the world is in for some major changes. If this revolution succeeds, it would shift the entire balance of power and of possibility in the Middle East. And if it's quashed, it will only be quashed by a blatant display of force, which will only cause a political shift--how can we as Americans, living in this age of the internet and of Twitter and of global news broadcasting, stand to allow our government to support a dictator who would openly brutalize his own people?

  • And those are only the major bullet points. Seriously. Get online. Look things up. Don't rely solely on Western news sources, who are only reporting a fraction of the story. Al Jazeera has a live-feed news blog that updates every time something new happens. Go take a look. Educate yourself. This is the Age of Information; don't allow your society to cuff your knowledge through selective broadcasting of a global event that is making our government shift uncomfortably in their seats. Mubarak cut off all internet and phone access in his country, along with trains, universities, utilities, etc, and look where it's getting him. He's got the world's eye on him, and he's acting the part of nothing but a manipulative, oppressive dictator. Go find out why, so that when your children are reading about this in their high school textbooks later, you'll know just as much of the story as they do.

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