10 February 2011


Dear “Intelligence” community,

I am no expert on Egypt.  I’ve been there one time; I couldn’t wait to leave.  I found the place hostile, and the people even worse.  Not to mention that I never had any decent food in that Allah-forsaken country.  BUT, I can’t help but watch my hair turn gray as you continue to look confused while the obvious happens.

A few reasons for your idiocy:
  1. If I never hear another “Egyptian” with a Canadian passport go on BBC and say, “Well my friend, a professor at AUB told me this morning that…”  Who cares?  The fake Egyptians I’ve heard on all news sources, save very few, are as expert as I am at analyzing that country.  In fact, they probably suck more at this than I do given that so far, I’ve been right about this whole thing, and they continue to wrongly predict everything.

  1. Stop looking at this movement though the lens of Facebook and Twitter.  I believe it’s a grave mistake to assume this is a revolution pushed by young people.  The demographics of Egypt, indeed the Middle East, make young people the likely participants in anything!  I see this as a movement of the impoverished who care more about basic living standards than the currently-lofty and obtuse goals of “democracy.”  If I were hungry I’d be more keen to rectify that than to ensure my right to vote in a transparent election.  Give poor people the credit they deserve.  Keep in mind also that this movement is not necessarily united; people are out there for diverse (and just) reasons, and democracy is only one cause.

  1. Mubarak has never really been vulnerable to public opinion, why should now be any different?  Why would he suddenly care that people have always hated him?

  1. Who in the world thinks that the Arab world runs on western time?!?  That Mubarak was late to his own speech seemed to indicate that there was vigorous “debate.”  Good god people!  He’s on time there! 

  1. Who in the world thinks that rumors in the Arab world are legit and should be heeded?  I don’t even know what to say to this one.  Has anyone commenting on this actually been to the ME?

Now, because people haven’t just become bored and wandered home, it will be time for the army, or one of the various other security agencies, to move in and begin killing people.  America has stood around saying things that make us look awful, and we’re going to continue to stand around and let this happen, as though we don’t know it’s pending.  (Maybe we really don’t know, since we haven’t know anything else so far…)  Good thing Marc Lynch is around to blog about how Obama is dealing well with all of this.  Otherwise I might begin to think that we’re really screwing up here.  It's also worth considering that these regimes didn't become this violently indifferent to its populations without some serious dedication to the direct cause of not giving a crap about people in order to profit financially and in terms of social capital.  Obama coming out now and telling them to use restraint is therefore entirely, 100%, useless.

Me during Eid 2006 in Ta7rer Square:


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