Who gets the most credit for toppling Mubarak? And who will be blamed if the revolution turns nasty in the next 12 months? Who inspired the events that could change history like the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 or the Islamic Revolution in 1979?
Facebook? Twitter? Rising food prices? The "liberation" of Iraq? George W. Bush? David Hasselhoff? The Egyptian Army? The youth groups of the opposition parties? The Tahrir square campers? Or the tragic narratives of the two individuals Khaled Said from Alexandria or Mohammed Bouazizi from Ben Arous?
1. The BBC has a great image of "the camp that toppled a president."
2. Interestingly, the Boston Globe, often described as very liberal, gives George W. Bush some credit. A program to fund and train election monitors in Egypt "played a key role in the movement to topple President Hosni Mubarak's regime":
Continue reading "The Forces Behind the Revolution in Egypt"
The program, which provided millions in direct funding to prodemocracy groups, helped dispatch 13,000 volunteers to observe Egypt's parliamentary elections in December. Thousands of those monitors, angered by what they said was blatant election rigging, joined the protests. Some became outspoken leaders; others used the networking and communication skills they learned to help coordinate 18 days of rallies. (...)
David Francis, an American reporter traveling through Europe to report on EU energy security issues, notes that Germans are not concerned about dependence on Russian energy. He wrote the following guest blog post and asks Atlantic Review's readers why Schroeder got away with the Nord Stream deal:
I've been in Berlin for the last week, interviewing German officials about the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, more commonly know here as the Baltic Sea pipeline. For those who aren't familiar, the pipeline is controversial for a number of reasons. First, it makes Germany heavily dependent on Russia's state-controlled energy monopoly Gazprom, a firm that in the past has been accused of playing "pipeline politics." But the main controversy surrounding the deal, in Germany at least, centered on former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who pushed hard for the deal before leaving office, only to be named chief of Nord Stream's shareholder's committee after leaving office. This position pays quite a large paycheck.
Continue reading "In Berlin, Outrage Over Nord Stream Deal Seems to Have Died"
In this interview from April 15th, 1994, Dick Cheney reveals the reasons why invading Baghdad and toppling Saddam Hussein wouldn't be a great idea: YouTube
Endnote: Shiite alliance against the Saudi-US alliance? Look who is holding hands these days: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran August 8, 2007 in this Yahoo! News Photo. And this White House photo shows President Bush holding hands with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in 2005. And recently the Bush administration announced a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
Folkard Wohlgemuth recommends the op-ed "Degrading our soldiers and ourselves" in the International Herald Tribune, which deals with Vice President Cheney's attempt on allowing the CIA to treat (or should one rather say: "abuse"?) captives basically as they please. "It is worth remembering that the rule of law is not just a "value," much less a luxury confined to more peaceful times", comments the author, Anne-Marie Slaughter. "Our founders looked to law as constraint, not as license; as a check on power, not authorization. The difference is a matter of honor, of values, of identity itself."
A Washington Post editorial calls Vice President Cheney "an open advocate of torture."
The Wash Post's Dana Priest reports about a "covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries":
Continue reading ""Vice President for torture", secret CIA prisons"
Our reader UG
recommends TomDispatch's list
administrators, managers, and career civil servants who
quit their posts in protest or were defamed, threatened, fired, forced
out, demoted, or driven to retire by Bush administration strong-arming.
includes well-known names like former anti-terror czar Richard
Clarke and former Secretary of the Treasury Paul
O'Neill, but also less known managers:
late August 2005, after twenty years of service in the field of
military procurement, Bunnatine ("Bunny") Greenhouse, the top official
at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in charge of awarding government
contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, was demoted. For years,
from superiors -- until she raised objections about secret, no-bid
contracts awarded to Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) -- a
Halliburton, the mega-corporation Vice President Dick Cheney once
presided over. After telling congress that one Halliburton deal was "was
the most blatant
and improper contract abuse I have witnessed
during the course of my professional career," she was reassigned from "the
elite Senior Executive Service
... to a lesser job in the
civil works division of the corps."