Posts Tagged ‘egypt’

Revolution Everywhere

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mass upheavals have been toppling corrupt rulers all over the world, proving that we the people still have the ultimate power. Unfortunately, whenever the glorious revolution does occur, all too often one evil tyrant will fall only to make way for the next.

What we’ve been missing is a key piece to the puzzle: how do we roll out a functioning democracy over top of an old, broken establishment. Lucky for us, this key to unlocking lasting democracy around the world is in the process of being made right now.

This tool, still embryonic, will be an open-source, upgradable system of people, mechanisms, technology and software that will constantly glean consensus from entire populations to develop better policies and rules of governance. so that we can hold our elected officials to the utmost accountability.

How exactly will this work? That is yet to come, but it will work with the instantaneousness of twitter, the self-governance of forums like reddit, the connectivity of Facebook, while being imbued with selflessness like Wikipedia. Politicians will know what their electorates want, and the people will be involved, knowing their voices are being heard, and watching their leaders respond accordingly.

This democracy-in-a-box will be something that can be implemented anywhere, for any size population – so that when the people rise up against injustice, instead of repeating the old cycle of inevitable hypocrisy, they have this system which can be put into effect and live forever free of tyranny.

It will take a group effort to make this happen, as it will really be a monumental accomplishment to create something of this magnitude. But it’s entirely possible and in many ways has already begun.

Women March in Cairo

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

“Drag me, strip me! “My brothers’ blood will cover me!” “The girls of Egypt are here!” These are a few of the angry cries heard on the streets of Cairo today, as thousands of female activists took part in what may have been the biggest female demonstration in Egypt’s history.

Recent images showing soldiers beating, stripping and kicking a female demonstrator provoked the ire of the matriarchal mass, sparking the first female-led demonstration to come to fruition since February’s successful ousting of President Mubarak.

The protest clearly had an effect, as Egypt’s ruling military council quickly offered up an apology.

“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses its utmost sorrow for the great women of Egypt, for the violations that took place during the recent events,” the council said in a statement. “It stresses its great appreciation for the women of Egypt and for their right to protest and to actively, positively participate in political life on the path of democratic transition.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was shocked by the recent events.

“Women are being beaten and humiliated in the same streets where they risked their lives for the revolution only a few short months ago,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Women are being attacked, stripped, and beaten in the streets. This systematic degradation of Egyptian women disgraces the state and its uniform.”

14 civilians have been killed this week, and over 700 more were injured in clashes with Egyptian military – a fact making the bravery exemplified by these empowered women all the more noteworthy.

Worst of Human Nature Takes Hold in Egypt

Monday, December 19th, 2011

It can be very hard to watch this week’s footage showing Egyptian security forces beating and killing civilians. If there’s anything to be learned from these vile and disgusting acts, it’s that the authority to hurt other humans should be considered amongst the most sacred of all privileges.

Egypt’s soldiers – the men who are now guilty of murder – started out as regular people. They took a job in the military, making their living doing what they’re told. On top of this, they face indoctrination leading them to believe they are fighting for a just cause.

Then, when the order comes and free license is given to beat unarmed citizens with metal rods, some of these troops will excel in their roles as thugs. Just like the young men caught enthusiastically jump-stomping their own brothers and sisters.

The problem, however, is not with the soldiers, but rather with the generals. The leaders who gave permission for violence to happen are ultimately responsible, and when justice prevails they will be held fully liable for the carnage they set into motion.

Violence should only be used as a last resort, and only as a deterrent against greater violence. When decision-makers lend the right to hurt others with such ease, atrocities like those we see across the Middle East will continue to happen.

Of course, it’s all fine and dandy to point out what seems obvious: if we want peace we need to severely restrict the use of violence. But how does this knowledge help anyone staring down hundreds of armed goons? Well, it doesn’t.

But it does give the rest of us something to aim for – which is a world where the general population has the means to hold authorities accountable for their actions.

Fortunately, thanks to the ever expanding reach of citizen journalism, combined with a free Internet through which to exchange stories, institutionalized corruption and injustice will continue to be exposed. Leaders who abuse the powers they’ve been entrusted with will brought to bear for the suffering they cause.

Holding the use of violence in the highest esteem something we’ve either forgotten or never learned. But it is a truth we will awaken to as we usher in a new era of peace for our planet.

Tunisians Take to the Polls

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Less than year ago, Tunisians shocked the world when their successful revolution helped spark the Arab Spring. Now, once again, Tunisia is a beacon of hope for the Arab World and beyond, as the fledgling democracy is set to have its first elections this Sunday.

For many Tunisians, this will be the first time casting a vote. For others, it will be the first time the ballots have more than one person to choose from. How exciting and empowering it must feel to be a young Tunisian right now, filled with hopes and dreams!

Other nations involved in the Arab Spring haven’t fared as well. The people of Egypt, who ousted their corrupt President not long after the Tunisians did, are still struggling to keep military tyrants from seizing control. In Yemen and Syria, protesters are continually butchered by government forces.

Were it not for the Tunisians’ story, one might be inclined to just shut up and endure the injustice. But, seeing how a populist uprising really can work, this should only inspire more repressed peoples from around the world to take up the same struggle for greater equality.

And this is precisely what needs to happen to ensure we reach this great civilization of peace and prosperity that awaits us all – billions of empowered minds from around the world rising up and uniting to make a better future a reality – something that will soon be upon us. Hooray!

Millions Already Awake, Many More to Come

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Across the globe millions of protesters have been taking to the streets, rallying against social injustice and economic inequalities. And this is only the beginning.

The Occupy movement is like the uprising in Egypt, as per this pic:

Right now, the movement is still in its infancy. Somewhat spurious and chaotic, the demonstrators have already done an excellent job of getting a refined anti-corporate message to the media.

But given more time, hundreds of millions of discontent people from all around the world will be part of this movement. Together, this collective dissenting energy will be channeled into positive policy reform around the planet.

With no precedence, it’s hard to tell just how long this global revolution will take to materialize. But, given how quickly things can go viral in this interconnected age, a few short years can make all the difference between a world of exploitation and a peaceful planet of shared prosperity.

Take the Money Out of Building Weapons

Friday, September 16th, 2011

In Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain and many other nations, civilians are being violently subjugated by their governments. The western media will sometimes report on these quashed uprisings, but a pressing question usually remains unasked – where do these tyrants get their modern weaponry?

For the most part, the tools of dissident suppression – rifles, tanks, bombs and gunships – aren’t being made domestically. Instead, they’re being imported from any of the world’s international arms dealers, most of whom will transact with anyone that has the cash.

Of course, corner any of the corporations that build these weapons, or any of the politicians who deal with despots, and it is unlikely they will admit any wrongdoings. I mean, come on, who could possibly have conceived that an armor plated vehicle with bulletproof tires and a mounted Gatling gun might be used for human rights violations.

But why would you expect anything other than crooks and cronies running the arms business? When there is billions of dollars changing hands, you just know it’s going to attract all kinds of scumbags.

And that brings us to a simple solution to this problem. In fact, this idea has so much potential that it wouldn’t just prevent the Defense Industry from arming tyrants, it would actually eliminate one of the primary reasons we even have war on earth.

Enough building it up. Here’s the proposal:

A 100% tax on all profits earned from manufacturing the weapons of war.

BLAM! Take that, Military Industrial Complex. You can design and sell all the weapons you want, but don’t expect any more lucrative deals. Now we’ll see if “building democracy”, “fighting terrorists”, and “protecting civilians” is really all that important to the war-mongers when there’s far fewer profits to be made.

Egyptians Still Holding Out for Democracy

Friday, September 9th, 2011

210 days ago, Egyptians showed the world what people power can do, amassing protesters in the millions to successfully oust their corrupt dictator. To this day, Egypt’s brave freedom fighters haven’t given up their bid for democracy.

Not wanting their revolutionary struggles to end up simply swapping one gun-toting tyrant for another, demonstrators held a mass rally in Cairo today, pressuring Egypt’s temporary leaders – the military – to keep their promises of political reform.

Watching from the outside, seeing how hard regular people have to fight to for freedom, really shows us how we cannot take for granted the rights and powers we already have. Instead, when it comes to civil liberties and democracy, we must use them to the fullest, or we risk losing them entirely.

So don’t just shirk your responsibility. Take action on the issues you care about. It doesn’t even have to involved a major issue, like poverty, war or human rights violations. Just find a wrong that, when righted, will make the world a better place. Then make your voice as loud as it can be. Speak your mind through as many channels as you can find.

That is what democracy is all about.

Palestine/Israel/Egypt Truce Holding

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

After four days of violence along the Gaza border, tempers have been running hot. But, for which many people are grateful, cooler heads have prevailed and a truce has held up thus far.

With their greatest ally – the United States – spread thin militarily and struggling to delay bankruptcy, Israel is finding itself internationally isolated in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

And while Israel’s duet with America dwindles, Palestinians have been gaining a new protector – Egypt. After successfully overthrowing their government, the Egyptian people have pledged support for Palestine and offered stern warnings against any Israeli aggression.

Plus, ever since they killed several Egyptian police officers in a border clash this week, Israel has been uncharacteristically passive, standing down even with more rockets landing down upon them.

However it has arisen, this ceasefire is inspires much optimism.

Hopefully peace will continue to prevail between Israel and its neighbors, right up to the days when the bulk of our planet’s population has embraced a new global paradigm, seeing borders and religions as separations that exist only in our minds.

Shock Doctrine Hits Egypt

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

In The Shock Doctrine, journalist Naomi Klein highlights the ways big institutions exploit disaster stricken people and countries when they’re the most vulnerable, shackling entire populations to crippling debts.

Well, this just happened in Egypt. The IMF has given Egypt’s transitional government a $3 Billion dollar loan to help ‘revitalize the economy’.

Unfortunately, this money has just fallen into the corrupt hands leftover from the old regime, meaning the majority of the money will just be embezzled before stimulating the economy or doing the Egyptian people any good.

But that won’t stop the IMF from holding regular Egyptians accountable for the debt. Whatever new regime arises in the coming months, they will be on the hook for this $3 Billion taken on by a few corrupt officials in Cairo.

This is too bad. Now Egypt’s soon-to-arise fledgling democracy, and all the people of Egypt, will be forced to make concessions to a global loan-shark. It’s like they’ve moved from one dictator to another, only the new king is a bank instead of a body.

Unwilling to go out on a down note, let me just say these global dictators, like the mega-banks and the giant corporations, are precisely the forces to be toppled when humanity rises up together on a planetary scale.

Pave the Path to a Peaceful Planet

Monday, June 6th, 2011

(Egypt, 2010)

(Egypt, 2011)

Take a close look at these two pictures, for they reveal the true power of numbers. Amazing, isn’t it.

Even more amazing, perhaps, is that between 2010 and 2011, very little had changed politically for the Egyptians. They still had the same dictator and repressive regime. They still lacked a democratic voice, and continued to suffer through the same rampant poverty.

The only thing that really changed was the attitude of the population. They decided, en masse, that enough was enough and it was time to take action.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who wants a better world: a trickle from the undercurrents of discontent can easily become a torrent of revolutionary fervor, once enough people recognize that others feel the same way.

So don’t be afraid to take a stand for what you feel is right, even if it seems like you’re going up against insurmountable odds. Your actions may very well carve a path for millions to follow in your footsteps.