Friday, 30 September 2011


Ken Berwitz

Remember that "Arab spring" we were supposed to be so jubilant about?

Remember President Obama helping it along by becoming a driving force in the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak?

Remember all those well bred, well fed protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding that Mubarak be deposed so that freedom and democracy would flourish in Egypt?

Well, here, excerpted from an article by Agence France Presse via, is a taste of reality for you.  See if it coincides with any of what you remember:

Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of Al-Jazeera Egypt on Thursday, confining its journalists to one room and confiscating equipment, the channel's bureau chief told AFP.

Ahmed Zain said the officers entered the channel's new premises, roughed up staff, forced them into one room and took away their identity papers.

One of the reporters, Hayat al-Yamani, asked for the security officers' identity papers but they refused and pushed her to the ground.

Police at the nearby Agouza station later refused to take her statement, Zain said.

Equipment including cameras and a laptop were also confiscated, he said.

It was the second such raid on Al-Jazeera Egypt this month.

Does that look like an Arab spring to you?  The flourishing of freedom and democracy?

Now add in the lurch toward fundamentalist Islamic law, and the indications that peace with Israel, which started with Anwar Sadat and continued with Hosni Mubarak, is fast disappearing.  What do you get/

It can't be said enough times:  just because something is bad, doesn't mean the alternative can't be even worse.  And that, folks, is what the idealists of Tahrir Square - along with the rest of the world - are learning about Egypt right now.

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