Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

A New Kind of Nation

by ormondotvos Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 06:22:07 PM EST

Yes, this is the beginning of a new kind of nation, with Tunisia and Egypt leading the way. Here's how: Egypt, with the goodwill of the world, can decommission its military-economic complex and use the money spent on fake defense to build, from the ground up, the kind of democratic socialist society that everyone sane sees as the necessary governmental structure: old age pensions, education, infrastructure, medical care efficiently distributed through intelligently spent taxes.

Concurrently, elections can be transparent, electronic, and shielded from corporate influence by strict bribery and political advertising law.

Egypt has no enemies that threaten its land, economy or politics. This is a chance for the United Nations to work properly, as a guarantor of sovereignty.

IF Egypt remains secular but tolerant of all religions, and strictly maintains a NATION OF LAWS through its new constitution, and IF the military really moves away from power, and transforms into a national emergency police-fire-disaster relief agency, amazing things can now happen!

European Tribune - Diaries
This is a chance for the United Nations to work properly, as a guarantor of sovereignty

I agree with your sentiments but I'm not sure whether the structures are in place to enable such a serendipitous transition. Certainly the UN has little track record as a guarantor of Sovereignty.  The Army, with US assistance, may be more than willing to seize the chance of greater power for itself.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 06:16:54 AM EST
The Likud are likely to see any genuinely democratic Arab regime on their border as a threat to their existence. The vast majority of Egyptians, after all, are much more sympathetic to the situation of the Palestinians than to the security concerns of the Israeli state. While I do expect to see the new Egyptian government uphold the peace treaty with Israel, they may do so with much less enthusiasm and much less to the satisfaction of Israel.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 11:20:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regardless of sympathies, Egypt might say that blockading Gaza is not their job, or part of the Camp David peace treaty.

Then again, the US might tell the Egyptian military that their military aid is conditional on strangling the Palestinians.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 11:28:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The League of Nations was supposed to guarantee the sovereignty of its member states.  The Nordic countries based their defense spending (very little) on that guarantee.

Ask 20th century historians of Denmark, Norway, and Finland how well that worked-out!

How well is the UN protecting the Gaza Strip?

Egypt has to have a strong military to prevent Israel from bombing Cairo whenever they feel like it.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 01:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel isn't going to bomb Cairo, absent provocation. And if the border is opened, commerce might supplant anger.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 04:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Likud seems particularly adept at finding suitable provocations.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 05:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're harshing my buzz, man!

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 at 02:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The resurrection of pan-Arabism  Al Jazeera

The Egyptian revolution, itself influenced by the Tunisian uprising, has resurrected a new sense of pan-Arabism based on the struggle for social justice and freedom. The overwhelming support for the Egyptian revolutionaries across the Arab world reflects a sense of unity in the rejection of tyrannical, or at least authoritarian, leaders, corruption and the rule of a small financial and political elite.

Arab protests in solidarity with the Egyptian people also suggest that there is a strong yearning for the revival of Egypt as a pan-Arab unifier and leader. Photographs of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the former Egyptian president, have been raised in Cairo and across Arab capitals by people who were not even alive when Nasser died in 1970. The scenes are reminiscent of those that swept Arab streets in the 1950s and 1960s.

But this is not an exact replica of the pan-Arab nationalism of those days. Then, pan-Arabism was a direct response to Western domination and the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel. Today, it is a reaction to the absence of democratic freedoms and the inequitable distribution of wealth across the Arab world.


Unlike the pan-Arabism of the past, the new movement represents an intrinsic belief that it is freedom from fear and human dignity that enables people to build better societies and to create a future of hope and prosperity. The old "wisdom" of past revolutionaries that liberation from foreign domination precedes the struggle for democracy has fallen.

The revolutionaries of Egypt, and before them Tunisia, have exposed through deeds - not merely words - the leaders who are tyrants towards their own people, while humiliatingly subservient to foreign powers. They have shown the impotence of empty slogans that manipulate animosity towards Israel to justify a fake Arab unity, which in turn serves only to mask sustained oppression and the betrayal of Arab societies and the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Perhaps some remember The United Arab Republic, especially during the three and a half year "union" between Egypt and Syria. Much of the impetus came from a desire to prevent a communist take over in Syria. But none really wanted true union. In the end Syria dropped the term "communist" and adopted the practices of Stalin.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 11:52:18 AM EST
From an email to a friend with relatives working in science in Egypt, worried about what's going to happen:

Well, the objection that they'll elect Muslims sorta ignores that the country is 95% Muslim. If they're talking about an eventual takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, well, that's the bad path.

The published statement by the Muslim Brotherhood carefully reserves the right to object to the divorce of the state and religion. That's a red flag.

Against that tendency is the observation of the shouting down of Islalmist advocates during the Tahrir protests, over and over again. Conceivably, the MB could be forced underground again, politically, their social work notwithstanding. I know it seems trivial, but did you see the cleanup work being volunteered in Tahrir Square? No one washes a rental car. They must think they own it!

Observing the parade of pundits AND actual street and internet activists being interviewed on Al Jazeera Live, which I get on my Roku box, I'd say there is currently, and likely continually, a strong countercurrent for relatively pure representative democracy, unbeholden to either military OR theological authoritarianism. That's my foolish hope anyway.

There is however, the waning, I hope, influence of the Israelis, who are pooping bricks about the possibility of the Egyptian border being opened to Palestinians, who were active in Tahrir.

However, the Palestinians, given access to real commerce, might not import rockets as their first trade item. They might actually just ignore the Israelis.

Win-win, but there's a hell of a war machine built up in the Israeli government, just like in ours. I hope the Egyptians wait a few years before they establish an income disparate corpocracy, like we have...

It's easy to say Egyptians aren't ready for democracy, but look who's talking! How well are we resisting our own religion of the invisible hand in our democracy?

Since I'm not normal, I may be correct in seeing this overthrow of Mubarak as the first in a series, caused by the internet and satellite TV. I must say al-Jazeera is doing a good job!

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 at 04:45:09 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]