Did I mention that I am outta town for a few? I is. See younz on da flipsiyd.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
. . . that all skepticism aside, the rioting in Iran and Bahrain and suchlike is rad. I mean, is there anything as beautiful as a really good riot? I axe you.
On a more regrettable note, I look forward to endless and inevitable rounds of sanctimony from Americans about the yearnings of the Muslim world for an opportunity to win the future of tomorrow today, you know, how it proves that what the youth of the Middle East, whatever that is, really want is for their government to make the strategic investments in the transformative green technologies that will grow jobs in the new diversified economy through innovative strategies of funding innovation.
But, you know, on the other hand, there's shit like this:
The brave Egyptian people deserve the credit for making this revolution happen, but it was crucial that our president signaled his support for the effort, did everything he could to protect them from a violent crackdown, and finally put his finger on the scale at the crucial moment. We will learn more details in the years to come. There is no doubt that there has been division within the administration, with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even envoy Frank Wisner showing support for a continuation of the Mubarak regime. But the president didn't waver and he kept the promises he made in Cairo nearly two years ago.Yes, fortunately he signalled his support, semaphoring wildly from the roof of the White House, so that the Egyptian people could fulfill the promises that Barack Obama made to them about them. And, Inshallah, he managed to fight back that atavistic triumvirate of his own employees, persevered against the terrible hardship of having several subordinates make glancingly contradictory statements before the PR department got out the proper talking points to all the front-line staff. Oh, it was rough and tumble, getting everyone on the same page . . .
He has not disappointed me. His leadership validates my belief in his instincts.
Now to anyone paying the slightest attention, "Our President" notably and loudly vacillated and hedged through the first two weeks of Egyptian protests, for which he was routinely criticized by everyone from the softy liberals with the first hint of a hard-on in years at the Egyptians' spirit of 68 right through Glenn Beck who thought the President had orchestrated an Islamic revolution, or whatever. The President loudly and firmly planted himself at precisely the point of having no position at all whatsoever, hinting only vaguely and in mostly veiled terms that Uncle Hosni probs oughta not appoint the fruit of his own loins as his successor and might want to think about maybe not fixing elections quite so dramatically in the future . . . until at last, when it became obvious to every other human being in the world that Mubarack had to go and that the military would probably see to it that he did if it came right down to it if only to preserve their own vaunted legitimacy within the aparatus of the Egyptian state, only then did Barack Obama step to the mic and issue his habitually schoolmarmish declaration that Egyptias too could Win The Future, a chicken in every pot, an MBA in every Jr. Executive Office.
I think the rush to lionize the Egyptian revolution in certain quarters and to treat it as a vindication of whatever one believes about political change is self-serving and not a little bit naive. The proper approach is to heed the advice of Zhou Enlai. My heart is with the protesters, and their purer expressions of joy are very moving, but the country has passed from emergency rule to martial law. I am not making this observation in order to denigrate the Egyptian people, their role in the removal of Mubarack, or their plain aspirations for a freer life, but a six-month, military-guided "transition to democracy" is a thing about which we should inherently be suspect. As to what will become of those people and their country, it's a question whose answer will be measured in years at least.