How far in advance was the coup in Egypt planned? After the army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood president, gas shortages that had crippled Morsi's popularity magically disappeared, and a local billionaire bragged about secretly financing the opposition. The coup was predicated on enormous street protests that seemed to represent another revolution, but one analysis suggests that the army and opposition massively exaggerated the scale of the protests in order to justify the seizure of power. Egyptian liberals however, defend the overthrow, saying that 'democracy is not reducible to the ballot box.'
Commodore Frank Bainimarama has engineered a coup on top of a coup in sacking the judiciary, suspending the constitution, controlling the press, quashing dissent and taking over the central bank pdf press release. With no reportage of the takeover or criticism of the junta allowed, and with local journalists arrested and foreign correspondents expelled, how is the Fiji’s story being told? Bloggers have taken to the task, but are undertaking huge risks.
Can the Burmese people rescue themselves? A powerful piece by George Packer in the New Yorker on the recent history and current conditions in Burma.
Von Wernich signed the baptism certificate of a girl born in a clandestine prison, whose mother was murdered at his orders. He encouraged torture victims to "testify, for the sake of god and country," perverting the confession into an interrogation tactic. Under a Nazi flag, he witnessed the torture of Jewish journalist Jacobo Timerman [...] Von Wernich was convicted on nearly all counts "under the mark of genocide." The crowds inside and outside the courthouse broke into celebration, singing, lighting firecrackers, some burning effigies of the priest. After thirty years, the saga to bring Von Wernich to justice was over.The Unending War — Argentina's quest for justice by Sam Ferguson is about how Argentine society is dealing with the legacy of the junta's Dirty War of 1976-83. [more inside]
Monks Succeed in Cyclone Relief as Junta Falters. In Burma (Myanmar) the Buddhist monks are doing more than anyone to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis. At the same time, Burmese officials are trying to stem the influence of the monks by forcing survivors who have sought refuge in monasteries to return to their shattered homes. [Via Barbara's Buddhism Blog.]
Risking all: the Burmese jokers who laugh in the face of danger. In Burma (Myanmar), comedians are targets in the junta's war on words. [Via BB.] [more inside]
Burmese Daze: In which the author submits to the pleasures of a transgender spirit possession festival in Burma. [Via Disinformation.]
Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected and rightful leader of Burma (Myanmar,) and the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was arrested by Burma's military government 9 days ago after a premeditated attack on her motorcade. The U.N. representative visiting Burma has not been allowed to see her. There has been a crackdown on the democracy movement, and Suu Kyi's arrest may signal a split within the military government. [More inside.]