After a year without Mubarak, Egypt is about to get a much longer reprieve: the 84-year-old former president has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of protestors during last year's popular uprising. The former Interior Minister—though not his aides—will also be cooling his heels in a Cairo jail. The effects of this news on national elections, with runoffs to be held in just a few weeks, remains to be seen.
posted by whitewall
on Jun 2, 2012 -
The Crimes of Col. Qaddafi An original essay by Christopher Hitchens, that starts: In George Orwell's 1939 novel, Coming Up for Air, his narrator, George Bowling, broods on the special horrors of the new totalitarianism and notices "the colored shirts, the barbed wire, the rubber truncheons," but also, less obviously perhaps, "the processions and the posters with enormous faces, and the crowds of a million people all cheering for the Leader till they deafen themselves into thinking that they really worship him, and all the time, underneath, they hate him so that they want to puke."
posted by growabrain
on Aug 26, 2011 -
Why Mubarak is Out by Jadaliyya, an independent Ezine produced by ASI (Arab Studies Institute) — Many international media commentators are having a hard time understanding the complexity of forces driving and responding to these momentous events. This confusion is driven by the binary “good guys versus bad guys” lenses most use to view this uprising. Such perspectives obscure more than they illuminate. There are three prominent binary models out there and each one carries its own baggage: (1) People versus Dictatorship: This perspective leads to liberal naïveté and confusion about the active role of military and elites in this uprising. (2) Seculars versus Islamists: This model leads to a 1980s-style call for “stability” and Islamophobic fears about the containment of the supposedly extremist “Arab street.” (3) Old Guard versus Frustrated Youth: This lens imposes a 1960s-style romance on the protests but cannot begin to explain the structural and institutional dynamics driving the uprising, nor account for the key roles played by many 70-year-old Nasser-era figures.[more inside]
posted by heatherann
on Feb 2, 2011 -