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.'
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.
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.]