Friday, 11 February 2011


From the first day of the troubles in Egypt, western media, spokespeople and the general mood were for the street and against the Mubarak regime.

You could not open the radio or TV without hearing someone talking of how exciting this was and how it reminded him or her of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Reporters forgetting that they are meant to report the news and not salute them, couldn’t hide their glee. None more so than the Independent’s Robert Fisk who climbed onto a tank that had been taken over by an anti government crowd at Tahrir square in Cairo.

Is Mubarak more corrupt than Berlusconi or Putin? Is Putin’s Russia more democratic than Mubarak’s Egypt? Do Egyptians who want to leave get shot at the country’s borders as they used to in Soviet bloc countries?

Does Egypt fund hate preaching mullahs, as does Saudi Arabia? Do they fund terror, as do Iran and Syria? Do they allow extremist Islamic training camps and religious schools to flourish, as does Pakistan?

Why is the West so happy to support a revolution in the most stable and peaceful country in the Middle East? Why compare this uprising to the fall of the Berlin Wall?

PS: In 2009 the US courts had 52 people killed under US justice compared to 5 who were given the death penalty in Egypt.


  1. I could not agree more with you right until the end.

    The PS however is distinctly out of order.

  2. Good comments - on Mr Mubarak, and on the art of reporting news - this morning, David!

    Similarly, how can anyone forget the idiocy of the Iran overthrow??

  3. יפה כתבת: הצביעות חוגגת, וכאלו, המזדרזים ברוב התלהבות לגלוש על גלים לא-להם, תמיד יצוצו. מה שאותי מצער במיוחד, אלה ההתבטאויות של אובמה. מצער אותי, כי מאד רציתי שהוא ייתגלה כמנהיג יותר חכם. אבל, נראה לי שהפעם, דווקא אצלינו נוהגים ביתר חוכמה.

  4. As to Egypt, I expect people live with bad plumbing. You are right of course that many are worse. But realpolitik is about guessing when the tide is inexorable, to secure continued influence with the next regime. The chorus has more to do with that than morality. A combination of 'liberal' middle class dissatisfaction (the apparent source of the street protest) and the Muslim Brothers waiting quietly in he wings sounds potent - a fact that the power brokers in the Egyptian army seem to recognise. The West hopes that by backing middle class revolt they may head off worse from the Brothers. But where are the leaders(?) - not surely comfortably retired international civil servants and ageing emigre academics who know more about New England than old Egypt(?)

    My money's on the Brothers. Let's see how well the newly liberated female protesters fare.

  5. Funny, isn't it. The Arab world is in some turmoil and William Hague berates Israel.

  6. ..."Andy Xie, an independent economist who used to work for Morgan Stanley, has fiercely criticized major central banks, especially the U.S. Federal Reserve, saying they have inflated a succession of asset price bubbles by keeping policy too loose for too long.

    In Mr. Xie’s view, the unrest in the Middle East has to be seen in this broader context: Corruption and oppression provided the tinder for the explosion of anger; inflation set it alight.

    “Loose money has caused the riots in Tunis and Cairo,” Mr. Xie said. " from

    Moral arguments usually are economic problems in disguise. I was in Kairo/Egypt in 2007 - the people there were hungry (i.e. all people were thin) and I had predicted a famine. As it goes with predictions, I was wrong.

    Mubarak just got the impera et divide wrong, bad CEO and bad board of directors.

    What I LOVE about the Tunisia and Egypt uprising it that finally, finally the people are not blaming the usual scapegoat for all problems (Israel) but their own government. A step in the right direction.

    And, as Chris said, who will be their leader?

    Question: is the West really supporting the rioters?

  7. As to Egypt, revolutions in countries of suppression have to start somewhere and it is most important to support them even if there could be a negative impact on Israel. It is dangerous to back a horse which lacks legitimacy and eats its head off to the detriment of the poor.

  8. He seems to have gone and the army seems to have taken over.

    El Baradei, the man under whose auspices at the UN Atomic Energy Agency Iran was allowed to grow nuclear, says that it's the happiest day of his life.

    Let us hope that the change will be good for the Egyptian people.

  9. danke für den Ägypten Kommentar, dem ich absolut zustimme. Die Entwicklung ist mehr als bedenklich, das einzige stabile Land in der Region kippt in die Arme der einzigen dort als Partei organsierten Kraft der "muslimischen Brüder", wir können uns nur fürchten vor der Lawine, die jetzt losgetreten wird, ganz zu schweigen von Israel.

    Sobald das Wort "Demokratie" verwendet wird, glaubt der Westen noch immer blauäugig dahinter verberge sich derselbe Sinn wie hierzulande.

    Wie zutreffend ist Deine Frage nach der Integrität von Putin und Co. mit denen der Westen so gut geschäftet!

    Bref: Dein Kommentar spricht mir aus dem Herzen.

  10. Was verstehen die armen menschen unter demokratie auch das muss man langsam lernen das fällt einem nicht einfach so zu.

    Was kommt nun gerade im angesicht der gewünschten demokratie?

  11. Du hast mit Deinen Bemerkungen wohl recht. Aber dadurch daß die Mubarak Regierung nicht so schlimm ist wie die von Dir genannten Regierungen, ist sie keinesfalls gut und die Demonstrationen sind verständlich.

    Allerdings teile ich Deine Ansicht insofern als Mubarak politisch stabiliserend wirkte - ein gutes Beispiel ist seine Haltung gegenüber Israel.

    Frage ist, was jetzt kommt. Etwas Altes kaputt zu machen ist einfacher als etwas Neues aufzubauen. Hoffen wir, daß der Demokratisierungsprozeß ein gutes Ende nimmt, auch wenn es wohl sehr lange dauern wird.