Obama and corporations desperately want the status quo. Even when the status quo means supporting a vicious tyrant. Egypt of course has been the country that has done much of the torturing for Obama. And this is what has Obama and corporations befuddled. The uprisings in Egypt are spontaneous. The spark that set off the uprising was the self immolation of a vegetable vendor in Tunisia about a month ago. Who’da thunk it. A vegetable vendor joins Arch Duke Ferdinand. The outcome of the revolution in Egypt is unknown and uncontrollable. So far, other than Anderson Cooper getting a boo boo, there hasn’t been much anti-americanism visible. So Obama and the corporations wait and watch. Hoping that whoever emerges as a leader is willing to accept their corrupt and criminal support. Peacenik.
“People holding a sign ‘To: America. From: the Egyptian People. Stop supporting Mubarak. It’s over!” so tweeted my brave colleague, “Democracy Now!” senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, from the streets of Cairo.
More than 2 million people rallied throughout Egypt on Tuesday, most of them crowded into Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Tahrir, which means liberation in Arabic, has become the epicenter of what appears to be a largely spontaneous, leaderless and peaceful revolution in this, the most populous nation in the Middle East. Defying a military curfew, this incredible uprising has been driven by young Egyptians, who compose a majority of the 80 million citizens. Twitter and Facebook, and SMS text messaging on cell phones, have helped this new generation to link up and organize, despite living under a U.S.-supported dictatorship for the past three decades. In response, the Mubarak regime, with the help of U.S. and European corporations, has shut down the Internet and curtailed cellular service, plunging Egypt into digital darkness. Despite the shutdown, as media activist and professor of communications C.W. Anderson told me, “people make revolutions, not technology.”
The demands are chanted through the streets for democracy, for self-determination. Sharif headed to Egypt Friday night, into uncertain terrain. The hated Interior Ministry security forces, the black-shirted police loyal to President Hosni Mubarak, were beating and killing people, arresting journalists, and smashing and confiscating cameras.