“So an imperial era is on the wane, war in absentia, and no rising great power contenders on the horizon. Historically speaking, that’s a remarkable scorecard in an otherwise appalling world.”
— A new world order in the 21st century?
— A new world order in the 21st century?
— On what drives the Bahrain opposition
— An op-ed on the lack of a prominent public space in Israel to protest
What happens when hundreds of Keystone activists get arrested in front of the White House? Not much, judging by the lack of media interest.
"I believe in disseminating the truth."
— Eugene Robinson speaks the truth on the situation in Ukraine and Russia in regards to the States’ statements
“The ocean went back out in Hurricane Sandy, but one day it won’t. It will stay.”
— On Facebook's empire
Writers, intellectuals, and those commenting on daily events have the luxury of judging those in power against the standard of perfection, often forgetting that those in authority have to make difficult judgments in imperfect conditions, where opposing parties exist and one’s will cannot be imposed.
Those in positions of political power, on the other hand, need to be held accountable by those who are not. When you work in the highest reaches of government the dangers of insulation and self-justification are enormous, and it’s perfectly legitimate for commentators to offer critical critiques. But in doing so analysts should admit that it’s not all that difficult to offer up harsh judgments about public officials when you’re sitting behind a camera, a microphone, or a keyboard. It’s harder to run a campaign than to comment on one; it’s more difficult to govern than to eviscerate those who do.
"I would like to ask: does anyone know the opening times of the Kasr el-Eini crossing?" Hanan Hagag, a journalist, quipped on her Facebook page, likening the barrier to Egypt’s heavily guarded border crossing with the Gaza Strip.
The sentiment points to the turmoil still facing Egypt. Street protests that often turn violent and militant attacks have become commonplace since Mursi was removed after mass protests against his rule in Tahrir and elsewhere.
While other arteries into Tahrir are generally open to traffic, security forces do close them off from time to time using barbed wire coils, typically ahead of anticipated protests.
But because of its look of permanence, the imposing metal gate across Kasr el-Eini is especially offensive to democracy advocates in the Arab world’s largest country.
The Kasr el-Eini entrance is the nearest on Tahrir to public buildings including parliament and government offices.
“They were talking about turning Tahrir into a museum, a place of celebration,” said Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the liberal Dustour Party. “Instead they are installing these ugly iron gates and trying to prevent and ban demonstrations in Tahrir Square itself.”
Ruweida Omar, a rights activist, said: “We had hope that one day the concrete barriers would be removed. The iron barricade has taken away that hope. When I saw the gate, I really thought that we were living under siege.”
Their campaign against Islamist President Mohamed Mursi helped the army topple Egypt’s first freely elected leader, but some leaders of the Tamarud movement have broken away, saying the military threatens democracy.
The split in Tamarud (Rebellion) is a sign of growing public anger against the army-backed government installed after Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi deposed Mursi in July, following a Tamarud-organized petition and mass protests against him.
“We wanted the army to help us oust Mursi, not take over power itself,” said Mohamed Fawzi, leader of a splinter faction calling itself Tamarud 2 Get Liberated, told Reuters. “The army’s role is to protect and guard the state, not to rule.”
Sisi, who delighted many Egyptians by crushing the Brotherhood, is now expected to run for president and revive a long tradition of military men leading the biggest Arab nation.
The field marshal, widely regarded as Egypt’s most powerful man, is cast by his followers as a national savior. His image is ubiquitous, appearing on posters, t-shirts and chocolates.
But a tide of detentions and killings of protesters has prompted former Tamarud leaders to turn against the army and security forces, despite the rising risks of dissent in Egypt.
“We are seeing a return of the police state, but with new faces,” Fawzi said, in reference to security forces which were dreaded under Hosni Mubarak, but which have found their way back to power since a popular uprising toppled the autocrat in 2011.
I just love this so much. Of course they were bound to realize this. It’s really too bad it’s too late.