Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Freedom for Egypt: Protests regaining strength

That's not the line a number of major media sources have trotted out the last couple of days. Those reports said the protests were petering out (and even NPR subscribed to such thinking in part this morning), but then much of the media has shown a remarkable willingness to repeat what they are told by vested interests...

Here's how things are going, today:
CAIRO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The protest movement demanding the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak showed no signs of flagging on Tuesday, filling Tahrir Square in central Cairo in defiance of the government for the 12th straight day.

More first-time protesters came out, saying they had seen through what they called lies by the state media, and hundreds were streaming in after work to join the crowds.
This matters a lot. Flash-in-the-pan uprisings don't change the system. (although if violent enough, they can destroy it. *Not* the case, here.) Persistent, motivated, and organized... that's what is needed. A suitable crucible by which a mass movement finds its own leaders and promotes them with sufficient strength to bargain effectively with the regime.


Also, in the commentary (at Commentary, appropriately enough), Max Boot continues to develop the "let's try" side of the argument :
At this point, the safest option may well be to make a clean break with Mubarak, inaugurate a transition government, lift the state of emergency, and allow the full blooming of democratic politics. Most analysts knowledgeable about Egyptian politics believe that, under those conditions, the Brotherhood will emerge as a minority party; it has flourished only in an atmosphere of repression because the mosque has been the one part of Egyptian society not fully controlled by the state.
It will be a challenge, but I'd call that a good goal.

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