Sunday, January 30, 2011
I have been watching events in the Middle East with great interest. In some ways, it reminds me of what happened in Eastern Europe as the Soviet Union's stranglehold fell apart. Something beyond the events in any given nation over there is happening. I don't have words to put to it, but seeing powerful, mostly non-violent demonstrations spread from country to country is kind of amazing. And it could be sign of things to come more globally.
Here are few interesting links. The website Common Dreams has a Twitter Feed on Egypt, which is totally fascinating to see, and impossible to keep up with. But that's ok.
Petteri offered a good summary on recent history in Egypt, and the roles that the U.S., Britain, and others have played there.
Reports on events in Yemen aren't as easy to find, and also seem to imply that no ouster of leadership will occur there. I'd say this is speculative reporting, because who knows what will happen?
Meanwhile, President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and the rest continue to spin in circles, avoiding any declaration of Egypt's government as a dictatorship, saying little on Yemen, while suggesting that changes in policies, including aid, might be coming.
Decades of supporting corrupt, oppressive regimes for monetary and power gains is a difficult pattern to let go of. I don't expect our government to do so easily. That, too, might require a grassroots awakening of the populace before any significant change will come.
As for now, may the people in Egypt, Yemen, and elsewhere be fortified with courage, compassion, and non-violent presence, whatever comes their way.