13 April 2011

The World Gone Mad: Addendum B (200th Post)

From The New York Times: Egypt was better with Mubarak! Wow!
I fucking told you! From the article by Michael Slackman:

But now that moment has passed, damped by the recognition that for many people life today is even harder than before, especially for the poor and for those who survive on tourism — like the army of taxi drivers who are forced to battle ever worsening traffic for ever fewer passengers.

“No one is joking,” said Mohamed Saleh Mohamed, as he navigated a taxi through downtown Cairo’s congested streets recently. “There is no happiness, no work. The country is a mess.”

The sudden turn from humor points to a sense of revolution fatigue that has swept over a nation where people had hoped for overnight change only to awaken to the myriad challenges facing them.

Who warned you of that? Who warned you? Who said the Egyptian people have no idea how to govern themselves and Mubarak should have been allowed to serve out his term while a new government was worked out?

The glow of people power that toppled the president has not vanished, but it has dimmed. After 30 years of predictable discomfort, the public is not accustomed to so much uncertainty.

There are signs of increased sectarian tensions. The economy is in deep trouble. The crime rate is rising. The military is suddenly not looking like such a good guy any longer, accused of using beatings, torture and military tribunals to silence critics. And there are far too many reminders of the past, like the state security apparatus that, though renamed, is effectively functioning as before with mostly the same personnel.

Who said the country would fall apart once Mubarak was gone?

The surge of revolutionary humor was already beginning to slow, many people said, when Egyptians voted on a referendum to the Constitution that would speed up the election of a parliament and president.

The vote served as a wake-up call to many secular, liberal activists involved in the revolution, who had campaigned against the referendum because they thought they needed time to build organizations to compete with established groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.

When the referendum passed, there was an uptick of humor — sarcasm, really — that was not unifying, indicative of re-emerging divisions: “Businesses should turn to importing ankle-length galabiyas, beards and head scarves from China,” went one quip, a reference to religious garb.

“Women will not be allowed to vote, as their voices are considered obscene,” went another.

Who warned of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over post-Mubarak and instituting sharia law? Me and
Harvard professor and economist Niall Ferguson. I don't like to gloat, but, Wow! I sure called this one. While all the liberal racists and know-it-all teenagers who inhabit the internet were cheering on the face-space democratic revolution I was posting a little watched video saying that this could only lead to ruin. And I was right. And you were wrong! Winner! Winner! I am a winner!

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