Tag Archives: democracy

Having a meltdown!

I’m sitting in Cairo in the midst of a meltdown. Yes! It’s damn hot and humid, but the bigger issue seems to be the political meltdown at home in the USA, across the Mediterranean in Turkey and Greece, and on the other side of the planet in Venezuela.

The whole world seems to be falling apart; instability is wrecking the lives of millions.

Maybe the heat is effecting my brain and I can’t think straight. Things used to be so much simpler, so much clearer, so black and white.

Now I really don’t know what to make of it all.

  • The U.S. election in November appears to be shaping up as a contest between an egomaniac, fascist, misogynist dolt on the one hand, and a smart cookie beholden to the corporatocracy and Wall Street interests (aka the 1%), and the military industrial complex that has brought ruin to every corner of the planet. What appears clear is that voters in the U.S. have been shoehorned into making a decision in November which won’t turn this ship of state around. No real democracy there.
  • The failed coup attempt in Turkey this week has generated so many conspiracy theories that my head is spinning. Did Erdogan stage the coup? Did the US/Israel/Saudi have a hand in fomenting the coup? Did a Muslim cleric residing in the U.S. orchestrate the coup? Or did the military simply say “enough is enough” and take things into their own hands, albeit rather clumsily? Social media is abuzz with innuendo supporting all of the above. What appears clear is Erdogan is now taking advantage of the failed coup to round up (execute?) thousands of his opponents. No real democracy there.
  • Venezuelans are running to the border with Colombia to buy food!  No food or medicines on the shelves in Caracas, no money in the state treasury, oil prices plummeting. It appears clear that the bus driver turned President Maduro has no support and no options for turning his failed state around. No real democracy there.
  • The refugees I met in Greece are stuck in limbo, a world not of their making or desire, but trapped nevertheless because life in a wretched camp is preferable over death at home. What appears clear is that their future depends on the generosity and empathy of nations willing to accept the refugees, but now the borders seem to be closing. No democracy there.
  • Egypt. Well all of my notions about democracy flew out the window in July 2013 when the military coup ousted President Morsi. Some Egyptians try to justify the coup by pointing to Morsi’s mistakes. No doubt, he made many, but in a true democracy, the voters can oust the fools from office at the ballotbox, not with guns on the streets. What appears clear is that thousands of Egyptians are “disappearing” into the prisons and cemeteries while the streets remain calm. No democracy there.
  • The hopes and dreams == the very lives == of many friends in Gaza are being squeezed out of them, day after day, by the deliberate actions of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the U.S.  A friend in Gaza told me “I want a new world, a new life.” I’m ashamed of my country. I’m ashamed of the apparent Democratic nominee for President and her “democratic values”, and I’m ashamed of our complicity in all of these wretched meltdowns. What appears clear is democracy is a term of art with no substance.


Democracy has about as much meaning as the term “terrorist” — overused to the point of nonsense. Truly Orwellian.

FUCK Democracy!  The experiment failed. Time to admit it and create something new. Seriously!



Filed under Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Politics, Uncategorized, US Policy

An Inconvenient Truth

The hotel staff ran to the balcony this afternoon in Cairo and I wondered if the protests from Tahrir Square had moved to “my” neighborhood.   It was raining!   They were very happy to see the rain, a rare occurrence in Cairo I’m told.

The TV news has been running non-stop coverage of the protesters, the tear gas, President Morsi’s announcement of a curfew, and other stories about the current unrest.



One local paper carried a story today about the Black Bloc and other groups involved in the demonstrations.



Since I don’t understand Arabic, I must rely on what English-speaking Egyptians tell me about the situation.  

Some are saddened about this recent turn of events (ie. the protests turning violent).  Others seem frustrated that the economy has not improved in the past 2 years (tourism is down 50-70% I’m told) and they blame President Morsi.  A few have mentioned that they oppose the great influence that the Muslim Brotherhood has in the government now.  One person mentioned corruption.  Many people don’t have hope for the future.  

This is, of course, a very small, informal poll.  The opinions represent the educated electorate who are employed and speak English.

Every Egyptian I’ve talked with in Cairo say they oppose President Morsi.   I haven’t found a single person who supports him.  Some are willing to give him time to improve things, others want him to go now!

I’m hoping that peace is restored and Egyptians give their first democratically-elected president some time.   I know zilch about President Morsi’s policies, and I have no clue whether he is “good” or “bad” for the Egyptian people.   But he was fairly ELECTED, and no one has contested the election as far as I can tell.   Egyptians need to give themselves (as much as Morsi) some time to understand and appreciate the importance of the electoral process.

Every young person throwing stones in Tahrir Square today should be sitting in a civics class instead.  They should be preparing for the next election in 3 years.  And political parties of all stripes  should be engaging  Egyptians in serious discussions about the future of their country.

There is so much potential here.  In a lively bazaar this morning I found 20-30 stalls selling books (used and new).  I bet Al Gore would be very pleased to see a copy of his book about climate change — “An Inconvenient Truth”  on the shelf here and right next to the stall was a young man selling CFL light bulbs!





Please give this young man and his CFL light bulbs some time!



Filed under Egypt, Elections