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This is What Revolution Looks Like

You may have a hard time finding it in the mainstream American media (seeing as it’s duty-bound to continue tripping over itself in trying to convince us that our upcoming presidential erections elections have any bearing on national policy) but this weekend is shaping up as a big one for the future of – well, the world as we know it.

Yesterday, Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, which is packed with military leaders from the ousted Mubarak regime (you know, those nice men who only stopped cracking heads in Tahrir Square when the U.S. finally agreed Mubarak had to go) set the stage for a GENUINE (as opposed to Facebook/Twitter) revolution in that country. It ruled Mubarak lackey former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq could stand for president in this weekend’s runoff election.

The “court” so ruled despite a law forbidding members of the deposed government from seeking office for 10 years, a thorny little chunk of reality neatly circumvented when the (surprise! Mubarak-era) “judges” also decreed Egypt’s first freely elected parliament in decades, seated in January, be dissolved.

In case all that wasn’t enough to scare the bejesus out of Egyptians who fought so doggedly last year to rid the country of Mubarak and his cronies, the court’s rulings were accompanied by another ominous announcement. The ruling (supposedly interim) Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (sure sounds like a peace-loving, for-the-good-of-all-Egyptians kinda org to me, how about you??) says it will now oversee the drafting of the country’s new constitution.

Oh, and this: One day before its rulings annulling Parliament and boosting Shafiq toward the presidency, the court ruled Egyptian citizens could be indefinitely detained at Guantanamo by the Egyptian army.

Al Jazeera’s Evan Hill reported the sequence of events “immediately raised fears of a thinly veiled military takeover.”

Ya think?

How stupid do our DoD, Joint Chiefs, State Department, and Commander in Chief think we – let alone Egyptian citizens – are? Call me a conspiracy theorist, radical, paranoid, whatever. But if you actually have doubts of America’s involvement here, ask yourself which, in each of the following two-part scenarios, seems more plausible, based on what we know about how our government operates:

A. Our leadership (that would be Wall Street) looooves uncertainty, and few things would make it happier than an overtly Islamist Egypt bordering Israel.

– or –

B. We gotta prevent that shit in item “A” at all costs!


A. We always always always encourage democracy, no matter what kind of leaders new democracies choose.

– or –

B. You know, like we did with Hamas!


A. The people, united, will never be defeated!

– or –

B. See Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.


Might there be a pattern here?

Tell Me Mower, Tell Me Mower

Um, no – that other Greece. Big doings there this weekend, too, as Greeks will vote Sunday in one of two ways: For or against the asshattery austerity measures Europe’s conservative leaders are trying to cram down their throats.

The pundits are right about one thing: The vote by itself will not determine whether the euro survives. What they’re not saying (that whole “put-fingers-in-ears-and-say-la-la-la-rather-than-acknowledge-uncertainty” thing, again) is that it very well may determine whether Angela Merkel’s chancellorship in Germany survives, and by extension, whether her stature as de-facto leader the European Union remains intact.

While it’s true French president-elect Francois Hollande is a mostly pseudo Socialist, he can’t run from his own statements against austerity. That’s one beauty of the EU, and it’s been scrupulously overlooked by a conservative commentator class in this country keen to see the EU fail.

Specifically: It is much more difficult for a nation’s leader to run away from the statements which got him elected (a la Obama) when partner nations follow his lead.

Greece appears likely to do just that this weekend, to double down with Hollande by electing a Socialist government that has vowed to shred the last government’s agreements with the EU’s governing council to pursue austerity. If Greeks do indeed continue to oppose those draconian measures by quantifying their opposition at the polls Sunday, it becomes more likely that Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland will follow suit.

But that, despite the doomsaying of the pundit class, doesn’t mean the EU and/or the euro fail.

On the contrary, the effect could be a strengthening of the EU, an enlightenment that turns it toward the social democratic foundations of its most successful member nations – Sweden, Norway, Finland – and away from the capitalist-based conservativism that has led to the current crisis “over there” – just as it did here.

In short, this weekend could prove a watershed for the eventual enactment of remedies many of us have seen as obvious all along: Taxing the shit out of the rich, putting people back to work in public infrastructure jobs, and telling the Masters of the Universe to go fuck themselves.

And Then There’s Syria

Interesting, isn’t it: Since Wednesday’s U.N. report that the country had collapsed into civil war, there’s been precious little further news.

I wonder what regime will pop we’ll prop up there, 12 or 16 months hence?

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Anthony Noel

Anthony Noel