Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Links on Egypt

Some general background on Egypt and what has led to the dissatisfaction with the government.

Economic background, with emphasis on the petroleum industry.

Marc Lynch on how Obama's handling things.

Gary Sick on how difficult the situation is for Obama.

Added later: Some good ideas from Ahmad Zewail, but, as Juan Cole points out, there needs to be a more detailed plan for implementation. Not bad as a scorecard for us watchers to consider the prospects of various individuals and governmental reorganizations.


troutsky said...

Most striking once again is the total inability of our elites to see any of this coming. "No one was willing to predict" is an interesting way to put it. No one was "willing" to predict the economic meltdown either.

According to lynch Obama has to "make a show of trying to give a long term ally one last chance" because it is all a "show" in place of principled policy reflecting the rhetoric of 'democracy".

Dr. Zewail's list of what is flawed in Egypt could easily be copied for the USA. Because the infection is universal.
His advice that a "constitutional assembly of wise men should be assembled to draft a new constitution based on liberty, human rights and the orderly transfer of power" conveniently ignores the fact that political "power" is but a shadow of real, economic power.
So his council of "wise men" would come from the same ruling class, making sure property relations remained the same.

Same illusion, different country.

helmut said...

Smart, Troutsky. You've been consistent on the philosophical backdrop to this kind of point since I've blogo-virtually known you. I've moved around over the past decade in terms of the political theory that informs my own assessments of political-economic conditions and changes. But I'm again inclined to lean back in your direction. No offense intended (on the contrary), but, personally, I find this unfortunate.

Cheryl Rofer said...

Troutsky, there's a lot of advice coming from American commentators that should be applied back to their own country. Or old advice, like the Eisenhower speech I pulled quotes from a couple of weeks back.

Much as I respect Dr. Zewail and the work he's done to promote science education in the Arab world, his advice is right at one level, the abstract, but lacks the necessary steps to getting there. Scientists do that a lot.

I tend to agree that a council of wise men (note that sex, oh dear) would be the sameold sameold. Raised flags for me when I read it. But the idea of some open, representative assembly is a good one. Again, it's the execution that's a problem.