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Thursday, February 03, 2011

From Egypt, Revolution Porn and Fear Porn

Confiscated police IDsI've finally dug out after being buried in snow for a couple of days. If a blizzard is a disaster, it's a beautiful disaster. It's almost seems the entire world is white and clean looking, like a heavily frosted wedding cake.

Unfortunately, the whole world is not clean and beautiful. Cable networks, newspapers, and the internet have dropped ugliness in my lap, in the form of violence in Egypt. It may be overstating things quite a bit, but it looks a lot like Hosni Mubarak attempted a stealth Tienanmen Square massacre and failed on both the stealth and massacre aspects. By now, there is no doubt that the "pro-Mubarak protesters" on camel- and horseback are Egyptian police (click the image above for a look at some of their police IDs) and Mubarak's hamhanded attempt to save his position may only have made matters worse for him. Still, to go back to Tienanmen, if China proves anything, it proves that an authoritarian regime can pull some pretty awful stuff and still remain a member in good standing of the world community.

It's tempting to engage in revolution pornography, posting inspiring images of the past few days. There's certainly been enough great photojournalism and much of it has been breathtaking. And, while calls for freedom stir some American consciences, other see only reason for fear.



Notable on that front was former and possible future presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. In speaking with Fox News' Gretchen Carlson, Huckabee worried that President Obama had "abandoned a 30-year ally" in Mubarak and that there could be "cascading effects across the Middle East" if Egyptians continued their protests. Basically, he came out against democracy in Egypt and worried that, unchecked, the dreaded form of government could spread throughout the middle east.

And it wasn't the first time Huckabee had been dismissive of the democratic aspirations of people in less than democratic countries. During his 2007 presidential campaign, George Stephanopoulus asked if he agreed with George W. Bush's statement that "It is the policy of the US to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture." Huckabee said he did not.

Absolutely not, because I don't think we can force people to accept our way of life, our way of government. What we can to is to create the strongest America, freedom internally, secure borders, a safer nation. That makes a whole lot more sense to me than spending billions to try to prop up some government we don't even like when we get it.


Granted, he was talking in the context of imposing democacy on Iraq, but it's clear it was the outcome that concerned him, not the method. He was worried that, in a democracy, people may not vote the way we want them to. So better to prop up some authoritarian regime than "try to prop up some government we don't even like," but that the people have voted for.

But Huckabee is only one example of the "freedom for me, but not for thee" agenda on the right. Here's Glenn Beck, at his paranoid, fearmongery, fevered, lunatic best:



That's right, Mubarak's being overthrown because ElBaradei's a Islamic extremist and he's in bed with commies -- or something. It's all some massive conspiracy to destroy Israel and the United States. There's really no reason to watch the whole thing, suffice it to say that's it's a whole big, complicated thing that makes very little sense, but leads to one conclusion -- these nations must not become free. We need pro-American and pro-Israeli dictators in there, because Muslims are not to be trusted.

There might be a lot of revolution porn being circulated among those who hope for the best for the Egyptian people. But there's a lot of fear porn from those who don't.

-Wisco


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