Friday, February 04, 2011

Egyptians Muster for a New Protest as Crackdown Widens - NYTimes.com

Egyptians Muster for a New Protest as Crackdown Widens - NYTimes.com: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Hello, Egyptians (if anyone is reading this). I don't know how else to sent this message but...please, please keep fighting! I cheered for the green revolution in Iran, that's now underground but which I believe will emerge. Please keep fighting. And I can only say "please" because it isn't my life, or safety or property on the line. So I only hope that you're better people than I am because I don't know if I'd have the guts to push this through.

I'm really disgusted at the extent to which US foreign policy has been determined by our "realistic" concern to promote our own national interests. I'm especially disgusted because it associates "modernity"--democracy and the whole business of the Enlightenment with European colonialism, neo-colonialism and, in particular, American hegemony. It isn't hard to imagine what it would be like on the ground anywhere in the middle east, given the brute empirical facts, to think that "democracy" just means an American military base down the road, redneck soldiers screwing local girls and checkpoints at every major intersection. If that's democracy, who wants it. If that's modernity I'd take a pass.

I know most people in this revolution know better, and just pray that they pursue it. I pray that this thing works. The old saw is that nationalism doesn't work in the Global South because there are no real nation-states--geopolitical entities that track real nations. Egypt seems to be the most striking counterexample--possibly the oldest nation on earth: I think roughly 7000 years old.

I do hope this works. Not because I want more US allies or because I want to see Israel safe. But because I believe in the Enlightenment, believe in modernity--in democracy, egalitarianism and all it offers. Please, please keep fighting. I wish I could do more. Please fight and show everyone else similarly situated that change is possible. Make my day.

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