Subhuman orientalists

A notion exists amongst leftist ideologues: If a revolution takes place that isn't started by the poorest elements of society, then it has no merit and shouldn't be supported. The concept behind such a notion is simple: Every society has more poor people, than rich people, therefore the poor are more the public than the rich or middle-class, and thus not a "People's revolution. This is, of course, utter bollocks. While being poor is not a negative, it's also not a virtue in itself, otherwise there wouldn't be so many movements to eradicate poverty. And there are good reasons for that: The poor tend to not have much chances for upward mobility, less access to quality education or health-care, and usually more susceptible to the sway of religious leaders, who provide them with hope that one day they won't suffer anymore, set above those who are richer or more affluent than them by a mighty and just God who will end their suffering. Also, do their economic condition, they are usually less engaged in most political discourse, due to their focus on putting food on the table, and are also more likely to lend their voices and political loyalty to whatever politician that would appear to help them or provide welfare or charity to them, no matter what his end-goal may be. I have seen this tactic being used by both the Egyptian government and the MB, so I kind of know what I am talking about.

This kind of vote-buying and political pandering are usually the hallmarks of socialist or Islamic regimes, and let's use two of my favorite examples: Venezuela and Iran. Or, better yet, Ahmedinjad and Chavez. Both were democratically elected on platforms of fighting corruption and change. Both used the state's resources in order to buy the support of the poorest segment of the population, by giving them handouts that won't sustain them for long and that make them dependable on the "dear leader" figure, on the expense of their country's economy and overall development. In such societies, you usually find the opposition to the country's program coming from the lower to upper middle-class, while the richest of the population usually finds ways to adapt and co-exist with the new elite of the country (i.e. the new president's men). Such regimes are also usually very anti- freedom of speech and criticisms, usually deploy thugs or security forces in plainclothed uniforms to beat protesters against them, and generally create the illusion that they are the protectors of the country and the people from a dangerous far-away enemy that aims for their destruction, and spend most of their time attacking said enemy in the press and in rallies. The enemy, as you all know, has been Bush's USA, which both leaders have repeatedly accused of trying to invade their countries and overthrow their government, which happend in neither country really. Anyway..

The point of all of this, is that the people most opposed to the programs of such leaders, are the middle-class, and the young student population. And in the opinion of such ideologues or orientalists, who usually are young or middle-class themselves (god forbid), that makes them invalid:

A sort of pernicious cliché has entered our discussion of Iranian
politics, namely that the Western press cannot be trusted because
American reporters are too lazy to leave North Tehran and too dazzled
by the appearance of a vocal minority of upper-class Iranians who are
congenial to our self-image. We believe Iran is overrun with people who
think like we do, the argument goes, because these are the people who
talk to us. It is true that the movements of American reporters in Iran
are controlled and curtailed to the point where Tehran is the main, if
not the only, point of access, apart from the hard-line holy city of
Qom. I cannot speak for all American journalists who report from Iran,
but I’m sure I’m not the only one who is acutely aware of, and
frustrated by, the lack of insight into the rural heartland this
affords us. The best that we can do is to familiarize ourselves with
the full spectrum of urban life, across class and cultural boundaries.
Most Iranians, after all, live in cities, of which Tehran is only the
most gigantic.

Michael Totten, as well, voices his disdain to such notions:

I will never forget the similar line peddled about Lebanese in March
and April of 2005. I was there when the “March 14” revolution was in
full swing, and I heard from even some Western expats who lived in Beirut that the demonstrators were mostly liberal and “bourgeois” Christians from the “Gucci” class.

It was wrong, and it was contemptible. What ignited that revolution
was the assassination of a Sunni prime minister. Around a million
people – more than a fourth of the entire country – demonstrated in
Martyr’s Square and demanded the ouster of the occupying Syrian
military dictatorship. There aren’t a million liberal “bourgeois”
Christians in all of Lebanon. In any case, the Christians as a
community have proven themselves far less reliably anti-Syrian and
anti-Hezbollah than the Sunnis.

But why do such third-worldist orientalist think this way?

The Westerners I’ve met personally who believe and write this sort
of thing suffer from a condescending Third Worldism and a barely
concealed contempt for Middle Eastern people whom they don’t think are
“authentic.” Arabs and Muslims (and presumably now Persians) aren’t
supposed to hate terrorists or yearn for democracy like Americans do.
They’re supposed to be in thrall to “resistance” and every other
morally and politically bankrupt ideology that attracted the afflicted
expats to the region in the first place.

My experience has also been similar. Too many people, who in their heart of hearts hate US-backed regimes for their "tyranny", "undemocratic ways" and let's not forget "torture", immediately change their tone the moment an anti-US regime does the same. Using such logic, Egypt is a dictatorship controlled by a brutal security apparatus that oppresses the people and has fake support rallies by usually by forced government workers, and Iran is a democracy where the government has to stand against a minority of US-friendly bourgeois and has authentic rallies of support that the poor attend out of their love for the elected president.This way Saudi is a fanatic theocratic terrorist sponsoring country where no human rights are respected, but Iran, ehh, they support the resistance, so we can't call them for doing the exact same thing. That would be, ehh, counter-revolutionary.

Needless to say, they can't publicly say that. So instead they will talk about anti-Iran bias, or western media propaganda, or how this is the will of the people. Ignoring, for example, that without an openly democratic society, where all points of views are debated, and where there is freedom of the press and political expression, then the people really have no will to speak of. Fuck, candidates can't run if the regime doesn't like them: how much is their will respected under such a regime? They will start yelling at people that the election was fairly won (as fairly as one can win an election when one controls the media, the state resources, and let's not forget appoints the head of the government body that monitors and counts the ballots) and that protesters are unrepresentative minority of the population whose views should be dismissed, nevermind that they include (that we know of and can prove under a complete media blackout) students, regular iranian people, clerics, garbage collectors and, now, doctors and nurses. And needless to say, those people represent all classes of society, not just the poor, and thus makes them actually more representative of whatever person the government bussed in and promised a bag of potatoes and rice for their support. But of course, they won't admit to that, because that level of intellectual honesty contradicts their goals and beliefs, and we can't have that. So they will continue looking and searching for whatever random (and god knows there are like 5 only) article that proves their point, and they will repeat verbatim the talking points of the Iranian government propaganda apparatuses, hoping in their heart of hearts that the green revolution gets crushed under the boots of brutes and government thugs, so that their intellectual dishonesty gets validated, no matter what the price.

Now, it's impossible to prove either side right or wrong, especially with the absence of election monitors, a blockage of all communication methods the eviction of international media, and the brutal crackdown that the government conducted (and that not a single one of those subhuman third worldists has condemned so far) on the student population. But, there is one thing that I will leave you with, and please think about it: There is not a government in the world, that has conducted a fair election, and then followed it with a communication blackout and the institution of martial law. Not one!

Think about it!

Ahmedinjad, Privately!

Kinda explains his complicated relationship with technology! ;)

An e-mail from Tehran

Just got this e-mail from a friend in Tehran, whom I asked to brief me on what's going on. The friend sent it from the French Research center, and was abruptly disrupted because the french embassy forced everyone to evacuate due to the Basij now attacking the center. Here is the text:

So this is freaky Teheran right now,

People (the reformist opposition!!)
shouting „Allahu Akbar“ from the rooftops every night but they also
shout “Marg bar dictator” (death to the dictator), a strange feeling
of solidarity which is growing by the day and huge demonstrations.

The old people here haven´t seen these crowds since the revolution. Since ever then a mass mobilization like
this hasn´t been possible. The rally of Achmadinejad´s supporters
at Vali Asr square the other day has been neglectable to the manifestation
led by the opposition champ yesterday. By the way it has been the same
path from the Revolutionary to the Freedom Square like the demonstration
which brought the Shahs Regime finally down 30 years ago. And still
the old ones seemed to be sure there are a lot more people on the streets
now, of course population figures have been growing. 70 Percent of the
population are under 30 have been forced to live in this system. The
80ies war generation is grown up now. They have now work now perspectives
but they are reasonably well educated and in all of the cases I know
fed up with the system. Achmadinejad still finds its supporters by playing
Robin Hood and distributing oil money on the country side and the urban
proletariat, where he recruits his armed volunteers. But even in the
provinces distributing oil money doesn´t seem to be enough anymore.
Most of the linguistic and religious minorities have their own reasons
for supporting the opposition. In Ahvaz (Khuzestan prozince – Sunni
minority) people are apparently armed on the streets. Isfahan, Shiraz,
Busher, Mashad, Tabriz, Kerman and Qazvin have all seen big protests

Yesterday was a turning point for the reform movement. In Teheran it always seemed to be a battle rich against
poor, north against south, old against young. This was definitely no
exclusive march for young rich guys from the north. Rumors that police
would open fire have turned out to be wrong. When most of the crowds
have left militias (Basijis) have opened fire. After the selection defeat
the reformists managed to reorganize themselves fast and are about
to take over the battlefield. Today Achmadinejad supporters (armed?)
meet on 3pm at Vali Asr Square where the Reformists will arrive two
hours later.

Shit we get evacuated right now!!!!
The Basijis are probably attacking us (IFRI – French Research Center Teheran)

Hezbollah is operating in Tehran

Der Spidgel just confirmed the rumors, that many of the guys that are cracking down on the demonstrators in the streets are lebanese hezbollah members. According to them, there are 5000 Hezbollah members in Iran that are part of the crackdown on the students. This is a big mistake. You don't bring an arab to beat down a Persian, unless you want the Persians to get really and I mean really pissed off. The hatred that Persians have for arabs are the stuff of legend, and if the regime has to use arabs to crack down on its people, then it maybe weaker than we ever though.

Easy being green!

Andrew Sullivan went Green for his support of the revolution, so did Instapundit. Someone called John Cole doesn't like it, but who the fuck is John Cole anyway? As for this blogger, those who read me know I've always been green, baby! :)

Even the Grabage collectors are in

You can see them in this video. I guess it's no longer a Calvin Klein revolution, huh?

Ahmedinjad left Iran

To Russia. On an official visit. Wouldn't it be cool if the country he left isn't there for him to come back to?

Your House is not safe

What living in Iran these days is like!

The young clerics are joining the revolution

 A small tidbit I missed the first time around

A young cleric from the Shiite holy city of Qom addressed the crowd. "I
have come to bring you a message from Qom," he said. "Without a doubt,
all clerical scholars are against the current situation. The only
person acceptable to them is Mr. Mousavi, they have rejected Mr.
Ahmadinejad's request to meet them in the past two days."

Little by little!

Reports on the fallen

So far, the dead count for yesterday's events is reported as follows:

According to the WSJ student websites, 5 get shot yesterday..

According to the Guardian, 12 got killed in the clashes..

And according to Radio Payam, 7 people got killed near Tahran..

God knows what the real casualty number is!

On Iran

*Scroll down for updates*

Ok, so no, I wasn't hiding under a rock for the past few days, and I wasn't ignoring the Iranian election either. I was simply overwhelmed by it. I mean, here i was, 2 days ago, watching A.J. giving his victory speech, and thinking"this is totaly what the democrats must have felt when W. was elected to a second term", when the Iranians decided to not take this shit anymore. For two days I was glued to TV and twitter, and following everything I could find on what's happening, with a little song in my heart. Hope had started to show its shiny little head, and i awaited reality to kick it in the testicles, but so far, no kicking. This is still going on. I am amazed.

So, just so u know, I am mostly posting on my twitter account. So, please go there and u will find the majority of the tweets. I will also update here constantly as well.

Update: Pictures of the Pro Mousavi rally. Estimated attendance between the high hundreds of thousands and a million. And this is despite the crackdown.

Update: Video of the rally. It's quite breathtaking!

Update: While western media-with the exception of the BBC- are completely ignoring this story, and with AlJazeera doing it's best not to report it on both AlJazeera arabic and international, twitter is the way to know what's going on in Iran right now.Use the #Iranelection for updates, and check out Persiankiwi . He has the best updates so far!

Update: I really doubt Ahmedinajad will back down on this one. This is what he said yesterday:

Asked about speculation that in his second term he would take a more
moderate line, he smirked, “It’s not true. I’m going to be more and
more solid.”


Mr. Moussavi said he was being “closely monitored” in his home, but hoped to speak at a rally on Monday.“He ran a red light, and he got a traffic ticket,” Mr. Ahmadinejad quipped when asked about his rival. 


Update: Wanna do something to help the Iranians? Join the cyberwar! Ok, maybe this is not the smartest idea. nevermind!

Update: Government militia open fire on the peacefull protestors, killing at least 3. Pictures are available on the bottom here of the dead bodies . Reports of a Basij base getting burned down in retaliation.

Update: Regarding the OP-ed in the washington post today by the very suspicious sounding Terror-Free Tomorrow, about how the polling was fair and square and representitive. Ok, nevermind that their poll is based on 3 weeks old data (which anybody who followed this knows was pre the meteoric rise in popularity for mousavi) and gets rebuttled here and here . Also, some of the anomolies regarding the election available here.

Update: Hmm…

What is interesting about the announcement of the electoral results
that the Iranians are calling into question is that this came from the
Interior Ministry, the same Interior Ministry whose former head was
convicted of using a forged PhD from a British University.

What? Not saying anything…

Update: The people who are urging Obama to get involved are idiots and should be ignored. Any words of support from Israel or the US to the protestors will lead to the Najad camp claiming that they are agents for the imperialist conspiracy. So, please, USA, shut the fuck up and wait this one out. Ok?

Update: Just think, if this follows through and becomes a counter-revolution, it won;t end with Khameni calling for a second will end with Khameni and his entire system getting deposed. No more islamic Iran. No more support for Shia nmilitias in Iraq..No more Hezbollah… No more support for more need for US bases in the Gulf… would be so peacefull around here!

Update: Time magazine provides 5 reasons why the election outcome is highly suspicious. Read it!

Update: If the revolution goes through, then Obama is officially the luckiest bastard alive. It's one thing to have the worst financial crisis- that ur oponent's party is associated with- happen one month before the election, but to have Iran fall apart on its own and thus resolving ur biggest middle-east problem? That's fuckin luck!

Update: Even Juan Cole counters the WP Terror Free Tomorrow poll piece . Me and Juan agreeing on something. Amazing!

Update: People in the streets are batteling the militia in Karaj, and Mousavi is calling for a nation-wide strike tomorrow. Allrighty!

Update: Ehh..where are the 20 something million that voted for A.J.? Where are his 63%? Anybody know?

Update: Obama is rumored to address Iran . Can someone tell him to..ehh…not?

Update: Tehran University faculty resign en masse and reports of Tahran coming to a halt. This is not ending soon!

Update: This picture was taken at a support A.J. rally, and by rally i mean 20 people. The interesting thing about this picture is that in arabic it says " our war will be over when we liberate Palestine", but in english it says "our war will be over when we take-over palestine". Interesting distinction, don't u think?

Update: The attack by the people on the Basij base:

Don't fuck with the persians!

Update: Iranians in the diaspora start protests everywhere! Sweet!

Update: Obama spoke on Iran. Managed to seem like he said something while saying nothing. Thank God. For the first time I actually like this about you, Mr. President!

Update: Twitter has delayed its maintenance after getting twepressured by the tweeple. On a separate note, Twitter speak is retarded!

Update: Good video compilation. Tehran in Blood. Watch.

Update: AP just noticed how suspicious the timespan it took to count the result s of the election. Awww, AP, welcome to the party.We have been waiting!

Update: ON, final update for the night: It all hinges on tomorrow. If the protests continue in the same intensity tomorrow, and the government fails to crush it, this really could end up being the revolution we all have been waiting for. But of they crush it tomorrow, then it's over. Everything hinges on Tomorrow. Hmm..

Now, leaving you on a lighter note, here is CNN'c Rick Sanchez trying to defend CNN's dismal coverage of what was happening in Iran. It's a sad day for CNN when it can no longer compete with Twitter. TWITTER! Ted Turner, go kill yourself! Honestly!

The speech!

Ok, so I woke up early this morning and I head to Cairo University. The first thing one has to say is that the security was very ncie and cordial and professional: You had to have an ID and the invite, and they would just let you in. Unfortunately, no one relayed that information to Ayman Nour, who was standing in front of me with an invite, but without an ID, and deamdning to go in, because " I am Ayman fuckin Nour". The secuirty people still had him go to his car to get an ID, which was funny. By the way, there are no burn marks on his face. Nuttin. Not even a scar, that liar. He did, hwoever paint/ dye his head black to hide the fact that he is getting bald. Douchebag.

You go inside, you sit down, you resist the efforts of every goddamn asshole Usher with a power trip trying to seat you elsewhere to accommodate his friends, and you simply watch the audience. We had to go there at 10:30, but the speech wasn't going to start till 1 pm, so we had to find ways to amuse ourselves. The organizing people sought to entertain us by playing  theme songs from egyptian soap operas (Imagine awaiting Obama while people playing the song from Ze2ab el gabal). Anyway, we entertained yourselves by watching the audience trying to interact and mingle with each other. They had a bunch of southeast asian and african Azhar students invited, who kept taking pictures with Ayman Nour, and then with Adel Imam. And then the Egyptian government walked in, and what was amusing was that Omar Suleiman was the first inside, walking ahead of Gamal Mubarak, and the rest of the usual suspects, which is..ehh..telling. Anyway, this was a testment of the power of the ONE: Only he can get all these people to sit together in the same hall. I mean, Barrack Obama, Ayman nour, Omar Suleiman, Gamal Mubarak and Adel Imam in one room? Someone write a joke, quick.

Adel Imam to the left, Ayman Nour dyed bald head to low right!

So, after 2 hours of waiting and a million mic checks, Ambassador Scobey walks into the hall and starts shaking hands with government officials, and she didn't shake hands with The Mufti Al Gomaa, even though he wanted to shake her hand. Scobey, you are confusing the Mufti with the Aazhar Sheikh Tantawi, he is the one who doesn't touch women. And the Hillary Clinton walks into the hall and she gets a standing ovation and applause for 2.2 seconds before Obama goes all "Fuck that bitch stealing ma thunder" and makes his enterance. Crowd goes nuts.

The speech was everything was expected and more. The guy achieved his goals and executed it effectively and brilliantly. It was big on comfort  and platitudes, and short on substance, but really, what does one expect other than that from an Obama speech?If you are going to see Obama, you are going to watch an expert showman. Just don't expect much beyond entertainment.

My favorite parts of the speech had to be the following in order: The way he deliverd el salamu alaikom (the audience looked like it just had a collective orgasm), the Koranic shout outs, the pandering to Hijabis, the dig at Hillary (women became leaders in islamic countries, while the US is still "struggling with it"? Nice!), and the way he spoke of the Israel Palestine Issue. For me, again, it didn't say what he intends to do, but it made people happy. They were walking outside saying how , for the first time, they hear an american leader "talk with some balance on the issue".

What I hated was the over-reaching part. I mean, he, as the US President, will personally battle every negative islamic stereotype? For real? Pander too much? Also, I am still waiting for a serious difference between him and Bush on the War on Terror. I mean, he said he will pull the troops out by 2012 and will close Gunatanmo some time later. So, if Gitmo ain't closed, detainees are still getting extradited, The troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan, what exactly changed here? And how come people are all positive over this now? Wasn't that what Bush used to say? Now it's wise and good? WTF?

But whatever, I digress. The people liked it, and facebook and twitter are nuts with the Obama love comments. The man did a good job appeasing the Islamic world, and that's really what the people who voted for him wanted, right? That's why the section on human rights in his speech was the weakest, because let's face it, he ain;t going to push on human rights and democracy. That era is gone. We are all about diplomacy and friendship now, and that's what the American people want, even if the price is that the democracy activists in Egypt get fucked. But then again, the democracy activists in Egypt didn;t really like it when Bush was calling for democracy and human rights, so maybe they deserve it.

Anyway, like all good things, the speech had to end, and we had to leave the completely empties neighborhood of Dokki. While leaving the University I saw a small demonstration by CODE PINK. YES, fuckin Code Pink. Cindy Sheehan's Code Pink. And they were protesting the speech and Obama over Ghaza, and how they had a letter from the Hamas leaders that they want delivered to him. Oh Code Pink, you bunch of unemployed leftist wankers, you made my day.

 Oh well, back to Cairo Traffic tomorrow. It was nice while it lasted!

Obama clean


Roxy square, 12:40 pm last night. Usually it's buzzing wit people and cars until much later than that. No car in sight, even though Obama won't go there.

The Invite

It's from the Grand Sheikh of Azhar.. nice, ehh?

The One’s visit!

So…here we are… a few hours before Obama's historic visit to Cairo, and I am one of the few Egyptians who has got an invite to see him, and.. ehhh… I am not that excited.I mean, I will go see him, but I can't say that I am enthused about it. Maybe because I know that, despite of the gesture and its importance, it's simply words, and it signals the return of a US foriegn policy that does coddle dictators and extreemists. Nahh, that can't be it, because I never expected it to be any different. A return to good diplomatic relations with the US biggest sunni arab ally does mean turning the blind eye to some…small violations of human rights. I get that. It makes sense. and Part of me does want my country to have good relations with the US again. So, nahh.. not it.

And the thing is, it's hard to decide what is it that bothers me, because of the magnitude of the visit. I mean, while I thought it made perfect sense for egypt to get chosen, arabs still make like 20% of the entire muslim population, which means that it might not be the wisest location to deliver such a speech, especially in the light of extreme arab chauvinism, when it comes to nonarab muslims anyway. It's an honor, no doubt about it. And a nod towards an old and fading leader ( i am talking Egypt as the middle least leader, not Mubarak): That its support still matter, even when reality says it doesn't that much anymore.

I guess I am annoyed because of the ruckus the government is causing over his visit. The entire country is on high alert. Cairo is on lockdown. The streets are cleaned and repainted, the cars removed from all main streets, whether he will pass by it or won't. Helicopters flying over downtown every 4 minutes. The old buildings in el saydah are being coverd by scaffolding to hide them from Obama's sight. People are arrested left and right all over the city. Kefaya
activists were cracked down on in a matter of minutes when they tried to stage
an Obama protest.
Residents are warned to stay home. The streets are expected to be so clear of people, the joke is that the 6 of April kids will call for another national strike and call the day a success. Employers are giving
employees vacations. Al Gezira club members warned not to go to almost 70 % of
the club that day,
because this is where Obama will change between his speech
suit, and the shorts he is bound to wear on his way to the pyramids (it’s
fuckin hot, man). People in manial that we know had to give state secuirty their names and their IDS because their house sees that University Bridge. Coffe shops in downtown closed from 6 pm tonight, and the people told to stay home tomorrow. Oh yeah, and the polishing they have done to the University. Holy Crap. That dome now shines from cleanliness, and it was last cleaned in 1954. It's fuckin ridiculous shit.

But on the other hand, the people are excitied. I saw people interviwed on the street on TV, and they are genuinely excited to see Obama speak. Many talking about how he will bring peace and prosperity with him. The most apathethic people on earth are actually excited about the visit of a US president. This is some unusual shit. At the very least, it's definitely worth a glance. So maybe I should get over my disdain over the fact that I will have to wear formal wear on a freakin hot day, which is really the reason i am pissy about going of you really want the truth. I wanted to wear a polo shirt or something, but everyone else is bringing their nice cloths to play, and I was planning on going in jeans anda shirt. Grrr…

So, yeah, fine, I admit it, maybe it is exciting to have him visit  after all. Await tomorrow's post about it.

On Obama’s vsit to Egypt!

So, the one has chosen the land of the Nile to make his appeal to the muslim world, choosing it over options like Saudi (the birthplace of Islam), Jordan (Hey America, we will do anything for you to like us), Turkey (The Secular Muslim people, and part ally who likes to put its nose in everything) and Indonesia (They housed Obama when he was still an innocent muslim baby, before the evil Cross worshipers got to him..Boo on them).For practical reasons, the choice is brilliant, because in order to appeal to the muslim world, you have to do it from an arab country, otherwise the arab muslims won't respond. It's a chauvinism thing. The first muslims and all. So, yeah, Turkey would've been a bad choice for that reason, if not also due to its safety (yeah go to the muslim country that actually shows sex on TV). Ditto for Indonesia and any southasian countries, who, regrettebly, all of the arab countries regard as subhumansand thus an insulting choice. Saudi would've been too on the nose, especially after "the bow", and Jordan, well, they are too small and too eager to please really. So, yeah, Egypt, as a choice makes sense (biggest arab islamic country, women can drive here, we are secular but not really, and no bowing has occured between Obama and Mubarak…yet). And for Personal reasons, I like it, because it's like the ugly girl getting picked to go to the prom by the school's top hunk. So let me take this moment to be gracious about all of this and say:

Obama is coming to EGYPT. Nyanyanyanyanyaaaa! Fuck you Jordan, Fuck you Indonesia, Fuck you Malaysia, Fuck you Morocco, Fuck you Qatar, Fuck
you Saudi, AND especially Fuck you Turkey! Go suck Dicks!

Sorry, had to get this off of my chest.

Now, this is of course good news to Mubarak and to his regime, and a sign that the current regime is responding to the heavy courting that they have been engaging in for a few months now (The Ghaza offensive position, ending the crisis before the inaguration with one day, freeing Ayman Nour). This makes Mubarak happy, because its a nod to Egypt's once prominent regional weight, and the egyptians happy, because we are chauvinistic fuckers, and we love that shit. Everybody's happy..well… not everybody.

Lots of democracy activists are not happy, especially leftists ones. They are considering the visit as cowering to a dictator and giving him undeserved prominence. This is incredibly funny to me personally, because I always thought their position on America's push for democracy and rights in Egypt as "unwanted imperialistic interference in Egyptian affairs, and anyone who wants it is a tratorous stupid ignorant zionist jew spy dog". At least this was the case the Bush years. How time changes things. The people on the right, well, they are not really outraged, because they always knew that this would happen with Obama's election, and have been preparing themselves for it. Reaching out to countries that are run by dictators involves turning a slightly blind eye to their activities. That's the cold hard realpolitik and I am not sure we can blame him for that. I am sure many of you will do that anyway. Honestly, not my concern at the moment. I am more curious about other things.

For example. where will he hold his speech exactly? My preferred choice would be The Manssah, where Sadat is buried. It would be very symbolic to have the chosen one do his speech in front of the grave of the Hero of war and peace, which would be also a nice nod for peace in the middle-east and a rebuttal to the islamic extremists who killed him. Another good location is AlAzhar itself; talk about reaching to the islamic world. Another question I want to ask is , what will happen if rumors that Obama is really a muslim start running wild in Egypt? Having him as a muslim President who has to hide it because of the Jews that control AMERIKKKA is a very plausible conspiracy theory for the conspiracy-theory-loving egyptians. I wonder if they start calling him President Hussen Obama in the newspaper after that. And finally: do you think that the leftists activists who are very pissy about Obama's visit will actually do something about it? Like, will they start a demonstration maybe? Man, I think I will roll on the floor laughing the moment I see an "Obama is Bush" poster. Oh, and I promise to take pictures!;)

Unemployment is awesome!

I am heading to Miami in a few hours, for 4 days. After that I am heading to Boston. If you are in either one of those cities, give me a holla @ sandmonkey at gmail dot com.

Have a nice one!

Tabula Rasa

On the evening of the day the April 6 strike failed, SMS's were sent out all over Cairo informing us that Egypt's # 1 political couple, Ayman Nour and Gamila Ismael are divorcing , with Gamila being the one asking for a divorce. Rumors floated that this is due to continious infidelity on the part of Mr. Ayman Nour (He likes younger females), which prompted Gamilla to try to leave him a number of times before, and now that he is out of Jail, she believes the time to be right. Needless to say that this came as a shocker to everybody, especially given the timing (6 of april and all), and everybody all over Egypt was talking about it. And most people were sad, given that it it signaled the end of the legend of Gamila and Ayman, a love stronger than imprisonment and the entire Egytian State Security Apparatus. I suspect that the only people who were happy when they heard the news were the "6th of april youth", because everybody started talking about that, instead of what a colossal failure the national day of anger was. Those 6th of april kids were yesterday's news that same day, which probably saved them from the humiliation they were set to endure if people weren't distracted by Ayman and Gamila, and their juicy divorce story. And as I followed its details, I have to confess that I wasn't getting upset over it. One could even say that I was actually pretty freakin happy that it happened.

Don't get me wrong: I don't harbor towards either one of them any ill-will. But see, they, along with the 6th of april youth, were the two remaining empty, yet shiny, symbols left in the egyptian opposition, and it's a good thing that they both got destroyed on the same day. Now, there are no more symbols. No more made-up hyped-up lying heroes with no actual feasible plan to save us all from this mess called Egypt. No more false saviors whom we would place on high pedestals, only to see them fall from it later, alongside with all of our hopes and dreams. None of that shit anymore. All the symbols are destroyed. We now have a clean slate. A fres start. Tabula Rasa, for the lack of a better term.

So what now? Ehh, now we get real about some things: Facebook movements won't amount to anything beyond joining facebook groups. Labor movements are all about their demands, and not systemic change. All the parties are more inept than each other, and the Muslim Brotherhood is a paper-tiger at best and a bunch of whores at worst. The good news is, we don't need them. We don't need any of them if we want to improve things in this country. All that we need is one thing: Voting Cards.

You see, we have a huge parliamentary election in 2010, and a Presidential election in 2011, both are going to be quite significant for the future of this country, if one wishes to state the obvious. Now, all that we need to do, after we get over the loss of our symbols, is get that dirt off our shoulders, focus, and start getting people to register to vote and get their voting cards issued. The way you get them to do so, is not my concern. Wether via an organized online campaign, a grass-roots movement, or through threatening every friend and relative you have with physical violence if he/she doesn't get their card issued, the means are inconsequential. The End is all that matters.

Why? Because in order to affect change, you need votes. And votes require voters. The ones that do exist are not enough, so let's get more people involved and voting. If you are not doing this, and you are talking about political change, then you are pretty much wasting all of our time. Sure, voting registration is no Panacea, but it's a start. It would also help if everyone who gets their friends and relatives to register to vote also manages to get their contact info (names, addresses, e-mails and phones) and puts it in a small excel sheet. It might be helpful if someone in the opposition develops half a brain and decides to start a new-voter data-base, divided by region and electoral district, in order to make turning out the vote on election day easier for their candidates. Cause they kinda need that to have a chance at winning, you know?

Just a thought. Think about it. 

Seen the day..

Throughout my relatively young life, people were always talking about the day the great America falls. They would always say: "America is the new Rome. They are too greedy and too corrupt. They will fall apart eventually. Their economy will be the end of them" And I remember always kind of ignoring them, being all "yeah, sure" and moving on with my day. The day America falls apart? It was like the Apocalypse: always pending, but never really arrives. Impossible. It's just the talk of an envious jealous bunch.

And then the day came and proved the envious jealous bunch right: America did fall apart, thanks to an implosion in its economy, finally. But what those sooth-sayers and predicters of doom failed to forsee that when America decided to fall apart, it took all of us down with it. Their economy is too big, globalization, international financial markets and free trade linked us all to them, and now we are all hoping for signs of american recovery, because that's when we will know that this economic crisis is on its way out. Hell, one could go a step further and say that it's in our best interest to help the american economy recover, because it's the only way the rest of us will recover as well. Ok, so we don't have to actually improve the american economy, but let's try to be gentler and nicer with it from now on. Like, when you see America walking down the street, invite it in for some tea and cookies. If it's under the weather, go with it to the doctor. And always always try to help repair its self esteem, because it's very bruised and batterd at this point. In other words, show that you care, even if you don't. Fake it if you have to, but help them get through this. It's for your own self-interest.

My software co-dependent relationships!

My co-dependent relationship with google started in 1999, when I first discoverd their search engine. It's been downhill ever since.

I had one of the very first accounts of GMAIL amongst my friends in the spring of 2004 (remember, when the gmail invites meant something?). I had my first blog on blogger in december 2004. I spent hours checking out areas I will never live in on Google-earth. I wasted hundreds of working hours watching videos on youtube. I used google translate, I use google reader and my primary chat application is google-talk. And now I have donwloaded Google Chrome and am using it to write this entry. The only other software company that has a similar stake in my life is Microsoft, through their windows and office program (both I've been using for 14 years now), but you have to either pay or steal those, while Google is kinda giving everything for free. I am a personalized living example of the IT war between those two companies. A man-sized flowchart if you will. My co-dependence on those two worries me sometimes, but like every drug-addict, I justfy it by saying to myself how everybody else is doing it, so it's ok. 

Now, if you are like me, one of those whose loyalty is split down the middle between the two copanies, you can understand the panic I sufferd, when I started thinking about the day google releases their first free operating system and Office software. I mean, what the fuck am I going to do when THAT happens? Do I switch? Do I stay? Do I really want to be one the first people to try out the new system, or am I going to be one of those late converts, like I was with Chrome? Or am I going to stick it out with Microsoft regardless?

All the options kind of suck in a way..and let me demonstrate how using the "boyfriend" example. If You are a man, imagine yourself to be a woman for a second, and if you are a woman, well, good job, anyway..So, you are a woman, and you are co-depndent on your boyfriend Microsoft, whom you've been with  for a long long time. Now, Microsoft isn't a great boyfriend, actually, he kinda sucks. He takes away your money when he can, he is flawed, he is always sick, he rarely performs well consistently, and he keeps going through phases and incarnations that are making him worse by the day (i.e. his fuck-ups increase with age). But he has been there forever, and you are used to him: You know how he operates, you don't have to expect much from him, and when you want to push him to do things, he can actually be pretty good. But really, he is a project and a headcase, and nothing to write home about.

Google is a different boyfriend. Google is smart, Google is slick, Google knows exactly what you need and Google keeps improving day after day. Google is the helpfull sweet guy that surprises you every once in a while with a very helpful gift, and he only wants your grattitude and friendship. He is pretty out there with his ideas, but he follows through with them, and is pretty much self-motivated and driven. The problem with google is that he is too good to be true: You are not really sure why he loves you, or keeps treating you well, but you suspect that there is a malicious reason behind it all: That the moment you give in totally to him, and become totally dependent on him, his real face will show itself and it will be an ugly controlling one. And while this could be due to your low-self esteem, your belief that no one will really find anything to love in you the way google seems to and skewed paranoid thinking thanks to years of abuse on the hands of Microsoft, it doesn't help that Google seems to have a serious case of hate towards Microsoft, even if it's repressed and only shows itself occasionally. Actually, it only stokes your belief that Google is waiting for the inevtiable day when you leave Microsoft for him, so he can stick his tongue out in Microsoft's face while doing a lewd dance of victory. And what a horrible day that will be for Microsoft: dumped, abandoned and broke, after more than 20 years together. Would you have the heart? 

Personally, I have no clue what I will do on that fatefull day, and thus I hope the day doesn't come anytime soon (altough I do think I will probably dump Microsoft for Google, if everyone else did it as well :P ). And don't tell me that linux is an option. It's not. I am a simple-minded consumer, people. Linux needs learning. Maybe when it's dumbed down enough for me to use it, then I will consider it. Until that day, or either one of those two days actually, my co-dependent ass will keep firting with Google while being married to Microsoft, just like I am doing now.