What has happened in Egypt and is happening in other parts of the Middle East is (of course) profoundly important for that region, but it also brings lessons to the so-called First World, struggling with it's reworking of financial structures (both in Europe and in the U.S.). As we watch Obama (who has increasingly emerged as a closeted Republican) we must ask ourselves if we aren't beginning to face similar issues, albeit at a very early stage.
In various parts of the Middle East one might ask (as Sara Palin did) if the protesters aren't questionable -- un-Christian, Islamic (which, I suppose makes them radical), dangerous (despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has been one of the more moderating forces in Egypt).
Nonetheless, let's allow the right-wingers (and the CIA, etc) their suspicions regarding the Egyptian protest movement. Instead, let's turn our attention to Iran (we all know that it is correct to hate the government in Iran -- terrorists to the core, as they build their weapons of mass destruction and as Ahmadinejad goes on about there never having been a holocaust. And then the crackdown of 2009.)
And it's funny how Obama (and the U.S. government) played that moment of uprising in Iran and the more recent moment in Egypt.
It should give us humble citizens here in the U.S. pause.
What would our government do if we suddenly started protesting the corporate bailouts, the massive CEO's salaries, the startling high quality health care that those in Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House receive -- for free, while we more humble folk lose homes, jobs, hope, clarity, real health care, low priced food and gas, etcetera.
So here's a quote from one of the leaders of the protest movement in Iran, Mahdi Karroubi -- one of the two pro-reform presidential candidates in 2009. At the moment he's under house arrest. The hard liners in the Iranian government are calling for his execution now.
"We warn (the ruling system) that before it is too late, stop being stubborn and hear the voice of the people," he said in remarks posted on his website, sahamnews.org. "Exercising violence and opposing peoples' wishes can last for a limited time. Take a lesson from the fate of governments that distanced themselves from the people."
Yes, it should give us pause how Obama and his government have handled the uprisings (will continue to handle uprisings) in the Middle East. But this quote should give them pause. It should give Goldman Sachs pause. It should give the other bankers, CEOs and millionaire/billionaire Senators and Congressmen/woman pause.
You can't fool all of the people all of the time.
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