Despite the dangers, Reuters tells us, Steven Sotloff was going to tell us the real story about the Arab Spring. We saw last week, of course, how the story ended up: with Sotloff hiding his Israeli citizenship yet still being beheaded for his troubles. In fact, let's take a peek at one of Sotloff's final dispatches:
Coups depicted as revolutions, peaceful protesters painted as fanatics and disgruntled citizens hailed as revolutionaries," he wrote in World Affairs in July 2013, "have transformed Egypt into a circus where the main attraction is the uncertainty of heading into the unknown."Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says one of the witnesses of a mass killing slaughter has been arrested and beaten.
It's a good time, as always, to check in on that "facebook revolution" that British Coward Denis Campbell was so keen on a couple three years ago.
Democracy is messy.I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading this. How long will Mubarak serve in the clink? Well, he isn't scheduled to be released until...wait, nevermind...he only spent a couple years in jail before being released in August 2013. He's being "held" in the military hospital as of this January, but that's more for his medical treatment. His sons each got four years in jail after having to repay $17 million out of the "billions" they "massively" looted the country. Oops.
Freedom is contagious.
For 18 days in January and February, the world sat on the edge of its seats watching an Egyptian people yearning to breathe free. The overthrow of Hosni Mubarak by a plucky band of pro-democracy youths remains a great story and the signature moment of 2011’s Arab spring.
Listening to pundits today though, you might be forgiven for thinking it never happened. As we watch the evening news and talk shows, ruthless dictators in Syria and Libya attack their people with impunity. On the basis of protests and internal squabbles, they are quick to proclaim Egypt’s revolutionary gains on the brink of collapse and point to an intransigent military clinging to wealth and power as their ‘proof.’
And yet this week the world saw the resumption of the remarkable trial of former President Hosni Mubarak for deaths caused by his orders during the uprising and his sons Gamal and Alaa were in the dock for massive corruption, looting the country of billions.
Democracy is messy, we'll grant Dennis-the-Coward that much: Egypt elected Mohammed Morsi in 2012, the first ever democratically elected leader. Morsi is...now in jail being tried for murder and espionage (ahhh, that ol' canard). He got a little to chummy with our good friends the Muslim Brotherhood, you see, and as a result there was a "contagiously free" military coup in 2013 after mass protests. Now, Abdel el-Sisi runs the show in Egypt with help from Adly Mansour, the chief justice of the supreme court who was President after the military coup. Following his big win this year, he's now chumming up to our old pal Vladamir Putin. It leads into what Jonathan Cohen & Haim Koren call "nothing new under the sun". The names change, but the dirty way of running the Middle East haven't budged.
Remember the moment when all hope looked lost during that third week. Parents urged the youths to stop now, they had achieved their goals, the government was changing, a new cabinet was meeting. The pro-deomcracy youth though knew that if they quit, they would be hunted down and killed. It was that moment in every great film where hope faded and things look their darkest before the dawn.They haven't survived it yet. If they keep listening to progressive nutters, they may never. More critically, perhaps, progressives aren't going to like the world that Egypt will be living in soon. As Mark Steyn noted once, all us right wingers have to do is grow a beard and get an extra couple wives. Campbell's ilk won't be so lucky.
Remember the massive chain of humanity in Tahrir and Suez, Ismalia and Alexandria locking arms and stretching into the sea outside of an empty Presidential Palace on that final day.
And finally, remember the sheer joy and celebration on the faces of everyone that night when they realised they had survived it all.
Meanwhile, how will we define "winning" in Syria? Easy: a world where Steven Sotloff gets to keep his head.
Your revolution is turning ugly, Denis.