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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We Interrupt This Vacation ...

I have to pause during this recounting of our Tanzanian trip to comment on the situation in our winter hometown of Cairo, Egypt.

There is a link on my sidebar to the blog, Irish Eyes on Cairo, where an ex-pat Irish woman usually writes one of the most entertaining blogs on the Web.  (She deserves a lot more hits than she gets so please follow the link at least once!)  Today she presents the grim reality of the recent clashes between the two sides in the streets.  Within her post, she says this:
I’m not angry at Egyptians, I continue to make excuses for them, the education system here is abysmal, they see corruption not as something to be stamped out, but something to aspire to “if I work hard and get a good job I will get lots of bribes” they are each out for themselves, you can see it in how they drive. It’s a very strange mentality, one I can’t quite get my head around because they are also some of the kindest people I know. It’s just their logic link in their brain appears to be wired differently. No I’m not angry, I’m sad, very very sad for I foresee not just one generation but countless being lost before, and more importantly “IF” they are ever able to work together in a truly inclusive society.
Sadly, this will all ring true with people who have spent much time in the country.  For American Media, who always seek a quick and magical solution to any problem, the situation requires ignoring a lot of inconvenient facts.  For example, the fifteen protest signs in Tahrir Square shown at this site might make one wonder just what our ambassador Patterson and other diplomats have been doing in Cairo lately!

If you doubt that the American government is being held to account for part of the problem, consider this e-mail from a very level-headed friend in Cairo which included these two points:
Please tell all you know that it is not a military coup but that the army is following the wishes of the people
I am so worried about what is coming as they (the Muslim Brotherhood) have a lot of guns and crazy followers and of course money and the surprise American support
Any Egyptian government formed now is unlikely to succeed.  The fuel and food shortages that finally brought down Morsi are not going away.  The massive government subsidies that were provided for these commodities cannot be supplied by a disastrous economy with all Tourism income gone.

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post offers this sad assessment:
There are only three things that are knowable about the future of Egypt. First it will be poor. Egypt is a failed state. It cannot feed its people. It has failed to educate its people. It has no private sector to speak of. It has no foreign investment.

Second, Egypt will be politically unstable. ...
But, read the whole thing.

I will return now to the more cheerful task of recounting our visit to Tanzania.


Aliza said...

Thanks for the link & update, Tom. As I'm sure you know, it's very strange here in the U.S., with people hardly knowing what to say about a military takeover of a democratically elected government they disliked.

T J Sawyer said...

Aliza, it is good to know you are following events closely.

I find that when I ask Americans if they have ever had to vote for the perceived "lesser of two evils," they always can quickly identify with the Egyptians' plight in electing Morsi.