Time for some fucking context rather than the bullshit snow-job that the media is doing covering the protests throughout the muslim world.
No, the protests are not about some fucking piece of shit movie that, according to the media, cost $5 million to make and looks like it came out of a basement in 2002. That's like claiming a match is the cause of a house fire and ignoring the 50 empty gas cans uncovered in the wreckage. In this analogy, the 50 empty gas cans are decades of rule by neoliberal puppets and western exploitation.
I'm not going to give context to all of the different countries in which protests are happening at the moment. Rather I'm just focusing on Egypt for the duration of this article, because this happens to be the particular story that craptastic neoliberal pawn Shadi Hamid was spinning this morning with the beige intellects at Morning Edition, who are apparently being paid to not do what I'm sneaking time in my schedule to do without recompense.
Protests are a constant in Egypt, not some new thing that just popped up. What are their grievances? Most prominently, the phony ass elections.
June 14 2012: Egypt Ruling Lets Mubarak Official Run for President
Tempers flared and protesters took to the streets after Egypt's constitutional court issued twin rulings effectively dissolving the Islamist-led parliament and allowing former officials to run for office just days ahead of a presidential run-off election.
Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that one-third of the Egyptian legislature was elected illegally, making the entire parliament unconstitutional and necessitating new parliamentary elections.
June 19 2012: Thousands join Egypt rally called by Muslim Brotherhood
Demonstrators have been chanting slogans against the military council, in the same square where huge protests last year led to the fall of President Mubarak.
Youth activists and liberals, many of whom refused to take part in the election run-off, are also involved in the protests.
But the BBC's Kevin Connolly in Cairo says that this year the message is more complex.
"[The election is] not totally stolen, but they have put some obstacles to fully transfer the power of the revolution and the voice of the street, and the voice of the critical mass to rule the country," one protester told the BBC.
Hillary showed up to make relations with "both" sides of the election, Morsi and Tantawi of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces(SCAF) and got pelted with tomatoes and shoes, as well as protests at United States meddling in the election process.
Morsi won, in an election that was described in RT as "motivated by fear". Said Sadek of the American University of Cairo continued, “If you fear the old system, you would vote for Morsi, if you fear Morsi, you would vote for Shafiq.”
This is the democracy that the United States demands for Egypt's people, the freedom to choose the lesser of two evils. Two "fighting" puppets, that's the efficient way to set up a client state under neoliberalism.
Naturally, those who do not feel represented either by the conservative forces of former-Mubarak affiliates who control the legislature or the conservative Islamists who control the executive are still unhappy with the controlled direction in which their revolution has been co-opted.
The newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party (the political wing of the Brotherhood), intends on maintaining the neoliberal economic policies of the Anwar al-Sadat era Intifah, which opened up the country to U.S. investment while privatizing much of the public sector, and contributed to massive poverty and inequality. The fact that the Brotherhood is maintaining these neoliberal policies, and the ways these policies will affect daily life, must be communicated to Egyptians in a clear and convincing way—through strategies such as publicizing personal anecdotes and appealing to the images of inequality directly seen within Egyptian communities. Because of tensions in the Muslim Brotherhood between its senior leadership and lower-ranking members regarding precisely these policies, neoliberalism will continue to be a major topic in the country’s political discourse.
Within two months after the election was "determined", the protests were ready to resume.
Protests seemed to start around August 22, 2012, when IMF's Christine Lagarde visited at the request of the Morsi government. This next part is crucial to understanding Morsi and protests in Egypt.
Morsi requested a $4.8 billion loan and Lagarde pledged to return in September to discuss things further.
Morsi ran on a platform of Shari'a law, which denounces the charging of interest as practiced in western style banking. It is considered usurious and exploitative of the poor, therefore the acceptance of an IMF loan would be haram, or forbidden
This is where Islamic fundamentalism and leftist ideology intersect, as noted by the Ahram online article.
Dozens of demonstrators, meanwhile, protested outside the Cabinet building in downtown Cairo during Lagarde's visit. Protestors, consisting mainly of leftist and revolutionaries, called on Egypt to reject the loan.
They chanted slogans and held signs against the proposed loan –and capitalism in general – such as "No to crony capitalism," "Down with capitalism," and "Reject the loans."
"Why did we have a revolution? Wasn't it to improve the living conditions of the people? We know that the money from these loans is pilfered by the authorities and will only lead to the further impoverishment of the people," protest organiser Mary Daniel told Ahram Online.
IMF and World Bank loans are notorious among leftist activists in Egypt, as in the rest of the world, as they are generally seen as a means of spreading capitalism throughout the world.
Notably, Islamist political forces – which rejected a similar IMF loan offer last April – were nowhere to be seen in Wednesday's protest.
Daily Star: Egyptians protest against Islamist president
"Wake up Egyptian people. Don't fall for the Brotherhood," said Mahmoud, in his 50s, addressing about 200 people in Cairo's Tahrir Square. "Egypt is for all Egyptians, not only one group."
Rival groups of youths in the square hurled stones and bottles at each other, staging running battles in side streets. Some wielded sticks and charged opponents.
Dozens more scuffled in Ismailiya, east of Cairo, and in the northern city of Alexandria, where some vehicles had glass broken and sounds of shots were heard, witnesses said.
But there were quieter scenes in other areas of Cairo where most of Mursi's opponents gathered.
Total numbers across the capital and elsewhere were relatively modest, reaching around 2,000 rather than the sea of people who turned out to unseat Hosni Mubarak or who have gathered in other demonstrations since then.
Several liberal groups usually critical of the Brotherhood stayed away, including the April 6 youth movement that galvanised protests to oust Mubarak last year. Some said Mursi could not be judged just two months into office.
We've heard of the April 6 Youth Movement before.
April 14, 2011: U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings
A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
Some Egyptian youth leaders attended a 2008 technology meeting in New York, where they were taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy. Among those sponsoring the meeting were Facebook, Google, MTV, Columbia Law School and the State Department.
“We learned how to organize and build coalitions,” said Bashem Fathy, a founder of the youth movement that ultimately drove the Egyptian uprisings. Mr. Fathy, who attended training with Freedom House, said, “This certainly helped during the revolution.”
Seems kind of odd to start a revolution merely to support the electoral process which within 2 months is welcoming the globalist agenda. But what would I know.
Al Jazeera also reported on the protests: Egypt opposition calls for mass protest march
Egyptian opposition groups has called for a million-man march on Friday as they fear the increasingly strong control of the Muslim Brotherhood over the country's politics.
The call for protests on Friday has spurred public debate especially after a Brotherhood cleric issued a religious edict, known as a fatwa, saying that killing anti-Islamist protesters was permissible.
This is also causing division within the Muslim Brotherhood itself.
August 29, 2012: Brotherhood asks Al-Azhar to issue fatwa on IMF loan
Abdel Khaleq al-Sherif, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s advocacy and guidance department, has asked Al-Azhar, the Ministry of Endowments and scholars to issue a collective fatwa on the permissibility of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan in order to aid President Mohamed Morsy.
On the Brotherhood website, Sherif criticized individual fatwas. “Many of them were harmful, such as the fatwa on female genital mutilation,” he wrote, stressing the need for collective fatwas by competent institutions.
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s negotiations to secure a US$4.8 billion loan from the Fund by the end of the year have spurred a flurry of criticism from conservative quarters. Last week the Salafi Nour Party issued a statement claiming that “borrowing from abroad is usury."
There has been dissent on the issue within the Salafi parties, however, On Sunday Yasser Borhamy, the vice president of the Salafi Dawah group, issued a fatwa contending that the IMF loan would not be a case of usury because interest on the loan was only 1.1 percent. Borhamy subsequently came under attack for his views.
And beyond the IMF, there are labor protests.
August 31, 2012: Alarming labor protests in Egypt
It seems that the alarm bells are tolling to deaf ears. The socioeconomic situation in Egypt has become critical. Labor protests are increasing unabated. According to the Children of Earth Foundation for Human Rights, Egypt saw approximately 1,370 protests between May 2011 and April 2012. This is double the highest recorded annual rate of social protests in recent years.
But it is not odd that social protests have doubled since the revolution. These protests reflect an unbalanced situation in which relative political gains were made while no social gains were achieved at all.
Got some perspective now? Now why aren't assholes like Shadi Hamid, the Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center and Hewlett Fellow at Stanford putting any of this perspective into his reporting? Instead, listen to this neoliberal shitball with his Georgetown, Georgetown, Oxford political science background shill for neoliberal policies of exploitation, use rewarmed 11 year old neo-con coding before skipping the post election anger in Egypt to tie current protests to a generation of anti-American sentiment in the country and furthering the notion that the protests are just a bunch of crazy fuckers pissed about a youtube clip who drown out the voices of the supposedly reasonable, decent people.
Here's the dogwhistle:
Steve Inskeep: "Well, when you talk about popular sentiment, give me your sense of the country. The protestors who appeared outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo - there were no deaths in Cairo, we should be very clear, but people climbed up on a wall and tore down an American flag - are they representative, broadly, of popular sentiment in Egypt right now?"
Shadi Hamid: "The people who scaled the wall, not necessarily; but if we're talking about the broader anger at this film and the desire to defend Islam from attacks, yes, I would say that's very much the mainstream of popular sentiment. And here we have a clash of values between the U.S. and Egypt. If you're trying to make the argument in Egypt that freedom of speech should include the right to attack Islam and the prophet and the Quran, there is absolutely no constituency for that."
Yes, he just repackaged the They Hate Us For Our Freedoms meme. It's not about the IMF. It's not about a coopted revolution. It's not about poverty, labor degradation, or phony fucking elections. It's because they hate us for a video.
Egypt is not yet free. The revolution continues, in Egypt and elsewhere. The movie is a manufactured story meant to help create a counter-narrative to the true story of continuing struggle against neoliberal expansion. This is Kony 2012 all over again, folks.
I close with an excerpt from a revolutionary appeal made early this year in MRZine.
Comrades from Cairo
To you at whose side we struggle,
From the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, the powers that be have launched a vicious counter-revolution to contain our struggle and subsume it by drowning the people's voices in a process of meaningless, piecemeal political reforms. This process aimed at deflecting the path of revolution and the Egyptian people's demands for "bread, freedom and social justice." Only 18 days into our revolution, and since we forced Mubarak out of power, the discourse of the political classes and the infrastructure of the elites, including both state and private media, continues to privilege discussions of rotating Ministers, cabinet reshuffles, referendums, committees, constitutions and most glaringly, parliamentary and now presidential elections.
Our choice from the very beginning was to reject in their entirety the regime's attempts to drag the people's revolution into a farcical dialogue with the counter-revolution shrouded in the discourse of a "democratic process" which neither promotes the demands of the revolution nor represents any substantial, real democracy. Thus our revolution continues, and must continue.
Egyptians now find themselves in a vulnerable moment. Official political discourse would have the world believe that the technologies of democracy presently spell a choice between 'two evils'. These are: Ahmed Shafiq, who guarantees the consolidation of the outgoing regime and its return with a vengeance, openly promising a criminal assault on the revolution under the fascist spectres of 'security' and 'stability', and the false promise of protection for religious minorities (against whom the regime systematically stages assault and isolation as part of its fear-mongering campaigns); and Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood whom we are expected to imagine might 'save' us from the 'old regime' through the myths of cultural renaissance -- all while consolidating its financial stronghold and the regional capitalist hegemony that fosters and depends on it for a climate of rampant exploitation of Egypt's people and their resources. This consolidation, we are certain, will be accompanied by the subsequent marshalling of the military apparatus to protect the emboldened ruling class of the Muslim Brotherhood from the wrath and revolt of its victims: the multitude whom the leaders of the organization have historically fought by condemning and outlawing our struggles for livelihood, dignity and equality.
According to election officials, most voters themselves (75%) have chosen neither Shafiq nor Morsi in the first round of elections. We refuse to recognize the choice of "lesser of two evils" when these evils masquerade in equal measure for the same regime. We believe there is another choice. And in times where perceived common sense is as far from the truth as can be, we find the need to speak out once again.