Mental Notes to Myself Before 1st Ever Live Radio Appearance to Discuss #Egypt

I hardly used these notes, but I felt calm due to the preparation. You can download the mp3 file. (length, 35 minutes)

  1. Egypt’s Geography
  2. Discuss Sources of Information
    1. Al-Jazeera Englishhttp://english.aljazeera.net/ search “demand al-jazeera”
    2. Link TVhttp://www.linktv.org/
    3. Juan Colehttp://www.juancole.com/
    4. Democracy Nowhttp://www.democracynow.org/
    5. Twitter tag #Jan25
    6. Human Rights Watchhttp://www.hrw.org
    7. Amnesty Internationalhttp://www.amnesty.org
  3. Conditions Which Led to Revolution
    1. Torture and Police Brutality
      1. Human Rights Watch reported in 2008 ~ 5,000 detainees without charge, some longer than 10 yrs
      2. “We are now uncovering evidence of Egypt being a destination of choice for third-party or contracted out torture in the ‘war on terror.‘” Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International, UK, April 11, 2007
      3. Human Rights Watch found that law enforcement officers routinely and deliberately use torture and ill-treatment – in ordinary criminal cases as well as with political dissidents and security detainees – to coerce confessions, extract other information, or simply to punish detainees
      4. Disappearance
      5. Impunity, few punished for torture and police brutality, sentences light
      6. Witness intimidation
      7. Emad el-Kebir, officers videotaped his rape and then distributed it to intimidate his colleagues
      8. Khaled Said was a 28-yr old in Alexandria who had evidence of local police dealing in drugs. Two police officers arrested him out of the Internet cafe of which he was a part-owner and beat him to death in the lobby of a nearby residential building. Government tried to cover up the murder, saying he died when he swallowed a bag of drugs he was carrying.
    2. Crony Capitalism
      1. success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.
      2. Mubarak accelerated process of privatization of state-owned corporations. Govt sold its assets to Mubarak’s family members and allies for fraction of their worth. Those cronies sold them to investors at true value, thus gaining tremendous wealth. Production facilities closed to give cronies opportunity to import. Cronies acquired monopolies in certain commodities, another great source of wealth.
    3. Political Repression
      1. No independent judicial supervision of elections
      2. State-controlled media
      3. State of Emergency Law in effect for over 30 years
    4. Economic Underdevelopment
  4. Where is the revolution headed? I don’t really know. We humans tend to focus on our narrow self-interests, and the challenges Egypt faces require a sustained spirit of cooperation.
  5. Can the revolution spread to other countries? It is.
  6. Can it spread to the U.S.? To me, the closest thing I can think of to the Egyptian revolution is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s idea of the Poor People’s March. Could we get people out in the streets of every major city, stopping work and resisting police until the government changed its policies to people-centric from profit-centric?
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