Egyptian Protests

The Associated Press: The day part of the Internet died: Egypt goes dark

Egypt has apparently done what many technologists thought was unthinkable for any country with a major Internet economy: It unplugged itself entirely from the Internet to try and silence dissent.

Experts say it’s unlikely that what’s happened in Egypt could happen in the United States because the U.S. has numerous Internet providers and ways of connecting to the Internet. Coordinating a simultaneous shutdown would be a massive undertaking.

It must be remembered that Egypt isn’t a true democracy. Under Mubarak it went from a mostly “benevolent dictatorship” (as much as I hate the term) to outright autocratic dictatorship. History has shown what happens when governments cut off its citizen’s ability to communicate: violence is often inflicted upon the citizenry by the ruling elite in an attempt to remain in power. Some succeed, some don’t.

I’m hoping tomorrow will not be one of violence, but I suspect it might be given the Mubarak regime’s desperation to stay in power by blaming Muslim fundamentalists instead of addressing the social conditions and economic issues that have festered over the decades into the anger on the streets we now see in Egypt.

Joe’s Foot In Mouth Disease, Part 1,275 (International edition)

Way to embarrass American citizens Joe.

Joe Biden says Egypt’s Mubarak no dictator, he shouldn’t step down… – CSMonitor.com

Asked if he would characterize Mubarak as a dictator Biden responded: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with – with Israel. … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

Biden, like most US politicians, conveniently ignores the wishes of the people of Egypt giving lip service to supporting human rights and freedom. He is completely ignorant of the situation there, ignorance that could be easily fixed if he bothered to sit for five minutes on the internet to read of the deplorable social, political, and economic conditions in Egypt along with the notorious abuses of the regime against its own citizens in the name of security.

I’ve no illusions that the US government is duplicitous when it comes to being pro-democracy, but I think most Americans are fed up with that duplicity and the arrogance with which that duplicity is blithely explained away.

As an aside, I was glad to see Sandmonkey was back on the web, actively posting on Twitter the events occurring in Cairo before the blackout went into place.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

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