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Song of the Watermelon: Thoughts on the Coup in Egypt

Tahrir Square in 2011

In the early hours of 12 April 2002, with massive anti-government protests filling the streets, members of the Venezuelan military abducted President Hugo Chávez and, promising new elections, installed an interim leader of their own choosing in his place. Large swaths of respectable international opinion praised the action — which was not called a coup — with The New York Times crowing in a now-infamous editorial that “Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator.”

When Chávez, with the assistance of military loyalists and massive street protests of his own, returned triumphantly (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Lesson From Egypt

The other day I wrote a post contrasting the fervent engagement of the Egyptian people as they pursue their demands for a representative democracy, contrasting that passion with our own seeming indifference to the deficits we face here at home.

This morning’s Star has published a letter from James Quinn, a Hamilton area activist and biology professor at McMaster University, on the topic of what we can learn from Egypt. I reproduce it below:

Re: Morsi calls in the military ahead of constitution vote, Dec. 10

I think we can learn a thing or two from the protesters in Egypt.

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LeDaro: Egypt’s President Trying to Make Himself a Pharaoh

Morsi, the Egyptian president, was doing well after negotiating the cease-fire between Gaza and Israel, showed he and his country were playing a constructive role in the region. Though, after that, he seemed to think he was Superman, that he could do anything. He made decrees, tried to overturn the will of the Egyptian people and make himself dictator. This has not worked.

Now, he’s in deep trouble himself. The people are speaking out as protests have erupted across the country. Hasn’t Morsi learned from Tahrir Square and the protests that saw the ouster of Hosni Mubarak?

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Politics and its Discontents: Canada and Egypt: A Study in Contrasts

My wife, well aware of my anguish over the disengagement with democracy of so many Canadians, made a comment this morning that has inspired this post. She observed the sharp contrast that exists with Egypt, where the notion of democracy is still more a dream than a reality, a dream the people feel is well-worth putting themselves at risk of arrest, injury, and even death, to achieve. This became quite apparent less than two years ago with the vigorous protests leading to the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, and the people’s passion continues to this day, evident in the demonstrations against

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Song of the Watermelon: On Egypt’s Presidential Election

It’s official. More than one year after the overthrow of hated dictator Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi has won Egypt’s run-off presidential election with 51.7 percent support. This outcome was widely known ever since last weekend’s vote wrapped up. What was unknown was whether Egypt’s military rulers, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, would allow Morsi to take power. Apparently they will.

What did the Brotherhood have to do to achieve this concession? Party officials reportedly spent the week after the vote negotiating with the military, and some have speculated that Morsi’s victory would be conditional

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