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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Explosive Happenings, Egyptian Edition

Via ABC News:

Gas pipeline blown up in Egypt

Unknown attackers have blown up an Egyptian terminal supplying gas to Israel near the Gaza Strip, amid raging protests against the regime of president Hosni Mubarak.

[...more...]

The riots continue apace.

In other news, former President George W. Bush had to cancel an appearance overseas, and it looks like it may have been due to the thread of protests coupled with a possibility that he may have been arrested for war crimes.

Today is Saturday, 5 February 2011, and this is an Open Thread.

Sections: 

Revolutions Know No Color

By Michael Collins

The legitimate demands of the people everywhere have no color, nor do their revolutions.  These are not the revolutions arising from staged events by the White House, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other meddlers.  We are witnessing what Mark Levine called human nationalism.  The people of Tunisia, now Egypt, are, "taking control of their politics, economy and identity away from foreign interests and local elites alike in a manner that has not been seen in more than half a century." (Image)

Somehow, we are supposed to believe that the English speaking peoples have a corner on democracy.  The rest of the world is still learning.  When the oppressed of a nation, particularly of the third world, stage an uprising, it is neatly packaged and color coded.  That way it's easier to follow.  The Western leaders and press assume an avuncular pose and pass judgment on how the various colors pass along the path to self-determination -- not too fast, not to0 rowdy, and certainly not to0 disruptive to first world markets, especially oil.

Timing the Olympic Dragon, by Gabriel Lafitte

Gabriel has graciously sent me another in depth and insightful piece on the Tibetan protests and riots as well as the Chinese predicament and possible solutions. Again, I'm posting it in full rather than attempt to reduce it to a few paragraphs and paraphrasings. Posted by permission. Images added by me.

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Zhang Qingli, China’s Party boss in Tibet says: “We are engaged in a fierce battle of blood and fire with the Dalai clique, a life-and-death struggle between the foe and us.” At the very moment China’s Communist Party denounces the Dalai Lama with renewed spleen, as a devil and a wolf, the Dalai Lama offers to fly to Beijing, to resolve the crisis. Is his timing utterly inept, or does he know something that has not yet occurred to the rest of us? Tibet is in crisis, the Chinese Communist Party leadership is in crisis, utterly unable to understand events and bereft of new ideas. In Newsweek, Melinda Liu says: “Can Chinese officials put the entire roof of the world into lockdown? According to one foreign analyst involved in monitoring Olympic preparations, who requested anonymity for security reasons, ‘They’re simply just freaking out.’” The authority of the Dalai Lama among Tibetans is in crisis, the global Tibetan exile is reinventing itself; and the world looks on, unable to read this old volcano now erupting anew.

Reclaiming the Streets - Gabriel Lafitte

Originally posted 2008-03-18 17:23:4: bumped and promoted...and thanks to Yetimonk for bringing this here -- cho

The Dalai Lama recently criticized Tibetan violence on both sides and said that if it continued that he would resign as the Tibetan Exile Governments political leader. He is under some pressure from impatient younger Tibetans who want full independence now and are willing to fight for it.

An excellent article by Gabriel Lafitte at NewMatilda.com, advisor to the Tibetan Government in Exile, about the protests and riots, and what it means to the Tibetans themselves. What follows is his article in full (reprinted with permission).


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    The Tibetan revolt, like those of two and five decades ago, will be crushed by the overwhelming might of the Chinese military. No match could be more unequal: maroon-clad nuns and monks versus the machinery of oppression of the global rising power. In recent months, fast-response mobile tactical squads whose sole purpose is to quell the masses have been overtly rehearsing on the streets of Tibetan towns for just what they are now doing.

    What is the point of revolt if it is almost certainly suicidal?

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