Wednesday, June 21, 2006  

Egyptian blogger

to be released. From The Independent:
Egyptian authorities have ordered the release of an award-winning blogger and activist, imprisoned 45 days ago on charges including insulting the President.

Alaa Seif al-Islam, 24, who was arrested at a pro-reform demonstration on 7 May, had drawn the ire of the authorities for his provocative weblog and taking part in banned street protests. He is expected to be released from the Tora prison in Cairo today.

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The article also lists several other on-line dissidents.

Alaa is charged with, among other things, "insulting the president."

As a Westerner, I cop to a certain level of arrogance (and ignorance, I guess), but I have to say, if you don't like being insulted, either don't be president OR (here's a thought) stop behaving like a petty dictator who bends to the whims of the mouths with the most money. Being insulted comes with the territory. You really can't expect people to like you all of the time, no matter how much you oppress them. Sorry.

It's a simple concept, really- the people elect you, you do your best for them, you either get voted back in (and none of that phoney 99.9% of the wilya voted for you crap. Nobody, except maybe dogcatcher, gets 99.9% of the vote), or you don't- at which point you bow out gracefully and find something else to do.

Now, I can hear the Egyptian bloggers going but, but, but...the US....!

Yes, yes, I know. We are a stupid people ruled by the village idiot funded by monsters.
Sadly, it's mostly true.

And what is also mostly true, is that the US spends a tremendous amount of energy supporting these kinds of governments with thin skins and a taste for abusing their own citizens in exchange for control of markets, allies in the war on terror and so-called friends.

It's a pact with the devil- although, to be honest, I am not sure which side is the lesser of two evils.

And before the right wing gets all snarky on me, consider this:

Yes, I can insult the US president and still be around to go to work in the am (do I HAVE to????), and isn't this wonderful. This is all well and good, but since you're spouting democratic rhetoric here- why aren't those same rights something we should support in other places? If you and I can enjoy and exercise these rights, Alaa and the others should, as well. And our government has no business propping up others who abridge freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the right to petition the government and freedom of religion (should sound familiar to you- That would be in the Bill of Rights).

You can find out more about Alaa and the others on The Arabist.

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