Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Egypt Thing -- Battles Engaged

The scenes yesterday and last night in Tahrir Square were mesmerizing. The clashes between factions of demonstrators beside and around the Museum -- pro or anti "democracy" -- were scary yet somehow strangely formalized, especially when the firebombs started flying from the rooftops and from one side to the other.

I only watch events in Egypt on Al Jazeera English (have been unable to access AJE's own site, so have been watching on their YouTube channel), so I don't know how -- or whether -- the events and the details of the events in Egypt are being covered in American media, but the critics have been savage, pointing out that Al Jazeera is almost the only serious and objective coverage there is; even BBC World and RT aren't as comprehensive and thorough -- and "even handed" -- as Al Jazeera.

When the shooting started and calls came in to Al Jazeera from protesters on the scene, the stark terror in the voices of those who were calling was heartbreaking, and yet their determination to stand their ground was extraordinary.

This morning, the government is reported to have given more ground. A Revolution does not happen in televised soundbites. Nor in Tweets and Facebook posts nor in blogposts like this one or any other. All we can tell of what is really going on is what filters out, and what filters out is always shaped by the interests of the filterers.

It was as true with regard to our own Revolution as it is now.

What appears to be true is that Mubarak's departure is being engineered by shadowy forces behind the scenes, perhaps led by the CIA/Mossad nexus that has been propping up the regime for decades. But there must be some kind of struggle in the Palace over who or what will take Mubarak's place in the interim.

Beyond that, who knows?

Even "what appears to be true" is full on speculation.

Time will tell.

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