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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-05-13 03:41 AM
Original message
Tunisia, D.C., USA
Oct 4, 11:07 PM EDT

Man sets himself on fire on the National Mall

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A man set himself on fire on the National Mall in the nation's capital as passers-by rushed over to help put out the flames, officials and witnesses said Friday afternoon.

The reason for the self-immolation was not immediately clear and the man's identity was not disclosed. But it occurred in public view, on a central national gathering place, in a city still rattled by a mass shooting last month and a high-speed car chase outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday that ended with a woman being shot dead by police with a young child in the car.

In December 2010, a 26 year old vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, who earned about $10 a day, self-immolated because local police were harassing him, making it more difficult to support his family. Supposedly, this triggered the Arab Spring, including toppling the Tunisian government.

In 2011, Bouazizi was posthumously awarded the Sakharov Prize jointly along with four others for his and their contributions to "historic changes in the Arab world".<4> The Tunisian government honored him with a postage stamp.<5> The Times of the United Kingdom named Bouazizi as person of the year 2011.

After Bouazizi, there were a number of other self-immolations in the Middle East and North Africa. Wiki says at least 14 (including Bouazizi, I believe) were reported.

In March, 2013, Adel Khadri, 27, also a Tunisian vendor, self-immolated. I don't recall hearing about it at the time.

"Street vendors took to the streets after Khadri's death to express their dissatisfaction with the government."

And we all know what happened in Egypt with Morsi, elected as a result of the Arab Spring, the first elected Egyptian President in history.

After allegedly huge demonstrations against Morsi began in June (huge on Day One), it took the Egyptian Army all of two or three days to oust him. Then, an Egyptian general allegedly became Egypt's most popular leader very quickly after Morsi's ouster by the military. (From Day One, I thought the whole story smelled bad. I have no specfic theory, except that the story seemed highly implausible and also highly convenient.)

I am not sure the anti military demonstrations have ended. A friend who communicates with his family in Egypt daily mentioned that, when college students return to Cairo, demonstrations may begin again. Unfortunately, I neglected to ask when they return.

My friend says some of the population wants Morsi back, while another portion of the population does not necessarily want Morsi back, but is is angry about how the Egyptian Army removed him.

RIP, everyone mentioned in this post.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-05-13 04:11 AM
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1. I know one thing for certain.
We are constantly being mislead about the true nature of the uprisings and various factions in Egypt and the Middle East. We cannot know the truth. We can't see through the smoke and I suspect the Egyptian people are similarly afflicted.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-05-13 11:03 AM
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2. True. And they have so much less than we do.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-07-13 02:27 PM
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3. We would rise up too.
If we had as little. TPTB are making a study, as we speak, on how much they can take away from the American people before we flood the streets like in Egypt.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-09-13 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Quite a lot, apparently.
Edited on Wed Oct-09-13 01:48 AM by No Elephants
I think one important difference (of many important differences) is that Americans feel invested in their government. We fought a revolution to throw off a king, and the constitution was the creation of the mob general populace of the nation(who demanded the Bill of Rights) and the plutocrats (who had originally created a pro-business document). And then, we got more and more voting rights.

Not to mention having been fed propaganda and jingoism along with our patriotism for centuries.

So we have been invested. Not only that, but we have been under the illusion that we control the government, that our only problem has been that "the other side" wins from time to time. (funny, isn't it, that, as it becomes clearer and clearer to some of us that the only sides that differ to any significant degree are really the 99% and the 1%, the rest of us are more and more divided along party lines? well, not so much funny as very, very carefully cultivated)

While the Egyptians had pharaohs (who were not even Egyptian, we're told), then kings, then dictators propped up by the military, with the military being propped up by the USaudis and others.

It would be amazing that they did not rise up long ago, except that their lives have been so hard, trying to scrabble a life out of a country that is mostly desert, where temps hit 120 in the summer (millenia before global warming, too--wait until it gets even warmer).

So, now they've had one election in a row and that did not work out any better for them than Clepatra and Caesar.

Will the 99% EVER get that plutocrats are just not that into them? Doesn't matter if they're from Macedonia or Massachusetts. Plutocrats are just not that into the 99%.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-09-13 05:23 AM
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5. Interesting observations.
Yes, late in Egypt's history the pharaohs were Greek, not Egyptian. That is because Alexander the Great installed Ptolemaic Pharaohs to rule over Egypt after his conquest. The famous Cleopatra was a Ptolemaic Pharaoh.
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