Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What the Egyptian Revolution Has Brought

Reuters reports:
The sentencing of a blogger to jail for criticizing Egypt's army has drawn a chorus of objections from rights groups, who say the country's ruling military council is drawing red lines around free speech.

Maikel Nabil, 26, was taken from his home in Cairo by five military officers early on March 28 and charged with insulting the military establishment and "spreading false information," New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

Nabil's lawyers were told the judge would rule on Tuesday but discovered he had already been sentenced in their absence on Sunday, HRW cited defense lawyer Adel Ramadan as saying.

"Maikel Nabil's three-year sentence may be the worst strike against free expression in Egypt since the Mubarak government jailed the first blogger for four years in 2007," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at HRW. He urged the army to drop all the charges and release Nabil immediately.

Activists suspect anything from hundreds to thousands of Egyptians are being held and tried before military courts behind closed doors after President Hosni Mubarak's ousting on February 11.

"The methods used by the Egyptian military do not seem to have evolved since Hosni Mubarak's fall," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-Francois Julliard.

"A civilian should not be tried by a military court. This is not the way things are done in the democratic society to which Egyptians aspire," he added.

Responding to a question about Nabil's trial, military council member General Mamdouh Shaheen said freedom of expression was enshrined in the law, but that it was a crime to say or do things that threatened the safety of the army.

Shaheen said on television channel ONTV that Nabil could appeal against the sentence, which will only be final once it is ratified by the chief of the military district.

In a blog entry on March 8, Nabil questioned the military's motives and posted photographs and video clips of protesters he said had been beaten by military police during the uprising that forced the president to quit.

"In truth, until now the revolution was achieved by getting rid of the dictator (Mubarak), but dictatorship is still present," Nabil wrote.

The Reuters report goes on to say that the army enjoys broad support.

If you are going to have a revolution, you better know what you is going to replace it with. Clamping down on free speech is an obvious problem, but what about when the problem is deeper and people don't understand the necessity of private property and free exchange, for a climbing living standard?

Be careful of revolutions, even Tea Party revolutions, when the importance of private property is not understood, and that only a better leader, who will compromise "just a little", is seen as a solution.


  1. Wenzel,

    Thank you for these special reports. You do go, intellectually honest and logically consistent work for those concerned with individual freedom. I salute you, good sir!

  2. Where is our Peace Prize President now, and his democracy speaking Secretary of State, Clinton? The silence is deafening from these two war mongers. We really should not expect better, after all they run a military economic complex themselves and can easily relate to this thuggery. Once proud USA now a fascist state run by banker crooks. Shame on us all and may God have mercy on this once fine nation.

  3. One thing Tea Party revolutionaries understand and champion is the right to and respect for private property. That's usually the whole basis for the opposition to taxation. But good admonition none the less.

  4. No brainer.......you always have to be careful.
    If you actually believe any politician ,government or even so much as think any politician or movement is going to improve things my business associates will be happy to sell you Ft. Knox.

  5. Isaiah Chapter 19:1-4 shines light on this matter. To paraphrase. "*The Lord road a swift horse into Egypt. *Egyptian is stirred up against Egyptian. *Brother will fight against brother; neighbor against neighbor. **The Egyptians will lose heart and a leadership will be held by a powerful, cruel master. *Egyptians will be worse off than before. -vs- 1-4 Wait til you see what Isaiah Chapter 17:1 has to say about Damascus, the oldest continuous existing ciy in the world.

  6. Why is anyone surprised? The Egyptian military represents the worst of the previous Mubarak regime and has always had extremely close ties with the Fascist US military who pull the strings behind the scenes. The Egyptian people had better rethink that "broad support" for their military - and quick!

  7. Unquestionably, what follows will be the Muslim Brotherhood, and it will indeed be much much worse.

    Anyone who thinks that these revolutions herald a new age in the Arab and Muslim world --- especially Joe Stork, a faux "academic" propagandist --- are sadly delusional, to be polite.

    The Arab and Muslim world has no understanding of freedom of speech, property rights, freedom of faith --- and certainly no understanding of freedom of thought or conscience. An excellent column in today's American Thinker provides and astounding piece of scientific evidence on a genetic cause of that --- from unbelievably high rates of consanguineous marriage and inbreeding --- could (at the least) provide a partial explanation, although as a student of the region for more than a decade I believe there is another as well.

    In any case, apart from these points, yours is indeed a good admonition, for which I too thank you.

  8. The only Arabs in the Middle East who have democratic rights and the right to free speech are the Arabs living in Israel.