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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lessons From Egypt

Hey Barry:

Been thinking about the riots and revolution in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and other mid-east countries.

Here's a question for us: What can we learn from them?

I think we can watch carefully and learn what government actions 'work' to restore stability and which do not 'work'. 'Work' is in quotes because there can be a tendency to stop reforms after short term solutions create an appearance of calm. If the short term actions are not followed by solutions which address the underlying structural issues, a danger then exists that the unrest will reappear at a later time.

The common theme across the region appears to be frustration at economic injustice. You can read it here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hP9QSsUxtsG857BtLliCZ6mVJ0rQ?docId=963a7f0a2f72410b8724a8c39e9e40e9

Here's a link to a CNN history: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/01/31/egypt.protests.qanda/

Some mothers cannot feed their families and some university graduates cannot find jobs. At the same time, the populations have the perception that their society is corrupt - the rich people take all the money from the country and leave the rest to struggle and/or starve.

I fear that your government, Barry, will stand by and proclaim that 'democracy' will solve economic injustice. I don't think that plain ol democracy - in the form of free elections - is enough to prevent economic injustice. We have both, Barry. We have both.

Our foreign policy does not require that governments which receive our aid money make changes to reduce the levels of injustice. Street rioters then can blame the U S of A - with some justification - as supporting that injustice.

My hope is that one of the afflicted countries finds some mechanism to reduce the level of economic injustice so that average folks can have a decent life.

That would be a good lesson to bring home Barry. Then we could apply it here.

Your pal,

1 comment:

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