Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Revolutionary Kin?

Newsweek highlights the trials of Arab bloggers in a time when radical elements of power reign supreme.

Dissidents rail daily in their own ways against their governments, much like many patriots before them. A growing movement of discontent dwells beneath the surface of leaders who may put little value on the creativity and intelligence of their citizens.

Sounds somewhat familiar...

Featured in the Newsweek article is a "cynical, snarky, pro-US..." Egyptian writer who runs the blog 'Rantings of a Sandmonkey'. The writer in question got some heat for posting a video of an Egyptian bus driver being sodomized by police. He has since stopped blogging.

Also featured is Syrian blogger Ammar Abdulhamid, who runs 'A Heretic's Blog'. An alumni of UW-Stevens Point, he blogs from Maryland after being exiled from his country for railing against "the thug," President Bashar Assad. Abdulhamid credits receiving less severe punishment to the fact that his mother, Mona Wasef, is a famous Syrian actor.

These examples remind of the reformist blogs in Iran that were shut down soon before the coronation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Neo Cons call for regime change. Perhaps they are correct in some way. But the organic discontent from within the country needs to lead it. Otherwise, it's likely the whole prospect will likely be seen as a movement for Western interests.

Revolution takes time. The movement seems instantaneous, but the result must clear several roadblocks.