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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dictators of the world Unite!

I am convinced that no one reads the state-owned Egyptian newspapers the same way that i do. I am. What i notice is never what other people notice, and that's probably because i don't think most people really read it the way it is supposed to be read: a mouthpiece for Mubarak. And the worst, the absolute worst of them all is Al Ahram. Like I remember 2 weeks ago reading those 2 front page news articles, one stating that the change of constitution to allow people to run in presidential elections will include a clause that will prohibit anyone who has any sort of foreign funding ( even from Egyptian abroad) from running. The other was one about the Union of journalists staging a protest against “Foreign intervention”. They seem unrelated, but they are not, especially when you have Ayman Nour being the official challenger- and US favored- in the next election, and you know that he also happens to be a journalist. I remember going to my cousin who works as one of the top managers in another leading state-run newspaper and showed it to him and was like : “Tell me those 2 articles are not related!” and he just laughed and told me “You know they are. It’s official policy now man!” But the thing that riled me up was Yesterday’s newspaper and its FrontPage. One third of it was dedicated to the series of televised Mubarak “candid” interviews called “A word for History” that are conducted by Emad Adib and directed by Sherif Arafah (Egypt’s versions of Larry King and Michael Bay) and broadcasted on Egyptian television, and the satellite broadcasted Arabic speaking Nile news channel and English speaking Nile TV( all also state owned and operated). Among the “news” and “revelations” included in the interview are that 1) Mubarak never received handouts and accomplished everything by himself, which is what thought him responsibility; 2) He doesn’t mind the opposition and never gets mad at someone who disagrees with him and 3) He is the one who rebuilt the Egyptian air force that of course was the #1 reason for our “glorious victory” in the Yom Kippur war. The election campaign is in full effect people. But the interesting thing, and the connection, and the point behind this whole article, is the news article underneath that interview, and that’s the interview that Ibrahim Nafea, the editor in chief, had with Russian President Vladimir Putin. What’s the 36 font bold quote that makes the headline? “ Egypt is operating on the correct political model, and any foreign pressure in the name of Democracy should be opposed and rejected!” Nice, huh? An Egyptian reader will read this and think: “Even the President of Russia sees the American Zionist conspiracy in the name of spreading democracy; I am not the only one who thinks this way!” and will ignore the fact that Putin has been more or less operating as a dictator in Russia and has been warned publicly by Condi to not seek an illegal third term as President. Now tell me that those 2 articles are not connected!

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