The fingers have found foreign agitators at which to point

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (left) and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (right) point fingers at each other during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC. Perry’s Cave

Elections are, by their very nature, finger pointing affairs, as we have all witness the last few months a Republican candidates have fought for the right to fight President Obama for the office.  For the moment the Republican candidates are pointing fingers at each other, except Romney who now seems to believe he is the candidate and will face Obama in the fall.  Romney is saving his finger for pointing at Obama, blaming all of the ills, trials and tribulations the United States and the rest of the world are facing on the sitting president.  On the international stage and at the United Nations, Hilary is pointing her angry and her finger at the Russians – the Chinese get more gentle treatment – I wonder why? But, Hilary not withstanding there are other fingers being thrown around over Syria – and at this point with an estimated 200 people a day dying there is plenty of guilt and responsibility to put on your enemies.

However, I am still stuck in Cairo and the finger pointing in Egypt.  Apparently the Egyptian government has announced plans to try members and staff of vague NGOs.  Everyone has heard of them, but few of us, including me, really understand who they are – except as the name implies, they are non-governmental organizations – ubiquitous in Africa – taking on charitable roles the governments cannot or will not address.  It probably is not fair, but I think of them as being a kind of super-PAC – political action committee.  They seem to have plenty of money and many follow the broad polices of their home countries, but can claim to be independent, a-political, just your average very helpful, caring charity organization without a political agenda.  As you might guess, many countries suspect them of being a kind of fifth column, operating behind the lines, building a power base for the invading armies to come and doing a little spying in their spare time.

Egypt says it is to put on trial 43 people – including Americans and other foreigners – over the funding of non-governmental organizations. Egypt’s ruling military council has accused foreign groups of funding street protests against them.  It has raided the offices of several NGOs and banned a number of foreign staff from leaving the country. BBC News, 2-5-12

If Egypt goes through with the plan, it will make for some interesting reading as the charges surface.  At this time, the charge is fueling and funding the unrest, riots and political disturbances that have marked the last four days in Egypt – the death total is approaching 20 and the list of injured is nearing 3000.  If the Egyptian government could find guilty foreign agitators it would certainly help – remember how that phrase once resonated in American politics?

It would be a surprise to most everyone if the Tahrir -ers bought that, but stranger things have happened.  Egyptian politicians for the last 50 years have had a scape goat – outsiders, a criminal state the caused all of the problems in Egypt and the region; it often worked to focus the emotions on Jews and not on anything the government was or was not doing.   It would not be without precedent – but in my opinion, it is very unlikely.  I will end this post with a quote from al-Jazeera to illustrate my point and to illustrate just how much emotion – hate – is floating around the streets of Cairo these days.

Protesters, many of them organized supporters of Cairo’s main football clubs known as the ultras, held up a huge banner to the police that read: “Those who didn’t deserve to die have died at the hands of those who don’t deserve to live.” al-Jazeera, 2-5-12


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February 2012
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