Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tienanmen Redux

Here is an individual protester in Egypt (at 1:25 into the video) takes on a water cannon in a scene reminiscent of Tienanmen Square where one protestor stopped a column of tanks. In this case you can see that the guy with the water cannon does try to avoid hurting the protester, for a while, but then I guess "orders" came down and he drove on what squirting water at the crowds...

I hope these protests succeed and don't get squelched like the Green Revolution in Iran.


thomas said...


Here is a short one in Al Jazeera concerning the recent protests..

RYviewpoint said...

Thomas: Thanks for the link.

Over the years I've learned to get more and more disappointed by government. In my youth I remember Kennedy's "Alliance for Progress" and figured it would be just a few years before property & democracy would sprout through all of Latin America. But then I saw the US intervention in the Dominican Republic and was shocked. But that shock was buried as it became clear that the Vietnam War wasn't the story that I was told (noble country resisting Communist oppression).

But this was followed by a whole series of disappointing discoveries as it became obvious that the US stangely backed dictators over democrats. The most utterly obvious of these was the US backed overthrow of Chile's president and the death squads. And then stories of death squads all over South and Central America supported cladestinely by the US military.

Over time I learned these weren't odd discontinuities from a noble country trying to foster democracy. No, in Spain in 1936 a repressive government was voted out of office and a socialist country came to power but General Franco led a military revolt. The democracies all stood back and refused to help. But Hitler and Mussolini aided Franco and he crushed the legitimate government.

It became obvious. The "democraciess" weren't interested in fostering democracy. They were backing whoever would guarantee that big business would ensure profits and control to a thin veneer of ultra-rich who held investments around the world. All these interventions were geared to keeping the investments profitable. There was no interest in giving ordinary people a better life.

This was a sad recognition that came over many years. It is a depressing thought. But if you look at the facts, that is the only possible conclusion.

We live in a natural world that is indifferent to human ethics. But even our social world is tragic because the great mass of people are constantly exploited by a thin veneer of people more interested in their money & power than in decency, in giving the down-and-out a break, or in social justice. The world is far more cruel than it need because because powerful people are quite happy to enjoy their comfort and excess while turning a deaf ear to the pain of the majority.

This is all so depressing. I keep informed as my civic duty, but I've lost all heart. I don't expect a "better world tomorrow". In the end we are all beaten down until we simply live from day to day. The best of us try not to hurt our fellow man. But the hope for something better? That is a dream for youth.