Monday, February 14, 2011

Comment on PJM, Ed Driscoll »
You’re So Vain, You Probably Think That Egypt’s About You

Ed Driscoll » You’re So Vain, You Probably Think That Egypt’s About You

There is a Google representative in Egypt who is claiming credit for this putsch. If he were to have an equivalent in Iran or China or any place under the protection of the Shanghai Cooperative Organization and the helpful protection of experts from the People's Public Security Bureau and said Google employee were to offer an opinion or attempt to use his expertise in social networking to organize a demonstration then said person would likely get returned to Mountain View California, strained through a sieve into a glass jar.

(In reponse to the following from Steve Skubinna)
We know there’s no equivalent to this heroic Googler in the PRC – since Google itself worked as an arm of the Chinese state, turning over dissidents to the goons in Beijing.
That's my point. They had strong incentives to cooperate and beat a hasty retreat when they realized that not only did they have to betray their customers to remain in the market and not only were the Chinese government fully intending to extract their engineering secrets and intellectual property as imperial tribute but that they were dealing with people who really were professional killers that viewed their pretensions with the same contempt that Harry Ellis elicited from Hans Gruber in "Die hard." It would not surprise me in the least if one of the wittier Chinese with familiarity with the West had a horse's head left in Eric Schmidt or Mark Zuckerberg's bed.

The reason the Mubarak regime could not crush their opposition as effectively as the Syrian, Iranian or Chinese can was due to local conditions. First it proves that the Egyptian regime was a relatively mild by Middle East standards Authoritarian and not a Totalitarian Dictatorship. They were adapted to coexisting with a strong presence of foreign observers and a tolerated minority. The military sees their future and that of their nation in association with Europe and not in isolation or submission to a foreign Caliphate. In this they may resemble the Turkish model. Second they did not have a core of despised alien barracks troops prepared to act as an occupying army in their own cities. Truly repressive regimes know that they are always potentially at war with their own nations. The Chinese brought in troops from Inner Mongolia to replace the Beijing garrison and crush the students in Tien An Men. The Iranian Mullahs rely on Arabs in the Revolutionary Guards to terrorize their people. Most Arab regimes, including the minority Alawite based Syrian, rely on long service military contingents that are kept isolated from the general population. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded using such a militia, the Ikhwan. Later it was itself transformed into the current KSA National Guard.

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