Che TutThink about those ancient hieroglyphics we’ve all seen carved into the walls of Egyptian tombs. Just about everything we know of early civilization comes from the writings on pyramid walls. But truth was easier to separate from fiction back then. We know that giant “gods” with the heads of birds and dogs didn’t come to Earth and do the bidding of the pharaohs. But while we have some idea of what daily life was like for the ruling families, we know very little about the lives of the average Egyptian citizen back then. Most of what we do know comes from their artifacts, not writings or oral history. As far back as ancient Egypt, history was written by people of wealth and power, telling us only what they wanted us to know. The rest of us had to rely on the work of people we were likely to never know: poets, historians, archeologists… the recorders of history.

It’s been the “mission statement” of this blog since its inception, and a personal mission for years before that:

“Recording history for those who seek to rewrite it.”

Winston Churchill famously said, “History is written by the victors.”, which is true. But that doesn’t stop the losers from desperately trying to rewrite history to make them appear noble, blameless, and even as “the victim”. Losers kick & scream, they “invent facts” out of half truths or even all-out fiction, they protest indignantly and paint their victims as the oppressor. And when confronted with facts, they ignore them and either question the evidence and/or deny the truth entirely. It is not unlike arguing with an ideologue (aka: “zealot”)… which I just happened to have finished doing for the past two days (which I won’t bore you with other than to say it has to do with WMD’s in Iraq).

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show has been doing an outstanding job this past week covering the protests in Egypt. Starting Wednesday, Rachel started to note how President Mubarak appeared to be going down the same path the Chinese did with Tienanmen Square, or the Iranian mullahs quashing the election rebellion in June of 2009. Both used the state-owned media to portray the protesters as “violent mobs out to destroy the government”… rewriting history in order to remain in power. And it worked. Chinese students that weren’t even born at the time of the Tienanmen Square protests in 1989, when shown photos by ABC’s Diane Sawyer, believed the photos to be fakes and the described the protests as “violent”… IF they had even heard of the protests at all (most hadn’t). In Iran, the ruling mullahs put people claiming to be protesters from the election rebellion on state-owned TV, admitting to committing acts of violence and vandalism.

To this day, I still can’t say 100% what sparked the protests in Egypt. Why now? What was the straw that broke the camels back? Certainly, the protests that broke out in neighboring Tunisia… where several people set themselves on fire in protest of the government, resulting in Tunisian President Ben Ali fleeing with his wife just days later… had a lot to do with it, but that’s Tunisia. Then I heard that what may have set off the Egyptian people: word was that their corrupt and incompetent president of the last 30 years started indicating that he might turn power over to his idiot son should he retire (sound familiar?). The last presidential election was widely regarded as stolen (this just gets better & better) and the people were afraid Mubarak was threatening to create a dynasty rather than allow Egypt to resume as a Democracy.

I started work on a new video in which I planned to show the “peaceful nature” of the Egyptian protests the day before “pro-Mubarak” supporters (“paid thugs” according to NBC’s Richard Engle) on horseback and camelback attacked protesters, swinging whips & rods, killing a dozen protesters and injuring hundreds more. Violent clashes broke out for two straight days & nights, with the pro-Mubarak supporters throwing rocks & Molotov Cocktails at the anti-Mubarak crowds. The Internet was shut off and reporters were attacked to prevent word of the crackdown from getting out:

Reporter rescued after being beaten by pro-Mubarak supporters – Feb 3, 2011
Reporter rescued after being beaten by pro-Mubarak supporters - Feb 3, 2011


It was generally agreed that it was President Mubarak’s plan to paint the protests as violent so that he could then take credit for “restoring peace” once he called his dogs off, and convince the people to allow him to stay in office.

Now I knew when I started working on the video that the timeline would create some problems. Namely that initially, the protests *were* violent early on when the police were sent in to squash them. The police, working for President Mubarak, turned the protests bloody, and the protesters had to use violence to chase them out of town. Then, with the police gone, thousands of criminals broke out of prison and not-so-coincidentally, looting took place, including at the famed Cairo National Museum, where some of the protesters who’ve been out of work for months, smashed display cases and damaged priceless artifacts looking for gold to sell (the fact such an historic museum can have less security than a 7-Eleven is horrifying to those of us that recognize the importance of recording history.) With no police to protect them, vigilantes took to the streets, stopping people to check for weapons and “arresting” anyone that was believed to be there to create trouble.

Soon the military moved in to restore order. Since (I have surmised) the military is made up mostly of young Egyptian men forced into mandatory military service of which most Egyptian men now in protest had also served, they were greeted with cheers of support. As such, the military empathizes more with the protesters than the police… people who chose to serve Mubarak’s by choice and do his bidding. The military then did its best to restore order, not turning on protesters but instead laying down a smokescreen to separate them from the police, and in some cases, even joining in the protests. Later that night, President Mubarak went on TV to tell the nation that he would not seek reelection when his current term ended in September. But this was no consolation since it was already believed that he intended to step down and transfer power to his son anyway. And, I have no doubt they are concerned, as I would be, that come September, after things had quieted down and life seemed to return to normal, Mubarak would likely forget his promise and stick around anyway. So the protesters remained, shouting “Go now!”

The next day (February 2nd), the streets of Egypt were once again “peaceful”. NBC’s Brian Williams was taken on a tour of Tahrir Square by reporter Richard Engle where the atmosphere was described as “carnival-like”. Some people had “set up shop” to sell food & drinks to protesters… some of whom even brought their children to share in the jubilation:

Tahrir Square – February 2, 2011

But the next day, chaos ensued when the “pro-Mubarak” counter-protesters attacked the crowds the next morning, and you know the rest.

So here I was, trying to make this video, but there was a problem: the protesters were never let alone longer than that one day (Feb.2nd) without either being drawn into violence by the police or… once they were driven out… by “pro-Mubarak” counter-protesters, riding in on horses/camels (expensive), some of whom were caught with police ID’s. So how does one produce a video of “peaceful” protesters when they are left alone only one day in ten? (According to ABC News yesterday, Mubarak had reigned in his goon-squads and Tahrir Square is peaceful once again:

Families return to Tahrir Square – Feb 5, 2011
Families return to Tahrir Square - Feb 5, 2011


They say “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, but this photo at the tail end of the above video clip gives me a lump in my throat:

Obama-like banner in Egypt - 110202
Click to enlarge


Think about that banner for a moment. In just two short years, America has gone from one of the most hated nations in the Mid-East such that a furious Muslim reporter takes off his shoes and throws them at President Bush (one of the worst insults in the Muslim world), calling him a terrorist and a murderer, to America being looked to as a source of hope & inspiration once again. The rejection of Bush and the election of Obama by a huge number of Americans is seen in the Muslim world as a Progressive and an inspirational act of defiance that they seek to emulate. The simple act of electing Barack Obama president did more to “win the hearts and minds” of the Middle East, and is… as we speak… doing more to “spread democracy” than President Bush’s war-mongering was supposed to achieve. Think about that for a moment.

And notice that T-shirt being worn by one of the protesters at the bottom-left of the banner? The image is of a Muslim Crescent with the Christian Cross where the star would be. And he’s wearing this in public without fear of being beaten or even harassed for such “blasphemy”. Instead, he is surrounded by jubilant crowds holding up a sign in English for the English-speaking (“Christian”) world to read. A message of unity & peace… not hate & violence… by crowds crying out for democracy. (I noticed the symbol appearing in two other signs appearing on the ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday:

Crescent Cross logo 1 - Feb 5, 2011Crescent Cross logo 2 - Feb 5, 2011

Fortunately, we finally live in an age when “rewriting history” has become almost impossible to achieve… almost. The only tool they have left is to block, filter or totally cut off the Internet. But as long as the rest of stay diligent, the truth shall live.

NOTE: You can now follow “@MugsysRapSheet” on Twitter. See left column for link.

And as usual: a reminder to Sign my Green Jobs petition:
Support green jobs NOW!



RSS Please REGISTER to post comments or be notified by e-mail every time this Blog is updated! Firefox/IE7+ users can use RSS for a browser link that lists the latest posts! RSS
Writers Wanted