The Founding Fathers Would Be Proud of the People of Egypt ... And Disgusted With the People of America → Washingtons Blog
The Founding Fathers Would Be Proud of the People of Egypt ... And Disgusted With the People of America - Washingtons Blog

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Founding Fathers Would Be Proud of the People of Egypt ... And Disgusted With the People of America

America's founding fathers stood up for their freedom, winning it from the British (with the help of the French).

The Egyptian people have stood up for their freedom, winning it from the Mubarak dictatorship (with the help of the army, which refused to fire a shot at the people, and may even have helped convince Mubarak to leave. See this and this).

The Egyptian people found their courage even when Mubarak's thugs flew fighter jets low over their heads, beat and murdered protesters, and otherwise threatened violence.

But the American people today have been cowed into passivity by an irrational fear of terrorism, laziness and mindlessness.


But obviously, the American government is nothing like the Egyptian dictatorship, right?

Let's compare:

  • There is a stunning amount of inequality in Egypt. But America is even worse
  • Mubarak was supported by the military. But the military -industrial complex has taken over America as well (moreover, there is a tradition in countries like Turkey for the military to ensure that religious fanatics do not take over the country)
  • Mubarak ignored the wishes of his people. But the American government hasn't been listening to it's people either. For example, a 2010 Rasmussen poll found that "just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed". A 2010 Gallup poll determined that nearly half of all Americans believe "the Federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens". Poll after poll shows that "both national parties are deeply unpopular with an electorate looking for something new and different". Polls reveal that 82% of all Americans wanted Wall Street to be reined in in a substantial and meaningful manner, and yet nothing has really changed, and the government has let Wall Street have it's way on all the important issues. Polls find that Americans want the big financial players who acted with fraud to be punished, and yet the government has let all of the big fish off the hook. And the government has ignored many other desires of the American people, including investigations into torture and spying on Americans, impeaching George W. Bush if he lied about Iraqi WMDs (which he did)
  • Mubarak murdered and tortured people without following the rule of law. America hasn't been wholly saintly in this regard over the last 10 years either (and see this)

I'm not saying that America is Egypt. I am saying that America today has a lot of problems also. (And if you think those problems started on 9/11, remember that virtually all of the current domestic and foreign policies were already in place or planned before 9/11.)

But unlike the Egyptian people, Americans have become scared of their own shadow. We have forgotten that courage and hope are choices - which do not have to come from John Wayne levels of testosterone, but can simply arise from loving something enough to want to protect it.

How Did We Turn Into the Oppressor?

England oppressed America. We were the downtrodden who broke free. But now, America has helped to repress the Egyptian people (and see this and this).

How did we get on the wrong side of history?

The Egyptian People Have Changed the World

Minister Jim Wallis writes in an open letter to the Egyptian protesters today entitled "The Egyptian People Have Changed the World -- It's Their Turn to Lead":

You have changed the world.


Remember, the United States was not talking about democracy in Egypt, not advocating it, not saying a transition is necessary and urgent, UNTIL you risked your security, safety and lives for the sake of democracy. You changed the conversation, and the conversation would be the same as it has been for decades if you hadn't done what you did. Your generational peers are now watching what you are doing in countries across the Arab world, and beyond. This is the moment for you and for us.


You represent a new generation, a new leadership, and a new hope for the possibility of real democracy. Keep leading. My government, which still calls itself the beacon of freedom, has sacrificed democracy in your region of the world (and many other places) for American "interests." And our foreign policy around the globe has put our interests before our principles. But they are not really the interests of the American people, but of oil companies, big banks and corporations, and rich and powerful people. Their interest in stability is very different from ours in democracy. So don't be fooled, don't listen to the so-called "wise" voices that have been part of the old reality and want to now thank you for your service to democracy, but are offering to take it from here.

Don't let them. Keep demanding democracy -- real democracy. Because, for the rest of us, democracy is the best defense of our "interests," and the best path to genuine "stability." And, for our part, we will do our best to stand with you. That will likely take sacrifice from all of us, because real change always does.

The Founding Fathers would be proud of the Egyptian people, just as they supported the French revolution. They would be disgusted at the spineless sheep that the American people have become.

Note: I love America and have lived here all my life. I criticize my country because I want to save her from the self-destructive, anti-American path that Bush and Obama have put us on. Just as the Egyptian people felt a need to speak out, so do I.

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."
– Teddy Roosevelt

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
– Teddy Roosevelt

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."
- Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural

"These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for."
- Franklin Roosevelt

"Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Ben Franklin


  1. Democracy, democracy, democracy is what I read above. Democracy is 5 wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner.

    Do we really mean Representative Republic when we say democracy?

    Democracy is the gateway drug to socialism and despotism.

    Lest we forget.

  2. Agree with Storm1n above. Democracy doesn't make a country great, liberty does. Big difference.

  3. We got on the wrong side of history when we let Corporations, instead of the people, control our government.

    That needs to change, and the times are ripe from revolution.

  4. Pertinent quote from Pepe Escobar:

    Very few, if any, scattered around this cozy, wealthy, high-tech, sprawling apparatchik land could even imagine being confronted by a non-violent, non-sectarian, non-Islamist, non-ideological, non-hierarchical, leaderless, street-level revolution conducted by decent, ordinary citizens of - Holy Koran! - an Arab client-state.

    There's no (decrepit) army to fight - or to make a cynical deal with (well, "Sheik al-Torture" and his military cohorts can always be bought, but they are not the enemy; they are "our" horses). Where's Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, Ruhollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden when you need them?

    There's no one to demonize, there's no "you're either with us or without us", there's no territory to be bombed by shock and awe. Unless you consider the "enemy" the youth groups (and not "wise men") that spearheaded the revolution, who on Sunday formed a coalition called Unified Leadership of the Youth of the Rage Revolution. "Wow, that sounds communist!" - many will be whispering at Langley.

    The "enemy" is young Egyptians - guys from the April 6 Youth Movement, the Justice and Freedom Group, the Popular Campaign to Support [Mohamed] ElBaradei, the Democratic Front Party, and - terrorist alert! - the MB. That makes for a combined leadership of 14 guys in their late 20s to early 30s. In an ideal "us against them" world, a crack special forces team - or, more cost-effectively, a Reaper - would drone some realpolitik into their skulls.

    How to topple Mubarak when the 325,000 goons/informers at central security and the 60,000 soldiers from the National Guard are under Mubarak's Ministry of Interior? And how to do it keeping the military dictatorship in place - the same military that got filthy rich by Mubarakism? How to make them accept some token electoral concessions to appease and demobilize the street revolution? And how to make this all credible, with the working class now into the fray, so that a mass of poor, rural, conscripted soldiers also don't start entertaining revolutionary ideas? (and we're not even mentioning the countryside, where 57% of Egypt lives, and 40% with less than $2 a day).

    No wonder Washington is scared. No drone-infested surges apply.


  5. All these things you say need to be said. No disclaimer necessary.

  6. Stormin, here is Benjamin Franklin’s original quote you moron:

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote”.

    Stormin, you are a prime example of the uneducated buffoons who call yourself “American” yet you are so ignorant that you know nothing of your own heritage or even your form of government. Like all Fools, you don’t think, you just have a big mouth with a pee brain that a puppeteer propagandist controls.

    Our American form of Democratic government is a Representative Democratic Republic. Government of, for and by the People- one citizen, one vote- Get it? Democracy not Tyranny and Totalitarian Fascist rule.

    You and your kind are the brainless enemy within our country that the multinational corporate power brainwashes and manipulates in their anti-democracy movement of morons in the Tea Party, Libertarians, Republican Party and the Chamber of Commerce. The “get government off our backs and let the multinational corporations rule” is their mantra and the multinational corporations pump billions into this sub-current campaign to co-opt any “Democratic reform” movement from the people.

    “The best way to defeat your opposition is to organize it yourself.” John D. Rockefeller. The multinational corporate Fascist enemy is organizing an anti-democracy movement against Americans inside our own country, no doubt with the aid of the CIA.

    It is not the Tea Party that will carry the coming revolution in the United States but the majority of Americans in the educated middle class who are sworn by oath to defend our Democracy and Independence and when they step forward, the anti-American morons will scatter because they have no knowledge or will to draw from to stand and fight.

    The coming revolution is going to be real ugly folks, I don’t think it will be peaceful, the enemy moves against us every day planning for the chaos and through manipulated chaos they expect to win.

  7. Thebes,

    I believe we got on the wrong side of history the first time we broke our word with the Native people and first time we allowed a human being to be owned as a slave.


  8. Glenn Greenwald's column of today on the HP Gary debacle-criminality said it right:

    "The exemption from the rule of law has been fully transferred from the highest level political elites to their counterparts in the private sector. "Law" is something used to restrain ordinary Americans and especially those who oppose this consortium of government and corporate power, but it manifestly does not apply to restrain these elites. Just consider one amazing example illustrating how this works."

  9. Just a thought, GDub, but I wonder if you couldn't allow people to register here. It would make commenting ever so much easier. Typing in an openId url and then signing in to open ID, then figuring out the Captcha is pretty intense for simple folks like me. ;o)

  10. It's real easy to explain without picking the damn report apart bit by bit and arguing over differences of opinions in attempt to define liberty vs. democracy.To debate a topic of such is simply STUPID. If you are an American and you love your country, you should probably 1.stock pile supplies 2.Add to your gun collection or learn how to use one 3.Research biological and chemical warfare 4.Expand your knowledge base on radioactive decontamination and medical procedures to care for your families in the event they are exposed to a toxic agent 4. Learn how to distill water and remove a bullet the old fashioned way. 5.Learn how to ride a bike 6.Pray..Sit back and wait...It's far too late to go for the attack..Don't worry...the fight will come to your door. To those of you who fall under the term "Normalcy Bias" When the color code indicator on the terror alert shines RED...It means get up off your lazy ass,the terror is here, they aren't going to leave, It WILL HAPPEN...If you haven't prepared for might as well bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

  11. @ windcatcher better watch those words, might come back to bite you. A person such as you describe stormin, might be the one to save your educated ass should a another revolution happen here in America.

    Besides, many uneducated folk are what built this country, along side slaves. Many of the uneducated have in the past, and present, swore that oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Many, if not all, call themselves 'Americans'.
    Having a high school diploma or GED isn't uneducated; is it ? Don't answer that, I'm sure it is to you. Funny, most that served/serve have this amount of education.

  12. Amen to this post. Our government preaches freedom but, at the same time, constantly warns the public that too much freedom is somehow dangerous, that too much freedom actually caused all of our problems.

    What a bunch of garbage! It's high time people sack up and start showing just a little bit of courage, the courage to say "No more!" and to demand some accountability, protection of our basic rights and, dare I say, prosecution of those who have repeatedly violated them and stolen from us. Instead, Americans have become fat, happy and lazy, content to believe all the lies, that somehow the erosion of our freedoms, and the protection of those who take them, is somehow good for us.

    I'm no Founding Father, but I'm sure as hell disgusted.

  13. In reply to Ed who said: “Having a high school diploma or GED isn't uneducated; is it”?

    Well Ed, a GED is all the formal public education that I received so it depends on what years you were educated; you may have received a substandard education. For instance, can you imagine the class moron like stormin standing up in a Civics class and declaring:

    “Democracy, democracy, democracy is what I read above. Democracy is 5 wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner. Do we really mean Representative Republic when we say democracy? Democracy is the gateway drug to socialism and despotism”. Ha. Ha. Well Ed, it would take a complete Fool to take that position and try to defend it in a Civic class and his peers would tear him apart and laugh at him. Ha. Ha. Later, on the football field he would get crunched. Ha. Ha.

    Ed said:
    “@ windcatcher better watch those words, might come back to bite you”. Well Bite Me, where is your anti-Democracy/ anti-American argument or do you just whine? Now don’t be shy Ed, stick your lower lip out and jump on out there! Ha. Ha.

  14. What blows my mind is the way the regime in the US calls for free and fair elections in Egypt when the US doesn't have free and fair elections at home. The Republicrats don't rule the US because that's what the people want, they rule because people aren't permitted to vote for opposition parties such as the Libertarians and Greens. The same goes for peaceful protests. Egypt is a police state and so is the US. The only real difference is the US is better at hiding it at home.


→ Thank you for contributing to the conversation by commenting. We try to read all of the comments (but don't always have the time).

→ If you write a long comment, please use paragraph breaks. Otherwise, no one will read it. Many people still won't read it, so shorter is usually better (but it's your choice).

→ The following types of comments will be deleted if we happen to see them:

-- Comments that criticize any class of people as a whole, especially when based on an attribute they don't have control over

-- Comments that explicitly call for violence

→ Because we do not read all of the comments, I am not responsible for any unlawful or distasteful comments.