I haven't said anything about this, partly because I've been under the weather, which tends to fog my thinking just the least little bit, and partly because the reports are so diverse and so contradictory that it's hard to make sense of it. However, here's a couple of clips from C&L with Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy that explode some of the crap. The first is pretty substantial:
This one, much briefer, is choice: Eltahawy brings up the statistics that Maher left out:
The prevailing meme in the West is the threat of radical Islam, which Eltahawy quite neatly counters. And let's face it, it's a right-wing talking point that the press has quite obediently parroted until it has become the reigning truth. The reality seems to be that the U.S. has been propping up these dictators, the way it did for so long in Latin America, because dictators represent "stability" and we need "stability" in the Middle East. Why? Because of oil. I can't think of another reason.
What gets swept under the rug is one simple fact: what causes this unrest is not radical religious extremists but really basic things, like no jobs, high prices, and no opportunities. And instead of working to alleviate those basic, overriding concerns, we funnel money into the dictators' military establishments -- and their own pockets -- while ignoring the real needs of their people, when meeting those needs would much better serve our interests than another contract for Boeing.
So we've left those who want democracy no alternative but radical religious fundamentalists. We've seen how well that works.