Meanwhile, right here at home, we see the betrayed workers in Wisconsin fighting their ruthless Governor. We worry about intractable unemployment and irrational anti-immigrant laws, and the steady increase in political violence, of which the Tucson shootings are only the latest example. We hear Representative Jackie Speier (D,CA) on the floor of Congress speaking eloquently against the Republican war on women. We sign petitions against attacks on Social Security, the environment, the thievery of Wall Street, and the opening of the floodgates of corporate political spending due to the Citizens United decision. Does it not strike you that all of these battles have something in common? That they are not isolated, local incidents, each with its own, individual backstory and provenance?
UPDATE: See above for video from Al Jazeera on revolution suppression in Libya tonight. The tyrant appears to be following the classic doctrine of using overwhelming force against the opposition.
But freedom for Egyptians? As the Washington Post reports, most of CPAC's speakers have been strangely silent - and the loudest voice said America should've done less to encourage the Egyptian revolution:
[F]or the most part, they had little to say about the nation's policy toward Egypt, whether to praise the demonstrators whose protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down, or to offer the principles that should guide U.S. policy as the American and Israeli ally takes the next steps toward democracy.The lack of Egypt talk also reveals a major shortcoming of 2011's Tea Party-dominated Republican Party: Today's GOP leaders are foreign policy lightweights. Where are the GOP's Jim Webbs? The Tom Perriellos? The Hillary Clintons? Instead, we get eccentric conspiracy theories from Ron Paul and anti-technology nuttery from Michele Bachmann.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney didn't mention Egypt at all in his speech. Nor did Sen. John Thune (S.D.), although his text included a line that said, "Let's stand with those around the world who are risking their lives for freedom." Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty made a glancing reference, criticizing Obama as appeasing U.S. adversaries, including "Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood."
It was left to Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) to step into the vacuum. The libertarian conservative, who drew an enthusiastic audience of supporters, offered a contrarian view. In a party that has championed the spread of freedom as part of its recent foreign policy and whose leaders helped keep Mubarak in power for decades in the name of stability in the Middle East, Paul stood out as a dissenter.
Saying he disagrees with the idea that the United States has "a moral responsibility to spread our goodness around the world," Paul added to cheers from the crowd, "We need to do a lot less a lot sooner, not only in Egypt but around the world."
In the video you will hear from some of the demonstrators. Revolutions go through stages; the opening scenarios almost always are not violent, and they are often crushed by The Establishment, which imagines that using overwhelming force will end the matter, and sometimes that seems to work, for a while.... but it is a postponement, not a victory for The Establishment. The demonstrators in Egypt now seem to have little organization, and are hoping that their very peacefulness and persistence will get rid of their hated overlord. They want the outside world to help them. Here is the video: