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tv   Book Discussion on Once Upon a Revolution  CSPAN  February 18, 2015 9:32pm-10:44pm EST

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reign. >> so you cannot have it both ways. taiwan is part of the american side of the 100 euros on rate? or they are not and the americans don't really involve themselves with taiwan at all where there is something in the middle going on that day in washington are competing for taiwan's love. and so who is going to win that reign are they going to get taiwan to have mcdonald's hamburgers? or is china going to do better because they say hey, we are all chinese yellow emperor, you know? they read the taiwan textbooks
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very carefully. and the textbooks talk about chinese history. but it is pretty clear that taiwan is part of chinese history. so who is going to win the 100 year marathon for the love of taiwan? washington or beijing? i think it is an open question. >> thank you very much doctor. it was great. we appreciate you being here today. it is a very lively discussion, the book is "the hundred year marathon." thank you all very much. [inaudible conversations] >> on our next "washington journal", looking at president obama's executive order on immigration and a district court
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judge petitioning to temporarily block an order. plus your phone calls facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal" is live every morning on c-span. >> c-span2 providing key public policy events and senate floor proceedings. and every weekend booktv the only television network dedicated to nonfiction books and authors. c-span2 is created by the cable tv industry and brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. follow us on twitter. >> in his book thanassis cambanis describes the 2011 egyptian revolution from the perspective of two of his leaders. a liberal architect and it armistice allying with the
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muslim brotherhood. he talked about his book at politics and prose bookstore at washington dc. this is one hour and 10 minutes. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everyone. i am david cohen, and i love doing introductions here. one of the reasons that i love doing introductions here is that politics & prose. is a beacon and a standard setter under the current ownership of bradley graham and the wonderful staff here in about having civil discourse in dealing with difficult issues and demanding
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issues. we did that last night and we are doing it again tonight, and we have done many other books, histories policy books that deal with demanding issues in the middle east or the islamic world. so we are really pleased here to welcome thanassis cambanis and celebrate the publication of "once upon a revolution: an egyptian story." mr. thanassis cambanis is going to talk about this himself and so i am not. but it is yet a reflection about the arab spring and how the u.s.
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really had no idea that this was going to happen. and even people that work with ngos in europe didn't know what would happen. i had a conversation with the person i was with was telling me that he had been working with children and that something is really going to happen, that no one is listening. it was an early signal, three or four weeks or so before when things were beginning to stir up. and it reflects how little we often know about our official life because artificial life doesn't relate to people who are not part of the official life. the gentleman has told us a story here of two people, but more than that it is a story in the importance of journalists.
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he is here from beirut. this is really the first major presentation of this book. we welcome him again he had an earlier book four years ago and was here at politics & prose. so in telling this story he is bringing in the sensibility of history and culture, and it is a story about how we have to have major understanding about rapid change and how to figure out ways to prevent and stop violent extremism. and so by using journalism and culture and using coving an understanding causes, listening to people with these major characters, we began to identify patterns and their significance. this is the kind of contribution
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that we need and that we need to be talking about and we will all get your chance to get a discussion after the initial presentation. so let's welcome thanassis cambanis to politics & prose. [applause] >> thank you very much for that very warm introduction. and thank you to all of you for coming tonight. i am so honored to have the chance to carry the story. telling the story about this egyptian revolution has been one of the most inspiring and exciting things that i have been able to do in a mostly dismal career of writing about
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secretary and as him and wars, this the daily grips of a middle east correspondent. it's been a dizzying journey. most of you here tonight, it means that we are paying attention to how badly things have turned out to be. you probably saw it in the papers in the uk within days of revolution, you probably have read about the wars in libya and yemen and syria and you have probably seen everything about the arab spring turning into another winter. but tonight i would like to take you back to the beginning of this historical process that exploded open onto the consciousness of the world in 2010 and then mourn -- i would
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like to talk about the arc of history that we are watching unfold. because in the daily politics again a very depressing scorecard in the regime lost in the numbers game is the realization that we have a new kind of politics and world being built in the arab world and it literally generations a half-century or more being manipulated into not having a voice or feeling like they had the strength or power to define their polities and define themselves as citizens. and so when the hundreds of thousands of people poured in here on january 25, 2011 i was
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far away, i was in new york city, had been covering the arab world for almost a decade and had covered the occupation in iraq and i spent a lot of time looking for it the people in civil societies and those who were tolling away with very little hope, the people that were working against this regime with very little to no delusion that their work was ever going to be opposing us. so i talked to the people in cafés, sometimes where they were able to speak openly because the regime did not take them seriously. and they were almost under no pressure because he knew that no one was listening to them. they were free to organize and talk not on tv so much, but the
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print media they had to monitor campaigns that would document is flawed and they would organize demonstrations, and there would be 2000 police surrounding them just to keep them cornered off to the public and they did not consider themselves a threat. so when this suddenly flipped on its head and the expectation suddenly was broken the entire society of experts, including a lot of air politicians and activists said everything that they knew was called into question. all the assumptions about what was possible in the gradualism of historical change were things that small groups of idealist can't make a difference, were suddenly proven to be baseless.
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and so i found myself unable to stay on the sidelines and i had to go back and see this event beginning and i knew from the first moment that it was going to be a very long story and what ever happened while this was broken with whatever courageous first step, the people that put their bodies on the line to challenge the police state it was going to unfold over years and probably generations. so as soon as i got this, i sought out the people that understood this and those that were trying to turn the moment of people power into some kind of lasting political order and political move. and all seemingly chaotic all the leaderless revolution do in fact have leaders and if you
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spend time on the ground in any war zone for political protest you quickly learn how to spot the architecture of the protests and movement and look for the people who are encouraging people to turn out in organizing, and that is what i did. i sought out youth leaders and this was one of the signal elements of egypt's revolution was that the actual founders were allergic to the ideas of politics. and they said i'm not a leader, i am just channeling what the people want. that modesty in the beginning turned ultimately into a destructive path elegy for the people that were trying to change the regime in egypt. but in those early days there was very clearly skeletons that
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took shape as something that was called the revolutionary youth coalition, a group of about 20 young people and a lot of young people were older than me in their 40s that is in a country where you have to be 70 or 80 to be considered someone who had been able to run something. and so these youth leaders, some of them were like those in the years that followed, they came from backgrounds that did encourage politics. in a society where politics is criminalized and the idea of advocating for politics was self-aggrandizing, there was a small and tiny minority of the people that have been raised by families who believed in politics. his grandfather was in the
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movement when it was founded in 1928 and both his father and grandfather had spent time in exile because of the work and the brotherhood and he had trained from infancy really with the organization and the organizational topics. so there was a small group of the youth who had the know-how of this movement but to have this eat those of a modern secular do with and that they were personally very religious and politically they wanted a secular state. there is also a small group of leftist and communist red also been raised by families with a long history of dissent in these were sort of the odd men and women out but they were the
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ones who brought the political know-how to the struggle. on the other side we have the people that were new to politics. and these were individual is a really had has no point in trying to change the system. and one of them, the way i saw people were responding to him and be willing to be led by him was a guy who was are the over 40. but he came from a lower middle-class family and i think he was one of the first generations to go to college, he founded this after years of pulling himself up by his bootstraps and he was a guy that
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was cleanly learning the lessons that the way to do this is to shut your mouth. his father had spent years in prison for the crime of belonging to the boy scouts and a lot of them have a few muslim brothers and the sky was an anti-muslim brother speculator, and the lessons that he passed on to his children from the is do not say a word about the government, the president, politics, it will get you nowhere. and so he kept very close to that end in a year and a half he realized that that was a dead end and this is how badly mismanaged egypt was in this country of almost 90 million people that can't feed itself, employ people, and couldn't even offer a semblance of political outlet. he realized that after three generations he had played by all the rules and he had had this
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rigmarole of patriotism, the love of the strong army and a strong nation and he found the reward to that was a slow decline from friends of the middle-class back down toward the poverty that his grandfather pulled his family out of or in that eventually made him snap. and so this man had never had a political part in his life decided to put his livelihood in the security information at risk by joining with the group and being part of the cell that organizes this. so when they found themselves in the center of the drama people, this was all the contradictions of egypt wrapped up into one
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small place trying to resolve the differences and their conflicts in the interest of creating some kind of more accountable free society. and so the goal of the individual the lifeline to the muslim brotherhood could not be greater. it is impossible to put into american terms because we don't have the experience of politics being illegal, try to imagine the most diehard young republican young democrat, one is an atheist and another is a fundamentalist religious person trying to get together and come up with a common agenda to build a new state from scratch, it is a very tall order and this is in a country in which there was no vocabulary of politics because
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the powers that be had work for half a century to eradicate political speech and this had worked. the word politics was synonymous with parochial self-interest and this was put on with national security and greatness. so to stand up and say that this thing that is destroying our nation is military rule was incomprehensible. so what we have witnessed in that first couple of months of the uprising was something that i found inspiring not just as a student of politics but as a student of history and identity all over the world. i have come to believe that as a child of the year of triangulation and moderate a
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forum that individuals can work hard and they can maybe nudge government policy one way or another and maybe have a big win here or there, but i believe that with governments and state systems were very hard ships to turn and that it was naïve and idealistic and foolish to think otherwise. and the moment that lasted a year about the first arab uprising began shows that in fact it is not impossible. and in this case something that all the experts it was impossible had happened and millions of people who had terrified and refused to order the smallest political speech or willing to be killed rushing in
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wave after wave in the interest of a slogan as bread and freedom and social justice and dictatorship. that was a mindbending and very humbling as an individual, also as a reporter it was incredible to see these kinds of things that were possible again. in the world that was dropped off. so how do you create this new politics in a broken society and especially treating them as subjects, treating them as fools
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in the hope that they internalize that and never challenge you. it is a very tall order to do that and we don't know today how that is going to turn out. i couldn't begin to say that i know in the long term will happen in egypt and the arab world will be something as inspiring and appealing as they eat those of this. but i do know that whatever will happen is going to take a generation to unfold. history doesn't work on the cable news cycle. and this includes the right of citizenship and demanding accountability from power and a way of fighting if we state that is proving much more resilient than savvy than the opponents
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expect it to be. so in the years that i spent, i followed a group of about 12 activists, most of them who had been on the revolutionary youth coalition and i watch their own internal power struggles and clashes over how to view themselves as people of faith or people that were secular and i watched those struggles on wind with a lot of the initial unities and a lot of the beauty of the early movement and by a year and a half into the uprising, the youth coalition disbanded itself and more often than not the two men that i ended up focusing on in my book had stopped talking to each other mainly because his mistrust outweighed his hatred
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for military rule and abuse of power. so from this and he became a sort of holy fool and enduring voice for revolutionary unity and the idea, the simple idea that everyone can agree on certain principles. including freedom of religion and -- consistency in the way that the courts these people. and he said why can't we all just talk it out. and there were all these other secondary issues that will never be able to talk about if you can't control the own government
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with civilian control. so for that he was first expelled from the muslim brotherhood which had been his second family since infancy and later he was expelled from the revolutionary youth community. and many came to see him as a naïve fool and also someone that couldn't trust him because they thought maybe expulsion have been staged. this is the kind of level of mistrust that they have for each other and at that time about two years ago there were these kinds of divisions are really began to calcify within the ranks in the old regime started to make a move to come back to power. and they had a relatively easy task because so many individuals were tired and afraid from the uncertainty of economic collapse that had occurred and also they
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were manipulated by the security state that were intended to rile up support for the return of a military strongman and also the course of the old ruling party had a great ally in the muslim brotherhood which when it came to elective power proved to be just as authoritarian and visit indifferent to the cause of the revolution must fundamentally equal rights for citizens and accountability for torture, that the entire time unraveled and abortion while liberals and the young radicals and the one-time muslim brothers found themselves fighting themselves to support this regime that while a dead was actually talking about.
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and it became a great and enduring situation between those that prioritize islamism and those who prioritized revolutionary game. and they would like to put her briefly with the radical or utopian or even just mildly reformist program for each other and they decided that this would be better and we are talking about the rule of the egyptian military. and so that is something that he harnessed in order to have a clue in the summer of 2013. that restoration of the old order came very swiftly and
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suddenly it has produced a lot of sad consequences not the least of which is the 40000 people in prison for political offenses and for now public and political discourse. so a few years ago you had this taking place on television talk shows, people fighting it out over the ideas of the day when this is making it sound like it is pure and beautiful but it was a political fight in which
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they had had no politics at all. and so that discourse has been in balance today. it doesn't exist in the exiles and the prison cells. and it in some cases this is a little bit too comfortable with the return of military rule, he supported the coup of mohammed morsi and he was one of the only revolutionary individuals to make it into that nt server six month in favor of the old
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slogan of social justice, but was also okay it does anything is better, as he puts it then the muslim brotherhood. on the other end we have an individual who today is in exile in istanbul along with a lot of revolutionary dissidents and they are still working. they are still publicly calling for a new revolution, they are doing the dramatic work of trying to resuscitate a protest movement and doing the boring work of trying to write a compact that will satisfy religious and secular people and liberal and conservative egyptians, trying to actually convince people that basic norms like avoiding torture and limiting torture and avoiding police impunity that they are actually in the interest of not
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just of egypt but the world. and as i said earlier it is a generational struggle. today when we look at the region in general and egypt in particular, we can find a lot of reasons to be depressed or draw a line on the transition and say that those are over and what we've got now is the old regime is maybe with a little bit more firepower and room. but i actually think that that is a premature read and the evidence of the individual people that are still fighting and working tells us that actually something different is underway. in his time he had applied very little violence to this because
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most egyptians were all right with his rule were willing to accept the mediocre bargain that he had given them. and there is some kind of ineffable calculus where people need a certain amount of livelihood of freedom to remain quiet. so if you give them complete failure in terms of health and housing and you humiliate them on the other hand and give them zero outlay for free expression and political say, they will explode. and that is the equation but i think today a lot of people mislead when they look at egypt. so i think that president sisi is going to need to achieve some hard to do miracles to stay in
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power for 10 years, he is going to have to fall with economic problems and try to approach those without the narrow circle and he's having to do that in a context where we have people being arrested at a never were seen ray. that tells them that we are at an early chapter in long periods of upheaval with them figuring out where it's going to go and what kind of local system it will build. that story is going to be one of the most important things that happens to the arab world. they have been the embryo of all the important political ideas in the region and in the 21st century we have a new powerful organizing world.
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and so we have been talking about this with straight up military dictatorship as this ability and now it is time for something new and that is not me saying that but the arab public saying that until that process is done, it's going to be much too soon to forget what is going to come. producing from the american vantage point, that one lesson that we need to take that that is something that is broken. and as a matter of policy, we have depended upon and we define
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that in a sort of reductive and mistaken terms. we define it as police states where there is one guy that we could on the end of the phone and that is the way we like a regime. >> and then we are trying to find a place the same way that they had treated hosni mubarak. so in fact this would be in a stable state to be in a place where citizens have enough force and the government is subject to enough of this that they can't miss rule. the grievances at the heart of the uprisings were about humans being forced to live and horrifying and undignified circumstances and that is the
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barrier that continues to this day and that is the failure that we should care the most about in which egyptians are going to fight again and again to overcome and something fundamental has changed and this is a region where people where they feel completely entitled to demand the fall of a regime and there is every single political demographic in the last three years has demanded the fall of the regime and then seeing it fall. revolutionaries did it right wing pro-regime people did it in june and july of 2014 and if you ask everyone of them they say that the real revolution was my revolution, the one that they did and they were fighting over the real date of when the revolution wants. but again so we can forget to
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realize that that is a hugely transformative activation of citizenship. then everyone feels like they have the right to say that we are in charge and they will take to the street and overturn it. and that is something that should hopefully look at and try to solve the human grievances and not just because it is the right thing to do but because in this era that is going to be the only way to endure this in-state and power. in this heart of the book that i wrote we really wrote at the heart of the transformation in the way that the your worldview but so a lot of the people invoke the metaphor of this and
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this was in 2010 if i went out and asked people questions about a shopping mall, they would be afraid to give me their name. in january 2011, under the eyes of armed soldiers and undercover individuals they probably would speak out against the regime give me their name and phone number and ask asked if i wanted to take their picture because they said that we have broken through the wall of fear. and they have deepened that over and over confronting guns that were killing them and that is a complete break with the old political culture and that break remains in that change remains for you and for the record and i
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look very forward to seeing how that plays out and we are at the beginning of a long and exciting chapter of change in the air world after half a century and i'm honored to be able to talk to you and hear your questions. >> thank you for giving us a fresh and even hopeful way. of looking at what happens and we are working on trying to build political support for the two state solution between israel and palace on and it's very important to understand what is going on and in all these countries where there is a tendency among government authorities to support does the status quo and you have challenged that. we are going to begin the
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question time and i want to welcome c-span here. c-span is covering this at some point it will be on and you can watch it again that way. we know is that they will add to our civil discourse and education in our understanding of what is owing on and the microphone is here where the gentleman is standing so that if you have questions please keep them brief so that everybody can get a crk at it. it is one of here because we will take everyone in order and sends this is a public meeting and then please tell me this. we will be back. >> thank you my name is eric, like you i graduated from north carolina chapel hill. as you mentioned there were
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people -- the left as the communists, the socialists, the labor movement -- i haven't heard much about it since the beginning and so what is that in this situation? >> that is a great question, there is a long history of the labor movement in egypt. in the early uprising they played an important role in the revolutionary socialist sort of talking about this and then organized labor with its own not so revolutionary interests playing an important role in atmosphere, one of the many
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turning point that did not work out was there was a huge cascade of strikes across the nation and all of the major unions essentially started waging and there was this moment where the political parties and movements were working with and reaching out with all of these labor unions and there was sort of this way of where people were saying this is what would bring the old regime to its knees. but suddenly there were strikes in every major population center in this whole thing started to shake and that's where we see how clever and rizzoli and the old order was and they didn't make much, unless they were really pushed with their back against the law then they immediately gave them money.
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many others failed to materialize, but they realize that this is something that could create a problem for them and they bought them off and some of them did actually have to implement wage increases or other improvements for the workers and in other cases they said oh, just kidding. but that labor peace never reappeared, the state has actually worked pretty hard to take control of the union which were all of these largely constrained by state agents at the top, they were not truly independent. and so in this war of ideas, i talk about the hopeful things, but there are a lot of things that are not hopeful white chauvinism fear mongering and a lot of missed opportunities
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mistrust hatemongering among christians and other groups, these kinds of what i would say, toxic ideas are popular. so the military rule is very popular, president sisi is very popular. so even though a lot of them are sort of unreformed who have not updated their understanding of how socialism may be applicable, nonetheless they actually have articulated a political worldview and they end up in the small community of people who are talking about politics and talking about what political system could look like. and they are learning what this looks like in this includes policy platforms are come out by this and the numbers are quite
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small. ultimately most egyptians are politically in a space of sort of what we would take is center-right you know arab nationalists over this and most people are personally religious, but most don't want islamist politics. and that is a long short answer. >> hello, good evening. [inaudible] >> i would like to draw attention to your very interesting speech [inaudible] >> i think it's brave you admitted what happened. >> and myself as well
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[inaudible] >> my question has to do it is did you fill it with some article that you had written that you could kind of bring it all together, maybe if you could just say a little bit about the genesis of the book and how the idea came to you to write it. >> recently my head exploded, i couldn't believe i wasn't there, after a couple of days my wife said it out of here and go to egypt or we won't be able to stand living with you. and so i went to see if there was a book that i felt like i could do that would be worth having or reading. and so i went as i said and
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sought out the characters who i thought were grappling with the questions in politics and i spent a lot of time with them and i decided the story that i wanted to tell was to follow them from jittery 25th 2011 until they won or lost, to follow them until they get a civilian elected president or there is a military coup. and so fortunately it was very organic. i didn't know which of these were going to be my main characters they came from all of these different backgrounds they knew each other although they really fragmented and they really stopped trusting each other by the time i ended the book. but i followed them and i stayed
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in egypt for a couple of years and then i moved to beirut and started making regular trips and i actually wrote one draft of the book that ended with the inauguration of mohammed morsi as president, thinking that with that stat we were at the beginning of you know, and nato tenure process of where the battlegrounds have moved from this tumultuous playing field to this morning playing off politics. so we were also talking about when things had happened and we took that draft and we threw it away and i wrote a new one. and i think that now we got an imprint with president sisi coming to power. it doesn't mean it's over, but
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that is going to be a long one and it could last only a year but i doubt it. it is a bright dynamic including the most important voting bloc in egypt with millions of people living off military salaries. so he is unlikely to vanish up in smoke in a year. so that gave us a stopping point for the story and also there was a little stopping point in the end the politics with all the people that i know are either in prison exile or elsewhere, so it's a good time to stop and to take stock and i think there will be room for a sequel to this story probably in five or 10 years.
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>> hello, my name is eleanor about your speech, you said several times it will take a generation or it will be a long time, but you think that there is going to be change and maybe reform. i wish that you would elaborate on that a bit. it seems that things stay the same. >> yes, i think that the way that i understand the transformation of society including what i talked about at the end, there is the activation of the citizenry which means that you just can't rule a country like egypt within different authoritarianism and
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so it could change for the worse. there could be -- it could be the opposition to military rule becoming a stark and talk to rick hyper nationalist racist opposition that the government stays in power to locking up and killing people at a rate never seen before in egypt, that could be worth case scenario thing back as marcus change from this 60 year time frame that preceded it and i think more reasonably what we can expect is these unprecedented levels of repression have not stopped politics are taking place were stopping people inside egypt from publicly opposing this. i was there 10 days ago and that is not the kind of fear that you see, that is different. and so i agree with those who
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say that doesn't necessarily lead anywhere good. absolutely. political change doesn't necessarily lead to somewhere good. and one of the things that i think is part of beds, air politics cannot be ruled by this anymore. the regime in syria the regime of mubarak, really says nothing other than their own perpetuation. and that is not going to be enough anymore, unless they are very competent. they are corrupt, narrowminded, they draw this on a dry well. they are unlikely to find their new strength in this governance. so they are going to find it in
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opposition or articulating these politics and that has to happen and it could be a disaster. >> thank you. >> thank you. you can take this question and run with it anyway you want, but you talked about the internal things of what is going on in egypt. when the election took place the free and open election, he came in, he was taken out if you could kind of touch on what you thought about or how you analyze democracy opening up and then all of a sudden it going back to a dictator but more importantly something you said earlier is dead with what is going on with iran sanctions and the war building up against isis, a lot of the other countries such as turkey and iran and saudi arabia are
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playing on this world international stage. is the reason that we are not hearing about them doing it because the internals are so difficult for them that they don't have the resources or the time otherwise? have you see the future going forward and how they could be working with some of the conflicts that are going on in their area way max two you raise many great points and i cannot address all of them that you bring up, but you bring up some things that are important to talk about. one is that the region is in a group of the cold war between saudi arabia and iran which spends tens of millions of dollars all over the region which is a big part of the coup against mohammed morsi. telling president sisi and $12 billion was wired on day one to make up for the money that
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they withdrew from the main deposit to egypt and that's not the kind of thing that you can really work around with these oil regimes that have this kind of resources. but the other thing that you bring up are that you question that you think of is there something important about our understanding of democracy from the outside. and we see that this is part of it, it can sometimes overlook how this rule is. and so they won by a slim margin with a promising revolutionary force that he was not going to rule as an authoritarian brotherhood but an inclusive coalition based president who
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would put a common agenda the core agenda that i would talk about first and not the pursuit of moslem brotherhood power. and he would rule it just as methodically as ever before and since. and he tried to get this as a part of the muslim brotherhood in spite of sectarian hatred against christians and others did everything all the things they had hysterically predicted they would do and then he did it. so it was a real problem for these revolutionaries and they say even though he is a muslim brother, we are all against the older stream here. and it turns out that they were
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not against it. and so that has created, you know the problem is part of this and i think that that is a distraction, i do not think that it's part of that, but ultimately that has been way than was continued once the brotherhood and their political role is reestablished as it was before. but it created a huge problem for the secular democracy type who found themselves in a position of feeling like they had to choose between democratically elected fascist muslim brotherhood and the secular military ruling. and so that is a horrible choice and i don't think that that was the only choice in the summer of 2013. but i understand why a lot of egyptians did. it is made for the time being
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it it is made to talk about democracy promotion and, you know, certain kinds of liberties and societies because even those that are not autocratic by nature essay that is. so after what they did we really have no choice and i think that that is an understandable response but it is not an inevitable response and i think that one of the mistakes of the regime and people here banking on it is not realizing all of them are present even more today than they were then and so people who are standing up in washington and cairo and the region and saying that president sisi is a stable bet are forgetting some lessons of recent history. thank you for your question.
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>> hello, my name is sally craig, and i have been fascinated with egypt ever since i met him in 1965 when i was a peace corps volunteer and he was making a visit there and it was a great thrill. and thank you so much for helping to clarify what has been happening in egypt over the last three years, four years. my question is broader than that and you are a middle eastern journalist reporter and i'm just curious what your take is on how much of a disruptor the yemeni situation will be in the death of king abdullah. did you know that? >> low no i did not. well, i think that what happens
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in yemen is mostly going to be contained to yemen, i don't think there is a big spillover effect around the region. but i don't think that yemeni politics drives way that egyptian politics does. i'm not going to go out on a raid limb and i don't think that came abdullah has had an active executor of the policy for quite some time and i don't expect his death and the same people have been running the country some years now and i think it will take a couple of extra years to
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become apparent. >> you covered it. thank you. >> hello, i am michael am i thank you for coming to talk about this. so when president sisi was supported, they talked about someone who was possibly demonic. the president obama decided against that. and so i'm just wondering from critiquing american decisions, how did we do what mistakes did we made, and how would you do it
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differently? >> i don't have to tell you all of the states that were made here. but the basic problem has been not having an idea and a reaction. so again, three months later what was her response when to be? what do we want? we still don't have one. that goes on today with the specifics the u.s. spends billions of dollars and has been on the ground in all kinds of ways, and yet has managed to alienate and rage every constituency in the country. so somehow today the ngo people human rights communities, the military that the u.s. easily handles all of them feel betrayed and enraged by the
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united states because of the way in which it has reacted to the development and i think that we would have a coherent story to tell of the egyptian and ourselves about what we want there. but we have lurched from embracing him and others in 2011, to giving a bear hug to the muslim brotherhood and power and not saying that we respect this transition, but to actually act almost like advocates. we have american officials bragging about this and tactics and one they were completely acting autocratically and it was indeed damaging for egypt and
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the region and today we are left with at a minimum complete american incoherence we want the cooperation on counterterrorism and that is what egypt has labored. that is why at the end of the day throughout this transition. now they have held this [inaudible] because they delivered on the things that i guess when push comes to shove our part of the policies of the united states. >> i just want to thank you for writing the book. >> there's an extraordinary number of egyptians that were
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going to embrace this regime and i guess i'm curious if you were surprised at all when have you explained how they reembrace so quickly of the military? >> was a big part in 2013. it was shocking to see millions of people. i spent hundreds of hours in dangerous circumstances, to see this guy on july 4 2013 celebrating in a conga line because there was a military coup and then saying it's not it's a new invention like, i have pulled last night where
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someone said you call it a queue, but people like it ended like, yes it is a coup and people like it. [laughter] and so this is -- this is sad, it is depressing it's horrible, horrible to have people tell you casually that they think that that guy you know that guy is someone that i admire and he has a lot of courage and integrity, or that guy is a jerk, i'm glad he is in prison. and, you know, that is a whole big thing to hear. where we get a shallow short-term reaction and i don't think it is, you know the whole sort of answer to what is going to happen. and so part of how i understand it is most people in the world
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are not super articulate when it comes to political views. when he do on his interviews most of the people are not going to have a nuanced argument about separation of power or rule of law in a country where political literacy with a state interest, we are going to have a lot less of that. so what happened with this coup is that economy off guard to some extent and speed to which they jettison the revolution and its kind of like making the comparison this horrible genocide happen, how could this be and in one of the things we found forensically was years of these radio stations that were brainwashing people in a certain way. well in egypt, there was a huge
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and concerning browbeating to the public and yesterday we had weeks with a chief of staff telling them what all of this was saying and you could see it in real life. this sort of beautiful salon it was suddenly replaced by a coordinated symphony of patriotic hogwash and it came from every direction on the papers and the radio and the tv and that works. on the one hand we learned this, but then we learned that you can manipulate the public what with entire resources at your disposal. so it's impossible for us to imagine. can you imagine your boss trying to tell you what to do when it doesn't work.
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and so you know, i have friends that are very pessimistic and whose response to this coup was just to give up and some of them have gone off into exile and do something else and hopefully be able to contribute next time and that is a good example that he tends to be talked about as a sellout for being willing to tamp down this is what he says is that we were at a moment where we could've won and we didn't. and this is kind of sort of like when he puts this bs and there about the two and then he says that at the end of the day but people went with us.
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there was a small group who wanted it, the people were not convinced. we failed to convince the people. so he didn't say that the people are stupid, that we failed to convince them honestly have to figure out a better way to convince them. so that's not the whole story and the old regime is ultimately responsible for this fact that it dominated the country not that the revolutionary lost the game, they were beaten. but then they had to come up with a better story to tell. you cannot change this military dictatorship and we all are in favor of social justice. and you have to have a better story to tell. and he has this curriculum


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