Noam Chomsky on Egyptian protests: 'This is the most remarkable regional uprising that I can remember'
In recent weeks, popular uprisings in the Arab world have led to the oust of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the imminent end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime, a new Jordanian government, and a pledge by Yemen's long-time dictator to leave office at the end of his term. Democracy Now! speaks to MIT Professor Noam Chomsky about what this means for the future of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the region. When asked about President Obama's remarks last night on Mubarak, Chomsky said: "Obama very carefully didn't say anything... He's doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. As I said, there is a playbook: whenever a favored dictator is in trouble, try to sustain him, hold on; if at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides."
Interview with anti-government protester at Tahrir Square for documentary Zero Silence (www.zerosilence.org).
The Egyptian, female protester says, "Even though they shut down the internet, this is not just a Facebook revolution... There are many hundreds of thousands of people here on the street. Even though the phone lines were shut on Friday, people still came out to demonstrate, because this is not about the internet. This is about the needs and the demands of the Egyptian people."
This moving music video created by Tamer Shaaban, "another Egyptian who's had enough," has been featured on Huffington Post and in the blogospere and has received well over one million hits within four days.
The walls are crumbling. The walls behind which dictators indulge in decadent opulence while "their" people are mired in wretched circumstance. The walls behind which "leaders" secretly sell -- for personal gain -- the rights of the people they claim to represent.
Across North Africa and the Middle East, across the Arab world, for decades dictatorship and deepening corruption, firmly supported by imperial powers, seemed beyond challenge. Today, once "stable" regimes are now facing a popular reckoning.
From the vantage point of Palestine, there are three new dynamics.