arab autumn

i’m just soooo glad we helped to bring democracy to egypt and libya — especially since they wanted it so much. so how’s all that working out for us anyway?:

“US official dies in Libya consulate attack in Benghazi”

“An American has been killed and at least one other wounded after militiamen stormed the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, officials say.

“It is believed the protest was held over a US-produced film that is said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

“The building was set on fire after armed men raided the compound with grenades.

“Protests have also been held at the US embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

“In the attack in Benghazi, unidentified armed men stormed the grounds, shooting at buildings and throwing handmade bombs into the compound.

“Security forces returned fire but Libyan officials say they were overwhelmed….

“The film that sparked the demonstration is said to have been produced by a 52-year-old US citizen from California named Sam Bacile, and promoted by an expatriate Egyptian Copt….

“‘Abuse freedom of speech’

“Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the US embassy in the Egyptian capital.

“Egyptian protesters condemned what they said was the humiliation of the Prophet of Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech…..”
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you know, they just have to get over it. they don’t like freedom of speech and they don’t want it in their countries? — fine. but we have it in ours and they’re just gonna have to deal with it.

and we’d better not apologize for any of this, either! oh, wait. too late:

“The US embassy earlier issued a statement condemning ‘the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions’.”

sheesh.
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update 09/12: posting these, from this 2012 pew survey of egypt, in response to peter’s comment below. see my response:

(note: comments do not require an email. omg! it’s mohammed!)

democracy and civil rights

another question on democracy from the world values survey, 2005-2008:

“Many things may be desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means *not at all an essential characteristic of democracy* and 10 means it definitely is *an essential characteristic of democracy*: Civil rights protect people’s liberty against oppression.

here are the percentages from each country for the people who responded 10 — that civil rights protect people’s liberty against oppression is an essential characteristic of democracy:

the germanics do pretty well here: sweden, germany and switzerland all scoring well above the average. the dutch and the norwegians are below average, though. the anglo scores are pretty abysmal, imho: the u.s. just squeaks in above average, while australia, canada and great britain (almost dropping off the table) are well below average. as are the french. the thais are in last place again. not sure what they think democracy is.

here’s a breakdown of the u.s. according to ethnicity, i.e. races + hispanics (click on image for LARGER view, should open in new tab/window):

whites = 45.6%
blacks = 42.5%
hispanics = 37.6%

the spread between whites and blacks/hispanics widens if we consider everybody who responded above 5 (i.e. 6-10):

whites = 83.4%
blacks = 73.7%
hispanics = 70.3%

previously: dēmos kratos and libyans on democracy: meh
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update 03/08 – see comment below (click on images for LARGER view):

(note: comments do not require an email. why democracy.)