tv Book TV CSPAN November 5, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
hadn't had that, if the cowboys walking through the corral or meaning to leave town but not wanting to leave too fast because they didn't want the onlookers to think that they have backed them down and made them leave any of a number of things might have prevented this but even if that had been the case something similar would have happened they think. ..
picture. so, the revolutionary wave has really only begun. i am reminded of a wonderful scene in the battle of algiers, which many of you have seen i am sure, where an algerian revolutionary is talking to a young recruit about the revolution. he says the easy part is the revolution, make in the revolution is the easy part. the hard part comes the day after. the middle east and north africa are now in a period of extraordinary vermin and flux. and so it is difficult to see anything with certainty about this uprising, but there is one thing i think can be said with certainty which is that they take everyone by surprise. it is true that they now look almost inevitable when you serve together political repression, economic stagnation in the case
of egypt, anger over foreign policy and a very deep sense of humiliation, you have a very potent revolutionary tail. but the fact is no one saw this coming. why is that? i think that is worth pondering. in the west as much of the literature in the arab world told us people in the region either were ready for democracy or they simply didn't want to peer dependency pass for experts in the american press said the same thing. the herbs don't like their regimes, but they are too tired to confront them and in any case, political freedom is not valued in the arab world. how many told story told by bernard lewis or by pundits quoting bernard lewis that the opposite is tearing me in arabic isn't freedom. it is justice. now, there wasn't a great deal
of pressure for reform in the region. they believe this. it is shown remarkable ingenuity ether through patronage to oil rents and that was always the tortures out. in fact, the americans and the british called on their friends for help american and british agents were interrogations in yemen and egypt and as we now learn in libya. skepticism about the world was coupled with anxiety about what might happen if reform did occur. not to the people in the region, but to our interests if these countries democratize, we'd be in trouble.
they make a trouble about israel. it is very quickly out of the 2005 egypt after the area of hamas in what more free election in palestine. right now, we have elliott abrams among others trying to claim credit for the spring. let's face it, this wave is occurring in spite of american, not because of it. the u.s. knows this around, no matter how many people in bahrain. i don't want to suggest people in the reason in this reason because they didn't. abyssinia to the year before the revolutionary revolution and spoke with us on the learner who is the leader of the muslim brotherhood i asked him about the reasons for anger, egyptians hadn't resulted in greater numbers about the regime they so
clearly despise. response was we are for on the people. don't expect us to revolt. could've been set ine western orientalist. that cliché has gone up in smoke into rear square. another cliché is that the arabs don't care about palestine. he believes in the reason for public opinion thunderstruck and from problems at home. it's a real can learn. they are faced with revolutions, post-islamist revolution, a counter jihad. reformulations tell us much more about those who make them done about the revolutions, which are extraordinarily complex. dmh that comes to mind for me is a prison cell that is so thin. we have a thousand prisoners in
the door suddenly opened. what happens? the prisoners go on a lot of different direction. i think that's what we see now. so these revolutions are complex, fluid affairs and it is time to sort of appraise diamond cut through some of the clichés that have arisen and we have four very testing pushed speakers who will offer their reflections on the arab world. our first speaker is hisham matar. hisam is a novelist race in new york most than cairo. his father and dissident was deducted from the family's home in cairo in 1990 with the assistance of mubarak's police and he's been missing since. hisham is the author of two novels, in the country of men and most recently, "anatomy of a disappearance."
we will begin with hisham. >> hello, good morning. thank you, adamant tanks to everybody here for being here and also to support one festival hosting this event. i think they are spring -- which is actually in arabic that were referred to as the year of awakening, which i think is far less seasonal. i think every time we speak about this, we speak not every time, but a lot of times we speak as if we expect history to respond at the same page as it did during this uprising. history, which goes most of the time at a glacial pace. certainly there are moments such as the arab spring when it's
very fast and dramatic and somehow we expect that to continue. and i think we have to first of all before asking what is going to happen, perhaps ask ourselves or question the assumptions that we have created around what is actually taking place. i think one of the things that has taken place inside it has not been missing people have been focusing on, which is the overthrow of incredibly violent long-standing teeters, which is obviously a fundamental event, an incredible event. but i think what is more fundamental and what is more dramatic is that people have for the first time collectively or at least the first time in their living memory collectively stop and ask themselves such fundamental questions about what it means to be a society. and for a moment, glimpse a
different possibility and even others this time of uncertainty that is for me a welcome thing for uncertainty. that's not going to happen next. particularly for us because we have always known what is going to have been asked. we have always known what is expected of us. i speak of the libyans. for example, i have always known what the dictatorship wants me to think, what they want to say, what food it is likely to be and is likely to read. and how it is likely to behave. and certainly none of us know. and it's very exciting. as appropriate as it is for us to be anxious about what's going to happen next, it is deeply appropriate to celebrate this
moment of uncertainty. the other opportunity that it presents is an opportunity into charity and be also in charge for feeling yourselves to be it's also an invitation to the west because what adam mentioned, the rhetoric that was being regurgitated here about arabs and islam, that they are not as hungry for democracy, somehow something culturally -- you know, that contradicts the democratic project in the arab world, was not just a writer it was followed by severe and aggressive and violent and incredibly savage actions. the cia here, for example, has
sent libyans to libya to be torture and to be interrogated. and recently of course i'm sure you have read the files at human rights watch has encountered in libya that document in great detail, very dramatic in fascinating detail that when things have been an sending boxes of libyan oranges and date to the cia men in washington, thanking them for delivering people that were against gadhafi under the claim that they were terrorists. this kind of collaboration. so in a way, it's an invitation for all of us as citizens, as men and women of justice in men and women of culture and peace to engage with these to draw an alliance as governments and our
security forces are behaving in this barbaric way. what worries me is that the conversation here tends to be focused more on a sense of kind of anxiety about what is going to happen next and will the bogeyman take control? you know, you had a bogeyman before but he was a friend. what if we are the bogeyman that is not our friend? it has to move from this to as sincere and honest self critique and questioning about what actions but countries like america and britain and italy and france play in making this incredibly more difficult than it already was for us. the actions of the united states made the libyan revolution far more difficult because of its close alliance with the gadhafi to cater ship. not in the rhetoric and, you
know, the things that are seen, but in real actions. and it really baffles me why there are people demonstrating in front of the cia headquarters come asking for explanations about their actions that we know for certain how it happened and are documented. those same men and women at the cia who sent people in chains to be tortured in libya are probably mowing their lawns this morning. and that seems to be an incredibly sensitive and deeply upsetting reality and it doesn't make me feel up to take about the future. [applause] >> our next speaker -- our next speaker is lucette lagnado, and
american journal semi-martus who has reported for "the wall street journal" and the author of a memoir about her childhood, the men in the white suit, our families access from the old cairo to the new world pictures published a second number about her mother's youth in her own upbringing in new york, "the arrogant years: one girl's search for her lost youth, from cairo to brooklyn," which has just been published by ecco press. >> thank you. everybody can hear me i hope. it is lovely to be here with you i would like to start with last february, the day mubarak fell. everybody around me was cheering and was feeling very exultant. i got an e-mail from another in my in white plains. she wrote to me saying, wasn't this wonderful?
virtue overjoyed? than i remember it inking very candidly, actually no. i had a knot in my stomach. i have had it since january. i have had it since the revolution specifically, the site of the egyptians embracing the military as their saviors left me really, really cold and really, really worried. and unfortunately that queasy feeling has remained and occasionally intensifies whenever there is a particularly disturbing reports out of cairo, i takeover by islamists of a demonstration intended to be a unity march. the sword of really scary story about the persecution of coptic christians. and overall and of course again last week, the assault on the
israeli embassy in cairo, which violated all norms of law and i thought civility. i found myself overwrought and maybe most disturbing, stored at the beginning promise of the revolution, a promise that i embrace wholeheartedly, and this idea egypt had been stuck in this terrible, economic morass. it was always the gannett so does the average person making $2 a day. remember that? we would hear that again and again in these early stories. have we heard quite know about you, but i say nothing about the man who makes $2 a day. so i found myself over the recent months trying to think about what my own parents, egyptian. my father was born in a wacko, but came to egypt when he was want in my weather was born in egypt as well.
i didn't live through it either revolution and 52 or this one, but to me they have both been very personal. and my dad hood then through, as i said, the first revolution that overthrew the monarchy, but brought in this military dictatorship that has, you know, remained and maintained a stranglehold on egypt for 60 years now. he's sort of taught me to cast a very cold eye on revolution and what they may promise. so i have been wary. i have been watching, wondering and frankly very, very worried. and again, what happened after 52, there was not there took over. if egypt was only for egyptians, fine.
they couldn't be there anymore and today they are officially 100 left in each out, but it's actually i believe a much smaller with those. this is worrisome to me and said it has in recent years, after a 40 year absence, he did return to egypt and the experience -- forgive me, my own arab spring. it was a mac it's an experience. i fell in love with it in the way i believe my parents were always in love with the chip and missed the goodness of the people, the kind of warmth that forgive me again, they didn't really experience in america. my book was published in arabic, which i found was a tremendous honor for me. in egypt since reached out. they came to readings of mind in a lovely bookstore in cairo. even when i returned to america, i would constantly get these
e-mails and notes on my face but page. and in cairo, i remember one young woman telling me, lucette, you are every bit as egyptian as i am. i feel in the last several months i have felt that window is closing. i have worried that egypt has become more intolerant rather than less intolerant. i have wondered whether i will be able to go back again after a period when i saw it always possible, when i thought i would rent an apartment, try going back. so where are we today? we are in a place where i wish people would talk again about nationbuilding instead of tearing down an embassy. i wish they would talk about a
man who makes $2 a day instead of the sort of strange hostility. but i suppose there's still possibilities and we will try to be hopeful. that's it. [applause] >> our next speaker is yasmine el rashidi, a writer based in cairo to her great fortune just happens to be passing through new york this week and so he asked her to be a part of this panel. yasmine is a former correspondent for "the wall street journal" and has been republishing dispatches from the resolution from the new york review of books. the value for egypt has just been published. she's also a contributor to begin, a journal about culture and politics in the middle east, which i recommend you talk about if you're not familiar already. >> thank you.
>> well, i feel i can pick up where that left off, given that i am living in cairo and i just arrived there. i write from there a few days ago. i mean, it is stored or true you know, everything lucette says and impart everything subs tix is. there is both a joy in the fear and we have these 18 days that we will probably never be able to relive. i feel that on some level, you know, we will be living in the shadow in the memory of those 18 days, which were exhilarating. it was i think for most egyptians to experience the revolution of two rear square was the most uplifting experience of our lives. and on the day that mubarak stepped down, it is pure euphoria. you know, i don't think i ever
understood what feeling euphoric was until that moment. and i think we all had really, really high x activations. in 18 days, we accomplished what we never would have imagined could have happened. and we have had this -- you know, it created a sense of possibility that i don't think we had before we experienced hope in a way that we've never experienced hope before. and it has been a struggle. you know, in the past few months have been rough. there have been moments of violence. there have been moments where you feel that there's civil disorder. there have been incidents that, you know, we all feel are unfortunate. the attack were the violence around the israeli embassy, which i was -- you know, i was there when it happened.
i would say that 90% of the population, even if they have grievances against israel were not happy with what happened in. people were extremely upset. they all said this is in the message we want to convey to the world here this is not what the revolution was about. this isn't the egypt we want to live in. and so, and again, you know, there have been attacks on churches and for the most part, people are against those things. but i think what we are seeing is we have a country, a population that for the first time they have connect good with it. it connected with their voices. they now have a space to voice their opinions. they have this -- it is just the difference -- i think it is sort of their discovering themselves. they are exploring themselves
and everyone is trying to say what they think is they would you feel. and that is where the sense of chaos site inc. is coming out from. and i think it will take time to organize. anything people are trying -- you know, there are different political groups being formed, different sort of coalitions and initiatives, but we are not yet at a point where we are able to organize and in a manner that allows us to move forward quickly and efficiently. but i think -- i sort of thinks it's expected. i think we have higher accident patient than i do now we are beginning to sort of face the reality. we want to rebuild our country. it is not easy. you know, it's a population of 82 million. as a deeply entranced system put in place by a former regime and its really about passing nod and
starting again. and i think it will take years. i don't think -- you know, it's not going to be -- i mean, it's not going to be a smooth process. >> as a great observer of middle east politics -- [applause] is a great observer of middle east politics once your rights, freedom is a messy thing. donald rumsfeld of course. i think also we need to contextualize the attack on the embassy and remember for a one thing that it was condemned by every single political group, every political party inside egypt, including the muslim brotherhood. we don't know what happened, how that got out of control. and the anger that is over the
old regime's relationship with israel is a very potent fat dirt in egyptian politics. it has to be understood. our next speaker is sinan antoon purity is the author of a novel and john and iraq city and collection of poetry, "the baghdad blues: poems" appeared as a translator of arabic poetry and prose, most recently of the work by mahmoud darwish come in the presence of an absence which has just been published by the brooklyn-based independent archipelago books. lucette is an editor if you want to get a grasp on a deeper grasp on middle east politics, i highly encourage you to look at. thanks, sinan. >> thank you, adam. i'm going to have to say a few things about the embassy as
well. that never made it to the news. so this should tell you that this is not necessarily about anti-semitism. as he said, the context is important. israel killed five soldiers on the israeli egyptian order and that was never dealt with properly. and about embracing the military -- i mean, people have this romantic view of their national military all over the world unfortunately. and that's what i was going to say. and egypt, some people have this romantic notion. there's a lot of people who are courageously standing up against the army are bloggers and activists and protesters. and i say because to mention rumsfeld. in the last month it's been disheartening for me to see the architects of the so-called war on terror and the architects as stripping our constitution here in civil liberties. being welcomed back in the
media. rumsfeld and cheney and others as if nothing had been and as if these people did not correct the habit on the world. and frankly, where are the angry voices in the u.s.? so let's not expect the egyptians to be superior to s. they are just like us in the end. and i am afraid the prison on the problematic prism through which the arab world and islamic world was seen for a long time is operative. i have to go back to this idea of quite offensive to so many roads to say it was twitter because they spew lies in the same colonial imperial fashion that erases previous history. this allows for very long history of struggle and this honors the memory of thousands -- tens of thousands of people who died in various struggles against all of the state taters. but the cnn cameras were not there. i mean, it's true.
no one expected these revolutions, but these revolutions don't just come out of nowhere. in egypt or elsewhere. any chance we have a very clear genealogy and history of strikes end of massive demonstrations and a growing awareness. and here we come if one wants to speak of technology, the effect of the satellite channels, and the much aligned g0 satellite channel with all of the problems provided a new space for people across the arab world to for once bypass the censorship of this state and to see on tv, debates between people and the opposition figures that we used to hear of what appear on tv before us. it also lies the influence of, for example, the rating revoked a few years ago. and i think what is important about -- again, took off
europe's ring because that most people have in mind is the cold war and the uprising of the former soviet republics. but that is different because that was -- everyone was with all of the uprising because they were willing to usher in the success of liberal capitalism. but the entire world is not solidly behind these arab uprisings. and as you said, we have to really review ourselves with the idea of thinking that this government to miss catcher are in a so-called western democracy had anything to do with helping any of this happen. let's remember until the last minute of each of these revolutions, whether in tunisia for each at coming your politicians were behind the dictators. they were only responding to history. they would call for reform until the last minute. the military council itself is in close cooperation with washington d.c. everyone knows that. which brings us to the
counterrevolution, which is what's taking place because this is shocking and surprising, perhaps pleasantly for some of us, but unpleasant for many people. as soon as these things started of course there were meetings then there was coordination. and in the region, is spearheaded by saudi arabia, our main ally and by the gulf cooperation council, which has these backward medieval victims of human rights abuses don't seem to be as important as human rights abuses elsewhere. this brings us to buy right and what happened in the rain which was criminal. this is a genuine, peaceful demonstration on the part of a population that has a long history for secular system that was virtually crushed unsurprised and the united states troops bases right there in bahrain. this has for the most part remains to the media. we have also youngman. i mean, this is a country where 60% of the population owned their own guns because it's part
of the tradition, just like we have here. i'm saying this because it's amazing that this was a peaceful revolution. for such a long time it is the regimes that's usually militarize these revolutions. and again, about the way, i'm really sorry. you know, the image of the man standing facing the tank in tiananmen square is the iconic image of courage rightly so. in theory, for the last six months, young men and women go out in the morning to demonstrate, knowing very well that they might be shot for this simple, universal themes that we all embrace or most of us at least. but none of these images have become iconic. and frankly, i have a lot of great because 20 years of orientalism was too much. we are always sold, where are the arab and muslim intellectuals to come out in
support of human rights? not knowing that most of them live in dictatorships. i say, where is the american intellectuals? it's been nine months. where are the american and western intellectuals would even bother to sign a petition to show their support for what's happening in the arab world. i'm sorry, but this is what people think over there. so a lot of us need to take a critical look at her own positions vis-à-vis the region there in the sense of superiority that still operates i think under the surface. this actively shows how criminal the 2003 were wes. if you think that there is no history to struggles and antistate struggles in 1991 in iraq and iran about this all the time and people forget. 16 of iraq's 18 provinces fell. people demonstrated. people tackled saddam statues.
the regime is in disarray, but then the regime that the signal from the united states, from shortstop and signing the cease-fire allowed the saddam regime to use helicopters to the machine just that and did use this discourse about anarchy, foreign influence, blah, blah, blah and that uprising was surprised. the conservative estimate that 160,000 people were buried in mass graves under occupying iraq. in 2003, just to add insult to injury, rumsfeld and paul bremmer and others in the masquerades on earth to show the barbarity of saddam's regime, which was a barbaric regime. but never of course acknowledging that they've been elsewhere in the way complicit in directly with all of this. unless pointed to know with all of the problems in all of the
complexities, they're always complexities after revolutions. but as important as opposed to the previous regime, this is also a generational change. and that there are intellectuals from the previous generations participating, but this generation was dismissed as just busy watching video clips of songs and wasting their time on facebook. in the meantime, for anyone who wasn't listening to bands, they were actually doing something else. but most importantly i and others grew up in a time when there were only images of dictators and when the terminology was ridiculed or the word revolution was ridiculed. now we have for 300 million people in the arab world standing up to injustice is part of the day. their amazing stories of school kids in fifth grade for six great, farming demonstrations against the teacher and principal. this is amazing because the shows they are growing up with
the idea that no one can rule any structure versus them unopposed and baker up at the image is not a thousands cheering for taters, for thousands cheering against dictators. most importantly the revolution is still ongoing. if you follow the news in egypt, it is amazing and these people are walking against a very powerful international structure. of course the military council is allied with the united states in his armor bar x-men. but it's ongoing on every level in society. people are organizing and they need our support, but they need also understanding that we do not dismiss them and not make the same mistakes again. [applause] >> i want to thank all the speakers for a very strong and
very specific speeches, which give us time for some questions. so if anyone has a question. [inaudible conversations] >> okay, would you say that the u.s. justify their support for the taters by presenting either the taters with the in charge or at islamic extremists would be in charge? >> i think the question is about the way in which the inspector of an islamic takeover has been invoked, right, to discourage democratic reforms. >> i mean, i think that was something that the mubarak regime have presented. and i think the mubarak regime
regime -- i don't know what is happening on the side of the states, but they also said that lined the u.s. other wikileaks diplomatic cables now on wikileaks a detail that. you know, it's either this regime or the muslim brotherhood so yeah, i think that is sort of have -- that was the narrative that was being used. >> i mean, there is sort of a reality fact they're here. when i speak to egyptians and yasmine is there so she can confirm or disprove, but they are worried about an islamic takeover. i mean, the sadness is that many of the young revolutionaries we all salama but in the beginning happens if that way today risen to the challenge. inside you have a very organized
force. the muslim brotherhood which has working mother methodically so it's not some sort of fantasy possibility. it is a real possibility. and i'm not sure that many egyptians would particularly like it appeared somewhat, but those women who don't want to cover their hair, for example, may not really welcome, you know, a strict islamic regime. but one has to be realistic. one has to look at what is unfolding day by day i think. >> yeah, one concern i might have is talking about egyptians. i mean, as we have learned from his revolutions come you know, we are talking about most popular arab country, 85 million people. i think it a bit of an exaggeration to say egyptians. >> but then how are we supposed to talk about them? is egypt. >> i think our people concerning countries such as egypt, libya, education and other arabic
countries that if we are to have fair elections, that a conservative government will come in? is being either economically conservative are religiously conservative. of course, it is a sincere worry by many peoples hearts and i think that's normal. it's natural to have that. if we are to see what are the conditions that the best -- you know, excite extremists. those conditions i would argue exactly the readership. the dictatorship has been fantastic for the financing. it is the environment under which no other political resistance group could drive, except then. so if we are really worried about extremism, i would suggest
that democracy would be the best cure for it. >> it may take some time for secular democratic forces in a country like egypt to mobilize and gather their forces and perhaps egypt will go through an islamist state. but there is no question that under mubarak unity government, which presented itself to western observers that secular nationalist while supporting extremists, radical preachers and while essentially allowing the muslim brotherhood and other more extreme forces to operate in the mosques. islamization occurred under mubarak and under sadat as well. >> well, they killed them. >> you know, dovetailing with what she said, the price of 435 years crushing any secular leftist movements are hoping the
regimes crush these movements are in the cold war. and so there is a man who is always celebrated as the visionary man of peace was responsible for injecting so much into politics and politicizing a slope. you know, we have to remember everyone was shot at these demonstrations, which were spontaneous and not organized by one for us, did not have religious slogans and symbols. i mean, of course people say just as someone says jesus christ our mother of god, but i think the level to which it was not religious but fascinating. we have to remember because of the war on terror and the west or even in the world, there is a conflation between a pious practicing muslim and offender list. even for those, we have to come into the fact that there are
people who pray and believe in god who don't necessarily want to have an islamic state that are actually a minority. all of cairo recently with a friend, there is only one who tells you some hint. in vision, my friends, we should worry about this country. when you have for eight years a fundamentalist in the white house who believes he was doing the bidding of god. and when we have frankly the tea party coming out, once again come to egyptians don't have more lunatics than we have. the only difference is that they're lunatics don't have beards and wear turbans. our lunatics wear three-piece suits. [laughter] [applause] >> of course the brothers were closed as well sometime. but we're going to take a question over here. >> president obama gets
criticized by the right as having lost the arab countries and not having done enough. based on your written for them to pinon, which you consider that he has done more and does not simply continuing the bush administration policies in this matter? the >> so a question about obama's performance. >> is there any acknowledgment to him having reached out, anything about that? be my quick answer from sinan. and i think we should allow others. >> one idea that he lost this was theirs to lose. sadly, i'm very disappointed like so many, obama foreign policy of the continuity of the bush foreign policy and we can't go through it, but if you go back to a clinton said, they were hunting on until the last moment. obama hasn't done arabs or
muslims any favors on the contrary as he's done domestically and i know some of you will not like to hear that. it's been a major disappointment domestically and internationally. as for the cairo speech, after bush, bush was so horrible that a man who is eloquent that so many muslims are happy, but the germans are still killing people. one time i was still open. so whether he says; doesn't really make a difference. got back to >> i am inclined to agree with sinan, but i think actually i don't on this one issue, mainly because i think what has significantly changed in the middle east has been the collective imagination, with her horizon holds, what the future might hold.
those things are very difficult to change. they are very difficult to alter, especially at such a scale. i'm not suggesting for a moment that obama did this. not at all. we did this, but i think that speech signaled a certain kind of toned that would be impossible for me to say it definitely didn't help. i don't know what to create helps, if at all, but i don't know if i can say it didn't help at all. his actions, however -- >> began, i think of obama in the last few months and i gave him a kind of its grade. it seems to me that that he supported the fall quickly were on the other hand, syria has been abominable in those situations, where for months and months and months there's been this terrible repression with
little side. so i kind of gave him -- i give him sort of mixed grades. i think america is in a difficult position. you know, i mean a to people in this term really want, for example in the case of egypt commanded peace treaty between israel and egypt to be aggregated, for that part of the world to return to the state of war? i wouldn't think so. i mean, i certainly don't. but we seem to be possibly heading that way. and i guess my only hope that my only thought is, could we somehow bring the discussion back over the air to nationbuilding, to solving the real problems, which i would say, number one would be the economy, the level of poverty and egypt that has been so
pressing. >> just a very quick comment. i mean, it concerns me that were speak in extremes. i know especially the u.s. newspapers and the sir did merited mind the islamists are taking over. there's going to be aware it is aware it is real. i mean can you speak to an egyptian. even the islamists don't want the war with israel. the islamists are so savvy. they're more savvy than any of us. on the contrary they will work to prove that a country. they will work to provide they can prove opportunity for the people. if you look over the past 30 years and more, they have actually offered more to the egyptians that the governments have offered. they offer subsidies. they help their kids with schools, offer different classes. if kiosks in the governors and
poor people can go and we'll give them a bag of fruits and vegetables every day. you know, that is how they win the support of those people, but it's important to look at actually what they are giving the people. so you know, they don't want war. you know, nobody wants war. they may want changes, but they definitely don't want war. >> so interpret the treaty in a less deferential fashion, for israelis to get something out of that relationship, some influence in the palestinian arena. we have time for one final question. >> i think you could argue one thing that has been missing in most of the country is rather a revolution and arguably the big reason why they have not progressed as far as many people had hoped is a lack of the absence of the great galvanizing leader. a few garlic combo, i'm curious to hear from the panelists, d.c. someone on the horizon that
could build that back the weather is in egypt, tunisia, libya? >> it's a good question because early in the resolutions they were celebrated as leaderless affairs in contrast to arab political movements of the past that are strong figures. you see the leader niceness as a strength or do you see significant charismatic leadership on the horizon? >> i don't agree that the revolutions hot up in hand. if i heard you correctly, they haven't been as successful or they haven't achieved as many successes as we hope. did i hear that correctly? [inaudible] >> no, i don't see any actually. i see an incredible amount of games, whether it be in egypt or
in libya or in tunisia. you know, the fact that under this reality, our revolution has been particularly difficult. and after people have been fighting for eight, and many are dying and extraordinary sacrifices are being asked a very ordinary people. the conversation remained surprisingly eloquent. surprisingly modest inattentive to details. the people are speaking about the dangers of revenge, what sort of environment would promote and encourage forgiveness and what does forgiveness mean in all of these questions to me i wouldn't expect the people with bloody fighting to be engaging enough.
there's so many examples i can think of in egypt and tunisia. i think the thing is we got used to kind of hollywood style revolution. you know, cameras and lights. i think the real revolution is a revolution that take years and i because the a lot of very quiet, boring discussion and the stuff that no camera crew and it's going to take a very long time. so i think perhaps we need to define amongst ourselves here in brooklyn, we need to decide, when are we going to announce judgment on the revolution, if it is going to be in a weeks time. in my view, i would suggest 100 years time. we won't be here when 100 years, 100 years is actually a very short time. >> i agree with hisham definitely. i assume most people assume are
putting "the new york times" and other mainstream publications. and in such a one-sided, often turns quite sensationalist view of things. but on the ground of reality is very different. discussions have changed. the way people are engaging with one another has changed. i mean, if anything the real revolution is the change has happened put in egyptians. and i speak for myself too. guess i went to an english school. i was born and raised in cairo, but i see how i have changed. you know, i engaging with my city and a very different way. in engaging with people on the streets in a very different way. there is an openness and desire to learn. people are reading more, debating more and i think that is what really counts. i think that is what is important. >> well, you hate to beat the cassandra of this group, but in answer to this gem on this question, i know that what i have missed watching a judge is
precisely the emergence of somebody from the early days, early may and june are a cost everywhere there were so many people we embraced, so fascinating the google guy or this one at that one. and instead they all seem to kind of -- i don't know where they went. and instead, i hear and i wish actually yasmine would address that because she's so close to it. there's almost a resignation when i talk to people there that okay, we will have a kind of islamic brotherhood life for a while, but we will get through it in a stronger system will emerge. well, at your is not. and i would worry. i mean, i would worry about that. can there really be a muslim brotherhood is
>> sinan. >> the slogan that people chanted from east to west is that people want in a very astute observer of the region said this is the old formula of revolution you look for a leader. perhaps the best thing has been that there is no one leader because for 40, 50 years we got all kinds of leaders. some of them with charisma, some with no charisma and we see what happened. this is the year of the birth of the citizens. so this is what important. so perhaps in the short-term and now it's not a problem not too heavy leader. look at syria appeared for six months to coordinate activities have been able to withstand the onslaught of this barbaric regime without one single leader come up with a simple structure called court and in committees and there are a number of charismatic people. but we don't need to have fun
later. that makes it easier for the what we want the one guy and now we have to start to the people. [applause] >> speaking of the people, i want to thank you offer coming to this event. it was a pleasure. and i want to thank our speakers. [applause] >> this event was part of the 2011 brooklyn book festival. for more information, visit birkeland book festival.org.
>> as was hinted at in the introduction, the thesis of this book in a nutshell is that the climate change doesn't just look like bad weather. it also looks like ethnic violence, religious violence, civil war, being a tree, counterinsurgency, xena phobic anti-immigrants policing. and what i try to do is tease out in these different situations the causality, the causal role of climate change. i never argue climate change is the sole driving force of violence in any one place. but that is a contributing
factor. and it always works in conjunction with preexisting crises. the idea of the book came to me when i was reporting on the economy in afghanistan. and i would ask them why were they growing this illegal crop and running the risks that came with that of getting arrested, having their crops destroyed by the government. and part of the answer that came up again and again in different places over a series of years was, well, poppy is very drug-resistant. at first i didn't know that there was a drought in afghanistan. it turns out that afghanistan is suffering the worst drought in living memory, which has coincided with the whole nato project of nationbuilding in afghanistan. and poppy uses 16216 the amount of water that
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