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Jordanian Cartoonist on Egyptian Protests

Here are some terrific cartoons about the protests taking place in Egypt by Emad Hajjaj, a Jordanian cartoonist that draws for the Alghad newspaper.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

9 replies on “Jordanian Cartoonist on Egyptian Protests”

From a western standpoint the above cartoons miss the whole point. The demonstrations in Egypt are not at all about "FREEDOM". They are about agitating the people to think they are going to have freedom only to make their lives miserable by Islamic law. With the Muslim Brotherhood behind most of the agitation it's naive to believe this is about freedom as we understand it.

I don't know much about Mubarak,but so far he's been on OK ally under difficult circumstances, and when he falls not only will the people of Egypt be in for a big surprise, but so will all those who are cheering for the ignorant crowds right now.

Rose: You're entitled to your opinion, but I think time will tell that you are way off. The MB is not nearly the threat that Mubarak has made it out to be over the years. When you say, "from a western viewpoint," I think what you are really saying is "from my iloosely-informed western viewpoint." Most close observers of the situation have far less fear of the MB's intent or abilities than you do. There is just no comparison between Egypt and, say, the Iranian Revolution of the 1970's. The Egyptian people truly are looking for freedom and, if they handle this opportunity well, they can gain something close to it. American-styled democracy? Nah. How about something along the Turksih model? That would be terrific…and quite likely. Lets just wait and see.

Mike and Rose, it is normal for us to have a 'western viewpoint.' However, it is possible for us to be a bit more understanding.

In Tunisia and Egypt you have a very small, very rich, elite that controls (controlled?) the government and society for decades. This elite largely used their power to increase their wealth providing very nicely for themselves and their children, i.e., mansions, servants, private schools, the very nice, safe, and comfortable life. Most folks, including many with education did not share in this plenty. That is what is driving the political unrest, not the absence of a believeable facade of Demoncracy or even freedom. The rioters are NOT demanding an American style democracy or freedom of the press. They are demanding a 'piece of the pie' for themselves and their children.

In that respect, Americans will someday learn to empathize with the Tunisians and Egyptians of this world. In the United States of American, we have trended in exactly the same direction. An increasingly smaller elite has become proportionately more wealthy. They control both political parties, our government, and our society. Public activities such as highways, public schools, public health have beome more and more neglected. Poor people have fewer opportunities. Their children now fill our prisons.

An excellent current example of this trend is found in the present proposed state budget here in New Jersey. Tax breaks for the wealthy are to be protected at all costs. However, full time day care for poor children is to be transformed into half day care due to severe budget cuts. This means that poor mothers will be forced to chose between their jobs and their kids. Those who keep their jobs will condemn their children to begin school at a severe handicap. These poor children will then, in the future, serve to provide a large and stable population for our prisons.

Sorry Mike, we certainly will see how this plays out soon enough. Nor have I said that Mubarak is a saint, but the people are being led astray in the name of "freedom". Nor do I think American style freedom is in the cards; however, using Turkey as an example in the way Glen does is a chimera. Turkey is no more immune from the Islamic militant influences than any of the ME countries, and I'm thrilled that so far Turkey has not been welcomed into the European Union. That would be a fatal mistake for Europe. Even Erdogan(sp?), the Turkish head of state has admitted that Islam is Islam and that there is no such thing as militant Islam and peaceful Islam the way we try to make it. That says all I need to know. To not take him at his word is naive at best and stupid at worst.

As for "having a bit more understanding" as Glen puts it, yeh I have that for the sort of poverty some people are in, but that doesn't mean they know who is behind them stirring the pot or what the end results will be. We have a whole lot of perfect examples all over the world of revolutions that went wrong because the people were led down the wrong path, and those who stir the pot don't give a damn about their poverty. All they care about is power.

Rose, you should read more carefully. I did not refer to Turkey.

That being said, it does not seem likely that the Turkish model would be easily copied in Arab states. If nothing else, much of the modern Turkish model was determined by the unusually capable Kemal Ataturk.

The poor often do not know who is 'stirring the pot, of course. For example, it is not well known, but apparently TARGET (department stores) is a principal bankroller, in secret, of many right wing activities in the United States.

The tipping point for the poor, and for their countries, seems to be when the majority of parents become convinced that their children have no acceptable future. That produces the violence. Furthermore, by the time that tipping point is reached, a society has already been weakened by the comparative lack of competency of those who control the society as inherited wealth/power more and more replaces merit in the selection of a society's leadership.

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