03 February 2011

Potemkin mob

The violence in Cairo escalated Wednesday when the protesters were attacked by mobs of "pro-government demonstrators". As is so often the case with such events, however, there is less here than meets the eye. As CNN reports (found via TYWKIWDBI), there's abundant evidence that the pro-Mubarak goons were in the pay of the regime -- it's a tactic that has been used against protesters before -- or were simply ordered into action, and police IDs were even found on some of them.

Nevertheless, it's a clever tactic by a regime which is rapidly running out of options. By painting the conflict as being between two opposing groups of civilians, it exploits the media tendency to present any pair of opposing positions as vaguely equivalent in legitimacy regardless of the reality of the situation (such as the media-supported impression that there are "debates" within the scientific community about the reality of evolution or anthropo- genic global warming). In this case, a mob of a few thousand becomes one "side" of a "conflict", with the other being a mass of a million who have many millions more throughout the country behind them. Kudos to CNN for digging a bit deeper.


Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

I found it interesting that the pro-Mubarak "rioters" were denouncing the US and how they hated America. That one left me scratching my head!! Let's see, the US has been supporting Mubarak politically and financially for 30 years.

Ah well, maybe the confusion is simply because the pro-Mubarak goons can't Google their president right now.

04 February, 2011 13:26  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Keeping track of who's on which shit list is probably above their pay grade.

At least I haven't seen much evidence of anti-Western sentiment from the anti-Mubarak protesters. I'm sure they know the US has been propping him up, but they also know that what they want is basically Western-style rights and prosperity.

04 February, 2011 16:06  

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