Before I even knew I would lose her, and even as I held her hand in the hospital, I knew but couldn’t fully fathom just how much my mother’s death would change my life. I’m leaving everything I know and taking on the world for the same reason I told her – in the end – it was okay to let go:
We will find our home everywhere we are brave enough to travel.
Of all the uprisings of the “Arab Spring,” the Syrian revolt has been the one arena where pro-regime information warfare has been a central element in the ongoing conflict. While the regime has not been able to shape the information environment completely, it has nevertheless had some success in sowing confusion and reinforcing the fears of its target audiences. What’s more, the pro-regime information operations have found resonance in some rather unexpected corners in Washington.
On Egypt (worth a read even post-elections; apologies, I read most of these earlier in the week and am just now collecting them):
This time as millions go to vote, millions of others will not vote – boycotting or spoiling their ballots. They will do so, not because they don’t believe in democracy, but because they refuse to choose a lesser evil, and in turn be complicit in a political process that has been used to prevent change and not to bring it.
Far from disenfranchising themselves, they will be laying their bet on the only movement that has forced the army to bend and cornered the Muslim Brotherhood into decisions that have destroyed their popularity – the revolutionary movement.
Although rates of gun ownership, like rates of violent crime, are falling, the power of the gun lobby is not. Since 1980, forty-four states have passed some form of law that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons outside their homes for personal protection. (Five additional states had these laws before 1980. Illinois is the sole holdout.) A federal ban on the possession, transfer, or manufacture of semiautomatic assault weapons, passed in 1994, was allowed to expire in 2004. In 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground law, an extension of the so-called castle doctrine, exonerating from prosecution citizens who use deadly force when confronted by an assailant, even if they could have retreated safely; Stand Your Ground laws expand that protection outside the home to any place that an individual “has a right to be.” Twenty-four states have passed similar laws.
…In every single institution in this country there is a mini-Mubarak who needs to be overthrown. In every institution there are figures from the old state security regime who need to be overthrown. These guys are the counter-revolution. Maybe the counter-revolution isn’t clearly organised with a specific command structure, but you have to assume that everyone who belonged to the old regime and enjoyed privileges under it is going to try to defend those privileges, and much of the malaise you see around you in Egypt today is down to that.
Maybe we can assert that the woman should have the ultimate legal right to choose, but at the same time admit that right is very complicated and charged and morally fraught, that choosing something against the will of the man involved is an act of some degree of unfairness; It may be a necessary act but not an entirely unambiguous one.