Egypt’s Google Gandhi Released, Interviewed

The Egyptian military government, which is still running the country in accordance with martial law “emergency rules,” on Monday released from custody Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who played a role in organizing the January 25 demonstrations that kicked off Egypt’s current crisis.

He was interviewed on the “10:00 PM” program of Egypt’s DreamTV channel. The video has been posted to YouTube with subtitles.:

This is the meaty Part 2 of his post-release interview (click on “cc” at the bottom if you don’t see English subtitles, and they will appear).

and Part 3:

Ghonim consistently called for non-violent methods, becoming Egypt’s Google Gandhi (an epithet he would hate, since he urged that he not be lionized and that people think instead about the some 300 protesters shot dead by the regime in the past week). His grief over those deaths drove him to end the interview in tears.

Ghonim’s assertion that the deaths were not his or the protest movement’s fault is certainly correct.

I advise against watching this cold-blooded execution by armed and armored police of an unarmed, non-threatening protester, but it does show the kind of vicious brutality that the protesters are up against.

6 Responses

  1. Taking a deep breath, sitting back and thinking, what might we begin to conclude about the prospects for The People of Egypt?

    First, there are parallels between them and us, however us is defined. The US may be the most dramatically different case, but only due to its wealth. In its case, the velvet glove of power, allowed to emerge by its panicked people, has had no need to come down on a herd so fat and uninformed, whose gullibility and complacency makes them harmless to begin with. For the moment anyway.

    At this moment, however, its hard to see a happy ending for the Egyptians, especially if The People think they afford a strategy of waiting Mubarak out. In that contest The People lose. If any group attacks a King, they better finish the job or they’re the ones who will be finished.

    For their part, M and the party (the Kleptomatics) are clearly set to bide their time until those in the square evaporate, are forgotten. Or, as in Tiannaman (sp), once the cameras have gone and the crowds thinned, move in for the kill. The current drift doesn’t promise a happy ending.

    At the bottom of events, though, are modern status quos, even as ossified as Mubarak’s, too economically and politically entrenched to fail? His regime appears too important for the US to let go for security and political reasons (The Lobby). 40% of Egypt’s economic output, according to some, comes from military (ie, state) industries, which combined with the rest of the state bureaucracy makes any restructuring of the status quo practically impossible. Especially so because replacement leadership has been systematically emasculated over the years: there is little leadership or practical alternative vision to make a meaningful change.

    Could this be an illustrative case, where even such a hollow regime is too big and entrenched to be changed? In simpler times there was not the same reliance on the state and its bureaucracies. Now, could it be that with modern states–like big business—they are no longer necessarily an accountability, and they are immune to the needs and will of The People?

  2. 300 dead? And, according to The Guardian newsblog 10,000 peole arrested and detained in the past two weeks.

  3. Thank you.

    BTW, Al-Arabiya is reporting (according to Le Monde Diplomatique) that Habib Al-Adly is suspected of the staging the bomb blast of the Coptic church in Alexandria.

  4. Thank you for continued reporting and perspective on the other third of the planet. Maybe you are already writing something about this little report in the LA Times, link to latimes.com, that seems to indicate that OUR “homegrown, Made-in-USA” pluto-klepto-autocrats are going to hang in there to support Mubarak and the rest of “our loyal allies” in your specialty region. And elsewhere.

    As a former roommate from New York used to say, “It is to laugh, otherwise you have to cry.” Prayers of intercession for the brave and persistent in Tahrir Square — may their example inspire a billion others to better things…

  5. Egypt need a face to push the worlds to apply more pressure on Mubarak and invest economically in Egypt after the revolution. We should all follow Ghonim on Twitter so that he can speak lauder and be pressured to accept his lionization.

    Follow him!!
    link to twitter.com

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