By Matthew Rothschild on February 03, 2011

This is the Hosni Mubarak that the United States has been lavishly supporting for 30 years now.

This isn't new. We in the U.S. are just seeing it for ourselves for the first time.

Mubarak's thugs riding in on horses and camels, with their whips in hand.

Mubarak's thugs surrounding journalists and pummeling them.

Mubarak's thugs kicking punching and kicking pro-democracy forces.

Mubarak's thugs hurling Molotov cocktails at unarmed pro-democracy forces.

Mubarak's thugs speeding in a van and clipping down protesters.

Mubarak's thugs rounding up reporters, including from The Washington Post and The New York Times. (For a full list, see http://abcworldnews)

Mubarak's thugs rounding up human rights workers, including from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

But Egyptians have known all along who the real Mubarak was.

If they dared to dissent, they knew they'd likely be put in prison.

If they dared to protest in the streets before, they knew they'd get rounded up and maybe tortured.

You can turn to any country report from Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International over the last decade or two and find descriptions of the terrible record.

Here's Amnesty's: "The most pressing human rights concerns that Amnesty International has documented are the use of emergency legislation to arrest and detain people without charge or trial; the widespread use of torture and other ill-treatment; grossly unfair trials of civilians before military and emergency courts; restrictions on the peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; the rise in death sentences; a lack of legal provisions and other measures to protect women from domestic violence; legal and other discrimination against members of religious and ethnic minorities; arrests and prosecutions of people for their actual or alleged sexual orientation; and the maltreatment of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, including through the use of excessive, including lethal force."

This is the dictator the United States has been underwriting to the tune of almost $2 billion a year for the past three decades.

And his dictatorial dealings were essentially OK with Washington so long as they were off camera and so long as they didn't threaten to discredit the U.S. or render the puppet useless. Now the puppet is off the string and flailing about, more dangerous than ever.

Yet there are too many pro-democracy protesters not just in Tahrir Square but all across Egypt. And they have lost their fear.

Mubarak's thugs can't brutalize them all. And so he will lose, and so the people of Egypt will win -- by sheer numbers and by sheer courage.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Egypt's Revolution Should Make Israel Come to Peace with the Palestinians."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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