EsotericWombat wrote:Do you have a plan that doesn't involve a bloody rebellion? Egypt is hurting badly enough already, and NONE of the demonstrators want that. Right now, the movement is well-positioned to leverage their protest capital to force democratic reforms. If they tried to bite off more than they can chew, the whole house of cards would fall.
With hundreds dead in the past couple weeks, thousands injured, who knows how many still locked away, it can be argued that "bloody rebellion" is an apt description of the current situation. Too much blood has been spilled already, and sadly there will almost certainly be more before this is over. What I'm hinting at here is that well-coordinated direct action by the protesters could minimize that - possibly more so than maintaining the status quo of predominantly peaceful protesters exercising mostly passive resistance and being beaten, arrested, detained, shot, run over, whipped and having rocks and even Molotov cocktails thrown at them for all their efforts. The demonstrators made what they want very clear - Mubarak and his regime out, immediately. Period. Mubarak seems to be responding to this by, instead of acquiescing, trying to wait it out and hoping people's short attention spans work in his favor. You used the words "the protesters can step up their game" - I agree with the idea, but I'm saying that now, as opposed to some undefined time in the future, strikes me as the most prudent time for the protesters to do so.
EsotericWombat wrote:Maybe you're the one who needs a refresher on US History. It took us thirty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence to get a Constitution that worked!
While I didn't intend to call your historical knowledge into question in my original post, and apologize if that's how I came off then, I'm now obliged to point out that if you don't need a history lesson, surely you need one on basic arithmetic. Despite their not being ratified by all states until 1781 (<5 years), the Articles of Confederation were written and essentially in use (e.g. we "got" it) inside of 18 months of the declaration's signing. We didn't keep it for the long run, true, but for 11 years (7 after ratification) it served its purpose. If in no other respect but this, it was like our current constitution - it wasn't the absolute ideal best thing ever, it had its share of flaws, but it worked
. If "a Constitution that worked" was a misnomer and you were referring to our current
constitution, though, thirty years is still WAY wrong. It was written within eleven years of the Declaration and ratified within twelve. If you're referring to the constitution plus the bill of rights, a little over fifteen years from the declaration. By my reckoning, that puts your figure as inaccurate by a factor greater than twenty, but if you twist your words I'll concede and let you only be wrong by a factor of two. I'm not saying that's not still a long time, but please don't talk down to me when you can't even get your own argument straight.
Furthermore, it bears noting that when you consider that this happened in a time before electricity/telegraphs/radios/transportation faster than a horse, and especially when you consider that ours involved a prolonged war against a foreign government which just so happened to be the dominant world power
of the time, 1-2 years to set up an interim government and 15 to solidify a constitution which remains 200+ years later is really not all that bad. There's not really a foreseeable scenario pitting Egyptian protesters against, say, US or Chinese military forces - their goal is to depose a single regime, on their own turf, with relatively little police and (quite possibly zero) military resistance. Wouldn't that be a walk in the park by comparison?
EsotericWombat wrote:And even as such, we still kept in place England's legal traditions. The Declaration of Independence was, among other things, an argument that separation from England comported with existing legal concepts of the People's rights.
Sorry, but it seems you implied a couple of points there that I'm having some difficulty with: That scrapping an existing set of laws in favor of better ones precludes keeping legal tradition, and that Egyptian protesters initiating a coup against an illegitimate regime in the defense of their basic rights somehow violates current
"legal concepts of the People's rights." Sorry, but honestly I'm not even aware of a way in which that could make any sense whatsoever, so you'll have to fill me in there.
EsotericWombat wrote:I'm sorry, but just how is the Egyptian Constitution to be discarded?
EsotericWombat wrote:Egypt has a Constitution that can be altered sufficiently to transition it into a functioning democracy. Do you seriously think that we would have started from scratch under those circumstances?
You seem to be taking the phrase "starting from scratch" a tad too literally. I'll admit it was funny when Sagan did that, but seriously, come on.
I never did say that scrapping their entire constitution was the ideal approach, or anywhere close. Their current constitution can be altered - my problem with this is the fact that their current constitution can only be altered by those in power, regardless of the people's demands. This and similar parts which work against the people should be scrapped, and they can be scrapped. Is it so difficult to imagine the aforementioned unfavorable aspects of the constitution, much like the curfews and orders to disperse, being reduced to nothing more than a minor hurdle, an ignorable psychological construct which can be flouted if not outright nullified by a sufficiently powerful wave of popular resistance?
To put it another way: you don't have to invent an entire universe to make your pie "from scratch" - hell, you don't even need to plant and/or grow a tree if you don't want to - but you do have to get up off your ass and go to some sort of market and buy a few real apples instead of that canned filling crap, y'dig?