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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Surviving in Egypt

Anonymous said...
Hey Ferfal, considering the current and coming shitestorms in the middle east. Perhaps a good idea would be to get your book translated into Arabic, I'm sure you have readers who would be willing to do it for free. Egypt pretty much has shutdown and people are hurting. And there will be a great demand for the type of information you provide in your book in the middle east.
February 3, 2011 7:05 AM


Yes, talk about things going to hell fast. In countries where there´s a population very mad at their president and the corruption reaches insulting levels these things happen.
Its the same old story and not that different from our own: They are fed up and want the guy to leave, and the rioting and civil unrest makes this all abundantly clear. Notice two things right away:

1) No president, no government of any kid can «win» against an infuriated population. Remember this next time someone says things such as “Oh, but what can people do against armies, aircrafts, infantry and artillery?” Its actually the other way around. You can´t win a war against your own population guys. That´s on of the best kept secrets by those in power.

2) They just want Mubarak to leave. This is typical textbook scenario. We took the streets so as to kick President De la Rua out, feed up of every one of them politicians with the famous «Que se vayan todos» (Kick them all out).

In survival terms, the basics any recurrent reader of this blog knows by heart by now. Have supplies, have water, weapons so as to defend yourself. Have a defendable position, upgrade your home´s security. (videos on this coming soon) During Argentina 2001 some phone lines collapsed due to the amount of talking going on, people here used email and text messages to organize different demonstrations and protests in their neighborhoods. In Egypt they went a far as blocking the internet. Even that couldn´t stop the inevitable since they found ways around it using twitter through the ordinary phone. You could still tweet without internet by phonecalls to USA. This of course shows how the dieing giant tries to control things. Keep a radio to know whats going on, even better get a police scanner and UHF/VHF radio to gather information. When you have a police scanner and know some of the frequencies used by cops, civil defense, firemen, or emergency response you get a much better idea of whats happening out there.

USA Next?


No, at least not right away. But notice the things that cause people to just be fed up.


 “The country has gone to ruin,” Abdelaziz said. “Everything is expensive. How will my son marry, get an education, set up a household? There are no jobs, only for a select few. We have no hope.”
http://www.examiner.com/unemployment-in-san-diego/civil-unrest-riots-egypt-99ers-is-usa-next#ixzz3qF06c9pu

That´s it right there, folks. People that are used to being poor for generations may take longer to react. But ever rising Inflation? That´s what destroys a social class that once knew better. That´s what causes a country to explode like a powder keg. Happened in Argentina, happened in Egypt, will keep happening in other places. Know these things so you´re not caught entirely by surprise. As inflation an unemployment grow and at some point get out of control, that´s when all hell breaks loose.

 Going out during the eruption stages of civil unrest is not the smartest thing to do. Stay put until things calm down. DONT GO OUT. This may sound obvious but those of us that saw these kind of demonstrations in our country have experienced something some of you may not: You WANT to go out there and peacefully demonstrate how fed up you are, you want that guy to flee like a dirty rat, bad. This is where the survival mindset should kick in. Even though you want to be part of the historic moment and participate with those that get rid of the tyrant, its just not safe and the person with a family to provide for should remember his responsibilities.

And then... what?

This is what people in Egypt don´t know and may cause their utter ruin. What happens after you get what you want. The guy leaves and then...
These revolts are ideal territory for authoritarians to take control. May they be a local warlord, and extreme leftist or right(depending on the extreme of the one that got kicked out) charismatic figure may be voted into power with great popular support. They thrive and spread in these environments like bacteria in an infected wound.
In my opinion, the best possible outcome is not to have the guy escape like a rat through a tunnel or chopper like in our case. The best outcome is to leave him no other option but to call for elections within 6 months. Time enough for listening to serious propositions, not enough time for people to calm down and allow the rat to stay in place. This way the deomcratic process continues and isn’t interrupted. Believe me you don’t want that, no matter how much of a scumbag the president may be. You don’t want that because the one that gets hurt the most is the country´s image to the rest of the world. It takes decades to heal the damage the representative process suffers.
Much better to VOTE the rat out of power than kicking him out with rioting and pitch fork and flaming torch wielding masses. After that, the best person to plaice in office is a smart, conservative person, not too much to the right, not too much left leaning either. In times like these moderation is your best friend for a quick recovery, and charisma, smiles, good looks but no ideas and empty speeches are your worst enemy.

FerFAL

13 comments:

Maldek said...

I know a few egyptians from cairo from my work and I can tell you one thing:
Egypt is not Argentina, not the EU and certainly not the US.

They are all Muslims - Muslim is not just a religion, it is religion, goverment and way of life all in one. Most people are poor and thats all they have.

Mr. Mubarak did rule the country for a long time in a "western style" against the will of the majority of people who voted long ago for a fundamentalist muslim state with sharia laws.

Egypt does not have a democratic history at all. Many egyptians want a society similar to iran - EU/USA and Israel fear nothing more and will try to place an new "pupet" in egypt once Mubarak leaves.

Taylor H said...

I agree with your statement regarding the US. Riots of such magnitude won't occur until hyperinflation leads to ridiculous food prices.

Anonymous said...

in NC USA, the police/fire/rescue
radio traffic is mostly encrypted
digital. monitoring a scanner has
been useless since last year:
http://www.islandgazette.net/news-server1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11133:police-scanner-owners-should-get-ready-for-full-digital-switch&catid=1:local-news&Itemid=69

Anonymous said...

Christians are 10-20% of the Egyptian Population. They are called "Copts", and they are regularly slaughtered and slighted.

Not all egyptians are muslims, radicals or radical muslims.

Anonymous said...

,,the communist won in Russia,China and eastern Europe etc..

"In spite of our economic uncertainty, Americans spent $11 BILLION MORE in 2009 than in 2008 to buy guns, ammo, and gear, etc."

...."predicting the future is easy, it's being right that's the hard part."

Anonymous said...

Ferfal said "In my opinion, the best possible outcome is not to have the guy escape like a rat through a tunnel or chopper like in our case. The best outcome is to leave him no other option but to call for elections within 6 months. Time enough for listening to serious propositions, not enough time for people to calm down and allow the rat to stay in place. This way the deomcratic process continues and isn’t interrupted. Believe me you don’t want that, no matter how much of a scumbag the president may be. You don’t want that because the one that gets hurt the most is the country´s image to the rest of the world. It takes decades to heal the damage the representative process suffers."

+1 Ferfal - You are wise beyond your years! GSJ

Anonymous said...

The rise of the price of gas will be a key factor.

May take until next winter but when people have to choose between keeping the lights on or buying food then it will get bad.

And when people have to choose between either freezing or starving in the dark cold of winter then it gets ugly!

Remember the 99ers.

Anonymous said...

Question on work after things go downhill, is a locksmith a profession in demand?

Anonymous said...

Maldek, Egypt has a sizable Christian minority. Furthermore, the Muslims AND Christians have been working together in these protests by protecting each other, their neighborhoods, and Muslims. For example, here is a picture that has spread across the internet of Christians protecting Muslims as they pray:

http://imgur.com/NhC4m

So to pigeonhole all Egyptians as radical Muslims is blatantly ignorant and wrong.

Ferfal, in Egypt's case, there are two problems with waiting a few months for elections. First, Egypt hasn't had a fair election in over 30 YEARS (to the tune of Mubarak winning 99 percent of the vote despite obvious discontent with him in the general population). NOBODY there is going to trust any election set up under his government. I sure as hell wouldn't. Second, again, Mubarak has been promising meaningful dialogue and reform for OVER 30 YEARS and nothing has come out of it. How are people supposed to believe that this time will be different? Enough is enough.

russell1200 said...

Fer Fal

The history of uprising in total shows that governments stop mass uprisings all the time.

That being said, what is not very good at stopping uprisings is conscript armies where units are pulled from the same area that the people rioting are from. The Chinese knew how to do it, they pulled units from outlying provinces to stop the rioters in Tianeman square. China has also been careful to keep its military happy.

In both the case of Tunisia and Egypt the military had been slighted by the regime in power recently. The regimes had been in power so long they had become complacent about their security.

Anon in NC: what you need to "decode" the digital scanner is not secret: it was in the very article you linked to:

"The information you need to program the radio for the New Hanover County system is a set of radio frequencies the system operates on. You can find those frequencies at www.radioreference.com Just search for New Hanover County using their map. In addition to the frequencies for New Hanover County, people who travel the State of North Carolina should also consider programming their radios to monitor the entire state VIPER radio system, of which New Hanover County is a part of. That system includes systems for hundreds of sites across the state including highway patrol and many other agencies".

Tin Man said...

Good work pointing out what causes people to riot, revolt, break down, etc. : A downgrade in status, here because of inflation.

Also, can't wait to see some videos on making a home secure!

Tin Man

Anonymous said...

re: the suggestion to stay home and leave the demonstrations to others. If american revolutionaries had taken this safe approach and stayed home in 1776, the US might still be Canada's southern extension, with the Queen's picture on its money.

hsu said...

Ferfal, here's a question that probably requires a much longer answer than a simple reply:

If you found yourself offline like Egypt, what books would you still want handy? What books should you have in either paper form or in electronic form on your home computer?