« BBC Covers the Farhoud | Main | Is Gaza Occupied? »

June 03, 2011

After Most of the Media Moves On, Some Insightful Reporting on Egypt

Two recent articles present disturbing information about where Egypt may be heading.

Lee Smith in The Tablet reveals that the conventional media narrative of how events unfolded in the first days of the unrest did not square with existing realities. Smith argues that Mubarak's role in promoting economic reform and keeping anti-Western elements at bay has been underappreciated. The sweeping away of the Mubarak regime unleashed anti-Western forces that will be increasingly important in shaping post-revolution Egypt. Smith envisions an accomodation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian army. He warns of trouble from the irrational anti-Semitism that pervades Egyptian society. The worsening supply situation of the main staple of the Egyptian diet, wheat, will also continue to stir unrest.

Lester Brown in the New York Times adds a new dimension to the impending food crisis in Egypt. He describes how countries both immediate and far away compete for the Nile river's water in order to grow wheat to feed their own populations. The problem is multi-faceted, as it involves not only the burgeoning populations of Ethiopia and Sudan, both upstream from Egypt, but also a new form of colonization of Africa by wealthier nations like China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia that lack sufficient fertile land to feed their own population's Westernized diets. Vast tracts of African land have been purchased by Asian nations to grow crops. Brown warns that Egypt, which is dependent upon the Nile river for its sustenance, is directly threatened by the diversion of Nile water to irrigate new cropland upriver.

Already, earlier this year, drought in China threatened Egypt's supply of wheat. Some, like Spengler (David Goldman), have pointed to the wheat crisis as a crucial underlying factor in Egypt's unrest.

Posted by SS at June 3, 2011 11:40 AM


Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)