Friday, February 04, 2005


It's a fine time for dissident junkies. Normally my attention doesn't go too far beyond the borders of merrye olde Former Soviet Union, but this article via Yglesias caught my eye. It discusses Egypt's burgeoning unrest and the increased volume of grumblings among coalescing and, dare I say, emboldened dissident groups.

Now, when this kind of thing happens in the aforementioned merrye olde FSU, we trace it on the trajectory of Serbia-Georgia-Ukraine, that series of revolutions we've seen in the past few years. Georgians wanted a Serbia, Ukrainians wanted a Georgia, and now the Kyrgyz and the Belarussians, among others, are calling for a Georgia/Ukraine, while autocrats throughout the region are rightly concluding that the mild liberalization of Shevardnadze and Kuchma created the conditions for their downfall, and are adjusting policies accordingly.

While I'm sure the opposition groups in Egypt are, naturally, well aware of Georgia and Ukraine and perhaps even emboldened, I doubt they take their cues and motivation from these events the way others in the FSU can. Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic can point to their common past, their shared communist experience, and conclude that there's no reason that Georgia can pull this off and not them. The lesson wouldn't necessarily hold for Cairo.

Nevertheless, I still think it's totally cool that the symbol of Egypt's resistance movement fits right into the iconic scheme of the Slavs and Caucasians.

This is the flag for the Egyptian resistance movement Kifaya, or "Enough!"

Which sounds quite similar to Georgia's youth opposition movement, Kmara, or "Enough!"

...whose design was lifted wholesale from Serbia's opposition Milosevic-booting group, Otpor, or "Resistance."

Our outlier is Ukraine's Pora ("It is time"), but they get an inclusion anyway:


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