by Patrick Appel
Andrew Exum's request:
[C]an we all agree to stop using European historical analogies to describe what is taking place in Egypt? It's not Europe in 1848 or Eastern Europe in 1989 or France in 1789: it's Egypt in 2011.
What is taking place in Egypt today is the result of sui generis social, political, cultural and even geographic phenomena. When we use "western" frames of reference to make sense of what is taking place, by contrast, we a) sound really freaking narcissistic and b) fail to take those local phenomena seriously and thus miss a lot of what is going on.