Middle East 'expert' wouldn't have a clue
Not many countries qualify as true police states -- there's Cuba, North Korea and maybe Burma, Iran, Vietnam and China. But really, with the demise of the Soviet Union and the attendant liberation of Eastern Europe the police state is pretty much a thing of the past.
It was therefore somewhat surprising to hear noted journalist, blogger, dissident, provocateur (!?!!) and best-selling author Antony Loewenstein (who else) repeatedly pronounce Egypt a police state in an SBS interview. Yet in the same interview Loewenstein notes that Egyptian riot police repeatedly ignored anti-government demonstrations only meters away.
You see Antony, in a police state your little group of protesters wouldn't even be allowed out on the streets, much less permitted to sit in the middle of a main road blocking traffic. And rather than the police try to pull protesters out of the street your little group of whiners would have been savagely beaten and unceremoniously carted off never to be seen again. Actually it's not really surprising that Ant's confused: he does after all think Lebanon is part of Israel and Tzipi Livni a man.
In the interview Ant is higly critical of reporters who cover the Middle East from the comfort of their hotel rooms in Israel. This is especially ironic since "expert" Loewenstein has spent very little actual time on the ground in the Middle East, instead covering the ongoing Israeli - Palestinian contretemps from the comfort of his Australian abode - rumour has it he lives with his parents, who desperately hope he'll move out once he establishes his journalistic credentials - Ma and Pa Loewenstein are, of course, well acquainted with disappointment.
Anyway, if you're a Lefty keen to hear a comrade talking complete crap about matters he doesn't understand, the SBS interview is here.