Sandy Berman's letter to Obama & Clinton, re: Egypt

Sandy Berman sent me a copy of a letter he mailed to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, dated January 30, 2011. I though others might enjoy reading it, too.

Egypt. So far you folks have been ludicrously tone deaf. People in the street are not demanding a new cabinet and "reforms." They are explicit: DOWN WITH MUBARAK! But you seem unable to understand, much less support, that unmistakable reality. Instead, you prattle about "national dialogue" and how everyone should behave with due decorum and that the President should engage with the rebels. Whoa! There's an honest-to-god revolution underway. Police have vanished. Protesters embrace the army, which refuses to enforce a curfew. There IS no Mubarak government any longer. And it's about time we recognized that elemental fact. The U.S. right now looks "out of it," like fools still committed to our 30-year-long buddy whose own people despise him. This week we're suddenly declaring that human rights should be respected, but for 30 years we've been subsidizing an oppressive, authoritarian regime with more than a billion dollars a year--without much insistence on democracy and free speech and fair elections (until this week).

Sustainable agriculture in Egypt/the Middle East


As a start here is a link to the pdf version of an article about virtual water policies and struggles in Egypt and India. There is an extensive list of references at the end of the paper.

Roth, Dik, and Jeroen Warner. "Virtual Water: Virtuous impact? The unsteady state of virtual water." Agriculture and Human Values 25 (2008): 257-70. SpringerLink. 3 Oct. 2007. Springer. 20 Feb. 2009 .

Some notable references:

Hakimian, H. (2003). “Water scarcity and food imports: An empirical investigation of the ‹Virtual Water’ hypothesis in the MENA region.” Occasional Paper No. 46. London, UK: School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), Water Issues Study Group, University of London. Retrieved from on November 3, 2006

Wichelns D. (2001). The role of ‹virtual water’ in efforts to achieve food security and other national goals, with an example from Egypt. Agricultural Water Management 49: 131–151

Related Question

QUESTION:Sustainable agriculture in Egypt/the Middle East

question / pregunta: 

I'm interested in researching whether sustainable agriculture/food sovereignty is a viable possibility in Egypt/ or other areas in the Middle East. It seems that many of the political conflicts there are based on resources/or lack thereof. Many MENA (Middle East + North Africa) economies have moved away from growing their own food in favor of industrialization/export economies/oil export and importing food. There is the major problem of water scarcity in MENA, and food sovereignty has been disparaged by many economies as futile and wasteful. However, MENA countries have been growing their own food for centuries, and food sovereignty would be a crucial step in decreasing many conflicts in the region.

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