Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
You might find it interesting to read the links. Or at least the blockquotes. He took no credit but that which was offered, and that was taken with grace. Even humility.
Sharp says he hasn't been directly in touch with anyone in Egypt since the uprising began late last month. But he says he is happy to know that his ideas may have had some influence.

"I'm very pleased," he says. "I've been studying this question of dictatorships for many decades. It is a lonely struggle. To get this kind of recognition is very important."

His influence in Egypt and Tunisia has been referenced not by him, but by the participants and organizers themselves.
The quotes I did are a sample of many similar.

There is, among the deeply self-important, a powerful tendency to piss on anything done by a competing authority or competitor in an often self-perceived game of influence.
To suggest that an 83-year old has no right to admiration because he only supplied the ideas and
none of the blood is, it seems to me, quite unfair.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 01:47:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only it were that simple.

Debate on the Albert Einstein Institution and its Involvement in Venezuela

Venezuelans opposed to Chávez met with Gene Sharp and other AEI staff to talk about the deteriorating political situation in their country. They also discussed options for opposition groups to further their cause effectively without violence. These visits led to an in-country consultation in April 2003. The nine-day consultation was held by consultants Robert Helvey and Chris Miller in Caracas for members of the Venezuelan democratic opposition. The objective of the consultation was to provide them with the capacity to develop a nonviolent strategy to restore democracy to Venezuela. Participants included members of political parties and unions, nongovernmental organization leaders, and unaffiliated activists. Helvey presented a course of instruction on the theory, applications and planning for a strategic nonviolent struggle. Through this, the participants realized the importance of strategic planning to overcome existing shortcomings in the opposition's campaign against Chávez. Ofensiva Ciudadana, a pro-democracy group in Venezuela, requested and organized the workshop. This workshop has led to continued contact with Venezuelans and renewed requests for additional consultations (AEI Annual Report, 2000-2004, pp. 20-21).

Lest we fail to realize who attended the consultation, the meeting was also covered by Reuters on April 30th 2003, in an article noting that it took place in the utmost secrecy at an elite private Venezuelan university in eastern Caracas, with a sign on the door reading only "Seminar on Strategic Marketing." The article continues: "The attendees included representatives of Venezuela's broad-based but fragmented opposition, who are struggling to regroup after failing to force Chavez from office in an anti-government strike in December and January." And, we could add, a murderous and anti-democratic (if botched) coup.

Anyone familiar with recent Venezuelan history will immediately spot a number of politically-motivated distortions of history, most egregiously the claim of Chávez's authoritarianism, the claim of waning popularity, the claim that the government was responsible for the violence of April 11th 2002 (when it has been decisively demonstrated that it was the very same opposition supported by the "nonviolent" AEI that massacred dozens on that day), the revealing absence of any mention of the subsequent anti-democratic coup whatsoever, and the claim that far-right opposition group Ofensiva Ciudadana (whose members were associated with that coup) is "pro-democracy."

Could there remain any doubt that the AEI indeed has taken a political position on Venezuela, and that Sharp's claim to be "neither pro-Chávez nor anti-Chávez" is utterly farcical? On the surface, perhaps, but a more subtle view would see how the vague nature of AEI's consultation policy allows the institution to follow a more winding and sinister path: from nominal neutrality through tacit judgment, through fake history, and on to the very reversal of reality. And once we reach this point, all traces of the "distribution of rights and wrongs" that would favor the Venezuelan left have been erased. We don't need to explain the circularity of this path: the AEI's intervention is justified by the history it re-writes.

More links at the end of that article.

And more debate here.

For those who don't want to wade through the back and forth, the counter-argument is that the AEI's (why the grandiose name?) history seems to be ambiguous at best, and its support of non-violence may not be as non-partisan as it pretends to be.

It's SOP for US rhetoric to promote non-violent Democracy Lite™ - a bit of voting, a bit of a middle class handout, but as little policy access and business disruption as possible - as a fall-back position when favoured tyrants are deposed.

Suspicion is natural. Gene Evans may not be trying to co-opt the Egyptian revolution - but he doesn't need to, when the US media seem to be trying so hard to do it for him.

And worryingly, some people associated with the AEI do seem to have a somewhat relaxed approach to basic honesty.

Meanwhile - how non-violent can a revolution be when there's such a significant body count?

The proof will be the shape of future political culture in Egypt and Tunisia, and whether or not the non-violent protestors who were injured are significantly better off a year or two from now than they are today.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 03:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, when I saw "AEI" disapprovingly mentioned by Angry Arab I immediately thought it was the American Enterprise Institute...
"According to an analysis published by Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), Venezuelan student leaders traveled to Belgrade in 2005 to meet representatives of the AEI-trained opposition movement OTPOR-CANVAS, before later traveling to Boston to consult directly with Gene Sharp himself. When these allegedly non-partisan students hit the streets in 2007, their logo was exactly the same as that used by OTPOR and which appears in AEI literature.  Nowhere does Sharp bother contesting these facts regarding AEI's role in Venezuela."  Now, to believe that Sharp or OTPOR had anything to do with the eruption of the Egyptian uprising is to give credit to Bush for latest scientific discoveries. (thanks William)

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 03:59:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 08:06:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who don't want to wade through the back and forth,---

Please. Everyone,  Wade. It's an education of value, in disinformation, calmly deconstructed by VA.
I find it incredible that you could post this link,- quite a good one- then cherry-pick it to present a position utterly at odds with it's intent.
It is a tribute to Venezuela Analysis that they will print crap from well-known and widely disliked  propagandists like Golinger. If you read VA often, you must be familiar with her stuff. I'd rather quote Donald Rumsfeld as an expert on humanitarianism than Golinger on anything at all.

Why the Einstein name?
Some things ARE really simple.
Because Einstein wrote the introduction to one of his books.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 12:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Einstein is well-known for being an advocate of nonviolence.

He even refused to become Israel's second President. Albert Einstein's political views - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In a 1938 speech, "Our Debt to Zionism", he said: "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain--especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. ... If external necessity should after all compel us to assume this burden, let us bear it with tact and patience."

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 01:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Einstein was wrong about a lot of things as I recall so do we get to call him inaccurate too? ;-)
by stevesim on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 at 02:30:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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