Sunday, February 20, 2011

The greatest pre Battle speech in the history of warfare

Henry V, before the Battle of Agincourt. The St. Crispins day speech from the play Henry V, by William it any wonder that 400 years later the Bard continues to delight....such absolute mastery of the language, such glorious poetry.

(Henry is reputed to have given a speech before the battle but it was not so glorious....he reminded the English Army that the French would spare the nobility and hold them for ransom if they lost but would not extend the same privillege to the common man, so he urged them to fight for their lives)

This is Kenneth Brannagh in the role of King Hal...

Youth and Technology in the Middle East

The combination of youth (60% of the Middle East are under 30) and technology are what I think is truly driving this wind of change in the area. While there are elements of sectarianism like the protests in Bahrain, I also believe that this is largely a secular fueled movement. Will it continue to be secular - Im not sure but one can hope. What gives me hope that this is the real thing is that there is no anti Americanism being seen in the streets...

The power structure in the region cannot combat with the ubiquitousness of information and social media (remember the time when the dictator just had to take the radio station in order to control the insurgency, the P2P nature of social media is fundamentally anti dictator...), the youth know how to handle the technology in innovative ways, the old farts and the mullahs dont...what the Old guard still has is military might and money...overcoming that (like what happened in Egypt) is the key to this bug catching on...

(next Stop...Sub Saharan Africa that has the same youth demographics and a cold war style government structure of strong men)

Amazing how change can be fostered in the middle east without a full scale invasion under false pretenses and $1 trillion in expenditure to the US tax payer