Protests in Egypt

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quelar

Not to put too fine a point on this, but frankly this is the kind of large scale break out, populist revolution that I've been waiting for a long time.   The conditions are perfect,  years of government interference in our lives, economic destruction, environmental decay, democratic collapse, and best of all,  a world population that has access to media that can not be controlled in the same ways it was. 

The potential here is good,  my fear is that those who mean to keep the world moving their way could easily turn things on it's head again and we go back to watching some celevrity news in a few days.

NDPP

all the signs continue to be auspicious...

Israeli Embassy Staff Evacuate Egypt

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/162520.html

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quelar wrote:
Not to put too fine a point on this, but a world population that has access to media that can not be controlled in the same ways it was. 

I believe there is potential for the media to be controlled as never before, thanks to the Internet. Everything on the Internet is being stored somewhere isn't it? And ISP providers can be forced to open their files so content can be traced.

The success of Wikileaks leads me to suspect the same kind of leaking can be done to sensitive files of progressives - sooner or later we'll probably see online everything related to progressive governments and organizations all over the world - who presumably have nothing to hide, but we'll see if that holds up.

The Egyptian gov't has demonstrated they can kill internet and cellphone access (and Twitter?) at will.

 I think China has that capability as well as being able to censor everything on their Internet carry. In the USA, Joe Lieberman right now has a Bill before Congress that would give the President an Internet "kill switch" in times of national emergency (all this was discussed on CNN early this morning), also probably with censoring capability, which undoubtedly would be used by an Administration not happy with Internet content on its own carry.

As media becomes more and more concentrated and integrated with the Internet for news updates and distribution, the idea that the Internet can be shut down and censored so  easily, effectively and completely,  ought to be a scary proposition for all of us. If I had better hearing, I'd buy myself a ham radio!

al-Qa'bong

Because other than the military, there's no obvious successor to Mubarak's dictatorship, my optimism is qualified.  Nevertheless, I've been waiting for this movement ever since the days  I carried around a picture of Gamel Nasser as a kid - forty years ago.

The USA hasn't made Egypt its biggest aid recipient for nothing, however.  If the situation looks as if it will go democratic, the billions invested in repression will likely kick in.

Papal Bull

Ars Technica - How Egypt did (and your government could) shut down the internet

 

Quote:
The old story that the Internet was built as a military network to withstand nuclear attacks is pretty much an urban legend, but despite that, it's surprisingly hard to kill. It can be done, however, if you're a government and you try really, really hard.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:
The USA hasn't made Egypt its biggest aid recipient for nothing, however.  If the situation looks as if it will go democratic, the billions invested in repression will likely kick in.

CNN reported this morning that the tear gas and cannisters used this week were made in the USA.

Buddy Kat

What I find disgusting is the billion dollars in military /US aid that the US gives this Egyptian tyrant yearly…..so much for US democratic promotion and support bull.

 

When you hear about abuse of human rights and military dictatorships , look no furthur than “MR stick yer nose in other countries affairs USA”…When the people of the US fully realize how they have become the terror funding  pariah of the world there time will come and the protestors won’t be like lemmings or like Canadian sheeple but armed and dangerous.

 

Looks like the whole regime is Made in USA

VanGoghs Ear

Revolutions can seem easy compared to governing in aftermath - which is often the problem. What comes next? No one knows.

al-Qa'bong

A  photo of a "made in USA" tear gas bomb used against Egyptians has been floating around Arabic interwebs all last week.  They showed the photo on the CTV news last night. 

The Arab world has known for decades who's behind their tyrants.  Those in the western world can't seem to grasp what our role has been in this.

WilderMore

It's incredible how quickly things went all pear-shaped in Egypt. AJ is reporting that government agents are looting the Egyptian Museum :(

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/29/live-blog-291-egypt-protests

 

Prince_or_Orange

Yeah, well the ironic truths are being exposed in crises like these.  W is finally getting his way with his wish to bring democracy to the middle east.  Oops, or was this not the type of democracy he envisioned?  I think in the CIA manual this is called 'blowback'.   Even if the demonstrators succeed, as we saw in Iran in 1953 and 1977, this is typically not the end of it.  It is very interesting to watch how Obama is walking the tightrope of lying about bringing democracy and catering to his elitist puppet-masters.  Something's got to give there I would think.  1.5 B$ in US 'aid' (including nerve gas canisters) while they are bankrupt and can't even educate and feed their own population properly.  This blow-back may reach the USA yet...  I see there are support demonstrations in a number of US cities. 

Doug
Doug

WilderMore wrote:

It's incredible how quickly things went all pear-shaped in Egypt. AJ is reporting that government agents are looting the Egyptian Museum :(

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/29/live-blog-291-egypt-protests

 

 

It's not a coincidence. Apparently the looters are state security personnel.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
China is trying to ensure that the Egyptians don't give anyone there ideas.

 

Well, that should work, although one has to admire the tactics of the USA.  Now that the populace is rising against the client regimes in the Arab world, the US script reminds us that we're at war with Eastasia, not Eurasia, and we always have been.

Those accounts wherein the Tunisians and Egyptians are praised for rebelling without aid from the West are nicely effective in distracting the target from remembering (if she ever knew in the first place) that the rebellion is happening despite the West's support for the tyrants.

DaveW

umm, Al,

maybe the US actually does support democratic forces:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8289686/Egypt-protests-Americas-secret-backing-for-rebel-leaders-behind-uprising.html

 

sorry for any cognitive dissonance ....

Prince_or_Orange

Doug, I agree, the people of Egypt have the most to fear from their own 'security' people.  These paid stooges will in the worst case scenario foment death, chaos, and mayhem, if needed, to warrant further repressions.  I hope the good people of Egypt are on to this nasty 'game'.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Armchair socialists were quick to call for the Toronto G20 "thugs and vandals" who set fire to a couple of police cars to be rounded up and turned in to the police. I'm still waiting for those same critics to denounce the Egyptian protesters who set fire to government buildings in Alexandria and Suez and and street barricades in Cairo. Have they no respect for private property?   

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

ha ha good one. Some people are "progressive" only when it comes to popular struggles in some other country. However, sometimes it's just poorly developed political consciousness and I'm not sure about the best way to draw attention to that. People do come around, after all, and that's what the left wants isn't it?

Case in point: many Canadians involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement (South Africa last time - not Israel) came around to seeing the struggles of FNs in Canada in the same light. It took their involvement in the AAM to see this. Hell, I was one of them.

Fidel

The CPC could always split into two very similar parties and run fraudulent FPTP elections for the same effect. Apparently they have a few people with enough money that they could be rigging two party stooge-offs, like here.

Ripple

M. Spector wrote:

Armchair socialists were quick to call for the Toronto G20 "thugs and vandals" who set fire to a couple of police cars to be rounded up and turned in to the police. I'm still waiting for those same critics to denounce the Egyptian protesters who set fire to government buildings in Alexandria and Suez and and street barricades in Cairo. Have they no respect for private property?   

Egypt is not Canada, of course.  As I recall, the criticism was about it as a tactic, not some defense of private property.  I'm sure someone will be along soon to discuss it.

Not much coming out of Alexandria and Suez.  I think journalists have been prevented from getting in. One might speculate that brutal repression has already begun there.

Fidel

It's all Tommy's fault for starting medicare. Otherwise we could be out there in the streets today protesting the grinding poverty, police beatings and arbitrary arrests, and the CIA using our backyard for their torture gulags. Canadians don't know how good they have it, and it's not because the two old political parties have desired to be overly generous with Canadians.

Canada is a fairly stable stoogeaucracy today. We don't need an invisible army of darkness as a ruse for spying on ordinary people, for rounding up leftists,  and torturing them to death. At least not yet.

howeird beale

safetysue wrote:

As we have seen throughout history, where one dictator is overthrow, the vacuum is filled by religious fanatics or reactionaries.  Recall the Shah of Iran and the replacement with the Ayotollah Komani.

That's my fear, that a peoples uprising winds up in the hands of a Stalin. Just because the Muslim Brotherhood doesnt want to storm the barricades doesnt mean they're not ready for the fruit to drop into their hands.

Indeed.

BBC was saying a half hour ago there are "reports of sporadic gubfire" whether thats a clampdown is unknown

 

Fidel

howeird beale wrote:

safetysue wrote:

As we have seen throughout history, where one dictator is overthrow, the vacuum is filled by religious fanatics or reactionaries.  Recall the Shah of Iran and the replacement with the Ayotollah Komani.

That's my fear, that a peoples uprising winds up in the hands of a Stalin. Just because the Muslim Brotherhood doesnt want to storm the barricades doesnt mean they're not ready for the fruit to drop into their hands.

Overthrow of the Shah was orchestrated by British and American intelligence as it was with Mossadegh in 1953.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
umm, Al,

maybe the US actually does support democratic forces

 

Now that would be a change in foreign policy. But if they are suddenly supporting a democratic uprising (which I don't believe for a second - imagine the consequences for Israel of having an Egyptian government with a mandate from the people) why have the yanqs been propping up Mubarak for the last 30 years? Are they trying to generate business for the CIA? Are they confused?

safetysue

2 looters were just caught in Muharram Beyh neighborhood of Alexandria who had police ID cards and were members of undercover plainclothes force.            http://www.hrw.org/egypt-live-updates

Mubarak in hiding in Sharm Al-Sheikh http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/interactive/2011/jan/27/egypt-prote...

Fidel

Why would they support the Shah for 25 years and then stop all of a sudden?

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22993]The Protest Movement in Egypt: "Dictators" do not Dictate, They Obey Orders[/url] The Puppet Masters Support the Protest Movement against their own Puppets

 

al-Qa'bong

Does anyone really believe the US wants to topple one of its main allies in the Middle East?

Quote:

The mushrooming protests confront the administration with one of the most nettlesome foreign policy dilemmas it has faced, forcing it to abandon the careful balance that Mr. Obama and his predecessors have struck between supporting the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people while reaffirming ties with Mr. Mubarak. This same calculation has governed American dealings with other Arab allies led by entrenched autocratic rulers, notably Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

In each case, the overriding concern is that the same people who are clamouring for change could choose leaders who are hostile to the United States, or are even extremists.

Still, standing by Mr. Mubarak for fear of what could come after him could lead to "resentment towards the United States that could last another three decades, like Iran," said Martin S. Indyk, a Middle East peace negotiator in the Clinton administration. Laying out the American dilemma, Mr. Indyk said, "If we don't back Mubarak and the regime falls, and the Muslim Brotherhood takes control of Egypt and breaks the peace treaty with Israel, then it could have dramatic negative ramifications for American interests in the Middle East."

 

 

Egypt crisis: Obama cautions embattled ally against violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fidel

If the Reaganauts resented Ayatollah Khomeini so much, then why did they sell weapons to Iran in the 1980s?

Why did they arm Saddam's Iraq to the eye teeth, Iran's sworn enemies?

And they've been arming the sworn enemies of both those countries for a long time, Israel.

Are these the actions of a sane and democratic nuclear-armed superpower? I don't think so.

jrootham

Doug, it's called coppering your bets.

Deal with Mubarak as long as possible, get the opposition to feel grateful for you if it comes to power.  America has interests, and democracy is not really one of them, although they have to pretend it is.

Churchill's comment about making a favourable reference to the devil springs to mind.

 

al-Qa'bong

Yes, jrootham, some in Egypt have expressed concern that the US is trying to position another puppet to be put in place as soon as Mubarak is ousted.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

A pundit or correspondent at CNN suggested as a possibility that  the VP picked by Mubarak will be a candidate in the elections that are (supposed???) to take place in August or September, and at that point Mubarak will step down. I very much doubt that idea will go over well.

Socrates Socrates's picture

Here's an article I wrote today for forgetthebox.net about what's going on in Egypt, hope you all like it! 

The people are in control: Egypt, revolution and the days ahead

 

I wrote a shorter one yesterday as well that you can find on the right side of the home page. 

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

An anti-Mubarak protest was growing in strength outside the White House this afternoon.

Doug

 

Too funny!

NDPP

there seem to be escalating reports of 'looting' and also indications that agents provocateurs may be inciting incidents to provide the pretext for a military crackdown ostensibly to keep order and'protect' people...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

They don't need any more of a "pretext" for a crackdown than they already have. Over 100 people have been killed, including cops.

 

[url=http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/01/the-egyptian-revolution-a-very-fine-th... Leupp[/url] says:

Quote:
The Obama administration line (as summarized by Joe Biden, interviewed by Jim Lehrer on PBS), can be summarized as follows: Egyptians have the right to protest. Many are middle class folks, with legitimate concerns. But we should not refer to Mubarak as a dictator. It's not time for him to go. He has been a key ally of the U.S. and Israel, in the "Middle East peace process" and the War on Terror. Egypt is dissimilar to Tunisia, and it would be "a stretch" to suggest that a trend is underway. The U.S. should encourage those protesting and Mubarak to talk. Everyone should avoid violence.

The mainstream infotainment media spin can be summarized like this: The "unrest" in Egypt puts the U.S. in a difficult position. On the one hand Mubarak has abetted U.S. "national interests" and been Israel's only Arab ally. (These two are always assumed to be closely linked; the notion that an Arab leader is a friend of the U.S. to the extent that he kisses Israel's ass is never questioned.) On the other hand, U.S. officials have been saying for years that the Middle East needs "democratic reform."

This puts the U.S. in a bind, we are told. The U.S. confronts a "dilemma." The talking heads depict the U.S. as somehow a victim in this situation. (Isn't it terrible, they're implying, that the Egyptian people by their militancy in favor of supposed U.S. ideals are trying to topple the USA's best friend in the Arab world? What a headache to have to deal with!)

Seems to me, however, that this is another of those instances of chickens coming home to roost.

 

Noah_Scape

Citizens commitees form to gaurd the museaum... they need to gaurd it from the govt workers who would loot the museaum in order to allow Mubarak to say the army is needed.

Other agent provocateurs trying to incite street violence, for the same reason as above.

Mubarak is following American traditions to do it this way. "Create a problem, offer the solution".

 

PS - nicely done article, Socrates. You write real purdy. However, I am not as sure as you seem to be that change is actually going to come to Egypt. Obama backing Mubarek is a potent force to reckon with [but America's win rate has been pretty low for several decades...]

 

 

 

 

safetysue

Protests take another turn, another tactic in their strategy to change the system.  Stop the Cuts, Defend Public Service, and The Right to work. Sound familiar Canadians?

Brilliant tactic.  Yep, Egyptians hit Transit.  Check this out.  Egyptian working class go onto the subway tracks for the right to work. 

 

http://righttowork.org.uk/2011/01/mass-demonstration-in-a-tube-station-i...

NDPP

Egypt Protests: America's Secret Backing For Rebel Leaders

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/828...

"The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning 'regime change' for the past three years, the Daily Telegraph has learned. In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo reported that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for 'regime change' to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year.."

Socrates Socrates's picture

Noah_Scape wrote:
 PS - nicely done article, Socrates. You write real purdy. However, I am not as sure as you seem to be that change is actually going to come to Egypt. Obama backing Mubarek is a potent force to reckon with [but America's win rate has been pretty low for several decades...] 

Thanks Noah, appreciate it. I do admit to being momentarily swept up with the revolutionary fervour of it all, but I've returned to a nice state of jaded cynicism now, so don"t worry! I just think it's a very encouraging movement, whatever comes of it, and that people participating now will develop a taste for challenging unjust authority that will be hard for Mubarak or anyone else to break. 

It's certainly a fascinating sight to see!

NDPP

Suleiman Selection Reassures Western Allies

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/29/suleiman-selection-rea...

"Omar Suleiman is many things to Egypt: spy chief, eminence grise to President Mubarak, point-man for Egypt's secret relations with Israel, and the bulwark between the Muslim Brotherhood and all the security services that stand in its way. Now he is Egypt's unelected Vice President.."

safetysue

anyone know of protests in support of Egypt today in toronto?

NDPP

Muslim Brotherhood: National Unity Government Without Mubarak

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1615696.p...

"The banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, told the German Press Agency dpa that they are in talks with other anti-government figures to form a national unity government without President Hosny Mubarak and his ruling party.."

Transformation in the Arab World

http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/blogs/mazin-qumsiyeh/32...

"On the Palestinian Authority TV news, they noted that Mahmoud Abbas called Mubarak and stated his support for stabilizing Egypt. In the demonstrations yesterday, a child in Gaza was carrying a sign that says, ' We Demand Freedom!' and a child in Cairo that says 'Children in Egypt and in Gaza Want the Siege Lifted.' That is our future, not elderly politicians meeting.."

NDPP

Obama No Longer Supports Mubarak Regime: White House

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/106726/20110130/obama-no-longer-backs-mu...

"...this recent reversal of positions is a huge blow to the Egyptian ruler...Now, as Obama withdraws his support, protesters and opposition groups are emboldened. Furthermore, for key parties that haven't clearly picked a side yet - most importantly the military - Mubarak's camp just became less attractive.."

US Embassy Document: Secret Plan on Regime Change in Egypt

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22997

"On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxx expressed satisfaction with his participation in the December 3-5/ 'Alliance of Youth Movements Summit/' and with his subsequent meetings with USG officials on Capital Hill and with think tanks.."

NDPP

The Socialist Roots of the Egyptian Protests

http://thegraph.com/2011/01/the-socialist-roots-of-the-egyptian-protests/

.."it's clear that the current 'revolution' in Africa has more to do with socialism than it does about Islamic fundamentalism.."

Is the Egyptian Government Using Agents Provocateurs to Justify a Crackdown

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/01/is-egyptian-government-using-agen...

"Security forces in plainclothes are engaged in destroying public property in order to give the impression that many protesters represent a public menace...The regime is trying to project the worst image possible to make it clear to people that they have only one of two alternatives, either the existing order or chaos.."

WFPD

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has urged Israel's allies not to jeopardize Mubarak's regime, in order to maintain Egypt's 'stability'. Israel's decades long security arrangement is seriously threatened by a democratic Egypt. How unfortunate for Israel that it opted to use it's peaceful coexistence with Egypt to annex Palestinian lands rather than create a comprehensive peace. Now it will have to pay the price for that short sighted policy. Undoubtely one of the first priorities for any Egyptian government will be to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinians. I would expect the border with Gaza to open shortly, finally ending the blockade.

"The Americans and the Europeans are being pulled along by public opinion and aren't considering their genuine interests," one senior Israeli official said. "Even if they are critical of Mubarak they have to make their friends feel that they're not alone. Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-urges-world-to-tone-down-mubarak-criticism-amid-egypt-unrest-1.340238

NDPP

The Egyptian Revolution Starts

http://www.workersinternational.org.za/revolutionstartEgypt30.1.2011.pdf

"We salute the masses in Egypt.."

Maysie Maysie's picture
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Front page of today's Globe and Mail:

[IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/35c4r2w.jpg[/IMG]

No, it's not a G20 protester in Toronto - it's a protester in Cairo. The reason we don't get this kind of sympathetic coverage from the MSM, I guess, is that we carry the wrong kind of flags. That's the only possible explanation; after all, we were all - Canadians and Egyptians - demonstrating against the same thing: the worldwide neoliberal agenda of austerity and the modern "security" state (see Clinton video above).

If they held a G20 meeting in Cairo, do you think the protesters would get this kind of coverage?

Slumberjack

Ahhh...the non-inhaling days.

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