I've been too busy to cover the brouhaha over the April 6 demo, its aftermath, and an Egyptian MP's call to shoot protesters. But for meta-commentary on anti-protester violence, you could do no better than read Sarah Carr's excellent post (on a different subject altogether, also read this by Sarah).
I would like to add my own two piasters, however, to the debate about whether or not Mohamed ElBaradei should have showed up at the demo or been more supportive of demonstrators. To keep it simple, I think the basic answer is no, and I might wade into insensitivity in saying that demonstrations of this kind have become kind of pointless, since they fail to attract new people. I think ElBaradei and friends are rightly focusing on their petition campaign, and that he shouldn't go to protests unless there are thousands marching behind him. Also, people should stop speculating about ElBaradei's position on this and that. He's not running for president, not yet, he's campaign for electoral reform. If he gets that, a lot more people will be able to run, and the Egyptian public will have the opportunity to find the right candidate — ElBaradei, Gamal Mubarak or someone else.
ElBaradei tweet of the week:
Read regime press on plane :working for both West and Iran anti Islam and also anti civil state responsible for Iraq I pity this regime
The other thing I haven't talked about is that Hosni Mubarak is almost certainly dying and will not run again for president. Until his recent hospitalization I thought he'd run again, for sure. Now, everything is up in the air. There is a tremendous amount of positioning taking place at the moment in Egyptian politics. I'll post at greater lengths about this later. But things are getting interesting, at last.
Now for the links.
- ei: Book Review: Norman Finkelstein's "This time we went too far"
I just finished it. Buy it, it's excellent.
- U.S. officials slam pro-Israel Jerusalem ad - Haaretz
Some backbone at last.
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Michael Oren, Daniel Kurtzer, Anthony Zinni, and More on the Failures of Middle East Peace | Foreign Policy
Oren's answer is sooo disingenous it.
- Arab Media & Society | Cosmopolitan Islamism and its Critics
Also about 4Shbab.
- Islamic Satellite Channels and the Ethics of Entertainment in Egypt
About 4Shbab, the "Islamic MTV".
- "Soft-war-threats" the most significant threats to the Islamic Republic of Iran?
Interesting: Iran's framing of the threats against it encapsulates domestic opposition.
- Anti-divestment talking points: Avoid the facts and claim victimhood
Talking points pro-Israel groups are using against BDS. Revealing.
- An unexpected email
Converting Chinese workers to Islam junk mail.
- The False Religion of Mideast Peace: And Why I'm No Longer a Believer - By Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy
Aaron David Miller on what he wouldn't be saying if he was still in office.
- خطة «حرق البرادعى
Plan Burb ElBaradei - by claiming he said things he never said.
- Round Seven in Northern Yemen? | The Middle East Channel
All I need to know which side I'm on: "The Houthis trace their origins back to a Zaydi Shi'ite revivalist movement, "al- Shabab al-Mu'mineen" (the Believing Youth), which was responding to Wahhabist proselytization efforts in the northern Yemen province of Sa'ada."
- One Man Versus the Mubaraks | Newsweek.com
Dickey on ElBaradei, stupidly cites Ilan Berman, and other typically Dickish problems.
- Security for Peace: Setting the Conditions for a Palestinian State | Center for a New American Security
Scenarios for peace-keeping in the case of a two-state solution.
- Stranded in Beirut, the Arab literary world takes wing | Books | guardian.co.uk
On Beirut39 and young Arab writers.
- ANALYSIS - No more bets in Middle East standoff | World | Reuters
Stalemate, essentially because Israel doesn't want to stop settlements, surely a bare minimum standard.
- Maan News Agency: Did banned media report foretell of Gaza war crimes?
Do read Jonathan Cook's article on the IDF's war againt Haaretz.
- The Associated Press: US aid cuts hit Egypt's democracy groups
Will have more about this on the blog soon.
- Secret prison for Sunnis revealed in Baghdad - latimes.com
Maliki's personal Abu Ghraib.
- Tunisia's antics should give the West pause - latimes.com
HRW's Sarah Leah Whitson: "There is less space for critical discussion in Tunisia than even a few years ago."
- Jackson Diehl - A Mideast opportunity Obama shouldn't ignore
Nonsensical argument that Obama should abandon the peace process and instead focus on democracy in Egypt.
- Egyptian hand behind iPad appeal - The National
Alexandria techies behind iPad simulator.
- Egyptian Chronicles: Corruption in Egypt Simplified : The Fruits of Mubarak's peaceful era
Zeinobia highlights a devastating al-Jazeera special on corruption in Egypt.
- Dr. Strangelove, Made in Israel by Philip Giraldi -- Antiwar.com
More on Lani Kass, top advisor to USAF who is IDF officer.
- CIA report into shoring up Afghan war support in Western Europe
Leaked CIA doc on psy-ops in Europe.
- Gadhafi encourages milder Sufi Islam
On Islamism in Libya, shame about the headline — Sufism is not necessarily "milder".
- A Few of My Favorite Things: Egyptian Authors, Taha Hussein-Present « Arabic Literature (in English)
List of modern authors.
- Taliban’s supreme leader signals willingness to talk peace - Times Online
- Profile - Alaa Al Aswany - Egypt - New York Times
- New Statesman - Lib Dems in first place in new poll
That would be something...
- Desmond Tutu: Divesting From Injustice
- New report on satellite media from CIMA
Includes some dubious ideas about US financing of regional media.
- Mocha Musings #5: Child of Egypt
Old postcard says something about Egypt c. 1920s