The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Links for April 15-22 2010

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

 via web

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.