The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Links 7 February 2011 + Seham's links

Seham's links:



Alert: End US tear gas & military aid to Egypt, Tunisia & Israel


Egyptians, Americans and people worldwide have been outraged in the last days by the photos, twitter messages and news articles showing that the tear gas canisters fired by Egyptian police at peaceful, pro-democracy protesters in Egypt are “Made in USA.” While we are seeing these pictures now from Egypt, we have seen similar ones in recent months from Tunisia and Palestine. All three places have had in common repressive governments, armed by US companies with tear gas and other weapons. All three have used extreme violence against unarmed protesters who were demanding basic human rights, maiming and even killing protesters with impunity. In all three places, Combined Systems Inc., a US company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, is providing the tear gas - often under its brand-name CTS, an acronym for Combined Tactical Systems - that these governments are employing to crush protest, deny human rights and cling to power.

Talks fail to end Egypt protests


Pro-democracy protests continue at Tahrir Square, a day after government held talks with opposition to end turmoil.

Tahrir Square remains resilient


Pro-democracy protesters continue to defy the curfew and rally in Tahrir Square, they say that they would rather sleep under a tank than allow anyone to evict them.

Egypt opposition enters talks


The Muslim Brotherhood joined talks with Omar Suleiman, the newly appointed Egyptian vice-president, on Sunday, but said that it had little trust in the government following through on promised reforms. Meanwhile, over a million protesters flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square, observing a "Day of the Marytrs", with both Muslims and Christians offering prayers for those who have died since protests began on January 25. Hundreds of thousands also protested in the cities of Alexandria and Mansoura. Al Jazeera's Emike Umolu has more.

Live blog Feb 7 - Egypt protests


From our Doha headquarters, we keep you constantly updated on Egypt, with reporting from Al Jazeera staff.

Egypt tycoon says Google executive to be freed


CAIRO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris said on Sunday that authorities had promised him a Google Inc GOOG.O executive missing in Cairo would be freed on Monday. Sawiris told a television satellite channel he owns that he had asked for Wael Ghonim's release during talks with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Sunday, alongside opposition groups, to try to end the country's political turmoil.

Confessions of criminals : The police set us free !!


These videos show the criminals whom were set free by the orders of Habib El-Adly on January 28th and 29th to create chaos and fear in the society. There is no logic what so ever that thousands of prisoners in prisons across Egypt to escape in this way knowing how strong our prison system is. There is no logic what so ever that hundreds of dangerous thugs arrested in police stations to escape and take gun like that ,in fact it is insulting because as far as I know the police officers should stop them even if it costs them their life.

Security forces camp attacked in Egypt's Rafah


CAIRO, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Militants attacked a camp belonging to Egyptian security forces in the town of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula early Monday morning and one civilian was injured, security sources said. Attackers fired three grenades at the camp, a security source told Xinhua, adding that one exploded in the camp and the other two exploded in the desert.

Probe finds Sinai pipeline blast was caused by bomb


Sinai security sources says 'foreign elements' targeted pipe that supplies Jordan; supplies to Israel were halted as a precaution.

Revealed: US envoy's business link to Egypt


Frank Wisner, President Barack Obama's envoy to Cairo who infuriated the White House this weekend by urging Hosni Mubarak to remain President of Egypt, works for a New York and Washington law firm which works for the dictator's own Egyptian government.

Obama envoy Wisner works for Egypt military, business lobbyists


High-powered Washington lobby firms have helped the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak secure enormous benefits in Washington. President Obama's special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner, works for one such firm which has had many contracts with Egypt's military and leading business families.

On Egypt, Clinton acknowledges a Mubarak ouster now could complicate transition


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made her comments as the administration appeared to be realizing the risks and complexities of a transition to democracy in a key strategic ally of 80 million people.

Egypt’s Treaty With Israel Is ‘Rock Solid,’ ElBaradei Says Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel is “rock solid,” Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. “I assume Egypt will continue to respect it,” ElBaradei said when asked about the current treaty. He also said “everyone in Egypt, everyone in the Arab world wants to see an independent Palestinian state.” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule has been shaken by almost two weeks of popular demonstrations. Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Israel 'refuses' more Egyptian troops on Arab soil


"... Fearing a complete breakdown of the peace treaty with Cairo, the government last week refused a second Egyptian request to allow it to deploy more military forces in Sinai, The Jerusalem Post has learned. As first reported last week by the Post, Israel allowed the Egyptian military to deploy units in Sinai for the first time since the signing of the peace treaty in 1979, in response to growing anarchy in the country. Two battalions – amounting to about 800 soldiers – were deployed in the Sharm e-Sheikh region and around Rafah, which is split between the Sinai and the Gaza Strip...."

Army tries to limit Cairo protest camp space


CAIRO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Anti-government protesters swarmed over army trucks and armoured vehicles on Sunday to stop a move by troops to squeeze the area they have occupied in central Cairo for more than a week. The army wants to persuade protesters to leave Tahrir Square and the surrounding area, a traffic hub in downtown Cairo, to allow life to get back to normal after near economic paralysis.

Senior US Marine Says "Multiple Platoons" Are Headed To Egypt


A senior member of the US Marine corps is telling people "multiple platoons" are deploying to Egypt, a source tells us. There is a system within the US Marines that alerts the immediate families of high-ranking marines when their marine will soon be deployed to an emergency situation where they will not be able to talk to their spouses or families.

Suleiman 'panned' Egypt opposition


Leaked US cables raise questions over whether vice-president can be honest broker in any talks with Muslim Brotherhood.

Omar Suleiman 'Demonized' Muslim Brotherhood: WikiLeaks


Egypt's new vice president, Omar Suleiman, has long sought to demonize the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in his contacts with skeptical U.S. officials, leaked diplomatic cables show, raising questions whether he can act as an honest broker in the country's political crisis. U.S. Embassy messages from the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks cache of 250,000 State Department documents, which Reuters independently reviewed, also report that the former intelligence chief accused the Brotherhood of spawning armed extremists and warned in 2008 that if Iran ever backed the banned Islamist group, Tehran would become "our enemy." The disclosure came as Suleiman met on Sunday with opposition groups, including the officially banned Brotherhood, to explore ways to end Egypt's worst political crisis decades.

Shocking 'Egypt images' emerge


Videos uploaded on YouTube appear to show scenes of recent violence in Cairo and Alexandria.

Egypt impasse continues


As the government tries to get the country back to normal, protesters continue to demand Mubarak's ouster.

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt talks


Opposition group says it is sticking to condition that Hosni Mubarak step down, as about a million protest in Cairo.

The Lede: Latest Updates


Mohamed ElBaradei told CNN he would not negotiate with the regime until President Mubarak resigns.

Opposition figure ElBaradei slams Egypt talks


WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei slammed fledgling negotiations on Egypt's future on Sunday and said he was not invited to the talks. The Nobel Peace laureate said weekend talks with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman were managed by the same people who had ruled the country for 30 years and lack credibility. He said the negotiations were not a step toward the change protesters have demanded in 12 days of demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Madeleine Albright: ‘The Mubarak era is over’


Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Sunday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's time as leader should be over. "I think there is never an indispensable leader," she told CNN's Candy Crowley. "There is a time with dignity that one needs to leave." "I think that the Mubarak era -- my own personal opinion -- is the Mubarak era is over and the question is how to have a process that really works properly, that allows these various voices to come together and not disagree on some of the tactical aspects," Albright added. The Clinton-era State Department head also suggested that Israel needed to come to terms with the new reality in Egypt.

Customers queue at Egypt banks


Some 341 bank branches, including 152 in Cairo, are opening across the country after a week.

Wikileaks: "US officials 'consistently skeptical' of Suleiman's effort to depict the Brotherhood as the bogey man ..."


"... Omar Suleiman, has long sought to demonize the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in his contacts with skeptical U.S. officials, leaked diplomatic cables show, raising questions whether he can act as an honest broker in the country's political crisis. U.S. Embassy messages from the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks cache of 250,000 State Department documents, which Reuters independently reviewed, also report that the former intelligence chief accused the Brotherhood of spawning armed extremists and warned in 2008 that if Iran ever backed the banned Islamist group, Tehran would become "our enemy."

Egypt's chief archaeologist says mummies are safe


LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - None of the mummies in Cairo's main archaeological museum were damaged during a break-in last week but 70 other exhibits will need restoration, top Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said on Sunday.

EGYPT: Vigilantes fill security vacuum


CAIRO 07 February 2011 (IRIN) - “The situation is becoming so dangerous these days… Thieves are everywhere and if we don’t stay up all night, we could wake up in the morning to find our properties looted,” Farouk, a civil engineer in his late thirties and one of the watchmen manning a checkpoint in the well-heeled residential area of Nasr City in northern Cairo, told IRIN.

Mubarak's empire remains strong


Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has an extensive network of business connections and homes in some of the most sought-after locations around the world. But while Egypt's economy may be suffering, Mubarak's personal wealth remains strong. Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reports on the Mubarak empire.

Egypt's elite fears instability


Well-heeled Egyptians, who drive the country's economy, are concerned about ongoing unrest.

Protests/Protesters/Attacks Against Them & Eyewitness Accounts


The Martyrs

Artists and Intellectuals Sign a Statement Demanding the Stepping Down of Mubarak

Pictures of the dead rise in Egypt's Tahrir Square


Loved ones carry posters of the deceased to gain strength from their sacrifices and to keep memories of them alive. Some estimates put the death toll at about 300. They carry posters with photos of young men killed in the last two weeks in demonstrations around their country. Appearing daily in Tahrir Square, those commemorating the deaths blame President Hosni Mubarak's government, and they demand justice.,0,2615753.story

Amnesty International: Fears for Google employee in Egypt


Amnesty International warns that a Google employee reportedly arrested in Cairo during mass protests is facing a serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment by Egyptian security forces. Amnesty International today warned that a Google employee reportedly arrested in Cairo during mass protests is facing a serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment by Egyptian security forces. Father of two Wael Ghuneim was arrested by Egyptian security forces on 28 January 2011 during protests in Cairo, eyewitnesses said. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Copts join Tahrir protests in display of unity


Egypt's Coptic Christians held a mass in Cairo's Tahrir Square Sunday afternoon as a sign of Muslim-Christian unity. "God bless the dead. God bless the dead," recited a Coptic priest wearing a crucifix. By his side, a Muslim sheikh stood holding a Koran, as the faithful chanted "A single hand.

Christians, Muslims “One Hand” in Egypt’s Youth Revolution


Sunday saw a return to Egypt of themes of national unity across the Christian-Muslim divide that recalled the heyday of early Egyptian nationalism in 1919, when the modern nation was formed in the cauldron of mass demonstrations against British colonial rule. Nowadays, Copts are roughly 10 percent of the Egyptian population, or about 8 million people. Coptic Christianity is its own branch of the faith, tracing itself to the foundational teaching of the Apostle Mark the Evangelist in Alexandria.

Egyptian voices reflect diversity


Al Jazeera meets the vanguards of the pro-democracy protests that have flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square for 12 days.

Getting Married in square


Ola and Ahmed got married at Al Tahrir square , yes they got married in front of hundred thousands protesters.

Real News Video: Egypt: Protesters Dismiss 'Cosmetic Changes'

Egyptian Protesters Fear Retribution, But Press On


Though members of the Egyptian government have made some concessions, political activists remain worried about their safety and the future of Egypt. This will be especially true in the coming week, when many officials are expected to return to work. "The calmer things are, the more fear there will be because the Ministry of Defense people will be back to work," Cairo native Eman Hashim told The Huffington Post by phone.

Egyptian women well represented in Tahrir protest


CAIRO (AFP) -- Veiled from head to toe, or dressed in trendy outfits, Egyptian women are out in force in the ongoing opposition rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square, countering stereotypes common in parts of the West. "I've been coming here since Friday 28 [of January]," said novelist Sahar Al-Moggi, waving an Egyptian flag during a crowded rally at Tahrir Square -- the focal point of 12 days of protests demanding the departure of embattled President Hosni Mubarak.

Revolutionaries on the rooftop (part two)


Translation via DotSub coming soon. Young protesters occupying an apartment building near the site of fierce battles between pro- and anti-government crowds discuss their motivations, the events of the past two weeks, and the diverse make-up of Egypt's democracy movement. (With reporting and translation by Lara el-Gibaly)

Revolutionaries on the rooftop (part three)


Translation via DotSub coming soon. Young protesters occupying an apartment building near the site of fierce battles between pro- and anti-government crowds discuss their motivations, the events of the past two weeks, and the diverse make-up of Egypt's democracy movement. (With reporting and translation by Lara el-Gibaly)

Wednesday night intense battle


Strong images which appear to show scenes of the intense fighting in Cairo and Alexandria from last Wednesday.

Even children understand Mubarak is to blame

29/1/2011 The Battle for Lazoughli Square

#Jan25 Martyr

#Jan25 Tahrir martyrs funeral

Following the Yellow Baby

#Jan25 The Revolution’s Soldiers

More #Jan25 videos

Throwing flowers at the protesters

Revolutionary Women

Egypt protests: the Tahrir Square medic


Doctors came under attack while still treating injured protesters Dina Omar is a 30-year-old Egyptian cardiologist living in Beirut; when news broke of Egypt’s anti-Mubarak uprising last month she flew back to Cairo and has been working at a frontline medical station in Tahrir Square since. I found out about the 25 January protests the day after they happened while surfing the internet, and I knew straight away that I needed to return – not just to check on my family, but also to witness something momentous that was happening to my country. I booked a flight and was due to travel on the Friday, but it was then that violence flared up across the country and the plane wouldn’t take off. We all sat in the airport terminal watching these horrific images from Cairo on the television, and it was terrifying – I couldn’t get any sleep. On Saturday the plane finally made it and as we touched down in Cairo I couldn’t have been happier. My family are originally from Heliopolis but now they live in New Cairo, and as I reached the neighbourhood all that happiness quickly drained away. Security had disappeared; our street is full of half-built villas with no protection, and my brother and the doorman had to stand through the night defending our home from looters.

Angry Friday protest in Giza


Anti-Mubarak protest on Nile Street, Agouza Giza on Angry Friday. The protesters were trying to reach to Al Tahrir square in Cairo while police then blocked all bridges between Cairo and Giza. Giza, Egypt. 28/01/2011

At Night in Tahrir Square, Cairo Protest Gives Way to Poetry and Performances, Anthony Shadid


Some protesters collapse in exhaustion at the end of the day, but no one else seems willing to surrender a moment that feels imbued with the idealism of defiance.

Media Repression & Role of Media and Social Networking


Egypt frees Al Jazeera journalist


Military releases Ayman Mohyeldin following appeal by the channel and correspondent's supporters.

Egypt detains Al Jazeera journalist


Channel calls for immediate release of correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, detained by Egyptian military.

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al-Jazeera English Correspondent, Detained In Egypt


CAIRO — The Egyptian military detained a correspondent for Al-Jazeera's English-language news channel in Cairo on Sunday, said the network, which has been targeted repeatedly throughout the unrest in Egypt. Ayman Mohyeldin, an American citizen, was detained near Tahrir Square, where protests calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak continued for a 13th day.

Egyptian prime minister: Arrest of journalists ‘not intended, my dear’


Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq appeared to feign surprise Sunday when he was told that journalists and human rights activists had been arrested at anti-government protests in his country. "Why are you detaining them?" CNN's Candy Crowley asked. "Oh, frankly speaking, it's not intended at all my dear," Shafiq replied. "I insist to assure all of the authorities here not to ban anyone or not to bother anyone doing his work. But during some periods, such as the period we're passing now, you will not be -- it's rather difficult to be sure 100 percent that this man or [some] men [aren't exhibiting] some bad behavior."

How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend


The way Twitter managed to get past Egypt's internet shutdown was the perfect example of a crisis breeding innovation.

Inside Story - Egypt through a US media lens


The US media's coverage of events in Egypt has been described by some critics as a recipe for killing the democracy movement in its cradle. The mainstream American media have wheeled out the usual suspects to offer their expertise on the topic - but do they really get it? On this episode of Inside Story we shine a spotlight on US media coverage of the uprising in Egypt and ask whether their reporting has been professional and impartial or US-centric and commercially driven. And what about the knock-on effect on the American public? Could the mainstream media's ratings war be driving them to create fear of democracy in the Middle East so as to make the story relevant to their viewers?

Al-Jazeera is helping to break the silence | Wadah Khanfar


In an era of transparency, the Middle East's fate can no longer be decided behind closed doors. It is almost a century since the state borders that today divide the Middle East were drawn up. The shape of the region was negotiated behind closed doors and imposed by colonial powers without consulting its people. The impact of those deals still haunts the region and, many would argue, plays a central role in its instability.

Friends of the Dictator


US Sen Kerry encouraged by movement toward a new Egypt


WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said on Sunday he's encouraged by what he described as the rapid and dramatic series of events toward a new Egypt without President Hosni Mubarak. "Tally up what has happened in the last 12 days," said Kerry, who has echoed calls by President Barack Obama and others for Mubarak to promptly end his 30-year-old rule.

Palestinian security suppressing West Bank fervor over Egypt protests


The European-trained Palestinian Special Police Force has become a leading security apparatus in the West Bank.

World Solidarity


Protesters march in San Francisco to support Egypt


Calling for an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's reign, a few thousand protesters marched in San Francisco on Saturday in what they called a show of solidarity with the people of Egypt and countless others throughout the world.

Hanadi Omar and Mazin Qumsiyeh, "Rallies throughout Occupied Palestine in Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia"


This was Ramallah's fourth and largest rally in solidarity with the peoples of Egypt and Tunisia. The previous three, organized by youth groups, were violently suppressed by Palestinian Authority agents, funded primarily by the US and the EU. The PA also sent in plainclothes officers into today's crowd who chanted pro-Abbas slogans and assaulted several of the protesters. The organizers stressed that they will continue mobilizing in support of human rights, against the Israeli occupation and status quo, and in solidarity with struggles around the world, especially in Arab countries, for freedom, democracy, and social justice. The next upcoming event is a call by the Popular Committees in Palestine to demonstrate in front of Israeli embassies worldwide on Friday, February 11th, against injustice and dictatorship and in solidarity with persecuted nations under the slogan "People Can Bring Change and Make the Impossible Possible."

As'as Abukhalil's Commentary


Guerrilla warfare in Egypt


Are you following what is happening in `Arish in Egypt? There is some kind of guerrilla warfare activities going on. They today struck security barracks with rockets.

"The Egyptian Uprising and the (US) Counter-Revolution: Some Notes,As`ad AbuKhalil


Once again, Operation Ajax is exploding before our eyes in Cairo and Egyptian provinces. America’s policies towards our region have not progressed over the years and decades, and American has not learned from its mistakes and sins. On the contrary; America’s policies have become more audacious, humiliating and insulting to our intelligence. Things have become worse since the fifties: the US has subcontracted the decision making of its policies and wars for Israel. What Walid Jumblat calls (with deliberate vagueness and ambiguity lest he angers his friend “Jeff”) the “game of nations” is merely an American-Israeli-Saudi plot. (continued, click link to read the rest)

Mubarak's foreign minister


This is one of the funniest gem this week. Mubarak stooge, his foreign minister, spoke today. He said that countries around the world should not interfere in "tafa'ul" (interaction) between the state and the people" in Egypt. I kid you not. So the national uprising is merely an interaction between the state and the people. I guess the Iranian Revolution was a dance between the Shah and his people.

Mubarak clip


Aljazeera Arabic has unearthed a clip from 1990-91 in which Mubarak calls on Saddam Husayn to resign and save his people. Ha.

US relations with the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty--I mean, Egypt


"The Egyptian government receives about $2 billion a year from the United States, with most of that assistance going to its military. Last year the U.S. sent about $1.3 billion to Egypt's military compared to about $250 million in economic aid, and the Obama administration requested similar amounts for the 2011 fiscal year, as Britain's Telegraph reports. The U.S. has long made the case that its unconditional funding for Egypt strengthens relations between the countries and provides benefits for the U.S. such as expedited processing for U.S. Navy warships sailing through the Suez Canal. Indeed, one of the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks noted that "President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion annual FMS as 'untouchable compensation' for making and maintaining peace with Israel."

Repression in "stable" UAE


A citizen was arrested for speaking in solidarity with the Egyptian protesters.

Hillary on Egypt


“Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy,” she reminded her audience, “only to see the process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception and rigged elections to stay in power.” Did you say that about the protests in Iran? And did you not support groups in Iran (and Iraq) that even engage in car bombings? Or are car bombings an acceptable tool of democratic change when perpetrated by your tools and allies against a government that you oppose?

Egyptian military prison


Yesterday, on Egyptian Mubarak TV, a protester was talking about his ordeal when he was kicked and arrested by Egyptian soldiers. He said that he was taken to a "military prison." He was interrupted and told that, no it was not a military prison. He said: I read the name with my own eyes: it was "a military prison." The anchor person said: I am being told that it was not a military prison.  The guy then said the Egyptian equivalent of "whateverrr."

Ronald Reagan on Husni Mubarak


"Some may not realize that the U.S.-Egyptian collaboration on security issues goes back over 100 years." —Ronald Reagan

"Our hope lies in statesmen like President Bourguiba and King Hussein, President Mubarak and Prime Minister Peres." —Ronald Reagan, 1985


"I value the counsel of President Mubarak as an Arab leader committed to peace." —Ronald Reagan, 1988;


"I thank you, my brother, President Mubarak, and wish you every continued success." —Ronald Reagan, February 14, 1984;


"King Hussein, President Mubarak are men I greatly admire." —Ronald Reagan, February 14, 1984;

Bill Clinton on Mubarak


"I don’t think we would be where we are today if it weren’t


for President


Mubarak." —Bill Clinton |


"We believe that working together we can help to bring more


prosperity to the Egyptian people." —Bill Clinton |


"I thank you for your wise counsel, your strong leadership, and


your iron determination." —Bill Clinton |


"I especially want to thank President Mubarak for


Egypt’s...partnership in the peace process and for playing a


critical role in our efforts here. " —Bill Clinton |

Lessons from Lebanon


The Egyptian protesters should learn from the Lebanese opposition. In 2007, the Lebanese opposition took to a downtown square hoping to extract concession from a lousy government (a tool of the House of Saud) that really conspired against resistance to Israel in Lebanon. They stayed there for a year or more, I think, and they basically got nothing. They even resisted early calls to engage in civil disobedience and to take over government buildings. They stayed in the square doing nothing, which gave the other side enough time to engage in counter-propaganda and sectarian mobilization. If they used the early momentum to push forward and get out of the damn square, they would have achieved more, much more.



"“That takes some time,” Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton said, speaking at a Munich security conference. “There are certain things that have to be done in order to prepare.” She also stressed the dangers of holding elections without adequate preparation. “Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy, only to see the process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception and rigged elections to stay in power,” she said."


Prepare? Back when Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in 2005, the US government refused to even postpone the election for one week. Jeffrey Feltman made it clear as US ambassador in Lebanon that his empire would not put up with one day of delay in election. Prepare? Did you adopt that policy toward the communist governments?

Mubarak State TV


It is not an exaggeration to say that the Mubarak state TV has begun allowing views that are critical of the regime--much more than the Saudi media which still exercise a fanatic policy of protecting Mubarak. Yesterday, a pro-Mubarak anchorperson, hosted a group of people to discuss the crisis. There was a wishy washy guy who said that he participated on Jan. 25th but that now he wants order (as if the two don't clash, logically). But there was a famous protesters' leader Isra' `Abdul-Fattah: she is really a firebrand and she won the show. She has a sharp and logical mind and can deconstruct any argument. She was most impressive. There was another leftist youth leader and he said that there are some 20 or so anarchists among the protesters (but he was dismissive of them).  I was impressed how he talked about the assassination of Sadat--with glee.

House of Saud


I have been receiving a lot of information and some details about a rushed Saudi intelligence covert operation in Egypt. I don't have any proof yet, but the folks in Egypt know about it already, I gather.

History of US opposition to democracy worldwide


"But none of that seemed to matter: what was important to Carter’s White House was the preservation of US national security interests – not the democratic impulses of a Korean population sick from 18 years of dictatorship. As the citizens of Kwangju waited for a sign of hope, Carter’s team made a fateful decision: to support Chun’s plan to put down the rebellion by force."



The book burners of Al-Azhar--the Islamic center for kooky fatwas and subservience to tyranny and Saudi money--have spoken. In a week, when US, EU, Israeli statements on Egypt are coming out at the rate of 30 per hour, Al-Azhar singled out Iran for its intervention in internal Egyptian affairs. The center said that Islam should be revised: that Mubarak--not God--should be worshiped.

Counter-Revolution in Egypt


"Though Mr. Mubarak appeared to have done what people familiar with the diplomacy said the U.S. had asked—declare he won't seek re-election—his speech didn't end tensions in Egypt and didn't put the U.S. on the side of the people in the street...While the swelling protests have raised the pressure on Mr. Mubarak, U.S. officials have played an increasingly prominent role in his deliberations over the past two days...With the prospect of Mr. Mubarak remaining in office until the fall, the U.S. and Egyptian regime appeared to be working together to try to ensure a transition that wouldn't immediately thrust opposition groups into positions of power."

Jihadi Bin Ladenite website


The NYT had an article last week about chats on Egypt in Jihadi, Bin Ladenite websites. My theory: most of the writers in those websites are crazies and people who work in Arab, Western, and Israeli intelligence agencies. I don't even bother with them anymore.  Too obvious.

Thomas Friedman


Thomas Friedman is too silly to comment on. I don't want to comment on his silly comment today, but I would like people to go back to archives and find me words of praise that he had written for Mubarak over the years. Also, what is most annoying about him is this; whenever he goes to developing countries, he always has quotations attributed to "my friend Muhammad" or "my friend Kim" or whatever. Suspiciously, the quotations from those "friends" seem to always confirm his own thesis about everything and they all speak in shallow English, just like him. And they all suspiciously sound like one another, as in: "My friend Muhammad in Jordan tells me that government is like Falafil." In South Korea, the quotation becomes: "My friend Kim in South Korea tells me that government is like Kimchi." And so on. Also, if you add the number of "friends" cited by Friedman, they can easily add up to thousands of people dispersed around the world. A man with thousands of friends is a man with no friends at all. I don't know why, but I always felt sorry for Friedman's daughters. I can imagine their agony in long car ride with his annoying laugh and boring stories in the front seat.  I would rather be raised by monkeys that raised by Thomas Friedman--and the monkeys would have better insights on foreign affairs, and they would have more complex ideas in their heads, but that is just me.

America and Israel: the Muslim/Arab reaction


The European campaign of the crusades poisoned relations between Muslims and Europeans for a very long time. Similarly, US embrace of Israel (clearly on racist terms), will leave very long term repercussions on relations between the US and Muslims/Arabs.

Putting Mubarak on Trial


The protesters in Tahrir Square keep demanding a trail of Mubarak. Well, they can themselves do that, if they want. There is something called revolutionary justice with its own courts, u know. No one faulted the Romanian people when they dealt with their dictator.

You are not fooling anybody


“America doesn’t understand,” said Ibrahim Mustafa, 42, who was waiting to enter Tahrir Square. “The people know it is supporting an illegitimate regime.”



Who holds power in Egypt?


The ruling party, army, internal security and an emerging business elite form the core of Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Egypt's fate hangs in balance


As the Egyptian government tries to get the country back to work, security has been tightened around Liberation Square. Banks and businesses are planning to re-open, but the pro-democracy protestors are still there with their demand to ouster Mubarak. Muslim Brotherhood, country's largest opposition group, is holding talks with the government and outcome of the talks will be crucial in the days to come. Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher reports from Cairo.

A timetable for constitutional reform, Issandr El Amrani


If you've been following this blog for a few days, you will have noticed that the debate in Egypt is centering on the question of how to proceed with either a new constitution or adapting the current constitution to the circumstances. We've highlighted the proposal by Bahgat and Abdelaty, the statement by a group of establishment figures, and indeed the debate about having multiple vice-presidents to handle a transition. And of course, at the heart and soul of the protest movement in Tahrir, the continuing non-negotiable demand of Mubarak's removal.



The U.S.-Egyptian Breakup | Foreign Affairs - Steve Cook


The United States should greatly lower its expectations of what is possible in the post-Mubarak era and come to terms with the end of the strategic relationship. Expecting the new Egyptian president -- whoever that may be -- to carry on a partnership with Washington is like Václav Havel asking the Soviets for assistance after Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution in 1989. To be sure, there are no Havels in Egypt, and Washington is not Soviet-era Moscow -- but the analogy rings true enough for those people in Cairo's Tahrir Square or the Alexandria corniche who saw U.S.-made F-16s fly overhead or were choked by tear gas produced in the United States.

Egypt Burning


This film tells the story of five days in January 2011 when the people of Egypt broke through a barrier of fear they had known for a generation and rose in revolt against their president. Anger had long been brewing in Egypt - strikes, unemployment and sectarian tension were on the rise. Small networks of activists had been agitating against Hosni Mubarak's autocratic rule for years. But it was only when another Arab country, Tunisia, rose up against its tyrant that the Egyptian activists attracted mass support. People took to the streets across Egypt demanding political freedoms, an end to state corruption and a better quality of life for the impoverished population. Egypt Burning captures those critical moments as history unfolded through interviews with Al Jazeera correspondents on the ground.

A harrowing day shows the resilience and tactics of Egypt's security state


Said Haddadi and his colleagues were released after 24 hours with bruised wrists and insults ringing in their ears. They were the lucky ones.

How long can Egyptian military navigate middle ground?


The army has managed to keep the public trust while remaining loyal to Hosni Mubarak, one of its own. But a history of crushing dissent indicates that its tolerance for protesters may not hold if its interests are threatened. When bread shortages swept Egypt in 2008, the government didn't rely on the free market or its own warehouses, but turned instead to army bakeries to churn out millions of flat loaves to calm the angry masses. A few months later, as fire raced through the upper house of parliament, soldiers helped put out the flames.,0,5393652.story

'Rejected' ... or is it?


"Opponents of Hosni's embattled regime have dismissed as insufficient an offer to include them in political reform plans, and have renewed their demands that he step down.... Omar Suleiman agreed to sit down on Sunday with the groups, which included the banned Muslim Brotherhood, was in itself a landmark concession, but the talks produced no breakthrough in the two-week-old standoff. As night fell, central Cairo's now iconic Tahrir Square was still filled with thousands of anti-regime protesters, adamant that the start of dialogue will not divert them from their campaign to unseat Egypt's strongman.

Is Obama wobbling on democracy for Egypt?, Stephen M. Walt


President Obama is reportedly angry with the U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to anticipate the upheavals in Tunisia or Egypt. His irritation is silly, because there's a well-founded social science literature (by Timur Kuran, Susanne Lohmann, and Marc Granovetter, among others) explaining why it is nearly impossible to predict the onset of a revolutionary upheaval. You can identify countries where the government is unpopular or illegitimate, and thus were a rebellion might occur, but that doesn't tell you if or when a popular uprising of the sort we have been watching will occur.

Robert Fisk: The wrong Mubarak quits. Soon the right one will go


The old man is going. The resignation last night of the leadership of the ruling Egyptian National Democratic Party – including Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal – will not appease those who want to claw the President down. But they will get their blood. The whole vast edifice of power which the NDP represented in Egypt is now a mere shell, a propaganda poster with nothing behind it.

Robert Fisk: Exhausted, scared and trapped, protesters put forward plan for future


On a day of drama and confusion in Cairo, opponents of the Mubarak regime propose a new kind of politics.

The Egyptian crisis: another day, another two US policies


An American envoy's praise for Mubarak has raised the question once more of what Washington really thinks

Indyk Won't Apologize for U.S. Policy Toward Egypt [Video-Today!]


The new activist group RootsAction put out an alert this week calling on the U.S. government to apologize for its policy of backing a dictator in Egypt for 30 years. Washington Stakeout today questioned Martin Indyk (currently director of foreign policy at Brookings, senior adviser to U.S. government envoy George Mitchell. He has worked in the past at Washington Institute for Near East Policy and American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]): Sam Husseini: “Does the U.S. foreign policy establishment owe the Egyptian people an apology for having backed a dictator for all these years? …”

The danger to Egypt's revolution comes from Washington


The greatest danger to the Egyptian revolution and the prospects for a free and independent Egypt emanates not from the "baltagiyya" -- the mercenaries and thugs the regime sent to beat, stone, stab, shoot and kill protestors in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities last week -- but from Washington, writes EI's Ali Abunimah.

Kara N. Tina, "Egypt: Which Way Is the Way Forward? Interview with Hossam el-Hamalawy"


It is true that virtually all the opposition groups, whether they are the traditional political parties or the youth groups, have taken part in the uprising but the protests still remain spontaneous. Which means, on the one hand, the people always surprise you by their militancy from below that exceeds all expectation, but, on the other hand, there is always confusion about what is the way forward and what the clear alternative is. This could pose the threat of this revolution being hijacked. . . . The intervention of the working class in the movement is also another question mark, because definitely in some of the provinces where mass protests were organized they contained a majority of workers.

A private estate called Egypt | Salwa Ismail


Only a thousand families count in a country that Mubarak and his cronies regard as their fiefdom. There is a lot more behind Hosni Mubarak digging in his heels and setting his thugs on the peaceful protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square than pure politics. This is also about money. Mubarak and the clique surrounding him have long treated Egypt as their fiefdom and its resources as spoils to be divided among them.

Amr: Official Egyptian Press Tall Tales about the Protesters


The campaign against the Egyptian protest movement by Egyptian officialdom, has been two-pronged. One tactic has been to attempt to neuter the foreign press. This step then allowed a propaganda campaign by the organs of the State-owned media, which has been shameless in distorting the realities on the ground. The employees of Egyptian government newspapers and television stations are nothing more than ruling party hacks but they are not without their talents. While some of the rumors they were circulating were marginally plausible, others were off the wall.

A proposal to integrate the opposition into the heart of the state, Philip Weiss


As a foreigner who has absolute starry-eyed confidence in the youth committee that is at the vanguard of the revolution, even I am a little afraid right now of them being coopted by the U.S. and the lobby and other regressive forces in this vaunted transition period. But Issandr El Amrani has a proposal to "integrate the opposition into the heart of the state" thru the appointment of five vice presidents. The opposition, he states, is divided-- so maybe this will redound to the Palestinians' unification?

Americans need to get their priorities straight, Philip Weiss


I'm sure this has been tweeted already, but: Shouldn't the Egyptian revolution put The Social Network over the top for Best Picture? And inasmuch as young Jesse Eisenberg could become Best Actor for portraying facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg, isn't that a fair trade for the end of the Jewish state in a state of its citizens? What do you think, Mom?

Some quick thoughts about the situation in Egypt


(Please consider the following as the superficial musings and impressions of an interested observer who openly admits that he does not know Egypt and does not pretend to understand what is happening there - me.  The Saker)

Egypt protesters call for final countdown


Egyptian protesters call for fresh multi-million-strong rallies against out-of-favor President Hosni Mubarak and his government in the coming days. Egyptian demonstrators gathered in Cairo's Liberation Square on Sunday to honor the martyrs of 13 days of anti-government protests.

Will Egypt's government now strike a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood?


The Muslim Brotherhood said it was entering direct talks with the government Sunday. Democracy protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square remain suspicious of any compromise deals that may be promised by Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Muslim Brotherhood at Mubarak’s Banquet


Only a traitor would refer to the Egyptian Revolution as "the Egyptian Crisis," the likes of Al-Arabiya News Channel, funded by Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brotherhood representatives to Al-Jazeera have been consistently referring to it as a "crisis" that Egyptians need to get out of.

We are all part of Egypt's revolution


"It's been almost two weeks since the Egyptian uprising began. I type these words sitting in my dirtied and blood-soaked jeans, as I have no change of clothes. But all that really isn't important now, because we are in a state of revolt." EI's Matthew Cassel writes from Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Searching for Egyptian unity in Ramallah, Linah Alsaafin


The last few days of the solid millions of protesting Egyptians got me thinking how Palestinians would react in a similar situation. But the fact of the matter is that we are so segmented from each other, with political party allegiances prioritizing over national ones, that it was hard for me to envisage a true Palestinian people revolution where citizens from all walks of life, young old religious secular rich poor students employees etc, intensely unite against a common adversary (either the PA or the Israeli occupation-take your pick) simply for the reason of wanting a proper representative or their basic freedom, without propagating factional or religious interests.

Egypt's Three Revolutions: The Force of History behind this Popular Uprising


When the Egyptian Uprising of 2011 began, we heard media pundits, friends, and colleagues milling about in search of apt metaphors to describe the mass protests and revolution in Egypt. In so far as “history” was mobilized in these discussions, it was generally as repetition or analogy. Hence: the Berlin Wall; Tiananmen Square; the first Palestinian Intifada; the Iranian Revolution; the Paris Commune; and the French Revolution, as well as Egypt’s own 1919 and 1952 revolutions. But do these vivid comparisons conceal more than they reveal? Indeed, one could argue that one of the most striking aspects of the contemporary media discussions surrounding Mubarak’s Egypt is the absence of any real sense of history. It is not enough to fill this void with rhetorical comparisons and poetic license.

The Egyptian upsurge: why we never saw it coming, Justin Raimondo


The Obama administration has veered all over the map when it comes to the Egyptian uprising, beginning with Vice President Joe Biden declaring his fulsome support for his dear friend Hosni Mubarak, and refusing to characterize him as a dictator. That Obama’s crew were asleep at the wheel – delegating their response to a figure whom no one in Washington takes very seriously – was painfully apparent as the Cairo revolt showed every sign of becoming a full-scale nationwide revolution.

Tunisia and Egypt Ripples Felt Throughout Arab World


Sayyed Nasrallah to Speak Today on Egyptian Revolution


Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is to deliver a speech Monday afternoon via video link in support of the Egyptian people’s revolution and in support of Egypt’s Arab identity. The speech will be at the end of a rally organized by a number of Lebanese political parties and figures at Ghobeiry square, Beirut. The rally will be held under the slogans “In support of the Egyptian people's revolution against the Camp David regime” and “In support of Egypt's Arab identity,” organizers said. Camp David refers to the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and the Zionist entity. The gathering will also voice support for “strengthening the approach of resistance in the Arab nation.”

Inside Story - Egypt vs Tunisia


What are the differences between both revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt? What are the possible ramifications? How would this impact on shaping the future in both countries? And does people's power actually work?

Hamas could rise with Brotherhood


Hamas has been in power in Gaza for four years, and is firmly entrenched in the community. The organisation's early origins lie in the Muslim Brotherhood, neighbouring Egypt's banned opposition group. While Egypt's political turmoil shakes up the Middle East, Hamas could benefit if the Brotherhood becomes a rising political force following the country's current crisis.  Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.

Iraq swirls with rumors of Egypt-like protests to come


With their televisions set to 24-hour coverage of the turmoil in Egypt, Iraqis have mounted a number of modest protests in recent days against power, water, and food shortages.

'We were for blackmail' escaped Hamas prisoner says


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- "I felt pride and joy when I returned to Gaza, but at the same time I felt such sadness for the raw destruction apparent just on the walk home," Ayman Noufel recalled of his entry into the Gaza Strip after escaping from an Egyptian prison earlier in the week.

Peres: Israeli-Palestinian peace urgent in light of Egypt crisis


President tells 11th annual Herzliya conference that the sluggish pace of the peace process means that the conflict is being 'exploited to the detriment of all sides'.

OPT: Egyptian regime change hope for Gaza


RAMALLAH 07 February 2011 (IRIN) - Possible regime change in Egypt, sparked by mass popular protests against President Hosni Mubarak since 25 January, could usher in a new leadership not as committed to maintaining the Gaza blockade, observers say.

".. The West Bank looks ripe for its own revolution .."


"... In some ways, the West Bank looks ripe for its own people's revolution. Palestinians are frequently called the best educated Arab population in the world, especially if that assessment includes the Diaspora living in Europe and elsewhere. And the ruling Fatah party is best known for patronage. The security apparatus intimidates civil society as well as local operatives of Hamas ...Nor does it help that Egypt erupted just after the satellite news channel al-Jazeera published confidential papers of Palestinian peace negotiators. The exposé, clearly calculated to embarrass Abbas, succeeded on that score. ...But much else argues against rebellion... "A wave of demonstrations is not going to take place here because of the complexity of the situation," says Said Zeedani, a senior official at al-Quds University, near Jerusalem. "But I think the Palestinian Authority, due to the events in Tunisia and Egypt and their likely extension, is going to be negatively affected, in terms of being to some extent discredited because of its alliance with the Israeli regime, and because it belongs to the same camp as these so-called 'moderate regimes.'''..

Avnery says underlying cause of Egypt is… Palestine, Philip Weiss


The ad below the excerpt is from Gush Shalom in Haaretz. And Uri Avnery gets it. Here's his column and wonderful excerpt. By the way, this isn't about the two-state solution or the 23-state solution. It's about the Israel lobby and the the enforced political backwardness of the Arab world in the name of "the only democracy in the Middle East," which isn't. It's about human rights and international law.

"The US is 'quietly' passing assurances to the Saudis that unlike Egypt, America will not 'hesitate to support the Saudi monarchy' .."


"...The crisis in Egypt continues to dominate the foreign policy agenda, but no longer threatens to overwhelm it. US officials concede that the Administration got off to a slow start, but they now believe that they have established a productive dialogue with their Egyptian counterparts, both on the government and opposition sides. The prospects for an "orderly transition" have improved measurably, with Secretary of Defense Gates playing a considerable role in this effort. As one State Department official commented privately to us: “We now have a chance of emerging from this crisis without having to make a one-sided choice between democracy and stability.” Despite this guarded optimism, however, the Administration is well aware that the US posture in the Middle East may be at a turning point. A National Security Council official commented: “Egypt has been the pivot on which ourpresence in the region has depended. If we now face a less sympathetic government there, the implications are far-reaching.”

Prabir Purkayastha, "Tunisia, Egypt, and Beyond: Interview with Aijaz Ahmad"


About the protest, let me say that Tunisia has had a recent history of protests, repeated ones, the last one was in 2008. . . . The pattern of protests in Tunisia has been that they were mostly in the South and in the coastal regions, the poorer regions of Tunisia. This time, for the first time, they came into Tunis. They did not start in the capital. They started in the historic homelands of protests. But they came into Tunis. That's where it became a mass protest. Otherwise, these were congregations of 300 people here, 500 people there, and so on. So, that is what is new: that the city has risen. Who has risen in the city? To start with, professional classes, educated and employed.

Arab revolts damage Al-Qaeda's violent narrative, analysts say


CAIRO: If the popular revolts which have rocked Tunisia and Egypt gain momentum and spread across the Middle East, they could strike a catastrophic blow to Al-Qaeda’s violent ideology, experts say. While some in the West fear the protests in the Arab world could see authoritarian secular regimes overthrown by equally hard-line Islamists, other observers say the movements pose a far greater threat to jihadi militants.