Egyptian riots

Yep, and as much as I would like to keep this away from Israel as a discussion point I think it's telling that the exact same events in Tunisia were largely ignored by the West.

But really I think the article is most interesting in that it shows that people who actually know anything about Egypt are not very concerned about the rise of a fundamentalist regime. The religious zealot/US supported dictator option as preached by the Western media is a false choice.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Yep, and as much as I would like to keep this away from Israel as a discussion point I think it's telling that the exact same events in Tunisia were largely ignored by the West.

But really I think the article is most interesting in that it shows that people who actually know anything about Egypt are not very concerned about the rise of a fundamentalist regime. The religious zealot/US supported dictator option as preached by the Western media is a false choice.

Even a moderate regime in Egypt would be highly unlikely to continue the policy of the Gaza Blockade though. Since that represents the linchpin of the US Middle East policy, it is hard to imagine a non-Mubarakesque* outcome that will not result in a complete collapse of current and ongoing American policy. This represents the collapse of 65 years of American foreign policy.

Having said that, I'm not fully convinced that a collapse of our Israel-centric Middle East policy is necessarily a bad thing. It is true that most of the folks there hate us (the so called "Arab street"), but that is largely because we have been stepping on our dicks for the last 65 years. And it is pretty remarkable how quickly folks around the world are willing to forgive our past trespasses once we get around to ceasing them. In the short term, though, it will look very, very, very bad.

*By "Mubarakesque", I don't see it as entirely necessary for Mubarak to retain power, but that some form of continued authoritarian power that is friendly to the West and, in particular, American/Israeli policy interests remains in power. There is ample historical precedence for this. South Korea went from Park Chung-hee to Choi Kyu-hwa to Chun Doo-hwan to Roh Tae-woo before they finally got an actual opposition candidate into the Blue House. It took 24 years between the assassination of Park Chung-hee to get an actual democratically elected president. By then, the economy had improved enough to get the population to stop thinking of silly things like sovereignty. This could serve as a template in Egypt if we have the time and political will for the requisite brutality.

Agree absolutely. What's happening in Egypt isn't the Iranian Revolution II. Egyptians aren't in the streets protesting against the "Westernization" of Egypt, they're protesting a corrupt government that they feel doesn't represent them.

Paleocon wrote:

Even a moderate regime in Egypt would be highly unlikely to continue the policy of the Gaza Blockade though. Since that represents the linchpin of the US Middle East policy, it is hard to imagine a non-Mubarakesque* outcome that will not result in a complete collapse of current and ongoing American policy. This represents the collapse of 65 years of American foreign policy.

Can we honestly say that this is the linchpin of our Middle East policy anymore? We've invaded Iraq, overthrown its government, and occupied it for seven years now. We've expanded our military presence to many countries throughout the Middle East. We have much bigger fish to fry in the region than whether or not Israel can keep its policy of apartheid going.

OG_slinger wrote:

Agree absolutely. What's happening in Egypt isn't the Iranian Revolution II. Egyptians aren't in the streets protesting against the "Westernization" of Egypt, they're protesting a corrupt government that they feel doesn't represent them.

If you study the actual history of the Iranian Revolution though, it wasn't a unified movement against the Westernization of Iran either. It was a frustration over sovereignty and the robbing of national resources by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Corporation (ie: British Petroleum). College students represented a large part of the organized demonstrations. It was the political vacuum left behind after the Shah fell that resulted in the rise of the Islamists. This is largely because the Shah managed to kill off most moderate organized political opposition leaving only the most radical ones with an organized power base. Much like....

Anyway. I also wanted to post an important picture of why Egypt is so important to America right now:

IMAGE(http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/fail-owned-egypt-location-fail.jpg?w=500&h=366)

This is why the tepid US administration response is so disappointing. We've made this mistake over and over and over and over again. And the blowback has been consistent. Why can't we, just this 1 time, fess up to our mistakes and withdraw support for Mubarak?

That picture is a year and a half old. But yeah.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Yep, and as much as I would like to keep this away from Israel as a discussion point I think it's telling that the exact same events in Tunisia were largely ignored by the West.

President Obama mentioned the riots in Tunisia in his State of the Union speech.

Conservative Islam has been growing in influence in Egypt. Amongst the young people, not the older people. If you see on the news a woman wearing the full black outfit covering her whole body, that's completely voluntary in Egypt. The Copts should be trying to get out of their country.

Dirt wrote:

Conservative Islam has been growing in influence in Egypt. Amongst the young people, not the older people. If you see on the news a woman wearing the full black outfit covering her whole body, that's completely voluntary in Egypt. The Copts should be trying to get out of their country.

Except for the fact that Egypt has shown us that there are better responses to political violence, ones that don't involve finger-pointing and shrill defensiveness by pundits.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
Dirt wrote:

Conservative Islam has been growing in influence in Egypt. Amongst the young people, not the older people. If you see on the news a woman wearing the full black outfit covering her whole body, that's completely voluntary in Egypt. The Copts should be trying to get out of their country.

Except for the fact that Egypt has shown us that there are better responses to political violence, ones that don't involve finger-pointing and shrill defensiveness by pundits.

You mean like killing all the pigs in the country? I know someone who is Egyptian and Christian. It's not as nicey nicey as compared to us as you might think.

I'm not saying it's sunshine and lollipops. There may indeed be some outbreaks of political / religious violence. But I do think it's telling that when the Coptic community was threatened in a very public manner, prominent Egyptian Muslims were among the people rallying to protect them.

Killing all the pigs in 2009 was a stupid move, but was at least notionally intended to head off the threat of swine flu. Mubarak has no shortage of flaws, but I don't think ardent Islamist is something you can pin on him.

Dirt wrote:

President Obama mentioned the riots in Tunisia in his State of the Union speech.

And? I said largely ignored, not totally ignored. There was no 'Jasmine Revolution' thread in P&C in response to Tunisian issues taking over American airwaves.

Dirt wrote:

Conservative Islam has been growing in influence in Egypt. Amongst the young people, not the older people. If you see on the news a woman wearing the full black outfit covering her whole body, that's completely voluntary in Egypt.

Taking the veil is entirely voluntary in most societies, including here. It's a vow between a woman, Allah and her husband. It's got nothing to do with militancy or external pressures. Traditional values doesn't mean someone wants to blow up a bus.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

prominent Egyptian Muslims were among the people rallying to protect them.

I wish I'd kept the link, but one of the Al Jazeera journalists reported that the Muslim Brotherhood showed up to one of the protests and tried to get a whole Allah Akbar chant going. The rest of the crowd shouted them down with somethingthat boiled down to 'Muslim, Christian, We're all Egyptian.' *

The Egyptian people seem to be far more measured and moderate than the pundits like to let on. Of course, you can say the same thing about the Iranians, but I thing the Egyptians will have learned that lesson.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

Mubarak has no shortage of flaws, but I don't think ardent Islamist is something you can pin on him.

Of course, if he came over all religious-like his support from Uncle Sam would have disappeared so fast the pyramids would have been uprooted.

*edit

Not an Al Jazeera journalist, Democracy Now! producer.

http://twitter.com/sharifkouddous/st...

Muslim Brotherhood chanting Allah Akbar. Crowd stopped them chanting louder: Muslim, Christian, we're all Egyptian #Egypt

To be fair, the Egyptian revolution is getting discussed here and elsewhere mainly due to the geo-political ramifications. From my vantage point here in the Atlantic, the Tunisian revolution was very much centre stage for the week that they occurred. So much so that the top notch satirical Bugle podcast (Jon Oliver and Andy Zaltzman) made it the main topic of their show.

Axon wrote:

To be fair, the Egyptian revolution is getting discussed here and elsewhere mainly due to the geo-political ramifications. From my vantage point here in the Atlantic, the Tunisian revolution was very much centre stage for the week that they occurred. So much so that the top notch satirical Bugle podcast (Jon Oliver and Andy Zaltzman) made it the main topic of their show.

You're right, of course. I think Egypt is also interesting, though, because it seemed like it would never change. Being one of the biggest benefactors of US aid, it never seemed possible. That's why Iran was such a big deal even though the regime won in the end. Same with North Korea if it ever changed hands dramatically. The big story is also the unlikeliness of a revolution.

Axon wrote:

So much so that the top notch satirical Bugle podcast (Jon Oliver and Andy Zaltzman) made it the main topic of their show.

Five minutes into this week's episode Jon Oliver rapped Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" to kick off their coverage of Egypt. They then recounted the contest they ran last year to see which listener could come up with the most offensive poem about Mubarak after he jailed someone who published an unflattering limerick about him. The Bugle is one seriously funny podcast.

Unless Mubarak sends more police thugs or released prisoners into the streets to stir up violence.

DSGamer wrote:

Unless Mubarak sends more police thugs or released prisoners into the streets to stir up violence.

If they're refusing direct orders from the president, than said president's ass is grass. Cops don't have tanks, missiles, jets, and such.

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Mubarak's cops do. I've heard it rumored that they outnumber the army.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/dSVAp.png)

Pretty impressive footage coming out of Cairo today.

Woke up to pretty moving footage. If there aren't a million people in Tahrir Square there are close to that many. Al Jazeera has gone from not naming correspondents to calling them by name. I think this is an indication they feel safe to do so.

There's a Hardee's in Tahrir Square.

garion333 wrote:

There's a Hardee's in Tahrir Square.

That explains the stamina of the protestors.

BBC World last night had a piece which pointed out that the Netanyahu government is lobbying hard to get the US, Europe and regional nations to prop up Mubarak. Like I noted above, the fall of Mubarak would pretty well define the end of the Gaza Blockade and ultimately result in the collapse of Israel's ghettoization policy of the Southern Palestinians.

It makes me wonder how far the Israelis will take it once the checkpoints come down and trucks filled with concrete, building supplies, and electric generators start pouring into Gaza. Will they bomb the bejeebus out of convoys of humanitarian aid and claim it was to stop weapons and an expression of national sovereignty? Will they just amp up their assassinations of political leaders? Or will they actually roll tanks into Gaza, execute an overt policy of ethnic cleansing, and settle the territory in Serbian fashion?

Interestingly, I think this really rips the veil off of the Israeli policy and forces them to decide if they have the guts to commit to the genocide they have been committing quietly in installment payments for the last year and a half. And it will finally give us (the US) the decision point we need to decide if we too are willing to pull the trigger on genocide as well.

Edit: This piece from the SMH goes into further detail.

link

The reaction in Israel to events in Cairo is sharp. The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has ordered his ministers to be publicly silent on the issue and his ambassadors in the West reportedly received hasty instructions to lobby Washington and the European capitals to temper their criticism of Mubarak … in the interests of ''regional stability'', of course.

It looks like Hamas went all in with 9-2 off suit and drew the Egyptian flush on the river.

Paleocon wrote:

It makes me wonder how far the Israelis will take it once the checkpoints come down and trucks filled with concrete, building supplies, and electric generators start pouring into Gaza. Will they bomb the bejeebus out of convoys of humanitarian aid and claim it was to stop weapons and an expression of national sovereignty? Will they just amp up their assassinations of political leaders? Or will they actually roll tanks into Gaza, execute an overt policy of ethnic cleansing, and settle the territory in Serbian fashion?

Interestingly, I think this really rips the veil off of the Israeli policy and forces them to decide if they have the guts to commit to the genocide they have been committing quietly in installment payments for the last year and a half. And it will finally give us (the US) the decision point we need to decide if we too are willing to pull the trigger on genocide as well.

That is the $64,000 question. The situation Israel faces reminds me of a quote from an Egyptian I read over the weekend that went something like this: "If the army shoots at the people Mubarak is done. If the army doesn't shoot at the people Mubarak is done."

Whatever Israel will do, their policy of Palestinian apartheid will have to radically change. Their only real choice is whether or not they want to end up as an international pariah.

Heard on NPR 10-15 mins ago from a correspondent in a hotel above the protest that Mubarak is planning to address them and THE RUMOR is that he will agree "not to run in the next election," which basically means he's agreeing to step down, albeit not immediately.

Seth wrote:

Heard on NPR 10-15 mins ago from a correspondent in a hotel above the protest that Mubarak is planning to address them and THE RUMOR is that he will agree "not to run in the next election," which basically means he's agreeing to step down, albeit not immediately.

The next elections were scheduled for later this year. Frankly, at this point I'd be surprised if the Egyptian people settle for anything less than his butt on a plane to another country.

So, who is Israel and the USA going to prop up to be the next President of Egypt?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Seth wrote:

Heard on NPR 10-15 mins ago from a correspondent in a hotel above the protest that Mubarak is planning to address them and THE RUMOR is that he will agree "not to run in the next election," which basically means he's agreeing to step down, albeit not immediately.

The next elections were scheduled for later this year. Frankly, at this point I'd be surprised if the Egyptian people settle for anything less than his butt on a plane to another country.

Yeah. Given what they've been through and given how far they've taken this I'm sure they won't say "Oh, okay, you promise to leave later, cool, I'll go back to work". Mubarak keeps giving this week concessions. Eventually he has to cave.