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Old 02-03-2011, 05:58 PM   #141
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From my (albeit limited) understanding, the military, or at least the ranking officers, live rather well in Egypt and are definitely part of an upper class. Part of the US military subsidies has always gone to bolstering their salaries, assigning them with very nice homes in nice areas and so on. You can probably exploit their desire to maintain this lifestyle during and after a transitional stage by offering financial incentives, etc. I am not sure that this is in fact a good idea at all, but I am rather sure that in a part of the world where people are genuinely hungry, money goes a long way.
They also own half the country. State owned companies, industry, property = military. Thats probably where the sticking point would really be. Pretty tough, although other countries have been able to do it. Indonesia moved to democracy with the military still being allowed to hold onto a few, umm, 'strategic investments'. That's no model - corruption through the roof - but at least its an example they could maybe point to, as I would guess the military fear of democracy would be that they'd lose all of that, at some point.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:05 PM   #142
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^ Right, by most estimates they control well over a third of Egypt's economy, with monopolies on producing everything from olive oil to pipeline to armaments for the public sector, as well as running splashy beach resorts, megamalls and 'gated communities' for the rich and expats. (It's illegal in Egypt to report on the military's finances; that info isn't public record, so no-one really knows for sure.) That doesn't mean they aren't also humiliated by their lack of battlefield cred and widespread perceptions that they've been bought off to serve the Israel-Egypt peace treaty (who really controls the Sinai? debatable); presumably, too, there are latent tensions between the higher and lower ranks which could be exploited, not to mention the already obvious ruptures between the internal security forces, the intelligence establishment, and the army. Still, it's a safe bet they won't give up those privileges easily.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #143
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Mubarak tells ABC his resignation would cause chaos - CNN.com
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:33 PM   #144
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Day Of Departure, Feb. 4, 2011: Crowd To Call For Mubarak To Leave
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:45 PM   #145
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I know the reporter is from FOX News, but I don't think anyone here wishes violence on him and his cameraman:

Quote:
The Wrap reports that the Fox News team beaten and detained in Egypt were also accused of being Israeli spies.
The site writes that Greg Palkot and Olaf Wiig were taken to the hospital after being severely beaten—at which point they were detained by Egyptian military police, who accused them of being Israeli spies. Palkot was also blindfolded throughout the interrogation.
Fox News executives contacted the State Department, who helped secure the team's release.
ORIGINAL POST: Fox News foreign correspondent Greg Palkot and producer Olaf Wiig were badly beaten in Egypt on Wednesday night. As their colleague John Roberts described it on Thursday:
They were forced to leave their position when a Molotov cocktail was thrown at it, a large fire erupted. They were forced to flee. They ran out and ran right into the pro Mubarak crowd and were severely beaten and had to be taken to the hospital, spent the night in the hospital. The extent of their injuries was fairly grave, however, they have been released from the hospital.


Fox News' Greg Palkot Hospitalized In Egypt
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:19 PM   #146
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I know the reporter is from FOX News, but I don't think anyone here wishes violence on him and his cameraman
that made me laugh, a little
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:56 PM   #147
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Ergh, yeah, I feel sorry for anyone who's gotten caught up in this chaos. I wish Greg and Olaf a speedy recovery from their injuries.

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He told ABC News Thursday he would like to step down right away, but cannot because he does not want to risk plunging his nation into chaos.
*Looks at news reports, stories of beatings*

Uh, buddy? Think it's a wee bit late to worry about that...

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Old 02-04-2011, 01:58 AM   #148
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Reuters, BBC, CNN, FOX, al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, and various smaller networks have all reported violent assaults on their reporters and crews...I remember reading last night that an al-Arabiya reporter had been beaten into a coma during an invasion of their Cairo bureau by pro-Mubarak thugs. For Arab journalists, this isn't new--Mubarak's forces have roughed up their reporters before--and neither is the "Israeli spies" accusation: Saudi media have reported on a (nonexistent) WikiLeaks cable exposing an Israeli-Qatari plot to undermine Egypt (al-Jazeera is Qatar-based); state-owned Egyptian media have alleged, incredibly, that there's a joint Mossad/US/Iran/Hezbollah/Hamas plot afoot to overthrow Mubarak; and one of the Guardian's bloggers noted yesterday that the pro-Mubarak goons were screaming "liars and Jews" at journalists. Ironically, these kinds of slurs from "allies" generally go unnoted in US media, despite all the freaking out about what might happen to the Israel-Egypt peace treaty under a possible Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government (a valid strategic concern, granted, but the grievances there are rational and could be addressed rationally, whereas this stuff...).



Reportedly Washington is now pushing hard behind the scenes for an interim government headed by Suleiman. Suleiman is himself a sinister creep and not reliably an improvement, not that my opinion matters; then again, as of now it's reportedly still unclear whether even Suleiman is willing to abandon Mubarak, so perhaps Washington's opinion won't matter either.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:57 AM   #149
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doubt Suleiman would be well received though as he has been standing by Mubarak...

the attacks on foreigners are very worrying indeed...

i'm wondering what's going on with certain travel companies - i've read that some travel firms have stopped flights to the Red Sea resorts from all of their other European countries, but are still flying the Brits in LOL

as someone reported, the Brits will go anywhere if there's a £50 discount
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:30 AM   #150
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The people in the streets, the playstation generation, should be happy just to have Mubarack and his son out.

Suleiman would be fine as a caretaker leader, until an open and fair election.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:50 AM   #151
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this is interesting, from Guardian live updates, so maybe the people would be ok with Suleiman during an interim period... i still have my doubts though tbh - i thought Suleiman had been involved in organising the pro-mubarak attacks by police/thugs on the peaceful protesters, no???

have to say it's quite amazing, though sometimes quite overwhelming, seeing these things unfold hour by hour due to digital media... imagine if our history books had such detail... wow...

Quote:
9.30am: Below the line, commenter hszmnedz, who has been giving us updates from Cairo throughout the week, explains what she says the demonstrators are calling for:

Day 10 and still strong, the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations are calling for the following:

Mubarak should step down and delegate his power to the vice president to start a dialogue with a newly formed opposition coalition, observed by a neutral UN delegation, to a) establish a constitutional assembly to amend articles 77, 78 and 88 of the Egyptian Constitution to enable Egyptians to be candidates for presidency of the republic. The president should be from the people, elected by the people and cannot run for more than 2 terms, b) the state of emergency in effect for over 25 years should be lifted, c) establish monitory bodies for future elections from the judicial system, d) establish a national coalition body to monitor the transition during the next 6 months, e) organise elections according to international standards, f) permanently set guidelines for establishment of legal political parties that are not vetted by the national democratic party but by an independent neutral body, g) establish the rule of law and independent judiciary, h) elect a new parliament representative of all parties as the current parliment is based on forged elections.

In the immediate period we are calling for
1.The immediate cessation of the violence propagated by pro-mubarak thugs. Such elements should be arrested and brought to trial for their crimes.

2.Intensifying the presence of human rights bodies in Egypt to work closely with the opposition coalition to monitor human rights records in Egypt.

3.Immediate return of all communication means to the people and the intensification of foreign media in the country

4.An independent financial review body should be established from new government and opposition elements to a) investigate the source of wealth of Mubarak and his clique, and, b) evaluate the countries budgetary and financial policies and to bring forth recommendations to improve financial policies.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:02 AM   #152
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i'm just skeptical seeing how our western governments have turned a blind eye and propped up Mubarak all these years, and am particularly sickened by Tony Bliar describing Mubarak just the other day as "immensely courageous and a force for good"

surely Suleiman would be no change at all??
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:16 AM   #153
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They didn't like it when he was announced as VP. They would fear (rightly) that this is not 'regime change', just a change of figurehead. That gives him 8 months of running the 'transition' and he will likely use that time in a way similar to how they fear Mubarak would use it - sabotage it, basically. He is, also, properly evil. But the US would be comfortable with him because he has run their torture programs in Egypt - old friends.

But there needs obviously to be a decent transition period. A decent amount of time before elections (even September will come around quite quickly) to allow people time to properly organise. The protesters surely can't expect to get a result where everyone steps aside for some misc. rabble of assorted unorganised factions, and an election in anything less than six months (minimum.) If you do that, you'll just get trouble. Maybe not of the chaos-on-the-street variety (although, with somewhat of a vacuum, maybe), but certainly a country that is just completely on 'pause', which really can't help when its on its knees economically already. There needs to be a decent amount of time to get political groups and parties together, with some sort of strong leadership at the top making sure both that the political development is smooth, and that the country doesn't just slide even further during this time. But letting the opposition genuinely develop and organise is most important.

Which is another good point amount the Muslim Brotherhood, and fears about them. They are only as influential as they are right now really because they aren't as influential as they seem. By that I mean, it's a dictatorship. Any person or group the regime saw as being any serious threat has been taken care of in one way or another - they effectively don't exist. The MB have been allowed to operate (to some degree - a lot of influential members jailed or worse) in part because no matter how strong dictators are in these countries, they can't touch religion, but also because they actually aren't that much of a threat, or haven't been. But they are currently the most organised 'opposition' group. All the others (either historical like the Wafd, or potential) have never been allowed to develop any kind of real structure or organisation. So the MB look like the most powerful, or noisiest, or best organised, or largest opposition group - but given a few months of letting others genuinely get their shit together, you'd see more clearly where they really stand. But move too fast and, yeah - they're the best organised, loudest, most powerful (etc)

I think it's pretty obvious that they'll have to accept Suleiman and a September election (and it does seem, in the last 24hrs, like they're realising that) - and that also gives the US/West eight months of behind the scenes carrot/stick efforts to ease the military out.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:34 AM   #154
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Interesting article in Salon.com (from the live stream of The Guardian Egypt protests – day of departure live updates | World news | guardian.co.uk ) about the politicians in the US who are supporting Mubarak (and are against the protest):
Meet Mubarak's American fan club - War Room - Salon.com

Quote:
Hosni Mubarak has ruled Egypt as a brutal dictator for 30 years, barring basic rights like freedom of speech and assembly and regularly employing torture to suppress political opposition. So when massive and unprecedented pro-democracy protests broke out in the last week, it was an easy call for many Americans: The ordinary Egyptians demanding that Mubarak go deserved support. The Obama administration, mindful of the United States' longtime alliance with Egypt, has been more hesitant; but statements by Obama officials in support of a "transition" from the Mubarak regime have been growing stronger by the day.

Nevertheless, there are a handful of politicians and pundits who are actively decrying the protests -- and even, in a few cases, explicitly supporting the Mubarak regime.

Sometimes the argument comes in the form of "I support democracy, but only if I agree with the results." Sometimes it's about Israel, which has a peace treaty with Egypt. Sometimes it's distaste with protest leader Mohammad ElBaradei, who angered conservatives during his stint at the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Often it has been fear of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a role in the protests. (The group, it should be noted, was actually late to join the movement. And it is hardly the only group behind the protests.)
There's also a gallery, singling out 10 of those supporters. Some seem to be have being fed a bit too much of the rightwing propaganda...
Meet Mubarak's American fan club | Slide Show - Salon.com
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
For Arab journalists, this isn't new--Mubarak's forces have roughed up their reporters before--and neither is the "Israeli spies" accusation: Saudi media have reported on a (nonexistent) WikiLeaks cable exposing an Israeli-Qatari plot to undermine Egypt (al-Jazeera is Qatar-based); state-owned Egyptian media have alleged, incredibly, that there's a joint Mossad/US/Iran/Hezbollah/Hamas plot afoot to overthrow Mubarak; and one of the Guardian's bloggers noted yesterday that the pro-Mubarak goons were screaming "liars and Jews" at journalists. Ironically, these kinds of slurs from "allies" generally go unnoted in US media, despite all the freaking out about what might happen to the Israel-Egypt peace treaty under a possible Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government (a valid strategic concern, granted, but the grievances there are rational and could be addressed rationally, whereas this stuff...).

Reportedly Washington is now pushing hard behind the scenes for an interim government headed by Suleiman. Suleiman is himself a sinister creep and not reliably an improvement, not that my opinion matters; then again, as of now it's reportedly still unclear whether even Suleiman is willing to abandon Mubarak, so perhaps Washington's opinion won't matter either.
*Sigh* And people still can't possibly figure out why it's so hard for us to be taken seriously in foreign affairs nowadays.

I don't understand why we can't ever just let another country handle changes in their government themselves. If we truly, honest to God believe in the democracy we so feverently wish to promote, shouldn't it make sense that we let the PEOPLE decide for themselves how they want their country to be run? It's obvious where we've gone wrong in the "promoting democracy" tour we've been on for god knows how many decades now. We always seem to start from the top down, seem to start with the leaders, who can be deeply corrupted and untrustworthy. We need to start from the bottom up, and start working on befriending the people better. Then from there we can work with and forge friendships with leaders. And if they should do something horrible? We let them know we stand on the side of the people.

We also need to figure out that democracy isn't a novel idea. We're not the first ones to come up with it. It's been around for a really, really, REALLY long time. Many people around the world are fully aware of the concept. So if they want it, I think they know how to get it. And until we make sure our own government is in healthy working order, we also kind of need to just shut up, lest we appear the slightest bit, oh, I dunno, hypocritical?

Those quotes from those supporters of Mubarak really don't help matters.

Quote:
Mubarak, while no Jeffersonian democrat to be sure, has been an American ally for 30 years. These are not things you toss away lightly against the promise, the hope, the aspiration for sweetness and light and democratic government."
Yep, he's been an ally...and at what cost?

(Also, given how horrible a dictator he is, funny how he's still an ally, but Saddam was an evil, evil man who needed to be taken down NOW, and stuff! You know, after he'd been an ally of ours for a long time, too, though, of course)

And the rest of the commentary from those in the pro-Mubarak link is laughable at best (gee, Pamela Gellar seems like a bright gal, doesn't she?) and terrifying at worst.

In happier news, I liked this from that first link Popmartijn shared there:

Quote:
Protesters are listening to speeches and prayers, while others are playing music. Many are engaged in preparing rudimentary shields and helmets, mindful of the violence seen in the square yesterday.
That sounds promising and good .

Angela
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:46 AM   #156
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #157
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From the Guardian live updates:

Eyewitness reports in Tahrir Square confirm the presence of Amr Moussa in the square with the pro-democracy demonstrators. He is the current secretary general of the Arab League and former minister of foreign affairs, is a liberal politician.

The Catholic Cardinal in Egypt was witnessed hand in hand with a Muslim cleric, both in their religious dress with the pro-democracy demonstrators. He was speaking about national unity, stating that the myth of sectarian strife is only made by the failing government security apparatus and urge people to unite as Egyptians. The Muslim cleric also stated the same.



Communist Caliphate!
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:04 AM   #158
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fantastic!!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:05 AM   #159
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Oh, wow. That's pretty cool. Way to go, guys.

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Old 02-04-2011, 11:10 AM   #160
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This is one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen:

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