Egyptian revolution: a war of attrition has begun

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and long lines of blood donors at hospitals and women and girls in the streets, and other news from the revolution:

The Egyptian Revolution
Breaking: Estimated 2 million protesters converge on Cairo’s Tahrir Square; similar protests across Egypt; opposition releases unified demands calling for Mubarak ouster, new constitution, new elections; regional reverberations?
For the latest news watch Al Jazeera live here, and the live twitter feed below. Also, another sign the protests that began in Tunisia are being felt across the region – Jordan’s King Abdullah dismisses government, names new PM in response to protests.

Al Jazeera report from Tahrir Square 8:30am, February 1
An Al Jazeera web producer reports from Tahrir Square in central Cairo where protesters have gathered, calling on Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to step down. The footage is shot on Monday night while the voiced report is from 8:30 local time, on Tuesday morning. Our reporter says protesters have been undeterred by authorities’ attempts to completely block internet access and by rumours that the mobile phone network will also be shut down.

Protesters continue to mass in Tahrir Square
Video received by Al Jazeera on Monday afternoon showing several thousand demonstrators, largest crowd in days, massing in central Cairo after the army presence withdrew.

Voices from Tahrir Square
Al Jazeera’s web journalists in Cairo visit the heart of Egypt’s ongoing protest movement the night before what organisers hope will be the biggest demonstration yet.

EGYPT: Protesters voice grievances, aspirations
CAIRO 01 February 2011 (IRIN) – Large-scale protests across Egypt since 25 January have led to deaths and injuries, food and petrol shortages, and transport chaos. IRIN interviewed some of the demonstrators demanding regime change in Cairo about their daily lives. Some extracts.

In Pictures: Egypt in turmoil
Images of the thousands of Egyptian protesters that defied a curfew in the capital Cairo and other cities taken throughout the day.

Blood donors line up at Cairo hospital
CAIRO (AFP) — By the dozens they came to Kasr Al-Ayni Al-Qadima hospital on Monday to stretch out their arms and give blood in solidarity with fellow Cairenes demanding regime change in Egypt. “We are here for our brothers on the street,” said Hassan, a young man in his twenties, stretched out on a long bench in the blood bank at the university medical center in the heart of the capital.

Egyptian opposition leader slams US support of Mubarak
Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei urged the United States to end its support for President Hosni Mubarak on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday.  Sixty-eight-year old ElBaradei, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, said the idea that “a dictator who has been in power for 30 years will be the one to implement democracy” was a farce.

Listen to your people, Erdogan tells Mubarak
As mass anti-government protests continue in Cairo, Turkish prime minister urges Egyptian president to ‘meet the freedom demands of the people’. Cuba’s Castro accuses US of supplying arms to Egyptian government while supporting opposition.,7340,L-4022310,00.html

Egypt army rules out using force
Egypt’s army vows it will not use force against demonstrators, as the government says it is preparing to open talks with the opposition.

Egyptian policeman: People’s demands just
After 800 of its soldiers deploy in Sinai, Egyptian army stresses once again it will not use force against civilians; police forces return to streets, but some officers join protestors. ‘Government has no compassion for the people; they treat us like we’re not human,’ one officer tells Ynet.,7340,L-4022016,00.html

Egypt protesters increase pressure
Al Jazeera web producer reports that the army presence has decreased since Sunday. Thousands of protesters continue to demand the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years of ruling the country.

Egypt braces for million-strong marches
Egypt’s Army acknowledged Monday the “legitimate demands” of the people and vowed not to fire on protestors ahead of a demonstration in which organizers aim to bring a million Egyptians to the streets Tuesday.

Cairo protesters distrustful as opposition groups jockey
Cairo protesters are planning a huge rally Tuesday. It is not certain they will rally around Mohammed ElBaradei or opposition groups.

Waiting game
Cairo residents worry about army’s role in crisis

Egypt protests: People to watch
Egypt’s protests are now into their second week. Curfews are starting earlier and Internet remains down, but the crowds in Tahrir Square continue. There’s plenty to follow, but there are a few people to keep a particularly close eye on as events unfold.

Meet the Al Jazeera Correspondents Who Are Putting American Coverage Of The Egypt Crisis To Shame
The Arabic news channel Al Jazeera is owning the coverage of the unprecedented uprising happening right now in Egypt.

Al Jazeera camera equipment seized
Camera equipment remains seized after release of six Al Jazeera journalist who were briefly detained in Cairo.

Total internet blackout in Egypt
Country’s last working internet service provider has been disconnected, completing a complete shut down of web access.

By the way, Aljazeera will soon launch its own satellites to avoid Saudi and Egyptian control over Arab channel transmission.

Larry Magid: Google Helps Egyptians Tweet Via Landline

Amnesty International: Egypt continues crackdown on media
Government action against Al Jazeera and its journalists are attempts to close down reporting of street protests and the free flow of information.

State TV in Egypt Offers Murky Window Into Power Shift
Viewers state television in Egypt did not see people fleeing the country or the hundreds of thousands of protesters, including one holding up a sign saying, “No to the lying Egyptian media.”

Egypt: Impunity for Torture Fuels Days of Rage
(Cairo) – Torture is an endemic problem in Egypt and ending police abuse has been a driving element behind the massive popular demonstrations that swept Egypt over the past week, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

“Work on Him Until He Confesses”
This report documents how President Hosni Mubarak’s government implicitly condones police abuse by failing to ensure that law enforcement officials accused of torture are investigated and criminally prosecuted, leaving victims without a remedy.

A war of attrition on the streets of Cairo
A war of attrition is taking place on the streets of Cairo between the people and the regime. So far, both are holding their lines well, but it is only a matter of time before one finds holes in the other’s armor. The people’s main theater for voicing their grievances in Cairo is the central Tahrir Square.

Made in the U.S.A.: Tear Gas, Tanks, Helicopters, Rifles and Fighter Planes in Egypt Funded and Built Largely by U.S. Defense Department and American Corporations
The United States has given billion dollars of military aid to Egypt over the last decades. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Electric have provided tanks, missiles, engines and more to the Hosni Mubarak regime. Following the massive popular uprising, U.S. foreign aid continues to flow to Egypt, although the Obama administration has placed the program under review. We speak with William Hartung, author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, and Samer Shehata, assistant professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University.

Mubarak swears in new cabinet
Egypt’s president appoints new cabinet in an attempt to quell ongoing mass street protests against his rule.

We will ‘destroy Israel,’ Egyptian protester declares
Speaking to CNN Sunday, protesters in Egypt illustrated why the US may not be in a hurry for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.  CNN’s Nic Robertson took to the streets in Alexandria, Egypt where scores of demonstrators wanted to make their voices heard. Their main message was that it was time for Mubarak to go, but there was also an underlying disdain for the US, and even more so for Israel.

Egypt’s Economy Is Near Paralysis
The economy approached paralysis as foreign commerce, tourism and banking all but halted, placing acute pressure on President Hosni Mubarak to find a way out of the chaos.

Egypt businesses hit by instability
Food shortages reported and businesses remain shuttered as 16-hour curfew and protests continue.

The Situation in Egyptian Antiquities Today
On Friday, January 28, 2011, when the protest marches began in Cairo, I heard that a curfew had been issued that started at 6.00pm on Friday evening until 7.00am on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, on that day the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, was not well guarded. About a thousand people began to jump over the wall on the eastern side of the museum into the courtyard. On the western side of the museum, we recently finished something I was very proud of, a beautiful gift shop, restaurant and cafeteria.

Governments, firms evacuating tourists from Egypt
* Governments sending planes to fly out nationals
* First U.S. govt-sponsored flight left Cairo on Monday
* Tour operators say Red Sea resorts calm

Brian Williams To Anchor From Cairo
“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams will be the first network news anchor to broadcast from Cairo. The Huffington Post has learned that Williams is in the region and will anchor live from Cairo Monday evening. NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel has been the network’s primary presence in Egypt as the protests have unfolded.  CBS News says it is working out details to send “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric to the region.

Carter: Egypt’s revolt ‘earth-shaking,’ Mubarak ‘will have to leave’,
Former President Jimmy Carter on Sunday called the unrest in Egypt an “earth-shaking event” and guessed the Arab nation’s thirty-year leader Hosni Mubarak will be forced to step down., “This is the most profound situation in the Middle East since I left office,” Carter told a 300-student Sunday school class at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

The Egyptian People’s Security Forces
‘Welcome to the lions of Almaza’: Neighborhood patrols defend a Cairo in flux, Waleed Almusharaf
Before British Airways flight 155 landed at 3:05 in the afternoon at Cairo international Airport I had thought the problem was that the road to Tahrir was too long. It was a long way from that small flat with the quiet garden in London, and the fox who occasionally visited, and the pear tree bearing no pears because it is winter, to that square at the centre of Cairo. Planes circled endlessly between London and Tahrir, but never seemed to reach their destination. People have been trying to cover that distance since last Friday.

Egypt vigilantes protect Children’s Cancer Hospital from looters
With police absent, a crudely armed gang descends on the state-of-the art facility but is forced back by guards and then a stronger citizen defense force that makes protecting the pediatric center its top priority.  He’s grizzled and stooped, and speaks humbly of his job at Egypt’s premier pediatric cancer facility. He’s just a mechanic, he says. He fixes the hospital’s fleet of vehicles.,0,3820775.story

Protest Videos and Pictures
Interview with anti-government protester at Tahir Square for documentary Zero Silence.

Voices from Cairo’s Tahrir Square
The night before “the million-man-march”, Al Jazeera visits central Cairo, the heart of anti-government protests.

Police attack praying Egyptians

Amnesty International: Pictures from Egypt’s demand for change
A slideshow of images from throughout Egypt’s mass anti-government demonstrations that started on 25 January 2011.

In Picture: Egypt in turmoil
Images of the thousands of Egyptian protesters that defied a curfew in the capital Cairo and other cities taken throughout the day.

The Friday Of Departure

“Leave already. My hand hurts”.

Egypt Protests: Anti-Mubarak Demonstration Signs Around The World and in Egypt (PHOTOS)
As the current Egyptian regime tried to quell nationwide protests over the weekend, President Hosni Mubarak turned off the Internet in an effort to stop the real-time flow of information that connected the angry, violent demonstrators to the outside world. However, that didn’t stop anti-government protesters from hitting the pavement both in Cairo and elsewhere with some colorful handmade placards. In downtown Cairo, one man held a sign that depicted Mubarak as the devil, with a slogan reading, “The killer failed.” Egyptians living in Seoul, Germany and the U.S. were similarly unsubtle with their signs, all contributing to what the BBC describes as a “carnival atmosphere.” Take a look at some Egyptian protest signs from around the world here.

On the Ground in Egypt
Interview with Ahmed Moor from Cairo: ‘This is a society-wide program for change’, Adam Horowitz
This morning I had an opportunity to conduct an impromptu interview with Ahmed Moor in Cairo by Skype. He was just returning from Tahrir Square and offers his take on the day’s events, and where things seem to be headed in Eqypt. I hope to conduct similar interviews in coming days.

Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous Live from Egypt: The Rebellion Grows Stronger
Massive protests in Egypt have entered their seventh day as tens of thousands pack into Tahrir Square in Cairo. Protesters are vowing to stay in the streets until President Hosni Mubarak resigns. A general strike was called for today, and a “million man march” is being organized for Tuesday. We speak with Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is in Cairo. “This is a popular uprising across all segments of society,” Kouddous says. “People are so fed up with Mubarak, it’s hard to describe. They curse him. They want him to step down. And they will not leave the streets of Cairo, the streets of Egypt, until he does.” [includes rush transcript]

Leading Egyptian Feminist, Nawal El Saadawi: “Women and Girls are Beside Boys in the Streets”
Renowned feminist and human rights activist Nawal El Saadawi was a political prisoner and exiled from Egypt for years. Now she has returned to Cairo, and she joins us to discuss the role of women during the last seven days of unprecedented protests. “Women and girls are beside boys in the streets,” El Saadawi says. “We are calling for justice, freedom and equality, and real democracy and a new constitution, no discrimination between men and women, no discrimination between Muslims and Christians, to change the system… and to have a real democracy.” [includes rush transcript]

Yousry is now Omar: ‘Tell Mubarak we don’t need his damn Internet for the Peoples Revolution’, Parvez Sharma
Yousry is Omar. A dear friend. An extremely articulate Egyptian and in my haze filled 140 character days, a steady voice of reason and immense perspective. Every conversation I have had with him expresses the nuance, the complexity and the immensity of the day’s events like no news broadcast can. At 30 he is as old as the Mubarak regime. He is married. His wife will join him tomorrow for what should really be called the Million man and woman march. He was born in Cairo and studied in the US briefly before moving back and working for an oil company. He comes from a rich family as does his wife.

World Solidarity with Egypt
Global mobilization in support of Egyptian uprising
An international day of mobilization has been called for Saturday, 5 February in solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian people as they continue their popular uprisings. Thousands around the world have already taken to the streets to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt.

As Arabs rise up, US activists must too persevere
In the last several days, Tunisia and Egypt have shown us what is possible when people are no longer afraid of those in power who deny them their rights and rob them of a life of freedom and dignity. But government repression of peoples’ struggles is not endured only in the Middle East.

Washington’s Schizophrenic Response
US envoy in Cairo for talks
State department spokesman says ex-ambassador to Egypt is in capital to reinforce US message to Mubarak’s government.

U.S. open to a role for Islamists in new Egypt government
But the Muslim Brotherhood must renounce violence and support democracy, the White House says.  The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.,0,7079100.story

U.S. Scrambles to Size Up ElBaradei
But now, the biggest questions for the Obama administration are Mr. ElBaradei’s views on issues related to Israel, Egypt and the United States. For instance, both the United States and Israel have counted on the Egyptians to enforce their part of the blockade of Gaza, which is controlled by the militant Islamist group Hamas.  But in an interview last June with the London-based Al Quds Al-Arabi, Mr. ElBaradei called the Gaza blockade “a brand of shame on the forehead of every Arab, every Egyptian and every human being.” He called on his government, and on Israel, to end the blockade, which Israeli and Egyptian officials argue is needed to ensure security.

U.S. Official With Egypt Ties to Meet With Mubarak
The choice to send Frank G. Wisner raised questions about whether the White House was using him to prod President Hosni Mubarak to resign.

Is Obama’s new Egypt “envoy” too close to Mubarak?
The White House sent former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner to Cairo, where he is now holding high-level meetings with Egyptian officials at the behest of the Obama administration.  “Frank Wisner is in Cairo. The U.S. government did ask him to go,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor confirmed to The Cable. “As someone with deep experience in the region, he is meeting with a Egyptian officials and providing his assessment.” Earlier on Monday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley declined to name Wisner as an official representative of the Obama administration, but explained that Wisner was sent both to deliver the administration’s message to Mubarak’s people and to bring back information to be fed back into the decision making process.

U.S. settles on delicate course against Mubarak
The Obama administration, after initially underestimating the force and determination of anti-government demonstrations in Egypt, appeared Monday to have settled on a public and private course of action that officials hope will lead to President Hosni Mubarak’s departure from office sooner rather than later.

U.S. increases pressure on Mubarak to act quickly in wake of riots
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs says situation in Egypt calls for action, not appointments, after Egypt’s Mubarak appointed new government in bid to curb protests.

Egypt crisis should be settled by talks-W.House
WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The crisis in Egypt should be settled by meaningful talks among a broad cross-section of the country, and the United States is not taking sides between the people in the street and those in the government, the White House said on Monday.

Obama’s Egypt response largely supported by Republicans
Republican leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell offer no criticism of the White House’s actions on Egypt. John McCain also backs Obama’s response but says the U.S. needs to push harder for reform. WASHINGTON — Republicans on Capitol Hill largely are supporting the Obama administration’s take-it-slow approach on the crisis in Egypt, with one notable exception — Sen. Rand Paul, the face of the GOP’s “tea party” wing.,0,7724122.story

White House supports including opposition groups in Egypt negotiations
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, while maintaining U.S. neutrality in the dispute as anti-government demonstrations in Egypt enter their second week, says talks should involve ‘a broad cross-section of the Egyptian people including opposition groups.’   The White House on Monday called for negotiations among a broad cross-section of the Egyptian people, including opposition groups, to help resolve the current political crisis.,0,676089.story

Senior US Official: “Mubarak is a respected giant who could win elections in the United States…”
“… a closer look at the statements made by U.S. officials helps explain the antipathy toward the United States that some protesters — including potential presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei, who blasted America’s “failed policy” in Egypt — have expressed. From 2005 to 2008, Frank Ricciardone was the U.S. envoy in Cairo. Ricciardone, now the U.S. ambassador to Turkey following a recess appointment by Obama, was not confirmed by the Senate because many senators had lingering concerns about his tenure there. Those in the Bush administration who were pushing for a tougher line against Mubarak believed Ricciardone was too cozy with the regime and made too many excuses for Mubarak’s authoritarian policies.

In the Knesset, speaking Zionistically, Huckabee says that Egyptian revolution is a ‘threat to Israel’, Philip Weiss
Bill Kristol said at Yivo a few years ago, prophetically, that Zionists will have to turn to the Christians more and more. This is huge; Max Blumenthal reports on Huckabee’s speech to Knesset. He spoke “very Zionistically,” an Israeli rightwinger said happily. And what does this signal?  Egypt will liberate the U.S. It will have a huge effect on our political culture, exposing the Israel lobby. The lobby will increasingly be seen as a rightwing movement in American life. Schumer will be forced to reconcile his support for the Egyptian people, which his base demands, with his opposition to democracy in Israel. I am saying that the Democratic Party must abandon the hard Zionism that it is attached to if it wants to retain a progressive base. It means that the special relationship will finally be discussed in the mainstream media. When, please?

US senator: Mubarak ‘will have to go’
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “will have to go,” a top US lawmaker said Monday after a closed-doors Senate meeting on weeklong, deadly protests calling for the authoritarian leader’s ouster.  Mubarak “cannot afford to clamp down again, as he initially tried to do by deploying his security forces and shutting down access to the Internet,” Senator Bill Nelson wrote in an opinion article after a closed doors meeting of the Select Committee on Intelligence on recent events in Egypt and Tunisia.

Post-Mubarak transition” as seen in Washington …
“…. “Omar Suleiman and Tantawi think that the critical thing for the future of Egypt is that there be no confrontation between the military and the people,” said Cohen, president of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development and a former consultant to the National Intelligence Council. “Their thinking is, if there is a split between the popular will and the military, the whole state of Egypt no longer has its basis of legitimacy.”

CIA funded company: “Mubarak off to Saudi Arabia…”
Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule of Egypt is probably coming to an end, and that means he’ll likely leave Egypt right after he leaves power. (Dictators don’t usually stick around the countries they dictated.) So where would Mubarak flee? One data mining company, backed by the investment arms of Google and the CIA, has an educated guess. Recorded Future scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs, and Twitter accounts to find the so-called “invisible links” between people, actions, and events. In this case, the company turned its tools on Mubarak’s travel patterns to find clues to his next moves. The guy isn’t exactly posting his post-regime plans on his Facebook wall. But, by looking at public documents about where Mubarak has been and who he hangs with, some likely destinations for his exile emerge.

Obama failed to seize the day (and spent his political capital)
Obama must have wanted to make the Cairo speech for years–probably fantasized about it before he ran for president. But he lacked the courage to place, or keep around him, the people who could advance the change he spoke for; and he didn’t have the knowledge or resourcefulness to take the lead himself. Also, he didn’t have the energy, I suspect: an apparent unspoken fact about Obama is that (compared to Carter, Clinton, others) he has a delicate constitution and needs a lot of rest–has never been observed to thresh things out for hours and days a time among disagreeing parties, as both Carter and Clinton did. He leaves that work to others.

Egypt Revolution Traps Washington, James Gundun
The video phones are ringing off the hook. Crumbling and nervous allies, observing foreign governments, journalists, activists, maybe an opposition figure or two. All wanting to know how the White House will respond to the revolutionary furor sweeping the Middle East – all wanting to know what President Barack Obama will do next.

As`ad Abukhalil’s Commentary
Jordanian King is freaking out: How much can Zionists handle in a week???

“Jordan’s Royal Palace says the king has sacked his government in the wake of street protests and has asked an ex-army general to form a new Cabinet.  King Abdullah’s move comes after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets — inspired by the regime ouster in Tunisia and the turmoil in Egypt — and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.”  Now I only harbor ill will toward all Zionists–of all stripes–but this may be too much.  How much weeping can Zionists do in one week? They just don’t have enough tears left.  But all will be well, I assure you.  The demise of Israel is certain, and when that is accomplished, all will be well.  Just turn off the lights on your way out.  I suggest that we start making a big neon sign to rename Ben Gurion Airport the George Habash International Airport.  And the new airport would not resort to racism as a security measure.

Salutation to Ben Wedeman of CNN
This may hurt Ben’s career in the US, but I want to express admiration and salutation to him.  He is a correspondent with a heart. Today he tweeted this:  ”RT @bencnn Good luck, #Egypt. This is my home. You deserve the best. No less. #Jan25“. PS When I was in Qatar last July, I did my best to convince Aljazeera folks that Ben belongs with Aljazeera English.

2 million in Tahrir Square
Many Zionists are fooling themselves and saying that there are no foreign policy elements to the Egyptian Uprising. I am now listening to the mass rally in Tahriri Square live on Aljazeera (Aljazeera is saying the total number is 2 million if you add the people around the square).  And I can hear the chant: يا مبارك يا جبان, يا عميل الأميركان
“o Mubarak, you coward. O agent of the Americans” (it rhymes in Arabic)

Baradi`i on Israel: let the Zionists weep more
A person who attended those meetings sent me this (I cite anonymously with her permission):  ”I was present on a few occasions at the IAEA Board of Governors when he made thrilling off-the-cuff anti-Israel speeches! That changed my opinion of him entirely.”

Why Zionists are weeping
“All the people hate [Mubarak]!” one protester shouted. “He’s supporting Israel! Israel is our enemy. We don’t like him… Israel and America supported him. We hate them all. We don’t like them!”

The Israeli lobby
I have quibbled with the thesis of Mershheimer and Walt in their study of the influence of the Israeli lobby, but you sometimes encounter things in the papers that only confirm their thesis.  Look at this:  ”Mrs. Clinton confronted one such ripple effect when she said on the ABC News program “This Week” that the United States did not intend to cut military aid to Egypt, despite the White House announcement Friday that the nearly $1.5 billion in annual assistance was under review.  The prospect of a cutoff of aid alarmed the Israeli government, an Israeli official said, because it is linked to the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and could alienate the Egyptian military, which Israel views as a stabilizing force in an otherwise deteriorating situation.  Israel has conveyed its concerns to the United States about the risk of a sudden collapse of the Egyptian government, this official said. It worries about who would replace Mr. Mubarak, viewing the ascendant opposition leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, with some wariness.”

Pro-Mubarak demonstrations
I kid you not.  Mubarak state TV (Nile station which merged with the other Egyptian regime satellite station) is showing scenes of pro-Mubarak demonstrations and they are referred to as “pro-stability demonstrations”.  The anchor woman was receiving calls: one of them, she said, has suggested that clerics issue calls to halt all demonstrations.  Yet, the deputy editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram was interviewed and he gave support to the 25th of January demonstrations but then expressed support for the wise moves of Mubarak.

Tear down this wall? Oh, no: Reform this wall, Mr. Mubarak
The hypocrisy of the US policies has been apparent to all Arabs for decades: only Americans are now getting to feel it.  Back in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan (was there ever a more stupid president ever in US history?  In fact, his son Ron. Jr in his new book states what I had suspected all along: that Reagan lost it much during the presidency–lost it literally and figuratively) summarized US policies towards communist regimes by that sentence: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.  Bush/Obama summarize US policies toward the Middle East with the new slogan: Mr. Mubarak: reform this wall.

Don’t mess with Aljazeera
The Saudi government learned that lesson, the hard way.  When Aljazeera started and it expressed a wide spectrum of opinions (much more than now), Saudi-owned media (some 95% of all Arab media, at least) launched fierce campaigns against Aljazeera.  Then they realized they failed and orchestrated the reconciliation with Qatar, which certainly lowered if not eliminated the anti-Saudi tone of Aljazeera (since that reconciliation I have not been invited once to discuss Saudi or Jordanian affairs when my first ever appearance on Aljazeera was about Saudi Arabia).   I am told by higher ups in Aljazeera that Prince Nayif was instrumental in the reconciliation with Qatar because he told his brothers that Aljazeera can really affect stability and dissent in the kingdom of horrors.  Mubarak is dumb: he closed down Aljazeera’s offices and arrested Aljazeera correspondents (can you imagine the international uproar of Syria or Iran did that?).  So what did Aljazeera do? It has gone all out.  Aljazeera is clearly now bent on bringing down Mubarak’s regime.  The coverage is non-stop.  All other programmings have been suspended.  Take that, Husni and Jamal Mubarak.

Restraint: the new code word by Obama administration for Mubarak’s tyranny
Two US officials today commended the Mubarak dictatorship for its “restraint” toward the demonstration.  Thus far, Mubarak’s restraint has caused the death of more than 100 people and injured more than 2000 people.  Tell that to Obama officials.

Zionist Reaction to Calls for Freedom and Democracy
Egypt under Israel’s spotlight
Israel hopes its three-decade-old peace treaty with Egypt will survive any change.

Peres on Egypt: Learn from Gaza
President reminds German chancellor that Hamas rose to power following democratic elections in Gaza, says ‘we must ensure that human rights are guaranteed in a real democracy’,7340,L-4022378,00.html

Peres stands by embattled Egyptian counterpart
‘He was the peacekeeper of the Middle East,’ president says of Mubarak as five new ambassadors present their credentials at Beit Hanassi.

Israel shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak
(Reuters) – If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Livni warns Merkel: Regional instability may be exploited by Iran
Tzipi Livni and Angela Merkel discussed Israel’s stalled peace process with the Palestinians; Livni was quoted saying that negotiations were in Israel’s national interest, and not a favor to the Palestinians or Europeans.

‘Huffpo’ gives Dershowitz a platform to say tyranny is just fine for ‘the average Egyptian’, Philip Weiss
The Israel lobby has got its talking points down and they are: RADICAL ISLAM#[email protected]! I think this strategy is bound to fail. The American Jewish community has to like what it’s seeing in Egypt. Not the Israel lobby, though. First, Caroline Glick smears the protesters.

Zionist hoodlums are really freaking out
Lee Smith: Egyptian protesters are potential Suicide Bombers.” This dude wrote a book on Arab culture while he admits that he does not know Arabic.  His lousy book was promoted by Jeffrey Feltman.  Now we know where Jeffrey Feltman derives his ignorance about the Middle East.

Arab Reactions
Palestinians transfixed by Egypt uprising (AFP)
AFP – Clustered around TVs in cafes across the West Bank, Palestinians are transfixed by events in Egypt, wondering when the regime might fall and which Arab leader could be next.*

Joshua Landis, “Syrian Authorities Jubilant about Prospect of Mubarak’s Fall and Shifting Balance of Power in the Region”
In all events, it is clear that a new, more populist Middle East will be less pro-American and less likely to support Israel. Turkey is the bellwether for what happens when government become more democratic in the Middle East. They find it more difficult to cooperate with Israel and the US on policies that dispossess Palestinians or hurt Muslims. Syrian authorities are jubilant about Mubarak’s difficulties and the popular uprising in Egypt. It is common in opposition circles to suggest that Syrian authorities are panicked by the vision of popular revolt in Tunis and Egypt. I believe the opposite is true. Ever since Sadat made peace with Israel at Syria’s expense, Syrian authorities have hoped for regime change in Cairo. It has finally come.

Egyptians’ Fury Has Smoldered Beneath the Surface for Decades
Egyptians have demonstrated over the years about low wages, poverty and the election process, but never in such a widespread fashion.

Egyptian Hopes Converge in Fight for Cairo Bridge
Hours of struggle for a bridge defined the day’s events throughout Egypt as people shed their fear of the government, a few halting steps at a time.

In Alexandria, Protesters Rout the Police, for Now
Alexandria was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the country on Friday as riot police officers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets and protesters hurled paving stones.

Mubarak: a leader on the brink
The world watches and waits to see how the 30-year reign of Egypt’s corrupt, incompetent President will end – whether the man who has reduced his country to a political slum will fight or take flight. Patrick Cockburn studies the lessons of his past

Egypt protesters: “Security vacuum serves Mubarak’s interest”
CAIRO (IPS) – The city squares where protesters battled riot police for four consecutive days were unexpectedly quiet late Sunday night, as Egyptians fighting to topple the Mubarak regime returned home to defend their neighborhoods from looters and thugs.

Repression and Poverty Underpin the Uprising in Egypt
Recent events in Egypt could be an opportunity for the United States to support the people of Egypt, but no Obama administration official has recommended publicly that President Hosni Mubarak should step down. We speak with Samer Shehata, assistant professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University, about the U.S.-backed Mubarak regime and the record inflation and poverty that underpin the ongoing protests. “In Egypt, from 2004 until the present, the government and its reforms were applauded in Washington by World Bank, the IMF and U.S. officials,” Shehata says. “But what all of that masked was what was going on at the level of real people and ordinary lives.”

Omar Suleiman, the CIA’s Man in Cairo and Egypt’s Torture-in-Chief
On January 29, Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s top spy chief, was annointed vice president by the tottering dictator, Hosni Mubarak. By appointing Suleiman, part of a shake-up of the cabinet in a (futile?) attempt to appease the masses of protesters and retain  his own grip on the presidency, Mubarak has once again shown his knack for devilish shrewdness. Suleiman has long been favored by the US government for his ardent anti-Islamism and willingness to talk and act tough about Iran, and he has been the CIA’s main man in Cairo. Mubarak knew that Suleiman would command an instant lobby of supporters at Langley and among “Iran nexters” in Washington, not to mention among other authoritarian mukhabarat-dependent regimes in the region. Suleiman is a favorite of Israel too; he held the “Israel Dossier” and directed Egypt’s efforts to crush Hamas by demolishing the tunnels that have functioned as a smuggling conduit for weapons and foodstuffs to Gaza.

Mohamed ElBaradei: The man who would be President
Man of the moment? Of course Mohamed ElBaradei is. But man of the people, I have my doubts. He doesn’t claim to be, of course, and sitting in his garden easy chair near an impossibly blue but rather small swimming pool, he sometimes appears – even wearing his baseball hat – like a very friendly, shrewd and bespectacled mouse. He will not like that description, but this is a mouse, I suspect, with very sharp teeth.

Mubarak’s regime cannot satisfy the demands of Egyptians | Ahdaf Souief
We hope our popular, young, peaceable, democratic movement is allowed to develop a vision of how Egypt can be run.  Yesterday the call went out for a million people to gather today in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the main focal point of the pro-democracy demonstrations. I will be one of them.

The men of Qasr el-Aini Street, Helena Cobban
Five lanes broad and usually bustling, Cairo’s Qasr al-Aini Street stretches south from Tahrir (Liberation) Square, forming the westward border of an area of looping little streets laid out by the British that is still called “Garden City”. To the east, Garden City is bounded by the Nile,  and over its northern end looms the massive concrete blockhouse that is the U.S. Embassy.

Mubarak’s only option is to go, Rami G. Khouri
In spite of Hosni Mubarak’s halfhearted stabs at change, it has become clear that he is merely delaying the inevitable, and the only concession that will satisfy protesters is his exit.

Ben Ali’s ouster was the start, and Mubarak will follow, Rami G. Khouri
In the long-delayed modern Arab revolt for dignity, rights and freedom, Tunisia was the trigger, but Egypt is the prize. The Arab popular struggle against autocratic security and police states that was finally initiated earlier this month with the revolt that overthrew former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has reached a critical stage in Egypt.

A democratic Egypt may save Palestinian and Lebanese lives, Alex Kane
When Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, one of the big dividends for Israel was the removal of a major military threat on their doorstep. Egypt had participated in wars against Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. But since the Camp David peace treaty, Israel has been able to wage war on the Palestinians and other Arab states like Lebanon without having to worry about Egypt’s military stepping in.

Egypt and the Future of the Corporate Grid
Many analysts have been commenting on the broader significance of the astonishing and awe-inspiring events that have swept Egypt by storm over the past six days. From Tunisia to Yemen, the Arab world is in open revolt against the sclerotic, corrupt and vicious dictatorships that have held power with the tacit support of the US and EU for decades. The status quo in the region – in the form of received wisdom about ‘the Arab street’, the Islamist ‘menace’ and business-as-usual in the corridors of corporate and political power whether in Washington DC or Cairo – has shattered into pieces once and for all. But the significance of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt is not limited to the Arab world, or even the Middle East. Not since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the ouster of Suharto by a popular revolution in Indonesia in 1998 has the world witnessed the sheer, breathtaking power of unarmed revolutionary masses in action – and this in a region whose image has been carefully crafted for decades by politicians and media pundits as a stagnating backwater of opportunism and quiescence.

The Sleepers Have Awakened, Basil Abdelkarim
As an unprecedented wave of protests swept across the Arab world, United States Vice President Joe Biden shared these illuminating thoughts with NewsHour host Jim Lehrer regarding Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whose near 30-year pharaonic reign hangs by a thread.

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak: following missteps of ousted Tunisian leader?
Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak at first ignored protesters, and then responded with force. ‘I don’t think Mubarak learned anything from the Tunisian case,’ says one observer.

After the Pharaoh
Jeremy Bowen on what might follow the Egyptian president.

Singing for the Revolution
So was it Wikileaks, Facebook, or Twitter? Perhaps all three contributed to the revolutionary winds in the Arab world? This is one of the questions repeated ad nauseam by a great number of commentators and parroted by many in the United States and elsewhere in the “civilized world.” Others wonder if perhaps it was Obama’s speech in Cairo or even the Bush doctrine (for Fox-infested minds and they are many)? Yes, new technologies and social media definitely played a role and provided a new space and mode, but this discourse eliminates and erases the real agents of these revolutions: the women and men who are making history before our eyes. Members of our species have done that before, you know, before “Bookface” and “Kleenex” [Wikileaks] as Qadhdhafi calls them. In a very familiar gesture displaying the discursive cargo of colonial mentality, any positive phenomenon has to, somehow, be traced back to this or that white man (well, in Obama’s case, it’s a black man, but his words are white).

The Poetry of Revolt
It is truly inspiring to see the bravery of Egyptians as they rise up to end the criminal rule of Hosni Mubarak. It is especially inspiring to remember that what is happening is the culmination of years of work by activists from a spectrum of pro-democracy movements, human rights groups, labor unions, and civil society organizations. In 2004, when Kefaya began their first public demonstrations, the protesters were usually outnumbered 30 to one by Central Security Forces. Now the number has reversed—and multiplied.

5 Things the US Mass Media Got Wrong on Egypt
It is impressive that the US mass media has managed to conduct round-the-clock coverage of the uprising in Egypt given how little resources and few reporters they have on the ground, the few who are there had been parachuted in late last week, lacking context, perspective, and often facts. But that never stopped US mass media. Aside from the oft-errant reporting, there are a few mistakes the US media seems to insist on making, not sure if the motive is sensationalism, ignorance, or just pure manipulation of public opinion by distracting from important stories, or manufacturing ones to fit the established narrative:

Egypt protests could spread to other countries
What is the likelihood of the current unrest in Egypt spreading to other countries in the region?


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