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Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt on the Brink of What?



We have seen this before in East Germany, Hungary, Poland and in all of Eastern Europe. People, tired of subjugation, overthrow tyrants. In East Europe, there was a happy ending. Not so for Iran under the Shah, where religious fanatics and bigots became bigger and more fearsome tyrants. The question for Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen is what will follow?
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Egypt protests: Fresh protests could leave Egypt on brink of revolution

A fresh wave of mass protests could leave Egypt teetering on the brink of revolution on Friday after police warned the president they could soon lose control of the demonstrators demanding his overthrow.


 7:14AM GMT 28 Jan 2011
TELEGRAPH
Hosni Mubarak's grip on power was slipping on Thursday and momentum appeared to be shifting rapidly in favour of pro-democracy activists.

Undeterred by a violent police response and the deaths of at least seven people after three days of clashes in Cairo and other cities, organisers said they planned to make today's marches the biggest yet. Yesterday police shot dead a protester in north Sinai.

They were given a further boost after Mohamed ElBaradei, one of Mr Mubarak's fiercest critics, returned to Egypt from Vienna to join the protests, providing opponents of the regime with a potential figurehead to rally around.

Desperately trying to avoid a repeat of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolt, which saw President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali ousted from power earlier this month, Mr Mubarak's ruling party convened in emergency session.

The interior ministry declared on Thursday night it would take “decisive measures” against anyone protesting on Friday.

In a further blow to his attempts to retain the office he has held for nearly 30 years, sources in Egypt said Mr Mubarak, who is 82, was told by police commanders that any demonstration attracting more than 70,000 protesters could not be contained.

A page announcing Friday's protest on Facebook, one of the social networking websites that has played a leading role in mobilising opposition supporters, drew over 56,000 supporters in 24 hours.

However early on Friday morning, many internet connections went down across Cairo, leading some to accuse the government of cutting them to prevent social networking sites being used to coordinate protests.

While many of those are likely to stay at home, analysts say the regime's failure to break the protests will only embolden more Egyptians to join them. Yesterday, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt's largest opposition group – also threw its support behind the protests, which have been mainly secular so far.

Its supporters could give the protests a major numerical boost.

"It's over, I think, for the Mubarak regime," said Maha Azzam, an Egyptian-born associate fellow at the think-tank, Chatham House.

"It may take a couple of months or longer, but I think there will now be a consistent challenge to him." If the police are unable to quell the demonstrations, Mr Mubarak will be left with no choice but to turn to the army. Although Egypt's generals have been unquestioning in their loyalty to the president, they may baulk at the prospect of ordering their troops to open fire at unarmed protesters and turn against him. It was the loss of the army's support in Tunisia that prompted Mr Ben Ali to flee.

"If there is a situation where they are forced to kill people, top generals will put their foot down," said Hisham Kassem, a prominent Egyptian publisher and analyst.
In what could be a sign of things to come, some army units in Suez, the eastern city that has seen some of the worst of the violence, reportedly refused orders to disperse protesters yesterday.

Seeking to escalate the pressure on the president, Mr ElBaradei, who is a former chief of the UN's nuclear watchdog, offered to lead a transitional government.
"If people, in particular young people, if they want me to lead the transition, I will not let them down," he said.

Although he has been a leading Western ally, Mr Mubarak was also facing growing international isolation as the United States and Britain both called on him to heed the grievances of his people by instituting reforms.

So far, there has been little sign that the president – who has not been seen in public since the protests began â " is listening.

His security forces have arrested nearly 1,000 people and injured hundreds. There were further deaths, too, as police shot dead a protester in Sinai yesterday, a region of the country that had previously been quiet.

The growing unrest has unnerved investors and the Cairo Stock Exchange was briefly forced to close after share prices fell by more than seven per cent. London-listed shares in gold miner Centamin Egypt and Egypt-focused Circle Oil also fell.

67 comments:

  1. Pro-democracy protests - come on - this is Egypt, ha ha.

    If they did by any fluke get democracy for a few months, the Islamists would be voted into power and would forthwith expunge democracy, just as Hitler did in Germany.

    No civilized country will tolerate having those lunatics in control, so, to pre-empt the possibility, the army will obviously put in another strongman as the least worst option. That type of people are not fit to govern themselves - basically because they are Muslims.

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  2. That assumes the army is not riddled with AQ and Muslim Brotherhood factions poised to take over.
    Ultimately, it depends on who is the most ruthless or determined.

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  3. A Cairo paper claims that one of President Hosni Mubarak's top advisers has fled to London with 97 suitcases of cash.

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  4. Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), landed at Cairo airport last night to lead rallies against Hosni Mubarak's rule.

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  5. Pure prejudice Georgie. How is the world going to get to a democratic future without movements like this succeeding?
    This is not your father's revolution. It's secular (having had a look at the example of Iran) and the demands are economic development and democracy, just as in Tunisia.
    The Islamic Brotherhood has played no role to date, until it declared support tonight and its leaders were promptly arrested (being thoroughly infiltrated by the government).

    This is about the people of Egypt asking for democratic change from the failure that is the Mubarak regime.

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  6. Our State Department, being helpful:

    In an interview with CNN before his return, ElBaradei poured scorn on comments by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who had described the Egyptian government as stable and "looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people".

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  7. No anon - not prejudice - this is the Middle East, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen. Islam is marching on to reassert itself once again in North Africa. Democracy, come on!!!
    GEt my name right G E O R G Y

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Islam is our ally, Mac.

    Learn it, Live it, Love it.

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  10. I've fired a Mac 10, never a Mac 5.

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  11. Though the Mark 5 was a heck of a car.

    Go! Speed Racer, Go!

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  12. The Islamists, Mac, are not the be all end all, in that Region of the whirled.

    Though some influence they do wield.

    Just as Fulton Sheen and Pat Robertson, even Billy graham have, here.

    As the Pope does, in Italy.

    Doc Z was an Egyptian, he had to flee.

    No telling what will come of the public discord across the Islamic Arc. There is little organized opposition permitted in any of the countries in the region. This is precisely why the aQ types rose to prominence. Only the radicals had the nerve to stand up to the autocrats and the security forces.

    Normal political action was not permitted. This course of action was subsidized by US. One of the reasons we could be easily vilified, by the radicals.

    Those that were disgruntle, by the Political Establishment, supported by US, had no other outlet for their discontent, but Islamic radicalism.

    We made the bed, then fluffed the pillows. That money we sent to Egypt, billions upon billions over the last few decades ...

    Better if we had wasted it away, in Margaritaville.

    The policies the US has pursued, in the Islamic Arc, over the past 40 years, coming back to bite the current generation of US, in the ass.

    This what we've spent over a Trillion USD to achieve, enjoy the fruits of our "investment".

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  13. Wall Street Journal -

    DAVOS, Switzerland (Dow Jones)--Inflation on a global level is "not high on the list of concerns," even though emerging markets across the world are certainly "feeling some pressure" US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither said Friday.

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  14. Wall Street Journal -

    The Egyptian government's crackdown on protesters intensified Friday with access to all forms of mass communication, including the Internet, mobile and SMS, taken down, even as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that "freedom of expression should be fully respected."


    Cut the commo!

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  15. Egypt and the Nile Tour

    $2749 :12-Day Tours of Egypt
    Including Air, Hotels & More!
    www.GoAheadTours.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Georgy MacV said...

    No anon - not prejudice - this is the Middle East, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen.
    Islam is marching on to reassert itself once again in North Africa.

    Democracy, come on!!!
    GEt my name right G E O R G Y

    ---

    Overthrow of the Shah led to the Iranian nightmare.

    Santorum reports they've rounded up the Muslim brotherhood.

    ...the only hope that Egypt will not go from bad to worse.

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  17. 'Rat missed the Superior Commo link in the previous thread:

    Teresita ☯ said...

    700 groups now have Obamacare waivers.

    Note that John McCain clapped for BHO's immigration reform/Dream Act push.

    What happens when you disconnect a modern economy and 80,000,000 people from the Internet?

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  18. Bad?

    Come on doug, the US would NEVER support the "bad", for decades at a time!

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  19. Tunisians and Egyptians as the general population are being brutally repressed . I am at the point that if there were demonstrations against politicians in general, I would join.

    The corrupt government and the phony elections where Mubarak gets in with 85% of the votes each time and recent posters showing his son in the campaign posters as well, was very provocative.

    People are suffering on a major scale out there, the price of bread has more than quadrupled, unemployment is rising, the police are just brutal.

    Egypt has been living under a state of emergency for over 30 years, why ?

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  20. Those waivers were written into the Law for a purpose, doug.

    The use of them, part of the "Plan".

    Untwist your panties, it is all
    "On Time, On Target"

    You make it seem as utilization of the legal process is a sign of failure, when it is not that, at all. It is success, incarnate.

    As for "Maverick" McCain, he continues on course. Whomever voted for him, for President, bought into pure partisanship, not policy.

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  21. …and Deuce, thanks for dropping the umbrella. You were beginning to frighten me.

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  22. I stepped out ot the rain Stella. I did not want to damage my new bowler.

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  23. It could easily be argued, doug, that it was the over throw of the Iranian Prime Minister, in 1958, that led to the current nightmare in Iran.

    The Shah only bolstered the Islamic Radicals, as he stifled all other political dissent.

    Same as has occurred with Mubarak.

    The 1953 Iranian coup d'état, on August 19, 1953 (known as the 28 Mordad coup[1] in Iran), was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States.[2] The coup launched 26 years of dictatorship under Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, who relied heavily on U.S. support to hold on to power

    When moderate opposition is not allowed, only the radicals will thrive.

    Look at what happen to King George III and the Americas.

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  24. What we are seeing, in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Lebanon is the fruits of US foreign policy, as articulated by Mr Bush.

    Mr Obama certainly picked up the ball and has been carrying it forward.

    This is the "neo-con" dream.

    Enjoy.

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  25. That coup, obviously occurred in 1953, not 1958.

    Mea Culpa.

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  26. Don'tkid yourself Stella The Islamic Brotherhood have been years waiting in the wings for this moment. The security forces and the Army will step up whether they like it or not. They understand the alternative perfectly well. The people will jump on the strong horse or get trampled for not.
    ======

    Desert Rat:

    No telling what will come of the public discord across the Islamic Arc. There is little organized opposition permitted in any of the countries in the region. This is precisely why the aQ types rose to prominence. Only the radicals had the nerve to stand up to the autocrats and the security forces...We made the bed, then fluffed the pillows. That money we sent to Egypt, billions upon billions over the last few decades ...

    Better if we had wasted it away, in Margaritaville.

    The policies the US has pursued, in the Islamic Arc, over the past 40 years, coming back to bite the current generation of US, in the ass.


    Egypt played the US dollar for dollar with aid to Israel. Not one of those dollars increased US security. What did it accomplish? Did it by us love or respect?

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  27. Exactly, Mac, every dollar sent to the players in the Middle East was wasted.

    No love, no respect, nada.

    We were played by the Israeli and the Arabs. But we did so with open eyes in a bi-partisan manner.

    We did so, on purpose.
    Like a drunken sailor on shore, we were screwed blue, then tattooed.

    The US is not suited to Empire.

    We should have wasted it away, in Margaritaville.

    We'd have less of a hangover, if we had.

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  28. VOA is reporting

    Tens of thousands of protesting Egyptians flooded into the streets after Friday's prayers in mounting demonstrations calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

    Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in central Cairo, where some of the larger demonstrations were held. Trucks of police armed with water cannons lined Cairo avenues as government forces attempted to disperse crowds.

    Internet service, a key tool for activists, was shut down across the country shortly after midnight. Cell phone text messaging and data plans were also disabled. Telecom company Vodafone says the Egyptian government ordered all mobile telephone operators to suspend service in parts of the country.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for Egypt's leaders and its people not to let violence escalate. He says world leaders should view the protests as a chance to hear the "legitimate concerns" of their people.

    Earlier, Egypt's largest opposition group, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, says at least five senior leaders and five former members of parliament were arrested in raids.

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  29. More short books:

    Italian War Heroes

    Minorities I Have Met While Yachting

    Come on, lighten up, it's Friday!

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  30. Remembering Challenger: NASA Marks 25 Years Since Space Tragedy

    Seven astronauts died when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after lifting off on the orbiter's 10th flight on Jan. 28, 1986.

    I was in class at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Point Loma, Sandog California, the instructor came in, said, "The Space Shuttle blew up!" and we all said in unison "Bullshit!"

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  31. Georgy: Egypt played the US dollar for dollar with aid to Israel. Not one of those dollars increased US security. What did it accomplish? Did it by us love or respect?

    Well, obviously this is a neo-Nazi site if Deuce and Whit allow people to suggest uninterrupted aid to the Zion Project is not the very reason for the existence of the United States.

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  32. Of course, the Libstream Media is using this as what they perceive to be a "gotcha moment", as though the KKK robes were showing through Rand Paul's jacket.

    "Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries." -D. Casey

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  33. What did the blind man say when he walked past a fishmarket?


    "Good Morning, Ladies."

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  34. "You make it seem as utilization of the legal process is a sign of failure, when it is not that, at all. It is success, incarnate."

    ---

    Success as defined by destroying the World's premire health care system.

    ...by a bunch of power hungry anti-American Socialists.

    Cheer them on, if you must.

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  35. Aren't you a little old to spend your time writing shit just to get a rise out of people?

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  36. ...when you could be spending your time cheering on people that are trying to make things better.

    Like Jim Demint.

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  37. ...or is Nancy Pelosi your heroine?

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  38. Why knock John McCain and cheer on Nancy Pelosi?

    ...as if there is a good reason to cheer on either.

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  39. Legal process and Nancy Pelosi.
    High comedy.

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  40. All basically a big food riot, imho

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  41. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Elbaradei has been a strong champion of the Muslim Brotherhood as he was a supporter of the Iranians. If you look at the street signs, you will see many antagonistic to Israel, because Mubarack cut a deal with Israel.

    Elbaradei has been quoted “We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. They have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them.” In Teheran he said, "Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses."

    The Muslim Brotherhood for its part has backed Elbaradei’s political aspirations. On Thursday, it announced it would demonstrate at ElBaradei’s side the next day. SOURCE: Jpost

    Here is the article: TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that "Israel is number one threat to Middle East" with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.

    At a joint press conference with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.

    "Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses," ElBaradei was quoted as saying.

    Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear capabilities, although it refuses to confirm or deny the allegation.

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  42. T @ Fri Jan 28, 08:40:00 AM EST

    I am still waiting for Allen's recognition and humble apology the he was wrong and man enough to admit it. There is a difference of opinion on this site about Israel.

    I have no emotional attachment to Israel. I agree with some things and differ on others.

    In general I am opposed to religious states with the exception of Israel. Israel is a fortress state for the protection of Jews everywhere. No reasonable argument can be made that it should not be so in light of the history of Jews, especially in Europe.

    Israel is a wealthy state and should not look to the US for financial support. Israel has been a strategic liability as well as an asset. It has nothing to do with their religion except as they choose to make it so, and many in Israel do.

    My personal experience in dealing with Israelis has been open, honest and pleasurable.

    I would prefer to hear from an Israeli what is objectionable about this site, not some emotional intellectually dishonest ideologue.

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  43. By the way..on the previous post, that looks like a low cost hoist to me, an ingenious device to cross the fence.

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  44. I guess they will have to just build that fence even higher then!

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  45. The ruling party building is in flames -
    Some police are standing down - Thousands of Jordanians marched against the government's political and economic policies - demanding the prime minister's resignation -
    Mohamed ElBaradei arrested.

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  46. Somebody just noticed that 30%, I think it is, of the World's Oil flows through the Suez Canal.

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  47. Interestingly, "Brent" Crude (the more, or less, International Oil Index) is only up $1.60, while WTI, which is based on bottlenecked Cushing supplies is up $3.60/bbl.

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  48. Sometimes, the oil market doesn't make any sense at all.

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  49. Deuce: T @ Fri Jan 28, 08:40:00 AM EST

    I am still waiting for Allen's recognition and humble apology the he was wrong and man enough to admit it. There is a difference of opinion on this site about Israel.


    I'm not holding my breath. He's all over my ass on Belmont Club too, quibbling over every little post. Essentially I've been singled out for harassment, and there's nothing I can do about it.

    I would prefer to hear from an Israeli what is objectionable about this site, not some emotional intellectually dishonest ideologue.

    I appreciate what you do here, Deuce. If I ever do make a blindly biased statement against some group, I'm quite sure you will call me on it. Very early on you objected to what you thought was an anti-German stance, and you fretted that another statement I made would cause people to gather the wrong impression about this blog from a Google search.

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  50. NORAD scrambled 2 F-16's late this morning in response to an airliner failing to communicate as it approached DC capital.


    False alarm, but this response was a good thing.

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  51. Good memory T. Thanks for your support.

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  52. Don't say the name of the dead.

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  53. "He's all over my ass on Belmont Club too, quibbling over every little post. Essentially I've been singled out for harassment, and there's nothing I can do about it."




    Its simple just don't go there.

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  54. Because he is a disturbed individual.

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  55. T: I'm not holding my breath. He's all over my ass on Belmont Club too, quibbling over every little post. Essentially I've been singled out for harassment, and there's nothing I can do about it.


    Boo fucking hoo...

    The truth?

    Many posts by T and rat are in fact anti-semitic, it has been established.

    Now T and Rat are part of the bartender's roll.

    and thus you have elevated some of the worst that every posted here as the standard of the blog.

    The EB has lost a lot of credibility, sadly.

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  56. I prefer not to be a bartender. I would rather do the drinking, not the pouring.

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  57. .

    Egypt, another example of the US' continuing incompetance in foreign policy.

    Earlier in the week, Hillary argued that Mubarak was in charge and only doing those things necessary for the stability of the Egyptian people. Now people there are blaming her for giving cover to Mubarak's crackdown that started Tuesday and Wednesday. (Also, one has to think that US monetary policy which is leading to food inflation in much of the developing world, including Egypt where unemployment is around 10%, is further making the US appear as the bad guy there.)

    Now Clinton goes on record today with no support for Mubarack, but instead calling for freedom of assembly for the protesters, for an opening up of telecommunications, and across the board reforms.

    Reactive. Too little too late. You pick the description. The fact is, the US has ignored Mubarak's abuses since the 1980's and provided billions supporting his corrupt regime, mostly to our disadvantage.

    The bad part? It's likely, that even if we had done the exact opposite we would have probably been just as screwed.

    I had thought the proposal to cancel most foreign aid was just being naive. However, considering that most of our foreign aid really amounts to shipping billions to rich people in poor countries, I now kind of accept the position that we would be better off cancelling it across the board.

    (Just saw Gibbs on television, what a dick. Basically said, we are watching the situation closely and will adjust our policy accordingly. Translation: It may be 180 degrees from our previous position but we'll see which side wins and applaud.)

    .

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  58. http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

    Continuous coverage of Egypt at the moment. Lots of video.

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  59. Disturbed is when you see the next post, assuming Deuce signs off on it.

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  60. Okay I'll get another piccie and post.

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