“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anarchy in Egypt. Time for Mubarak to Act or Leave.

"It was deeply amusing to Egyptians that Obama – in Cairo itself, after his election – had urged Arabs to grasp freedom and democracy. These aspirations disappeared entirely when he gave his tacit if uncomfortable support to the Egyptian president on Friday. "

I thought it strange seeing tanks parked on the streets without paratroopers or marines forming a cordon around them. Surely young tankers being surrounded by protestors would establish relationships amongst the mob and in a day or two would become ineffective, isolated from the command and control structure necessary for military cohesion of a fighting unit. Their officers must know that. What is going on?

Today, there are reports of the police being missing in action, rioters and looters have moved from state targets and are now attacking the private property of business and middle class neighborhoods. Museums and mosques are being looted. There are reports of neighborhood private security being formed to hold back the mobs.

Public support for protesters of injustice will end quickly when the protesters turn to marauding mobs. It is time for a good dictator to fire up the tanks, use the political cover of  the rioting and reestablish order. Short of that, get on a plane and get out of Cairo.

Egypt protests - live updates  

the Guardian

The present regime is widely seen in Egypt as a state for the others– for the US, Israel, France and the UK– and as a state for the few– the Neoliberal nouveau riche. Islam plays no role in this analysis because it is not an independent variable. Muslim movements have served to protest the withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities, and to provide services. But they are a symptom, not the cause. All this is why Mubarak's appointment of military men as vice president and prime minister cannot in and of itself tamp down the crisis. They, as men of the System, do not have more legitimacy than does the president– and perhaps less.
 Hospitals are urging people to donate blood, according to the latest email update from Human Rights Watch's emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, in Alexandria. He has also been told of that prison break out.
Hospitals in Alexandria and Cairo are requesting that people come in and donate blood.
The Cairo-Alexandria desert road is blocked because of a prison outbreak at Wadi el-Natroun- several thousand prisoners released. The army is deployed. Residents of local villages say the prison had 8,000 inmates.
The old Cairo-Alexandria "agricultural road" is open and traffic is running smoothly. People in Menoufeyya say criminals stopping cars at night demanding money. But day travel is safe.
 Mosques are being transformed into sickrooms for protesters with bullet wounds, according to this report from Jack Shenker and Peter Beaumont.
They write:

This place of worship is little more than a partially-roofed narrow passage between two tall buildings; now it has been transformed into a makeshift hospital, with blood soaking through the prayer mats. The muezzin's microphone – normally used to send out the call to prayer – pressed into use by a thick-set, bearded imam who is shouting out instructions to the medics. Occasionally, he prays.

 34 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including seven leaders, have escaped from prison, according to Reuters.

Relatives stormed the prison in Wadi el-Natroun, 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Cairo, and set free several thousand of the inmates, Brotherhood office manager Mohamed Osama told Reuters. No one was hurt, he added.
At the moment, the Muslim Brotherhood is playing catch-up with a young, leaderless protest movement. But chaos always opens opportunities and years of oppression by the government has angered and frustrated ordinary people. The brotherhood has enormous support among the poor, encouraged by the network of charities it runs. Observers have been debating the sincerity of the brotherhood's apparent moves towards real political reform, and point to its inability to directly challenge Mubarak's government.
 Al Jazeera has just been taken off the air in Egypt, according to its reporter Ayman Mohyeldin.
Another al-Jazeera staffer Abdurahman Warsame tweets:
BREAKING: Al Jazeera Arabic signal is down. The screen is frozen. Has the satellite (Nilesat) been blocked? Jammed? #Aljazeera #press #Cairo
 Thousands of prisoners have escaped from jail in the Wadi Naturn prison, north of Cairo, according to AP.
Australia's Herald Sun has this AP report:
Inmates overwhelmed guards during the night, breaking out of the facility which holds many Islamist political prisoners, and spilling out into nearby towns and villages, as nationwide riots demanding the end of the regime gave way to looting.
It cited a "security official" for the information.
6,000 prisoners escape from #Abu Zaabel prison #egypt #jan25 (via phone)
 The US is offering its citizens evacuation flights out of Egypt.
"The US Embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe," a statement said, according to Reuters.
The evacuation flights will start tomorrow.
 The Foreign Office is advising Britons to leave Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, Britain's foreign secretary William Hague told Sky News.
He also talked of the danger of "extremism" taking hold in Egypt. "There is a great danger of violence running out of control," he said.
Hague also urged the Egyptian government to show restraint and to allow freedom of expression. He condemned the closure of al-Jazeera's bureau in Cairo.
We advise against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez. We recommend that British nationals without a pressing need to be in Cairo, Alexandria or Suez leave by commercial means where it is safe to do so. British nationals in other areas of Egypt where there are demonstrations should follow the advice below and stay indoors wherever possible.

 One of the Guardian's Middle East experts Brian Whitaker reflects on the latest rumours in Cairo. Writing on his own blog, he says there are reports that Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, have fled, but also that there will be could be an army crackdown today.
He writes:
Brian Whitaker
Rumours have been circulating that the army will take a much tougher line with protesters today – what some are calling the Tiananmen Square option. However, I am sceptical about that. For one, thing, the US has warned strongly against it, and though Mubarak may not listen to Washington I think his commanders are more likely to.
 There are more signs of Israeli nervousness, following those comments by Netanyahu. Our Jerusalem correspondent, Harriet Sherwood reports:
Harriet Sherwood.
Israel Army Radio said this morning that the Israeli military is preparing for the possibility that militants in Gaza may take advantage of the chaos in Egypt to bring in weapons from the Sinai.
Meanwhile, it's being reported in Gaza that three Palestinian prisoners being held in Al-Arish jail in Egypt have escaped and made their way back to Gaza through the tunnels.
The Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt has been closed until further notice, a Hamas official said.
 Al Jazeera has denounced the closure of its Cairo bureau. In a statement it said:

Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people...
Al Jazeera Network is appalled at this latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt."
 The government plans to shut down al-Jazeera's operations in Egypt, according to Reuters, citing the state news agency Mana.
"The information minister ordered ... suspension of operations of al-Jazeera, cancelling of its licences and withdrawing accreditation to all its staff as of today," a statement said.

The station was the first to report that the governing party's headquarters were set on fire. Breathless phone reports came in from Jazeera correspondents in towns across Egypt. Live footage from Cairo alternated with action shots that played again and again. Orchestral music played, conveying the sense of a long-awaited drama.
Al Jazeera kept up its coverage despite serious obstacles. The broadcaster's separate live channel was removed from its satellite platform by the Egyptian government on Friday morning, its Cairo bureau had its telephones cut and its main news channel also faced signal interference, according to a statement released by the station. The director of the live channel issued an appeal to the Egyptian government to allow it to broadcast freely.
 The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has expressed concern about "stability and security" in the region, in his first comments on the Egyptian unrest.
Benjamin NetanyahuPhotograph: Reuters
"We are following with vigilance the events in Egypt and in our region ... at this time we must show responsibility and restraint and maximum consideration. Our efforts have been intended to continue to preserve stability and security in our region.
"I remind you that the peace between Israel and Egypt has lasted for over three decades."

More from The Guardian 


  1. The Egyptian tanks, the delirious protesters sitting atop them, the flags, the 40,000 protesters weeping and crying and cheering in Freedom Square and praying around them, the Muslim Brotherhood official sitting amid the tank passengers. Should this be compared to the liberation of Bucharest? Climbing on to an American-made battle tank myself, I could only remember those wonderful films of the liberation of Paris. A few hundred metres away, Hosni Mubarak's black-uniformed security police were still firing at demonstrators near the interior ministry. It was a wild, historical victory celebration, Mubarak's own tanks freeing his capital from his own dictatorship.

  2. ...In the pantomime world of Mubarak himself – and of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Washington – the man who still claims to be president of Egypt swore in the most preposterous choice of vice-president in an attempt to soften the fury of the protesters – Omar Suleiman, Egypt's chief negotiator with Israel and his senior intelligence officer, a 75-year-old with years of visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and four heart attacks to his credit. How this elderly apparatchik might be expected to deal with the anger and joy of liberation of 80 million Egyptians is beyond imagination. When I told the demonstrators on the tank around me the news of Suleiman's appointment, they burst into laughter.

    Their crews, in battledress and smiling and in some cases clapping their hands, made no attempt to wipe off the graffiti that the crowds had spray-painted on their tanks. "Mubarak Out – Get Out", and "Your regime is over, Mubarak" have now been plastered on almost every Egyptian tank on the streets of Cairo. On one of the tanks circling Freedom Square was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagi. Earlier, I had walked beside a convoy of tanks near the suburb of Garden City as crowds scrambled on to the machines to hand oranges to the crews, applauding them as Egyptian patriots. However crazed Mubarak's choice of vice-president and his gradual appointment of a powerless new government of cronies, the streets of Cairo proved what the United States and EU leaders have simply failed to grasp. It is over.

  3. ...Mubarak's feeble attempts to claim that he must end violence on behalf of the Egyptian people – when his own security police have been responsible for most of the cruelty of the past five days – has elicited even further fury from those who have spent 30 years under his sometimes vicious dictatorship. For there are growing suspicions that much of the looting and arson was carried out by plainclothes cops – including the murder of 11 men in a rural village in the past 24 hours – in an attempt to destroy the integrity of the protesters campaigning to throw Mubarak out of power. The destruction of a number of communications centres by masked men – which must have been co-ordinated by some form of institution – has also raised suspicions that the plainclothes thugs who beat many of the demonstrators were to blame.

    But the torching of police stations across Cairo and in Alexandria and Suez and other cities was obviously not carried out by plainclothes cops. Late on Friday, driving to Cairo 40 miles down the Alexandria highway, crowds of young men had lit fires across the highway and, when cars slowed down, demanded hundreds of dollars in cash. Yesterday morning, armed men were stealing cars from their owners in the centre of Cairo.

  4. ...Infinitely more terrible was the vandalism at the Egyptian National Museum. After police abandoned this greatest of ancient treasuries, looters broke into the red-painted building and smashed 4,000-year-old pharaonic statues, Egyptian mummies and magnificent wooden boats, originally carved – complete with their miniature crews – to accompany kings to their graves. Glass cases containing priceless figurines were bashed in, the black-painted soldiers inside pushed over. Again, it must be added that there were rumours before the discovery that police caused this vandalism before they fled the museum on Friday night. Ghastly shades of the Baghdad museum in 2003. It wasn't as bad as that looting, but it was a most awful archeological disaster.

    In my night journey from 6th October City to the capital, I had to slow down when darkened vehicles loomed out of the darkness. They were smashed, glass scattered across the road, slovenly policemen pointing rifles at my headlights. One jeep was half burned out. They were the wreckage of the anti-riot police force which the protesters forced out of Cairo on Friday. Those same demonstrators last night formed a massive circle around Freedom Square to pray, "Allah Alakbar" thundering into the night air over the city.

  5. ...And there are also calls for revenge. An al-Jazeera television crew found 23 bodies in the Alexandria mortuary, apparently shot by the police. Several had horrifically mutilated faces. Eleven more bodies were discovered in a Cairo mortuary, relatives gathering around their bloody remains and screaming for retaliation against the police.

    Cairo now changes from joy to sullen anger within minutes. Yesterday morning, I walked across the Nile river bridge to watch the ruins of Mubarak's 15-storey party headquarters burn. In front stood a vast poster advertising the benefits of the party – pictures of successful graduates, doctors and full employment, the promises which Mubarak's party had failed to deliver in 30 years – outlined by the golden fires curling from the blackened windows of the party headquarters. Thousands of Egyptians stood on the river bridge and on the motorway flyovers to take pictures of the fiercely burning building – and of the middle-aged looters still stealing chairs and desks from inside.

    Yet the moment a Danish television team arrived to film exactly the same scenes, they were berated by scores of people who said that they had no right to film the fires, insisting that Egyptians were proud people who would never steal or commit arson. This was to become a theme during the day: that reporters had no right to report anything about this "liberation" that might reflect badly upon it. Yet they were still remarkably friendly and – despite Obama's pusillanimous statements on Friday night – there was not the slightest manifestation of hostility against the United States. "All we want – all – is Mubarak's departure and new elections and our freedom and honour," a 30-year-old psychiatrist told me. Behind her, crowds of young men were clearing up broken crash barriers and road intersection fences from the street – an ironic reflection on the well-known Cairo adage that Egyptians will never, ever clean their roads.

  6. ...Mubarak's allegation that these demonstrations and arson – this combination was a theme of his speech refusing to leave Egypt – were part of a "sinister plan" is clearly at the centre of his claim to continued world recognition. Indeed, Obama's own response – about the need for reforms and an end to such violence – was an exact copy of all the lies Mubarak has been using to defend his regime for three decades. It was deeply amusing to Egyptians that Obama – in Cairo itself, after his election – had urged Arabs to grasp freedom and democracy. These aspirations disappeared entirely when he gave his tacit if uncomfortable support to the Egyptian president on Friday. The problem is the usual one: the lines of power and the lines of morality in Washington fail to intersect when US presidents have to deal with the Middle East. Moral leadership in America ceases to exist when the Arab and Israeli worlds have to be confronted.

    And the Egyptian army is, needless to say, part of this equation. It receives much of the $1.3bn of annual aid from Washington. The commander of that army, General Tantawi – who just happened to be in Washington when the police tried to crush the demonstrators – has always been a very close personal friend of Mubarak. Not a good omen, perhaps, for the immediate future.

    So the "liberation" of Cairo – where, grimly, there came news last night of the looting of the Qasr al-Aini hospital – has yet to run its full course. The end may be clear. The tragedy is not over.

    Like Robert Fisk on The Independent

  7. Learn.

    The unfolding Egyptian revolution tells us something.

    The first victim of repression is the internet.
    Which tells us another thing:

    The internet is the greatest force for democracy and truth that has ever been created

  8. I am certain that the worry is all across the Middle East.

    From: Haaretz

    Three or four days ago, Egypt was still in our hands. The army of pundits, including our top expert on Egypt, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, said that "everything is under control," that Cairo is not Tunis and that Mubarak is strong. Ben-Eliezer said that he had spoken on the phone with a senior Egyptian official, and he assured him that there's nothing to worry about. You can count on Fuad and Hosni, both about to become has-beens.

    On Friday night everything changed. It turned out that the Israeli intelligence estimates, which were recited ad nauseum by the court analysts, were again, shall we say, not the epitome of accuracy. The people of Egypt had their say, and had the nerve not to fall in line with Israeli wishes. A moment before Mubarak's fate is sealed, the time has come for drawing the Israeli conclusions.

    Not a plague of darkness in Egypt but the light of the Nile: the end of a regime propped up by bayonets is foretold. It can go on for years, and the downfall sometimes comes at the least expected time, but in the end it will happen. Not only Damascus and Amman, Tripoli and Rabat, Tehran and Pyongyang: Ramallah and Gaza are also destined to be shaken.

  9. Wait til we hear from Desert Rat turd his explanation that Israel is the source of all problems in the ME

    Look at a map of North Africa and the Middle East and imagine the Muslim Brotherhood in most of the countries. They're not too far off right now. They would control both ends of the Suez Canal. What price petrol?

    Now back off and look at the whole of Europe with its heavy Muslim population.

    What's a likely future? I call it the greatest Crusade or WWIII.

  10. Muslim Brotherhood waiting in the wings, salivating. Freedom at last!
    The light of the Nile!

  11. The MB reports 39 of their brothers have escaped from prison.
    True, Obama is eliminating the home mortgage tax deduction, but it shouldn't impact the average American living in the new communes.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. The Europeons have been settling in the Middle East, while Middle Easterners have been settling in Europe.

    Even trade.

    Getting what they asked for, or unintended consequence.

    Makes little difference in the United States. We treat with all of them.
    The 1,000 battle tanks in Egypt and the the arms sales to the Saudi King, proof positive, of that.

  14. Just wait until the democracy movement reaches eastern Saudi Arabia.

    Then the inevitable climax of the US adventure in Iraq and the ineptitude of the US neo-cons will be fully evident, to all.

  15. Not Israel, boob, but the United States and its lengthy and continued support of the Camp David Accords is much to blame for the situation in Egypt. If an outside force is to be found fault with.

    Now that Israel is part of that situation, puts them in the mix, but Israel is not at fault, just one of the players.

    If the US had not meddled in the conflict between Europeon settlers in Israel and the Arabs of the Islamic Arc, much would be different, today.

    If the Brits and the Gauls had not invaded Egypt, from Israel, in 1956 much would be different, today.

    If the US had not supplied Egypt with 1,000 main battle tanks, since 1980 but with 10,000 plowshares, much would be different, today.

    If the US had not subsidized the Israeli and Egyptian governments, since 1980, much would be different, today.

    The purse provides the power.
    With the power goes the responsibility.

  16. How much does an Egyptian soldier make?

  17. This is interesting to scroll through why you have a coffee. Take note of the attachable baby chairs in one of the advertisements. Can you imagine what the lawyers were missing then?

    February, 1968 - Life

  18. The rank $ file, not much.

    It is a conscription service.

    Egypt has a mandatory military service program for males between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Conscription is regularly postponed for students until the end of their studies, as long as they apply before they turn twenty-eight years of age. By the age of thirty a male is considered unfit to join the army and pays a fine. Males with no brothers, or those supporting parents are exempted from the service. Former President Sadat added that any Egyptian who has dual nationality is exempted from military service and this is still in effect till today. Males serve for a period ranging from fourteen months to thirty-six months depending on their education; highschool drop-outs serve for thirty-six months. College graduates serve for lesser periods of time, depending on their education, and college graduates with special skills are still conscripted yet at a different rank and at a different pay scale with the option of remaining with the service as a career. Some Egyptians evade conscription and travel overseas until they reach the age of thirty, at which point they are tried, pay a $580 fine (as of 2004), and are dishonorably discharged. Such an offense, legally considered an offense of "bad moral character", prevents the "unpatriotic" citizen from ever holding public office.

  19. Males serve for a period ranging from fourteen months to thirty-six months depending on their education; highschool drop-outs serve for thirty-six months.

    College graduates serve for lesser periods of time, depending on their education, and college graduates with special skills are still conscripted yet at a different rank and at a different pay scale with the option of remaining with the service as a career.

  20. Stella: The first victim of repression is the internet.
    Which tells us another thing:

    The internet is the greatest force for democracy and truth that has ever been created

    Damn, Stella, you are one sharp cookie. Too bad I'm spoken for!

  21. Keep an eye on Yemen. It's in about the same sorry mess (only worse) as Tunisia.

    They're down to a half a gallon of oil/day, and dropping rapidly.

    23 Million broke-assed folks, there - right on the border with Saudi Arabia.

  22. Add in Coal, Nuclear, Nat Gas, Hydro, Biofuels, etc, we probably use 20 times that much per capita.

  23. We might want to leave that 50,000 troops in Iraq there for awhile longer. Maybe, slide them down a little closer to Saudi-land. That's why I supported the Iraq invasion in the first place.

  24. If Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing, I say we give him one this year and also in 2012. And in Jan. 2013 a gold watch.

  25. Hosni Mubarak: "This sucks. I got a lecture on transparency from a dude who can't even show us his own birth certificate"

  26. Religion of peace: Muslim Brotherhood directs Hamas gunmen from Gaza to battle Egyptian forces in Sinai

  27. I wonder if Barry will come from under his bed when our stock market opens tomorrow.

    He may come out to see how his new buddies the MB are doing.

  28. The population of Yemen was about 28 million according to July 2005 estimates, with 46% of the population being under 15 years old and 2.7% above 65 years. In 1950, it was 4.3 million.[40][41] By 2050, the population is estimated to increase to about 60 million.[42]

    Yemen has one of the world's highest birth rates; the average Yemeni woman bears six children. Although this is similar to the rate in Somalia to the south, it is roughly twice as high as that of Saudi Arabia and nearly three times as high as those in the more modernized Persian Gulf states. Yemen's population is increasing by 700,000 every year.

  29. What if this happens in China?

    Then what for all our outsourced items? How many very poor peasants in China?

    I'll bet all those US treasuries are looking like they may not want to be dumped for quite sometime.

  30. However this Egypt deal turns out, the future is clear. Hundreds of Millions of young, restless people, raised on rising oil revenues (and little else,) seeing their future starting to turn even more sour than previously supposed.

    Their parents, and grandparents seeing their ability to buy even the most basic food staples withering away.

    Welcome to "peak oil."

  31. China is safe "for awhile." They know how to work; and their religion doesn't prevent it.

  32. The Islamists keep their women wrapped up in burqas, and used for nothing but breeding.

    The Chinese put them to work assembling IPods.

  33. I'm not crazy about Communism, but, overall, I'd say the Chinese approach is more sensible than that of the Mohammedans.

  34. If I were an Israeli I'd be concerned.

    Egypt wouldn't be the first Country to try and take the peons' minds off of a bad economic situation by drumming up a war.

  35. And, although there is not much comparison between the two militaries, 1,000 M1A1's can do some damage.

  36. Could we get drug in?

    With both friggin' feet.

  37. Egypt wouldn't be the first Country to try and take the peons' minds off of a bad economic situation by drumming up a war.

    Funny how a couple mushroom clouds can get their concentration back.

  38. That might be what it would take.

  39. The fundamental problem in Egypt, as in many other countries, is that there are far too many people in a country with limited resources. Unfortunately, the uneducated have endless children and then wonder why they can't pull themselves out of poverty. It is these very people who support (or more accurately, are duped by) the Muslim Brotherhood.

    It appears to me that there will certainly be a regime change. Mubarak is not a young man and will want to influence events, but surely he knows it is time for him let go and find a new president.

    I hope expectations of a new president are not too high because it will be an almost impossible task to put adequate food on the tables of all their poor at reasonable prices in the foreseeable future.

    Many are angry at the government because they, justifiably, want jobs. Anarchy and looting are not going to help them very much. An orderly transition to a new regime is their only hope for the near future.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. THIS is what "Peak Oil" looks like.

    You'll notice that Egypt peaked around '95, and even though production ticked up just a whit in the last couple of years, Consumption rose faster.

    Now, they've got twice as many people as they can feed, and no money to speak of coming in from oil exports. In fact, the IEA shows Egypt "Importing" 100,000 bbl/day.

    There are many oil 'producers' in this situation. Some haven't gotten to the "wreck," yet; but most will be arriving very soon.

  42. I'm not crazy about Communism, but, overall, I'd say the Chinese approach is more sensible than that of the Mohammedans.

    I somewhat agree, but what are the current alternatives on offer to them? Who are the opposition parties, apart from Muslim Brotherhood?

    Mr Mubarak's National Democratic Party is, as I am sure that you know, a member of the Socialist International.

  43. The Asian, U.S., European and other secular governments have a well founded fear of a government controlled by Muslim fundamentalists.

    People driven by their religion, are to be feared, whether its militant Islam or militant anything else. They all have in common a nearly impossible nature to deal with.

    They believe God is guiding their steps so whatever they do must be right. The people of Egypt are making a choice. Lets hope that their choice is not the Muslim Brotherhood. The last thing the world needs is another large and powerful country with their governing decisions driven by religious dogma.

  44. I agree with everything Stella says including the parts where she disagrees with me. I hope there is no contradiction there, but if there is I am open to further discussion.

  45. Stella, Islam has Screwed them. I'm afraid there is no hope.

    They have no money, and do not know how to "work."

  46. Speaking from a "Societal" standpoint, not an "individual" standpoint.

    As individuals they know how to work; as a society, they don't.

    Islam has f'd them good.

  47. Sir, thanks for the tip of the bowler but I am going to Nordstroms and treat myself to some Jimmy Choo and a cappuccino.

    Bye, bye.

  48. All the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. (Ezekiel 29:6)

  49. Apology…Right…

    Teresita said…

    I'm not holding my breath. He's all over my ass on Belmont Club too, quibbling over every little post. Fri Jan 28, 01:05:00 PM EST

    Yes, my little dumpling, I am having your lunch at the BC. But you make it so easy with those “little” posts where you get a great big kick out of making cutesy comments about KFC, chickens, Jews and Nazi ovens? Then, when caught with both feet and Eichmann in your mouth, you try to turn the conversation elsewhere. You can sell that garbage here, but at the BC, no way.

    Re: my deleted comments

    Whit and Deuce can deny deleting my comments till the cows come home. They know it happened. I know it happened. And most regulars know it happened.

  50. Probably should have happened more often.

  51. Who denied deleting your comments? From the beginning, we have been transparent on the matter. We have explained it to you several times. If you, in your pique, cannot accept our explanations and insist on harboring resentment, that's your problem. I'm done with you.

  52. Furthermore, if you insist on bringing your "defecations" here, I'll start deleting wholesale.


  53. You hate rude behavior in a man? How would you know?

    Feel free to remove everything I have ever posted. You are still a liar and a coward.

    O, and glad I could help you find a more adult word than your usual trash.

  54. Blogger Deuce said...

    What if this happens in China?

    ummm, dude, it already did happen once in China. They are concerned that it might occur again hence the reluctance to dampen the red hot economy.

    I find the Egyptians anger at their government similar to the current sentiment in the US. In Egypt, however, they don't have the cover of 'a government by the people for the people'. They very well may achieve better democracy, one that reflects the opinion of the majority - the Palestinians did and we overturned it. That hasn't worked out so well.

  55. the Palestinians did and we overturned it.

    We did? I don't remember that.

  56. Remember the Hamas victory and the US (and some other countries) subsequent actions?

  57. Hamas is still in power in Gaza.

    We don't have to recognize them just because they were 'democratically' elected.

  58. and therein lies the root of our problems with the Egyptians - we talk democracy but cynically support dictators and undermine democratically elected folk to suit our interest.

  59. Adolf Hitler was elected, too.

    In Egypt, Mohammed el-Baradei is acting as if he has been already been elected. Haaretz is reporting that he is in talks with the Muslim Brotherhood to form a government.

  60. There is no one else in Egypt to have talks with, whit, if one wanted to form a government.

    The Socialists are wholly owned by that US proxy, Mubarak.

    No one to talk to, there amongst the Socialists, if you want to replace them. The only alternative to the Socialist Autocratic, US proxies, is the MB.

    That's how its been for the thirty years that Mubarak has represented US, there.

  61. It is not at all clear what will happen in the Egyptian revolution. It is not a surprise that this is happening.


    The demands for Mubarak’s resignation come from many quarters, including from members of the regime — particularly the military — who regard Mubarak’s unwillingness to permit them to dictate the succession as endangering the regime. For some of them, the demonstrations represent both a threat and opportunity.


    Whatever happens matters a great deal to Egyptians. But only some of these outcomes are significant to the world.

    Global Context

  62. Blogger whit said...

    Adolf Hitler was elected, too.

    well, yeah, so?

    Yes, we do have a responsibility to remain true to our convictions and that is why it is so appalling, especially so to the 'arab street' when we wax on about democracy as we invade and occupy Iraq (to deliver democracy) yet when a government is democratically elected we actively try to undermine it. Then there is the hypocrisy of the 'democracy' we've brought to Iraq. The list goes on, and on, and on, and it is no wonder that many in the world scoff at US claims of altruism in world affairs. In fact when some, such as you, claim benevolence and fair mindedness, many belly laugh.

  63. Blogger whit said...

    Hamas is still in power in Gaza.

    We don't have to recognize them just because they were 'democratically' elected.

    and, YES, if you are truly committed to democracy, you must 'recognize' Hamas if they are elected. It doesn't mean you have to change your position on anything but we should recognize them as the the representatives they've chosen.

    In advance, I will grant you the grey areas of 'being chosen' but it is clear that Hamas won in '06 (I think was the year) and that the Egyptian and Iranian elections are not what we would call 'democratic'.

  64. To clarify:

    The Iranians hold elections, the Chinese hold elections but there is a material difference between a those two States (Egypt as well) where the government disallows many candidates (in China only one party) and the Palestinian territories where Hamas actually solidly won in open monitored elections.

  65. Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and author of books including The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement, took some questions Sunday from National Review Online on the situation in Egypt.

    Kathryn Jean Lopez: Why all this optimism in the media vis-à-vis Egypt?


    Barry Rubin: Everybody likes the idea of the oppressed and repressed masses rising up against a dictatorship. Both conservatives and liberals find this appealing.


    Lopez: You’ve compared U.S. policy in response to what’s going on in Egypt with its policy on recent uprisings in Iran. Why is this an important point?

    Rubin: In Iran, the Obama administration generally remained silent and the stolen election, mass opposition movement, and repression had no effect on U.S. policy. Now, as Arab newspapers have noted, the administration is taking a tough line against the Egyptian regime.


    Lopez: What would you advise reporters as they watch what is going on?

    Rubin: There are three key decisions.

    First, will the army and elite push out Mubarak in order to make the regime’s survival more likely?

    Second, will the army stick together and step in to restore order? Is it waiting to force Mubarak’s resignation?


    Third, will the Muslim Brotherhood decide that a revolutionary situation is at hand and stake everything on pushing for the regime’s end? The leaders know that if they are wrong they will end up dead or in concentration camps.

    Cautions About Egypt

  66. My own reaction to the election of Hamas was "fine, now the responsibility will be on the heads of the electorate."

    I haven't had much to say about what's happening in Egypt. I'm just waiting to see how it shakes out. I think all people should be free to elect whomever they wish but they must be prepared to pay the consequences.

    BTW - Has Hamas held elections lately?

  67. A mob, riots and an election do not constitute a democracy.

  68. Blogger whit said...

    My own reaction to the election of Hamas was "fine, now the responsibility will be on the heads of the electorate

    But that is NOT what the US government did (nor the Canadian for that matter). Instead they actively undermined Hamas, fomented Civil war backing Fatah led by Abbas.

    I have little sympathy for Hamas (or Hezbollah) or the Muslim Brotherhood but many in their respective countries do and we need respect that if we want to deal openly and honestly with them. In fact by cynically siding with those who further our goals but who don't represent the majority of their constituents we are open to backlash if 'our guys' lose power. It looks like we could experience this backlash as 'our man in Egypt' Mubarak falls.

  69. Blogger whit said...

    A mob, riots and an election do not constitute a democracy.

    They certainly don't but revolution seems to follow the lack of democracy and revolution often contains mobs, riots and other unpleasantness.

  70. BEIJING, Jan 30, 2011 (AFP) - China’s state broadcaster is facing questions after Internet users spotted that footage in a report on air force manoeuvres in a national newscast was taken from the 1980s Hollywood film "Top Gun".

  71. Boston, 1775 & 76

    Mobs, riots and elections.

    Yes, it was a revolution and a democracy, well a democratic republic.

  72. The US, whit, will not allow for new elections amongst the Palestinians.

    Wikileaks to the rescue, the truth wins out.

    That is despite the fact that the democratic legitimacy of both the Palestinian president and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), and prime minister, Salam Fayyad, is strongly contested among Palestinians, and there are no plans for new elections in either the West Bank or Gaza.

    "The new US administration expects to see the same Palestinian faces (Abu Mazen and Salam Fayyad) if it is to continue funding the Palestinian Authority," the then assistant secretary of state David Welch is recorded as telling Fayyad in November 2008. Most of the PA's funding comes from the US and European Union.

    Almost a year later, the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, reacted angrily to news that Abbas had threatened to resign and call for new presidential elections. She told Palestinian negotiators: "Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] not running in the election is not an option – there is no alternative to him." The threat was withdrawn and no election was held.

    The US consulate in Jerusalem reported to Washington in December 2009 that "despite all its warts and imperfections, Fatah remains the only viable alternative to Hamas if Palestinian elections occur in the near future," according to a cable released by Wikileaks.

    The US government's private determination to use its financial and military leverage to keep the existing regime in place — while publicly continuing to maintain that Palestinians are free to choose their own leaders — echoes the Bush administration's veto on attempts to create a Palestinian national unity administration after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

    Obama administration told Palestinian Authority its leaders must remain in office if it wants to retain US financial backing

  73. I thought of that, Rat. We even had mobs, too. But then came the hard part.

  74. The US is maintaining the status que, in Palestine, out of fear Hamas will win big, if there are another round of elections.

    Leaked Documents: Obama, Clinton Reject Palestinian Elections Out of Hand

    Jerusalem – PNN - Just days after President Obama was elected in the United States, the new administration rejected Palestinian democracy in favor of propping up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to leaked documents obtained by Al Jazeera.
    Clinton told Palestinian negotiators in 2009, “Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] not running in the election is not an option—there is no alternative to him.” Elections in 2009 were not held as a result.

  75. The US, whit, will not allow for new elections amongst the Palestinians.

    That's not entirely accurate, Rat, and the rest of the story is that Hamas refused to let the election take place in Gaza.

  76. By the CNN Wire Staff -

    Charter flights will begin Monday to ferry the first of many Americans away from the escalating crisis in Egypt.

  77. Matter of perception, whit.

    Yours or theirs.

    It is their country, the report by the PNN represents their view. That is the reality on the ground, there.

    What the reality is in Florida, matters a whole lot less.

  78. The 26 Jan 11 report coincides with the Egyptian situation.

    The date of your referenced reporting was ... ?

  79. There was no Palestinian election, after the '06 debacle, whit.

    Not that I am aware of.

    Nor that is referenced on Google.

  80. We've been holding that mess together with baling twine, and pigeon shit for a long time, but I think it's about to come apart.

    Well, it should make for one hell of a show.

  81. The caca will hit the rotating blades.

    Where will the Army of conscripts stand, if it even tries to make a stand?

  82. Those elections were never held, so the proposed ban was meaningless.

    Nothing but posturing on both sides of the Palestinian aisle.

  83. Abbas was playing the US, as Hamas was playing Abbas.

    The US and Hamas on the same side, in 2009, as far as Palestinian elections went.

  84. Egypt’s internal security forces are reportedly redeploying across the country Jan. 30 after abandoning the streets the previous day in a demonstration, showing what chaos would ensue should they be undermined by the military. As the protests show early signs of dwindling, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, who have negotiated a stay in power so far, are likely betting that the protesters, who thus far have been unable to coalesce into a unified group, will clear the streets under pressure.


    Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly reportedly ordered Egyptian police patrols to redeploy across Egypt during a Jan. 30 meeting with the commanders of the Central Security Forces (CSF) in Nasr city east of Cairo.


    The demonstrators are still largely carrying with them the perception that the military is their gateway to a post-Mubarak Egypt and the CSF is representative of the regime they are trying to topple. It remains to be seen how much longer that perception of the military holds.

    Police Redeploying

  85. The politics of exclusion, seems to be the norm, over there.

  86. The best thing that can happen for Egypt is that Mubarak remain in power and Egypt quickly proceeds to fair, honest elections.

  87. A nice, peaceful, democratic handover of power. Unfortunately, when did Egypt ever enjoy that freedom?

  88. Egyptian protesters turned to the army and to a retired diplomat to maintain momentum in efforts to unseat Hosni Mubarak, but as the president's Western backers called for change he met the generals who can keep him in power.


    Describing Obama's calls with world leaders, the White House said: "The president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."


    "Mubarak has to leave. We won't leave until he falls," said medical student Ahmed Fathi as he demonstrated in eastern Cairo.

    Urging Reform

  89. The White House said that Obama had sought input from European and Middle Eastern officials, and has told them that the US is focused on opposing violence and supporting broad democratic rights, including the right to peaceful assembly and speech.

    Obama had also spoken with leaders from Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon, also speaking at the African Union's summit in Addis Ababa, called on the Egyptian government to respect fundamental freedoms and human rights.

    Curbing Violence

  90. Ms Gillard said she understood the yearning of people in Egypt and across the Middle East for democracy and freedom.

    "We do understand that yearning but we also want to see as much calm and restraint as possible, we don't want to see people losing their lives," she said.

    "We're certainly calling on Egypt to respond to the very legitimate desires of the Egyptian people for change."

    Leaving Egypt

  91. .

    Boston, 1775 & 76

    Mobs, riots and elections.

    Yes, it was a revolution and a democracy, well a democratic republic.

    But we're exceptional rat.

    Or don't you believe so?


  92. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are universal, Q.

    They were endowed, by the Creator, to all men.
    Not just the exceptional.

  93. What do you call twelve Democrats wandering around in a Chicago cemetery?

    A Rahm Emmanuel "get-out-the-vote" rally!

  94. So it begins... the revision of the Muslim Brotherhood's history. In the coming days the Left will claim they're not extremists.

  95. On the BC Allen characterizes the EB thus:

    Give him the tour of your girls’ club, a place where a neo-Nazi can get some respect.

    Which is ironic because there was another blog, Observanda, formerly listed in the link list here, that called the Elephant Bar RINO Heaven.

    Can't please everybody I guess.

  96. Muslim Brotherhood is not Taliban and Egyptians are not idiots like Pakistanis. Egyptian Army does not have any inferiority complex over any of its neighbours as Pak military suffes. It is unwise for the American President to be silent. If he speaks up he will lose only the friendship of Mr. Mubarak, Egypt is more important than individuals. The restrained Army's conduct shows they cannot be taken for a ride by Muslim Brotherhood. The world should ask Mubarak to announce a general election in 4 months and also about his stepping down.