“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."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where Goes Egypt?

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Egypt Arrests 19 Al-Qaida Suspects

Authorities in Egypt have arrested 19 people with suspected links to al-Qaida.

Egypt's interior minister said in an interview with the state-owned Al-Ahram daily on Tuesday that the group includes Tunisians and Libyans.

Habib al-Adly said the group was using Egypt as a transit point from which they would travel to Iraq to join al-Qaida groups there. He added that security forces had confiscated weapons and ammunition.

The interior minister did not say when or where the arrests occurred, but he added that the group was not behind a church bombing on New Year's Day that killed 23 people and wounded nearly 100 others in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria.

On Sunday, al-Adly announced that the government believes the church attack was carried out by the Army of Islam, a Palestinian group linked to al-Qaida.

The Army of Islam denied any involvement, in a swift response to the allegations.

Egyptian protesters who took to the streets in their tens of thousands to demand an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule are regrouping and preparing for fresh demonstrations.
Violent clashes in the early hours of the morning in Cairo's central plaza, Tahrir Square, and reports suggest four people died in yesterday's protests, but opponents to the Mubarak regime appear undeterred.
It remains unclear as to how the scale of the protests will compare to yesterday (which was a national holiday) but the mood last night was defiant. Protesters had vowed to occupy Tahrir Square until the regime fell but were dispersed by security forces using tear gas, water cannon and firing on demonstrators, according to eyewitness accounts. Security forces have said they will not permit protesters to reassemble today.


  1. Obama's words are just that, words. What is going on in Egypt may be far more reaching.

    In Egypt, the future of Hosni Mubarak looks questionable. Hosni Mubarak's son is not the man who Egyptians want. He is a lightweight businessman who will not be able to rescue Egypt from its own corruption.

    Islamists are poised to exploit the turmoil.

  2. Mubarak is 80 years old. His future looks questionable anyway, same with Castro.