Saturday, February 5, 2011

America is about to begin a love affair with the Arab world

Philip Weiss

"And while no one can be sure how this one will play out, this much I am sure of: America is about to begin a love affair with the Arab world. The romance of this revolution will soon come to our shores. Americans will come to regard Arabs with not just respect but prestige. Arab culture will become hip. Hookahs and humus will be the rage. Arab artists and performers will come to the White House. New York networks and theaters and museums will celebrate Arab magnificence. And more and more people will wear kuffiyehs.

This is inevitable because the pleasure, eloquence and beauty of Arab culture have been dammed up too long in the American psyche, and this is a dam break. The neoconservatives who infected us with racist ideas are on the run, it has been more than 30 years since Edward Said published Orientalism, enough time to bear fruit. But most of all the love affair is a necessary response to the incredible policy errors of our government. We are far enough away from 9/11 and the Iraq war to understand that the U.S. made grave errors in its conduct.....

.....All the neocon lies about Arabs wanting to restore the Caliphate and smoldering Arab resentment over civilizational decline contained a shadow truth, of Arab greatness as members of the human family. They have been outcast too long. They are home at last. Let the Angry Arab stop being angry, let Abunimah into the NY Review of Books, break out the tabbouleh and the oud.

You can't be neutral on a moving train


Revolutions happen all the time, sometimes they succeed sometimes fail. We have seen example of both recently: Tunisia and Iran. What is happening now in Egypt is monumental on both the regional and the global level. Egypt is the heart of the Arab world and with Egypt out of the Arab/Israeli conflict since Camp David the Arab world has been lifeless, without hope, with one defeat after another (with the exception of Hizbullah's 2 victories over Israel) The entire history of the past 60 years is riding on Egypt and Tahrir Square now. Israel, Obama , EU , Saudi they all know that it is IMPERATIVE to defeat the revolution. They have given up on keeping the Mubarak clan in power for another quarter of a century but they have not given up on preserving the structure, the base and substance of the corrupt regime who gave us the 2 worst Egyptians ever : Hussni and Anwar.

In Order to achieve that goal , Obama and Israel instructed the regime to engage the people into a war of attrition. They are not giving an inch , they are not going anywhere , they are not going to care or cave in to the demands of the 79 Million Egyptians. While slowly weakening the people and terrorizing them and abusing them. The people have exploded and they have marched and they have sacrificed but I am afraid that is not enough. The Army while being "neutral" has done and played a very sinister role : It is helping the regime by containing the people NOT the thugs or the Mukhabarat. The People must realize the Army is not "Neutral" or as the Late Howard Zinn said "You can not be Neutral on a moving Train"... The train is moving and the people must do something different other than march and bleed to death while the filthy regime stays in power. Obviously a peaceful change of power is not going to be an option, which leaves violence as the only means to change the regime. The people are not armed and the only thing they can do is storm the palaces and the residences of the core of the regime that is their only option. Negotiations , waiting for a new core of the Dhubaat Al-Ahrar from the Army to take charge of take the people's side is almost impossible, The west , Obama all they want is to protect Israel and to do that they will sacrifice millions of Egyptians. The People must take the next step, I am afraid if they don't this uprising will be contained and fail.

الثورة المصرية الكبرى: آفاق ومخاطر


ربما كانت ثورة تونس المجيدة هي السبابة التي ضغطت على الزناد، وربما بلغ السيل الزبى على أية حال. وكان الزناد هو الشباب المصري الواعي والمثقف الذي يمثل نقيض الثقافة التي نشرها النظام
كل من حاول أو يحاول أن يلخص مطلب المتظاهرين بذهاب الرئيس، إنما يسعى إلى احتواء الثورة أو إجهاضها والالتفاف عليها بإبقاء نظام الحكم كما هو
الوعود في ظل الثورة لا تعني شيئا في غيابها. وقد ينتقل النظام إلى الهجوم على الثوار وفتح معسكرات الاعتقال لهم إذا سمح له بالاستمرار وفضت الثورة لأنه وعد
تحتاج الثورة إلى مثقفين يبلورون ويصيغون أهدافها ويشرحونها وخططها الإستراتيجية، وليس أن يستغلوها في ترتيب علاقاتهم مع نظام قائم يفترضون دوامَه، أو لنصرة جناح على جناح داخل النظام
ليس الموضوع عناد شخص وطباعه الشخصية بل إنها زمرة حاكمة تحاول الدفاع عن نفسها وعن مصالحها وأن تنقذ نفسها في الصراع. إنه صراع سياسي وليس شخصيا

لقد أخرجت الثورة المصرية من الشعب أفضل ما فيه، وأظهرت صورة من التمدن والتنوع والحوار والتواضع غير مألوفة في الحياة السياسية المصرية في ظل النظام. فمتى سمعنا آخر مرة خطيب يوم الجمعة يتحدث عن ملايين المصريين والمصريات أو يتحدث عن أخلاق الإسلام والمسيحية، ومتى رأينا هذا الكم من الرجال والنساء المحجبات وغير المحجبات دون ظواهر التحرش، ومتى رأينا الملايين تُنشد سوية وتسير في مظاهرات منظمة من دون فوضى؟

هذه الأنظمة المستبدة تخرج أسوأ ما في مجتمعات العرب عن تعصب وطائفية وجريمة في ظلها النظام. وقد رأينا عينات من قطعان البلطجية التي أطلقها النظام أو رجالاته ضد المتظاهرين، فظهر وجه النظام المتخلف والبدائي في مقابل الشعب المتحضر، خلافا لما يروج هو عن شعبه في الغرب الذي يحتاج برأيه إلى حكم الاستبداد لأنه متخلف.

أما حين يخرج الشعب ضدها فكأنه يمر لعملية تطهر من أوساخ وقذارات ثقافة هذه الأنظمة الاستبدادية. لم يبق إنسان مصري أو عربي إلا وانفعل وأبدى انفعاله من مظاهر الزهو والفرح التي رافقت مظاهرات يوم الثلاثاء (1 فبراير/شباط) أو يوم الجمعة (4 فبراير/شباط)، في مقابل وحشة وتخلف يومي الأربعاء والخميس 2 و3 فبراير/شباط.

لقد عاد الشعب إلى ذاته وعادت مصر متصالحة مع ذاتها، ويبدو أن العرب في المرحلة الحالية إنما يتصالحون مع ذاتهم عندما يخرجون ضد الأنظمة الاستبدادية الحاكمة حالياً."

The Plague of Egypt, by Dave Brown

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Arab uprisings: why no one saw them coming

The west failed to 'see like citizens' and missed the signs that people in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen were at breaking point

Mariz Tadros, Saturday 5 February 2011

"Why did diplomats, policymakers, analysts and academics fail to see and understand the growing popular unrest in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries?

It seems that the reasons why we thought a revolution impossible were wrong, our identification of the agents of change was misguided and our understanding of how collective mobilisation happens was too narrow. We need new ways to capture what is happening on the ground through the eyes of these countries' people.......

Seeing like citizens

Informed by social movement theory about actors, agency and how change happens, we ended up asking the wrong questions as to why the people have risen. In Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, was there an organised social movement? Certainly not. Did they have visible leadership? No. Did they have a massive, or at least significant following? Not in the conventional sense of a mobilised constituency.

Our analytical perspectives failed to enable us to "see like citizens" and understand that people were overcoming barriers of fear and reaching breaking point.

However, it is not too late to be responsive: international diplomats need to side with the people now. Otherwise, it is not only the legitimacy of the current Egyptian regime that is at stake, but also the legitimacy of the entire international human rights framework."

Egypt: Why 25 January will be a date enshrined in the country's history

On the day the people decided to sever their final links with the days of the pharoahs, the rebirth of a nation began


Ayman Nour and Wael Nawara
(Ayman Nour, leader of the El Ghad party, was imprisoned in 2005 by President Mubarak and released on health grounds in 2009), Saturday 5 February 2011

"25 January is a date that will be forever remembered in Egypt. That was the day when the Egyptian people decided to end the country's last pharaonic dynasty with a people's revolution. Egyptians, it seems, were ashamed that Tunisians did it first and were determined to have their revolution too. Young Egyptians joined the "Khaled Saeed" Facebook group to launch the call for an uprising against tyranny, oppression, torture, corruption and injustice. The group was named after a young Egyptian man beaten to death by police.....

New political facts have emerged from this "revolution". The Egyptian people have demonstrated that they may be patient and peaceful to a fault, but they surely know how to make their voices heard at home and around the world. The way these spontaneous demonstrations took place and maintained a unity of demands, despite the blackout on mobile communication and stoppage of internet service, proves that a new collective conscience has been born in Egypt. In fact, Egypt itself has in these last few days been reborn."

Egypt protests: Hillary Clinton signals US backing for Omar Suleiman

US secretary of state stresses need for orderly transition headed by vice-president

Julian Borger in Munich, Saturday 5 February 2011

"The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton today signalled how far the US has swung its support behind vice-president Omar Suleiman [Surprise, Surprise!]and the transition process he is leading in Egypt.

Clinton was speaking at a security conference in Munich today, where the watchword on Egypt was the need for orderly transition [ Code language for a silent military coup.].

In her most striking remarks, the US secretary of state said: "There are forces [Such as the vast majority of the Egyptian people?] at work in any society, particularly one that is facing these kind of challenges, that will try to derail or overtake the process to pursue their own agenda, which is why I think it's important to follow the transition process announced by the Egyptian government, actually headed by vice-president Omar Suleiman."

She was presumably referring ito Suleiman's leadership of the transition rather than the government, but US officials have told their European colleagues that they view Suleiman as increasingly in control [with the torture electrodes and a water boarding kit in his hands!] ....."

Egypt protests: US resists calls to cut military aid

White House says suspension of $1.3bn in annual aid to Egypt would undermine push towards a post-Mubarak system

Ewen MacAskill in Washington, Friday 4 February 2011

"The Obama administration today resisted calls to cut its massive military aid to Egypt and is instead working behind the scenes with the commanders of the country's armed forces on how to oust President Hosni Mubarak.

The White House sees the Egyptian military as the key [Surprise, Surprise! You mean the Obama "man of the people" would be arranging for a military coup? I am shocked, just shocked!] to removing Mubarak, regarded as a necessary first step towards implementing substantive political and economic reforms. Cutting aid would risk alienating them.

The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, the chair of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and other senior Pentagon figures have been in regular contact with their Egyptian counterparts all week....

Mullen has been in contact with Lieutenant-General Sami Enan, a national hero in Egypt. Under one of the options being discussed between the US and the Egyptian military, Enan would lead the transitional process along with the new vice-president, Omar Suleiman, the former head of intelligence who is close to the military, as well as Tantawi.

The US vice-president, Joe Biden, spoke with Suleiman yesterday......"

Video: Egyptians in London protest against Mubarak

Britain's Egyptian community show their support for the uprising back home in a series of demonstrations this week

The Guardian

A 28-year old Egyptian in London:

"For the first time in my life, I am proud to say I am Egyptian!"

هيكل: صفحة النظام بمصر طويت

أجرى الحوار: فهمى هويدى

"قال الأستاذ محمد حسنين هيكل في حديث خاص للجزيرة نت إن ثورة الشباب أعادت الروح إلى الوطنية المصرية الجامعة، لكن أسوأ ما في مصر يحاول الآن بشراسة أن يقتل أنبل ما فيها، مضيفا أن الشعب أعلن كلمته يوم الثلاثاء العظيم في استفتاء لم يزور، الأمر الذي طوى صفحة النظام القائم بصورة لا رجعة فيها، رغم أننا شهدنا محاولة للالتفاف على إرادة الشعب من خلال الإيحاء بأنه خلال ستة أشهر يمكن إنجاز ما عجز النظام عن فعله خلال ثلاثين عاما.

وهو يتحدث، كان الأستاذ يتابع من شرفة بيته الأفواج التي كانت تعبر جسر الجلاء متجهة إلى ميدان التحرير للانضمام إلى الحشد الكبير الذي اعتصم به معلنا نهاية عصر وبداية عصر آخر، ولدت فيه مصر من جديد. وقد لخص تعليقه على المشهد بقوله: أخيرا قدر لمصر أن تستعيد روحها الوثابة، وأن تثبت لنفسها وللعالم أنها ما زالت تحتفظ بكبريائها، وأنها قادرة على الثورة. وإذا لم يكن لثورة شبابها الراهنة من فضل سوى إشهار تلك الرسالة على الملأ، لكان ذلك كافيا. وأضاف في هذا الصدد أن التاريخ له إملاءاته، وأن إطلاق تلك الرسالة من ميدان التحرير له رمزية عميقة الدلالة
وأضاف هيكل -في حوار خاص للجزيرة نت- أن الشعب أعلن كلمته يوم الثلاثاء العظيم في استفتاء لم يزوّر، الأمر الذي طوى صفحة النظام القائم بصورة لا رجعة فيها، رغم وجود محاولة للالتفاف على إرادة الشعب من خلال الإيحاء بأنه خلال ستة أشهر يمكن إنجاز ما عجز النظام عن فعله خلال ثلاثين عاما.

ووصف هيكل المتظاهرين المتجمعين في ميدان التحرير وسط القاهرة بأنهم "تجسيد لحلم خلاص مصر وكبريائها، وهم أنبل وأجمل ما أنجبه البلد"، مشيرا إلى أنهم "رمز لكبرياء الشعب (المصري) وحلمه".

ولفت إلى أنهم حين دعوا المصريين إلى التعبير عن غضبهم واحتجاجهم في يوم الثلاثاء العظيم، فإن ما بين خمسة وسبعة ملايين مواطن من كل أنحاء مصر استجابوا لهم، وقالوا كلمتهم بصوت هادر وقاطع في استفتاء نادر لا مثيل له.

وأشار إلى أن هذه الرسالة لم تجلجل في فضاء مصر والعالم العربي فحسب، ولكن أصداءها ترددت بقوة في أرجاء الكون بأسره، حتى تسلمها ووعاها كل معني بشأن مصر.

Al-Jazeera Video: Egyptian unrest and US media bias

Al-Jazeera Video: Listening Post - The media battle for Egypt


"Despite the best efforts of Hosni Mubarak's government, images of millions of Egyptians protesting on the streets of Cairo, Alexandra and Suez have been beamed around the world. But while the clashes between anti- and pro-Mubarak protestors dominated the airwaves, the journalists covering the fighting became targets themselves. Many were harassed, arrested and beaten while others had their equipment confiscated, but they continued to cover the story. The government pulled the plug on the country's internet connection, cut the phone lines for a time, poured propaganda out on state-controlled media but the momentum of the demonstrators was unstoppable. We trail the coverage of one of the biggest political protests in Arab history, one that came together online, dominated the headlines and sent tremors all the way from Sanaa to Washington."

Al-Jazeera Video: Tunisian cyber activists take on Egyptian cause

"Social media played in organising the uprising in Tunisia, and now, activists there are focusing their technical skills on helping anti-government protesters in Egypt.

Tunisian hackers say they will attack website belonging to the Egyptian government in solidarity with the pro-democracy activists protesting there.

Nazanine Moshir reports from Tunis."

Al-Jazeera Video: Tahrir protesters consolidate their gains

Al-Jazeera Video: Mass protests in city of Alexandria

Friday, February 4, 2011

Egypt-Israel gas pipeline attacked

Unknown attackers have blown up a pipeline that runs through Egypt's North Sinai and supplies gas to Israel, Egypt's state television reported.
It was not immediately clear what impact Saturday's blast had on gas flows.
"Saboteurs took advantage of the security situation and blew up the gas pipeline," a state television correspondent reported, saying there was a big explosion.
He also blamed the blast on"terrorists".
Residents in the area also reported a huge explosion and said flames were raging in an area near the pipeline in the El-Arish area of north Sinai.
According to a security source, the Egyptian army closed the main source of the gas supply to the pipeline.
"The armed forces and the authorities managed to close the main the source of flow and are trying to control the fires," the source said.


د. بشارة: الثورة ليست مطالب اصلاحية بل لتغيير النظام

Courtesy of

It feels good to be Arab these days

The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are a great awakening for Arabs led to believe they were incapable of change

The Guardian.UK

"The Arab awakening, for that is what it is, which began in Tunisia and is now gripping Egypt, has taken western powers, and indeed the world, by surprise. Yet it is the Arab people themselves, myself included, men and women of all ages, who have been most surprised by what is happening – perhaps even more than the region's dictators and regimes. Until now, it has been accepted and tacitly taught in Arab society that Arabs are weak, incapable of change, of holding their destiny in their own hands.

It is said that since the great Arab conquests of the first millennium and Saladin's victories, Arabs have known only defeats, decline and degeneration, a fate doomed to persist. What is happening today has great political significance: in one form or another, there will be political change in Egypt, which will affect the whole region. But this revolution is also cultural: bringing an incredible shift in Arabs' perception of themselves and what they're capable of achieving."

Syrians Staying Home

Joshua Landis (Syria Comment blog)
"Syrians seem to be staying at home this Friday. It is raining in Damascus. Friends there say it is calm and everyone is watching events in Egypt on Aljazeera. A friend who runs a travel agency says he has gotten a first wave of cancellations due to the Egyptian events. People don’t distinguish – its all the Middle East.
Several months ago, I wrote in Foreign Policy that “Syria will work to isolate the United States in the Middle East” by forcing it to chose between Arab friends and Israel. That process is happening much faster than I thought. The Egyptian democracy movement has forced Washington to chose between the Arab people and US pro-Israel interests. Washington has hesitated. Now Republicans are calling for an end to US military cooperation with Turkey because Erdoghan does not want to share intelligence with Israel and aim missiles at Iran. Again, Washington is being forced to decide between its Middle Eastern interests and Israel. Congress is likely to force Obama to side with Israel. If America burns its relations with Ankara, the US will have no friends but Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. By refusing to take a positive stand on Arab-Israeli peace or to oppose Israeli expansion into the West Bank and Golan, the US is forsaking its principles of fairness and supporting international law. In Egypt, it has fallen behind the democracy curve."

Could this video by Asmaa Mahfouz calling for an uprising have started it all?

This vlog was recorded on January 18th by Asmaa Mahfouz, the girl who helped start it all. She had shared it on her Facebook, and it had gone viral. It was so powerful and so popular, that it drove Egyptians by the thousands into Tahrir Square, and drove the Egyptian government to block Facebook .

It's not radical Islam that worries the US – it's independence

The nature of any regime it backs in the Arab world is secondary to control. Subjects are ignored until they break their chains

Noam Chomsky, Friday 4 February 2011

"'The Arab world is on fire," al-Jazeera reported last week, while throughout the region, western allies "are quickly losing their influence". The shock wave was set in motion by the dramatic uprising in Tunisia that drove out a western-backed dictator, with reverberations especially in Egypt, where demonstrators overwhelmed a dictator's brutal police.

Observers compared it to the toppling of Russian domains in 1989, but there are important differences. Crucially, no Mikhail Gorbachev exists among the great powers that support the Arab dictators. Rather, Washington and its allies keep to the well-established principle that democracy is acceptable only insofar as it conforms to strategic and economic objectives: fine in enemy territory (up to a point), but not in our backyard, please, unless properly tamed....."

Mubarak family fortune could reach $70bn, say experts

Egyptian president has cash in British and Swiss banks plus UK and US property

The Guardian

"President Hosni Mubarak's family fortune could be as much as $70bn (£43.5bn) according to analysis by Middle East experts, with much of his wealth in British and Swiss banks or tied up in real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and along expensive tracts of the Red Sea coast.

After 30 years as president and many more as a senior military official, Mubarak has had access to investment deals that have generated hundreds of millions of pounds in profits. Most of those gains have been taken offshore and deposited in secret bank accounts or invested in upmarket homes and hotels.

According to a report last year in the Arabic newspaper Al Khabar, Mubarak has properties in Manhattan and exclusive Beverly Hills addresses on Rodeo Drive.

His sons, Gamal and Alaa, are also billionaires. A protest outside Gamal's ostentatious home at 28 Wilton Place in Belgravia, central London, highlighted the family's appetite for western trophy assets....."

What Part of Get-Out-NOW You Don't Understand?

Mubarak's Last Gasps

From Counter-Attack to Departure Day



"According to the CIA's declassified documents and records, senior CIA operative, Kermit Roosevelt, paid $100,000 to mobsters in Tehran, in early August 1953, to hire the most feared thugs to stage pro-Shah riots.

Other CIA-paid men were brought weeks later, on August 19, into Tehran in buses and trucks to take over the streets, topple the democratically elected Iranian government, and restore Shah Reza Pahlavi to his thrown. It took the people of Iran 26 years, enormous sacrifices, and a popular revolution to overthrow the imposed, corrupt and repressive rule of the Shah.

This lesson was not lost on the minds of a small clique of officials who were meeting in desperation in the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 31, 2011, in Cairo. According to several sources including former intelligence officer Col. Omar Afifi, one of these officials was the new Interior minister, Police Gen. Mahmoud Wagdy, who as the former head of the prison system, is also a torture expert. He asked Hosni Mubarak, the embattled president to give him a week to take care of the demonstrators who have been occupying major squares around the country for about a week.....

The meeting included many security officials including Brig. Gen. Ismail Al-Shaer, Cairo’s security chief, as well as other security officers. In addition, leaders of the National Democratic Party (NDP)- the ruling party- including its Secretary General and head of the Consultative Assembly (upper house of Parliament), Safwat El-Sherif, as well as Parliament Speaker, Fathi Sorour, were briefed and given their assignments. Similarly, the retained Minister of Information, Anas Al-Feky, was fully apprised of the plan.

By the end of the meeting each was given certain tasks to regain the initiative from the street; to end or neutralize the revolution.....

Meanwhile, the last touches of a crude plan to abort the protests and attack the demonstrators were being finalized in the Interior Ministry. In the mean time, the leaders of the NPD met with the committee of forty, which is a committee of corrupt oligarchs and tycoons, who have taken over major sections of Egypt’s economy in the last decade and are close associates to Jamal Mubarak, the president’s son. The committee included Ahmad Ezz, Ibrahim Kamel, Mohamad Abu el-Enein, Magdy Ashour and others.

Each businessman pledged to recruit as many people from their businesses and industries as well as mobsters and hoodlums known as Baltagies – people who are paid to fight and cause chaos and terror. Abu el-Enein and Kamel pledged to finance the whole operation.Meanwhile,the Interior Minister reconstituted some of the most notorious officers of his secret police to join the counter-revolutionary demonstrators slated for Wednesday, with a specific plan of attack the pro-democracy protesters.

About a dozen security officers, who were to supervise the plan in the field, also recruited former dangerous ex-prisoners who escaped the prison last Saturday, promising them money and presidential pardons against their convictions. This plan was to be executed in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Damanhour, Asyout, among other cities across Egypt........

The third stage of the attack came about three hours later when dozens of assailants climbed the roofs in nearby buildings and threw hundreds of Molotov cocktails at the pro-democracy protesters below, who immediately rushed to extinguish the fires. They eventually had to put out two fires at the Egyptian museum as well. By midnight the thugs started using tear gas and live bullets from a bridge above the protesters killing five people and injuring over three dozens, ten seriously...."

The Sleeper Awakens

Egypt Emerges From Hibernation


".....Feeling the pressure, Jordan’s monarch King Abdullah II fired his cabinet as demonstrations in Amman continued. The Palestinian Authority under the discredited president Mahmoud Abbas vowed to hold municipal elections in the West Bank. Bahrain is ripe with discontent, to say the least. The same is true for Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh—who has ruled for 32-years—now says he won’t run for another term. Tunisians have already taken matters into their own hands.

Despite the best efforts of Mubarak, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel, the sleeping giant has awoken. And the mass protests we are witnessing in Egypt today … that is merely a yawn. "

Day of Departure: Massive Demonstrations Across Egypt Aim to Oust Mubarak. Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports Live from Cairo

"Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian pro-democracy protesters have returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square in defiance of violent attacks from supporters of President Hosni Mubarak in the last two days. The New York Times reports the Obama administration has opened talks with Egyptian officials on Mubarak’s immediate resignation. The proposal under discussion would see Vice President Omar Suleiman lead a transitional government before elections later this year; however, Suleiman remains deeply unpopular in Egypt. Pro-democracy organizers have labeled today the "Day of Departure," a final push for Mubarak’s immediate resignation. The demonstrations immediately swelled at the end of Friday prayers. We speak to Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who reports live from Tahrir Square....."

Eliminate the Witnesses: Committee to Protect Journalists Criticizes Mubarak’s Policy of Attacking and Silencing Journalists in Egypt

"The Mubarak regime’s violent crackdown has included deliberate targeting of journalists covering the protests across Egypt. News outlets including Al Jazeera, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, CNN, BBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Australian Broadcasting, Danish TV2 News and Swiss television have reported assaults, intimidation or arrests of their workers. We speak to Frank Smyth with the Committee to Protect Journalists, who reports there has been a record of 100 attacks on journalists, 30 detentions, 26 assaults, and eight cases of media equipment seized. “This is worst case of the most blatant violence against the press I have seen in my 24 years reporting and my 10 years at CPJ,” Smyth says. “Clearly the Mubarak regime is responsible. They are implementing a policy to eliminate witnesses to what is occurring. It seems that the Mubarak regime is attempting to literally unplug Egypt from the world.”....."

Video Report on the Battle for Tahrir: An Inside Look at How Pro-Democracy Activists Reclaimed Tahrir Square After Attacks by Mubarak Forces

"On Thursday, pro-democracy activists ventured back to Tahrir Square, to reclaim the downtown Cairo public space, which had become a battleground in the effort to oust President Hosni Mubarak. Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Hany Massoud walked through the streets, talking with Cairo residents—many who were injured from the attacks the day before—and witnessed the efforts to clean up the trash and rock-filled square while also organizing a system of grassroots resistance and community care programs to defend the square from pro-Mubarak forces who threatened to return....."

Why the US fears Arab democracy

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"In a sane world, the White House would back people power in the Middle East unconditionally. But Barack Obama is boxed in by (to cut to the chase) Israel and oil. People power only fuels Israel's paranoia about encirclement by "hostile" forces, and the Washington imperative for self-interest trumps the very ideals that the US president was championing in Cairo less than two years ago.....

Anybody believing that Washington's "orderly transition" led by Vice President Omar Suleiman (aka Sheikh al-Torture, according to protesters and human-rights activists) could satisfy Egyptian popular will believes Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin could have gotten away with a facelift......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Tahrir Square echoes with 'Go Mubarak'

Al-Jazeera Video: Cairo protests continue

Al-Jazeera Video: Interview: Dr Omar Ashour

"Dr: Omar Ashour, a lecturer in Exeter university talks about the current situation in Egypt."

Real News Video: Testimonials from Tahrir Square

Egyptians talk about their experiences and expectations on "Day of Departure"

More at The Real News

More at The Real News

Real News Video: Cairo Intifada

A report on the non-violent movements for Mubarak's ouster

(Made by: Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk)

More at The Real News

We all helped suppress the Egyptians. So how do we change?

Very few British people would beat up a poor person to get cheaper petrol. But our governments do it all the time. Why?

By Johann Hari

The Independent

"The old slogan from the 1960s has come true: the revolution has been televised. The world is watching the Bastille fall on 24/7 rolling news. An elderly thug is trying to buy and beat and tear-gas himself enough time to smuggle his family's estimated $25bn in loot out of the country, and to install a successor friendly to his interests. The Egyptian people – half of whom live on less than $2 a day – seem determined to prevent the pillage and not to wait until September to drive out a dictator dripping in blood and bad hair dye....."

Yemen: 'Day of rage' in state seen as militant threat

By Kim Sengupta
The Independent

"The country considered by the US to be second only to Afghanistan in the "war on terror" saw tens of thousands take to the streets on yesterday's "Day of Rage", with police opening fire to disperse the crowd.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in power for three decades like Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, has agreed not to run for office in the elections due in 2013, and has also insisted that his son Ahmed, seen as the political heir apparent, will not be in the running to take over the leadership......"

It feels good to be Arab these days

The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are a great awakening for Arabs led to believe they were incapable of change

Goufrane Mansour, Thursday 3 February 2011

"The Arab awakening, for that is what it is, which began in Tunisia and is now gripping Egypt, has taken western powers, and indeed the world, by surprise. Yet it is the Arab people themselves, myself included, men and women of all ages, who have been most surprised by what is happening – perhaps even more than the region's dictators and regimes. Until now, it has been accepted and tacitly taught in Arab society that Arabs are weak, incapable of change, of holding their destiny in their own hands.

It is said that since the great Arab conquests of the first millennium and Saladin's victories, Arabs have known only defeats, decline and degeneration, a fate doomed to persist. What is happening today has great political significance: in one form or another, there will be political change in Egypt, which will affect the whole region. But this revolution is also cultural: bringing an incredible shift in Arabs' perception of themselves and what they're capable of achieving......"

Egypt: Dangerous games

The machinations of the Mubarak regime could yet see much more blood spilt in Cairo


The Guardian, Friday 4 February 2011

"Blood is not the ideal lubricant for the orderly transition which all political forces in Egypt claim to want. Nor is deceit. Yet there is a clear danger of more of both as the regime in Cairo wriggles and manoeuvres for advantage. They may understand on one level that things cannot go on as they did before, but on another, some of them at least are acting as if outflanking their opponents is the main objective. There is also evidence, in the shape of a worsening of the conditions under which foreign journalists have to work, that they want to do it without the international press at their elbow.....

Lenin said of revolutions that they demonstrate two things. The first is that the people cannot go on being ruled in the old way. The second is that the rulers cannot go on ruling in the old way. Both must alter. The virtue of what came to be called "negotiated revolutions" after the transfers of power in South Africa and eastern Europe, is that a society obtains most of the benefits of radical change with few of the costs. For this you need a regime that knows its time is over. Equally, the classes who have most benefited from that regime have to be ready to give up much of what they have enjoyed in order to keep what remains. Those who have challenged the regime, on the other hand, will have to accept that elements of the old order will persist....."

Hand in Hand, to Protect the People, We Will Punish Those Behind the Violence, by Steve Bell

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Tahrir Square battleground: 'These people tried to slaughter us last night'

Anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo fight to hold square littered with bricks and burnt-out vehicles after night of bloodshed

Peter Beaumont and Jack Shenker in Cairo, Thursday 3 February 2011

".....A night of fighting that left more than 1,000 injured and several dead from gunshot wounds. Despite the denials of Egypt's government and interior ministry, both of which claimed these events were not state-orchestrated, the evidence strongly suggested otherwise.

Anti-Mubarak protesters dragged a supporter of the regime through their barricades just after 8am. In his pocket was an identity card showing him to be Ahmed Mahmoud Abdel Razik, a member of the police.

His was not the only identity card taken. Others were on display, taken as their owners were led away for interrogation in the buildings on the back streets before being handed over to the army. Despite the tensions in the crowd most captured fighters were protected from retribution by responsible protesters.....

One of those treating the injured was Dr Ibrahim Fakhr, a surgical professor. "We had shooting at 11pm last night and then again at around four in the morning from a sniper on the roof of the Egyptian Museum. We saw the laser light coming from the weapon. The latest that we have is that seven have been killed by gunfire."....

Mohamed Saleh, a 25-year-old senior accountant, surveyed the scene. "You must tell the world about this terrorism, government terrorism," he said. "We've been sitting here for eight days with no trouble, no fires, no violence – just a peaceful desire for revolution. Now civilians are being indiscriminately massacred by thugs. If the west cares so much about terrorism then why doesn't it act?

"Mubarak says he wants eight more months in power to manage a peaceful transition. Just see what the first day of that peaceful transition looks like, then you'll understand why we can't stop protesting until he leaves immediately. He is a thug and a criminal and he wants to kill us. Can you imagine what would happen to us tonight if we stood down and stopped defending ourselves? We would be slaughtered. We're fighting now for our lives."....

Elsewhere reports filtered in of other institutions perceived to be anti-Mubarak coming under attack, including the Hisham Mubarak law centre, which has previously provided legal services for arrested democracy activists, and the El Nadeem Centre for Rehabiliation of Victims of Violence, which has campaigned against police torture."

Anti-Mubarak protesters remain in Tahrir Square overnight - video

After a day of violent clashes with supporters of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, anti-government demonstrators remained in Tahrir Square for another night ahead of another mass rally planned for today, billed as the 'day of departure'
, Friday 4 February 2011

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

كرامة مصر ببقاء مبارك الملك والطاغية../

د. إبراهيم حمامي

"استغفالاً للعقول وتسفيهاً لثورة الشعب المصري بل واستهزاء بها، ما زالت أقطاب النظام المصري تحاول جاهدة تبرير الجرائم التي حصلت وتحصل ليس في ميدان التحرير فقط بل في كل مصر، وما زالت أيضاً آلة الإعلام الرسمية والمدارة من قبل بلطجية من نوع آخر تمارس التضليل والتزييف من اتهام جهات خارجية، وما زالت محاولات الالتفاف على مطالب ثوار مصر مستمرة حتى لو أدى الأمر للتضحية ببعض الرموز والرؤوس.

ما لفت انتباهي اليوم وأنا أتابع المؤتمر الصحفي لرئيس وزراء مبارك المعين حديثاً، تلك المحاولات المتكررة للظهور بمظهر من لا يعرف شيئا والحريص على التحقيق، لكنه ختم بأمر أذهلني حين ربط كرامة المصريين قاطبة ببقاء الطاغية مبارك وعدم رحيله الفوري، معتبراً المطالب تلك بأنها إهانة لكل المصريين، ومقارناً بين الملك فاروق الأول ملك مصر والسودان في حينها الذي نعته بصفات كثيرة، ومن ثم تباكى على البطل الكبير والعظيم مبارك باعتباره رمزاً للمصريين ولكرامتهم.

ليس دفاعاً عن الملكية أو عن الملك فاروق، لكن للأمانة التاريخية وللتوثيق، نوضح أن موقف الملك فاروق عام 1952 أمام مجموعة صغيرة من ضباط صغار، وليس أمام الشعب بأكمله كما هو الحال اليوم، كان أكثر وطنية وحرصاً على البلاد والعباد من موقف مبارك، بل إنه من الظلم والاجحاف المقارنة بين ملك ترك ورحل حقناً للدماء، وبين طاغية يريد أن يحرق البلاد هو ومن معه، ويضحي بالشعب بأكمله للبقاء في منصبه، متعالياً متكبراً وبشكل يوحي أنه يصنع معروفاً بالشعب المصري وكرامته ببقائه في منصبه.

هذا هو نص القرار الملكي برحيل الملك فاروق، اقرأوه وتمعّنوا فيه وقارنوه بموقف الطاغية مبارك الذي يزيد عمره عن ضعف عمر الملك فاروق في حينها!

أمر ملكي رقم 65 لسنة 1952

نحن فاروق الاول ملك مصر والسودان لما كنا نتطلب الخير دائما لأمتنا ونبتغى سعادتها ورقيها ولما كنا نرغب رغبة أكيدة فى تجنيب البلاد المصاعب التى تواجهها فى هذه الظروف الدقيقة ونزولا على إرادة الشعب قررنا النزول عن العرش لولي عهدنا الأمير أحمد فؤاد وأعهدنا أمرنا بهذا إلى حضرة صاحب المقام الرفيع علي ماهر باشا رئيس مجلس الوزراء للعمل بمقتضاه .
صدر بقصر رأس التين في 4 ذي القعدة سنة 1371هـ 26 يوليو سنة 1952

بل اقرأوا ما قاله الملك فاروق كما ورد في مذكرات محمد نجيب الشخصية:

يقول محمد نجيب في مذكراته: جئت متأخراً لوداع الملك بسبب ازدحام الطريق وكانت المحروسة في عرض البحر، فأخذت لنشاً حربياً دار بنا دورة كاملة كما تقتضي التقاليد البحرية وصعدت للمحروسة وكان الملك ينتظرني، أديت له التحية فرد عليها، ثم سادت لحظة صمت بددتها قائلا للملك لعلك تذكر أنني كنت الضابط الوحيد الذي قدم استقالته من الجيش عقب حادث 4 فبراير 1942 احتجاجاً. فرد الملك: نعم أذكر. وقلت له: حينئذ كنت مستعداً أن أضحي برزقي وبرقبتي في سبيلك، ولكن ها أنت ترى اليوم أنني نفسي أقف على رأس الجيش ضدك. فرد فاروق: إن الجيش ليس ملكي وإنما هو ملك مصر، ومصر وطني، وإذا كان الجيش قد رأى أن في نزولي عن العرش ما يحقق لمصر الخير، فإني أتمنى لها هذا.

أبعد كل ذلك يجرؤ أحمد شفيق على عقد تلك المقارنة والحديث عن كرامة المصريين التي انتهكها وينتهكها رئيسه ونظامه ليل نهار؟ أبعد كل هذا يتحدثون عن مصداقية وإعطاء فرصة، في وقت ما زالوا حتى اللحظة يتمسكون بصنم أوشك على السقوط، متهمين الجميع بتدمير البلاد إلا نظامهم الذي دمرها ويدمرها بشكل منظم؟
ليس بعد الآن، فقد قال الشعب كلمته، واجتاز حاجز الخوف وكسره، وكشف ويكشف كل تلك الالتفافات والألاعيب، متوحداً في قواه وألوان طيفه وشعاره "الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام" وهذا ما سيكون.
لا نامت أعين الجبناء

Syria: Gang Attacks Peaceful Demonstrators; Police Look On

Security Officer Threatens, Assaults Activist

"(New York) - Syria's government should immediately cease its intimidation and harassment of demonstrators expressing solidarity with pro-democracy campaigners in Egypt, Human Rights Watch said today. With calls on Facebook and Twitter for large protests in Syria on February 4, 2011, Human Rights Watch urged Syria's authorities to respect the right of Syrians to assemble peacefully.

On February 2, a group of 20 people dressed in civilian clothing beat and dispersed 15 demonstrators who had assembled in Bab Touma in old Damascus to hold a candlelight vigil for Egyptian demonstrators, one of the gathering's organizers told Human Rights Watch. The police, who were present nearby, failed to intervene, the sources said. When demonstrators went to the local police station to file a complaint, a security official insulted and slapped Suheir Atassi, one of the main organizers, and accused her of being a "germ" and an agent of foreign powers.

Security services have also detained two young male demonstrators for a few hours, one on January 29, the day the protests began, and one on February 2, and have exerted pressure on organizers to cease any public gatherings, two Syrian demonstrators told Human Rights Watch.

"President Bashar al-Assad seems to have taken a page out of the rulebook of his Egyptian counterpart," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "His security services are no longer content with simply banning protests; they seem to be encouraging thugs to attack peaceful demonstrators.".......

Syria, as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), is required under article 21 to recognize and protect the right to peaceful assembly. Restrictions on this right can only be imposed by clear laws, for strictly limited reasons, such as public safety, and only if proportionate, respecting the underlying right. Syria should also protect peaceful assemblies from disruption by third parties....."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Assad's thugs attack Pro Egyptian demonstrators

[This is the regime that the misguided Arabs (mostly sectarian ones) praise for his "Anti" stance. The day we get rid of Simba is a day as glorious as the day we get rid of Mubarak.] 
نيويورك - ، رويترز - قالت منظمة "هيومان رايتس ووتش" المعنية بحقوق الانسان امس الخميس إن السلطات السورية لم تتدخل عندما تعرض 15 شخصا للضرب لدى محاولتهم تنظيم تجمع على ضوء الشموع تأييدا للثورة المصرية.

ونقلت المنظمة ومقرها نيويورك عن ناشطين قولهم ان 20 رجلا في ثياب مدنية ضربوا وفرقوا 15 متظاهرا بينهم سهير أتاسي المدافعة عن حقوق الانسان والذين تجمعوا أمام مركز للشرطة في منطقة باب تومة يوم الاربعاء.

وقالت هيومان رايتس ووتش في بيان "يبدو أن الرئيس بشار الأسد قد نقل عن صحفة من كتاب الحكم الخاص بنظيره المصري. إذ لم يعد الأمن السوري يكتفي بمجرد منع الاحتجاجات بل انه يشجع فيما يبدو رجال العصابات على مهاجمة المتظاهرين المسالمين".

ونقل البيان عن أتاسي كيف ان ضابطا اتهمها بالعمل لحساب إسرائيل وتعامل معها بعنف عندما رفضت الرد عليه. وقالت أتاسي: "وصفني بأنني جرثومة ...وصفعني في نهاية الامر بشدة على وجهي وهدد بقتلي".

وحاول ناشطون سوريون تنظيم احتجاجات يومية تضامنا مع المتظاهرين المصريين هذا الاسبوع. وكان يشارك في كل مرة ما بين 30 و50 شخصا فقط ومنع الانتشار الأمني الكثيف معظم المتظاهرين من مواصلة مظاهراتهم. لكن ناشطين يتوقعون اعدادا اكبر يوم السبت حيث ستكون الاحتجاجات موجهة أكثر إلى الحكومة السورية.

وقال البيان "أحد المنظمين الأساسيين للمظاهرات قال لهيومان رايتس ووتش ان الاجهزة الأمنية السورية كانت تظهر في كل مكان من التجمعات وقامت بتصوير المشاركين وتحققت من أوراق هويتهم". ولم يصدر اي تعليق من السلطات السورية.

Egypt cracks down on foreign journalists

Members of international media and human rights groups arrested, attacked and beaten in intimidation campaign

Harriet Sherwood in Alexandria, Sam Jones and agencies, Thursday 3 February 2011

"Dozens of foreign journalists were arrested, attacked and beaten today as the Egyptian government and its supporters embarked on what the US state department called a "concerted campaign to intimidate" the international media.

A number of human rights workers also fell victim to crowd violence, while police raided the offices of two groups in Cairo – the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre and the Centre for Economic and Social Rights – and arrested observers. Amnesty International said one of its staff was detained at the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre with a colleague from Human Rights Watch.

The Egyptian interior ministry arrested more than 20 foreign journalists in Cairo – including the Washington Post's bureau chief and a photographer – while al-Jazeera said three of its journalists had been detained......"

Vodafone says Egyptian authorities forced it to send pro-Mubarak texts

Messages urged 'honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals'

".....A text message received on Sunday by an Associated Press reporter in Egypt appealed to the country's "honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals and protect our people and honour". Another urged Egyptians to attend a pro-Mubarak rally in Cairo on Wednesday. The first was marked as coming from "Vodafone". The other was signed: "Egypt Lovers."

Vodafone said the messages had been drafted by Egyptian authorities and that it had no power to change them. "Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable. We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator."

The company said its competitors – including Egypt's Mobinil and the United Arab Emirates' Etisalat – were doing the same. Vodafone said the texts had been sent "since the start of the protests" but declined to reveal how many such messages it had sent or whether it was still putting them out......"

Egypt regime digs in as death toll mounts in Tahrir Square

Mubarak: 'If I resign today there will be chaos'
• 10 dead and hundreds injured in fresh crackdown
Journalists arrested and attacked by pro-Mubaraks

Jack Shenker and Peter Beaumont in Cairo, Harriet Sherwood in Alexandria, and Julian Borger
, Thursday 3 February 2011

"The Egyptian regime dug in today, defying international pressure to begin an immediate transfer of power while launching attacks on journalists and human rights observers.

Egypt's vice-president Omar Suleiman offered political concessions, inviting the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood to a dialogue. However, the Islamist movement and other opposition parties have refused to talk until President Hosni Mubarak steps down.

Mubarak told America's ABC News tonight: "I am fed up. After 62 years in public service I have had enough. I want to go." But he added he could not step down immediately for fear that the country would sink into chaos..... Ha! Ha! Ha!...."

د. بشارة: الاعتداءات على المتظاهرين عملية إرهابية منظمة

عــ48ـرب تاريخ النشر: 03/02/2011 - ساعة النشر: 17:29

شدّد المفكر د. عزمي بشارة، اليوم الخميس، على أن الاعتداءات التي وصفها بالإرهابية على المتظاهرين، لا يتحمل مسؤوليتها الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك وحده، وإنما النظام المصري، مشيرا إلى أنها عملية منظمة، ويجب أن تواجه بشكل منظم، داعيا في الوقت نفسه إلى عدم إرباك الشباب وضرورة تجنيد الزخم الجماهيري المطلوب لصمودهم من خلال حشد المزيد من المتظاهرين، وأن تأخذ الجماهير العربية دورا في دعم الثورة المصرية.

وأكد د. بشارة، في حديثه اليوم الخميس على قناة الجزيرة على أن المسؤولية عن هذا الإرهاب لا تقع على عاتق الرئيس لوحده، وإنما على النظام بأكمله، مشيرا إلى أن الاعتداء على المتظاهرين ومظاهر البلطجة بعد خطاب مبارك الذي وصفه بـ"البائس والانتقامي وغير التصالحي" هي تنفيذ لقرار اتخذه النظام. كما نوّه في هذا السياق إلى أن أسلوب البلطجة هذا هو الأسلوب الذي كان متبعا في السابق لقمع المعارضة والصحافة وتزوير الانتخابات وغيرها.

وقال إن نظام حسني مبارك يعيش في عزلة دولية، مشيرا إلى أن الولايات المتحدة قد تخلت عنه بسرعة نسبية بالمقارنة مع ما حصل في تونس، وذلك بالاستفادة من تجاربها في السابق سواء في إيران أم في أمريكا اللاتينية وغيرها. وأضاف أن موقف الولايات المتحدة ينطلق من اعتبار أن النظام الحالي هو نظام بائد وإلى زوال، وبالتالي فهي لا تسعى إلى كسب العداء، خاصة وأن تيارات عديدة تشارك في التظاهر لإسقاط النظام، بينها تيارات ذات توجهات غربية.

ولفت د. بشارة إلى القلق الإسرائيلي على النظام المصري، وأبعاد سقوط النظام على المصالح الإسرائيلية سواء ما خفي منها وما ظهر، محذرا مما يعنيه تصريح رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية بنيامين نتانياهو من أن مصر لن تعرف الاستقرار لسنوات.

كما تساءل د. بشارة عن دور الجماهير العربية في دعم المتظاهرين في مصر، داعيا العرب إلى القيام بواجبهم في دعم الثورة المصرية.

وردا على سؤال بشأن دعوة رئيس الحكومة المصرية الجديد أحمد شفيق للحوار مع المتظاهرين، قال د.بشارة إنها تأتي ضمن خطوات مدروسة من قبل النظام، إضافة إلى كونها خطوات يائسة. وقال إنه يجري نشر عصابات من البلطجية، بعد أن تخلى مبارك عن رئاسة الجمهورية ليتولى رئاسة عصابة، ثم يعرض على المتظاهرين الحوار.

وأضاف أن هذه خطوات ميكيافيلية، حيث لا يمكن إرسال البلطجية والزعران والبهائم ثم الادعاء بالتحاور، هذه عملية مدروسة تماما، يتم الضغط على المتظاهرين لإضعافهم بعد ذلك يعرض عليهم الحوار، خاصة وأن الحديث عن متظاهرين بينهم نساء في الميدان منذ أكثر من أسبوع.

وقال د. بشارة إن خطاب مبارك غير تصالحي وانتقامي، ولو ترك الشباب لوحدهم وترك مبارك في منصبه فسوف ينتقم منهم، فهو يترنح الآن وفي عزلة دولية. وعليه فيجب على المعارضة ألا تربك الشباب، وإنما يجب تجنيد الزخم الذي يمكّنهم من الصمود، وبالتأكيد فإن المسيرات المليونية تؤدي الهدف المطلوب.

وأشار في هذا السياق إلى أن مبارك طلب من الرئيس الأمريكي مهلة يومين لإنهاء المسألة، وعندما يفشل في مهمته فإن الانحياز يكون إلى جانب الشعب المصري، خاصة وأن النظام لم يعد على قلب رجل واحد، فهناك كثيرون، وبضمنهم رجال أعمال، يرون مصالحهم ضمن النظام الصاعد وما سيولّده الشعب المصري، ويجب أن ينحازوا إليه بعد التخلي عن الفاسدين والمجرمين ورجال الأعمال الذين فسدوا. كما أن الجيش المصري سوف ينحاز إلى الشعب المصري في اللحظة المناسبة

Make Shift Battle Helmets in Tahrir Square.....

Eyewitnesses to a Massacre: Reports from Inside Tahrir Square as Pro-Mubarak Forces Open Fire on Protesters

"government forces opened fire at Tahrir Square, the site of anti-Mubarak protests for the past 10 days. Minutes after the attack began, Democracy Now! spoke with Egyptian protesters Mona El Seif and Selma Tarzi inside Tahrir Square...."

A Battle for Democracy: Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports on How Anti-Government Protesters Are Resisting the Mubarak’s Regime Crackdown

"Egyptians vowing to oust President Hosni Mubarak continue to occupy the streets in Cairo today as pro-democracy crowds stand up to violent Mubarak forces. Reporting from a rooftop, Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous describes the scene on the 6th October Bridge, where he reports pro-democracy activists are standing their ground on the “frontline of the struggle” for democracy....."

California Professor Beaten By Pro-Mubarak Forces Minutes After Interview on Democracy Now!

"On Wednesday, University of California-Davis Professor Noha Radwan joined Democracy Now! for an interview from a studio in downtown Cairo. Just after finishing the interview, she was attacked in the streets. “I got attacked by the mob and beaten half to death by the Mubarak thugs who were happy to snatch my necklaces off my neck and to rip my shirt open,” Radwan said. We speak to her again today by telephone, asking her to describe what happened....."

Journalists and Human Rights Activists Arrested and Beaten In Cairo Crackdown

"Human rights activist Hossam Bahgat reports the military has raided the offices of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in downtown Cairo, which has been the headquarters for the legal effort to protect the pro-democracy demonstrators. He also says the military has locked down Tahrir Square, turning people away at checkpoints from entering. "The biggest alarm today, is that there seems to be a series attempts by the army itself, for the first time, going after foreign journalists and going after human rights organizations, both Egyptian and foreign," Bahgat says. "Without access to Tahrir square we fear the worst is about to happen. It is something that the army does not want anyone from the outside world to witness."...."

Robert Fisk: Obama Administration Has Been Gutless and Cowardly in Dealing with the Mubarak Regime

"The renowned Middle East journalist speaks from Cairo on the historic uprising and how President Obama has lost an opportunity to back a democratic movement in the Middle East...."

“The True Face of Hosni Mubarak” Is Now Being Televised Across the World: Democracy Now! Reports Live From Downtown Cairo

"Violent clashes continue in Egypt. The most recent reports out of Cairo show that seven demonstrators have been killed and more than thousand injured. Many of the pro-Mubarak agitators have been shown to be undercover security forces. In Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising, thousands of Egyptians remain peaceful and defiant. We get a live report from Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous who is on a rooftop near the 6th October Bridge and from Mona El Seif, an activist who has remained in Tahrir Square since yesterday...."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This another poll with huge participation; it was launched earlier today and already over 17,000 have responded.

It asks:

Do you support support the continuation of demonstrations against the Mubarak regime?

77% said yes.

Palestinians in Jordan should follow the Egyptians' lead

By Israel Harel


I usually do not post articles by this Israeli writer, but this piece is worth reading.

".....The fire that was ignited in Tunisia and took hold in Egypt is liable to spread to the streets of Amman, Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah. Even if the people running the Palestinian Authority were made of different stuff (and they're not ), these flames destroy any chance of the peace track progressing. The masses, as in Egypt and Tunisia, will flood the streets and bring down rulers who have dared betray the Palestinian people. The rehearsal for such a protest was actually just held, following Al Jazeera's recent disclosures related to the Palestinians' negotiations with Israel.

With the Nile floods threatening to spill over into Jordan...."

Al-Jazeera Video: Clashes continue in Cairo

Al-Jazeera Video: Gunfire heard in Tahrir Square

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Shaping Egypt's future

Real News Video: "Egypt's Tiananmen Square"

Khaled Fahmy: Protesters call for massive demonstration on Friday as they resist attacks by thugs

More at The Real News

Real News Video: Mubarak supporters clash with protesters in Cairo

More at The Real News

Barney, The Arab Dictator, by Mike Luckovich

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Dead men walking, with license to kill


By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"So Pharaoh Mubarak had to prove once again he's a real superstar of the "war on terror". Old habits die hard. He's now unleashing terror against his own people.....

Egypt's counter-revolution is on
. And if President Hosni Mubarak is a "dead man walking", as opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has coined it, what about his zombie army of machete-wielding thugs paid by his cronies? Masked goon squads encircling protesters in Cairo represent the ugly face of Mubarakism and, with the army and police eerily gone, the ominous sign of state terror unleashed....

The regime put on quite a production. Rent-a-mobs; organized convoys in pick-up trucks; bused-in machete-wielding gangs; agent provocateurs throwing Molotov cocktails from rooftops around the Egyptian Museum; thugs invading Tahrir Square to beat up people, some on horseback and even - a cheap Orientalist trick worthy of a Z-movie - riding camels and brandishing whips......

Real democracy can only be a dynamic grassroots process, from the bottom to the top. It's not a fixed formula, it's constantly reshaping itself. That's bound to scare Western global elites - from "liberals" to the fear/warmonger set - because real democracy implies a huge loss of privilege for the "stable", developing world comprador classes that are slaves to these haughty Western elites. No wonder they're all as scared - and scary - as dead men walking. "

خاص عرب 48: فيديو يوثق دهس قوات الأمن للمتظاهرين

Mubarak Defies a Humiliated America, Emulating Netanyahu

It should be remembered that Egypt’s elite of multi-millionaires has benefited enormously from its set of corrupt bargains with the US and Israel and from the maintenance of a martial law regime that deflects labor demands and pesky human rights critiques. It is no wonder that to defend his billions and those of his cronies, Hosni Mubarak was perfectly willing to order thousands of his security thugs into the Tahrir Square to beat up and expel the demonstrators, leaving 7 dead and over 800 wounded, 200 of them just on Thursday morning.

It might seem surprising that Mubarak was so willing to defy the Obama administration’s clear hint that he sould quickly transition out of power. In fact, Mubarak’s slap in the face of President Obama will not be punished and it is nothing new. It shows again American toothlessness and weakness in the Middle East, and will encourage the enemies of the US to treat it with similar disdain.

Mubarak is taking his cues for impudence from the far rightwing government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which began the Middle Eastern custom of humiliating President Barack Obama with impunity. Obama came into office pledging finally to move smartly to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Netanyahu government did not have the slightest intention of allowing a Palestinian state to come into existence. Israel was founded on the primal sin of expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in what is now Israel, and then conniving at keeping them stateless, helpless and weak ever after. Those who fled the machine guns of the Irgun terrorist group to the West Bank and Gaza, where they dwelt in squalid refugee camps, were dismayed to see the Israelis come after them in 1967 and occupy them and further dispossess them. This slow genocide against a people that had been recognized as a Class A Mandate by the League of Nations and scheduled once upon a time for independent statehood is among the worst ongoing crimes of one people against another in the world. Many governments are greedy to rule over people reluctant to be so ruled. But no other government but Israel keeps millions of people stateless while stealing their land and resources or maintaining them in a state of economic blockade and food insecurity.

Palestinian Authority: End Violence Against Egypt Demonstrators

US, EU Should Suspend Security Assistance to PA Unless Abuses are Addressed

"(Ramallah) - The Palestinian Authority should end police violence against peaceful demonstrators, the latest instance being an attack against demonstrators at an evening rally on February 2, 2011, in Ramallah in support of the Egypt protests, Human Rights Watch said today. Police punched, kicked, and detained participants in the demonstration, as well as at least two journalists and a Human Rights Watch research assistant.

"The Palestinian Authority should immediately make clear that its ‘state-building' training of security forces does not include beating peaceful demonstrators," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The PA should take action against the responsible police officers or the US and EU should find another use for their taxpayers' money."

Protesters began to arrive at Manara Square in downtown Ramallah at 9 p.m. in response to messages sent out earlier in the day via Facebook and SMS asking people to demonstrate in solidarity with protesters in Egypt. The number of protesters swelled to around 100 to 150 people, who chanted slogans such as, "Long live Egypt!" and "Mubarak, Mubarak, Ben Ali is waiting for you," a reference to the ousted Tunisian president. Human Rights Watch observed as Palestinian Authority (PA) police gathered at the side of the square.

The demonstration had been peaceful when regular police and "special forces" police, identifiable by their uniforms, began beating demonstrators without warning. Police used teargas and batons to disperse the protesters. A police officer told Human Rights Watch that "all the security forces were present tonight," including police detectives and officers from the Preventive Security agency and General Intelligence Service, all in street clothes.

Human Rights Watch saw police continuing to beat protesters after they were arrested while taking the protesters to the police station. Police grabbed participants by the neck, punched them in the face, and hit them in the legs and torso with their knees........

The US and the EU should suspend aid to Palestinian Authority security forces unless the Palestinian authorities take appropriate measures to end such abuses and allow Palestinians to enjoy their rights to freedom of assembly and expression, Human Rights Watch said."