Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Special Morning Ed: Egypt, Mubarak, status quo?

Live Al Jezeera video

[This blog was composed today, then added to at the top, repeatedly, through the morning, so it will have a bit of a strange eclectic format. Read from the top down in reverse timeline, then the blog article begins.]

Stiglitz discusses the protests in Egypt - Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz discusses the protests in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak's regime and the impact on the rest of the world. Stiglitz speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

Bloggers in China are now saying that what is happening in Egypt is incredibly important to China and that the Egyptian crisis is a good example of governing on "auto pilot".

MacLeod Says Egypt's Public `Doesn't Buy' Mubarak Speech - Scott MacLeod a professor at the American University in Cairo, talks about the civil unrest in Egypt and the public reaction to President Hosni Mubarak's announcement yesterday that he wouldn't seek another term in elections scheduled for September. Macleod speaks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)

Official line now is that one person in the square today has been killed, 403 injured. But Al Jezeera is hearing reports of many more than are being acknowledged.

Here's a question, when Mubarak does leave, how much money do you think he will be able to stuff into a suitcase?

People have been ordered to leave, the military are strongly warning people to leave as there are armed opponents with guns, knives and molotov cocktails (home made fire bombs).

Again, its looking like, as it was in China a while back, the army, caught between what they might like to do, and what they are being allowed to do. A former General in the Egyptian Ingelligence is also calling for Mubarak to step down, that he is no longer the legal head of state, that he has been giving the opportunity to leave, with out court trial, without danger, but he has decided to stay and continue to break laws of man and morality.

I think one Egyptian notable who's name I didn't catch, said it well in saying that its criminal for Mubarak to allow this to go on, that he has no respect for a leader who does nothing to stop a nation's people from fighting each other in this way. And I might add, who even has staged worse to occur to make himself look better, as if to say, see what happens? Only I can keep order. Which is patently insane.

Mubarak has stated he was a soldier and would rather die on Egyptian land than anywhere else. Well? Guess what? That, can be arranged. Perhaps, he should reconsider. You know, all this guy has to do is step down. Really, he doesn't have to leave and in fact, if he had stepped down to begin with, this could have been made to look like he was more hero than tyrant.

Reports of a possible 300 killed so far, 500 injured just today.

At least one group of Mubarak supporters who broke into the square, had four uniformed police in a dump truck, leading the crowd.

Reporter says he asked the army when they will do something to stop the violence but they said they have no orders allowing them to do that; indicating that the orders are to allow the violence to continue; allegedly to allow the pro Mubarak (police, army, undercover) to continue to beat on the citizenry.

Mubarak government says no shots are being fired, but reporters and live feeds show shots being fired, reporter saying its coming from the army.

London - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday urged 'restraint on all sides' in the escalating violence that followed days of protests in Egypt.

 Al Jezeera says army is standing back letting pro Mubarak's attack Mubarak opponents, killing some.The video I saw at this posting reminded me of Tienanmen Square in China, here's hoping this works out better this time, and though it worked out in China it took years there.

Men riding camels and horses are attacking protesters. For the people's part, I saw video of one guy on a horse, looking very angry swinging his arms angrily, being then crowded around, pulled down, horse and all, the crowd then beating him on the ground.

Protesters are showing police ID's taking from Mubarak supporters.

Initial Blog article for the day:

So, the Military has backed off in an attempt to make life seem like it has returned to some resemblance of normalcy. But now out of nowhere, Mubarak "supporters" have entered the streets and the fray. Where'd they come from? The internet, that had been cut off, was now back.

Curious timing, don't you think? As if those who could turn off the internet were timing its return just right, waiting for the staging of something, right? One has to ask, are the Pro Mubarak (a smaller bunch than the opponents) actually just off duty Military and Police, sent to make it look like there are some wanting Mubarak to stay? Well, let's think about it for a moment.

Okay, yes.
New York Times Middle East: Pro-Mubarak demonstrators, below, clashed with anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Wednesday. By ANTHONY SHADID, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and KAREEM FAHIM Published: February 2, 2011

"CAIRO — President Obama’s calls for a rapid transition to a new order in Egypt seemed eclipsed on Wednesday as thousands of demonstrators for and against President Hosni Mubarak, some on horses and camels, fought running battles in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square. "

Isn't this what always happens with despots and dictators and long term rulers such as Mubarak?
Um, hmmm...yes, again. Right? Okay, yes, this is exactly what we would expect to see.
Mubarak's speech on not leaving

From Voice of America web site:

"In what seemed a choreographed operation, thousands of pro-Mubarak supporters surged into Tahrir Square, hours after a call from Egypt’s powerful military for the president’s opponents to “restore normal life.” Many carried fresh Egyptian flags and pre-printed pro-Mubarak signs that some said were being handed out by the state television building. Some waved off reporters and yelled, “No photos.”

"But they were outnumbered by Mr. Mubarak’s opponents, who have spend nine days insisting on his ouster. Clashes erupted close to the Egyptian Museum housing a huge trove of priceless antiquities.

"The two sides traded volleys of rocks, and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting. many were led or carried away with bleeding head wounds. Antigovernment protesters organized themselves into groups, smashing chunks of concrete into smaller projectiles to be hurled at their adversaries. The violence was the most serious since the antigovernment protesters laid claim to Tahrir, or Liberation, Square days ago as they pursued what seemed to be a largely peaceful campaign for Mr. Mubarak’s ouster"

Why would I use news from Voice of America?

Well, Mubarak cut off Al Jezeera according to Reuters today. The Qatar based news agency has stated to one of the Egyptian Satellite companies to either turn them back on or face legal action.

This all seems very top end (now to be indicated with a lower case mubarak, due to appropriate respect for his actions) orchestrated. Doesn't it? Doesn't take a genius to figure that one out.

From Reuters today:

* Asks Egypt's Nilesat to resume broadcasts
* Satellite firm Nilesat cut Jazeera signal after Egypt ban

"DUBAI, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera called on the Egyptian satellite company Nilesat on Wednesday to resume broadcasting its signal or face legal action, according to the news channel's website.

"Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the political unrest in Egypt is widely watched in the Arab world, has said that Nilesat cut off its signal after the Egyptian authorities ordered the channel to stop operations in the country on Sunday.

"Al Jazeera has also said its signal on other broadcast satellites was jammed in parts of the Middle East, affecting its coverage of Egypt, where at least one million people took to the streets on Tuesday to demand an end to President Hosni Mobarak's 30-year rule.

"Al Jazeera warned the Egyptian company (Nilesat) of legal action to demand compensation for serious damage caused to it and its audience," the television said on its website.
Jordan Media City had told Al Jazeera that it faced pressure from Nilesat to drop the channel from its package, it added.

"Al Jazeera said on Tuesday that a dozen smaller Arab networks had interrupted their own programmes to carry its signal."

  A while back (Thu Sep 16, 10:57 am ET Yahoo News) we had this situation, somehow, this photo in Egypt:
Turned into this photo:
You can see clearly that mubarak's image was reversed, they couldn't even get the color of the rug right. A pretty amateurish effort, probably given to an assistant to redeux. Was this foreshadowing, or simply pointing out the kind of misrepresentation that mubarak was putting the Egyptian people through? Can you blame them now, for wanting him out?

If this kind of blatant thing was going on in his country, what kinds of behind the scenes things were being put into place? I for one, would have no desire to live somewhere that this kind of thing is allowed to go on.

It seems its far beyond the time for mubarak leave. He has become a little person now. I have to say from what I'm seeing, I fully support the Egyptian people and to say this is a US inspired coups is ridiculous, he just needs to go and the people want it. Bad. He just needs to recognize it and slink quietly away.

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