Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Special Afternoon Ed. - Turmoil in Egypt

2:30AM Cairo Time: Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution on CNN says that the pro Mubarak protesters are actually paid by the government, that the military didn't want to do anything so overt against the people protesting, so these hired hands, paid thugs were brought in to make it look like chaos so that the military can eventually be used, and he hopes that the world, and especially the people of the US don't fall for that ruse by Mubarak. Kagan says this violence has to be sanctioned by the government and it has to be paid by and sent in by the government. This is the next best option to "send in these rent a thugs", he said.

Michell Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said she has now seen "a very ugly face" of this regime, using tactics well known in Egypt, used many times before, to use thugs to break up peaceful demonstrations. Are these thugs and (the military) committed to Mubarak? Or are they giving him one more chance? Dunne thinks the US Administration needs to be more clear, openly to say that under these circumstances that Mubarak could now be trusted with a peace transition.

Has President Obama undermined the Mubarak regimen without knowing what was to come after? Kagan says no, that he was already undermined by the Egyptian people and Mubarak's actions.

This contagion going around the Middle East is a positive thing, that this could be change for the better as some of the country Leaders are indicating by their actions. And they should be, they should be a little scared, they should be there to lead their people, not rule over them; for rulers, especially ruthless despots, are only compensating for their own personality deficits and that is not a reason for mis ruling a country full of people. Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, Syria, have all had protests in their streets this week and more planned.As the internet has been back, there have been more sites putting up information about more protests and meetings this week.

Also, reports have been made of the use of machetes, knives, molotov cocktails being used by the pro Mubarak forces.

1:30AM Cairo Time: Ivan Watson is at the other side from Fred actually in the square is saying its looking like pro democracy people have the upper hand for now; that the pro Mubarak people have caused much of the destruction and damages. There are 3+ dead 600+ hurt now being reported. Anderson Cooper has been attacked earlier. CNN's Anderson Cooper said he was hit on the head by a protester Wednesday in the streets of Cairo, he says in one video that he was hit like ten times. It was just one incident among a number of attacks on journalists covering the unrest in Egypt.
Anderson Cooper's walk through Cairo
1:25AM Cairo time: Frederik Pleitgen of CNN is near the square in Cairo, and is indicating many of the gun shots are the Army firing into the air. There is a building ablaze across the street from the Museum. The two sides are separated by a gap of a hundred yards or so, with sheets of metal as barriers on the pro government side, and they've been banging on these sheets all day. Pro Mubarak protesters have attacked Journalists.

1:15AM Cairo time: Al Jazeera also showing images of similar events of people in the streets protesting Mubarak but no army presence, going on in Mansoura and Luxor and elsewhere.

12:45AM Cairo Time: Witness says truckloads of pro Mubarak supporters were brought in, he saw IDs indicating they were from Egyptian central intelligence, police and parliament members. One man was killed by a gun shot, they "heard several several gunshots from the other side." All the action is right where the museum is, a new stand off. Video is showing more petrol bombs being thrown.

Military is being very passive. They have been asked for help by protesters and refused help. Many have broken bones, head injuries, damage to kidneys, organs from stone throwing; blood is needed, people sent to hospitals, blood supplies however are low. They are being attacked on four fronts, one of those being their makeshift hospital/Mosque. One car going back and forth only is transferring people to hospital. People coming in for help every few seconds. Now more than a thousand people injured overall.

There is a photo going around of an Egyptian Officer crying from what is happening to the Egyptian protesters.

There is also protest in Jordan.
Yemen also having issues where their leader who has also been in power for thirty years, says he will bow out as Mubarak had said, only in 2013.

12:25AM Cairo Time: Egyptian state TV only showing shots from the day time (not current) and of Mubarak supporters only. Bank machines are running out of money, some Egyptians are transferring huge amounts of money out of the country. Concern about stores running out of food.

12:15AM Cairo Time: 1500 people are being indicated to having been injured but the number is not firm according to a Doctor in the square area. A Mosque has been set up as a make shift hospital. Several Doctors have first aide units set up just behind the "battle lines". Still thousands pro democracy people in the square who want to defend the square and are willing to die. More Doctors are coming in. Many people are contacting the people in the square via cell phones. The attitude is very positive.

11:50PM Cairo time: US calls for whoever did this violence to be called to justice and that this needs to stop now. Previous Presidential candidates US Senator John McCaine has tweeted its time Mubarak step down now; and John Carey said in a NY Times piece also for Mubarak to step down.

11:45PM Cairo time (1:45PM Pacific time): Helicopters and fighter jets have been used this week to coerce protesters to abandon their hope and flee home. Estimate from someone in the square is about 200,000 people right now. The so called Million Man March of the other day was actually 2 millions people. That person is saying that because of how Murbarak has treated the civilians in this protest, she believes that many more people will be returning tomorrow and she is calling for:

"Everyone come join us. This is the best moment of my life, the young people have done it. We are Egyptians! We will lead everyone to a better life. We need them, their prayers, everyone all over the world. Leave us alone leave us free. To the military, we need your help, I hope you can hear us. These people need help."

11:40PM Cairo time: From Al Jezeera: A top US General has been flown to Egypt. Gun shots are being heard on the live Al Jezeera feed. Petrol bombs being hurled from the roof around the square in Cairo. Previous gun shots may have been rubber bullets.

11:25PM Cairotime: Gun fire is being heard. Previous reports of 300 dead has not been substantiated. Officials indicated only 1 dead so far. 500 injured, as last count.

11:15PM Cairotime: On this ninth day of turmoil in Egypt, I was just listening to Al Jezeera and they were interviewing someone who said that yesterday they were checked on the way to Liberation Square, that they couldn't even get a pin into the area.

Today, all of a sudden, there are people coming into the area (the Pro Mubarak people) who have knives, molotov cocktails, some riding horses and camels. So, they are wondering how planned was that, who are these people, how did they get through?

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