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Author Topic: Egypt and the world and Libya - Now without Ukraine!  (Read 230456 times)

PTTG??

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Egypt and the world and Libya - Now without Ukraine!
« on: January 28, 2011, 11:28:56 am »

Egypt is erupting in protests, riots, and even near-revolution. They have been under a repressive dictatorship for thirty years. The people are staging largely peaceful protests, but violence on both sides has been escalating.

See here in particular for a great summary, and more reports are here.

And what really shocks me is that my country, the US, is apparently on the side of the dictatorship, while the people around me all seem to be on the side of the Egyptians. The US loves the underdog. When the iron curtain fell, we were proud of the will of people to be free. We are ourselves the result of a popular uprising 236 years ago!

We should be helping the protestors however we can, not by "liberating" them, but by providing humanitarian aid to them and recalling all the military equipment we have loaned the Egyptian Dictatorship.

EDIT: I was thinking about how to update this OP. For future reference: Replace "Egypt" with "Egypt, Syria, etc., etc., etc."
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 12:06:38 pm by PTTG?? »
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Eugenitor

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 11:32:59 am »

It ain't just Egypt and Tunis now; Yemen and Jordan are getting in on it.

The whole Middle East is going up.
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olemars

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 11:38:21 am »

I've been following the reports from Egypt on and off today. Al-jaz and BBC are the only TV channels that have managed to get livefeeds out since the government has shut down all internet and cell phone connections.

Al-jaz has an excellent live-feed here although the commenters are a bit annoying at times (like all TV commmenters). Suez and Alexandria are pretty much controlled by hundreds of thousands of protesters. In Cairo, the headquarters of the National Oligarchy Party is on fire and people are pushing (empty) military trucks into the Nile.
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Neonivek

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 11:42:51 am »

"And what really shocks me is that my country, the US, is apparently on the side of the dictatorship"

I'd hate to say it but the USA TENDS to be on the side of the dictatorships.

Not because they hate people or anything but if my Teacher is to be believed it is because the USA is "Pro-government" or rather they have a tendency to take the sides of government.
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Tellemurius

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 11:49:24 am »

no we supported them cause they would help us in the issues in the middle east, also most of our allies during the cold war was regimes fighting against communism which is technically what the people wanted anyway but we set a general idea at the time as evil>.>

Aqizzar

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 11:51:38 am »

Al-jaz and BBC are the only TV channels that have managed to get livefeeds out since the government has shut down all internet and cell phone connections.

NBC has had one too.  Richard Engel has some big brass balls.  All there is to see though is a lot of cars burning, and clouds of teargas rolling down the streets like fog off the Scottish moors.  Supposed reports and claims of live ammunition being used, by police or protesters or both, and police striping off their uniforms to join the crowd.  The army has certainly been called in for manpower support, and the Cairo party headquarters palace has been set on fire.  However, all cell-phone and Internet service has been deactivated, land-lines are intermittent at best, and the government is actively trying to jam broadcast signals, including al-Jazeera's.

I'd hate to say it but the USA TENDS to be on the side of the dictatorships.

Not because they hate people or anything but if my Teacher is to be believed it is because the USA is "Pro-government" or rather they have a tendency to take the sides of government.

"Pro-Stability" might be a better way of putting it.  The first name being bandied around in all this is Islamic militants joining the action, and an increasingly religious flavor in the protests (e.g. mass prayers in front of the riot-wall, to dare them to attack praying people).  The Bush administration actually had a rocky relationship with the Egyptians, when Bush kept talking about the flowing of democracy across the region and Egypt kept saying "hey, keep that shit on the downlow, or we won't be such a 'moderate dictatorship' for long".

Basically, the Egyptian government has always had to walk an increasingly sharp edge between keeping a tight enough reign on the country to suppress the militants to the contentment of the their allies (since the government's budget heavily relies on American aid money), without pissing off their populace enough to be dethroned.  The result was a slightly scary place to live, with a brutally efficient law enforcement and prison system with control over expression, but no wars for thirty years and a relatively solid economy.  And now everyone's got it into their heads to rock the boat.

Probably the biggest sign is that the White House and State Department have tacitly said they'll accept and live with any outcome, and have strenuously "urged" the Egyptian government to keep the cell-phones on, biggest weapon of the protesters that they are.

Further stuff: The closest thing to a "leader" the protesters have put forth as a replacement head of state is Mohamed Elbaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and one of the most respected and successful diplomats in the world.  He returned to the country a couple days ago, has had firehoses turned on him, and is now under house arrest.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 11:58:10 am by Aqizzar »
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PTTG??

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 11:55:22 am »

The really bad news is if the protestors win, then most likely the new government will be somewhat antagonistic to the west, which is fairly seen as supporting the former regime.

If the government wins, the people will have the US to blame, and that will only lead to increased radicalism.
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olemars

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 12:04:19 pm »

The US has been the Egyptian government's BFF for some time. Egypt even has its own M1A1 Abrams factory.
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Taricus

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 12:08:09 pm »

One way or another this will result in a political shitstorm.
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Spectre

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 12:11:15 pm »

Live feed from Al Jazeera about the situation in Egypt I am watching for the last hour:
http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
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lemon10

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 12:20:15 pm »

"And what really shocks me is that my country, the US, is apparently on the side of the dictatorship"
I'd hate to say it but the USA TENDS to be on the side of the dictatorships.
Not because they hate people or anything but if my Teacher is to be believed it is because the USA is "Pro-government" or rather they have a tendency to take the sides of government.
When it comes down to it, if the US has the choice to support a democratic anti-US leader and a pro-US tyrant, it will choose the pro-US tyrant. If it can support either a  democratic socialist or a leader who sells out the national property to multinational corporations, they will be on the side of internationalist (even though the cold war is long over).

Also, it looks like this is getting to be QUITE big, after listening to it on the radio today, I was going to start a thread about it here, but looks like i was a hour too slow.
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olemars

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 12:30:34 pm »

Looks like this has grown from general protests to a full out citizen's uprising. People are surrounding and entering the central police station, foreign ministry and ministry of information (always a great sign when a country has a ministry of information).
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Aqizzar

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 12:46:45 pm »

Looks like this has grown from general protests to a full out citizen's uprising. People are surrounding and entering the central police station, foreign ministry and ministry of information (always a great sign when a country has a ministry of information).

Every country has a Ministry of Information in some form.  The United States calls it the Spokesman.

Anyway, Richard Engel's reporting was pretty illuminating.  "People are no longer looking down at their cell-phones to see where the protests will be, because the protests are everywhere now.  A rallying cry from Twitter is not needed."  This, while he was standing on a rooftop, watching an Egyptian Army APC being pelted by Molotovs from a hundred-strong crowd.  So far as he had heard and seen, the Army had not made any overt confrontation with the protesters, unlike the Riot Police earlier in the day.  The Police have largely withdrawn to defend key locations (mostly power stations, since all the little party-offices are already on fire), and have made no attempt to enforce the completely ignored curfew.  Firefighters and ambulances are nowhere to be seen.

EDIT: Live feed continues.  The crowd around the APC stopped throwing things at it, as the APC continued to do nothing (including burn).  Then people started climbing on the roof, and are shouting through the periscope, trying to convince the crew to join them.  Making the connection that the Tunisian government fell largely because the gendarmes chose not to act in the government's defense, as the Egyptian Army seems a bit reluctant to do at this early stage.  The scene is a fascinating microcosm of the country.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 01:00:05 pm by Aqizzar »
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olemars

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 01:12:30 pm »

There are rumors that the police and army had a little fight outside the central police station in Cairo, although that is unconfirmed.

Mubarak was supposed to make a public statement two hours ago. No sign of him so far. I wonder if maybe some generals have paid a visit, explained what they think of the situation and offered to help him pack. Pure speculation, but the longer he holds off showing himself I think the egyptians will wonder about the same thing.

EDIT: Heh, US government crony getting some tough questions to answer on the live feed.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 01:15:39 pm by olemars »
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alway

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Re: Egypt and the world
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 02:07:17 pm »

At this point its going to either be him fleeing the country saying 'GG' or a pretty big massacre. And based on the actions (or lack thereof) of the army, I would say the former is more likely.
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