MEDIA NOTICE: Steve Clemons on PBS NewsHour at 6 pm

-

250px-NewsHour_HD.jpg
Steve Clemons will be on the PBS NewsHour tonight at 6 pm, discussing the ongoing protests and increasingly violent repression in Egypt, as well as discussing the policy implications for the United States of the deteriorating situation.
— Andrew Lebovich

Comments

149 comments on “MEDIA NOTICE: Steve Clemons on PBS NewsHour at 6 pm

  1. Don Bacon says:

    POA,
    I fully understand what Israel and the US want, but I also have to respect the sacrifice that thousands of Egyptians have made, some of them the ultimate sacrifice, and many of them going back into the square even after multiple injuries in a continued passive resistance. What courage they have! They refuse to be denied.
    So I compare the bewildered governments now playing catch-up to the motivations of the people, and recognizing the odds, remain hopefully optimistic. I’m not alone.

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    And then there’s this:
    “”We will not accept negotiations with anyone from the current regime,” said Waleed Abed El-Rauf, 30. “We will not negotiate with the vice president. We will not negotiate until Mubarak leaves and our demands are fulfilled.” ”
    And this:
    “On Saturday afternoon, the protesters in the square were flanked by a large banner that read: “No Mubarak, no Suleiman. Both are American Agents.” ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/05/AR2011020501707_2.html?hpid=topnews
    Seems to me the opposition crowd isn’t all on the same page.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    Something didn’t come out right in the 1:25 post — there was a paraphrase of Youssef and I guess I used the wrong marks for it.
    Should say this:
    I believe that this crisis will deepen if this demand isn’t met

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    “President Hosni Mubarak’s family fortune could be as much as $70bn (

    Reply

  5. questions says:

    Abdel-Rahman Youssef — if I have the name right — one of the leaders of one of the protest groups — they want Mubarak out in name or in body, and they want the revolution recognized and the political prisoners released.
    They want power devolved to the VEEP — there’s no fuss about Suleiman. It’s in the Constitution that the power devolves to the VEEP.
    “They are trying to circumvene this particular demand” (the ouster of Mubarak).
    They really want Mubarak out. No matter how thin he slices himself, if he’s there, they won’t go.
    > close paraphrase of Youssef.
    ****
    They are really fixated on this one. And the rest is up for “negotiations” in the future.
    If you think the US is “selling out” the protesters, listen to what they are saying they want — Mubarak out is really it.

    Reply

  6. Cee says:

    They were paid handsomely by the United States
    Dan,
    Mubarak is reported to be worth more than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I love it when “questions” makes predictions.
    When proven ridiculous by the march of events, it just underscores how his assertions are just as inane as his predictions are.
    However, he may be right about Iran. Where he and I will differ is in respect to the motives, and the actual drivers behind possible upcoming protests.
    He will present it as an uprising of the people, where I will correctly see it as a construct of the the CIA. It will be sold as contagious reaction to events in Tunisia and Egypt, which WERE in fact uprisings of the people, unfomented by CIA manipulation. But in reality, future unrest in Iran will be organized in Washington DC, not in Tehran.

    Reply

  8. questions says:

    “BAGHDAD

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    NYT:
    “But Mrs. Clinton suggested that the United States was not insisting on the immediate departure of Mr. Mubarak, and that such an abrupt shift of power may not be necessary or prudent. She said Mr. Mubarak, having taken himself and his son, Gamal, out of the September elections, was already effectively sidelined. She emphasized the need for Egypt to begin building peaceful political parties and to reform its constitution to make a vote credible.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well Don, where Wiggie and I disagree, is who is behind the manipulations.
    Wiggie would have you believe it is Muslim monsters preying on their own kind, while the Jews watch in disgust.
    But I believe it is Jewish monsters, employing Muslim monsters to prey on their own kind to Israel’s advantage.
    Either scenario paints the “people” as the losers. Difference being, I care about the people, while this bigot Wiggie couldn’t care less.
    After all, they’re just ignorant uneducated ragheads.
    And, uh, speaking about “uncharacteristic”, when did you become so naive? Do you really think Washington DC or the Israeli’s are looking for an outcome that isn’t wholly self-serving, and actually serves the interests of the Egyptian people? The two premises are NOT synonomous, you must surely realize. When did this metamorphosis occur in Washington, turning Washington politicians into altruistic champions of human rights and democracy, that has you exhibiting such optimism?
    (Well, Dan. Do you want the “I told you so” now, or should I wait a few months for my predictions to be proven to be irrefutably correct????)

    Reply

  11. DonS says:

    “Hillary to Egypt Protesters: I order you to let our torturer manage transition to

    Reply

  12. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, this story keeps changing by the hour. But right now it sure looks like the Obama administration has settled on a course of helping the regime out-maneuver a pro-democracy revolution.

    Reply

  13. questions says:

    Is Mubarak salami-tacticking himself?
    A slice at a time, he’s lesser and lesser, with fewer and fewer options til there’s no there there anymore.

    Reply

  14. Don Bacon says:

    Despite WigWag and POA being uncharacteristically more-or-less in agreement, I am optimistic, while recognizing that nobody can predict the future.
    Posted by WigWag, Feb 04 2011, 10:55AM
    In many if not most cases, the revolution ultimately makes the lives of citizens even worse than they were before. Will this happen to the Egyptians? Who knows, but the historical precedents aren’t good even in the Christian world; the Muslim world is bereft of examples of successful revolutions.
    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Feb 05 2011, 12:05PM
    So the fix is in. The back channel wrangling has arrived at a “solution” that Mubarak can accept. No doubt, part of the agreement involves Mubarak keeping his file cabinets closed to the media. It is obvious from the rhetoric that has jelled from the leaders of both parties here, that a way to maintain the status quo has been agreed upon.

    Reply

  15. Dan Kervick says:

    “Egyptian TV says it was a terrorist attack.”
    Egyptian TV also says the reporters covering the uprising are Mossad spies. You picked a funny time to start listening to Egyptian TV.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So the fix is in. The back channel wrangling has arrived at a “solution” that Mubarak can accept. No doubt, part of the agreement involves Mubarak keeping his file cabinets closed to the media.
    It is obvious from the rhetoric that has jelled from the leaders of both parties here, that a way to maintain the status quo has been agreed upon.
    We have picked our temporary puppets, and Mubarak is comfortable with them. Now, the manipulations begin in preparation for future “elections”. The media will ingratiate chosen individuals to the public here, while demonizing the true champions for change. The elections, typically corrupt, will put in place the next pharoa, who will continue to abet Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, who will continue to suppress the people, and who will continue to suck up great amounts of American taxpayer funds. Meanwhile, the outgoing criminals and torturers escape accountability, and retire to obscene wealth, obtained through the people’s hardship.
    The egyptian street will see through the charade, but can do little to change it. Should they dissent, it will be blamed on unreasonable “radical elements” within the protest movement, justifying military intervention.
    You can rest assured that our talks with Israel were undoubtedly just as feverish as our talks with the Egyptians, and that the Israeli’s probably had as much hand in arriving at a “solution” as the Egyptians did.
    Now the REAL spin begins, masquerading the status quo as real “change”.

    Reply

  17. Don Bacon says:

    two views
    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “The [Middle East] is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends,” she said. Clinton said that a “growing majority” of its people are under the age of 30 and many cannot find work against a backdrop of depleting oil and water resources.
    RIYADH-The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh, condemned the riots in Arab countries, calling it “chaotic acts” carried out by “enemies of Islam”, to “divide” the Muslim world, according to comments reported Saturday by the local press.

    Reply

  18. Neo Controll says:

    OT –
    Jim Lobe exposes Jennifer Rubin aligned with neocon/Israeli far right; traveling to Israel paid for by Bill Kristol/Gary Bauer’s right wing mini AIPAC group. “Emergency Committee for Israel” boasts it “is committed to mounting an active defense of the US-Israel relationship ”
    Rubin recently called the host of TWN as an “Israel basher”. Her right wing Israeli and neocon connections explain a lot.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/05/jennifer-rubin-israel/
    Via Think Progress, Lobe says: “The Washington Post

    Reply

  19. Paul Norheim says:

    From the news blog of the Guardian:
    “”3.54pm: Egyptian state TV says the leaders of the ruling
    National Democratic party have resigned, including the
    president’s son, Gamal Mubarak, and the secretary-general
    of the party, Safwat el-Sharif. The new secretary-general
    of the party is Hossam Badrawi, seen as a member of the
    liberal wing of the party, Reuters reports.
    One of the new leaders of the party, Mohammed Kamal,
    told AP: “It’s a good change. It reflects the mood of change
    that is sweeping the country.”
    3.31pm: I’ve just spoken to Mustafa Khalili who has the
    latest on the situation in central Cairo where the army
    seems to be taking a more active role in trying to take
    control of parts of Tahrir Square. He says:
    “They’ve moved their tanks right up to what was the
    frontline in the battle between the demonstrators in the
    square and the pro-Mubarak supporters and have been
    trying to clear a buffer zone.””
    ————————————
    This sounds like a critical moment. Could it also mean that
    the Army is taking over?

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    The leadership of NDP resigns, according to Al Jazeera and
    BBC.

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    “Mubarak quits head of Egypt’s ruling party
    By RFI
    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned as leader of
    Egypt

    Reply

  22. Bill Pearlman says:

    Egyptian TV says it was a terrorist attack. Probably carried out by those peaceful, happy go lucky lads from the muslim brotherhood. Or the boys from hamas stopped tip toeing through the tulips for a while.

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    “The head of Egypt’s natural gas company has released a statement saying that a fire at a gas terminal in the northern Sinai Peninsula, which has interrupted supplies to Jordan and Israel, was caused by a gas leak, not terrorism.”
    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/latest-updates-on-day-12-of-egypt-protests/

    Reply

  24. questions says:

    “Analysts said Moussa could generate more support than Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading opposition figure and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    “Amr Moussa is very charismatic,” said Abdallah al-Ashaal, a former deputy foreign minister who served under him. “He is a media star, and when it comes to performance, he is very industrious.” ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020405803.html?hpid=topnews
    and, really, it’s related…..
    “Mike Lee is connected – by blood and by chance – to more senators than any other member of the exclusive club of 100. Think about it: Three of his cousins have been elected senators.”

    “Except that Lee is fashioning himself as the ultimate revolutionary. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020406582.html?hpid=topnews
    ***********
    Egyptians are going to have a lot of pretenders to the revolution to sort through.
    If they go straight to the top of the heap to find a successor, they run into the Mike Lee phenomenon.
    If they go straight to the bottom of the heap, they’ll have someone with no debts, networking, connections, relations…who can call on these supports to govern.
    Changing systems midstream is not super easy to do. Figuring out which particular institutions should or could be altered to start the process is also not so easy.
    Almost makes one want to chew some khat and hang out. Toss a frisbee. Kick a hacky sack.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    “”They’ve gone to chew khat,” Shihab Sharabi, 21, one of the protesters, said with a sheepish smile.
    Khat, a leafy narcotic, is consumed by nearly every man here. Add that to the many reasons that Yemen’s protest movement has yet to gain the same momentum as the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, say many Yemenis. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020406202.html?hpid=topnews
    “JERUSALEM — Egypt temporarily suspended its natural gas supply to Israel as a security precaution after an explosion at a terminal in the northern Sinai Peninsula, Israel radio said Saturday. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/05/AR2011020500825.html?hpid=topnews

    Reply

  26. rc says:

    Hillary Clinton warns in Berlin of a “perfect storm” in the ME if reforms are not implemented. (AlJazeera)

    Reply

  27. rc says:

    Pipeline has two routes — Jordan and Israel. Jordanian route is damaged, not the route which supplies 40% of Israel gas supplies. )ALJazeera)

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    “#Egypt Breaking: Explosion & fires reported near #Israel-Egypt
    gas pipeline in north Sinai http://tinyurl.com/69zvo5b #p2 #tcot
    #Jan25
    half a minute ago via TweetDeck”
    ————————–
    This was also reported at Al Jazeera a couple of minutes ago.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Quite possible.
    The Devil We Know
    By Ross Douthat, The New York Times
    04 February 11
    As the world ponders the fate of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak, Americans should ponder this: It’s quite possible that if Mubarak had not ruled Egypt as a dictator for the last 30 years, the World Trade Center would still be standing.
    This is true even though Mubarak’s regime has been a steadfast US ally, a partner in our counterterrorism efforts and a foe of Islamic radicalism. Or, more aptly, it’s true because his regime has been all of these things.
    In “The Looming Tower,” his history of Al Qaeda, Lawrence Wright raises the possibility that “America’s tragedy on September 11 was born in the prisons of Egypt.”
    By visiting imprisonment, torture and exile upon Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak foreclosed any possibility of an Islamic revolution in his own country. But he also helped radicalize and internationalize his country’s Islamists, pushing men like Ayman Al-Zawahiri – Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant, and arguably the real brains behind Al Qaeda – out of Egyptian politics and into the global jihad.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim, Feb 04 2011, 11:46PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    It appears your link’s figures may not be much of an exaggeration.
    I just found this article with experts estimating his wealth and it’s in the billions. Supposedly he started acquiring it during his days in the military where he skimmed off money on weapons deals and such.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/egypt-mubarak-family-accumulated-wealth-days-military/story?id=12821073

    Reply

  31. rc says:

    “And that, in turn, Mr. Levy said,

    Reply

  32. Paul Norheim says:

    I have no idea how rich Mubarak is, but here is a link I saw a couple of hours ago:
    http://www.arabist.net/blog/2011/2/4/what-the-mubaraks-are-worth.html

    Reply

  33. Carroll says:

    Mubarak needs to be completely out of Egypt. If they let him stay he will do nothing but foment trouble and scheme with his cronies to sabotage any kind of new government.
    On CNN or MSNBC the host said something about his next guest explaining how Mubarak would get his money out of Egypt (and how much he had) but I was leaving and couldn’t wait to hear it..did anyone hear that?

    Reply

  34. nadine says:

    “Oh so now you’re an enthusiast for for independence and integrity of sovereign states and their rulers, Nadine?”
    I’m just being realistic here, Dan. It is your side that has veered wildly from “No country can tell another what to do” to treating Mubarak as an employee to be given the bum’s rush out the door after 30 years of alliance.

    Reply

  35. Carroll says:

    Is it Israel and the lobby that has influenced Obama on Egypt? Is that why he wants to keep Suleiman in there?
    Daniel Levey says so.
    IMO, the Egyptians are going to succeed no matter how many times they have to restart–and everything Obama does and didn’t do that smells like Israel is going to ‘remembered’ by the next government. Extremely stupid to cause resentment in advance–and more reason to ignore the US advice/desires when forming their new government.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/world/middleeast/05israel.html
    Israeli government officials started out urging the Obama administration to back Mr. Mubarak, administration officials said, and were initially angry at Mr. Obama for publicly calling on the Egyptian leader to agree to a transition.

    Reply

  36. Dan Kervick says:

    “We didn’t put them in office…”
    We clearly put Muhammad Reza Pahlevi in office. He was hired by Kermit Roosevelt.

    Reply

  37. Dan Kervick says:

    Oh so now you’re an enthusiast for for independence and integrity of sovereign states and their rulers, Nadine?

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    “None of these people were our “friends”. They were our employees. ”
    No, Dan, they were our allies, rulers of sovereign states allied with the US. You seem unclear on the concept. We didn’t put them in office and we don’t have the power to fire them. (Which is why it is idiotic of Obama to say Mubarak “must” do this or that when Obama has no power to make him do it.)
    But allies have this in common with employees: if you maltreat them and think you own them just because you pay them, they will leave and go work for the competition.

    Reply

  39. Dan Kervick says:

    “I’m surprised nobody’s commented on the street theatre in Cairo.”
    I think a number of people have commented on that, including the comical appearance of the defense minister at the protests today. Apparently the defense minister is really down with those cool protest kidz!
    The regime is now just trying to save itself by pushing out the 82 year old boss who should have been retired earlier anyway, and agreeing to some reform process that they can be managed and defused at leisure after the pressure is off.
    The thugs who belong to Mubarak’s personal patronage ring are mad, of course. But there are no doubt plenty of new thugs waiting in the wings to pick up their scraps.

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    ” ‘In this world, it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States,’ said Henry Kissinger,

    Reply

  41. rc says:

    The other links for 10:02PM
    Barack Obama has urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “to make the right decision” to end weeks of unrest, and reiterated a call for an orderly transition of power “that begins now”.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12371479
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQz-gccETLE&NR=1

    Reply

  42. nadine says:

    I’m surprised nobody’s commented on the street theatre in Cairo. First pro-Mubarak thugs attack the protesters for a couple of days, then the army moves in saying, WE will protect you! Nice touch, that. Good cop, bad cop. The army smells of roses and is in best position to broker a deal to its liking.

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    “Does the movement have no leaders? Or do Western journalists just not know who those leaders are?”
    Until last week Western journalist could care less about any Egyptian secular parties. Did you ever see Aymin Nour get much coverage? The Western journalists are more than willing to sanitize the Muslim Brotherhood and accept whoever they put up as legitimate opposition.
    BTW, Rashad al-Bayoumi, deputy leader of the Brotherhood, said today that the MB will cancel the peace treaty with Israel as soon as the MB gets into power. Did you hear that reported?
    Western journalists work hard to sanitize the Muslim Brotherhood, thus winding up promoting them as legitimate players, no questions asked.
    This was how journalists helped promote Hamas into power in Gaza. They refused to even discuss the question of whether Hamas should be required to dispand its militias and recognize Israel before being allowed to take part in elections. Now Gaza is a Hamas dictatorship.
    Journalists want to repeat their big success in Egypt, apparently.

    Reply

  44. rc says:

    Get Going NOW! (2011)
    So while we are waiting for Obama’s long ‘now’ … popcorn and foreign policy …
    Jewel of the Nile (1985)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_YCa-g1te0
    Sound track: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”
    Obama playing DeVito
    Hillary as Turner’s ‘Just Joan’?
    Still casting for Douglas!

    Reply

  45. Paul Norheim says:

    A lot of what Robert Fisk reported in the article I linked to has broadly been confirmed by the Washington Post and
    the New York Times, although they differ somewhat on some details. I don’t know, but one could assume that Fisk
    relied more on sources in Cairo (where he is now), while the WaPo and NYT may have better sources inside the White
    House, that seem to be part of this process.
    Here is a link to the Washington Post article, posted after Fisk’s article appeared in UK’s “The Independent”:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020402698.html?hpid=topnews

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    How often is Robert Fisk reliable? Anybody remember him reporting the “masacre in Jenin” in 2002 when he wasn’t even in the country. But he KNEW anyway. I.e., it fit his worldview.
    He never apologized for horribly misreporting the story either.

    Reply

  47. rc says:

    Dan Kervick, Feb 04 2011, 8:54PM
    Yes, the ‘code’ was quite clear when the 2IC said there would be no violence towards the demonstrators and they would simply be asked to “go home” and their families would be asked to call them home.
    The message? The regime is going to put the screws on your momma and poppa to shut you up.
    The ‘no violence’ means no public violence that would feed foreign media.
    What seems to have been forgotten in the unfolding drama is underlying economic issues — the chronic and systemic unemployment in the youth demographic is one of the core drivers.
    Was this not sparked off by the self-immolation of a well educated Tunisian student who could not even help feed his family by selling fruit on the street?
    The plutocratic tyrants across the ME must be searching for that poor petty bureaucratic official in Tunisia who set this into motion with his ‘parking ticket’.

    Reply

  48. samuelburke says:

    Pat Buchanan seems to think that Mubarack will be there in sept
    when the new president takes over.
    “In the last half-century, how many others who cast their lot
    with us have we abandoned as

    Reply

  49. questions says:

    “Administration officials said that among the ideas that had been discussed were suggesting to Mr. Mubarak that he move to his home at Sharm el-Sheik, the seaside resort, or that he embark on one of his annual medical leaves to Germany for an extended checkup. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/world/middleeast/05egypt.html?hp

    Reply

  50. rc says:

    A good overview by Robert Fisk (at Paul Norheim, Feb 04 2011, 8:39PM).
    Looks like the Suharto model. And Indonesia has done quite well from it although the military is still highly represented (and that may be a necessity). Most seem reasonably happy apart from the indigenous peoples of West Irian Jaya.
    Why don’t they offer him a Pinochet exemption to criminal accountability for his regime’s crimes and a glass cabinet in the museum of antiquities alongside other relics of the past. Suitably mummified he would be in the eternal limbo long with his Moscow heroes like Lenin & Starlin etc. I almost suggest a new pyramid but that is a bit old school and a touch overdone — and as time has proven, your bones end up in the museum anyway.
    In some ways this is like watching the process of American independence except it’s being done in fast forward using twitter etc — and of course, the U.S. is not quite sure whether it is playing the role of King George’s England or revolutionary France. Why not send them a Statue of Liberty II to stand by the Sphinx for 1,000 years!

    Reply

  51. Paul Norheim says:

    Much of what Robert Fisk reports seems to be confirmed by the New York Times:
    “But several groups of prominent intellectuals and political analysts are pushing
    plans to endorse an initial transfer of power to Mr. Suleiman, who already
    appears to be governing in Mr. Mubarak

    Reply

  52. Paul Norheim says:

    If Fisk’s info is reliable, there are several interesting aspects
    here:
    1) They accept to “meet” with VP Soleyman – does this mean
    that they’ll accept him to play a role in a transition
    government?
    2) They allow Mubarak to “die on Egypt’s soil”, to use his own
    words.
    3) By selecting a wide spectre of prominent Egyptian figures,
    they seem to want to transcend party politics in the transition
    period. If they had selected ElBaradei as a leader, they could
    risk that he served as an umbrella for a multi-party coalition
    that could degenerate into endless petty party politics
    arguments.
    4) The fact that they excluded direct participation by the
    Muslim Brotherhood could be a good move, but this could also
    become a source of conflict in the future. We’ll see…

    Reply

  53. Dan Kervick says:

    From the Fisk article via Paul:
    “Already, there are dark reports of demonstrators who dared to return home and disappeared. The Egyptian writer Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who is involved in the committee discussions, is fearful for himself. ‘We’re safe as long as we have the square,’ he said to me yesterday, urging me to publish his name as a symbol of the freedom he demands. ‘If we lose the square, Mubarak will arrest all the opposition groups

    Reply

  54. rc says:

    Looking back to look forward.
    Taking the longer 30-year retrospective view, the more things change the more they stay the same. I suspect there will be 30-year retrospective on Obama’s Egypt policy. What it will say in details is beyond us now, but will it celebrate a ‘change we need’ in foreign policy values etc?
    1. In respect to Egyptian officialdom and their continual focus on demonstrators and media betraying Egypt: — i.e. patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
    “PARRY: But it became also very difficult for people to criticize US foreign policy. You were not just treated as some kind of an honest person trying to, you know, make your country better; you were treated as disloyal. There was the famous line from Jeane Kirkpatrick at the ’84 convention in Dallas, where she says people who criticize the US government blame America first. And that became a refrain: you blame America first. So you weren’t just someone saying, hold it, the US government makes mistakes, we do things wrong, we need to try to fix that; you were some kind–almost a traitor. And so that demonization of people who were becoming critics of some aspects of the foreign policy of the United States were marginalized during this era, and that included people in journalism and in politics.
    WILKERSON: So much so that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel became patriotism is the first refuge of a scoundrel.”
    and later in the interview we see
    2. The complexities of deceptions to deceive the US public and government and the roles of Israel and Iran.
    “PARRY: Which was a left-wing government. Right. And which had alliances with Moscow. They were trying to get aid from Moscow. So the US–so the Reagan administration intervened there. Congress said, you can’t do it that way; you can’t try to use violence in supporting an insurgent military force in that way. So they basically banned US assistance to the Contras, military assistance.
    JAY: And said, we ain’t going to pay for this.
    PARRY: Right. Then Reagan–and this is the beginning also of the return of the imperial presidency, which we saw a lot of under George W. Bush, the idea that the president cannot be constrained by Congress, that his foreign policy can be whatever he wants it to be. What Reagan did is he signed the law saying, okay, we won’t give any aid to the Contras, and then just ignored them. He set up this secret sub rosa operation run by one of his aides, Oliver North from the National Security Council, and they worked with people in the CIA and elsewhere to bring weapons to the Contras fighting the Sandinistas. Now, that paralleled an operation that was also going on in secret, where Reagan was negotiating with the Islamic regime in Iran, providing them weapons for their war with Iraq, supposedly to get them to help out with some American hostages in Lebanon. And some of the profits from those sales, which were mostly going through Israel–not to make this too complicated, but they did their best–but that money, some of the profits were then run back to help the Contras. So when this becomes exposed, finally, in the fall of 1986 and the connection is discovered, it becomes known as the Iran-Contra affair. But what it really was was the assertion by President Reagan and Vice President Bush that they could do what they wanted, that the imperial presidency was back intact, that Article 2 superseded Article 1 of the US Constitution, that under the idea that when–in the case of foreign policy or war, the president has all power. And that was then moved to a higher stage under George W. Bush. But as I say, you can trace that problem, again, back to the Reagan administration.
    WILKERSON: And, incidentally, the man who wrote the dissenting opinion to the ultimate ruling on Iran-Contra, the Tower Commission report, the man who wrote the dissenting opinion in that was Dick Cheney.”
    See “Reagan Celebration Hides Brutal History”
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6214

    Reply

  55. Paul Norheim says:

    Robert Fisk finally provides what appears to be some significant
    concrete information on the intent of the demonstrators –
    excerpts from “The Independent”:
    “Robert Fisk: Exhausted, scared and trapped, protesters put
    forward plan for future
    On a day of drama and confusion in Cairo, opponents of the
    Mubarak regime propose a new kind of politics.
    Saturday, 5 February 2011
    Caged yesterday inside a new army cordon of riot-visored
    troops and coils of barbed wire (…) the tens of thousands of
    young Egyptians demanding Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow have
    taken the first concrete political steps to create a new nation to
    replace the corrupt government which has ruled them for 30
    years.
    (…) they have drawn up a list of 25 political personalities to
    negotiate for a new political leadership and a new constitution
    to replace Mubarak’s crumbling regime.
    They include Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab
    League

    Reply

  56. Cee says:

    The events in Egypt cannot help but remind me of Portugal. Here, there, and everywhere, now and before, the United States of America, as always, is petrified of anything genuinely progressive or socialist, or even too democratic, for that carries the danger of allowing god-knows what kind of non-America-believer taking office. Honduras 2009, Haiti 2004, Venezuela 2002, Ecuador 2000, Bulgaria 1990, Nicaragua 1990 … dozens more … anything, anyone, if there’s a choice, even a dictator, a torturer, is better.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27415.htm

    Reply

  57. Paul Norheim says:

    “But I saw an interview with one of the opposition party
    leaders on AJE who said that he is in constant contact with
    leading members of the protest movement in the square, but
    that they are reluctant to reveal themselves because they are
    in a vulnerable position.” (Dan Kervick)
    This sounds like a credible explanation. As for the lack of
    contacts in Egyptian opposition circles, Garton Ash makes the
    same point regarding European journalists and experts in the
    article I linked to:
    “What we need are people on the spot who speak the
    language, know the history, have been there repeatedly over a
    number of years, and can evaluate the main players and social
    forces. The fact that there are so few such correspondents and
    experts around is proof of Europe’s indifference to its own
    backyard. There are probably more European experts on the
    politics of California than there are on those of Egypt, let
    alone of Tunisia or Morocco.”

    Reply

  58. samuelburke says:

    It doth appear that the israelis will now have the partner for peace they always claim to be looking for…lol.
    congratulations boys you will now have your turn at a fair table.

    Reply

  59. Dan Kervick says:

    Contra Garton Ash, I would not say the response to the attacks on Wednesday was chaotic. The protesters seemed to grasp immediately that the crucial thing was to hold the square against the attackers, and they did a remarkable job doing so in a spontaneously improvised fashion. They organized barricades in the many several streets leading into the square, and successfully defended vulnerable positions against the thugs who had reached high-ground positions on the bridge and on the rooftops of buildings, and showed a lot of ingenuity and tenacity in the defense.
    They also succeeded very well in getting the message out to the media that the attackers were mostly hired thugs.
    Does the movement have no leaders? Or do Western journalists just not know who those leaders are? It is stunning how few contacts western journalists appear to have in Egyptian circles. They are mostly just standing around gawking like the rest of us. This is possibly the result of several years of dramatically contracting foreign affairs bureaus and budgets. Christiane Amanpour seems to be the only one who can get an interview with major figures.
    The perception of leaderlessness might also be exacerbated by the fact that journalists have been kept at bay by the regime. They have been harassed and attacked, and their equipment has been confiscated. Thus they have been reduced to reporting from hotel balconies. As a result there have been few direct interviews with people in the square. Also the military, which is still a part of the regime, is all around the square. It could be that some of the more sophisticated organizers in the square have been arrested and removed from the scene. This can be part of an organized regime strategy of focusing on the people they consider the most politically dangerous, while allowing others to continue to protest so as to create an impression of benign tolerance. But I saw an interview with one of the opposition party leaders on AJE who said that he is in constant contact with leading members of the protest movement in the square, but that they are reluctant to reveal themselves because they are in a vulnerable position.
    This uprising is not going to suddenly turn itself off. There will be a new government of some kind or another. But there are two ways in which the US can seriously fuck things up. The longer the crisis continues without a resolution that gets Egypt on track toward a new constitutional democratic outcome, the more likely it is that we get either (i) a severe crackdown and a military dictatorship or (ii) a much more radical outcome, a la Iran. If it is the former, then what is left of the US position in the region will be toast, and even our so-called

    Reply

  60. Dan Kervick says:

    NPR also had a report tonight near the top of their broadcast on the “why Israelis are worried” theme. It’s a little odd that there appears to be an organized push today to get that story out, as though it were some kind of new angle, even though there has been no shortage of coverage of the “why Israelis are worried” theme from the beginning of the protest movement.

    Reply

  61. JohnH says:

    “Aaron David Miller laying out what one would expect.” How many times must we hear the plight of the Israeli psyche? It’s like a broken record stuck in its groove. But apparently Israel likes to play that role–it provides a distraction from its brutalization of Palestinians, the state of whose psyche is of no concern to them at all.

    Reply

  62. questions says:

    Is anyone writing about the gulf between the isolation of suicide bombers and the Twittering of the revolution? What a difference it makes to carry out a revolution via blog/tweet/text vs. suicide belt.

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Blablablablah……..
    Egads.
    Interesting how the protests of the Egyptians, and others, are being compartmentalized to the Middle East.
    The Egyptians, as much as protesting their own leadership, are protesting the whole dynamic of the Middle East. Our meddling in their affairs is on the top of their pile of just and understandable grieviences.
    And here we are, “negotiating”, supposedly on their behalf. As if, merely because of their dissatisfaction with the status quo, our “negotiations” with the Mubarak regime are suddenly altruistic in motive, and not of the same self-serving nature that has defined our “foreign policies” for virtually all of our history.
    Mubarak is a symbol of our own machinations. We supported and subsidized everything he has done. The hundreds of thousands of Egyptians we see on the streets of Cairo not only want Mubarak gone, but they want a change in the way things are done in the Middle East. Obama hasn’t offered them anything close to that. In fact, by negotiating with Suleiman, engaging in the demonization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and dribbling out criticisms of El Baradei, (underhandedly through media insinuations and accusations), we are sending a clear signal to the Egyptian people that we aren’t hearing their message. Same oh, same oh. Perhaps our government believes the same as Wiggie, that these people are just “ignorant”, and are unable to see what we are about, and what we are up to.
    Somehow, I doubt it. The chickens aren’t just coming home to roost in Israel, but they are coming to roost here as well. The traitorous “Fourth Estate” been really successful at selling this con-job about “spreading democracy” to the naive and ignorant masses here at home, but the rest of the planet isn’t buying it.
    BTW, John McCain, and his compadres in DC are the fuckin’ “viruses”. Someone oughta tell that piece of shit to just shut the hell up.
    Gads, how did we end up with such “leaders”? God help us.

    Reply

  64. questions says:

    And there’s this:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020402774.html?hpid=topnews
    Aaron David Miller laying out what one would expect.

    Reply

  65. questions says:

    Was just reading the Egyptian Constitution in translation, of course, really interesting document:
    http://aceproject.org/ero-en/regions/mideast/EG/Egyptian%20Constitution%20-%20english.pdf
    Makes me wonder what they might come up with if they go for a constitutional convention — I’m beginning to wonder if this is a good idea.
    I kind of wonder if constitutions should ever say much of the stuff that the Egyptian one says.
    If you spell out basic structures and the ways they interact, basic electoral structures, an amendment procedure, and not much more, you might be in better shape.
    There are vast rights spelled out in the Egyptian const. and they are all negated by emergency laws. Maybe it’s the wrong document for listing some of these…. Or maybe they need extra levels of government so that the most general of general issues (what Rousseau thinks of as the general will) are dealt with in the general law, and anything that gets the slightest bit more specific (benefiting any one person over another) is part of a more local legal system.
    It has been too easy for Mubarak just to override the constitution, which means that the constitution isn’t taken seriously enough.
    Further, it suggests economic structures, and given that economic structures change endlessly and are not the least bit general, I’d leave those out too….

    Reply

  66. rc says:

    Interesting development imo.
    >>>>>
    A Jewish Group Makes Waves, Locally and Abroad
    Hundreds of people, mostly Arab-Americans, are expected to gather Saturday in downtown San Francisco to support anti-government protests in Egypt, and a large contingent of Jews representing a Bay Area peace-advocacy group will join them, one of its leaders says.

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    These analyses point in all the obvious directions. Polities need structures. Egypt has squelched a lot of independent structures, but still has some. The demonstrators show signs of ad hoc-ing some structures, but we don’t know how deep those will be, nor even how much anyone has a plan for anything other than “Dump Mubarak Now”.
    IF, there are structures, then 1989 could be the model. If there aren’t then Iran, or worse, could be the model. The craving for theocracy doesn’t seem to be an Egyptian issue quite the same way, but that doesn’t guarantee much. Sometimes you get what you didn’t quite ask for.
    Really, we just have to wait and see, watch the events on AJ, read analyses by area experts, natives, and tweeters (twitterers?) And hope.
    As for the admin, they are properly careful with tone in public and push in private. Everyone is aware of the wide variety of pitfalls. Israel is both paranoid and rightly paranoid and I’m hopeful, overwrought for no good reason at all. It may be time for them to start thinking about settling with the PA, oh, by Monday night or so, so that the PA has a solid victory under its belt. Strengthening the PA’s position vis-a-vis Hamas could be smart at this point. Maybe Netanyahu overplayed the hand he was dealt by a country mile (to mix metaphors in some truly horrid way).
    It looks very much like ME terms are going to change in some pretty significant ways, even if Egypt doesn’t quite go over the edge. Communication seems to trump repression, economic liberalization seems to set things off, and not liberalizing your economy makes you all North Korea-ish. This is the future we’re watching.
    It’s time for Israel to get a grip on this one. There are willing negotiators, there are ways to be allied in useful fashion and still be testosterone-laden. Take a few steps on your own, or get shoved there anyway. It’s gonna happen.
    Can anyone in Israel get on TV, make a speech, and convince the public that the W/B must be dealt with — and survive?

    Reply

  68. DonS says:

    “Thursday evening, all 100 senators passed a resolution that calls on Mubarak to immediate transfer power to an interim caretaker government, for that government to immediately begin a transparent process toward a free election, for the presence of international election monitors on the ground in Egypt, and “expresses deep concern over any organization that espouses an extremist ideology, including the Muslim Brotherhood.”
    “Experts who are in touch with the administration agree that while the administration has been consulting with Capitol Hill, the notion that the two branches are working together on coordinating the U.S. government’s message to Egypt just isn’t true.
    “‘Congress is just being Congress’,” said the New America Foundation’s Steve Clemons.
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/04/is_the_white_house_using_congress_to_send_tough_messages_to_mubarak
    Congress just cant help themselves. Looks like any vote backing Israel. Boilerplate. And they can’t seem to help but start the demonization of Muslims we all know is in the offing — one size fits all, of course with the fig leaf of “extremists” thrown in.

    Reply

  69. Paul Norheim says:

    And here is an analysis from a European perspective, from one
    of those commenters WigWag love to call “dumb” – Timothy
    Garton Ash:
    “No one has more experience than Europeans do in difficult
    transitions from dictatorship to democracy. No region has more
    instruments at its disposal to affect developments in the Arab
    Middle East. The US may have special relationships with the
    Egyptian military and Arab ruling families, but Europe has more
    trade, gives a lot of aid, and has a thick web of cultural and
    person-to-person ties across what the Romans called Mare
    Nostrum, our sea. It has 27 + 1 sets of diplomatic relations. It
    is the place that most young Arabs want to come

    Reply

  70. Dan Kervick says:

    From evanchill:
    “State TV interviewing pro-democracy guy with injured right hand in the studio and showing pics from inside Tahrir. Their tone is changing.”
    (11 minutes ago)
    Perhaps another sign that the regime is losing power rapidly?

    Reply

  71. Dan Kervick says:

    From what I can tell from the net chatter, the protesters are now settling into a more organized and strategic movement with plans to hold Tahrir Square indefinitely, with better organization of food, facilities, tents, etc.
    Perhaps the next step is to devise non-violent strategies for removing the capacity to govern from the NDP. More resignations from state-operated agencies, especially the media, could lead to state services being replaced by voluntary organizations tied to the opposition. People can also simply refuse to follow government orders originating in the Mubarak and NDP leadership circle. I imagine some of that is happening already.
    Why enter into talks with the government on the transition? The young protesters and the established opposition parties should just begin talks among themselves on the shape of the new constitution, and then implement it after Mubarak has withered away. International supporters could assist the opposition, including defectors from the state-operated media, in building a new media organization that can broadcast nationally to spread the message.

    Reply

  72. questions says:

    Fareed Zakaria’s analysis:
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2045888-1,00.html
    Worth a read. Themes include Russia more as a model than Iran, economic liberalization gets out of control quickly in dictatorships, independent judiciary and military will limit directions the country can go, it’s not about the Palestinians, democracy could work.

    Reply

  73. Dan Kervick says:

    From mosaaberizing:
    Loads of people intending on sleeping in Tahrir tonight. Learnt from the mistake of leaving on Tuesday which made thugs’ job easier.
    (38 minutes ago)

    Reply

  74. Carroll says:

    “Meanwhile, the NYT reported Thursday evening that the Obama administration is talking to the Egyptian government with a view toward pressuring Mubarak to step down immediately in favor of his vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman, former head of military intelligence, who should then oversee a transition to a more pluralistic system with representation for Egypt

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “(but the “Iraqi democracy” is exactly the kind of regime that democracy haters like Nadine absolutely love.)’
    State run torture gulags in Iraq being exposed.
    Yesterday, Iraqi police fired upon protestors demanding better access to vital food supplies and improved infrastructure.
    In the sack of shit Nadine’s world, this is the definition of “democracy”.

    Reply

  76. Carroll says:

    Washington Post:
    ‘Israel contemplates a prospect it dreads

    Reply

  77. Pahlaavn says:

    “It was Bush who championed democracy in the Middle East….”
    If I didn’t know any better I would have wondered; is it her poor command of history that feeds her grossly biased views, or is it the racist ideology that clouds her judgment over history? Regardless, the fact remains that an official declarations of human rights not to mention constitutional laws were established long before your political heroes were old enough to put on their own shorts.

    Reply

  78. JohnH says:

    Once again Nadine can’t distinguish between rhetoric and action. Sure, “It was Bush who ‘championed democracy’ in the Middle East.”
    But in practice he promoted military domination and occupation–the diametrical opposite of democracy.
    Please name one democracy outside the former Soviet Union that Bush actually created. Oh, I know, Iraq! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (but the “Iraqi democracy” is exactly the kind of regime that democracy haters like Nadine absolutely love.)

    Reply

  79. Roosting Chicken, comin' home. says:

    Hello Nadine. I see AIPAC has increased its mailings, begging donations.
    Seems those danged “uneducated” and “irrelevent” “ragheads” of the “Arab Street” have shaken up the zionists with this massive display of “docile” “ignorance”.
    Cluck cluck……

    Reply

  80. Cee says:

    Steve,
    I was glad to see you on MSNBC this morning.
    In switch, Gaza feeds hungry Egyptian troops
    Fri Feb 4, 2011 12:52pm GMT
    GAZA Feb 4 (Reuters) – Egyptian soldiers isolated on the Gaza border by 10 days of internal upheaval are getting bread, canned goods and other food supplies from the enclave, which is usually on the receiving end of food aid.
    A source in the border town of Rafah said security forces of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, had been providing the troops with supplies for the past three days.
    Israel has blockaded Gaza for over three years with the assistance of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government, and half the population depends on handouts of staples from the United Nations. With mass protests demanding Mubarak should quit, sources in Rafah said north Sinai was tense. Angry Bedouins were in control of many roads following armed clashes with Egyptian police.
    The sources said Palestinian merchants in Gaza have also been smuggling vegetables, eggs and other staples into Egypt, where store owners have run out of stock because normal supplies are cut off by the unrest — reversing the usual flow of goods.
    Hamas security forces had beefed up their presence along the border and in the area of Gaza’s honeycomb of smuggling tunnels to prevent any breach of the border line. No photography or television images were allowed. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; writing by Douglas Hamilton; editing by David Stamp)

    Reply

  81. nadine says:

    It was Bush who championed democracy in the Middle East. The Democrats opposed him viciously at home and abroad, and Obama abandoned any support for democracy in Lebanon or elsewhere, until last week.
    Now you guys loooove democratic demonstrations. Where were you guys during Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution? Decrying American interference as horrible imperialism. Now Lebanon is a province of Iran.

    Reply

  82. Dan Kervick says:

    Two recent Tweets from Shadi Hamid:
    Apparently there is a ‘wise men’ committee that is already entering into negotiations w- regime #jan25
    10 minutes ago
    Amr hamzawy says Omar Suleiman has effectively assumed presidential powers to manage the transition #jan25
    11 minutes ago

    Reply

  83. JohnH says:

    Thanks, samuelburke. It looks like the democracy-haters’ narrative is finally being exposed: Mubarak’s repression was tolerated in large part because it served the interests of Israel.
    Amazing that the corporate media finally allows a discussion of the huge disparity between America’s noble rhetoric and it tyrant-coddling behavior. I wonder how long that will last.

    Reply

  84. samuelburke says:

    mondoweiss dot net is on top of his game once again.
    take notice …Traffic Rank in US: 19,32 as per alexa…and 63,150
    in the world.
    The bogus conflict between American interests and values
    by PHILIP WEISS on FEBRUARY 4, 2011
    This morning on “Morning Joe,” last night on NPR’s “On Point,” an
    American conversation at last began about the conflict between
    American “values” and “interests” in the Middle East. The simple
    theme of the conversation is: We have a strong interest in Middle
    East peace, and Mubarak enforced it for us. But this conflicts with
    our democratic values.
    The desperate tension at the heart of the conversation, which Pat
    Buchanan managed to sneak into MSNBC this morning, is: the
    Egyptian people do not want the peace treaty with Israel.
    And therefore, these people must be tyrannized forever– 85
    million people denied human rights, the rights of assembly and
    free speech, their children’s futures blighted, all to preserve an
    American interest.
    What is not brought up in these conversations– what Pat
    Buchanan knows and so does the crew on the NPR show last
    night, Stephen Kinzer, CFR’s Susan Glasser, the NYT’s Nick
    Kristof, and Harvard’s Nicholas Burns know it, and all are afraid
    to bring up– is that the peace in the Middle East has come at a
    terrible price not just for the people of Egypt but for the people
    of Palestine. Let us remember that the blessed treaty that Sadat
    signed and Mubarak upheld said on page one that it was to bring
    self-determination to the Palestinian people, but that principle
    has been ignored by the U.S. for 30 years. And negotiation and
    “dialogue” between vastly unequal parties has replaced any idea
    of fairness, with the unsurprising consequence that the weaker
    party, the Palestinians, have seen their lands usurped, their
    grandfathers evicted or shot in their beds, a third of their
    population forced to live in an open-air prison, and their political
    culture split in two (between resistance and collaboration).
    And an understanding of these politics that surpasses the
    understanding of them in the American Establishment is why the
    Egyptian people don’t like that peace.
    As the Muslim Brotherhood’s Essam Al-Aryan explained to a
    baffled Robert Siegel the other night on NPR:
    The [Egyptian] people are not rushing for war. But it is not our
    duty to protect Israel from Palestinians. We are not guards for
    Israel.”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/the-bogus-conflict-between-
    american-interests-and-values.html#more-35402

    Reply

  85. rc says:

    <<<<
    Paris will host an international conference of donors for the Palestinian State (Friday, February 4)
    Ministers declared the donor countries and the international Quartet for the settlement of the conflict in the Middle East that Paris will host an international conference of donors for the Palestinian state.
    And responded in a statement issued after the talks that took place Thursday, “It is at the request of the Palestinian Authority, the international conference of donor countries for a Palestinian state will be held in Paris in June of this year.
    The group called on Israel to take immediate practical steps in order to facilitate the movement of persons and goods in the West Bank, and the implementation of the steps that Israel has announced to ease the siege on Gaza.
    The statement that “a lasting solution to the Gaza situation can be reached by peaceful means and through the siege.”
    The announcement came after the conference that Paris had hosted the peace process mediators to hold talks on ways to strengthen the efforts to create a Palestinian state.
    Participated in the talks, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as well as representatives of the Quartet (Russia, the United Nations and the United States and the European Union). …
    <<<<<<
    http://www.egyptdailynews.com/arabicnews.htm
    Google (translate)
    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ar&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.egyptdailynews.com%2Farabicnews.htm&act=url

    Reply

  86. Dan Kervick says:

    Al Jazeera does have very good video of Tahrir Square now.

    Reply

  87. rc says:

    #1142: Mr al Aryan also described the kind of government the Muslim Brotherhood wants in Egypt. “We want a civil state, based on Islamic principles. A democratic state, with a parliamentary system, with freedom to form parties, press freedom, and an independent and fair judiciary.”
    #1141: Issam al Aryan, a senior figure in the banned Muslim Brotherhood, has told the BBC that the movement did not have a candidate for the presidency, saying it prefers consensus on an opposition candidate.
    (BBC)

    Reply

  88. rc says:

    #1118: Eugene Rogan, head of Oxford University’s Middle East Centre, tells the BBC World Service: “The protestors are calling this the day of departure and they are getting covert support through the Obama administration who seem to be sending exactly the same message: that President Mubarak should really be making plans for an immediate departure from Egypt’s political scene.”
    #1105: Amr Adel Amin tweets from a road near Tahrir Square: “So many people here we can barely get past the bridge.”
    #1103: Numbers are continuing to swell in Tahrir Square. Many people came for Friday prayers, but more are crowding onto the site to join the protest.
    #1054: Gigi Ibrahim tweets: “Many people are crying now as they are praying for the dead… Amazing scene here. I am living through a historical moment.”
    #1048: Amr Waked tweets: “Almost 1,000,000 already in Tahrir square! Besides immense other amounts on Kasr el-Nil bridge. Historical day for sure!”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

    Reply

  89. nadine says:

    “Several journalists who were, harassed, attacked or detained have reported that the Mubarak goons have been told by the government that these reporters are Mossad spies. Desperate measures by a regime in its death throes.” (Dan Kervick)
    No, no, Dan. You don’t get it. Not “desperate measures” at all. NORMAL measures. Normal, automatic, even kneejerk reaction measures. EVERYTHING that goes wrong in Egypt is Israel’s fault, according to the Egyptian media.
    This isn’t because Mubarek is in trouble. The regime was doing just fine two months ago when an official blamed shark attacks off Sharm-el-Sheik on the Mossad. Check it out.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8185915/Shark-sent-to-Egypt-by-Mossad.html
    Omri Ceren is not exaggerating when he says “Egyptian and Palestinian civil society is a feverish cesspool of anti-Semitic conspiracism.” The MSM just refuses to report it. You have to follow the Arab media in translation to see how pervasive it is.

    Reply

  90. Don Bacon says:

    Paul —
    Deeper into context, we may look at Thoreau for guidance. I do.
    Quotes from Civil Disobedience, a work which inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and possibly the current Egyptian patriots.
    Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.
    A very few–as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men–serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.
    What is the price-current of an honest man and patriot today? They hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect. They will wait, well disposed, for other to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret. At most, they give up only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and Godspeed, to the right, as it goes by them. There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man.
    Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?
    [When put in jail for not paying a poll tax to a government that promoted slavery and war] I could not but smile to see how industriously they locked the door on my meditations, which followed them out again without let or hindrance, and they were really all that was dangerous. As they could not reach me, they had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog. I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.
    Thus the state never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior will or honesty, but with superior physical strength.
    If a plant cannot live according to nature, it dies; and so a man.
    They who know of no purer sources of truth, who have traced up its stream no higher, stand, and wisely stand, by the Bible and the Constitution, and drink at it there with reverence and humanity; but they who behold where it comes trickling into this lake or that pool, gird up their loins once more, and continue their pilgrimage toward its fountainhead.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

    Reply

  91. Carroll says:

    Ah yes…secret holds by unnamed senators, Feinstein and her “sensitive issues coverall- 4 million dollar lobbyist..and pouff!… resolution for human rights in Egypt fails in US congress.
    From FP…..
    How the Senate resolution on Egyptian democracy died
    Posted By Josh Rogin Wednesday, February 2, 2011 – 1:27 PM
    Last fall, a bipartisan group of senators led a months-long drive to pass a resolution calling for greater freedom and democracy in Egypt.
    The resolution died last December due to a fatal mix of divided loyalties, lobbying influence, and secret Senate holds.
    Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) led the effort to press Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to move toward more free and fair elections via a Senate resolution (PDF) which called for “supporting democracy, human rights, and civil liberties in Egypt.” First introduced last July, the resolution quickly gained the support of a range of senators, including Al Franken (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and Sam Brownback (R-KS).
    The resolution’s supporters tried several times to bring it up for a Senate vote, once before the August congressional recess, again before the Egyptian parliamentary elections in November, and then again during the post-election lame-duck session. But due to the objections of two key senators and secret holds by two other senators, the resolution never saw the light of day on the Senate floor.
    “It’s too bad; it was blocked by members on both sides of the aisle and the administration opposed it too. It was not helpful; it sent all the wrong signals to Egypt,” McCain told The Cable on Tuesday in an interview. “We called for observers to monitor the elections, and we got no support from the administration on that either.”
    In addition to calling for election monitors, the resolution urged Mubarak to fulfill his promise to lift the emergency law in Egypt, release political prisoners, and respect human rights. It also would have called on the Obama administration to emphasize political reform and human rights in its dealings with the Mubarak regime.
    According to three senior Senate aides who worked on the issue, the two senators who were most active behind the scenes to prevent the resolution from moving forward were Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Feinstein, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had concerns about the resolution’s effect on the U.S. relationship with the Mubarak regime and worried that it would jeopardize U.S.-Egyptian cooperation on a range of sensitive national security issues.
    Wicker, these three Senate aides said, worked against the resolution’s passage in part due to his long-standing relationship with a top Washington lobbyist, Wicker’s former House colleague Bob Livingston, whose firm was being paid by the government of Egypt under a years-long lobbying contract.
    Livingston’s firm makes up one-third of the entity known as the PLM Group, a lobbying entity created to advocate on behalf of the Mubarak regime. The firm also includes Tony Podesta and former Democratic Congressman Toby Moffett. According to the Washington Post and disclosure filings, Mubarak has paid PLM over $4 million since 2007.
    While PLM was lobbying against the resolution, Livingston personally called Wicker to ask him to do what he could to stall the measure. When asked by The Cable on Tuesday about his opposition to the resolution, Wicker said, “I would have to refresh my recollection.”
    An aide to Wicker confirmed to The Cable that Wicker did in fact talk with Livingston about the resolution, but the aide said that Wicker was simply doing his due diligence to make sure the resolution was not pushed through hastily.
    “Senator Wicker’s main goal was to make sure the resolution was worded in a way to make sure the resolution was productive and to make sure that Egypt was recognized as an ally and a partner,” the aide said.
    Phil LaVelle, a spokesman for Feinstein, would not discuss the senator’s effort to alter the resolution to make it more acceptable to the Egyptians, but he did acknowledge that her office stood in the way of the resolution for a time.
    “Senator Feinstein had initial concerns; we worked with the co-sponsors to get those concerns resolved, and at the end of the day she did not object to its passage,” LaVelle told The Cable.
    It’s true that during the lame-duck session, when a pared-down version of the resolution was being circulated for the third and final time, neither Wicker nor Feinstein formally objected to it. But they didn’t have to. In November, two unnamed Democratic senators placed secret holds on the resolution, preventing it from being brought up by unanimous consent and effectively killing its chances of moving forward.
    None of the Senate aides who spoke with The Cable know which two Democratic senators secretly held up the resolution in the end. But for the resolution’s supporters, the episode is a stark illustration of how Washington policy over Egypt was caught in a tangled mess of competing interests and how broad bipartisan efforts can be torpedoed by a small number of lawmakers.
    For McCain, the resolution was a missed opportunity for the U.S. government to put pressure on Mubarak so that the revolt might not have happened and to show the world that America stands behind the principles of democracy and human rights.
    “We want to make sure we’re ahead of events and not behind,” he said. “And we’ve got to make sure we’re on the right side of history.”

    Reply

  92. Paul Norheim says:

    I searched for a Thoureau quote for you in this context, Don B.,
    and the first that came up was this one, from “Walden”:
    “As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so
    much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded
    enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some
    ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to
    have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs.”

    Reply

  93. Don Bacon says:

    Why do Americans persist in meddling in other coutries’ affairs? It’s not like Americans have a particular knack for effective governance, is it. How many committees should the insurgents have? Give me a break.
    While the US has the moral and political obligation to get its puppet Mubarak out of office because he threatens US national security, it has no other business meddling in Egyptian affairs. Let the Egyptians handle it, and provide help if they request it.

    Reply

  94. Paul Norheim says:

    According to Al Jazeera right now, 07.05 AM local time, it’s
    very quiet in Cairo, but increased security, according to one
    reporter on the ground.

    Reply

  95. Chicagoan says:

    Need to add “equities” to the Clemons drinking game!

    Reply

  96. Dan Kervick says:

    Currently, there appears to be no live media feed of any kind from Tahrir square. Also, the Twitter communications seem to be gone. Telecom interruption?

    Reply

  97. Dan Kervick says:

    Several journalists who were, harassed, attacked or detained have reported that the Mubarak goons have been told by the government that these reporters are Mossad spies. Desperate measures by a regime in its death throes.

    Reply

  98. nadine says:

    Omri Ceren points out the downside of everbody (including Israel, but including the US and the vaunted international community) turning a blind eye to Egypt’s continuous demonization of Israel as the sole source of Egypt’s problems: the people got more and more hostile as time went out. And no, this isn’t for the sake of the poor Palestinians. The Egyptians on their own could give fuck-all about the Palestinians.
    Right now, Mubarek is blaming the Mossad for the protests just like he blamed the Sharm-el-Sheik shark attacks on the Mossad a few weeks ago. Shark attacks! It’s the Big Lie the Arabs have been telling each other for 60 years:
    “As long as Cairo and Ramallah cooperated with Jerusalem on security issues, Israeli and Western diplomats looked the other way as those regimes violated their Camp David and Oslo pledges to undertake normalization.
    Put more bluntly: as long as Egypt and the Palestinian Authority helped stymie the terrorists of today, Israel and the West were content to let them go on creating the terrorists of tomorrow. Because at least those regimes were stable!
    Those terrorists of tomorrow were made possible through geography textbooks that erased Israel, and through television programs that vilified Jews, and through official government propaganda that scapegoated the Jewish state for every imaginable social ill. As of this morning, the Mubarak regime is parading

    Reply

  99. Don Bacon says:

    The US dilemma about what to do in Egypt has its interesting sides.
    * The US has fomented successful removals of various governments, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan, but seems impotent in dealing with an insurgency in its ally Egypt because at its heart the insurgency is justified.
    * The US counter-insurgency doctrine that has been much in favor recently has no application in a real insurgency taking place in an ally, but only in US offensive actions (Iraq and Afghanistan).
    * So the US is lost in, not how to defeat an insurgency, but rather to what degree aid should be given to the insurgency.
    * The US inaction regarding the Egypt insurgency is a direct result of the need for US foreign policy to do what’s best for Israel and not to do what suits US interests.
    * Obama got it wrong. The real conflict is not between the US and Muslims, but between Muslim people and their US-supported repressive governments. Obama in Cairo, 2009: “We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world

    Reply

  100. Dan Kervick says:

    “1 “stakeholders” + 2 “franchises” = everyone take 3 drinks!”
    Yes, but no “sizzles”.
    Reading Steve’s blog inspires me to dream that I too might have a significant franchise some day. Right now, it’s just my dog Rico. Wife and son tilt my way too on my good days. Rico is a high-octane policy entrepreneur in his own right, with abundant sizzle.

    Reply

  101. Carson Ranger says:

    1 “stakeholders” + 2 “franchises” = everyone take 3 drinks!

    Reply

  102. Dan Kervick says:

    By the way, people in Washington might want to avoid using terms like “triumvirate” in connection with any Egyptian transition, given all that tragic business with Octavian, Antony and Pompey – an earlier tragedy of foreign rule..

    Reply

  103. Paul Norheim says:

    I hope you’re right, Dan. I salute your constructive
    optimism.

    Reply

  104. Dan Kervick says:

    It’s more than the Egypt-Israel peace, Paul. Egypt is a vital linchpin in the US’s entire Middle East military posture, with a major role in controlling the North African Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Suez canal.
    But the Egyptians need the US and its armaments as much as the US needs the Egyptians. And that’s going to be the case following a transition as well.
    I’m sure there are many in Washington who would like to have this uprising succeed no further than to produce an early retirement for Mubarak and a mere change in the nameplate on the president’s door, with everything then going back to normal, and with the same bosses and thugs and torturers running everything, just like they used to – maybe with the democratic trouble-makers safely kept busy and put on ice with on some phony-baloney “reform” committees whose work will never amount to anything.
    But I have to believe that there are some others in and around the White House who are seeing beyond that – people who sincerely support democracy and who don’t throw in with the idea that Arabs are just subhuman sand ni***s, unable to govern themselves. This is a tremendous opportunity to get a real democracy in the Arab world’s most populous country.

    Reply

  105. Paul Norheim says:

    “Opposition members need to be “invited” into a governing
    role – not just given some committee work to do on election
    pipe dreams that might never come. And they probably need
    a provisional constitution.”
    I doubt that the White House right now wants to entrust
    them with such a role, which – in their view – may put some
    foreign policy arrangements and agreements at risk. This is
    also why I doubt that the White House will stop the aid to
    the military – this money is a bribe to secure the Egypt-
    Israel peace treaty.

    Reply

  106. Paul Norheim says:

    I think the White House wants to act fast now, and work on
    some demands/suggestions if things escalate in Cairo on
    Friday, after the prayer. The banning and harassing of the
    media is an ominous sign.

    Reply

  107. Dan Kervick says:

    Spoke a little too soon. From the article:
    “The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the country

    Reply

  108. Paul Norheim says:

    My last comment was a reply to Questions 8.33 PM.

    Reply

  109. Paul Norheim says:

    Yeah, I’m sure they don’t. But The White House and the
    Middle East experts seem to be just as clueless as we are.
    So let’s just observe and reflect while this unfolds.

    Reply

  110. DonS says:

    “Egypt working group: Freeze U.S. military aid to Egypt”
    “Until unrestrained thug violence began on February 1, the Working Group was hopeful that the Egyptian military would play a positive role in safeguarding a peaceful transition,” said a statement Thursday from the group, some of whose members, including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Michele Dunne and the Center for American Progress’s Brian Katulis, were among Egypt watchers who consulted with officials at the White House this week.
    “If the government continues to employ such violence, the United States should immediately freeze all military assistance to Egypt,”
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0211/Egypt_working_group_Freeze_US_military_aid_to_Egypt.html?showall

    Reply

  111. Dan Kervick says:

    “The WH apparently suggest that a triumvirate – VP Soleiman, Defence Minister, and leader of the Armed Forces – should lead the process.”
    Well, this is just a rumor at this point. But can I be the first to say that a triumverate of this kind, consisting only of three members of the *current regime*, would be a rank and cynical sellout if the rumor is accurate. It would also doom the American people to a generation of well-deserved Egyptian hatred.
    This is *not* how you defend the interests and security of the American people.
    I surely hope there is more to this story than the Times has gotten so far.

    Reply

  112. questions says:

    Paul, they read us and do what we say! We are that good! (smile)

    Reply

  113. Paul Norheim says:

    “US working on proposal to hand over power to transitional
    government” is also a NYT headline, according to Al Jazeera.
    The WH apparently suggest that a triumvirate – VP Soleiman,
    Defence Minister, and leader of the Armed Forces – should
    lead the process.
    The timing of our discussion on this thread is good – or
    perhaps a bit late?

    Reply

  114. JohnH says:

    JamesL–“Today’s Mubarak statement: If I leave there will be chaos.”
    He’ll make sure of it!
    And if he doesn’t leave? There will be chaos, caused by none other than his thugs!
    Kind of like American elections–how to decide which choice is the lesser of two evils?

    Reply

  115. questions says:

    “The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the country

    Reply

  116. questions says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/04/world/middleeast/04diplomacy.html
    The NYT story.
    AJ says they have no live shots.

    Reply

  117. JohnH says:

    How to prevent a repeat of Tiananmen–make sure there is no video of the shooting.

    Reply

  118. JohnH says:

    The election system has to be part and parcel of any negotiations. A new constitution and elections are worthless if Egypt follows the same sham election processes as before. If you think Iran’s elections were bad, look at Egypt’s. Mubarak was free to ban parties, candidates, then ignore local results and install the loser if he wanted, which he often did.
    To have any integrity at all, the new deal has to include open elections, excluding no one, international observers, freedom from intimidation and an auditing process that assures verifiable results.
    As I said on another thread, people should look at Venezuela’s system, which is an electronic voting system the produces paper receipts and requires a public auditing of machine results by matching them the paper receipts.

    Reply

  119. questions says:

    Well, AJ is quoting Reuters which is quoting the NYT headline…. Hmmm. They coulda got it from me!
    At any rate, AJ says that the plan would be Suleiman stays in, the military is in, Mubarak is out.
    AJ is looking into it. NYT will look into it. Reuters will look into it. I’ll read it somewhere eventually.

    Reply

  120. questions says:

    And the NYT has this Breaking headline (no attached story yet):
    “Obama Administration Discussing Plan for Mubarak to Quit Immediately”
    So, is he leaving, or beating the shit out of everyone, or doing the latter and then the former?

    Reply

  121. questions says:

    This could be really bad, or just HuffPo:
    “The New York Times reported that there is no longer any live video feed coming from Tahrir Square.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/03/egypt-journalists-roundup_n_818381.html
    Anyone watching anything? Seeing anything?

    Reply

  122. JohnH says:

    “Israel can be a spoiled brat. Constantly craving attention and assurances of undying friendship and commitment, self-centered and blind to the needs of others. Israel, unlike America, isn’t a superpower. It isn’t an empire. It doesn’t have much of a role in world affairs other than taking care of its own little self. So, when Israel looks at the revolutionary forces in Egypt, it doesn’t see “change,” or “hope,” or “democracy,” or the “end of oppression.” It doesn’t see Egyptians rejoicing in anticipation of their new beginning. All Israel sees is trouble.” Shmuel Rozner in “Slate”

    Reply

  123. Dan Kervick says:

    “These are of course some of the eternal dilemmas of revolutions, and the outcome is rarely something resembling a democratic order.”
    Agreed. It seems to me that the best opportunity for democracy then is in this immediate period. This is the time when you have the greatest solidarity among diverse opposition forces, as they are united in a spirited sense of fraternal common purpose against the ruling regime. You also find the greatest willingness to compromise when no one faction has yet gained the upper hand. If Washington wants this revolution to have the greatest chance of settling on a democratic outcome, it would be good for them to try to hurry it along.
    It will be interesting to see if the people in Tahrir Square can come together to forge a simple, broad and principle-based “Tahrir compact” of some kind.

    Reply

  124. nadine says:

    The army is the one Egyptian institution respected by both the government and protesters. It has not yet taken a position. It will need to be a big part of any transition.

    Reply

  125. DonS says:

    Yes, Newshour went ok; overall message, don’t trust what is coming out of the Egyptian government. Program could easily have devoted more time/questions to the matter, but probably awaiting tomorrow night’s weekly wrap up. Interesting, depressing how-ho hum’, just another thing, this is already perceived of in the media. People’s lives go on.
    Meanwhile, via TPM, the House Foreign Affairs Committee gets ready to crank up the anti-Islamist boogeyman. This get’s interesting, considering the foreign aid, and the bribery and the conditions on that aid that Chairman Ros-Lehtinen thinks she/AIPAC may hold. Here we are, with the people of Egypt paying in blood for one dictator supported and bribed by the US for a false peace — a process still in the agony of evolution, and the right wingers are already peddling their snake oil. The are, among other things, apparently quite thick headed; don’t learn lessons very easily.
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/03/ros_lehtinen_to_call_obama_team_to_testify_on_egypt

    Reply

  126. Paul Norheim says:

    “…and a new democratic order begins *now*.
    I have difficulties seeing how democratic that new order would be. Except for the known
    parties and movements – whose relative strength we don’t know, and can’t know, due to the
    repression of their voices – who among the young activists will represent this broad opposition
    that until now has been so unwilling to submit themselves under some multiparty coalition;
    and how will they represent them? What is their agenda? How will they define the broad
    agenda of the masses they allegedly represent? How could this happen “now”?
    These are of course some of the eternal dilemmas of revolutions, and the outcome is rarely
    something resembling a democratic order.

    Reply

  127. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve was good on NewsHour. He made a good point about “negotiations”. Egypt is beyond the point where a round of negotiations between the opposition and the current regime is either realistic or appropriate. The opposition can’t and won’t be drawn into some kind of protracted haggling with the current regime about what they *might* give up in the future. That would be an obvious ploy by the regime to stall and dither while some of the energy deflates, and then crack down hard later when the world stops paying attention. The result will only draw out the conflict and lead to further disorder and violence in the end, maybe even civil war. There has to be a clean break: a governmental handover to a new provisional governing coalition – a clear and unmistakable declaration that the revolution has succeeded and a new democratic order begins *now*.

    Reply

  128. Dan Kervick says:

    Lot’s of good comments and reservations.
    The resignation of Mubarak should be accompanied by a joint statement of purpose among the principles in the new opposition provisional committee and whoever is to represent the established power structure – if not Suleiman, then someone else – to give birth to a new democratic constitution and a new democratic regime. A transitional timetable setting out at least the key milestones announced right at the very beginning, the very first or next day.
    Suleiman’s role (or the role of whoever takes his place) should be defined at the outset as the orderly deconstruction and unpacking of the old regime to consist mainly in performing caretaker functions, with hands-on oversight and consultation from other members of the opposition transitional coalition, and assisting technically in the peaceful hand off of the old regime to the new regime. It will be necessary to have some relatively high official of the current regime involved so that essential defense and security matters can be briefed to the new officials.
    It is a democratic revolution, so the new regime does not exist yet. It will only exist when a new constitution is held and elections take place. So no simple overnight turnover from one regime to the new regime can take place.
    Yes, I agree that trusted leading members of the younger activist community should be invited into the process right from the beginning. I’m sure that during the gripping and demanding events of the past few days, certain natural leaders have emerged from the crowds of Tahrir, people who have earned the respect and confidence of their peers.
    The UN has people who have game-planned transitions to democracy for years. So bring them in and draw on their help.

    Reply

  129. rc says:

    On a more serious note, the only major condition I would make on the new ‘arrangements’ in Egypt is that none of the players should speak Russian and have been to ‘school’ in Moscow!

    Reply

  130. DonS says:

    “Don, their demand No. 1 has been for Mubarak to leave the scene.”
    Agree, but think in terms of head of the snake. A symbol of all, including the corrupt higher ups, who have brutally repressed Egypt.
    I do not even think of Soleiman as a “candidate”. Remember, he was merely appointed a week ago (after 30 years without any VP) as a sop to the masses. Why, all of a sudden, would he somehow be invested with the mantle of some legitimacy? I cannot imagine, though it may be so, that the army’s cooperation would turn on whether this bloody VP would be honored as a legitimate figure. A genuine future must be built on both practicality and much greater transparency and honesty.
    Maybe I’m idealistic.

    Reply

  131. rc says:

    “Mubarak is our father …” — what? … More childish family metaphor.
    It really is strange to see a mature nation and ancient culture coming out of the ‘Family Cult’ deep freeze.
    What 30 years of dictatorship can do!
    A whole generation of clones mind-melded on the Great Father Leader — children without self respect, self-identity and responsibility. The alpha-male with his over $100billion personal family fortune.
    The great Leader with 80m children! Oh, how he cares for every little Egyptian ant on the street!
    Now, for something completely different, what’s going on in North Korea where that other Family of clones is nicely tucked up in bed by Big Poppa?
    Don’t send more tanks — send in the cult busters!
    I’m sure the ‘proud Egyptians’ will make it — but oh, what pain it is to wake up and realize that the God Father cannot walk on water, does not love you, and is basically just a vicious little petty crook in a nice suit.
    And worse still, this is all on a 24×7 reality TV show with a global audience: The Greatest Losers!
    It is time some of the women stepped forward into serious governance roles — the system of sycophants will not change otherwise. Where is the next Cleopatra?
    I cannot see any other way to get this vampire squid off the face of the Egyptian collective.
    The Cold War may have officially finished many years ago, but what we are seeming now in Egypt is the final defrosting of the Moscow communist way of thinking (or non thinking as the case may be).
    The King is Dead! Long Live the ???? … ah, just bury the bastard and party on dudes!!!

    Reply

  132. Paul Norheim says:

    Don, their demand No. 1 has been for Mubarak to leave the
    scene. They didn’t seem so outraged when Soleiman was
    picked as VP (their outraged was focused on the fact that
    Mubarak didn’t leave). But yes, if the regime power and the
    anti-regime power could agree on another and better
    candidate, that would of course be preferable. Soleiman is
    clearly a suspect figure.

    Reply

  133. DonS says:

    Disagree, Paul. If the army is to play a constructive role, they will see the need for cleaning house of all regime intimites. That includes VP. Really, you can conceive the ‘masses’ would be OK with this bloody VP remaining?

    Reply

  134. Paul Norheim says:

    As for VP Soleiman, that’s part of Dan’s suggestion that I
    like – not because I trust the VP, but because it could be a
    viable compromise that both the army/Mubarak crowd and
    the protestors may accept.
    “…an appeal from the opposition coalition to restore Egypt
    to normal functioning” combined with permitting continued
    protests is also a crucial point here.

    Reply

  135. DonS says:

    Questions, yes, the point is broad representation, but NOT of those representative of the highest level of the current administration.

    Reply

  136. questions says:

    You can’t just have the opposition factions making up committees.
    It’s a nation of some 80 million. 80 million people did not march.
    You cannot leave out the gov’t loyalists and you cannot leave out the members of whatever classes did not march.
    Geographic representation has its charms, even if you’re sometimes stuck with some seemingly retrograde asses because of where you live.
    The balance between ideological groupings and geographic groupings should possibly play something of a role. The opposition groups are ideological groupings. Geographic groupings catch a whole bunch of other people who otherwise are left out of the process.

    Reply

  137. DonS says:

    I do not believe the highest current officials should be allowed to remain at their posts for any but the shortest time, and definitely not be involved in anyway in the preparation for elections. E.g., the VP remains only long enough for ceremonial transfer of power to committee with broad representation of all opposition factions who can determine the way forward. The rot and corruption of personal loyalty to Mubarak and the repressive regime go layers below the President. Many of these should not be allowed to remain regardless of how many protestations to work for democracy they make.

    Reply

  138. questions says:

    Dan, all I’d add is a few more layers of committees. The protesters want to be involved. They likely, many of them, don’t want to have taken the risks they did only to turn the next phase over to some committee somewhere far away.
    Hence, it might be better to have local committees making suggestions that go to the next level of committee, til it all ends up at a committee of committees.
    Of course, decision-making done this way is grossly inefficient, might not really even be participatory as ideas will be dropped on the move up the committee system, but committee systems encourage expertise, make people feel part of things, and honestly, are the training ground for future politicians.
    Some dudes and dudettes will so get into meetings and decisions and taking minutes and e-mailing people and the like that they will suddenly know that they HAVE to get into politics.
    Connections will be made, friendships firmed, and so on.
    If the sense of national emergency could settle enough for the writing of a truly Egyptian constitution and the shaping of a truly Egyptian bureaucracy to happen in evolutionary form, that would probably serve the cravings and needs of Egypt.
    I don’t know how to deal with the top of the government in order to allow such a process — let a caretaker committee have 6 months to get things together? Is 6 months enough to have committee meetings, put together candidate slates, make tv and internet ads….. Are there already some experienced political operative outfits? Good lord, I think I’m wondering if there are a bunch of Egyptian Karl Roves. BARF. But maybe necessary.
    At any rate, send Mubarak down an airplane slide — it’s a great exit plan for airplanes, if nothing else!
    I get the feeling that he needs a little more pressure to shorten his current Friedman unit preference.

    Reply

  139. JamesL says:

    Al Jazeera: Suleiman: Mubarak is our father

    Reply

  140. JamesL says:

    Today’s Mubarak statement: If I leave there will be chaos.
    Of course there isn’t any now.
    Did I miss Obama’s big speech today, or did he choose to make it somebody else’s smaller speech?

    Reply

  141. Paul Norheim says:

    And someone will have to work out an exit plan including
    immunity for Mubarak.

    Reply

  142. Paul Norheim says:

    Excellent, Dan. I think Steve should email your reasonable
    suggestions to the White House.

    Reply

  143. Dan Kervick says:

    Also, there needs to be some kind of call for no recriminations. Except for those involved in the worst crimes, police and security personnel who will to commit to working for a united democratic Egypt must be allowed to return to their jobs.

    Reply

  144. Dan Kervick says:

    Here’s the way I see what has to happen:
    Mubarak must resign.
    Then vice president and head of people’s assembly must then begin immediate discussions with key opposition parties immediately upon the resignation, setting up a transitional committee to begin work on elections at earliest date possible and provisional constitution. They won’t negotiate until Mubarak goes.
    Continued protests must be permitted in Tahrir. This pressure is the only way to assure good faith progress on transition to democracy.
    Government must restore police and basic security, with an appeal from the opposition coalition to restore Egypt to normal functioning. Egypt is not in chaos because of peaceful demonstrators in Tahrir square. It’s in chaos because the police and public services abandoned the streets, and turned them over to thugs.
    Egypt’s new government should request UN assistance in helping to mediate talks and providing routine status updates to the international community.
    US and other world powers should pledge a package of temporary assistance to Egypt contingent on good faith execution of transition, based on UN reports.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *