February 02, 2011
Feb 2 - Live Coverage Of Protests In Egypt
Some scenes and thoughts from watching AlJazeera live and other sources. Newest entry on top.
Lots of Molotov cocktails thrown now from both sides on a side street - all fall short of the "enemy" lines it seems
Firebombs form both sides in stand off next tp Egyptian Museum
21:00 GMT - 23:00 Cairo
Pro-democracy protesters seem to have pushed back the dictators' forces a few hundred meters along the road next the the Egyptian Museum and have errected a makeshift barricade there that gives them some protection
The US is now arranging for a coup against the will of the Egyptian people
Suleiman/Mubarak thinks he has upper hand now - before he asked opposition groups for negotiations, now says no dialog unless protests stop
Military warned shortly before of armed goons coming to the square
Very unclear situation it seems
Video view of pro-dictator side - much less people than before - a few hundreds - maybe a thousand - military tank -M113- moving within the crowd
Firebombs just seen thrown down from a building with pro-dictator people on it
22:18 Cairo time - automatic gunfire heard in the square on AJ live feed - army repositioning
Despite a determined attack by government goons and security services in civilian cloth the people in the Tahrir square managed to hold their position. This alone is a big victory.
The Tahrir Square seems pretty silent for now but unfortunately too empty. Reinforcement for the pro-democracy people is said to be on its way, but we haven't seen any yet. If there is an determined attack overnight, they will likely not be able to hold out. That would be a very bloody outcome. On the other side leaving the square right now may be even more dangerous than staying there.
The Egyptian army lives off an annual 1.3 billion dollars bribe from the U.S. In a country where a teacher makes $50 per month there is no way it can make that much money with so little work. If the U.S. says it is over and Mubarak has to leave now they will make him leave. Listening to the White House press conference, it seems that the related phone calls are being made right now.
Mubarak leaving would not change much though. Omar Suleiman, chief torturer of the regime, and the other guys at the top would likely carry on with Mubarak's policies. The aim must be complete regime change. It is unlikely though that the U.S. would support that.
The people will have to fight on to get there.
I expect another big demonstration this Friday. If the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other groups openly calls out it supporters for that, the numbers may be even bigger than what we saw yesterday. That would probably be decisive.
---live blogging from today below in time reverse order---
19:00 GMT - 21:00 Cairo
Graham Wood has been on the square and writes for The Atlantic: The Battle in Cairo's Tahrir Square - he thinks the goons will clear the square later tonight.
Finally two ambulances enter Tahrir square
BBC correspondent: "US government officials make very clear to us that Mubarak now has to leave much earlier than September"
18:00 GMT - 20:00 Cairo
[The order for the coup?]
AlArabiya Adm Mullen has called Lt Gen Sami Annan, Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Army
people get warned to move inside from balconies and to take cover
Police vans deploying to Tahrir squares - said to have order to shoot
Interview with former military intelligence general - "this shows Mubaraks paranoia"
anti-government people show more state security IDs to the camera
One doctor in a makeshift hospital in a mosque said at least 1500 wounded on the anti-government side
Live video: anti-government people show a man in civil cloth and an ID card to the camera - couldn't read it but maybe police ID
State security is systematically checking hotel rooms to look for reporters who film into Tahrir Square
17:00 GMT - 19:00 Cairo
The interior square now shows only aa few hundred people. There are likely more at the periphery. Still it would be good for them to get some reinforcement over the next hours.
Live video shows a group fo 30 people breaking pavement for getting more stones - seems to be pro-government side, not sure though
AFP estimates 500 wounded [From my experience is such clashes, the real number must be higher, probably double that - those were lots of stones flying]
DepState spokesman appeals to "all sides" to show restrain [he obviously didn't watch what I watched]
The fire were Molotov cocktail that had been thrown into the inner perimeter of the Egyptian Museum
EU Foreign Policy Speaker Ashton on AJ - still doesn't call for Mubarak to step down immediately, blah, blah, ...
Some fire-engine is trying to put out a fire - still really not sure where that is, but seems to be right next to the museum
For orientation a picture with the Tahrir Square on the bottom right and the Egyptian Museum on the top left. The anti government protesters in the square were mainly attacked through the road coming down from the top next to the museum inot the square.
16:00 GMT - 18:00 Cairo (darkness)
fighting seems to have calmed down now
Uoh - video now shows some fire again but not sure where that is
The fire seems to have been put out by someone
Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs) get thrown from a roof now - could endanger the museum
Amnesty International "we have proof that this is organized violence"
UN Ban Ki Moon "transitions should take place now"
fire in one of the shops in the street - lost of smoke in the street
more warning shots being fired again - seem to be from the military that guards the Egyptian museum, the fighting is in the road next to the museum
now some 100 pro side on top of buildings next to the road that is fought about - throwing down everything they find or can rip off - big sat antennas etc
truck driving into square with pro-side people on top - truck vanished, no idea where its is now
pro-forces breaking up the pavement to have more stones to throw
[With this the international position of Mubarack dropped another 10 points]
ElBaradei talks of "crime against Egypt", Ban Ki Moon says "unacceptable", Cameron condemns violence
after being attack from the top, anti-retreat, pro side has the trucks back
about 50 people on top of a building ripping roof parts off and throwing them down onto anti-government protesters
pro-side probably got orders to retreat - this move looked organized
15:00 GMT - 17:00 Cairo (curfew time)
anti side rushing forward and pro side retreats fast, pro side seems to be less motivated now, retreats fast and far
anti-side hands captured people to the military
pro side has used positions in high rises at the position of the trucks to attack the anti from above, they now push the trucks towards the anti side - huge clouds of smoke/teargas
helicopter above Tahrir, pro side recaptured the trucks after teargas attack towards anti-side
tear gas being fired towards anti-side
NYT columnist Kristof in Tahrir, tweets:
mobs arrived in buses, armed with machetes, straight-razors and clubs, very menacing.
A Human Rights Watch guy who was in Tahrir reports many people with wounds from stones thrown, no knife wounds - speaks of pro-government "gangs" rooming through the side streets
In the last minutes just stand-off with stones being thrown over a gap between the crowds
pro-government site said to get reinforcement, anti-crowd can not be reinforced as there is no open entry to the square
AJ seems to wait for military intervention, but for the military to get there in sufficient numbers would likely take hours - a few battle tanks don't do
pro-government sides throwing molotov cocktails now
all exists from Tahrir seem plocked by the clashes, women and children in the middle of the square
anti-government group tries to rush the trucks - and wins them
the trucks are now used as barricade to block off one road and protect the pro-government crowd
pro-government have taken over three military vehicle, trucks, and drive them towards the square
automatic weapon fire heard - single shot mode - some 10 shots
clashes in the side street that around the Tahrir square - the square itself is calm, some 10,000+ people there, most seem to have moved to the streets around
14:00 GMT - 16:00 Cairo
Reports of large demonstrations in Alexandria
another rush - pro-government catch one anti who had fallen down while fleeing, some ten people beat him up heavily with sticks
counter rush - back to starting position
another rush by the pro-government side against the anti forces - stops after some 100 meter
this happens on the wide road next to the Egyption museum that leads to the square
several attacks of pro-government site on journalists from CNN, Al Arabiya, Spanish radio, ...
short pause - no side winning any ground now
Earlier smoke grenate was tear gas, pro-government protesters confirmed to have police IDs, shown on camera at AJ arabic
video shows a crowd beting someone up - not clear which side
some hundreds anti-government people praying in rows prtected by a cordon of others
again stand-off position - the two groups some 50 meter apart, throwing rocks, waiting for one side to rush
ElBaradei accuses the government of scare tactics
pro-government protesters retreated afti the anti government side rushed onto them - now pro-government rushing again
Riot police in full uniform (helmets etc) on the side of pro-government side, but do not intervene yet
Clashes continue - Suez reports similar happening
13:00 GMT - 15:00 Cairo
Two horseriders were pulled down by anti-government protesters
Men on horse and camels are rushing against anti-Mubarak protester in the square - armed police seems to accompany pro-Mubarak crowd
Another tank joins
An army tanks is now trying to block a street through which the pro-Mubarak demonstrators push onto the square - the soldiers seem to have no weapon, just urge people to stay apart
Clashes in the side streets of Tahrir square
Uniformed police/state security officers lead the pro-Mubarak crowd in a car with loud-speaker systems
Eyewitnesses report injuries
Clouds of smoke on one side of Tahrir - seems to have been some military smoke grenade though there is no military visible
Video shows two huge groups with some 20 meter no-mans-land in between. pro-Mubarak try to rush, anti-Mubarak group retreats, avoids direct conflict
Video shows stones flying and one group, I assume pro-Mubarak police in civil cloth, with long sticks
Clashes in Tahrir square
More pictures (good but data heavy) part 1, part 2
Both groups shouting at each other but so far shwing restrain - may get ugly any moment
12:00 GMT - 14:00 Cairo
About a thousand pro-Mubarak protesters moving into Tahrir square - the army has retreated
Some people have no shame: Tony Blair: Mubarak is 'immensely courageous and a force for good'
Crowd in Tahrir is growing fast, I estimate 100,000
Zeinobia in Cairo made notes while it happened - now uploaded: Jan 28 : Chronicles of The longest Friday in Egypt, #Jan 29 : After the 28th,
Pictures from yesterday just uploaded
The government announced constitutional changes to happen in about two month.
Some Internet access seems to be back in Egypt.
After facing demonstrations yesterday, Yemens dictator announced today that he will not run again for presidency and also not install his son.
The crowd on the Tahrir Square is growing. So is the crowd of pro-Mubarak demonstrators. These are currently around the state TV building, only a few minutes away from the Tahrir square.
11:00 GMT - 13:00 Cairo
Yesterday evening a few hundred pro-Mubarak demonstrators shortly clashed with anti-Mubarak protesters in Alexandria. The military had to shoot into the air to separate the stone throwing groups.
Concerned about further clashes the military called for ending all demonstration.
There are still several thousand people in Tahrir Square, many more will likely come, and they are determined to stay there until Mubarak leaves. Egyptian state TV shows a pro-Mubarak demonstration of about one thousand people. They are mostly mid-aged men and an Al Jazeera reporter on the ground describes their mood as "aggressive". If pro and anti demonstrators meet, there may well be some violent incidences.
Banks, the stock exchange and many business stay closed. Downgraded by rating agencies and tourists leaving are increasing the economic pressure on the state.
According to the LA Times, Obama had asked Mubarak to step down immediately:
A U.S. envoy in Cairo told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he needed to step aside and allow a new government to take shape without him but was rebuffed, according to Middle East experts who have discussed the matter with the Obama administration.
If that is really the case one wonders why Obama mentioned no such demand in yesterday's speech.
Posted by b on February 2, 2011 at 05:47 AM | Permalink
He may turn out to be correct:
I say this without any hyperbole, but the US is willing to have millions of Arab oppressed, killed, and tortured to preserve the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. I strongly and firmly believe that.
Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 2, 2011 7:43:05 AM | 1
Bad news if the army is stepping aside, @Maracatu statement is correct I foresee this also.
Posted by: hans | Feb 2, 2011 7:58:34 AM | 2
WTH? Now the pro-mubarak got cavallery
Posted by: Lex | Feb 2, 2011 7:59:31 AM | 3
AJ English WEb Producer Tweets:
# glcarlstrom I saw two camera crews (neither from our channel) chased by mobs yelling "Al Jazeera! Al Jazeera!" #jan25 #egypt 10 minutes ago via HootSuite
# glcarlstrom Very hostile in Tahrir - has the atmosphere of a lynch mob - people looking for anti-Mubarak demos, Americans, Al Jazeera employees. 11 minutes ago via HootSuite
Posted by: Lex | Feb 2, 2011 8:25:29 AM | 4
Holy Shit! If you were a conspiracy theorist (or a tin-foil hat anti-elitist) you wouldn't dare to make up this stuff about Obama's emissary to Cairo : Daddy was a founding figure in the CIA and "wifey" is Sarkozy's former step-mother. And, icing on the cake, the emissary was "until recently Vice Chairman of American International Group".
Change we can believe in!
Interesting that Wikipedia is so quickly updated. Deeper meaning?
Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 2, 2011 9:43:37 AM | 5
re #5 the ruling class - "it's a big club, and you ain't in it" - George Carlin
a conspiracy to use, abuse, and confuse the people- to "milk, shear, and slaughter the sheeple", metaphorically speaking - except that sometimes the slaughter is literal - clearly the decision has been made that anti-Mubarak demonstrations are to be cleared from the central square by any means necessary
Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 2, 2011 9:50:55 AM | 6
Could some of the pro demonstrators be "mistaaravim” (groups of militant zionist murderers who wear Arab civilian clothes), to infiltrate the protesters in Egypt in order to assassinate the leaders of the opposition and the revolutionary movement who take part in the protests against the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak and his thugs?
Posted by: hans | Feb 2, 2011 10:02:00 AM | 7
the obscen & entirely predictable use of force by the tyant & his masters
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 2, 2011 10:19:18 AM | 8
the obscene & entirely predictable use of force by the tyrant & his masters
the army doing nothing to defend the people
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 2, 2011 10:29:26 AM | 9
This is something we should all keep in mind when our time comes....and it's coming. The police and the armed forces rely upon the "People" for their very existence. They have to be fed, clothed, they need a place to lay their heads. In otherwords, physically speaking at least, they are human and have to survive...and they cannot survive without the aid of the Masses. Know who your neighbors are. Are they soldiers and/or police, so when this goes down in your neck of the woods, you can collectively shut these goons down because they need you for all that I mentioned above.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 10:46:11 AM | 10
Also, it's time for the protesters to take this to the next level and envision there aspirations in concrete terms. Now is the time to start organizing documented lists of who the Pro-Mubarak opposition is, where they live, so if, or when, the rebellion results in a successful revolution the names on that list can be hunted down and brought to Justice. Let the thugs know that there will be consequences for their behavior....that their cowardly brutality will not go unpunished. Che had it right in after the Cuban revolution. The goons there pulled the same stunt, and Che had no qualms about meting out Justice.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 10:52:52 AM | 11
My guess is that they won't be able to last through the night.
Tahrir Square (in the governmental area?) may be too far from where most protesters come and they may be cut off.
Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 2, 2011 11:51:18 AM | 13
@ hannah, France, Sark...
The present scandal involves Minister of Defense, Michelle Alliot-Marie - MAM in the press-, a long term and extremely successful political hack, who spent her Xmas/new year vacations, with male companion (also a minister, minor figure, how astonishing) being planed and lodged by friends of Ben Ali, in Tunisia.
Sarkozy has all trust and confidence in her, yeah.
She was the one who ordered security matériel, arms in fact, to be sent to Tunisia, in January. The consignment was held up due to regular, ordinary checks. Then the Gvmt pretended it was held back because of heh heh, “doubts.”
Posted by: Noirette | Feb 2, 2011 12:12:03 PM | 15
the major u.s. networks' nightly news coverage last night painted a very favorable image of the protestors - lots of emphasis on how the crowds were full of normal folk (non-activists) of all backgrounds & beliefs, profusely non-violent and determined to not let mubarak stay in power even one extra day. i was surprised by what i saw presented, w/ even the context offered that it was the actions of the military that allowed the crowds to gather and make their point peacefully.
today's actions are an attempt to change the tone of those type of reports, to a focus on violence, and prevent that type of authentic reporting. it should backfire on them, one would expect, esp since the very reporters that delivered those stories on tuesday are targets of the goons on wednesday. media propaganda battles aside, the situation is too far along now to reverse the momentum of the rebellion. and the global audience seems to be quite aware of what most of the facts are and who has the moral, ethical & political upper hand.
Posted by: b real | Feb 2, 2011 12:30:04 PM | 16
i do not want to shit ink when the people are shedding their blood but the masses who have demanded the fall of the tyrant will be massacred in full if those forces protecting mubarak are not forcefully fought - the violence so far is one sided - the state & the agents of the state - the popular support is completely manufactured in offices using the fear so habitual to states collapsing
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 2, 2011 12:44:38 PM | 17
& i fear the army will allow an attack tonight by security forces on tahrir square
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 2, 2011 12:53:29 PM | 18
I don’t know squat about military matters. However.
The Egyptian army is an inextricable part of the domineering class. Its high officials, army-cum-gvmt, own, manage, large (?..?) parts of the Egyptian economy - with interests in oil, nat gas, cement, hotels, transport, etc. They are not just a side branch, defense and security of a State Apparatus or Nation, but major (?..?) owners in the economic sphere. Egypt is more like Pakistan, Tunisia more like Switz., say. (?)
Surely others here know more, better?
So the Army had the opportunity to play good cop...and did, most likely to avoid escalation from their end, hope for die-down, and play other games.
Posted by: Noirette | Feb 2, 2011 1:06:02 PM | 19
The army (I refuse to capitalize a group of cowards) allowed the attack today. And, perhaps were involved in its orchestration....at least the higher ups. I think it's clear, the army brass also have to go.
From an anonymous source at the demonstration:
They came into the square and we blocked them peacefully, forming a human line and peacefully pushing them back . A number of thugs had infiltrated behind our human line and all of a sudden 70 people from behind us started running towards us from behind the line and started throwing rocks and stones and picking up pieces of wood from their side. This was the signal for other 'Pro-Mubarak' side to start reponding by throwing rocks. Our people retreated, they came forward - the point of stopping was where the army tanks were [next to the Egyptian Museum] and as we came forward people started throwing stones at us from the side of those tanks. This is significant because the only way you can get there is with the permission of the army. Stone throwing was happening - then suddenly someone gets up on the tank shouting "People, stop stop stop, we can't behave like this! ' - and immediately another guy comes straight up holding a picture of Mubarak and the tank is swarmed with Mubarak supporters as if they're trying to stop violence! That was clearly a photo op. Once that photo opportunity had happened the 'Mubarak Protesters' got down from top of the tanks all of a sudden. Suddenly a whole load of camels and horses with people on top of them with whips came through the entrance right by the tanks. It was so clearly orchestrated that some of the young guys from the army were breaking ranks because they were so disillusioned and didn't want to be part of this bullshit. We managed to pull people off camels, and they all went back and it all returned to a vague normality and calmed down.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 1:06:13 PM | 20
In other news, Robert Gibbs' herpes outbreak appears to have been successfully quelled.
Posted by: Biklett | Feb 2, 2011 2:17:29 PM | 21
the article in atlantic concurs with my feeling about tonight
the people are courageous because they have no real means of defence other than their bodies
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 2, 2011 2:20:11 PM | 22
there was an old chinese saying I heard long ago and went something like "he who rides the tiger can never get off". I wonder if that is not the case with Mubarak. He is after all of retirement age and certainly has enough graft put away to live the rest of his days very comfortably. why does he not retire? is power so addictive that he can not imagine not being in power? or is it that he fears he will end up on the end of a rope in the manner of Saddam Hussein?
maybe his friends would be the one to put a bullet in his head if he bows out leaving them to fend for themselves.
I fear that the lack of serious outside coordination will doom this popular uprising. a strong figure with elite support was needed for ultimate success here. sadly, it has not yet materialized and now the better organized and much more lethal establishment has had time to respond and turn the tide.
I see bitter disappointment. hope I am wrong
ps, b to refer to soldiers and police who are not in uniform, it is better to say they are in civilian clothing rather than civil cloth.
Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 2, 2011 2:41:34 PM | 23
The main error from the Mubarak band of thugs has been how they have attacked without restrain journalists of all kind including many western ones. Local media is saying that three spanish journalist were attacked. Very bad publicity. From now on many of those journalist, whatever is the editorial lines of their media, aren't going to be nice with Mubarak.
Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 2, 2011 2:53:01 PM | 24
Morocco Bama@12 and ThePaper@24,
CNN's Anderson Cooper ‘punched in the head’ 10 times by pro-Mubarak thugs:
Because Anderson Cooper is tall and thin and has pale skin and platinum colored hair, Mubarak's thugs probably mistaken him for Julian Assange, who is one of the most prominent faces in the fight for digit democracy, making him the male as well as the cyber equivalent of Lady Liberty. But if these vicious dictatorial thugs had any knowledge of the mainstream press in America, they'd know that CNN is up there with Fox (FAUX) News and NPR (NeoCon Propaganda Radio) as a loyal mouthpiece for US-backed dictatorial regimes through the Arab world, including their very own dictatorial regime in Egypt, making Anderson Cooper the evil twin of Julian Assange.
Posted by: Cynthia | Feb 2, 2011 2:59:50 PM | 25
I am disappointed in the Egyptian army but I'm sure I am just naive. I was just hoping. Obama; the usual Zionist wimp. More blood on his trembling hands. I am shocked at CNN and their accurate reporting. Anderson Cooper did a shit job at reporting the Israel attack on S. Lebanon in 2006 but he is doing a wonderful job in Egypt! Fox news, the predictable U.S. traitor.
The old world order is fighting for their very existence, of course they will fight with everything they have. They will do whatever is necessary. I don't know what that means for the protesters. I feel like this thing MUST be won by the people or we all lose!
Posted by: Genie | Feb 2, 2011 3:19:08 PM | 27
After reading the Atlantic piece and the one r'giap links to, I am quite certain Tahrir Square will be cleared tonight, by the pro-Mubarak mobs with tacit leadership by the secret police. The army has said as much, in fact, according to what I've seen on Al Jazeera - that is, they say that armed groups are coming to the square and that the demonstrators must leave. To fill in the unspoken, although the army has said they will not fire on the people, they also will not protect them from the Mubarak mobs and the secret police. The daytime action with rocks, sticks, whips cleared those easily discouraged. The harsher action to remove the rest will take place under cover of darkness. No amount of civilian reinforcements to the protestors, even if they do arrive, will protect them. Who knows how many martyrs will be made tonight?
May the Creative Forces of the Universe have mercy on our souls, if any.
Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 2, 2011 3:29:35 PM | 28
Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 2, 2011 9:43:37 AM | 5
Thanks so very much for that info... I'm spamming it far and wide. I knew he was a friend of Muburak and at one time an ambassador to Egypt... but didn't think to check wiki...
If I wore a tin-foil hat I might be inclined to think there were CIA black ops involved in all this pro-Muburak stuff... all the bloodshed... nah! couldn't be... will continue my knitting now.
Posted by: crone | Feb 2, 2011 3:34:45 PM | 29
Anti Mubarak demonstrators turtled up and try to push out slowly..
Posted by: Lex | Feb 2, 2011 3:48:39 PM | 31
That was an interesting Scene: ProMbarak on the open space (opposite the turtled protesters), one guy on a motorbike arrives, drives to the middle of the ProMubarak people, moments later most of the crowd is retreating simultaneously, guy drives off again
also nice how AJ nonchalantly relabeled "Anti Mubarak" to "Pro Democracy" demonstrators today
Posted by: Lex | Feb 2, 2011 4:01:57 PM | 32
So in one day the story is turned into pro democracy supporters or demonstrators versus mubarak supporters - let in by the army.
Posted by: Noirette | Feb 2, 2011 4:08:20 PM | 33
Pro-Democracy flanked and have a second phalanx of shields up in the sidestreet
Posted by: Lex | Feb 2, 2011 4:11:28 PM | 34
i am convinced tho the people in the square are able to fight off those paid to attack them -- it is just an opening for either the security forces or the army to soon take control - sulieman's statement would appear to affirm that
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 2, 2011 4:20:14 PM | 35
They protester seem to have cranked up their tactics! If I interprete this correctly, they moved into the sidestreet, opening a second barricade there, than rushed the mubarak crowd simoultaniously..
Posted by: Lex | Feb 2, 2011 4:22:11 PM | 36
The army seems on the move.
Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 2, 2011 4:40:33 PM | 37
Main stream media is still wailing about the impact on Israel......
Posted by: georgeg | Feb 2, 2011 4:44:52 PM | 38
I wouldn't be surprised if Mubarak contracts the whole thing out to Israel by no later than next week. Israel loves to mow down innocents with their U.S. supplied tanks.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 5:32:58 PM | 40
A very sad report of today by Robert Fisk for tomorrow Independent paper:
“Sometime around 3am yesterday, I had watched Lord Blair of Isfahan as he struggled to explain to CNN the need to "partner the process of change" in the Middle East. We had to avoid the "anarchy" of the "most extreme elements". And – my favourite, this – Lord Blair spoke of "a government that is not elected according to the system of democracy that we would espouse". Well, we all know which old man's "democracy" he was referring to.”
As a basque citizen, I'm very sorry of our European Leaders, even knowing that Blair works for the CIA and JPMorgan, and Ashton is a missile by Blair in European Union.
It's a shame.
Posted by: auskalo | Feb 2, 2011 7:50:06 PM | 41
From auskalo's link:
The Egyptian Third Army, famous in legend and song for crossing the Suez Canal in 1973, couldn't – or wouldn't – even cross Tahrir Square to help the wounded.
What a bunch of disgusting cowards.....and traitors. Considering Uncle $cam's link, and this statement, the famous Egyptian Third Army that "crossed the Suez Canal in 1973" is now the bitch of the very country they crossed that canal to fight.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 8:02:35 PM | 42
That Fisk article is excellent, by the way. Thanks for sharing it.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 8:20:21 PM | 43
Thanks to b for coming back and give us his time and knowledge.
I missed this place for long time. I just commented once, before.
I learned a lof here, and I'm happy to learn again.
Thank you very much, b.
PS: I made a comment in nakedcapitalism with rgiap translation of Clinton's speech and she put the video in front page. Lots of comments… I recommend Richard Kline's comment. He's historian and makes a very long comment. Here goes the beginning:
“Barack Obama just at the moment finds himself in the same badly fitting, slightly charred suit Mikhail Gorbachev had on in 1989. Mubarak is doomed; the protestors include absolutely everyone in the country except the Presidential guard, and have all of the momentum; clearly no one on the ground is going to give an order to fire on the people. So: sweeping change, which the US has no ability to steer (nor should it). It might be nice to make some conciliatory statements to try to retain a relationship with Egypt’s military from the US point of view. However, the US still has a whole _further_ network of servile quisling autocrats on our tab wholly despised by their entire peoples, as well as a few odious dictators _not_ on our tab in exactly the same position (Sudan and Syria standing in for Serbia and Romania back in the day). The US government can only keep the still extant quislings in place by backing them publicly and 110%,. Should the US hob and nob with the popular revolutionaries in Egypt the remaining quislings would very likely panic, and turn to sure-to-fail machine gun repression or political openings to bring in elements and positions hostile to the US as the only options which might keep said quislings in power.”
Posted by: auskalo | Feb 2, 2011 9:18:31 PM | 44
I hope this guy is wrong about Suleiman taking command of the country under a military dictatorship, but it is important that the rebellion not seek the security of the military. To do so will bring about exactly what this author prognosticates.
While much of American media has termed the events unfolding in Egypt today as "clashes between pro-government and opposition groups," this is not in fact what's happening on the street. The so-called "pro-government" forces are actually Mubarak's cleverly orchestrated goon squads dressed up as pro-Mubarak demonstrators to attack the protesters in Midan Tahrir, with the Army appearing to be a neutral force. The opposition, largely cognizant of the dirty game being played against it, nevertheless has had little choice but to call for protection against the regime's thugs by the regime itself, i.e., the military. And so Mubarak begins to show us just how clever and experienced he truly is. The game is, thus, more or less over.
The threat to the military's control of the Egyptian political system is passing. Millions of demonstrators in the street have not broken the chain of command over which President Mubarak presides. Paradoxically the popular uprising has even ensured that the presidential succession will not only be engineered by the military, but that an officer will succeed Mubarak. The only possible civilian candidate, Gamal Mubarak, has been chased into exile, thereby clearing the path for the new vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman. The military high command, which under no circumstances would submit to rule by civilians rooted in a representative system, can now breathe much more easily than a few days ago. It can neutralize any further political pressure from below by organizing Hosni Mubarak's exile, but that may well be unnecessary.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2, 2011 9:34:36 PM | 45
Presstv reporting that Mubarak says he is ready to go and asks not to be blamed for the violence ... bastard
Posted by: Minerva | Feb 3, 2011 3:21:38 PM | 46
[Update 9:45 p.m. in Cairo, 2:45 p.m. ET] Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told ABC's Christiane Amanpour that he is fed up and wants to resign but fears the country will descend into chaos, the reporter said Thursday after an exclusive interview with Mubarak.
Mubarak told Amanpour his government is not to blame for the violence in Tahrir Square over the last few days. Instead, he blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, a political party that has been banned in Egypt.
Posted by: Minerva | Feb 3, 2011 3:27:20 PM | 47
Gamal Mubark is now with his father the bloody dictator and in his interview with Amanpour Hosni says with a straight face:
"I never intended Gamal to be President after me." Gamal, his son, was sitting in the room with us as he said this.
Amanpur also gets a taste of Mubaraks thugs on the streets.
Posted by: Minerva | Feb 3, 2011 3:35:25 PM | 48
pdf chart of the Egyptian military command structure from the arabist blog- Sulieman (Intel) the current VP and tasked with shaping the future Egyptian regime(?) is missing
Who's Who of Military Command
Posted by: Minerva | Feb 3, 2011 3:44:04 PM | 49
For those curious about Frank Wisner's background, it's far more than what's been noted here. His father established Operation Mockingbird, a CIA program to buy off key American journalists and have them write whatever propaganda the CIA wanted to spread. In its heyday, Operation Mockingbird ruled the roost.
More about Frank Wisner Sr at the link. Dig around some and you can definitely find more.
Posted by: Bea | Feb 3, 2011 4:09:28 PM | 50
Along those lines, here's an intriguing analysis about the rise of conservative radio, i.e. Rush Limbaugh and the like via Capital City....a CIA-owned and run media outlet straight out of the playbook of Operation Mockingbird.
In 1985, ABC was taken over by Capital Cities, a conservative, Roman Catholic media organization with extensive ties to the CIA.
(If you think we're making this up, you should know that the Capital Cities takeover of ABC is one of the most analyzed in history, and the subject of many books by Wall Street experts and scholars. Especially recommended is Networks of Power, by Emmy Award-winner Dennis Mazzocco.) (1)
Capital Cities was born in 1954, and rapidly prospered. Many of its founders had previously worked in the U.S. intelligence community and had a great amount of wealth, social contacts and influence in government. Yet they opted to keep the company's actions out of the public eye -- they did not flaunt their wealth with private planes and lavish offices the way so many successful companies do. Just exactly how well-connected Capital Cities was to the CIA is unknown, but it is clear that the CIA concerned itself with the company at various times. The fact that the CIA has often used private businessmen, journalists and even entire companies as fronts for covert operations is not only well-known by historians, but legendary. (Recall Howard Hughes and Trans-World Airlines...)
One of Capital City's early founders was William Casey, who would later become Ronald Reagan's Director of the CIA. At the time of Casey's nomination, the press expressed surprise that Reagan would hire a businessman whose last-known intelligence experience was limited to OSS operations in World War II. The fact is, however, that Casey had never left intelligence. Throughout the Cold War he kept a foot in both worlds, in private business as well as the CIA. A history of Casey's business dealings reveals that he was an aggressive player who saw nothing wrong with bending the law to further his own conservative agenda. When he became implicated as a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, many Washington insiders considered it a predictable continuation of a very shady career.
Another Capital Cities founder, Lowell Thomas, was a close friend and business contact with Allen Dulles, Eisenhower's CIA Director, and John Dulles, the Secretary of State. Thomas always denied being a spy, but he was frequently seen at events involving intelligence operations. Another founder was Thomas Dewey, whom the CIA had given millions to create other front companies for covert operations.
Capital Cities prospered from the start; its specialty was to buy media organizations that were in trouble. Upon acquisition, it would improve management and eliminate waste until the company started turning a profit. This no-nonsense, no-frills approach, as well as its refusal to become side-tracked with other ventures, made it one of the most successful media conglomerates of the 60s and 70s. Of course, the journalistic slant of its companies was decidedly conservative and anticommunist. To anyone who believes that the government should not control the press, the possibility that the CIA created a media company to dispense conservative and Cold War propaganda should be alarming. Rush Limbaugh himself calls freedom of the press "the sweetest -- and most American -- words you will ever find." (2) Apparently, he is unaware of the history of his own employers.
By the 1980s, Capital Cities had grown powerful enough that it was now poised to hunt truly big game: a major television network. A vulnerable target appeared in the form of ABC, whose poor management in the early 80s was driving both its profits and stocks into oblivion. Back then, ABC's journalistic slant was indeed liberal; its criticism of the Reagan Administration had drawn the wrath of conservatives everywhere, from Wall Street to Washington. This was in marked contrast to the rest of the White House press corps, which was, in Bagdikian's words, "stunningly uncritical" of Reagan. Behind the scenes, Reagan was deregulating the FCC and eliminating anti-monopoly laws for the media, a fact the media appreciated and rewarded. The only exception was ABC. Sam Donaldson's penetrating questions during press conferences were so embarrassing to Reagan that his handlers scheduled the fewest Presidential press conferences in modern history.....
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 3, 2011 4:36:08 PM | 51