Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 01, 2011

Feb 1 - Live Coverage Of Protests In Egypt

Some scenes and thoughts from watching AlJazeera live and other sources. Newest entry on top.

End of day comment:

It is over - though it may take a few more days.

When the Egyptian military announced that it would not use force against its people, the decisive step was taken. It allowed today's large and peaceful demonstrations and marked the end of Mubarak, the neoliberal Egyptian ruling class and the supressive system of the NDP party.

The violent crack down I expected two days ago is now unlikely to evolve.

The peole can now be certain that they will win and they will indeed win. Whoever will make it to the top after this will have to serve a quite awake und unruly people. Such pressure makes for good governments. (We in the "west" should remember that.)

This will inevitable change all of the Middle East and thereby global politics. Egypt is the most populous and the most decisive nation in the Arab world in all relevant aspects. Watch the Zionist shitting their pants.

There will be many difficulties. What to do about the 1.2 million people who work for the Interior Ministery and suppressed the people and protected the regime? Leaving them without income is dangerous, keeping them impossible. The economy is in bad shape - a social-democratic middle ground needs to be found to heal it while also lifting the poor from their mess. It will take years. Suez passage payments will have to go up, influencing global trade and prices. Some process must be found to give justice to those who where hurt and those who did the hurting.

Someone please give a big price to Al Jazeera - their coverage under these conditions is incredible. Despite equipment confiscated, the local bureau closed, licenses revoked, no internet, interupted phone lines, its satellite feeds hijacked, eight days of continuous day and night reporting - they manage to keep up and even installed new live feeds today (Alexandria) and kept many good correspondents on the ground giving live reports and high quality political analysis. Incredibly indeed. Some pretty girl, please kiss Ayman Mohyeldin, the superb AJ analyst on the ground and Evan Hill and the others who make this happen technically. Hug all the other AJ women and men. They really deserves it. And of course hug the Egyptians on the street, they deserve it even more, much more, they won.

---live blogging from today below in time reverse order---

This speech has incited more protests.

Folks in Tahrir seem not amused about that speech - loud chanting "leave" and whistling - M.  speech -> #fail

Mubarak speaking on Egyptian state TV now - reading off a sheet - lamenting about looting (which he ordered to take place) - "chaos or stability" - (M. still reading from a sheet - not connecting to watchers) - "I never seeked power or influence" (except for dictating your life for the last 30 years) - will not run for next elections, will continue until handover, will discuss law on electibility with the parliament (his bootlickers),  reforms blah-blah, police is responsible (haven't we seen that?) - (M. still not looking into the camera but reading off sheet) - "will die on the soil of Egypt" - "judged by history" - end.

A pic from Tahrir at sundown prayer time - a noticable bigger share of praying people than in previous protest assemblies it seems


AJ talks to a leading protester (middle class) about immediate personal economic issues: -  doesn't matter how long this takes - we are screwed economically under Mubarak - we don't care anymore - we will go on

There is now a big projection screen and PA system in Tahrir Square that shows various TV stations.

Chants: "Freedom. May god make it happen. Tonight."

Mubarak to be on TV soon.

20:00 GMT - 22:00 Cairo

A historian on AJ: (transcript not verbal)  "The Tahrir (Liberation) Square is named so because 110 years ago a big group of women protested in the square for women rights and took off their veils. Anyone who thinks this is about Islam, Muslim Brotherhood or anti-Israel feelings should remember that.  This is about freedom."

Department of TOO LITTLE TOO LATE - Obama Urges Mubarak Not to Run Again

AJ live pictures from Alexandria - still thousands milling around and chanting slogans

From visuals the number of people in Tahrir have fallen but are still at about 200,000 - it is said to be quite cold tonight in Cairo

19:00 GMT - 21:00 Cairo

Mubarak to give a speech on TV tonight saying he will not be a candidate in the next election but stay until then. [not enough anymore - step down and flee or get taken down and hanged]

A pic of Tahrir Square some two, three hours ago - the square is huge - so is the crowd


Not sure it is the reason for the chanting

Sultan just tweets:

BREAKING Al Arabiya: Reports that Mubarak will announce tonight that he will not run again for presidency

Now a rythmic chanting - AJ does not what it is about

Loud uproar in Tahrir - no idea why

Earlier today the son of former Egypt President Nasser joined the protesters

Sultan Al Qassemi, who writes for The National, tweets based on Arab media:

Egyptian police changes its slogan from "The Police & People at the service of the State" to "The Police at the service of the People"

To note: Turkey and Iran were the first governments to fully support the people of Egypt

18:00 GMT - 20:00 Cairo

AJ is making too much editorial advertising for new Google, Twitter, Facebook - the revolution is taking place without these tools available in Egypt

Abolnaga repeats something that was heard more often today - Mubarak and the government stepping down may not be enough anymore "these people belong in court"

AJ interviews famous Egypt actor and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Khaled Abolnaga. He is really furious. "These people deserve better"

AJ reruns a piece about the prison break. The guards say - "they lootershad  more weapons than we when they attacked, they were Arabs from the Sinai" [I guess that means Bedouins]

Is this the day where all U.S.rael lunatics have their coming out? Bolton: Mubarak's downfall would mean we'd have to bomb Iran

AJ says Egypt state TV is changing its tone - now reports large peacful demonstration instead of fear mongering

Two days ago I linked to this document - the looting order by the Egyptian Interior Minister

[Best guess: Next Friday 3 million will march to the presidential palast and take it and Mubarak down.]

Well - the Israelis do anyway: Israeli critics open up on US ‘abandonment' of Mubarak

[That makes it official. No one can now argue that Mubarak should stay even a day longer.]

WaPo: Looters included undercover Egyptian police, hospitals tell Human Rights Watch

Peter Bouckaert, the emergency director at Human Rights Watch, said hospitals confirmed that they received several wounded looters shot by the army carrying police identification cards. They also found several cases of looters and vandals in Cairo and Alexandria with police identification cards.

US ambassador met with ElBaradei today

Glenn Beck is a lunatic

Crowd in Alexandria sings the Egyptian national anthem

A sound system and projection system get set up in Tahrir Square now - unknown who will address the crowd

AJ has live pictiures from the protests in Alexandria now - big, chanting slogans

Robert Fisk talks with Mohamed ElBaradei

Darkness in Cairo - the square now seems to have a few less protesters

[Just had an electricity blackout of about an hour - very seldom here so I have no power backup - sorry]

17:00 GMT - 19:00 Cairo

AJ showed Egypt state TV a pro-Mubarak demonstartion of about 50 people

15:00 GMT - 17:00 Cairo

The AJ feed from ArabSat had been blocked. Now some other Arab channels show solidarity and broadcast AlJazeera over their sat-frequencies and channels.

AJ: Sinai: 250,000 protest, Mansoura several hundred thousand [AJ may be estimating too high]

Video from Alexandria shows several ten thousand protesting

[The protests in Jordan are not only about food but about political demands - this is an "old guard" replacement - not sure that this will be enough]

(Reuters) - King Abdullah of Jordan, a close U.S. ally, on Tuesday replaced his prime minister after protests over food prices and poor living conditions, naming a former premier with a military background to head the government.

Obama has send former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner to Egypt. Besides him being a bankster, he is also too(?) near to Mubarak and has lobbied for him. But he may also carry an offer Mubarak can not refuse.

Official curfew time - noone cares

AJ says "up to two million in square and nearby roads". From visuals I can agree to a one million estimate but not to two million.

AJ shows a report of a prison that had been opened and looted pretty hard. Some of the prisoners are now living there freely - they do not want to flee because their time will be soon over. They are working with some guards to clean up.

A former Egypt general and now Egypt think tanker on BBC says the majority of military leaders "understands that Mr Mubarak should step down, only the methodolgy is the problem".

[What does the U.S. DepState know that is does this now?]

U.S. pulls out all non-emergency staff from the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

14:00 GMT - 16:00 Cairo

AJ shows pictures from Alexandria, big demonstration there too as in other cities.

AJ distribution is cut off from ArabSat, its satellite distribution throughout the Middle East. It was earlier cut from NileSat, its Egyptian satellite distributer. Arabsat was founded by the Arab League. The collection of kings and dictators fear the example the people in Egypt are setting?

Live feed is back.

Live feed from Cairo to Al Jazeera seems to be cut.

AJ talks to someone in the square who has been part of the organizers. Says ElBaradei is trying to hijack the movement. Has only been in the square 20 minutes. Has nothing to do with it.

AJ says that military police is setting up barbed wire around the presidential palace Mubarak's residence in a suburb

13:00 GMT - 15:00 Cairo

AJ interviews a retired Brigadier General. Pro protesters - "this will be over in a few days"

The protests loom large. Jordan's King Abdullah has dismissed his government and appointed a new prime minister.

An effigy of Mubarak has been hanged from a lamppost.

12:00 GMT - 14:00 Cairo

The opposition groups have rejected offers for talks from Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Protesters seem well organized with a PA system, doctors etc.

Reviewing several recent pictures from the square the number of protesters could now top a million. The access roads to the square are reported to be full too.

Mobile phone services in and around the Tahrir square is now said to have been shut down (unconfirmed).

Calls from all opposition groups leaders for Mubarak to step down and to leave the country.

ElBaradei will not be in the square for "personal security" reasons. [Hmmm - that's not "leading" - the people will NOT like this]

Essam El Erian of the Muslim Brotherhood to AJ: "We refuse to talk to Mubarak or Suleiman. We demand a new constitution".

Egyption TV shows the October 6 Nile bridge with light traffic.

Demonstrations also take place in Alexandria and other cities.

The army has announced that it will not use force, but I would not bet on that if people start to storm some barricade.

The route to the palace and the palace itself is said to be blocked by several military barricades.

An hour ago there was some announcement from organizers that the march would not be made. I am not sure though that they have the ability to hinder people to try a march.

The original plan was to march from Tahrir to the presidential palast. A map of the route shows that this would be a six+ miles long walk.

ElBaradei's people have announced that he will not come to the protests. [Too dangerous?]

The government has done a lot to keep the protester numbers down. Train service has been shut down. Major highways are closed and the military has also closed the Cairo ring road. There are lots of roadblocks around the square and people on the way to the square get searched for weapons several times.

Estimates of the numbers of protester in the Tahrir Square in Cairo currently vary between 200,000 and 500,000.

11:00 GMT - 13:00 Cairo

Posted by b on February 1, 2011 at 11:12 UTC | Permalink

Comments

AJ says that military police is setting up barbed wire around the presidential palace [likely that will be needed]

Why would the barbed wire be needed? What do you think will happen to the palace if it's not barb wired? If the protesters burn and loot it in a fit of rage without a cogent intent and defined narrative to accompany it, then the protesters play right into the hands of the International Press who so badly want to paint them, and are painting them, with the exception of AJ, as violent and chaotic looters and thugs.

Now, they could get their ducks in order and burn the palace down in effigy accompanied by the slogan and message that the rule of Pharoahs is now over. Then it should be off to the U.S. Embassy for the same treatment. The virus must be cleansed by fire before you can start anew.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 13:10 utc | 1

The protests loom large. Jordan's King Abdullah has dismissed his government and appointed a new prime minister.

but, but, but.....Queen Rania (http://www.thatsfamous.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Queen-Rania.jpg) is so beautiful and she so deeply cares about the "small" people (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct1E0JS12rI&feature=related). Surely, the "small" people don't want to see her go? Maybe Oprah will have her on again, and they can lament and wail about how misunderstood they both are.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 14:15 utc | 2

Perhaps they know that the army is divided between the ones that want an 'ordered' and 'honorable' transition from Mubarak's dictatorship to ... I guess a more neutered form of dictatorship and the ones that are with the population. And that it will get bloody when the Mubarak gang refuses to vacate power.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 14:19 utc | 3

"...The collection of kings and dictators fear the example the people in Egypt are setting?..." Yes, the economic situation is dire in so many areas. This is a true revolution with wide ranging implications. I believe that this event is one of the best (most positive) happenings in my lifetime. My main fear is the reaction by Israel. Netanyahu has become a madman.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Feb 1 2011 14:41 utc | 4

can we really say yet that what's happening in egypt is a revolution, or still just a rebellion? granted both are points on what can be one continuum and the situation in egypt may get to a total revolution, but from what i've been able to make of it there is still a lot that has to be put into place to get there. and soon - else they risk ceding opportunity to an authority structure not aligned w/ the ideological objectives expressed in the streets.

Posted by: b real | Feb 1 2011 15:01 utc | 5

They may be worried about where to hide. Saudi Arabia, or any of the other arab countries, doesn't look that much more secure anymore for a golden retirement. With the current king close to death and the princes fighting for power and the arab population globally revolted. In Europe it's too easy now to become involved on long tiring judicial prosecutions (though they may not produce any real conviction). The US won't agree to receive them, at least openly just after being ousted, they have already a horrible image in the arab society without becoming their protectors.

It's going to become a problem where to put all this people if the trend becomes more widespread.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 15:12 utc | 6

It's going to become a problem where to put all this people if the trend becomes more widespread.

How about Israel? Afterall, Israel owes them....Big Time. It's not as if Israel's image could be any more tarnished than it already is in the Arab world. For the sake of the people of Israel, it would be in their best interests to revolt, as well. If not, the hardliners in their Government will eventually toss some nukes....and then it's bye, bye for good.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 15:19 utc | 7

it seems that the bbc is not good with maths - saying there is 200,000 people - the direct opposite of what it did in iran - they have not been trustworthy for many deades - but their institution of hacks has become a low farce

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 15:24 utc | 8

tho i await the pompous john simpson to lead the people to their liberation

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 15:28 utc | 9

I doubt Israel, as the apartheid regime that is today, will last must longer after this either ...

The Egyptian regime isn't showing any strength. A few announcements and limited footage of the Mubarak entourage performing speaks or meeting between themselves isn't a show of strength. Curfews, that I think I heard was announced to become for the full day tomorrow, that none follows. Where is the leadership parading with their followers and the mighty army that obeys their order? No where. They may be affair from showing up under units that they aren't sure are loyal to them. I only see weakness.

The only reason it's lasting so long is because the protests are mostly pacific and not organized as a monolithic movement with a defined timeline and objectives. But the time will come. And the ambiguousness of the army isn't helping. The top army leadership may not be sure if their orders, or what kinds of orders, will be followed. Some young hot headed officers may be pushed to act if this doesn't end soon.

Just now in AJE. El Baradei is acting as the western anointed successor, rumour he has meet with the US ambassador. The Guardian carries a rumour saying that Mubarak is already in Bahrain.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 15:40 utc | 10

Confirmation of police, looters or not, being shot by the army is very bad news for the regime.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 17:04 utc | 11

Protesters putting up big screens? That's unheard off. They basically own Tahrir Square. And showing Al Jazeera, obviously. What does this means? Someone with a large budget? Someone from the show business helping the revolution?

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 17:22 utc | 12

Speaking of understanding the Arabs, their culture and their heritage, such a research endeavor would no doubt center on the significant faction of pre-20th Century Arabs referred to as the Bedouin. The Bedouin culture, which appears to have gone into hibernation since the West, and Globalization, has encroached on its territory starting in the early 20th century couldn't be more starkly contrasted with the materialistic, acquisitive lifestyle and culture of the West. From an online encyclopedia, we have this:

In a sense, the Bedouin form a number of "nations." That is, groups of families are united by common ancestry and by shared territorial allegiance. The exploitation and defense of their common territorial area is effected through a universally accepted system of leadership. For centuries, these "nations" of Bedouin tribes and their leaders operated in the ecologically and politically shifting landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa. Only in the course of the twentieth century has their traditional flexibility and mobility been checked. Factors foreign to their universe have damaged the territorial mainstay of their societies, necessitating the adoption of new bases of identification with their "nations" and its leaders.

So, to understand the Arab mind, you would be remiss to ignore their Bedouin History and Culture. In keeping with that, I penned an essay prior to the U.S. attack of Iraq in March of 2003. It will follow in the next post, and even though I would change some things because my thinking has changed somewhat over the last eight years, it's still quite relevant and rather prescient.

Above, I say hibernation, and not eradication, because I believe what we are witnessing is the return of the Arab to his/her cultural roots. They are awakening from their slumber, and casting off the shallow and materialistic yoke the West has constructed for them.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 17:55 utc | 13

The Last Crusade

The concept of Materialism is an extremely appropriate, and I would say urgent topic, considering the serious issues currently confronting Man and the Globe. I believe the topic lends itself to a multi-faceted analysis, however, I will limit my discussion to the facets that appear to me, to be the most crucial and pertinent.

Materialism, the word itself, in my opinion is somewhat of a misnomer in that Material refers to something concrete, physically identifiable, tangible and measurable. As such, the term precludes something less tangible such as services. Therefore, I feel it more appropriate to refer to the issue as Consumerism; the purchase or acquisition of wants versus needs.

It has been my observation that the discussion of this topic centers around the assumption that Consumerism has been adopted wholesale by the inhabitants of the Globe, or in the least, will be, and as such the analysis of the issue proceeds according to this precept. I do not agree with this assumption/precept as a given, however, for the sake of the point I am about to make I will allow the assumption in the hypothetical. My second point will address the validity of this assumption, so hang in there.

Assuming that Consumerism is fully accepted and adopted as the way of life under the New Global Order, then I fear, the implications of such will be destructively far-reaching and ultimately catastrophic. I will attempt to illustrate my point through the use of an analogy, given the disclaimer that analogies are not foolproof; nonetheless, I will do my best to come close.

Try, if you will, to envision mankind collectively as a fetus in its Mother’s womb. Ideally, the Mother and Fetus coexist in a state of equilibrium for the entirety of the gestation period; the Fetus requires exactly what the Mother can provide. Suppose the Fetus has a genetic defect though, a defect that alters the nourishment equilibrium and leaves the Fetus yearning for more than the Mother can provide; an unquenchable yearning that must be satisfied regardless of the implications.

The Mother, in an attempt to quench the fetus’s “unreasonable” nourishment requirements, diverts life- sustaining nutrients from herself to her Fetus, thus depriving herself of vitality. The Fetus’s requirements increase exponentially to the point where it is defecating in the womb. Alas, the Mother can no longer provide any additional nourishment, in fact, her yield to the Fetus declines precipitously, and she is on the verge of death, while the Fetus wallows in a cesspool of its own excrement with an unquenchable and veracious hunger.

It is no longer receiving satisfaction from the Mother so it proceeds to devour its host. It begins with the umbilical cord and proceeds to the uterine lining, consuming layer upon layer.

The Mother is in physical arrest at this point, she is writhing in pain; the internal bleeding is massive and irreversible. She succumbs and the Fetus is violently vomited from the now deceased Mother’s womb.

Such is Man’s destiny if we continue to globalize the concept of Consumerism; the production and/or the delivery of wants.


As I mentioned earlier, I do not believe that Consumerism will be adopted under the New Global Order, in fact, the resistance to such will ultimately lead to a Global clash and human self-annihilation. An analogy of such could be likened to two diabolically opposed fraternal twins in the Mother’s womb fighting for position in the birth canal and ultimately destroying each other in the process.

I believe the current clash between many of the Arab nations and the West (exemplified by the U.S.) is a clash over ideology; that ideology being Materialism or more appropriately, Consumerism.

There is no doubt in my mind that Western Civilization is marked by among other things, Consumerism. It is “our” way of life. There is no need for me to elaborate on what is obvious, one need only turn their head about and observe to prove this point.

However, since I do not have the luxury of observation related to the Arab world, I have to rely on the observations of others; for example, T. E Lawrence.

Lawrence gives a profound (given that he was speaking to the issue in the early part of the 20th century) insight into the Arab, Semitic, Bedouin disposition, specifically as it relates to Western Materialism/Consumerism.

In his book, Seven Pillars OF Wisdom-A Triumph, Lawrence expounds,

“The common base of all the Semitic creeds, winners or losers, was the ever present idea of world-worthlessness. Their profound reaction from matter led them to preach bareness, renunciation, poverty; and the atmosphere of this invention stifled the minds of the desert pitilessly. A first knowledge of their sense of the purity of rarefaction was given me in early years, when we had ridden far out over the rolling plains of North Syria to a ruin of the Roman period which the Arabs believed was made by a prince of the border as a desert-palace for his queen. The clay of its building was said to have been kneaded for greater richness, not with water, but with the precious essential oils of flowers. My guides, sniffing the air like dogs, led me from crumbling room to room, saying, ‘This is jessamine, this violet, this rose.’”

“But at last Dahoum drew me: ‘Come and smell the very sweetest scent of all’, and we went into the main lodging, to the gaping window sockets of its eastern face, and there drank with open mouths of the effortless, empty, eddyless wind of the desert, throbbing past. That slow breath had been born somewhere beyond the distant Euphrates and had dragged its way across many days and nights of dead grass, to its first obstacle, the man-made walls of our broken palace. About them it appeared to fret and linger, murmuring in baby-speech. ‘This,’ they told me, ’is the best; it has no taste.’ My Arabs were turning their backs on perfumes and luxuries to choose the things in which mankind had had no share or part.”

Western civilization cannot buy the Arab world. We may think we can, witnessed by the various puppet governments placed in power and kept in power by the Western Multinational Corporations, however, that device is only temporary, and we are beginning to see the dismantling of it before our very eyes. The Royal families and the Puppet dictatorships of the Arab world are not a true representation of the Arab people. The renunciation of Materialism/Consumerism is woven into the life-breathing fabric of Arabs. Conversion, considering this pretext, is impossible.

One might well say, nonsense, look at the Royal families of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. I would say, yes, let us look at them. They appear to me to be irresponsible and contradictory individuals according to Western logic. Their life of opulence is a conflict for them and their erratic behavior exemplifies this.

T.E Lawrence writes,

“To live, the villager or townsman must fill himself each day with the pleasures of acquisition and accumulation, and by rebound off circumstances become the grossest and most material of men. The shining contempt of life, which led others into the barest asceticism, drove him to despair. He squandered himself heedlessly, as a spendthrift: ran through his inheritance of flesh in a hasty longing for the end.
……The Semite hovered between lust and self-denial.”

So you see, the Arabs are not at peace, at home, amongst Materialism/Consumerism, and as such, will ultimately squander their fortune due to a un-conscience longing to return to worthlessness.

What we are seeing now, in the resurgence of fundamentalist Islam, is not so much a religious revival, as much as a Cultural revival. According to Lawrence, these revivals have come in waves as follows,

“Since the dawn of life, in successive waves they had been dashing themselves against the coasts of flesh. Each wave was broken, but, like the sea wore away ever so little of the granite on which it failed, and some day, ages yet, might roll unchecked over the place where the material world had been, and god would move upon the face of those waters. On such wave (and not the least) I raised and rolled before the breath of an idea, till it reached its crest, and toppled over and fell in Damascus. The wash of that wave, thrown back by the resistance of vested things, will provide the matter of the following wave, when in fullness time the sea shall be raised once more.”

Lawrence experienced a wave that predicated his novel. There have been waves since, and, I believe, we are in the midst of a wave right now; a tidal wave of astronomical proportions. One that may perhaps strip the granite clean in one fell swoop and clear the Earth of Materialism/Consumerism once and for all. Of course, Mankind would be a casualty, leaving only Purity (God).

T. E. Lawrence, when he mentioned, “ages yet”, obviously, had no knowledge of Nuclear Weaponry. With the advent of such, and his knowledge thereof, I’m certain he would have asserted “years yet.”

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 17:58 utc | 14

the fetus analogy is rather confused in the preceding comment

just one example: no fetus can defecate in the womb, because a fetus is nourished through the umbilical cord, not by eating

i had a colonoscopy a few days ago, so the operation of the alimentary canal has been a major concern of mine recently


Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 1 2011 18:17 utc | 15

Duly noted, mistah charley, duly noted. But keep in mind, the fetus (foetus, if you're European)is genetically defective....a Frankenstein, of sorts, so all manner of abnormalities are possible.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 18:40 utc | 16

Thanks for all your hard work, b. You returned to blogging at the absolutely perfect time. Schicksal.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 1 2011 19:08 utc | 17

Its you? B?
I missed you and all the group.
We have a lot of work. Wikileaks etc.
Thank you.

Posted by: timidcurious | Feb 1 2011 19:16 utc | 18

impossible also to take mr quest seriously in his commentary on egypt

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 19:18 utc | 19

Dedicated to my brothers and sisters in Egypt...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 1 2011 19:29 utc | 20

If the NYTimes is right Obama is way out of touch. Mubarak not running again for president? Didn't he wanted to mean Mubarak not running away for his life?

Obama Urges Mubarak Not to Run Again

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 19:32 utc | 21

difficult to believe the masses would accept such a minimal concession

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 19:37 utc | 22

History ..

1997. Hans Blix’s mandate at the IAEA ends. It is decided, and promised, that the next director will be from the ‘third’ or ‘underdeveloped’ world.

Mubarak proposes a diplomat called Shaker, reportedly from his inner circle. The ‘southern’ countries stand in a block behind the single candidate - no other country proposes anyone. (The candidates must be put up by their Gvmts.)

Shaker is known as an arrogant ****, with a history of abuse of xxxxxx, and as the developed countries can’t countenance him, Shaker can’t be elected, on the numbers. Before any vote takes place, Mubarak is informed that while Shaker can’t pass the goal post, a large majority / quasi unanimous vote for El Baradei, who already works for the IAEA, is a certainty.

Mubarak refuses.

It thus becomes necessary to dig up a ‘blocking candidate.’ The Swiss step up to the plate and propose Baer, who is competent, but can’t be elected, because his candidacy breaks the promise to the third world countries, and there is already a Swiss guy in the governing body.

30 or more official voting sessions take place over several months, neither candidate can obtain the required number of votes.

Finally, 30 African countries send 30 ambassadors, in a nice long line, and without any ‘leader’ to convince Mubarak to acquiesce to El Baradei.

Mubarak gives in. (Afaik, there are no pictures of this meet, it is nice to imagine though.)

El Baradei is elected unanimously.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 1 2011 19:47 utc | 23

Thanks Noirette - very interesting history.

Posted by: b | Feb 1 2011 19:51 utc | 24

`Adil Darwish
He is well-known Egyptian Zionist who worked for the Telegraph (and other UK tabloids) for years. He founded a few years ago a CMERA like organization to monitor and combat sympathy for Arabs in the British press. He is a favored guest in Saudi Arab media (due to the Zionist-Saudi alliance) and is a regular columnist for the mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat). He always supported all Arab reactionary regimes. Today on Al-Arabiyyah he supported the Egyptian uprising and used the new silly name of Lotus Revolution. (Please send me past articles of his from Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat in which he had praised Mubarak).

angry arab

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 19:58 utc | 25

Example of JPost FUD (or just lousy journalism):
Israeli critics open up on US ‘abandonment' of Mubarak:

According to a Pew opinion survey of Egyptians from June 2010, 59 percent said they back Islamists.

The poll actually puts that number to around 16% of Egyptians (if 90% of Egyptians are Muslims and my math is correct). See here - 59% of the 31% of Egyptians who are Muslims (~90%) and say that there is a struggle between Fundamentalists and modernizers in their country identify with fundamentalists.

Posted by: Lex | Feb 1 2011 20:19 utc | 26

upps, wrong article link above... that is the one with the quote:
Our World: Clueless in Washington

Posted by: Lex | Feb 1 2011 20:38 utc | 27

sorry, wrong article link above... that is the one with the quote:
Our World: Clueless in Washington

Posted by: Lex | Feb 1 2011 20:38 utc | 28

re 13

So, to understand the Arab mind, you would be remiss to ignore their Bedouin History and Culture.

That sounds like the way people characterised races back in the early 20th century. It reminds me of a lecture I once heard from Glubb Pasha (he of the Arab Legion) before he died, about how close the Bedouin were to the British aristocracy, because they have the same sense of honour. I think he proposed some batty idea of direct links back in medieval times.

Of course Morocco Bama is forgetting that most Arabs are only Arab in the sense that they are mainly Arabic-speaking descendants of ancient local populations (including Palestinians, and particularly Egyptians). So they have no "Bedouin" culture to go back to. Even the inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula don't, as only a small proportion are/were nomadic bedouin.

Posted by: alexno | Feb 1 2011 20:50 utc | 29

mubarak is fucking mad

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 21:00 utc | 30

Mubarak is talking. He won't come alive out of this.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 1 2011 21:03 utc | 31

it is in essence a declaration of war

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 21:04 utc | 32

unless his army kicks him out - this is going to end in blood

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 21:16 utc | 33

My comments are a response to this comment from remembereringgiap. My comments are not meant to disparage ummmmm....how should we refer to "them," Alexno? Is there no "them." If there is no "them" then the comment below has no meaning. Do you deny that the Middle East was comprised of a significant faction of Bedouins for thousands of years? Do you deny that this history doesn't in some way shape who they are today?

those who demonize the arab people do so degrading their own humanity - it was once sd that anti semitism was the socialism of the stupid - the hatred of the arab & persian people & their project - is a vulgarity worthy only of swine

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 1 2011 21:28 utc | 34

preposterous bbc coverage -sd the people cheered the speech, that the crowd was in any case only a few thousan etc etc with ndp hacks interviewed - no surprises but the extent of their farcical coverage - completely degraded propaganda

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 21:29 utc | 35

i hope you are right b but i feel a foreboding - & it seems marwan bishar speaks of an increasingly tense coming days

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 21:42 utc | 36

Too little, too late, some are saying -
but look at how much Mubarak has conceded -


1)the vice president will talk to political forces, and even though they have refused to speak to him THE INVITATION IS STILL OPEN

2)Mubarak accepts the idea of a new president, ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE -

there has never been someone who became president of Egypt because they won an election, so this would truly be something new under the sun

Look at it this way - the people - young, old, Muslim, Christian, all Egyptians together - have won a great symbolic victory - everybody should go home, and business as usual resumes tomorrow

That would be the easy way to handle it - of course, there are other possibilities too

May peace be with you, and also with me

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 1 2011 21:42 utc | 37

"be resolute, fear no sacrifice, surmount every difficulty to win victory" - mao tse tung

"there is great chaos under heaven – the situation is excellent." - mao tse tung

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 21:47 utc | 38

until the american empire's dollar and th influence it buys the coruption it causes is removed...a sense of foreboding will continue be a way of life for the people of egypt

Posted by: noiseannoys | Feb 1 2011 21:49 utc | 39

Mubarak's intransigence leads to revolution, or to his expulsion from the country, or to his arrest and trial. His refusal to face political facts is a reason to consider him unfit to continue as president.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 1 2011 22:12 utc | 40

what is happening in alexandria feeds my foreboding

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 22:34 utc | 41

are those people forming a chain try to seperate both parties?

Posted by: Lex | Feb 1 2011 22:41 utc | 42

OK, that does not sound good at all. Some kind of "pro-Mubarak" groups heading towards Tahrir.

Posted by: Lex | Feb 1 2011 22:51 utc | 43

but it seems small groups - possibly security forces/goons

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 22:52 utc | 44

Here's an account of events in Egypt published at the right-wing site American Thinker, said to be written by "an Egyptian student whose good sense [an academic] vouches for." It obviously represents the perspective of someone in the wealthy merchant class, but seems to me to be an honest account.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_story_of_the_egyptian_revo.html

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 1 2011 22:57 utc | 45

Goons or security forces they are I'm quite sure - emerging out of nowhere, simultaneously in different cities, at night, confrontantional, right after the "chaos or stability" speach.

Posted by: Lex | Feb 1 2011 23:09 utc | 46

To be specific about ways in which his class perspective colors his account, the anonymous author

a)does not grasp the depth of the anti-Mubarak sentiment among the masses, which the vast crowds clearly show

b)seems unaware of or at least does not mention that some of the outbreak of lawlessness after the withdrawal of the police was committed by those self-same police

c)obviously favors an "open economy" in the neo-liberal sense

On the other hand, the Army/NDP and parliamentary dynamics described by the author are new to me (very much a novice, Egypt-wise) and seem quite plausible

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 1 2011 23:13 utc | 47

If Mubarak manages to hang on till September, then once the protesters go home and the police are back on the streets, his mukhabarat will track down each and every protest leader and torture them till they die. This is now life or death for many of the organizers. They need to get rid of Mubarak to stay alive.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 1 2011 23:17 utc | 48

to be frank mistah, i found it claptrap for the most part & probably scripted - i can remember letters such as these 'from' kuwait' when it was invaded by iraq - i prefer the reactionaies who reveal themselves more utterly than an exercise like this

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 23:20 utc | 49

What about that moment in Mubarak's speech where the translator seemed to stumble a bit? Something about "..the Homeland goes on but the people do not.." (?) It struck me as fairly ominous.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 1 2011 23:22 utc | 50

lysander@48 yes

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 23:22 utc | 51

copeland, me too

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 23:23 utc | 52

daniel levy - the ex negotiator for israel is proving himself over time to be a decent human being - the attack on gaza has turned right around & understands the impunity given israel by other tyrannies besmirch it

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 1 2011 23:38 utc | 53

obama impresses with the glorious vacuity of his statement - he doesn't fool the al jazeera reporter, however

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 1 2011 23:51 utc | 54

While Egypt roils in rebellion and protest, the Plutocratic Oligarchy enjoys a nice evening out with each other. Afterall, they deserve it. Look what sprouted up.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-30/alfalfa-club-dinner-bush-family-sandra-day-oconnor-and-more-trade-jokes/

The Alfalfa Club’s annual dinner is a dazzling collection of the very rich and very famous who get together late in January to mix and mingle over jokes and drinks and bask in each others’ glory. Last night was no exception. The high-wattage assemblage—250 members, 400 guests (many winging in on their private jets, with Barbara Walters hooking a ride with Donald Marron, head of Lightyear Capital, and David Rockefeller flying in with his longtime assistant)—dined on the usual fare: lobster in puff pastry (the lobster keeps shrinking each year), and surf and turf accompanied by red and white Mondavi Family wine.
Between courses people jammed the aisles, cruising the crowded ballroom to schmooze with a cornucopia of well-known names and faces. Spotted in the throng: Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Warren Buffett, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Senator John McCain……

Rounding out the Bush contingent: James Baker, Donald Rumsfeld, who was talking up his new book, Hank Paulson, Colin Powell, and a much slimmer Dick Cheney, who is finishing a memoir and was surrounded by a gaggle of well-wishers.

Along with the frivolity, the main topic was the violent protests engulfing Egypt. Henry Kissinger said he was “very, very concerned” and feared a “radical takeover.” “The best possible scenario is a secular takeover, but I think that’s in doubt,” he said. Maine Senator Susan Collins agreed: “Egypt is our ally and was the source of relative stability, if they topple Mubarak we don’t know what the consequences will be. It could be the Muslim Brotherhood. I am very worried, but I think the administration has set the right tone.”….

And Scott Brown, rookie senator from Massachusetts, told me he just had spoken with a friend in Cairo whose pizza parlors had been totally destroyed. “He was asking for help,” said Brown, who also voiced concern over the worsening situation.

Obama has stiffed them for three years running....or maybe it's that they don't let the "house negro" attend such affairs. Afterall, it is about celebrating Robert E. Lee's birthday, and ole Bob Lee wouldn't be all to happy to have a "black" president attending an event to celebrate the memory of him and his birth.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2 2011 0:45 utc | 55

It's vitally important that the people of Egypt take this through to the very end. I know that's a lot to expect, but if they don't, and they let down their guard, I'm afraid what will await them will be the fate of the political protesters in Iran. Allegedly, 80 people were executed in Iran this past month....many of them political prisoners. The Egyptian people should not let this uprising vanquish in vain. It is imperative that they remove all elements of the old Regime, and that includes the high ranking officers in the Army. Justice must be served and the IMF, World Bank, the U.S. and all other international meddlers must be asked to leave.

I'm not conflating the protests in Egypt with the protests in Iran, as NPR was doing this afternoon. I believe they are distinct for many reasons. What's disheartening is that some of the naive people caught in the crosshairs in that "fabricated" protest in Iran are now paying the ultimate price and the provocateurs who inculcated those protests escape into the night. I don't want to see people in Egypt pay the ultimate price for something that bears no fruit.

There should be no going back, and there should be no capitulating. I know that is easier said than done, but if you leave remnants of the old regime in place, including the brutal and sadistic security and intelligence services, then vengeance will swiftly come thereafter, and that would be a tragedy.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2 2011 1:10 utc | 56

Not that it means much, and using him as a reference is highly ironic considering, but King Hussein of Jordan appears to agree with me about the influence of the Bedouin on Arab culture.

The People of Jordan

It can be said that many of the characteristics of the Jordanian and Arab society are found in their strongest form in Bedouin culture. For instance, Bedouins are most famous for their hospitality, and it is part of their creed—rooted in the harshness of desert life—that no traveller is turned away. The tribal structure of Arab society is also most visible among the Bedouins, where the clan is at the center of social life. Each Bedouin family has its own tent, a collection (hayy) of which constitutes a clan (qawm). A number of these clans make up a tribe, or qabila.

Also, fully realizing that Lawrence of Arabia was a pompous, arrogant condescending prick, he did spend a considerable time with the "Arabs." He fought along side them against the Turks. He drank with them, ate with them, slept with them and traveled with them for many years. He was no intellectual slouch and was in a unique position from which to comment on them.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2 2011 1:34 utc | 57

"There should be no going back, and there should be no capitulating. I know that is easier said than done, but if you leave remnants of the old regime in place, including the brutal and sadistic security and intelligence services, then vengeance will swiftly come thereafter, and that would be a tragedy."

MB i agree this is the greatest danger & therein lies darkness

Posted by: noiseannoys | Feb 2 2011 2:11 utc | 58

from commenter Nassim at The Automatic Earth:

18 years ago, I spent 6 months in Washington DC. I heard over their international cocktail circuit or whatever the following tale during Mubarak's visit - he had come to the US to make a speech to Congress.

The Americans told him it must not be longer than 30 minutes. His hacks went to work and produced an English speech.

Mubarak practised in private and timed himself - it took 90 minutes. He was very angry and berated his speechwriters. It turned out that there were 3 copies of the same speech and he read them right through.

I was not there, but I am sure the story is true.

When he was much younger educated Egyptians called him la vache qui rit

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Feb 2 2011 2:16 utc | 59

Race can be a useful categoriser of societies, however it must be remembered that to use race one must be accurate and one must also except that racial characteristics are by their essence statistical lowest common denominator definition. That is one can't say an Arab definitely will or won't behave in a certain way, one can only say that under certain circumtsnces an Arab is more likely to to behave in a certain way, because Arab custom usually causes them to. Humans - the only thing we are constant about is our inconstancy!

As for the racist diatribe about what values "all bedouins" have; even if that were true the notion that all Arabs are/were Bedoiun or even were all nomadic is about as accurrate as describing all of America's aborigines as having all been Arapaho.

A quick example based on the assumption that rabid zionists are thin on the ground around here:
Does anyone seriously believe that all the farmers of the Jordan Valley packed their bags and headed south when moses convinced the Jerusalem ruling elite to follow him south?

In all likelihold the former Arab landowners of Palestine are descended from those self same agrarians of three millennia ago. They would have had occassional contact with Bedouin of Palestine, now largely confined to the Negev, and suffering the special fate reserved for those truly at the bottom of society, but most likely any common ancestry (of the Adam & Eve style, dating right back, probably to the time humans tracked food out of Africa north into what we now call The Mid East) preceded the emergence of a distinct grouping of humans known as the Bedouin, or the jews or the .

I would be reluctant to call all nomads bedouin let alone all Arabs. Unless you're an aparthied ME loving jew who seems to think all those brown-skinned nomadic types are the same. Only fit for cleaning floors.

These Bedouin from which 'Morocco Bama' claims all Arabs are descended from - were they from the Phoenicians of the eastern Mediterranean ( Lebanon & Palestine) of the Sumerians of mesopotamia, now known as Iraq. Tow quite distinct culture with completely different pre Islam beliefs languages and customs.

I realise it is popular in the US to subscribe to some belief that all Arabs are the same and therefore they can all be chucked into any other Arabic speaking society that isn't near the Jordan valley, but this is a complete misperception.

It is no coincidence, that the zionists have tried to take complete control over the written history of Jordan Valley, a history that is richly diverse and which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that most of the communities weren't judaic, but why would anyone who isn't a zionist willingly subscribe to such nonsense?

As for Hussein, a thug from a wealthy Saudi family who the British installed on a throne far far from home, he wouldn't have any real idea of who his father really was, much less the true history of the people he oppressed just for kicks.

Posted by: Paradise Mislaid | Feb 2 2011 3:19 utc | 60

What's everyone's assessment of Obama's speech? Angry Arab was very negative about it. But when I heard it, I was beginning to think that the Americans have finally seen the writing on the wall. Obama saying "that transition must begin 'now.'" seemed pretty strong to me. What say all of you?

Of course what they are telling him in private may be to hang on for dear life. But that seems unlike given that the strength of the statement will only encourage protesters by suggesting that the US is finally abandoning Mubarak.

Posted by: Lysander | Feb 2 2011 3:58 utc | 61

from a wiki article on Hussein's grandfather Abdullah


Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allah ibn al-Husayn] (February 1882 – 20 July 1951) (Arabic) عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Ottoman Empire, (in modern-day Saudi Arabia) was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah (d. 1886). He was educated in Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey and Hijaz. From 1909 to 1914, Abdullah sat in the Ottoman legislature, as deputy for Mecca, but allied with Britain during World War I. Between 1916 to 1918, working with the British guerrilla leader T. E. Lawrence, he played a key role as architect and planner of the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule, leading guerrilla raids on garrisons.[1] He was the ruler of Transjordan and its successor state, Jordan, from 1921 to 1951[2]—first as Emir under a British Mandate from 1921 to 1946, then as King of an independent nation from 1946 until his assassination.

Let us hope that Israa’ Abd el-Fattah and her friends remember that old saw:
"Whomsoever draws their sword against their prince, should throw away the scabbard". In other words there can be no going back once a revolt has begun one is bound to continue to the end whatever that may be. They must press on and demand the ouster of Murabek. To do otherwise, such as allowing him to stay on until the elections, would be certain suicide.

Posted by: Paradise Mislaid | Feb 2 2011 4:13 utc | 62

The Egyptians seem to be mastering their fears; and if they can continue this way they will be thinking more clearly. But there is no going back. I wish them well. They refuse to be coerced any longer by Mubarak's brutality or ever bow down before brutality again. Once the people take a step like that, they have proven how great they are.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 2 2011 4:49 utc | 63

re 57

Not that it means much, and using him as a reference is highly ironic considering, but King Hussein of Jordan appears to agree with me about the influence of the Bedouin on Arab culture.

I think you'll find that Jordan is very much the exception in its self-identification. It was done because it is true of (Trans) Jordan, but also because it separated Jordan from Palestine in the Mandate period.

We're not hearing very much about bedouin in this Egyptian crisis, although they exist.

Posted by: alexno | Feb 2 2011 7:39 utc | 64

Thanks to all for an excellent, dialectical thread. In particular thanks to Noirette at 23 and
to both Mistah Charley at 45 and 47 and 59, and Giap at 49 with regard to the Sam Tadros narrative. The latter, perhaps rightly "outed" by Giap, is, if an "exercise", at least a rather well written one. Some of the numbers given there may well be questionable, but that could depend on the fact that the nature and level of participation seems to be changing.
Ideally the outcome will be an "orderly" transition to a new and better system of government,
without corruption, oppression, or torture, and more responsive to the needs of non-rich Egyptians.
More realistically, the nature of the popular uprising seems to make it not unreasonable to hope for some real improvements along these lines. Although I have absolutely no first hand knowledge in this regard, I find it difficult to believe that the Western powers are not actively "promoting" El Baradei as their fall-back "Plan B" candidate for succession. I say this only because it has for many years been commonplace to note that the Mubarak regime was potentially fragile, and I can't believe that "contingency planners" in Washington, London, Berlin, and Paris have not rehearsed scenarios like the one currently unfolding. (Of course, I may be far to optimistic about this.) Certainly the economic and political forces which have conditioned Egyptian policies for more than three decades are not about to vanish, so navigating the tempestuous and mine-filled seas of transition will require real skill. We can only hope that figures of the stature of Mandela or Havel or Gorbachov will emerge to lead the "new" Egypt, and that such figures will be allowed sufficient latitude to achieve their goals. Very cautious optimism seems in order.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 2 2011 8:12 utc | 65

@Hannah K. O'Luthon, comment 65,
Sure the Western Powers have been investigating alternatives, from what I can see, their first and second lime of attack (or is it defense ?) is the military. They've been building ties for years through exchange programs and the like and making sure everyone at or near the top toes the line. I doubt El Baradei is high on their list of alternatives though. They'll take him only as a plan C – at best.

---
His majesty absolute creepiness, aka toni 'bambi' blair speaks:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/02/tony-blair-mubarak-courageous-force-for-good-egypt
(is he a paid spokesman for the Israel gov now ? yeah, yeah I know he's always been extremely partisan, but he never put it that clearly)

Posted by: Philippe | Feb 2 2011 9:16 utc | 66

Blair is worried that the West won't be able wrestle change to the ground, and put a collar on it.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 2 2011 11:01 utc | 67

The army is now calling for a return to 'normality'. The western powers back an orderly 'transition'. Israel and their supporters are completely freaked, full panic mode, and won't allow any opening. It's time for the crackdown. The army leadership will back the 'transition'. They have restored Internet to give the impression that 'change' has been achieved with this ridiculous concession from Mubarak and now it's the time of 'normality'.

This will become bloody unless the army, not their leadership, decides to back the protesters. Depending what happens with the army this will range from a very bloody civil war (army splits), a slaughter of protesters (army backs the regime) or a small massacre of regime hardliners (army gets fed up with US, Israel and Mubarak).

I mostly agree with AngryArab analysis. This will end as a people's revolt similar to Iran (but Egypt is not Iran, like France or Germany aren't Italy or Poland) or as a bloody counter-revolution.

I expect two days of calm and then if by Friday the opposition has not disbanded one way or another (MB and El Baradei are too soft on their opposition and may come to a compromise with the regime) and they keep their decision of moving on the regime symbols all hell will break loose. That's the reason the western countries are moving all their citizens out of Egypt as fast as they can.

The doors for a peaceful end for this crisis have been likely closed.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 2 2011 11:16 utc | 68

Thanks to Philippe for continuing the "dialectic". With regard to Tony Bliar, I share your well-founded distrust for him and anything that comes from his lips. His record deprives him of any credibility, even when, one has duly eliminated the most obvious bullshit from his remarks and tries to consider the rest "on its merits". Again, without knowing exactly how to parse this link from China Hand , it seems worth tossing into the mix for further discussion. (By the way, it was fun to chase down the (to me) esoteric references to pancakes and chapati from that link.)

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Feb 2 2011 12:09 utc | 69

Let's cut out the race talk, please. I'm not claiming race, I'm pointing to commonly perpetuated behaviors that form what we know as "culture" due to similar living conditions and proximity. It has nothing to do with "race." I personally don't believe in the validity of "race," scientifically speaking, although it is still very real in the sense that duplicitous assholes will use the concept to fracture and subjugate.

That being said, there is certainly an argument to be made that Egypt, more than any other country in the "Middle East," is less affected by Bedouin culture, but it's not a strong argument to claim that the people who are commonly referred to as "Arabs" are not affected by Bedouin culture, overall. I never claimed all Arabs are descended from only Bedouin.

I respect the "Arab" so condescendingly described by T.E. Lawrence. The sense of freedom and true "liberation" that must come from an involuntary renunciation and shunning of the material must be rewarding, although it probably was so much a part of their disposition, they took it for granted....it was an involuntary reflex.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2 2011 12:47 utc | 70

Does anyone seriously believe that all the farmers of the Jordan Valley packed their bags and headed south when moses convinced the Jerusalem ruling elite to follow him south?

I don't believe there was a Moses, so I suppose I don't agree with your statement.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 2 2011 13:01 utc | 71

Lysander 61, i think he's trying to get on the right side of history.

Posted by: annie | Feb 2 2011 16:27 utc | 72

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