Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 12, 2011

The Day After The Revolution

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

It seems that people will stay in Tahrir until the next steps are done. Good.

via The Guardian, Reuters:

"People's Communique No. 1" demands the dissolution of the cabinet Mubarak appointed on Jan. 29 and the suspension of the parliament elected in a rigged poll late last year.
The reformists want a transitional five-member presidential council made up of four civilians and one military person.
The communique calls for the formation of a transitional government to prepare for an election to take place within nine months, and of a body to draft a new democratic constitution.
It demands freedom for the media and syndicates, which represent groups such as lawyers, doctors and engineers, and for the formation of political parties. Military and emergency courts must be scrapped, the communique says.

and this on a council the protest organizers are forming:

"The purpose of the Council of Trustees is to hold dialogue with the Higher Military Council and to carry the revolution forward through the transitional phase," said Khaled Abdel Qader Ouda, an academic.
"The council will have the authority to call for protests or call them off depending on how the situation develops," he added.
Ouda said the Council of Trustees would call for a mass rally next Friday to celebrate the success of the revolution.
The council would have about 20 members, including protest organisers, prominent individuals and leaders from across the political spectrum, he said.

Also: Good morning revolution: A to do list

I am optimistic now. The fear is broken, it will not come back anytime soon.

---

15:00 GMT - 17:00 Cairo

Nice tweet: "Everyone knew it was impossible. Then came along a fool who didn't know it, and he did it."

Reuters: PA announced that Presidential & Legislative elections will take place before September 2011

14:00 GMT - 16:00 Cairo

Suleiman's Mubarak's Resignation Speech (remixed)

Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator with Israel, resigned

Hamas: Egypt sticking with treaty with Israel no problem, but calls for opening border to Gaza

Supreme Military Council:

  • calls on police to service the people
  • says elected civil government will take over
  • says it will honor existing international treaties
  • Egyptian Cabinet to stay in place until new government formed

Thousands still coming to Tahrir, fewer tents though now

13:00 GMT - 15:00 Cairo

Al Jazeera just ran a portrait of the April 6 youth movement which organized the protests in Egypt. During the last weeks they appear to have worked out of the offices of the The Egyptian Center of Economic and Social Rights. There isn't much to be gleaned from its website. I wonder who is behind that organization.

12:00 GMT - 14:00 Cairo

Mubarak reported to be in Abu Dhabi

LRB blog: The revolution is not over

Protests, clashes, mass arrests in Algiers

Big cleanup action on Tahrir

11:00 GMT - 13:00 Cairo

IsMubarakStillPresident.com

The Zionist still don't get it: Egypt's army must now continue down Mubarak's path

Evan Hill on yesterday's march to the palace: Egypt's arduous road to freedom

10:00 GMT - 12:00 Cairo

NYmag Q&A with Ayman Mohyeldin

Photos and blog of Hossam el-Hamalawy, aka 3ARABAWY

Interesting: Egypt influence network - Twitter relations

More people coming into Tahrir

Algiers - protests and security clamp down - 30,000 police deployed

9:00 GMT - 11:00 Cairo

Some army still in place at main entrance to Tahrir, removing some barricade

Fisk: A tyrant's exit. A nation's joy

[T]he Egyptians who have fought for their future in the streets of their nation over the past three weeks will have to preserve their revolution from internal and external enemies if they are to achieve a real democracy. The army has decided to protect the people. But who will curb the power of the army?

Cairo - there will soon be a meeting on the constitution with lawyers, judges with the chief judge of the Supreme Court leading to propose a legal way forward

Alexandria - people dancing in the street, on top of tanks kissing soldiers, people directing traffic, cleaning streets

Barricades are still standing, but no army visible around them

Some people dancing in a circle

Tahrir, of course, still in the hands of the people

8:00 GMT - 10:00 Cairo

Posted by b on February 12, 2011 at 8:05 UTC | Permalink

Comments

luv u b

Posted by: annie | Feb 12 2011 9:52 utc | 1

Thanks b, and everyone else who has been keeping on top of the exciting developments in Egypt.

What interesting times...

peace

Posted by: DaveS | Feb 12 2011 11:41 utc | 2

Here is my poetic contribution dedicated to one of the young instigators of this beautiful uprising:

Asmaa Mahfouz

26 years old

she looks straight at the camera

the beauty of her face an insurrection in the making

the force of her words feed the spark

Asmaa Mahfouz

you are courageous

and you are dangerous

the West is scared of you

and fundamentalists are scared of you

because you have helped your brothers and sisters

abandon their fear to fill Tahrir Square

and without fear their grip on power

sputters and flashes its belly

and without fear

the iron fist trained in the dark arts of torture

can be overwhelmed

and pried free from the necks of the people

Asmaa Mahfouz

they call the flames your words are fanning a virus

as they yank the imperial fist from the rump of Mubarak

and quickly jam it in Suleiman

Asmaa Mahfouz

it is your hour

the clock of old men is winding down

their scrotums, comfortably sheathed in expensive fabrics,

are suffering sweat stains

and forced retirements

in the emirates?

now is the time for caution

the wolves of empire won’t let their influence wane

for the wolves of empire are insane for global dominance

but for now your template of resistance has won the day

so let the empire scramble and connive

trying to figure out why

the dignity of human life they seek always to subjugate

is, today, victorious


Posted by: lizard | Feb 12 2011 13:39 utc | 3

I can't put my finger on it, but something isn't quite right. As I mentioned in other threads, the PEOPLE should not let the army lead this....and yet, that is exactly what is happening.

b, thanks for that link that discusses the buildings from which the youth were operating. That deserves further research and segues intriguingly with the article I posted from Global Research. The U.S. Embassy was never threatened. The Western media from the outset, at least the outlets that feigned sympathy and concern for the "protesters", have always framed this as the "youth" versus Mubarak. NPR yesterday, on one segment from the BBC, declared that the "youth" had succeeded in ousting Mubarak and could now begin the process of choosing a leader they could call their own. Very interesting.....this focus on a single LEADER.

I guess we'll see, but whatever the case, the fervor of what we were referring to as the "Revolution" has definitely subsided substantially, so if that was the goal of some duplicitous plot, to put a pin in that balloon of energy and pop it, it has succeeded.

I can't help harkening back to Ghonim's use of the words "Mission Accomplished." Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the use of that wording was uncanny.....and ominous.

I know it's easy to get caught in celebration after such intense, focused energy has been rendered, but as I've mentioned before, it would be a tragedy to see that go to waste, and declare victory when the battle has just begun. We in the West don't have the patience for such an enduring struggle that is called for here. We like things to be neat, clean, quick......over in 60 seconds....but that's foolish thinking. This Culture of Dominance is an Egregore that requires another carefully cultivated and nurtured Egregore to to dissolve it. The Egregore that is being cultivated in Egypt...and Tunisia, Yemen and Algeria is still very much in its infancy, and the existing Egregore loves to eat the young.

Eternal vigilance must be the order of the day.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 12 2011 14:20 utc | 4

Wow... what a day. What a day! (yesterday)

Thanks to b and all the posters, for being there. here. wherever.

I’m very confident. Extremely optimistic. The caution and suspicious in the previous thread, yes, but...

Rotten structures (regime in this case) when a part is seriously damaged, the whole thing collapses, it can’t survive with a missing or malfunctioning branch. The whole system implodes rapidly, and it can’t be rebuilt, ever.

That is also the reason the defense implemented was so misguided and in a way even weirdly hapless, out of phase.. dull and sadistic. As these regimes are so rigid, monolithic, they can’t react creatively - they are left at sea, can’t see much less implement alternative paths. The only part that can survive alone for a while is the army, as it always has a strong internal and mechanistic structure, moreover geared to ‘response’ at the top...and that is surely what the army figured out.

(The Egyptian ppl eventually worked from the top down, cutting off the head, as going from the bottom up - labor unrest, strikes, protesting the last elections, etc. since 2005 for only recent history - had no real success.)

The same applies to the ideology, it is just swept away, and even the nostalgic or frightened or the profiteers cannot hang onto it any more, ..realism, social pressure, new positioning.

The army will honor their promises, more or less, there is no other way forward, and they have little to lose from a new ‘democratic’ structure, free expression, and end to repression, some sort of civil gvmt, which are the main demands. That aspect has a flavor of inevitability to it.

However, how industry, labor issues, land ownership (?), corruption etc., all that on the ground stuff are worked out is a different matter.

The danger of a new class - democratic, internationalist, globalist, modernist, capitalist, etc. all in quotes - exists. Specially if melded with the arm of internal power - the army.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 12 2011 16:48 utc | 5

BBC News - Egypt's new era

1718: More now on the travel bans imposed on Mubarak-era officials (see 1622 entry). Egyptian state TV confirms the ban on former information minister Anas el-Fekky, and says former interior minister Habib al-Adli and former prime minister Ahmed Nazif are also forbidden from leaving the country. State TV says accusations against all three ministers are being investigated.

Posted by: Fran | Feb 12 2011 17:42 utc | 6

mobama @ 4 "I can't put my finger on it, but something isn't quite right. As I mentioned in other threads, the PEOPLE should not let the army lead this....and yet, that is exactly what is happening."

I also have an unease wrt this... Military seem awfully prepared with their communique 4... here's some analysis from the 'Angry Arab' ... do note his mention of sullied-man.

"Communique Number 4
The role of the Egyptian military command is certainly temporary: but the US/Israel/Saudi Arabia would want to make it permanent and to pick a reliable bribable tool from among them to take over power to preserve the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and to extend the life of the Sadat-Mubarak regime. That is not possible: the reign of Mubarak-Sadat required a high degree of fear and intimidation in the hand of the regime. That is gone, and for good and the regional situation is such that no resumption of the terror tactics can be possible without a high public price. The reference to the regional and international treaties is now interpreted--rightly--to refer to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The communique--this one--was written by the US for Israel. The role of `Umar Sulayman is not clear in this phase: the opposition will press on change and it is fair to assume that the ruling junta will maintain minimum adherence to the foreign policy of the previous regime. Don't expect Netanyaho to be invited to Cairo, for example, and even if Abu Al-Ghayt remains as foreign minister, don't expect him to hold hands with Livni. I still believe that the opposition placed wrong trust in the Egyptian military and that they should have assigned a temporary opposition board or body to take charge of he country while preparing for free elections. But the anti-democratic machinations of US/Israel/Saudi Arabia would continue before AND during the parliamentary elections. If Prince Muqrin spent $1 billion in the last parliamentary election in Lebanon, expect him to spend ten times that amount in Egyptian elections. This is why I argue that free elections and capitalism are not compatible in the region."

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/communique-number-4.html

Posted by: crone | Feb 12 2011 19:03 utc | 7

same fears. i witnessed what we all witnessed. the people won but but.....the reality is that egypt is central perhaps more central than israel to the u s imperialist project both in the short term & long term & we know from history that empires give up very reluctantly their control & it is difficult to believe that the u s has done so here

a strong egypt makes all sorts of things possible not least of them being a real limit on the force used by the state of israel against the palestinians, a forestalling of any war against iran - & a forestalling of the long war against china

i want to believe the people have won & i see no threat from political islam (in a certain way i see it is the deathknoll for a certain kind of political islam) but the real threat remains as it does for so much of the world a fatally weakened u s imperialism

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2011 19:20 utc | 8

lizard @ 3

LUV the poem, thanks for sharing...

Posted by: crone | Feb 12 2011 19:26 utc | 9

he palestinian people are the heart & soul of the middle east

egypt must annul its treaty with israel until that state shows a real willingness to act to negotiate substantially, that is at the very least giving back all territories occupied since 1967 & the golan heights

& a opening of the rafah crossing

egypt is obliged to return to its role as the conscience of the arab people

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2011 20:45 utc | 10

a fatally weakened u s imperialism

You're like a crack smoking Minah bird. Squawk. For eight years. Last time I heard, the U.S. Army was supposed to be surrounded by angry Iraqis committed to national sovereignty and the destruction of US empire. oh well.

But a great moment for Egyptians. It seems hardly possible they would go the way of iran and intentionally exclude themselves from the global economy and neoliberal expansion. One would expect Egyptian support for free trade and financialization as a means to address the global problem of declining profit rates, under consumption, and underinvestment-- all problems, of course, they don't have a fucking thing to do with "Empire." If you want to find the American empire, you'll find it at night sleeping under r'giap's bed.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 12 2011 20:47 utc | 11

and who knows? By this time next week we might be talking about the massive protests in iran, testing to the embarrassment of our host his devotion for populism. My hunch is, he and the Stalinist fruitcake will denounce the whole affair as a Revolution twittered by George Soros, and the people crushed by the state as US imperialist lackeys.

It's gonna be a fun time.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 12 2011 20:53 utc | 12

egypt is obliged to return to its role as the conscience of the arab people

You mean Nasserite totalitarianism and/or Qutbist misanthropy?

you always speak from the heart of the people, I'll give you that.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 12 2011 21:00 utc | 13

you know so little slothrop least of all about your own country so i am sad to say your missives go unheard for the most part. your rhetoric style is so corrupt & polluted, it is a wonder you can put whole sentences together

when, once in a while, you gather up enough bile to gather together a sentence - it is usually meaningless. as is this current splatter

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2011 21:03 utc | 14

i presume, & have done, for some time - that you are locked in a room with books that you keep on mixing up, the grundrisse with your old records of gary numan, marx with norman mailer, fanon with fat freddy - if i had the time i would try help you out with your filing system & your applied misreading (as with the steve coll book) but i fear it has gone too far for that.

i imagine you would be better served by a tenured chair at the american enterprise institute where you could devote your time to glue i the wig on to john bolton's barren skull

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2011 21:10 utc | 15

i like to think of you, slothrop, as the ali belhadj of us imperialism in the field of theory

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2011 21:23 utc | 16

I wrote an analysis of the army last night for you, but it seems I didn't post it, probably because I fell asleep at the computer. Happily my view still seems valid today.

The army being considered the crucial element for Egypt's future, I think that it is split, and not in a position to impose a single point of view.

The army is divided into three strata:

1) The High Command. They are certainly with Mubarak and the old regime. We are hearing their point of view in the public communiqués.

2) The lower officers are drawn from the same educated classes as the demonstrators. The photos of demonstrators sleeping on the wheels of M60 tanks (not merely M113 armoured personnel carriers) show very well their attitudes.

3) The private soldiers are conscripts from the Egyptian peasantry. They have gone with their officers rather than the High Command. This is important as there is no other indication of the views of the lower classes (other, that is, than the views of the Egyptian vegetable sellers here in the market in Nanterre, a Paris suburb, which goes in the same sense).

So... In fact, the army are subject to the views of the demonstrators, whatever they may say, until the army can be restructured to be loyal. Not very easy.

So, I don't find the declarations of the Army High Command to be very convincing. What we hear today may be different tomorrow.

Posted by: alexno | Feb 12 2011 22:01 utc | 17

remembering now alexno, we are not so far from each other

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 12 2011 23:03 utc | 18

One of the reasons the ideology of the left has had so littele real success in Arabic speaking countries can be traced to the confusion western leftists have about class as it applies in the ME.

And the left has not had much success in Arab nations, ever. The Arabic 'leftist' political movements which have claimed success (that is have stayed in power for substantial periods and implemented their policies) would be regarded as social democrat rather that socialist if their achievements were equated with european leftist political movements. Yet they have only maintained control by using tactics similar to the 'state capitalist' soviet model. Why is that?
For too long the west has claimed this is because Arabs are somehow backwards that they only understand power delivered from the barrel of a gun or from the electrode of a torturer's toolkit. This lie was a convenient way of excusing western collusion with regimes that are the enemies of the citizens they claimed to be governing. As the events in Tahrir Square, Alexandria, Suez and the undereported protests in the countryside of the Nile Delta have shown, Arabs do not prefer tyranny to freedom.

Just as the west explains away the reality of modern Russia where economic liberalism replaced state capitalism yet personal freedom is more restricted now than ever, by telling its people that Russians only understand 'strong leadership' (meaning oppression, injustice, poverty and no real say in their governance) with easy lies rather than the type of robust examination that would reveal flaws in Western political structures, Arabs' post colonial oppression has been dismissed using racist stereotypes.

Those stereotypes ignored the differences between Arab societies and western/european societies.
That simple transfer of leftist programs into ME societies doomed them from inception.

How do you sell egalitarianism to people who are largely free of class distinctions?

The claim in this thread that the Egypt military can be divided into the aristocrat/bourgois/proletariat paradigm that leftists use when considering Western societies is an example of the problem of seeing Egypt in terms of a western society.

One of the things which those who read Zaeef's excellent portrait of pre invasion Afghani society, "My Life with the Taliban" should have understood was that Afghanistan was largely free of the class boundaries which are common in the west.
Zaeer's father was a highly respected Islamic intellectual, whose opinions were considered important by regional leaders and the citizens alike. Despite this Zaeef's childhood was exactly the same as that of the other village children. He had no more food, or money or better accomodation than any of the other village children. The only difference was that he was expected to take his studies more seriously.

In Islam religious leaders don't belong to a rigid hierarchy. There is no 'church' of islam in the way that western organised religion has formal institutions.

Obviously Afghani social structures and Egyptian strutures are not identical, yet they do share similarities. For example Hosni Mubarek, the former 'Pharoah' of Egypt did not come from a monied or even what westerners would consider to be a middle class background.
He was born in a rural village in the Nile delta, Kafr el-Meselha, just north of Cairo. His father was a minor bureaucrat, who just like his son, had managed to take advantage of the highly regarded Shibin El-Kom public secondary school near to his village. That one secondary school has produced 4 cabinet ministers. Some of whom proceeded Mubarak into the stratosphere of Egyptian politics. So it cannot be said that their success was a result of knowing Mubarak.


Islamic society which has an emphasis on clan loyalty, considering the view of religious leaders in social decision making, and placing the long term needs of the community ahead of the immediate needs of any individual within the society, has created a structure where there is less obvious and extreme difference between citizens.

One of the most destabilising aspects of neo-liberalism on long established Arabic speaking communities has been the introduction of capitalist customs such as the obvious flaunting of wealth. Even in Kuwait one of the worst offenders in the "look at me I'm rich" the leadership is belatedly realising the problems caused by the introduction of obvious class differentiation to it citizens. Everyone (every citizen 'guest workers' don't count) is going to be given US$3500 immediately and free food for the next 14 months.
A uniquely Kuwaiti method of attempting to over-ride the class distinctions that developed over 50 years and have become much worse since Gulf War 1.

Posted by: UreKismet | Feb 12 2011 23:59 utc | 19

That simple transfer of leftist programs into ME societies doomed them from inception.

Samir Amin has explained this problem as not so much a result of inscrutable indigenous customs and whatnot, but because much of the Arab diaspora experienced the usual forms of colonial economic exploitation: Raw materials were exported and finished goods and means of production were imported. This inevitably led to the creation of a comprador class of indigenous capitalists who seldom invested in domestic production, so proletarian class composition was quite underdeveloped. not that much of a mystery.

The thing that's interesting is the extent to which the urban well-educated unemployed combine with traditional mostly ineffective trade unionists to create a kind of ersatz proletarian class consciousness. Juan Cole in his articles this week has talked about this.


Posted by: slothrop | Feb 13 2011 0:19 utc | 20

Egypt: The camp that toppled a president

Cairo's central Tahrir Square was the focal point for anti-Mubarak protesters during 18 days of demonstrations. As the protest neared its peak, the BBC's Yolande Knell took a tour of the area. Explore the protesters' camp by clicking on the links.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12434787

Posted by: crone | Feb 13 2011 1:07 utc | 21


The reformists want a transitional five-member presidential council made up of four civilians and one military person.

that sounds reasonable to me

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2011 1:22 utc | 22

The First Wonder of the Millennium

I am brought to a point of high emotion, optimism and wonder when I read from Bernhard's link above.

Good morning revolution: A to do list

... This process, however, needs to be closely monitored, and intervened in, by the various bodies set up by the revolution, particularly the youth movements. Radical changes of government open up a great many appetites, and as wondrous as our revolution has been, it has not transformed us into a nation of angels. We must expect a lot of grabbing and grappling on all levels of the state in the coming weeks and months, and we need to both take it in our stride, as well as try to create as many guarantees as possible that the process will be as clean, transparent and accountable as possible. ...

This is a wholly new entrant on the nation’s political stage, most likely evolved in cyber space, and I fully admit; it has taken old-guys such as myself completely by surprise. It is an Egyptian nationalist discourse, almost intrinsically liberal, showing a deep commitment to fundamental human right, but spreading out to include secular, religious, leftist and Islamist leanings, all in happy coexistence, and continuous dialogue. I see no reason why this new discourse should not find organizational expression. The idea of creating a new political party, the 25 January Revolution has been floated during the past couple of days. I fully support this initiative, and can only hope that the revolution’s youth will not allow the old geezers to sabotage, or usurp a refreshing new entrant on the Egyptian political stage that is most uniquely theirs. ...

Egyptian labor ... [a] new actor ... the truly vibrant and representative democracy we have long aspired for, and which during the past 18 days we proved to ourselves and to the whole world, that we truly deserve. ...

My sense is that amazing things are happening, first Julian Assange's carefully plotted launch and nurturing of of Wikileaks, which although it has him as spokesman and target continues and will do so; and the glimpse of the "organized chaos" of the Egyptian revolution.

Simple and wise. Effective.

Breathtaking.

Echoing Noirette/Blackie, thanks to Bernhard and all you fellow moonies.

Posted by: jonku | Feb 13 2011 3:11 utc | 23

i agree jonku. it's exciting. here's an amazing graphic depicting the twitter motion. you can click on it. the red is arabic /blue english and purple where they mesh.

Yesterday Egypt, today Algeria

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2011 3:58 utc | 24

The graphic is amazing, annie. It shows the Twitter communication network, I suppose filtered by the Egypt politics topic or whatever, and the close connection between Arabic and English tweets over some recent period of time.

Twitter is an interesting and useful technology after all!

The focus on networks is found in the leaks guy's philosophy as well, although he speaks in terms of how to disrupt the other guys' one.

The Egyptians were an example of a working version, anonymous, inscrutable, private. The pen is mightier. Again I'm reminded of John Brunner's novel, The Shockwave Rider.

"1. That this is a rich planet. Therefore poverty and hunger are unworthy of it, and since we can abolish them, we must.

2. That we are a civilized species. Therefore none shall henceforth gain illicit advantage by reason of the fact that we together know more than one of us can know."

Posted by: jonku | Feb 13 2011 8:30 utc | 25

love this place!

Posted by: melo | Feb 13 2011 10:50 utc | 26

love this place!

Posted by: melo | Feb 13 2011 10:50 utc | 27

jonku! what an awesome link.

;)

ok, i am really going to hve to buy this book. your memory astounds me!

massive wink n shout out.

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2011 10:54 utc | 28

I wonder how the people managed to coordinate their efforts to successfully assault the Bastille in 1789, without twitter, facebook, telephones, satellite tv ... maybe they had telepathy back then?

Posted by: claudio | Feb 13 2011 11:21 utc | 29

claudio, they used their voices. word of mouth.

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2011 12:50 utc | 30

annie, I know, my comment was ironic! (or are you being so, too?)

Posted by: claudio | Feb 13 2011 13:38 utc | 31

the 'Angry Arab' has

A Guide to Reading the Egyptian Uprising in its first week

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/guide-to-reading-egyptian-uprising-in.html

Posted by: crone | Feb 13 2011 15:41 utc | 32

Wouldn't it be nice if Burlesconi was the next one to go?!

Italy: day of protests in 200 cities against Berlusconi - Telegraph

Hundreds of women will take to the streets of Italy’s cities today calling on scandal hit Premier Silvio Berlusconi to resign after prosecutors requested he be sent to trial for having sex with an underage prostitute.

Protesters say evidence leaked from the probe into Berlusconi, 74, allegedly paying for sex with then 17 year Moroccan belly dancer Karima El Mahroug, and show he has little respect for female dignity.

Wiretaps leaked from more than 600 pages of the prosecution file suggest he surrounded himself at parties at his home with starlets and other women hoping to use their looks to gain positions in politics or within his Mediaset TV empire.

Protests are scheduled to take place in 200 cities and towns across Italy as well as London and New York, with the largest due to be held in Rome and Milan and counter demonstrations by activists from Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party area also planned.

Posted by: Fran | Feb 13 2011 15:55 utc | 33

Sorry, my link should have gone into the Non-Egypt open threat. :-((

Posted by: Fran | Feb 13 2011 15:57 utc | 34

The protesters in Egypt are the same as the protesters in Iran: http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2011/02/12/revolution-post-islamiste_1478858_3232.html Roy in Lemonde

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 13 2011 16:48 utc | 35

what's the deal with the HTML link command? it doesn't work for me. Some secret?

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 13 2011 16:50 utc | 36

as is his habitude, slothrop misreads oliver roy & in any case oliver roy's opinions are of a questionable provenance. when there are buffoons who write about arab politics unfortunately you have sometimes to make do with what is available which is often very poor

angry arab has given a number of good reading lists

i await some commentary from gilles keppel

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 13 2011 19:52 utc | 37

in fact, he is not saying anhything we haven't heard before

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 13 2011 20:03 utc | 38

Good analysis of the situation right now: "Egyptian army moves to preserve its power"
http://leninology.blogspot.com/

Posted by: absinthe | Feb 13 2011 20:26 utc | 39

@Lizard #3 Here is the video that fuelled the Egyptian Revolution by Ashma Mahfouz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pKAsxoNjMI&feature=player_embedded

What a brave and knowledgeable woman

Posted by: hans | Feb 13 2011 21:23 utc | 40

mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/amin030211.html Samir Amin.

Basically, what I said. He always rejects the childishly reductive move in which "America" is a vain abstraction replacing the true object of analysis: neoliberal globalization.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 13 2011 21:31 utc | 41

for slothrop, neoliberal globalization = german & french retired postal workers

dear, ô dear

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 13 2011 22:08 utc | 42

jalelujah!
a bar going down is not uncommon
a bar coming back up it's another matter
mr. bartender, if possible, i'd like to invite every barfly anew round

b, rgiap, debs, uncle, annie, b real, amissed, lyzard, mystah, noirette & every one and allll of you i forgot... even the resident troll, mind u'...: i'm truly happy to be around in such an illustrated company

a decade back, nine eleven: and all the way down dat road
a new decade bursts up: and there it is: tunis + egypt + (women against berzuzconi) + +
.... . . . . . . . . ... . . .
and a toast to this pearl: "all problems, of course, they don't have a fucking thing to do with Empire."
- i remember realizing santa and god, beside being the same person, didn't really exist...
- it took me almost my entire adulthood to recover
- and right now, just in front the breaking glass, i'll try to grasp the meaning of this new revelation...

“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
Woody Allen.

saravá, my friends
r.

Posted by: rudolf | Feb 14 2011 6:30 utc | 43

Hello barflies...

Difficult to believe that the revolution in Egypt is already losing traction in the media - police and army succeeding, forcibly, in the final clearance of Tahrir Square, imposition of martial law, crashing silence on ending emergency law, release of detainees etc. Certain protest movement leaders seem to have decided on Mission Accomplished, which is bizarre to say the least. I have @sandmonkey's tweet of yesterday running around my brain: "It may seem very paranoid but what if the military played us all?"

Posted by: Tantalus | Feb 14 2011 8:32 utc | 44

re Tantalus

It should not be forgotten that the demonstrators can only really come out en masse on Fridays. Last Friday worked quite well, however. It's a disadvantage for them. I should think things will be quiet-ish until next Friday.

Posted by: alexno | Feb 14 2011 9:04 utc | 45

Tantalus! good to see ya, man!

Posted by: lizard | Feb 14 2011 13:38 utc | 46

Hi Lizard! And hello to R'Giap, Annie, Jonku, Noisette and everyone else. Great commentary from b, as always.

I've been watching events mainly on the Guardian live blog and AJE but it's been lovely to pop in here and hear your voices.

Posted by: Tantalus | Feb 14 2011 14:04 utc | 47

hi tantalus! good to see you too.

sloth The protesters in Egypt are the same as the protesters in Iran

the trolls all over the internet are humping this narrative like flies on shit. i think it's funny. last i heard the egyptian revolution wasn't supported by millions (400 as i recall) of pro democracy 'aid' from cheney&co funneled into student groups (oh so coincidentally advised by regime changer dagan re wikileaks)

Posted by: annie | Feb 14 2011 20:24 utc | 48

ilan pappe's got an excellent wrap up titled Egypt's revolution and Israel: "Bad for the Jews" over @ EI. it's really funny so don't miss it.

Spearheading the Israeli interpretation are the former Israeli ambassadors to Egypt. All their frustration from being locked in an apartment in a Cairean high-rise is now erupting like an unstoppable volcano. Their tirade can be summarized in the words of one of them, Zvi Mazael who told Israeli television's Channel One on 28 January, "this is bad for the Jews; very bad."

In Israel of course when you say "bad for the Jews," you mean the Israelis -- but you also mean that whatever is bad for Israel is bad for the Jews all around the world (despite the evidence to the contrary since the foundation of the state).

it's jammed packed w/amusing reading.

Posted by: annie | Feb 14 2011 21:31 utc | 49

thanks, annie

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 14 2011 21:57 utc | 50

eh r'giap. loverly seeing you around.

Posted by: annie | Feb 15 2011 0:40 utc | 51

Hi tantalus! have a jar! - tantalus quoted:

It may seem very paranoid but what if the military played us all?

The military played a waiting game, it was in the shadows, waiting for events to unfold. I’m not saying it just took the sacrificial path for the good of the country, oh no, more simply a power vacuum aspires whatever power exists into it, also for reasons of self-interest obviously. The military do hold a strong lever of power (arms - acceptance and prestige) but really they are just a branch of Gvmt - The Egyptian army is not about to fight any wars or attack it’s own ppl blatantly, as that would be detrimental to its long term interests, which are essentially economic. Armies don’t earn their own money, they require funding! I’m no doubt somewhat prejudiced about this aspect, because in Switzerland, we say, Oh there is always the army, martial law...that would see us through. ;)

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 15 2011 14:30 utc | 52

Thanks, Noirette! Have one yourself!

Posted by: Tantalus | Feb 15 2011 14:52 utc | 53

What I doubt the military never really wanted to happen was an Egypt with citizens unafraid of requesting and defending their rights. That's what has changed. It will require a good amount of repression and reconditioning to come back the previous situation and none knows yet how it will end. The Egyptians and Tunisians will have to keep fighting for their rights and democracy, that won't be handed down from the powers, but the process has at least started and the fear wall brought down.

On both we have people and institutions (the army) from the old regime that have committed for a change after the large protests that brought down the regime structures confronted with political parties and groups of people still pressing for that change. Both groups will keep fighting (I hope peacefully) to meet their own expectations and we will only know how successful they will be in the next months and years.

Posted by: ThePaper | Feb 15 2011 16:43 utc | 54

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