Monday, February 7, 2011

Obama "Recalibrates" on Egypt

The Obama/Mubarak program to smother the revolt in Egypt continues.

From the major news channels in the US, the news is that Obama wants to stop the calls for the immediate stepdown on Mubarak and instead focus on steps to "widen the dialog". Oh yeah... more meetings. That's going to change things. Let the bloody thug stay in power through his right hand man Suleiman.

From Egypt there is ominous news that foreign news teams continue to be "picked up", hooded, held, and beaten. That sure sounds like "change you can believe in" to me. (OK, to be honest there was talk that the state-controlled TV finally is running some news about the demonstrations and one of the large state-owned newspapers has broken with Mubarak and is calling for him to leave the country. That is potentially good news, but not when the "smother them with meetings" approach continues this isn't good news.)

What is needed in Egypt are concrete actions:
  • Deadlines for handing over control.

  • Specifics about elections.

  • Agreements to remove control of the state police and the army from the hands of the pro-Mubarak thugs and put it under the control of either independent third parties or under a pro-reform commission made up of representative parties.

  • Announcements about arrests of pro-Mubarak thugs who beat, tortured, and shot protestors.

  • Plans to root out corruption throughout the government especially in the police and the judiciary.

  • Announcements about electoral commissions and the participation of the international community to oversee the electoral process to ensure that it is truly "free and fair".
I don't see any movement on any of those issues. Until those all get addressed, any "talks" are just window dressing and a technique to smother and destroy the revolt.

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