Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things Continue to Look Bad in Egypt

It is becoming more and more clear that the death grip of the dictator Mubarak isn't going to loosen without a lot of bloodshed. International calls for "transition" in Egypt is too little too late.

Here is a bit from the UK Guardian's newspaper site:
11.46pm GMT: Time to wrap things up for tonight. Here's what we've seen this evening:

• Talks between the Egyptian regime and opposition figures are on the brink of collapse

• The Egyptian military has been involved in beatings and other abuses, according to an investigation by the Guardian

• Egypt's provinces have seen widespread protests, in further signs that the uprising has spread beyond the major cities

• A wave of strikes erupted across the economy, including railway workers, public employees and electricity staff

It sounds like the next big protest is being planned for Friday but there will be more to come tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
It is very worrisome that the army is not intervening on the government side. All those bland assurances from Obama's administration that their nearly $2 billion a year had bought off the military are now shown to be hollow. Mubarak came from the military. The military is still supporting him.

This bit makes it clear that Mubarak will not give up without bloodshed:
9.10pm GMT: The talks between the Egyptian regime and opposition figures are on the brink of collapse, according to a new report from Cairo just posted on the Guardian's site:
A prominent member of a key opposition group, the Council of Wise Men, said negotiations had "essentially come to an end". A western diplomat said Washington was alarmed by the lack of political progress and the Egyptian vice-president Omar Suleiman's warning of a coup if the opposition refused to accept the government's terms.

Diaa Rashwan, of the Council of Wise Men, said he offered Suleiman a compromise in which Mubarak would have remained president but with his powers transferred to a transitional government.

Rashwan said this proposal was rejected at the weekend and there had been no further movement.

"The regime is taking a hard line and so negotiations have essentially come to an end," he said. "Suleiman's comments about there being a danger of a coup were shocking to all of us – it was a betrayal of the spirit of negotiations, and is unacceptable.

"The regime's strategy has been just to play for time and stall with negotiations. They don't really want to talk to anyone. At the start of this week they were convinced that the protests were going to fade away."
Reporting by the Guardian's Jack Shenker and Chris McGreal.
If world leaders really do want a democratic Egypt, then need to act now. Any further dithering about "security and stability" simply gives Mubarak a free hand to crush his own people. The blood will be on Obama's head for dithering, for pretending he is for "democracy" when in fact he really wants to control Egypt for short term US interests while ignoring that a peaceful, democratic Egypt is in the long term interests of the American people.

Ah... but there is the problem. What the American government wants is not necessarily what is in the interest of the American people. The war in Iraq was something that Bush and the neo-cons wanted. It was never something that was in the interest of the American people.

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