Clashes Break Out Between Pro And Anti-Mubarak Groups In Cairo's Tahrir Square As Political Turmoil Spread To Yemen

Tyler Durden's picture

According to Al Jazeera, pro-Mubarak forces have clashed with the revolutionaries, in a sign that the "counter-revolution" has begun, and an Al Arabiya reporter has been stabbed by those who prefer Mubarak. It also appears that the pro-Mubarak forces are arriving on horseback, camelback and in chariots. Elsewhere, Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday told protesters that their demands had been heard and they must clear the streets: we are confident that everyone will disperse promptly and quietly... Another indication of how powerless the regime is, was that curfew hours were shortened even though nobody had been following the original curfew to begin with. Most importantly, the revolutionary concerns spread to Yemen, where president Ali Saleh followed in Mubarak's footsteps and vowed not to extend his term in 2013. Alas, his term will most likely be cut off well short of that optimistic estimate. 

From Bloomberg:

The Egyptian army said protesters should return to their homes, in a statement by a military spokesman on state television. It came hours after U.S. President Barack Obama told Mubarak that transition to democracy must “begin now.” Supporters of the president rallied in central Cairo and there were scuffles with protesters. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh today vowed not to extend his term in 2013 after Mubarak said late yesterday he won’t run for re-election in September.

Political turmoil is spreading through the Middle East. Saleh called for a national unity government in Yemen, Jordan’s King Abdullah yesterday sacked his prime minister, and in Algeria protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces. The unprecedented protests in Egypt, which followed a revolt in Tunisia that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14, have left as many as 300 people dead and roiled international stock, bond and oil markets.

“There is no chance Mubarak can last until September, there is too much water under the bridge,” said Rime Allaf, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at London’s Chatham House. “The protests won’t stop until he leaves or is ousted. The opposition is clear that they want the fall of the regime, not just Mubarak.”

As usual, follow the latest development on Al-Jazeera:

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downwiththebanks's picture

Well, we know where the police went.  They're driving the trucks and riding horses who are attacking the Movement.

Now, how will the people respond?

Bob's picture

They're busting up the pavement for "ammo."

B9K9's picture

Sous les pavés la plage?

On a slightly tangential note, while global events appear to be moving slowly, one should carefully note the overall trend: decay.

The most important underlying fact to remember is that we simply do not have sufficient fossil fuels in which to "grow our way out" of this situation. This isn't about peak oil - rather, it's about insufficient reserves necessary to drive a further 3-5% world-wide CAGR required to service the Ponzi.

One of the reasons Ferrarris are expensive is because they can accelerate to 175mph+ from 125mph. In other words, it's one thing for a car to achieve 125mph, but it's a whole different story moving beyond that point.

As we gain further perspective via the passage of time, we will come to see clearly that 2007 was not only the peak of the bubble, but it was the peak of the American Empire. All is decline thereafter.

flavian's picture

What happens right now is so sad. Same thing happened in Romania 20 years ago, at the end of the comunist revolution.? The president called the miners to beat up the people that were demanding true change. Google: February 1990 mineriad

pan-the-ist's picture

Communists vs. Fascists.  In this case, the Fascist (enforce economic status quo) group attacked the Communist (pro democracy/wealth transfer) group on Horse-back and Camel-back.

Bob's picture

I'm surprised that nobody is labeling it "The Fall of Capitalism."  Sure, it got corrupted and arguably is no longer what capitalism should be, but it is what it is . . . and the socialists had no trouble seeing it coming.

Lest folks see red in response to this, the socialists were in the same position with the fall of the USSR empire--they could argue that it wasn't real socialism, but it was what it was. 

I think a real  robust hybrid system defended by the Rule of Law is long overdue.  Too bad these fuckers have no interest in reform and would rather see it burn than loosen their grip.  It's very analogous to the plight of the peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square, imo. 

It will be fine with the oligarchs if we are all slaves in the end . . . as long as they can get us to blame ourselves for it.

These are interesting times.  I heard yesterday that al Qaeda has announced it will be targeting banksters.

serotonindumptruck's picture


"May you live in interesting times."

I used to think this Chinese proverb was one of the best epigrams that I had ever read. Then I learned that it also has its origins as the first part of a Chinese curse. Not sure how reliable the Wikipedia is.

"May you come to the attention of those in authority."

"May you find what you are looking for."

snowball777's picture

Cube-square law, bitchez!

Sudden Debt's picture









Pez's picture

Funny! You just repeated the Eygptian Central Bank mantra.

e_goldstein's picture

you know, with enough gold you can turn the virgins into sluts.

no need to waste resources ;-)

In Fed We Trust's picture


On the Drudge today.

Futher evidence that Wikileaks is now a CIA operative.

Still not convinced. Go here

and use your noggin!







Bob's picture

They've set up the situation brilliantly.  Who didn't hear this coming in Hosni's speech yesterday?

Anderson Cooper got his ass kicked. 

Every time I've seen photos of people carrying sticks for protection I've thought that I would wanna be carrying a nice heavy piece of pipe. 

I'm guessing this will be Mubarak's pretext for enforcing martial law.  I don't think these protesters were down for some ultra-violence.

zenmeister's picture

Martial law has been in effect in Egypt since Mubarak took office in 1981...

Bob's picture

" . . . for enforcing martial law . . . "

Now the "pro-Mubarak" crowd controls the exits to the Square and are throwing molotov cocktails at the peaceful crowd.  The military is hands-off.

This is gonna be a mass slaughter.

So much for the ire of the social media set.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

I wonder what Anderson Cabot Pierpont Morgan Vanderbilt Cooper was doing there?

"Meee....I am not a globalist, I am on the side of the people...the people.  Meeee....."  Wined the inbred news reported as he slumped into his director's chair.  He was inside one of his many Hollywood style trailers.  His caravan was protected by guards from the nearby Xe headquarters.  "Someone put more ketchup on my face, I want to look bad...really bad...meeee....but don't ruin my makeup...meee...."

Ms. Erable's picture

Someone should tell Cooper that bumping his head into another man's thigh bone while giving a blowjob is not the same as being "punched in the head".

bankonzhongguo's picture

Well they just turned a protest into an insurgency, which is what Mubarak and "the West" want.  Turmoil that continues to justify the enforcement of the emergency laws, yada yada.

Obama, Clinton, Israel and all the CFR prime movers are cracking open a Miller right now after a hard hot week of mowing dad's lawn.  Those guys were really taken off guard.

Somehow we are just entering Act II.  Its going to be very busy in Egypt this year.  From sightings of AQ in the dark alleys to rounding up the usual suspects - never to be seen again, to forming bogus political parties. Note to self.  1 old military dictator, 1 CIA proxy, 4 Mossad agents and 12 CFR old timers can't keep a lid on any urban area with an 8 million hungry population, nor a country that serves 80 million.

The Egyptians know where this political theater is leading.

More inflated wheat prices and more banker debt for Egypt.

Elites, whether they exist in America or Egypt, hate democracy.


GDE's picture

You are totally missing the point. The US are behind these riots and want Mubarak to go away.

Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising


The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Uncle Sam is playing with fire once again.

rwe2late's picture

 A ridiculous piece of disinformation by Huffpost Obamaphiles.

 Check more carefully. A few people who do not like Mubarak's dictatorship spoke at a few public conferences in the US, and met with some low level State Dept. officials who dismissed them as irrelevant per Wikileaks cables.

 The real story is that the Obama administration consistently backed Mubarak (or more exactly, backed Egyptian military dictatorship).

 Mubarak's dictatorship was backed as stable, as not a dictatorship, Biden stated Mubarak should not step down, HRC promised continued military aid.

Meanwhile Obama attempted to defuse the protesters (both Egyptian and US) with verbiage in support of future democracy, violence solves nothing (like Afghanistan?), accept Mubarak's concessions (none), and allow Mubarak to oversee a (fake) "transition" to democracy.


snowball777's picture

If you're going to link propaganda pieces, please find better ones than those written by 'yellowcake' pommie twits.

Quincy's picture

From the BBC ...

"I R in Cairo writes: 'I just came back from Tahrir Square, supporting Mubarak to continue his term. I am not an NDP member, never voted and never participated in a demonstration before last week. Ninety per cent of our demands have been met. Enough demonstrations. We need a smooth transition of power.'"

I think Mubarak deserves some credit for not bowing to the demands of the Chosen One. I'm going on the record now saying that in the Arab world Mubarak will be viewed positively for telling Obammie and the west to f off.

Henry Chinaski's picture

I think you are right that the US administration wanted Mubarak out now and he told them to f--- off. This crew in the white house is incompetent.  Obama hasn't done anything right since he personally directed the rescue af the Maersk Alabama.

rsbenton's picture

Looks like a jihadi Tet offensive is sweeping North Africa.

rsbenton's picture

Looks like a jihadi Tet offensive is sweeping North Africa.

pan-the-ist's picture

Maybe this will help educate the libertopians on what Fascism really is and how their ideal has no chance to survive in its presence.

goldfish1's picture   Egyptian authorities have refused to heed international calls for a faster transition of power as anti-government protests continue for the ninth consecutive day. Egypt rejects fast transition of power Wed Feb 2, 2011 6:42PM

Criticizing foreign parties for interfering in Egypt's internal affairs, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that such calls aim at worsening the situation in the country.

"What foreign parties are saying about 'a period of transition beginning immediately' in Egypt is rejected," foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in a statement.

StychoKiller's picture

"They are trapped in Umm Qasr. They are trapped near Basra. They are trapped near Nasiriyah. They are trapped near Najaf. They are trapped everywhere." -- Baghdad Bob


Temporalist's picture

Ultra Violence to bring Peace in the Middle East.

Bob's picture

Great reference! 

I hadn't seen it before my post above!  Weird coincidence . . .

Wow, what a perfect film clip--not only for this situation, but for our times.  Thanks.

Azannoth's picture

You can't let them off the hook, drive it home Viva La Revolution!

Xibalba's picture


"Risk appetite returns to US?" 

"Gold plummets"



eigenvalue's picture

This reminds of the Iran in 1979. Although Mubarak is a corrupt dictator, the Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist Islamic group, which seems more dangerous than Mubarak in my humble opinion.

downwiththebanks's picture

The Muslim Brotherhood is an imperialist intelligence asset, which explains why they've not supported the Movement in any substantial way to this point.

Gully Foyle's picture


I defer to the experts.

Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979

Posted on 02/02/2011 by Juan

Alarms have been raised by those observing the popular uprising in Egypt that, while it is not itself a Muslim fundamentalist movement, the Muslim fundamentalists could take it over as it unfolds. The best-positioned group to do so is the Muslim Brotherhood. Some are even conflating the peaceful Brotherhood with radical groups such as al-Qaeda. I showed in my recent book, Engaging the Muslim World, that the Muslim Brotherhood has since the 1970s opposed the radical movements. In any case, the analogy many of these alarmists are making, explicitly or implicitly, is to Iran in 1978-79, which saw similar scenes of massive crowds in the street, demanding the departure of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, their king.

Misagh Parsa argued that the revolution of 1978-79 was made by several different social groups, each for its own reasons. The revolution was fought against the monarchy, which presided over an oil-exporting economy that had gone into overdrive because of the big fourfold run-up of prices in the 1970s. Many felt that they were not sharing in that prosperity, or were inconvenienced by the Shah’s authoritarian government.

1. THE BAZAAR: The bazaar is a way of referring to the old business and artisan classes who congregated in covered bazaars and around mosques and courts in the older part of Iranian cities. Everyone from tinsmiths, to moneylenders, to carpet import-export merchants is encompassed by the phrase. The bazaar came to be in significant competition with the new business classes (importers of tin pans were putting the tinsmiths out of business, and modern banking was making inroads against the moneylenders). The bazaar had many links with the ayatollahs in mosques and seminaries, including via intermarriage. The Shah despised the bazaar as a bastion of feudal backwardness, and imposed onerous taxes and fines on it, in addition to casually destroying entire bazaars, as at Mashhad. THE BAZAAR FAVORED THE CLERGY AND BANKROLLED THE REVOLUTION.

2. WHITE AND BLUE COLLAR WORKERS: Industrial and oil workers struck over their wages and labor conditions. School teachers and white collar professionals (nurses, physicians, etc.) protested the lack of democracy.

3. SECULAR PARTIES: The old National Front of the early 1950s movement for oil nationalization was weak and aging but still significant. The Communist Party was much less important than in the 1950s but still had some organizational ability. Left-leaning youth radicals, such as the Fedayan-i Khalq (which leaned mildly Maoist) had begun guerrilla actions against the regime. There were also secular intellectuals in what was called the Writer’s Movement.

4. RELIGIOUS FORCES: The religious forces included not only the clergy and mosque networks of dissidents such as Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (in exile in Najaf, Iraq and then Paris), but also religious party-militias such as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK: Fighters for the People). In Shiite Islam, a doctrine had grown up that laypersons owe implicit obedience to the clergy when the latter rule on the practice of religious law. Ayatollahs have a place of honor not common for Sunni clergy.

Parsa argues, I think correctly, that the religious forces were initially only one of the important social groups that made the revolution, but of course they ultimately hijacked it and repressed the other three. Note that although the rural population was the majority in Iran at that time, it was little involved in the revolution, though it was very well represented in the subsequent revolutionary parliament and so benefited from new rounds of road, school and other building in the 1980 and 1990s.

Egypt is, unlike Iran, not primarily an oil state. Its sources of revenue are tourism, Suez Canal tolls, manufactured and agricultural exports, and strategic rent (the $1.5 bn. or so in aid from the US comes under this heading). Egypt depends on the rest of the world for grain imports. Were it to adopt a radical and defiant ideology like that of Iran, all its major sources of income would suddenly evaporate, and it might have trouble even just getting enough imported food. Moreover, the social forces making the revolution in Egypt have a significantly different profile and different dynamics than in Iran. Let us just go through the same list.

1. THE BAZAAR: To the extent that there is a bazaar (the Arabic would be suq) in Egypt, it is by now very heavily dependent on the tourist trade. Coptic Christians are well represented in it. The suq therefore tends to oppose social policies that would scare away Western tourists. The suq will do very badly this year because of the turmoil. One merchant in Khan al-Khalili once told me that the bad years for his business had been 1952, 1956, 1967, 1973– the years of the revolution and then the Arab-Israeli wars that would have been celebrated by nationalists but which he regretted.. Because few tourists came those years. That the Egyptian Market would bankroll Egyptian fundamentalists to establish an oppressive theocracy that would permanently scare away German holiday-makers is highly unlikely.

Khan al-Khalili

2. WHITE AND BLUE COLLAR WORKERS: These groups are among the primary instigators of the Egyptian uprising. The April 6 group of young labor activists first came to prominence when they supported strikes by textile factory workers in Mahalla al-Kubra and elsewhere for improved wages and work conditions. There have been more than 3,000 labor actions by Egyptian workers since 2004. The pro-labor youth activists have been among the major leaders of the uprising in the past week, and had pioneered the use of Facebook and Twitter for such purposes.

Egyptian Factory Workers

3. SECULAR FORCES. When I say ‘secular’ with regard to Egypt, I do not mean that these groups are made up of atheists and agnostics. Their members may go to mosque and pray and be personally pious. But such people can nevertheless vote for parties that are not primarily organized around religion. These include the New Wafd Party, a revival of the old liberal party that dominated Egypt 1922-1952 during its “liberal” period of parliamentary elections and prime ministers. The Wafd had originally represented the interests of great landlords and budding bankers and industrialists, though its original role in fighting for independence from Britain also gave it popular support. It reemerged when Egypt began turning away from Gamal Abdel Nasser’s socialism and it again championed private property rights. It attracted the allegiance of many Copts, as well as middle class Muslims. Although it has suffered divisions and declining popularity in recent elections, in a situation of free and fair elections it could regain some popularity. Then there is the Tomorrow (al-Ghad) party of Ayman Nur, who won 8% of the vote in the 2005 presidential election. And there is the Kefaya! (Enough!) movement. All three favor human rights and parliamentary democracy. There are also many secular figures in the literary establishment and in the film world (such as comic Adil Imam). And, of course, there is the ruling National Democratic Party, which has a generally secular bias and dislikes Muslim fundamentalism. Whether it can overcome its association with Hosni Mubarak and continue to contest elections credibly remains to be seen. It is now by far the dominant party in parliament, though nobody thinks the elections were free and fair.

Ayman Nur

4. THE RELIGIOUS FORCES: Unlike in Iran, there are relatively few prominent dissident clergy. “Televangelist” Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in exile in Qatar, should be counted among them. The Egyptian state had for the most part nationalized mosques and controlled the clerical corps. Few Egyptian clergyman command the respect or obedience of the laity to the extent that Khomeini did in Iran. The major religious party is the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928. Although it developed a terrorist wing in the 1940s, it faced severe crackdowns in the 1950s and 1960s, and lost that capacity. Although the radical thinker Sayyid Qutb came out of their movement, the MB leadership disowned him in the late 1960s and even refuted his radical doctrines (such as declaring other Muslims with whom he disagreed to be ‘non-Muslims’) as “un-Sunni.” By the 1970s the Brotherhood’s leaders were willing to make their peace with the government of Anwar El Sadat. He let them operate if they agreed not to resort to violence and not to try to overthrow the government. In the 1990s, the Brotherhood came to counter the radical movements, such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and so had a tacit partnership with the state. Egypt does not allow parties to be organized on the basis of religion, but even so Muslim Brother candidates have done well in some parliamentary elections (especially 2006), running under the rubric of other parties.

So to recapitulate. The white collar and labor activists are far more central to the organization of the Egyptian protests than had been their counterparts in the Iranian Revolution. The Egyptian “bazaar” is much less tied to the Muslim clergy than was the case in Iran, and far less likely to fund clerical politicians. Whereas Iran’s bazaar merchants often suffered from Western competition, Egypt’s bazaar depends centrally on Western tourism. Secular parties, if we count the NDP, have an organizational advantage over the religious ones, since they have been freer to meet and act under Mubarak. It is not clear that the law banning religious parties will be changed, in which case the Brotherhood would again be stuck with running its candidates under other rubrics. And, Sunni Muslims don’t have a doctrine of owing implicit obedience to their clergy, and the clergy are not as important in Sunni religious life as the Shiite Ayatollahs are in Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood, a largely lay organization, has a lot of support, but it is not clear that they could gain more than about a third of seats even if they were able to run in free elections.

One of the sources of the Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity was its opposition to Mubarak, and it may actually lose followers without him around. Other religious politicians and entrepreneurs may proliferate, in a freer atmosphere, dividing the religious section of the electorate. And, the Brotherhood could well evolve to be more like Turkey’s Justice and Development [AK] Party than like its old, sectarian, underground self. There is nothing in MB ideology that forbids participation in parliamentary democracy, even though it was not exactly a big theme of its founder, Hasan al-Banna.

Some analysts read off support for the MB from Egyptians’ religiosity. Egyptians have been undergoing a religious revival in the past couple of decades. You have to think about them like southern evangelicals in the US. When I am in Egypt it reminds me a lot of South Carolina in that regard. But that people go to mosque, or that their women wear headscarves, or that they value religion, does not necessarily translate into them voting for a sectarian and somewhat cliquish group like the Muslim Brotherhood. Many pious Muslims are factory workers and so closer to April 6 than to the Brotherhood. Many women who wear headscarves do so to legitimate their entry into the modern labor force and appearance in the public sphere. National identity co-exists with the religious. Egyptians are also great nationalists, and many insist that the Egyptian nation is a framework within which Christian Copts are completely legitimate participants.

A recent Pew poll found that 59% of Egyptians favor democracy in almost all situations. And fully 60 percent are very or somewhat worried about the specter of religious extremism in their society. About 61% do not even think there is a struggle between modernizers and religion in Egypt.

Among the 31% who did see such a struggle, 59% favored religious forces and 21% favored the modernizers. Barry Rubin and Michael Totten misread this latter statistic to be true of all Egyptians. They are wrong. The statistic is not about Egyptians in general, but about the third of them who see a conflict between modernizers and religion. 59% of 31% is 18% of the whole Egyptian population who favor fundamentalists over modernizers. The rest either favor the modernizers or think it is a phony conflict. Not thinking that modernism and religiosity conflict is generally a liberal point of view.

It cannot be assumed that the Muslim Brotherhood is the future face of Egypt, and there is no reason to think it has the popularity or levers of power that would allow it to make a coup. The Brothers are more likely to gain further influence (as they already have since 2006) via parliamentary elections. I cannot, of course, know whether there will be new parliamentary elections in Egypt soon, whether the Muslim Brotherhood will be allowed to run, or how well, exactly, they will do. They would likely be far more influential in a democratic Egypt than they have been under Mubarak, but I cannot see what would make them hegemonic. They would want liquor to be banned throughout the country, e.g. which would be very bad for tourism, and a lot of Egyptians depend on tourism. Of course, social groups sometimes do go in directions that irrationally harm their economic interests. But the Cassandras have no proof that Egyptians will take that path.




Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan, March, 2009) and he also recently authored Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He has been a regular guest on PBS’s Lehrer News Hour, and has also appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! and many others. He has given many radio and press interviews. He has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs. He has a regular column at Truthdig. He continues to study and write about contemporary Islamic movements, whether mainstream or radical, whether Sunni and Salafi or Shi`ite. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years, and continues to travel widely there. A bibliography of his writings may be found here.

nonclaim's picture

Some are even conflating the peaceful Brotherhood with radical groups [...]

Some expert you got there... I admit I didn't read the rest.

Gully Foyle's picture


"I admit I didn't read the rest."

And that's why Cole is the expert and you are not.

Fuck that isn't even a valid argument.

At the very least you could have posted something that would counter Coles claims.

To be honest, I don't agree with everything Cole ever says. But he does attempt to be fair in his assessments. He isn't a button pusher attempting to rile the masses with blatant falsehoods and self serving innaccuracies.


DaveyJones's picture

probably because he's an academic and not an oilman (or their loyal servant) 

PeterSchump's picture

Why don't you dig deeper into where he gets his funding from.

Batty Koda's picture

The revolutions sweeping through the middle east have been planned by Intelligence agencies, GET OVER IT. The evidence is clear, resist your basic urges to support revolutionaries.

Were you out on the street waving an orange flag for Ukraine back in 2005? If so don't be fooled twice, or five times as the case may be.

chumbawamba's picture

I don't buy it.  The Middle East has been ripe for revolution for at least several decades now, certainly since the beginning of the Glorious War of Terror.

How many brutal assaults by Israel do you think the Arab people are going to take while their Western-backed overlords worked in concert with American intelligence to quell any possible overthrow of the power balance?  There is no such thing as "forgive and forget" in the Arab mind.  It is "eye for an  eye, tooth for a tooth".  You can also add "never forget", for the Arab memory is long (think Crusades).

So, no, I don't buy it.

This is organic.  It's about Israel, and ultimately arrogant American hegemony.  You can believe Webster Tarpley's claptrap all you want, the guy is talking out of his ass on this one, and combined with his quip about Austrian economists being "crackpots", I'd say his entire agenda is suspect at this point.

This is Revolution, folks.  You are the collective witness to monumental history presently taking place.  Enjoy.

I am Chumbawamba.

Quincy's picture

I entirely agree with what you've written but let me ask you ... whose side in the current revolt represents the best interests of the Egyptian people?

I would argue that Mubarak does after last night's speech in which he agreed to not stand in Sept. and for constitutional reforms including term limits.

I suspect what forces are really behind the 'protesters' now that they have received the endorsement of the West and are unwilling to make any compromise with respect to the timing of Mubarak's handover of power.

I'll reiterate what I wrote in an earlier post ... I think that Mubarak will, although perhaps not immediately, be viewed positively in the Arab world for telling the Obama regime to f off. I'm not entirely sure that he is a US lacky anymore ... and therefore a much more dangerous man.

chumbawamba's picture

Window dressing.  Staged and rehearsed.  Lines memorized.  The dude is a satrap of the US.  What do you expect him to say???

The modus operandi of the Powers That Be is to coopt movements that begin outside their realm of control to bring them back into the fold.  The latest most pertinent example would be the Tea Party, sprung up organically from Ron Paul's campaign effort and flummoxed by Fox News and Glenn Beck jumping on the bandwagon, to get in front of the movement and control its direction.  The same thing is being attempted here, but it'll fail.  It's silly that they'll even try it here.  It simply won't work, and that'll be borne out over the course of the coming weeks/months.

Mubarak is now and forever will be remembered as the lackey of Israel.  Nothing he does at this point will redeem his image.  The Arab people are not stupid (despite what neocons have been trying to ingrain in your brain for going on 20 years now).

The interests of the Egyptian People are best represented by...the Egyptian People.

I am Chumbawamba.

Quincy's picture

Many Arabs view Hussein as a hero now. Don't think that just because Mubarak is or was an American instrument, that he doesn't have a few cards of his own to play.

Ultimately it is the West's endorsement of the 'movement' and Mubarak's perceived opposition to the West that is the potential game changer for the man in the streets ... the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

chumbawamba's picture

Middle Eastern dynamics don't work that way.  Saddam might be admired for standing up to the West to the bitter end, and he gained some sympathy for the manner in which he was thrown under the bus when his "service" to the West was no longer useful.  And most importantly of all, he stood up to Israel and he scored some hits with those Scuds.  Remember that?  He was a piece of shit, but he was THEIR piece of shit.

What has Mubarak done?  Sealed off Gaza, helping Israel to force the Palestinians stew in their own misery, played ball with Western imperial designs on the Arab world, and brutally suppressed the Egyptian people in service to the zionist cause.  The difference here is the West (and particularly, Israel) wants Mubarak to stay, while the Egyptians want him gone.  He may be THEIR piece of shit, but he's still a piece of shit.

Israel is the difference.

I am Chumbawamba.

Quincy's picture

The Egyptians want him gone. Really? Seems like you've been watching too much CNN.

Mubarak's speech yesterday resonated with many everyday Egyptians who already (rightly) distrust the anti-government protesters whom they see led by secular, Western educated elites who play the role of full-time protesters (sounds kind of like 'community activist' would to an American). After the speech last night many supporters of moderate reform no longer associated themselves with a anti-government protest that wanted to remove the current regime yet had no plan for what comes after and also seemed to have a personal beef with Mubarak.

You're underestimating the allegiance to Mubarak and no it's not just about Israel.

DaveyJones's picture

hussein: "He was a piece of shit, but he was THEIR piece of shit." Geo-politics in 13 words or less.