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Tunesia, Egyt and now Yemen: a domino effect in the Middle East?

 
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 08:10 am
I believe this success of this movement has caught everyone by surprise since it was not by any specific group, but rather young people just taking to the streets. Probably a few days ago, all this seemed like was people taking to the streets and getting killed for protesting. (I don't mean "all" as not important or sad about those who have been hurt or killed, just that it did not seem to such a world changing event in the beginning.) I doubt the Obama administration or any other country leaders expected the world would soon be talking about who would lead Egypt once Mubarak was gone.

I have never even paid attention to Egypt before or knew who the president was or the trouble they had over there.

The human side of it is what I am finding interesting.

Quote:
One man handed out leaflets, urging demonstrators to behave in front of foreign journalists covering the event.

"As you know all media organizations are here to follow your efforts," the leaflet read, "In order to show Egypt in a positive light, we insist that you follow a peaceful approach in expressing your requests and ideas."

Men and women continued a practice that has sprung up here over the last week... standing alone in the street, holding up hand-made signs, and posing proudly for the cell phone photos of passers-by.

"Mubarak has been here since Ronald Reagan," shouted one man, who held up a sign that said "Get Out Mubarak" in English.

Said El Sisi, 23, said he and his father and brother traveled two hours on five different buses from their village outside Cairo to attend the demonstration.

"I'd like to see change in my country," El Sisi said, as he walked slowly with hordes of people through security checkpoints towards the square.

"I'd like to see a president in Egypt every eight years like in other countries. ...this is just the country of rich people. I graduated from university and I speak four languages but I can't find a job because of nepotism and corruption. To do anything you have to pay money."

Many Egyptian opposition parties have embraced today's demonstration, which was promoted through fliers and leaflets, since the government has shut down almost all of the internet connections in the country.

"Today we are all together in Tahrir Square," said George Issac, a member of the opposition group Kefaya, which means "Enough" in English.

"This revolution is a revolution of the young generation. We are just supporters," Issac said. He claimed Egypt's long repressed opposition parties were working together with one goal, to remove President Hosni Mubarak.

In another part of Cairo, an aide to Ayman Nour said the former opposition candidate for president was holding talks with officials from the liberal secular opposition Al Wafd party.

"You can not call us Kefaya or Muslim Brotherhood or leftists or anything," Issac explained. "We talk today as Egyptians."

But Issac also said his party opposed the announced goal of some demonstrators, who planned to march from Tahrir Square to the Presidential Palace.

"I send a message for all the demonstrators. Don't leave the square," Issac said, in a telephone interview with CNN.

A march of tens of thousands of people, if not more, would put the protesters in tense confrontations with the Egyptian troops who have established checkpoints throughout the city.

At the outskirts of Tahrir Square, army officers drove a truck blaring patriotic music from loudspeakers. On Monday, the military announced it would not use force against the demonstrators.

"The presence of the armed forces in the Egyptian streets is for your benefit to protect your safety and peace," an unnamed military spokesman announced on state television Monday night. "Your armed forces will not use violence against this great people, who have always played a significant role in every moment of Egypt's great history."

And deeper in the throngs of jubilant protesters, one of the men who searched arriving participants wore a camouflage military uniform underneath civilian pants and jacket in an apparent effort to blend in with the crowd.


'we talk today as Egyptians'
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 08:40 am
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/2/1/1296567838605/An-Egyptian-military-heli-032.jpg
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 08:44 am
@Lash,
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the senior uniformed officer, is Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and the Chief of General Staff is Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Anan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Armed_Forces

I have heard it reported tha Sami Hafez Anan is the guy who is actually in charge. He was in Washington meeting with the Pentagon when the fit hit the shan.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 08:47 am
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/2/1/1296567840728/A-tank-stands-amid-crowds-034.jpg
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 08:49 am
Al jazeera English live-stream here

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:08 am
I was listening to a discussion on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning that mentioned that these protests are being driven by the youth of the middle east and that the it's mostly an organic uprising vs one that's being controlled/manipulated by known opposition factions. They mentioned that the median age of Afghanistan is 18 and that it's low throughout the middle east. They also made the comment that when you have youth and frustrated emotions, you tend get protests. I thought it was interesting to see the median age of the ME/Africa in comparison to Europe and the US.

A lot can be said about quality of life = increased median age, but the point is that lower median age combined with poverty and oppression = civil unrest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_median_age
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:14 am
@JPB,
Usually my romanticism wins out over my cynicisim, but when I look at this picture I wonder:

How many of these people are in this crowd simply because it seemed exciting and they had nothing better to do?

How many people are in the crowd because they are hoping to take part in violence?

How many people are in this crowd who are cutpurses and pickpockets?

How many people in this crowd are agitators for a non-democratic extremist faction?

How many people in this crowd were on their way to work and got stuck in the human traffic?

How many people in this crowd are not Egyptians?

Many people in the West will find this photo stirring. The little boy on the tanks adds a very nice touch.




JPB
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:19 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I imagine there are some of each of those groups, finn, but I've been listening to live coverage for days now and I have no doubt that this is a populist uprising. That's part of the problem -- the leaders of the oppositions groups are, for the most part, staying out of it. This is the youth of Egypt standing up and saying, "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it any more." It's not like they have definitive answers for what needs to come next, just that the figurehead must go and change must come.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:31 am
3:10pm: "This is absolutely massive, it's extraordinary; it's just heaving with people as far as the eye can see," Harriet Sherwood reports from Alexandria.

"I've seen extraordinary placards today. Lots of 'game over' lots of 'time to go'. I just saw a woman holding a shoe with a picture of Mubarak on it. I've seen a placard with 'go, you dog' on it," she says.

"What's really striking is that more 99% of the placards are homemade ... This is not an organised protest; people are doing their own thing," she says.

There's lots of talk of "bad guys" and plainclothes policeman involved in looting and causing trouble, she says.

"People are confident that it is only a matter of time before Mubarak goes."
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:32 am
3:29pm: This post carries a heavy, heavy dose of caution. There are rumours that Hosni Mubarak has gone. Channel 4's Jonathan Rugman tweets:

Live blog: Twitter

US Ambassador met El Baradei today. Rumour Mubarak gone to Bahrain. Still not confirmed. #jan25 #c4news #feb01

There are other people tweeting that people are celebrating in the streets amid news that Mubarak has gone. But rumours have gone round the protests on previous days that the Egyptian leader has stepped down so I must emphasise the level of caution that should be attached to such rumours.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:35 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

dyslexia wrote:
just my opinion but I don't think El Baradei would be acceptable to either the military or the populace other than an in interim functionary. He's just not all that popular.


Yeah . . . he's the sort of faut de mieux candidate . . .


Reports are that El Baradei met with the US ambassador today.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:50 am
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Slideshows/_production/gss-110201-egypt/g-cvr-110201-egypt-security-645a.grid-10x2.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 10:05 am
@JPB,
Interrupting the stories from this afternoon/evening in Egypt a bit and coming referring to the "domino effect" in my headline:
King Abdullah II of Jordan fired his government today, "in the face of a wave of demands of public accountability sweeping the Arab world and bringing throngs of demonstrators in the streets of Egypt" as it is said in an agencies' reports.

I want to add that he usually does so when his citizens start to be loudly unsatisfied with politics, life, government. However, now, even the opposition doesn't want to get a new leader there ...
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 10:07 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Ian Black has posted an interactive map and his assessment of the potential for an uprising in each country.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/feb/01/protests-north-africa-interactive-map
JPB
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 10:10 am
4:03pm: The US ambassador to Egypt has spoken to Mohamed ElBaradei by phone today.

Margaret Scobey reportedly told ElBaradei that "the US is interested in a political change in Egypt, but that the US government won't dictate the path which Cairo must follow". That amounts to no change in the US position.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:05 am
@JPB,
It looks like the time for the military to step in has come and passed.

It would take a blood bath of monumental proportions to quell the unrest now.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:07 am
Google helps Egyptians send tweets by voice

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2011/01/28/tp-cellphone-egypt-ap-7985801.jpg
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:22 am
@Setanta,
What do you think it is more likely she is listening to:

"Be ready little sister for the righteous uprising will see its glorification today. Meet us at the mosque in two hours. Inch'Allah we hang the dog Mubarak tonight!'

or

"So Fatimah, will your parents let you come over and listen to my Jonah Brothers CDS this afternoon?"
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:30 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
It looks like the time for the military to step in has come and passed.
if the demonstrations erupt into rioting/looting I believe the military will respond with force.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 11:30 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Having trouble generating propaganda aren't you, Finn?
0 Replies
 
 

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