It really doesn't matter what people sitting in their living rooms outside of Egypt want, hope, or believe will happen, but for those who are hoping the protesters will stand their ground, if there is a terrible blood-bath, they may come to wish these folks had dispersed earlier.
Estimates of the death toll since the protests began on Jan. 25 have varied, with well over 100 confirmed killed but reports by human rights organizations ranging as high as 300 even before Wednesday's clashes.
Mubarak’s Thuggery Was OK Off Camera
by Matthew Rothschild
Mubarak’s “whole system is corrupt,” said Hesham Korayem, an Egyptian who taught at City University of New York and provides frequent commentary on Egyptian and Saudi television. He told me there is virtually no middle class in Egypt, only the extremely rich (about 20 to 25 percent of the population) and the extremely poor (75 percent). The parliament has no input into what Mubarak does with the money the United States gives him, $300 million of which comes to the dictator in cash each year.
Torture is commonplace in Egypt, according to Korayem. Indeed, Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief whom Mubarak just named Vice-President, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. Stephen Grey noted in Ghost Plane, “n secret, men like Omar Suleiman, the country’s most powerful spy and secret politician, did our work, the sort of work that Western countries have no appetite to do ourselves.”
In her chapter in the newly published book, “The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse,” Jane Mayer cites Egypt as the most common destination for suspects rendered by the United States. “The largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid after Israel,” Mayer writes, “Egypt was a key strategic ally, and its secret police force, the Mukhabarat, had a reputation for brutality.” She describes the rendering of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi to Egypt, where he was tortured and made a false confession that Colin Powell cited as he importuned the Security Council to approve the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Al-Libi later recanted his confession.
The State Department’s 2002 report on Egypt noted that detainees were “stripped and blindfolded; suspended from a ceiling or doorframe with feet just touching the floor; beaten with fists, metal rods, or other objects; doused with hot or cold water; flogged on the back; burned with cigarettes; and subjected to electrical shocks. Some victims . . . [were] forced to strip and threatened with rape.”
In 2005, the United Nations Committee Against Torture found that “Egypt resorted to consistent and widespread use of torture against detainees” and “the risk of such treatment was particularly high in the case of detainees held for political and security reasons.”
About a year ago, an Italian judge convicted 22 CIA operatives and a U.S. Air Force colonel of arranging the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric in Milan in 2003, then flying him to Egypt where he was tortured. Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr told Human Rights Watch he was “hung up like a slaughtered sheep and given electrical shocks” in Egypt. “I was brutally tortured and I could hear the screams of others who were tortured too,” he added.
A former CIA agent observed, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.”
What we are seeing in Egypt is not the result of the machinations of shadowy groups, either state actors or sinister jihadists: it is the explosion created by the pent up energy and anger of an entire generation of Egyptians who see how a (relatively) free society in the West lives and works, and wants the same for their long-suffering nation. Like the East Germans, the Russians, and all the citizens of the “captive nations” in the old Soviet bloc, the Egyptians are rising against the complacency and Stockholm Syndrome that was eating away at the very heart of their society and destroying their souls.
Is that really so hard to understand?
But get this, Finn – they've been dying for years, you, Finn, just didn't care.
The "thinking" of a "yes sir" grunt who long ago surrendered his brain in exchange for lifetime care.
You sound just like h2oman. He must be writing responses for you?
Tour group recounts Egypt travel ordeal
Updated 6h 38m ago
By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY
At 3:51 p.m. Thursday, travel agent Peggy Goldman breathed easy for the first time in a week. Her 27 travelers had touched down at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York after a harrowing week in Egypt.
"Hallelujah. We are so excited," said Goldman, president of Friendly Planet Travel based in Jenkintown, Pa.
Goldman's travelers were among the thousands of Americans caught in Egypt when hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak took to the streets. The State Department has evacuated more than 2,000 people.
Q&A: A traveler's guide to the crisis in Egypt
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The travel company's group arrived in Cairo on Jan. 26 and settled into their hotel across the street from the Egyptian Museum and on the edge of Tahrir Square. The next morning, they left early for a day trip to see the pyramids at Giza, Goldman said.
While they admired the ancient wonders, protesters surged through Cairo's narrow alleys and converged in Tahrir Square. When the tour group returned to the city, police wouldn't let them near the hotel, even to retrieve their luggage.
"We realized by Friday evening that this was a bad situation," Goldman said. "All the Western flights were suspended."
Her tour group spent the night in Giza and then moved on to Luxor where they embarked on a Nile cruise, she said. Meanwhile, her Egyptian counterparts fetched the luggage from the hotel and transferred it to Luxor.
NILE VOYAGES: River cruise lines cancel through end of March
Back home, Goldman and her staff tried to figure out a way to get the 27 tourists out of Egypt while fielding calls from worried friends and relatives.
"We've all been riveted like lasers on this whole situation," she said. "The friends and relatives were very nervous. They could watch on TV as the demonstrations grew in size."
Two days into the four-day Nile cruise, the U.S. State Department warned Americans to leave Egypt as soon as possible. Goldman's travelers flew from Luxor to Cairo early Monday morning to a luxury hotel near the airport so they would be ready for evacuation, Goldman said.
"The airport is a zoo. It's really chaotic," she said.
They waited there four days.
"They couldn't leave the hotel," she said. "They could just watch it unfold on the television."
Finally at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, Goldman received a call from her Egyptian representative in Cairo.
"'Miss Peggy, he said. You can sleep tonight for once. And I'm going to sleep, too. They are on the plane ready for take off,' " Goldman said. "Hallelujah."
didn't see any of you turds talking about Egypt before the revolution. My, how virtuous you all suddenly are.
Like everybody who needs to go to rehab, the first step is to come out of denial about why we are still hooked.
The whole world is ruled by theatrical illusion. . . The great critics are those who penetrate and understand the illusion: the great men are those who, as dramatists planning the development of nations, or as actors carrying out the drama, are behind the scenes of the world instead of gawping and gushing in the auditorium after paying their taxes at the door.
I'm a politician I'll get you what you want,
You don't need to get your hands messed up with me out in front.
I'm a politician I'll give you what you need,
It's marked down in the cards and written in the seed.