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

Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:08 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

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.

More presumption. Worth nothing, seeing as anyone really following this already knows that up to 300 protesters have been reported dead since this began.

Here are some of them


Their relatives and friends are doing their best to keep account of them here


LATimes wrote:
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.


Don't presume to know other people's reasons for empathising.

Of course people are going to ******* die. What do you expect? But get this – they've been dying for years, you just didn't care.

Mubarak’s Thuggery Was OK Off Camera

by Matthew Rothschild



Protester carries a poster of Khaled Said, whose torture and killing by Egyptian police prompted demonstrations in 2010.


Marjorie Cohn wrote:
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.”


Do you really expect these people to indefinitely tolerate poverty, authoritarianism, police brutality, kidnapping, torture, oppression?
How little you must think of them.

Yes, I will be very sad and disappointed if this ends up going the way I think it might (basically the people end up with a new, smaller version of Murbarak) – but I don't see any reason why I should expect Egyptians to take any more brutality from their government than I would be willing to take from mine. Anything else would be racist, wouldn't it? I mean, to presume that they have less rights to a decent life?

With Democracy or Against It—There’s No In Between


Justin Raimondo wrote:
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?


cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:22 pm
Endymion, Good post. Finn is clueless about what the Egyptian people have gone through with Mubarak as their president.
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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:31 pm
What Endymion said bears repeating.

But get this, Finn – they've been dying for years, you, Finn, just didn't care.

Though you now go thru the American song and dance routine about being all rah rah about democracy for the world's oppressed.

Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:45 pm
I didn't see any of you turds talking about Egypt before the revolution. My, how virtuous you all suddenly are.
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:47 pm
The "thinking" of a "yes sir" grunt who long ago surrendered his brain in exchange for lifetime care.
And you, the lack of thinking of an emotional train smash who only felt important once in their wretched existence and that was during a Vietnam War Protest Rally March. You will die without war. You need it.
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:53 pm
France's soiled drawers spied on clothesline. Cool
and, WOW! This one gave me chillbumps!
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-egypt-women-20110203,0,7694267.story I don't know how long Egyptian men will treat women decently...but maybe there IS a real chance for reform of thinking...
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:54 pm
It's just so damn hard keeping up with all the US's brutal dictators, Lash. That's your government, my Dear. Where have you been?

You could start now by telling them to stop terrorizing Cuba which they've been doing for over half a century. You could tell them to stop harboring terrorists and war criminals. You could tell them to pay the 5 billion they promised Vietnam as reparation; not a penny was paid. You could tell them to pay the huge reparations they owe to Nicaragua and to send those war criminals from the Reagan/Bush era to the ICC. Also the war criminals from the Bush/Cheney gang.

If you actually cared, Lash, you could do a lot.
Below viewing threshold (view)
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 10:59 pm
I promise.

As soon as you get your gutterwash country cleaned up, I'll get crackin on mine.

Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:01 pm
Good work, Lash. All these low life scums should be exposed; have you looked in your own back yard?
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:02 pm
You sound just like h2oman. He must be writing responses for you?
In your mind, there are lots of things happening that are not real.
Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:02 pm
As I said, you first.
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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:12 pm
It's certainly not perfect. No country is, Lash.

But the US is the world leader in terrorism, war crimes, mass murder [international], torture. The US has been training terrorists since 1946 and those folks are responsible for the deaths of tens upon tens of thousands.

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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:16 pm
Thank you for your comments, h2oman.
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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:19 pm
US warships cruisin toward Egypt, ostensibly to pick up evacuees.
30 year old Google exec emerging at top of revolution heap.
Partyin like it's 1999 in Tahrir...replete with shooting in the air (never a good idea), singing and dancing. I guess they feel like Mubarak is teetering.

I'll bring links.
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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2011 11:35 pm
Iran tries to co-opt the revolution for Islam...and whew...the shadowy "Brotherhood" rejects it. Best thing I've read from a political angle. Hope it's representative of an authentic conviction.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 12:09 am
As a frequent world traveler, I was elated to read this story from USA Today:

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
INSTABILITY: Some Egyptians are fearful over future
PHOTO GALLERY: Turmoil in Egypt

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."
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Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 01:21 am
didn't see any of you turds talking about Egypt before the revolution. My, how virtuous you all suddenly are.

It's not easy when someone criticises your country - I should know, I'm British.
But we all have access to what's out there and the difference is that some of us have looked at it and some haven't.

What do you think a person should do? Pretend not to have seen it?

That's not easy when it's in British newspapers and all over the web

This, Friday

Johann Hari: We all helped suppress the Egyptians. So how do we change?

Very few British people would beat up a poor person to get cheaper petrol. But our governments do it all the time. Why?


I have written about Egyptians amongst other prisoners who have suffered abuse in Gitmo during the 'war on terror' - **** I've written a hell of a lot about human rights, (six years of it, in fact) but after the US change in government I held off for some time, hoping that Obama would do more than just follow the corporate line.

You could say Egypt is the straw that broke the camel's back.

You see, people already betrayed, are dying and their cause at least has the right to be heard and understood. This isn't all about your country - I see you on here talking about 'foreigners'. But the world is bigger than that. This forum is bigger than that. I'm under no illusions about my own government's involvement in torture/rendition - some of those issues are being addressed precisely because people have faced up to them.

I'm sorry Lash - I really don't want to fight with you because I've respected some of your posts in the past and even had a laugh on one occasion, but i think you've got things around the wrong way here.

I don't have to explain myself to you - I don't have to provide you with the tools to discover what's really happening for yourself. Either you want to know what your taxes are paying for or you don't really. That's up to you. But why attack people for having strong feelings about this? Torture is unacceptable under any circumstances - to me. There is nothing i can do to change that.

If you haven't ever read anything I've written on the subject, that's hardly my fault. Maybe you've been ignoring the slow creep - but some of us have been following for a few years now and don't believe that it is in the best interests of our perspective countries to persist along these lines. And when you look into the abyss.... remember?

I can tell you're angry. I am too.

Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 07:34 am
Like everybody who needs to go to rehab, the first step is to come out of denial about why we are still hooked.

Are you hooked Endy? Is Mr Hari still hooked? Are the staff of the Independent still hooked? Go see their watering holes and where they live. Are all those who are engaged in the production and distribution of those mighty fine words still hooked?

Are the targets of these compassionate strivings, far enough away as to be almost abstract concepts, that there is no danger of getting into any scrapes by sending them into the middle distance. The moral high ground on the cheap. Possibly no more than a career.

Where were you when I questioned the A2K meet in Chicago in relation to our addiction to oil? I was villified.

As Bernard Shaw wrote-

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.

Source unknown.
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Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 07:53 am
It sounds like the military and the police are trying to shut down the protests.

From the Guardian:
12:31pm: Mustafa Khalili in Cairo has called in to report that the Egyptian army is moving its tanks beyond the barricades in Tahrir Square and appear to be trying to scare the protesters into going home. He also says soldiers are trying to shut down one of the first aid stations inside the square.

1.23pm: Ahdaf Soueif has just sent in an email about military police dragging people out of a legal aid centre in Cairo.

A good friend just saw eight to 12 people being dragged out of No 1 Souq el-Tawfikiyyah St and bundled into a bus while a military police vehicle waited nearby. The people were being beaten and [people in] the street had been told they were "Iranian and Hamas agents come to destabilise Egypt".

No 1 Souq el-Tawfikiyyah St is the home of the offices of the Hisham Mubarak Legal Aid Centre, the Centre for Social and Economic Rights and the 6th April Youth.

:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/feb/05/egypt-protests#block-16
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