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At this writing, it's just before 6AM in Cairo Friday morning. Within hours, thousands of Egyptian protesters from all walks of life will be in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, chanting, "Down with Mubarak."

What will be the response of the U.S.-backed Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak to these protesters? Will U.S.-supplied Egyptian security forces shoot unarmed demonstrators? Will there be massive loss of life?

If there is massive loss of life, will be we be able to say truthfully that the U.S. government had done everything in its power to stop it?

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Clinton urged the Egyptian government not to crack down on peaceful protests and not to disrupt social networking sites.

As of 5AM this morning Cairo time, we had some preliminary data on the Egyptian government's response to Secretary Clinton's urgings.

"Egypt: Internet down, police counterterror unit up," AP reported.

Internet service in Egypt was disrupted and the government deployed an elite special operations force in Cairo on Friday, hours before an anticipated new wave of anti-government protests.

The developments were a sign that President Hosni Mubarak's regime was toughening its crackdown following the biggest protests in years against his nearly 30-year rule.

The counter-terror force, rarely seen on the streets, took up positions in strategic locations, including central Tahrir Square, site of the biggest demonstrations this week.

Facebook and Twitter have helped drive this week's protests. But by Thursday evening, those sites were disrupted, along with cell phone text messaging and BlackBerry Messenger services. Then the Internet went down.

Will the US government now say, "Well, what do you want from us? We asked them not to do that."

Is anyone going to be convinced by that? Will anyone say, "well, the U.S. did all it could?"

As the world knows, the U.S. government has two ways of asking governments that receive U.S. military and economic assistance to do things, or not to do them.

Sometimes the U.S. asks these governments to do things.

And sometimes the U.S. asks these governments to do things, and specifies possible consequences if the ask is not met.

And when Secretary of State Clinton asked the Egyptian government not to crack down on protests and not to disrupt social networking sites, it appeared to be the first case. No possible consequence was suggested if the U.S.-backed, U.S.-armed, and U.S.-supplied Egyptian government cracked down on the protesters and blocked social networking sites.

Perhaps, you might think, the U.S. was showing respect for Egyptian sovereignty.

But that doesn't pass the laugh test. Because we have seen, over and over, that when the U.S. really wants something, it suggests that there will be consequences if the ask is not met. And then, if the ask is not met, the willingness of the U.S. to carry out threats is demonstrated.

On Tuesday, the U.S. threatened to cut off aid to Lebanon because it doesn't like the government chosen by the Lebanese parliament.  

Last week, the U.S. canceled visas to leaders of Haiti's government party and implied that aid to Haiti could be cut if Haiti's government didn't agree to U.S. demands to reverse the results of the disputed November presidential election.

On Monday, the Guardian reported that in November 2008, the U.S. told the Palestinian leadership that if they changed their leadership, the U.S. would cut off funds. The U.S. wasn't just talking about a possible election involving Hamas. They were saying that the U.S. wouldn't even tolerate a change of leadership within Fatah.

This is what the U.S. does when it really wants something. It suggests consequences.

Egypt is the second-biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. But judging from press reports, no U.S. official has even so much as whispered that a single penny of that aid might be conditioned on whether the Egyptian government allows peaceful protests. Nor has any U.S. official so much as whispered that a cancellation of a visa might be in the offing.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is on Twitter at this hour (@PJCrowley.)  He's saying that "We are concerned that communication services, including the Internet, social media and even this #tweet, are being blocked in #Egypt" and "We are closely monitoring the situation in #Egypt. We continue to urge authorities to show restraint and allow peaceful protests to occur."

That's great. But it is not enough. Crowley must suggest that there will be consequences if Pharaoh does not stay his hand.

UPDATE: From soysauce in the comments:

Egyptian friends are asking for help (3+ / 0-)
This was sent to me:

Call state dept., (202) 647-4000. Ask to leave a voice mail regarding an international emergency. Suggested text:The Egyptian govt has cut off internet and sms to isolate country, very likely massive violence will occur. Condemn the actions of the Egyptian government. Failing to condemn and to pressure is a matter of being a potential accomplice to crimes against humanity.

Originally posted to Robert Naiman on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:11 PM PST.

Poll

The US should suggest that there will be consequences if the U.S.-backed Egyptian authorities crack down on unarmed protesters

79%43 votes
20%11 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  and what consquences do you suggest? (7+ / 0-)

    btw Egypt hasn't had a Pharaoh for quite a few years now.

    "We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature." - Rachel Carson, American Author and Marine Biologist

    by GlowNZ on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:16:31 PM PST

  •  Kind of subtle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, Cliss

    Obama says we support democracy.
    So what would happen if the Egypt government is overthrown?
    It could be a lot worse for the US than it is now.
    They are fairly moderate and they don't make trouble with Israel.

    Apparenly I'm a sanctimonious purist!

    by mattinjersey on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:18:15 PM PST

    •  "Moderate"? Hardly. The government is (9+ / 0-)

      extreme in its abuse of the Egyptian people, and in the lengths it will go to deprive of them of any voice in their own governance.

      Egypt is notorious for the noxious creative of its torturers.

      Notorious in a part of the world where the competition is Syria, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

      We need to find the middle ground between Heliocentric and Geocentric extremists.

      by JesseCW on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:07:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In that part of the world (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini

        they really are moderate.  But I think Matt is right.  The US is scared of who will replace Mubarrak.  He's not a great guy, and a liberal democracy would be better, but the US would also prefer a undemocratic strongman who we understand and can bribe to a pseudo-democratic religious republic un by the Muslim Brotherhood we neither understand nor can bribe.  So we are asking everyone not to kill anyone and playing it cool, since either option is crap at the moment, from the US's point of view.

        •  There's nothing moderate about that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, neroden, Terra Mystica, emidesu

          government "In that part of the world", or anywhere else.

          It is totalitarian, it is horrifically repressive, it is far less economically egalitarian than regimes like Syria and Iran, and really affords no greater liberties.

          We're talking about a ruler who makes Caligula look kind and Marie Antoinette look socially conscious.

          We need to find the middle ground between Heliocentric and Geocentric extremists.

          by JesseCW on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:44:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, actually, Mubarrak is far more repressive (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Terra Mystica, emidesu, JesseCW

          according to all evidence than, for example, the governments of Iran or Syria.  And that's saying something.  More repressive than the recently ousted dictator of Tunisia, by most accounts (I still know relatively little of Tunisian history).

          Less repressive than Saudi Arabia, sure, but Saudi Arabia is a standout example of oppressiveness.

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:49:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There are options other than the MB (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Terra Mystica

          or Mubarak.  Contrary to propaganda, there is a large population of Egyptians and Arabs (they are not synonymous) who aspire to democracy.

          The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

          by emidesu on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:20:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  We have rendered captured suspects (6+ / 0-)

        in the "war on terror" to Egypt for torture on our behalf.

      •  "moderate" has come to mean (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        "does what we tell them"

  •  What is said in public and what is said behind (13+ / 0-)

    closed doors or in diplomatic exchanges are very different. My guess is there have been some none to subtle hints in places we'll never know about. Well, that is until wikileaks gets out from under the shitpile that's been dropped on them.

    I have a purpose in life, I am my cat's doorman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:20:48 PM PST

  •  Egyptian friends are asking for help (13+ / 0-)

    This was sent to me:

    Call state dept., (202) 647-4000. Ask to leave a voice mail regarding an international emergency. Suggested text:The Egyptian govt has cut off internet and sms to isolate country, very likely massive violence will occur. Condemn the actions of the Egyptian government. Failing to condemn and to pressure is a matter of being a potential accomplice to crimes against humanity.

    Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

    by soysauce on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:22:03 PM PST

    •  Thank you, soysauce. (9+ / 0-)

      I'll call first thing in the morning. CNN's Ben Wedeman in Cairo tweeted yesterday that ELEVEN bullets were removed from their photographer's stomach.

      I fear for Egyptians cut off from the rest of the world.

      Willie Nelson forms Teapot Party - "We lean a little to the left. Tax it, regulate it, legalize it."

      by cotterperson on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:26:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I won't forward that message (0+ / 0-)

      First, I do not think massive violence is likely, let alone very likely.  I think it possible.

      Second,  I do not think failing to condemn and pressure is a matter of being a "potential accomplice to crimes against humanity."  Indeed, I think such empty rhetoric is ridiculous.

      Third, I do not think it either wise or effective to condemn an ally.

      •  First, you apparently know very little (12+ / 0-)

        about the Egyptian government.

        Second, I don't think paying a dictator a billion dollars a year to do much of our torturing for us leave us with no responsibility for his extra-curricular torture.

        Lastly, if Egypt is our ally then supporting the rising of her people is supporting our ally.

        If it's just Mubarak that's our ally, then what we're getting isn't worth the danger keeping such friends exposes us too.

        Supporting his kind endangers Americans and makes us a target for terror.  We do not benefit from this at all.

        Although....a few transnationals that kinda claim to be based here make a few dollars from accessing the Egyptian market...

        We need to find the middle ground between Heliocentric and Geocentric extremists.

        by JesseCW on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:11:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You did not rely reply to any of the points (0+ / 0-)

          I raised.

        •  not all popular revolts against dictators (0+ / 0-)

          have a desirable result.  Iran's ousting of the Shah comes immediately to mind.  We could also ask how that is working out for Iraqis, although they didn't have much choice in the matter.

          And I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens when the Muslim Brotherhood is freed from "repression" and becomes "free" to try to implement Its vision of Governance. Those folks have been waiting a VERY long time for their chance to do their thing.

          I think I will observe a while before cheering, eh?  The situations in all these countries are fraught with potential unintended consequences.

          For instance, would a "popular democratically elected" new regime in Egypt continue Mubarak's detente with Israel?  The educated middle class in urban  Egypt is not representative of the population as a whole, and I suspect large swathes of Egyptian lower classes will be  susceptible to Islamist ideologies, which are what Mubarak's thugs are keeping a lid on as best they can.

          Saddam was a murderous thug also, but are we really better off, not to mention the Iraqi population as a whole, with the results of kicking over that garbage can?

          The Egyptians will do what they are going to do. We might be able to influence things there a little; who knows, maybe they can pull it off and have a bloodless coup like the East Germans and it will all be Kumbaya, but I'm not sure who to cheer for, or even what makes for a better rsult, overall, for the Egyptian people.

          It would be interesting to see some statistics about Egyptian demographics, income disparities, urban/rural standards of living, and the like.

          don't always believe what you think...

          by claude on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:54:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the Egyptian lower classes deserve representation (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jim d, Robert Naiman, JesseCW

            too, no matter what they want.

            "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

            by James Allen on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:01:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  See, it's the "no matter what they want" thing... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that I have a problem with.

              True democracy requires limits on the people's power.

              We have them here. The government that represents the people is not allowed to establish religion or prevent its free exercise. If the people's opinion here was represented "no matter what they want," the line between the state and religion would be a lot fuzzier than it is.

              I just as surely reject the right of the Egyptian people to institute a theocracy in that state as I reject the right of a dictator to rule unilaterally there. Every person, everywhere, has the right to live in a state that does not impose religious practices on them.

              What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

              by mistersite on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:38:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um. I gotta disagree.... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Terra Mystica, JesseCW, James Allen

                The government that represents the people is not allowed to establish religion or prevent its free exercise.

                Yet it does, it does.  Blatant Establishment clause violations have been going on for most of US history, and they've gotten substantially worse lately with large government funding for "faith-based organizations", the Christianist extremist takeover of the Air Force Academy, etc.

                While I prefer a government with no established religion, with a Bill of Rights, the fact is that any government can and will ignore such restrictions if it can get away with it.

                I would rather have a government under actual democratic control than one under the control of a brutal tyrant, regardless of whether the democratic control leads to certain abuses.  The brutal tyrant is guaranteed to lead to worse abuses.

                Certainly an enlightened despot would be best, but those are very hard to find!  :-)

                Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                by neroden on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:02:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  no, TRUE democracy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW

                is the rule of the people, you are confusing  that with liberal democracy, in which there are limits on democracy in order to guarantee rights.

                Limiting democracy is not true democracy.

                Every people has the right to live as they wish.

                "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

                by James Allen on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:19:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  The irony of that formulation escapes you (0+ / 0-)
          •  You think the Shah was somehow (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Terra Mystica

            "Better" ?

            I don't believe that's true.  He oppressed different people, for different reasons.

            Equating our brutal occupation of Iraq to a people liberating themselves serves no illuminating purpose.

            I'd suggest you look into this new website called "Wikipedia" if you'd like a basic outline of Egypts GDP, demographics, ect.

            We need to find the middle ground between Heliocentric and Geocentric extremists.

            by JesseCW on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 12:09:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why do some people confuse (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Terra Mystica, soysauce

            pressuring the Egyptian govt to not use violence with supporting the MB?
            I pray that God's will prevails in the outcome of this, but I am disgusted by the repression and violence that has been used against everyday Egyptians.  These are human beings.

            The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

            by emidesu on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:26:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  you cannot equate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            not going into a country killing thousands of people to overthrow a dictator, with underwriting a dictator to the tune of billions a year to support his military and police.

             How about: people who live in North America should not either intervene militarily to overthrow regimes we don't like, or underwrite dictators? That's kind of a simple formula. After all, we'd be pretty angry if some regime in Egypt or Iraq happened to become a super-power and decided to do it to us. Even if they did an analysis of our standards of living and political landscape and decided that, in their opinion, it would be more advantageous to us than the alternative.

             Why can't people seem to get it to their heads that the very idea of people in the US sitting there trying to decide what would be best for the population of Egypt, and then deciding who can be killed or jailed or tortured (etc) there as a result, is itself a form of violence. You have no right to make such decisions for others. You'd scream bloody murder if someone on the other side of the world were making them for you. Because that's just what it is. Bloody murder.

            •  The US is not trying to decide what is best for (0+ / 0-)

              Egypt.

              The US is trying to decide what is best for the US.

              •  not even that (0+ / 0-)

                what's best for the richest 1% of its citizens

                still many liberals, such as those on Daily Kos, seem to think that when assessing whether or not to approve of what the US does on behalf of its rich, they can decide on the basis of what they think is best for people in Egypt (which, in turn, is not necessarily to let them decide for themselves, apparently)

            •  And as an aside (0+ / 0-)

              I wonder if you applied this logic to the wars in Bosnia and Herzegonia.

              •  actually I did (0+ / 0-)

                the US placed an embargo on Bosnia when the ethno-fascists had all the weapons and were systematically massacring people

                then, once the Bosnian government - which started out a multi-ethnic state fighting in the name of tolerance and pluralism - was eventually reduced to another ethnic faction, NATO intervened and imposed a system of ethnic apartheid basically ensuring the divisions of the war were made permanent

                if the US had not intervened at all, from the beginning, the results would have been much better. The Bosnian government would have been able to defend itself when it actually mattered, catastrophes like Srbrenica would almost certainly never have happened, and there never would have been an externally imposed division into ethnic quadrants, so people would eventually have reconciled and started mixing together again

      •  "condemn an ally" (6+ / 0-)

        Egypt is little more than a neo-colonial client state which we back and support with $$ billions to the Mubarak Government.

        The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979, and an average of $815 million a year in economic assistance. All told, Egypt has received over $50 billion in US largesse since 1975.

        Christian Science Monitor

      •  there's a difference bewteen unrelated tyrants (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, neroden, Terra Mystica, JesseCW

        and suzerain dependencies that the US arms, trains, and funds to the tune of billions of dollars annually.

        there is responsibility and leverage for egypt that is not present in, say syria.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:35:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what on earth (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Terra Mystica, soysauce

        would make you think that massive violence is unlikely.  At a minimum, what does it suggest to you that the Egyptian govt has cut off internet and phone service?

        The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

        by emidesu on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:22:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yesterday you thought ElBaradei would not be (0+ / 0-)

        arrested.

        That's all it takes, really...pressure and time.

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:33:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I did it last night. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Terra Mystica, soysauce

      Also we can email and call our congresspeople.

      The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

      by emidesu on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:36:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  let's hope the the new boss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, Terra Mystica

    isn't the same as the old boss. I guess this is another of the long list of things that nobody could have foreseen and so there is no appropriate response prepared.

  •  If they did tell them that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terra Mystica

    we wouldn't know it.

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

    by James Allen on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:23:15 PM PST

  •  We have a history of inconsistency ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Cliss

    We bought Egypt and they have mostly stayed bought- until now. Our aid (has) keeps them on the "swiss" model with Israel.

    More disturbing, Sec. Clinton already set the stage for human rights taking a backseat to other interests with China.

    Finally, Lebanon and iran both had nascent uprisings for freedom that were "ignored" by this administration.

    And let's not forget the Bush 41 response to Tiananmen  Square ...

    •  human rights with china? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      that argument really is getting old.  Yes China has done some bad shit with its own people... but so has America... just look that the prison system and not only that at least china is fucking going around the world invading other countries and killing hundreds of fucking thousands of people.

      "We cannot have peace among men whose hearts find delight in killing any living creature." - Rachel Carson, American Author and Marine Biologist

      by GlowNZ on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:25:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh pleeez.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        crankyinNYC

        "some bad shit with its own people... but so has America... "

        Gulags? Slave labor, organ Harvesting? Forced abortion, religious persecution, no elections? Ethnic cleansing? No free press? Shall I continue? get a grip with your extremely disgusting moral equivalence.

        •  It doesn't matter if it's being done now, or (0+ / 0-)

          was being done a hundred years ago.

          It's all one.

          You know, how if you've ever hit another human being, then you have no right to tell others not to hit people?

          Yeah.

          We need to find the middle ground between Heliocentric and Geocentric extremists.

          by JesseCW on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:13:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Keep track of what the US is doing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Terra Mystica, JesseCW

          Highest prison population in the world, highest percentage of citizens imprisoned, torture, slave labor of prisoners (for private companies, no less, and with judges paid to imprison people), and suppression of the free press....

          OK, we have no ethnic cleansing.  Neither does China.  We don't have forced abortion, we have forced childbirth.  

          Religious persecution, we're still doing better on than China.  Elections, we're still doing much better on.  And no, we don't have organ harvesting.

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:10:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  To be fair on the China issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, Terra Mystica

      We don't have anywhere near the same clout with China as we do with Egypt.  Even the Dalai Lama has said that engagement is the best way.  I'm not going to defend the human rights record of China, but neither do I see a realistic course of action for the US other than engagement.

      I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

      by AoT on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:55:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim d, Cliss, Terra Mystica, Robert Naiman

    Robert, thanks for posting this.

    Cody was in Egypt from Jan-June 2010, is in CHGO now, and can no longer get in touch with his friends/former host family in Cairo. He thinks his host mom may already be in the UK.

  •  The one thing I've discovered about U.S. (7+ / 0-)

    "policy".  There are always 2 policies: 1) Public policy, and the other is 2) private policy.  

    They are usually 180 degrees different.  If the U.S. claims to support the rights of citizens, you can bet they are pulling out the check book to support their Man in Cairo.  

    Wiki Leaks taught me that.  

    •  So true - whistle blower Sibel Edmonds (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, neroden, Cliss, Terra Mystica, JesseCW

      spells it out very well on her blog Boiling Frogs.

      You see we have two types of foreign policies when it comes to our pursuit of badly needed resources and crucial delivery arteries in our intended regional colonies:

         1- The Written Policies (above example): to be used and promoted as marketing tools, yet to remain only as melodically written policy literature. This is where you hear phrases like cooperation on security and against terrorism, or better, democratization.

         2- The Unwritten and Unspoken Policies: to be secretly, vigorously, and ferociously practiced and implemented, under the self-created carte blanche ‘The End Justifies the Means’

  •  Staying the "Pharaoh's Hand"? (0+ / 0-)

    Can we leave the Torah and Exodus out of this? Mixing one too many biblical metaphors for my taste. As far as I can tell, there is no Pharaoh here, and no Moses or Aaron either.

    Or did you not mean to go there?

  •  It's a seminal moment not just in Egypt (3+ / 0-)

    but entire ME & Africa. It will be interesting to see how this admin handles this.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.

    by amk for obama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:04:27 PM PST

    •  the longer this goes on (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, neroden, Terra Mystica

      hew more likely it will inspire people all over the world. the phillippine protests against markos, the south korean protests at the olympics, and the eatern bloc protests all had a strong influence on the chinese protests in 88-89. 2011 looks to be one of those years.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:40:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Newsweek: " Mubarak’s pharaonic regime" (4+ / 0-)

    Egypt Protests Show American Foreign-Policy Folly

    Whom does America bet on to counter these rising forces? The same friends it has been betting on for decades: Mubarak’s pharaonic regime in Egypt, Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, the Saudi monarchy, and increasingly radical politicians in Israel. It is no wonder that Iran’s power is rising as the American-imposed order begins to crumble.

    It fits.

    •  No -- the pharaohs kept the people fed. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Terra Mystica, JesseCW, James Allen

      It was actually the prime job of the government, and the entire bureaucracy was set up around that one job, with the knowledge that failure was unacceptable.  

      (It's an interesting historical example of generally successful central planning of an economy, actually.)

      A failed harvest combined not enough stored grain from the previous year, and the pharaoh would be overthrown.  Repeatedly during Egyptian history.

      These protests demanding bread?  Show that Mubarak has failed as a Pharaoh.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:04:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've sat by while how many (4+ / 0-)

    massacres have taken place.  We have a chance to apply pressure now to make sure there won't be one today.  This is not about supporting the overthrow of Mubarak, this is about basic human rights.
    Please act!

    (Also, I am getting tired of Egyptians being discussed as if they were a different species.)

    The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

    by emidesu on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:38:55 AM PST

  •  AP: Police use water cannons on ElBaradei (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    Police use water cannons on Egypt democracy leader ElBaradei

    Police used water cannons against Egypt's pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei and his supporters as they joined the latest wave of anti-government protests after Friday noon prayers.

    Police also used batons to beat some of Mr. ElBaradei's supporters, who surrounded him to protect him.

    [...]

  •  The Beltway folks, HRC of course included, (0+ / 0-)

    are horrified at the thought that something might happen to Their Guy, and would find excuses for even the most depraved and repressive measures he might take.

    If they're at all on their game, they're buying off a successor for Their Guy; then they can drop him.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they're working to "befriend" ElBaradei, assuming they haven't already.

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