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Egyptian crisis escalates

#1 User is offline   Epicurus 

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 03:57 AM



Quote

The situation in Egypt is threatening to spiral out of control as mass protests continued and the country's military was deployed on the streets. The West is calling for restraint and urging immediate political reforms.
source


Quote

The UK stock market extended its decline on Friday, following losses on Wall Street and as security forces battled demonstrators across Egypt in a fourth day of unprecedented protests.
source


Quote

The violent epicenter of protests in Egypt is an industrial city few outsiders know much about: the seaport town of Suez, which sits astride the Suez Canal as it opens southward into the Red Sea.

Suez has seen its share of blood over the years. In 1967, the coastal town was nearly wiped out during the Six Day War with Israel and thereafter was the scene of sporadic guerrilla fighting between the two sides. The canal remained closed for nearly eight years, reopening only in 1975.

In recent years, Suez has seen growing prosperity, sending billions in tax revenue from its factories and workers to the government in Cairo. But as in the rest of Egypt, that prosperity hasn't been widely shared, leading to the same sort of dashed hopes that proved so explosive in Tunisia.

This week, Suez erupted in anger as protesters took to the streets to complain about economic conditions and their lack of freedom under Hosni Mubarak's government. It got ugly fast, with several deaths and reports of demonstrators hurling Molotov cocktails in response to a harsh police crackdown.
source and pictures


Quote

(Reuters) - Islamists, leftists and trade unionists gathered in central Amman Friday for the latest protest to demand political change and wider freedoms.

A crowd of at least 3,000 chanted: "We want change."

Banners and chants showed a wider range of grievances than the high food prices that fueled earlier protests, and included demands for free elections, the dismissal of Prime Minister Samir Rifai's government and a representative parliament.

The protest after Friday prayers was organized by the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood which is the only effective opposition and biggest party, but included members of leftist parties and trade unions.

Jordan's protests, as in several Arab countries, have been inspired by the uprising that overthrew the Tunisian president.

"After Tunisia, Arab nations have found their way toward the path of political freedom and dignity," said Zaki Bani Rusheid, a leading Islamist politician.

Demonstrations have taken place across Jordan calling for reversal of free-market reforms which many blame for a widening gap between rich and poor.

Jordan is struggling with its worst economic downturn in decades. The government has announced measures to reduce the prices of essentials, create jobs and raise salaries of civil servants. Protesters say the moves do not go far enough.
source


Egypt is in the grip of a food crisis, overtly authoritarian leadership, a lack of democracy and socialism for the people and it's finally tipped them over the edge. This may impact the thousands of ships that use the canal and so impact prices for the rest of us as these ships will have to travel thousands of miles further to get to the same destination.

It's also having a rippling effect with Jordan getting in on the act, pretty much, for the same reasons.

Why go to the land of the free, when with the will of the people, you can create that freedom in your mother land?
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#2 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:26 AM

I know this has been going on for a little bit, but I haven't really heard why?

though

Quote

Egypt is in the grip of a food crisis, overtly authoritarian leadership, a lack of democracy and socialism for the people and it's finally tipped them over the edge


seems to answer that but I thought there may be more to it. Anyone got a link to a fuller story?

Nevermind: Did my own research - http://en.wikipedia....yptian_protests

Addendum: This Mother Jones link is pretty good for keeping up with what is going on in Egypt
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This post has been edited by Senexx: 29 January 2011 - 10:01 AM

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#3 User is offline   Epicurus 

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:33 AM

View PostSenexx, on 29 January 2011 - 07:26 AM, said:


Nevermind: Did my own research - http://en.wikipedia....yptian_protests

Addendum: This Mother Jones link is pretty good for keeping up with what is going on in Egypt


Thanks Senexx. Excellent links. So tell me what do you think of the uprisings? Jordan is at it too now.
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#4 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:44 AM

I came it at it from a macroeconomic point of view, and many of the requests of the Egyptian people could be resolved if the Egyptian Pound was allowed to freely float on the currency exchange markets instead of being part of a dirty float with tight foreign exchange controls upon the pound.

And as the Mother Jones link indicates that Mubarak could become another King Juan Carlos of Spain type of character and it would be hasty to judge.

However, if we use South Africa as a template, El Baradei could become the next President assuming that neither Mubarak or ElBaradei are assassinated.

It may seem like a lot has gone on but it has only been a couple days, the situation is quite fluid.

On Jordan, I'm quietly surprised. It seemed the most stable country in the region.
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#5 User is offline   Marat 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:40 AM

Revolutions occur when the ruling class loses confidence and fractures. The real test is whether the Egyptian ruling class, and especially the army high command ,stays united. If the army refuses to fire on the people Mubarak is in deep trouble . However riots can't go on forever.There will be a revolution or a victory for the status quo.
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#6 User is offline   Epicurus 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:47 AM

People in my circle are disappointed with the US for doing nothing. But really, they can do nothing. The people won't listen to the US because Egyptians in the main are anti American. More over, it would be wrong to intercede for a govt. that is clearly hated by the people... and hypocritical to intercede for the people so as to eject a govt. that the US has supported.
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#7 User is offline   Epicurus 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:50 PM

View PostEpicurus, on 01 February 2011 - 09:47 AM, said:

People in my circle are disappointed with the US for doing nothing. But really, they can do nothing. The people won't listen to the US because Egyptians in the main are anti American. More over, it would be wrong to intercede for a govt. that is clearly hated by the people... and hypocritical to intercede for the people so as to eject a govt. that the US has supported.


Then again, maybe I am the misguided one here...

Quote

The most misguided assertion in Washington holds that the United States lacks the capacity to influence the outcome of the Egyptian crisis. In fact, both sides in Egypt have been aggressively appealing for support from the Obama administration, and for good reason - the United States supplies $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt, including well more than $1 billion for the Egyptian military. The White House has rightly hinted that that aid is now at stake, and on Sunday Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton finally announced U.S. support for a "transition" to "real democracy." Both in public and in every other communications channel, the administration should be making explicit the connection between future funding for the Egyptian military and that democratic transition.
source
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#8 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:06 PM

Either way there will be influence by the US whether direct (we think Egypt should...) or indirect (structural adjustment to Egyptian aid).

Using your former post where you mention hated govts or hypocritical to intervene - that didn't stop Iraq.
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#9 User is offline   Marat 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

Israel is the country under the pump in all of this. But , no one should be surprised. The rising middle class in Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan and Egypt was eventually going to break from despotism. Iran won't be too much longer. If the US had any sense it would remember its own history and support the people not the dictators.
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#10 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:56 PM

As this continues to escalate and Mubarak continues to try and squash the revolt, their was a Cairo massacre (I don't remember the specifics, and there was something he said recently which I don't remember the specifics of either - tells you how closely I'm following this), cutting off the internet and trains, which Google and Twitter got around by Phone to Tweet, I think the only way out for Mubarak is to step down or to be brought down one way or another.

The Mother Jones link above will probably answer any questions you have about my non-specific comments.
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#11 User is offline   Marat 

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:02 AM

The Army is now the key and after its latest performance the news doesn't give a democrat much hope.It is very difficult to turn a riot into a revolution if the ruling class stays firm.
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#12 User is offline   Epicurus 

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:38 AM

Quote

President Obama increased the pressure on Mr. Mubarak, warning that violence against protesters could lead to the loss of the billions Egypt receives in American aid. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States government stood ready to help "with a transition.'' Yet neither Mr. Obama nor Mrs. Clinton specifically called on Mr. Mubarak to step down.

On Jan. 31, the Egyptian Army said it would not fire on protesters, even as tens of thousands of people gathered in central Tahir (Liberation) Square for a seventh day, and Egypt’s new vice president, Mr. Suleiman, said that Mr. Mubarak had authorized him to open a dialogue with the opposition for constitutional and political reforms.
source


Seems that the US, as you correctly pointed out Senexx, are also a key element here... not discounting the Army though.
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#13 User is offline   JJ 

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

Yeah, it's not looking too good. I read that the army has brought in reinforcements today into Tahir square. Who knows if they'll defend the protesters this time. If they do, Mubarak's days are numbered. If they don't, I think the protests will likely fail.

Mubarak just needs to :emot-fuckoff: already.

Sleazly slimy slug-faced bit of putrescence.
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#14 User is offline   Marat 

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 04:33 PM

The attitude of the army is the great unknown. Is the officer corps united?It probably fears the Islamists and it also has economic assets at risk. I am very nervous!
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#15 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 04:52 PM

I think much of the Egyptian crisis also needs to be seen in the context of this article (link)
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#16 User is offline   Epicurus 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:00 AM

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Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood: A Special Report

With Egypt’s nearly 60-year-old order seemingly collapsing, many are asking whether the world’s single-largest Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), is on the verge of benefiting from demands for democracy in Egypt, the most pivotal Arab state.

Western fears to the contrary, the MB is probably incapable of dominating Egypt. At best, it can realistically hope to be the largest political force in a future government, one in which the military would have a huge say.

The MB and the Egyptian State

The fear of Islamism for years allowed the single-party state to prevent the emergence of a secular opposition. Many secular forces were aligned with the state to prevent an Islamist takeover. Those that did not remained marginalized by the authoritarian system. As a result, the MB over the years has evolved into the country’s single-largest organized socio-political opposition force.

Even though there is no coherent secular group that can rival the MB’s organizational prowess, Egypt’s main Islamist movement hardly has a monopoly over public support. A great many Egyptians are either secular liberals or religious conservatives who do not subscribe to Islamist tenets. Certainly, the bulk of the people out on the streets in the recent unrest are not demanding that the secular autocracy be replaced with an Islamist democracy.

Still, as Egypt’s biggest political movement, the MB has raised Western and Israeli fears of an Egypt going the way of Islamism, particularly if the military is not able to manage the transition. To understand the MB today — and thus to evaluate these international fears — we must first consider the group’s origins and evolution.
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#17 User is offline   JJ 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 03:49 PM

Today is D-Day. The "million man march" on the presidential compound. Here's hoping it's successful and there aren't too many casualties. This image made me all teary-eyed:

Attached Image: monthly_02_2011/post-1-0-97955000-1296802130.jpg

It's of an Egyptian army soldier, unable to help the protesters when the pro-Mubarak forces attacked the square two days ago.
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#18 User is offline   JJ 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:17 PM

Al Jazeera has managed to keep a live feed of Tahir square going - http://english.aljaz....net/watch_now/
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#19 User is offline   JJ 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:20 PM

I have to say though - if this is an entirely peaceful protest (they've canceled the march) and they just sit in Tahir square then go home tonight - what changes? The whole thing will fizzle if nothing happens today. I reckon the smartest way to play it (if I were Mubarak) would be to do nothing. Let them protest. I hate to say it, but I think that the only way they'll force him out is through widespread violence.
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#20 User is offline   logos 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:29 PM

Its usually the right thing to do nothing

But you've gotta do nothing with style...



Quote

Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art

Bullfighting can be an art
Boxing can be an art
Loving can be an art
Opening a can of sardines can be an art

Not many have style
Not many can keep style
I have seen dogs with more style than men,
although not many dogs have style.
Cats have it with abundance.

When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun,
that was style.
Or sometimes people give you style
Joan of Arc had style
John the Baptist
Jesus
Socrates
Caesar
García Lorca.

I have met men in jail with style.
I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail.
Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.
Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,
or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.


Bukowski.
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