Friday, January 28, 2011

The Arab Street

The most important story in the world seems to be the protests in Egypt and other countries. A dictator has already fallen in Tunisia.

For years, people have been wondering when this would happen. The attitudes and policies of governments like the one in Egypt have been so opposed to the beliefs of the people that this has always been like California's big-one. Everyone could always see the tensions that could lead to a break, the only thing everyone didn't know was when it would happen. We could just possibly be seeing that 'big-one' right now.

The Guardian (UK) has a breaking news page with the latest news from Egypt. Today is a key day, with the crowds in the mosques for Friday prayers. See Breaking News at ...

The problem can be seen in the statements from Israel. They praise the Egyptian dictatorship, and say they expect the Egyptian police to bloodily put down the people in the street.

Former envoy Gideon Ben-Ami predicts events in Egypt will not follow the same trajectory as the recent popular uprising in Tunisia, where the longtime dictator was ousted and fled the country. Ben-Ami says the Egyptian security and intelligence services "know how to resolutely take care of things when they feel under an existential threat as they already have begun to do".

Given the tactics of Israeli security, such a statement sends shutters up one's spine.

On the other hand, the Guardian page is reporting the beginnings of Egyptian military units refusing to kill their fellow citizens to prop up a dictatorship. Never a good sign for those who keep their Swiss bank account numbers close at hand in case of a sudden need to flee.

11.14am:CloseLink to this update: @gamelaid, a lawyer and executive director for the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, has tweeted that some army units in Suez are refusing to support the crackdown against the people.
Live blog: Twitter

The orginal tweet was in Arabic, so apologies for the translation if it is not 100% correct:

URGENT Suez: reports that some army units refused to support the police to confront the demonstrators, and the acceptance of other units, and did not intervene until now

All in all, not a good week for pro-American dictators.

BTW, Egypt's dicatorship appears to have cut off the Internet in Egypt. In the great and free USA, Sen. Lieberman and Pres. Obama want the authority to do the same here whenever they declare the need. I guess they are jealous of Mubarak.

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