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Mubarak To Step Down
February 10, 2011 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Report: Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is to step down this evening. Vice President Omar Suleiman will take over. He's likely to address the nation tonight.
posted by ericb (1419 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
Vice President Omar Suleiman will take over.

[Whistles "The Farmer in the Dell"]
posted by EmGeeJay at 7:56 AM on February 10, 2011 [25 favorites]


"The Secretary-General of the ruling NDP party, Dr Hossam Badrawi, told the U.K's Channel 4 News that he was expecting Mubarak to stand aside in his televised address. 'I'm expecting him to pass his decision for the constitution amendments and for him to go to the constitution and transmit his authorities as president to his vice president,' Badrawi told Channel 4 News."
posted by ericb at 7:57 AM on February 10, 2011


Yeah, from everything I've heard about Suleiman, that might be worse than Mubarak. Hopefully they'll keep protesting.
posted by Malor at 7:58 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


But will he? I mean, he's a dictator right, and part of being a dictator is not giving a shit what people think. I hope he does...
posted by ob at 7:59 AM on February 10, 2011


Why did he think putting shirtless photos online was a good idea?
posted by Bromius at 8:00 AM on February 10, 2011 [53 favorites]


Well, if the US military loves Suleiman then the Egyptian people should have no reservations about abandoning their protests and submitting to the new pharaoh.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Live video feed from Tahrir Square.
posted by ericb at 8:01 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meet the new boss/same as the old boss

YEAAAAAAAH!
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:01 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I admire the Egyptian people. They're an ancient, strong and passionate people.

I hope others will learn from their example.
posted by Avenger at 8:01 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's the rush, Mubarak?
posted by hypersloth at 8:02 AM on February 10, 2011


Emulate them in some way? Perhaps in their manner of walking?
posted by ND¢ at 8:03 AM on February 10, 2011 [49 favorites]


Why did he think putting shirtless photos online was a good idea?

I would've loved it if that was all it took to stir the pot enough to incite mass demonstrations in Egypt.
posted by flippant at 8:03 AM on February 10, 2011


Well if it had been a female politician...
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:04 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]




Meet the new boss/same as the old boss

The King is Dead! Long Live the King!
posted by ob at 8:05 AM on February 10, 2011


Well, from what I know about Suleiman, he could really hurt them, or bring a flying 5/5 djinn to their aid. Good luck!
posted by ignignokt at 8:06 AM on February 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


In Egypt, as Habib recounts in his memoir, My Story: The Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t, he was repeatedly subjected to electric shocks, immersed in water up to his nostrils and beaten. His fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks. At one point, his interrogator slapped him so hard that his blindfold was dislodged, revealing the identity of his tormentor: Suleiman.

Something to keep in mind when the White House gives its reaction to the news.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:06 AM on February 10, 2011 [28 favorites]


Yeah, from everything I've heard about Suleiman, that might be worse than Mubarak. Hopefully they'll keep protesting.

I'm assuming this will all hinge on whether or not the interim appointment also means free, legitimate elections in 60-90-whenever days. Which would also mean allowing in UN monitors. I'm, ah, not holding my breath too hard on this. Nor am I really sure how good that would be: if that actually happened how likely would it be that the Muslim Brotherhood essentially takes over the country? I'm not trusting the ravings of the far right and their fears on that but I'd love to really know how much of a legitimate concern that might be.

Like most departing presidents-for-life who didn't leave in a box, the true metric of how much power or grasp Mubarak is ceding will be whether or not he has a flight booked anytime soon out of the country.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:06 AM on February 10, 2011


Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
posted by theredpen at 8:06 AM on February 10, 2011




"President Cheney"
posted by DU at 8:07 AM on February 10, 2011 [12 favorites]


It's not as though a military in control is instrincally better than a spy master being in charge. Both are high-risk propositions, but at least Mubarak's departure will represent a victory for sustained public protest in a country where such activity has been outlawed under the Emergency Law since the 1980s.
posted by Azaadistani at 8:09 AM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeaaaaaaaaah
posted by nathancaswell at 8:09 AM on February 10, 2011


Yeah, from everything I've heard about Suleiman, that might be worse than Mubarak.

Maybe Suleiman will just focus his torturing needs on Mubarak; sort of a win-win.
posted by philip-random at 8:09 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, yeah, isn't Suleiman pretty much one of the top torturers on the planet right now too? Not that awesome.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:11 AM on February 10, 2011


I think a (temporary) military take-over may be the least-worst option for Egypt right now.
posted by Mister_A at 8:11 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, AJE just said that the military stopped Mubarak from giving a speech that woulld have handed power to Suleiman.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:11 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Live stream: http://www.youtube.com/user/AlJazeeraEnglish
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:13 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Essentially a military coup?
posted by ericb at 8:15 AM on February 10, 2011


In related news, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah threatened to bankroll Hosni Mubarak if the U.S. withdrew its aid program and tried to force a regime change.

There's also the strange rumor that the King suffered a sudden heart attack after a very heated phone call with Obama. (Let's see Putin top that.)
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:16 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If this is true, I wonder if this announcement was leaked preemptively to try to do an end-run around the military...

Either way, it's worth remembering, it's still up the to Egyptian people to make the final judgments about what's an acceptable outcome here, not us--though I agree Suleiman does seem like a pretty nasty character, and there's a real risk of a "meet the new boss; same as the old boss" scenario here.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:16 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


CNN Live Blog:
"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has agreed to yield power to his vice president, a senior U.S. official told CNN's John King, citing contacts within the Egyptian government."
posted by ericb at 8:17 AM on February 10, 2011


Ach. By "this" I meant this:Yeah, AJE just said that the military stopped Mubarak from giving a speech that woulld have handed power to Suleiman.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:17 AM on February 10, 2011


Now more than ever, I wish I'd never heard of Omar Souleyman.
posted by box at 8:17 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


So basically we have no idea what's going on... lets see who can get more wrong!
posted by tempythethird at 8:18 AM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


man, if that army announcement is right, i would say the pictures of the folks on the square seem to think hey have succeeded.
posted by mwhybark at 8:18 AM on February 10, 2011


So basically we have no idea what's going on... lets see who can get more wrong!

I HEARD THAT MUBARAK HAS TRANSFORMED INTO MEGAMUBARAK AND IS CURRENTLY USING HIS FORCE TRI-BEAMS TO DESTROY THE INCOMING FLEET
posted by cortex at 8:19 AM on February 10, 2011 [40 favorites]


Frustrated that Habib was not providing useful information or confessing to involvement in terrorism, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a shackled prisoner in front of Habib, which he did with a vicious karate kick.

This sounds like a bargain-bin action movie. Totally bizarre.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:20 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't miss: Rainbow over Tahrir, 2 hours ago.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:22 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't think it matters if Suleiman is nominally in charge as long as they form a new cabinet with opposition members, dissolve the cabinet, fix the constitution, etc..
posted by empath at 8:22 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this announcement was leaked preemptively to try to do an end-run around the military...

It is often the case that the end stages of a shift in power has various parties unsure until the very end who is still in charge.
posted by dhartung at 8:24 AM on February 10, 2011




YAYYY! Good riddance!

May prayers for the people of Egypt that they may democratically elect an intelligent person of at least some integrity.
posted by nickyskye at 8:26 AM on February 10, 2011


"In this hotel, there are only two items on the menu for those who don't behave – electrocution and rape." ...

I had "disappeared", along with countless Egyptians, inside the bowels of the Mukhabarat, President Hosni Mubarak's vast security-intelligence apparatus and an organisation headed, until recently, by his vice-president and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, the man trusted to negotiate an "orderly transition" to democratic rule.

Judging by what I witnessed, that seems a forlorn hope.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:27 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


AJE passing along a rumor that one of the state TV stations is evacuating personnel, just in case.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 AM on February 10, 2011


ericb: The Secretary-General of the ruling NDP party, Dr Hossam Badrawi, told the U.K's Channel 4 News that he was expecting Mubarak to stand aside in his televised address.

ericb: Military says Mubarak will meet protesters demands.

Listening to NPR this morning (~30 minutes ago), it all sounded pretty vague. There was no word on what "demands" would be met, or how, and that Mubarak "could" be stepping down today. But the bit from the USA today link is a bit ominous:
The statement was labeled "communique number 1," a phrasing that suggests a military coup.
That, or it's signifying some orderly transition that has already started, but Mubarak hasn't fully agreed to yet. And from the news I've heard over the past weeks, it sounded like the military was already the controlling force in the country (though not in a martial law sort of way).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:30 AM on February 10, 2011


Suleiman has said that... he does not think that it was time to lift the 30-year-old emergency law and that Egypt was not yet ready for democracy. ...perhaps he is deliberately giving notice to protesters that what they can achieve will be quite limited.

Probably Suleiman may be quite right. The transition will not be to democracy but to some cosmetic changes and real reforms but with the army remaining in control and ensuring the U.S. and Israeli policy aims are met insofar as that is possible. ...

Suleiman knows that his job is not to make a transition to democracy but to get the protesters to go home with changes that are as minimal as possible.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:31 AM on February 10, 2011


Omar Suleiman, the Egon Krenz de nos jours.
posted by Segundus at 8:35 AM on February 10, 2011


filthy light thief: "Listening to NPR this morning (~30 minutes ago), it all sounded pretty vague."

AJE is out in front of NPR and BBC in terms of reporting the events, it looks like. I just filpped through the morning network coverage and they were reporting the expected speech; AJE is confirming that speech is upcoming. The Army intervening to keep Suleiman out does not yet appear to have been reconfirmed.
posted by mwhybark at 8:36 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Guardian:

4.36pm: Egyptian state TV says Hosni Mubarak will speak to the nation from his palace in Cairo this evening.
posted by proj at 8:38 AM on February 10, 2011


Here's what we know at this point:

-President Mubarak will make a statement Thursday evening local time.
-The head of the ruling party and senior military figures have suggested that Mubarak may step down.
-The Prime Minister has said that Mubarak "is still president, and no decisions taken has changed that".

As of this writing, these facts do not in principle exclude one of those watered-down statements we have come to know and love from Mubarak, e.g. "I have listened to the protestors and step down as commander-in-chief of the military", or appointing Suleiman as Acting President, or some other half-arsed construction that does not actually, factually result in his resignation.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:39 AM on February 10, 2011


I do like AJE's new lower third however. I guess they were aching to switch from "The Battle For Egypt" and such phrases to the big, bold, simple, uppercase "THE REVOLUTION" they're showing now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:40 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vice President Omar Suleiman will take over.

I'm sort of guessing that this isn't the change they were looking for.
posted by quin at 8:40 AM on February 10, 2011


I guess I'm a little more hopeful than many here for one reason: This confrontation has been brewing for thirty years. The people have gotten a taste of the power of numbers; it's a genie-out-of-the-bottle thing. Could it get worse? Sure, it could get disastrous. But the Egyptian public won't go down without a fight now.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:42 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


But the Egyptian public won't go down without a fight now.

Well yes, but what is "a fight"? If it's "let's go sit in a central city square in the nation's capital until the bastard leaves" and that actually works, that's nothing short of admirable.

But the "fight" turns out a large-scale violent confrontation between protesters and army, for instance, well, one side has tanks and the other has rocks.

No one can exclude the possibility of more violence on the streets of Cairo tonight — and if after all this excitement Mubarak doesn't go tonight, boy are the protesters going to be mighty disappointed.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:49 AM on February 10, 2011


I don't see the utility of a "watered-down statement" and another faux move. At this point, the regime seems to be in full retreat and has clearly moved from denial through anger to -- at the least -- bargaining mode. Suleiman could take over officially, but this really sounds like the Army is playing a major role, formal or not, and the psychology here has to be a wholesale overturn of the old order. A hunkering down situation would have stayed with the status quo as of yesterday.

I can't say what this move means in toto yet, but it is almost certainly significant.
posted by dhartung at 8:49 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, let me put it this way: as my dad tends to say when he's watching a soccer game and his side is one goal up in injury time, "I'll believe it when he blows the whistle".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:53 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well yes, but what is "a fight"? If it's "let's go sit in a central city square in the nation's capital until the bastard leaves" and that actually works, that's nothing short of admirable.

But the "fight" turns out a large-scale violent confrontation between protesters and army, for instance, well, one side has tanks and the other has rocks.


That's why I said things could get disastrous. But here's what Americans generally fail to understand. If it gets to that point, then the protesters become martyrs. Entrenched power loses - maybe slower, but they still lose.

Please don't take me to mean that I want anything like that to happen.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:55 AM on February 10, 2011


I think Mubarak's gone. The army, you'll remember, is made up of Egyptians — I don't think Mubarak feels that he has the army under his control anymore. I don't think the grunts are going to fire on that crowd, regardless of who tells them. I don't think their senior commanders are going to order them to fire on that crowd, because it may be the death of said commanders to issue that order.

I hope that's what's going on, anyway.
posted by Mister_A at 8:56 AM on February 10, 2011


The Egyptian military has been secretly detaining and torturing those it suspects of being involved in pro-democracy protests, according to testimony gathered by the British newspaper the Guardian.

The newspaper, quoting human rights agencies, put the number of people detained at "hundreds, possibly thousands," since protests against Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, began on January 25.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:56 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


As the army is reportedly involved in the torture and detention of protestors, a military coup could go either way.
posted by notion at 8:57 AM on February 10, 2011


Damnit, Joe!
posted by notion at 8:58 AM on February 10, 2011


It's a start.

"Nor am I really sure how good that would be: if that actually happened how likely would it be that the Muslim Brotherhood essentially takes over the country? I'm not trusting the ravings of the far right and their fears on that but I'd love to really know how much of a legitimate concern that might be."

It's a moderate concern, but not a huge one. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has renounced force, and the worst thing that they've pledged to do if they happen to win a majority in parliament (which isn't tremendously likely, more like 30 percent) is review the peace treaties previously ratified with Israel.

The bigger risk is that the transition out of Mubarak will be bungled, more overt force used against the protesters, which will lead to either an open military coup or an external, more radicalized Islamic attack on the government, with the worst case scenario being civil war.

Other bad scenarios include Suleiman staying, and enacting wicked reprisals once the cameras are off; a military coup that isn't populist or reformist; someone killing Elbaradei (either radicals or government/military)… But frankly, this is a pretty good sign.
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 AM on February 10, 2011


[few comments removed - comments turning this into an I/P debate seem to be the work of someone who actively hates this site. Act like you like this site. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 AM on February 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


someone killing Elbaradei (either radicals or government/military)…

i don't think its likely to happen, or to be a big deal, if it did. He's been a hanger on, not a prime mover of this. The google exec is looking to be a more likely leader (and target) in the aftermath.
posted by empath at 9:01 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So could this trigger the 60-day period prior of interim government to elections that's been mentioned as being part of the Egyptian Constitution?

If not, the protestors have removed the leader they despised most, but if they want democracy, they will have to transition to protesting for elections to be held.
posted by Miko at 9:03 AM on February 10, 2011


cortex: "So basically we have no idea what's going on... lets see who can get more wrong!

I HEARD THAT MUBARAK HAS TRANSFORMED INTO MEGAMUBARAK AND IS CURRENTLY USING HIS FORCE TRI-BEAMS TO DESTROY THE INCOMING FLEE
"

Suddenly, this thread shares space with this one.
posted by mkultra at 9:03 AM on February 10, 2011


Fair enough, Benny.

I don't think the grunts are going to fire on that crowd, regardless of who tells them.

Well, imagine the protesters' demands are not satisfied tonight, and some of them take this out on the army (or the city, or each other)? Then at what point will the military "see no option but to defend themselves"?

They have been mostly neutral so far, but it is not unimaginable that the outcome of today will somehow satisfy the army but not the protestors. Then what?

Sorry for being pessimistic.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:04 AM on February 10, 2011


From Twitter:

"Tahrir S02E01 RT @mosaaberizing: If it turns out the army will rule us now, we'll take a break for the weekend and start another revolution"
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:06 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


In related news, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah threatened to bankroll Hosni Mubarak if the U.S. withdrew its aid program

Awesome. Can we get them to bankroll all the random dictatorships and save us the money?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Well, imagine the protesters' demands are not satisfied tonight, and some of them take this out on the army (or the city, or each other)? Then at what point will the military "see no option but to defend themselves"?

Well, I guess you'd have to assume the army is full of sociopaths.
posted by empath at 9:08 AM on February 10, 2011


did anyone catch the awesome sci-fi distortion on that phone call on AlJazeera?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:11 AM on February 10, 2011


Well, imagine the protesters' demands are not satisfied tonight, and some of them take this out on the army (or the city, or each other)? Then at what point will the military "see no option but to defend themselves"?

And how does one defend oneself if not with a grenade launcher, or a tank?
posted by tempythethird at 9:11 AM on February 10, 2011


Two phone calls in a row to reporters on Al-Jazeera have been almost impossible to hear. I suspect the cell network in Cairo isn't capable of keeping up.
posted by dhartung at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2011


State TV reports that Mubarak will speak live from the Presidential Palace.
posted by Optamystic at 9:16 AM on February 10, 2011


Things to watch: How quickly Washington recognizes the new government.
posted by dhartung at 9:19 AM on February 10, 2011


Things to watch: How quickly Washington recognizes the new government.

Absolutely. Also, Moscow and Spain, governments who are loath to recognize popular revolts for fear of legitimizing internal secessionist movements. (See: Kosovo).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:25 AM on February 10, 2011


Things to watch: How quickly Washington recognizes the new government.

Very quickly.
After sending mixed signals, the administration has appeared to settle on supporting a measured transition for easing Mubarak out of power. That strategy, which remains the subject of vigorous debate inside the administration, calls for a Mubarak crony, Vice President Omar Suleiman, to lead the reform process.

According to experts who have interacted with the White House, the tactic is favored by a group of foreign policy advisors including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security advisor Thomas Donilon and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who worry about regional stability and want to reassure other Middle East governments that the U.S. will not abandon an important and longtime ally.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:26 AM on February 10, 2011


From the BBC's live blog:
The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi in Cairo says: "It's slightly ambiguous whether the army has staged a coup, or if they're just going to respond to the people's demands and have Mubarak pushed to the side. So clearly, this might turn into a very long night for the people in Tahrir Square."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:28 AM on February 10, 2011


did anyone catch the awesome sci-fi distortion on that phone call on AlJazeera?

yeah, that's from using something like g729a compression, which is vocoded. It makes for fun distortion when packets get dropped.
posted by empath at 9:30 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Things to watch: How quickly Washington recognizes the new government.

Depending on how its handled, it may not technically be a 'new government', so there will be nothing new to recognize.
posted by empath at 9:31 AM on February 10, 2011


There's something about the army essentially saying "all your demands will be met" that strikes me as too good to possibly be true.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:34 AM on February 10, 2011


This isn't just any revolution. This is a dance, dance revolution!
posted by kaibutsu at 9:42 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fox News, fwiw:
President Hosni Mubarak will step down shortly and transfer authority to the Egyptian Higher Council of the Armed Forces, a senior Egyptian official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday.

The group is comprised of the minister of defense, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi -- who stands atop the military hierarchy -- along with the military's chief of staff, the chief of operations, and commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Air Defenses.

The source pointed out that the transfer of power will occur "outside of the constitutional framework" because under the Egyptian constitution, Mubarak's resignation ordinarily would mean that the speaker of the house would become president and elections would be held within 60 days. In this case, the military council will "not be governing under the constitution or any legislation," the source noted. "So they will have to define the format under which they are taking power."
posted by Joe Beese at 9:49 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


chavez
posted by lslelel at 9:49 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese: ""So they will have to define the format under which they are taking power.""

Sometimes change is just change.
posted by charred husk at 9:53 AM on February 10, 2011


chavez

Fun game! I'll go now. Um.

garcia
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:53 AM on February 10, 2011


montoya
posted by mwhybark at 9:55 AM on February 10, 2011


Joe Beese: "calls for a Mubarak crony, Vice President Omar Suleiman, to lead the reform process ... [are] favored by a group of foreign policy advisors including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, national security advisor Thomas Donilon and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates,"

I bet. Gotta have someone you can trust to shred documents and dig up the mass graves.
posted by mwhybark at 9:57 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


sanchez?
posted by kingbenny at 9:59 AM on February 10, 2011


ah, I take it back. Those guys didn't make the bed. Of course, it sure doesn't seem like they are in a hurry to change the sheets, but they didn't specify the bedclothes.
posted by mwhybark at 9:59 AM on February 10, 2011


DIRTY sanchez.
posted by mwhybark at 9:59 AM on February 10, 2011


OK, just because nothing is happening does not mean we should be filling up the thread with sub-chatfilter-level jokes. It's quite annoying to see new posts on the thread and find this.
posted by dhartung at 10:01 AM on February 10, 2011 [23 favorites]


GO ARMY!
posted by clavdivs at 10:01 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


calls for a Mubarak crony, Vice President Omar Suleiman, to lead the reform process ... [are] favored by a group of foreign policy advisors including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Maybe Suleiman is also a Clinton family friend!
posted by scody at 10:02 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stop with the derails.
posted by proj at 10:02 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's good to see that all the reporters can come out of hiding and report from the square.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:08 AM on February 10, 2011


AJE banter is pretty hilarious. In discussion of jubilation in the square:
Male voice: 'Nothing's certain yet, so they must be holding back a bit, right?'
Female: 'Well, they don't seem to be holding back...'

A bunch of times there were reports that Mubarak would step down that swept through the protests, causing massive cheering seemingly at random. I'm hoping we're not just seeing a world-wide version of the same...
posted by kaibutsu at 10:16 AM on February 10, 2011




AP: "CAIRO (AP) — State TV: Egypt's information minister denies that Mubarak will step down."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:19 AM on February 10, 2011


Link.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:20 AM on February 10, 2011


He'll step down or get stepped on by the army. Either way, he's gone.
posted by flippant at 10:20 AM on February 10, 2011


dhartung: "OK, just because nothing is happening does not mean we should be filling up the thread with sub-chatfilter-level jokes. It's quite annoying to see new posts on the thread and find this"

quite correct. my apologies.
posted by mwhybark at 10:20 AM on February 10, 2011


There's something about the army essentially saying "all your demands will be met" that strikes me as too good to possibly be true.

This lists of demands seems to be circulating madly right now. I can't tell if it's been whipped up and/or back-loaded in response to Hassan al-Roueini's sweeping statement that "All of your demands will be met today," but it is probably fairly representative of common sentiment:

Immediate
1. The resignation of president Mohammed Hosni Mubarak
2. Cancelling the Emergency Law
3. Dismantling the state secret service
4. An announcement by (Vice-President) Omar Sulieman that he will not run in the next presidential elections
5. Dissolving the Parliament and Shura Council
6. Releasing all the prisoners since January 25
7. Ending the curfew so that life resumes as normal across the country
8. Dismantling the university guards system
9. Referring officials responsible for the use of violences against the peaceful protesters since January 25 and those responsible for the organised thuggery which followed January 28 to an investigation committee
10. Sacking Anas El Fiqi and stopping the attack on protesters in government owned media through threats and calling protesters traitors, and ending the spread of hate against foreigners in the streets
11. Reimbursing shop owners for their losses during the curfew
12. Announcing the demands above on government television and radio

Also,

Transitional Period
1. Drafting a new constitution
2. The right to set up newspapers and open television and radio stations without a prior permission
3. Putting the minimum wage of 1,200 Egyptian Pounds into effect
4. The right to set up political parties, by notification
5. The right to set up associations and unions, by notification
6. Acheiving a real autonomy and independence for national newspapers and television and radio stations, through new legistlation and the reformation of companies, establishments of ministries
7. Cancelling the national service in the police force
8. Ending the security clampdown on telecommunications and the internet
posted by perspicio at 10:21 AM on February 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


Those are the same demands i've been seeing all along.
posted by empath at 10:25 AM on February 10, 2011


There's also the strange rumor that the King suffered a sudden heart attack after a very heated phone call with Obama. (Let's see Putin top that.)

His name is a killing word!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been reading of ties between Berlusconi and Mubarak -- can someone elaborate on that? Berlusconi was also connected to the phony iraq war intelligence.
posted by empath at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe Suleiman is also a Clinton family friend!

They enjoyed a productive working relationship.

In the mid-1990s, Suleiman worked closely with the Clinton administration in devising and implementing its rendition program.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:30 AM on February 10, 2011


4. An announcement by (Vice-President) Omar Sulieman that he will not run in the next presidential elections

I was wondering how the public would take to the VP taking charge. That is, I thought they wanted the regime to fall and having the VP take over might not be *enough*.


Those are the same demands i've been seeing all along.
posted by empath at 10:25 AM on February 10


But if this has been one of the demands all along, then it sounds like they would be happy for the VP to take charge until the next election.
posted by johnstein at 10:30 AM on February 10, 2011


Shoutouts to the Upper Peninsula on Al Jazeera. Sweet..... And they switch away once they realize that, in fact, Obama is talking to a bunch of college students in a feel-good address, rather than directly addressing the Egypt situation.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:38 AM on February 10, 2011


An interesting angle I haven't heard discussed much elsewhere, courtesy of Planet Money:

Egypt's Military, Inc.: "So far, the Egyptian military has largely sided with the protesters in the streets of Cairo. This is not only because the military supports the people; it's also because the military sells the people lots of stuff."
posted by Mr. Palomar at 10:42 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


But if this has been one of the demands all along, then it sounds like they would be happy for the VP to take charge until the next election.

I don't know that they'd be happy about it, but they're problem is primarily with the system, not the leader. If he says he's not going to run for election as president, then I don't see why they'd object to him leading the transition.

They have to have someone in charge during the transition, or you have chaos.
posted by empath at 10:43 AM on February 10, 2011


Any more info on this quote from Beese's comment from above?

President Hosni Mubarak will step down shortly and transfer authority to the Egyptian Higher Council of the Armed Forces, a senior Egyptian official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday.

?

Could it be that the Army really has decided to go the route of coup after all, doing a nifty Dick Van Dyke-style sidestep around the proverbial misplaced ottoman of a Suleiman-led interim government?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:44 AM on February 10, 2011


I would be wary of assuming anything has been decided. Most likely there is furious activity behind the scenes that will determine the outcome, and some of what we are hearing is trial balloons or even propaganda. The lack of a coherent message, in itself, is a coherent message.
posted by dhartung at 10:47 AM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Reuters: "Egypt's army will act if the protesters refuse a plan by Mubarak to hand over to the vice president - al Arabiya"
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:48 AM on February 10, 2011


If this piece of news isn't true, it's a brilliant piece of information warfare. If enough people say Mubarak has been deposed, it will become true.

I have been told the Polish Solidarity movement operated in a similar way in the early 1980s. Instead of fighting the authorities, they just ignored them and set up their own. When enough people didn't pay attention to the dictatorship, its power vanished.
posted by Triplanetary at 10:51 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hm. I somehow doubt that ignoring a tank will make it go away.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:58 AM on February 10, 2011


Obama reacts:

What's absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. The people of Egypt are calling for change. People representing all ages and all walks of life - but it is young people who are at the forefront - a new generation, your generation, who want their voices to be heard - and we want those young people to know the United States of America will support an orderly transition to democracy.

And what could be more orderly than having the transition overseen by the current ruler's hand-picked successor? Especially since he's been so cooperative with us in the past...
posted by Joe Beese at 11:06 AM on February 10, 2011


Hm. I somehow doubt that ignoring a tank will make it go away.

Perception is reality. With instant broadcasting, appearances are much more important than they used to be. Things are much more easily willed into place, I think, if approached with media savvy.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


And what could be more orderly than having the transition overseen by the current ruler's hand-picked successor? Especially since he's been so cooperative with us in the past...

Okay, Debbie Downer, we get your point.
posted by empath at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Most accounts now point to Mubarak transferring his executive powers to Suleiman, and possibly defer his military leadership to the army.

Maybe there will be cheers and kisses and sexy soundbites in the evening news of Egyptians in tears with joy over the bastard's departure. But how will this appease the people who demanded a complete removal of NDP rule? This is why I fear for what will happen in the streets of Cairo tonight.

Speech is planned for 8 GMT, or at the top of the coming hour.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:10 AM on February 10, 2011


Perception is reality. With instant broadcasting, appearances are much more important than they used to be. Things are much more easily willed into place, I think, if approached with media savvy.

'S true. Tragically, tragically true.

Hm. I somehow doubt that ignoring a tank will make it go away.

Yeah, but the tanks in this case really do seem to be on the protesters' side. From the beginning, the army has said that they view the people's grievances as legitimate and have no intention of acting against them on the behalf of the current powers. Sure, there have been isolated reports of inaction to protect protesters, but I can easily see that being from a reluctance to get caught up in situations that are potentially inflammatory and subject to misinterpretation (avoiding engagement out of fear of getting caught up in a scam to inflame tensions between protesters and the army; it's not always clear just from seeing people fighting on the ground who the bad guys are). Sometimes armies actually function as the good guys. This seems to be one of those times.

Let's wait and see what happens. The way this stuff is being reported ("vigorous debate inside the administration," etc., leads me to think it may actually be Obama pushing back against prematurely siding outright with Suleiman. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part, but I honestly can't think of anyone else in the administration who'd even potentially be reluctant to immediately embrace a Suleiman led transition if they thought they could get away with it. Both Clinton and Biden, as legacies of the era when Suleiman helped President Clinton and the Dems set up the extraordinary rendition program in the first place, have a pretty strong interest in making sure the situation doesn't end up going too badly for Mubarak/Suleiman. I mean, if Suleiman et al ended up on trial for actions they carried out in service to the US under the previous Dem admin--well, that could have politically negative consequences for some of the old Dem establishment, which after all is still largely intact.)
posted by saulgoodman at 11:25 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


On that live feed, what is the circular encampment in the middle? It looks like a support area... Really amazing, there's so much chanting and singing and cheering. Here's hoping the Egyptian people get the government they want and deserve, with a voice for everyone.
posted by joecacti at 11:26 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you are on twitter, check out #reasonsmubarakislate
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:26 AM on February 10, 2011


I somehow doubt that ignoring a tank will make it go away.

Perception is reality.

Exactly. Let's say you are that tank commander and everyone around you and the media say that Mubarak is stepping down. You call your boss, who says he isn't sure what's going on and that no-one in the chain of command is. You will most likely not use your tank to crack down on the demonstrators at that point.
posted by Triplanetary at 11:31 AM on February 10, 2011


Those are the same demands i've been seeing all along.

Hm. Where? I'd seen most of them individually, and references to "four principles" in a list submitted by "opposition groups" around the beginning of the month, and individually generated lists, but hadn't seen anything as comprehensive as this. I'm interested in what approximation of a formal process has taken place here, which I may have missed, and that al-Roueini might have been referring to.
posted by perspicio at 11:31 AM on February 10, 2011


From the beginning, the army has said that they view the people's grievances as legitimate and have no intention of acting against them on the behalf of the current powers.

Then on whose behalf were they torturing them?

"They got a bayonet and threatened to rape me with it. Then they waved it between my legs. They said I could die there or I could disappear into prison and no one would ever know. The torture was painful but the idea of disappearing in a military prison was really frightening."

Perhaps they were just keeping in practice.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:32 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


An article by Adam Shatz has just gone up on the LRB website--it was written a few days ago at the most frightening moment of the protests (when the pro-Mubaraks were on the rampage), but the stuff it has to say about Suleiman is only looking more relevant. You can find it here.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 11:35 AM on February 10, 2011


Beese -- QUIT GRINDING YOUR FUCKING AXE
posted by msalt at 11:41 AM on February 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


"What's absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. The people of Egypt are calling for change. People representing all ages and all walks of life - but it is young people who are at the forefront - a new generation, your generation, who want their voices to be heard - and we want those young people to know the United States of America will support an orderly transition to democracy." - President Obama of the Ol' U.S. of A.

Is he suggesting that we go for it? Because I'm willing to go for it if everybody else is.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:42 AM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Beese -- QUIT GRINDING YOUR FUCKING AXE"

msalt, what are you talking about?
His last comment is as relevant vis a vis Suleiman as anything else written from our cubicles and armchairs.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


A lot of good signs out there -- Egyptian state TV is now showing the same view of Tahrir Square as Al Jazeera, and suddenly talking about problems of corruption, etc. under Mubarak.

There are reports that the military brass blocked Mubarak from making a speech handing power over to Suleiman, which I choose to interpret positively as blocking a phony transition (assuming the reports are true.) And when the military council appeared on TV announcing Mubarak's speech tonight and that demands will be met, both Mubarak and Suleiman were conspcuously absent.

I'm not sure a temporary military takeover, until elections can be held, isn't the best path forward. The alternative is either Suleiman or the speaker of the the Egyptian parliament, which was voted in through elections blatantly manipulated by Mubarak.
posted by msalt at 11:48 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Egyptian military is not a monolith. Treating it as if it were is an oversimplification that distorts perspective and disrupts understanding.
posted by perspicio at 11:50 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm talking about Beese chiming in about every 5-10 comments with another cynical rehash of something that happened a week, or two weeks, or 10 years ago. There is a ton of breaking news. Snarky comments pushing his well established point of view -- like "Perhaps they were keeping in practice" -- are just practiced strident posing. He's like the Keith Olbermann of Metafilter.
posted by msalt at 11:51 AM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


msalt, please don't derail the thread. Take it to meta, if you really must.
posted by jaduncan at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


[Guys, cut it out or take it to Metatalk. Joe, you know we've talked to you about the And Another Thing About Obama shit.]
posted by cortex at 11:56 AM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fair enough, Joe Beese. But I notice there wasn't any specific info about whether or not these incidents in the article you linked were associated with the divisions of the military known to be loyalists, or to the general Egyptian army.

There's some discussion here about the loyalty divisions within the Egyptian military structure; from what I've gathered from the other discussions around here, the army seems to have been pretty consistently siding with the protesters, while some of the senior brass and the airforce are known to be inclined toward loyalty to Mubarak. I don't mean to discount the reports you cited, but they seem strikingly inconsistent with the many supportive accounts from other protesters, and they don't seem to be particularly discriminating about what particular elements within the military structure were responsible for the incidents. The details potentially make all the difference in the world.

If I were Mubarak, and I knew I still had some loyal soldiers in any branch of the military establishment to turn to, I would try to get them out to help foment clashes between the Egyptian army and the protesters, considering that's basically the only play remaining for them. It's been the perception, at least, of the army's support for the cause that's helped make these protests as successful as they have been so far.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:58 AM on February 10, 2011




oops. missed the ugly turn in things. don't mean to contribute to a joe beese flame war. delete my last comment if needed.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:59 AM on February 10, 2011


Saulgoodman, I think your comment adds tremendous value and is a fair and balanced response. :/
posted by joecacti at 12:04 PM on February 10, 2011


Just parroting the liveblog, but this update seems to indicate a turning point. All democracies depend on a free and open discourse in the public dialogue:

There has been a significant change in editorial tone of Egypt's state TV in the past few hours - no longer hiding protests, but showing the masses gathered in Tahrir Square. Presenter and guest openly criticising former ministers - by name - accusing them of corruption, greed and misuse of power
posted by joecacti at 12:06 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Twitter hashtag toe tapping: #reasonsmubarakislate
posted by dhartung at 12:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just noticed that AJE corrected the hand-scaling on their "THE REVOLUTION" sub-banner - the words had been scaled along the horizontal axis previously, and that amused me because it's the only time I noticed the screen design deviating from the clean, classic, modern grid design. I can just imagine the call down to the control room from the design director.

You can see the scaled type here:

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5137/5433441055_e2319e2936_z.jpg
posted by mwhybark at 12:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


My AJE stream is starting to stutter, fwiw.
posted by mwhybark at 12:11 PM on February 10, 2011


joecacti, speaking for myself: please feel free to parrot informed-seeming liveblogs and other current events sources, that is what I'm reading for.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:11 PM on February 10, 2011


@ElBaradei: I am closely following the situation. We are almost there #Jan25
posted by dhartung at 12:17 PM on February 10, 2011


I only have another nine minutes left for my lunch hour. Get on it with, Hosni.

#reasonsmubarakislate. Changing Facebook relationship status to "It's Complicated."
posted by jokeefe at 12:22 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow. My hopes for this, lagging through the week, are now revitalized. I can only imagine the joy of the protestors.
posted by angrycat at 12:22 PM on February 10, 2011


Snerk.

#ReasonsMubarakislate Sending a shirtless picture to CraigsList

#ReasonsMubarakislate On hold with Egypt Air
posted by jokeefe at 12:24 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Egypt's Uprising: State of Play 2011-02-10
posted by adamvasco at 12:24 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mubarak could leave with $2 billion.
posted by ericb at 12:25 PM on February 10, 2011


From the BBC liveblog:

Egyptian TV is now broadcasting a promotional video for Egypt - images of hardworking people, modern businesses, tourist sites and sporting achievements. Still no president.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:25 PM on February 10, 2011


Wow, that hashtag is going at 40 TPS (tweets per second). Someone's going to have a large TPS report to create tomorrow. Better get that cover page straight.
posted by joecacti at 12:26 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was trying to watch CNN's livestream and the translator couldn't be heard over the commentator. I wish AJE stream worked better at work.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 12:29 PM on February 10, 2011


Screen grab from Egyptian state television of charges listed against cabinet members

http://yfrog.com/h6g4qoj
posted by hgswell at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2011


BBC has a live video stream
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698#video
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:31 PM on February 10, 2011


Egyptian TV is now broadcasting a promotional video for Egypt

Whoever takes over will need to restore tourism.

I heard a figure that the demonstrations are costing the country $300 million a day in revenue.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:31 PM on February 10, 2011


TuxHeDoh: Have you tried the live AJE stream on Youtube?
posted by davey_darling at 12:31 PM on February 10, 2011





TuxHeDoh,


I was trying to watch CNN's livestream and the translator couldn't be heard over the commentator. I wish AJE stream worked better at work.


You almost get used to it after a while. Took me 20 minutes or so to get 'in the zone' and I'm still missing a couple words here and there.
posted by johnstein at 12:32 PM on February 10, 2011


Waiting for Cheney to pick him up in the Imperial Hovercraft #ReasonsMubarakIsLate


State TV has lost the tape #ReasonsMubarakIsLate
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:33 PM on February 10, 2011


Johnstein - YouTube is never reliable through the corporate internet. Ad's work flawlessly, actual content frequently takes an hour to buffer 3 minutes. Trying BBC now.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 12:33 PM on February 10, 2011


I could imagine a standoff, where the military wants him to tape a dictated speech, he's refusing, and they're all trying to figure out how much bargaining power they have.
posted by msalt at 12:36 PM on February 10, 2011


Iran's PressTV also has a live stream going. They're occasionally running a ticker of incoming text messages from their viewers that's tinged with crazy. But they keep flipping to a neat 4 way splitscreen for different camera views, so it's worth it.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:37 PM on February 10, 2011


TuxHeDoh - well, sounds like the CNN translator has stopped talking... must have gotten too many complaints and given up.
posted by johnstein at 12:38 PM on February 10, 2011


If he comes on TV and does not step down, as appears increasingly likely, how is that massive crowd likely to react?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:41 PM on February 10, 2011


Al Arabiya has the speech, he's not stepping down.
posted by empath at 12:41 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Arabiya via Reuters: Mubarak not accepting orders from outside, to transfer powers to Suleiman according to constitution, cancel certain clauses of emergency law
posted by dhartung at 12:42 PM on February 10, 2011


Not well, that's for sure.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:42 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE quoting Al Aribiya quoting a pretty feisty speech upcoming by Mubarak -- not resigning but stepping aside for Suleiman, apologizing for violence toward protestors, will modify 5 consitutional provisions and remove a sixth, vowing to ignore foreign pressure.
posted by msalt at 12:42 PM on February 10, 2011


how can he step aside and not resign?
posted by angrycat at 12:43 PM on February 10, 2011


PressTV banner: "Mubarak speech delayed to sort out issues with army." I'm really worried.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:46 PM on February 10, 2011


Oddly though, no mention of that on al Aribiya's website that I could see.
http://www.alarabiya.net/english/

how can he step aside and not resign?
He could resign some of his posts (probably officially head of army, for example) and retain others (presidency, or some new emeritus type postiion)

here we go!
posted by msalt at 12:46 PM on February 10, 2011


PressTV is broadcasting his speech now.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:46 PM on February 10, 2011


He's on. Already beginning with the paternalism.
posted by notion at 12:46 PM on February 10, 2011


Ugh, disgusting, that "as a father to his children" crap.
posted by perspicio at 12:47 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the protesters were expecting a shorter speech
posted by johnstein at 12:48 PM on February 10, 2011


"Mistakes are likely" is the new "mistakes were made".
posted by cortex at 12:48 PM on February 10, 2011


Which is basically "shit happens".
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:49 PM on February 10, 2011


Starts by threatening severe punishments -- of those mean to protesters.
posted by msalt at 12:49 PM on February 10, 2011


it's the foreigners' fault
posted by angrycat at 12:49 PM on February 10, 2011


This is the fault of foreigners. And Foreigner. Especially Hot Blooded.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Always the foreigners...
posted by Mister_A at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2011


He's not going to step down until September elections.
posted by rtha at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2011


Which will be free and fair and transparent.
posted by rtha at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2011


Didn't he already do this speech last week? This is not going to sit well.
posted by monospace at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2011


Not stepping down until September.
posted by proj at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2011


The crowd is VERY quiet now.
posted by proj at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2011


Looks like he's standing pat. I'm afraid that blood will run in the streets.
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2011


Yes, I'm sure you'll have the backing of all the people that you're looking forward to, fella.
posted by cortex at 12:52 PM on February 10, 2011


why the fuck is he saying anything? jesus.
posted by angrycat at 12:52 PM on February 10, 2011


"I will ensure the proper implementation step by step, hour by hour, arrest by arrest day by day!"
posted by scody at 12:52 PM on February 10, 2011


Didn't he already do this speech last week?

This speech is different because this time he really, really, really means it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:52 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Won't let go. Damn.
posted by jokeefe at 12:52 PM on February 10, 2011


I think he just stepped in a hornet's nest honestly...
posted by Mister_A at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


Crowd is loudening up.
posted by rtha at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


Crowd starting to get restive?
posted by jokeefe at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


the crowd's getting mad
posted by ocherdraco at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


How has he managed to make this dramatic moment boring?
posted by msalt at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


HEY GUYS I HAD A GREAT IDEA: HOW ABOUT I STILL BE PRESIDENT
posted by cortex at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [57 favorites]


The crowd looks like it's starting to get a little angry
posted by cyphill at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


The crowd is starting to shout him down.
posted by joecacti at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by jenkinsEar at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Mubarak has some stones, man. Amazing.
posted by frenetic at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


Heh. Proposing committees never makes anyone happy. Who likes a committee?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


Hey, it will take several months to sort through all the photographs of the protestors that the secret police took so he can make sure they all get some fingers broken.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tomorrow is Friday. Uh Oh.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2011


This speech is different because this time he really, really, really means it.

Or, as Morrissey might say, this one's different because it's now.
posted by msalt at 12:54 PM on February 10, 2011


Oh can I get a copy of that report? It better have the damn cover sheet!
posted by joecacti at 12:54 PM on February 10, 2011


hey, he's amending article 189 of the constitution!
posted by msalt at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh my god if I had his money and was in his position I'd be on a tropical island yesterday. what is going on?
posted by angrycat at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mubarak has some stones, man. Amazing.

I think it's more a lack of brains or sense.
posted by rtha at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011


Mubarak has some stones, man.

No passion is as enduring as the passion to keep men ground under one's bootheel.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder what the army will do? There was a lot of talk about that "communique number 1" from earlier.
posted by dcheeno at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011


"I am prepared to propose to amend at a later date..."

Hedge much?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Link to Egyptian Constitution (For those of us that like to follow along!)
posted by cyphill at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Did he just basically say that he's staying because the rules say he has to stay?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:56 PM on February 10, 2011


Talk about obfuscation.
posted by proj at 12:56 PM on February 10, 2011


It's like he's trying to fight the revolution with word salad.
posted by scody at 12:56 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Time to restore confidence!
posted by Mister_A at 12:56 PM on February 10, 2011


This is the fault of foreigners. And Foreigner. Especially Hot Blooded.
Are you old enough?
Will you be ready when I call your bluff?
Is my timing right?
Did you save your love for me tonight?
I'm guessing the most common answer in Tahrir Square will be no to all of the above. Folks are liable to be less than ecstatic to hear Hosni's decided to get the band back together.
posted by gompa at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


article 89 or 189?
posted by angrycat at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


Mubarak: "Look, I know you guys need the room back, but I've got a lot of packing to do first. I mean, most of my stuff is in drawers and geez, the bathroom is a real mess...just don't even look in there. Hey, room service still runs until midnight on weekends, right?"
posted by malocchio at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


hey, he's amending article 189 of the constitution!
Hey, the constitution doesn't HAVE an article 189... Oh, I see what you did there.
posted by joecacti at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


It's like he's trying to fight the revolution with word salad.

Chicken Caesar Howitzer
posted by cortex at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


Okay, go home and shut up now okay? Is that what he's saying?
posted by jokeefe at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


"our economy has suffered losses and damages because OH HAI I GOTZ ALL THE MONEY"
posted by scody at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's like he's trying to fight the revolution with word salad.

It's like he's some strange incarnation of Sarah Palin.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was waiting for him to get into the third person...
posted by adrianhon at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


Looks like many of the crowd are holding up their shoes (remember Bush?)
posted by cyphill at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011


All AJE is showing is Mubarak on the left, dudes showing him their shoes on the right.

This shoe thing televises even better than the middle finger.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crowd does not like the mention of war.
posted by jokeefe at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011


Are those shoes? I was wondering.
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011


"I was a young man once"
compelling!
posted by angrycat at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011


Erhan. Erhan. Erhan.
posted by notion at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011


Oh, sheeeeeeeeeeeeit, he just said the equivalent of "Fuck you, I'm older and know better than you."
posted by ocherdraco at 12:58 PM on February 10, 2011


Go crowd!
posted by msalt at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Encore! Encore! Encore!!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


"I fought the Israelis 40 years ago, you ingrates!"
posted by Burhanistan at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Sounds like they're shouting ارحل which is the imperative "leave!"
posted by proj at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Are the people pissed at him now or all like "Yay Sinai!"?
posted by Mister_A at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


It's not all about you, Hosni.
posted by perspicio at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Yay, third person!
posted by cortex at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011


"I never sought power or popularity!!!"
posted by scody at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's now reminding everyone of how awesome he is and how many awesome things he's done. Because clearly, the only reason all these people are in this square is because they forgot this.
posted by rtha at 12:59 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sooooooooooo, I haven't been really paying much attention to this Egypt thing, and maybe the causes of this are completely and utterly self contained and unrelated, but if dictator type regimes start flipping all over the Middle East (like Green Revolution, whatever this is), at what point do we have to admit the Neo Cons were right re: regime change in Iraq? If Iran flips?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011


I think Mubarak just lost his chance of getting out of this thing alive. But then again, he's 82 and has little to lose. As my grandfather once told me, "A young man will threaten you. An old man won't threaten you, he'll just kill you."
posted by vibrotronica at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are the people pissed at him now or all like "Yay Sinai!"?

pissed
posted by ocherdraco at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011


Hosni: "The crowd is going nuts! They love me!"
posted by msalt at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Un.Fucking.real.
posted by dejah420 at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


A million shoes being waved in the air.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011


Did he write this on meth or coke or something?
Or is he just ad-libbing in a similar state?
posted by angrycat at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011


Meanwhile, here's an article about Amendment 179.
posted by mhum at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's what I thought.
posted by Mister_A at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011


I hope nobody get hurt because of his stubborness
posted by dabug at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011


Sooooooooooo, I haven't been really paying much attention to this Egypt thing, and maybe the causes of this are completely and utterly self contained and unrelated, but if dictator type regimes start flipping all over the Middle East (like Green Revolution, whatever this is), at what point do we have to admit the Neo Cons were right re: regime change in Iraq? If Iran flips?

How so?
posted by dcheeno at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011


er gets
posted by dabug at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011


As my grandfather once told me, "A young man will threaten you. An old man won't threaten you, he'll just kill you."

My grandfather didn't bother to tell me that. He just killed me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Location: Cairo
Mood: Resolved
Music: The Mubangles, Autohagiograph Like An Egyptian

posted by cortex at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


nathancaswell: the roots of all this have nothing to do with Iraq. Google what's happened in Tunisia in the last few weeks
posted by Riptor at 1:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


lol, a shoe on a stick.
posted by joecacti at 1:02 PM on February 10, 2011


Nathan, the neocons were not out to topple US puppet dictatorships.
posted by Mister_A at 1:02 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Do we know where he is?
posted by yarrow at 1:02 PM on February 10, 2011


"at what point do we have to admit the Neo Cons were right re: regime change in Iraq? If Iran flips?"

Umm. Correlation (well, it's not even temporally close). Causation. Please don't imagine that Tunisia and the invasion of Iraq are that related.
posted by jaduncan at 1:02 PM on February 10, 2011


THE SOIL IS READY FOR YOU
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I'm not leaving, you can't make me."
posted by ocherdraco at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011


"I will not separate from the soil until I'm buried underneath." Well, if that's what it takes...
posted by adrianhon at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Listening to both PressTV and AJE and PressTV has the crowd muted. Fuckers.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man. I won't leave this land til I'm buried underneath it... Maybe sooner than you think old friend.
posted by Mister_A at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011


This is like a fucking Super Bowl commercial for Zappos.
posted by cortex at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [20 favorites]


Okay, seriously. Has Mubarak bothered to look out of a palace window lately? Is he aware of the massive crowds? What Egypt does he think he's addressing?

That crowd's energy has to go somewhere. They were prepared to celebrate- they're not just going to go "oh, okay, nevermind" and then go home quietly.
posted by castlebravo at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011


To the palace?
posted by proj at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011


Looks like many of the crowd are holding up their shoes (remember Bush?)

Wow--no I'm not big on violence, but wouldn't it be kind of awesome to see a dictator taken down by a massive coordinated volley of footwear? Too bad he doesn't have the guts to face his people in person.

at what point do we have to admit the Neo Cons were right re: regime change in Iraq? If Iran flips?

Maybe at the point there's finally an actual, functioning Democracy in Iraq? But of course, if the dominoes fall out of sequence, the claims for a causal chain start to look pretty weak.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I will not separate from the soil until I am under it."

He's going to get pulled limb from limb if he's not careful. You can't murder your citizens and then pretend that you're the good guy.
posted by notion at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011


Guys shh don't yell for an encore.
posted by frenetic at 1:03 PM on February 10, 2011


I think Mubarak just lost his chance of getting out of this thing alive.

The AJE split-screen of him reading his speech (with occasional contemptuous glances at the camera) and the thousands of protesters made me think of the end of Day of the Dead where you see the chief villain's body being literally torn apart by hungry zombies.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:04 PM on February 10, 2011


Who would have thought stonewalling and patronising comments wouldn't work to calm the situation?
posted by jaduncan at 1:04 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


What are they chanting now?
posted by jokeefe at 1:04 PM on February 10, 2011


This is like a fucking Super Bowl commercial for Zappos.

Does Google have a relationship with Zappos? Holy fucking conspiracy theory!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:04 PM on February 10, 2011


The only difference between Mubarak and a bucket of shit, is the bucket.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 1:04 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah okay, "He will/shall leave"
posted by jokeefe at 1:04 PM on February 10, 2011


They're yelling "He must leave," apparently.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:05 PM on February 10, 2011


...and it's a Friday tomorrow - pretty bad timing for a speech like that, frankly. Can't imagine it's going to reduce any protests.
posted by adrianhon at 1:05 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


My apologies for giving shit a bad name.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 1:05 PM on February 10, 2011


I'm more saying the concept that Democracy is some kind of vine that you can plant and let spread around a region, not specifically that Iraq and this thing in Egypt are related...
posted by nathancaswell at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2011


Sooooooooooo, I haven't been really paying much attention to this Egypt thing

Sooooooooooo, I've got this pile of warm soft reeking matter and this small circular container full of a some sort of waxy substance. Any of you know how I might tell 'em apart? Because if I can't, I'll just assume the Bush Doctrine works. Kthxbye.
posted by gompa at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's like he's trying to fight the revolution with word salad.

It's like he's some strange incarnation of Sarah Palin.


Some of that may have been the result of live translation, re-phrasing for context. Not that it wasn't also tone-deaf double-speak.
posted by zennie at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2011


As'ad Abukhalil: he does not get it ... He is begging them to storm the Bastille.
posted by Auden at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2011


Stand down Mubarak, stand down please.
posted by klangklangston at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm really really worried about the next few hours.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


at what point do we have to admit the Neo Cons were right re: regime change in Iraq? If Iran flips?

Yeah! The US invades a country, it descends into chaos, and then BAMMO -
7 years later, a dictator refuses to leave. Do I have to draw a diagram for you idiots?
posted by msalt at 1:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [26 favorites]


msalt: they obviously prefer chalkboards.
posted by notion at 1:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So now it's up to the army
posted by adamvasco at 1:07 PM on February 10, 2011


Jesus Christ this fucking website is impossible
posted by nathancaswell at 1:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well at least Suleiman has more power now, what could go wrong?
posted by Mister_A at 1:08 PM on February 10, 2011


Mubarak and the rest of his government think this is a matter of negotiation. "We give you these changes to the constitution, you stop demonstrating on the streets. Do we have a deal?" This is not a negotiation, this a revolution.
posted by Kattullus at 1:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't imagine any scenario where he's not in belgium or on the business end of a meathook.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:09 PM on February 10, 2011


nathan, this is a thread about breaking news. If you want the history of what's been going on, there are other threads that may be more useful to you, including this AskMe. But people who have been keeping up with the news aren't necessarily prepared to stop trying to parse a very fast-moving situation to go back to square 1 with you.
posted by scody at 1:09 PM on February 10, 2011


Well, score one for the Information Minister.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:10 PM on February 10, 2011


I will not listen to diktats from abroad.

He somehow doesn't see his own countrymen, right there in his face, issuing "diktats" from Tahrir square? Oh, I see, it's daddy knows best. And daddy's completely convinced his kids are only acting up due to bad outside influences. Hubris is a hell of a drug.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


nathancaswell, it's not a horrible notion to toss out there for discussion, but (a) maybe not so much in this thread, and (b) you did sort of insert a conclusion in the question.
posted by perspicio at 1:10 PM on February 10, 2011


What would he be doing in Belgium?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:10 PM on February 10, 2011


nathancaswell, what everyone is saying is that there is no discernable link between the invasion of Iraq and the spate of revolutions happening throughout the Middle East. There, seems to me, barely even a tenuous link besides both things occurring in the same decade. Maybe we are missing some underlying connections that aren't obvious, but it would be on you to explicate them.
posted by Falconetti at 1:11 PM on February 10, 2011


GNFTI: Whatever he wants!
posted by Mister_A at 1:11 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


What would he be doing in Belgium?

Gunfights with Colin Farrell.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:11 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


thsmchnekllsfascists: I can't imagine any scenario where he's not in belgium or on the business end of a meathook.

Ugh, what a horrible, grizzly fate... I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy that he go to Belgium.
posted by Kattullus at 1:11 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Eating the first waffle of the rest of his life?
posted by cortex at 1:12 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


To sum up this post: DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN!
posted by spock at 1:12 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not for nothin' but - does Mubarak have a really awful portrait of himself up in the attic? He looks pretty good for however old he is.
posted by Mister_A at 1:13 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Protestors moving towards Presidential palace
posted by adamvasco at 1:13 PM on February 10, 2011


according to BBC interviewee, people are moving towards the palace... anyone else hear anything about this?
posted by johnstein at 1:13 PM on February 10, 2011


Isn't it "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN"?
posted by ocherdraco at 1:13 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE reporting the crowd is chanting "He must go! He must go!" Ben Wedeman of CNN just tweeted that the roar from the crowd is the loudest he's heard since start of the revolt.
posted by gompa at 1:14 PM on February 10, 2011


All that singing and jubilation from an hour ago turned into vinegar. I can't recall ever witnessing something quite like that. Things are going be burning soon.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:15 PM on February 10, 2011


Isn't it "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN"?

It should be, but this is the first edition of spock's comment, filed by a lazy reporter who went to sleep right after, and published by a newspaper on a deadline.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


That crowd just got rickrolled. They were expecting to see one video and instead they got "Never Gonna Give You Up."
posted by mwhybark at 1:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [42 favorites]


So he's staying AND handing powers to Suleiman? Wow, talk about the Toxic Twins.
posted by scody at 1:16 PM on February 10, 2011


@Sandmonkey (another fantastic Twitter feed to follow) just said crowd is flowing out of Tahrir chanting "Tomorrow! Tomorrow!"
posted by gompa at 1:16 PM on February 10, 2011


mwhybark: That crowd just got rickrolled. They were expecting to see one video and instead they got "Never Gonna Give You Up."

If you make that video or animated gif now, you will have a million come morning.
posted by Kattullus at 1:17 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


million *hits* come morning.
posted by Kattullus at 1:17 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Translation:

"Oh, you silly kids. You mean well, but your peaceful demonstrations clearly demonstrate that you don't understand how the world really works. The big bad world would rend you asunder if I granted your demands."

"Also, don't even think about protesting violently. I'll fucking kill you."

No snark intended. This bodes ill....
posted by perspicio at 1:18 PM on February 10, 2011


Best tweet ever: "It's ironic that this is the country that literally invented the writing on the wall."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:18 PM on February 10, 2011 [49 favorites]


Whelp, the price of oil futures is going up, so the markets have spoken: chaos must prevail. Wonder if Mubarak's holding any options?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:19 PM on February 10, 2011


@Sandmonkey: Ibn elweskhah Ibn elweskhah Ibn elweskhah Ibn elweskhah Ibn elweskhah Ibn elweskhah Ibn elweskhah #Mubarak #jan25

Loosely, you could translate that as SON OF A BITCH SON OF A BITCH
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:19 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


At some point, doesn't the military command step in and, y'know, coup this motherfucker? What's the percentage for the military in supporting Mubarak now?
posted by nerdinexile at 1:20 PM on February 10, 2011


Mamoun Fandy commentating on BBC live "These young people are too smart. I don't know whether the disaster will start tonight or tomorrow, but we're in for a huge confrontation. Whoever wrote that speech is living in a bubble."
posted by adamvasco at 1:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


They are going to kill him
posted by empath at 1:22 PM on February 10, 2011


Parlor tricks
Golden bricks
Stuff of pure machination
Files should be burned
Tables that are turned
All for the waffle
Of pure imagination
You will see
It could be
Mubaraks last dance
With predestination
Come with thee
And you’ll see
Something truly
Chick-let-tey.
Dumdumdum *repeat*

Come with thee
You’ll never see
The back deals and investigations
Army jets, business frets
As they truly shou-hood be...

IF YOU LOOK AROUND, YOU SEE....
posted by clavdivs at 1:22 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


What's the percentage for the military in supporting Mubarak now?

I think its 40%. (Roger Owen, an economic historian of the Middle East, has said that the military is 40% of the Egyptian economy)
posted by Auden at 1:23 PM on February 10, 2011


"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:23 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


how long does it take an angry mob of protesters to walk 15-20 km?
posted by johnstein at 1:24 PM on February 10, 2011


@Jan25voices: LPC: Eyewitness. People moving towards television building in numbers, second group said heading towards Presidential Palace.
posted by dhartung at 1:24 PM on February 10, 2011


Stay tuned for a speech from Suleiman soon.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on February 10, 2011


Oh, goodie, Suleiman is going to speak.
posted by cortex at 1:26 PM on February 10, 2011


how long does it take an angry mob of protesters to walk 15-20 km?

I'd say 4-5 hours? walking speed is about 4.3 kph, bu I would think a mob moves a bit more slowly and deliberately. Plus they have to stop for torches.
posted by joecacti at 1:27 PM on February 10, 2011


how long does it take an angry mob of protesters to walk 15-20 km?

Six km per hour is a good group walking rate, so something like three hours - but a crowd could gather on the spot faster than that, not everyone has to walk the entire way.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:27 PM on February 10, 2011


Wondering: Does Mubarak actually think this revolution is the result of foreign influence (whether Tunisia or the "west"), or is he just hoping to convince everyone else?
posted by zennie at 1:28 PM on February 10, 2011


Suleiman's speech will be more threatening, I would wager.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:28 PM on February 10, 2011


how long does it take an angry mob of protesters to walk 15-20 km?

Add time for putting their shoes back on.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:28 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


tweet: "Mubarak is now officially the Jay Leno of dictators"
posted by scody at 1:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Zennie: Hard to know what Mubarak thinks, but "foreign influence" is a very, very common trope in Middle Eastern politics, allowing the listener to substitute "Israel, America, Iran, Shi'a, Christians, etc." as she sees fit. The post-colonial political landscape has encouraged this kind of thinking as there quite often has actually been foreign influence in domestic politics.
posted by proj at 1:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would chip in the $5 for a MeFi account for Mubarak if that would shed some light on the situation for him.
posted by ~ at 1:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


There doesn't seem to be an exodus (ahem) from the square yet. Perhaps they will march on the palace after Friday prayers.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:29 PM on February 10, 2011


Suleiman's speech will be more threatening, I would wager.

Oh, Mubarak was the good cop.

Carry on.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:29 PM on February 10, 2011


Oh, goodie, Suleiman is going to speak.

Yay, the head of Egypt's Intelligence Agency for almost 20 years and appointed heir to Mubarak will totally know what to say!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:30 PM on February 10, 2011


Why don't they just ride the tanks over there instead of walking past them?
posted by hgswell at 1:30 PM on February 10, 2011


My friend in Egypt just said on Facebook that there's speculation in Egypt about Mubarak actually having already fled and being in the UAE. That has to just be a crazy rumor right?
posted by Riptor at 1:30 PM on February 10, 2011


Come Uncle Suleiman, sooth the crowd with your calm words.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM on February 10, 2011




Can someone link to a live feed of the square/ protest please?
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 1:31 PM on February 10, 2011


> My friend in Egypt just said on Facebook that there's speculation in Egypt about Mubarak actually having already fled and being in the UAE

The backdrop, podium, microphones, lamp, lighting, and camera angle was the exact same as his previous address, and he's been pretty straight about dying in Egypt. So, yeah, that's bollocks.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:32 PM on February 10, 2011


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/41511527#41511527
posted by hgswell at 1:32 PM on February 10, 2011


Google Maps Square to Palace
Looks like 9 km? So gosh, they could be there anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 hours from now.
posted by joecacti at 1:32 PM on February 10, 2011


Can someone link to a live feed of the square/ protest please?

http://www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:32 PM on February 10, 2011


Burhanistan, that's what I figured. Thanks though. I think it was just wishful thinking on her end :(
posted by Riptor at 1:33 PM on February 10, 2011


I'm busy translating Mubarak's speech. This is what I have so far:

"Good evening, bear. I have come to poke you with this stick ..."

I now officially hope he gets what he deserves.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:33 PM on February 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Here's al jazeeraL http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
posted by Mister_A at 1:33 PM on February 10, 2011


Live feed from the Square.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:33 PM on February 10, 2011


Kattullus: "mwhybark: That crowd just got rickrolled. They were expecting to see one video and instead they got "Never Gonna Give You Up."

If you make that video or animated gif now, you will have a million come morning
"

Don't think I didn't nearly cut it together, I mean how hard could it be? Video of the first bit of the speech and cut to our ol' buddy Rick when Mubarak says something like "I say to you, you youth:" You could even get fancy with pasting in a crude Mubarak head or something. But I did no such thing, in keeping with the oaths I have taken to defend this nation.
posted by mwhybark at 1:34 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Omar Suleiman. speaking
posted by adamvasco at 1:34 PM on February 10, 2011


it's evil David Suchet
posted by randomination at 1:34 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Who is this now? Darth Maul?
posted by mwhybark at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Referring to Mubarak's speech so far, all I can translate before they started talking over.
posted by proj at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2011


He's quite Voldemort-ian.
posted by rtha at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2011


Ceausescu trending on Twitter.

Which seems like a good time to post this rather wonderful song: The Fatima Mansions, 'Blues for Ceausescu' ("ciao, Ceausescu!)
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Y'all are the reason that Dre ain't been gettin no sleep
So FUCK Y'ALL, all of y'all; if y'all don't like me, BLOW ME!
Y'all are gonna keep fuckin around wit me and turn me back to the old me"
posted by PenDevil at 1:36 PM on February 10, 2011


Omar comin', yo.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:36 PM on February 10, 2011 [21 favorites]


He's going to safeguard to revolution of the youth? By locking them in a dark basement somewhere, no doubt.
posted by rtha at 1:37 PM on February 10, 2011


So now Mubarak's extremely trustworthy man in charge of spying is here to talk some sense into his friends, the Egyptian people.
posted by Nomiconic at 1:37 PM on February 10, 2011


He's going to take care of things excellently.
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 1:37 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


...oh, they're lookin' forward to the future all right, Omar. "Tomorrow!"
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:37 PM on February 10, 2011


Hercule Poirot finally trimmed his moustache?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:37 PM on February 10, 2011


"Let's join hands and march forward" may not be the image you want to reinforce right now, Omar.
posted by cortex at 1:37 PM on February 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh, they're marching forward, alright.
posted by spock at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh too right, Egyptian folks can't put up with intimidation!
posted by Mister_A at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2011


Let's join hands!

So I can cuff them and put these electrodes on your freedom equipment!
posted by notion at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Go home.
posted by joecacti at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2011


Bwahaha, "Go back to your houses, go back to your work"
posted by Nomiconic at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2011


Yeah don't listen to al jazeera dummies! Use common sense!
posted by Mister_A at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2011


"Let's join hands! Until we get to the prison! At which point I will drop your hand! Because you will be behind bars and I will not! But come, let's join hands!"
posted by scody at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2011


Do they really think that this is mostly foreign provacateurs behind the protesting?
posted by tjenks at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2011


blah blah blah dont listen to foreign media blah blah work go back to work brave youth blah blah blah
posted by adamvasco at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2011


Omar comin', yo.

Indeed.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you can't compel your ground forces to beat them, pretend they want you to join them?
posted by cortex at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011


blah blah blah GOD IS WATCHING blah blah
posted by scody at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011


Wow. Telling everyone to go home is probably not going to work.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011


"Y'all are the reason that Dre ain't been gettin no sleep
So FUCK Y'ALL, all of y'all; if y'all don't like me, BLOW ME!
Y'all are gonna keep fuckin around wit me and turn me back to the old me"


As long as we're quoting Forgot About Dre, the more relevant lyric is probably "I ain't havin that / This is the millennium of aftermath / Ain't gonna be nothin after that"
posted by Copronymus at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011


It's not about if he believes it, it's about if the remaining members of the public who aren't out on the streets believe it.
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


[I feel satirical liveblogging is generally more suited to States Of The Union and Eurovision song contests, but I think we're all due for a little levity in here. Still, with the prospect of renewed violence in Egypt looming large, I feel conflicted.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Peace be upon you."


HAHAHAHAHAHA

Unbelievable.
posted by Pendragon at 1:40 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE author/guest commentator calls this "political suicide."
posted by Mister_A at 1:41 PM on February 10, 2011


Hah Vice Torturer, nice one.
posted by ashirys at 1:41 PM on February 10, 2011


Well, "as-salaamu alaikum" is a standard sign off.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:41 PM on February 10, 2011


blah blah blah GOD IS WATCHING blah blah

He better hope not.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:41 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


AJE author/guest commentator calls this "political suicide."

It may be more than political.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah. I'm pretty sure, at this moment, that it was literal suicide.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2011


Right you are ocherdraco. He is saying it is the death of the entire military-dominated system.
posted by Mister_A at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2011


Still, with the prospect of renewed violence in Egypt looming large, I feel conflicted.

Not me. Violence is probably one of the better solutions at this point, simply because it sends a strong message about what the people want and will do to get it. People should not be afraid of the government, the government should be afraid of the people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


ocherdraco beat me to it.

How deluded do they have to be to believe this will do anything other than turn the crowd into a righteous violent mob?
posted by Navelgazer at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE commentator: "This is a real insult to the dignity of the Egyptian people, and they are not going to accept it.... I never in 10 years in Egypt met anyone who didn't loathe this individual."
posted by scody at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2011


#ReasonsMubarakWontStepDown
posted by zennie at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE guest says army getting involved in favour of Mubarak could lead to "the most violent revolution in the history of the world"
posted by Reggie Knoble at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2011


Al Jazeera English "We're possibly going to see one of the most violent revolutions in the history in the world".
posted by cashman at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2011


As long as we're quoting Forgot About Dre, the more relevant lyric is probably "I ain't havin that / This is the millennium of aftermath / Ain't gonna be nothin after that"

Protestors respond
'Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say
But nothin comes out when they move they lips
Just a buncha gibberish'
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:44 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Not me. Violence is probably one of the better solutions at this point,

I think he meant that all the one-liners here are a bit iffy given that it might be bloody soon.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:44 PM on February 10, 2011


Also, I haven't read all the Egypt threads, but I that the I'm the first to note the revolution is literally being televised.
posted by Nomiconic at 1:44 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


AJE commentator "This revolution is one of the three largest revolutions in history in terms of participation" -- holy shit.
posted by scody at 1:44 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I'm hoping for a giant love-in myself. Better that then burning down any city.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:45 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mosa'ab Elshamy in Tahrir Sq: This pathetic speech migh've just pushed people to the edge now. Thousands calling for a march to presidential palace tomorrow.
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:46 PM on February 10, 2011


I think he meant that all the one-liners here are a bit iffy given that it might be bloody soon.

Eh, people die all the time, for silly reasons, stupid reasons, for things that don't matter.

If you gotta go, might as will be for a revolution.

The one-liners are fine, it's a normal reaction for some in stressful situations.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:47 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


C'mon, Egypt. You can do this. You've been doing it. You know how to do it. Don't stop now, and don't get derailed.
posted by perspicio at 1:47 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Eh, people die all the time, for silly reasons, stupid reasons, for things that don't matter.

This is a sociopathic statement.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:47 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the protest will walk right up to the palace gates tomorrow. I don't think the army will fire on their own brothers. We shall see in the morning.
posted by Mister_A at 1:48 PM on February 10, 2011


hm... I'm very impressed with John Bradley (author of Inside Egypt) now speaking on Al Jazeera English
posted by Auden at 1:48 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE guest says army getting involved in favour of Mubarak could lead to "the most violent revolution in the history of the world"

Oh please. Only if it becomes Army vs. Army. If it's Army vs. protesters, it might be a very violent day, like Tianamen, but it wouldn't be sustained. Certainly not the most violent revolution ever. But maybe their definition is different from mine. At some point it goes from revolution to civil war. The protesters have no access to weapons or organization - there most powerful tools are general strikes and sustained civil disobedience, not violence.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:48 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE commentator "This revolution is one of the three largest revolutions in history in terms of participation" -- holy shit.

That's rising populations for you.
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 1:48 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear Egypt,
         / \
        |\_/|
        |---|
        |   |
        |   |
      _ |=-=| _
  _  / \|   |/ \
 / \|   |   |   ||\
|   |   |   |   | \>
|   |   |   |   |   \
| -   -   -   - |)   )
|                   /
 \                 /
  \               /
   \             /
    \           /
     |         |
Love,
Mumbarak
posted by Talez at 1:48 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, Egyptians themselves are great ones for political humor. From the article:
Hosni Mubarak, Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin are at a meeting together when suddenly God appears before them.

"I have come to tell you that the end of the world will be in two days," God says. "Tell your people."

So each leader goes back to his capital and prepares a television address.

In Washington, Obama says, "My fellow Americans, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I can confirm that God exists. The bad news is that he told me the world would end in two days."

In Moscow, Putin says, "People of Russia, I regret that I have to inform you of two pieces of bad news. First, God exists, which means everything our country has believed in for most of the last century was false. Second, the world is ending in two days."

In Cairo, Mubarak says, "O Egyptians, I come to you today with two pieces of excellent news! First, God and I have just held an important summit. Second, he told me I would be your president until the end of time."
posted by Kattullus at 1:49 PM on February 10, 2011 [58 favorites]


This is a sociopathic statement.

Hardly, although perhaps inartfully phrased and too brusque. Insert the St. Crispin's Day speech instead.
posted by Falconetti at 1:49 PM on February 10, 2011


Also, I haven't read all the Egypt threads, but I [think] that the I'm the first to note the revolution is literally being televised.

The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.
posted by clearly at 1:49 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is there any possibility that Mubarak and the military have been colluding to enrage the crowds into violence -- for the purpose, perhaps, of inciting a full-blown riot whose violence and chaos they can claim some justification for putting down forcibly?
posted by sixo33 at 1:51 PM on February 10, 2011


Love,
Mumbarak



ولكم انه خاطئ، كافر!
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 1:51 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is a sociopathic statement.

No, it's a realistic statement.
posted by Pendragon at 1:51 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a sociopathic statement.

We'll have to agree to disagree and stick to more important things, like watching this unfold.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:51 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kattalus, I remember my grandfather telling me that joke, but it was about Reagan, Gorbachev, and Yitzhak Shamir. Shamir goes home and joyfully announces that God has found a solution to the Palestinian issue.
posted by nickmark at 1:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nick Kristof tweets that protesters are marching to state TV headquarters.

Is there any possibility that Mubarak and the military have been colluding to enrage the crowds into violence -- for the purpose, perhaps, of inciting a full-blown riot whose violence and chaos they can claim some justification for putting down forcibly?

That's exactly my fear.
posted by scody at 1:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Off topic, but ain't the internet great?
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


We'll have to agree to disagree and stick to more important things, like watching this unfold.

This is not a sociopathic statement.
posted by philip-random at 1:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


So am I to understand that he basically just said: "I know you've been protesting for like at week, but seriously, we're not changing anything. Deal."

This is going to get really ugly, isn't it?
posted by quin at 1:54 PM on February 10, 2011


five dolla n00b.
posted by mwhybark at 1:54 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Off topic, but ain't the internet great?

Ain't the new SHOW feature great?
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:55 PM on February 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


This will not wendell.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:56 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


My impression:

The army holds the cards here. They have shown pretty incredible restraint - so much that I think that they are, as a whole, more sympathetic to the peoples' position. The people have shown them respect. Maybe they'll pay the favor back.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:57 PM on February 10, 2011




Yeah, I agree with you Benny. There's also the simple matter of backing the wrong horse and finding yourself up against the wall, and finally, I remind everyone that the soldiers of Egypt are also Egyptian people.
posted by Mister_A at 1:59 PM on February 10, 2011


On Fox, Mike Huckabee is blaming Obama for Mubarak's decision to stay in power. His rationale? Obama didn't allow Mubarak to "save face."

God, the people running the show in our world have got to be the most fragile, egoistic narcissists in all of history. That it's even a remotely credible suggestion that, to "save face," Mubarak has escalated an already tense and dangerous situation to the brink of crisis. To fucking save face: a dead man, one way or the other. A flesh and bone human being like any other who, regardless of what else happens from here out, will in a hundred years time be nothing more than the faint remaining traces of a decayed corpse thinks his fleeting feeling of vanity alone is worth making the world the miserable kind of place it is today for so many others. Damn, I'd really love to see a miracle of justice happen just this once.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


From the BBC:
2159: UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says it is still unclear what powers have been transferred by Mr Mubarak. Mr Hague once again reiterates his desire for a peaceful transition of power, adding: "The solution has to be owned by the Egyptian people themselves."

2156: Robert Danin from the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington tells the BBC World Service: "It seems to me that behind the scenes there must be some sort of power play taking place between the military and the president. It's really quite bizarre that the president would stand up, especially on a Thursday night, and essentially antagonise the crowd on the eve of a Friday, traditionally the most volatile day for protests in the Arab world. So tomorrow's going to be quite a day I expect."
And from the Guardian:
9.51pm GMT: This is interesting: the BBC's Paul Adams reports that people in Cairo are receiving text messages from the high council of the army, saying that it is monitoring how events unfold and will decide how to act.
posted by proj at 2:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So am I to understand that he basically just said: "I know you've been protesting for like at week, but seriously, we're not changing anything. Deal."

You missed out the "so go home and the adults will continue to run things. Did I mention Husni Mubarak beat the Israelis? The Israelis who have funded this revolt? Yeah, those Israelis suck. Can I keep my job now?"
posted by jaduncan at 2:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera commenter, referring to the new surge of anger in the Square:
"It's as though someone had flipped a switch."

In this game of Clue, I'm gonna go with... Mr. Mubarak... in the Speech... with the Bad Idea.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:01 PM on February 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


9.54pm GMT: The Associated Press is reporting that Hosni Mubarak has transferred his powers to Omar Suleiman and retains only the title of president – a more dramatic move than others have suggested, based on his speech tonight, that only some of his powers were being transferred:
posted by adamvasco at 2:01 PM on February 10, 2011


"...[Mubarak] once told one of his advisors that he has a PhD in stubbornness>"*

He's sure is keeping with his reputation.
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on February 10, 2011


Is there any possibility that Mubarak and the military have been colluding to enrage the crowds into violence -- for the purpose, perhaps, of inciting a full-blown riot whose violence and chaos they can claim some justification for putting down forcibly?

It's pretty clear that Mubarak's faction tried exactly that last week with his paid mobs. It's also pretty clear that the Army tried to stay out of that, neither inciting or opposing. I don't think it's correct to put Mubarak and the Army on the same side. There are multiple factions in play.
posted by bonehead at 2:03 PM on February 10, 2011


I imagine there are a lot of generals doing a lot of mental calculating tonight.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:05 PM on February 10, 2011


There does seem to be a developing consensus among the punditry that Mubarak pulled a switcheroo. For whatever that is worth.
posted by mwhybark at 2:07 PM on February 10, 2011


"I imagine there are a lot of generals doing a lot of mental calculating tonight."

Like how much power Suleiman has over them personally in terms of loyal troops, blackmail files and ability to arrange for unfortunate accidents between mobs and people's mothers? Maybe.
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 2:07 PM on February 10, 2011


Hey Egyptians, I bought us this awesome bike. It's both of ours, but we're going to keep it at my house.
posted by electroboy at 2:08 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hosni Mubarak, you must leave this thread!
posted by Mister_A at 2:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wonder if it was conceived as an intentional "fuck you" speech, in order to provoke violence and justify a military crackdown.
posted by Auden at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011


posted by Hosni Mubarak

If you have a regular account here it would be nice to post using that one if you're going to actually discuss things.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hosni Mubarak, you must leave this thread!

Our demands include the complete dissolution of the Cabal.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:10 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fmr. Egyptian Army Intel officer calls Mubarak "schizophrenic, psychologically ill."
posted by Mister_A at 2:11 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Twice.
posted by Mister_A at 2:12 PM on February 10, 2011


Hosni Mubarak, you must leave this thread!

FURIOUSLYWAVINGASCIISHOE.GIF
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:12 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


9.51pm GMT: This is interesting: the BBC's Paul Adams reports that people in Cairo are receiving text messages from the high council of the army, saying that it is monitoring how events unfold and will decide how to act.

Similar situation last week when Vodafone users started receiving pro-Mubarak texts right around the same day the interior ministry/secret police thugs started in on things. Vodafone claimed (in response to outcry) something to the effect that Egyptian govt has the right essentially to co-opt their network to broadcast their own messages in emergencies.
posted by scody at 2:13 PM on February 10, 2011


//throws his shoe at Metafilter Hosni Mubarak
posted by exogenous at 2:13 PM on February 10, 2011


@Sandmonkey: "So egypt has parted ways with the US and is relying on arab financing now."
posted by notion at 2:13 PM on February 10, 2011


OK, OK. I have things to attend to anyway. Oy vey, since the speech the phone just keeps on ringing!
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 2:14 PM on February 10, 2011


Leave these pixels or be buried beneath them!
posted by Mister_A at 2:14 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tweet "Protesters heading to the national TV building."
posted by adamvasco at 2:16 PM on February 10, 2011


hosni, you owe for an aquaduct dude
posted by clavdivs at 2:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Danin's quote is interesting. He seems to be implying that this move is a double bluff : Mubarak say fuck you, the people riot as he knew they would, and the army is forced to quell the riot and openly support the regime. Up till now the army's been able to have it both ways; they want Mubarak gone but their own privileges kept intact also, so they've been carefully playing the middle. Cry Havoc! And they might have to pick a side
posted by Diablevert at 2:17 PM on February 10, 2011


Where the hell is Desmaond Fitzgerald?
posted by clavdivs at 2:19 PM on February 10, 2011


"the Country needs your hands" sounds so god-damned creepy.
posted by The Whelk at 2:21 PM on February 10, 2011


Telling the youth of Egypt to go back to work.

Is he intentionally fucking dense? They don't have a job to go back to!
posted by Talez at 2:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


I am suddenly reminded of the Ba'ath party congress, July 22, 1979, and wonder if Mubarak is trying something similar with the Egyptian Army leadership.
posted by aramaic at 2:23 PM on February 10, 2011


All of a sudden I'm getting "access denied" from Al Jazeera English.

And it sounds like interpretation of Mubarek's speech may shift with one's translation -- from the Guardian's live updates:
There seems to be huge confusion over what Mubarak really did say this evening, and exactly what power he handed over to the vice president, Omar Suleiman.

CNN is saying that it has now got a "precise translation" with Mubarak saying he was "delegating power" to Suleiman – not "the power" or "all power," but a frustratingly vague use of language.

The Associated Press also says it has a better translation of Mubarak's exact words, which it says read:

I saw fit to delegate the authorities of the president to the vice president, as dictated in the constitution.

According to AP, the Egyptian constitution allows the president to transfer his powers if he is unable to carry out his duties "due to any temporary obstacle," but it does not mean his resignation.
posted by Kat Allison at 2:24 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could the army split ?
posted by Pendragon at 2:25 PM on February 10, 2011


In the giant previous thread, there was a link somewhere to an article that suggested revolutions like this are spurred on more by indignation than any measurable conditions. When a dictator disrespects his subjects by treating them like fools, like children, they get angry enough to rise up. It's one thing to proclaim oneself ruler for life; it's an even worse thing to hold fully- and obviously-rigged elections to make oneself ruler indefinitely in all but name.

If that article is correct, Mubarak cannot win at this game. Every single thing he does, every single thing he says, is another insult to the people.
posted by meese at 2:26 PM on February 10, 2011


> All of a sudden I'm getting "access denied" from Al Jazeera English.

Works fine here. Maybe restart your browser.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:26 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE corrospondent saying now that protestors are heading toward the state TV building which is under control of the presidential guard.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 2:27 PM on February 10, 2011


ElBaradei: "Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now".

It's unclear what weight or support ElBaradei has in this, but some strong words.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:28 PM on February 10, 2011


and at last count had about 10 tanks around it
posted by adamvasco at 2:28 PM on February 10, 2011


clavdivs: Where the hell is Desmaond Fitzgerald?

The Desmond Fitzgerald who was the CIA Wile E. Coyote to Fidel Castro's Roadrunner (meep meep) or the Desmond Fitzgerald who took part in the failed 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland? Either way, not exactly people with a great track record at regime change.
posted by Kattullus at 2:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the giant previous thread, there was a link somewhere to an article that suggested revolutions like this are spurred on more by indignation than any measurable conditions.

Christopher Hitchens.

Worth reading.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:30 PM on February 10, 2011


AJE liveblog is back
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:31 PM on February 10, 2011


Is Mubarak sick? Does he have cancer? I saw an article, Der Spiegel by way of Slate, that said he'd go to Baden Baden for treatment. Frankly I think he's probably mentally ill or suffering from dementia.
posted by fixedgear at 2:32 PM on February 10, 2011


What a revoltin' development this is
posted by Sailormom at 2:32 PM on February 10, 2011


Yeah, 1916 is a bad model. In the earlier thread I mentioned how this looks kinda like 1848, but was unsure about the invocation of and appeal to national identity as a motivational binder among the participants. That question in my mind is 100% laid to rest. This really *does* look like 1848, which is *tremendously* exciting.
posted by mwhybark at 2:32 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why go back to 1848?
posted by empath at 2:33 PM on February 10, 2011


There's talk here and on TV about Mubarak being mentally ill, but I don't think that's the reason he's sticking to his guns here. He's probably looking for ways to ensure his stolen billions stay his and remain in his family.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:33 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


AJE corrospondent saying now that protestors are heading toward the state TV building which is under control of the presidential guard.

Can't find the link now, but I read something earlier today saying that, as a valuable prize in an overthrow situation, that place is heavily guarded. The writer feared that demonstrations there would get bloody.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:34 PM on February 10, 2011


What a revoltin' development this is

Heh, that's also one of those old Communist Joke Book jokes:

BORIS: "Chairman, I think the people are revolting."
CHAIRMAN: "So do I Boris, so do I."

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's talk here and on TV about Mubarak being mentally ill, but I don't think that's the reason he's sticking to his guns here.

The generals on tv are saying that because it would be a 'consitutional' method for removing him from office.
posted by empath at 2:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I would have been President for life if it was for them meddling kids!"
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 2:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


AJE liveblog: Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak responding to a question about Mubarak refusing to step down: "We should not pretend that we are more important than for the Egyptian people than their own interests. I don't think I have to respond to this. It's up to the Egyptian people to find a way and do it according to their own constitution, norms and practices."
posted by scody at 2:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Desmond Fitzgerald who was the CIA Wile E. Coyote to Fidel Castro's Roadrunner (meep meep) or the Desmond Fitzgerald who took part in the failed 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland? Either way, not exactly people with a great track record at regime change.
I could be wrong, but isn't that an odd way to refer to the Easter Rising?

I thought that it was essentially known and planned to be doomed to failure in a direct sense; its purpose was to inspire the broader populace. And I thought that it was generally viewed as having succeeded in that, and that an actual regime change (for most of Ireland) resulted a few years later.
posted by Flunkie at 2:41 PM on February 10, 2011


The Egyptian ambassador to the US is telling Wolf Blitzer that Suleiman is the de facto leader. Mubarak has no power.
posted by fixedgear at 2:42 PM on February 10, 2011


Two things:

1. "Unidentified assailants attacked security force barracks in the Egyptian border town of Rafah on Thursday, security sources and eyewitnesses said. The attackers opened fire with guns and used rocket-propelled grenades, the sources said. Rafah is near Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip." (Reuters)

2. IvanCNN on Twitter:
Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Ambassador to US on CNN: Mubarak "transferred all powers under the constitution to the Vice President."

"Too bad NONE of the protesters listening to Mubarak in Tahrir Square got that message. They are furious, think Mubarak isn't stepping down."

"It seems like the Egyptian government is having problems communicating with its citizens...and with the rest of the world."
posted by mahershalal at 2:44 PM on February 10, 2011


Mubarak has no power.

then why wait till Sept to leave?
posted by johnstein at 2:44 PM on February 10, 2011


[offtopic: Dear Mods, the "show" function is absolutely working out great. And threads like this really demonstrate it, so thanks again for getting that working.]
posted by quin at 2:46 PM on February 10, 2011 [42 favorites]


then why wait till Sept to leave?

Transferring billions in stolen wealth out of a country takes time.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:46 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Asked in Mubarak could reclaim the full powers of the presidency at a later date, Shoukry said: "That's a technical constitutional issue that I unable to speak to."

Maybe he actually thinks that they can reassert control once the media focus moves away.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 2:47 PM on February 10, 2011


How very odd that a speech which has such a momentous, immediate and real impact in the world was so very ambiguous, so open to contrary interpretations in the moment. That has to have been intentional--but how can it be a good idea to communicate in such a muddled way at such an important moment? There must be a maddening sense of confusion in Cairo.
posted by Corvid at 2:52 PM on February 10, 2011


This really *does* look like 1848, which is *tremendously* exciting.

Yeah, but didn't Matthew Arnold observe that "the light gleams and is gone"?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Fareed Zakaria: "He didn’t seem to understand that the crowd’s anger was directed at him."
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Huh, Sarkozy reportedly said, after seeing Mubarak's speech "I hope Egypt gets a democracy, not an Iran-style religious dictatorship."
posted by electroboy at 3:02 PM on February 10, 2011


When you are vastly outnumbered the only move other than surrender is to confuse your enemy, which gives you critical moments during which you can either 1) escape with your life and not much more, or 2) invoke a doomsday "device" that destroys you, your enemy, and the battlefield itself. In this case the "device" would be full-on military action, which would tear Egypt apart.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


From BBC's live blog:

2253: Robert Springborg, from the US Naval Postgraduate School tells Reuters Egypt's leaders are desperate men. He says: "The speeches tonight are not intended to bring an end to the crisis in a peaceful way but to inflame the situation so there is justification for the imposition of direct military rule. They are risking not only the coherence of the military, but even indeed - and I use this term with advisement here - civil war."
posted by tangerine at 3:04 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's hard to exaggerate how bad Hosni Mubarak's speech today was for Egypt. ... It is virtually impossible to conceive of a more poorly conceived or executed speech. ... Omar Suleiman's televised address which followed made things even worse, if that's possible, telling the people to go home and blaming al-Jazeera for the problems. Whatever happens, for better or for worse, the prospects of an orderly, negotiated transition led by Omar Suleiman have just plummeted sharply.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:06 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zingers coming fast and furious on Twitter at the moment, including this one from Rifftrax's Sean Thomason:

"Damn girl, you've got a Mubarak. (an ass that won't quit)"
posted by gompa at 3:06 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Wold Blitzer is making my head hurt. Whomever he was just talking to was getting pissed at him.

Wolf: "So Mubarak is no longer president?"
Guest: "No. He has handed all powers of the president over the vice president but he is still president."
Wolf: "So you mean Mubarak is no longer president?"
Guest: "No! He is still technically present, but all presidential power has been handed down to the vice president."
Wolf: "So... Mubarak is no longer president?"
Guest: "Wargrablejferjfeirjoeg!!!!"
posted by charred husk at 3:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if it was conceived as an intentional "fuck you" speech, in order to provoke violence and justify a military crackdown.

That is my suspicion, unfortunately.
posted by klausness at 3:12 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


gompa  Zingers coming fast and furious on Twitter at the moment ...

and this one:

Twitter / mike freeman: "Wait. Mubarak isn't stepping down? When did Brett Favre become president of Egypt?"
posted by hat at 3:13 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wolf: "So... Mubarak is no longer president?"
Guest: "Wargrablejferjfeirjoeg!!!!"


Transcript continues:

Wolf: So how much does this development increase the threat of our being subjugated under the savagery of Sharia law?
posted by Joe Beese at 3:14 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Al Jazeera's English Youtube feed is now in black and white for me. Looks smoother though.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:17 PM on February 10, 2011


Don't know why I was watching CNN, though. I live in Toledo so I get Al Jazeera as part of my cable package. Nyah!
posted by charred husk at 3:20 PM on February 10, 2011


http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/ is smooth and in color.
posted by eviemath at 3:20 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


empath: "Why go back to 1848?"

Well, 1848 gave us the foundations of modern European national identity and nation-state democracies. I grant it took about a century of nationalistic and imperial conflict to settle down.

Romania's ouster of Ceauşescu, while worthy of celebration, seems smaller-scale to me. No disrespect, Romanians.
posted by mwhybark at 3:24 PM on February 10, 2011


David Gergen: it could be a bloodbath.

Chrissie Hynde: in a bloodbath don't laugh, grab your piece of golden calf.
posted by fixedgear at 3:27 PM on February 10, 2011


Let them eat cake!
posted by Hosni Mubarak at 3:27 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I gotta follow this elBaradei guy on Twitter, and all the soundbites I see in the media are present, but he has as many arabic tweets again as he has in english. I don't usually read Arabic, but I just cut and paste into Google Translate and out comes the goods. It recognizes the language and all. I love living in the future.

It's not perfect though. It translates أتابع الموقف عن كثب. ساعة النصر اقتربت بسواعد كل مصري. الحق فوق القوة as "I follow the situation closely. Hour of victory close to being demolished by every Egyptian. Right click the power". Any Arabic speakers care to help me out here: "Right Click the Power"? What does the original say?
posted by stonepharisee at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Flunkie: "I thought that it was essentially known and planned to be doomed to failure in a direct sense"

Exactly, it was intended specifically to be a suicidal vanguard action. And it worked exactly as intended. Looking to 1916 for models for Egypt is a bad, bad idea.
posted by mwhybark at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2011


Right[-click] the power!
Right[-click] the powers that be!

posted by Joe Beese at 3:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


"Right Click the Power"

I'm a few months late, but I finally found my sign for the Sanity Rally.
posted by saturday_morning at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


> "Right Click the Power"? What does the original say?

Roughtly, the truth (haqq) will be the power.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: Right Click The Power?
posted by vibrotronica at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


stonepharisee: ""Right Click the Power"? What does the original say?"

Some sort Public Enemy reference. Unexpected conoisseur of hip hop, eh?


yes i am joking
posted by mwhybark at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The truth/the right will be the power.
posted by proj at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


and, in all seriousness, thank you, Burhanistan.
posted by mwhybark at 3:31 PM on February 10, 2011


So they don't seem to immediately be marching on the presidential palace. I'm on the edge of my seat to see what happens tomorrow!
posted by eviemath at 3:36 PM on February 10, 2011


KokuRyu: "Yeah, but didn't Matthew Arnold observe that 'the light gleams and is gone' "

Isn't that about religion, not revolution?
posted by mwhybark at 3:37 PM on February 10, 2011


The Al Jazeera coverage is so much better than that from American media, including NYT.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:39 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, no matter what happens in Egypt, this (along with the overthrow of Tunisia's dictator) will really expand Al Jazeera's reach and perceived legitimacy in the western world.
posted by eviemath at 3:44 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: The Al Jazeera coverage is so much better than that from American media, including NYT.

The LA Times has been on the uprising in the Arab world from day one. Their blog Babylon & Beyond was the first English language mainstream media source to start following events in Tunisia closely as far as I know. The Economist and The Guardian were close behind. The rest? Still playing catch-up.
posted by Kattullus at 3:45 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kinda liking this op-ed from AJE: "The shaping of a New World Order"

And not really liking the current situation: exciting but most definitely nerve-rattling.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:46 PM on February 10, 2011


They can beat Mubarak if the people and the army stay purposeful. The speech is a provocation.

It's hard to keep a cool head when everything is coming unglued.
posted by warbaby at 4:09 PM on February 10, 2011


Mubarak just announced that he is NOT stepping down.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 4:10 PM on February 10, 2011


Ooops; I see that this has already been noted upthread.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 4:12 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is anybody else feeling sort of guilty that all we can do is type about this on the internet?
It's like, damn, this is so exciting, we get the vicarious thrills without having to imperil ourselves.
posted by angrycat at 4:16 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Some factions of the military may have their own material interests in mind when forcing Mubarak out. As in many undemocratic countries, the military is more than just the military. Egypt's officer corps is said to own or operate vast networks of commercial enterprises, including water, construction, cement, olive oil, the hotel and gasoline industries—in all, about one-third of the country's economy—as well as vast chunks of seaside property. ...

To the extent the military does retain power in Egypt, the people's "rising expectations" may be frustrated, regardless of the outcome of this current clash. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks, Egypt, once the emblem of Arab stability, might be locked in the dynamics of revolution for a long time to come.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:17 PM on February 10, 2011


Here's a good analysis.
posted by eviemath at 4:25 PM on February 10, 2011


Exactly, it was intended specifically to be a suicidal vanguard action. And it worked exactly as intended. Looking to 1916 for models for Egypt is a bad, bad idea.
I wasn't saying that it should be looked to as a model for Egypt; I was saying that it seems strange, to me, to refer to it as "failed" and to its leaders as having a bad "track record at regime change" when in fact the only sense in which it failed is in a sense that it was essentially designed to fail, and when it is, I believe, widely viewed as having been a major instigation towards the actual successful regime change which shortly followed it.
posted by Flunkie at 4:25 PM on February 10, 2011


I'm beginning to think they're going to kill him if this goes on.
posted by reductiondesign at 4:26 PM on February 10, 2011


Hm.

I tried right-clicking the power once, but the only viable options were 'back' and 'reload.' Nothing very conducive to building a bold new tomorrow, in other words.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to think they're going to kill him if this goes on.

Are you talking about Mubarak or Joe Beese?

I keed, I keed!
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 4:30 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the NYT lede:

According to Egyptian bloggers, state television reported on Thursday night that Mr. Ghonim had called for an end to protests online -- although he posted no such message on his Twitter feed. A short time later, a friend of Mr. Ghonim's wrote on Twitter: "Wael is in Tahrir and can't access Internet. He no longer thinks demands are met. He thought that before the speech." He added that Mr. Ghonim said: "I have NOT made any statements to anyone since Mubarak's speech.... I did NOT tell people to go home."
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:31 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this has been posted above, but here are two articles on the brilliant organization of the tech-savvy youth behind the protests: NYT, WSJ.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:46 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm beginning to think they're going to kill him if this goes on.

The army would have to turn on him. Barring that, there would be plenty of opportunity for him to hop a plane to Saudi Arabia if things were really going south.
posted by Dasein at 4:49 PM on February 10, 2011


Please, no more jokes about Joe Beese.
It's getting annoying.


I came for the updates because I can't listen to the a/v feeds.
Thanks everyone for doing an awesome job summarizing for those in a similar position!
posted by artof.mulata at 4:58 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, I hope this doesn't go badly.

(And I kind of hope it spreads to Bahrain and Yemen next.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to see it in Morocco while we're throwing wishes on the wind.
posted by artof.mulata at 5:05 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joe, you've caught a lot of people's comments today. I'd like to take this quiet moment to say that although you disagree with me on some issues, I appreciate your presence and respect you as a member of the mefi community.
posted by jaduncan at 5:15 PM on February 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Thanks for the links, you're a kitty. I had the impression that these were very well organized protests (having had a hand at organize a couple much, much smaller protests myself), now I know:) It looks like the organizers have a very good handle on challenging all of the protesters' anger into useful, and relatively disciplined, action. If we were to see a violent response (from them) to Mubarak's speech, it would have happened already. Now, my guess is that something big but still nonviolent will go down after the afternoon prayers tomorrow. Sooooo hard to tear myself away from the news feed!
posted by eviemath at 5:16 PM on February 10, 2011


(Forgot the ! - sorry!)
posted by eviemath at 5:17 PM on February 10, 2011


"The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity.

"As we have said from the beginning of this unrest, the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people. But the United States has also been clear that we stand for a set of core principles. We believe that the universal rights of the Egyptian people must be respected, and their aspirations must be met. We believe that this transition must immediately demonstrate irreversible political change, and a negotiated path to democracy. To that end, we believe that the emergency law should be lifted. We believe that meaningful negotiations with the broad opposition and Egyptian civil society should address the key questions confronting Egypt’s future: protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens; revising the Constitution and other laws to demonstrate irreversible change; and jointly developing a clear roadmap to elections that are free and fair.

"We therefore urge the Egyptian government to move swiftly to explain the changes that have been made, and to spell out in clear and unambiguous language the step by step process that will lead to democracy and the representative government that the Egyptian people seek. Going forward, it will be essential that the universal rights of the Egyptian people be respected. There must be restraint by all parties. Violence must be forsaken. It is imperative that the government not respond to the aspirations of their people with repression or brutality. The voices of the Egyptian people must be heard.

"The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America."
posted by empath at 5:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Homeboy Trouble: "All AJE is showing is Mubarak on the left, dudes showing him their shoes on the right. This shoe thing televises even better than the middle finger."

An absurd villain perplexing the world with a nonsensical speech.
A tumultuous crowd of people dancing around and chanting about shoes.
All starring in a disappointing and too-long ego-trip that's putting all involved tens of millions of dollars into the hole.

Coming to Cairo this March:

Sulie-Man: Turn Off Mubarak

(music & lyrics by U2)
posted by Rhaomi at 5:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Yes, the danger must be growing
Cause the rowers keep on rowing
And they're certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing!'

posted by clavdivs at 5:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I ran through a rather angry crowd listening to this.
posted by clavdivs at 5:25 PM on February 10, 2011


Might not sleep tonight. Egypt gets active at about the time I go to bed…
posted by five fresh fish at 5:31 PM on February 10, 2011


At this point the smart money is on meathook.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:33 PM on February 10, 2011


Going forward, it will be essential that the universal rights of the Egyptian people be respected.

WTH? How can he say this, having supported the torture and murder of Egyptians all these years?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


WTH? How can he say this, having supported the torture and murder of Egyptians all these years?

Because now the political situation is different. So, it's time to change his values to match.
posted by notion at 5:36 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Him personally? I'm pretty sure he didn't campaign on torturing and murdering egyptians.
posted by empath at 5:36 PM on February 10, 2011


I'm pretty sure he didn't need to campaign.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:37 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come on, can you imagine what would have happened if Obama took office and immediately cut off aid to Egypt and demanded that Mubarak resign? Please, let's live in the real world.
posted by empath at 5:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


*The definition of 'universal rights' rest solely with Fearless Leader. This definition may be changed at any time without prior notice. Only one universal right per citizen. Rights cannot be combined. Rights have no monetary value and cannot be used as currency. Not valid in Sealand or Grenada. Misuse of rights means forfeiture of agreement as presented in article C, part 10125.b, of Rights User Agreement. Failure to behave will be enforced with curbstomping thugs. Do not taunt Happy Egyptian Universal Rights.
posted by cmyk at 5:39 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay I found out about Mubarak not stepping down through a damn rage comic, some paradigm shifted and I wasn't paying attention.
posted by hellojed at 5:40 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


WTH? How can he say this, having supported the torture and murder of Egyptians all these years?

To be fair -- and I'm not being snarky -- it's not like Obama's been president for the past 30 years or that he's the one in his administration who's proclaimed in the past year what a dear, personal friend of the family Mubarak is.
posted by scody at 5:40 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell, hellojed, I found out through an occult command to please a dark lord issued to me via a CAPTCHA.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:42 PM on February 10, 2011


I'm not going to get baited into a derail, but I have witnessed nothing but political posturing from the Obama Administration. I'm open to a MetaTalk if anyone wants to host. And now I'm shutting up about it.
posted by notion at 5:44 PM on February 10, 2011


Come on, can you imagine what would have happened if Obama took office and immediately cut off aid to Egypt and demanded that Mubarak resign?

Every election, I have the same crazy pipe dream that the new president will suddenly issue a bunch of executive orders and close Guantánamo, repeal the PATRIOT Act, reform the TSA, outlaw insurance lobbyists, etc. Too bad that'll never happen.

/derail, sorry

posted by reductiondesign at 5:47 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to get baited into a derail

I'm just going to write a wall of text about it and then point to Metatalk! That's all!
posted by Justinian at 5:47 PM on February 10, 2011


Just as a general note, it would be awesome to have not-getting-into-a-derail involve actually doing as much as possible to not get into a derail, up to and including not typing a comment about how you're not getting into a derail but... or whatever.
posted by cortex at 5:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [16 favorites]


Also, small text doesn't make your derailing comments not derailing.
posted by jessamyn at 5:54 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yo dawg, I heard you liked derails so I put a derail in your derail so you can derail while you derail.
posted by Kattullus at 5:54 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know what other empire had its impotence exposed by a crisis in Egypt?
posted by Joe Beese at 5:56 PM on February 10, 2011


You know what other empire had its impotence exposed by a crisis in Egypt?

The Goa'ould?
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:03 PM on February 10, 2011 [18 favorites]


So is anyone else speculating that Mubarek doesn't expect to stay in power, he's just buying time to destroy evidence and hide or transfer assets as fast as he can?
posted by dilettante at 6:05 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Latest from The Guardian's liveblog... here's a translation of Mubarak's speech in all its patronizing glory. And here's Suleiman's speech.

Also, thousands of people are apparently gathering outside the presidential palace already.
posted by Kattullus at 6:08 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


So is anyone else speculating that Mubarek doesn't expect to stay in power, he's just buying time to destroy evidence and hide or transfer assets as fast as he can?

Everyone else.
posted by fixedgear at 6:09 PM on February 10, 2011


Joe Beese: "You know what other empire had its impotence exposed by a crisis in Egypt"

Yes. Which one do you mean? I can think of two offhand; one arguable, I suppose.
posted by mwhybark at 6:10 PM on February 10, 2011


Guardian: Egypt's army 'involved in detentions and torture'

"The military has claimed to be neutral, merely keeping anti-Mubarak protesters and loyalists apart. But human rights campaigners say this is clearly no longer the case, accusing the army of involvement in both disappearances and torture – abuses Egyptians have for years associated with the notorious state security intelligence (SSI) but not the army.

"The Guardian has spoken to detainees who say they have suffered extensive beatings and other abuses at the hands of the military in what appears to be an organised campaign of intimidation. Human rights groups have documented the use of electric shocks on some of those held by the army.

"Egyptian human rights groups say families are desperately searching for missing relatives who have disappeared into army custody. Some of the detainees have been held inside the renowned Museum of Egyptian Antiquities on the edge of Tahrir Square. Those released have given graphic accounts of physical abuse by soldiers who accused them of acting for foreign powers, including Hamas and Israel.

"Among those detained have been human rights activists, lawyers and journalists, but most have been released. However, Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Cairo, said hundreds, and possibly thousands, of ordinary people had "disappeared" into military custody across the country for no more than carrying a political flyer, attending the demonstrations or even the way they look. Many were still missing."
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:24 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes. Which one do you mean? I can think of two offhand; one arguable, I suppose.

I can think of five.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:26 PM on February 10, 2011


I can think of five.

It helps if you share information with the class.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


When they called it the Suez Crisis, I assume from the article that there was only one of them. I thought I had been clever to notice the resemblance.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:38 PM on February 10, 2011


I'll start, including colloquial sources.

"You know what other empire had its impotence exposed by a crisis in Egypt"

Egypt vs. the Israelites, Impotent power: Egypt
Egypt vs. the Roman Republic, or more accurately, Roman v Roman, Impotent power: the Roman Republic
Islam vs. The Byantine Empire, Impotent power: Byzantine Empire
United Kingdom (et al) vs Emergent Third World (Suez), Impotent power: UK (et al)
Arab League vs Israel, Impotent Power, Arab League

That's five. mr_roboto, them's the goods?
posted by mwhybark at 6:39 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't the rules say that if you have the Pyramids you can switch to any form of government without going through a period of anarchy?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:40 PM on February 10, 2011 [42 favorites]


Joe Beese: "When they called it the Suez Crisis, I assume from the article that there was only one of them. I thought I had been clever to notice the resemblance."

No harm, no foul. I mean, think of it. We've seen an invasion of the cradle of human civilization in Iraq and now we're witnessing revolutionary tumult in a country with a written history that strethes back seven thousand years. My examples only go back about three thousand years. Odds alone say there are at least another five examples in the four thousand years I trivialized into dust.

Here's one from that period: The Akhenaten interregnum, which produced King Tut, grave goods of whom appear to have been broken and stolen in the unrest last week.
posted by mwhybark at 6:44 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Don't the rules say that if you have the Pyramids you can switch to any form of government without going through a period of anarchy?"

Not if you're kicking it old school -- then it counts as a free granary in each of your cities.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:51 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The French were also run out of Egypt after Napoleon.
posted by empath at 6:52 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aw, hell, that was a gimme and I shlocked it up with Bible nonsense!
posted by mwhybark at 6:55 PM on February 10, 2011


Come on, can you imagine what would have happened if Obama took office and immediately cut off aid to Egypt and demanded that Mubarak resign? Please, let's live in the real world.

heh... yeah, I have a hard time picturing that too.

But I'll tell you what I think would happen if he did it tomorrow. No one in Egypt would consider it the most important news event of the day.

And whoever wins this can always sign up with Saudi Arabia. Their currency is stronger than ours anyway.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:56 PM on February 10, 2011


Under the Nazis, the Graf Zeppelin turned back from a resupply mission to the Italians in Ethiopia due to the inherent inefficiencies of lighter-than-air aviation, exposing the concept to ridicule and failure forever!

No? It's true, except for the ridicule and failure forever part.
posted by mwhybark at 6:59 PM on February 10, 2011


Hm.

I tried right-clicking the power once, but the only viable options were 'back' and 'reload.' Nothing very conducive to building a bold new tomorrow, in other words.


Sarah Palin's bold new tomorrow, perhaps. (Does this count as a new form of Godwinage?)

But seriously, the most crucial factor in the coming days is what the army does and whether there are any significant splits within it, and thus the eventual danger of civil war.

Two things worry me the most: as reported, that the army or some elements therein have started detaining and torturing people, which had been within the sole purview of the secret police; and the army's deep involvement in huge sectors of the economy - almost all of it, really. It's not like China where the Red Army does have some industries which it runs and profits from, but only as a small part of a much larger private corporate sphere. Whether, as one reporter speculated, the army won't get violent with its customers (!) is not at all clear, since a lot of the "customers" they'd be likely to face in attempts to take over government institutions (parliament, state media buildings) are less likely to be those who have any means to buy anything and more likely to be those with literally nothing to lose. Mubarak is obviously trying to provoke confrontations forcing the army to get violent with demonstrators, and his calculus may be something like "the troops will fire on the penniless rabble when it comes down to it." He's out of touch enough to think that. He doesn't seem to realize, but I hope the army does, that the "rabble" is a huge cross-section of society now.
posted by Philofacts at 6:59 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Politicians are hypocrites: Film at 11.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:59 PM on February 10, 2011


So is anyone else speculating that Mubarek doesn't expect to stay in power, he's just buying time to destroy evidence and hide or transfer assets as fast as he can?

Yeah, sort of. I think he's doing what politicians do in such circumstances, which is pretty much what they're always doing: trying to gather and maintain as much control as possible (and illusion thereof, by extension) while simultaneously keeping as many contingency plans available as possible in case circumstances change in a manner that they can't get out in front of. Let's not forget that people don't generally achieve such positions of power without a colossal self-certainty about their ability to manipulate others effectively.

More interestingly (at least to me), the general face-value incoherence of the mixed messages we've heard today indicates that the fissures in the Egyptian power structure are widening, and nobody, insider or otherwise, really knows what to expect. Whatever Mubarak's scramble-dance on the shifting sands may look like, the fact that he's doing it at all (and that Al Jazeera and others are there are present) suggests that we have a unique opportunity to glimpse, to some degree, the raw machinery of a nation-state's power structure, in the form of individuals and factions tipping their hands as they jockey for position. Of course, this can only be of limited utility in terms of understanding Egypt going forward, since the power structure is in flux - but still, it's bound to reuse a great many of the parts regardless of the outcome.

In any event, understanding the hows and whys of Egypt at this moment in history can potentially provide a very useful lens through which to glean insight into other contemporary uprisings, actual and potential.
posted by perspicio at 7:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


a Middle East expert on Diane Rehm was speculating there is some Big Thing that Murbarak is staying around for. Didn't know what it was. Speculation, but her guests are usually uber smart
posted by angrycat at 7:03 PM on February 10, 2011


Egypt was also somewhat embarassing for the Mongols.

Anyway, I've been following this thread fervently, and I just wanted to thank everyone who's been providing updates and links - Joe Beese included and especially. This is the sort of thing that moves Metafilter from great to freaking awesome.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:03 PM on February 10, 2011


It worries me too, Philo; but it's not mere commercial relations that the army's trying to preserve; they have a legit place of honor in Egyptian society and are an institution people seem to have a lot of faith in. Openly side with the regime and they lose all that. Interogations they can get away with. But blow the populace away in the streets and they lose their honor.

Which is not to say that tanks and guns can't work. They certainly can. But that would be choosing to maintain power on a pure fear basis, no love. It's not easy to switch from one to the other on a dime and stay stable...
posted by Diablevert at 7:07 PM on February 10, 2011


Aw, hell, that was a gimme and I shlocked it up with Bible nonsense!

Yeah, I was thinking of Napoleon.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:09 PM on February 10, 2011


BBC World radio is doing some good stuff. The current interviewer is sort of ripping a new one on a Mubarak apologist
posted by angrycat at 7:12 PM on February 10, 2011


Robert Fisk has an outstanding piece at The Independent:

The events of the past 12 hours have not, alas, been a victory for the West. American and European leaders who rejoiced at the fall of communist dictatorships have sat glumly regarding the extraordinary and wildly hopeful events in Cairo – a victory of morality over corruption and cruelty – with the same enthusiasm as many East European dictators watched the fall of their Warsaw Pact nations. Calls for stability and an "orderly" transition of power were, in fact, appeals for Mubarak to stay in power – as he is still trying to do – rather than a ringing endorsement of the demands of the overwhelming pro-democracy movement that should have struck him down.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:23 PM on February 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Couple of things to straighten out for the record:

1) There's nothing hypocritical about honoring a longstanding peace agreement negotiated by President Jimmy Carter. It's been pointed out here before that withdrawing US aid to the Egyptian military would have invalidated the Camp David accords, a legally binding peace agreement that ended the Israeli/Egyptian war. So much of the grousing about the hypocrisy of US foreign policy on that specific point is misleading. It's also hypocritical and bad when America just suddenly and without warning refuses to honor its written agreements and treaty obligations. Should there have been more of a push to reevaluate the status of the aid before now? Maybe. But that doesn't matter right now.

2) No one has ever claimed the military in its entirety is siding against Mubarak; on the contrary, it's been discussed broadly from the beginning that the airforce and some elements within the upper echelons of the command structure are sympathetic to Mubarak. It is specifically the Army that has been conspicuously supportive of the protesters and that has made statements about not taking action against the demonstrators. Since it would be a pretty obvious move on Mubarak's part to try to create doubts and foment conflict between the people of Egypt and the army (which is kind of one of their main tactical assets here), it's really important not to propagate bad information that might help erode that trust. So IMO, we should try to be particularly attentive to the specific details of accounts like those in the Guardian article above and not help the bad guys out by feeding their poisoned grist into the rumor mill. Notably absent from the article is any mention specifically of the Army playing a role in these alleged abuses. It's pretty damn likely that Mubarak loyalists in other parts of the Egyptian military structure were responsible for them. And it's also exceedingly likely that Mubarak would just love it if people got confused about that.

3) God, the Egyptian people are awesome. I wish we were more like them.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:27 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Openly side with the regime and they lose all that. Interrogations they can get away with. But blow the populace away in the streets and they lose their honor.

Yes, honour is hugely important, but to the people as well - their own long humiliation at the hands of the police and corrupt officialdom offends their own sense of honour - a large part of the "enough!" spark that started this all off, perhaps the key part, as Hitchens observed in that piece Joe Beese linked. I wonder if the army could really get away with torture and disappearing people as easily as the police have, and also whether they can avoid moving to the forefront as just the latest edition of corrupt officialdom and business, thus tarnishing their own honour further.

Thanks to a lot of great alternative sources including here on the blue, I have a much better idea of the forces in play and see that few, if any, of them are monolithic, but the picture's still pretty murky. Which is why I get even more annoyed than usual when the MSM trot out the same old State Department or think tank hands to analyse the situation for us, when there's a plethora of intelligent, involved Egyptians on the ground they could be interviewing instead.
posted by Philofacts at 7:33 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fisk has an amazing amount of experience in the region and a formidable measure of knowledge, but he also grinds a fucking axe like no other.
posted by ambient2 at 7:34 PM on February 10, 2011


Fisk has taken basically the same route as Seymour Hersh.
posted by proj at 7:36 PM on February 10, 2011


> Fisk has an amazing amount of experience in the region and a formidable measure of knowledge, but he also grinds a fucking axe like no other.

Fisk is allowed. You spend time in war torn places getting the story out that the US/NATO powers don't like and you can also have carte blanche to axe grind like that.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:43 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Personally, I am relieved and impressed that the Egyptian night seems to have passed without significant violence, that we know of. (I will exclude the assault at Rafah as an isolated incident.)

We'll see what happens tomorrow.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:49 PM on February 10, 2011


The documentary on AJE right now is fantastic. I knew these guys were playing from the Soros/Gene Sharp playbook -- they had training from Otpur.
posted by empath at 7:52 PM on February 10, 2011


From the Fisk piece:

But the critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.

Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets – over which they had received the fatal orders – to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.


Woah. I hadn't heard that.

Woah.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:53 PM on February 10, 2011 [58 favorites]


I'm watching the same thing. Absolutely fascinating. These guys make everything I've ever done in my life seems small and insignificant. I really wish I had the means to join them.
posted by thebestsophist at 7:54 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is the AJE doc about?
posted by reductiondesign at 7:55 PM on February 10, 2011


The April 6 youth movement. Pretty amazing footage from on the ground, during the preparations for revolution.
posted by empath at 7:58 PM on February 10, 2011


This is probably the most important book of the 20th century that nobody knows about.

It's the manual for nearly every successful revolution since the fall of the Soviet Union, including this one.
posted by empath at 8:00 PM on February 10, 2011 [14 favorites]


Were mobile phones working on 30th Jan?
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:00 PM on February 10, 2011


The documentary on AJE right now is fantastic.

Yeah, that was good stuff (love that bumper for the "People & Power" show). Al Jazeera definitely has a manipulative TV news slant, but it's at least a clear alternative to the lameness of the usual network garbage available in the US. It astonishes me that anyone with a brain would argue against making it widely available in this country.
posted by mediareport at 8:02 PM on February 10, 2011


a contact from the region says it's pretty much over and that the army has quietly made it's last argument...says army seems more relaxed...no standing orders...its a rumor about dawn now
posted by clavdivs at 8:08 PM on February 10, 2011


it's pretty much over

What is "it"?
posted by scody at 8:10 PM on February 10, 2011


Katullus, I am blaming you for this.
posted by motty at 8:14 PM on February 10, 2011


wow--thanks for the throwaway remark above about the "gene sharp/soros" playbook above. didn't quite get it, so i googled it, and now i realize that the republican party's even more like an oppressive regime than i suspected: both the republican party and the iranian regime like to portray george soros as some invisible, foreign bogeyman hell bent on undermining freedom from within in their efforts to manipulate the credulous.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:19 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese: "Robert Fisk has an outstanding piece at The Independent:"

(my bold, although I did know Fisk was at that joint)

!
posted by mwhybark at 8:20 PM on February 10, 2011


proj: "Fisk has taken basically the same route as Seymour Hersh."

What? He does NOT work for the New Yorker, although that would be awesome. I don't take your point.
posted by mwhybark at 8:23 PM on February 10, 2011


Yeah, Fisk has been with The Independent for over 20 years.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:24 PM on February 10, 2011


woop, my bad. I guess I never noted the publisher byline back when, just eventually in regard to the paper itself. Thanks again.
posted by mwhybark at 8:27 PM on February 10, 2011


geez, i left out 'not;' thank you for reading in and making sense of my scrambled post.
posted by mwhybark at 8:30 PM on February 10, 2011


The strange, crazy thing about this is all the great press the Egyptian army has received
posted by KokuRyu at 8:37 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, as long as they keep on not, you know, machine-gunning crowds in the zocalo, I'm all for it.
posted by mwhybark at 8:38 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kristof has a post featuring a horrifying video of a government car plowing down protesters. The fact that the protesters have managed to stay overwhelmingly peaceful just flat-out humbles me. That many angry, passionate human beings are supposed to dissolve into a mob long before this point.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:51 PM on February 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Chris Floyd:
I was among the million people who marched through London on February 15, 2003, to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq. ... What would have happened had we possessed the courage and commitment that the Egyptians are demonstrating today? What if we, like them, had refused to go home, and had stood our ground, thronged in the center of London, day after day...

... we simply melted away in the course of an afternoon. A single day; a few hours; a few speeches -- then nothing. ... We let it go. The moment passed. "And the war came."

That's why February 15 will remain nothing more than a brief footnote in a long, still-churning saga of atrocity and slaughter, while January 25, the day the Egyptians first took to the streets -- and stayed in the streets -- will be honored for generations as a landmark of human liberation.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:06 PM on February 10, 2011 [27 favorites]


But to be fair, we got less media coverage. And didn't have an army at our backs to protect us from the police.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still, point taken.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:10 PM on February 10, 2011


Judging by the rallies I went to in 2003, no one (self included) was motivated enough to actually camp out en masse, nor suffer one bit. Though, I think to compare the two movements borders on being facile.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 PM on February 10, 2011


These are the interesting aspects. They help us understand the parameters of our morality.

This is not an excuse or justification, just an observation:

People protesting what their government does to others in their name is qualitatively different from protesting what their government does to them directly.
posted by perspicio at 9:17 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Judging by the rallies I went to in 2003, no one (self included) was motivated enough to actually camp out en masse, nor suffer one bit.

There's also the matter of free-speech zones. We aren't exactly allowed to disrupt day-to-day business as usual when we protest here. That in itself is kind of a sad commentary on the state of Democracy in the US.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:19 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, water under the bridge, guys. What happened in Seattle in 1999 was real and had possibilities for the Western democracies; that was flat-out stolen on 9/11. What's happening right now might reopen some of that space. I hope.
posted by mwhybark at 9:23 PM on February 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


"It"=intraservice conflict. police/army/intel/business. an analogy is just let Hosni keep using the phone until the line is cut or his voice runs out...it's a "distancing" technique/ "he sure does have nice clothes"/ "yes, mr. president...no mr. president"
not comical but it seems so.


not exactly people with a great track record at regime change.
posted by Kattullus

refer: Fitzgerald-Gabriel L. Kaplan/Ed Landsdale/Philippines/"Huk problem"/NAMFREL (ballot thumb printing, voter I.D., locked ballot boxes, etc.)

truth is stranger then fiction
but i hear you.

posted by clavdivs at 9:23 PM on February 10, 2011


revolutions do not have 12 year gaps.
posted by clavdivs at 9:25 PM on February 10, 2011


The Egyptians weren't exactly "allowed to" disrupt day-to-day business either.
posted by perspicio at 9:26 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, yeah, but they were willing to do that. And luckily, the army had their backs. Here there's nothing standing between protesters who might try to disrupt business as usual (which really kind of has to happen for protests to be effective) and the police, who generally don't even consider refusing orders.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:29 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


clavdivs: "revolutions do not have 12 year gaps"

Says who? The basic economic critique that drove the WTO stuff remains true, has strengthened, and now has a component of documented extrajudicial and extralegal enforcement. Part of the rising in Egypt right now is against the Mukhabarat; the Mukhabarat are, or were, a crucial component of this transnational power apparatus.

I'm not in a hurry to get teargassed or pelleted again. But the reasons I was remain in place, and they will drive others to seek change.
posted by mwhybark at 9:41 PM on February 10, 2011


The April 6 youth movement. Pretty amazing footage from on the ground, during the preparations for revolution.

For anyone who is interested. . . the documentary, which includes not only the preparation but also first 10 days of the evenements, can also be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrNz0dZgqN8
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:42 PM on February 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


But this is a derail. Sorry, shutting up.
posted by mwhybark at 9:42 PM on February 10, 2011


Hibbert devotes a chapter entitled the ‘Days of the Market-women‘ in his work on the French Revolution. If a comparison to the early days of Frances’ revolution are to made, IMO not very helpful yet somehow essential, it is this ; Louis comes home from hunting, in the morning hears of the Bastille “incident” and asks “is this a revolution?” The Grand Master of the Robe informs Louis:
“It is a revolution” (“sire” I’m sure)
Were is Mirabeau and the king will not be addressing the people in person let alone an assembly house filled with new deputies. Jefferson called it “a Surrender of discretion”. The difference is the army is not protecting Hosni like Louis protected him.
The only comparable tenets to the current situations out come is the 1952 coup. The French revolution is more comparable in social unrest and peoples basic desire for change. The siege like fatigue wears. In France, it took just over a year to abolish the Nobility.

But this is a derail. Sorry, shutting up.
posted by mwhybark

"who says"
A movement, a good one, may have gaps of activity. A revolution is more fluid chronologically IMO. Someone, I am sure, will find an exception, I can think of two.
posted by clavdivs at 10:08 PM on February 10, 2011


IOW mwhybark, There is no fluid "give and take" in this revolution as were in France. It is Hosni making consessions and the people saying "No".
posted by clavdivs at 10:19 PM on February 10, 2011


a fine, well-founded defense. The distinction between movements and revolutions is well-taken.

You're totally right about the greater utility of looking to more-recent popular uprisings. I was maybe overly disinterested in Romania upthread. I have been thinking of the Philippines in '89 since that section of this discussion. We should also be considering Gandhi, there has been an extremely clearly enunciated insistence on non-violence over the past two weeks.

But, uh, yeah. Lip. Zipped. Uh huh.
posted by mwhybark at 10:19 PM on February 10, 2011


A 1916ish quote:

'Beware the risen people who will take what you will not give!'
P.H. Pearse

1916 itself was a failure, most of the leaders were executed. But then most of Ireland attained independence. So bear in mind a regime does not always go down on the first try.

The Egyptian people are not going to be put down or stopped.

They are not a servile people anymore. They are not a soft people anymore. If you torture people and they live, they become devious and hard.

The best thing all around would be a military takeover, just long enough to set up some ground-rules for elections.

I do not think the Muslim Brotherhood is anything to worry about, they never get more than 30% of the vote.

What is interesting though is the fact Coptic Christians often vote
for Muslim Brotherhood
candidates. This is because the attitude towards Christians in the NDP is often a lot worse.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:22 PM on February 10, 2011


clearly, these ideas can be seen in todays events. Ghandi is most relevant. What amazes most is the lack of massive breakdown of society. It is truly amazing. History is being written with new defintions, new ideas from older sources. Pragmatic and determined.
posted by clavdivs at 10:25 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


1916 itself was a failure

fighting back is never failure, only a lost objective.
posted by clavdivs at 10:27 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Judging by the rallies I went to in 2003, no one (self included) was motivated enough to actually camp out en masse, nor suffer one bit.

There's also the matter of us not living underneath a brutal dictator for 30 years.
posted by empath at 10:34 PM on February 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


“He told me that he wanted to step down from the presidency next year, and Vice President Mubarak would undoubtedly succeed him.” Sadat’s wishes may have been sincere. It is very unlikely, however, that Sadat, who, in the words of Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, considered himself “a Pharaoh,” would ever have stepped down voluntarily."
posted by clavdivs at 10:37 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]




As far as comparing this to rallies against the war in Iraq...

I don't know about anyone else, but when Bush was elected in 2000 I had the sudden feeling of holding my breath until it was over. I housed a great deal of protesters in 2004 in the hopes that it might mean something, but in the end it didn't do a thing. In 2008 I finally exhaled. Things aren't greatly improved now, but at least I don't feel like there's a malevolent force determined to make things worse anymore.

But that was eight years, and with an intermission where it seemed like there was a legitimate and realistic chance of getting Bush out of there. The Egyptians have been going through 30 years of having no effect on their politics at all.

Reports from friends of mine who are from Egypt or recently visited tell me that, like endemic corruption, that "holding your breath" feeling is just a part of life in Egypt. Can't do anything else except hope for it to be over.

And so now they are demanding that it finally be over. Whatever caused it, the water broke, and the movement was born. I wish we had never gone into Iraq, but to suggest that our protests had anything like the background for this is crazy. Of course we couldn't do anything like this. For one thing, we had no real belief that anything like this could be truly effective anymore. It took Tunisia to prove that wrong. And we didn't have three decades of votes not being counted.

That's a damn long time to hold one's breath. After all that time, you'd expect to be shouting as loudly as you could be too.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:46 PM on February 10, 2011


delmoi, I wouldn't call it an error just yet. Maybe it's like those terribly inaccurate Windows progress bars that spend 99% of the time sitting at 99%. We won't find out until it either succeeds or Egyptian society completely disintegrates.
posted by thebestsophist at 10:54 PM on February 10, 2011


Well, yeah, but they were willing to do that [disrupt business-as-usual].

Yes, but why?

Speaking broadly, a few of the things that strike me as significant about the Egyptian protesters are:
  1. They are not starving or wearing rags, but they are not affluent
  2. Their economic conditions have recently gotten more difficult
  3. They are protesting a chronic set of conditions, not a singular condition or event
  4. Their youth population is very large
  5. They share a very long, culturally interwoven history
(Yes, I know not all of those differentiate Egypt from the US. Egypt is the central issue here.)

And luckily, the army had their backs. Here there's nothing standing between protesters...and the police, who generally don't even consider refusing orders.

Again, little difference as far as I can tell. Broadly speaking, the Egyptian state police were antagonistic; the military was not. And that part about the army...it's not luck. However, it might be interesting to try to determine the degree to which the army's solidarity with the populace comes from the fact that service is mandatory. Would a volunteer military have less empathy for the public at large? What about a privatized one?

While probably not determinative, there is bound to be a calculus to this stuff, even if nobody has nailed it down yet. (Someday, perhaps.... It's bound to be hairy, but I'm selled on the idea.)
posted by perspicio at 11:07 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I disagree about the rallies against the 2003 war in the United States. I and many others camped out for two weeks or so in my small town. We rotated a vigil for longer. A new ice cream shop opened up across the street, with a mural of demonstrators camped out with signs. But in the mural, the people were demanding ice cream.

And afterwards, I remember regretting being moved past the RNC in 2004 in NYC. I was angry that no one had thought or organized to have the 500,000 people in the march just sit down...
posted by eustatic at 11:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


'The second predicts that coup d’état has already taken place and that a high military council is now being formed to run the country for an interim period and name a cabinet to be headed by the current Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq'
posted by clavdivs at 11:10 PM on February 10, 2011


Perspicio, I agree about the conscript nature of the army being crucial. I think one crucial thing about conscript armies is the length of service. They are in from 14-36 months in this case (differs based on graduate status), so there just isn't the time to socialise to the point where force on local civilians seems acceptable. You also have a cross-section of the age group, so there isn't the self-selection for sadism that can characterise some forces.
posted by jaduncan at 11:21 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Would a volunteer military have less empathy for the public at large? What about a privatized one?

While probably not determinative, there is bound to be a calculus to this stuff, even if nobody has nailed it down yet. (Someday, perhaps.... It's bound to be hairy, but I'm selled on the idea.)

posted by perspicio

During the 1967 riots, National guard troops were called in to keep peace. This did not work so well as the guardsman were from Michigan for the most part. They were not mentally prepared to enforce and being all mostly white did not help. This is why Johnson called the 82nd (i think) because they were not from Michigan. Also, Romney needed to declare a "state of insurrection", not good for re-election, before federal troops are sent in. Johnson sent them in under the Insurrection Act of 1807.
posted by clavdivs at 11:29 PM on February 10, 2011


then he ordered a Fresca.

IMO, this will be over soon with transition on the way. Hosni is prolly in the newly minted 'Mubarak Towers' in Dubai.
posted by clavdivs at 11:34 PM on February 10, 2011


Uninstalling dictator ... 99% complete .. Initializing system restart
███████████████████████████████████████████████░
posted by clearly at 11:35 PM on February 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


clearly delmoi has better linkage.
posted by clavdivs at 11:51 PM on February 10, 2011


How do you feed a revolution? One way is with Sandmonkey's favorite Egyptian food, kushari (also koshary, kosheri and so forth) is a mixture of rice, noodles and lentils flavored with caramelised onion and tomato sauce that is usually sold by street vendors or from dedicated koshary shops. If this basic recipe doesn't tempt you, you can try this one or this one (previously)
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:01 AM on February 11, 2011 [20 favorites]


A leading human rights activist has called for an immediate investigation of reports that guards deliberately killed dozens of inmates at an Egyptian prison during the chaotic first days of Egypt's uprising.
posted by adamvasco at 12:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conflicting reports on the ground? I get the feeling the Army is humoring the old man now, hoping to find a way to effect the transfer without having to kill him. He sees himself as an old lion and just won't quit as long as that asshole Kaddaffi is still in power and might laugh at him.

Someone should just tranq him and shove him on a plane to Bahrain. Christjuice.
posted by vrakatar at 12:32 AM on February 11, 2011


To be honest, I've been very surprised that something of this nature hasn't already happened. Like, way earlier than now. It indicates to me that there is some entrenchment that is . . . complicated. The old man himself is a foregone conclusion; I don't think HE matters to anybody —literally, not at all— any more, but apparently there are still-influential-enough entities to whom the nature of his exodus matters a lot (alot!). I imagine that the influential entities are concerned with their own well-being in the aftermath, as regards a) not being strung up as traitors, b) holding on to their substantial wealth, c) retaining some claim to power, and d) keeping the bodies buried, and that these entities represent a convoluted cross section of elements of government, military, business and foreign powers who are all desperately scrabbling as fast as they can to cover their asses and draw this out as long as possible before their time on the stage.

Otherwise, seriously, there could be nothing more natural than an 83-year-old asshole having a convenient heart attack under stressful conditions. Or a nasty fall. Or death by misadventure. Or death by Ooga Booga. Maybe he's even agreed to this, for some particular concession (something for his son?); maybe that's why he keeps on saying he will die on Egyptian soil. Maybe he's agreed to be taken out in X way at a certain point. Strange for a sociopath, but who knows. He might be tired.
posted by taz at 1:32 AM on February 11, 2011


AJE liveblog:
9:51am An army officer joining protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square says 15 other middle-ranking officers have also gone over to the demonstrators.

"The armed forces' solidarity movement with the people has begun," Major Ahmed Ali Shouman tells Reuters.

[...]11:09am Massive crowds in Tahrir are chanting "the people and the army are hand in hand".
Please please please please please let it be so
posted by scody at 1:40 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sandmonkey just tweeted: The Army just neutralized itself. They won't remove the president, but will ensure that the people's demands will be met
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:53 AM on February 11, 2011


Army seems to be staying neutral: won't force a transfer of power but will "guarantee a free and fair presidential election, constitutional changes and protection of the nation" (Guardian).
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:07 AM on February 11, 2011


Also from The Guardian, on how tensions within the armed forces might play out:
Rosemary Hollis, professor of Middle East policy studies and director of the Olive Tree scholarship programme at City University, London, said there was "a distinct possibility" the armed forces would now split. She said there were a couple of ways this split could go.

One would be a split between older, senior officers and younger ones from the middle ranks.

"The most senior ranks are the same age as Mubarak and Suleiman," she said. "The younger men are their [the demonstrators'] generation. They will identify less with Mubarak and more with the future of the country they want to be part of."

She said the other way the armed forces could split would be ideologically, between those who wanted to concentrate on "law and order" and a "managed transition under Mubarak and co" and felt this would be "preferable to the dangers of a transition to democracy" and on the other side those "embracing change with all its uncertainty".

She had been told that this ideological split could run along the lines of the air force (Mubarak's old service) and republican guard on one side, and "everyone else", including the regular army, on the side of change.

Hollis said: "Militaries aren't good at transitions to democracy. They're more comfortable with continuity." But, on the other hand, "the army has not been clearly on the side of Mubarak" during this criris.

Whatever happens, she said, "the army will have the final say".
posted by scody at 2:15 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Guardian Live:
Rosemary Hollis, professor of Middle East policy studies and director of the Olive Tree scholarship programme at City University, London, said there was "a distinct possibility" the armed forces would now split. She said there were a couple of ways this split could go.
One would be a split between older, senior officers and younger ones from the middle ranks.
"The most senior ranks are the same age as Mubarak and Suleiman," she said. "The younger men are their [the demonstrators'] generation. They will identify less with Mubarak and more with the future of the country they want to be part of."
She said the other way the armed forces could split would be ideologically, between those who wanted to concentrate on "law and order" and a "managed transition under Mubarak and co" and felt this would be "preferable to the dangers of a transition to democracy" and on the other side those "embracing change with all its uncertainty".
She had been told that this ideological split could run along the lines of the air force (Mubarak's old service) and republican guard on one side, and "everyone else", including the regular army, on the side of change.
Hollis said: "Militaries aren't good at transitions to democracy. They're more comfortable with continuity." But, on the other hand, "the army has not been clearly on the side of Mubarak" during this criris.
posted by adamvasco at 2:16 AM on February 11, 2011


From the Guardian Live Blog:

Apparently the following joke is splitting Egyptians' sides:

Communique No 2 from the Armed Forces: "A message from the Armed Forces to the Noble Egyptian People: our next Communique to you will be No 3."

Heh.
posted by vbfg at 2:46 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


[url=http://www.cairondp.org/new/]The ruling party's webpage[/url]

At time of posting reads: "Closed until dropping Mubarak & the regime"

Also has a YT video of a man throwing things at his TV.
posted by vbfg at 3:39 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn BB. Grrr. Actual link.
posted by vbfg at 3:40 AM on February 11, 2011


Army seems to be staying neutral: won't force a transfer of power but will "guarantee a free and fair presidential election, constitutional changes and protection of the nation" (Guardian).

According to my roommate (who just became my go-to expert on this, because she is majoring in international studies and this area is her concentration), the military is going to be the real wild card, because:

a) they're backed by us. The United States funds them, so they're treading carefully since we are.

b) it's a conscription-based army -- everyone has to do their tour of duty. So the soldiers are looking at the protestors and seeing their own friends and cousins and neighbors and...and are not going to be quite as down with the idea of firing on them.

I have a feeling we'll be talking a lot about this in this apartment. Two of my roommate's courses this year are "Muslim Political Movements" and "The Politics of Protest". She said classes were REALLY interesting yesterday.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]




Al Arabiya are apparently replying that Mubarak has left Cairo (according to multiple Twitter feeds).
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:43 AM on February 11, 2011


Sorry, *reporting* that he's left.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:45 AM on February 11, 2011


Apparently, though, he has not left the country. He's simply gone to one of his "summer homes." Who knows because it's all just rumor at this point - but that would point to an interpretation of yesterday's speech as: "Hey, I'll just tell everyone that Omar has all of the powers now, then I'll go cool my heels on the beach - that should get those animals to settle down!" It does increasingly appear as though he may be delusional. At the least, there is a severe disconnect between what the people are demanding, and what the current leadership believes will be necessary to satisfy those demands.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:52 AM on February 11, 2011


Twitter reports of thousands at State TV chanting "We don't want you to rule us, we want you on trial."

And "On route to heliopolis. Presidential palace it is."
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:58 AM on February 11, 2011


MAN, FUCK THAT GUY.
posted by tehloki at 5:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Npr on the morning show just said the army has sided with Mubarak. On my phone, haven't been able to verify w/ other sources.
posted by dejah420 at 5:09 AM on February 11, 2011


AJE live blog: "...a former Israeli Cabinet minister who has long known Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, says Mubarak is looking for an honourable way out."

Instead of saving face, he should be concerned about saving neck.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


AJE live blog: "...a former Israeli Cabinet minister who has long known Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, says Mubarak is looking for an honourable way out."
"I resign. Thank you. Goodbye."
posted by Flunkie at 5:25 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Where's Hosni? CBS News confirms Pres Mubarak is in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-sheikh. Great beaches. Few protestors. For now."*
posted by ericb at 5:51 AM on February 11, 2011


Sout al Horeya (the sound of freedom) -- Moustafa Fahmy, Mohamed Khalifa, and Mohamed Shake:
I went down and I said I am not coming back, and I wrote on every street wall that I am not coming back.
All barriers have been broken down, our weapon was our dream, and the future is crystal clear to us, we have been waiting for a long time, we are still searching for our place, we keep searching for a place we belong too, in every corner in our country.
The sound of freedom is calling, in every street corner in our country, the sound of freedom is calling.
We will rewrite history, if you are one of us, join us and don't stop us from fulfilling our dream.
The sound of freedom is calling.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgw_zfLLvh8

posted by Mister Bijou at 5:53 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know I've posted this multiple times in multiple threads, but you really can't understand this revolution until you've read From Dictatorship to Democracy. It's the manual for Otpur in Serbia and the other student organizations that lead the color revolutions.

I'll just quote one part from it:
Democrats should be wary of the traps that may be deliberately built into a negotiation process by the dictators. The call for negotiations when basic issues of political liberties are involved may be an effort by the dictators to induce the democrats to surrender
peacefully while the violence of the dictatorship continues. In those types of conflicts the only proper role of negotiations may occur at the end of a decisive struggle in which the power of the dictators has been effectively destroyed and they seek personal safe passage
to an international airport.
These people are not naive, and not weak. They are patient.
posted by empath at 6:01 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Whoops, credit is where credit's due. . . the musicians are Hany Adel, Amir Eid, Hawry, and Sherif Mostafa (the previously mentioned did the video).
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:10 AM on February 11, 2011


Thanks, for the link to the pdf, empath. There is an interview with Srdja Popovic, leader of the Serbian Otpor Movement, starting about 4'30" into Al Jazeera's programme about the background of April 6 Movement as well as the three years of preparations, and the first 10 days of the uprising. Fascinating stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrNz0dZgqN8
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:30 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Very interesting. Egyptian diplomats are trying to spin last night's speech as Mubarak having handed over all power and ceded authority. Yet, no one heard that in the speech (and it's not just a translation issue). Now Mubarak heads to Sharm. I wonder what's going on in his head -- "What? I gave up office? What do you want now?" or "Hmmm, guess the obfuscation didn't work."
posted by proj at 6:30 AM on February 11, 2011


I saw it reported last week that he was in Sharm al Sheikh then. Can't recall the source.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:38 AM on February 11, 2011


From Twitter user NadiaE

@NadiaE Nadia El-Awady
2 helicopters just left pres palace #jan25
1 minute ago


So Elvis has left the buliding?
posted by Sailormom at 6:47 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lots of people saying an "important statement" expected soon from the presidency. Fingers crossed.
posted by vbfg at 6:53 AM on February 11, 2011


BBC Worldservice radio reports that Mubarak has left Cairo for Sharm el-Sheikh
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:02 AM on February 11, 2011


Kind of like how Obama heads off to Hawaii every so often
posted by KokuRyu at 7:05 AM on February 11, 2011


Yes, but why?

Well, I guess it depends on how seriously you take the idea of your country dismantling another one and killing and subjecting its citizens to degrading and inhumane treatment. For some of us, that was damn serious business.

I agree that the social and psychological dynamics--the context in general--are absolutely not comparable (note, I didn't offer the initial comparison, which was made in that article Beese cited upthread; I only elaborated on some of the logistical differences between the two situations to highlight that exact point). But the underlying point of comparison that does matter to me is this: if you want your protests to be anything more than empty, feel-good symbolic gestures (more than the anemic, bake sales for democracy we tend to hold here nowadays) then you absolutely have to disrupt business as usual. Anything less is not even remotely likely to effect whatever change you might want to see.

In the US, we used to take to the streets en mass from time to time, not just in revolution, but to affect specific political changes. Imagine that! People taking to the streets as part of the democratic process. In fact, most every period when we've actually seen serious political reforms, those reforms were spurred by waves of large, business-disrupting protests. The form of protest that dominates here in the US now is like a neutered toy poodle compared to the vicious 200-pound Rottweiler we used to keep chained to the gates. Maybe partly because we've internalized the idea that disrupting business as usual is the Worst Possible Thing (which is really of a piece with our constant demands for stability worldwide).

You might cynically think it's because we've really got nothing serious to complain about, but if you think that, you haven't been paying attention. The social justice issues we have aren't as obvious (although I'd point out our Gini coefficient is actually higher than Egypt's, meaning we've got even greater income inequality than in Egypt, although obviously in absolute terms, the average Egyptian is much worse off than the average American) but these problems are very real, and only getting worse.

Take Florida for instance: 4 Billion dollar state budget gap and historical rates of unemployment. The only proposed solution currently under serious consideration? Eliminate our corporate taxes and further reduce property taxes--two of the only three revenue sources we have because we don't have a personal income tax--and make it easier for employers to fire people without providing unemployment benefits. Our education budget is being cut by over $700 per pupil in the next fiscal year if anything like the current proposed budget gets through. And our new billionaire governor has basically said he wants to start phasing out physical schools completely and replace them with virtual online schools.)
posted by saulgoodman at 7:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


As Joe Beese pointed out yesterday - Fox News (who should know about conservative subplots) reported Mubarak shortly stepping down and the Armed Forces taking over.
The armed forces top brass were meeting in Sharm el Sheik where Mubarak is presently reported to be.
The only problem is that top honcho Air Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi is resistant to change.
I think we will see a split in the armed forces - Airforce and presidential guard vs therest.
How that plays out is anybodies guess. Another Presidential statement is due soon.
The masses want Mubarak gone and probably Suleiman too and they won't like Tantawi any better.
posted by adamvasco at 7:08 AM on February 11, 2011


Npr on the morning show just said the army has sided with Mubarak.

Actually, it said The Armed Forces Supreme Council has sided with Mubarak. See this comment for why that's not the same thing.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's what happened:

Everybody to Mubarak: You really need to resign
Mubarak: *grumpy* Ok, sure. I'll give a speech

Mubarak pulls a crazy grampa: I'm not going! I'm the boss of me!

Rest of Ruling Party: Right, despite what you said, that was your speech ceding all power to us. You're done. Go to the beach.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


BTW, going to Sharm doesn't really mean anything. He seriously lives there half the time and it is a fully equipped presidential and military facility.
posted by proj at 7:17 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are two developments reported on Twitter

RT @daliaziada Confirmed from my trusted sources: #Mubarak is out of #Egypt. He has left to Gulf already! #Jan25

RT @SultanAlQassemi: BBC AR: Hossam Badrawi, SecGen of NDP "I will be announcing my resignation from the NDP within hours"
posted by madamjujujive at 7:25 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


great programming on wnyc's brian leher's show right now -- it's streaming on line so one can watch
posted by angrycat at 7:31 AM on February 11, 2011


BTW, going to Sharm doesn't really mean anything. He seriously lives there half the time and it is a fully equipped presidential and military facility.

Good to know.

So I guess this would be like an American President fleeing angry demonstrators outside the White House by going to Camp David.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:38 AM on February 11, 2011


3:06pm Mother of protester who was killed in the protests, addressed protesters and said that she was willing to offer her second son for the struggle for democracy.

Note to self: Do not fuck with Egyptians.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:40 AM on February 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


BTW, going to Sharm doesn't really mean anything.

My understanding is that it's pretty laden with the symbolism of exile. Last week, protesters were telling him to leave office and go to Sharm.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:43 AM on February 11, 2011


Sultan Al Qassemi has some fascinating tweets about the crowd surrounding State TV and how State TV anchors are sort of freaking and talking to the crowd from on air:

Fascinating: Egypt State TV is speaking live with anti-Mubarak protesters surrounding the State TV building pic.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:44 AM on February 11, 2011


If you have found your own value, that is immeasurably the greatest thing.
-----Dorothy L. Sayers
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:46 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


going to Sharm doesn't really mean anything
I think it does as that is where the military council is meeting.
Mubarak is no longer in charge of his movements. He is now doing what he is told by the Military in order to save his skin otherwise they might well surrender him to the mob.
He is no longer in charge. He moght still be nominal president but he has no powers anymore.
posted by adamvasco at 7:46 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have the transcript of the Al Jazeera show --Riz Khan? -- the description of the significance of this protest by the Egyptian people was quite poetic. Khan said something about the patience and dignity of the people setting a new paradigm for freedom and liberty in the world.
posted by Surfurrus at 7:46 AM on February 11, 2011


Update from the AJE live-blog:

5:33pm Egyptian Museum remains shuttered; pyramids are open, but no sign of tourists.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:47 AM on February 11, 2011


Issandr El Amrani : A quick analysis of the situation just over half an hour ago.
posted by adamvasco at 7:51 AM on February 11, 2011


Sorry, when I said "doesn't really mean anything" I mean "doesn't necessarily mean anything." Just trying to say that he spends seriously loads of time there and could just be trying to weather the storm just as he could be going into exile.
posted by proj at 7:55 AM on February 11, 2011


ElBaradei has a passionate op-ed in the NYT today.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:55 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


RT @richardengelnbc: #egypt.. State tv broadcasting live phone conversations with demonstrators in front of TV bldg

Some tweets report that there are only about 15 staffers in State TV bldg,, many couldn't get past crowds. Reports that State TV is now reporting more on Mubarek protesters, which they had not done. That they are taking an apologetic tone about prior coverage.

Could the protesters take over the State TV? Fascinating.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:57 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


These people are not naive, and not weak. They are patient. - empath

I have been thinking this all day ... especially when I contrast these scenes with ones showing Americans reacting to issues of public policy. I wonder if most Americans can even understand the Egyptians' display of patience and dignity. I don't see much evidence of the US msm media understanding anything that is going on.
posted by Surfurrus at 8:01 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


And he's gone. Army is in charge?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:02 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Done!
posted by vansly at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


WOW!! He's gone!!
posted by Surfurrus at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011


Holy shit. He's gone.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gone, daddy, gone.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011


Congratulations, people. You earned it.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I fucking love you, Egypt.
posted by notion at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


This is it!
posted by mwhybark at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2011


Really?!? Finally? For realz?

Hell. Yeah.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2011


EPIC WIN!!!!
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2011


Protesters armed only with banners and heart took down an authoritarian regime armed with bullets and secret police, in just three weeks. The Arab world will never be the same.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2011 [51 favorites]


In these days of evil Presidentes
lately one or two have fully paid their dues
git-a-long-git-a-long
posted by COBRA! at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2011


Wow, this is crazy! Best wishes to the Egyptian people.
posted by malocchio at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011


Totally in tears here.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


omg. This is one of the most awesome historical things to have witnessed evah.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


.
posted by scalefree at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011


The Arab world will never be the same.

Watch your ass, Abdullah. Your time is coming.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


wow, they really timed that right to the top of the hour.
posted by mwhybark at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011


Oh yeah!
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2011


Tanks guarding the presidential palace in Cairo turned their turrets away from approaching demonstrators, eliciting a huge cheer from the crowd, CNN's Ivan Watson reported.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow. How extraordinary. He's finally gone.
posted by ob at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2011


Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye ...
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2011


Wow, I'm tearing up watching the crowds on al-jazeera english..
posted by davey_darling at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


And now the happy chanting!
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2011


Huh, today is the anniversary of the Iranian revolution.
posted by mwhybark at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So what does this mean? Is Suleiman in charge now?

Kudos to AJE for just letting the sound of the crowd speak for itself, too. Pretty amazing stuff.
posted by ashirys at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011


Listen to that crowd...
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011


Uninstalling dictator ... ████████████████████████████ 100% complete
posted by delmoi at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011 [54 favorites]


By the way, they can hear this crowd in every center of state power across the world. The pen is indeed mightier.

And, in some windowless offices in Washington DC... recalculating.
posted by notion at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Way to go people of Egypt!
posted by cmfletcher at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011


I am in awe.
posted by casarkos at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ, I didn't even see an announcement or anything on AJE, just glanced over and the chyron had changed to MUBARAK STEPS DOWN and just tons and tons of jubilation.
posted by cortex at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2011


Listen to that crowd...

They've been holding it in for 30 years.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:08 AM on February 11, 2011


This is awesome, in the sense that it is worthy of awe. Nothing in the middle east will be the same after this, which itself is a tremendous leap forward because, what has been the same for the last 30 years has been completely horrible.

What would a free Egypt mean for the people in the rest of the region? I think it means that the radical groups and the governments or occupying forces they claim to oppose to are now both on the same side against a newly inspired people.

Now that the people realize that they are subjects, not merely objects, what action will they take?

It doesn't matter. What matters is that they act. What matters is that they realize that the future is in their control and not in the control of some distant invincible force. What matters is that people everywhere realize that if everyone merely dips their toes into the stream of history, its flow can be radically altered.

I think the Western powers will have to accept that the game of chess they've been playing with the region is over. It isn't so much that they lost the game, it's more that someone took away the board. People in the region are tired and hungry, but educated and want jobs. The West, America more than anyone, is really good at creating jobs. We should let our companies go their and set up operations.

I think we in America should by now realize that we don't have a free press. We have a press that operates in a narrow slice of the political spectrum, which itself is only a single dimension of a much greater philosophical universe. In America, we have globalism in every market except media. In media, news in particular, we have a ideological monopoly.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


(okay, not quite complete, The 'regeeme' is still there but, making progress!)
posted by delmoi at 8:08 AM on February 11, 2011


Wow, I'm tearing up watching the crowds on al-jazeera english..

It's beautiful

So what does this mean? Is Suleiman in charge now?

I think he basically said the army is now in charge.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:08 AM on February 11, 2011


er, I mean 'regime'.
posted by delmoi at 8:09 AM on February 11, 2011


Hey Damascus and Tehran, how you like them apples?
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Suleiman said basically two sentences in a hallway that Mubarak was out an the army was in charge.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:09 AM on February 11, 2011


I guess those final bank transfers finally came through!
posted by malocchio at 8:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huge sigh of relief. Hope it's an end to the regime and the start of genuine democracy. Keep your eye on the ball people, don't get too caught up in celebrating and end up losing your momentum.
posted by vbfg at 8:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, the Daily Show really does take the worst weeks to go on vacation, huh?
posted by quin at 8:10 AM on February 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


Simply amazing. I'm stunned at the patience and fortitude of the Egyptian people... and awed at the relatively peaceful actions they took to depose to a dictator. They are truly deserving of the democracy they've been fighting for.
posted by crackingdes at 8:10 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think he basically said the army is now in charge.
Thanks. I had the livestream on, but I was working on stuff and missed the beginning of Suleiman's broadcast.
posted by ashirys at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2011


+10 for Al-Jazeera just showing the crowds cheering. Again, why can't our networks do this without interrupting every 2 minutes with a talking head (note: they might not, I'm only watching Al-Jazeera, but even 9/11 had forced talk).
posted by geoff. at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Mrs. Beese: "Now let's do it here."
posted by Joe Beese at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously, cancel The Daily Show and we'll all be living in Arcadia this time next year.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2011


The jubilation is awesome.
posted by zix at 8:12 AM on February 11, 2011


Go Egypt!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:12 AM on February 11, 2011


GAH NPR, LESS PLUMMY VOICES TALKING TALKING TALKING AND LETS HEAR THE CROWD. GAH.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on February 11, 2011


Al Jazeera live stream: The roar of the crowd in Tahrir Square says it all.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I salute you all.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:13 AM on February 11, 2011


Buh-bye. Door, ass, you get it.
posted by ericb at 8:13 AM on February 11, 2011


Can't get AJE here, even online, but the CNN livecast is just the crowd cheering. It's absolutely gorgeous.
posted by terrierhead at 8:14 AM on February 11, 2011


Dude on MSNBC was talking a mile a minute, really hard to understand anything he was saying, then he just threw his head back and screamed FREEEDOM!! That was pretty awesome.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:15 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The full text of the Egyptian vice-president's very brief statement:
In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:15 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everyone hold hands and sway!
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 AM on February 11, 2011


Perhaps this is not the moment to take the long view on this. But I'm curious, has this ever happened in the modern era? A government being deposed through peaceful protest? It really does seem like a genuine game changer not just for the middle east but for democracy itself.
posted by crackingdes at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Holy. When Hozni said he'll transfer _some_ powers, didn't realize he meant _all_.

Mubarak (Greetings in Urdu) to Egyptian people! Lovely to hear the cheer on BBC radio; actually thought it was some football cheer or something before the announcer declared that the dude stepped down.
posted by the cydonian at 8:17 AM on February 11, 2011


The AJE reporter is choked up. It's tough to not join him. Amazing.
posted by notion at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed. Seriously.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011


I love Egypt!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crackingdes

Velvet Revolution, kinda?
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011


Sic semper tyrannis.
posted by Diablevert at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


crackingdes, you are making me feel old. Google 1989.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


TRUMAN DEFEATS DEWEY!
posted by ericb at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


+10 for Al-Jazeera just showing the crowds cheering. Again, why can't our networks do this without interrupting every 2 minutes with a talking head

I had just made this same comment to my wife when I read this. Their coverage has been top-notch through this whole situation.

Egyptians, I salute you.

(and not belittle their accomplishment at all - this is how collective bargaining works)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:19 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, the Daily Show really does take the worst weeks to go on vacation, huh?

They're off on Friday anyway.
posted by delmoi at 8:19 AM on February 11, 2011


Ayman Mohyeldin on AJE switched gears from a reporter to an impassioned Egyptian for a moment.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


crackingdes, a number of the "color revolutions" have been primarily broad protest, although there have frequently been violent incidents. Some of the Eastern Bloc transitions from communism had similar outlines. This isn't wholly unprecedented, but it was assumed by many that the lack of history of even a façade of democracy in much of the Middle East meant it was unlikely.
posted by dhartung at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2011


Woo!
posted by electroboy at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2011


Holy hot damn. A peaceful revolution changed the world, and we all got to see it. Awe inducing. I'm in tears. Go Egyptians!
posted by dejah420 at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Perhaps this is not the moment to take the long view on this. But I'm curious, has this ever happened in the modern era? A government being deposed through peaceful protest? It really does seem like a genuine game changer not just for the middle east but for democracy itself.

Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. I'm not sure how violent the Iranian Revolution was, but there wasn't an actual civil war or anything. The switchover after Franco's death to democracy in Spain was aided by the king, I think, but there was a popular component as well. It's been done, which doesn't make this any less impressive, though.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2011


Liberation Square, indeed. My monitor's gone all blurry.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The AJE reporter is choked up. It's tough to not join him. Amazing.

Time may prove the Arab uprisings to have been the most significant historical development of the century to date.

And Al-Jazeera owned this story from beginning to end. EPIC WIN.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:21 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Reporter on AJE says she's 30 years old and has never known another president. She's not very coherent. Understandably.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:21 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


IsMubarakPresident.com: "not anymore" [obv. not a real site, but it should be]

I was in Cairo about 18 months ago, the Egyptian football team had just pulled off a last-minute win, over their greatest rival (Algeria) to force a play-off for World Cup qualification. People had been marching and chanting and flag-waving all day before the game, but after that last goal went in, the entire city erupted. I wandered down to Tahrir Sq and it was full of celebrating Egyptians, dancing, hugging, climbing on buses, setting off flares. It was an amazing (and joyous, and good-humoured) experience.

I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to be there right now, but I was I was.
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:21 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Koshary for everyone!
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:22 AM on February 11, 2011


As-Salamu Alaykum.
posted by fixedgear at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2011


Interesting, thank you... did not know about the history in the czech republic.
posted by crackingdes at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2011


"Walk like an Egyptian"? More like "Protest and never give up like an Egyptian".
posted by ob at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


AJE:

6:09pm: No point any of our presenters trying to speak over the roar of Egyptians celebrating.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


IsMubarakPresident.com: "not anymore" [obv. not a real site, but it should be]

http://ismubarakstillpresident.com/
posted by randomination at 8:24 AM on February 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


http://ismubarakstillpresident.com/

Awesome!
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:25 AM on February 11, 2011


The first major battle is won but they're not home free yet...

Still, I will suppress all such thoughts for now and just go with "Egypt, fuck yeah!"
posted by tempythethird at 8:25 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was an essentially peaceful revolution except on the part of the state. Incredible.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:25 AM on February 11, 2011


#Jan25 #Tahrir #Mubarak RT @mhegi: Uninstalling dictator COMPLETE - installing now: egypt 2.0: █░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░...
posted by SPUTNIK at 8:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


AJE: "Everyone is looking forward to what comes next."

After the celebrations, the hard part.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


AJE: "State TV is showing the celebrations ... and the newsreader is smiling."
posted by dhartung at 8:27 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


... and the newsreader is smiling.

I for one welcome our new democratically elected representatives.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:28 AM on February 11, 2011 [25 favorites]


The first major battle is won but they're not home free yet...

True, but let them enjoy this. They have with out a doubt earned it.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:28 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This was the classiest revolution I've ever witnessed. The people of Egypt have a lot of work ahead but today is their day and they've certainly earned it.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:29 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


AWESOME, TOTALLY AWESOME!
posted by HyperBlue at 8:29 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Human rights activist on AEJ sobbing, "I'm so proud, I'm so proud."
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:29 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Current person on AJ is pretty much just crying now.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


17 days ago, Hillary Clinton called the Mubarak regime "stable".

17 days.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


True, but let them enjoy this. They have with out a doubt earned it.

Most certainly. I hope their medical system is prepared for the baby boom of early October 2011.
posted by tempythethird at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2011 [17 favorites]


Human rights activist on AEJ sobbing, "I'm so proud, I'm so proud."

... Followed by: "Everything now seems possible."

DAAAAAAMN, Egypt.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2011


Human rights activist on AEJ sobbing

"Everything now seems possible!"
posted by Joe Beese at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2011


"Everything now seems possible," says protester on AJE, weeping with joy. "It's overwhelming."
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Same human rights activist on AEJ sobbing, "All the horizons are opened."
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2011


That was Rabab el-Mahdi.
posted by dhartung at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


اليوم رائع! نحن بكم يا مصر
posted by proj at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2011


So I guess the revolution was televised.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:32 AM on February 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


Next, Iran.
posted by empath at 8:32 AM on February 11, 2011


Wait, wait, I'm not quite getting it. Mubarak's really gone, for good? The good guys won? There's going to be a peaceful handover of power? How about torturer-in-chief Suleiman; is he still around?

Somebody lay this out for me, slowly.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reporter in Alexandria in AJE:
I've seen people give birth, I've seen people get married, I've seen people graduate. I've never seen people look as happy as they look now.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rabab el-Mahdi: "It's everything I've ever wanted."
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


*happy dance*
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2011


In the three or four minutes it's taken me to catch up ...

20 new comments, show

Kinda says it all. Except, it just bumped up to 22. Change is good. Never thought I'd be applauding an army. 25 now. Best make it 26.
posted by philip-random at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2011


THEY DID IT! THEY DID IT!

A BIG PROPS TO THE BLOGGERS OF EGYPT, WHO SPARKED WITH THEIR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, THEIR IMPRISONMENTS AND EVEN THEIR DEATHS THE FIRST FLAMES OF THIS REVOLUTION.

and yes, i am screaming and crying. i have been RT this revolution all its 19 days and am just overcome with joy and pride.

and here we go

Uninstalling dictator ... 100% complete ████████████████████████████ #egypt #jan25

Long live the people's revolution.
Long live the power of networks.
Long live the memory of the martyrs of #jan25 and Tahrir

((( group hug )))
posted by liza at 8:34 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fireworks even here in south Lebanon.
posted by lauranesson at 8:34 AM on February 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


Wait, wait, I'm not quite getting it. Mubarak's really gone, for good? The good guys won? There's going to be a peaceful handover of power? How about torturer-in-chief Suleiman; is he still around?

More like the Regime cut off their dead-weight. But this is still a major deal. It means that the regime can't just do whatever it wants, and the crowds are in control, to a certain extent. They'll probably be better off just giving people a real democracy, freedom of speech, and so on.
posted by delmoi at 8:35 AM on February 11, 2011


Wait, wait, I'm not quite getting it. Mubarak's really gone, for good? The good guys won? There's going to be a peaceful handover of power? How about torturer-in-chief Suleiman; is he still around?

It's a "war", comprised of many battles, some large, some small. A huge battle has just be won, so celebration is order. No doubt, as humans are involved, there will be further struggles.
posted by philip-random at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2011


I wonder what this means for the prospects of a renewed movement of Pan-Arabism?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2011


NYTimes link:

Full EAF Supreme Council Statement: The Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces issued its second statement today Friday. It says the following:

Due to the consecutive developments in current incidents and which define the destiny of the country, and in context of continuous follow up for internal and external incidents, and the decision to delegate responsibilities to the vice president of the country, and in belief in our national responsibility to preserve the stability and safety of the nation.

The Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces decided to secure the implementation of the following procedures:

First: End the state of emergency as soon as the current circumstances are over.

Decide on the appeals against elections and consequent measures.

Conduct needed legislative amendments and conduct free and fair presidential elections in light of the approved constitutional amendments.

Second: The Armed forces are committed to sponsor the legitimate demands of the people and achieving them by following on the implementation of these procedures in the defined time frames with all accuracy and seriousness and until the peaceful transfer of authority is completed towards a free democratic community that the people aspire to.

Third: The Armed Forces emphasize on no security pursuit of the honest people who refused the corruption and demanded reforms, and warns against touching the security and safety of the nation and the people. And emphasizes the need for regular work in state facilities and regaining of life to normal to preserve the interests and possessions of our great people.

God protect the nation and the people.

posted by Greg Nog at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


If anyone can find an audio or video clip of that first interview with Rabab el-Mahdi, I would love to send it to everyone I know.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:37 AM on February 11, 2011


Egypt! The world hugs you today.
posted by jinjo at 8:37 AM on February 11, 2011


I'm still listening and crying (and your posts just make me cry more)
posted by Surfurrus at 8:37 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


11/2/11 ... numerology anyone?
posted by Surfurrus at 8:40 AM on February 11, 2011


I wonder what this means for the prospects of a renewed movement of Pan-Arabism?

The right-wing narrative of how Obama "lost the Middle East" is being written at this very moment.

On Thursday afternoon, that fucktard Hannity was fretting about how people were cheering for the uprising without being aware of the grave menace presented by the Muslim Brotherhood. He said it would be dangerous for Egypt to have elections "too soon". (Meaning until the results could be rigged in our favor.)

Suck on it, Sean. Suck long and hard.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:41 AM on February 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


I want to high-five everybody in Cairo right now.
posted by castlebravo at 8:41 AM on February 11, 2011


Quote from CNN livefeed just now: When I got sent down here just a few weeks ago, I thought this was a shit assignment. I mean, there were 50 guys protesting in the square, and I was like "there's your revolution." Just look at it now!
posted by terrierhead at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joe: Give it a fucking rest for five minutes, man. Seriously.
posted by proj at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Note to America (and the rest of the world, really): Conscript armies are good for your country's democracy.
posted by anthill at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


This was practically the perfect revolution. As a human being, I am so proud. As someone who works with the internet, I am so proud (atta boy internet, your first head of a dictator).

And as a lefty Jew who comes from a family that's very much of the nationalist Jewish persuasion (Arabs are not ready for Democracy, etc), I hope those Jews are watching closely.
posted by tempythethird at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


So... which country is next?
posted by R. Mutt at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2011


The right-wing narrative of how Obama "lost the Middle East" is being written at this very moment.

Oh yeah I forgot that in the minds of the extreme right wing the Middle East is ours to lose....

Joe: Give it a fucking rest for five minutes, man. Seriously.

What are you on about?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2011


humanity +1
posted by leotrotsky at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2011


11/2/11 ... numerology anyone?

It means this revolution goes to 11.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2011 [33 favorites]


Wait, seriously?

I've been compulsively following every fucking egypt thread since jan 25th, I turn around for a FUCKING HOUR to actually get some work done, and I miss the money shot?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2011 [28 favorites]


+10 for Al-Jazeera just showing the crowds cheering. Again, why can't our networks do this without interrupting every 2 minutes with a talking head (note: they might not, I'm only watching Al-Jazeera, but even 9/11 had forced talk).

CBC has a live stream of the square with no commentary (once you get past about 30 sec of commercials).
posted by Kabanos at 8:46 AM on February 11, 2011


Watching the clip of Suleiman on AJE right now, and thinking about how the country absolutely ERUPTED in jubilation when he finished, I wonder if he and Mubarak had a "Hey, do you ever think that maybe we're the baddies?" moment in the last couple of days.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


If anyone's interested, LibraryThing are discussing starting a 'books for Egypt' drive.
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2011


The right-wing narrative of how Obama "lost the Middle East" is being written at this very moment.

I'm surprised I haven't heard more "Good thing Obama made that Cairo speech, huh?" from the left.


That said, we shouldn't sully this moment with myopic internal US politics. Especially by mentioning irrelevant TV clowns.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:49 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if he and Mubarak had a "Hey, do you ever think that maybe we're the baddies?" moment in the last couple of days.

Are we the baddies?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:50 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


anyone else think that CNN is taking some of AJs footage? the crops are right where logos/"live" etc are.
posted by atomicmedia at 8:50 AM on February 11, 2011


The CBC live feed is outstanding.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2011


There seems to be some sort of pool feed. The CBC feed linked above is also the same angle.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2011


Via
Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Arab children,
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case,
As worthless as a water-melon rind.
Don't read about us,
Don't ape us,
Don't accept us,
Don't accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation that will overcome defeat.
Nizar Qabbani (Syrian, 1923–98)
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2011 [17 favorites]


Incidentally, it's cool that after yesterday's frustrating fake-out, Mubarak made it so that this thread title is no longer inaccurate.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


... has this ever happened in the modern era? A government being deposed through peaceful protest? It really does seem like a genuine game changer not just for the middle east but for democracy itself.

This is unique - it was a long and hard 18 days - amazing patience, amazing peace.

BUT, it was not the first time people stood up peacefully. Not a lot of the world was watching in 1986 (no internet back then!) when the Philippines had the 'revolution that surprised the world' - the EDSA People Power Revolution. I don't think it even made the evening news. For three days over 2 million people marched peacefully; Twenty year dictator Marcos was finally whisked away by US helicopters (and deposited in Hawai'i for asylum).
posted by Surfurrus at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


... there don't seem to be enough bits to go around. Can't watch, can hear, so happy.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2011


anyone else think that CNN is taking some of AJs footage?

Didn't AJ allow everyone to use their coverage under a Creative Commons License?
posted by Joe Beese at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


anyone else think that CNN is taking some of AJs footage? the crops are right where logos/"live" etc are.

I was channel flipping and noticed ABC was broadcasting Al Jazeera, but voicing over their coverage. They didn't even try to cover up any of their banners, logos, etc.
posted by raztaj at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2011


What this event has brought to light for me is how absolutely crappy US media coverage is. That bit on NPR this morning about the army and Mubarak took the cake.

I followed this on the Guardian. In the future for all international news I will bypass US media.
posted by readery at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


yesterday's frustrating fake-out

Was it really waiting for the bank transfer to clear? Or a hail-mary pass?

Certainly didn't accomplish much.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2011


Note to America (and the rest of the world, really): Conscript armies are good for your country's democracy.

True, as long as it's a proper across-the-board, ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS conscription. I like how I've heard it's done in Germany where basically, you don't get into University (or an apprenticeship) until you've done your year of national service. You're free to plead pacifism but this just means your service will be served in a non-military situation (a mental health facility for instance).

anyway, back to the yeeee-hahs!
posted by philip-random at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


FIlled with joy here. What a fabulous ending . . .and beginning. What a win for people who love liberty everywhere.
posted by bearwife at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Protesters armed only with banners and heart took down an authoritarian regime armed with bullets and secret police, in just three weeks. The Arab world will never be the same.

Don't forget that the army had their backs; this would have ended very differently if soldiers obeyed Mubarak's orders to run tanks into the crowd.
posted by jokeefe at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Speaking of right wing narratives the idiots at the Drudge Report have this as their headline:
MILITARY COUP IN EGYPT ROCKS MIDDLE EAST. What a bunch of tools.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:57 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The very conditions that make the State possible, in other words, constant capital (resources and equipment) and human variable capital, continually recreate unexpected possibilities for counterattack, unforeseen initiatives determining revolutionary, popular, minority machines...

An "ideological," scientific, or artistic movement can be a potential war machine, to the precise extent to which it draws, in relation to a phylum, a plane of consistency, a creative line of flight, a smooth space of displacement....

...If guerrilla warfare, minority warfare, revolutionary and popular war are in conformity with the essence, it is because they take war as an object all the more necessary for being merely "supplementary": they can make war only on the condition that they simultaneously create something else..."

"Politics is the continuation of war by other means."
-Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, "Treatise on Nomadology--The War Machine"

So now comes the the hard part.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:58 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sandmonkey: FIREWORKS, CELEBRATIONS, FUN! JUBILATION! I AM NOT MAKING SENSE. I AM HEADING TO TAHRIR! #JAN25
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:58 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd been watching and hoping, and now this is real...
May I just say: Mefi is an unparalleled medium for real-time history unfolding. Thanks all, and: thanks, Egyptians - this will be unforgettable.
posted by progosk at 8:59 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Don't forget that the army had their backs

Worth repeating from upthread...

... the critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.

Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets – over which they had received the fatal orders – to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.


.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:59 AM on February 11, 2011 [37 favorites]


I turn around for a FUCKING HOUR to actually get some work done, and I miss the money shot?

Me, too! Although the "get some work done" was more along the lines of "help a co-worker figure out why her ipod was being weird, and also eat breakfast."

Holy. Shit.
posted by rtha at 9:00 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is good news. Hopefully everything will work out with the military in charge and there be will be no bloodshed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:01 AM on February 11, 2011


first and ten, egypt! now run it down the field for the touchdown! we're rooting for you!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:02 AM on February 11, 2011


Yeah, I was on the bus. But this is a hell of a way to start a workday.
posted by jokeefe at 9:04 AM on February 11, 2011


United, we stand. Really impressive thing to watch.
posted by theredpen at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2011


WOOT! huh.
a new day for Eqypt
posted by clavdivs at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't mean to derail but i have to say I LOVE METAFILTER!!! It's threads like this where metafilter transitions from being a place where we can all share the best of the web with each other and becomes the best of the web that keep me coming back for more. I love you guys. Sorry it's been an emotional morning. :)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


A commercial that just became more appropriate.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:07 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Today is the anniversary of Mandela's release from prison in 1990. A good day for the breaking of shackles.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm surprised I haven't heard more "Good thing Obama made that Cairo speech, huh?" from the left.

that's because few people on the left are the kind of people who claim credit for someone else's work.

This didn't happen because Obama made a speech. This happened because THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT HAVE BIG BRASS BALLS.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [25 favorites]


May I just say: Mefi is an unparalleled medium for real-time history unfolding. Thanks all, and: thanks, Egyptians - this will be unforgettable.

Especially with the new comment notification!
posted by delmoi at 9:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also, Al Jazeera deserves all the commendations in the world for how they have managed to cover this, to keep it online and one the air, and to never back down.
posted by jokeefe at 9:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT HAVE BIG BRASS BALLS.

You know what it takes to get free?

It takes brass balls to get free.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:10 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the regime is cracking. How far down will it go? This is not anywhere near over yet.
posted by warbaby at 9:10 AM on February 11, 2011


"Egypt's Supreme Military Council to sack cabinet, suspend both houses of parliament and govern with head of Supreme Court," says Reuters. So that sounds pretty good, right?
posted by naju at 9:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


CBC is just panning across the square, no commentary, just cheering and a single voice above it all singing-- the national anthem, perhaps? http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/1221258968/ID=1724278125
posted by jokeefe at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG, I'm sooooo running out of favorites today!
posted by marsha56 at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


@JoeBeese

yes, all of al jazeera's livestream of #Jan25 was released under Creative Common Share Alike, With Attribution.
posted by liza at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2011


This is not anywhere near over yet.

I'm waiting to see if the military is going to continue insisting that the demonstrations end before lifting the emergency law.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:12 AM on February 11, 2011


Egypt has spoken. In the meantime: Will Iran now shut down twits & media??
posted by artdrectr at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2011


I've been sitting here crying for the last hour. Congratulations to the Egyptian people. Here's to this kind of revolution deposing dictators all over the world. There's hope for us all.
posted by nikitabot at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, y'all, if you want to soak in the sights and sounds of the people's victory, do check out the CBC live feed from the square. No commentary, just the crowd.
posted by jokeefe at 9:16 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Work on my PhD or watch Al Jazeera?

Hmm...
posted by knapah at 9:17 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


knapah, I can tell you what choice I made today...
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:18 AM on February 11, 2011


I was curious so I took a look over at what the free repub crowd were saying about this, and I wish I hadn't. Fear is an ever present defining characteristic of their world view.
posted by quin at 9:19 AM on February 11, 2011


Joe the Biden speaking on Egypt now, Barry at 1:30p EST.
posted by fixedgear at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2011


Anyone know what the local time in Cairo was when the announcement of the resignation was aired?
posted by nickmark at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2011


From the beeb: 1719: Swiss foreign ministry says government freezing potential Mubarak assets in Switzerland, Reuters reports.
posted by proj at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Fine summation from @bencnn:

This revolution couldn't have happened to better people. Patient, peaceful, good-humored, resilient, imaginative.

Obviously this is Egypt's moment first, maybe the Arab world's second. But as it reverberates worldwide, I'd love to think this might rock the foundations of but-he's-our-SOB politics and the reflexive defences of the Pax Corporatana; might reveal especially starkly the craven self-interest in the empty platitudes about orderly transitions and honouring existing treaties mouthed by rudderless leaders like my PM, Stephen Harper; might demonstrate that when such leaders need polling data and a dozen analysts to find where their moral compass points in a battle between liberty and tyranny, they no longer represent our values at all; might represent, if you will, the replacement of Davos Men with the people of Tahrir Square as international guides to the road ahead.

I'd love to think this message from ABC's Lara Setrakian, which rolled in as I was banging out the above, is the worldwide takeaway message:

Chants in Tahrir: 'Muslims, Christians, We are One.' The rebirth of a country, with a feeling anything is possible

Because I don't want to speak for everyone, but I know my province and my country and our world could sure use a little bit of that spirit of Tahrir right about now. More than anything, I find myself feeling grateful to those people heaving in jubilation on the AJE feed, grateful to them for demonstrating in living colour on screens the world over that anything is indeed possible.
posted by gompa at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2011 [24 favorites]


nickmark: I believe it was 1400GMT, not sure what time that translates to in Cairo.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2011


I watched last night as Mubarak tried clinging on to power, and remembered writing this on Jan 28th:
Al Jazeera - "I'm not going anywhere, new government tomorrow."
Last roll of the dice?


That was two weeks ago, so apparently he had a few more chances to roll... I'm glad his luck finally ran out.

Fantastic stuff.
posted by knapah at 9:23 AM on February 11, 2011


Mubarak, 3 weeks later: "You can't fire me, I quit"
posted by crayz at 9:23 AM on February 11, 2011


Anyone know what the local time in Cairo was when the announcement of the resignation was aired?

I believe it was about 6PM Cairo time.
posted by marsha56 at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2011


nickmark: It was 6:00 p.m. in Cairo when the announcement was made.
posted by jokeefe at 9:26 AM on February 11, 2011


I believe it was 1400GMT, not sure what time that translates to in Cairo.

That would be 4:00 PM, then. Cairo is GMT+2
posted by saturday_morning at 9:26 AM on February 11, 2011


I am so tempted to move to Egypt. Can you imagine the opportunities? The energy? The cooperation and joy? It'd be a hell of an experience.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


11am Eastern, 1600GMT, 6pm Cairo
posted by tjenks at 9:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The difference between Egypt and Iran is that the Iranian army isn't on the Iranian public's side. And that there's the army and then the more powerful (and better funded) Revolutionary Guard who are very committed to the status quo. As we saw last year, the apparatus of the Iranian state is much stronger than that in Egypt. This could not have happened, could not be happening without a citizens' army, a professional army, modelled after the US example.

IMO, 25-odd years of US funding and training of Egyptian forces may be starting to pay-off. It certainly isn't the only reason this appears to have suceeded, the protestors themselves are the major drivers, as well as the forberance of the officers themselves, but US funding may have been a net plus rather than a total minus.
posted by bonehead at 9:27 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Go now, dog-faced Stargate aliens tell Mubarak
In a message beamed simultaneously through the Stargate and Twitter, Ra said: "You have displeased me son of Osiris. Make way for a new son of Ra. Or the army. Or some other corrupt, tinpot Pharaoh. Or maybe even those crazy Muslim guys. Whatever."

Ra said that if Mubarak did not resign by Saturday 50 million inter-galactic soldiers wearing scary metal dog heads would storm through the Stargate and start fucking things up in scenes that would make Roland Emmerich look like Woody Allen.

A massive spaceship shaped like a pyramid would then land on top of a pyramid, crushing it like a paper cup, before Ra himself steps forth in all her majesty and starts firing deadly lasers from his white-hot eyes.
posted by scalefree at 9:28 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Part one of the miracle has occurred. I hope the next part of the miracle does, too.
Silence all the haters, Egypt!
posted by charred husk at 9:28 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fireworks!
posted by jokeefe at 9:28 AM on February 11, 2011


Swiss foreign ministry says government freezing potential Mubarak assets in Switzerland, Reuters reports.

WHOA.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2011


Fireworks! How perfect!
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2011


Stratfor is saying Mubarak's sudden cave-in has been essentially a coup by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.
posted by aramaic at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2011


As an American, I have felt a lot of pressure throughout my life to think of Middle Easterners (especially Muslims) as a foreign, incomprehensible Other. Some of it, especially the extremes of it after 9/11, I was able to avoid. Some of it, I have unfortunately internalized.

But this? This, along with the Iranian protests? This has made me feel a strong, undeniable sense of brotherhood! And I know I'm not alone. We Americans aren't important here -- this is Egypt's story-- but my point of view obviously is that of an American: we're being given such an unprecedented chance to support Middle Easterners, to happily promote their successes. We can see pictures of Middle Easterners in the streets, protesting and screaming, and then shouting in joy, and it is for a goal that we, Americans, feel particularly positioned to cheer on.

Not all Americans are paying attention to this, and many of them are being fed a warped narrative about what's happening.... But I think, in the long run, this beautiful triumph of the Egyptians is going to be very important for us Americans as well.
posted by meese at 9:30 AM on February 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


I guess I should do some work now, right? Sigh.
posted by jokeefe at 9:30 AM on February 11, 2011


Mubarak, 3 weeks later: "You can't fire me, I quit"

In the end, after all his bluster, he couldn't face the people who had defeated him. He just scurried away down whatever rat hole he had prepared.

"History will judge me," he said.

Indeed.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:31 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"History will judge me," he said.

Did he actually say that cause that is some Darkness At Noon shit right there.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2011


Apparently from Tehran:
@ThinkIran: #Tehran - Every restaurant, tea houses are showing live coverage of #Egypt and tone of people is joy.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:35 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


What an awesome event to be among the first that kokogiak is featuring at his new gig at The Atlantic: In Focus on the Egypt revolution.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:35 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Stratfor has been metafiltered, aramaic, in previous threads on this, revealing very little substance to their statements...
posted by progosk at 9:37 AM on February 11, 2011


thanks for the twitter link madamejujujive. I am doing the Walter Brennen dance, a little dance of joy.
posted by clavdivs at 9:39 AM on February 11, 2011


Stratfor is saying Mubarak's sudden cave-in has been essentially a coup by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

Haven't all of their statements released thus far on the entire situation been totally incorrect, though?
posted by elizardbits at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just so they don't go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, right John?
posted by punkfloyd at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2011


readery: "That bit on NPR this morning about the army and Mubarak took the cake."

Which bit now?
posted by mwhybark at 9:42 AM on February 11, 2011


Swiss foreign ministry says government freezing potential Mubarak assets in Switzerland

LOL
posted by Greg Nog at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


CunningLinguist: "Apparently from Tehran:
@ThinkIran: #Tehran - Every restaurant, tea houses are showing live coverage of #Egypt and tone of people is joy
"

I mentioned this upthread, but it was sort of lost in the hubbub: today is the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution.
posted by mwhybark at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


11/2/11. Today, we are all Egyptians.
posted by stet at 9:45 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


What is the use of keeping assets in Switzerland if you cannot use them after you've been deposed? I thought the Swiss treated that trade like a sacred trust.
posted by banal evil at 9:45 AM on February 11, 2011


"History will judge me," he said.

Didn't GWB say the same thing?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:46 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


ElBaradei: "The United States and its allies have spent the better part of the last decade, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars and countless lives, fighting wars to establish democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that the youth of Cairo, armed with nothing but Facebook and the power of their convictions, have drawn millions into the street to demand a true Egyptian democracy, it would be absurd to continue to tacitly endorse the rule of a regime that has lost its own people’s trust."

Wow.
posted by mattbucher at 9:46 AM on February 11, 2011 [28 favorites]


Switzerland is next
posted by clavdivs at 9:46 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Gross. Please don't tell me Zuckerberg is getting any credit for this.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:47 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the use of keeping assets in Switzerland if you cannot use them after you've been deposed? I thought the Swiss treated that trade like a sacred trust.
That's pre 9/11.
posted by delmoi at 9:48 AM on February 11, 2011


I'd rather Zuckerberg get credit than Bush.
posted by Kattullus at 9:48 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Gross. Please don't tell me Zuckerberg is getting any credit for this.

Well how many friends does Mubarak have? And is it suddenly way fewer than it was yesterday?
posted by philip-random at 9:48 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


You don't give the hammer credit because someone used it to break down a wall.
posted by ashirys at 9:49 AM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


shame on anyone taking credit other then the people.
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]




Gross. Please don't tell me Zuckerberg is getting any credit for this.

Uh, not Zuckerberg, but Egyptian people using social networking sites to assemble--that deserves some credit (since their actual freedom of assembly has been repressed for 30 years). Whatever beef you have with "Zuckerberg", you can't deny that young protesters used Facebook to organize protests.
posted by mattbucher at 9:50 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


ok, the swiss are playing ball. Is there a link or story on folks who may form the new government.
posted by clavdivs at 9:51 AM on February 11, 2011


Al Jazeera English is interviewing Mona Seid again. What a gorgeous, wonderful change from their interview with her the night after the attacks by the pro-Mubarak provocateurs last week. The joy in her voice is delightful.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:54 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hooray! Maybe 2011 will be pretty good after all!
posted by Quietgal at 9:54 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mona Seif is on! I heard her when she was crying while taking cover just a week ago.

Okay. Here come the waterworks.
posted by notion at 9:55 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually I just saw a sign being waved that was a handmade Facebook logo. Gross.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:56 AM on February 11, 2011


Wordsworth poem about the French revolution seems appropriate:
Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress--to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name!
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,
The beauty wore of promise, that which sets
(As at some moment might not be unfelt
Among the bowers of paradise itself)
The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength
Their ministers,--who in lordly wise had stirred
Among the grandest objects of the sense,
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it;--they, too, who, of gentle mood,
Had watched all gentle motions, and to these
Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more mild,
And in the region of their peaceful selves;--
Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty
Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire,
And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish;
Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,--the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!
posted by Kattullus at 9:56 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Whatever your problems with Facebook, without it and the power of social networking sites this would not have happened. Let the people acknowledge it.
posted by schroedinger at 9:57 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


via BBC:

1753: Asked about the military - including Defence Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi - now being in charge, Mohamed ElBaradei tells the BBC: "I think it is not going to just be Tantawi, but the whole military leadership. I also understand that they are going to reach out to all sections of Egyptian society. I hope it will want to share power with civilians through the transitional period. I hope we will have a presidential council, a government of national unity and have enough time - perhaps a year - to prepare for genuine and free elections."

Congrats, Egyptians. I was so afraid last night that the only way this was going to end was a public storming of the presidential palace and Mubarak being dragged into the street in pieces, or the secret police going to Tahir with machine guns.

People power, for reals.
posted by ArkhanJG at 9:58 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah. I'd rather see Zuckerberg's face or his company's logo than the Ayatollah Khomeini. Any. Fucking. Day.
posted by notion at 9:59 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah man, hating on Facebook is really what this moment calls for. Would you have preferred this revolution was fomented on MySpace??
posted by monospace at 9:59 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The joy in Mona Seif's voice after that wrenching interview last week is making me teary, too. She's on twitter as Monasosh and I think she'd love hearing from the world.
posted by cmyk at 10:00 AM on February 11, 2011


The revolution will not be Friendsterized.
posted by hippybear at 10:00 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


It blows me away that the AJE commentator is *apologizing* for asking his correspondents to share their personal feelings.
posted by ashirys at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is just the beginning.
posted by clavdivs at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ethan Zuckerman's Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism at work.

Any revolutionary information system had better be easy to share lolcats with. Facebook has its faults, but its crass commercial nature may be an asset in authoritarian countries.
posted by anthill at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2011


Could we not make this about Zuckerberg, one way or the other? Whether or not Facebook played a truly significant role is something that will probably only be determined after the fact - let's save it for another post.
posted by AdamCSnider at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2011


EvaDestruction: "Al Jazeera English is interviewing Mona Seid again. What a gorgeous, wonderful change from their interview with her the night after the attacks by the pro-Mubarak provocateurs last week. The joy in her voice is delightful."

That was beautiful! She (and her father before her -- Ahmed Seif el-Islam Hamad who founded Kafiya) fought so hard for this day. el-Islam Hamad literally pioneered anti-Mubarak activism.
posted by zarq at 10:02 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crediting Zuckerberg for the revolution is certainly a bit overwrought... Facebook happened to be in the right place at the right time. But I really do think that something huge is building here that can't be overlooked. Young people who have grown up with the tools to easily communicate and organize have an altered understanding of power structures. The masses have always held that power, the base of the pyramid has always been stronger than the top, but for the first we have an equal ability to broadcast our message. This is the beginning of something that is just going to grow.
posted by crackingdes at 10:02 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


without it and the power of social networking sites this would not have happened.

Not a big Rich fan, but I agree with him that this angle has been enormously overblown.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:03 AM on February 11, 2011


Dammit. One of these days I will spell her name correctly. This is unfortunately not the first time I've gotten it wrong, and that's not right, because she is awesome.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:03 AM on February 11, 2011


Guys nobodies crediting Zuckerberg with shit. End this derail plz.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've suspended hating on FB for today, but it may please some of you to consider that the humble dish koshary may have had much more to do with nurturing the revolution. I'm going to cook up a batch tonigh!
posted by Mngo at 10:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


End this derail plz.

Yeah, seriously. Facebook isn't a revolutionary tool (That's Twitter!)

Kidding!
posted by quin at 10:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Speaking of "The People" -- I was looking over the Iranian Revolution after the 31st anniversary comment, and realized that one of the great things about this was that, while there were "leaders" I'm sure, it seems that it really was a revolution of "The People". There was no great Ayatollah in exile or even in country. There were some figure heads, perhaps... El Baradei, but aside from one little cut off speech, he didn't do much.

This was clearly a force from below. THAT is fucking democracy. It was inclusive and united.

What is next? I'm afraid for them. Not because I think it's bad. I just hope that powerful forces (inside or outside) influence this unduly (of course they will influence it somehow. but I hope the people really do get a voice).

One thing I'd demand is that ANY constitutional provisions MUST be decided on a mass vote. The first thing that must be done is safeguarding the electoral process itself. While in some sense the "hard" part is done (especially to all the martyrs who died and were injured, and those who went many sleepless nights, who were tortured, and much much more than I can fathom, for this cause), the next part must have them taking some very measured steps to make sure to build a good solid constitution.

The originators of this movement were very very wise to be inclusive. I pray that wisdom continues to come from all levels who are involved in the next steps!
posted by symbioid at 10:07 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hereby apologize for Mohamed ElBaradei mentioning Facebook in his New York Times Op-Ed.

Also, I am flying to Sharm El-Sheik & handing over power to my council of kitten leaders.
posted by mattbucher at 10:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I really do think that something huge is building here that can't be overlooked. Young people who have grown up with the tools to easily communicate and organize have an altered understanding of power structures.

And an altered understanding of their relationship with people in other countries and social classes. Internet connected youth in Greece, Egypt, London, Cairo, wherever, feel probably more connection with each other than the older generation in their own countries.

This is a revolution that can (and will) be exported easily. And I don't think just the Arab world.
posted by empath at 10:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Heh. ElBaradei's role has also been overblown.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:10 AM on February 11, 2011


The Lede reports that "both of last night's addresses by Mubarak and Suleiman were in defiance of the armed forces."
posted by madamjujujive at 10:10 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


clavdivs: "This is just the beginning."

One can only hope. True democracy needs to come to the region and be allowed to flourish.

It will be fascinating to see what sort of role the Muslim Brotherhood will play in the new government. They'll be involved, to be sure. But I doubt they'll be able to gain any real traction unless they also embrace change. Their leader Badi, is as old as Mubarak and probably represents the old regime (and outdated religious practices!) to the young, mostly secular Egyptian activists that spurred this revolution. Do the Brotherhood have a charismatic leader in their ranks that they can call on to make themselves more relevant, like ElBaradei or Nour?

We live in wonderfully interesting times. :)
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on February 11, 2011


Are there other sources besides Fisk's column from last night on the army's disobeying Mubarak's orders on January 30th to kill protesters? I hope we'll be seeing a lot more on this story.
posted by RogerB at 10:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually, I think he's been underblown.
posted by mattbucher at 10:11 AM on February 11, 2011


@LeonPanetta: ‘I was 12 hours off. Back the $#@% off.’ #Egypt
posted by scalefree at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


One thing that's incredibly important: this revolution happened because the army disobeyed their orders. They were Egyptian citizens first, and soldiers second.
posted by notion at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


From Wikileaks, via the BBC:
1811: But the US diplomatic cables also reveal that American diplomats find Field Marshal Tantawi "aged and change-resistant". "Charming and courtly, he is nonetheless mired in a post-Camp David military paradigm that has served his cohort's narrow interests for the last three decades," said one cable in 2008, referring to Israel's peace agreement with Egypt. He had "opposed both economic and political reform that he perceives as eroding central government power", it added.

1809: More on Field Marshal Tantawi, now understood to be running the country. US officials see him as an ally "committed to avoiding another war" with Israel, according to diplomatic cables published by the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
posted by proj at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hooray! A victory for the People on the Side of Not Being Tortured!

This has been a long time coming, and it took a lot of people working together to pull this off, but I don't want to forget about Mohamed Bouazizi. He was the Tunisian street vendor who committed suicide by setting himself on fire. This was credited with being a major catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution.

This has been great to watch, both on Metafilter and Al Jazeera. In addition to learning that Egyptians are awesome, I have also learned how much American news coverage really really sucks.
posted by marxchivist at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


And more, from the same source:
1814: Augustus Richard Norton, a Middle East specialist at Boston University, wrote recently: "Don't think for a minute that Tantawi and his subordinates will embrace a government that does not protect its interests." He noted that retired senior officers are present in nearly every ministry and agency in Egypt.

1813: Another US cable from 2008 reported that disgruntled mid-level Egyptian officers referred to Field Marshal Tantawi as "Mubarak's poodle". His leadership was also criticised, with Cairo embassy officials saying that under him "the tactical and operational readiness of the Egyptian armed forces has decayed".
posted by proj at 10:16 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


empath: " This is a revolution that can (and will) be exported easily. And I don't think just the Arab world."

Revolution isn't enough. They'll establish a true fledgling democracy, and that will need to be nurtured for a generation or two to survive. Newly-minted democracies usually fail. It's going to take a lifetime continuation of the passion and idealism that brought about this day to prevent the inevitable rise of corruption and disillusionment with the power of democratic government for this to be judged a long-term success.

Exporting revolution is easy. Making it stick is hard.
posted by zarq at 10:16 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is one of those rare times that I'm really glad I was right. I did not feel Mubarak would be able to stand up against the crushing tide of opposition, and I did not feel the army would support him any longer, and I did not think there would be mass killings and loss of life, and while there has been violence, this has been one of the most peaceful and hopeful revolutions I've seen.

Hooray for Egypt!
posted by Mister_A at 10:19 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]




Another US cable from 2008 reported that disgruntled mid-level Egyptian officers referred to Field Marshal Tantawi as "Mubarak's poodle"

It wasn't ever likely that they'd actually get a non-institutional interim leader, was it? Mubarak's giant personality is gone, the aura of invincibility is gone, and the demand for decent elections in September is very clear. What happens in the government between now and then seems less important than what's happened up till now and what happens at/after those elections.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:22 AM on February 11, 2011


(Also: love how the title of this post fits after all.)
posted by progosk at 10:22 AM on February 11, 2011


The Arabist: Tonight we party - Let's leave the analysis for tomorrow. Tahya Masr!
posted by adamvasco at 10:25 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start
posted by Sailormom at 10:26 AM on February 11, 2011


Statement number 3!
posted by cortex at 10:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The military is speaking on state tv.
posted by divide_by_cucumber at 10:27 AM on February 11, 2011


Egyptian Millitary: "Statement #4 will be forthcoming in the future."
posted by delmoi at 10:28 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


- shit's pretty crazy, we're taking a good look
- we'll talk more later
- go Mubarak for stepping the fuck down
- we salute the dead
- peace out
posted by cortex at 10:29 AM on February 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


Statement 2 was probably their best work.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:30 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]




What a great story: the taxi driver for one of the correspondents was so overjoyed that he jumped out of his car, danced around in the street, and then headed off to Tahrir Square, leaving his car behind with the correspondent and cameraman.
posted by ashirys at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2011 [17 favorites]


So what happens when they lift the Gaza blockade and the Muslim Brotherhood starts training Hamas in non-violent resistance?
posted by empath at 10:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


So what happens when they lift the Gaza blockade and the Muslim Brotherhood starts training Hamas in non-violent resistance?

Oh yeah. I'd love to see that. Really.
posted by marxchivist at 10:36 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So what happens when they lift the Gaza blockade and the Muslim Brotherhood starts training Hamas in non-violent resistance?

The Cubs win the pennant.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:38 AM on February 11, 2011 [20 favorites]


I'm serious. This, more than anything else, would appear to be a critical blow against the entire philosophy behind Islamic terrorism. The sole justification for terrorism against the west is that it's necessary to fight the western imposted dictatorships in the arab world. You fight the far enemy to weaken the near one.

Egypt has proved conclusively that there is another way.
posted by empath at 10:39 AM on February 11, 2011 [44 favorites]


"So what happens when they lift the Gaza blockade and the Muslim Brotherhood starts training Hamas in non-violent resistance?"

A different question: what happens if the grass roots route around Hamas and have their own protests and goals? Let's not forget that it's not impossible it would be Hamas they were protesting against over some issues.
posted by jaduncan at 10:41 AM on February 11, 2011


This is possibly bigger than Perestroika and related revolutions. It rejects western interventionism, rejects terrorism as a political option, rejects Saudi authority, totally changes the dynamics of the Palestine question...

Wipe the slate clean for politics in the Middle East. We are starting over.
posted by notion at 10:42 AM on February 11, 2011 [19 favorites]


I like to think that people have come to realize that maybe all this killing and stuff is just not working.
posted by Mister_A at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Obama should give his Nobel Peace Prize to the Al Jazeera crew.
posted by notion at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2011 [23 favorites]


A different question: what happens if the grass roots route around Hamas and have their own protests and goals? Let's not forget that it's not impossible it would be Hamas they were protesting against over some issues.

I agree, this is also a possibility. Gaza is a basket case.
posted by empath at 10:44 AM on February 11, 2011


The mid-east folk, like we western folk, are mostly decent people wanting to just get by nicely in life.

The mid-east leaders, like our western leaders, are often bad people wanting to empower or enrich themselves, with little consideration for ordinary folk.

I hope that we westerners start seeing the difference between mid-east leaders and mid-east citizens. The fear and hate promulgated by our corporate-owned media has done us a grave disservice.

We should be standing with and in support of mid-east citizens. Let true democracy take root: let we the people have our wish to just nicely get by in life.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The sole justification for terrorism against the west is that it's necessary to fight the western imposted dictatorships in the arab world.

This is a huge point, actually. Successful peaceful resistance is a major blow against terrorist philosophy.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


What Hath Internet Wrought?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:44 AM on February 11, 2011


What Hath Internet Wrought?

AWESOME.
posted by notion at 10:45 AM on February 11, 2011


I like to think that people have come to realize that maybe all this killing and stuff is just not working.

Honestly, that's a lovely statement and it's great that there hasn't been the bloodshed that could have happened, but frankly shooting people does kind of solve things in terms of a revolution. I doubt the finality of the act has been forgotten by those who want such things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:46 AM on February 11, 2011


ha, egypt just bought me a coffee, but i paid for my smokes. I am so happy to see my friend happy. My contact in the region is sleeping, which is very good. Had a rumor that the Police were asked to not turn out enmasee (today) I left that out of my post last night, that was my 'signal' that it was over for Hosni.
(what is it about fighter jocks)
posted by clavdivs at 10:47 AM on February 11, 2011


Feel incredibly lucky to have seen this day as well as the fall of the Berlin wall (which I had been behind when it was still firmly under dictatorship control). Freedom wins.
posted by bearwife at 10:47 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


What Hath Internet Wrought?

That internet memes are a human universal.
posted by raztaj at 10:48 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Big Picture just put up some great photos from the past two days.
posted by something something at 10:49 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Successful peaceful resistance is a major blow against terrorist philosophy."

well said and should be minted on shirts and minds
posted by clavdivs at 10:49 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fisk is live on Democracy Now!, in case anyone's interested. Quoting Siegfried Sassoon to describe the reaction to Mubarak's speech in Tahrir Square: "Everyone suddenly burst out singing."
posted by RogerB at 10:50 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I agree, this is also a possibility. Gaza is a basket case."

Yes, indeed. I don't think the Egyptian protesters would be hugely in favour of Hamas' purges and killings of Fatah. One of the best things about this was that it wasn't defined by the relationship to Israel or the US at all, and certainly wasn't to establish a religious state. I don't think the Egyptian protesters demanding freedoms and civil rights in a pluralist state and Hamas are really on the same side, in much the same way that I don't think that Jefferson and Franklyn would really have got along with Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson.
posted by jaduncan at 10:50 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


RT @3arabawy I can't recall how many times we thought we 're about to b massacred & our revolution 'd be squashed. Still the will of the people prevailed

I am just in such total awe of Egyptian bravery.

On January 24, just as the protests in Egypt were taking shape, two post election Iranian protesters were executed - When I saw this photo, I wept and wondered if they were people whose tweets i followed, whose words I read, or whose faces I saw in photos or videos when I was glued to my monitor following those protests. I have been so fearful that this would end with similar bloodshed and defeat for the Egyptian protesters. It's so easy for me to be brave here from my computer. I don't know how these people find the courage and integrity to stand up to such brute power.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:51 AM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Thoughts on the Internet's role in this: First, Time's Man of the Year selection isn't looking so bad now is it? Second: maybe we shouldn't have spent all these years forcing the nation of Cuba to share an agonizingly slow satellite connection. Third: if you feel like you have a voice online and you can organize a protest, perhaps you no longer need to strap a bomb to your chest.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:53 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Arabist: Tonight we party - Let's leave the analysis for tomorrow.

The Angry Arab hasn't posted since "It is official. He gave power to the military command."

Maybe he doesn't feel angry about anything at the moment.

This, more than anything else, would appear to be a critical blow against the entire philosophy behind Islamic terrorism.

Yep.

Bad day for the bad guys.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:54 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Err Msg: An unknown error has occurred: 'President Mubarak' not found.

[Cheer] [Throw your arms in the air] [party like it's 1999]
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:54 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


FOX News talking heads (paraphrased very roughly just now): "Have to realize that the Muslim Brotherhood may play a significant role ... Ninety percent of Egyptian women have undergone female genital mutilation ... the US cannot delude itself as in Iran that the Egyptian people want to live like Sweden ... may say they want democracy, and then twenty minutes later turn around and establish a theocratic regime."
posted by hat at 10:55 AM on February 11, 2011


That Big Picture is fantastic. I'm especially moved by this image of a woman reacting to the announcement that Mubarak had resigned.
posted by ashirys at 10:55 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm told that Fox News is showing Al-Jazeera footage without acknowledgement and with the logo cropped out. Can someone confirm this bullshit?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:56 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"[Cheer] [Throw your arms in the air] [party like it's 1999]"

[party like it's 1789]
posted by jaduncan at 10:56 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not 1789 yet. It's 1783.
posted by Flunkie at 10:58 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I'm told that Fox News is showing Al-Jazeera footage without acknowledgement and with the logo cropped out. Can someone confirm this bullshit?"

They'd almost certainly be within their rights - Al Jazeera placed some of it under Creative Commons. I doubt that Fox management really want to admit that they get their footage from a channel they have previously stated supported Osama bin Laden.

But hey, this is just another example of assholes being assholes. Tonight, there are just a few less assholes with a megaphone.
posted by jaduncan at 10:58 AM on February 11, 2011


NO, 1848, NO like 2011 because we are in new waters, new, minty new
posted by clavdivs at 11:00 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


FOX News talking heads .... Ninety percent of Egyptian women have undergone female genital mutilation ....

Oh yes of course, because if there's one thing Fox News has always stood for, it's staunchly defending women's rights both domestically and internationally. Shut the fuck up, fox.
posted by elizardbits at 11:00 AM on February 11, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm still basically speechless.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:01 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This has been a long time coming, and it took a lot of people working together to pull this off, but I don't want to forget about Mohamed Bouazizi.

...and Ahmed Hashem el-Sayed.
posted by electroboy at 11:02 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


empath: "So what happens when they lift the Gaza blockade

Israel becomes forced to deal with what they've wrought. Which is a good thing.

...and the Muslim Brotherhood starts training Hamas in non-violent resistance?"

There have been literally hundreds of non-violent protests by Palestinians, (usually in conjunction with Israelis) over the last decade. They are rarely publicized outside of the New York Times, Ha'aretz or blogs like Tikkun Olam. Non-violent forms of protest tend to get drowned out when they're competing for media time against violent ones.

Hamas would have to actively promote the idea of a Palestinian state peacefully coexisting with Israel to successfully endorse non-violent forms of protest.
posted by zarq at 11:02 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


... the US cannot delude itself as in Iran that the Egyptian people want to live like Sweden ...

What? FOX is now thinking Sweden's social-democracy is a cool thing? Revolution Per Minute, folks. Revolutions Per Minute.
posted by philip-random at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


What is the FOX angle on this anyway? Is it just fear-mongering for the sake of fear-mongering? Pro-Israeli sentiment? Do they somehow hope for it to reflect poorly on Obama? I just really don't get why they're presenting it this way. Americans tend to be down on dictators even if they are our creatures.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Fox News likes Sweden so much, shouldn't they campaign for the US to be more like Sweden?
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2011


This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Mubarak, and will soon see the end of the regime.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:04 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love the firebreather they're showing on AJE right now. How cool is that?
posted by ashirys at 11:04 AM on February 11, 2011


What is the FOX angle on this anyway? Is it just fear-mongering for the sake of fear-mongering?

Well, that pretty much made them into the successful network they are today. Why abandon a winning strategy?
posted by hippybear at 11:04 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


One day, when Americans have freedom and democracy, we could boycott Fox and surround their headquarters with protests until they shut their doors. One day.
posted by notion at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


That Big Picture is fantastic. I'm especially moved by this image of a woman reacting to the announcement that Mubarak had resigned.

I love this photo. A truly modern revolution.
posted by Kabanos at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Oh yes of course, because if there's one thing Fox News has always stood for, it's staunchly defending women's rights both domestically and internationally. Shut the fuck up, fox."

On peeking, Fox appears to be not too far away from demanding that the Middle East be kept under authoritarian rule just to deny the possibility of people having political freedoms. I kind of wish I hadn't looked, but I was struck by how much further they've moved on since Bush would make the claim that democracy was a good thing to a stance just above 'keep the Islamic population under a jackboot'.
posted by jaduncan at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2011


I am not going to let Fock Snues harsh my vibe. I'm so full of hope for humanity right now -- I want this feeling to last.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


OK, let's leave the Fox News and "America's next!" talk for another thread maybe? This is about the Egyptians winning their freedom today.
posted by proj at 11:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Mubarak, and will soon see the end of the regime.

Remember that ended up turning out in the movie, though?
posted by saturday_morning at 11:06 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno about the FOX angle, but the Free Republic angle is that this is an enormous pro-communist pro-terrorist conspiracy by Bill Ayers and Code Pink.

Sadly, not making that up.
posted by KathrynT at 11:07 AM on February 11, 2011


Also...just HURRRAHHH!

*grins*

Because seriously, you know.

*grins wider*
posted by jaduncan at 11:07 AM on February 11, 2011


"I'm told that Fox News is showing Al-Jazeera footage without acknowledgement and with the logo cropped out. Can someone confirm this bullshit?"

They'd almost certainly be within their rights - Al Jazeera placed some of it under Creative Commons.


Um, I don't think this is true. You can use the footage, but I believe that you have to give attribution. Cropping out the Al Jazeera would violate the Creative Commons agreement.

p.s. If I don't have this quite right, feel free to correct me. I'm not a Creative Commons / copyright expert.
posted by marsha56 at 11:07 AM on February 11, 2011


One day, when Americans have freedom and democracy, we could boycott Fox and surround their headquarters with protests until they shut their doors. One day

The unintended irony in this sentence is thick.
posted by empath at 11:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Demonstrators kiss an Egyptian soldier in Tahrir Square. Through much of the 17 days of protests, soldiers and demonstrators have shown moments of solidarity. (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)
posted by Joe Beese at 11:08 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm serious. This, more than anything else, would appear to be a critical blow against the entire philosophy behind Islamic terrorism.

i'm reminded of this post...
In "The Looming Tower," his history of Al Qaeda, Lawrence Wright raises the possibility that "America's tragedy on September 11 was born in the prisons of Egypt." By visiting imprisonment, torture and exile upon Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak foreclosed any possibility of an Islamic revolution in his own country. But he also helped radicalize and internationalize his country's Islamists, pushing men like Ayman Al-Zawahiri — Osama bin Laden's chief lieutenant, and arguably the real brains behind Al Qaeda — out of Egyptian politics and into the global jihad.
cf. Time to end the Arab exception - "After the 9/11 attack on America, a misguided 'they-hate-us-for-our-freedoms' industry emerged. No. What Arabs and Muslims hate is western support for those who deny them their freedoms."

Mohamed El-Erian: Resetting Egypt's economy - "Egypt's friends and allies will have a chance to support the country's economic recovery. In particular, they should stand ready to provide central bank swap lines, as well as to significantly accelerate and redirect aid in the pipeline. And they should actively facilitate the involvement of institutions that already have effective links and extensive networks among the most vulnerable segments of Egyptian society." viz. "re-prioritize aid to Egypt"

The Big Picture just put up some great photos from the past two days.

also btw in focus is in effect...

A truly modern revolution.

indeed :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 11:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wael Ghonim: A call to all well-educated Egyptians around the world. Come back ASAP to build our nation. #Jan25
posted by notion at 11:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


One day, when Americans have freedom and democracy, we could boycott Fox and surround their headquarters with protests until they shut their doors. One day.
posted by notion at 11:05 AM on February 11 [+] [!]


Mobs closing down a free press! The true mark of a free democracy.
posted by proj at 11:09 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something tells me Wael Ghonim will have a political future before he goes back to Google. He certainly deserves one.
posted by jaduncan at 11:11 AM on February 11, 2011


marsha56: Um, I don't think this is true. You can use the footage, but I believe that you have to give attribution. Cropping out the Al Jazeera would violate the Creative Commons agreement.

It depends on what type of CC license they put on the footage. My guess is that they probably were using at least the Attribution license, but I don't know.
posted by ashirys at 11:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder what Jimmy Carter thinks of all this.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


"You can't win against a political structure where you don't have the votes. But you can win against an economic power structure when you have the... power to make the difference between a merchant's profit and loss." -MLK, 1962
posted by notion at 11:11 AM on February 11, 2011


p.s. If I don't have this quite right, feel free to correct me. I'm not a Creative Commons / copyright expert.

Sounds right. If they wanted to crop it to keep their viewers from seeing scary middle-eastern writing, they should have at least attributed the feed.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:11 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera was also using a Reuters camera feed from time to time. It may not be an al jazeera camera.
posted by empath at 11:12 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the FOX angle on this anyway? Is it just fear-mongering for the sake of fear-mongering? Pro-Israeli sentiment? Do they somehow hope for it to reflect poorly on Obama?

All three.

Plus that problem they have with brown-skinned human beings.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Today we are all Egyptian.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's under CC BY 3.0 (Attribution 3.0 Unported). This means you are free to:
"to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to Remix — to adapt the work"

Attributiion must be given, but since the work is adapted it's part of the wider news broadcast. I'd guess Fox will credit them at 0345 in the morning if the lawyers demand it enough.
posted by jaduncan at 11:13 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Today we are all Egyptian.

why does that wash through me like a ghost of historigraphy.
posted by clavdivs at 11:16 AM on February 11, 2011


Today we are all Egyptian.

اليوم كلنا مصريون
posted by proj at 11:18 AM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Someone brought fireworks out. Cool.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:19 AM on February 11, 2011


"Historiography"
need lunch. maybe a metatalk thread for celebration- this once?
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 AM on February 11, 2011


This is a fantastic picture. Well composed, with the flags and the peace sign and the soldiers celebrating with the civilians, and the out-thrust cellphones underscore the modernity of it all
posted by Rhaomi at 11:26 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Loathe as I am to post Kanye West, this shit is inspiring

via FB and my Egyptian sister-in-law whose heart is breaking on account of she fled the country in the interests of her two- and five-year-old children.
posted by stet at 11:29 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


The faces of the soldiers last night listening to Mubarak's last stand.

I wonder what was going through their minds just then.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:31 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what Jimmy Carter thinks of all this.

If this is a dig at the Camp David agreements etc, my thinking is that:

A. he's damned glad that they did what they did way back when to put a halt to a never ending series of wars with Israel, and ...

B. he's damned glad that the Egyptian people are now taking things to the next step, and are in the process of wrestling control of their nation from the hands of various thugs who've had all the power for way too long.

History has never been pretty. Change seems impossible for decades. Everything suddenly changes in a period of days. I mean, look at America. From ABSOLUTE REPUBLICAN CONTROL of every federal arm of government to President Obama in what? Two years.

I hope certain LOUD cynics I know are out smelling roses right now.
posted by philip-random at 11:31 AM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Loathe as I am to post Kanye West, this shit is inspiring

If somebody does a newer video with Mubarak stepping down to "Power", that might be nuts.
posted by cashman at 11:33 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


bearwife: "Feel incredibly lucky to have seen this day as well as the fall of the Berlin wall (which I had been behind when it was still firmly under dictatorship control). Freedom wins."

Man if this were reddit I'd say do an IAMA/AMA (I Am A (Former East German(?)) Ask Me Anything)!
posted by symbioid at 11:33 AM on February 11, 2011


Joe Beese: Prolly this.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:35 AM on February 11, 2011


Play him out, No Mubarak Cat.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:36 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Joe: "My aunt-who lives next to Mubarak- told me the guards started firing in celebration the moment he left. REVOLUTION!" (Sandmonkey, on Twitter)
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:38 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ask away. I was a US visitor in the mid 70s, traveling to Hungary (Budapest and countryside), Czechoslovakia (Prague and countryside), Berliin east and west, and then through East Germany countryside until finally -- thankfully -- taking a ferry to Copenhagen, which seemed like fairyland by comparison. Seeing the lead in in the late 80s, the crumbling of the Eastern bloc governments, the rising up of brave East Germans, and finally the collapse of the wall was simply wonderful.

I am glad that cell phones, the internet, laptops and all the rest helped the Egyptians win this huge victory for liberty, but most of all I see that yet again, the human spirit has prevailed.
posted by bearwife at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Play him out, No Mubarak Cat.

I've been worried about that cat. I hope he or she is all right.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been worried about that cat. I hope he or she is all right.

In my heart I know that s/he is sitting in a windowsill, swishing tail in curiosity at the unusual amount of noise coming from the dark streets.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:43 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The unintended irony in this sentence is thick.

Not really. We have always had and still have the right to kill ANY business enterprise that we have legitimate reason to believe are opposed to our interests. It doesn't matter that a business markets itself (dishonestly) as some free speech vanguard. We have the right to oppose to whatever extent we feel fit any enterprise that we, as a people, decide are counter to democratic interests.

Fox's executives are deeply connected to the Republican party establishment--so much so that if the Republican party ever did become a despotic party, it would undoubtedly serve as the official party propaganda outlet of that party. I mean really, the direct ties between the Republican party establishment and the network are striking: it was founded by a former Nixon political operative.

There have been periods in the recent past (under Bush Jr. at his peak) when in certain state government sectors, a Republican party card was essentially mandatory for getting state contract work, so it's not like there aren't tendencies toward the kind of real authoritarianism among some of the more reactionary Movement Conservative elements. Seriously. Broadcast networks are inherently not proper organs of free speech and never have been because they are too cost-prohibitive to be considered public media; speech via the medium of broadcast networks is not universally accessible enough to constitute free speech. If access to a particular form of media is out of reach to the majority of the people, it's inherently not a fair outlet for free speech. On the contrary, it's inherently susceptible to use for purposes of spreading disinformation. That's why, before Reagan, we never extended broadcast outlets unqualified free speech protections as such for the vast majority of our nation's history.

Regardless, part of any truly free media landscape must be the ability for the public to freely reject certain media outlets. People spontaneously rising up against Fox, CNN, or whatever big media conglomerate absolutely cannot be preempted legitimately on free speech grounds because, again, major media broadcast outlets are inherently monopolistic in character (not only due to bandwidth limits but also due to the unreasonably high cost of access).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Historiography"
need lunch. maybe a metatalk thread for celebration- this once?
posted by clavdivs

I just ran it up the flag pole
posted by Sailormom at 11:44 AM on February 11, 2011


One day, when Americans have freedom and democracy, we could boycott Fox and surround their headquarters with protests until they shut their doors. One day.
posted by notion at 11:05 AM on February 11 [+] [!]

Mobs closing down a free press! The true mark of a free democracy.


That jibe would be more effective if Fox News were actually part of the free press, rather than being the established organ of the right-wing elites to distribute their disinformation and propaganda.
posted by aught at 11:44 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mobs closing down a free press! The true mark of a free democracy.

Broadcast outlets are not free presses. Sorry. That view only ever emerged on the cultural landscape once the Republican political establishment began implementing their conscious strategy to combat the "liberal" media bias Roger Ailes' mentor Nixon complained so bitterly about when it discredited him.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:46 AM on February 11, 2011


That's why, before Reagan, we never extended broadcast outlets unqualified free speech protections as such for the vast majority of our nation's history.

Well, part of why, at least.

posted by saulgoodman at 11:47 AM on February 11, 2011


FOR FUCKS SAKE STOP TALKING ABOUT FOX NEWS FOR ONCE. THIS ISN'T ABOUT THEM.
posted by auto-correct at 11:48 AM on February 11, 2011 [28 favorites]


I just ran it up the flag pole

and cortex promptly burned the flag.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:49 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama expected to say something in about 11 minutes (2000 GMT).
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:50 AM on February 11, 2011


and cortex promptly burned the flag.

Well next time it will be cortex' boxers on the flag pole.
posted by Sailormom at 11:53 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


7.37pm GMT: Hosni Mubarak spent his last hours in office bitterly denouncing the US, according to a phone call he held with an Israeli politician.

Reuters reports that former Labour cabinet minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer had a 20-minute conversation yesterday with Mubarak: "He had very tough things to say about the United States," Ben-Eliezer told Israeli TV.

According to Reuters:

"He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: 'We see the democracy the United States spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that's the fate of the Middle East,'" Ben-Eliezer said.

"'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying.
Guardian.
posted by proj at 11:54 AM on February 11, 2011


FOR FUCKS SAKE STOP TALKING ABOUT FOX NEWS FOR ONCE. THIS ISN'T ABOUT THEM.

Fair enough. But dammit, it's not like they don't play an actual significant role in world affairs like this.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:54 AM on February 11, 2011


You're right, auto-correct. It's about keyboard cat. I hate to inform you guys. He's dead. So if he's watching, he's watching from Kitty Heaven with Mohammed (pbuh) by his side.
posted by symbioid at 11:55 AM on February 11, 2011


"'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying.

Hosni Mubarak, newest addition to the Fox News team?
posted by electroboy at 11:55 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


He had very tough things to say about the United States

Good. I would only feel unhappy if he had nice and complimentary things to say.
posted by bearwife at 11:56 AM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh christ. It wasn't even about Keyboard cat!!! Damnit, click the link before comment, symbioid!
posted by symbioid at 11:56 AM on February 11, 2011


He had very tough things to say about the United States

Disgruntled ex-employee.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:57 AM on February 11, 2011 [19 favorites]


When the military takes charge of a country, it is usually not a celebratory moment for me. This time is different, though. There is amazing support for the Egyptian people all over the world right now. What a moment!
posted by kozad at 11:57 AM on February 11, 2011


Obama expected to say something in about 11 minutes (2000 GMT).

What is a good go-to for a reliable live stream of this? Cspan?
posted by cashman at 11:58 AM on February 11, 2011


http://www.whitehouse.gov/live
posted by proj at 11:58 AM on February 11, 2011


Never thought I would want to listen to the noise of a crowd for an hour + , but here I am. There will be plenty of time to listen to the reporters, read the analyses, struggle to understand what this means for the future. I tried playing some music and getting some actual work done, but it just sounded....irrelevant. So I'm just keeping a tab open on the livefeed cam that watches over the crowd, listening to the roar of people who have well earned their entry to the biggest, most awesome party being held on planet Earth tonight.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:59 AM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


AJE will carry it, won't they?
posted by saturday_morning at 11:59 AM on February 11, 2011


This is a fantastic picture. Well composed, with the flags and the peace sign and the soldiers celebrating with the civilians, and the out-thrust cellphones underscore the modernity of it all

Except for the complete absence of women.
posted by Rumple at 12:00 PM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


http://www.whitehouse.gov/live
posted by ekroh at 12:01 PM on February 11, 2011


Interesting. From the BBC: 1959: CBS News's Chip Reid has confirmation that US President Barack Obama has not spoken to any Egyptian leaders today.
posted by proj at 12:01 PM on February 11, 2011


FOR FUCKS SAKE STOP TALKING ABOUT FOX NEWS FOR ONCE. THIS ISN'T ABOUT THEM.

You're kinda right, there.

But the dynamics are very, very important to recognize here. The right has a huuuuge dog in this fight. This is a huge smackdown to their worldview. The "we're OK with supporting a dictator who will do our bidding" isn't going to fly as well tomorrow as it did yesterday. Anybody who's been paying attention has already noticed the absurdity in being both pro-Mubarak and anti-Sadaam. It's about pragmatism, not principle.

After some cogitation, here's what I see happening. Fox and the right will scream that this revolution is orchestrated by Muslim terrorists and various other America and Israel-haters. If everything blows up, they'll crow about how right they were.

If, on the other hand, democracy breaks out, they will smoothly shift gears and say this was all brought about by our interventionist policies designed to allow democracy to flourish in the Middle East.

Win, win.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:01 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


AJE will carry it, won't they?

I'd think so. His comments have been slipping later and later though. Someone here will give a shoutout, I'm sure.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:01 PM on February 11, 2011


Speaking of noise and Egypt to listen to...

Here's a link (found in an earlier thread?) to a stream of an experimental electronic music from Egypt who died during the revolution.
R E V O L U T I O N

The program of this radio will be dedicated to Ahmed Basiony who died on the great egyptian revolution.
A great man, a great musician

Egyptian artist and musician Ahmed Bassiouni died on January 28, the fourth day of major anti-government demonstrations in the current Egyptian uprising.
Thanks to whoever linked it first.
posted by symbioid at 12:01 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If, on the other hand, democracy breaks out, they will smoothly shift gears and say this was all brought about by our interventionist policies designed to allow democracy to flourish in the Middle East.

Unless the democracy features the Muslim Brotherhood, right?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:03 PM on February 11, 2011


Here we go.
posted by proj at 12:04 PM on February 11, 2011


AJE is waiting for Obama to take the podium.

Commenter says Mubarak gave him a "shifty move" by not stepping down last night.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:04 PM on February 11, 2011


proj: " "'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying."

I would be interested to know if Ben Eliezer is really quoting from Mubarak or making that up to suit his own political agenda. The Egyptian revolution is not theocratic. It is secular. Religion has played a very minor role. The Muslim Brotherhood is not going to gain power from these events (at least, not for a long while.) Nor is the population of Egypt suddenly going to embrace radicalism wholesale because they tossed out a dictator. Nor is it likely that this will cause a firestorm of religious extremism anywhere else in the Middle East.

The only people who are saying it is a theocratic revolution are those who are lying to push a political message of fear to their audiences: right wingers.
posted by zarq at 12:05 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The right has a huuuuge dog in this fight. This is a huge smackdown to their worldview. The "we're OK with supporting a dictator who will do our bidding" isn't going to fly as well tomorrow

There are surely some right wingers that fall within this description -- Cheney for one -- but be fair. Bill Kristol, for example, has been supporting the move to democracy.

Today, maybe we should not be right or left, but just pro democracy and freedom.
posted by bearwife at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama speaking now.
posted by ashirys at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2011


Unless the democracy features the Muslim Brotherhood, right?

Well, that's kind of my point. The hardcore right could give fuck-all about democracy. As long as they can assert their superiority and "rightness", and keep the money flowing, all is right in the world.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:07 PM on February 11, 2011


Glad Obama called for the military to lift the emergency law.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:07 PM on February 11, 2011


Rumple: "Except for the complete absence of women."

There were plenty of women out celebrating, just not in that particular shot.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:08 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama speaking now.

Shhhhhhhh, everyone shut up for a sec!
posted by mkultra at 12:09 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


President Obama is speaking now.
Gotta say, it's more fun reading you folks here.
Go Team Egypt!
posted by artof.mulata at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


When it's available, could someone please post a link to or transcript of Obama's speech?
posted by reductiondesign at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2011


"HalaGorani: Egyptian state TV is airing President Obama's speech on #Egypt"

I've been wondering what the state TV has been showing for the past few hours... anyone know more?
posted by raztaj at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2011


Dalia Ziada, a long-time human rights activist and blogger, was one of these core activists. A few years ago, she came across an American comic book from the 1950s that told Martin Luther King’s story. Inspired by the success of King’s nonviolent tactics, she translated the book into Arabic and published it in print and online. [via]
posted by warbaby at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


raztaj: Al-Jazeera. Seriously.
posted by proj at 12:12 PM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


proj: woah!
posted by raztaj at 12:14 PM on February 11, 2011


We have always had and still have the right to kill ANY business enterprise that we have legitimate reason to believe are opposed to our interests. It doesn't matter that a business markets itself (dishonestly) as some free speech vanguard. We have the right to oppose to whatever extent we feel fit any enterprise that we, as a people, decide are counter to democratic interests.

This is a fair point.

However, this particular business enterprise is not best killed by stomping it out with a mob. Because that'll just seed more.

This particular business enterprise is best killed with the slow starvation of public indifference.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on February 11, 2011


I would be interested to know if Ben Eliezer is really quoting from Mubarak or making that up to suit his own political agenda.

Mubarak has long used the threat of Islamism (political Islam) to justify his own regime. It helped that he came to power in an assassination ordered by radical Imam Rahman (the same man who ordered the first World Trade Center bombing, as it happens); it has helped the cause of Islamists that he defended a peace treaty with Israel.
posted by dhartung at 12:14 PM on February 11, 2011


Another great speech. Here are some quotes. Transcript coming soon.
posted by bearwife at 12:15 PM on February 11, 2011


Alternate soundtrack.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:15 PM on February 11, 2011


Very effective Obama speech - to link MLK to Africa via Ghana speaks well to both the US and the world audiences.

Now, how scary is it that Lieberman wants an "on/off" switch for the internet?
posted by Rumple at 12:15 PM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Now that's how you deliver a speech. Well done, Mr. President. That made me incredibly proud.

God, I love days like this - it's been a remarkable number of days, and watching the celebrations and fireworks going on right now is just a beautiful, beautiful thing. The human spirit triumphing is just transcendent, inspiring and life affirming to watch, and something more powerful than any darkness.

Ok, going back to the 5,000 tabs exploring this experience, and to get the rest of that Kleenex box back into the living room. I feel like I'll be using the rest of it up today, kthx. What a day, what a day...
posted by rmm at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Support for the revolution: ✓
Appreciation for the restraint of the military: ✓
Support for peaceful transfer of power: ✓
Willing to provide aid: ✓
Not insisting on providing aid: ✓
Invoking Muslim/Christian brotherhood: ✓
Quoting the chants of the protesters: ✓ (in the original language: ✓)
Acknowledgment of previous support for Mubarak: __

...well. Not bad anyway.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2011 [22 favorites]


from The Economist blog Democracy in America
There's a tiny, stability-loving Burke on my shoulder, and I'm afraid he's no devil. All the same, for now I'm not listening. Well, I did listen a little, but I've heard enough. It is partly due to my Burkean worries that I feel the pessimist in me should just stuff it for now. Whether or not Egypt flowers into a model democracy, whether or not Egyptians tomorrow live more freely than Egyptians today, today they threw off a tyrant. The surge of overwhelming bliss that has overtaken Egyptians is the rare beautitude of democratic will. [...] The tiny Dionysian anarchist on my other shoulder is no angel, but I cannot deny that there is something holy in this feeling, that it is one of few human experiences that justifies life—that satisfies, however briefly, our desperate craving for more intensity, for more meaning, for more life from life. Whatever the future holds, there will be disappointment, at best. But there is always disappointment. Today, there is joy.
posted by hat at 12:18 PM on February 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


Shhhhhhhh, everyone shut up for a sec!

Heh. For a moment, i had three audio streams. Al Jazeera, yes, and the White House, yes, but also the NYT Lede blog updated with a video stream that autostarted. Took me the longest time to find it.

I remember when it was a tradition to drop acid or smoke pot during presidential addresses. Kinda like that, I think.
posted by dhartung at 12:19 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hannity just said, "The headline should be Obama Loses Egypt".

Laments the loss of the "imperfect ally" whose absence now all but insures the Muslim Brotherhood taking over.

Losing sucks, doesn't it, Sean.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:20 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Guardian:

8.18pm GMT: NBC's Richard Engel, who has done a brilliant job reporting from Egypt, gets the reaction to Obama's words live from Tahrir Square, where he is mobbed by young men chanting Obama's name.
posted by proj at 12:20 PM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]




weird question. Heard it mention that White House ties are color coded. Any truth to that? Does that lovely red polkadot number the Pres had on signify anything?
posted by artof.mulata at 12:24 PM on February 11, 2011


Bill Kristol, for example, has been supporting the move to democracy.

So Kristol broke with the team on this one? Good on him. I always suspected he had the makings of a better man deep down inside somewhere.

This particular business enterprise is best killed with the slow starvation of public indifference.

Then we just have a legitimate difference of opinions, because I think that's basically how we always say we should respond to egregious market abuses, and it never works.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:24 PM on February 11, 2011


The right as a whole has been split on Egypt.
posted by bearwife at 12:26 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


All right, hot damn. This really happened. Wow. Still seems almost too incredible to believe.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:26 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


AJE Blog:

"7.54pm GMT: Al Arabiya television is reporting that the Egyptian military will announce the dismissal of the cabinet, the suspension of the upper and lower houses of parliament, and that the head of the constitutional court will form an interim administration with the military council.

Al Arabiya is also reporting that Amr Moussa will step down as secretary general of the Arab League within the next few weeks – and he is talked of as a leading contender in the up-coming presidential elections."
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:28 PM on February 11, 2011


Sorry, Guardian blog
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:28 PM on February 11, 2011


Heh, joke from ATC:

Hosni Mubarak is coming to New York to take over the direction of SPIDER-MAN: The Musical. Then the audience will really feel 'gypt.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:30 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile the mad spinning has begun in other circles: Mubarak out as Iran's Ahmadinejad claims ownership of Mideast 'divine awakening'
posted by bonehead at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2011


Algeria prepares for day of protests
Mubarak out as Iran's Ahmadinejad claims ownership of Mideast 'divine awakening'


And we thought the plot twists were ridiculous in the Wikileaks story.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:32 PM on February 11, 2011


Bill Kristol, for example, has been supporting the move to democracy.

That gives me pause, because Bill Kristol is notoriously wrong about everything.
posted by electroboy at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


So Kristol broke with the team on this one? Good on him. I always suspected he had the makings of a better man deep down inside somewhere.

Some neo-conservatives really believe, on some level, in democracy and freedom for everyone at all costs. This revolution has definitely exposed the cracks between the ideologues and the nativists/xenophobes/racists.
posted by empath at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


English original of Arabic MLK Montgomery Bus comic linked above.
posted by anthill at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


AJE just cut over to what is apparently Obama talking about Gibbs re: impending departure, so I'm guessing they're cutting right away again.
posted by cortex at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2011


OK, partial and rough transcript of Obama's excellent speech here.
posted by bearwife at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mubarak out as Iran's Ahmadinejad claims ownership of Mideast 'divine awakening'

That is the textbook definition of whistling past the graveyard.

Monday is Iran's day.
posted by empath at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2011


It strikes me as so horribly sad that there are those on the right who view the monumental acts of today as a threat. The jubilation of the people in Egypt is inspiring and welcome - people the world over share in the great joy of a nation fighting for the dignity of self rule. To view today and the events of the past month as something which we need to be afraid of is a staggering admission of fear and cowardice.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:34 PM on February 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


And Obama speaks again. He's actually talking about ties, whoever was asking about that earlier~
posted by ashirys at 12:35 PM on February 11, 2011


And Obama speaks again. He's actually talking about ties, whoever was asking about that earlier~
THERE IS NO CABAL
posted by PenDevil at 12:36 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. The Pres is answering my tie question right now.
He's a member?
Oh right, the Cabal...
posted by artof.mulata at 12:36 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mubarak out as Iran's Ahmadinejad claims ownership of Mideast 'divine awakening'

The Iranian leadership has been pushing these events as an Islamic revolution; they have pretty much the same line as Glen Beck, but of course they're celebrating it.

It's a pretty savvy media move on their part, I think. Kind of co-opts an pro-opposition feelings that events in Egypt might inspire. It's pretty much for internal consumption, though. The leaders of Iran don't have much influence in Egypt.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:37 PM on February 11, 2011


AJE just cut over to what is apparently Obama talking about Gibbs re: impending departure, so I'm guessing they're cutting right away again.

It's Gibb's last day and press conference, so it makes sense for Obama to be there.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:37 PM on February 11, 2011


So, uh... what exactly is Obama saying about ties?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2011


Gibbs is giving a farewell speech on CBC News, if you want to catch it there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:39 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Guardian:

Obama...: "Obviously, Gibbs's departure is not the biggest one today."
posted by reductiondesign at 12:39 PM on February 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Meanwhile, Canadians wait to hear from The Harper Unit, which is still installing a data analysis patch onto its StabilityMonitor and searching through its archived files ("Values/Democratic/Universal") for an old algorithm to use to string together the proper phrases. It wants to indicate the right level of agreement with the stated goals contained in this new data packet without commiting any of its permanent circuitry to specific input strings. It has located a text file from 2003 ("party_merger.txt") but the Emotional Resonance Meter is scanning a bit flat.

It will upload some new files from the US Library of Congress ("revolutionary_war_speeches.bat") to its subroutines and communicate them to the Canadian humans shortly.

An automatic time-triggered response program will in the meantime convey The Harper Unit's regrets for the delay.
posted by gompa at 12:39 PM on February 11, 2011 [29 favorites]


He was actually talking about a time at one of the National Democratic Conventions where he needed a tie, so he "borrowed" Robert Gibbs's tie, which he then apparently kept until today. Obama'd had it framed along with a picture of Obama wearing the tie and Gibbs (presumably also wearing the time), and then gave it to Gibbs. Nothing about any Cabals (naturally).

Also: Gibbs is speaking some about the reaction to events in Egypt right now.
posted by ashirys at 12:41 PM on February 11, 2011


(wearing the tie, dangit)
posted by ashirys at 12:41 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


He gave Gibbs a farewell gift of a plaque that included a couple of pictures, the tie, and a thank you from the President at the bottom saying he was finally returning the tie, which with Gibbs' support had helped to launch him. He borrowed the tie for his deservedly famous 2004 convention speech.
posted by bearwife at 12:41 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thread Topic: Not Robert Gibbs' Tie.
posted by anthill at 12:43 PM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


"So, uh... what exactly is Obama saying about ties?"
He pulled a Lohan and 'borrowed' Gibbs' tie.
There has been a return of cultural artifacts.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:44 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Okay, Washington Post just put up full transcript of Obama's remarks on Egypt.
posted by bearwife at 12:45 PM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Thanks, bearwife!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:47 PM on February 11, 2011


Bill Kristol, for example, has been supporting the move to democracy.

Bill Kristol is right about something? I'm scared!
posted by dirigibleman at 12:47 PM on February 11, 2011


Rabab el-Mahdi's reaction (mentioned back while it was happening) was just posted on YouTube. It's just beautiful.
posted by you're a kitty! at 12:48 PM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


They are decoupaged Limbaugh ties.
there is no cabal

"Syria slaps fines on satellite dishes"

'Faced with a sea of satellite dishes on rooftops, Syria is making Damascenes remove personal dishes in hopes of boosting rooftop restaurants and cafes.'

hello, does this strike anyone as odd.
posted by clavdivs at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty bad quality, but here's a video of Obama's speech
posted by ashirys at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So Kristol broke with the team on this one? Good on him. I always suspected he had the makings of a better man deep down inside somewhere.

A broken clock can be right twice a day, but it's a shitty way to tell time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


bearwife: "He gave Gibbs a farewell gift of a plaque that included a couple of pictures, the tie, and a thank you from the President at the bottom saying he was finally returning the tie, which with Gibbs' support had helped to launch him. He borrowed the tie for his deservedly famous 2004 convention speech."

You have got to be kidding me.
posted by zarq at 12:52 PM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


The correspondent on AJE just said "It doesn't look like the party is ending any time soon." It's been what, 5 hours? Even DC managed to keep the post-election party in 2008 going that long, and we were only celebrating the end of 8 bad years, not 30 (leaving aside all other quality of life and governance considerations). Party on, Egypt! Party on.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:54 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anybody have a link to (extended) video of the moment the news was announced? AJE's live blog currently only has the statement itself and crowd footage from what looks like slightly after.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:57 PM on February 11, 2011


Man, this bit from the POTUS speech reads like poetry:

Egyptians have inspired us, and they've done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of non-violence -- not terrorism, not mindless killing -- but non-violence, moral force that bent the arch of history toward justice once more.

Say what you want about the man--dismiss it all as just more of the same BS, if you must--but even if it is, it's still consistently a far better grade of BS than we usually get from our political flunkies. And it's really hard for me to imagine a truly cynical, inveterate asshole espousing such lovely sentiments.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:03 PM on February 11, 2011 [23 favorites]


Does anybody have a link to (extended) video of the moment the news was announced?

I ended up being awake stupidly early this morning, and put on AJE via LinkTV to see what was going on, and had just wound down and decided that maybe a short morning nap would help set my day right. I turned down the sound on my TV to audible but not loud levels and was lying on my couch thinking nappy thoughts when this R O A R came from my television system. Which was turned down quite low. When I found my glasses and put them on, the banner on AJE had changed from "Egypt Revolution" to "Mubarak Leaves" or something. It was surreal to have that much sound come from my tv when I'd turned it down that far.
posted by hippybear at 1:04 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]




This is amazing; thanks to everyone who has been posting updates here. I've run out of favorites.

I agree with the people upthread who said this peaceful triumph would not be possible without the military's actions, and it is inspiring (and reveals my own cynicism that I am surprised) that the military was as restrained as it was. Due to conscription? Due to professional training etc? Due to being able to call their dads and ask what to do? Due to thinking the protesters were basically right? (I do think the US should have conscription, short term service, no exceptions - imagine the many differences it would make in politicians' willingness to send the army to war, and imagine the segregation lines it would cross, etc.)

An incredible day. I'm not a praying sort but I've been doing my equivalent for many days, and will continue -- please let this fulfill its promise, please let these young people be safe and build a good new way forward.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:05 PM on February 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


moral force that bent the arch of history

And even more beautiful was the way he said it -- he said it bent "the arc of history." What an image.
posted by bearwife at 1:07 PM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now, how scary is it that Lieberman wants an "on/off" switch for the internet?

It is henceforth dubbed: "The Mubarak Button."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:08 PM on February 11, 2011 [22 favorites]


And even more beautiful was the way he said it -- he said it bent "the arc of history." What an image.

It's a quote from Dr. King. POTUS has used it before.
posted by Think_Long at 1:09 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I stared a century thinking this would never change
As I hesitated, time marched onwards without me
Too scared to break the spell, too small to take a fall
But the absolute luck is, love is in our hearts
In echoed steps you walk across an empty dream
But look around this world, there's millions to be seen
Come see the tyrants panic, see their crumbling empires fall
Then tell 'em we don't fight for fools, 'cause love is in our hearts!


late to the party -- this will teach me to be up all night sick and then sleep til past noon! -- so I'm off to read all 400+ comments I missed. Misr Um el Dounia!!
posted by scody at 1:09 PM on February 11, 2011


The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
----Martin Luther King, Jr.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


What an image.

Which is a direct nod to MLK:
Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
posted by cortex at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I congratulate the Egyptian people for bravely defying the guns America paid for.
posted by doublehappy at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Some neo-conservatives really believe, on some level, in democracy and freedom for everyone at all costs. This revolution has definitely exposed the cracks between the ideologues and the nativists/xenophobes/racists.
posted by empath at 3:33 PM on February 11


Some conservatives really believe in freedom and democracy, but there are absolutely no neo-conservatives who believe this deep down. None. Zero. The neo-conservative believes that freedom and democracy are the "noble lie" you need to tell to keep the rabble happy while you do whatever needs to be done regardless of morals or ethics, let alone freedom. This is the definition of neo-conservative.

Here's a neo-con rule of thumb: if someone is telling you that today is the anniversary of iran's 1979 revolution and then tries to draw an analogy between the iran then and egypt now, that person is a puppet and should be ignored. Mark my words that drawing this analogy will be the basis of "calls for caution" among the assholes on the oil-IDF axis of the right wing tonight and into tomorrow.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:11 PM on February 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


I congratulate the Egyptian people for bravely defying the guns America paid for.

methinks you misunderstand what happened here.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:13 PM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wait - so... Does that mean that Ahmadinejad is actuall a neocon?
posted by symbioid at 1:13 PM on February 11, 2011


At noon on one day coming,
human strength will fill the streets
Of every city on our planet,
hear the sound of angry feet
With business freezed up in the harbour,
the kings will pull upon their hair
And the banks will shudder to a halt,
and the artists will be there.

'Cause it won't take long,
it won't take too long at all,
It won't take long, and you may say,
"I don't think I can be a part of that,"
and it makes me want to say,
"Don't you want to see yourself that strong?"
posted by hippybear at 1:14 PM on February 11, 2011


Now, how scary is it that Lieberman wants an "on/off" switch for the internet?
This is, apparently, a myth.

The gist of it is that the President already has a kill switch for the internet, and always has for as long as there has been an internet, under a 1934 law (warning: PDF) which allows him "to simply shut off any and all regulated telecommunications if he deems it necessary for national security".

Lieberman proposed a bill to limit that existing power in its specific applicability to the internet.

Somehow that morphed into "Joe Lieberman wants an on/off switch for the internet".
posted by Flunkie at 1:16 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]




YUB NUB !
posted by mazola at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


it's really hard for me to imagine a truly cynical, inveterate asshole espousing such lovely sentiments

Let's just say that he has not as yet relied on the moral force of non-violence in his foreign policy.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pastabagel, I am no neocon but I hesitate to agree with you that every single neocon is a liar that doesn't believe in freedom or liberty.

Some revolutions -- particularly violent ones -- do end in a Thermidor reaction which puts dictatorships -- whether emperors, Politburos, or theocracies -- in place. But the fact that someone worries about that doesn't mean they are paricipating in an evil conspiratoracy.

I will also point out that demonizing the opposition is a trick some genuinely undemocratic people love to use. I would hate to copy them.
posted by bearwife at 1:20 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Let's just say that he has not as yet relied on the moral force of non-violence in his foreign policy.

The door to the axe grinding room: let me show you it.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:20 PM on February 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


The unintended irony in this sentence is thick.

Maybe the freedom to present lies as factual news isn't such a hot-shit freedom after all. In fact, maybe it harms freedom.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:22 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The door to the axe grinding room: let me show you it."
Funny, 1st thing I thought of was Afghanistan when the Pres said that, too.

Anybody else freaking out the Egyptians pulled this off in 18 days???
posted by artof.mulata at 1:23 PM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Heh. Wolf Blitzer was just on CNN talking about how Mubarak stepping down will be good for Egyptian tourism. I love venal American newscasters!
posted by klangklangston at 1:24 PM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wolf Blitzer was just on CNN talking about how Mubarak stepping down will be good for Egyptian tourism. I love venal American newscasters!

Venal or not, they need the money. No joke.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:25 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


But the fact that someone worries about that doesn't mean they are paricipating in an evil conspiratoracy.

I think PB is just alluding to the fact that the self-identified neo-cons were students and followers of Leo Strauss, who among other things unapologetically espoused the political theory that the "noble lie" is a necessary tool of the state, and that the true leaders of state should be a sort of secret society of enlightened Machiavellians.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:25 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you all for the moving and informative feedback, axe-grinders notwithstanding. I have been (silently) following this entire thread over two days now and am grateful for your efforts.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:26 PM on February 11, 2011


Yeah, but it was like, "And just look at all those shoes being thrown! This is an opportunity for Nike!"
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on February 11, 2011


artof.mulata: "
Anybody else freaking out the Egyptians pulled this off in 18 days???
"

Actually I'm amazed they were able to keep it up for so long.
posted by charred husk at 1:27 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but it was like, "And just look at all those shoes being thrown! This is an opportunity for Nike!"

That would be a heck of a TV commercial.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:27 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pastabagel, I am no neocon but I hesitate to agree with you that every single neocon is a liar that doesn't believe in freedom or liberty.

Or in other words, it's not that they are liars by personal inclination, it's not a dig at their personal moral fitness. It's that they actually adhere to a school of political philosophy that essentially believes lying to the public is necessary on principle.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:27 PM on February 11, 2011


"And just look at all those shoes being thrown! This is an opportunity for Nike!"

Do they still own the rights to "You Say You Want A Revolution"?
posted by Joe Beese at 1:28 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul's on now, calling Mubarak "America's 30-year mistake."

But he also blames the Suez Crisis on the Egyptians and thinks we should see this as a sign that we should cut off all aid.
posted by klangklangston at 1:28 PM on February 11, 2011


Well, after being pretty much superglued to Al Jazeera/Twitter #Egypt for the last 17 days, I had to be away when it finally happened. At least I was drinking wine; toasting Egypt without even knowing it.

But here's my chance to repeat the Arabist tweet from just a little over 24 hours ago, before Mubarek spoke:

White House: Situation in Mubarak's pants is "fluid".

After the disappointing Ain't Goin, NuhUh content of that address, I didn't have the heart to post it.

Today, though, I have a fluid situation in my eyes. Crying for Egypt, so happy. Thanks for all posts and updates, everyone.
posted by taz at 1:28 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The genesis of the French revolution was not in the poors struggle but in the state taxing the Nobility. They did not like that.
posted by clavdivs at 1:28 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually I'm amazed they were able to keep it up for so long.

This whole time I've been worried the Egyptian people would give up and the revolution would become impotent and a small blip in history. Happily, they've proven my fears misguided.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:29 PM on February 11, 2011


But he also blames the Suez Crisis on the Egyptians and thinks we should see this as a sign that we should cut off all aid.

Does this mean no more tourism? Someone should call Wolf in to investigate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:29 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


AskMe-ish: should one be concerned about the drop in oil prices today (potentially) due to what happened today? (I say potentially as I know CNBC is not the greatest of sources when it comes to these matters...)
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:32 PM on February 11, 2011


I see what you did there
posted by anthill at 1:33 PM on February 11, 2011


> Thank you all for the moving and informative feedback, axe-grinders notwithstanding. I have been (silently) following this entire thread over two days now and am grateful for your efforts.

Likewise. (But I'd really appreciate it if people could keep the axe-grinding to a minimum. You'll have many other opportunities to argue about American foreign policy, neoconservatives, and unintended irony.)
posted by languagehat at 1:33 PM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also: it is so, so good to have an adult in the Oval Office when something like this is going down. I thought the speech was pitch-perfect and, despite some stumbling out of the diplomatic gate while the situation was still (understandably) unpredictable, I have been proud to be an American in light of how our chief Executive has expressed a core solidarity with the Egyptian people, even if (especially since!) our foreign policy has failed to reflect a consistent respect for democratic movements in other nations.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:33 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


From Economist: Mubarak toppled
One can imagine the scene in which Mr Mubarak’s generals, gesturing to television screens showing undiminished hordes of citizens baying for the president’s departure, convinced him that the game was up. Out of sight of cameras, the president and his wife flew discreetly to his favorite beach house, in the resort of Sharm el Sheikh. It is believed that as part of the army’s agreement with the fallen president, he is likely to be shielded in retirement from prosecution, and die on Egyptian soil.

Egypt’s military rulers are expected soon to issue more communiqués, outlining transitional steps to a permanent new order. For the time being, the head of the new command is likely to be the acting minister of defence, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi. But Mr Tantawi, now 78 years old, is believed to be ailing and soon to retire. The figure many expect to emerge to prominence is the army’s chief of staff, Sami Anan, a professional soldier who is widely respected in the army. Reassuringly for Egypt’s Western allies, Mr Anan has cordial relations with the American military, the result of a close relationship built on three decades of generous American military aid.

The last time Egypt’s army took over, in 1952, it abolished pluralist democracy and installed the strongman system that Mr Mubarak inherited. But Egypt’s people, immensely bolstered by the success of their revolution, with its stunning exercise of peaceful power by great masses of citizens, appear broadly confident that this experience will not be repeated. What they expect, and appear determined to fight for, is a proper democracy.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:35 PM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


And since that was inappropriately US-centric: congratulations and much well-earned joy to the Egyptian people.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:35 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait - so... Does that mean that Ahmadinejad is actuall a neocon?

The fundamentalist extremists of all nations are on the same team.
posted by aught at 1:37 PM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Agreed - very relieved that Obama came through in a basic way - ending up on the right side and articulating enlightenment values/reasons that everybody should be able to get behind. Way to go, mastery of grade school civics class - something surprisingly few US pols or public figures seem to have these days.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:37 PM on February 11, 2011


Wow, they actually did it. Awesome!

Now lets see some real elections in September.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:38 PM on February 11, 2011


The genesis of the French revolution was not in the poors struggle but in the state taxing the Nobility. They did not like that.

...And the poor did not like them not liking it, as tends to happen.

posted by saulgoodman at 1:38 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fundamentalist extremists of all nations are on the same team.

I had this image of Mubarak arriving at a Saudi royal palace to begin his first bitter days of exile. There, Abudullah would patiently listen to him pour out his grievances - like a mother with her daughter after her boyfriend had been mean to her.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:40 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a small but lovely collection of images on the NYT's main site at the moment.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:41 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think oil prices had to do with anticipated shipping dificulties through the Egyptian Suez canal, which is the primary way oil moves from the Arabian fields, particularly to the US and parts of Asia. This would add a lot of transit time to oil shipments. Here's a description of the particulars.
posted by bonehead at 1:42 PM on February 11, 2011


I'm happy to be wrong.
posted by marxchivist at 1:42 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd really appreciate it if people could keep the axe-grinding to a minimum. You'll have many other opportunities to argue about American foreign policy

I'm getting a little bit annoyed by the repeated complaints about "axe-grinding" here. Obviously derails are not great, but this is really starting to sound like a demand for ideological unanimity. If you're okay with a thread full of congratulatory kvelling about Obama's speech (which is what we have now), you should be okay with some comments disagreeing and finding it hypocritical; either comments about the speech are off-topic or they aren't.
posted by RogerB at 1:42 PM on February 11, 2011 [18 favorites]


Obama has finally made a speech worth listening to. Stirring stuff.
posted by adamvasco at 1:43 PM on February 11, 2011


Eh, let's forget everything and all just smile together for a minute--across the reaches of space. It'll be like a little moment of sympathetic magic. On three: 1... 2...
posted by saulgoodman at 1:45 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


"As Egypt undergoes a change in power, Ghana's vice president explains how digital technology has energized the quest for change across Africa"
posted by artof.mulata at 1:45 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


RogerB: I think posting history + saturation of comments in a given thread + context are all relevant in making that sort of assessment. At some point, a given poster has made their point known and it becomes the grinding of an axe as opposed to the statement of a position. That is what I was referring to. But whatever: this moment is far more important than anything any of us have to say here.

Bravo, people of Egypt.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:46 PM on February 11, 2011


Thank you all so much. I've learned about a lot of sharp people, articles/literature that's new to me, and it makes me hopeful that a substantial number of people are paying attention to this. (Not that this matters much, but the derails into US FP give me some interesting perspective. I'm learning a lot from those posts, too.) And thank goodness for Al Jazeera's coverage :)

Massive congratulations to all Egyptians!!
posted by one teak forest at 1:48 PM on February 11, 2011


Suez transits 2010 close to 2 million bbl/d, or just below five percent of seaborne oil trade. VLCC and ULCC vessels go round the Cape.
posted by adamvasco at 1:49 PM on February 11, 2011


well, they did utilize the tennis court
posted by clavdivs at 1:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is henceforth dubbed: "The Mubarak Button."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:08 PM on February 11


In hindsight, Mubarak's decision to shut off the internet was the death knell of the regime. That single act was the regime's acknowledgment that their control over the country was an illusion--a spectacle--maintained entirely through by state-owned TV and press. Mubarak was absolutely truthful when he said that outside forces threatened the stability of the country. Those outside forces were simply images of the world the outside coming into Egypt unfiltered.

Once the people knew that the State knew it's power was imaginary, the people realized that the soldiers in the streets were not with the state but with them. And that emboldened them.

But we have this problem in the US, too. Don't think the fact that we only get US news and media is simply and oversight on the part of the cable companies. It's only okay for Americans to see the Tahir Square feed if some idiot from Fox or CNBC is ignorantly contextualizing what you see. "Let's cut to a live shot of the protestors, but while the audience is watching those throngs of angry people, let's talk a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic radicals." The news doesn't have to narratively connect the protestors with the MB (although some pundits are trying to do just that), they merely have to connect them symbolically. I show this image (PROTESTORS) and at the same time but for no discernible reason I will say these words (TERRORIST).

The human brain evolved to handle recounting myths of celestial gods around a campfire, not for the semiotic assault waged by television.

We have our own spectacle--our own illusion-fantasy-anxiety machine--roaring ahead full steam, and television is a huge part of it. But so is facebook and the rest of the internet. And whereas Facebook shattered the spectacle in Egypt, here in the US it is fully integrated.

What inspires me about this event is the idea that to overcome the oppressive force, you don't have to move against it, you simply have to be, to be still when they say to move, but in great numbers, and at the same place or the same time. It is simply enough that a multitude declares at once that everyone in it is exactly the same. That we are a mass and cannot be moved we are simply here, and by being here, it means they are not.

You don't overthrow power, you dissolve it.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:51 PM on February 11, 2011 [49 favorites]


Cleanup starts tomorrow at 10am

I'll hand it to you citizens of Egypt, you run a top notch revolution.
posted by cmfletcher at 1:51 PM on February 11, 2011 [19 favorites]


أود فقط أن أقول "الجلباب". الجلباب ثوب ثوب!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:51 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh. Wolf Blitzer was just on CNN talking about how Mubarak stepping down will be good for Egyptian tourism. I love venal American newscasters!

Egyptian tourism was doing pretty well for the last 30 years under Mubarak; I'm not sure if him stepping down will have too much effect (unless Wolf meant "now, vs the last 18 days").
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:52 PM on February 11, 2011


Dammit. I was feeling so good for a few seconds there. Then this lands in my google reader feed: WI Gov. Walker ready to set National Guard on state workers. And suddenly I'm reminded this ain't Egypt.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:52 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you're a fan of John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman's The Bugle, today's episode is pretty damn funny. They've been making fun of Mubarak for a long time.
posted by Kattullus at 1:56 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon: "أود فقط أن أقول "الجلباب". الجلباب ثوب ثوب"

"I would just like to say "jilbab. " Jilbab gown dress"
posted by charred husk at 1:56 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are there any articles about how this event is being covered or hidden across the Middle East?
posted by reductiondesign at 1:59 PM on February 11, 2011


it's really hard for me to imagine a truly cynical, inveterate asshole espousing such lovely sentiments

i'm reminded of this post :P
It's worth listening to the audiobook version of Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father... His regular speaking voice is by now in all our heads, but in the spoken version of the book we also get something that has had to be put away from public display: Obama's uncanny gift for mimicry... To pull this off requires not just vocal ability but an intensity of observation of other people—a quality of attention, of absorption—so fierce it's as if one's life depended on it. And there is a sense, in the case of Obama, in which his life did depend on it, sociologically and psychologically. He had to imagine his way into the center of American society from a very unusual point on the periphery..."
/not that this (moment) is about him or the US! altho to quote ebert's law: "A movie [or narrative] is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it."

also fwiw, re: the poor's struggle: "there is no question that the upheavals in both countries [Tunisia and Egypt] – and elsewhere in the Arab world – largely reflect their governments' failure to share the wealth. The problem is not an inability to deliver economic growth... the problem is that the benefits of growth have failed to trickle down to disaffected youth."
posted by kliuless at 2:00 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brief profiles of members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
posted by adamvasco at 2:06 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


...Then this lands in my google reader feed: WI Gov. Walker ready to set National Guard on state workers.

You're right, saulgoodman, this ain't Egypt. And I think the Wisconsin National Guard is in Aghanistan right now, so I don't know what our idiot governer is on about.

I just stopped in to share in the shmoopy here. I spent a hectic 2 weeks in Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor last year and was on tenterhooks these past days worrying about my friends over there, both the Egyptians and the expats who elected to stay and man the barricades guarding their neighborhood.
I've got a smile as big as the Nile today.
posted by Floydd at 2:09 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks that Mubarak would be in power if he had cracked down harsher, and sooner? It seems to me his age and lack of competent inner circle is the real downfall of the regime. This sounds really cynical, but had the police cracked down with the brutality of the Iranian regime, I have a feeling we would be seeing a much different outcome.
posted by geoff. at 2:11 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]




Twitter / Julian Borger: "Reports say Bahrain's King Hamad has offered a grant of $2600 to every family ahead of Bahrain's day of rage due on Monday. Panic spreads."
posted by hat at 2:16 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


By mid 1787, the King, after the Caloone incident, was asking just about anyone “What can I do, What should I say”. The French Revolution chronology to these events is a contrast. What is comparable is how this revolution will most likely reshape the world as did the French Revolution.
The difference in chronolgy was the peoples pressure on government in Eqypt, once mobilized was swift and did not vacillate like France. The people put up with it for 30 years but in a matter of months, Mubarak is gone. Most from the region tell me "about time". Plain and simple.
I don’t know what this axe grinding later whatever bullshit is, myself, I surrendered my asshat and bully boy T-shirt to sailormom 2 hours ago. We call it the balloon revolution and I love you all.
posted by clavdivs at 2:16 PM on February 11, 2011


Am I the only one who thinks that Mubarak would be in power if he had cracked down harsher, and sooner? It seems to me his age and lack of competent inner circle is the real downfall of the regime. This sounds really cynical, but had the police cracked down with the brutality of the Iranian regime, I have a feeling we would be seeing a much different outcome.

The protests got way too big for just the cops pretty quickly; that's why they had to call in the Army. And he didn't have the Army. And apparently he couldn't pay enough people to make up his own. So no, I don't think so.
posted by Diablevert at 2:17 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Guardian:

Algeria is another country with a nervous government, with a day of protest planned for Saturday. The government and security forces are leaving nothing to chance according to this AFP report from Algiers via Google:
Large numbers of police were deployed in central Algiers Friday ahead of a pro-democracy march planned by opposition groups in defiance of a government ban.

The head of the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), Said Sadi, said the authorities had ringed the capital in a bid to prevent people joining Saturday's march from outside.

"Trains have been stopped and other public transport will be as well," he said.

Sadi claimed that 10,000 police were being drafted into the city, to reinforce the 20,000 who succeeded in blocking the last protest on January 22, when five people were killed and more than 800 hurt in clashes.

posted by reductiondesign at 2:20 PM on February 11, 2011


Thats right. There's a new asshat in town. Balloons four everyone.
posted by Sailormom at 2:22 PM on February 11, 2011


Imo, there's three reasons that Mubarak couldn't crack down on the protesters like they did in Iran.

1. Egypt is not an isolated nation, and actually cares to some degree what people are saying about them in the west. (For economic reasons, since US aid and foreign tourism are such big parts of the economy.)

2. The army would not support a massacre of the citizens. This was huge, because it put a hard limit on what the security services could do.

3. The people just wouldn't give up. They stood together and kept pushing for Mubarak's removal, and no violence or double-talk could persuade them to stop until he was gone.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:27 PM on February 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


In many ways, this does bear a closer resemblance to the Islamic revolution in Iran than the recent uprising there. The aging, corrupt ruler, the depredation of the citizenry, the inability to command the loyalty of the army, these are common elements. But Egypt is a different country, this is a different time, and I think the Egyptian people will get a government better than the dreadful and regressive theocracy in Iran.

Iranians hated the Shah for his cruel abuses, his wealth, and his high-handed push to westernize the country. I think the first two apply to Mubarak and his cronies, but the third not so much.
posted by Mister_A at 2:36 PM on February 11, 2011


from the Guardian, "Hosni Mubarak resigns – and Egypt celebrates a new dawn"
Mohammed Abdul Ghedi, a lifeguard in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the former president and his family flew on Friday ... held up a sign in English that said:

"Mubarak you are nothing, you are heartless, without mind, just youkel, worthless, fuck off."
posted by hat at 2:37 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mubarak tried to crack down on the protesters. Though I didn't know it then, I think the moment they won is when they held the square that night after the army stepped aside and allowed pro-Mubarak thugs in the square.

They cobbled together makeshift barricades, busted up concrete to arm themselves with, and even smuggled in molotov cocktails to defend themselves against the thugs trying to run them out. The protesters charged riot police armed with guns and teargas, when the army stopped running security they formed their own checkpoints, and when they found secret police among their ranks, though some resorted to violence, I know not of a single pro-Mubarak individual who met death or serious injury at the hands of the pro-democracy crowd. They simply escorted them to a military official, sometimes taking the blows directed at the thugs to save their rally from being marred with violence.

It was decades of work behind the scenes followed by an incredible 18 days and nights of facing the unknown armed with only words and ideas. Even as their friends died and were kidnapped to God knows where, even as the police beat them in the street, they held their values as steadfastly as they held Tahrir.

It was amazing, and I'll never forget it.
posted by notion at 2:42 PM on February 11, 2011 [39 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks that Mubarak would be in power if he had cracked down harsher, and sooner?

i'm not sure:
...ever since the late 1950s, the Egyptian regime has cracked down on its civil society, shutting down political parties, closing newspapers, jailing politicians, bribing judges and silencing intellectuals. Over the past three decades Egypt became a place where few serious books were written, universities were monitored, newspapers carefully followed a bland party line and people watched what they said in public. In the past 20 years, the war against Islamic terrorist groups — often genuinely brutal thugs — allowed Mubarak's regime to clamp down even harder on Egyptian society in the name of security.

Egypt has had some successes, and ironically, one of them has helped foment change. Over the past decade, Egypt has been reforming its economy. From the mid-1990s on, Egypt found that in order to get loans from the IMF and the World Bank, it had to dismantle the most inefficient parts of its somewhat socialist economic system. In recent years, Mubarak — persuaded by his son Gamal, a Western-trained banker — appointed a set of energetic reformers to his Cabinet, who embarked on an ambitious effort to restructure the Egyptian economy, lowering taxes and tariffs, eliminating regulations and reducing subsidies. Egypt, long moribund, began growing vigorously. From 2006 to 2008, the economy expanded about 7% a year, and even last year, after the economic crisis, growth came in at almost 6%. Long isolated behind protectionist walls, with media in the regime's grip, Egypt also became more connected with the world through the new communication technologies.

Why would economic progress spur protests? Growth stirs things up, upsets the settled, stagnant order and produces inequalities and uncertainties. It also creates new expectations and demands. Tunisia was not growing as vigorously as Egypt, but there too a corrupt old order had opened up, and the resulting ferment proved too much for the regime to handle. Alexis de Tocqueville once observed that "the most dangerous moment for a bad government is when it begins to reform itself." It is a phenomenon that political scientists have dubbed "a revolution of rising expectations." Dictatorships find it difficult to handle change because the structure of power they have set up cannot respond to the new, dynamic demands coming from their people. So it was in Tunisia; so it was in Egypt. Youth unemployment and food prices might have been the immediate causes, but the underlying trend was a growing, restive population, stirred up by new economic winds, connected to a wider world.
or to put it more succinctly: "These challenges are not new. But the Al-Jazeera effect is"

In hindsight, Mubarak's decision to shut off the internet was the death knell of the regime.

also i'm not sure it was even in hindsight, like not to get all sun tzu but it's kinda true that "every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought."
posted by kliuless at 2:46 PM on February 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


"Even as their friends died and were kidnapped to God knows where..."

This is a big issue that's still outstanding. Will the military tribunal or Suleiman or whoever is now in charge release all those political prisoners? If they do it would be a great signal to the people that change has finally come.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a US night person who was watching live at 4 AM-ish on the Feb 2nd when the violent counterrevolution swept Tahrir, I just found myself letting out a sigh of relief that I didn't even know I was holding.
posted by telstar at 2:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what Jimmy Carter thinks of all this.

Site was down earlier, but it's back. Carter Center statement:

The Carter Center congratulates the people of Egypt on their courageous steps toward a new era of democratic legitimacy and respect for human rights.

"We want Egyptians to know that they have the support of the international community as they embark on the difficult path of building a truly democratic nation," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

While this is a historic moment for Egypt and the spread of democracy worldwide, President Hosni Mubarak's resignation is only a first step toward self-governance.

There is an immediate need for an inclusive transitional government that can lead Egypt through a genuinely competitive and credible democratic presidential and parliamentary election process that reflects the will of the people. All the major political actors must agree on a framework to support meaningful elections, with legal standing to guide the process and judicial means for resolving potential conflicts over its implementation. There also must be adequate protections to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms. Credibility and confidence in this process will require that domestic observers play a key role and impartial international observers are allowed to verify elections as having met international standards.

Scores of countries have transitioned peacefully from autocratic to accountable governance since the 1980s. The international community, including The Carter Center, stands ready to assist as Egyptians embark on their own democratic journey.


The Carter Center has frequently sent election monitors to emerging democracies, so this is an area of expertise for them.
posted by dhartung at 2:54 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks that Mubarak would be in power if he had cracked down harsher, and sooner?

It's really hard to say. Maybe, but people were already energized. That was an unknown factor going into the first protests.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:58 PM on February 11, 2011


Holy cow, 7% growth.
posted by mwhybark at 3:01 PM on February 11, 2011


Pastabagel's observations here and the analysis quoted by kliuless here (among so many other great comments and links) remind me of Lenin's observation looking at the history of both successful and unsuccessful uprisings: "It is only when the people refuse to live in the old way and the rulers can no longer carry on in the old way that a revolution can triumph."

Times and technology may change... but this essential condition seems to be consistent across the centuries. I'm pretty amazed and humbled that I've gotten to witness it in 1989 and again in 2011. Here's hoping there's more on the horizon.

My thanks to everyone who's participated in these threads, too. I've learned a lot these past few weeks, including that maybe it's still OK to have outrageous hope for this crazy old world after all.
posted by scody at 3:01 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was about to say "Is this a little like George Bush stepping down to be replaced by Dick Cheney?", when I double checked and noticed DU's comment. I think his comment is more pithy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:04 PM on February 11, 2011


Okay, someone on a chat show here in Holland just related a joke that I feel compelled to share.

So Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak meet their maker. God asks each of them about the cause of their demise.

Says Nasser, "heart attack."

Sadat replies, "assassination."

"And you, Mubarak?"

Mubarak sighs and answers, "Facebook."

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:05 PM on February 11, 2011 [25 favorites]


Emulate them in some way? Perhaps in their manner of walking?

I declare this the wittiest jape of the season.
posted by steambadger at 3:07 PM on February 11, 2011


Balloons Four would be a great band name.
posted by hippybear at 3:07 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


11:58pm The Turkish prime minister Erdogan, said in a written statement:

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

We hope The Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will adopt a commonsense approach and under this new administration organise free and fair elections. It should hand over power in as short a time frame as possible. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}


Erdogan also offered to bang up the new Egyptian government website on the cheap.
posted by dhartung at 3:08 PM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


re the Al Jazeera effect kliuless mentions - I liked this comment that one of the Al Jazeera reporters retweeted:

nolanjazeera HAHA RT @HovellingHermit @nolanjazeera Where are you and the AlJazeera Revolution Tour going next? #yemen #algeria #syria #jordan ;)
posted by madamjujujive at 3:11 PM on February 11, 2011


The Carter Center has frequently sent election monitors to emerging democracies, so this is an area of expertise for them.

I was thinking that should almost be the first invitation sent out by the transitional government... asking for help from the Carter Center in ensuring valid elections. There's probably nobody better in the world to ask.
posted by Malor at 3:14 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Two video of the reactions on the street from Channel Four.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:28 PM on February 11, 2011


Erdogan also offered to bang up the new Egyptian government website on the cheap.

Heh.
posted by cortex at 3:29 PM on February 11, 2011


Emulate them in some way? Perhaps in their manner of walking?

Well, there was this. [self-link, image provenance unknown]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:41 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


They are announcing that Saturday is a cleaning day for Tahrir Square.

Okay guys! We get it! You're awesome!
posted by notion at 3:43 PM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


In 1978, I began dating a man who had grown up in both Ethiopia and Yemen. He had a roommate from Egypt. This was during the time that Egypt was opening up relations with Israel and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Agreement was in the works. Like many Americans at the time, I was a huge admirer of Anwar Sadat. I wouldn't listen to Ahmed and his roommate when they would try to explain to me why Sadat wasn't really the great man that I thought he was. And Ahmed was always laughing at my complete acceptance of the version of truth handed down by the American mainstream media. I've been out of contact with him for the last 15 or 20 years. Wish I could talk to him now, and let him know that now I know he was right about so much that I just couldn't see at the time.
posted by marsha56 at 4:06 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


asking for help from the Carter Center in ensuring valid elections. There's probably nobody better in the world to ask.

Australia.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:06 PM on February 11, 2011


02/11/11-- NEVAR FORGET!
posted by ericb at 4:13 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


In other news, god has granted Assad an audience.
Bandar must be really busy.

Amr Moussa will resign from his post as secretary-general of the Arab League, Egypt's state-run Nile TV reported Friday.

sailormom not new asshat in the ballon revolution just to be clear
posted by clavdivs at 4:19 PM on February 11, 2011


Twitter / Julian Borger: "Reports say Bahrain's King Hamad has offered a grant of $2600 to every family ahead of Bahrain's day of rage due on Monday. Panic spreads."
Hey, I have a family!
posted by Flunkie at 4:24 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, its empty the vault time.
posted by clavdivs at 4:25 PM on February 11, 2011


Amr Moussa^, profiled earlier in the week in the context of a potential transition figure, by the opposite ends: Telegraph and Guardian.
posted by dhartung at 4:27 PM on February 11, 2011


At lunch today I listened to this segment from WBUR, one of Boston's NPR stations.
Al Jazeera English Seeks To Expand Audience In U.S.

"Many have lauded Al Jazeera for its expansive coverage of the protests in Egypt, but the network has also been accused of fanning the flames and urging on protesters.

Millions of people in the U.S. have tuned in to Al Jazeera’s English version for coverage of the protests on its website, since the channel is only available on American cable TV in Toledo, Ohio, Burlington, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Al Jazeera English has now launched a campaign to convince cable providers that there’s a market for the network in the U.S.

We speak with Lawrence Pintak, dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. He’s also author of 'The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil,' he taught journalism in Cairo and he served as CBS Middle East correspondent in the 1980s."
It's worth a listen.
posted by ericb at 4:28 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bahrain's King Hamad has offered a grant of $2600 to every family

I read Tyler Cowen last month quoting Jeff Ely about the internet being cut off. Jeff said that by doing so the regime effectively told everyone "it's time to leave the computer and go to the street", solving the co-ordination problem. It strikes me that people will now be much more likely to interpret their governments' acts in this way.
posted by topynate at 4:34 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Millions of people in the U.S. have tuned in to Al Jazeera’s English version for coverage of the protests on its website, since the channel is only available on American cable TV in Toledo, Ohio, Burlington, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

For the past week or two, it's been carried nearly full-time on LinkTV, which is carried on DISH Network, DirecTV, and many local cable providers.

I hope this provides a springboard into AJE having a wider audience. The US could use a full-time news channel which isn't being programmed from within the US. We export so much of our media -- it would be nice to import a bit from elsewhere. You know, for that well-rounded feeling.
posted by hippybear at 4:36 PM on February 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Second that on AJE - I've been watching their channel for the first time and their coverage blows away everyone else's.
posted by storybored at 4:47 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I see people speculating about Syria, Jordan, or Yemen next. Is there any chance of something like this happening in Saudi Arabia?
posted by marxchivist at 4:48 PM on February 11, 2011


I'm serious. This, more than anything else, would appear to be a critical blow against the entire philosophy behind Islamic terrorism. ... Egypt has proved conclusively that there is another way.

Does Egypt Make al-Qaida Irrelevant?

President Barack Hussein Obama:
"This is the power of human dignity, and it can never be denied. Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of nonviolence – not terrorism, not mindless killing – but nonviolence, moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice once more."
posted by ericb at 5:10 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there any chance of something like this happening in Saudi Arabia?

I think it would feel somewhat different as the Saudi education system sucks in comparison, and the educational attainment stats are astonishingly low. You don't have the same availability of intelligensia, and (crucially) the Sauds have the money to pay off their population if required.

You're talking about a country where it's illegal even to form an opposition political party or protest, and where the regime is econmically sustainable. They have a much tighter grip than Egypt did. I mean, I'd love it to happen (and I suspect it might when the oil runs out), but even the Egyptian and Tunisian protesters were talking as much about economic issues as about civil liberties.
posted by jaduncan at 5:12 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


... maybe we shouldn't have spent all these years forcing the nation of Cuba to share an agonizingly slow satellite connection.

In related news:
Cuba Welcomes New Internet Cable Link with Venezuela.

Protests in Egypt Spark Fears in Cuba Over Growing Internet Opposition Movements.
posted by ericb at 5:17 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there any chance of something like this happening in Saudi Arabia?

yea, it's easy to be cynical and say no, cuz with their oil revenue they won't have to "empty the vault" and so with all that sweet, sweet cash you'd think they could pay off, um, whomever needs paying off...

but i keep thinking if 80 million people -- the bulk of the NA/ME region -- find themselves in an 'open society' and it works then it seems hard for neighboring regimes to deny the benefits of or suppress a movement towards greater freedom and democracy, esp when seized so publicly. the 'arab exception' has just been shattered.
posted by kliuless at 5:23 PM on February 11, 2011


I'm going to trot out my old hobby horse and hope that they use Approval or Range Voting for the upcoming single-winner elections.

ducks and runs away
posted by Araucaria at 5:24 PM on February 11, 2011


The main difference is that the vast majority of the Saudi underclass are visa workers. Protest is a quick ticket home.
posted by dejah420 at 5:27 PM on February 11, 2011


charred husk:"I would just like to say "jilbab." Jilbab gown dress"

context is everything.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:34 PM on February 11, 2011




You don't have the same availability of intelligensia, and (crucially) the Sauds have the money to pay off their population if required.

That last point's a wee bit debatable. I'm on a phone so it's hard to cite, but iirc the Saudi royal family is up in the four figures at least by now, and keeping them all in bugattis ain't cheap. The population as a whole has been equally fecund, and my impression is that while in the 70s it was possible to straight up pay pretty much every natural born citizen enough to maintain a lifestyle equal or better to the Western middle class, that's no longer the case anymore...

The current state of affairs can't sustain itself. But it's hard to imagine it being much like what happened in Egypt....I mean, Saudi Arabia is named after a guy. One man. Who died, iirc, in the 1930s. Modern technology has made the world spin a lot faster, but it's still hard to believe a society can get from Ethelred the Uready to Tony Blair in less than a century...

posted by Diablevert at 5:39 PM on February 11, 2011


notion's eloquent summation of the turning point above reminded me of a favourite quote of mine that seems apropos here. It's from Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark:
Causes and effects assume history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope.
Such a powerful thing, to watch the good guys win one. A big one. Not the last, either, I hope.
posted by gompa at 5:49 PM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The right has a huuuuge dog in this fight. This is a huge smackdown to their worldview. The "we're OK with supporting a dictator who will do our bidding" isn't going to fly as well tomorrow as it did yesterday.

'Google' Ron Paul on Egypt:
The Republican party's most serious potential presidential contenders at the Conservative Political Action Conference today gave little more than passing reference to the most serious news of the day - the resignation of Egyptian's authoritarian President Honsi Mubarak.

Yet Rep. Ron Paul -- who's arguably the most popular politician at the annual conservative conference, but not considered a viable presidential candidate -- seized the news to blast American foreign policy and promote his well-known preference for isolationism.

The pro-democracy protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, Paul said, show that "we need to do a lot less, a lot sooner -- not only in Egypt but around the world."

The protesters in Egypt are "upset with us for propping up that dictator for all those years," Paul said, noting that the U.S. has given Egypt close to $70 billion over the course of Mubarak's 30 years in office.

"I'm still against foreign aid for everybody," the libertarian congressman said, prompting loud cheers from an audience largely made up of Paul's college-age supporters. "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of rich countries and giving it to the rich people of poor countries."

The unrest in the Middle East will continue, Paul said, because of the United States' interference there. Yet, he said he doesn't expect attitudes to change. Many people in Washington, Paul said, are now asking, "What should our position be about finding the next dictator?"

"Temporary stability does not guarantee the stability that we need around the world," he said. "And besides -- we just don't have the money."

Video.
posted by ericb at 6:18 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Out of sight of cameras, the president and his wife flew discreetly to his favorite beach house, in the resort of Sharm el Sheikh. It is believed that as part of the army’s agreement with the fallen president, he is likely to be shielded in retirement from prosecution, and die on Egyptian soil.

Worth noting that this sort of arrangement didn't work out so well for Nicholas II after the Russian Revolution.
posted by philip-random at 6:33 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. I...

I...

I agree with Ron Paul.

Wow.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:36 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


but not considered a viable presidential candidate = Uh, not a viable presidential candidate, save for in Somalia, wherein his (anti-)policies are actually in place.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:51 PM on February 11, 2011


GOOGLE WHITE MALE ADOLESCENT.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:51 PM on February 11, 2011


(You know, while you are on topic and all ... )
posted by joe lisboa at 6:52 PM on February 11, 2011


Mideast nations brace for Egypt spillover.
posted by ericb at 7:25 PM on February 11, 2011


I don't know if anybody is still reading this far down the thread, but I've noticed some interesting responses to the events in Egypt among American right-wingers. They seem to be coalescing into three distinct camps:

1) The Bushist Faction -- "This is great news! Our efforts to bring democracy to the middle east have finally paid off! What began with our liberation of Iraq has travelled to Egypt! Onward to Yemen and Syria!" (This is the minority viewpoint)

2) The Cheneyist Faction -- "This is a disaster. We've lost our strongman in Egypt and our strategic position in the Middle East is threatened by teenagers with sticks. Bush was a fool to trust the Arabs with democracy. Muslims are incapable of understanding anything but violence. We must crush them now before the contagion spreads!" (The majority viewpoint)

3) The Paulist Faction -- "It doesn't matter who's in charge of Egypt. We need to stop dicking around in other people's affairs." (By far the smallest faction)

It's interesting to me how, in the ensuing years after the Bush administration, that Cheney's, rather than Bush's, ideology has gained dominance in right-wing circles. It's almost as if Cheney was the real President all along.
posted by Avenger at 7:34 PM on February 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


Ron Paul is an idiot. That "wasted money" bought us peace and influence.

Isolationism (whether its America, Japan, or anywhere else) has been pretty clearly shown as shortsighted.

My interpration: "hurf durf, this money would be better spent on tax cuts." My response: "no."
posted by rosswald at 7:36 PM on February 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's almost as if Cheney was the real President all along.

Almost?
posted by philip-random at 7:43 PM on February 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Out of sight of cameras, the president and his wife flew discreetly to his favorite beach house, in the resort of Sharm el Sheikh. It is believed that as part of the army’s agreement with the fallen president, he is likely to be shielded in retirement from prosecution, and die on Egyptian soil.

Worth noting that this sort of arrangement didn't work out so well for Nicholas II after the Russian Revolution.


Who in this revolution are the Bolsheviks? If there even are any analogs to them, they're certainly not heading anything. The well-disciplined (but not so mindlessly-discplined that they obeyed Mubarak's orders to suppress the demonstrators with extreme force) Egyptian army is in charge and will remain so, with the trust of the people.

How it plays out we can't know, but nothing so far indicates that there's any element within the army, or the masses in the streets, that is anything like Lenin's determined fanatics. And the broad ad hoc coalition of demonstrators is not like the weak Menshevik party (who with the Bolsheviks were a small minority amidst a vast downtrodden and uneducated populace) whose revolt the Bolsheviks hijacked. The level of education and cosmopolitan awareness among the populace is much greater than in backwards Tsarist Russia.

The opposition and the army alike want to take enough time to amend or replace the constitution (which is a piece of shit designed to create a sham, rubber-stamp parliamentary system) and build up the civic institutions necessary for a meaningful first (ever) real election, and the only bloc even remotely conceivable as the "Bolshevik" element - the Muslim Brotherhood - a) is too internally heterogenous at this point - hell, Coptic Christians have voted for MB candidates running independently - to be a disciplined fanatic takeover clique b) has no armaments (unlike the Bolsheviks), even if they were to renege on their decades-old renunciation of violence, and c) has already announced they're not going to run candidates for President. They themselves are quite aware that many of their countrymen don't share their goals, that they don't have that much influence. Besides, the army will keep a close an eye on them.

As El Baradei already remarked today, the important thing about Mubarak is getting the billions back which he so kleptocratically squirrelled away, so that it can fund rebuilding the country. (The Swiss have already frozen accounts they're fairly sure are his.) The people are likely to insist on that as an ongoing demand. If they can get back the money, they'll probably let him fade away in Sharm El-Sheikh.

At most, he might go on trial, but it should be apparent by now that the majority of people really want a true rule of law in the land, not show trials and summary executions. They've had enough of that sort of "justice". The amazing non-violent discipline and restraint they've shown over the last few weeks - e.g., not responding violently to severe provocations (although Mubarak clearly hoped they would); forming neighbourhood watches and guarding museums (and the (new) Library of Alexandria) when the police a) deliberately withdrew in an attempt to create total chaos and lawlessness, and b) went out in plainclothes to loot and burn; creating checkpoints to make sure no-one brought weapons into the squares; identifying plainclothes secret police provocateurs trying to sneak into their midst, and, rather than exercising vigilante justice right there, escorting them out, even protecting them against other demonstrators, and handing them over to the army instead - should be enough to show this deep hunger for real law and order, real justice.

I don't see a parallel to Russia at all.
posted by Philofacts at 7:45 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's almost as if Cheney was the real President all along.

*wink*
posted by nola at 7:46 PM on February 11, 2011


Cheney-ites, no worries! This is obviously a prelude to the Rapture.
posted by telstar at 7:47 PM on February 11, 2011


Given the choice between trying adventures like Iraq and Afghanistan and isolationism, I'll take isolationism. Hopefully Egypt has nailed the idea of introducing democracy with violence in its coffin, chained it to an anvil, and heaved that into a bottomless trench in the Pacific.

Then again, Ron Paul is just arguing a false dichotomy. We can participate in world diplomacy and not arm dictators. I don't see why we can't give medical and educational technology in exchange for natural resources, instead of tanks and fighter jets in exchange for a facade of loyalty.

Go ahead! Tell me it's impossible to disarm a dictator without violence... I triple dog dare you.
posted by notion at 7:50 PM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who in this revolution are the Bolsheviks?

Nobody yet. I was merely pointing out that surrendering your security to power players with guns is fine right up until they don't need you around anymore.
posted by philip-random at 7:51 PM on February 11, 2011


Google Exec Wael Ghonim in Egypt Says Long Live the Revolution 2.0 -- "A fierce debate has been waged on Twitter (call it the Malcolm Gladwell backlash, all you Malcolm Gladwell haters, you know who you are) about whether the populist uprising in Egypt could be fairly called a social media revolution."
posted by ericb at 7:52 PM on February 11, 2011


Egyptian Group Texting App Helped Get Word Out -- "Social networking played a crucial role in Egypt's revolution, and in recent days the brainchild of a Harvard cybersecurity expert added yet another tool."
posted by ericb at 7:57 PM on February 11, 2011


It was a revolution that utilized social media. Whether it was 20, 40, or 60 percent will be up to history, but it sure as shit wasn't 100%
posted by rosswald at 7:58 PM on February 11, 2011


Okay... I'm going to get drunkeded. This has been awesome. I love you, everyone. From the top of my heart.
posted by notion at 8:01 PM on February 11, 2011


After Cairo, Twitter Still Sucks
posted by telstar at 8:02 PM on February 11, 2011


If you view this page without logging in, the Google ads served at the top and bottom of the page are pretty spooky - one for Rand Paul's righttoworkcommitee.org and one for a campaign to end "OBAMACARE".

I know it's just a program using word counts, but it's unsettlingly Big Brotherish.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:03 PM on February 11, 2011


Mideast nations brace for Egypt spillover.
Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold --

Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free....

Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armèd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed....

And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again -- again -- again --

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number --
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you --
Ye are many -- they are few!

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
posted by scody at 8:37 PM on February 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wait, Ron Paul wants a right to work?

Guaranteed employment, eh?
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:21 PM on February 11, 2011


“In MY day, a lie could travel halfway around the world while the truth was still putting on its shoes!” -Mark Twain
posted by perspicio at 10:39 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


AJE notes there was no anti-American sentiment expressed during the protests.

Looks like the celebration is still going on too, judging by this AP live video feed.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:44 PM on February 11, 2011


This map (greater context here) is one of my favorite things of the many, many awesome things I've seen today.

The balance of power has finally shifted, at least for the time being. The governments are becoming more fearful of the power of their people than the people are of the potential crackdown from their governments. The youth have heard a call for heroism and are answering with a roar.

This isn't over by a long shot.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:06 PM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The West Loses Its Favorite Tyrant
posted by telstar at 11:51 PM on February 11, 2011


I don't see why we can't give medical and educational technology

Because then they could figure out how to build the bombs themselves, silly!
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:15 AM on February 12, 2011


7.37pm GMT: Hosni Mubarak spent his last hours in office bitterly denouncing the US, according to a phone call he held with an Israeli politician.

Let him go to Israel, then.

So Kristol broke with the team on this one? Good on him. I always suspected he had the makings of a better man deep down inside somewhere.

The problem with Kristol is less how he'd like the world to look long term, but that like many of the other old-guard neo-cons, he can't shake off their Marxist-Leninist roots that the end justifies the means, however terrible.

Wolf Blitzer was just on CNN talking about how Mubarak stepping down will be good for Egyptian tourism. I love venal American newscasters!

In all seriousness, if removing the dictator undercuts the outbursts of terrorism that sees people being machine-gunned down by Egypts monuments then that will be a big benefit to the Egyptians who feed their families with tourist money. That's not an inconsequential thing.

Mubarak — persuaded by his son Gamal, a Western-trained banker — appointed a set of energetic reformers to his Cabinet [...] Why would economic progress spur protests?

Interesting to see that the reforms of a brutal kleptocrat and the reforms of, say, the IMF are so strikingly similar. And they would spur riots because our notions of "economic progress" - funelling welath to the richest - are so fucked up.

Anyway, sometimes I get depressed about the future; I think about envirnmental degradation, and I've been reading Cornwell's Arthurian cycle, with it's ruminations on the fall from Rome's technological prowess into living in your own shit. I look at Rwandas and Bosnias and Iraqs; I look at the boomers thieving their children's future by voting for unsustainable debit. It makes the future look pretty shit, to be honest.

And then... I've lived to see the fall of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of Eastern Europe, largely in peace. The fall of Marcos. And now this. The fall of Marcos is perhaps most germaine, and I'm reminded of PJ O'Rourke (of all people) describing in an essay his disappointment in the time it took for the US government of the day to distance itself from the dictator, and his astonishment that a peaceful overthrow could occur - "That was their plan. Make noise [...] a week later, the country was theirs."

And so, I guess, I should be a great deal more optimistic, because those events, those revolutions for freedom, however imperfect the outcomes, must be some of the most remarkable passages in human history; the removal of decades of opression without civil war or mass murder. Astonishing.
posted by rodgerd at 2:45 AM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


After Cairo, Twitter Still Sucks

Speaking of axe-grinding...
posted by rodgerd at 2:52 AM on February 12, 2011


Looks like Algeria is heating up.
posted by telstar at 4:49 AM on February 12, 2011


Interactive map of Tahrir Square. It's almost like you're there! Well, not really. But still, pretty neat.
posted by scalefree at 6:14 AM on February 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


A friend in Libya just emailed me there will be protests in Tripoli on the 17th but he isn't hopeful.
posted by Dragonness at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2011


scalefree, that map is very cool, and very helpful to appreciate the scale of the protest and the organization of the camp. It's pretty amazing that such a large group of people were able to organize themselves in a way to effect change and take care of the needs of the group as a whole.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:06 AM on February 12, 2011


The April 6 youth movement. Pretty amazing footage from on the ground, during the preparations for revolution.

Took a little bit, but I found it.

Al Jazeera English: Pepole & Power - Egypt: Seeds of Change, from the perspective of the April 6 movement.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:25 AM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about this a bit, and have been wondering about what 'we' (the wider, internet connected world) can do to help these revolutionary movements.

I think one thing is to create more redundancy in both the internet and social networks. A protocol for exchanging alternate methods of contact if the internet goes down, and a way to distribute it and store it automatically. Some kind of social network with servers that are local and severable from the wider internet, so that if they take down their international internet connections, they don't lose access to twitter and facebook. "When the shit hits the fan -- there's an app for that"

More dial-up, wireless and low-fi ways to connect to the internet, and getting instructions out to people well in advance of any kind of revolt.

Better technology to coordinate the activity of mobs -- ways to share locations and direct people, the creation of some kind of leaderless protocol for coordinating the movements of people. So that given information about where people are, where police are, where the 'strategic locations' are, the system has its own intelligence that directs people without relying on any human leadership. (of course how to trust information and the system is a different matter entirely). Some kind of method for using people with working cell connections and laptops as nodes for directing activity of larger groups of people.

The egyptians handled this one well, but you can be sure that other dictatorships are analysing the shit out of this and how to stop it from happening in their country. The people better be thinking 3 steps ahead, too...
posted by empath at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


scalefree, that map is incredible. Thanks!
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2011


I guess what I mean is that a peer-to-peer facebook is going to be vital.
posted by empath at 9:36 AM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in Yemen...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on February 12, 2011


Has anyone heard updates on how the cleanup of the square is going?
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:47 AM on February 12, 2011


@Ghonim: Several soda cans and KFC wrappers seem to be in the corner near the NDP building. I'm a little worried.
@monasosh: Can't see from here but per phone call military police are leaving cigarette butts everywhere. Can anyone confirm?
@ElBaradei: تذكر : نحن السلمية. ونظيفة. #Jan25
@LaraABCNews: Seems to be a small fire in a trash can. Uploading video shortly.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 AM on February 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Has anyone heard updates on how the cleanup of the square is going?

NYT blog -- looks good
posted by msalt at 9:57 AM on February 12, 2011




Is there any chance of something like this happening in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Shopping Spree: A Hardened, Networked National Guard

“The [Saudi] National Guard’s importance is that it was created to protect the royal regime and its interests, including protecting strategic sites such as oil installations. The National Guard is made up of two separate forces: a large group of 60,000 men and a smaller core force of 20,000 men originating from Bedouin tribes such as the Otaiba and Qahtani, who can be mobilised quickly. The men of the core force are called the “White Army,” a name given to them because they wear the white robes of the Bedouin. As the Head of the National Guard, Prince Abdallah has been able to win the backing of the tribes, something that the Sudairis in principle do not have. However, basic recruitment of core units is fraught with inter-ethnic and tribal rivalries. Few men are recruited from the Hijaz region, one that has been opposed to the Sauds since they came to power in the 1920s and 1930s.”

Globalsecurity.org: Saudi Arabian National Guard
posted by dhartung at 10:20 AM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


New leadership resists pressure from activists to hand power to civilian administration
Subhed is more accurate, as to have a falling out you first need to have concurrence
posted by dhartung at 11:04 AM on February 12, 2011




A new order is being born, but the old order is still rattling its chains. Let’s first exorcise the ghosts from our national home, only then can we furnish it at our leisure.


@Mirabeau: "History has too often recounted the actions of nothing more than wild animals, among which at long intervals we pick out some heros. Now we are given hope that we are beginning the history of man": # JUN27
posted by clavdivs at 3:27 PM on February 12, 2011


Keyboard Cat.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:35 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, so the aged autocrat has gone. But he's been replaced by his sidekick, the almost-equally-aged torturer and spymaster Suleiman. Things really worked out well for Suleiman: the army didn't crush the revolution, but it didn't join it either. Imprisoned members of the Moslem Brotherhood were released, but they left the country. Mubarak stepped down formally, so Suleiman really is the legitimate head of government. And I'm just wondering how much of this was orchestrated by him. Everything that happened seems to have worked inexorably to put him into position as President without any sort of election. And when elections are held, which I understand must happen within 60 days, he'll have a massive advantage over any rivals ... even if he doesn't benefit from any other fortuitous happenings.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:10 PM on February 12, 2011


Yes, yes, yes. Stupid Egyptians! Thirty years under a dictator and it's appalling that they wouldn't have established democratic institutions a day and a half after toppling him. It's too bad that if Suleiman refuses to hold elections, or holds fraudulent elections, the Egyptian people don't have a history of organizing themselves to fight back or anything.

In all seriousness: yes, of course what happens next is unknown territory. Literally no one can say what will happen, and no one is pretending otherwise. "There's no script—no research on a leaderless revolution taking on an oligarch protected by a military establishment supported by an entrenched elite." Is your point that the millions of people who toppled Mubarak shouldn't have bothered because there's no precise blueprint for what happens next?
posted by scody at 11:40 PM on February 12, 2011


My point, insofar as I have one, is that Suleiman may be extremely cunning and powerful and that it may be even harder for Egyptians to achieve a liberal democracy than we have supposed. But they were right to depose King Log, and they would be right to depose King Stork.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:52 PM on February 12, 2011


AJE: Army's still trying to clear out the square this morning. Some protesters don't want to move until further guarantees of a civilian government are given.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:06 AM on February 13, 2011


Robert Fisk: Cairo's 50,000 street children were abused by this regime.
Cairo's street kids were duped into resisting the revolution, then shot by police in the chaos that ensued.
posted by adamvasco at 2:18 AM on February 13, 2011


Scuffles break out as the military attempts to clear the square.
Am I wrong to be reading larger implications into this story?
posted by artof.mulata at 2:28 AM on February 13, 2011


Hasn't Suleiman been seriously sidelined by the Army High Command?
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:28 AM on February 13, 2011


If you haven't looked at the interactive map that scalefree linked above, you should really take a peek. I was most impressed by the newspaper wall and the kindergarten - it seems like the community spirit is what kept them going through such a long protest without resorting to violence.
posted by harriet vane at 2:32 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Egyptian newspaper AL-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt Today) reports that Mubarak has traveled to Germany "to receive medical treatment".
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:03 AM on February 13, 2011


Since last June there have been reports that Mubarak has either esophageal, pancreatic or stomach cancer. Rumor and speculation regarding his health has resurfaced over the past few weeks.
posted by ericb at 4:24 AM on February 13, 2011


harriet vane: Al Jazeera's senior political analyst pays tribute to the community organisers who made Egypt's revolution possible.
Meanwhile Strikes continue in Cairo and the northern provinces in every sector. More from arabawy.
posted by adamvasco at 5:20 AM on February 13, 2011


BBC report on Egyptians cleaning the streets. I think what the protesters should do is being to setup an alternative command and control structure. Giving people tasks, like cleaning the streets is both signaling to people who might be on the fence that the 'new order' will be better then the old one as well as helping them 'flex their muscles' as a movement. These people really know what they're doing, or appear to anyway.

And you know this is a huge deal for the world. Not just for the middle east but it shows that democracy is a ratchet, in some ways. Are there any examples of modern democracies reverting to dictatorial rule after more then a few years of democracy? I was worried about the future in a large part because of the seeming success of the Chinese model of free market authoritarianism. Thankfully it didn't work here.
posted by delmoi at 5:29 AM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Egypt's military rulers have dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution. The announcement came in their latest public statement.
posted by adamvasco at 6:10 AM on February 13, 2011


Yep ...

Egypt's Military Rulers Dissolve Parliament -- "Leaders also suspend constitution, meeting two key demands of protesters; meanwhile, troops face some resistance as they try to clear Cairo's Tahrir Square."
posted by ericb at 6:44 AM on February 13, 2011


60 mos. for an election... damn thats quick! It is reassuring, but there is so much to do before then (polling sites, monitors, opposition parties, monitors, etc.).
posted by rosswald at 6:48 AM on February 13, 2011


"Meanwhile, gunshots rang out near Egypt's Interior Ministry during a wage protest by hundreds of disgruntled policemen, witnesses said. A security guard said they were warning shots fired in the air.

The police force was pulled off the streets when it lost control of anti-government protests last month. Some have held their own protests and sit-ins since Mubarak's overthrow on Friday, demanding higher wages and immunity from prosecution.

A low-ranking police officer who gave his name as Hisham said he had served for 21 years and was paid 800 pounds ($136) a month.

'The high-ranking officers are the ones who used to get all privileges and we were left to starve. We were told if we don't like it, we can take money from the people,' he said.

Egyptians say 'police worry if they can't take bribes anymore,' NBC News' Richard Engel said in a Twitter post Sunday, 'they can't survive on salaries, which are low.'"*
Unwinding 'baksheesh' when in the form of bribery is going to be challenging.
posted by ericb at 6:54 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sandmonkey tweets: Great work happening on the google spreadsheet documenting Mubarak's wealth. The wiki-page will be up tonite! #jan25

posted by zennie at 7:40 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meant to say: Document is editable. Anyone who has info can add it to the spreadsheet.
posted by zennie at 7:46 AM on February 13, 2011


Prime Minister Stephen Harper's analogy on Hosni Mubarak's resignation—that Egyptians are "not going to put the toothpaste back in the tube"—showed the government is out of touch on foreign affairs, opposition MPs said Sunday.
Fuck you, Stephen Harper.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 AM on February 13, 2011


Forgot to close the link tag: CTV
posted by five fresh fish at 11:01 AM on February 13, 2011


"I think what the protesters should do is being to setup an alternative command and control structure. Giving people tasks, like cleaning the streets is both signaling to people who might be on the fence that the 'new order' will be better then the old one as well as helping them 'flex their muscles' as a movement. These people really know what they're doing, or appear to anyway. "

In the Mexican state of Chiapas, two concurrent rebel groups sought to overthrow the corrupt state, the EPR, a traditional Marxist/Leninist group that focused on traditional guerilla anti-state tactics, including attacks on infrastructure and holding territory, and the EZLN, or Zapatistas, who have been called a "post-modern" rebel group, who primarily use media statements and mass protest to affect change, with a minimal (but still existent) military capability.

The EPR has generally been ineffective — they've done some moderate damage to Mexican infrastructure, but the Mexican government is effective at counter-insurgency tactics, and the EPR is relatively poorly armed (though there's general supposition that they're armed and supplied by Venezuala).

The EZLN has been not only much more popular internationally, with poet-spokesman Subcommandant Marcos garnering support from celebrities and bands, but also much more effective internally, especially with their program of alternate government.

Basically, during one of the EZLN rural raids, what will happen is that a few EZLN soldiers will "capture" the local law enforcement, then the EZLN will set up an alternate government, doing everything from street cleaning to adjudicating disputes without requiring bribes, reapportioning food stores, etc. They work to train Mexicans, especially indigenous Mexicans, to conduct the business of government without the official government.

The EZLN has been less active in the last five years or so, in part because of a global attention shift from the problems of neo-liberal globalization, to the "war on terror" and the narco battles that have taken the Mexican state's focus off of Chiapas.

But their model of alternative services is one that delegitimizes the established government while also empowering citizens, and it's one that I hope at least someone in the Egyptian people's coordinating committees has heard of and thought about, because it really is effective in moving the locus of power from an authoritarian state — especially since Egypt's military isn't really all that involved, and the authoritarian state has little actionable power at the moment — to the populist movement.
posted by klangklangston at 12:23 PM on February 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


klang brings up good points about Chiapas and the EZLN. I would go even further to say that organizing an alternative, cooperative government/system of services that's directly in the hands of the people has an even longer history -- we've seen versions of it throughout the 19th and 20th centuries during revolutionary situations, such as the Seattle General Strike in 1919, during the Paris Commune in 1871, etc.

This is not in any way to dismiss the awesomeness of what's going on in Egypt, of course. What's interesting in looking at the larger historcial picture is the way that these people's organizations can develop organically under these sorts of circumstances, just as we've seen in the past couple of days. No doubt there are participants in the Egyptian revolution who are fully aware of the historical precedents of this sort of organization (and even the next step, which would be actual workers/peoples councils), but no doubt that for many other participants, they simply resonate as common sense when you're in the moment in which the old way of doing things has essentially melted into air. It's a wonderful living example that contradicts the kneejerk, right-wing canard that cooperative work is somehow against human nature, as well as that ordinary people aren't bright/experienced/whatever enough to organize things in the first place.
posted by scody at 2:01 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel has urged all its citizens to leave the Sinai Peninsula immediately, fearing that it has been abandoned by Egyptian police "after they were attacked by Beduin armed with missiles and assault rifles." Egypt's army has only a small presence in the Peninsula, as required by the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Israel recently agreed to let the Egyptian Army move 800 soldiers into Sharm el-Sheikh (to protect Mubarak?), but has refused to allow any more.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reports looting and damage to a church in El-Arish, near the Israeli border. The looters also reportedly "attacked a government building, set fire to a police station, and attacked the homes of regime security officials". In contrast to the Jerusalem Post report, Ma'an says that Bedouin are protecting churches and government buildings.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:26 PM on February 13, 2011


Haunting video tribute to martyrs of the revo.
posted by telstar at 3:09 AM on February 14, 2011


"The Egyptian revolt was years in the making. . ." an excellent report on the how, where, when, why and who of the opposition forces that brought down Mubarak: NYT
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:27 AM on February 14, 2011 [2 favorites]




> Fox News: Horseman of the Apocalypse Shows Up in Cairo?

To be fair to Fox News (not that they have earned it), that's from that Fox Nation thing. It's a group blog rather than direct Fox propaganda. Insipid, though. Also, you can see the devil in the WTC smoke plume.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:46 AM on February 14, 2011


If it's Fox they've probably photoshopped in the Mahdi or Hidden Iman because you know that these people having freedom will start the war to end all wars
posted by adamvasco at 12:06 PM on February 14, 2011


these people having freedom will start the war to end all wars

It's true. They got tired of just hating our freedom, so they decided to get more of their own so they could hate that freedom as well.
posted by scody at 12:38 PM on February 14, 2011 [3 favorites]




Iran protests see reinvigorated activists take to the streets in thousands

ooh! ooh! ooh! Will this make Glenn Beck call all the Iranian protesters caliphate-lovin' communist-Islamic-Masonic-environmentalists as well, thereby putting himself in the position of supporting the Ahmedinajad regime? Or are these demonstrators freedom-loving honorary Tea Partiers (uncomfortably dark complected though they may be) who are actually AGAINST everything that just happened in Egypt? Will the gordion knot of internal contradictions finally prove to be too much for his mighty mind? WILL HIS HEAD ACTUALLY EXPLODE ON AIR? a girl can dream

posted by scody at 1:40 PM on February 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


WILL HIS HEAD ACTUALLY EXPLODE ON AIR?

And have loofas spring out like snakes from a can? Coooool.
No, wait, that was the other doofus. There are too many right-wingers to keep track of.

Still, Ayatollah Beck. There's a name to conjure with.
posted by bonehead at 2:04 PM on February 14, 2011










It's things like this that make you realise how incredibly brave some people are. No job could pay enough to make me go near a riot like that.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:29 PM on February 16, 2011


I think it also shows how particular vulnerable women are in these kinds of situations.

Its a shame, as any democratic movement is made stronger by representative gender ratios, but obviously its hard to keep women safe in such a tumultuous situation where all it takes is a handful of assholes (or more).

I hope shes OK.
posted by rosswald at 6:15 AM on February 17, 2011


What not to say about Lara Logan: As news of Logan's assault in Egypt broke, the victim-blaming machine kicked in

Apparently someone didn't read this thread.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:46 AM on February 17, 2011


Rosswald: I don't think it was due to "a handful of assholes". This is what people are like. An inflamed group of people with a perceived enemy will usually behave badly, in the absence of police or some other external restraint.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:32 PM on February 17, 2011


An inflamed group of people with a perceived enemy will usually behave badly, in the absence of police or some other external restraint.

This conveniently ignores the fact that in Egypt, the police themselves have frequently been the rapists; rape against both women and men has long been a tool of the Mubarak regime, and in fact the accounts of journalists who were detained during the protests indicate that they heard other prisoners being threatened with rape if not actually being raped.

We do not know who raped Lara Logan, and it is (of course) an appalling act, regardless of who is responsible. But given what we do know about Egypt, it's impossible to claim with certainty that the police would have prevented it; indeed, it is a genuine possibility that they may have been involved.
posted by scody at 4:21 AM on February 18, 2011 [3 favorites]




fuck NPR is reporting that the transitory gov't may crack down on the labor unrest
posted by angrycat at 1:03 PM on February 18, 2011


Demonstrators fill Tahrir Square in Egypt to press military for more reforms: "On foot and in battered taxis, tired minivans and lurching buses, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians streamed toward Tahrir Square on Friday, reaffirming their victory over the country's old repressive government and their determination to build a new free one."
posted by scody at 1:48 PM on February 18, 2011


Oh, and just to come back to this...

An inflamed group of people with a perceived enemy will usually behave badly, in the absence of police or some other external restraint.


In fact, this generalization is directly contradicted by the actual experiences of many women themselves during the protests: Why Lara Logan's Sexual Assault Is Demoralizing for Egyptian Women
...Most cases of sexual assault in Egypt are not as gruesome as Logan's experience, they are instead much like what happens to Hussein—a near constant stream of verbal harassment and the odd groping. A 2008 study found 83 percent of Egyptian women said they had been sexually harassed, while 62 percent of men admitted to harassing women; 53 percent of men blamed women for "bringing it on" themselves. But there's one thing the numbers don't spell out: the psychological impact of frequent minor assaults—too trivial to report on their own—is debilitating.

But according to Hussein and from what I observed, Midan Tahrir during the 18-day Tahrir encampment was different. Logan's assault is even more demoralizing for Egyptian women because it comes at a time when they truly believe things are changing for the better.

Harassment was at an all-time low during the protests. Many told me at the time that was because the square felt like a "family," withstanding attacks, first from the police, and then from regime-sponsored thugs. It all started on Jan. 25, the first day Egyptians took to the streets demanding their rights. "On Tuesday, I went out on the streets really considerate of what I was going to wear, really considerate," Hussein remembers.

All day as demonstrators attempted to march into Tahrir, people were apologizing when they bumped into her, something Hussein marveled at because "It's only normal for people to bump into you at a demonstration." And these people didn't just apologize. "It was, 'I'm sorry, excuse me,' " Hussein explained. "I'm thinking: 'Excuse me'? Where was that yesterday? And the year before? And the year before?"

After hours of fighting riot police barricades, she finally made it off side streets and into Cairo's central square, which would become the epicenter of Egypt's protests. "At that point, for the first time people would come up and talk to me like a human being and not like a woman; it was great!" Hussein gushed.

Other women I spoke with inside Tahrir at the time remarked on the same thing. Many hope their role in the revolt that removed Mubarak's 30-year regime has changed attitudes toward their gender.

...There's never a safer place to be as a woman in Egypt than with members of the Brotherhood. Their male supporters frequently form human chains around groups of women to protect them from being groped. They did it to me when I was covering a demonstration for one of their parliamentary candidates in November 2010. They did it again on Tahrir Square; men linked hands to cordon off Brotherhood women. But after a while, they let go, in a sign of how much trust they had in their fellow protesters.
posted by scody at 2:48 PM on February 18, 2011




Oh, fuck. I'm hearing death tolls from varying sources of anywhere from "dozens" to "hundreds."
posted by scody at 9:21 PM on February 19, 2011


We don't have much pull over Libya, from what I know about it (which isn't much). I wonder how countries which aren't American client states will handle the rebellions. I bet they'll be much worse than the ones that are/were.
posted by empath at 10:04 PM on February 19, 2011




Millions of Egyptians joined a Muslim Brotherhood rally in Tahrir Square on Friday. According to Angry Arab this video shows them chanting "We go to Jerusalem, martyrs in the millions" (للقدس نحن نسير والشهداء بالملايين - my apologies if I got it wrong)

There are reports that Wael Ghonim tried to address the crowd but was blocked by bodyguards belonging to Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:27 AM on February 20, 2011


Apparently, that is an old PLO slogan.

I think most people would read it as expressing solidarity with the PLO and not as an intent to invade, but who knows, its a revolution, anything can happen.
posted by empath at 7:13 AM on February 20, 2011








The Guardian has a liveblog. It's short as of yet so you can get a pretty good overview by reading over it.
posted by Kattullus at 5:28 PM on February 20, 2011


I imagine most of his doughty band knows it, but the Libya thread is over here.

Time for this longboat to shove off on it's ten-odd day voyage. That reminds me, I need to check in on the sister ship.
posted by mwhybark at 7:30 PM on February 20, 2011


huh, no evidence of longboatery over there! We must be growing up!
posted by mwhybark at 7:33 PM on February 20, 2011


Details are emerging about changes to be made to Egyptian constitution.

Updating open threads with related links or comments is not longboating.
posted by Kattullus at 3:03 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]




A few points to be made about that NY Mag piece, which quotes an article from Britain's Daily Mail, which is not exactly known as a bastion of fine journalism (it has been a central player in promulgating the entire anti-vaccine hysteria, for example).

First: were any of these details released with Logan's permission? And who "revealed" them? Her own medical team seems unlikely to be breaking confidentiality.

Second: "stripped, punched and slapped by the crowd, which was labelling [sic] her a spy and chanting 'Israeli' and 'Jew' as they beat her" is actually consistent with treatment of protesters who had been attacked and/or detained by pro-Mubarak forces, as reported/corroborated by multiple reports from journalists who were also detained.

Third: "marks on her body were consistent with being whipped and beaten with the makeshift poles that were used to fly flags during the demonstrations" is a little politicized wishful thinking/guilt-by-association. How, precisely, do the poles used to fly flags during the demonstrations differ distinctively from any other pole or stick available in Cairo -- including the poles and sticks that pro-Mubarak thugs came armed with to demonstrations (again, as corroborated by countless eyewitness and journalist reports)?

Obviously, this is not to discount the horrible attack on Logan in the slightest, whatever the particular details of the assault she endured, but to suggest that the Daily Mail may be unwittingly revealing the real character of the group that attacked her (and contrary to the inferences they are certainly intending for readers to make -- e.g., Muslim men are animals, the demonstrations weren't actually peaceful, etc.).
posted by scody at 1:47 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scody wrote: A few points to be made about that NY Mag piece ... were any of these details released with Logan's permission?

Surely none of us know that, and I can't imagine that you actually care.

Second: "stripped, punched and slapped by the crowd, which was labelling [sic] her a spy and chanting 'Israeli' and 'Jew' as they beat her" is actually consistent with treatment of protesters who had been attacked and/or detained by pro-Mubarak forces ...

And anti-Mubarak forces: both sides blamed Jews and/or Israelis for their misfortunes. Here's a photo gallery that shows some of the images the pro-democracy protesters were using. See the stars of David scrawled across Mubarak's face? Antisemitism is very common in Egypt.

How, precisely, do the poles used to fly flags during the demonstrations differ distinctively from any other pole or stick available in Cairo

I suppose the point is that she wasn't beaten by police officers armed with truncheons or batons, but by a mob armed with makeshift weapons.

Obviously, this is not to discount the horrible attack on Logan in the slightest ...

I suspect the cognitive dissonance is too much for you: you don't want to accept that the pro-democracy crowd had antisemites and thugs in it. But of course it did: there's a lot of antisemitism in Egypt and crowds are notoriously likely to turn violent. People are people; they don't change their nature just because they on the right side.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:32 PM on February 21, 2011


Surely none of us know that, and I can't imagine that you actually care.

Of course I actually care if her privacy is being violated. You don't?

I suspect the cognitive dissonance is too much for you: you don't want to accept that the pro-democracy crowd had antisemites and thugs in it. But of course it did: there's a lot of antisemitism in Egypt and crowds are notoriously likely to turn violent. People are people; they don't change their nature just because they on the right side.

Respectfully, if anyone is suffering from cognitive dissonance, it seems to be you -- for example, you have notably sidestepped commenting on the widespread reports I linked to upthread that Egyptian women reported that they felt safer during the demonstrations, because men were actually treating them "as people for the first time." These actual, lived, in-the-world experiences directly contradict -- I would go so far as to say they threaten -- your abstract generalization that "people don't change their nature." Because in practical fact it illustrates precisely the opposite: that people do possess the capacity to change their mindsets and beliefs as a direct result of their immediate experiences. How else to explain something like this:
One flyer being distributed on Saturday [after Mubarak was ousted] put it this way: "Today this country is your country. Do not litter. Don't drive through traffic lights. Don't bribe. Don't forge paperwork. Don't drive the wrong way. Don't drive quickly to be cool while putting lives at risk. Don't enter through the exit door at the metro. Don't harass women. Don't say, 'It's not my problem.' Consider God in your work. We have no excuse anymore."
People can and do change -- inconsistently, unevenly, unpredictably, but change they do.

That said: of course there is widespread anti-Semitism* in Egypt; of course there is widespread harassment of women. (Interestingly, you know who does deny the existence of widespread harassment against women in Egypt? Mubarak's wife, Suzanne.) These are deeply ingrained, backwards ideas that have served a variety of social and political purposes in Egypt and throughout the region for generations that have not disappeared, nor will they disappear overnight. And of course we do not actually know the political side that the men who attacked Logan were on -- though we do know that both women and men (including soldiers, who presumably had been through some radical mind-changing of their own in recent days) saved her.

But what do we know? Jack Schenker -- who himself was beaten by pro-Mubarak police and security officers -- reports that pro-democracy activists have widely condemned the attack on Logan. Others in Egypt also "believe pro-Mubarak thugs—whose use of sexual violence to intimidate political dissidents is widely documented—perpetrated the attack."

We also know that there are precedents to Logan's attack -- and, furthermore, we also know who committed those sexual assaults on female protesters and journalists (hint: it wasn't fellow demonstrators):
For years, these thugs-for-hire have been a constant feature of protests in Egypt. On May 25, 2005, a day activists later dubbed “black Wednesday,” during protests held against amendments to Article 76 of the Egyptian Constitution, hired thugs sexually assaulted female protestors, including women journalists covering the protests.
(Of course, this is just an extension of the regime's general methods from the prison to the public square).

But it's all just the vagaries of universal, ahistorical human nature, right? Just large groups of people doing what all large groups of people do... just Muslims doing what all Muslims do... just men doing what all men do?

*Note, by the way, that the reports that Logan's attackers were calling her a Jew are as yet unsubstantiated, having been reported in a tabloid with, shall we say, less-than-stringent journalistic standards.
posted by scody at 5:30 PM on February 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


See the stars of David scrawled across Mubarak's face? Antisemitism is very common in Egypt.

You know, there's a few things in that link that are clearly anti-Semitic, no denying it, and they're ugly and deplorable. But there's also a lot that doesn't seem to me to have any particular indication of being anti-Semitic per se rather than just being anti-Israel, like the stars of David, unless I'm missing something (which I might be, never having done an indepth study of anti-Semitic vs anti-Israel imagery.) Clearly folks in Egypt, including the pro-democracy protesters, are extremely angry about Israel's treatment of Palestinians and Egypt's support in that, but that doesn't make them anti-Semitic automatically (not denying that presumably there is significant overlap, but it just bugs me, as a Jew who's not a big fan of Israel's policies myself, to blur that line.)

But that aside, it's clear that during much of the protests, state TV was heavily pushing the idea that Israeli spies disguised as journalists were fomenting the revolution and trying to bring down the government. (Committee to Protect Journalists, 2/3/11: CPJ has documented at least seven instances on state-owned television or on private stations owned by businessmen loyal to Mubarak in which individuals described elaborate foreign plots to destabilize Egypt that centered on foreign provocateurs, including journalists. In several instances, they were described as "Israeli spies.") If the allegations are true, the spy angle in particular makes it seem likely to me that these were folks who'd drunk the state TV Kool-Aid, which is unlikely to be true of the core pro-democracy protesters who knew that state TV was full of crap in the way they covered the protests (and also presumably weren't watching a lot of state TV anyway since they were down at Tahrir most of the time), although possibly could be true of the broader group of pro-democracy supporters.

Although really we just don't know and it probably serves us all better to not make assumptions about who did or didn't do it.
posted by EmilyClimbs at 6:32 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


> I can't imagine that you actually care.

That statement says a lot about you and nothing about scody. You're embarrassing yourself here, and should really step back and recognize you're unable to be rational about Muslims.
posted by languagehat at 8:21 AM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I do agree that people are trying very hard to pin this on one group/side or another with scant evidence.
posted by rosswald at 11:24 AM on February 22, 2011


Just happened to be listening to this episode of Tell Me More Women Reporters Face Added Risks In Conflict Zones

Martha Raddatz talks about how Lara Logan's attack took place long after the peak of the violence, and actually occurred during the celebrations after Mubarak fell.

Rawya Rageh mentions the "larger picture" of the attack in the context of Egyptian society. Interesting discussion.

It also folds into a sexual assault/rape conversation about the US military, which while not directly related is also interesting.
posted by rosswald at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2011


Languagehat wrote: You're embarrassing yourself here, and should really step back and recognize you're unable to be rational about Muslims.

Why do you presume that the people assaulting Lara Logan were Muslims? I don't think you have any basis for that assumption or the implication that they were acting as Muslims. You can't even assume that they knew each other.

Incidentally, I've seen you make these unfounded "you are a racist!" slurs before. They're contemptible.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:23 PM on February 22, 2011


Why do you presume that the people assaulting Lara Logan were Muslims?

Over 90% of the country is Muslim. I think it's a pretty safe assumption.
posted by mkultra at 8:26 PM on February 22, 2011


Why do you presume that the people assaulting Lara Logan were Muslims?

Mkultra wrote: I think it's a pretty safe assumption.

Really? You're a gamer and you think this way? You're assuming that the assailants were representative of the population as a whole; which is obviously an unsafe bet, or most of them would have been women, children, and the elderly. But if their religious makeup reflected Egypt as a whole then there were almost certainly many Christians among them. Here is a link to a dice-rolling website. Pick a ten sided die and roll seven dice at a time. Let's say that a die roll of 1-9 reflects a Muslim and 10 reflects a Christian. If you roll long enough you'll find that you have at least one 10 among your results more than half the time.

So, given that the Daily Mail claims that there were "as many as" 200 men in the mob, and even though there's probably some selection effect whereby Muslims and Christians tend to associate with their own religious groupings, I'll go out on a limb here and say that it is vanishingly unlikely that everybody in that group was a Muslim.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:25 PM on February 22, 2011


Really? You're a gamer and you think this way?

Really? You're going to play the "let's go through someone's posting history and cherry pick stuff for my argument" game? You might as well just give up now.
posted by mkultra at 4:54 AM on February 23, 2011




You know, if the US's army wasn't tied up in Afghanistan chasing hypothetical Al-Qaedan goatherders it might have some forces available to help a strategically important nation peacefully transition to democracy. I'm just saying.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2011


Egypt's army passes draft constitutional amendments
The army in Egypt has passed a draft of constitutional amendments to be submitted to a national referendum.

Under the proposed changes, the president would only be allowed to serve two four-year terms, instead of unlimited six-year periods.

Deposed President Hosni Mubarak was serving his fifth six-year term when he was toppled by a mass uprising earlier this month.

The amendments would also reinstate judicial oversight of elections.

...
posted by Anything at 3:51 PM on February 26, 2011


Jittery Chinese authorities move to stamp out 'Jasmine Revolution'.

China puts on a show of force to block rally
posted by homunculus at 9:32 AM on February 27, 2011




Unrest spreads to Oman
posted by scody at 2:40 PM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Homunculus: Wow, that reminds me of nothing as much as the last days of the Holocaust - as the Nazi power structure collapsed some guards fled, others tried to enforce the last orders they had received (e.g., "take all the prisoners to this other place") without regard to whether they made sense or could be implemented, and others just started killing people randomly. If the Egyptian prison guards are acting like this then it speaks worlds about their relationship to the prisoners and the former Egyptian government.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:52 PM on February 27, 2011


Now here's someone thinking outside the box - Saudi king to buy Facebook to end the revolt: report.
posted by scalefree at 5:30 PM on February 27, 2011


The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reports that
For the second time in as many days, Egyptian armed force stormed the 5th century old St. Bishoy monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, 110 kilometers from Cairo. Live ammunition was fired, wounding two monks and six Coptic monastery workers. Several sources confirmed the army's use of RPG ammunition. Four people have been arrested including three monks and a Coptic lawyer who was at the monastery investigating yesterday's army attack.
The article says the atttack was in response to the construction of a wall around the monastery, which allegedly includes State land. Here is a video of the incident in which you can hear the sounds of gunfire (about 1:10 &f) and some sort of projectile (about 2:03 &f) being fired.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:26 PM on February 27, 2011


via Arabist: Egypt: the military's gambit.
posted by adamvasco at 2:03 AM on February 28, 2011


Rights groups say Egyptian prison guards are gunning down inmates

This happened during the height of the revolution, it's not happening currently.
posted by empath at 6:55 AM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


scalefree: "Now here's someone thinking outside the box - Saudi king to buy Facebook to end the revolt: report."

It's a joke. But the Tehran Times reporting it as fact is hilarious.
posted by zarq at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2011


It's a joke.

Well I knew from the start it wasn't real. Zuckerberg may be an ass but he's not going to sit down with any Saudi king & cut deals over FaceBook groups. That's just a little too Neal Stephenson for reality. But it's nice to know where it got started.
posted by scalefree at 1:54 PM on February 28, 2011


I loved the part about, "the king offered $150 billion but Zuckerberg is holding out for $500B."
500 billion!!
posted by msalt at 2:03 PM on February 28, 2011


Well, it was rumored that he wanted to make Facebook the first trillion dollar company...
posted by Burhanistan at 2:05 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course he does. Every entrepreneur does. I started a small computer training company in the 90s and I would have loved to make it the first trillion dollar company. I ended up folding it just shy of that mark, alas.
posted by msalt at 9:15 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Military Junta of Egypt : Meet the generals
posted by adamvasco at 10:55 AM on March 1, 2011


Fashion of Mubarak
posted by czytm at 9:08 AM on March 3, 2011


Alexander McQueen, when asked to construct a suit for Prince Charles, wrote "Wanker" into the shoulder stitching.

...the more you know
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Egyptians Seize Documents That Offer Proof Of Abuse -- "Three weeks after President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Egyptians are turning their anger toward his internal security apparatus, storming the agency's main headquarters and other offices Saturday and seizing documents to keep them from being destroyed to hide evidence of human rights abuses."
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on March 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's reminiscent of East Germany and the Stasi.
posted by homunculus at 2:53 PM on March 5, 2011






"Three weeks after President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Egyptians are turning their anger toward his internal security apparatus, storming the agency's main headquarters and other offices Saturday and seizing documents to keep them from being destroyed to hide evidence of human rights abuses."

Hello, Homeland Security!
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2011




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