Author Topic: Middle East landscape rapidly changing  (Read 98580 times)

give her dixie

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2011, 10:31:24 AM »
Egyptian police arrest 1,000 in violent clashes

By Catrina Stewart
Thursday, 27 January 2011

Egyptian officials last night confirmed two people had been killed in a fresh wave of anti-government protests in central Cairo.

Security sources said that a protester and a policeman died after being hit by a car during a clash in a poor neighbourhood. It brings the total number of people killed to six in two days of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime.

News of the deaths came as the brother of political reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed he would return to Egypt on Thursday. ElBaradei is a vocal advocate of reform in Egyptian politics and a figurehead for many of the activists who organised the protests.

Egyptian police used tear gas, beatings and live ammunition fired into the air to quell those attempting to stage a repeat of the demonstrations that a day earlier brought tens of thousands of people on to the streets .

Nearly 1,000 people were arrested across Egypt yesterday as police mounted a coordinated crackdown using tear gas and beatings. The previous day up to 20,000 people joined marches across the nation that resulted in violent clashes, leaving a policeman and three protesters dead.

The authorities earlier declared a ban on any more protests in an effort to control an angry electorate, emboldened by street riots that sparked a revolt earlier this month in Tunisia. "All of Egypt must move, at one time," a Facebook group organising the demonstrations said yesterday, calling on Egyptians to come out for a second day of national protests. By the afternoon, access to Facebook along with Twitter appeared to be blocked.

The biggest demonstrations that Egypt has seen in more than three decades swept across the country on Tuesday in response to corruption, heavy-handed rule and deteriorating economic conditions. Inspired by the events in Tunisia that deposed President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power, thousands defied the wrath of the authorities to march.

Similar protests, although much smaller in scale, have rattled leaders across the Arab world, where authoritarian rulers have reigned with an iron fist for decades, feared for their often ruthless suppression of political expression.

In the town of Suez, where three protesters were killed on Tuesday, hundreds of demonstrators descended on the morgue, demanding the release of one of the bodies for autopsy amid claims that he had been killed by live fire. "The government has killed my son," the Suez protesters chanted. "Oh Habib, tell your master, your hands are soiled with our blood," they said, referring to Interior Minister Habib al-Adli.

Protesters in Cairo and elsewhere defied the government ban, with roughly 3,000 gathering outside a Cairo court before they were broken up by police using riot trucks. Outside the Journalists' Union, police used batons to beat protesters who attempted to breach their cordons, while others chanted: "Mubarak is leaving, leaving. Oh Egyptian people, be brave and join us."

Every time that demonstrations grew in size, they were charged by riot police with helmets and shields. By the evening, protesters were fighting back, throwing stones and burning tyres.

The emotive street scenes come as Mr Mubarak, 82, heads towards new presidential elections this autumn, where he is expected to stand for a sixth consecutive term.

In the past year, there have been isolated outbursts of anger against the regime, focused around police brutality, poverty, and rising food prices and unemployment, similar to the grievances that sparked riots in Tunisia. In November, parliamentary elections were widely denounced as fraudulent.

Many have directed their anger at Mr Mubarak, who has held power in Egypt since 1981.
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give her dixie

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2011, 10:39:30 AM »
Robert Fisk: A new truth dawns on the Arab world

Leaked Palestinian files have put a region in revolutionary mood


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Palestine Papers are as damning as the Balfour Declaration. The Palestinian "Authority" – one has to put this word in quotation marks – was prepared, and is prepared to give up the "right of return" of perhaps seven million refugees to what is now Israel for a "state" that may be only 10 per cent (at most) of British mandate Palestine.

And as these dreadful papers are revealed, the Egyptian people are calling for the downfall of President Mubarak, and the Lebanese are appointing a prime minister who will supply the Hezbollah. Rarely has the Arab world seen anything like this.

To start with the Palestine Papers, it is clear that the representatives of the Palestinian people were ready to destroy any hope of the refugees going home.
It will be – and is – an outrage for the Palestinians to learn how their representatives have turned their backs on them. There is no way in which, in the light of the Palestine Papers, these people can believe in their own rights.

They have seen on film and on paper that they will not go back. But across the Arab world – and this does not mean the Muslim world – there is now an understanding of truth that there has not been before.

It is not possible any more, for the people of the Arab world to lie to each other. The lies are finished. The words of their leaders – which are, unfortunately, our own words – have finished. It is we who have led them into this demise. It is we who have told them these lies. And we cannot recreate them any more.

In Egypt, we British loved democracy. We encouraged democracy in Egypt – until the Egyptians decided that they wanted an end to the monarchy. Then we put them in prison. Then we wanted more democracy. It was the same old story. Just as we wanted Palestinians to enjoy democracy, providing they voted for the right people, we wanted the Egyptians to love our democratic life. Now, in Lebanon, it appears that Lebanese "democracy" must take its place. And we don't like it.

We want the Lebanese, of course, to support the people who we love, the Sunni Muslim supporters of Rafiq Hariri, whose assassination – we rightly believe – was orchestrated by the Syrians. And now we have, on the streets of Beirut, the burning of cars and the violence against government.

And so where are we going? Could it be, perhaps, that the Arab world is going to choose its own leaders? Could it be that we are going to see a new Arab world which is not controlled by the West? When Tunisia announced that it was free, Mrs Hillary Clinton was silent. It was the crackpot President of Iran who said that he was happy to see a free country. Why was this?

In Egypt, the future of Hosni Mubarak looks ever more distressing. His son, may well be his chosen successor. But there is only one Caliphate in the Muslim world, and that is Syria. Hosni's son is not the man who Egyptians want. He is a lightweight businessman who may – or may not – be able to rescue Egypt from its own corruption.

Hosni Mubarak's security commander, a certain Mr Suleiman who is very ill, may not be the man. And all the while, across the Middle East, we are waiting to see the downfall of America's friends. In Egypt, Mr Mubarak must be wondering where he flies to. In Lebanon, America's friends are collapsing. This is the end of the Democrats' world in the Arab Middle East. We do not know what comes next. Perhaps only history can answer this question.
next stop, September 10, for number 4......

give her dixie

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2011, 10:43:06 PM »
Egypt braces itself for biggest day of protests yet

Pressure builds on the president, Hosni Mubarak, as banned Muslim Brotherhood backs protests
 
Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, will face escalating challenges on all fronts tomorrow, with Cairo expecting the biggest day yet of street protests and Mohamed ElBaradei, one of his fiercest critics, calling explicitly for a "new regime" on his return to Cairo.

Redoubling the sense of crisis for 82-year-old Mubarak, who has ruled for the past three decades, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most potent opposition force, said it was backing the latest call for demonstrations scheduled to follow Friday prayers.

ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear inspector who plans to join tomorrow's marches, arrived tonight at Cairo's airport to a media scrum and a heavy presence from the country's state security. He said he had come because "this is a critical time in the life of Egypt and I have come to participate with the Egyptian people".

Dozens of barriers manned by plainclothes state security officers had been erected in the airport to stop the public from mobbing ElBaradei, but they proved no match for the media scrum as the 68-year-old emerged with his wife. "Will you be on the streets tomorrow?" screamed one journalist. "Doctor ElBaradei, the people of Egypt need you tomorrow," shouted a bystander in Arabic.

Speaking to reporters earlier as he set off from Vienna, ElBaradei said he was seeking regime change and was ready to lead the opposition movement.

"The regime has not been listening," he said. "If people, in particular young people – if they want me to lead the transition, I will not let them down. My priority … is to see a new regime and to see a new Egypt through peaceful transition.

"I advise the government to listen to the people and not to use violence. There's no going back. I hope the regime stops violence, stops detaining people, stops torturing people. This will be completely counterproductive."

Aside from the journalists, only a few well-wishers turned out to greet the Nobel peace-prize winner – a far cry from the scenes of last February when ElBaradei was met by more than 1,000 supporters on his triumphant return.

Ahmed el-Sherif, a 24-year-old dentist, said: "We are all Egyptians, and it's our duty to receive ElBaradei in Egypt. We need him to lead us in the change we want, for the regime to fall and Mubarak to leave and for a new, free Egypt to be born."

Sherif rejected criticisms that ElBaradei had been too timid in the runup to this week's protests. "It's not his job to be protesting on the streets, it's our job. The people of Egypt will make the change from below, not ElBaradei. His role is to be a leader, a figurehead for what comes after, because that's what we're lacking at the moment. We do our job first, then he will do his. I completely agree with what he says about the state of our country and what we need to do to change it, and many people my age feel the same."

ElBaradei arrived as violent protests continued in many parts of the country, including the port of Suez, where a cloud of black smoke was seen over the city.

In an interview with CNN before his return, ElBaradei poured scorn on comments by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who had described the Egyptian government as stable and "looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people".

"I was stunned to hear secretary Clinton saying the Egyptian government is stable. And I ask myself at what price is stability? Is it on the basis of 29 years of martial law? Is it on the basis of 30 years of [an] ossified regime? Is it on the basis of rigged elections? That's not stability, that's living on borrowed time," said ElBaradei.

"When you see today almost over 100,000 young people getting desperate, going to the streets, asking for their basic freedom, I expected to hear from secretary Clinton stuff like 'democracy, human rights, basic freedom' – all the stuff the US is standing for," he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is throwing its weight behind protests after four days in which six have died and almost 1,000 have been rounded up by police. Mohammed Mursi, a leader of the group, said: "We are not pushing this movement, but we are moving with it. We don't wish to lead it but we want to be part of it."

Organisers of tomorrow's marches – dubbed "the Friday of anger and freedom" – are defying a government ban on protests issued on Wednesday. They have been using social media to co-ordinate, and hope to rally even more than the tens of thousands who turned out on Tuesday in the biggest protests since 1977.

In a sign of its anxiety, the regime issued a warning to all mosques advising against "spreading confusion or the circulation of unfounded rumours".

In a clumsy attempt to head off the rebellion, Egypt's ruling party said today it was "ready for a dialogue" but offered no concessions to address demands for a solution to rampant poverty and political change.Officials from Mubarak's National Democratic party denied rumours that have been swirling for several days that Mubarak's son Gamal, who some believe is being groomed to take over from his father, had fled the country.

In a sign that the regime will be confronted by a huge turnout, the prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, urged citizens to exercise self control. There will also be a massive turnout by police, who have viciously tried to stamp out the rebellion.

The growing political uncertainty saw Cairo's stock market crash by 10% today, with trading suspended for a while, following a fall of 6% the day before.

Mubarak's position has been further undermined by the implicit criticism by senior Arab political figures attending the Davos Economic Forum, including his former foreign minister Amr Moussa, who is now head of the Arab League.

Moussa told the forum yesterday that a wave of unrest across the Arab world since the Tunisian uprising highlighted the need for democratic reforms. "The Arab citizen is angry, is frustrated," Moussa said. "So, the name of the game is reform."

Former Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal told the Davos gathering the same day that "even Egyptian officials" are now admitting that their society is in a moment of flux.

In a further indication of the seismic shocks in the region, tens of thousands of people called for the removal of Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, in protests across the country
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mylestheslasher

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2011, 11:17:31 PM »
What do the democrats in the USA and Israel think of this terrible dictatorship being overthrown by a popular rising? Probably the same as they felt when the shah was overthrown in Iran - not very happy to see a nasty but helpful friend bite the dust.

give her dixie

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2011, 11:37:27 PM »
There is no doubt that US/Isarel are feeling the heat right now on this. For 30+ years they didn't give a fiddlers about the people been downtrodden, and it's laughable for them to now come out and ask for political reform.

I wonder will the US ask their very close friends in Saudi to hand over Ben Ali now that there is an international arrest warrant issued for him? Will the same witch hunt be on for his arrest as we saw recently for Julian Assagne?

They used to say that empires were measured in centuries, and now they are measured in decades.
This surely is the beginning of the end of the US/Israel empire in the middle east. Their days are numbered, their military have been defeated, and no amount of money they can throw at these dictators will protect their empire now.

The people in South America spoke, and sent them packing in the past 10 years. Now the people in the middle east are speaking, and the bags are been packed.

Tomorrow will see a day in Egypt that will be remembered for generations to come. Personally, I can't see Mubarack lasting much longer, and he too may be seeking refuge in Saudi very soon.
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tyssam5

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2011, 12:02:23 AM »
What do the democrats in the USA and Israel think of this terrible dictatorship being overthrown by a popular rising? Probably the same as they felt when the shah was overthrown in Iran - not very happy to see a nasty but helpful friend bite the dust.

I would say the Iran revolution would have been slightly more annoying, given that Tunisia has no oil (?), no border with the Soviet Union and didn't take a bunch of people hostage inside the US embassy.

give her dixie

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2011, 01:31:44 AM »
Egypt have now shut the internet down, blocking facebook, twitter, youtube etc, etc.
Mobile phone service has also been severly disrupted, and in most cases, shut down.

This follows the success of social media in organising the protests, and the reaction to the Associated Press releasing the following video of a peaceful protester getting shot and killed.

http://video.ap.org/?f=None&pid=oT7qj_wiVHTbYae3scwok4_irYjJ2R8Z 

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seafoid

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Lookit

seafoid

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 10:37:22 AM »
http://justworldnews.org/archives/004132.html

There will be major change in the Middle East. Though the US-Israeli imperium may find a way to survive in the region beyond tomorrow (#jan28), there is no way it can survive in its present form beyond the end of 2012.
And you know what? That will be a good thing for the vast majority of Americans and our country as a whole. After the imperium is brought to an end, it will be a whole lot easier for Americans to have good relations with both Israelis and the peoples of the Arab world-- and they, with us-- than it has been for the past 15 years. Ending the imperium is not a recipe for any kind of "clash of civilizations". It is, rather, an essential prerequisite for being able to build a decent relationship based on fairness, mutual respect, and shared commitment to the values that all of us hold dear.
Lookit

give her dixie

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2011, 01:12:37 PM »
Unbelievable scenes now all over Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the country have turned out in protest at Mubarack. Egypt have shut down the internet, and mobile phone service. However, web savy people are still able to get the message out.

Click on the following links for live updates:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/jan/28/egypt-protests-live-updates

Live streaming from Al Jazeera:
http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/


Some news below:

Blog home Protests in Egypt - live updates• Mohamed ElBaradei has been detained
• Teargas and rubber bullets used in crackdown
• Internet access and mobile phone networks shut down
• Read a full summary of the latest developments

 
Share1720  Comments (175) This page will update automatically every minute: On | Off
 
A riot policeman in a van fires rubber bullets as Egyptian riot police clash with anti-government activists in downtown Cairo, Egypt Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP
 
12.59pm:CloseLink to this update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/jan/28/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-43 In another extraordinary audio report Jack Shenker in Cairo reports on signs that the police are siding with the protesters. He saw a senior police officer discard a teargas canister to signal to protesters that he was on their side. Will the regime fall he asked a state journalist. "It's already falling, it can't stop," Jack was told.

Jack has seen tens of thousands of protesters on the streets, some chanting "we are change".

12.57pm: Twitter are saying the NDP headquarters in Mansoura, 120 miles north-east of Cairo, is being overrun by 40,000 people.

next stop, September 10, for number 4......

Square Ball

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2011, 03:20:43 PM »
I have been watching this for the past hour or so on the BBC and CNN, a lot happening, the opposition leader now under house arrest, the army have been seen in Ciaro and the protests are getting bigger. Government buildings on fire in Alexandera, and fires also in Suez.

Mobiles and the internet has also been shut down
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Hardy

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2011, 03:56:43 PM »
It's gettin scary.

Hereiam

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2011, 04:41:10 PM »
Should this not have been Ireland by now.

Ulick

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2011, 05:17:03 PM »
The Revolution will be televised

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Square Ball

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Re: Middle East landscape rapidly changing
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2011, 05:28:33 PM »
The Revolution will be televised

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

I see they are all heeding the carfew
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