Friday, February 4, 2011

What's Happening in #Egypt? Day of Departure & The Final Push (Day 11) | #Jan25 #Feb4

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Today has been dubbed by protesters the Day of Departure, another day of massive protests against a president who claims he wants to leave, but "it would be chaos without me." The US is still negotiating with top officials other than Mubarak for an immediate step-down and temporary transitional government lead by new Vice President Suleiman, as well as plans for a proper, democratic election in September.

In a display of solidarity with the people, several government leaders, including the secretary general  of the Arab League, and the public spokesman for Egypt's highest state-run religious authority, joined the protests. (It would seem that the only person voluntarily supporting Mubarak is Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. But who likes him anyway...)

Al Jazeera just reported that Egyptian state TV has actually aired an interview with an anti-Mubarak protester. Very unusual that state TV would show the other side. Speculation - does he work for the government, or is it real?

  • 11:20 AM -- President Obama will be speaking on this matter at 3pm EST. Hopefully he will have more details on the negotiations regarding the transitional government..
  • 1:00 pm - Latest buzz on Twitter is Re: a "diplomatic" car that drove through (yet another) crowd at top speed, killing 20-30 people. (WARNING - Graphic video. Hard to watch...) Some reports say that the vehicle belongs to the US Embassy. However they also say that it is impossible to definitively tell. So before we all freak out about the "evil Americans," can we stop and take a second to think about this?
    • Here's the thing. I highly, highly doubt that this was an American "attack." It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Why would we do that, when in general, American sentiments have been anti-Mubarak? And and event like this would completely destroy our negotiations. See why I don't believe it? It's just far too likely to have been a plant by the Egyptian government to interfere with any US attempt to oust Mubarak. This video was recorded on January 28th, 3 days after the first major protest. By this point we were already aware of the actions being taken by Mubarak's regime and the riot police, and the developing US government positions on the situation. It just doesn't make sense for the US to risk everything like that, even if it was just a moment of panic. (They weren't being attacked, they came in from behind, so I don't really buy that argument either. There wasn't a huge reason for the people in the car to worry.) We have no need to provoke the Egyptian people against us, and seeing as we have yet to turn this into another Afghanistan (i.e. we haven't dragged the entire army overseas to drag the leader's ass out by brutal force, bombing the hell out of the region like it's the fucking 4th of July and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the process...), this doesn't seem like US interference.
      • Commenters online are asserting that it is in fact an Egyptian car, and that pro-Mubarak plants (read: trolls) are trying to make it seem like it's an American car to turn protesters against us.
    • Point is, there is plenty of reason to be skeptical of everything we hear right now. So instead of yelling "KILL THE DRIVER" like SOME have, can we all stop trying to create more unneeded violence and focus on our goals here? It's a protest, not a lynch mob...

      Ok, bad choice of words.
  • 3:20pm - Obama is speaking about... something? Not Egypt? Afghanistan and border security? And his brother-in-law's birthday? Nevermind then.
    • Oh. we did get 2 lines on Egypt. As in, we're standing with them or something like that. "We oppose violence against protesters in Egypt." and "I am confident the Egyptian people can shape the future they deserve."
    • And now Harper (a.k.a. Baby-Seal-Killer.) is saying something in French... If he slowed down I could try to translate.
    • Question and answer session - watch 
    • "pretense of reform, but not real reform" I choked on my selzter when he said that. Why does he have so many [facepalm] moments lately? Otherwise... eh.

More updates to follow...

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