Egypt

29 01 2011

The Al Jazeera lead begins:

Thousands of protesters in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez have defied a nighttime curfew and continued with demonstrations demanding an end to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency.

Fuck yes.

The Egyptians are on the rise and Mubarak has apparently sacked his cabinet.  Seems he hasn’t really got the message that the general unrest and discontent of the masses may have something to do with his 30 years in power and the way he’s been acting off “emergency powers” almost the entire time.

All reports have repeated the line that the US is “deeply concerned” and is calling for “restraint” on the part of the Egyptian authorities.  But, and please correct me if I’m wrong, the continued calls for Mubarak to introduce reform are not what the Egyptians want.  They want an end to Mubarak and the status quo which has been in operation for three decades, has repressed critics of the Egyptian government and has seen the police torture people as a matter of course.

Little wonder.  Looking at it from the position of the US, it’s easier to deal with a dictator and “prod him” in the direction of protecting and respecting human rights, than actually having to deal with a democratically elected government.  They are predictable, dependable and, that favourite word of Western commentators and faces of the US administration, stable.  Stable is good for business.  War business, commercial business, policy business.  Just ask the BBC:

If the Mubarak regime were to collapse – which is still a big “if” – the fall-out would affect virtually every key player in the region and every key issue.

• For Arab autocrats, it would signify the writing on the wall in a far more dramatic way than the fall of the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia.

• For Arab protesters, it would be a great boost, fuelling the idea that the region has entered a new era of “people power”.

• It would deal a blow to an already enfeebled Middle East peace process. Egypt was the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, back in the 1970s. A change of regime would alarm Israeli leaders and deepen the siege mentality among many Israelis.

• It would affect business confidence, regionally and even globally, especially if oil prices shot up.

• Finally, it would pose painful dilemmas for Western policy-makers who have long favoured gradual political reform in the region, fearful that the alternative could be the breakdown of stability and the rise of extremism.

By George!  Now the Jordanians seem to be heading in the same direction.

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29 01 2011
Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play

[…] Egypt « .urbandissent Post Published: 28 January 2011 Author: politisite Found in section: Civil Rights, Crime, First Amendment, Freedom of Press, Homeland Security, Infrastructure & Technology, Political Issues, Politics, Politisite, Top Story, US Politics, World […]

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