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At Stake in Egypt: Reading Gaza Mom

By David Swanson

The danger of permitting the Egyptians democracy, rather than replacing a dictator with his (and our) torturer lies, let us be honest, not in the possibility that Egyptian politics will approach the religiosity of our own Republican Party, and not in the possibility that the civil liberties we have helped deny Egyptians for decades won't all be immediately established, and certainly not in the possibility that the Egyptians would commit collective suicide by attempting to attack the United States, but rather in the possibility that other peoples would be inspired to attempt self-rule as well, and -- more directly -- in the probability that Egypt would cease to uphold the collective punishment of the people of Gaza.

Facebook and Twitter in Tunisia and Egypt: Decisive?

Excerpted from a University of Virginia student newspaper:

Experts, students hold panel on Middle East

Quandt, Ayachi, Faiza meet University students in conversation concerning recent unrest, political protests in Tunisia, Egypt

By Michelle Davis, Associate Editor on February 4, 2011

Students and faculty gathered last night in Nau Auditorium to discuss ongoing demonstrations and political turmoil rapidly unfolding in the Middle East.

The event, “Revolution in Tunisia, Egypt & Beyond: Democracy on the Horizon?,” was hosted by the University’s Center for International Studies and featured a panel of speakers including Prof. William Quandt, University Lecturer Miled Faiza and Nejib Ayachi, president and co-founder of The Maghreb Center, a non-profit organization which promotes knowledge of North Africa, in Washington D.C.

Ayachi opened the discussion by detailing the events that have shaken the Middle East since December 2010. One event in particular, Ayachi said, caught the world’s attention — the actions of Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian man who set himself on fire in protest of the lack of opportunities and poor living conditions.

“What started as a revolt, initially without meaningful political slogans and regionally limited, has evolved into practically a revolution by demanding that the people be put in charge within the government system, and — in spite of the recession — keeps growing,” Ayachi said.

Faiza, who grew up in Tunisia, said the “Facebook-Twitter” effect is the driving force behind the Tunisian revolution and the unrest in Egypt.

“We were brainwashed and we didn’t know we were brainwashed,” Faiza said, describing the impact of government restrictions on social media and lack of government transparency.

As a result of government censorship of the majority of news outlets, Tunisians began to look for their news information using other media sources, such as social networking sites, Youtube and Al Jazeera, the international news network for the Arab world.

Faiza noted that the largest protest organized the day former president Ben Ali fled was initiated through a group on Facebook.

“We can say now that the Tunisian revolution was successful thanks to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube because…the Internet gave people their dignity and power back,” Faiza said. “People were able to communicate and support each other, [and had] the feeling that they could unite and organize themselves.”

READ THE REST AT THE CAVALIER DAILY

 

 

Redemption Song

Senators Want Funds to Egypt Cut Off Unless Mubarak Steps Down No, Obama Silent

From Bloomberg/BusinessWeek
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Senior members of the U.S. Congress are debating whether to halt foreign aid to Egypt as a way to hasten President Hosni Mubarak’s exit from power amid continuing protests against his three-decade rule.

Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the panel that controls foreign aid, said he’s prepared to stop all U.S. financial assistance to Egypt -- which topped $1.5 billion last year -- unless Mubarak steps aside immediately and allows a transitional government to take over.

“If he doesn’t leave, there will not be foreign aid; I mean, it’s as simple as that,” Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, told Bloomberg Television in an interview yesterday. U.S. money “will not go to the Mubarak administration,” Leahy said, adding, “that’s a pipeline that can easily be turned off.”

Audio: Nick Baumann on Egypt

2.1.11 Associate Editor of Mother Jones magazine Nick Baumann joins Coy with the latest on the events in Egypt. We have a true revolution on our hands in the North African country, and today’s conversation provides background on where these problems with Hosni Mubarak originated, what kinds of rights and freedoms the people rioting in the streets are demanding, and what we can expect to develop in the coming days. Finally, Baumann gives his thoughts on new legislation that would re-define what classifies rape crimes in America.

آسف seems to be the hardest word

You can say it, Mr. President

Not Leaving Until Hosni Does

By Medea Benjamin

Tonight our CODEPINK delegation in Cairo returned to Tahrir Square after the terrible events of this afternoon, when Mubarak's thugs busted up their peaceful protest with rocks, sticks and molotov cocktails. Hundreds have been wounded--their hands, legs, arms wrapped in bloody bandages. Despite the beatings, thousands of people are still camped out in the square--absolutely determined to stay there until Mubarak goes.

Despite the danger on the streets, we went to the square carrying with two big banners. One said "World Says Time To Go, Mubarak!" and the other said "Solidarity With Egyptian People" in both English and Arabic. When the people in the square saw us and discovered we were Americans, they erupted into cheers. "Thank you, thank you," they cried. "We love you." We were crying as well. It felt so good to help lift their spirits after such a terribly violent day.

From Egypt: "I Am OK, My Country Is Not"

By Dalia Basiouny

Dear Friends,

I just got internet access today, so I want to write you a quick note before we lose it again.

I am well, but my country is not.

As you must have seen in the media, a beautiful inspiring revolution is taking place in Egypt. More than two million people gathered yesterday in the main square in Cairo to ask the president to leave and let the people govern themselves. It was a beautiful celebration. Egyptians were drunk by the knowledge that as a people they have power to decide. It was amazing, with slogans and very funny chants. A real revolution of LIGHT.

Today was a very different picture. They attacked the revolution, in the worst possible way. The amazing peaceful demonstrations were attacked by organized paid pro-government thugs, thousands of them entered the square around 2 pm, and started attacking the peaceful anti-government demonstrators, with sticks, rocks, fire, metal weapons and more.

Kucinich Says Much of What Obama Should Say

Kucinich: The Violence in Egypt must Stop and it Can Only Be Stopped By President Mubarak

Washington D.C. (February 2, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement:

“The developing situation in Cairo is heartbreaking. In eight days of demonstrations, millions of people took to the streets to peacefully express their desire for democratic reform. After a late-night statement from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, that peace has been broken.

“The violence must stop and it can only be stopped by President Mubarak. Events are still within his control. He must immediately tell his supporters not to engage in violence against peaceful protestors or journalists. He must order plain-clothes police officers not to become involved in fomenting violence. He must order the army to protect the protesters and journalists and to prevent further violence.

Hosni Mubarak will you please go now!

Hosni Mubarak will you please go now!
The time has come.
The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go.
Go.
Go!
I don't care how.
You can go by foot.
You can go by cow.
Hosni Mubarak will you please go now!
You can go on skates.
You can go on skis.
You can go in a hat.
But
Please go.
Please!
I don't care.
You can go
By bike.
You can go
On a Zike-Bike
If you like.
If you like
You can go
In an old blue shoe.
Just go, go, GO!
Please do, do, do, DO!
Hosni Mubarak
I don't care how.
Hosni Mubarak
Will you please
GO NOW!
You can go on stilts.
You can go by fish.
You can go in a Crunk-Car
If you wish.
If you wish
You may go
By lion's tale.
Or stamp yourself
And go by mail.
Hosni Mubarak
Don't you know
The time has come
To go, go, GO!
Get on your way!
Please Hosni M.!
You might like going in a Zumble-Zay.
You can go by balloon . . .
Or broomstick.
Or
You can go by camel
In a bureau drawer.
You can go by bumble-boat
. . . or jet.
I don't care how you go.
Just get!
Hosni Mubarak!
I don't care how.
Hosni Mubarak
Will you please
GO NOW!
I said
GO
And
GO
I meant . . .
The time had come
So . . .
Hosni WENT."

##

With thanks to Dr. Seuss, Marvin K. Mooney, Art Buchwald, and Richard M. Nixon.

Kucinich Tells Mubarak That's Not Good Enough

Kucinich: “There is an Election Right Now in Egypt – a Voice Vote of Millions”

Mubarak says he won’t seek reelection

Washington D.C. (February 1, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement after Egyptian President Hosni Barak announced that he would not step down but not seek reelection.

“Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today announced that he would remain in power but not seek reelection in the fall. President Mubarak’s attempts thus far to appease the Egyptian people through the reshuffling of his cabinet, pledges of constitutional reforms, purported dialogue with opposition parties and the appointment of a successor have been futile. Reports indicate that the Administration, through diplomatic channels, has urged Mubarak not to run again when presidential elections are to be held later this year. But it is not up to Washington to decide what the people of Egypt have already decided themselves.

Protesters flood Egypt streets

At least a million gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square as mass protests against President Mubarak are staged across country.

Watch here.

 

100 Historians and Academics Ask Obama to Drop Mubarak and Side With the People

From IPA

Dear President Obama:

As political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move beyond rhetoric to support the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt. As citizens, we expect our president to uphold those values.

Fear Extreme Islamists in the Arab World? Blame Washington.

By Jeff Cohen

In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. questioned U.S. military interventions against progressive movements in the Third World by invoking a JFK quote: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Were he alive to have witnessed the last three decades of U.S. foreign policy, King might update that quote by noting: “Those who make secular revolution impossible will make extreme Islamist revolution inevitable.”

For decades beginning during the Cold War, U.S. policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.

"Hand in Hand, the Army and the People Are One"

Eyes are on the Egyptian military now. What will they do?

A week ago, it was said: Egypt is not Tunisia, and the Egyptian military is not the Tunisian military.

A week ago, that was surely true.

Today, it is not quite so obvious.

What will be true tomorrow?

READ THE REST.

Audio: David Swanson on Egypt with Coy Barefoot

1.28.11 Best-selling non-fiction author David Swanson joins Coy to discuss the revolution taking place in Egypt. Cairo is literally burning, and today’s conversation discusses the political state which lead to this uprising and exactly what is going on. Swanson describes the protests as “inspiring,” but also is not convinced of the need for these heavy doses of violence.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cpn/~5/XimufZ7sBok/rn_davidswanson_110128.mp3

Hands Off Egypt!

UNITED NATIONAL ANTIWAR COMMITTEE CALLS ON ALL SUPPORTERS TO TURN OUT FOR RALLIES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT AND OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES TODAY, THIS WEEKEND, AND IN COMING DAYS
No More US Support to the Mubarak Dictatorship!
Hands off Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen!

The Egyptian people, inspired by the victory in Tunisia and building on their own heroic rallies and strikes in recent years, have now taken the lead in the regional revolt against US-backed dictatorships. Today, Friday, January 28th, masses have poured into the streets for the third straight day of protest, and are once again fighting valiantly against cops and troops armed with US made and paid for weapons.

Audio: Phonecall With Protester in Egypt Just Recorded

I just phoned Tighe Barry, a great US activist with Code Pink, who has been in Cairo, Egypt, all week. Here is the audio. Tighe describes a different situation from what we get through the US media.

Help The Egyptian People

Thanks for standing firm with the brave people of Egypt.

Sometimes we see things in the media and wonder how we can really help. Right now, the Egyptian government is periodically blocking Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which are critical tools for organizing protests. But with all of our help, Egyptians and others in the region can jump their government's firewall and anonymoulsy access these online communications platforms which are currently being blocked or throttled. There are several ways that you can help them to do this:
 

Inspired by Tunisia, Egypt's protests appear unprecedented

Egypt's protests today appear to be the largest public call for democratic reform and an end to the Mubarak regime for years.

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / January 25, 2011

The scope of Egypt's protests today, calling for greater freedom and downfall of strongman President Hosni Mubarak, is unprecedented

Though tens of thousands took to the streets of Cairo in 2005 calling for democratic reform, today's protests are far beyond the action in the capital. Reporters and activists on the scene in Cairo say there was a spirit of anger and defiance in the crowds and there were protests of varying sizes in at least a half-dozen Egyptian cities.

READ THE REST.

Tunisia - A People's Revolution

Thursday, January 20 @ 7 PM
Ras Restaurant and Cafe, 4809 Georgia Avenue, NW
WASHINGTON DC

The corporate media is calling it the Wikileaks or Twitter or Facebook revolution...anything so that they don't have to call it the Tunisian people's revolution, which is what it was. More than 100 Tunisians died fighting to bring down the US backed regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, including Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose suicide protest ignited the protests in mid December. US support of the regime is rarely emphasized but in addition to the millions in economic aid which created the massive inequality that fueled the protests, the Ben Ali regime received hundreds of millions in military aid. The Obama administration put out a statement in support of the Tunisian people but only when it was clear that Ben Ali had fled the country.

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