Friday, February 04, 2011

The Egyptian Revolution: “The people want the downfall of the system”

Written by Alan Woods
Friday, 04 February 2011

January 31 - A Mubarak graffiti - Photo: RamyRaoof

The masses have once again taken to the streets in the biggest demonstrations yet seen in Egypt. They call it the "Day of Departure". Already this morning Al Jazeera showed an immense crowd of people thronging Tahriri Square. The mood was neither tense nor fearful, but jubilant. The very instant Friday prayers finished the masses erupted in a deafening roar of “Mubarak out!” The few Mubarak supporters who were slinking on the streets outside the Square like impotent jackals could do nothing.

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troutsky said...

It is superficial to suggest "the revolution" will somehow "sweep" the military out through demonstrations.

Frank Partisan said...

Troutsky: It is possible to split the army. Already some refuse to hurt protesters.

Appealing to the military. particularly the low level, should be on every revolutionary's agenda.

SecondComingOfBast said...

The Egyptian military is the only hope this country has of not sliding into chaos. As I have said, they don't want to lose the aid they get from the US. They also know they can't stand against the Israeli military, even with that US aid, so they aren't going to do anything that might endanger it. But if they crackdown too hard on the protesters, that might endanger it as well. So they are in a bind. What happens depends on to what degree Islamist elements may have infiltrated the military, and at what levels.

One thing I do know, any aid Egypt gets from the US is dependent on how they are willing, and able, to keep the terms of the peace with Israel. Since Congress, not Obama, controls the purse strings, I can't see them doing any favors for the Egyptians if they threaten the peace.

This is why its a bad idea for Mubarak to be forced out before he is able to set up some kind of transition to a more democratic regime. It would enable a two or multi-party system to compete with the Islamist. Now, there are none of any consequence. It's just the Brotherhood, or the military. If Mubarak goes now, take your pick.

Frank Partisan said...

The Muslim Brotherhood is a not a factor.

No matter who is in power, the policy towards Israel will be different. These events are the best things, that could happen for those stuck in Gaza. Israel can militarily beat Egypt, but not occupy it. There is too much pressure, to keep the status quo.

Capitalism can't solve the job or food crisis. Expect several governments, until a Lenin arrives on the scene.

The generals are with Mubarak. I'm sure the colonels will divide. The lower ranks should be approached to join the revolution.

The US is receiving the dividends of its policy in the Middle East.

SecondComingOfBast said...

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a factor, huh? You just keep telling yourself that, Ren. Magical thinking isn't going to make it so. And if Hamas uses all this as a pretext to start some new crap then "those stuck in Gaza" will probably be the ones who end up suffering the most.

white rabbit said...

The view put forward here by The Pagan Temple that 'it's just the (Muslim)Brotherhood or the military' has a certain currency among the right of sensible, Israel lobby etc but is really the most unutterablke rubbish. Whatever the uprising is, it is nothing to do with any Muslim Brotherhood (a small minority in Egypt)agenda. It is secular and democratic as is evidenced by a number of quite moving acts of unity between the Muslim majority and Christian minority in Tahrir Suare.

The sight of Netanyahu etc having the vapours at the thought of losing their best friend should not obscure the fact that mubarak's police pulled people's fingernails out.

Let him go and go now with minimum dignity as he deserves.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Yeah, its all peachy, I know, people just want their freedom, there's no hidden agendas, the Muslim Brotherhood are a very minor faction, etc, etc, etc, etc, and all of you all know this, because, of course, you're not just taking anybody's word for it, you're right there seeing and experiencing it all and have all the inside scoop from the most reliable of sources.


SecondComingOfBast said...

Oh, and by the way, just so there's no misunderstanding from some who might think I'm a Mubarak kind of guy, I want to reassure everybody that, if I were in a position to interrogate somebody to get information about a terrorist attack, like say a bomb about to blow up a crowd of innocent civilians, including kids, there's just some things I wouldn't do. For example, I wouldn't rip off anybody's, uhhhh, fingernails.

white rabbit said...

The Egyptian police pull out fingernails for the same reason dogs suck their dicks.

Because they can.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Just curious, what is the real reason the Egyptian police pull out people's fingernails (assuming they do that, and other acts of torture)? I know they don't really just do it for the hell of it, they must have a reason. So if it isn't an effort to put down the Muslim Brotherhood, or other such Islamist radicals and terrorists, who are they after? Litterbugs, jaywalkers? People with unpaid parking tickets?

Frank Partisan said...

The revolution exposes the hypocrisy of conservatives towards democracy.

Hamas has been guarding the Egyptian border, to keep revolution from spreading. The Palestinian Authority is openly for Mubarak. Revolution might blow away both groups.

No proof that the Muslim Brotherhood are a factor. They have a history of being US allies.

The stock market in Egypt didn't open today.

Larry Gambone said...

Keep in mind, Pagan, when making out like Ren doesn't know about the Muslim Brotherhood, that he foretold the Egyptian revolution about a year and a half ago. Such analytical ability ought to make you more cautious of making rash statements.

SecondComingOfBast said...

That's true Larry he did, but when he makes such statements as "The Muslim Brotherhood" is not a factor, I have to question such a statement, because they are clearly a factor. Maybe not as major a factor as I or others might presently believe, but they are so obviously an important, even integral part of the current talks and negotiations, to say they have no influence is baffling.

Gert said...

Pagan bases his (mis)information on US pap MSMs. Even CNN has quickly become wiser to what role the Muslim Brotherhood will play.

Pagan reminds me of ‘the band plays on’ while the ship is sinking.

Meanwhile the US is playing seriously dirty games: Wisner (coincidence? If you believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you…), support for the Himmler of Cairo, Telawashinton’s drooling over the latter, the Weak One’s silence, it’s all there… Like a bad spy novel. The West has sold its soul: for Israel…

But it won’t work. Let the peace treaty stand: it won’t matter one iota now, Brotherhood or not…

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: I may have been too strong, saying the Muslim Brotherhood, would be no factor. At this point, they are rear guard. They even initially opposed the demonstrations. They are hardly leading.

Larry G: call me old fashion. I believe in dialectical materialism.

Gert: Why was the MSM caught off guard, as was Washington? They don't pay attention to the down trodden.

Hamas is guarding the Egypt border, and breaking up pro-Egypt rallies. The Palestinian Authority is openly pro-Mubarak.

I enjoy the Glenn Beck vs Wm Kristol feud.

Gert said...


I was more referring to the obsession the US MSM have shown with TMBH and ‘Islamism’ in general, from immediately post-9/11 to Egypt 2011. No media around the world have been so vociferously unanimous in voicing ‘fears of Islam’ (because they do conflate one thing with the other!), with the exception of some alternative media, some counter culture, some blogs and somewhat to my surprise… CNN (on the ME their coverage is usually just plain stupid).

Hamas and the PA are now simply irrelevant. Saeb Erekat is promising to leave (on account of the Palestine Papers having been ‘stolen’ from his own office) – please make good on one promise in your life! Abbas, Fayyad and his clique haven’t been re-elected and are doing photo ops with Bibi without a mandate. Hamas, if they carry on like this, is writing itself out of history.

The non-existent ‘peace process’ will now have to be reinvented along entirely new lines. The ball will soon be in the Israeli camp and I hope for their sake they’ll run with it, make some intelligent passes and don’t lose it early. Real peace may be in sight soon but the ‘Solution minus one state’ is also a real possibility.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Hamas and the PA, irrelevant? No worries there, nothing says relevance like a few score Scud missile attacks and suicide bombers. Just give it time and it won't be much longer before you won't be able to tell Israeli blood and guts from the pepperoni.

Gert said...

‘Scud missile attacks’, Pagan? What are you talking about now? Suicide attacks? Do your homework: when was the last of those? The ‘missiles’ are crude, unguided fire crackers with limited range and limited ‘payload’ war head, called ‘Qassams’.

The whole Arab world is waking up: the latest rumblings are in Libya and Bahrain (never mind Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and Egypt). It might take ten years to for the dust to settle but Israel’s best weapon remains comprehensive peace with the Arab nations.

Meanwhile Washington continues to promote the idea of the Torturer in Chief for President as the new order in Egypt, go figure!

SecondComingOfBast said...

Israel’s best weapon remains comprehensive peace with the Arab nations.

Comprehensive peace being defined as "time to get the fuck out of Dodge", otherwise known as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and all points in between. There would be no other kind of peace possible as long as the imams rule the day. And they do. All any secular ruler would do is the light work. That's why so many secular rulers are brutal thugs. They have to be to keep from being undercut by the clerics, who are not held to any degree of responsibility by the international community.

Imagine the kind of Christian conservative minister you might most despise, and then imagine him issuing edicts that all of his followers carry out, without thought or question.

Here, or in Europe, he would be quickly arrested, charged, tried, and more than likely imprisoned for a good long time, maybe forever, depending on the severity of his crimes.

There, one such as he is loved, respected, and obeyed. And when a Mubarak cracks down on him, and on his followers, he is seen as a butcher, or a "torturer-in-chief".

Guys like you are either very disingenuous in your denial of these things, or you are naive to a most remarkable degree.

Frank Partisan said...

Gert: I've heard talk of an intifada against Hamas in Gaza.

I agree with everything you said about the MSM. They have no history of reporting what the downtrodden do.

Democracy is more than Islamism a threat to Israel.

Bush43 has been quiet. He supposedly championed democracy.

Pagan: Scud missiles and suicide bombers are old news. They aid Zionism, by turning public opinion. The casualties are usually dark skinned Jews.

A socialist Egypt, will quickly solve the national question in Israel.

Gert said...

Pagan, when it comes to Mubarak’s repressiveness and crimes, even the State Department knew and documented them! Turns out he and his family has also amassed a personal fortune of 40 - 70 billion USD, in a country where an average public sector worker earns about $80 a month!

I’m serious when I say that I think you’ve watched ‘Obsession’ once too often: it really is a form of Mccarthyism, this seeing an ‘Islamist’ behind every tree. Many in the Arab world, including some leading Arab Americans like Rashid Khalidi (I know, I know… just another ‘terrorist’ acc. to the tea party nutters), believe bin Laden and fellow travellers will have been dealt a serious blow by the Arab revolt: whatever their raison d’etre, the wind has been knocked out of its sails.

There will of course also be a Palestinian uprising, that’s now only a matter of time. I don’t see Hamas coming out victoriously, if they’re going to stupidly try and hang on to their mini-fiefdom…


I agree with everything you said about the MSM. They have no history of reporting what the downtrodden do.

Sure but I think it goes much further than that: when it comes to FP the US MSM tend to parrot the administration’s (red or blue) position almost verbatim, see also their approach to the Criminal Trio’s war plans for Iraq: almost no scrutiny, no doubts, no debate whatsoever. It’s much more than just having ‘no history of reporting what the downtrodden do’.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I don't see an Islamist behind every tree. I see plain old everyday Muslims hiding under rock, under their beds, and in their closets, scared to death to say or do anything to oppose the Islamists, at least publicly, while ass-kissing and fellating the imams that control the Islamists. Actually, I don't really blame them in a way.

Gert said...


I see plain old everyday Muslims hiding under rock, under their beds, and in their closets

Well yeah, that must be all these rocks and beds (and possibly closets) now camped out in Tahrir Square.

Your viewpoint is simply caricatural but undoubtedly representative of a certain slice of the American general public. The twin towers fell first but the immediate second casualty was any reasoned opinion on Islam, Muslims, Islamists or even al Qaeda… And all of this has been extremely useful to support Mubarak, I mean the Usrael/Egypt cold peace, which is why it’s no coincidence either...

Democratically minded Arab masses demanding quick redress of the Palestinian question is by far a greater danger to Israel’s current policy of occupation and dispossession of Gentiles than an Islamist Egypt would be…

SecondComingOfBast said...

You didn't read my entire comment, did you?

Gert said...

I did, Pagan, including the charming:

”while ass-kissing and fellating the imams that control the Islamists.”

You really have a thing with ‘asses’ and sexual references, haven’t you?

Still, in case I misunderstood (ahem!), which part didn’t I read?

SecondComingOfBast said...

Gert I can understand why that phraseology might get you,well, let's just say excited, but really, its merely symbolic. And I stand by what I said. Its one thing for Egyptians or Iranians to pile into the streets to oppose Mubarak or Ahmadinejahd, but let's see them oppose the Sunni clerics or call for the ouster of the Ayatollahs. How many calls have you heard for them to step down or get the hell out? None, and you won't. It's just not in their dna to even question their religious leaders, let alone openly oppose them. That's the problem, and by the way, this today might turn out to be a bad move for this so-called "democratic movement".

If they had allowed Mubarak to stay until September as he requested and help transition to a more democratic government, so long as he was held to that, then there's a small chance it might have actually worked out in a way that might actually have been satisfactory to you. But now, he's gone, and the country will be governed, apparently, by a military tribunal.

Translation-not one damn thing has changed except the window dressing, and that just barely.

Hope you're satisfied.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Yeah, you know what the guy that's going to be taking over for Mubarek just said? "Egypt is not ready for democracy".

Now, what the hell does that tell you about this "change" in the air?

You guys never learn. To hell with reality, let's have a toke of "feel goodism" so we can get a temporary high off the fumes of brotherly love and hope, and to hell with the long-term consequences.

Gert said...

And what on earth makes you think the protesters will settle for this particular ‘transition’? Now they’ve really smelled victory, they’ll be emboldened, if anything.

The people didn’t trust Mubarak because he simply can’t be trusted anymore. Reports of tortured protesters are reaching us. They won’t trust Suleiman either. Either way, the regime is ‘reforming’ itself out of existence. You just can’t stop that many people. This will continue until most traces of the regime have pissed off. The army will play a role because it is generally revered by the people.

Everything has changed, Pagan. Keep telling yourself that the status quo can still be preserved…

As regards ‘feel goodism’ yours is exactly the same but inverted. Keep having wet dreams of Arab strong men in the service of the Empire and Zionism. Meanwhile rivers of tears are flowing from Nethanyahoo’s office.

When Conservatives talk about freedom, they always talk about their kind of freedom.

I don’t think you understand the ME at all, as confirmed by your previous nuclear fantasies… Grow up. In your comic book world, claiming a straight person must be gay still stands as an insult… Go potter around with Beaker and Farmer. Oh no, Farmer’s Letters is no more…

SecondComingOfBast said...

In your comic book world, claiming a straight person must be gay still stands as an insult

Solly Chollie, you're the one that started the gay thing by getting bent all out of shape about me using a metaphor. That's your hang up, not mine.

As for the other stuff we'll just have to wait and see. Most Egyptians have a great deal of respect for their military, and Egypt has been a military dictatorship under various regimes now for over a thousand years. I don't see that changing.

The military isn't going to give up their power over "that many people" that probably constitute, in actual physical terms, less than one percent of the Egyptian population. If the Egyptian military comes down hard on the protesters, you will see how quickly the rest of the population mobilizes in responses.

Here's a clue for you-they won't.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: There are dozens of factions amongst the protesters. They all agree Mubarak must go. After that its anyone's guess. The Muslim Brotherhood hasn't captured their hearts.

Israel can defeat Egypt 20 times. They have population to absorb defeat. All Egypt has to win, is once. It's amazing how threatened Israel is by a grassroots movement for democracy.

Gert: Egypt's democracy movement, is more of a danger to Israel, than Iran's threats of arms, where the date they'll be ready keeps getting later.

Now there is real pressure, for Israel to not be nonchalant towards Palestinians.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye:

What “Iran threat of arms”?

That is a politically inspired lie pushed by vested interest
governments and lapped up and spewed out enthusiastically by the various propaganda outlets we now call the media.

This is the truth of the matter:

The IAEA said in 2007 that “Iran's declared nuclear material has not been diverted from peaceful use.”

The then head of the IAEA said “have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No."

In a 2007 IHT report on the head of the IAEA "ElBaradei said he was worried about the growing rhetoric from the U.S., which he noted focused on Iran's alleged intentions to build a nuclear weapon rather than evidence the country was actively doing so. If there is actual evidence, ElBaradei said he would welcome seeing it."

On February 18, 2010 the IAEA released a new report on Iran's nuclear program. Ivan Oelrich and Ivanka Barzashka, writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said that "the media has seriously misrepresented the actual contents of the report" and that "in fact, no new information has been revealed."

In an April 2010 interview with the BBC, former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said Western nations were seeking harsher sanctions "out of frustration". "I don't think Iran is developing, or we have new information that Iran is developing, a nuclear weapon today”

After the deliberate lies told about Iraq and their WMD’s, they really must think we are totally stupid to fall for the same one again.

But then, so many people are.

And after the jobs done they can just say ‘oh well, got it wrong again, lessons learned blah blah … but we do think some the next country on our list may have WMD’s … this time we have solid evidence … can we afford to be wrong? … The regime is murderous… tyranny… freedom…spread democracy… threat to civilization …”

Gert said...

Well, I’m with S. on this.

All reasonable assessment of the Iranian nuclear program indicates that nothing illegal is being carried out there. Although I see it as entirely possible they are working towards some kind of ‘nuclear ambiguity’ of their own…

Talk of a ‘nuclear Iran’ clearly serves two main purposes:

1. Containment of Iran’s ascent in the US/West’s play ground. We don’t like to be challenged like that!
2. Lightning rod for Israel to be able to create ‘linkage’ between the Palestinian question and the spectre (of the West’s making) of a Nuclear Holocaust.

The only nuclear power in the region remains Israel.

SecondComingOfBast said...

The only nuclear power in the region remains Israel.

And that's fine and dandy with me, and I damn well hope it stays that way.

Gert said...

You hope it stays that way but that’s wishing upon a star. Sooner or later other countries in the region will acquire them too. It’ll take time but it’s inevitable. And the Empire won’t be there to prevent it either…

SecondComingOfBast said...

Well, there's always Stuxnet.

Frank Partisan said...

Sentinel: The Egyptian Revolution is more important, than Iranian missiles.

Neoconservatives said Iran would have nuclear missiles by 2004.

Iran benefits more from the threat, than actually having them,

The Sentinel said...

“The Egyptian Revolution is more important, than Iranian missiles.”

Well actually you raised the subject, my friend – and I can assure you it isn’t to forces, ex-forces and their families.

I have personally lost several friends and a family member to the last two illegal, fabricated and pointless wars as well as being liable again for recall to the colours.

To some of us, this isn’t just a game.