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Citizen X

Egypt

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on some rough shit.

complete blackout of all SMS texting/phone service and internet.

mass protests, killings ect.

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http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2044929,00.html?hpt=T2

 

With a deep investment in the status quo, Israel is watching what a senior official calls "an earthquake in the Middle East" with growing concern. The official says the Jewish state has faith in the security apparatus of its most formidable Arab neighbor, Egypt, to suppress the street demonstrations that threaten the dictatorial rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The harder question is what comes next.

 

"We believe that Egypt is going to overcome the current wave of demonstrations, but we have to look to the future," says the minister in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel enjoys diplomatic relations and security cooperation with both Egypt and Jordan, the only neighboring states that have signed treaties with the Jewish state. But while it may be more efficient to deal in with a strongman in Cairo — Mubarak has ruled for 30 years — and a king in Amman, democracies make better neighbors, "because democracies do not initiate wars," he says. (See pictures of Egypt's protests.)

 

"Having said that, I'm not sure the time is right for the Arab region to go through the democratic process."

 

The minister, who spoke on condition of not being identified by name or portfolio, cites the Gaza Strip as a signal warning of the risk that comes with asking the people what they want. The seaside territory, home to some 1.5 million Palestinians, elected the militant Islamist group Hamas in a 2006 election that had been urged by George W. Bush, when the president was casting the invasion of Iraq as a mission to bring democracy to the Middle East. (How strong a mediator is Egypt's Mubarak?)

 

All well and good in the long run, according to the official, but Arab societies demand "a longer term democratization process," one accompanied by education reforms that would encourage the election of moderates. "You can't make it with elections, especially in the current situation where radical elements, especially Islamist groups, may exploit the situation," he says. "It might take a generation or so. " (Is the Arab world ready for democracy?)

 

The official's assessment, which came before Friday's raucous demonstrations in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria, may strike many in the region as paternalistic, at best. Along with oil, Israel is the major factor in U.S. policy that for decades has helped protect "moderate Arab regimes" now endangered by a populist wave that began in Tunisia. In a region of national borders drawn by colonial powers after World War I, the Jewish state is frequently framed by critics as itself a colonial undertaking, conceived in Europe, midwifed by Great Britain, coddled by Washington, and imposed on an Arab region that sees Israel itself as colonizing through settlements and industrial zones on Palestinian land it has occupied militarily since 1967.

 

For their part, Israeli governments pride themselves on clear-eyed assessments of the risks they face. The official saw no special peril, for instance, in Lebanon's new government. Though supported by Hizballah, the Shi'a movement backed by Iran, "we don't consider it a Hizballah government," the official says. But the Israeli government was duly impressed, however, by the simultaneous outbreaks of instability across the region: citizen uprisings in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Yemen; unrest in Jordan and the Kurdish section of Syria; and a secession vote in Sudan's south that likely will split the country in two.

 

"It seems now we have quite an earthquake," says the cabinet member, paying respects to the Al Jazeera satellite news channel and digital technologies that dispersed the power to communicate and organize. "In the time of [Egyptian president and Pan-Arabist] Gamel Abdel Nasser, Egypt had one radio channel and transistor radios were all allowed to listen to one channel." (Watch a video explanation of Egypt's protests.)

 

A retired major general found other metaphors — and more cause for concern. "We need to understand that we are living on a volcano," Ya'acov Amidror, former head of the Israel Defense Forces' Research and Assessment Directorate, told the Jerusalem Post. "Conditions can change from today until tomorrow. We must ask ourselves, what is the worst case scenario. We are on thick ice, but even that melts eventually."

 

Friday's events offered little comfort for worried Israelis. At least twice Friday, hundreds of Cairo protestors dropped to their knees in an impromptu prayer sessions, lending the demonstrations both a measure of piety and a specific religious cast lacking from previous days — and from the Tunisian rebellion altogether, at least at first. The Israeli minister cautioned against drawing many parallels between Egypt and Tunisia, where a president fled after 27 years in office. "Mubarak is not Zine El Abidine Ben Ali," he cautions. "It's a huge difference. His regime is well rooted in the military and security apparatus. He and his wife are not criticized like the Tunisian couple." The official adds, "We do believe the regime is strong enough to overcome it."

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^word.

 

very exciting.

 

march on the egypt embassy in DC this saturday at noon.

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watching this, i wonder to what extent the protesters knew where the cameras were. at one point, they pulled a police van right in front of the camera to set it on fire, from an alleyway where it was before. if that was deliberate, it was a very smart move

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i wouldn't doubt if they knew, just like mubarak wasted little time pulling the plug on the net after seeing what it was doing.

people are savvy.

and i think people are a lot more savvy in that region than they are given credit for.

 

i remember a guide of mine ini cairo telling me people in cairo drive insanely because it's the only place they have freedom. that was a year ago, and i can tell you i had no idea what kind of pressure cooker they live in. just a tremendously friendly, wonderful people

i wish them the best in this, and have been glad to see that they aren't yet following iran's lead with brutal violence.

 

i'll be thrilled if the military defies mubarak. it'll be over for him if they do.

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yeah i think for sure that they knew, after mubarak spoke about an hour ago, the protesters gathered in front of the al jazeera bureau's camera with their chants (you can tell i've been glued to this thing all day, its been cool to watch a regime crumble before my eyes)....

 

it's funny that you mention that anecdote, i've spent a lot of time in places where the opportunities for people of our generation are very limited, and they all tend to drive crazy, and i have heard that same anecdote in other places as well (including panama, where im currently staying...)

 

it seems as though egypt is following more or less the same cues as tunisia, and look how that turned out. you can't negotiate with a mob, and it seems as if mubarak just tried to low-ball the people - ill fire everyone except myself. and like you said, people aren't stupid, especially in egypt where they're so under-employed that they have nothing to do except debate amongst themselves when they should be working.

 

wishing them the best.

 

i wouldn't doubt if they knew, just like mubarak wasted little time pulling the plug on the net after seeing what it was doing.

people are savvy.

and i think people are a lot more savvy in that region than they are given credit for.

 

i remember a guide of mine ini cairo telling me people in cairo drive insanely because it's the only place they have freedom. that was a year ago, and i can tell you i had no idea what kind of pressure cooker they live in. just a tremendously friendly, wonderful people

i wish them the best in this, and have been glad to see that they aren't yet following iran's lead with brutal violence.

 

i'll be thrilled if the military defies mubarak. it'll be over for him if they do.

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the body count moved from 15 when i woke up this morning to about 100 when i got home from work at one this afternoon.

i'm not sure what it is now.

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TO ALL I ASK; DO YOU SEE A CORRELATION BETWEEN THIS AND THE UPRISING IN IRAN?

I MEAN HOW THEY TRIED TO SHUT MEDIA DOWN ETC....

 

GOD SPEED EGYPT!

 

I DESPISE TECHNOLOGY AT TIMES.

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It's great to see people rise up against an autocratic regime. I just really hope the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't emerge from this as the dominant political force in Egypt. A lot is riding on how the Egyptian Army handles themselves.

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