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Some Egyptian Women in this Revolution.

It’s 8:45 am, Tuesday in Cairo.

There’s been quite a bit of back-and-forth about the involvement of women in the Egyptian protests.  Some say not; some say so.  In the first couple of days I saw predominantly men, young/younger men. Then I started looking for veils, head coverings and began finding and seeing more and more women.  Some of those faces have been captured in a slide show from the Global Post.

Then there’s this young woman leading some men in cadenced ‘cheers.’

Democracy Now! had this interview with “Egypt’s most renowned human rights activists, Nawal El Saadawi.  A well-known feminist, psychologist, writer, former political prisoner in Egypt, she lived in exile for years due to numerous death threats.”  It’s an amazing 6 minute interview.

And you remember, Mubarak is the continuation of Sadat. And both Sadat and Mubarak, you know, their regime worked against the people, men and women. And they created this gap between the poor and rich. They brought the so-called business class to govern us. Egypt became an American colony. And we are dominated by the U.S. and Israel. And 80 million people, men and women, have no say in the country.

And you see today that people in the streets for six days, and they told Mubarak to go. He should have gone, if he respects the will of the people. That’s democracy. Because what’s democracy? It’s to respect the will of the people. The people govern themselves. So, really, we are happy.

Sounds a tad familiar.  “They brought the so-called business class to govern us.

A compilation of some of ‘best protest signs’ of the Egyptian protests with one of my favorites below.  Please note the woman over the sign holder’s left shoulder.

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One of the most thought provoking was a quote attributed to JFK: “Those who make peaceful protest impossible will make violent protest inevitable.”

Egyptian Army Statement on “our great people”

As per Reuters:

CAIRO Jan 31 (Reuters) – The army said on Monday it would not use force against Egyptians staging protests demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down, a statement said.

It said “freedom of expressionwas guaranteed to all citizens using peaceful means.

It was the first such explicit confirmation by the army that it would not fire at demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Egypt since last week to try to force Mubarak to quit.

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing.  The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the army statement said.

“Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

It urged people not resort to acts of sabotage that violate security and destroy public and private property.   It warned that it would not allow outlaws and to loot, attack and “terrorise citizens”.

(Writing by Samia Nakhoul, Editing by Alison Williams)

About that Military Aid

This morning while watching  ‘This Week’ with Christiane Amanpour – who is in Cairo, by the way – she reported jets flying overhead, and in fact you could hear them.  They were quite loud, widely circling the part of Cairo near Tafrir Square  not far from the Nile River.  At one point the camera did focus on the jets circling.  These same jets had already come up via Twitter.  By then Al-Jazeera English (AJE) was up and running on my computer and the video below is a bit of what I saw live on AJE.   The Nation magazine has Sharif Kouddous in Cairo, live blogging reports.

A helicopter hovered overhead and two military fighter jets made repeated flybys, coming in at a lower altitude each time until the noise became deafening. Whatever the intended message, the crowd was not intimidated. They cheered, held up victory signs and waved in defiance. After emerging victorious in Friday’s battle with the interior ministry’s forces, there is little that can quell the enthusiasm of the Egyptian people or their full-throated call for change.

Two things: 1) The intimidation factor undoubtedly directed towards the demonstrators and protesters by an autocratic government.  2) Nothing illustrates more the influence of the United States than those goddamned jets.  They are made for Egypt.  Again – that military aid comes up.

Lockheed Martin Corp is building 20 new advanced F-16C/D fighter aircraft for Egypt. The final Egyptian F-16 under contract is to be delivered in 2013, joining the 240 Egypt already has purchased, according to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s biggest supplier by sales.

Egypt was the first Arab country to buy F-16s, widely viewed as a symbol of political and security ties with the United States.

Where in the World is …. Egypt?

Below is a screen shot from America’s ‘most beloved’ network illustrating for its viewers where Egypt might be.  Now how confusing it must be for other fucking idiots when trying to find Iraq on a goddamned map.  And did NO ONE wonder where the Suez Canal was located? And how is it that Egypt would have (or had) its troops at the border of Israel, especially when stuck over between Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia?

Made in the USA!

Oh yeah – here we go.   According to a couple of reports I’ve read and newscasts I’ve heard the amount of foreign aid to Egypt – specifically for military/security purposes – is given at $1.3 billion in 2010.   Billion – billion…..not measly millions.

The photo above is part of an amazing photographic slide show of the Egyptian protests against the government of Hosni Mubarak.   Several of the photos are terribly graphic and may be disturbing.  It’s a truly sharp picture of the reality happening in Egypt currently.

Egypt is Exploding

Won’t get too much work done this morning.  There aer two live feeds to follow.  The better of the two in my opinion, Al-Jazeera English.

Al-Jazeera, English and CNN International.

Some amazing, amazing video coming from Al-Jazeera English office in downtown Cairo earlier.  It’s dark now.  It’s currently 7:50 pm or so in Egypt.

Since most of my Twitter feeds are either political or social justice oriented, Twitter is burning up.

Rage Day in Egypt

It’s not abating any that I can see.  Twitter has erupted. Here’s some pics from Suez .

The Egyptian interior ministry issued a warning of “decisive measures“to be undertaken with protests tomorrow, the 28th.  It’s already Friday in Egypt – morning, I believe.

‘Crazy Uncle Joe’ Biden has weighed in on Mubarek; he’s not a dictator.  Watched this tonight and damned near threw the cat across the room.  And I like Joe Biden.  It doesn’t mean he’s correct – he isn’t.

In an exclusive interview with the NewsHour, Vice President Joe Biden told Jim Lehrer Thursday afternoon that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the target of anti-government demonstrations in Cairo, is someone he knows “fairly well” and does not consider to be a dictator. But the “time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction of being more responsive to some of the needs of the people out there.”

Yeah, thanks Joe. Continue reading

Here’s Tyranny For Ya

Egypt is erupting for the second day.  I caught this video early yesterday morning.  It’s entitled ‘Angry Demonstrations; Man Against Armored Water Cannon’ – per my interpretation of Google Translate.


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Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann has a cursory background piece on Egypt as well as where to turn for more information.  As he states in the comments, it is NOT meant to provide anything other than basic information on Egypt.

Why are Egyptians unhappy? They have basically no more freedom than Tunisians. Egypt is ranked 138th of 167 countries on The Economist‘s Democracy index, a widely accepted measure of political freedom. That ranking puts Egypt just seven spots ahead of Tunisia. And Egyptians are significantly poorer than their cousins to the west.

As always – when following events in the Middle East specifically there’s the incomparable Al-Jazeera for both written reports and video/live station.

It’ll put things in perspective sharply.

So Long, Keith

Wow – this was a total shocker.  While I’m working, I have Twitter open online to catch breaking news, etc., and suddenly it was all about Keith Olbermann & MSNBC.

I haven’t watched Keith Olbermann with any regularity for quite some time.  It definitely coincides with what I thought was an intense barrage from certain folks on the left aimed at President Obama who were either too stupid or too self-absorbed to realize the fuel it provided.  Perhaps not as intensely as those who went the way of Jane Hamsher’s firedoglake or other blogs who apparently couldn’t get beyond Hillary Clinton losing the Democratic nomination, it was enough to cool my interest.  The only one who I watch more than periodically is Rachel Maddow.  It’s her “keen intellect” that’s the draw for me.

All in all, this tweet from John Cole at Balloon Juice sums it up perfectly.

Johngcole Christ. Cenk Uygar at 6 pm and Ed at ten pm,. Where do I petition MSNBC to just say fuck it and show LOCKUP all week?

Cenk?  Oh, hell NO! Never!  Here’s Keith’s sign-off if you’re interested.

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TVcTV, Channel 11 with Cable One has Free Speech TV with Democracy Now! at 10:00 pm, Monday through Friday which I’ve been watching regularly for well over a year.   There’s a few places on the web I ‘tune in’ for news and other stories.   FLYP media, Radical Radio (undergoing ‘remodeling’ currently), but most often by far, Al-Jazeera with several programs focused on ‘the West’ as in the northern hemisphere – Europe and North America – Faultlines with Avi Lewis (husband of Naomi Klein); and the ole’ standbys NPR and PRI.

It’s not the end of the world . . .  yet.

Throwing Around ‘Obamacare’

Just an observation…

This morning on the way to and from an appointment I had the radio on.  As I often do I had it on ‘scan.’  As the radio paused for two seconds at each FM station, i noticed something.  The so-labeled Christian stations were all discussing “Obamacare” and, of course, its repeal.

Two things I thought about:

  • 1) The labeling it ‘Obamacare.’  Labeling it as such reminds those who didn’t vote for the president that they didn’t and this is his folly.   It may or may not be directly related to their vision of race relations in this country.
  • 2) In discussing the repeal, it’s all about taking away something that will benefit those who cannot afford certain aspects of health care or simply cannot afford health care.  What about the adage of helping those in the name of Christ?  Why would you take that away?

Just some disjointed thoughts while driving this morning.