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Protesters Attacked in Cairo - Demand That Obama Stop the Violence


World  (tags: human rights, Egypt, Egypt unrest, Cairo, Tahrir Square, Protesters, government violence, liberties, civil liberties, conflict, ethics )

Jelica
- 2505 days ago - salsa.democracyinaction.org
On Wednesday, a pro-government mob, whom some, including journalists, say were actually police or otherwise paid by the government, attacked peaceful anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, while the U.S.-backed Egyptian military did nothing



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Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 12:24 pm
Today, peaceful anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square were attacked by a mob that anti-government protesters and some journalists say was orchestrated by the government and tolerated by the U.S.-backed Egyptian military. The U.S.-backed Egyptian military did not stop the violence, despite its earlier pledge to protect peaceful protesters, the Guardian reports. [1] Journalists were also attacked, including CNN's Anderson Cooper. [2.]

Demand that U.S. officials act immediately to stop the violence by holding the U.S.-backed Egyptian military to account, making clear that U.S. aid to the Egyptian military will be cut if the Egyptian military does not protect peaceful protesters from violence.

Protesters Attacked in Cairo - Demand That Obama Stop the Violence

The security services were just sitting on their tanks watching as the violence began, the Guardian's Peter Beaumont reported. "You can't help feeling that it has all been heavily coordinated," he said. Later, Beaumont reported that supposed "pro-Mubarak supporters" were recognizably police: "There is no question in my mind that they police, they are central security forces. These are the same guys that were out in force all last week and they have filtered back in again. They are very very recognizable, they are certain kind of people." [3] "All indications are that what is happening in Tahrir Square is government-sanctioned," reported Ben Wedeman of CNN. [4]

Regardless of whether the violent pro-government mob consisted of government employees or volunteers or a mix of both, the Egyptian military was responsible for allowing the violence to proceed. The U.S. government bears responsibility for the actions of the Egyptian military due to the billions of dollars in U.S. aid that the Egyptian military has received from the U.S.

Urge U.S. officials to act immediately and decisively to stop the violence and hold the Egyptian military to account by threatening to cut U.S. military aid if the Egyptian military does not protect peaceful protesters from violence.

Protesters Attacked in Cairo - Demand That Obama Stop the Violence

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a just foreign policy,

Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns, Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy
____________________
References:

1. "Egypt Protests - Live Updates", Guardian,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/02/egypt-protests-live-updates
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 12:41 pm
3 days ago:

Israeli planes carrying crowd dispersal weapons arrived in Egypt: Rights group, 31 Jan 2011
The International Network for Rights and Development has claimed that Israeli logistical support has been sent to Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak to help his regime confront demonstrations. According to reports by the non-governmental organisation, three Israeli planes landed at Cairo's Mina International Airport on Saturday carrying hazardous equipment for use in dispersing and suppressing large crowds. In the statement circulated by the International Network, it was disclosed that Egyptian security forces received the complete cargoes on three Israeli planes which were, it is claimed, carrying an abundant supply of internationally proscribed gas to disperse unwanted crowds.
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 12:42 pm
2 days ago:

Looters included undercover Egyptian police, hospitals tell Human Rights Watch, 01 Feb 2011
Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime committing acts of violence and looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability as demonstrations grew stronger Tuesday against the autocratic leader. Peter Bouckaert, the emergency director at Human Rights Watch, said hospitals confirmed that they received several wounded looters shot by the army carrying police identification cards. They also found several cases of looters and vandals in Cairo and Alexandria with police identification cards.
 

Kit B (276)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 3:18 pm
I've read and seen the sad news but do not know what Obama can do for this. This is an internal struggle we knew that not everyone was supportive of getting rid of Mubarak. This is an unfortunate side issue when people reach out for their rights. I personally do not want the US involved, because that could mean troops or making a choice for the people of their new leader.
 

Toni C (508)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 3:30 pm
It's all over the news... even journalists as being attacked. Anderson Cooper and his group were pounded with fists simply for trying to report the news. It's terrible! Like Kit, I don't want to see US involved in this... we've had enough problems in the Middle East and it really is time we brought our troops home and let the Middle East settle their own disputes. We have problems enough to handle here at home.
 

Shirley S (187)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 3:49 pm
done
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 3:54 pm

It is not about sending troops, Kit. On Monday Mubarak met with Obama's special envoy, then he called Mubarak to step down and advised him to avoid violence. After this all, hell opens and almost all sources agree that Mubarak does not have big support among Egyptians. This is very confusing. Anyway, Violence must be stopped immediately, and Obama is the only one whose word carries sufficient weight.
 

serge vrabec (278)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 4:33 pm
Yeah, the military should have broke that up and should enforce PEACE now, obviously a gov't ploy. Violence begets more violence, that is universal law : protection must be given by military, this change is inevitable, the people are there and standing tall......I send light and protection to ALL the People of Egypt, you are in OUR thoughts :):):) thx Jelica

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it. " ~Albert Einstein
 

Susan D (116)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 6:08 pm
Obama does not carry as much weight as some may think. He already has told Mubarak to go, but like all dictators, M thinks he can stay as long as he sees fit.
The military are not intervening because it will most likely up the anti and cause even more violence.
The pro-Mubarak protesters are rumoured to be acting on instructions from the M regime -- Some government employees have told the BBC that they have been under a lot of pressure from their bosses to go support M.
Also there is a rumour that Mubarak supporters are being paid $100 each to go and cause trouble.
It cannot be a co-incidence that the violent pro-Mubarak demonstrators were suddenly unleashed after M was told to resign, by Obama and many other world leaders.
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 6:41 pm

Susan, Obama told Mubarak not to use violence, but simultaneously he sent his special envoy to Egypt. I would like to know what message he gave to Mubarak. I didn't find a word about these talks anywhere.

My Egyptian friends have contacted me today, so Egypt is back on-line. I am waiting for their impressions about development.
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 7:08 pm
Government cronies & Corporations are behind this upset, violence, in what was a peaceful protest for 9 days. Big biz moguls pull the strings of all Puppet governments in the world today! America has only to look to self to get the "BIG" picture! I send my prayers to the people of Egypt and know they will prevail.. My prayers are with Abdessalam and his family. I'm equally concerned for fellow Americans who have lost their jobs, homes and dreams, due to the same corporate gr$$d infecting the Middle East.
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 7:32 pm
What the petition reads: On Wednesday, a pro-government mob, whom some, including journalists, say were actually police or otherwise paid by the government, attacked peaceful anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, while the U.S.-backed Egyptian military did nothing to stop the violence, despite their earlier pledges to protect peaceful protesters.

I urge you to demand that U.S. officials act immediately to stop the violence by holding the U.S.-backed Egyptian military to account, making clear that U.S. aid to the Egyptian military will be cut if the Egyptian military does not protect peaceful protesters from violence.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Waht dtdn added: I also want it addressed why Israel flew 3 planes, loaded with crowd disposal weapons into Egypt on the 31st. This was a peaceful, reasonable, protest until yesterday. American's are watching and paying close attention to this issue and I can tell you "We" will not be part of the latest assault on people in the Middle East. The people of Egypt have a viable reason for this protest. Something many American's have come to understand first hand!
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 7:47 pm

Thanks for your outstanding comments, Barbara!
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 7:50 pm

I'm reading Haaretz. Here is a piece about Obama's envoy:

"Behind the scenes, the White House had attempted to nudge Mubarak to the exits over the past 48 hours, dispatching former U.S. ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner as a special envoy to deliver a message to him: The U.S. saw Mubarak's tenure at an end, didn't want him to seek re-election and wanted him to prepare an orderly transition to real democracy."
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 7:56 pm

Still from Haaretz: "BREAKING NEWS
05:04 One killed as Mubarak supporters open fire on protesters in renewed Egypt clashes (Reuters)
04:58 China state media restricts reports on Egypt protests (AP)
04:09 World Bank chief: Situation in Middle East is fragile (Reuters)
03:10 Merkel discusses Egyptian developments with Jordan's Abdullah (DPA)
02:00 Egypt official: White House demands on Mubarak are contradictory (AP)
01:08 Clinton tells Egypt's new VP to probe violence in most recent clashes (AP)
00:29 Mubarak supporters throw Molotov cocktails at demonstrators in Cairo's main square (Haaretz)
00:23 US: Muslim Brotherhood could play role in Egypt (AP)
22:55
Clinton stresses to Egypt's Suleiman: Transition must begin now (Reuters)"
_____________time zone is +2 GMT__________



 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 8:07 pm
I've been paying close attention to this since it began and I am furious that decent peaceful people are being murdered. Israel's involvement angers me. I knew that Netanyahu couldn't be neural. It's not in his sneaky nature. This must be addressed by world leaders and I don't want to hear that Israel had no choice because they feared for their peace. Netanyahu is the most dangerous leader in the world as far as I'm concerned. He would be warring with Iran if he could get the US to back him up!
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 8:52 pm

It's a bloodshed there, protesters are holding Tahrir Square, despite attack and they are determined to stay there. Military (Wednesday afternoon) message to the protesters was: "Mubarak will respect your will and won't run in the September elections. Now, go home!" Reports are that protesters want Mubarak to step down immediately, or he will have a his revenge. Everybody who spoke to journalists and may be identified will be arrested.

Fights begun again about a hour ago, after a short break. 3 men killed, one of them soldier.

IMO, "the point of no return" was Tuesday protests, after that those people will wait for Mubarak to go, or die.
 

Jelica R (144)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 8:56 pm

What I wanted to say is: either Mubarak goes away, or people will stay on Tahrir Square until they die, (actual words from several protesters.)
 

Jae A (320)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 1:56 am
Obama can't do much beyond what he has done . No way can we provide military support much less military action as that would start some hard core violence and we'd end up destorying the country the way we have Iraq and the villages in Afganistan. Probably kill more of their innocent people than Mubarak would if they take to fighting in the streets. It's an aweful situation..so many lives at stake but we can't afford to invade another country in more ways than one currently...not enough troops,not enough money, and we have no right to do so...it would just mean another illegal war we'd be starting .

As Kit said, it's an internal affair.

People in Iran are dying daily..executions.. and need help also..it's something that's all over the world currently. I for one expect it to get worse here also as people are learning how close to the edge the Neocons have taken us. Our past,especially the years under the G.W. Bush/Cheney administration is catching up with us very fast also. Their corporate control is in place and already in charge of one house now, so who knows what we also face in our very near future when the prices of food and other necessities shoot sky high almost over night.

No doubt the majority of us here would like to see us be able to do something more but it's just not going to be anything military wise. Pressure is about it...maybe sanctions if the people there are not successful with their efforts from within to do get ,him to leave.

Just horrible all the way around. Feeling so helpless when watching it all unfold. Sad sad sad to watch people being hurt and killed while peaceful protest are taking place. Evil knows no limits.

 

Cam V (417)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:18 am
It was in all likelyhood Obama's fault it started. After talking to the Egyptian President HE SHOULD HAVE KEPT HIS YAP SHUT. Instead he had to get in front of the cameras to tell everyone how he expected it to go and SHAMED that Pres. You do not do that to the leader of another country. Especially a dictator.

Obama should have kept quiet about the fact he had talked to him. This is what happens when you have someone with very little executive experience in the White House. Because of Obama those people got beaten up and some died.
 

Bob E (113)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:42 am
It is not Obama’s fault… but a dictator’s last resort to keep power… Mubarak must go NOW… Mubarak does not yet fully understand that these are his last days...
 

Kit B (276)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 5:39 am
Yes, Bob violence is the last resort of dictators grasping for that last moment of power. No, Cam though I do realize how much you despise Obama, it's not his fault. He is doing all he can, short of sending in the military which is simply not the right thing to do. If Obama goes past the private conversations with Mubarak and open support of the protesters then we as a country lose all credibility. Most of us have declared we want the US to stay out of foreign affairs, is that only when we chose?

Jelica, I support your concerns and I strongly support the right of the protesters in Egypt or any country to fight for what they believe. The Egyptian military seems to be mostly staying out of this, other then to try to stand between the two opposing forces. Unfortunately, those who want to side with Mubarak have chosen violence and not their voices.
 

wooddragon xx (88)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 5:58 am
I had posted this on Cal's news: Who Are the Pro-Mubarak Demonstrators?

To be honest, I am not suprised it has turned to this.. I was expecting it to turn at the march. In my opinion, I do believe most Governments around the world pay people to disrupt demonstations. They all want us to hear them speak but cannot stand to listen to the people!!

This is a real shame, but I think this situation should be resovled by the Egyptian people. Yes, I do think there will be more bloodshed. Sometimes fighting for your rights often leads to injuries and fatalites, which is an absolute tragedy, and yes, it should not come down to this. However, I hope and have faith in my heart that the people will find a resoltution, which will lead to a better future.

And paying people to be your 'friend' is an absolute disgrace. How much money are our governments (I'm from the UK) spending on paying people to be our friends?? Could that money possibly get us all out of the finanical crisis we are all in?? I certainly object to paying people to stay on your side..

I have really enjoyed reading all your points.

Peace to you..
wooddragon
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 12:28 pm
I am telling you all this violence has Barry Soetoro (Obama) has his name written all over it because none of this happened with any other of the our past Presidents and if you notice everytime Barry says something it only gets worse.
 

Justin R (0)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 1:20 pm
At the beginning of the protest when some reporter suggsted to an Egyptian if the US should send planes, his comment was No; no outsiders.
I agree, change has to come from within and has be established by the people from within, not outsiders with tanks and guns. This upraise is between the people of Egypt and their regime. Or would we like to have Iran or Russia invade us if we wold be against our government?

I applaud the young Egyptians who demand change or else how would they ever progress if the crushing fist of their regime keeps pounding them down? For days it was peaceful untill the gates of prisons opened.The ugliness has come about because criminals and those with their own agenda use this opportunity to get closer to their own goals.
 

Morris G. (18)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 1:23 pm
Cam is exactly right. Obama could have strongly urged Mubarak to start the transition of power privately and likely did. Where he screwed up was announcing it to the world. That inflamed the whole situation. Either Obama's ego is so big he can't stop himself from talking when he should shut up, or he is getting some very bad and inexperienced advice.
 

Patricia Geller (34)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 1:29 pm
Obama had to tell the U.S. what he was doing. Where he stood with all of this.

Mubarak is a bully and the only way to handle a bully is to bully them back. They usually back down. But here is where the problem is - no one is going to bully him to the extent he is bullying his people right now because everyone has an ulterior motive and no one will anger the dictator too much. Damn shame.
 

Abo r (107)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 1:52 pm
Noted and sad because of the life lose and injuries, Bad to have theives in any situation and any area.
 

Jelica R (144)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 2:59 pm

Today's care2 quote:
"No man made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."

- Edmund Burke, British political philosopher.
_______________
Thank you all for your comments. Obviously, apart from sending forces (which nobody advocates), US administration was left without much influence on Mubarak's acts. Even special Obama's envoy Frank Wishner has returned from Egypt. I am following reports from Cairo and try to understand what exactly is going on there. Protesters are under heavy attacks, is military passively observing or protecting protesters... it is horrible.

I hope that Obama has some resources unknown to us to stop this massacre.
 

Susan D (116)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:15 pm
Jelica, I was going to point you in the direction of the BBC but you have found Haaretz-- good.
That quotation from Obama is polite-speak for "Here's the door : use it". On BBCNews 24 in the UK we have just about a running 24 hour commentary from people in Tahrir Square, Port Said, and from top US guys telling us what Obama and others have said. I know its hard to get all the news in some places.
Of course M stayed in power so long because he was kept in place by US and others-- but they changed their minds about him, as they did with Saddam. They won't be "going in" this time though.
 

Susan D (116)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:20 pm
Barbara, what the US told the Egyptian military was: "Do not use force on The People or we cut off your money" -- this is why they allowed the peaceful demo to continue... When the thugs came out to support M, they were obviously confused-- they can easily tell that many of the thugs are Police in civvies-- but because they are in civvies they could be classed as "the People"? so, not to fire? also, they do not maybe want to get arrested and whatever else, for firing on another government dept.
Today though they have been more demonstrative.
 

Jelica R (144)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:23 pm

Thank you, Susan.
 

Kit B (276)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:31 pm
Some thing important is missing here and that makes me wonder if any one is paying attention to the underlying problems. People all over are hungry. They may have jobs, if so they are not paid much and food is growing more expensive every day. If you had to pay 80% of your income for food would that not be the last straw. Since Bush lifted the last of the regulation on the commodities market, prices have continued to go insane, and by tossing food for fuel into the mix, the price of food is very much a part of this. There is a slight food shortage but an over whelming amount of "legal gambling" on the price that food, oil, gas, all commodities will sell for, the more "gambling" the higher the prices.

Sorry Carol H, but yes, revolts have happened all over and during each presidency most particularly in modern time. Obama can not stop them nor can he start them. Just how powerful do you think the president is?
 

TERRANCE N (65)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:32 pm
Noted and signed. The biggest leverage we have against Mubarak and his criminal regime is the military industrial complex in the US. Obama is simply a spokes person for these various institutions when they want him to be. The tear gas cannisters labelled "made in American" is all we need to know.

Mubarak's relationship with the racist, aparthied, and criminal state of Israel is also all we need to know. I wouldn't be surprised if Mubarak spoke to Netanyahu before he launched this latest assault on peaceful demonstrators and the media who were doing nothing more than assembling to exercise their constitutional right.

Israel knows that without Mubarak and other Arab dictators, Israel's racist, aparthied, criminal state is numbered.
 

Marilyn K (50)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 3:55 pm
The United States has to play the game very carefully. We cannot make demands on any other country. Diplomacy has to be foremost. There is too much at stake.
 

Charlene Rush (2)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 4:21 pm
POWER is addictive, and Hosni Mubarak is addicted.

How many dictators have you known to leave their position, voluntarily?

The protesters have the internet on their side. They know how other countries conduct business and they see freedom 'in their reach'.

We can do only provide so much assistance and/or advise; we cannot permit ourselves to become so deeply involved. Another war, we DON'T need.

Dare I say, that I believe this is just the beginning of insurrections around the world, where freedom is non-existent.

 

Charlene Rush (2)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 4:51 pm
To Carol H.: What in the world are you talking about?
Mr. Soetoro was President Obama's step-father.
Your point is not worth discussing, because your point is only made to somehow, discredit our President.

My mother divorced when I was 2 years old and her second husband's name, was not mine. My name was legally, the same as my birth father.

If you labor under the delusion, that there was no violence in the world before President Obama took office, your grey matter has changed color.
HISTORY CLASS 101.

Why do people come on this site and make complete fools of themselves, because they hate and/or dislike a particular person/political party.
Of course, Carol, I not speaking about you, since you are so well read.
 

Marta B (45)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 4:57 pm
signed. Thanks
 

Gloria H (88)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 6:36 pm
Got a message Code Pink is protesting there. I suppose our government will scrutinize them when they get back. I believe Code Pink as well as many groups for peace are on the terrorist lists with our own government.I admire these ladies bravery. I doubt if Obama could do anything to help. Had this been Bush era- he would have sent---troops!
 

Jelica R (144)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 7:02 pm

CodePink was on a way to Gaza and were stopped in Egypt, because Ramalah Crossing is closed. Medea Benjamin sent a mail about her impressions from Egypt people uprise.

Obama Administration Discussing Plan for Mubarak to Quit Immediately, Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, The New York Times
 

Jelica R (144)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 7:05 pm

Updates: Front to Defend Egypt Protestors
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 8:32 pm
What does Obama have to do with this? Are people crazy? The thinking that is conjured up in the brains of those who tend towards negativity, blame, abuse, blood lust, immaturity never ceases to amaze me.Citizens in various nations protest when things get to be too bad to take any longer, and, in the case of dictators staying power too long, and indicating that they will be appointing their offspring to step into their shoes is enough to make the Egyptians protest at long last. However, there also are the violent, weird ranks, just as we have here in the US, who tend towards violence, control , selfishness, and ignorance, and they are attacking people and bloodying even journalists! In North Korea, this protest is not as easy to pull off as it is in Libya, Egypt, etc as they have NO access to the outside world at all, and the army is too controlled by Kim Jong Ill. Blaming leaders of other nations for what is happening in another country is so lame and stupid! Obama, especially, is highly aware and intelligent and compassionate. Who is dragging him into this without any thing to offer other than ignorant accusations based upon hatred that is a personal problem individuals with this mental illness must overcome in private. (Cam V, I am disgusted by your sick mind). Also, many of lower personality traits use these serious protests as excuses to get out there and bash heads, steal, and live out there twisted power fantasies.
 

Jelica R (144)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 8:38 pm

Sojourners Petition: An Urgent Appeal for Egypt
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 9:19 pm
Obama better not to mess up into Egyptian politics - his support may be bad for otherwise good candidates. Let Egyptians decide their fate, not Obama.

 

TERRANCE N (65)
Thursday February 3, 2011, 9:57 pm
Obama didn't get us into this mess in Egypt; it is no other than the racist Jewish Zionist state of Israel the reason why the streets of Cairo is on fire. Israel is the main distabilizing source in the whole region. America's attack on Iraq had a lot to do with Israel. Our thinking about attacking Iran has alot to do with Israel wanting this attack.

If there is a devil nation on earth, Israel is it.Now Israel is said tobe nervous. Israel is not concerned about the Egyptian people, Israel is not concerned about the United States, or the press people being assaulted; Israel is only concerned about itself.

The question is. Where is Israel going to find another collaborator like Egypt who brutalizes its own people, practically starves it's citizens, tortures it own people in the Arab world, and blocks supplies from getting into Gaza? After all of these uprisings in the middle East are over will there be another Arab nation who dares to collaborate with Israel in such a way? Stay tuned.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday February 4, 2011, 2:40 am
I'd send you a star, Jelica, for every comment you've made -- Thanks for all the links, petitions & updates.

I am appalled by Israel's aid to this corrupt regime.

Reminds me of France's Secretary of State (Foreign Minister), Michčle Alliot-Marie, whose immediate reaction -unfortunately for her, televised- to the Tunisian protests was to send some French forces in to help the corrupt Ben Ali regime & repress the popular uprising!
The Left has called for her resignation, but they have no real power.

Now we find her on the 8 o'clock news spouting her commitment to human rights ! Believe it!
Tunisians won't forget, though; that you can believe!
 

Marty H (119)
Friday February 4, 2011, 4:02 am
Thanks Jelica and Barbara and signed!
 

Jelica R (144)
Friday February 4, 2011, 4:59 am

The Guardian, Egypt protests – day of departure live updates.

• Hundreds of thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Protesters are calling today the "day of departure", as they continue to demand the Egyptian president step down. The Egyptian army is manning checkpoints at all entrances to the square, searching people for weapons before allowing them in. No pro-Mubarak protesters are being allowed into the square, following days of clashes between the two groups.

• After Friday prayers in the square this morning, protesters have now begun to call for Mubarak to leave, but there is a relaxed atmosphere so far, in contrast to the scenes from previous days. Protesters are listening to speeches and prayers, while others are playing music. Many are engaged in preparing rudimentary shields and helmets, mindful of the violence seen in the square yesterday.

• EU leaders are meeting in Brussels for the first time since the Middle East unrest began. The summit is to charge Lady Ashton, the Labour peer and EU's foreign policy chief, with coming up with a policy package for promoting and entrenching democracy in Egypt. Going into the summit David Cameron said the Mubarak regime would lose all credibility if it cracked down forcefully on today's protests, while Silvio Berlusconi faced criticism after he said he hoped for "continuity in government", describing Mubarak as "the wisest of men".

• The US and senior Egyptian officials are reportedly in talks over replacing Mubarak. The New York Times reported that the White House, the state department and the Pentagon have been involved in discussions that include an option in which Mubarak would given way to a transitional government headed by the Egyptian vice-president, Omar Suleiman.

• However Mubarak has warned that "if I resign today, there will be chaos". In his first major interview since protests began, the embattled Egyptian told ABC news last night: "I am fed up. After 62 years in public service, I have had enough. I want to go." He said Barack Obama, by calling for Egypt to begin the transition to democracy "now", did not understand Egyptian culture, warning that trouble would ensue if he left office immediately.
 

Jelica R (144)
Friday February 4, 2011, 5:11 am

I had to read his several times to be sure I got it right: "Going into the summit David Cameron said the Mubarak regime would lose all credibility if it cracked down forcefully on today's protests...". I have no Comment...
 

Fouad M (17)
Saturday February 5, 2011, 7:25 am
Faced with the pharaoh, chief autiste, the card of the main ally is not negligible to play!
 

TERRANCE N (65)
Saturday February 5, 2011, 9:35 am
The worst thing to happen following World War 2 was the creation of the state of Israel. The creation of Israel has practically set the Middle East on fire resulting in the endless wars initiated by Israel’s theft of land.

Initially there were plans to establish Israel in Uganda in Africa, South America, and Europe. I contend that wherever the Jewish Zionist state was established, war and turmoil would result.

Part of the Jewish Zionist personality is to be suspicious, guilt ridden, plotting against those in secret, planning assassinations, accumulating vast resources to control others, stealing, and racism.

What does this have to do with Egypt eruption? When Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel, you would think that Israel would take this opportunity to stop stealing land and cooperate in establishing a Palestinian state. History shows that Israel’s behavior was quite opposite. Israel has practically imprisoned a whole people in Gaza, and the West bank, bulldozed Palestinian homes, set up humiliating check points, and basically set up the most racist system of oppression since the Nazi regime.
 
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