2011/02/16

The Egyptian Revolution 25 January - 11 February

A summary of how various PhillyIMC contributors covered the Egyptian revolution of early 2011.
Past Philly IMC Feature: Young Philadelphia demand Egyptian president Mubarak to step down now! | | | IMC-US Features: Solidarity Builds for Egyptian Struggle | Celebrating People's Power in Egypt | | | Global Indymedia Feature: Tens of thousands on the streets say down with the regime
PhillyIMC first published a piece on the uprising in Egypt on 27 January. It was Mass Street Protests in Egypt by someone who posts very frequently to IMC sites, Stephen Lendman. He quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying:

"Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."

But Lendman also quoted Facebook organizers, who wrote:

"People are fed up with Mubarak and his dictatorship and his torture chambers and his failed economic policies. If Mubarak is not overthrown tomorrow then it will be the day after. If it's not the day after it's going to be next week."

Aladdin Elaasar, who wrote The Last Pharaoh, also saw great significance in the uprising and sketched out how Egypt looked at this point:

"The 83 years old President Mubarak plans to run for another 6 years term this year and to have his son Gamal Mubarak inherit him as the next president of Egypt. Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist through oppression, cooptation and cronyism. Only a small elite connected to his regime has benefited. A sense of frustration, hopelessness and repression seems to be haunting Egyptian youth and the older people as well, struggling to make ends meet."

Elaasar provided many more details about Mubarak's regime the next day and urged Presidet Obama to support the uprising.

Zahir Ebrahim contributed a deep-think piece on the uprising, comparing it especially to Iran's unsuccesssful "Green Revolution."

Rich Gardner documented a rally in central Philadelphia that was in support of the Egyptian uprising on 1 February. He also contributed a summary of pieces around the blogosphere the next day.

Baba Bob Shipman covered another rally held shortly afterwards.

"Approximately 250 protesters marched from 22nd and Market streets in Philadelphia to City Hall in support of the Egyptian people calling for the ouster of the current president. The overwhelming theme of todays protest was freedom, stating 30 years is enough."

Between The Lines puts the uprising in persepective by showing that the uprising is just the latest in a long series f actions carried out against US-backed regimes in the region.

By 4 February, Stephen Lendman was wondering After Mubarak: What's Next?

On 6 February, Rich Gardner contributed a set of further thoughts and observations.

An anonymous person put out views on several personalities that were behind the uprising.

By 7 February, PCInt was documenting that Egypt [was] in flames and that:

"For 10 days the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and many other Egyptian cities have witnessed a great wave of anger among the masses who can no longer bear to live in unemployment, poverty and hunger: after Tunisia and Algeria now its Egypt's turn."

On 9 February, Seven Star Hand was of the opinion that the US and the Vatican were playing good-cop, bad-cop with Egypt.

Finally, on 13 February, Uhuru put out a statement of triumph "Victory to the People of Egypt!"

"However, now the tides have turned and the people of Egypt refuse to be used as cannon fodder for US imperialism, just as the African community right here is resisting."

Rich Gardner comments on whether or not the CIA could possibly have foreseen the uprising:

Potential Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty thinks that the Obama Administration “should have had one message that was clear and consistent and measured and appropriate” on Egypt. Which sounds really great in theory, but aside from the obvious goof-up of having a top diplomat, Frank Wisner Jr., go to Cairo and declare that Mubarak's "continued leadership is critical," there really wasn't much in terms of lack of coordination and poor messaging. (Also, Pawlenty's idea that America should forthrightly state its principles is fine, but the formulation of “One, we don't want a radical Islamic result. Two, we favor democracy,” is a complete mess as the two messages completely contradict each other.)

"I've had a very long-time interest in intel matters and in figuring out what the other guy is up to. I went to college in Washington DC (American University) where there were a number of Iranian students. I read some of the stuff they were posting around campus and spoke with a few of them. When the revolution of 1979 broke out, I was absolutely astonished to hear that the CIA had been caught completely flat-footed. They had no idea that a revolution had been brewing!

"But I really don't see that a failure to predict the Egyptian uprising of January 25th is anything to be ashamed of. As Panetta puts it: "People can tell you where the tremors are, they can tell you where the fault lines are," he said. "They can tell you the threat of something happening is close, but they can't tell you exactly when the earthquake will take place." (The Huffington Post piece goes on to look at events like 9-11, the nonexistent Iraqi WMDs and the economic weakness and later collapse of the Soviet Union. I'm not so sure these were CIA missteps as much as they were stories that both the elder and the younger George Bush's pressured the CIA into not seeing properly.)"

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