Category: egypt

egypt on edge, women at risk

watching cnn‘s coverage of giant protests in egypt, take two, i was reminded of edsa dos, of course, and that the foreign press (and erap, too) called it “mob rule” back in 2001.  no such words for the egypt action now, how kind.  how careful?  dealing with a different culture there, and none brings it home more clearly than this story:  Gang rape, the dark side of Egypt’s protests by Nina Burleigh, Special to CNN.  counting my blessings now.


spinning egypt

the spin is in.   the economic losses are being blamed on the youth protests rather than on the tyrant’s intransigence.  and the opposition is now engaged daw in negotiations with mubarak’s vp.   are the youth protesters represented in these talks?   some say yes, some say no.   but the impression being created is that there’s a consensus, mubarak stays to shepherd the transition and save egypt.   so it’s time for the protesters to go home, be patient, change is in the offing.   but it would seem that the protesters are digging in, too.   and smartly so.  they are not the problem, mubarak is.   to pack up and leave liberation square would be to play right back into the tyrant’s hands.

mubarak’s good friday?

so mubarak has dug in.   insists that he is the legitimate ruler until september elections.   his supporters agree, afraid that if he goes life will get even more chaotic, not only for pro-mubarak egyptians, but for israel and america, because what if the muslim brotherhood takes over.

but that wasn’t very smart, siccing his armed goons on the protesting crowds, trying to disperse them?   incredibly the people are holding on and promise even bigger crowds today.   they’d rather have chaos without mubarak than with.  oo nga naman, kahit paano, it would be a step forward just getting rid of this aged tyrant.

not very smart either, blaming the uprising on foreign journalists and trying to muzzle foreign media, i suppose in anticipation of the march to the palace.   maybe they’ll block all roads to the palace?   or maybe the military forces might finally be forced to reveal whoseside they’re on, and whether it’s on the side of the people or of mubarak, they don’t want the world to see?   mas mahirap nga namang i-spin after, not just for mubarak but also for obama.

huge crowd packing liberation square right now.   the area reportedly being cordoned off by soldiers.   hopefully only to keep out pro-mubarak goons.   otherwise, time for obama to walk the talk, to put it mildly.

mubarak / marcos / endgame

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he will not run for a new term in office in September elections, but rejected demands that he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt’s soil, in a television address Tuesday after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million protesters called on him to go.

Mubarak said he would serve out the rest of his term working to ensure a “peaceful transfer of power” and carry out amendments to rules on presidential elections.

in feb 86 marcos too was loathe to go.   until the very last minute marcos was trying to convince enrile to return to the fold.   the last phone call was feb 25 past 8 a.m.   enrile was getting ready to leave camp crame for cory’s inauguration in club filipino.   marcos suggested a provisional government that enrile would lead, but he marcos would stay on as honorary president.   huling hirit kumbaga.

President Obama, clearly frustrated by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s intention to retain his hold on power until elections later this year, said Tuesday evening that he has told Mubarak that a transition to representative government “must begin now.”

In brief remarks at the White House, Obama made no mention of Mubarak’s announcement that he had decided not to stand for reelection. Instead, Obama said he had told the Egyptian president in a telephone call that this was a “moment of transformation” in Egypt and that “the status quo is not sustainable.”

president reagan too was loathe to publicly and directly ask marcos to resign.   early in the morning of feb 24 he sent a private message that the marcoses would be welcome in the u.s.   also he gave instructions that marcos be “approached carefully” and “asked rather than told” to depart.   it was not until 7:30 in the evening that the white house finally “endorsed the provisional government of Mrs. Corazon Aquino, abandoning a 20-year ally in Mr. Marcos for the sake of a ‘peaceful transition’ in the Philippines.” . . . “Attempts to prolong the life of the present regime by violence are futile. A solution to this crisis can only be achieved through a peaceful transition to a new government.”

Angry demonstrators, fed up with Mubarak’s three-decade rule, jeered at the president’s remarks while watching his speech on TV in Tahrir Square on Tuesday night and chanted that he should go immediately.

Senior Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, who has expressed readiness to lead the country’s popular uprising, has said that the people’s message is clear and they want Mubarak out now and not in September.

After Mubarak’s address, the protesters said that this Friday would be the “Friday of departure” for the president and announced that they would be gathering at his palace on Friday afternoon.

in feb 86 while the coryistas were still focused on shielding the edsa camps from marcos forces, leftist groups, acting on the false alarm that the marcoses were gone, had moved on to mendiola, only to find that the rumors were false.   but it was these militants who baited soldiers to fire warning shots, which freaked out the marcoses who thought that the edsa crowds were coming to attack the palace.  (the coryistas came too but only after cory’s inauguration.) and so they started making plans to move out and asked the americans for transpo to get to paoay.   but paoay’s airport had no lights so they had to make a stopover in clark that night.   which gave the new government time to consider the implications of allowing marcos to get to paoay.   in the end cory ordered that the marcoses be flown out of the philippines to prevent further civil unrest.

yes, a nonviolent seige on the pharaoh’s palace, it’s time.