Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egypt at the Brink - the birth of a new order ?

  • Al Jazeera-English live stream here . Al Jazeera is translated as "the Island" (aka, "The Arabian Peninsula." More on Al Jazeera here
  • Is President Hosni Mubarak in fact planning to step down? here 
  • U.K. Guardian: Egypt state TV issues a flash denying that Mubarak will resign here 
  • An unnamed source claims -- "not a coup, a consensus."
  • Egypt's army torture protestors -- an unusual turn as it is usually  Egyptian State security that detains and tortures here 
"The military has claimed to be neutral, merely keeping anti-Mubarak protesters and loyalists apart. But human rights campaigners say this is clearly no longer the case, accusing the army of involvement in both disappearances and torture – abuses Egyptians have for years associated with the notorious state security intelligence (SSI) but not the army.



"The Guardian has spoken to detainees who say they have suffered extensive beatings and other abuses at the hands of the military in what appears to be an organised campaign of intimidation. Human rights groups have documented the use of electric shocks on some of those held by the army.


"Egyptian human rights groups say families are desperately searching for missing relatives who have disappeared into army custody. Some of the detainees have been held inside the renowned Museum of Egyptian Antiquities on the edge of Tahrir Square. Those released have given graphic accounts of physical abuse by soldiers who accused them of acting for foreign powers, including Hamas and Israel."
  • 28 hours in the dark heart of the State security detention/torture apparatus here 
  • Hosni, the "Justin Timberlake of Egypt" makes a pro-Mubarak speech before the protestors and is booed, attacked and reduced to tears here 
  • "The US and its allies need to realize that the Egypt they have been dealing with is a figment of its imagination" as the uprising has revealed the "real Egypt" here
Clearly, the birth of a new order, hopefully not a case of "beware of what you wish for?" Whether this will represent an improvement remains to be seen. The protestors have unleashed the forces of change and, arguably, democracy. But whether the state institutions and military uphold the changes in a productive, democratic and --for the Egyptian people -- progressive manner remains to be seen.

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