Arab Politics

Mubarak’s Options

If recent history is any indication, this is probably the conversation taking place in the Egyptian presidential palace right about now…

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129 thoughts on “Mubarak’s Options

  1. The Egyptians saw his appointments for VP and PM for what they were – last ditch efforts to quell the uprising.

    There are reports of the mass disappearance of police officers, which, coupled with plainclothes thugs bearing government issued weapons, has aroused suspicion that Mubarak is trying to turn these democratic protests into criminal holidays. This way he could encourage the army to get more involved. ‘Tis quite the conspiracy, but I don’t think it is too far fetched.

    Posted by Nasser V | January 29, 2011, 6:40 pm
  2. Nasser,
    I have listened to the NILE TV, a state TV, coverage for over 4 hours. The only topic that the commentators and their guests spoke about was the need to punish the hooligans, the robbers, the infiltrators and the rappists. They even managed to read wityh a straight face the short decree appointing a VP. It took only 30 years to uncover that small and insignificant constitutional requirements. George Orwell’s Animal Farm would have been proud of them One of the religious people started crying while he was bemoaning the wretched behaviour of these hooligans that have no respect to country, authority , property and honour. I was transfixed for four hours because I could not believe what I was hearing. Lies, lies and more lies or could it be that they really do not understand the depth of the outrage?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 29, 2011, 6:54 pm
  3. I did not understand the picture that QN linked in this post. However, in this Jazeera report the picture is a reminder of the 79 protests in Tehran,

    Al-Jazeera is known for its leaning towards terrorist regimes and organization. They could be toying with the idea of an encore of that ill-fated experience of the people paying the blood tax and then a demagogue steps out from a plane to enslave the masses. I believe the Egyptians people will prove Al-Jazeera wrong.

    Posted by anonymous | January 29, 2011, 6:59 pm
  4. Sounds more what is taking place in Washington than in Egypt, QN.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 29, 2011, 7:32 pm
  5. Ghasssan, I couldnt be bothered with watching the “Arab News” channels- The battle in any revolution or movement for change is the battle for truth and information. Stay glued to facebook, trawn through QN’s friends list and befriend those that are posting on events- it is more real and far closer to the truth.

    All power and prestige to the Egyptian people and activists- I have lived 41 years on this earth, and I never thought in my lifetime I would witness the events of what happened in Tunisia and is happening now in Egypt. Hurry up the rest of the Arab world- ride the headwinds- I thought your statement about the fork in the road wouldnt happen in Lebanon- but your words have proved prophetic elsewhere.

    I just pray the Egyptian Army remembers that it is their countrymen that are protesting , and this change happens with out any further loss in human life!

    Posted by Enlightened | January 29, 2011, 7:35 pm
  6. I am certain that most and possibly all of you have been following the developments in Egypt. No one has said it yet, at least not to my knowledge, but I am becoming less and less hopeful of a revolutionary change in Egypt.
    Those of you old enough remember the outpouring of humanity in Iran in 1978 and also in the Phillipines. I wanted to see millions of Egyptians defy the curfew and not tens of thousands. Another ominous development is the fact that many are buying the official line that these are hooligans and so the shabab are being called upon to set up neighbourhood groups to protect the honour of their families and to stop the agitators. This will be a long night but if Egyptian masses fail to materialize in the millions then this will go down as Tianamen square II.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 29, 2011, 7:40 pm
  7. Enlightened, I am not presenting the Nle TV version as the truth. far from it. I am dumbfounded by how clueless they sound. But that account does lend credibility to the idea that the Mubarak regime has pulled all uniformed officers of the streets on purpose. Let it look as if the looters and hooligans are in control so that the public sentiment would turn away from the legitimate demands of the people. i sure hope that not enough are suckered by this line of thinking.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 29, 2011, 7:47 pm
  8. Exploitation of the masses.

    Who gets credit for this doctrine taught in the world’s finest schools ?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 29, 2011, 7:51 pm
  9. Smell it … exploit it … thank your alumni … and keep praying to the “All giving God” you’re “exclusively” a part of.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 29, 2011, 8:36 pm
  10. It is clear to me that Mubarak will have to step down, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the protests will be successful. A democratic system needs to be put in place and I feel like that isn’t going to happen without an opposition/demonstration leader. I get the feeling that Baredei does not have the mass appeal that would be required. Mubarak’s in preservation mode and is going to do everything he can to keep as many parts of a corrupt system in place. There needs to be someone who can call him out and expose him.

    Posted by Nasser V | January 29, 2011, 8:59 pm
  11. Take it from an Iranian that remembers ’78/’79, this is all early in the game.

    Anon 6:59, you don’t know how similar. In the Iranian case, Royal Guard units were also equipped with US-made Patton tanks (M48 versions of Egyptian fielded M60s) and M113 APCs.

    Posted by Pirouz | January 29, 2011, 9:17 pm
  12. Egypt for the West and Israel is,

    1 )personalities,(( Mubarak,))

    2 )Regime and constitution,((Suleiman)),

    3 )The policies of Egypt toward Israel and the Palestinians
    Israel and the West are starting by changing the faces (( Mubarak)), he will step down now that Suleiman , their man,is VP.
    The next step to see if they are willing to change the regime ,(( Suleiman )) and the constitution ,and that is possible and agreeable to them to avoid changing the policies of Egypt.

    The biggest deal for the revolutionaries is to see if they can change the policies of Egypt and to see what Israel will do.

    That is what will decide if the revolution is a success or a failure ,and the West and Israel will try hard to steal the goal of the revolution and avoid changing the policies of Egypt.

    Posted by Norman | January 29, 2011, 9:19 pm
  13. It is time for the Egyptian people to be very stubborn.

    Posted by Nasser V | January 29, 2011, 9:39 pm
  14. Norman 14,

    Re your linked article:

    1) Any Lebanese with a shred of intelligence would condemn Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs.

    2) It doesn’t make a difference if Syria or HA brought Mikati to PM post. He will be controlled by HA goons and their cohorts and the country will slip into pre-2004 era of Anjar (now Haret Hreyk) mandate transforming Lebanon again into a police state.

    3) Mikati’s western credentials mean nothing as his association with the Assads is a huge negative against him.

    4) No matter what Syrian regime does, the vast majority of the Lebanese are opposed to it and wish it falls even before Mubarak falls.

    5) The archaic politics of so-called ‘resistance’ has played out its time. No one will buy this line of the demagogic ideologues of the trio of HNA/Bashar/Nejjad.

    6) You want the Golan back? Make Syria democratic and get rid of the despotic regime of the Assads. Very simple.

    Posted by anonymous | January 29, 2011, 10:15 pm
  15. Norman, I don’t see Saad Hariri following in Walid Junblatt’s steps, as the article suggests. I also don’t see that he was ready to go along with HA’s demands re. the STL and then was convinced to renege on that because of US interference (which seems to be the accepted theory on the ground in Lebanon).
    That Syria has regained influence in Lebanon is quite obvious. That HA will allow this to mean that its own influence is diminished cannot happen. HA and its leadership is way too smart to sit still while this happens. It’s important also to remember that HA is made up of Lebanese and, if forced at gunpoints to make a choice, those Lebanese who refute both Syrian and HA influence will chose the latter vs. the former.

    Part of this choice goes beyond politics to simple facts on the ground. When Syrian troops were in Lebanon, there was tremendous fear coupled with criminal activity of car theft and other intimidation that happened in the shadows of Syrian checkpoints. This never happens with HA. Granted, now there is no armed Syrian presence so that problem won’t come back but some folks have memory of this and it colors their choice. It will all be fine and dandy as long as there is a HA-Syria alliance. If pressure is applied on HA, my guess is that they will push back very hard.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 29, 2011, 10:23 pm
  16. HP,

    I do not think that Syria and HA will have conflict over Lebanon , Assad Admires Nasralla too much to do that,
    It looks like abolishing the STL is the goal of Syria and HA and on that they have the same goal,
    Do you think that Hariri added some demands of his own or pushed by the US in return of abolishing the STL like disarming HA and integrating it in the Lebanese army and disarming the Palestinians outside the camps , these demands were too much for HA and Syria to swallow .

    Posted by Norman | January 29, 2011, 10:44 pm
  17. Pirouz, I think the Iranians are not comparing what happened in Tunisia and now is happening in Egypt to the 79 events of Iran. According to this story, they may be relating them to more recent events that took place in Iran.

    The comparison in Egypt’s case, at least, is valid considering the similarity between Egypt’s recent elections and the Iranian elections. If you cannot read Arabic, you can google-translate the story into English. Please, let me know if you need help.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 2:59 am
  18. Norman, although I don’t have any inside knowledge, my instinct is that Saad Hariri never intended to denounce the
    STL and withdraw Lebanese government support for it in the way that HA wants. He may have been willing to make the same kind of statement he made earlier about the early accusation of Syria being a political accusation and premature and inappropriate.

    I would find it quite surprising if he tried to bargain rejection of the STL against disarmament of HA. HA has made it clear that their weapons are sacred and completely off the table as far as any discussion or negotiation. I think they mean it. The consistency of this position has led to its acceptance (although sometimes begrudgingly) by a majority of the local Lebanese (in part thanks to Gen. Michel Aoun).
    It is possible that Saad Hariri, during the so-called Syria-Saudi initiative, did NOT reveal his intention to never agree to denounce the STL, allowing instead all the scenarios and offers to be proposed to him and to give them consideration. The eventual revelation to the negotiators that he will not play ball on this caused the collapse. I don’t think the advice on this came from the U.S. (despite what folks in Lebanon have been led to believe).
    I do think that his own coalition and advisors, including, for example former PM Fouad Siniora and other thinkers and statesmen on his team, along with his allies, all give him and reinforce one advice: never give in to the need for true international justice being pursued.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 5:01 am
  19. Little Hariri is a US puppet, he is clueless in Politics and is definitely no leader. He did EXACTLY whatever Jeffrey Feltman dictated to him since 2005…
    Little Hariri is completely surrounded by small insignificant actors just looking for a few bucks…pure and simple. There are no statesman among his crowd whatsoever….and it was proven over and over with their Hooligans, thugs and killers on the streets of Tripoli, Beirut and Ashrafieh in Feb. 2006…Suffice to listen to Mohamed Salam lecturing the crowds… and you get the full picture.

    On the other hand we have a Glorious Resistance movement doing everything in their power to protect Lebanon’s borders with their Blood and treasure for decades and 90% of the Lebanese and the Free of this world attest to Hezbollah’s nationalist Legacy.

    Richard ARMITAGE started calling our Nationalist and Valiant Resistance of Hezbollah: “A-Team of Terrorism”… many years ago…WHY?

    As a pro-Hezbollah person in the West, I think that you are ALL here missing a few things. For example, why does the US-Israeli propaganda machine describe Hezbollah as the “A-Team of terrorism” if Hezbollah only matters in a “little slice of Lebanon” as you all put it? There are several reasons:

    1) Hezbollah has in the past, and will in the future, defeat the Israeli war machine anytime…. Thus, in the mid-long term, Hezbollah will be the main force which will bring down all of the Israeli Apartheid regime.

    2) Hezbollah is a living example, that even a VERY SMALL but truly religious and dedicated group of people can hold their ground against the entire USraelian Empire. The Divine Victory in 2006 was not only a defeat for Israel, it was a defeat for the entire worldwide US/Zionist power configuration…just look at Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco…,

    3) Very importantly, by NOT, repeat, NOT engaging in terrorism, Hezbollah proves wrong all the Zionist propaganda which says that all Muslims are terrorists or all resistance to the crumbling Empire is terrorist….

    4) Hezbollah offers the Muslim world a VIABLE alternative to the Wahhabi crazies on one hand, and the corrupt dictators a la Mubarak and Assad on the other….

    All these are the reasons that while it is wrong to call Hezbollah the “A-Team of terrorism” it would be fair to call Hezbollah the “A-Team of the Resistance to the Empire”. To tell you the truth, I believe that Hezbollah has more power than even a major country and regional superpower like Iran….

    As for Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, I consider him the indisputable leader of the world wide resistance to the utterly corrupt and crumbling Empire….

    Hezbollah and Sayyed Nasrallah are no Lilliput. They are *giants* which the Zionists have very good reason to hate and fear….They are a superb and very successful Lebanese Nationalist Resistance.

    Could you tell me whom you would single out as the most influential leader and/or movement in the resistance to the Empire?

    Yet again, Sayyed Nasrallah and Hezbollah have played their hand just *beautifully*, I would say in an ‘Aikido-like’ manner: these used every move made by their opponents to turn the situation to their advantage… Even this ill-conceived puppet STL ‘tribunal’ will end up having made Hezbollah only much stronger….
    This, yet again, only further confirms my belief that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah are by far the smartest political actors on the planet….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 5:32 am
  20. Norman,

    Here are some statements from Hariri yesterday in support of what I theorized above:

    He denied approving or signing on any paper “related to the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and its ties with the Lebanese State.”

    “There is a major difference between discussing certain ideas and approving them,” Hariri added.

    Reported by Naharnet:

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 5:54 am
  21. Israel and the Alawite minority Dictatorship in Damascus, an Alliance made in Heaven for Decades.

    Israel will be forced to seek out new/old…. allies. The natural candidate is the Alawite Dictator of Syria, which is striving to exploit Egypt’s weakness to claim a place among the key nations in the region….

    The images from Cairo and Tunisia surely send chills down the backs of Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad and his utterly criminal cronies…. As long as the Arab world is flooded with waves of angry anti-government protests, Assad and Netanyahu will be left to safeguard the oldest FRIENDSHIP in the Middle East…. they happen to be the 13th Lost Jewish/Alawite Tribe….and we know that they are the Fallashas of Syria since the 1960s….and we have loads of evidence since the 1970s.

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 6:22 am
  22. And the conversation in Netanyahu’s office: Thank God Lebanon is run by Shiites?

    Posted by noble | January 30, 2011, 6:43 am
  23. To Noble@23…
    You are right on Target…and Lebanon can be “secured” overnight….
    Iran and Israel have always been allies….( Divide and Conquer….Sunni VS. SHI’A…) , even when Khomeini was brought back to Iran in 1979 by an Air France 747 Jumbo Jet…surrounded by MI6 and CIA operatives…[ Remember Iran/Contra… and Israeli+US arms flown into Iran in the 80s…] Iran and Israel are probably still allies TODAY…Of any country in the history of the world, the Iranians have been the best to the Jews…. Cyrus the Great freed Jews from Babylonian Captivity. There are 25,000 Jews in Iran, they have been there since Babylon and Rome fell… Esther’s and Daniel’s Tombs, in Hamadan and Shusha. Shushan Purim, etc. Long history between Iranians and Jews, they still maintain that friendship….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 7:11 am
  24. Anonymous #2 / Jim;
    You have posted the lengthy piece about A hezbollah sympathiser in the West 4-5 times in a week!!! Would the spam ever end. That is an intrusion and an abuse of a privilege. Can you please reconsider this technique and this childish behaviour.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 30, 2011, 8:56 am
  25. HP,

    Then what did he have to offer if not the STL,

    Posted by Norman | January 30, 2011, 9:55 am
  26. hezbollah has some prisoners in Egypt who were convicted on terrorism charges for supporting Gaza or something along those lines. I’d put money that Hizb agents are active getting them free with all the prisoner escapes that have been happening.

    Posted by tamer k. | January 30, 2011, 10:05 am
  27. Anonymous2/Jim

    Anyone with a shred of intelligence is on to your fraud, pretentiousness and plagiarism
    We are really annoyed by your meaningless repertoire and the same old regurgitated conspiracy nonsense which is not your own to begin with.
    Have some shame! Spare us these shenanigans and let us continue reading the intelligent thoughts of many here.
    Thank you

    Posted by V | January 30, 2011, 10:19 am
  28. Who is the WE?@28
    I find GK’s repetitive gibberish and ideological stands on the Resistance to be much more annoying and I am sure that many people share that feeling….
    The fraud, pretentiousness and daily nonsense about Lebanon is mostly coming from your side of the isle…and each person has the right to voice whatever he feels is necessary to make his/her point of view, regardless of what you or anyone else thinks…

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 10:38 am
  29. It’s ok to voice one’s OWN opinions and of course this is a free venue for such expressions. But when you plagiarize, copy and paste conspiratorial nonsense and falsly claim you are a US intell. operative when you probably never left Rabbieh or jdeideh it becomes stupid, ridiculous and tiring

    Posted by V | January 30, 2011, 10:50 am
  30. To Ghassan Karam @25
    I have restrained myself repeatedly and over weeks not wanting to call you names…with your childish attempts at silencing people because you do not agree with what they have to say and pretending to read the Tea Leaves and between the lines…which is more than childish, it’s beyond pathetic for a man of your age. Spare me your nonsensical advice and continue with your daily rants against Hizbullah…., which is the only thing that makes you and many others “Tick” here…I am sure it’s gone get you places…while Hezbollah keeps being admired more and more the world over….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 10:56 am
  31. Norman @26, good question. My guess is that Saad Hariri was stalling and offering variations on the initial suggestion that:
    – any accusations will be considered to be for individuals
    – no one will be surrendered to the STL (with some arrangement for sending them somewhere or other).
    I think the negotiators were talking at each other instead of to each other. He probably purposely chose his words so as to keep the illusion that he would be willing to give them what they want.
    He has made clear declarations recently that he never actually agreed to anything; he was just listening.
    I don’t know if this was a good strategy or not. I’m reading between the lines of the declarations and also making an educated guess as to Hariri’s sentiment and goals.

    In the end, I’m on the side of GK (and others who keep reminding me when I digress) that the key to all this will be the strength, validity, and credibility of whatever this evidence is for the Hariri and other assassinations. None of this will happen fast and the hope is that crises will be averted until such time.
    At as much of an International level that the STL is I doubt that false accusations and fabricated evidence have any chance of fooling anyone.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 10:57 am
  32. Anonymous#2/Jim – Get lost. No one has a shred of respect for your non-existing credibility. You are nothing but noise on this comment section, and not even genuine noise for that matter, plagiarized noise, copied and repeated noise, fabricated noise.

    Regrettably, you discredit those who try to make arguments in favor of some of the points you copy. There may be some genuine arguments and evidence to be made, but not from you and not through you.

    Did I say that you should get lost?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 11:01 am
  33. V@30…You are one more person reading the Tea Leaves here…how pathetic!
    You know nothing about me, what I do, or where I am…and here you are placing me at Rabieh and Jdeideh…, let me guess, It’s the GMA syndrome again….?
    Just move on and don’t read what you consider to be ridiculous, stupid and tiring…you won’t be missing much given your IQ level…

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 11:01 am
  34. We respect Joe M., usedtopost, Mo, Prophet, tamer k., Nasser V, etc., but not you.
    I was the first to call you a phony and a fraud. I reiterate:
    you are a phony and a fraud.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 11:02 am
  35. HP@33
    You make one hell of a supporter for MUBARAK, ALLOUCH, ASSAD or the criminal Geagea…your tolerance of other opinions shines through and through….
    You get lost and I will keep saying whatever I feel like saying even if hundreds of you guys try to silence me, n’en deplaise a toi et tes copains….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 11:06 am
  36. HP@35
    Keep the rhetoric down because your blood is boiling and that’s not good for you…
    What is a phony and a fraud? It’s someone you don’t agree with obviously and who might know a thing or two…which you could never ever dream to learn/know about in your entire life…so be quiet Hp and just move on and don’t read my posts, it’s that simple. Now Get Lost.

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 11:10 am
  37. To Annoymous #2,
    I respect your views, and I respect your passion of HA. At one point all Lebanese were proud supporters of HA until they turned their guns inward. Let’s not easily forget what they have done in Beirut .
    Here are some flaws in your argument that I found and please address them:
    You claim HA is stronger the Israel:
    • HA is not stronger than Israel, because HA are cowards that take shield in human armour by launching their rockets from civilian areas, endangering innocent civilians and wait for the world to intervene to stop the IDF from further committing atrocities. I don’t care what Olmert or Israel have declared that Israel was dealt a defeat, what I know is we were left with billions of infrastructure bills in repairs and 1,500 Lebanese (mostly Shiites) died for vain.
    • Yes believe it we were all sad for our fallen innocent countrymen. I doubt you as a Shiite would feel the same way had 1,500 Sunni’s died in vain. How do I make such a claim about your patriotism (assuming you are Lebanese) because I doubt you voiced an outcry for the loss of the he sunni boys who died in vain during the HA siege of Beirut which I will touch up on later. Meantime, please send me a link to a blog where you have voiced such opinion and I will eat my words. (I would assume you used the name anonymous as well)
    • Moreover, thanks to HA Israel has now received more funds to support its next attack on Lebanon and we both know its coming.
    Your claim the HA does not engage in terrorism is very flawed:
    • The siege on Beirut was an act of terrorism my brainwashed blogger, please justify the death of innocent civilians, please tell their mothers why their sons died. Innocent bystanders, were killed for no fault other than being Sunni, is this the HA you are proud of. If they died because this was part of resisting Israel then why were your HA goons Masked? Its noble to resist and fight for a cause but why were the masked in Beirut?
    • The death of Major Wissam el Hassan, isn’t an act of terrorism and obstruction of justice in your book. Funny he managed to link several HA cell phone line clusters that were related to the death of Rafiq el Hariri. Please blame Israel for his death, because he blamed HA. It’s been documented that HA asked him not to further investigate those lines. Very interesting that he died after he submitted his evidence to the STL wouldn’t you think?
    • Moreover, HA claims that these cell phones lines were purposely planted by Israel to sabotage HA credibility, so HA is admitting that Israel managed to infiltrate HA’s network. That’s one point against your argument that HA is stronger than Isreal is it not?
    You said “Hezbollah offers the Muslim world a VIABLE alternative to the Wahhabi crazies on one hand, and the corrupt dictators a la Mubarak and Assad on the other….”
    • Where do I begin on how flawed your argument is, Assad is not a wahabi he is Allaoui and they are in bed with HA. Correction HA sucks on Syrias teet, otherwise weapon supplies from Iran to your HA buddies will not cross the borders. So take a stand you like Syria or you don’t?
    The one point I agree ith you on is that Saad is not a great politician and might have been puppetted by the US. Id rather be in bed with the US than be fingered by Iran. Iran doesn’t give a two cent damn about its own people let alone the Lebanese. You live the west and you enjoy the values they have, and the rights they offer you, so why not allow Lebanon to embrace such values so you and your family can come back and be at home with your loved ones. As a Shiite you also have the choice to go live peacefully in Iran, but I doubt you’d want to live there ! So why turn Lebanon into another Iran?
    One last point , you said “Little Hariri is completely surrounded by small insignificant actors just looking for a few bucks…pure and simple. There are no statesman among his crowd whatsoeverhas no strong supporters around him”
    • Have you tried to answer that? Did you ever think that great men like of Gibran Tueni, Pierre Gemmayel, Walid Eido, etc were all butchered, of course you are going to claim Israel and not the hands of your beloved HA nor allied Syrian’s. It seems whatever Israel does in Lebanon turns out to be for the good of HA how crazy is that !!

    Now have you bought yur flight tickets to Iran?

    Posted by lebanesepride | January 30, 2011, 11:14 am
  38. ou la la! What a sensitive former black ops operative we got here.

    Carry on and post all you want. You are absolutely right its best to just ignore you.

    Posted by V | January 30, 2011, 11:15 am
  39. Nope, a phony and a fraud is someone who plagiarizes, copies oodles and oodles of material with non-attribution, and is fundamentally disingenous.

    Change your style, tell us only what you think, attribute any quotes you make, and it will all be fine.

    When GK calls you out for repeatedly copying the same passages, with non-attribution, you need to really get the message.

    My blood is not boiling. I, like many others here, are just annoyed. Just like one is annoyed by background noise.

    I disagree with many here and elsewhere but I believe in their sincerity, in their right to their opinions and their right to express them.

    Don’t twist the conversation with you to what it’s not.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 11:16 am
  40. HP@32
    Your little Hariri stalling and maneuvering is unbecoming of his ridiculous personality, it’s way beyond his capabilities because he is an American puppet, pure and simple. He voluntarily placed himself in that position since 2005 and surrounded himself with a ridiculous coterie of imbeciles….of March14th ilk.
    Little Hariri is a US puppet, he is clueless in Politics and is definitely no leader… He did EXACTLY whatever Jeffrey Feltman dictated to him since 2005…
    Little Hariri is completely surrounded by small insignificant actors just looking for a few bucks…pure and simple. There are no statesman among his crowd whatsoever….and it was proven over and over with their Hooligans, thugs and killers on the streets of Tripoli, Beirut and Ashrafieh in Feb. 2006…Suffice to listen to Mohamed Salam lecturing the crowds… and you get the full picture.

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 11:19 am
  41. Here’s the kicker: your creativity is such that when I say “get lost” to you all you can think of is to say “get lost” to me. Laughable.
    You’re right about one thing, though. (See I acknowledge good stuff when I read it). I should go back to skipping your posts and probably everyone else (hint to GK) who feels the same as me about your posts should do the same.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 11:19 am
  42. HP@39, I chose what I want wherever I want to make my point in any which way I want and you’re not going to change that either…
    Chacun son style mon vieux.
    I am as sincere in my opinions as can be and I will keep expressing my opinion in any which way I want, no matter what you or GK might say…and keep reading it in any which way you want… It’s your call and I respect your right to be different.

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 11:26 am
  43. HP@41
    Habibi Ya HP, I do not use foul language and I am not going to be drawn into calling you names here to you or to GK… I am not that kind of fello’…so Get lost is all you’re going to get from me regardless what you throw my way… Keep it simple, there is no kickers here…it’s just very strong differences of opinions and access to sensitive and compartmentalized events and more…, which you don’t, So Get Lost HP and don’t ever read what I have to say…it’s good for your health.

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 11:34 am
  44. I thought this headline was absolutely ironic if not hilarious when I read it.

    “Hamas shuts Gaza border after Egyptian troops flee”

    hmmm I thought Hamas has been arguing for an open border with Egypt to end the blockade.

    Posted by tamer k. | January 30, 2011, 11:47 am
  45. It is possible that the events in Egypt may have repercussions far beyond the immediate vicinity of the ME.

    China recently disabled its internet search engines from being able to look up certain search phrases that may result in links to Egyptian websites.

    Syria has also taken similar measures. Actually the Syrians disabled eveything to do with blogging activities, facebook and other social media. They seem to lack behind their Chinese counterparts in high tech knowledge. They probably do not know how to selectively block what needs to be blocked. So the simplest approach in this case would be the brute force approach. i.e. kill the media altogether.

    Does anyone know anything about a young Syrian girl by the name of Tal al-Mlouhi who disappeared over a year ago? are there any news on her wherabouts?

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 11:58 am
  46. @45
    Waste no time with revolutions that do not remove the causes of your complaints but simply change the faces of those in charge….
    A most significant incident happened in Northern SINAI…where heavy clashes took place between Bedouin Tribes and Egyptian Police units….with 12 DEAD Bedouins so far… as well as clashes on the RAFAH borders…
    Bedouins have been alleged to be associated with Arms smuggling into GAZA….
    US Army has dispatched additional troops to the SINAI only few days ago, I believe from Connecticut…in order to keep the “Peace” and maintain the “Neutrality”, demilitarization of Sinai…per the accords of Camp David of 1979….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 12:03 pm
  47. I am going to try to bring this discussion back into the realm of Lebanese politics by pulling at some strings. It is no secret that Egypt was a staunch supporter of the M14 movement c/o aboul gheit et al. Many M8 leaders had many tit for tat arguments with the Egyptian regime over the last few years, most recently Michel Aoun against Aboul Gheit over the Coptic church bombings. In any case its no secret that Egypt’s influence was falling in the arab world, after these protests it will have zero credibility. Will their fall affect an already weak M14 movement?

    The Obama administration is clearly PUBLICLY playing a neutral/democratic card, coupled with a collapse of the Egyptian regime wouldn’t it be prudent for Saudi Arabia to reevaluate its Middle Eastern policies that are tied to US foreign policy interests.

    Posted by tamer k. | January 30, 2011, 12:20 pm
  48. Reevaluating Middle Eastern policies that are tied to US foreign policy interests…are happening all over the world, from China to south America…where most countries there have recognized a Palestinian state based on the 67 Borders with Israel….

    And there is more at stake in the immediate future:

    Time Magazine reports that Bedouin smugglers opposed to the Mubarak regime now control the two Egyptian towns that are closest to the Gaza Strip. The towns are not named, but we have heard reports relating to both El Arish and Rafah over the past few days.

    And a prominent Bedouin smuggler in the Sinai peninsula told TIME that Bedouin are now in control of the two towns closest to the Gaza Strip, and that they planned to press on to attack the Suez Canal if Mubarak does not step down. He also said that police stations in the south Sinai would be attacked if Bedouin prisoners were not released….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 12:30 pm
  49. I believe the new spammer that appeared on QN is none but a decoy of an Angry Arab aiming to undermine this site. He is definitely suffering from an accute case of self-delusion.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 12:41 pm
  50. The US and Israel main concern is to save the Israeli/Egypt peace treaty which is the main reason for the uprising , The question is will Israel and the US steal to goals of the uprising , and will the change in Egypt make Israel understand that having friends without solving the Palestinian problem will only endanger Israel on the long run,

    Are you all wondering about the where about of AIG and other Israeli ?.

    Posted by Norman | January 30, 2011, 12:52 pm
  51. Norman, I am sure the Egyptian psyche is not even thinking about the peace treaty. They are fed up with the economy and lack of human or democratic rights.

    Posted by Nasser V | January 30, 2011, 12:59 pm
  52. @50
    Buzz off,
    You are one hell of a case of acute self delusion reading the Tea Leaves and spewing hyperbole… and So surprised to see people with very different opinions then your diatribes against our Valiant Nationalist Resistance of Hezbollah and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 1:02 pm
  53. I agree with Nasser V. The driver here is internal Egyptian life.

    One has to fairly recognize that AIG has been advocating and predicting this for some time. Give credit where credit is due for correct analysis and prediction. I have had many differences of opinion with AIG but on this subject he was and is right.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 1:04 pm
  54. anonymous, GK, V, it is clear that “scratching the noise” makes it louder. Let’s just leave it alone.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 1:05 pm
  55. I concur with Nassr V. and HP.

    It is time for Norman-like day dreamers to wake up to the new reality. The train has left the station. Egypt is historically described as the volcano that goes to long periods of inactivity. But when it errupts it spews its lava to places far away.

    Norman, What do you expect the US will do? Defend Mubarak to the last American soldier? Do you not see it as the golden opportunity for the US to carry on from where GWB failed to accomplish?

    Bashar will regret every bit of the act of his last stupidity in Lebanon. Mark my word.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 1:20 pm
  56. “House of Bush, House of Saud,” by Craig Unger….

    In August of 2001, during an invasion of Gaza – a time when Israeli tanks pushed the furthest into Gaza they’d ever pushed – Crown Prince Abdullah was watching the situation unfold on T.V.. He happened to see an image of an Israeli soldier holding an elderly Palestinian woman to the ground with his boot planted firmly on her head. He was so enraged by what he saw, and further enraged by the reaction (or non-reaction) of Bush and Condoleezza to the Aug. 23 “invasion,” he immediately crafted a 25 page letter to Bush – an ultimatum that would have ended a 60 year relationship. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz was tasked with delivering the letter to Bush, as well as, tasked with the deed forcing Bush to go public with his response. It seems Abdullah’s letter let no room for compromise.

    The author indicates these Saudis are NO friends of the Likud party, who they felt seemed to be blaming all the violence on the Palestinians. They felt like Bush, as President of the U.S., was nothing more than a mouth piece of Israeli prime minister, the butcher Ariel Sharon.

    The script of the Crown Prince included this: “I reject this extraordinary, un-American bias whereby the blood of an Israeli child is more expensive and holy than the blood of a Palestinian child,”…”that when you kill a Palestinian, it is defense; when a Palestinian kills an Israeli, it’s a terrorist act.” The Saudis’ felt Bush was a lost cause. (didn’t we all!)

    Bush, who had not wanted to get involved in the “sticky” M.E. peace process, was stunned by the threat. He was forced, as a result, to take a stand – a public stand. Within 36 hours of receiving the letter, Bush had issued a response to Abdullah, agreeing to publicly take a stand supporting a Palestinian state. September 8, 9, and 10, 2001, in Washington, Bush and Bandar worked out the details of the agreement….just prior to launching the most Barbaric False flag attack on US soil, the inside Job of the 9/11 attacks and what ensued…..Ten years later, No Palestinian State is in sight…quite the contrary, and we are “Surprised” in DC to see Revolutions in the ME….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 1:23 pm
  57. USA has been incapable of winning over any revolutionary movement as it is known as the protector of Tyrannical regimes (from South American to Persian to Arabic countries). USA has to realize that the USSR collapsed long ago and it has to show its softer side.

    Syrian & Iranian tyrants are feeling very squeemish as they should be careful as to what they are asking for. The fall of Mubarak and the domino affect would crush them as well like a tidal wave of an unforgiving tsunami!

    As for Egyptian support for M14…That was not ideological but sectarian tamer. Abu Gheit has an enormous hate to anything Shia.

    As for the pollution…Any differing opinions are welcomed as far as they do not become repetitive; annoying and brainwashed bravado.

    Kung Hei Fat Choi

    Posted by danny | January 30, 2011, 1:36 pm
  58. Al-Baradei has just given a speech in which he has asked the regime to go and that what has been done over the past few days cannot be undone. Is he going to be the face of the leadership for the demonstrators and would the state be able to demonize him?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 30, 2011, 1:36 pm
    “The Future Institute aims to fly some ten thousand Brazilian citizens who also hold Lebanese passports back to Lebanon to vote this March, providing up to USD 10,000 in financial support to each one to make the trip. The Future Institute also mentioned that a likely 50,000 Lebanese will self-finance trips back to Lebanon in the spring to participate in the March elections.”

    So tired of March 14; so tired of Israel and Saudi Arabia, of the Raj, and of European Empires; so tired of the false modernity of Shah’s and Dictators and Presidents for life.

    Israel wants to try to do a deal with Syria now, anything to undermine democracy and protect itself. You idiots don’t get it. You’re just slowing down the spread of neoliberalism. You’ll get what you want faster with Hezbollah. Markets need stability and a public with money to shop. Michael Young is saying Turkey has gone backwards!

    Posted by Queequeg AbuKhalil the Jew | January 30, 2011, 1:40 pm
  60. HP@55,
    It’s obvious you all want a cuddly, hunky-dory Pro-USA Blog, without any reference to the horrible 15 years of delusional Grandeur from the advocates of the PNAC fantasy since 1996 and ALL the despicable crimes brought about by these monstrous ideologues/demagogues with just one humongous ZIONIST Agenda….even if the Good old USA goes down in flames….
    You’re obviously not taking the pulse of the American Street…coz it is getting to be similar to Egypt’s !!!

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 30, 2011, 1:50 pm
  61. I wonder what impact Egypt is having on Iranians ?

    Anybody with any intel on the Iranian government’s stance on the Egyptian protests?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 2:08 pm
  62. Queequeg

    “You’ll get what you want faster with Hezbollah. Markets need stability and a public with money to shop…”

    Come again? 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 30, 2011, 2:54 pm
  63. Random-

    You should first ask what impact Egypt will have on other Arab states: Jordan, the Gulf states, etc.. whose peoples suffer a much closer experience to the Egyptians than the Iranians. The region will see a setback to America, Israel, their interests and allies. In terms of Lebanon for example, March 14 forces in Lebanon are in a quandary right now, finding themselves forced to support the legitimates rights of the Egyptian people whilst bemoaning the soon-to-be-history steadfast political support of the corrupt Mubarak regime.

    Posted by Saint | January 30, 2011, 3:28 pm
  64. Saint,

    You obviously haven’t travelled much.

    I agree with you, however, that all Lebanese Political Leaders are on pause pending the Egyptian outcome.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 3:39 pm
  65. There’s an interesting article on the Washington Post website (that I can’t link you to for some reason?) on Bush having been right on the Middle East.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 3:44 pm
  66. It was only a matter of time before the conspiracy theorists started with their “USA and Isarel are behind the uprising in Egypt”. Which of course is self-contradictory, as is usual with such theories.
    Only Lebanese are capable of such delusions. Sometimes (often times), things are exactly what they are (Occam’s Razor). The people of Egypt are sick and tired of Mubarak and that’s all there is to it.

    The irony here is that these are the same people who hate the authoritarian arab regimes for being supported by the USA and oppressing their people (not that I disagree on that count).

    It’s just kinda funny to me. I wonder if these same folks will tell us next that HA taking over the Lebanese government is also a USA conspiracy. That would be kind of amusing…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 30, 2011, 3:44 pm
  67. Random observation: Of all the totalitarian regimes in the Arab world, I hear a lot of mention of Algeria, Jordan, etc.
    Howcome there is no mention of Lybia? That’s one regime that’s probably even more despicable than that of Mubarak or Ben Ali.
    Any possibility something like this might spread to Lybia?

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 30, 2011, 3:45 pm
  68. to Anonymous#2. It’s a bit more profound than the “divide and conquer” cliche. it’s the “Sunni Clamp” westerners -UK and USA- still fear.

    Posted by noble | January 30, 2011, 3:48 pm
  69. BV,

    My feeling is that it will set of a wave of regime change protests in Africa, but I’m not sure about Libya being next.

    This is not an exclusively Arab phenomenon.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 3:53 pm
  70. Bad Vilbel,

    I had the same thought actually. Ben Ali deserved to get overthrown, but probably less than almost every other regime in the region. It was almost unfair. And Qaddafi is safe.

    I think the most awful regimes are often the hardest to overthrow, even when the populace hates them. The Tunisian protesters accepted a small risk of getting shot, a protester in North Korea is guaranteed the death of his whole family, not that anyone could even organize a protest in North Korea. The Burmese junta has been deeply unpopular for three decades, and it keeps ticking. Libya isn’t as bad as North Korea or even Burma, but it might be bad enough that it is almost impossible to hold the sort of uprising that occurred in Egypt or Tunisia.

    Posted by Abraham Rotsapsky | January 30, 2011, 4:14 pm
  71. Egyptians have it easy. They have only one man to topple.

    How are Lebanese going to get rid of their entire Lebanese political class that has been dominating and stifling our country for the last 30 years?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 4:17 pm
  72. Besides, with Idi Amin dead and Qaddafi overthrown, who will be the international community’s Evil Clown? A’jad has his moments, denying the existence of homosexuals in Iran, but I don’t think he can play the roll.

    Posted by Abraham Rotsapsky | January 30, 2011, 4:18 pm
  73. How do we get rid of our Saudi, Syrian, Iranian, American, French, Palestinian and Israeli sponsored Politicians?

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 4:33 pm
  74. peter…You move. 😀

    Posted by danny | January 30, 2011, 4:35 pm
  75. Re: Defenders of Syrian/Iranian/HA despotism.

    Let’s assume as you continue to conspiratorially theorize that the US has the natural tendency to support only dictators. And also let’s assume that GWB was indeed as you continue to claim the epitome of American ‘evil’ and ‘imperialism’.

    It looks like those regimes that were supported by the US are on their way out. In this case, according to your theories the US would seek rapport with the same despots that you currently so admire. Would you not be, in this case, looking at a mirror image of what you see right now? i.e. The liberated population of the ex-dictatorships will be shaming you and your despots in exactly the same fashion and throwing all sorts of accusations about you and your countries being the agents of ‘evil’ America.

    Now as for M14, they were the first to raise the banner of democracy and freedom in the Arab world, against the despotism of the Assads and the demagoguery of HA and Iran. They would find hardly any problems finding common grounds with the revolutionaries of Egypt. Of course, I am hoping that the revolution in Egypt will take its proper course towards democratization and freedom and not descend into another despotic regime as in Iran or elsewhere.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 4:50 pm
  76. How do we get rid of our Saudi, Syrian, Iranian, American, French, Palestinian and Israeli sponsored Politicians?


    In three of the countries you mentioned, you vote them out. The remaining states depend on the politician’s “good will” (translation: never).

    That’s why democracy is so important.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2011, 5:57 pm
  77. Anonymous,

    As I pointed out earlier, the conspiracy theorists are full of self-contradiction. On one hand, they would tell you the USA supports all these dictators (Which is not necessarily false, mind you) and declare how someday, the people will rise and overthrow American imperialism. But these same people turn around and inform us that it’s the USA & co. that’s behind unrest in Egypt or wherehaveyou.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 30, 2011, 6:00 pm
  78. Is Lebanon stating to look like the only functioning democracy in the Arab world despite all its problems?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 30, 2011, 6:24 pm
  79. HP 80,

    Please do not dicount the Egyptians so early in the game. Despite Mubarak’s dismal performance, Egypt is different than every other Arab State including Lebanon in the sense that it has a well established State of INSTITUTIONS and political activism with a tradition that goes way way back.

    Keep your hopes positive.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 6:38 pm
  80. Qn
    The sooner your peasants are allowed to make some real money the better it will be for you. Or has turkey taught you nothing?

    Posted by queequeg mobile | January 30, 2011, 6:39 pm
  81. Obama just called for a peaceful and orderly transition of power in Egypt.

    Opposition in Egypt is calling for a gathering of millions in Cairo tomorrow. Keep your hands crossed GK. Your wishes seem to be getting fulfilled one after the other. Someone high up in Egypt might be reading your comments here in QN.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 7:01 pm
  82. HP,
    “Is Lebanon stating to look like the only functioning democracy in the Arab world despite all its problems?”

    Really? Is that what you call HA’s armed militia takeover?

    Didn’t know the definition of democracy till now dude!

    Posted by danny | January 30, 2011, 7:04 pm
  83. Is Lebanon stating to look like the only functioning democracy in the Arab world despite all its problems?


    I think so.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 30, 2011, 7:09 pm
  84. Nasser, HP,

    Will see.

    Posted by norman | January 30, 2011, 7:13 pm
  85. HP #80
    How can we speak of a functioning democracy when there is no democracy in any of these countries. None.

    anon, A radical change in each and every country in the Arab world would be a dream come true for most of us. It is not difficult to smaell the stench of dead liberties, corruptionand authoritarian rule in each and every country but unfortunately the live pictures out of Cairo are not very encouraging. I am very supportive of the change in Egypt but I must caution that the longer these demonstration go on the smaller is the participation and the greater becomes the chance of keeping Mubarak and his team around.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 30, 2011, 7:14 pm
  86. “…but unfortunately the live pictures out of Cairo are not very encouraging.”

    Plesae explain Ghassan. What kind of pictures are you looking at? Can you provide working links?

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 7:23 pm
  87. Queequeg

    Last I checked, Hizbullah’s motto remained “The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon,” and not: “Save Money, Live Better”

    Plus, calling HA’s base “peasants” is a bit of a cliche. Have you ever been to Lebanon?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 30, 2011, 7:31 pm
  88. anon,
    The live pictures from Al Jazzeira show lower and lower crowds at tahrir square.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 30, 2011, 7:36 pm
  89. Lebanon in major crisis …

    Aoun and Jumblatt raise the question as to who will fill our gas tanks and clean our cars following the Zionist/American plot to topple the Mubarak govt. to Lebanese’s detriment.

    Posted by RandomThoughtOfTheDay | January 30, 2011, 8:02 pm
  90. QN..89

    He has never seen the palatial homes in the South. He believes in the cliches of the tin roofs and downtrodden.

    Q; venture to South and you will see where the real money is…

    PiD…Your randomness is totally random!

    Posted by danny | January 30, 2011, 8:20 pm
  91. Ghassan,

    Al-Jazeera has been banned from Egypt since yetserday. I can only see the same pictures that al-Jazeera showed previously.

    We need to find another source.

    I heard a report of weapons arriving in Cairo and a warning of a blood bath in the making within 48 hours.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 8:32 pm
  92. anon,
    I listened and watched the English Al Jazeera on Livestation. The coverage was essentially by phone , which I took to be live and a few pictures of Tahreer Square which I also assumed to be live.
    One of the phone interviews did mention the possibility of weapons. That would be an ominous sign. We should be able to have a regime change without a blood bath I do not wish a violent confrontation for any country.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 30, 2011, 9:00 pm
  93. Wait, QN, I am confused … Aren’t those just St. John’s fans?


    Posted by david | January 30, 2011, 9:29 pm
  94. The Shiites are “ascendant” as they say.
    And why not?
    And you still sound scared of the AKP.

    There’s a reason Nasrallah is the best politician in Lebanon. He’s an adult with a politically maturing constituency. And you have Hariri.
    I’m a Jew with family in Israel and you’re more Zionist than I am. You defend the right to be racist. Given the direction things are taking, you’re also irrational.

    Nike won the Vietnam war. And it would happened earlier if it weren’t for the US. Same shit, different day.

    Posted by Queequeg AbuKhalil the Jew | January 30, 2011, 9:53 pm
  95. Ghassan,

    Agree. If true this indeed would be ominous sign.

    Epyptians per se are very patriotic and would not commit an act that would undermine their homeland. That applies to both army and people. I doubt the army will fire on civilians even if given the orders – unless of course it was fired upon.

    Again if true I would assume a fifth column has become active: anything like HA or al-Qaida infiltrators. We’ve seen that in 2009.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 10:07 pm
  96. Did any one watch the former Egyptian Colonel Omar Afifi interview on AlJazera,where He “claimed that two weapon telescopic plans, arrived in Cairo yesterday from Israel via Cyprus?
    He said these planes were carrying some advanced snipers guns,among other police gears.Ignore my ignorance about weapons,lol
    He said a blood bath is expected in the next 48 hours.
    Has any one else heard about this information from other sources beside the former Egyptian colonel?
    If this is true,and the Egyptians authorities’s intention is to clam hard on the protesters and the opposition leaders, It might explain the army’s maneuvers to position itself in the main cities before the order is given.
    I just have this strange feeling about the role of the army from day one.
    some one ,please , assure me of the army’s

    Posted by The prophet | January 30, 2011, 10:08 pm
  97. First sentence ,last paragrapg should have read as follow:
    “If this is true,and the Egyptians authorities’s intention is to clamped(instead of clam) hard on the protesters and the opposition leaders”

    Posted by The prophet | January 30, 2011, 10:15 pm
  98. prophet,
    Nile TV , a state TV, is carrying telephone interviews with citizens who say we are with the president and we love him:-) But what is important is that they seem to be stressing that the police is coming back and will be backed up by the army. They are also stressing showing the few knives and machettes and odd guns confiscated. I sure hope that I am wrong but the numbers of the protesters was not impressive and I am afraid that the army and the police will take control. The Mubarak regime will be forced to make some changes but it looks like the regime will survive. This should make the king of SA happy. It will also be a relief to the Assads. Tomorrow might be the decisive day.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 30, 2011, 11:26 pm
  99. It’s interesting to see the hypocrisy of some of the soviet era leftist Lebanese intellectuals and editors like Ibrahim Al-Amine or Talal Salman how they are totally ignoring Syrian and Iranian brutal dictatorships while cheering for the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions against the USA sponsored tyrants. Gives a whole new meaning to schizophrenia 🙂

    Posted by V | January 30, 2011, 11:37 pm
  100. Both the coptic pope and the azhar chief made statements in support of Mubarak.

    surprisingly Russia dubbed the events as an attempt by extremists to grab power in Egypt. And they also tacked Yemen in their statement Russia may be execused as it could be still reeling from latest airport bombings.

    Louder voices are heard from academics in the US urging President Obama to show some courage and use the D word when dealing with ME countries.

    But the last comments I read here convinced me there is absolutely nothing that the Middle East paople can do without Israel having a hand in it. So, I’m now baffled as to why there is so much opposition to Israel in the region. I believe that the Israelis suddenly discovered their intel failure and immediately decided on plan B which is to infiltrate the demonstrators with weapons as in this story,

    I am also beginning to think that if Israel suddenly decides to leave the Middle east and go somewhere else the first parties to object for its departure would be HNA, OBL, Bashar, Nejjad and Khamenei.

    Posted by anonymous | January 30, 2011, 11:42 pm
  101. Prophet-

    Do you believe the Egyptian Army or Police have no sniper rifles and were waiting for just now to get them ordered and from Israel?
    An intelligent person like you should be able to differentiate between the usual mindless Al Jazeerah conspiracy theories and reasonable facts.

    Posted by V | January 30, 2011, 11:53 pm
  102. To be fair we should not discount the hypocrisy of BiBi Netanyahu and some of the US or Western leaders who refrain from taking a solid stand with the demonstrators against Mubarak and for democracy in the Arab world in general and not just selective Democracy.

    Posted by V | January 31, 2011, 12:08 am
  103. From a revolutionary leftist in Beirut to a democrat in Miami to a republican in DC and finally who knows maybe a HA back to Khiam. What a ruthless corrupt unjust world we live in and no idea, system or course seems to be righteous, true or fulfilling.

    “Here’s to a long life and a merry one… A cold beer and another one!”

    Posted by V | January 31, 2011, 12:27 am
  104. V,

    I agree, Bibi is thinking too much short term. In the end, change will happen in Egypt. If not now then in a few years. Better grab the bull by the horns now and at least stick to your principles.

    Posted by AIG | January 31, 2011, 1:46 am
  105. Mubarak: Never mind Photoshop. Impunity for Jamal and me and out we go.

    Posted by noble | January 31, 2011, 2:56 am
  106. Noble @70

    it’s the “Sunni Clamp” westerners -UK and USA- still fear….

    I fully agree with you…would you care to elaborate a little further…?

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 31, 2011, 6:52 am
  107. Queequeg

    The last time you showed up here (under a different moniker), you sounded as ridiculous as you do today. Clearly you have not used the interim to actually read anything on this blog and educate yourself on Lebanese politics, let alone on where I stand, before coming back and making very funny accusations. Can you point to a single thing I’ve said in two years of blogging that justifies your statement: “You defend the right to be racist” ?

    Go ahead. I’ll wait for you to dig something up.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 31, 2011, 7:58 am
  108. to Anonymous#2 @108
    Initially, let me say that Shimon Peres recently voiced concern over regime change in Iraq. “A fanatic religious oligarchy is not better than a lack of democracy… “We still have great respect for Mubarak, he was a peacekeeper,” said Peres
    The question on Peres’s mind should be: were we – Israel – peacemakers?
    Here’s my take on Israel’s impending nightmare: Islamic rule in Egypt will secure long lasting western support of the Jewish state.
    Democracy in Egypt will not tolerate continued Israeli oppression of Palestinians. Neither will the rest of the world.
    The lesson Israel refused to assimilate came in Davos, 2 days ago in 2009 when Turkish PM Erdogan reminded Peres of the 6th commandment in the Torah – “Thou shall not kill.”
    The “Sunni Clamp” threatens Israel and expands from Europe to North Africa: Turkey, Wetern Iraq and Gulf states, Syria, Lebanon(?), Jordan, Egypt, North African countries.
    Do you see why I expect the West to support Shiite (and non-Sunni) regimes in the region?
    (March 14 needs to revisit its strategies. I think HA is here to stay and balance out, to a certain degree, the “Sunni Clamp”)

    Posted by noble | January 31, 2011, 9:19 am
  109. Here’s a news brief came in now to al-jazeera, GK

    أكثر من ربع مليون متظاهر يحتشدون حاليا في ميدان التحرير بالقاهرة

    Prparations are still underway for tomorrow’s million-man show. Organizers dubbed it ‘the day of Reckoning’. Tomorrow was the set date called for by the organizers, it seems.

    Posted by anonymous | January 31, 2011, 9:46 am
  110. Forget about trying to get recent coverage in Egypt. Al-Jazeera is completely cut off. Al-Arabiya is also inactive. You just get a message the site is under maintenance due to abnormally high traffic.

    Posted by anonymous | January 31, 2011, 10:07 am
  111. To Noble@110
    We are on the same page again, fully…
    I have been saying that KHOMEINI’s revolution was somewhat “Channeled”…for lack of a better word…since 1979. The Iran/Iraq war was instigated on purpose by the West in order to weaken BOTH parties and that’s exactly what happened…Then all hell broke loose with Gulf war 1 and April Glaspie…the Blockade of Iraq for a decade etc.
    Since 2000, and the Advent of Gulf War 2 in 2003, with the Neocon/Pnac etc. everything seems to be benefiting IRAN…everywhere you look, from Afghanistan with the removal of the Taliban, to Pakistan to Iraq…to the so called Shiite Crescent….
    I fully agree with you that Hezbollah is here to stay for the very long haul and no matter what is thrown at them with STL or anything else…it seems that ALL these events make them All the More Powerful/influential beyond Lebanon’s borders for decades to come…with added publicity/aura etc. Starting with the 2000 unilateral Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon to 2006 War to STL…the Whole World is Buzzing with Hezbollah…Revolution will overshadow the Resistance for a while…but it can only benefit the Resistance going forward….

    Posted by Anonymous#2 | January 31, 2011, 10:07 am
  112. Randon 65, “You obviously haven’t travelled much.”

    Not sure what this has to do with anything I wrote.

    anon 77, “Now as for M14, they were the first to raise the banner of democracy and freedom in the Arab world, against the despotism of the Assads and the demagoguery of HA and Iran. They would find hardly any problems finding common grounds with the revolutionaries of Egypt.”

    Why is there no room on March 14 banners for the depostism of the Saudis and the demagoguery of the Mubarak regime? Or do the ends justify the means?

    Posted by Saint | January 31, 2011, 1:23 pm
  113. Clinton calls unprecedented meeting of almost all U.S. envoys… The empire is failing and all the pro-consuls and all Barky’s men, couldn’t put Humpty back together again….

    Posted by Jhon | January 31, 2011, 1:36 pm
  114. Ghassan,100
    I share your fear that the regime might be able to outsmart the new sentiment of the Egyptian youth, but don’t think tit can outlive the democratic desire shown by the people.
    I know the 1977 revolution is on your mind, but we live in a different time and age, and regimes can not label any protest as revolution of the thieves any more.
    In 1977, people heard about the revolution when it was over, while now , people get information by the second, and communicate faster then the regime can communicate among its institutions.
    I’ve been monitoring Official TV stations broadcasting out of Egypt, as well as Aljazera, and many people are hinting that , the withdrawal of security forces and police from the streets, was ordered by the state in order to create a chaotic situation where people are forced to choose between stability and chaos.
    There is no doubt that many people still prefer the Mubarak regime, especially those who are close to the regime, and benefit from the corruption.
    I find it hard to believe that the regime can survive, even if Mubarak resigns and hands power to his newly appointed VP. Suleiman’s legitimacy was given by Mubarak, when his own legitimacy was gone. I doubt that Suleiman can hold the regime together, after all the blood spelled.
    I hope I’m right. It will be a shame If this uprising fails.
    I’m looking forward to see the result of tomorrows million man march.
    They just called for another million man march in Alexandria as well.
    I think by the end of the week, many of our questions might be answered.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 31, 2011, 1:38 pm
  115. As I expected, it was only a matter of time before the conspiracy theories polluted the Egypt affair.
    Really, you people are sick and need your heads examined. It must be pathological or something.

    There is no pleasing some people. They hate the arab authoritarian regimes that are backed by the USA and Isarel, but they are also convinced that Israel is behind toppling these same regimes.

    So I guess Hezbollah’s calls to topple Mubarak, last year, go hand in hand with the current Israeli conspiracy. I bet HA and the Mossad are working hand in hand to provide weapons to the protesters. *eyeroll*

    Here’s a hint for the tinfoil crowd: You wonder why you’re not taken seriously? Try constructing arguments that are not self-contradictory, and maybe I’ll stop thinking you’re a 12 year old with a wild imagination.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 31, 2011, 1:44 pm
  116. V,103
    I was simply asking if any one had heard these rumors from different sources. The fact that I was asking, indicates my suspicion of the report.
    The rumors about plans arriving from Israel are all over the news by now. No doubt that rumors like this will play well among Egyptian protesters.
    It’s no secret that the Egyptian authorities requested, and was denied, some specific weapons and gears to face the protesters, from the Obama administration.
    Aljazera(to be fair) didn’t report any of these rumors; it was a former Egyptian officer who first made that claim during an interview on Aljazera.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 31, 2011, 1:50 pm
  117. jamil sayyed’s testimony to the STL on al jadeed. He is not screaming kinda not used to him being calm.

    Posted by tamer k. | January 31, 2011, 2:45 pm
  118. This might not be either the time or the place for a serious thorough discussion of this matter but yet I feel like broaching it.

    Should there be a distinction drawn between cordial supportive relationships that bind governments of two people based on the idea of sovereignty and the right of these governments to disagree on the respective governmental structure that is prevalent in each? Doesn’t the consept ofg self determination preclude the interference of one government with the internal affairs of another people?

    If bilateral “good” relationships are to be built only between countries of the same basic ideological conviction then that would place enormous constraints on the pursuit of international diplomacy. Is it the case that countries have no choice but to accept the type of government that another people deems legitimate but yet reserve the right to disagree with the broad applications in the araes of human rights and personal liberty.
    To be specific I am wondering whether a country such as the US had no choice but to build cordial relationships with the king of Saudi Arabia irrespective of whether he is an absolute monarch or not and had no choice but to welcome the cooperation of the Egyptian government in furthering its Middle Eastern policies despite the fact that Mubarak is a dictator? Does the fact that the US supported the Egyptian regime who supported US interests mean that the US does not have the right to push the governmentof egypt into adopting more democratic procedures?

    Posted by ghassan karam | January 31, 2011, 3:31 pm
  119. I am predicting here on QN that there is only one week left for Mubarak. He will resign and the army will take over. I am not sure what the position of the conspiracy theorists will be. But there is lots of room for maneuvering for them. Please BV, do not underestimate their ‘creativity’.

    It has also transpired that the acts of lawlessness that we saw were in fact orchestrated by the governmnet of Mubarak on purpose. The intent was to drive the police out of the streets and allow the army to move in. Tantawi and Anan are two persons who may have the final say in the outcome. They are practically running the country.

    Also Cairo airport is reported to be in chaos.

    NowLebanon is cheering the people of Egypt and reminding everyone that it was M14 which first brought the power of the people to the forefront in this Arab World of despots,

    Benjamin of Israel is unhappy with Obama even though Obama did not fully use the D word yet. Benjamin is upset that Obama called for a transition towards democracy in Egypt thus abandoning an old despot friend of the ‘free world’. He (Benjamin) argues that now he has to worry not only about Egypt but also about Jordan who may feel cornered with no ‘real’ friends to turn to.

    Posted by anonymous | January 31, 2011, 3:39 pm
  120. That is a very interesting (and somewhat academic) point, Ghassan.

    IMHO, the principles of non-interference, coupled with that of self-determination would lead towards an ideal where governments shouldn’t interfere in each other’s “style of governance” and that it is none of my business how you run your household, but it’s important for you and me to have friendly neighbourly dealings.

    However, having said that, I don’t think the issue is as black and white. To carry on with my neighbor analogy: What if I happen to know that you routinely abuse your children in your home, or sexually molest your daughter, or beat your wife. Is it not my moral duty to report you to the police, or to interfere in some kind of way?

    There is a distinction to be made, I think, when certain basic human rights are violated.
    It’s one thing if you and I disagree on how you budget your household or furnish your home. That’s your business. But I don’t think I should stand idle if you beat your wife or your kids.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 31, 2011, 3:44 pm
  121. “Is it the case that countries have no choice but to accept the type of government that another people deems legitimate but yet reserve the right to disagree with the broad applications in the araes of human rights and personal liberty.[?]”


    That’s all they can do. The answer is yes.
    Change must come from within.

    Posted by anonymous | January 31, 2011, 3:57 pm
  122. Ghassan,
    Do I read you correctly, that you are giving up on the Egyptian revolution, and its desire to establish a democratic Egypt?
    Please correct me if I misread you.
    I quote you asking:
    “Does the fact that the US supported the Egyptian regime who supported US interests mean that the US does not have the right to push the government of egypt into adopting more democratic procedures?”
    Is this all we can expect “push …….into adopting more democratic procedures?”
    It seems that the United States would have to evaluate whether a democratic Egypt can serve and support the US interests as much as the falling regime.
    I think that a democratic Egypt and democratic Arab countries can be friends with the united states as much as dictatorships. It may not be as easy and convenient for the US to deal with democracies in the Arab and Muslim world, but it is something it can get used to.
    A democratic Egypt might be helpful for this administration to push for a Middle East solution because it can convince Israel that peace is her only choice

    Posted by The Prophet | January 31, 2011, 4:14 pm
  123. prophet,
    Of course I have not given up on democracy for Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, SA…
    It seems to me that sovereignty and self determination are forces to reckon with in dealings between two states although one of them dose not approve of the structure of the other one. But I believe that BV pointed correctly to the difficulty entailed in managing these relationships. When would I lose the right to close my eyes in dealing with another sovereign nation? Is it enough to register my disapproval or should I take measures that will show that I am serious in not tolerating some practices? If you do not want to use Egypt at the moment let us look at the US- KSA or even US-China. No one doubts that the US does not support absolute monarchy systems but does that give it the right to use the full weight of its power to make Saudi more opened? What if no Saudi citizen wants that? Isn’t that the same for China? Every US president since Nixon had to grapple with how to handle lack of freedom in China. back to Egypt: It is easy to say that the US by backing up the Egyptian government has in essence backed up dictatorship, know that millions are on the streets asking Mubarak to pack up and leave to Saudi Arabia. Go back six months or a year; what would have been the reaction in Egypt and in the Arab world had the US in say 2007 adopted an Egyptian policy that demands free electionsin exchange for food aid? I would guess that such a policy would have been described as imperialist. Wasn’t that the reaction to the Condi speech at University of Cairo in 2005?

    Anyway, let me assure you again that my greatest wish is for the democratization of the whole world including all the Arab states. If I wish to live in a democracy then by default I have made a clear choice for all of humanity 🙂

    Here is a link to a short post on Arab democracy:

    Posted by ghassan karam | January 31, 2011, 4:57 pm
  124. Ghassa,
    No doubt that any desire for democracy has to come within, but the means to achieve it can be sped up by other countries or experiences or other people.
    People have to want democracy for themselves before others want it for them.
    As for KSA, the United States, and the whole world should have the right and duty, to tell KSA that it needs, at least, to respect human rights of its citizens, respect people’s right to express them, and respect the rights of people to practice whatever faith they believe in.
    If and when people have these rights, it becomes their choice to live under a monarchy or seek a democracy where they choose their form of government.
    That being said, there is a fine line to walk here. Is it interference in other sovereign country’s to demand them to be democratic? Does being a friend with a monarchy or a dictatorship carry a responsibility when such a state is an oppressive state?
    What the united states is usually criticized for, is its double standard when it comes to calling on other states to adopt democratic principles. The interests of the United States, play a major role when it comes to calling (or not calling) on other countries, to implement democratic form of government.
    It becomes harder to distinguish the genuineness of these calls, when there is double standard.
    We all remember the Gaza experience where the people choose Hamas, and the rest of the world didn’t like the results. Had the world accepted the result and dealt with that elected government, Hamas would have been a totally different organization. Gaza might have been a different place as well.

    Posted by The Prophet | January 31, 2011, 6:20 pm
  125. As I said before, the analogy of a neighbor who mistreats his kids is really a good measuring stick IMO.

    I don’t interfere in my neighbors affairs, how he runs his household, his budget, his decor choices, etc. But if I happen to know he’s abusing his kids or beating his wife, then you’re damn sure I will interfere (albeit, within the law, ie call the cops or child services).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 31, 2011, 6:24 pm
  126. A project that is very important for you requires the approval of this neighbour of yours. If you do not make an issue of his domestic behaviour then his approval is guaranteed , if you do make an issue he will not go along and his domestic abuse will probably continue. What to do?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 31, 2011, 8:01 pm
  127. Honestly? In a real life situation? If the guy’s beating his wife or doing whatever to his kids? I’m going to the cops, no matter my project.

    I’d like to think most people would too.

    But I get how that analogy breaks down when you start talking about nations.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 31, 2011, 8:19 pm

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