Friday, February 11, 2011

Egypt in Crisis: Day 18 - Revolution 2.0 Victory

Trying to keep up with the situation....

UPDATE 11:23Am CST; 19:23pm Egypt

Catherine Ashton, EU foreign minister gets it right on al jazeera when asked if EU was concerned about the domino effect of this revolution in an unstable region. She says that what is important is that the people of Tunisia and Egypt's voices were heard and that they want a say in their government. EU will support these people and others.

The whole world has gone Neo-Con. Update: More Neo-cons coming out of the woodwork and walking proud. Policy should be to support freedom and self-determination. Because stable dictators do not translate to a safer world (Al Qaeda came out of Saudi Arabia). See post: Domino Theory of Democracy

In other news, how the Obama Administration got it so wrong: Preparing aid package to opposition groups (after cutting the original aid on taking office from 45million to 25million).

In other, other news, oil prices drop on Mubarek's resignation. Doesn't the market get it right? Usually?

Update 10:37AM CST; 18:37pm Egypt

One twitter, Victory of the Twevolution; I think the price of twitter just went up on the auction block.

Update 10:13 AM CST 18:14pm Egypt

Mubarek resigns.

State Dept Tweeted (lost it in the roll of yay! Mubarek's gone), to #Egypt "Egypt will always have a friend in the US" or something to that effect. Must have known something was going on. Finally.

Update 9:56 AM CST; 17:56pm Egypt

Phone report to CBC news from Sandmonkey
on protest at palace, situation, no negotiating since being in the street is the only guarantee. Protests remain peaceful. Mubarek only one who wants violence.

Update 9:32 AM CST; 17:32pm Egypt

Lt. General Sami Anan, Defense Minister, seen entering State TV. Rumor there will be an announcement soon.

Update 9:19 AM CST; 17:19pm Egypt

Cofirmed, tanks turn their barrels pointing away from protesters.

BBC reports Hussam Badawry, head of security, has resigned from NDP. Reminder, Wael Ghonim told Badawry he did not want to see the NDP logo in the streets again. Mubarek probably assured that last night with his speech.

Thousands marching towards presidential palace
. More here and here. Thanks Sandmonkey!

Twitter report that the Police and protesters in Sinai clashed. One dead, twenty injured. Police station allegedly attacked by RPG. Caution on this report. Sinai is hot bed of bedouin opposition with some Hamas, etc connections. Not necessarily "peaceful" demonstrators in past events.

Update 9:03 AM CST; 17:02pm Egypt

Just saw live video, crowds pushed right up to the State TV building barricades talking excitedly to the military police guarding building. Climbing on top of tank. Military taking no action. Yet.

Update NYT: Confirms Sandmonkey, military split from regime. NYT says that the military command has assured western officials they would not use force against protesters. "Seems clear that the military will not go down with the regime." Twitter reports that military is handing out water, juice and biscuits to the protesters across barbed wire protecting certain locations in alexandria and possibly presidential palace in Cairo.

Update: not very many people on this side of the palace. twitter calls for people to join them there as everyone appears to be on the other side/street. Seems quiet.

Update 8:47 AM CST; 16:47pm Egypt

Sandmonkey reports via that they are marching on the State TV and now he is joining the march to the Palace in Heliopolis (quote: the protesters there are very chic; reference to affluent nature of people in area joining the protest). They are extremely fearful that if they do not take the regime totally apart any element remaining in power will seek to arrest and suppress the protesters.

Update to update: NDP spokesman says Mubarek and family are in Sharm Al Sheikh. Confirmed by Al Jazeera 8:54 AM CST; 16:54pm Egypt

First, let me point to a relevant post by an Egyptian Blogger at the epicenter of the Revolution. Sandmonkey talks about the split in the power structure and what it might mean.

In synopsis, the head of the NDP said Mubarek would step down, the Supreme Military Council also suggested that Mubarek would step aside and that the Protesters' demands would be met, the Minister of Interior (with his own goon squad) said that Mubarek would not step down. Then Mubarek came on TV and said that he would not be forced out by any foreign intervention (etc, etc, etc), but was designating power to his VP, Omar Suleiman and that a committee was being established to make the changes to the constitution necessary for open elections. Except, the emergency law that permits the authorities to arrest anyone for whatever reason they feel like, would not be set aside until "security permits".

That last was translated pretty quickly by the protesters that they would all be arrested as soon as they did as Mubarek demanded and went home. Especially concerned were the leaders of the revolt.

Then, Suleiman comes on, basically says the same thing as Mubarek with even more emphasis on the people going home, assuring that there would be changes, but security, economic and physical was paramount. Translate to the regime holding on to power.

Finally, today, the military Supreme Council communique #2 basically supported the transition of power, said it would insure that Mubarek and Suleiman held up their promises and asked for the people to go home and resume their lives.

Sandmonkey breaks it down to what he thinks it might mean.

One issue is that the Sauds were preparing an aid package should the US yank any support. Keeping in mind that the majority of US support was in the way of money that had to be spent on US arms and equipment that fitted out the Egyptian defense forces. There were other smaller packages, but this was non-governmental for NGOs doing agriculture and other projects. Not something that was likely at risk.

One aspect that seems to be overlooked. Even if the Sauds give the Mubarek/NDP regime money (aid), the military will be hard pressed to maintain its fleet of tanks, planes and various weapons without US parts, technical support or ammunition. I believe this keeps the military more circumspect in its actions.

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