[personal profile] imagines
eta: New ONTD_P livepost just posted! Yay!

BAD SHIT GOING DOWN.

So, last night in Alexandria, there was an altercation between a pro-Mubarak group (who may have been plainclothes police and/or paid by the government to be there, said Al Jazeera) and the rest of the protestors. That was nasty enough.

Now it's gotten worse, this time in Cairo.

Cairo clashes fuel Egypt turmoil; "Hundreds injured as pro-Mubarak supporters attack protesters seeking president's ouster in Egyptian capital."
Protesters from both sides threw stones at each other in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of ongoing opposition demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak for the past nine days.

Al Jazeera correspondents, reporting from the scene, said that more than 500 people had been injured in Wednesday's clashes that are still continuing.


Al Jazeera just reported that the offical numbers say one person has been killed and ~400 have been injured. (Witness reports say more people than that have died.)

[eta, 12 am Feb. 3 in Cairo: Now it's 1,500 injured & 3 dead.]

Military personnel in Tahrir Square are telling people to go home because of the attacks, but the person AJE was talking to who is in the square is afraid to leave because the thugs are outside the square, past the checkpoints. She believes it's safer to stay in the square because "The thugs are not that many; they haven't outnumbered us yet."

...omg. Witnesses have been taking ID cards from the attackers they capture, and it seems at least some really ARE government plants. Classy, Mubarak. CLASSY.

(Also, shots have been fired and the army denies it was them.)

eta: I wrote this bit yesterday, after AJE had showed some footage of pro-Mubarak demonstraters (whom I DON'T mean to say are entirely sent by the government! I believe they're real): Okay, they just showed some Mubarak supporters. And... I get that they're scared. It looks fucking terrifying to be there, in the middle of that uncertainty and stress and potential for violence. But... "if he were that bad, he'd have been forced out a long time ago"? Maybe people were too scared to try to force him out. (Y'know, because of the TORTURE he's been accused of) And it's great that Egypt didn't have any wars during his presidency, but what I'm hearing from the anti-gov people is less "yay, let's have some wars!" and more "dude, we need this fucking poverty shit to stop. ALSO THE TORTURE." So, yeah, I do feel for them, even if I disagree.


SOME HAPPIER NEWS.

Just as events in Tunisia helped spark the events in Egypt, now Egypt is effecting other changes:

Jordan's King Dismisses Cabinet After Protests
Jordan's King Abdullah II, bowing to public pressure, fired his government on Tuesday and tasked a new prime minister with quickly boosting economic opportunities and giving Jordanians a greater say in politics.

Yemen president not to extend term
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, has backed down on a plan to rule his impoverished Arab country for life after mass protests demanding his ouster.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Saleh said he plans for elections in April had been scrapped along with constitutional amendments that would have seen him become president for life.


You know, just in case you thought the Middle East hated democracy or something. GO, MIDDLE EAST PEOPLE, GOOOO! \0/ Rock on with your bad icky-government-toppling selves! I love how these two rulers have apparently looked at Egypt, looked at their own just-starting-to-protest citizens, and gone OHHH FUCK, DNW, LEMME JUST...FIX SHIT RIGHT NOW. Hahaaaa.


NEWS OF ANNOYING PEOPLE FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.

Mike Huckabee, a Republican who really really wants to be president of the U.S., is Worried About “Cascading Effect” Of Democracy Across Middle East. Translation: OMG WE CAN'T LET MUSLIMS RULE THEIR OWN COUNTRIES!!! They might hate America or something! (ONTD_P responded with LOLLL stop saying words. Good times.)


LINKS OF INTEREST.

Five Things You Need to Know about the Egyptian Armed Forces
Fascinating article on the structure and strategy of the Egyptian army, especially if you've been as curious as me as to why they haven't attacked protesters.

Translations of some of the Egyptians' chants. I know zero Arabic, but I adore languages and I've been dead curious to know what the protestors are saying. The rhythm of "Al Sha'ab yoreed isqat al nizam" always gives me chills whenever all of Tahrir Square starts shouting it. ♥

[WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS.] Two gigantic galleries of fucking stunning photos: The Egypt Protests; The Egypt Protests Part 2. These are mostly photos of protesters vs. riot police earlier in the protests. The second link is not as bad as the first; the worst it gets are a couple of photos of injured, bleeding people. The first link, though, contains several up-close photos of a man who was shot and killed. They're numbers 21, 22, and 23 if you want to try to scroll past, but I warn that it's almost impossible not to see them. I think the rest of the galleries are worth seeing, though, so I'm linking them anyway.

Date: 2011-02-02 08:35 pm (UTC)
gerald_duck: (babel)
From: [personal profile] gerald_duck
While there's obviously a lot to be said for letting Muslims rule their own countries, we do need to give at least some consideration to what then happens to Israel. The will of the people throughout the Middle East is, broadly speaking, to wipe it off the map. The nastier elements want to kill the people as well as the nation.

Frankly, they've got a point. And the US's repeated sponsorship of Israel's atrocities these past few decades is scandalous. But it would be nice if this were remedied by something other than the outbreak of WWIII.

Date: 2011-02-02 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imagines.livejournal.com
If this did turn into WWIII, I couldn't see it as entirely caused by Middle Eastern people suddenly ruling their own countries. Nobody had to back the Israeli government's atrocities for so many years, and that historical context could have an effect on the outcome of all this. I just really hope this doesn't come down to a question of which group of people gets to get killed more. :/

Date: 2011-02-03 11:51 am (UTC)
gerald_duck: (mallard)
From: [personal profile] gerald_duck
I don't think this is going to turn into WWIII. However, it's worth noting that Egypt borders Libya (Gadaffi), Sudan (the Southern oil-rich half has just voted to separate from the poorer North that borders Egypt; also the Darfur situation) and Israel (Gaza Strip, etc.). It's only just across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia (most fundamentalist Islamic nation in the World; US-sponsored theocratic hereditary dictatorship). Israel also borders Jordan (wants the West Bank back), Syria (wants the Golan Heights back), Lebanon (wants Lebanon back). Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia border Iraq (hohum). Iraq borders Kuwait (oil-rich state; despotic monarchy reinstalled by US intervention in early nineties). Syria and Iraq border Turkey (at war with Greece over Cyprus, whenever Greece can afford it). Iraq and Tukey border Iran (might have a nuke soon, just like Israel and Pakistan), as does Afghanistan (completely fubar hellhole, since the time of everyone's great-great-great-grandfathers). Afghanistan borders Pakistan (disputed Kashmiri border with India; nukes; political assassinations; feuding tribal warlords; Islamic fundamentalists; porous borders).

That's a mess three thousand miles wide containing hundreds of millions of people, the holiest places of all of the World's top three religions, the majority of the oil and a vital trade route linking Europe to Asia. I really hope it doesn't all suddenly go very wrong!

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