imagines ([personal profile] imagines) wrote2011-02-02 12:49 pm
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eta: New ONTD_P livepost just posted! Yay!


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.


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.


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.)


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.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 08:27 pm (UTC)(link)
yeah, I was reading some articles on it this morning and was like, "pro-Mubarak supporters? ...did they just materialize?" first time I'd read of pro-Mubarak groups since this began. there's no way they're not gov't plants.
gerald_duck: (Duckula)

[personal profile] gerald_duck 2011-02-02 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
There are genuine Mubarak supporters, and the BBC has talked to some. However, apparently they're mainly in the military and in rural areas. Urban civilians are Mubarak's opponents.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 08:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Good to know--I have been thinking that there HAD to be some genuine supporters, so thank you for the confirmation.

Interesting that there's an urban/rural split. What's going on in rural areas? AJE has been staying in the cities. I might have to start watching BBC side by side. :p
gerald_duck: (mallard)

[personal profile] gerald_duck 2011-02-03 11:31 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not sure, but on the general principle that people are the same everywhere, my guess would be that rural areas were generally more conservative and right-wing, just like in the UK and USA.

The BBC's not been covering rural areas much, either, but John Simpson did stop off in a few places while moving from Cairo to Alexandria the other day.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeaaaaah. I mean, I find it extremely unlikely that in the WHOLE OF EGYPT (80+ million people) there are no ordinary citizens who don't, for whatever reason, truly supportive of Mubarak.

But these attacks? ARE THE SKETCHIEST. D: Last night there were apparently several pro-M. groups that appeared at the same point in time, in different locations, not long after M. released that speech. The anti-M. groups have largely not been violent; the pro-M. attackers have been very violent. I find that extremely suspicious.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
this. I'm sure there are Mubarak supporters in Egypt. and of course people who have benefitted from his regime. but that these "supporters" are suddenly popping up in cities and attacking anti-Mubarak groups? very suspect.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 09:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh dear, my grammar. "who don't supportive of..." *facepalm*

oh my lord, people are throwing Molotov cocktails and I don't know which side it is. I have never seen Molotov cocktails thrown in real time. holy fuck.

days ago people were saying "I hope this doesn't turn into Tiananmen Square!" ...and I really wanted to believe that wouldn't happen. fuuuuck, injuries are now past 600.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm curious to hear what Tea Party people think about all this. the common people rising up against an illicit regime? sounds like something they'd be into, if they got past their hang-ups about Muslims...

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
lololol. Here's your answer. ( CHINA'S GONNA TAKE OVER NEW ZEALAND!

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
oh god. I didn't make it past the first quotation. A "Muslim caliphate"—what the fucking fuck!

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 10:03 pm (UTC)(link)
gerald_duck: (babel)

[personal profile] gerald_duck 2011-02-02 08:35 pm (UTC)(link)
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.

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 09:18 pm (UTC)(link)
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. :/
gerald_duck: (mallard)

[personal profile] gerald_duck 2011-02-03 11:51 am (UTC)(link)
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!

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm at Dr. K's and she has the television on. She's telling me that she isn't seeing protesters in the traditional dress that she saw the Egyptian lower classes wearing on her visits to Cairo, mostly just the Western clothes of the young and educated. Do you know anything about that? I wouldn't be surprised if protesting had been initiated by the college-student demographic, but at this point I'm wondering what the poor people have to say about all this, if Dr. K is right.

...oh man, that tree is very on fire. D:

(Fun fact I have just learned: Dr. K's daughter knew the king of Jordan when they were both in high school. Apparently she and her friends had a lot of fun dressing up in scary costumes and jumping his bodyguards. Not much of a self-preservation instinct, that.)

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 11:20 pm (UTC)(link)
ack ack ack it looks like the museum is on fire aaaaack bad

[identity profile] 2011-02-02 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, it's not the museum. I can identify buildings. :/