Protests in Egypt grow as Mubarak feels the heat to leave

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

As I write these words the situation in Egypt may have led to the downfall of embattled President Hosni Mubarak from power after 30 years. As a Latin American watching events in Tunisia in January and now in Egypt, I can only rejoice with the Egyptian people who have finally risen and demanded their long-overdue rights to democracy and self-determination.

It should not come to any surprise that the biggest loser if Mubarak flees the country will be the United States, which has financed and supported corrupt and authoritarian regimes in the region. Politics does sometimes makes strange bedfellows.

US President Barack Obama has spoken with Mubarak asking him to open a dialogue with his people. ” My administration is closely monitoring the situation. Our first concern is preventing injury and loss of life,” he said. “I want to be clear in calling on Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters.”

The implication of Mubarak leaving are huge not only for Egypt but for the whole region because it will most likely spread to Syria, Jordan, Yemen and other countries in the region.

Outspoken as ever, the right-wing US radio talk show host Glenn Beck tweets: “Egypt may be a tipping point. Yemen and Jordan also have smaller uprisings. Iran is smiling, the Saudis and Israelis are not. Pray4peace.”

The man to watch is Mohamed ElBaradei, the man slated to replace Mubarak and placed under house arrest by the regime after his returned to Egypt. He said that the West should practice what it preaches. “Is (to) defend the rights of Egiptian’s universal rights: freedom, dignity, social justice.”

What do you think the implications of greater democracy and people’s power in the Middle East will have on Europe?

  1. Enrique

    Even though Mubarak’s days are counted, it is pretty incredible that the army of Egypt says it will not clamp down on protestors. It is a funny statement and shows how out of tune the army and the system has been with respect to the Egyptian people.

  2. Enrique

    Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu states he is afraid of a radial Iranian-style government getting into power in Egypt. This shows how much the Likud Party is out of touch with events in the Middle East. The question remains: democracy in the Middle East and a solution to the Palestinian question. These two matters will thwart radial Islamist regimes in the region.

  3. Klay_Immigrant

    Enrique you should be worried about Egypt as the largest opposition party happens to be the Muslim Brotherhood where from its beginnings they have had a very hostile view of Zionists, considering them amongst the ultimate enemies of Islam, and believe that Egypt’s Coptic Christians and Orthodox Jews should pay the long-abandoned jizya poll tax, levied on non-Muslims in exchange for protection from the state. Now tell me do you this is ok or since it’s Muslims making the rules and not Finns the criteria for fairness has suddenly changed?

    • Enrique

      You should follow events closer in Egypt to find out what is happening there. Read up on what the Muslim Brotherhood was before and today. Moreover, you are ready to commit the same mistakes of the past by excluding parties. Radicalism in the Middle East arises because of ideas as yours. Fortunately the democratic movement in Egypt is grassroots and the behavior of all the oppostion leaders and parties is a warning to other autocratic regimes. I would challenge you to dig deeper in history and politics to understand the complexities of the region before you start excluding this group or the other from a political process.

  4. xyz

    As far as I understood half of the population is under 20 years in Egypt. They are looking for pluralism and Mohamed ElBaradei seems to have good chances there at least during the transition period. I think that especially young people are not that much interested in extremist views but more in a self-determined life with opportunities. The issue with Egypt is that there are many who live under the poverty line while there are only a few who are very rich. I also think that the US and Europe should let the Egyptians decide how they want to live. Iran is a good example where we can see what happened in the long term when the US and British were involved in removing the democratically elected government in 1953: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

  5. Klay_Immigrant

    So Enrique in your opinion parties like the Muslim Brotherhood are a viable party but others such as the True Finns aren’t? Unbelievable hypocrisy but then again impartial thinking was never your strength.

    • Enrique

      –So Enrique in your opinion parties like the Muslim Brotherhood are a viable party but others such as the True Finns aren’t?

      Am I stating that the True Finns should be barred from takkng part in the next election? No. It is so sad that so many young people in Latin America during the cold war saw no other choice but to take up arms and resort to violence. This happened because there was no democracy. This radicalized people. You have to give people the right to self-determination, transparency and their right to participate.

  6. Klay_Immigrant

    ‘Radicalism in the Middle East arises because of ideas as yours.’

    Excuse me? Expand on this comment. Are you saying that because I don’t agree with illiterate refugees/asylum seekers entering a country where the chances of them integrating and gaining employment are very slim therefore being an expensive burden to the state that justifies Islamic radicalism where they would want to bomb me to pieces? That’s no different than a D grade student who got rejected by Cambridge or Harvard University wanting to do the same.

    ‘I would challenge you to dig deeper in history and politics to understand the complexities of the region before you start excluding this group or the other from a political process.’

    I understand better than you and most as I lived in Saudi Arabia for many years. I know the feeling of living under strict sharia law where women couldn’t drive, where pictures of women in magazines were blacked out, and where all the shops closed 5 times daily for prayer just to mention a few experiences so please don’t talk to me about the Middle East like I’m some kind of idiot who’s idea of going abroad is travelling to Ibiza and getting drunk.

    • Enrique

      –I understand better than you and most as I lived in Saudi Arabia for many years.

      More shameful, then, Klay. You have lived there and never understood it nor how cultures work. Shame on you.

  7. xyz

    I don’t agree with illiterate refugees/asylum seekers entering a country where the chances of them integrating and gaining employment are very slim
    -Why are they so slim? Finland has such a good education system…should be possible to train them in a way that they can perform some kind of work? Maybe you can send them picking berries instead of flying in people from Thailand in order to pick them? And again, not every refugee/asylum seeker is illiterate.

    • Enrique

      –I don’t agree with illiterate refugees/asylum seekers entering a country where the chances of them integrating and gaining employment are very slim.

      I wonder what the millions of illiterate and unskilled Europeans in the nineteenth and early twentieth century would have thought about your words. It is pretty interesting to note that those parents that were illiterate were ready to give their children a better life. This meant learning to read and write. I don’t understand how you fail to see what immigration is all about. It is about seeking a better life somewhere else. But then you have groups like the BNP that want to deny them that right because they haven’t figured out how to succeed and be integrated human beings.

  8. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘Why are they so slim? Finland has such a good education system…should be possible to train them in a way that they can perform some kind of work?’

    xyz, tell me who is going to pay for this? The tax payer ofcourse who doesn’t directly benefit. Tell me who is going to give them shelter and feed them? The tax payer again. Tell me how long is this process going to take until they are in a position to gain employment and integrate? At least a couple of years to learn the language to a decent level with hard work. That money could be spent better elsewhere. If the immigrant pays for themselves then that’s a different story and services should be available.

  9. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘More shameful, then, Klay. You have lived there and never understood it nor how cultures work. Shame on you.’

    Yup shame on me for not agreeing with Arab culture and religion. Shame on me indeed! Understanding does not mean having to agree aswell.

  10. xyz

    Klay_Immigrant: xyz, tell me who is going to pay for this?

    Your thinking is wrong and you do not understand those people who apply for Asylum most likely because you have never experienced yourself what they did. It is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14, and is a basic principle of international law. It is a widely respected practice of states and an international obligation.
    http://www.unrefugees.org/site/c.lfIQKSOwFqG/b.4803941/k.488/The_Right_to_Asylum.htm

  11. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘I wonder what the millions of illiterate and unskilled Europeans in the nineteenth and early twentieth century would have thought about your words.’

    Enrique illiteracy then wasn’t a big barrier to gain employment unlike today in Europe that’s the difference. Stop comparing the past to the present, different circumstances meaning different outcomes. How can you fail to see this? Only a few decades ago if I lived in America I wouldn’t be able to marry a white woman in certain states does that mean the same should appply now? ofcourse not, so don’t use the same rational for immigration.

  12. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘ It is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14, and is a basic principle of international law.’

    Tell that to Japan or South Korea, where there is a will there is always a way.

  13. JusticeDemon

    Klay has a problem with democracy. It involves the unacceptable risk that free people will choose to elect a government that she doesn’t like.

  14. Klay_Immigrant

    JusticeDemon quite the contrary if Egypt or any other Arab country choose to go down the hardline radical Islamic route that’s to their own detriment not mine. Only if or when should I say in some countries in Europe they decide to bring their flawed ideology then I’ll have concerns.

  15. Klay_Immigrant

    xyz read what I wrote. I said IF not when they take that route but as the Muslim Brotherhood party with Mohamed ElBaradei involved are favourites to take over then it shouldn’t be a suprise if that route is taken. At least with Mubarak in power even though he is corrupt and took away liberties Egypt was a stable country politically. With him going as it seems I doubt there will be any stability in the near future. As I write now there are clashes between the protesters and Mubarak supporters in the main square in Cairo, just a preview of events to come I predict.

  16. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    There you go again.

    …quite the contrary if Egypt or any other Arab country choose to go down the hardline radical Islamic route that’s to their own detriment not mine.

    At least with Mubarak in power even though he is corrupt and took away liberties Egypt was a stable country politically.

    …I lived in Saudi Arabia for many years. I know the feeling of living under strict sharia law where women couldn’t drive, where pictures of women in magazines were blacked out, and where all the shops closed 5 times daily for prayer just to mention a few experiences…

    Is there any consistency here?

  17. Klay_Immigrant

    Bottom line Muslims in general can only be ruled and governed by fear and violence as shown in every Arab country. When that breaks down (illustrated by today’s events in Egypt the centre of the Arab World and it’s most populous) total choas follows. Democracy involves compromise and tolerance, two attributes that are not taught in Arab culture/education leading to the vast majority failing even when given the opportunity as shown in Europe.

  18. xyz

    How does it come that there are for example also plenty of “Westerners” who do not speak Finnish even so they have lived for years in Finland?!?? Best example is Tony 🙂

  19. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    That kind of imperialism died with Winston Churchill.

    The Egyptians are seeking self-determination. It is pure racism for you to suggest that this is OK for you but not for them because of some alleged “immaturity” that you claim to perceive in their culture. All of that paternalism is pure b/s anyway. The West has consistently interfered in the affairs of these countries supporting dictators and feudal political systems only in support of its own narrow commercial and economic interests.

  20. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘ The West has consistently interfered in the affairs of these countries supporting dictators and feudal political systems only in support of its own narrow commercial and economic interests.’

    Ah yes, I was waiting for you to blame the West for the Arab World’s misgivings. Anything that goes wrong in the 3rd World somehow the West are behind it. Your a poster child or should I say poster old man for the far left movement of conspiracies and socialism. I guess the West are also responsible for Darfur, or the Ivory Coast president refusing to leave office after defeat, or for Angolan rebels firing at the Togo National football team bus just to name a few, because heaven forbid an African or an Arab can never do no wrong.

    Next instance you are going to claim that HIV is some man made disease invented by the West to wipe out Africa, nothing to do with African men refusing to use condoms or believing that sleeping with a virgin will somehow magically cure them.

    • Enrique

      –Next instance you are going to claim that HIV is some man made disease invented by the West to wipe out Africa, nothing to do with African men refusing to use condoms or believing that sleeping with a virgin will somehow magically cure them.

      Or god’s wrath against homosexuals. I stand by what I said Klay: Your line of thinking radicalizes people because your views of the world are neocon. This group of madmen and women went out of the door after George W. Bush retired to the sidelines.

      Protests in Egypt do not only show the power of “people power” but is a hope for people living under autocratic regimes which, by the way, are unfortunately supported by the West.

  21. JusticeDemon

    Klay

    You shifted your ground there. Can you even see how?

    Answer the point. How come you are entitled to self-determination but Egyptians are not?

    • Enrique

      –Answer the point. How come you are entitled to self-determination but Egyptians are not?

      This is where the whole neocon thing comes down in flames. They are not interested in self-determination at all as long as it serves their interests.

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