Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt, O Mother of the World مصر يا أم الدنيا

Today is going to be critical for Egypt. The appointment of Omar Sulayman, the head of Mubarak's terror apparatus, the infamous mukhabarat, the man of Israel and the US in Egypt, the man who is widely believed to have plotted and conspired against the Lebanese Resistance and who planted sleeping cells in Lebanon, the appointment of this man as the successor of Mubarak when Mubarak leaves (because he will), is a clear signal. The regime is telling the people: I do not take your demands seriously, I am looking for a way to squash your movement with force and violence and oppression. This is why this appointment is not, as many have written, a compromise, a sign that the regime is giving in. Quite the contrary, it is a sign that the regime is about to enter into an open war against its own people, and no means will be spared. I expect the repression will receive support by the US and Western Europe and other countries under their domination.

The first signs of the repressive plan of the regime were the withdrawal of the police forces from the streets, and the sudden appearance of looters. The citizen, with the help of off-duty police officers, organized themselves to prevent the pillaging of homes and public institutions. A few of the looters were caught and admitted to be members of the government forces, ordered to go on rampage. This is a classic, and Ben Ali tried to use that to get the army to shoot (more) protestors. This provides the excuse for cracking down on people and shooting to kill.

Concurrently, the regime has imposed a curfew, but no one is responding. The big problem of the regime is that people are not demanding the departure of Mubarak only, they are demanding a new, democratic regime, and no cosmetic changes will be accepted. Millions of people are still in the streets, and they have received broad support from all classes of society, actors, writers, scientists. Except big business people. These, as I had predicted yesterday, have started to flee the country by the private plane load, first to Dubai to wait a bit and then to wherever they have stashed the money they have stolen from the people of Egypt. Al Jazeera has just reported that 7 private planes have left the Cairo airport tonight, among them the Sawirus family plane. Good riddance.

The big unknown remains the army. How will it react? So far, it could go either way, and it could even split. There are pictures of soldiers being chummy with the protestors and not enforcing the curfew. But Omar Sulayman wields power in the army and he is said to be a ruthless man.

Courage Misr. The Arab people looks up to you and you show us the way. The road is long and tough but you shall prevail, o mother of the world, ya umm al dunia. 

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