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Wednesday
Feb092011

Egypt Analysis: How the US Should Be Engaging Cairo (Ezell)

The White House and the State Department;s reaction to the crisis in Egypt indicates Washington is behind the curve on fulfilling its promise to engage Muslim communities throughout the Arab World. Its narrow focus on countering terror rather than grasping the social ramifications of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East region points to why insiders were caught off-guard by the events of the last two weeks.

But this is not a shock. Since 9/11, key US policymakers have been misreading the Arab World’s socio-political terrain. Reports focus on ensuring short-term American success in the region rather than on a building and sustaining of strategic relations with Muslim communities.

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Tuesday
Feb082011

Egypt in Pictures: Icons of the Uprising

Wael Ghonim and the mother of Khaled Said --- Ghonim's Facebook campaign "We are Khaled Said", who was killed by Egyptian police, was one of the catalysts for protests


Tuesday
Feb082011

Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Considering the Future

Wael Ghonim0030 GMT: Vice President Suleiman seems to have become fed up with the protests, Al Jazeera reports: 

Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian vice-president, warned on Tuesday that his government "can't put up with continued protests" for a long time, as tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square for thesixteenth day in a row.

In a sharply worded statement reflecting the regime's impatience and frustration with the mass demonstrations, the newly appointed Suleiman said the crisis must be ended as soon as possible.

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Tuesday
Feb082011

The Latest from Iran (8 February): Dominoes Falling?

2125 GMT: Closing Down a House of Worship. A Sunni prayer-house in Tehran has been sealed and prayer leader Moulavi Obeidollah Mousazadeh arrested.

2100 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. A judge has revoked bail for detained journalist Nazanin Khosravani, saying she was likely to flee Iran.

Khosravani's bail was suddenly increased last week, preventing her from leaving prison.

2055 GMT: Interrogating the Mothers. The website of the Mothers of Mourning says that more than 15 members have been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence.

2020 GMT: Khamenei Quitting? Press TV appears to know something we don't --- its headline today, "Leader: Despotism Coming to End".

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Tuesday
Feb082011

A Warning from Egypt: "Surprisingly, Protesters Have Lost" (Gallo)

Tahrir Square now appears as a popular fair: songs, dances, slogans, and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love". People rise to prominence for their fiery wit, but their beautiful and interesting words, avoid any practical solution.

Please, give us the old-fashioned "What Is To Be Done".

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Tuesday
Feb082011

Turkey's Foreign Minister on Egypt: "We Took the Most Active and Clearest Position"

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended an international conference on security on Saturday. In his meeting with U.S. Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton, Davutoglu said: "Chances for democracy in the Middle East have been missed twice in the past 20 years. We cannot let this happen once again."

For Davutoglu, Turkey took "the most active and clearest position in Egypt".

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Tuesday
Feb082011

Egypt Video: The Interview with Wael Ghonim "I Want to Tell Families Who Lost Their Sons..."

Wael Ghonim is a Google executive who was seized by Egyptian security forces on 25 January. Blindfolded for 12 days, he was questioned at length before he was finally released --- amidst a prominent international campaign for his freedom --- yesterday.

Hours later, he gave this interview to Dream TV. Given the reaction, it may stand as one of the significant moments of this crisis. Distraught as he was shown pictures of those who have died in the crisis, Ghonim said, "I want to tell families who lost their sons this is not our fault. This is the fault of those clinging to power." He then walked away from the interview.

Parts 1 and 2 are with English subtitles. Subtitles for Part 3 to follow soon.

(Hat tips to Alive in Egypt and to "MarcinCalifornia")

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Monday
Feb072011

Terrorism Weekly (British Special): Smart Politics, Stupid Counter-Terrorism

On Saturday British Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech at a security conference in Munich. The address was well-trailed by 10 Downing Street, as newspapers gave advance notice of the speech and then picked over the contents the following day.

Why link multiculturalism, Islam, and terrorism when the evidence is inconclusive? Because Cameron’s speech was about politics and not about security. The Conservatives have seen their standing in opinion polls decline as massive cuts on social services begin to sink in. The diversionary rhetoric from Saturday plays well with the right-wing media and with the Conservative base; it is smart politics.

But what is smart politics does not necessarily make for wise counter-terrorism.

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Monday
Feb072011

Latest Egypt Video: Al Jazeera English's Ayman Mohyeldin on His Detention

On Sunday, Ayman Moyheldin of Al Jazeera English was held for several hours by the military. Later, he told a colleague about the incident:

Monday
Feb072011

Egypt Snapshot: After Molotovs and Stones, An Encounter with the Muslim Brotherhood (Kamel)

Muslim: I have to tell you this. I owe you an apology. A great apology.

Me: Huh? What for?

Muslim: Before…before –-- I had…I’m sorry to say this --– but I had contempt for people like you. I saw you as a young, irresponsible generation. Internet youth educated in English language universities with nothing on your minds but sex and drugs and the internet….so I didn’t come when you started this. I didn’t come at the start. But I came on the 4th day, to see what’s going on here. And…this is great. This is great what you’re doing here! I used to think that we would be the ones to do something like this! That it was up to us, the people of God to spark a change! That it was our job, our task! But…we did not make this thing! We did not lead this thing. I am here behind you, not before you!

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