Egyptian protests gather pace


by Rumbold
28th January, 2011 at 5:04 pm    

A few weeks ago, Egypt was seen as an unlikely successor to the unrest in Tunisia. Despite its unemployment and corruption, Egypt was reckoned to have a better security service and a better ability to resist. Now, as protests spread throughout the country, a Tunisian-style ending doesn’t seem so far fetched (nor guaranteed):

Cairo, Alexandria and Suez have been placed under curfew as the Egyptian government battles to restore control after the biggest protests so far. Across the country tens of thousands of protesters turned out after Friday prayers and clashed with police. President Hosni Mubarak, facing the biggest challenge to his authority of his 31 years in power, has ordered the army onto the streets of Cairo.

Mr Mubarak is expected to make a statement shortly. The curfew is now in effect, but live television pictures from Cairo continue to show large crowds on the streets. Flames have been seen from the area around the headquarters of the governing National Democratic Party (NDP) in Cairo.


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64 Comments below   |  

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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Egyptian protests gather pace http://bit.ly/g05oGO


  2. Lucy Greenfield

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Egyptian protests gather pace http://bit.ly/g05oGO




  1. earwicga — on 28th January, 2011 at 5:07 pm  

    Al Jazeera English are live streaming from Cairo http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/ Apparently AJ Arabic has just been taken off air.

    For technical types, you can help with the Tor network https://www.accessnow.org/proxy-cloud/page/join-the-cloud

  2. Sunny — on 28th January, 2011 at 5:47 pm  

    talk about stating the obvious Rumbold!

  3. Suburban Tory — on 28th January, 2011 at 6:58 pm  

    Sunny

    Not supporting your Socialist comrades in the National Democratic Party then?

  4. Rumbold — on 28th January, 2011 at 8:34 pm  

    Sunny:

    I wasn’t claiming any great revelation, it was more of news/discussion thread for people.

  5. Boyo — on 28th January, 2011 at 10:45 pm  

    It’s a bit like the Euro…

  6. Boyo — on 28th January, 2011 at 10:45 pm  

    Ah, managed to post that time. I wonder what word I used that was banned. Was it that Abu Farris’s posts on HP have been excellent?

  7. Boyo — on 28th January, 2011 at 10:47 pm  

    Nope. Maybe just a glitch. It’s interesting to see the popular nature of the uprisings, and how the Muslim Brotherhood appear to have been caught unawares. Let’s hope these are not February Revolutions!

  8. Trofim — on 29th January, 2011 at 2:32 pm  

    I seem to remember that during the Iranian revolution, in 1980, there were very few who were aiming for an Islamic state. It was motivated by a desire for – yes, freedom and democracy + the removal of the Shah. A man on Any Answers had a very pertinent point: there are two distinct issues here: 1. lack of freedom and democracy 2. Unemployment and low living standards. I can’t help thinking that for most ordinary people, 2 trumps 1.

  9. joe90 — on 29th January, 2011 at 5:59 pm  

    The so called middle east experts including israeli and US politicians said egypt was too strong and had better security. They stated the regime would not collapse like tunisia, it hasn’t fully collapsed but they hanging on with their fingernails.

    I would love to hear the expert predictions regarding algeria, jordan, yemen :)

    domino effect has begun and where it will stop is anyone’s guess.

  10. Don — on 29th January, 2011 at 6:23 pm  

    Joe,

    I seriously doubt any predictions are worth a hill of beans right now.

  11. Sunny — on 29th January, 2011 at 8:18 pm  

    heh, exactly Don

  12. damon — on 29th January, 2011 at 9:57 pm  

    When I was in Ciaro eleven years ago, I met some educated, ‘middle class’ young people one evening.
    I guess these are the people who are now defending their neighbourghoods from looters.

    I remember thinking back then, that the difference between the regular Egyptians and the ones with a bit of money and good English was quite a stark class line.
    Practically the only women I ever spoke to in Egypt were a couple of these educated ‘westernised’ smart women in a mixed gender group of young people out on the town one evening.

    They were the children of the elite I thought. And so as nice as they seemed, they may be fearing the changes now.

    However things change, short of some Iranian style revolution, I think that they and their exclusive neighbourhoods will do OK.

  13. earwicga — on 29th January, 2011 at 10:06 pm  

    Practically the only women I ever spoke to in Egypt were a couple of these educated ‘westernised’ smart women in a mixed gender group of young people out on the town one evening.

    That was kind of them damon.

  14. joanne — on 30th January, 2011 at 1:10 am  

    I had been wondering, a week or so ago, why Sunny hadn’t brought up Tunisia yet found the time to comment on the Iranian uprising and on Burma, as per the archives. Biased much.

  15. earwicga — on 30th January, 2011 at 1:18 am  

    @ joanne – feel free to send in posts – Write for us or start your own blog.

  16. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 1:26 am  

    hmm..

    I am really fond of your Mr Hundal, yet criticism is banned?

  17. earwicga — on 30th January, 2011 at 1:28 am  

    Constrictive criticism is fine douglas. Ad homs are a waste of everybody’s time.

  18. Refresh — on 30th January, 2011 at 1:31 am  

    Trofim,

    I think the guy on Any Answers you refer to was reflecting the concern some citizens of Haifa may have, given the only relationship Israel seems to have established is with the security apparatus in Egypt (and in Jordan), and none with the people.

    To say that the people are not ready for freedom and democracy is to say in a rather sophisticated way that Israel has really messed up the peace process, and missed its biggest opportunity. Lets hope an irreversible change in Egypt will also be a tigger for a regime change in Israel. It will take time, but hopefully not as long as in the rest of the Middle East.

  19. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 1:59 am  

    earwicga @ 17,

    I thought Sunny Hundal – whom I consider a fiend, ought not to critcise open threads. All your ad homs have wasted space on here ever since you became Sunny Hundals favourite squeeze.

    You are allowed to run roughshod around here and we are all supposed to defer to you.

    Frankly, earwicga, fuck you.

    It seems to me that Sunny Hundal has allowed you carte banche about being a pathetic fool who has control. Censorship, even. Which is what you do, earwiga.

    Well, earwicga, delete this post. Prove that you have Sunny Hundal around your little finger, and show that Sunny can’t escape your idiocy.

    I have a lot of time for what Rumbold says, I have zero for you.

  20. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 2:03 am  

    friend, not fiend…

  21. damon — on 30th January, 2011 at 3:53 pm  

    That was kind of them damon.

    Maybe. As an obvious foriegner in a place like Egypt it’s very hard to speak to people in any meaningful way I found. You get constantly stopped in the street by men, but never women, and the guys usually want something or are just curious and want to ask about twenty questions.

    Polly Toynbee asked on the TV today ”where are all the women in this uprising?” – which is a fair point, but the Maghreb is like that with women being a bit invisible I think.
    It will be interesting to see if any real change can happen. Taking power from the wealthy class won’t be easy. Having elections doen’t necessarily change things and make a society more equal.

  22. earwicga — on 30th January, 2011 at 4:08 pm  

    Sorry damon, that wasn’t really a funny response to your comment.

    I was asking the same as Polly Toynbee before, but actually there are a lot of women involved – plenty of pics going round Twitter.

    It’s impossible to know where these protests are going to go. A lot depends on whether the army remain neutral.

  23. earwicga — on 30th January, 2011 at 4:19 pm  

    ever since you became Sunny Hundals favourite squeeze.

    It’s great when you and your depleting ilk show your sexism out in the open again. We laugh at you douglas clark.

  24. Don — on 30th January, 2011 at 4:22 pm  

    The coverage I’ve seen suggests that women are very much a part of these events.

  25. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 5:45 pm  

    earwicga,

    Ha bloody ha! You are the one that plays the feminist around here. There are other, reasonable, definitions for the likes of you, and feminist isn’t one of them.

    What exactly is a ‘depleting ilk’?

    If you are going to try to insult me, please try to do it in a way that the rest of us can understand.

    And, please, don’t display your cheap sexism as though it were worthy.

    ‘Cause it’s not.

    It is just you defending your pathetic aggressive / passive behaviour.

    Which is what you have been about ever since Sunny took you on board as his favourite squeeze.

    You occasionally write well, but mainly you write shit.

    And you actually enjoy the right to delete. That is an unhealthy and pathetic personality trait. Seems to me. You have been told about that already. Remember? Perhaps you just ignore being told to stop being stupid?

    Grow the fuck up!

  26. damon — on 30th January, 2011 at 5:54 pm  

    I know it wasn’t really a funny response to my comment earwicga. It gave the impression of being scornful but without saying exactly why.
    That was my impression of being a single white man travelling around Egypt for a month in 2000.
    Of course there are women involved in the protests, and maybe it’s just that they don’t get involved the headline grabbing pictures like thirty guys standing on top of a tank. But I’d say the ‘ten to one’ rule would apply. Maybe because this kind of protest has a lot of testosterone involved.

    I don’t think the rich losing their pampered status is on the cards here. That would be truly revolutionary.
    Are the options just free market capitalism or conservative islamic government?

  27. Don — on 30th January, 2011 at 6:13 pm  

    maybe it’s just that they don’t get involved the headline grabbing pictures like thirty guys standing on top of a tank.

    I think you are probably right about that. But they are far from invisible in this. I know this is only Newsweek, but

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/28/egypt-revolution-the-purity-protests.html

  28. halima — on 30th January, 2011 at 6:22 pm  

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=268523&id=586357675

    Here are the women….. For all those people asking where are the women….?

    I was struck by the diversity of women in these images.

    Hope this link works….

  29. earwicga — on 30th January, 2011 at 6:28 pm  

    There are plenty of photos of women standing atop tanks and involved with the protests here and here. Also, there are loads of Flickr streams being uploaded.

    Everyone in many parts of Cairo are involved.

  30. earwicga — on 30th January, 2011 at 6:29 pm  

    @ douglas clark

    What exactly is a ‘depleting ilk’?

    Sexist drunken pigs. The type of cunt that no longer intimidates me.

  31. Sarah AB — on 30th January, 2011 at 7:01 pm  

    Douglas – you seem to imply that earwicga only blogs here because she is dating Sunny – which I assume she isn’t. That does seem pretty sexist.

    (For the record, I’ve never even met any of the men who blog for HP!)

  32. damon — on 30th January, 2011 at 7:40 pm  

    If Cuba was to go the same way it would be doubly interesting.

  33. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 7:45 pm  

    earwicga,

    Sexist drunken pigs. The type of cunt that no longer intimidates me.

    Oh, joy of joy earwicga.

    It is you that intimidates me.

    —————–

    Sarah AB,

    Not really. I am saying that earwicga plays a high faluting game here. And that is based on her being Sunnys’ favourite person. Which lets her pretend – well more than pretend – that she has the right to censor posts.

    I think that, after some debate, some people ought to be censored. I do not think earwicga plays by those rules. I think she is a bit up herself. (’cause Sunny loves her?)

    Do you recall how hard it was to get shot of some idiots that wrote here?

    earwicga would run a coach and horses through that sort of debate. Which we need to have, because even idiots ought to have rights, and even idiots ought to have due process, Which has always been what Pickled Politics has allowed. You must have seen that due process in action?

    It does, all the time.

    earwicga seems to be cut from a different jigsaw puzzle, and that is not one I subscribe to. I find her whole idea that she is right and that, therefore, I or you are wrong, and that she can censor, is not reasonable.

    I think she ought to grow the fuck up!

  34. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 8:02 pm  

    earwicga,

    Sexist drunken pigs. The type of cunt that no longer intimidates me.

    Well, you are the sort of idiot that doesn’t intimidate me either.

    It is as well we understand each other, earwicga. For calling me a cunt is quite remarkable. If I were to reciprocate, well, you’d call me a cunt wouldn’t you?

    A bit of a catch 22, wouldn’t you say?

    You can call me a cunt and if I were to reply in equal terms, I’d be a bit of a cunt too?

    Well, yes, and I don’t use that language. But you do, you cunt.

    Fuck you. And all you try to argue for.

  35. Shamit — on 30th January, 2011 at 8:17 pm  

    The Egyptian revolution is driven by the civil society – I think there would would be an “orderly transition” and there would be a statement coming soon which says Mubarak is stepping down and that free elections would be held in 3 -4 months time.

    The real question is not the survival of this regime – this regime is over.

    But can the Muslim Brotherhood be kept out of power? Muslim Brotherhood, although very hardline, they do not believe they are in a war with the West or violence.

    Egypt has a strong and very well developed civil society and the same civil society went and protected the Christians and their churches – so I for one am cheering this movement on and I hope they set an example of orderly transition from autocracy to democracy.

    ********************************

    Another point – I don’t think the Army is neutral. The Army started with “we would protect the President” but now they know they cannot and I think it was the Army that pretty much told Mubarak that he needs to have a VP.

    And that he needs to go soon not tomorrow but definitely soon.

    Army has been in power in Egypt since 1952 and the Army would also have to learn that they need to go back to the barracks – otherwise another Pakistan.
    ***************************

    I would make a prediction that this phase of revolution is not going to topple either of the two King Andullah’s in Jordan And Saudi Arabia.

    Jordan has a strong civil society and the Hashemite Kingdom is pretty open and there have been many many changes over the past two decades and they are slowly but surely moving towards a Constitutional monarchy in this monarch’s reign.

    Saudi Arabia – the civil society is weak and the alternatives are fuck all.
    *******************

  36. Shamit — on 30th January, 2011 at 8:25 pm  

    “…….you became Sunny Hundals favourite squeeze.”

    That is despicable and that is insulting to both Sunny and Earwicga.

    I do not agree with Earwicga all the time – but I do not question her integrity or her ability.

    And the way that line sounds gives me the creeps – and that line is sexist and demeaning.

    Losing your temper and attacking someone’s argument is fair game but that is simply wrong.

    I think Earwicga deserves an apology.

    Earwicga – you still drive me nuts though sometimes.
    *****************************

    Joanne –

    All the Pickled Politics Editorial team are unpaid and are providing a service which I and many others highly rate.

    I think most regulars would agree when I say – they deserve nothing but grateful thanks – you don’t like it – hey as Earwicga said – no one’s stopping you from writing an article.

  37. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 8:39 pm  

    shamit,

    It isn’t despicable. It is what this place has become. You can defend earwicga to your heart’s content. That will get you brownie points with earwicga and all her fans.

    I would point you to the substantive point, earwicga uses her rights here to render other arguements moot. She uses her status here to silence other voices.

    She does that all the times that suit her,

    Am I wrong about that?

  38. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 8:55 pm  

    Eh!

    What line gives you the creeps?

    I’ll give you the line that made me think twice about you charming friend:

    exist drunken pigs. The type of cunt that no longer intimidates me.

    Oh! that was earwigca, that was.

    And the way that line sounds gives me the creeps – and that line is sexist and demeaning.

    I take it you don’t like the implication that earwicga is Sunny’s squeeze? And you get the creeps? You are beyond a joke.

    Shamit, earwicga is sexist and demeaning, that is what she does. That is how she comes across, that is not how Sunny see’s her. She is, in fact, someone he probably does squeeze. In the sense of care for.

    I have no time whatsoever for earwigca and she has none for me. I think she’d be as lucky as fuck to pull Sunny as a breeding mate.

  39. Shamit — on 30th January, 2011 at 9:13 pm  

    Douglas -

    I disagree and I am not going to take this conversation any further because frankly I am embarrassed and you should be to.

    What happened to the cool bloke man?Are you sure you’re Douglas or some freak usurping his identity

  40. douglas clark — on 30th January, 2011 at 9:43 pm  

    Shamit,

    I am not embarrassed. I am me. You can all call down on me because I think earwicga is a complete utter

    insert word of choice

    But I do think she usurps the space around here, and you clearly think otherwise. Well, shamit, we disagree about that. I am not about to surrender my viewpoint simply because you or she asks me to.

    Tell me what she has to the genuinely held opinions that you have, and I have and share, that adds an iota to the debate?

    Address the woman, why don’t you?

    For she is the one that called me a fool, or a word to that effect, and I am supposed to respect her?

    I don’t. And that is not going to happen shamit, unless and until I get an apology. Which, frankly, is as likely as hell freezing over…

  41. KB Player — on 30th January, 2011 at 10:00 pm  

    Douglas – you’re usually a nice bloke. Earwicga is a pain in the arse, but if you’re going to insult her, call her a pain in the arse. Don’t say stuff like “she’d be as lucky as fuck to pull Sunny as a breeding mate.” That makes you sound horribly neanderthal, like those football commentators who have just got the boot from Sky. Next thing you’ll be saying she’d be better for a good shag. I’ve got no time for her at all, but employing those kinds of insults reflects more badly on you than her.

  42. KJB — on 30th January, 2011 at 11:28 pm  

    Douglas,

    I appreciate that you are passionate in your beliefs, but your abuse of Earwicga is unacceptable.

    Picklers usually pride themselves on the fact that this site offers a broad consensus yet independent reflection among the writers and regulars.

    It is in this spirit that Sunny invited her aboard, and if you don’t like that, fine. Many people, including myself, have taken issue with certain stances of hers – that’s what makes it a debate. Or would you prefer the kind of ‘debate’ that comes from battling waves of trolls?

    She is not his ‘squeeze’ and you are being utterly sexist towards her. Implying that she’s got where she is through a relationship with the editor of this site:

    She is, in fact, someone he probably does squeeze. In the sense of care for.

    That’s sexism.

    Going on, utterly illogically, to imply that she should be defined by her apparent inability to attract Sunny, when you’ve just implied that that’s why she’s here:

    I think she’d be as lucky as fuck to pull Sunny as a breeding mate.

    That’s sexism.

    You are making yourself look like an unpleasant, moronic thug, accusing her of silencing you when your vitriol towards her is on display for all to see. If I were in her position, I would’ve edited such comments straight away and/or deleted you, frankly.

    No-one is asking you to ‘surrender your viewpoint.’ Get a grip; this is an internet site, not Tienanmen Square, and earwicga is one writer here, not the government. I usually have a lot of time for you, but humility is in short supply online, and right now you are in dire need of some.

  43. earwicga — on 31st January, 2011 at 1:23 am  

    Thanks all. Appreciated.

  44. Refresh — on 31st January, 2011 at 1:53 am  

    Trofim,

    The caller from Haifa might find this observation of interest:

    ‘It is not enough to have a handful of embassies in order to be accepted in the region. There also have to be embassies of goodwill, a just image and a state that is not an occupier. Israel has to make its way into the hearts of the Arab peoples, who will never agree to the continued repression of their brothers, even if their intelligence ministers will continue to cooperate with Israel.’

    More here:

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-egyptian-masses-won-t-play-ally-to-israel-1.340080

  45. Boyo — on 31st January, 2011 at 7:55 am  

    Wow, I thought this might be discussing Egypt etc but it’s all about douglas and earwicga! A conflict for our times!

    Personally, the most shocking thing I saw was the suggestion Douglas was cool.

    Joke! I do however think we would all do well to remember (and that means everyone – Sunny and others are not immune to telling people to fuck off) that although the relative anonymity of the comments section is liberating, we remain humans too, with feelings.

  46. Jai — on 31st January, 2011 at 12:12 pm  

    Douglas,

    I agree with the concerns raised by several commenters on this thread, especially Shamit and KJB.

    This type of extremely foul-mouthed abuse directed at random people is increasingly becoming a persistent pattern of behaviour on your part. Furthermore, it is particularly unacceptable when it involves explicitly sexist, thuggish vitriol directed at female members of this website’s writing & editorial team.

    My advice to you would be to take some time out from Pickled Politics and seriously reconsider your conduct along with your general approach to PP’s discussions, otherwise the other writers and I will have a formal conversation about permanently banning you from this website.

  47. damon — on 31st January, 2011 at 4:48 pm  

    I agree with Jai. I do remember being described as a BNP supporter by earwicga within days of her arrival though. She’s not so bad once you get to know her.
    Maybe that’s just the internet and people are much nicer in real life.

  48. joe90 — on 31st January, 2011 at 6:33 pm  

    douglas do you work for sky sports :)

    post #44

    I think its too late to go for hearts and minds on the part of the israeli regime, the way things are looking the rules of the game are changing by the minute.

  49. douglas clark — on 1st February, 2011 at 2:52 pm  

    Jai,

    Could you please look at the order of the posts? And at least consider why earwicga feels it necessary to be so confrontational?

    In other words it is a ‘he’ said ‘she’ said game, and it always has been with earwicga.

    A post of mine, pre @ 17, appears to have disappeared.

    Earwicga is perfectly capable of being superior:

    Constrictive criticism is fine douglas. Ad homs are a waste of everybody’s time.

    When have I argued otherwise.

    You can see the aggravation increase, if you care to look, me:

    Well, earwicga, delete this post. Prove that you have Sunny Hundal around your little finger, and show that Sunny can’t escape your idiocy.

    or earwicga @ 23:

    @ ever since you became Sunny Hundals favourite squeeze.

    It’s great when you and your depleting ilk show your sexism out in the open again. We laugh at you douglas clark.

    Me:

    I still have no indea what a ‘depleting ilk’ is, perhaps you could explain it to me?

    Firther comment?

    I have a lot of time for what Rumbold says, I have zero for you.

    Is that an unreasonable response Jai? Is that unfair? Perhaps it is.

    earwicga @ 30,

    @ douglas clark

    What exactly is a ‘depleting ilk’?

    Sexist drunken pigs. The type of cunt that no longer intimidates me.

    Well, Jai, that would be me that is a cunt would it not?

    Riffing on earwicga’s comment, I said this:

    earwicga,

    Sexist drunken pigs. The type of cunt that no longer intimidates me.

    Well, you are the sort of idiot that doesn’t intimidate me either.

    It is as well we understand each other, earwicga. For calling me a cunt is quite remarkable. If I were to reciprocate, well, you’d call me a cunt wouldn’t you?

    A bit of a catch 22, wouldn’t you say?

    You can call me a cunt and if I were to reply in equal terms, I’d be a bit of a cunt too?

    Well, yes, and I don’t use that language. But you do, you cunt.

    Fuck you. And all you try to argue for.

    It had certainly spiralled out of control by then, but I really don’t like being called a cunt. And I don’t think my reaction to it deserves all the calumny I have had.

    The rest of my comments are self explanatory, and certainly defensive. But I do not accept the general view that I am the one that escalated this arguement.

    And, I think anyone who has read this site for a while – like you Jai – ought to know I am a feminist, but earwicga is something else again, in my opinion.

    _________________________________

    KJB,

    Douglas,

    I appreciate that you are passionate in your beliefs, but your abuse of Earwicga is unacceptable.

    Picklers usually pride themselves on the fact that this site offers a broad consensus yet independent reflection among the writers and regulars.

    It is in this spirit that Sunny invited her aboard, and if you don’t like that, fine. Many people, including myself, have taken issue with certain stances of hers – that’s what makes it a debate. Or would you prefer the kind of ‘debate’ that comes from battling waves of trolls?

    She is not his ‘squeeze’ and you are being utterly sexist towards her. Implying that she’s got where she is through a relationship with the editor of this site:

    She is, in fact, someone he probably does squeeze. In the sense of care for.

    That’s sexism.

    Going on, utterly illogically, to imply that she should be defined by her apparent inability to attract Sunny, when you’ve just implied that that’s why she’s here:

    I think she’d be as lucky as fuck to pull Sunny as a breeding mate.

    That’s sexism.

    You are making yourself look like an unpleasant, moronic thug, accusing her of silencing you when your vitriol towards her is on display for all to see. If I were in her position, I would’ve edited such comments straight away and/or deleted you, frankly.

    No-one is asking you to ‘surrender your viewpoint.’ Get a grip; this is an internet site, not Tienanmen Square, and earwicga is one writer here, not the government. I usually have a lot of time for you, but humility is in short supply online, and right now you are in dire need of some.

    Who is abusing whom?

    I have tried to, fairly, to set out how this spat with earwicga happened as it occurred. (see above, and if you want humility – I at least am willing to admit error – you’ll not get that from earwicga who I doubt very much would extend me the same courtesy.)

    That is the difference KJB. She gets an idea into her head and takes it to extremes. Maybe I do to, but I am usually second to react and if someone goes nuclear with me, I think all bets are off.

    Just so’s you know, my arguement with earwicga has nothing to do with my reproductive organs or hers, it is to do with the fact that she assumes superiority when none is evident. If you care to look back on this site I have usually fallen out with testosterone infected men, not women.

  50. Arif — on 1st February, 2011 at 3:38 pm  

    If Mubarak leaves, which country will he go to? Saudi Arabia? Will the US take him in? France?

    By stringing this out and trying to hold on, he is really putting pressure on all the dictators in the middle east, at least those where populations can watch al-Jazeera. Watching the emotions of crowds facing their dictator and feeling part of it.

    How the Egyptian protestors have (so far) been able to take over security from the police, protect their cultural buildings, stop agents provacateurs and so on – all with a local media blackout. Pretty amazing, such a strong civil society.

    I hope Mubarak leaves very soon, though. How long before hunger spreads and things get ugly? That would be a cue for troops to enforce their own Tiannanman Square and imagine what a closed society Egypt would become then.

  51. Kismet Hardy — on 1st February, 2011 at 3:42 pm  

    earwig, douglas ain’t sexist. And I don’t know the posts that get cencorced, but they shouldn’t be. I like reading intelligent comments every bit as much as a knobhead one.

  52. damon — on 1st February, 2011 at 4:07 pm  

    It’s not right to be getting emotional feelings about this is it? I have to admit I do and am waiting on news programmes on TV and radio. I hope the people of Eqypt can deliver themselves a better future.
    Those horrible plain clothes policemen who were beating people in the street just a couple of days ago might have to be claiming asylum soon.

  53. Don — on 1st February, 2011 at 5:25 pm  

    I’m following closely myself and trying not to be too optimistic. The recent pronouncement by the army must surely be the best news possible. But even if this works out well it will be a long hard road. At least when it comes to functioning institutions Egypt has a lot of advantages compared to some other countries.

  54. Sarah AB — on 1st February, 2011 at 5:36 pm  

    I was listening to the radio this morning and hearing an interview with a poor shopkeeper who’d had his livelihood ruined by looters – it made me think that if I was an Egyptian I might timidly settle for the status quo – that’s *not* to say that I want Mubarak to stay on – I feel full of admiration for those who are taking on the regime.

  55. KB Player — on 1st February, 2011 at 6:29 pm  

    I remember being in Egypt years ago and seeing how poor the country is. A bloke got talking to us and asked us to meet him in a cafe. He was wanting to blow off steam about Mubarak with someone safe. Said he hated the fact you have to pretend to be happy.

    Hitchens has got a piece about the long humiliation of Egypt’s citizens by Mubarak.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2283168/

    I ardently wish that the Egyptians get shot of their dictator and end up with some more reasonable government but I’m old enough to remember ardently wishing that the Iranians would get shot of that torturing bastard of a Shah. They jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

  56. halima — on 1st February, 2011 at 10:02 pm  

    It is amazing how people are talking about a domino effect in the region. What next?

    Earwicga/Douglas, could it be that you both react too quickly? For what it’s worth, I don’t like picklers falling out and I haven’t found Douglas to be confrontational to women on this site in the past. Quite the opposite, I think he’s been quite vocal when others have been aggressive to female commentators. We’re all capable of slipping every now and then.

  57. joe90 — on 2nd February, 2011 at 12:40 am  

    post #55

    this is a historical event 30 years of waiting for the people of the region, well the arab world anyway.

    they should be left alone to decide if they want a communist, capitalist or islamic system without colonial interference. Somehow judging by history they will not be allowed to do that, the vultures are already making their plans to install new puppets.

  58. anon — on 2nd February, 2011 at 12:46 am  

    If Douglas is so wrong about Earwigcaca please explain why she[?] deletes legitimate criticism of Sunny Hundal?

    Sycophancy pure and simple.

    And you can’t get more sexist than ‘cunt’ or more offensive than comments about someones ‘drinking’ habits.

  59. Refresh — on 2nd February, 2011 at 12:08 pm  

    This is most depressing. Major global upheavals, potentially on a scale bigger than the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fraught with danger of the people being subverted yet again – and we end up arguing over personal insults and slights.

    The last time PP fell apart like this was during the debate on Operation Cast Lead.

  60. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd February, 2011 at 12:38 pm  

    Refresh speaketh the truth. PP should get fuelled by actions, not weighed down by words. We should all learn and be inspired by the sea of protestors suddenly finding their voice and putting that voice into action all over a world that very recently we’d written off as apathety-driven. Don’t let words get in the way of action. I get called a useless ignorant cock almost everyday and I still walk with my head held high and heart filled with hope.

  61. douglas clark — on 2nd February, 2011 at 10:38 pm  

    hailima,

    Perhaps you are right. On some other thread where earwicga and I disagreed – which appears to be our default position – I hadn’t even finished editing my post before I was attacked because the previous draft was ‘up’ and she wanted to criticize, and I wanted to alter it.

    If I remember correctly, I started disagreeing with her, unedited posts, and so it goes.

    Anyway, lets put this behind us.

    earwicga!

    Eh?

  62. Refresh — on 2nd February, 2011 at 11:14 pm  

    Can I ask, before peace breaks out, for the sake of civil debate – that we voluntarily avoid the use of swear words when there are far more effective words and phrases worth using. Another positive aspect is, these other words and phrases actually give the impression (albeit fleetingly) to any passerby that you might know what you are talking about.

    I even avoid calling anyone an idiot, but did enjoy using ‘natural born idiots’. That’s left me riven with guilt though, as now I think they may not have been idiots at all, just ignorant (and I don’t mean pejoratively of course).

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