Saturday, January 29, 2011

CNN: Cairo police arsenals raided, looted by thugs

Widely CNN-on-the-scene (Ben Wedeman) cited quote in recent hours, re Cairo, Egypt:
Washington Post, citing CNN:
There have been a number of accounts indicating that there is almost no police or military presence on the street; keeping order has apparently fallen to ordinary citizens. CNN reporter Ben Wedeman wrote on Twitter, "Almost all police stations ransacked, arsenals looted. Suddenly weapons in the streets wielded by thugs. Where is the army?"
Al Jazeera reports:
"Ayman Mohyeldin reports that eyewitnesses have said "party thugs" associated with the Egyptian regime's Central Security Services -- in plainclothes but bearing government-issued weapons -- have been looting in Cairo. Ayman says the reports started off as isolated accounts but are now growing in number."
Wael Abbas, an Egyptian journalist and online activist, said on Twitter that reports of looting are exaggerated by state-run media to convince protesters to go home.

Sifting through the Obama administration's posture towards Mubarak, the revolution

Critics in Egypt and in the United States have criticized the Barack Obama administration for holding back in criticized Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt. While Obama was critical of Mubarak, they faulted Obama for positing a moral equivalence between the official forces of the Egyptian state and the protesters. After all, the former has tortured in the past. And the former is the entity that has committed the killings in the current unrest in Egypt. (Admittedly, protesters have injured police forces in the battles of the last few days, in addition to the of course far more numerous assaults by the police against peaceful protesters. Then again, we should note that the lion's share of the injuries in the hospitals are civilian victims of the police.)

the Huffington Post, cited Marc Lynch in Foreign Policy argued,
What they do need, if they think about it, is for Obama to help broker an endgame from the top down --- to impose restraints on the Egyptian military's use of violence to repress protests, to force it to get the internet and mobile phones back online, to convince the military and others within the regime's inner circle to ease Mubarak out of power, and to try to ensure that whatever replaces Mubarak commits to a rapid and smooth transition to civilian, democratic rule. And that's what the administration is doing.
The administration's public statements and private actions have to be understood as not only offering moral and rhetorical support to the protestors, or as throwing bones to the Washington echo chamber, but as working pragmatically to deliver a positive ending to a still extremely tense and fluid situation.

It is no surprise that Obama is being tentative, playing both sides. He is a state leader, we can't forget, gauging his relationship another state leader, yet demonstrating his interest in qualitative change by Mubarak.

Obama cut Egypt democracy funds, compared to Bush

I blogged earlier that the U.S. began destabilization or regime change efforts for Egypt in 2008. I cited Telegraph of UK reports for that post.

Today come reports that the Barack Obama administration cut back from more generous George W. Bush funding efforts for building democracy in Egypt,
see Marcus Baram in the Huffington Post today,
"Obama Administration Cut Funding To Promote Democracy In Egypt, Disappointing Human Rights Activists".

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 will be the Muslim world's 1968

1968 was the year of rebellion in the industrialized nations.

2011, apparently, is becoming the year of rebellion, if not revolution, in the Muslim world.

We have seen it, this month, already in:
Tunisia, Jordan
and this week in Egypt, then Yemen,
and Al Arabiya English reports, in Albania and in Turkey.

US backed Egyptian regime change -Wikileaks

The United States, since 2008, before Barack Obama's presidency, just to remind you, backed individuals mobilizing for a regime change in Egypt, prior to its September, 2011 presidential election:

The Telegraph of the U.K. reported, "Egypt protests: America's secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising: The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned."

And here is the U.S. cable, leaked by Wikileaks, reported, the same day, by The Telegraph.

This likely embarrasses the Obama administration, especially as it balances its inherent commitment to the Hosni Mubarak regime with its support for authentic democratic and economic reform. (The protesters want the entire Mubarak enterprise, his son, Gamal, included, gone.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Glenn Beck assails Prof. Frances Fox Piven, fans issue death threats

Glenn Beck's new obsession has been City University of New York (CUNY) Professor Frances Fox Piven. (Piven has been best known for her 1970s book co-authored with her late husband, Richard Cloward, Poor People's Movements (Pantheon).)

Beck of the Fox News Network has been making hay out of a 1966 Piven and Cloward magazine article that called for straining the welfare system with applications. Beck said that this strategy was akin to "economic sabotage."
Click to today's "New York Times" article, "Spotlight From Glenn Beck Brings a CUNY Professor Threats."

In the wake of Beck's on-air campaign against Piven, and comments-posters' death threat language on website discussion pages, the professor has received e-mail death threats, the Times has reported.

In the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (Dem.-Arizona), who was targeted with a crosshairs map by Sarah Palin, Beck is utterly irresponsible and without conscience.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' blood is on Palin, Angle's hands

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (Arizona-Democrat) was shot in the head today at a public event in Tucson, Arizona. We must be frankly honest: right wing politicians have blood on their hands in the shooting. The shooting suspect, Jared Lee Loughner had posted statements on the Internet that echoed the vitriolic statements of Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and the FOX Network.
Former Governor Sarah Palin (Alaska-Republican) issued a target list map of politicians for Tea Party partisans to defeat. The logo on the map for the cities in which the politicians dwell is sinister: it is the cross on circle symbol that is on the scope (view-finder) of rifles, As Anchorage Daily News reported, March 10, 2010. Note the threatening rhetoric that accompanies the target scope, "20 House Democrats from districts we carried in 2008 voted for the health care bill ... IT'S TIME TO TAKE A STAND."

Sharron Angle said that if events did not go the way of the Tea Party advocates people should resort to "Second Amendment remedies." As the Second Amendment deals with rights of gun ownership, Angle's statement should be read as a thinly veiled advocacy of gun violence for those frustrated with the direction of politics as practiced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ("the Harry Reid problems").
See the Huffington Post September 8, 2010, article, "Sharron Angle Addresses 'Second Amendment Remedies': Revolution Is 'Possible'."
When reporters asked for clarification of Angle's remarks, she did not use the question as an opportunity to back-pedal away from the statement. Instead, she further expressed her perspective that the current American government is seriously malevolent:
ANGLE: In context, we were talking about the policies of the government that have really caused problems for us in the past 18 months. We have seen policies come down that have really become the enemy of the people.

If you're having doubts about the statement, here is the original quote from conservative talk show host, Bill Manders, as reported at "Huffington Post, June 16, 2010:"
Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who's in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical...

Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.

Angle: Well it's to defend ourselves. And you know, I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.
Huffington Post added: "Manders cut to break after the statement. So there was no expansion on Angle's proclamation. Prior to that sound bite, however, Angle hinted that she was likely carrying a concealed .44 magnum model 29 during the interview."

Democrats and human Republicans need to be honest:
6 dead, 12 wounded: THIS IS POLITICAL TERRORISM.