‘No one can predict with confidence what might develop after Mubarak—if, in fact, his regime falls…For decades, Mubarak was able to resist American pressure to reform by insisting that he alone was the bulwark against a theocratic, anti-Western, anti-Israeli regime…The new Vice-President, Omar Suleiman, is no democrat, and no less cunning than his patron…In diplomacy, the tension between moral and strategic considerations is always acute and often shaming—rarely more so than in the American relationship with Egypt.’
Chomsky: ‘Washington and its allies keep to the well-established principle that democracy is acceptable only insofar as it conforms to strategic and economic objectives: fine in enemy territory (up to a point), but not in our backyard, please, unless it is properly tamed…The current hope appears to be Mubarak loyalist Gen. Omar Suleiman, just named Egypt’s vice president…the longtime head of the intelligence services…despised by the rebelling public almost as much as the dictator himself.’
‘Suleiman is a well-known quantity in Washington. Suave, sophisticated, and fluent in English, he has served for years as the main conduit between the United States and Mubarak. While he has a reputation for loyalty and effectiveness, he also carries some controversial baggage from the standpoint of those looking for a clean slate on human rights. As I described in my book “The Dark Side,” since 1993 Suleiman has headed the feared Egyptian general intelligence service. In that capacity, he was the C.I.A.’s point man in Egypt for renditions—the covert program in which the C.I.A. snatched terror suspects from around the world and returned them to Egypt and elsewhere for interrogation, often under brutal circumstances.’
‘He told me that he is troubled by the violence we have seen in Tahrir Square over the last few days but that his government is not responsible for it. Instead, he blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political party here in Egypt…He told me, “I was very unhappy about yesterday. I do not want to see Egyptians fighting each other.”‘
‘Now that the street has risen in do-or-die revolt against a hated regime that has unashamedly served the U.S. and Israeli interests in the region for three decades, Washington finds itself facing great uncertainty and forebodings of what might happen in the wider region beyond Egypt.’
NYT: ‘White House, Egypt Discuss Plan for Mubarak’s Exit’ by Helene Cooper and Mark Landler:
Guardian: • Mubarak: ‘If I resign today there will be chaos’ • 10 dead and hundreds injured in fresh crackdown • Protesters have dubbed today ‘departure Friday’
Al Jazeera: Protests continue in Cairo; uneasy calm prevails in Egyptian capital’s Tahrir Square as US purportedly considers proposal for Mubarak to go quickly.
‘When you put it all into one list [of all the journalists who have been in some way threatened, attacked or detained while reporting in Egypt], it is a rather large number in such a short period of time.’
Way back in 1977 the students of MC Raja Hostel (a government run hostel for Adi Dravidar (SC) students) in Saidapet (Chennai) came out to block the arterial road, Anna Salai, that passes in front of their hostel, in protest against their living conditions. Some of us who post here, were very much involved in the subsequent wave of protests and agitations by the students of such government run hostels in Chennai. 33 years later, little it seems has changed in India shining.
After Tunisia: Arab writers reflect | Books | guardian.co.uk.
Dated by a few days in a fast-moving scenario but still interesting.