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WHAT CURFEW? January 30, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Middle East.
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The crowds got larger, the army was present, the police nowhere to be seen, and the curfew was ignored. The Egyptian dictatorship is over.

Mubarak has appointed the spy chief Omar Suleiman as the Vice President. The bubble heads on Al Jazeera are agog over this non-development. This the first appointment of a VP since 1981.

The critical factor has been the behavior of the army. They have not attempted to enforce the curfew. That does not mean that violence has been forestalled.

The dictatorship of Mubarak is over. The unanswered question is what interim arrangements will be made to fully implement democratic government in the country. The protest movement will not be satisfied, and cannot be secure from the reapplication of tyranny, by winning the streets and public squares by their presence and numbers, and not securing political and economic change.

ELSEWHERE:

The LA Times Breaking News records:

The Associated Press is reporting that police have opened fire on a massive crowd of protesters in downtown Cairo, killing at least one demonstrator. Thousands of protesters are trying to storm the Interior Ministry located in the heart of the city. It was not immediately clear whether the riot police were shooting live ammunition or rubber bullets.

The upheaval in Egypt is not over yet, but when it is over and things have settled, I expect the Empire to be over. Who knew that Egypt was the lynch pin? If true, this is good news for Americans because it may mean the Bill of Rights can be restored, and for human rights generally.

Not everybody sees things in my jaundiced way. There is a proper discourse, via Real News and Mara Ahmed on Facebook:

Juan Cole comments on the significance of the low profile of the police. I suspect it is too late for divide and conquer to work, and that the political networks operating on the ground level cannot be easily manipulated.

Interesting interview with David Swanson and a direct report from Cairo.

Chris Floyd has some expectations:

It seems painfully obvious that the Continuer-in-Chief and the imperial militarists along the Potomac are seeking desperately to keep this golden applecart on the road. Installing a longtime chief of intelligence like Suleiman fits the bill nicely. Mubarak had better start packing his bags. For as always, whenever the American Power Structuralists find that a foreign puppet no longer serves their purposes, they are quick to toss him aside. No doubt we will soon see a steady leakage of stories from “senior White House aides,” “unnamed intelligence officials in a position to know” and “Pentagon insiders who asked to remain anonymous” telling us how terrible Mubarak has been all along. This will be done either to undermine the puppet if he tries to cling to office, or else as the usual erasure of the historical record, if Hosni has already hopped a Lear Jet to new digs beyond the Nile.

The Empire is not done yet, but it has been seriously challenged and in the process shown for what it is.

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