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11:46 PM on 01/28/2011
This is all such BS! There are 83 MILLION people in Egypt..and only about 50,000 protesters! Why isn't the protest carried out in other Egyptian cities besides Cairo and Alexandria?
Jay Haney
My nuclear family imploded when I was 18. I've bee
01:00 AM on 01/29/2011
Give it time...if my guess is right, we've only seen the warm-up.
11:13 PM on 01/28/2011
The young protesters are the cannon fodder for the dictatorship-in-waiting. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see democracy around the corner.
08:35 AM on 01/29/2011
Human Man - well don't worry the majority in Egypt know more than you.
Expression is Everything.
10:10 PM on 01/28/2011
"They are about dismantling archaic forms of governance in which the ruler is considered to be beyond reproach and economic policies are determined by his self-preserving business elite allies."

I feel community across the world, democracy or otherwise are awakening to a heartfelt Truth that this has been the way of "business as usual" - whether it was the Bush, Blair or Howard (former Aust PM) community has been suffering in varying degrees, some under extreme oppression for sure, but this sickness has now surfaced and we have a collective "choice" to support a way to "heal" or to "harm" the way we move forward. Irrespective of race, religion, nationalism or culture, can we meet equally and grow community so we all are nourished, not mis-used for selective political and economic gain.
10:49 PM on 01/28/2011
Woould you clarify for me....?

Are you saying that this "business as usual" stuff is that these leaders you mention are responsible for proping up the Arab dictator's ?
08:37 AM on 01/29/2011
fishing man - Oh these new recruits.
Directed to concentrate on 'oh but the alternative will be extremism'.

All come along at the same time with the same message.
Expression is Everything.
02:12 PM on 01/29/2011
Yes. They have had their part in it. No government can do business with any dictatorship for two decades and turn a blind eye "here but not there", Selective denial is not an option.
Grandma with eye on the future
09:47 PM on 01/28/2011
It will be great if all these protests and changes don't lead to a situation such as we see in Iran, where the people there traded one tyrannical ruler for an even harsher and more oppressive religious tyrant.
11:47 PM on 01/28/2011
Bingo! The Muslim Brotherhood is waiting in the wings!
09:21 PM on 01/28/2011
I will ask frankly, and would love a frank answer: is the upheaval against their countries' governance or against American support of those governments, or both? What I'm getting at is whether they seek Democracy or whether they seek something more along the lines of what Iran has as a government?
09:49 PM on 01/28/2011
I don't think anyone will get to find out until the smoke has cleared. When people finally confront an oppressive government, they do so regardless of the differences they may have between them. But when the despot is toppled, the secondary reckonings come into play. The fall of the Russian Czars is a textbook example of what I'm talking about. Many Russian political groups wanted and worked for the fall of the Czarist regime, but afterwards they turned on each other, and we know how that came out. . .
Firas Al-Atraqchi
Journalist, assoc professor, musician; sci-fi geek
10:00 PM on 01/28/2011
I'll try and answer in the best way I can:

They want real change, real choices and real democratic progress. They are tired of having their vote stolen, tired of corruption favoring the power elite.

They want jobs and decent wages.

They are not interested in a change of government – as Mubarak promised on January 28 - and they will not be dissuaded by repeated promises of economic reform and prosperity. They believe that Egypt’s current socio-economic malaise is rooted in the political system itself, a system which has not evolved since the first revolution overthrew the King of Egypt in 1952.

Young Egyptians that say that despite the number of teargas canisters fired at protesters and the number of those who have been beaten and detained, they feel emboldened by the positive changes in Tunisia and believe they share common cause and aspiration.

In an unprecedented show of civil disobedience and open revolt, young Egyptians have clearly and forcibly delivered a message that is still resonating in the Middle East and North Africa: Authoritarian rule in the region is over. And they hope the US will stop supporting Mubarak.
10:55 PM on 01/28/2011
When there were no weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq the Bush administrations back up excuse was that having a voting democracy in the heart of the Middle East would inspire other Middle Eastern people to want to vote also. I guess they knew what they were talking about.

Who knew it would come so soon ?
Richard in CO
12:29 AM on 01/29/2011
That is the way I have been viewing this. Glad to hear it from you. These people of Egypt are not doing this without good reason, and I agree that they should INSIST that all members of the current Government must step down, or be removed, so they can create an honest, elected Government who administers - NOT RULES - the country, with its citizens' best interests kept in mind. Grassroots action is the most legitimate way, and probably the most successful way, to achieve Regime Change. Success, and Peace be with them all.
Once snowmobiled over open water
09:05 PM on 01/28/2011
Despite a scarce appetite for violent revolution in Canada (because no one is near hungry enough) a little civil unrest, Egyption style, could work nicely.

It's a beautiful thing to see - an awakening. The lamb now the lion, however brief, serving it's purpose.
08:40 PM on 01/28/2011
Does anyone remember that after it was clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq what the Bush administration used as their backup excuse for invading Iraq ?

it was that by installing a Democracy in Iraq that it would inspire all the people in the Middle East that they too should be allowed to vote ?

I guess they knew what they were talking about after all. Who even guessed that it would come so soon though ?

I hope all the people in the Middle East learn how to " walk like an Egyptian ".
09:00 PM on 01/28/2011
Maybe they knew what they were talking about, and maybe not. Establishing a democracy or quasi-democracy doesn't automatically make a nation pro-West. When the Palestinians engaged in a democratic exercise, Hamas came out the winner, and the U.S. choked on the results -- not what we were expecting, so it doesn't count as "real democracy".

Now Lebanon, which has a democratic mechanism in place, appears to be heading into the hands of the Islamist extremists, and once again it is not a good result for us.

Why would you expect Egypt or Tunisia to turn out differently? Sometimes it is more comfortable to continue dealing with the devil you know, rather than the devil you don't know. . .

We may wind up buying our oil second-hand, from the Chinese. . .
09:17 PM on 01/28/2011
You're right. Nothing in life is for sure.

I didn't say that everything is rosey.

I just said it's colorful.

I have personal reason to believe that Egyptians, for the most part, are a lot more pro US than we are told here. They, and other mid east countrys, poor are paid to jump up and down and scream " death to Amerrika". I know someone who says his friends and he took off their Reeboks a few times to make hash money in their high school days.
Richard in CO
08:06 PM on 01/28/2011
I am greatly heartened to see the people of these Arab/African countries taking the Bull By It's Horns, and taking over their countries. THE PEOPLE KNOW who their enemies are, always.

I pray that the U.S. keeps its hands off the process. This is going to be a BIG THING, moving from country to country, spreading like wildfire, and it will not be easy - it will not GO easy - on the people in the streets. Their UNELECTED leaders have a strong propensity for using brute force against any opposition to their power, a-la' Tiananmen Square (China).

The U.S. should stay SILENT, as all the tyrants formerly backed by the U.S. are thrown out of power, and the U.S. should limit itself ONLY to offering FREE FOOD AID, in a Humanitarian spirit. The U.S. CAN come out of this as some kind of Good Guy, so long as they do not back the LOSERS being overthrown as we speak. I wonder what happened in Iran....that story was pretty effectively squashed by censorship of the Media....but this time, the grassroots movement is too big, and spreading too past. I wish the people of all those countries good fortune in their efforts. I am sure their cause is Just.
07:20 AM on 01/29/2011
I wish Obama would read and heed your post, instead I fear he is tip-toeing thru the tulips 'round the oval office floor. If he does not completely back this Egyptian revolution, then in a 'Jimmy Carter' minute he will create another Iran. We waited too long to denounce the Shaw.
08:02 PM on 01/28/2011
His home town is in Alexandria ( where the Islamist just shot up a church ) and he hasn't been able to contact his Mother or Father for several days.He also tells me that none of the upper class are for the Islamist and that only a few of the poorest uneducated are pro Islamist. He says that it would be extremely hard for them to take power since they are the vast minority
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08:27 AM on 01/29/2011
I have been to Egypt and although I think the Islamic fanatics are a minority among the people, they are not anywhere near as small as you think. They are larger by way of comparison than Tea Party Republicans in this country. It is not much different in world outlook than religious fundamentalists everywhere. A lot of people like the idea of something better in the hereafter and unfortunately political leaders use that hope to control them. But the real problem in Egypt is that Muslim fundamentalists are better organized than anyone else. They are certainly entitled to a major role in the government if Mubarak goes and of course would receive it. But their support is no different in terms of size from the group that kicked the Shah out of Iran and it will be a lot of work to make sure that something similar doesn't happen in Egypt. For those not familiar with it, the embassy takeover in Iran was planned as a distraction so that Islamic Fundamentalists who were technically in charge of a coalition government (they weren't even a majority of the cabinet) could arrest their key political opponents while everyone focused on what was happening to the Americans. It is a dangerous time.
08:02 PM on 01/28/2011
Anyway, he says that this is long overdue and that it is probably for the best. He also tellsme that the upper half of their society have a flag that is being shown around that has both a Christian cross and a Muslim cresent on it. They have a decent standard of living and don't intend to let the Islamist screw it up. They also are willing and eager to allow the lower half of society to earn more. Many of them have been educated abroad and understand that this is both necessary and beneficial for all.Before all this began he was telling me that one of his childhood friends was the son of one of the government ministers. He said, " Craig it isn't like it is here. Over there if you have a government ministry you actually own a part of the government". His friends dad gets about 10% of his ministry's budget as his own to steal and keep in return for supporting the government. this is the usual and historic way of doing business and necessary to keep the Islamist shut down. He also says that during the Cold War the Soviets were constantly trying to recruit upper level people to come to their side but they couldn't pay enough to get influencial people to change sides. It was simply a matter of money, not idealism. The Soviets were not able to outbid the US.

08:01 PM on 01/28/2011
I would like to add some info on the subject matter here.

My regular fishing buddy is an Egyptian national whose family lives in Alexandria and I have been in constant contact with him since the Tunasia uprising.

He tells me that Egyptian society is sharply divided between those who have education and therefore the money that allows a standard of living comprable to the lower middle class in the US, and those with no education who live on the equivelent of about $2 a day. Education is open to all but the individual is required to perform, not just show up. College is free for those who pass a standard. If you don't make those grades then you are directed to vocational school. There are exceptions to this but that is the norm. Unless you are an Islamist ( Muslim Brotherhood ) and then you are severly put down. They, just like the US and all other countries, have an eliteist class ( of which he says his family is). He went to college in Switzerland so it's probably the truth.
give me liberty or give me death
07:57 PM on 01/28/2011
here is an excellent insight from Robert Fisk, celebrated British journalist, NOW on the streets of Cairo:
07:29 PM on 01/28/2011
We need a lasting peace in the Middle East.
We need a great American leader, a great Arab leader, and a great Jewish leader (Israeli) to bring a lasting peace to the British Mandate of Palestine
The Palestinians and the Israelis and the Jordanians will lose.
Palestinians lose their claim to have as their country the whole of the mandated area of Palestine, but they do finally get a country of their own.
Israelis lose full control of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (it will be jointly controlled by Israel and Palestine) but attain what they want most of all: a Jewish state living in peace with its neighbors.
Jordanians nominally lose the country in which they are already a minority, but they would become citizens of a stronger, more stable country.
neutrino alert, just passing through
07:09 PM on 01/28/2011
Good article, but please: the "sick man of Europe" was the Ottoman Empire, not Turkey--which didn't exist at the time. This is an important distinction because the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire led to the creation of artificial states such as Turkey and Iraq being mapped out without regard for tribal rivalries which led to genocides against Armenians and Kurds, and continued strife today. It's time to evolve beyond tribalism, but the pain of the past lingers for those affected. The lack of sovereignty rankles, and that is something that world leaders need to learn.
06:46 PM on 01/28/2011
America needs to be sure that we stand on the right side of events here...
06:50 PM on 01/28/2011
That would be quite a change from all the US's prior involvement in other countries affairs