(Always wanted to use that post title.)
Here's the latest:
Barry Rubin clears up a couple of points. 'Any mass movement in Egypt will be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood.' Go to the post, where Barry elaborates - a little - on that all-important one sentence.
Neocon Express: All hell breaking loose. 'Risk that the largest country in the Arab world will fall to Islamists. The ramifications are BEYOND DISTURBING... Thirty-years of Israeli-Egyptian peace at stake, the Suez Canal, flow of oil, general stability ...'. Follow the link to coverage on Al-Jazeera.
The Cairo-born former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday returned to the country, despite death threats, to be with "his people."
"There was an edict against me a couple of weeks ago basically saying that my life should be dispensable because I am defying the rulers," ElBaradei told CNN on Tuesday.
Sandmonkey: mobinil shut down. Follow Sandmonkey on Twitter. Also note his post from yesterday that 'today's protest is NOT about Muslim Brotherhood & shouldn't be portrayed as such.'
CNN: MB leader arrested. 'Egyptian authorities arrested a prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader in Friday pre-dawn hours, detaining the party's main speaker, Issam al-Aryan, according to his son-in-law.'
While the world has seen net filtering and disruption in places like Burma and Iran following social and political unrests, Egypt’s decision to shutter the new is different, according to Craig Labovitz, the chief scientist at Arbor Networks, a computer security firm that has nearly unequaled real data on international internet traffic.
“What’s different with Egypt is the scale,” Labovitz told Wired.com. “By that I mean that Egypt has fairly significant internet infrastructure with a diversity of paths — satellite, microwave and fiber links — a number of large providers and hundreds of smaller providers. It is one of the more significant internet infrastructures in the Middle East and certainly within Africa. Egypt has a very well-developed economy with a significant reliance on the internet, this is very different from Burma.”
Go to the link for the rest.
... More to the point, it is an unfortunate fact of modern Egyptian history that its people are often susceptible to ideological politics. For instance, Nasser led the country to disaster and yet compared to Sadat the peacemaker or Mubarak the stolid pharaoh who has kept the country stable, if static, it is Nasser who owns the affections of the Egyptian masses. That is to say, we don’t know exactly what the protestors want. There are those who hate the regime because it jails and tortures bloggers and those who hate it because it won’t make war on Israel. No doubt some of the young are just fed up they have never known another Egyptian ruler in their lifetimes. Some of the youth are democrats and others are decidedly not.
It is not always a good thing when people go to the streets; indeed the history of revolutionary action shows that people go to the streets to shed blood more often than they do to demand democratic reforms. ...
For the vast majority of Egyptians, the United States is inextricably linked to the hated regime. Nothing the White House or Foggy Bottom does can change that in a few days, weeks or months. Also, the ability of the U.S. to influence events is limited. It does appear that Secretary of State Clinton’s call for the Egyptian government to not respond with violence did send a message to Egypt’s generals that the U.S. would not support a violent crackdown. (A not dissimilar message was sent to Iran’s generals as the Shah’s regime was falling.)
Second, it has been observed many times that the protests are secular and the Muslim Brotherhood is not the driver. This is probably true. But there are no institutional mechanisms for a power transfer. If the regime falls, there is no opposition in the wings to take power. ...
John Bolton at Fox. 'I don't think we have evidence yet that these demonstrations are necessarily about democracy. You know the old saying, "one person, one vote, one time." The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't care about democracy, if they get into power you're not going to have free and fair elections either. ...' Bolton, never one to mince words, calls the State Department's statements "mush". Full article at the link.
Watching the pictures from Tunisia and Egypt, it looks the crowd sizes in Iran were much larger. None of the protests in Egypt or Tunisia came any where near the three million crowd who came to the streets in Tehran, six days after the fraudulent elections in June last year. The repression by the regime in Iran was many times more brutal and savage than that in Tunisia or Egypt however. People in Egypt and Tunisia were not attacked in their homes and pulled from their roof tops for simply chanting Allah Akbar at night. The injured protesters in Tunisia and Egypt were not attacked in hospitals and dragged from their hospital beds. Protesters were not arrested and bused into detention centres like Kahrizak and raped in Tunisia and Egypt like they were in Iran. ...
When Iranian protesters used social networking tools like Facebook and twitter and citizen journalists uploaded their mobile phone pictures and videos, the Iranian protesters were quickly labeled by rich Western Left-wing intellectuals as "affluent North Tehran kids" who did not represent the country.
Lots more at the link.