Monday, January 31, 2011

Events in Egypt and possible domino effect, Georgia and Azerbaijan?

It is little wonder why Georgian media is not reporting these events. What a mess the US and its allies make with a double-standard in foreign policy.

Who will be next, after regional players: Georgia, Azerbaijan?

Israel has to be shitting itself too!

 Who taught the Shaw's secret police how best to effectively torture people why should anyone doubt as  why there was an Iranian revolution and the US is not appreciated in the region.

Who is paying for the Police State that now exists in Georgia?

What goes on in Egypt may have far-reaching ramifications, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and the conditions are ripening.

Since 1981 Mubarak has not appointed a VP - he did not want a rival for power and so no need to have a VP - also a VP would create a rival for the grooming of his son Gamal (he wants Gamal to be the next leader of Egypt). So this morning, the cabinet resigned.  And then Mubarak appoints a VP, Omar Soliman - Soliman was the country's head of intelligence and is a close confidante of Mubarak - Mubarak claims that Soliman once saved his life when he was in the Air Force.  In addition, Mubarak appointed Ahmad Shafiq, a former aviation minister, to be the Prime Minister and form a new government. 

Essentially Mubarak has just shuffled the current leadership - this is not the kind of reform that the protestors are demanding - they want a change of the system and a removal of the NDP (National Democratic Party - the ruling party of Egypt) - Mubarak has merely moved faces around and these actions do not reflect reform of any kind - in fact, it is more likely that he is trying to shore up what's left of his power - this, in my opinion, will only enrage the protestors further - and we've seen some clues of this thus far. Interesting to note is that the military has suggested they are in the streets to protect the protestors, while the police forces outside the interior ministry have shot at people, killing at least five today.

Stay tuned...

Earlier stages of breaking events

Here's my take at this point - and it's a bit disjointed since a lot of ideas are running through my head on this.  Events have turned quickly this afternoon and evening.  This is mirroring the events in Tunisia. It's my assessment that the Mubarak government is done.  Mubarak's speech made that more of a reality today.  Ben Ali in Tunisia only made things worse for his government by antagonizing the people with his speeches.  Mubarak has done the same.  Mubarak seems ready to remain as president, but that is probably not possible - even if he stays as president, his power will be severely crippled - he doesn't seem to get it and his speech asking the government to resign demonstrates that - the problem is not with the prime minister, or other ministers - the people have been directly aiming their anger at him.

His suggestion that he replace the government will not satisfy the protestors.  Ultimately, Mubarak is no longer able to govern.  Also, it appears that the military will not back Mubarak.  The military and security/police forces are different - the security/police forces continue to back him.  It's likely that the military will rule temporarily if Egypt is to have new elections. Most significant, violence is only increasing the persistence of the people.

So what of the opposition and the protesters? El Baradei has been under house arrest.  This only serves to make him a bigger player and a potential rallying point for the people.  However, this is truly a people's revolution - all of the traditional opposition groups/opponents have been late-comers to the protests.  The protests are about the corruption of the government and the economic situation, and not Islamism - the Muslim Brotherhood may not come out of this stronger - their role has been limited at best. 

On the US role here - The biggest problem here is the "what if" question - without Mubarak, what if we get another Iran? This is a concern for many in the policy-making circles.  The Obama administration has been restrained - this makes some sense - you don't want to hitch your horse to the wrong wagon.  If Mubarak ends up staying in power, you don't want to alienate him, for example, which would hurt American policy in the region.  The president's speech tonight did not directly support Mubarak, but also did not directly support the opposition. The president used his speech to "sing the praises" of democracy and freedom and did not really deal directly with the crisis.

Overall impact on the Middle East - there is a real potential for a "domino effect" here - Yemen is likely to be next and protests in Jordan are increasing. This has the potential of being like 1989 throughout Eastern Europe.  Wait and see...

I hope this makes some sense.   If you're interested, Al Jazeera has been streaming live video on Egypt and you can get it on line


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