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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 10:13 PM
Original message
Egypt's ElBaradei turns up heat on ruling generals
Source: Reuters

Presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei has offered to lead a government of national unity, raising the pressure on Egypt's ruling generals amid protests demanding an immediate end to army rule.

Activists are calling on citizens to converge again in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday, a day before the start of a parliamentary election overshadowed by political turmoil and the threat of violence.

(snip)
Some protest groups want ElBaradei to head a civilian body that would replace the ruling military council in supervising Egypt's transition to democracy.

(snip)
His campaign team said late on Saturday he was prepared to drop his bid to be head of state if he is asked to lead a transition government.



Read more: http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/11/27/idINIndia-6074...
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. He's about the only credible individual with a sufficiently notable international profile at this
stage of the game.

Something needs to happen or this will end very badly indeed.
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Little Tich Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes, democracy seems to be slipping out of reach of the Egyptian people.
I hope ElBaradei can solve this mess. Obviously the military wants to stay in power, and can probably do so if they choose to. The people of Egypt suspect that SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) is up to no good, and that it will mess with the elections. The military cannot be trusted to do the right thing, especially if the elections seem to go against them.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. The military is backed by the US and other Western powers.
The Egyptian people know this. Mubarak was also backed by the US for decades and right up until it was clear the people would not go home until he stepped down. Then he became 'inconvenient' to his former friends so they advised him go, KNOWING they were going to hi-jack the revolution by backing the Military Generals staying in power as long as possible, or until they had time to install another puppet.

But after decades of this kind of interference, the Egyptian people know what is going on and are willing to die to stop it. Over 40 people, maybe more, have died so far these past two weeks. Over 800 died in the initial revolution. That is too much sacrifice to have the West once again, back more brutal dictatorship in their country.

There has been no statement from the US condemning the violence against the people this time.

When Gates flew to Egypt after the fall of Mubarak, people were very concerned, knowing the close ties of the Military Gens there with the US. And when Hillary Clinton visited the country later, some of the young Revolutionaries asked her for an apology for the US backing of the brutal regime that had kept them so oppressed for so long. She did not deliver that apology.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Mubarak was Anwar Sadat's Number Two. They were pals in the Air Force together.
They were both wild men in their youth, and hard partiers.

They both came up under NASSER, Mister "Non-Aligned" who took money from everyone, and most notably the USSR.

The history of the military running the show in Egypt predates US involvement (not for lack of trying to earn influence there, but still). We started paying Sadat the really big bucks to make peace with Israel, at a time when the USSR was starting to have money troubles.

Let's not overstate motives, here.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. That was then. The Egyptians who are on the streets right now
are who matter, as they are the ones dying and it is they who state that the Military generals are backed by the US and NATO. With them in power, not much changes from the past. I'm sure they know the history of their country also.

However, the US has asked the Military Generals to hand over power to a civilian government, which is good news. Hopefully this happen soon before anymore people die.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Well, woosh right by....my point was this--the military has not, down the years,
had too much trouble forging alliances with foreign powers.

If NATO goes, China could soon come. Or Russia.

There won't be a vacuum.

And, like it or not, the military is a power to be reckoned with. The best they can hope for is an Attaturk-ish model. Anyone who thinks the military is going to completely suborn itself to a civilian leadership isn't thinking this through. There's too much power vested in the military. There has been for six or more decades. Everyone with clout is wired into that end of things.

It isn't going to be easy. It's probably going to take longer than people think.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Yes, I got your point. And I agree with it mostly.
Having followed the protesters since the beginning, I can say that the most prominent of them knew that getting rid of Mubarak was only the beginning of the beginning. They were very concerned about allowing the Military to take even temporary control of the government, but there was no time to hold elections at that time so they went home and hoped for the best, although not with great hope.

Their fears were realized as more and more the country fell back into the same routine, protesters being jailed and the 'emergency laws', a very big issue for them, were basically reinstated. The tipping point was the attacks on the Coptic Christians when the people discovered it was the police backed by the army, who were responsible in an attempt to divide the population.

And the fear that the elections would either not take place, or would be manipulated. I don't think the protesters ever thought that it would be easy and/or fast. But with each step forward, they make progress, so long as there is no outside influence as there always has been in the past.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. They will have enough difficulty with internal influence, I suspect.
I think El Baradei is probably the best available compromise, but the challenge is getting the military to go along with him.

To this end, maybe a little of that discomfiting external influence could persuade the military to see their way clear to some sort of compromise in the short term. Otherwise, it could well be a bloodbath and a return to dictatorship.

I don't think moral imperative is going to rule the day, here. At least not immediately.

There's too much on the table, and too much, from the military's POV, to lose. They were hoping for a "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" faux election, but they're not going to get that.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I agree with you. It will take time to ease away from the old
regime without a bloodbath. I think the people understand that, and realize they have to remain engaged in the process now that they have had at least some success.

I hope they succeed in having a truely free country as they have sacrificed a lot already for it.

El Baradei is known internationally and respected, so for now, he is probably their best bet, at least during this transition period.
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. In other news, Egyptian generals laugh at El Baradei, say, What are you going to do about it.
Also over heard was the generals saying, thanks suckers.


On a serious note. I will put it out there now that the military will crush the new "democracy" in Egypt and the West will give only half hearted condemnation. Why? Because they would rather have another military junta then the Muslim Brotherhood take over. Israel will approve of this also.

Go ahead and talk shit to me now. So far I have been more right on this then not.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-11 06:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Or, they'll find someone who smells good at first blush, but who is in the
pockets of the military--a front man, if you will. Someone who can be touted as a compromise candidate, but who knows what side his bread is buttered on.
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