White House Pushing Bogus Meme about Egyptian “Transition”

Barack Obama and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt

Today multiple news sources are suddenly reporting practically word for word a new meme on the Egyptian “transition” that is obviously coming from the Obama administration. And the message has been coordinated with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman. Mubarak is being gradually edged out, and the U.S. needs to make sure they stay in control of the situation. Obama must make sure to prevent real democracy from taking hold in Egypt.

So the new meme is that Mubarak will be kept around as a powerless figurehead, but first he needs to make some changes in the constitutional rules of succession so that Suleiman can legally be in charge of the “transition” government. Why Suleiman? Supposedly because the guy who is supposed to succeed Mubarak, Ahmad Fathi Sorour, is “much worse” than even Suleiman the torturer. Yet there is never any credible explanation for why Solour is so terrible that it’s better to have a torturer in control of the lead-up to US-controlled “free and fair” elections

From the Village organ: What Mubarak must do before he resigns.

If today Mubarak were no longer available to fulfill his role as president, the interim president would be one of two candidates. If he chooses to leave the country, say for “medical reasons,” the interim president would be Omar Suleiman, the former intelligence chief who was recently made vice president. Egyptians, particularly those of us calling for an end to Mubarak’s three-decade rule, see Suleiman as Mubarak II, especially after the lengthy interview he gave to state television Feb. 3 in which he accused the demonstrators in Tahrir Square of implementing foreign agendas. He did not even bother to veil his threats of retaliation against protesters.

On the other hand, if Mubarak is pushed to resign immediately we would have an even worse interim president: Fathi Surur, who has been speaker of the People’s Assembly since 1990.

Ahmad Fathi Sorour

And he would be worse because?

Surur has long employed his legal expertise to maintain and add to the arsenal of abusive laws that Mubarak’s regime has used against the Egyptian people. Since neither Suleiman nor Surur would be able to amend the constitution during the interim tenure, the next presidential election would be conducted under the notoriously restrictive election rules Mubarak introduced in 2007. That would effectively guarantee that no credible candidate would be able to run against the interim president.

So before Mubarak resigns he must sign a presidential decree delegating all of his authorities to his vice president until their current terms end in September.

But Suleiman “has long employed his [military and intelligence] expertise” to cooperate with U.S. rendition and torture policies. Why is he better? Why should anyone believe that Suleiman will push for real democracy? Give me a break! The U.S. wants Suleiman in charge because he is their guy.

You can see other examples of this meme being parroted (right down to getting Sorour’s name wrong) here, here, and here.

And get this, Sorour’s Facebook page has even edited to say that Suleiman is next in line for succession before there has been any official action to change the Contitutional rules!

Ahmad Fathi Sorour (born 9 July 1932) is an Egyptian politician who has been the speaker of the People’s Assembly since 1991. Until January 29, 2011, when Hosni Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman as Vice President, he was the first in the order of succession to become President of Egypt if Mubarak died or became incapacitated.

I guess Sorour would rather give up power over what happens to the Egyptian government than be thrown into prison and tortured by Suleiman’s goons.

Today, Sorour quickly adjourned the Egyptian Parliament:

In less than twenty minutes, Parliament decided to adjourn its sessions until further notice.

Parliamentary speaker Fathi Sorour indicated that in compliance with article 259 of Parliament’s internal regulations, its sessions will be adjourned until the Court of Cassation makes a final decision on the legality of the membership of its deputies. In the words of Sorour, “the Assembly (Parliament) is keen to observe the rule of law and recover confidence in its deputies.”

And Sorour lauded the anti-Mubarak protestors, while claiming that Mubarak will remain president.

Sorour highly praised what he called the revolution of Egypt’s youth on 25 January, regretting that this revolution was soon exploited by “those who tried to spread chaos, resort to violence, destabilize the nation’s security, and usurp legitimate power.”

Sorour also heaped praise on President Hosni Mubarak’s two speeches on 28 January and 5 February, emphasizing that “Mubarak is Egypt’s legitimally elected president until next September.”

Of course it would be hypocritical to laugh cynically at this, since our Supreme Court installed George W. Bush as President instead of allowing the votes in Florida to be counted.

At the Peacefare blog there’s a little more probing analysis of the latest White House meme. The article discusses two “forks in the road.”

■stick with the constitution, which despite its faults offers a clearly marked path that leads we know not where;
■abandon the constitution and try to hack a new path through the regime’s many brambles towards democracy.

The Americans, who have a good deal of clout in the matter, seem to be opting for the former, because they know and like Omar Suleiman and hope he will maintain stability but lead eventually in the right direction, which of course for them means not only democracy but also protection of their interest in seeing the Israel/Egypt peace treaty maintained. At least some of the opposition political parties also seem inclined to stick with the constitution, but others might prefer the extra-constitutional route.


Whether Mubarak resigns or not is becoming less relevant to the outcome, as his power is waning. It seems to me that replacement of the current government with one that includes many people clearly and unequivocally devoted to democracy is in order. Until that or Mubarak’s removal happens, the demonstrators had better hold on to Tahrir square and be prepared to fill it quickly, as they did on Friday, with peaceful and good-humored people.

Likewise at Antiwar.com there is some skepticism toward the White House line:

With the Obama administration trying to impose Mubarak-ism with Mubarak, easing the old lizard-headed dictator out and ushering in Omar Suleiman – recently appointed Vice President and formerly Egypt’s top intelligence official and torturer-in-chief – there may be a slight glitch. Aside, that is, from the fact that the protest movement will never agree.

Tellingly, VP Suleiman released a statement today, neatly coordinated with the WH propaganda and the shutting down of the Egyptian Parliament. After you check out the statement, head right over and read Emptywheel’s cogent analysis.

I hope the protesters stand strong in Tahrir Square, because it looks to me as if the televised revolution is about to be co-opted.

74 Comments on “White House Pushing Bogus Meme about Egyptian “Transition””

  1. dakinikat says:

    I’ve just gotten to the point where it’s clear that this regime is so corrupt that they do need a caretaker government and some group to rewrite the constitution. Mohamed Elbaradei was on CNN today and what he said made sense to me.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good for him, but it seems he isn’t popular with the protesters or the government–or, I’m guessing, the Obama administration.

    • dakinikat says:

      Probably has something to do with the BUSH/CHENEY policy still hanging around the US these days. They hated him for telling the world there were no WMDs.

  2. bostonboomer says:


    The key to understanding Omar Suleiman’s statement claiming there is “consensus” in how to move forward in Egypt is to see how he redefines the crisis from being caused by legitimate grievances voiced by the “youth” involved in protests into a lack of security caused by the protests.

    All participants of the dialogue arrived at a consensus to express their appreciation and respect for the 25 January movement and on the need to deal seriously, expeditiously and honestly with the current crisis that the nation is facing, the legitimate demands of the youth of 25 January and society’s political forces, with full consideration and a commitment to constitutional legitimacy in confronting the challenges and dangers faced by Egypt as result of this crisis, including: The lack of security for the populace; disturbances to daily life; the paralysis of by public services; the suspension of education at universities and schools; the logistical delays in the delivery of essential goods to the population; the damages to and losses of the Egyptian economy; the attempts at foreign intervention into purely Egyptian affairs and breaches of security by foreign elements working to undermine stability in implementation of their plots, while recognizing that the 25 January movement is a honorable and patriotic movement. [my emphasis]

    This paragraph starts out by hailing the January 25 movement, but then says there is consensus that Egypt must both deal with the “legitimate” demands of the movement and “confront[] the challenges and dangers faced by Egypt as result of this crisis.” Fully half the paragraph lists the perceived threats to security “caused” by the uprising. Predictably, Suleiman doesn’t include police attacks on unarmed citizens among those threats to security.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    The Arabist blog talks about

    “an ongoing coup carried out by Omar Suleiman and his army buddies (with Mubarak remaining as a fig leaf so it is not seen as such)”

    Remember that the U.S. tried to push a social media uprising in Egypt a few months ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if they set the wheels in motion for Suleiman to take over. The NYT reported awhile back that the administration was worried what would happen if doddering old Mubarak became incapacitated or died.

    • dakinikat says:

      I was just looking at that blog in between loads of laundry and dishes. It’s got some interesting analysis. Thanks for point me towards it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Another post from the Arabist blog: How to restrain Suleiman’s power

      …we are quickly heading towards the formation of another strongman regime that cannot be trusted to deliver on the changes needed in the political environment. There needs to be a mechanism to integrate the opposition into the heart of the state to grant full legitimacy to its demand, and reduce the perception (and reality) of Omar Suleiman being the sole man at the helm.

      The suggestion is to delegate various powers among several VPs.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Wikipedia says the PM is whomever leads the largest political party. Wouldn’t that have been Mubarak? Now he’s resigned the party leadership.


  5. bostonboomer says:

    U.S. envoy Frank Wisner works for lobbying firm with Mubarak regime as client.


  6. bostonboomer says:

    I found a quote from the new prime minister of Egypt.

    [Egyptian Prime Minister] Ahmed Shafiq, . . . appealed to his compatriots, especially Egypt’s youth, to show patience . . . “It has great meaning not to hurt each other*, [or] hurt our reputation,” he said. “Do they want what happened in Tunisia to happen here?”

    ROFLOL! He sounds like he’s a few fries short of a happy meal.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Protests break out in Iraq, al-Maliki vows not to run for another term and cuts his pay in half.


    The dominoes are falling.

  8. Dario says:

    There’s lots of bs about the Egyptian constitution, the same paper that Mubarak wiped his ass with. Here is something from FP spelling out from scholars that Mubarak can deputize Suleiman. But if Mubarak can pick Suleiman to be VP and then deputize him, Mubarak can pick anyone he wants. So the opposition needs to pick someone who is more democratic than Suleiman:

    FP: The Egyptian constitution’s rulebook for change

    UPDATE, 10:10pm:  P.S.A group of leading intellectuals (including my good friend and colleague Amr Hamzawy), former officials, and activists and activists) have hit upon an ingenious constitutional solution. Published in the Egyptian daily al-Shuruq and translated by my home away from home, the Carnegie Endowment, the proposal suggests that Mubarak deputize Sulayman to serve as president. This is constitutionally possible—if the president is unable to serve (in this case presumably because of political ill health) he can hand power over temporarily (in this case until the fall when his term is over) to the vice president.By stopping short of a final resignation, the need for immediate elections is removed and there is enough time to amend the constitution.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, I covered that in the post. My point is that it doesn’t matter. There will be another strongman dictator of the U.S.’s choosing.

      • Dario says:

        Sorry. I missed it. But the point FP makes is important because pressure against Mubarak, the U.S. and all those henchmen can be made so that constitutionally any man the opposition chooses can be deputized. Pressure is all that matters now.

      • zaladonis says:

        No, pressure is not all that matters.

        I know I sound like a broken record but nobody’s listening.

        What matters is that after all this time the protesters still have not chosen anybody to represent them. All they or their supporters do is complain about the leaders and representatives who come forth.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Actually, the protesters did provide a list of leaders they wanted to represent them. It hasn’t gotten much attention, but I posted the link in a comment. I’ll try to find it again.

        However, I think at this point, they are not going to get anything except whatever the U.S. wants. And the U.S. wants to continue renditions. That means ordinarily Egyptians will probably continue to be tortured and abused.

        I am deeply ashamed of our government.

      • zaladonis says:

        I’m very interested to see the list, and also to whom did they provide it? In addition to their direct access to online social networks, they’ve had the world’s news correspondents, cameras and broadcasts reporting about them, eager for “breaking news,” and I haven’t seen or heard any mention of it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Sorry Zal, I can’t find it right now. I did find articles going back to Jan. 30 saying that a list had been submitted to the government.

      I agree with you that the protesters don’t seem organized enough to really overthrow the government. That has been clear for days. But I don’t think they would be listened to even if they were better organized. The only way they could get rid of Mubarak (or prevent some other Mubarak clone from taking over) would be if they “stormed the palace,” as Joseph Cannon wrote awhile back.

      The thing is, the protesters aren’t being listened to, not by their government, and not by leaders in Europe or the U.S. The reaction has been all about shutting them up and co-opting their movement so that Western gov’ts can stay in control. Oil and Israel’s security is all they care about.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Unfortunately, although, they aren’t really representative of the protesters as a whole, the Muslim Brotherhood has been taking the lead in negotiations, because the young protesters aren’t all of one mind. From today’s NYT,

        To rebut Mr. Suleiman’s claims of consensus, a group of young organizers whose Facebook page fomented the revolt — a half-dozen scruffy-looking doctors, lawyers and other professionals in their early 30s — stepped forward publicly for the first time. At least three had been released just the night before from three days of extra-legal detention at the hands of Mr. Mubarak’s police, and they vowed to escalate their movement. “The government played all the dirty games that they had, and the people persisted,” said Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, a 32-year-old surgeon. “We are betting on the people.”

        More than 100,000 turned out again on Sunday in the capital’s central Tahrir Square — more than expected as the work week resumed here. And some of the movement’s young organizers, who were busy meeting to organize their many small groups into a unified structure, said they were considering more large-scale demonstrations in other cities, strikes or acts of civil disobedience like surrounding the state television headquarters.

        Zyad Elelaiwy, 32, a lawyer who is one of the online organizers and a member of the umbrella opposition group founded by Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate, acknowledged a generational divide in the movement. Some older leaders — especially from the recognized parties — were tempted to negotiate with Mr. Suleiman, he said, but the young organizers determined to hold out for sweeping change.

        “They are more close to negotiating, but they don’t have access to the street,” Mr. Elelaiwy said. “The people know us. They don’t know them.”

      • zaladonis says:

        Bostonboomer @ 7:05:

        The protesters were organized for a party or posse, not substantive change. I see similarities between this event and the Obama revolution, and it’s in today’s brand of social networking. The point seems to be about gathering people who “share” the same “like,” not in achieving actual change the posse is supposedly gathered to accomplish.

        I think leaders of the movement would have been listened to if they’d come forward when the door of opportunity opened. And that’s what I said from the beginning. But those doors stay open very briefly and if you’re not ready to seize the moment then others will take it from you. Whomever was leading those demonstrations, gathering people on Facebook and other means, was very organized — but what they were organizing was a high school pep rally, not a revolution.

        Government response, from Egypt to Israel to the US, has been predictable. Of course they’re interested in oil and national security – that’s their job as they see it, and I’m not so sure they’re wrong given present circumstances. If people want that to change, like oil being a priority for our POTUS et al, then we have to elect a President who’ll commit major resources to alternative energy — but we elect Bush and then Obama. If the Egyptian people want Democracy, then expecting a corrupt regime to hand it to them just because they gather in a city square, or other nations to fight for it for them is … well, it’s yet again teenagers wailing their complaints and expecting Mom and Dad to take care of fixing it.

      • bostonboomer says:


        I totally agree with you, and that is exactly what Joseph Cannon wrote–I linked to his post several days ago. The protesters need to take concrete action at the time that both the Egyptian and US govt’s were surprised and confused.

        It has been too late for some time, because the U.S. has now installed Suleiman the torturer. He has been making transparent threats of a crackdown and it’s coming.

        Just look how everyone has forgotten about the recent protests in Iran. I think if Americans weren’t so quick to lose interest, our government wouldn’t have been able to reassert control so easily.

        I think it’s a tragedy, because as I wrote in a comment below, this is going to happen here eventually. We are going to be living in conditions like those in Eqypt. I hope I don’t live to see it, and I fear for my younger relatives.

      • zaladonis says:

        BB @ 7;30:

        This is incredibly stupid:

        Zyad Elelaiwy, 32, a lawyer who is one of the online organizers and a member of the umbrella opposition group founded by Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate, acknowledged a generational divide in the movement. Some older leaders — especially from the recognized parties — were tempted to negotiate with Mr. Suleiman, he said, but the young organizers determined to hold out for sweeping change.

        “They are more close to negotiating, but they don’t have access to the street,” Mr. Elelaiwy said. “The people know us. They don’t know them.”

        “the young organizers determined to hold out for sweeping change”

        What sweeping change? That’s a bumper sticker or Facebook status update.

        They have the ability to gather incredibly large groups of people but they don’t have a platform of positive demands or even ideas, and they’re unwilling to work with those who do.

      • zaladonis says:

        BB @ 8:13 —

        Once again we’re in complete agreement. All points.

        Every time an uprising, a revolution, whatever it’s called, fails, we end up more steps back than forward – in other words we’re worse off.

        You’re right, it’s tragic, and the US is in the queue for the same.

      • I see similarities between this event and the Obama revolution, and it’s in today’s brand of social networking. The point seems to be about gathering people who “share” the same “like,” not in achieving actual change the posse is supposedly gathered to accomplish.

        The Obama “revolution” really didn’t involve people risking their lives. I think it’s easy to compare the two because of the social media, but everything I’ve read from Egyptians seems to indicate that this revolution was in the making before social media even existed. They don’t like the idea of calling it the “twitter revolution” — they point out that when a lot of the real revolution was happening, internet activity was actually blocked in Egypt.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Here’s a creepy headline from the Daily Mail

    Egyptian police use Facebook and Twitter to track down protesters’ names before ’rounding them up’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354096/Egypt-protests-Police-use-Facebook-Twitter-track-protesters.html#ixzz1DExgnS3b

  10. bostonboomer says:

    The missing Google executive is going to be released by Egyptian police.


  11. Pat Johnson says:

    It occurred to me that the world is being led by escapees from “Shutter Island”.

    Most of these people, both here and abroad are borderline nutjobs.

    The sad thing is we can match anyone of their psycho bobbleheads with one of our own any day of the week.

  12. Woman Voter says:

    I am so tired of the wars, and am very concerned of the reports of our possible involvement in another country.

  13. Woman Voter says:

    Obama’s/Washington’s Role in Egypt

  14. bostonboomer says:

    More interesting stuff from the NYT article linked above:

    Many of the protesters who gathered in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protests, vented anger at reports that the United States was supporting the idea of a negotiated transition undertaken by Mr. Suleiman while Mr. Mubarak remained in power. “The extremists aren’t here in Egypt, but they will be if the United States persists!” said Noha El Sharakawy, a 52-year-old pharmacist with dual citizenship in both countries.

    But the young revolt’s initiators said they were unfazed because they had never relied on Western support. “If the United States supports the revolution, it is good for the United States,” said Islam Lofty, 32, a lawyer. “If they do not, it is an Egyptian issue.”

    I would love to keep writing about this, but it seems people here have lost interest. It’s a shame, because the same thing could happen here.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Great post on this White House meme by Scarecrow at FDL:

      By now, the Egyptian people must understand that neither the American government, nor the U.K (whose Prime Minister just lamented how all those non-Brits — shhh; Muslims — are diluting his culture), nor any other Western government places the “aspirations of the Egyptian people” for democracy or economic justice above their own strategic interests. They care about returning Egypt to a condition of “stability,” apparently defined as a regime that protects access to the Oil Canal, doesn’t threaten war against Israel, and doesn’t become a springboard for violent, anti-Western radicalism. The West’s indifference to authoritarian oppression in Egypt has been on display not merely for the 30 years of Mubarak’s regime but for 150 years, or is it 2000? We just used them to help us torture our kidnap victims and looked the other way when Mubarak tortured and murdered his own people.

      We need to borrow the Eygptian protesters because the regime that needs a “transition” is not merely Mubarak’s; it’s our own. There are gradations of authoritarian regimes and we’re obviously different from most of the regimes we tolerate and prop up, but not much. We too engage in torture and state-sanctioned terrorism, massive domestic surveillance and violations of human rights. We’re rapidly becoming a one-party regime, a kleptocracy of corruption and crime driven by corporate power and money, in which democracy and economic justice are being systematically undermined by a narrowing band of economic and political elites who control most of the nation’s wealth and have bought our Congress.

      So it should not surprise us that Obama, the perfect representative of America’s single party, and his corporate Tea-GOP-conservaDem allies in Congress would oppose democracy in Egypt by keeping “threatening” elements out of power.

      • Sima says:

        What I want to know is when did Americans become so terrified of the world? Of people expressing their rights to vote and democracy? Of differences?

        Was it the Communist scare? Was it earlier? Later? Was it the Cold War? I bet that’s had a lot to do with it.

        When did we become so weak and compliant? When did we become so godawful STUPID?

    • Sima says:

      BB, just wanted to let you know I haven’t lost interest. I find the possibly inevitable ending, with Suleiman slowly rounding up the protesters, perhaps years after this is all over, and torturing them, and disappearing them, and… It’s so depressing it makes me cry.

      So I wonder, obviously ‘peaceful’ demonstration will not work. These people did everything right. Now they will suffer. Perhaps their suffering will work, and their blood will fertilize a new Democracy in Egypt.

      In the meantime what do we learn from this? One possible thing to learn is that if we protest, if we decide to risk it all, we have to really risk it all, and storm the palace as Cannon put it.

      • zaladonis says:

        I really don’t know how you can say they did everything right.

        They dropped the ball. And the ball is the game. Or they never even had a ball, just a team.

        They had no leader or group of leaders with any kind of plan, except for gathering in the square. They created an opportunity for the people to make their own government, or at least have a say in it, and then they just waited for that special someone to come along and do it for them. They wouldn’t talk to Mubarak, won’t talk with Suleiman, and have nothing to present to anybody else like Hillary Clinton or another US representative. All they said was they want Mubarak out. Well that’s a child’s tantrum, not a reasoning person’s demand. Egypt’s a big country with a large population and strategically located – removing the man who’s been head of state for 30 years with relationships and agreements with the top leaders of the world, and providing no plan for how to move forward from there, and being unwilling to talk about it, is ridiculous. They’re behaving like it’s Survivor or Big Brother TV show, like if they have the coolest alliance, a big enough group, that wins the game.

      • Sima says:

        Zal, I meant everything right as determined by the spokespeople who told them to be peaceful, calm, and so on. I didn’t mean everything right in terms of successful revolution, sorry about the misunderstanding.

        I wonder, why did Tunisia work and Egypt didn’t? The protesters were more determined and took more damage? The army actually shot them, thus providing them with an enemy to rally against and create leaders against? They had an opposition, and leaders, in place? The US didn’t care as much? All that and more?

        I agree that the Egyptian protesters need a leader or leaders, at least to the extent we can see it. I have no idea who the protesters consider to be their leaders. I suspect they do have people like that, but we don’t hear about them much because they are too little-known, not acceptable to the powers that be, or leaders only in the sense of organization and they haven’t taken the leap into politics.

      • zaladonis says:

        Maybe part of the difference between Tunisia and Egypt is that in Tunisia the revolution was a spontaneous reaction rather than a Facebook/Twitter contrived event.

        What happened in Tunisia was obviously an authentic revolution. So much of what’s happened during this Egyptian protest has seemed contrived to me, the incessant tweets, cell phone images, celebrity media, It just seemed like a show, a circus, not a revolution. Like a reality tv show or facebook event of educated middle class young adults taking pictures of each other and being impressed with how Historic they were being rather than being focused on a revolution to overturn a government.

      • Wow. That’s not how the Egyptian protests have come across to me. I think it’s the Western media that has imposed that impression on the protests. jmho.

      • zaladonis says:

        I can’t speak for anyone else but I didn’t get that impression from the Western media, I got it from the totality of what I saw and heard and read myself. Although, I think the American media fed the beast.

      • for whatever it’s worth — A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

        “The Twitter Revolution”. No, this is the Revolution of the Egyptian people. Egyptians resisted for decades. They were tortured, jailed and repressed by the Mubarak and Sadat regimes. Twitter and Facebook are tools. They did not stand in front of the water canons, or go to jail for all these years to get the credit. There were demonstrations all summer long and for a several years through out Egypt but they are rarely covered, because we are worried about what Sarah Palin said, or some moronic Imam saying something stupid. Does it sound a bit arrogant to take credit for a people’s struggle?

      • zaladonis says:

        You’re missing my point, Wonk.

        I’m well aware that Twitter and Facebook are tools.

        But thanks for the guide. Goodness knows I wouldn’t want to say stuff that that blogger thinks is stupid. Sorry for the sarcasm but what’s written at that site strikes me as indicative of the problem.

      • I’m not missing your point, Zal. You characterized the Egyptian protests above as if it were just an extended version of a facebook party–“The point seems to be about gathering people who ‘share’ the same ‘like,’ not in achieving actual change the posse is supposedly gathered to accomplish” and compared the Egyptian protests to the Obama movement. You’re way more skeptical of the protesters than I am and that’s okay. I just don’t see the protesters as being as childish as the “gathering to share a ‘like'” rationale goes. To me that description better characterizes that stupid “Coffee Party” crap. The Egyptian protesters got out there, risked their lives, and it wasn’t just spoiled middle class kids–I heard many protesters talking about being unemployed and being unable to feed their kids and just wanting a job. To me that’s a lot different than putting on an Obama t-shirt.

        Oh and as far as the “how not to say stupid stuff” goes, that was the literal title of the post I was linking to, which was featured on memeorandum and which Minx posted in one of her roundups too. I just thought I’d point back to it bc it seemed relevant to the discussion here. I don’t think it’s the gospel or anything, just a point-of-view worthy of consideration.

      • zaladonis says:

        I’m a skeptic but not skeptical of the Egyptian protesters any more than I was of the Tunisian protesters or any other protesters. I’m observing behavior, considering objective information, and assessing.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I think it’s going too far to call it a contrived event.

      • zaladonis says:

        Contrived: obviously planned, not spontaneous.

        I thought the protest was planned and organized through a Facebook page, or pages. Am I wrong, was it a spontaneous event?

      • bostonboomer says:

        It was planned. You can’t have a completely spontaneous demontration. I don’t know if you remember the ’60s, but those demonstrations were organized in similar ways–just with underground newspapers, word of mouth, posters, etc. rather than computer technology, which was primitive then.

        The reason why it was different in Tunisia is that the U.S. was OK with the government being overthrown there.

      • zaladonis says:

        Well first of all you can have a completely spontaneous demonstration. And yes I remember the 60s. For instance I remember Stonewall.

        But more importantly, the demonstrations of the 60s weren’t just gatherings of people, there was broad specific purpose and there were people in those movements working with people within the existing system to bring about change.

  15. jawbone says:

    Suleiman is, as far as he can, yes-fucking the anti-gov’t protesters.

    It’s not an unheard of technique of neutralizing protest and peaceful revolutionaries.

    • Sima says:

      Yep, that’s what I think too. I must admit it’s the first time I’ve heard that memorable term, but I knew immediately what is meant.

    • zaladonis says:

      Of course he is. That’s what men like him do. He has an agenda and his actions will be consistent with that.

      The question is what have the protesters done with the opportunity they created, and that the media and people worldwide like us supported.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I have a better question. Why do Americans allow their government to do what Obama is doing right now? He’s supporting a torturer so he can keep sending detainees to Egypt to be tortured. Suleiman is doing this with U.S. backing.

        Americans should be in the streets protesting OUR government.

      • zaladonis says:

        Well you know what I think the answer to that question is, right?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Not really. I guess we’re all too lazy and propagandized.

      • zaladonis says:

        I don’t think Americans are lazy (actually I think it’s the opposite and we’re exhausting ourselves) but I do think better has been replaced with easy. Group think, non-confrontational and friendly, is appreciated while critical thinking is regarded as troublesome and uncomfortable. Excitement for the shallow and emotional has replaced respect for the substantive and reasoned. Further, Americans are not just easily fooled, they’re eagerly fooled – branding in our current culture didn’t become so important because it’s ineffective.

    • jawbone says:

      Oh, and there will be round-ups, imprisonments, torture, and deaths if the gov’t is able to maintain power. For the protesters, this is an actual existential moment.

      And then, down the road, the next revolution will be led by actual Islamic extremists. I may not be alive to see it, but that will follow a continuation of Mubarek-style despotism.

      I wish all the protesters, all Egyptians the best outcome possible. The US will not help them get that.

      • zaladonis says:

        I think the US would have helped them if the US had been in a position to, but diplomatic relations and treaties and agreements had Obama and Clinton in a very tight spot; it was up to the protesters to push the envelope and they let the opportunity slip away. I don’t know for sure what they were doing, but I know they were not moving the revolution forward to the next step where people like Clinton in top spots could provide more help. Clinton kept giving hints but nobody was listening — anyway that’s what I heard in what she was saying.

        And I pretty much agree with your prediction.

      • bostonboomer says:

        There is no way the U.S. would have helped them. They are essentially staging a revolution against U.S. control of their country.

  16. mablue2 says:

    I stopped making absolute pronouncements on Egypt once I realized how complicated the whole thing is. Here are 3 pretty good articles from Haaretz:

    What exactly does the U.S. want from Egypt?

    Initially, the White House stressed that Mubarak must leave immediately, but Egypt, they soon realized, is not Tunisia.

    WikiLeaks: Israel long viewed Egypt VP as preferred Mubarak successor

    2008 diplomatic cable published by the Daily Telegraph quotes Israeli official as saying that Israel was ‘most comfortable’ with prospect of Omar Suleiman becoming Egypt’s next leader.

    Egypt making headway in talks, says Obama

    U.S. has thrown its support behind transition effort launched by VP Suleiman, urging all sides to allow time for an ‘orderly transition’ to new political order in Egypt.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to have Hillary Clinton as SoS. She is really someone who can walk on eggs.
    It seems like we have a situation where high ranking US official should even be speaking extemporaneously, every word has to be very well calibrated.

  17. paper doll says:

    bostonboomer says:
    February 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm There is no way the U.S. would have helped them. They are essentially staging a revolution against U.S. control of their country.

    I agree….a free people is the last thing those running USA Inc. World Group wants. imo And the thing is we could have our client state if it was well run…but we want a client state and a money laundering criminal honey pot too. Its own free falling greed will wreak things generally for the powers that be in the end