Tag Archives | Egypt

McCain Calls Democracy In Middle East A “Virus”

"This virus is spreading throughout the Middle East. This is probably the most dangerous period of history...in the Middle East." Speaking to FOX News, John McCain echoes the current sentiments of many politicians and pundits distressed by recent events in Egypt and Tunisia. Because the rules are, democracy only belongs in the countries where we choose to impose it. Via Think Progress:
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President Obama, Say The ‘D-Word’

Egyptian Protests

Photo: Muhammad Ghafari. Giza, Egypt (CC)

Mark LeVine writes on Al Jazeera:

It’s incredible, really. The president of the United States can’t bring himself to talk about democracy in the Middle East. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like “freedom” and “tolerance” and “non-violent” and especially “reform,” but he can’t say the one word that really matters: democracy.

How did this happen? After all, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world, Obama spoke the word loudly and clearly — at least once.

“The fourth issue that I will address is democracy,” he declared, before explaining that while the United States won’t impose its own system, it was committed to governments that “reflect the will of the people… I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose.

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Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S.

Al JazeeraFreedom of the press? Ryan Grim writes on the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available. What they can’t do is watch the network directly.

Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. — including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship comes as American diplomats harshly criticize the Egyptian government for blocking Internet communication inside the country and as Egypt attempts to block Al Jazeera from broadcasting.

The result of the Al Jazeera English blackout in the United States has been a surge in traffic to the media outlet’s website, where footage can be seen streaming live.

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Web-Free ‘Tweeting’ Brought To Egypt By Google

TwitterIt’s good to know the world won’t stop if the internet does. Well, as long as cellphone service is always available. Via The Strait Times:

GOOGLE, in response to the Internet blockade in Egypt, said on Monday that it had created a way to post messages to microblogging service Twitter by making telephone calls.

Google worked with Twitter and freshly acquired SayNow, a startup specialising in social online voice platforms, to make it possible for anyone to ‘tweet’ by leaving a message at any of three telephone numbers.

‘Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground,’ Google product manager Abdel-Karim Mardini and SayNow co-founder Ujjwal Singh said in a blog post.

‘Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service – the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection,’ they said.

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How Egypt Is Gypped By The West

Demonstrators on Army Truck in Tahrir Square, Cairo, 29 Jan. 2011 Photo: Ramy Raoof (CC)

Demonstrators on Army Truck in Tahrir Square, Cairo, 29 Jan. 2011 Photo: Ramy Raoof (CC)

This is an upstairs/downstairs story that takes us from the peak of a Western mountaintop for the wealthy to spreading mass despair in the valleys of the Third World poor.

It is about how the solutions for the world financial crisis that the CEOs and Big Pols are massaging in a posh conference center in snowy Davos, Switzerland have turned into a global economic catastrophe in the streets of Cairo, the current ground zero of a certain-to-spread wave of international unrest.

Yes, the tens of thousands in the streets demanding the ouster of the cruel Mubarak regime are there now pressing for their right to make a political choice but they are being driven by an economic disaster that has sent unemployment skyrocketing and food prices climbing.

People are out in the streets not just to meet but by their need to eat.… Read the rest

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The Carnage Following Egyptian Protests (Video)

The best reporting from Cairo so far has been from the Qatar-based satellite TV network Al Jazeera. Here's the latest report on the developing situation in Egypt from Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan, who says Egyptian military tanks have rolled into cities including Cairo, in President Hosni Mubarak's attempt to restore order. Mubarak's speech on Saturday did not appease his people and protests continue for a fifth day, with demonstrators still calling for an end to his 30-year reign.
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No Internet In Egypt As Protests Escalate

By Ronnie Kerr at Vator.tv:

First Facebook and Twitter were made inaccessible, now the entire Web. Blocking access to Twitter and Facebook just wasn’t enough for the Egyptian government. Around 11 hours ago — or a little after midnight in Egypt — the Internet went completely dark.

Source: Vator.tv

Source: Vator.tv


Now protesters all across Egypt must find a way to organize without the Web and, in Cairo, with an elite special operations force deployed to put a stop to massive demonstrations that have rippled across the state, ignited by a revolt in Tunisia that successfully toppled the regime there.

Both were drastic measures taken as preemptive steps by the Egyptian government ahead of possibly the largest demonstrations yet, which Reuters says are planned for Friday after weekly prayers.

But neither the people taking to the streets in Tunisia nor those in Iran during the summer of 2009 ever had to face a complete blackout of the Internet, a highly strategic attack on Egyptians’ freedom of speech undoubtedly ordered into effect by the Egyptian government.
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Italian Court Ups Sentences for 23 CIA Agents

Italy Kicks the CIAThe AFP reports, via Yahoo! News:

An Italian court on Wednesday upped the sentences for 23 CIA agents convicted in absentia of abducting an Egyptian imam in one of the biggest cases against the US “extraordinary rendition” program.

The 23 CIA agents, originally sentenced in November 2009 to five to eight years in prison, had their sentences increased to seven to nine years on appeal in what one of the defence lawyers described as a “shocking blow” for the US.

They were also ordered to pay 1.5 million euros (2.0 million dollars) in damages to the imam and his wife for the 2003 abduction.

Washington has refused to extradite the agents, who all remain at liberty but now risk arrest if they travel to Europe.

Osama Mustafa Hassan, a radical Islamist opposition figure better known as Abu Omar, was snatched from a street in Milan in 2003 in an operation coordinated by the CIA and the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI.

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