Tag Archives: mubarak

Wow, That Was Fast! Libyan Rebels Have Already Established New Central Bank Of Libya

Wow, That Was Fast! Libyan Rebels Have Already Established New Central Bank Of Libya

By 21st Century Wire

The rebels in Libya are in the middle of a life or death civil war and Moammar Gadhafi is still in power and yet somehow the Libyan rebels have had enough time to establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company. Perhaps when this conflict is over those rebels can become time management consultants.

They sure do get a lot done. What a skilled bunch of rebels – they can fight a war during the day and draw up a new central bank and a new national oil company at night without any outside help whatsoever. If only the rest of us were so versatile! But isn’t forming a central bank something that could be done after the civil war is over? According to Bloomberg, the Transitional National Council has “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.” Apparently someone felt that it was very important to get pesky matters such as control of the banks and control of the money supply out of the way even before a new government is formed.

Of course it is probably safe to assume that the new Central Bank of Libya will be 100% owned and 100% controlled by the newly liberated people of Libya, isn’t it?
Libyan rebels

BANKERS REBELS: Western-backed Libyan rebels managed to liase with Goldman Sachs and form a bank? Smells like a City rat.

Most people don’t realize that the previous Central Bank of Libya was 100% state owned. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia’s article on the former Central Bank of Libya….

The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) is 100% state owned and represents the monetary authority in The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and enjoys the status of autonomous corporate body. The law establishing the CBL stipulates that the objectives of the central bank shall be to maintain monetary stability in Libya , and to promote the sustained growth of the economy in accordance with the general economic policy of the state.

Since the old Central Bank of Libya was state owned, it was essentially under the control of Moammar Gadhafi. But now that Libya is going to be “free”, the new Central Bank of Libya will be run by Libyans and solely for the benefit of Libyans, right? Of course it is probably safe to assume that will be the case with the new national oil company as well, isn’t it?

Over the past couple of years, Moammar Gadhafi had threatened to nationalize the oil industry in Libya and kick western oil companies out of the country, but now that Libya will be “free” the people of Libya will be able to work hand in hand with “big oil” and this will create a better Libya for everyone.

Right?

Of course oil had absolutely nothing to do with why the U.S. “inva—” (scratch that) “initiated a kinetic humanitarian liberty action” in Libya. When Barack Obama looked straight into the camera and told the American people that the war in Libya is in the “strategic interest” of the United States, surely he was not referring to oil. After all, war for oil was a “Bush thing”, right? The Democrats voted for Obama to end wars like this, right? Surely no prominent Democrats will publicly support this war in Libya, right? Surely Barack Obama will end the bombing of Libya if the international community begins to object, right? Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. He wouldn’t deeply upset the other major powers on the globe and bring us closer to World War III, would he?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has loudly denounced “coalition strikes on columns of Gaddafi’s forces” and he believes that the U.S. has badly violated the terms of the UN Security Council resolution….

We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution.

So to cool off rising tensions with the rest of the world, Obama is going to call off the air strikes, right? Well, considering the fact that Obama has such vast foreign policy experience we should all be able to rest easy knowing that Obama will understand exactly what to do.

Meanwhile, the rebels seem to be getting the hang of international trade already. They have even signed an oil deal with Qatar! Rebel “spokesman” Ali Tarhouni has announced that oil exports to Qatar will begin in “less than a week“. Who knew that the rag tag group of rebels in Libya were also masters of banking and international trade? We sure do live in a strange world.

Tonight, Barack Obama told the American people the following….

Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”

So now we are going to police all of the atrocities in all of the other countries around the globe? The last time I checked, the government was gunning down protesters in Syria. Is it time to start warming up the Tomahawks? Or do we reserve “humanitarian interventions” only for those nations that have a lot of oil? In fact, atrocities are currently being committed all over Africa and in about a dozen different nations in the Middle East.

Should we institute a draft so that we will have enough young men and women to police the world with? We all have to be ready to serve our country, right? The world is becoming a smaller place every day, and you never know where U.S. “strategic interests” are going to be threatened next. The rest of the world understands that we know best, right? Of course the rest of the world can surely see our good intentions in Libya, can’t they?

Tensions with Russia, China and the rest of the Arab world are certainly going to subside after they all see how selfless our “humanitarian intervention” has been in Libya, don’t you think? In all seriousness, we now live in a world where nothing is stable anymore. Wars and revolutions are breaking out all over the globe, unprecedented natural disasters are happening with alarming frequency and the global economy is on the verge of total collapse.

By interfering in Libya, we are just making things worse. Gadhafi is certainly a horrible dictator, but this was a fight for the Libyan people to sort out.

We promised the rest of the world that we were only going to be setting up a “no fly zone”. By violating the terms of the UN Security Council resolution, we have shown other nations that we cannot be trusted and by our actions we have increased tensions all over the globe.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2011/03/29/wow-that-was-fast-libyan-rebels-have-already-established-new-central-bank-of-libya/

Monday, March 28, 2011

Libya: War for World Government


“It is a test that the international community has to pass. Failure would shake further the faith of the people’s region in the emerging international order and the primacy of international law
.” -Brookings Institute’s “Libya’s Test of the New International Order,” February 2011.

Peaceful protesters become tank commanders and fighter pilots?

Tony Cartalucci, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

While a parade of politicians and pundits cite the “international community,” the UN, and the “Arab street” as giving them the justification to not only wage illegal war on Libya, but to threaten illegal war against Syria as well, it should be remembered that it was neither the UN nor the “international community” that laid the ground work for this campaign.

What started out, supposedly, as spontaneous, simultaneous uprisings across the Middle East, has transformed clearly into an aggressive Western-backed blitzkrieg of destabilization and regime change. This was a plan that was years in the making, talked about in 2007 by then, presidential hopeful, CFR member, and International Crisis Group trustee Wesley Clark.

As hard as our “leadership” tries to act surprised, the current Middle Eastern conflagration has been years in the making.

We now know that the protesters from Tunisia to Egypt had been trained by US created and funded CANVAS of Serbia. We have learned that the US State Department openly admits to providing funding to tech firms to assist protesters across the Middle East and Northern Africa to circumvent cyber-security inside target nations. Perhaps most alarming of all, we now know that the US State Department is also funding corporations like BBC to undermine the governments of China and Iran, revealing the full-scope of their ambitions.

The “international community” that feckless stooges like Joe Lieberman talk about, or his French equal in impotency, Nicolas Sarkozy’s “new post-UNSC 1973 model of world governance” are concepts not born of these “elected representatives,” but rather the product of the corporate think-tanks that hand them their talking points. It is the corporate-financier oligarchy that constitutes the “international community” and who aspires to rule through “world governance.” Their goal is to eliminate national sovereignty and assert their agenda and the laws & regulations to achieve it homogeneously across all national borders.

To see who Lieberman and Sarkozy are channeling, we look to the Brookings Institute report “Libya’s Test of the New International Order” back in February 2011. In it, it talks about the primacy of international law over national sovereignty and considered it being at stake in Libya. Allowing Libya to defy the “international community,” they worried, could ultimately threaten its “resolve and credibility.

Another telling Brookings Institute report, “Bifurcating the Middle East,” mentions rallying “the Arab street” to confront defiant states like Libya, Syria, and Iran, all of which are mentioned by name. Nowhere was oil mentioned, nor the tremendous profits defense contractors would surely reap, and while these are primary motivators to garner support for the regional campaign within the corporate combine, they are by no means the primary motivators for the campaign itself. The final goal is world government, the elimination of borders, and a monopolistic corporate-financier cartel that can systematically eliminate all challenges to its hegemony – in other words, the dream of all oligarchs since the beginning of time.

In Syria, resistance to the Western-backed opposition is a similar direct challenge to the corporate-financier oligarchs. Nations like Syria, Iran, Libya, Burma, Belarus, and many others are demonized and systematically isolated and undermined not because they are a threat to the world, but because their independence and refusal to acquiesce is an obstacle before a corporate-financier ruled world government.

We are given childish explanations that prey on the most ignorant and feeble of minds as to why we are fighting in Libya, and why we are threatening war with Syria and Iran. Nowhere in Lieberman or Sarkozy’s ranting statements is talk of who these rebels are; that they’ve been fighting on and off against Qaddafi for nearly three decades with US help, that their opposition is based in London and the United States, and that they have overt ties to Al-Qaeda, with rebel leaders themselves openly admitting their affiliations to the terrorist group. We are now told that recently returning to Libya to lead the rebels is Khalifa Hifter, who has spent the last 20 years in “suburban Virginia,” and has spent his time in America lending support to anti-Qaddafi groups.

We will protect your privacy…guaranteed!

After fighting a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq at the cost of nearly 6,000 US lives, supposedly to stop the ubiquitous “Al Qaeda,” an organization the US itself created in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980’s to fight the Soviets, we have come full circle, with CIA/Al-Qaeda assets fighting side-by-side in Libya, complete with US air support.

Do regular folks forget that Syria was mentioned as part of George Bush’s “Axis of Evil” and that Obama is merely carrying on a continuous agenda that has transcended administrations up to this very day? Considering the agenda revealed by Wesley Clark in 2007, we see how seamlessly “Obama’s war” against Libya fits in. If we are to believe Obama and Bush are ideological opposites, what other explanation can be given as to why this agenda, scorned by the political left under Bush, has now found a new home in Obama’s administration?

Quite clearly politics in America is but a mere illusion. So to is the “War on Terror,” as the US helps Al-Qaeda sweep westward towards Tripoli. It is all empty rhetoric carrying the agenda of global government forward. Despite losing nearly 6,000 of their brothers in arms, the US military carries on, following orders despite the absolute, overt absurdity of their mission. They are literally providing air support now for the men that helped send their buddies back in pine boxes from Iraq. They do this while the media that lied them into a decade of war now celebrates their enemy, these rebels of Benghazi, as heroes of democracy. Again – we come full circle as the Mujaheddin fighting the Soviets were once “heroes” of the West as well.

None of this makes any sense from the political left or right perspective. None of this makes sense from a West verses “Muslim extremist” perspective. The only perspective from which it makes sense, is if a cartel of corporations has been lying to us all along, saying anything and everything to get us to jump through the appropriate hoops. With their plans becoming bolder, perhaps even desperate, they have begun to mix up their narratives to the extent that they are bombing “Al Qaeda” in Pakistan and giving “Al Qaeda” air support in Libya. They are admittedly strafing civilians from the air in Pakistan, but imposing no fly zones on Qaddafi over unverified claims of doing the same.

As the globalists admittedly strafe civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, they have lobbied for war with Libya over verified lies of doing the same.

Indeed, this is not a war of America, the UN, NATO, or the European Union. The feckless politicians that pose as our leadership are merely taking orders from the powers that be – the corporate-financier oligarchs. If we are to frustrate these oligarchs, we would be wise to waste little time on their front men and instead get straight to the issue. Boycott these corporations and systematically replace them on a local level. While they wage war to eliminate the nation state, from its borders down to our own individual rights and liberties, we must wage a campaign to undermine and eliminate them, from their crass consumerist networks that infest our towns, to the parasitic monstrosity that is the international banking system which infests this planet.

While they must wage their battle through murder, lies, and deceit, we must wage our battle through constructive pragmatic solutions, ingenuity, hard work, community, and self-sufficiency. This is not a war for Libya – this is a war for world government, that if won by the globalists, means our defeat as well.

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/03/libya-war-for-world-government.html

Egypts to be led by Amr Moussa?

By ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER / CAIRO Abigail Hauslohner / Cairo Sat Feb 12, 1:05 am ET

Even before President Hosni Mubarak left office on Friday, a number of hats were already in the ring to succeed him. Egypt’s political future remains in flux, and it’s unclear how soon the emerging contenders will get to make their bids for the now vacant presidency. So far, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – to which Mubarak had ceded his authority – has simply decreed that the current government ministers would continue running things until new elections are held.

It’s quite possible, of course, that Mubarak appointees such as Vice President Omar Suleiman and Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik could seek the presidency. The ruling National Democratic Party is not yet dead, despite what many protesters insist. But amid the euphoria that has continued on the day after Mubarak’s fall, many insist that a new era for Egyptian politics has begun, and that the fortunes of Suleiman and Shafik are waning. It may take six months to a year to organize a presidential election, analysts and party leaders say, but many predict that Mubarak’s replacement will be the first Egyptian President chosen in a genuinely competitive election. (See photos of Cairo’s celebration after Mubarak stepped down.)

“No one in Egypt is going to allow fraudulent and manipulated elections,” says political analyst Diaa Rashwan at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. “They searched for their freedom and now they have it.”

So who are the contenders for president? Taking cues from who’s who among the protesters’ heroes in Tahrir, you can start with the usual suspects.

At the top of the list may be Amr Moussa. State TV reported Friday that the former Egyptian foreign minister would be stepping down as Secretary General of the Arab League, where he has served for nearly a decade, renewing speculation over a presidential bid. The long-time diplomat has a large popular following in Egypt because of his habit of publicly criticizing policies of the U.S. and Israel, in marked contrast to Mubarak’s quiescence. And he may be the only contender praised in a chart-topping song. Moussa made local headlines over a year ago when he demurred on the question of whether he would make a bid for the presidency, and his name has been at the tip of many tongues in Tahrir Square. “All of Egypt loves Amr Moussa,” says Ali Hassan, a 21-year-old student. For Egypt’s allies, Moussa may have the added appeal of being “not far from the establishment,” Rashwan says. “That will be a kind of guarantee to international powers that Egyptian foreign policy will be stable.” (See the 2009 discussion about an Egyptian successor.)

But there’s also wildcard Mohamed ElBaradei, the nobel laureate and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who captivated Egyptian and foreign media with his return to Egypt early last year to mount a fresh challenge Mubarak’s dictatorship and abuses. ElBaradei commands a loyal youth following and launched the National Coalition for Change, the first broadly based campaign calling for constitutional amendments and an end to the regime. His followers have campaigned hard to promote him as a possible presidential candidate, despite ElBaradei’s evasiveness on the subject. But his forays into the protest movement have been limited; the bespectacled reformist tending to tweet his dissent more often than physically acting it out. And many Egyptians still say they don’t trust a man who spent much of his career abroad to make the call. “ElBaradei has lost credibility,” says opposition politician Hamdeen Sabahi. “He is not really connected to the country and its people.” Others have gone so far as to accuse ElBaradei of trying to hijack the revolution.

For some, the imperfect opposition leader they know – such as Ayman Nour, who ran against Mubarak in 2005 in the first multi-candidate presidential race and was subsequently jailed by the regime, slandered by state media, and stripped of his license to practice law – is a safer choice than the one they don’t know. “The difference between Ayman Nour and ElBaradei is that one is a real Egyptian and the other is more of a khawaga [foreigner],” says Abdel Hamid Osman, a demonstrator. Nour commands a small army of loyal young followers, and has vowed to run in the 2011 race. On Saturday, he passed out copies of his personal draft for the new constitution. “Of course yes,” Nour says of when asked if he intends to run. (See what was going through the mind of Mubarak when he was in power.)

And then there are the lesser known figures that have emerged in the course of Egypt’s momentous 18 days. Yahya al-Jamal, a retired head of the constitutional court may be too old some say, but others want him to lead the way to constitutional reform. “He’s the spokesman for the revolution,” cried one bystander excitedly, as Jamal moved through the crowd in Tahrir last week. Other prominent judges, Mahmoued al-Khudairy and Zakaria Abdel Aziz, have also attracted attention for their time spent in the square. And another popular nobel laureate, the chemist Ahmed Zuweil has also returned to his home country to join the cause.

“We have the traditional names,” says Rashwan. “But perhaps we will have dozens of new people running. The process of destroying the old regime is already finished.” Now, it’s time for phase two, he adds: “Building a new regime. And I’m not excluding the chance of dark horses appearing suddenly.”

With reporting by Aryn Baker and Yasmine El Rashidi / Cairo

Egypt After Mubarak: Will Amr Moussa rise to the top?

Calls for Amr Moussa to lead post-Mubarak Egypt

After days of revolt against President Hosni Mubarak, a man who once served as his foreign minister has emerged as a potential compromise figure to lead Egypt’s potentially dangerous transition.

Amr Moussa

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Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League Photo: EPA

Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, might seem an unlikely choice as the people’s champion.

But as he made a surprise appearance in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the crucible of Egypt‘s winter uprising, on Friday afternoon, a frisson of excitement rippled through the vast crowd’s demanding an end to Mr Mubarak’s 30 year reign.

“We want you as president, we want you as president,” the protesters, or at least a portion of them, chanted.

Mr Moussa has been coy about his presidential ambitions in the past when president Mubarak’s hold on power seemed unshakable. With it slipping, however, that coyness is fast vanishing.

“I am available for my country,” he replied when asked if was considered seeking the presidency. “I am ready to serve as a citizen who is entitled to be a candidate.”

Egypt’s foreign minister from 1991 to 2001, Mr Moussa is seen as of the regime but not necessarily tainted by it. Indeed, his departure from the cabinet nine years ago is often believed to have been engineered by Mr Mubarak to remove an increasingly popular rival from the spotlight.

Yet his popularity only grew at the helm of the Arab League. Even though he was not universally liked among some colleagues who accused him of nepotism and a refusal to brook dissent, ordinary Arabs applauded his frequent criticism of Israel and public opposition to the American invasion of Iraq.

His single-minded defence of what he saw as Palestinian suffering saw him become the subject of a song by Shaaban Abdel Rahim, a leading Egyptian pop star, whose chorus proclaimed: “I hate Israel but I love Amr Moussa.”

Yet while Mr Moussa’s reception in Tahrir Square was enthusiastic, it was far from adulatory.

Many did not applaud at all and some were critical of the fact that he never spoke out openly against Mr Mubarak when it would have cost him and that he even once appeared to endorse his hated son Gamal as a potential successor.

For them, the Arab League leader does not represent the clean break with the past that they crave – even if he is regarded as less of an outsider than Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear chief who is another opposition contender for the presidency.

“Amr Moussa is not a bad man,” said Sharif Sabr, a university lecturer. “But he never really did anything for his country. Egypt needs a new man, one who is strong enough to stand up for the people.”

Others said they would be willing to back him, but only as a transitional leader until elections, scheduled for September, are held.

“Everyone likes him, but he is a diplomat not a politician,” said Tareq al-Alfy, an entrepreneur at the forefront of the Facebook campaign that germinated the present revolt. “As a transitional leader he is ok, though I doubt the army will accept someone from the foreign ministry, but as a permanent president, he is unacceptable.”

Mr Moussa may not even get that, however, if a self-appointed “Council of Wise Men” succeeds with a proposal that Mr Mubarak cede his major powers to Omar Suleiman, the new vice president and former intelligence chief.

The plan, which is likely to find favour with the army, would see Mr Mubarak remain in office as a figurehead until new presidential elections.

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Calls for Amr Moussa to lead post-Mubarak Egypt

After days of revolt against President Hosni Mubarak, a man who once served as his foreign minister has emerged as a potential compromise figure to lead Egypt’s potentially dangerous transition.

Amr Moussa

Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League Photo: EPA
Adrian Blomfield

By Adrian Blomfield, Cairo 5:47PM GMT 05 Feb 2011

Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, might seem an unlikely choice as the people’s champion.

But as he made a surprise appearance in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the crucible of Egypt‘s winter uprising, on Friday afternoon, a frisson of excitement rippled through the vast crowd’s demanding an end to Mr Mubarak’s 30 year reign.

“We want you as president, we want you as president,” the protesters, or at least a portion of them, chanted.

Mr Moussa has been coy about his presidential ambitions in the past when president Mubarak’s hold on power seemed unshakable. With it slipping, however, that coyness is fast vanishing.

“I am available for my country,” he replied when asked if was considered seeking the presidency. “I am ready to serve as a citizen who is entitled to be a candidate.”

Egypt’s foreign minister from 1991 to 2001, Mr Moussa is seen as of the regime but not necessarily tainted by it. Indeed, his departure from the cabinet nine years ago is often believed to have been engineered by Mr Mubarak to remove an increasingly popular rival from the spotlight.

Yet his popularity only grew at the helm of the Arab League. Even though he was not universally liked among some colleagues who accused him of nepotism and a refusal to brook dissent, ordinary Arabs applauded his frequent criticism of Israel and public opposition to the American invasion of Iraq.

His single-minded defence of what he saw as Palestinian suffering saw him become the subject of a song by Shaaban Abdel Rahim, a leading Egyptian pop star, whose chorus proclaimed: “I hate Israel but I love Amr Moussa.”

Yet while Mr Moussa’s reception in Tahrir Square was enthusiastic, it was far from adulatory.

Many did not applaud at all and some were critical of the fact that he never spoke out openly against Mr Mubarak when it would have cost him and that he even once appeared to endorse his hated son Gamal as a potential successor.

For them, the Arab League leader does not represent the clean break with the past that they crave – even if he is regarded as less of an outsider than Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear chief who is another opposition contender for the presidency.

“Amr Moussa is not a bad man,” said Sharif Sabr, a university lecturer. “But he never really did anything for his country. Egypt needs a new man, one who is strong enough to stand up for the people.”

Others said they would be willing to back him, but only as a transitional leader until elections, scheduled for September, are held.

“Everyone likes him, but he is a diplomat not a politician,” said Tareq al-Alfy, an entrepreneur at the forefront of the Facebook campaign that germinated the present revolt. “As a transitional leader he is ok, though I doubt the army will accept someone from the foreign ministry, but as a permanent president, he is unacceptable.”

Mr Moussa may not even get that, however, if a self-appointed “Council of Wise Men” succeeds with a proposal that Mr Mubarak cede his major powers to Omar Suleiman, the new vice president and former intelligence chief.

The plan, which is likely to find favour with the army, would see Mr Mubarak remain in office as a figurehead until new presidential elections.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8306069/Calls-for-Amr-Moussa-to-lead-post-Mubarak-Egypt.html
Telegraph

A matter of time: The Military Coup in Egypt

By PAUL SCHEMM and MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press Paul Schemm And Maggie Michael, Associated Press 18 mins ago

CAIRO – Egypt exploded with joy, tears, and relief after President Hosni Mubarak resigned as president, forced out by 18 days of mass protests that culminated in huge marches Friday on his presidential palaces and state television. The military took power after protesters called for it to intervene and oust their leader of three decades.

“The people ousted the regime,” rang out chants from crowds of hundreds of thousands massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and outside Mubarak’s main palace several miles away in a northern district of the capital.

The crowds in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and other cities around the country danced, chanted “goodbye, goodbye,” and raised their hands in prayer in an ecstatic pandemonium as fireworks and car horns sounded after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

“Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abou Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palacer. “From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great.”

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

His fall came 32 years to the day after the collapse of the shah’s government in Iran.

The protests have already echoed around the Middle East, with several of the region’s autocratic rulers making pre-emptive gestures of democratic reform to avert their own protest movements. The lesson many took: If it could happen in three weeks in Egypt, where Mubarak’s lock on power had appeared unshakeable, it could happen anywhere.

The United States at times seemed overwhelmed trying to keep up with the pace, fumbling to juggle its advocacy of democracy and the right to protest, loyalty to longtime ally Mubarak and fears of Muslim fundamentalists gaining a foothold. Neighoring Israel watched the development with growing unease, worried that their 1979 peace treaty could be in danger. It quickly demanded on Friday that post-Mubarak Egypt continue to adhere to it.


AFP/Pedro Ugarte

Friday was the biggest day of protests yet in the upheaval that began Jan. 25. The movement grew for the Internet organizing of small groups of youth activists into a mass movement that tapped into widespread discontent with Mubarak’s authoritarian lock on power, corruption, economic woes and widespread disparities between rich and poor.

The question now turned to how the military, long Egypt’s most powerful institution and now its official ruler, will handle the transition in power. Earlier in the day, the Armed Forces Supreme Council — the military’s top body — vowed to guide the country to greater democracy. State TV said a new statement by the military would be issued Friday evening.

Vice President Suleiman — who appears to have lost his post as well in the military takeover — appeared grim as he delivered the short announcement.

History Repeats. History Repeats

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” he said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young suporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.

Outside Mubarak’s Oruba Palace in northern Cairo, women on balconies ululated with the joyous tongue-trilling used to mark weddings and births.

“Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abo Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palace. “From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great.”

Another, Mohammed el-Masry, weeping with joy, said he had spent the past two weeks in Tahrir before marching to the palace Friday. He was now headed back to the square to join his ecstatic colleagues. “We made it,” he gasped.

Like sand from an hour glass...these are the days of our life

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_egypt

Worst Case Scenario Confirmed: Muslim Brotherhood joins negotiations on Egypt

Worst Case Scenario Confirmed: Muslim Brotherhood joins negotiations on Egypt crisis

By Laura King and Ned Parker

Obama concedes terror group is anti-American yet downplays significance of acceptance
JewishWorldReview.com |

cAIRO — (MCT) Opposition groups including the banned Muslim Brotherhood held landmark talks Sunday with Egypt’s vice president, but the two sides remained at apparent loggerheads over opponents’ principal demand: that President Hosni Mubarak step aside now.

The government offered up a number of new concessions that would have constituted an undreamed-of bonanza for the opposition only a few weeks ago. But demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square shrugged off the conciliatory steps, saying nothing less than Mubarak’s departure would satisfy them.

Welcome to Islamberg - Bienvenido a Islamberg...

Protesters by the thousands continued their round-the-clock occupation of the sprawling plaza, which has taken on the air of a mini-city within a city. However, revolutionary fervor was increasingly at odds with the urgent wishes of many Egyptians to resume their normal routines.

Banks, along with many shops and businesses, reopened Sunday, the first day of the Egyptian workweek. Traffic surged on previously empty roadways.

In talks with some opposition groups, Vice President Omar Suleiman dangled the possibility of abolishing Egypt’s state of emergency, a widely loathed 30-year-old decree that gives sweeping powers to the security establishment.

Suleiman also offered what amounted to an amnesty for nonviolent protesters, greater press freedoms, formal redress for those seized by the secret police, and the creation of a broadly representative committee to work on constitutional reforms. But most in the square expressed skepticism that there would be follow-through on such pledges.

Nothing to worry about here....

Still, Suleiman’s face-to-face talks that included the Brotherhood, which has been outlawed since the 1950s, were momentous for a government that for decades has attempted to isolate that organization through intimidation and the arrests of thousands of its members. Inviting the nation’s largest opposition party — one that supports a constitution based on Islamic law — into negotiations reveals how much Egypt’s political landscape has changed in the last two weeks.


In Washington, political officials and diplomatic experts applauded the talks, saying they could represent a turning point in the crisis.

It’s “frankly quite extraordinary,” said Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He called progress on lifting the longtime emergency law a “major, major opening of the door to the democratic process.”

President Barack Obama, in a pre-Superbowl interview with Fox News, said that “Egypt is not going to go back to what it was.”

Hate...it's what's for dinner

Obama described the Muslim Brotherhood as a well-organized group with anti-American rhetoric, but he downplayed the group’s size and influence in Egypt and as a potential part of any new governing coalition.

“I think the Muslim Brotherhood is one faction in Egypt,” he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. “They are “well-organized,” he said, and “there are strains of the ideology that are anti-U.S.”

“It’s important for us not to say our only two options are the Muslim Brotherhood or a suppressed Egyptian people,” Obama said.

As has been his practice in recent days, Obama avoided saying that Mubarak should resign immediately. It remains unclear if the Egyptian government and the Brotherhood and other opposition groups can reach compromises on reform and other changes while Mubarak is in power.

Opposition groups have said they have not abandoned their demands that Mubarak step down. Sunday’s talks, however, allowed the government to show it was attempting to meet protesters’ demands while granting opposition parties a rare seat at the center of power.

The World is not enough

In an apparent bid to halt the protests, Mubarak recently promised that neither he nor his son Gamal would run in the presidential election scheduled for September. He shook up his Cabinet, and the leadership of the ruling party, including his son, resigned.

But the longtime leader has dug in his heels on the protesters’ demand that he leave office immediately, saying his abrupt departure would trigger chaos and pave the way for a takeover by Islamists.

In a communique issued after Sunday’s talks, endorsed by the opposition groups taking part, Suleiman promised a full investigation of the abrupt pullback of police in cities nine days ago — a move that triggered a wave of looting — and also a probe of last week’s violent and seemingly carefully choreographed attack on the square by groups supporting the regime.

The talks Sunday drew criticism from one key opposition leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who said he would not negotiate with the government until Mubarak stepped down.

“The whole idea was to move that regime to a new regime,” ElBaradei said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “Mubarak continues to be a symbol of that old regime, and I will not give any legitimacy to that existing regime.”

He proposed the creation of a transitional presidential council, including Suleiman or an army representative along with civilians, that would prepare the country for free and fair elections. Any elections before “the right people establish parties and engage” would be “fake democracy,” he said.

Although ElBaradei did not join Sunday’s talks, a representative of his National Front for Change attended.

Soldiers, meanwhile, continued to tighten their cordon around Tahrir Square, though demonstrators were still permitted to come and go. On Sunday, the 13th day of the uprising, families were back out in force — unlike on some previous days when the crowd was dominated by men grimly making ready to fight off gangs of pro-Mubarak partisans.

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