[The Telegraph, U.K.]

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Al-Wahdawi, Yemen

In Egypt, the 'Mother of All Battles' is Still to Come

 

"No noise is louder than the sound of change - even the sound of bullets. Violence is the first answer of the system, and so the danger to the population is fated to escalate, whether the situation is to end with reform, the president stepping down, or the cessation of hereditary rule."

 

By Rafiq Khoury

 

Translated By Aja Ishmael

 

January 29, 2011

 

Yemen - Al-Wahdawi - Original Article (Arabic)

An Egyptian anti-government protester shows his colors in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Feb. 4.

 

AL-JAZEERA: Live feed of the unfolding crisis in Egypt.RealVideo

No noise is louder than the sound of change - even the sound of bullets. The Tunisian revolution isn't the only thing that has filled the calendar of the Arab world with days of rage. Some of it is the monstrous rage in the street. Another is repressed anger - no one knows in which capital it might explode next. For example, in Cairo and other Egyptian cities and provinces, a regime that took over 30 years ago has generated massive protests calling for its head. In Yemen, demonstrators in the capital are demanding the head of our leader, who has held the presidency for 32 years. Meanwhile, the Southern Movement is calling for secession from the North, which has plunged into a war against the Houthis for the past six years. In Jordan, protesters are calling for the resignation of the government and the implementation of political and economic reforms.

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[Editor's Note: The author refers to a militant Shiite movement in North Yemen, which many suspect is funded and encouraged by Tehran. In the South, the Southern Movement is agitating for succession, and there are suspicions that it, too, is backed by Iran].

 

But all eyes are on Egypt, with its fires and clashes, and where Hosni Mubarak, in his capacity as military ruler and in accordance with the Emergency Law in effect since 1981, has resorted to a curfew. In terms of Middle East strategic calculations, Egypt is of the highest geopolitical importance. One can't compare Egypt's situation to that of Tunisia, because change in Tunisia isn't of a kind that has an impact on such calculations. While change in Egypt is having an impact on the entire Arab world, it also affects the situation in Israel and its peace treaty with Egypt, as well as American influence in the region, and the positions of certain forces (Arab moderates) in countering Iranian influence.

 

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

Al-Seyassah, Kuwait: U.S. Pressure on Rights and Democracy is at Root of the Problem

Tehran Times, Iran: Egyptians and All Arabs Must Beware of 'Global Ruling Class'

Le Quotidien dOran, Algeria: Mubarak, Friends Scheme to Short-Circuit Revolt

Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: America Must Act or Cede Egypt to the Islamists

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: America's' 'Shameful' Faustian Bargain Unravels

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Mubarak Regime 'Still Very Much in Power'

Hankyoreh, South Korea: Egypt: Will U.S. Pick the Right Side this Time?

Global Times, China: Egypt, Tunisia Raise Doubts About Western Democracy

Kayhan, Iran: Middle East Revolutions Herald America's Demise

Sydney Morning Herald: Revolution is in the Air, But U.S. Sticks to Same Old Script

The Telegraph, U.K.: America's Secret Backing for Egypt's Rebel Leaders

Debka File, Israel: Sources: Egypt Uprising Planned in Washington Under Bush

 

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When the protests began in Tunisia and the government rushed to suppress them, the question on everyone's mind was: where does America and the army stand? The answer was made clear. President Obama's administration went with change and abandoned its ally, who had become like burned paper. The professional military, which had no political role, refused to suppress the protesters and protect Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. He was allowed to flee.

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[Editor's Note: Ben Ali is now in Saudi Arabia, and Interpol has issued a warrant for his arrest].

 

But in Egypt, circumstances and attitudes are different. The army, which has descended to the streets, is the same army that carried out the 1952 July Revolution and then remained attached to the regime's major party. It has been its protector, and has had the legitimacy to promote presidents from its ranks. As for President Obama, he gave two pieces of advice to President Mubarak: one, previously, about the need for political and economic reform, and the other, more recently, that violence is not the solution.

 

But implementing reforms was difficult for the Egyptian president, who the opposition says is concerned only about securing the succession of his heir, Gamal. Violence is the first answer of the system, and so the danger to the population is fated to escalate, whether the situation is to end with reform, the president stepping down, or the cessation of hereditary rule.

 

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US February 4, 5:19pm]

 






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