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Anti-Mubarak activists pour into Cairo's main square

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I hope all the young people demonstrating realize that the Muslim Brotherhood is calling for an Islamic state in Egypt, so if they get into power, they can say goodbye to any Western music, movies, food, fashions that they might like.

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smartacus, you are obviously not from that region and dont really know what you are talking about. Young people, especially in Egypt are extremely liberal. In fact, Egypt has always been very liberal. In the 50's 60's and 70's hardly any woman wore a headscarf. Belly dancing, as you know, is Egyptian. Have you ever seen what belly dancers wear. Egyptians love to party, drink, smoke, enjoy life. IF it's going anywhere, it would be towards LEBANON's liberal life style.

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I think lovejapan21 is probably right, but there is a lot of, let's say Israeli / US "spin" going on to try and justify keeping their guy in power. It is pretty obvious the deal that was made with Mubarak, and they want to keep the deal in place.

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lovejapan21

I don't know what you're talking about but I was referring to the part of the story that says the Muslim Brotherhood is calling for an Islamic state. Do you know what that means? A crackdown on the fun and liberal lifestyle that you are referring to.

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but there is a lot of, let's say Israeli / US "spin" going on to try and justify keeping their guy in power" No, that's your spin.... what is happening though is that both Israel and the US are worried if someone such as the Muslim brotherhood does take a foot hold in Egypt and if that does happen, smartacus post becomes correct. I know Egyptians and your right, they are liberal (but not like what US calls liberals) and up to date, but that is mostly due to what their leaders, including Mubarak have allowed them to be.. unlike the Muslim brotherhood won't... And to be specific, many I know are worried as they are not muslim or could careless about being Muslim, like my former bass player; coptics in NYC are already got blogs going on how worried they are should the MB take control. Lastly, why should one welcome an enemy?

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"...say Israeli / US "spin" going on to try and justify keeping their guy in power."

Isn't it obvious that one way or another Mubarak is finished?

"...LEBANON's liberal life style."

In the past, yes, but what of the future?

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chaos. only until the Muslim Brotherhood takes power.

from the frying pan into the fire.

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I guess what I was trying to say is, what you read in the papers is just propaganda. What Mubarak says and what the MB say is also bull. Im trying to say that the PEOPLE of EGYPT will most likely NOT elect such a group that would crush their liberal pleasures. The people of Egypt are very educated and are just looking for reforms to the corrupt regime. Not to put themselves back into the stone age

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Im trying to say that the PEOPLE of EGYPT will most likely NOT elect such a group that would crush their liberal pleasures" There is hardly anyone else to choose from... they should accept Mubarak's proposal and have free and fair elections but even then the MB is so powerful, they'd still end of winning... The people of Egypt are very educated and are just looking for reforms to the corrupt regime. Not to put themselves back into the stone age" The Iranians were too once upon a time...

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You know, if you really want to get down to it, all this proves it no one should let any one person or group have complete power for too long of a duration. These protests prove that just as the Iranian protests proved it just as what's going on all over the mid-east and just as those of us who are part of the "exiled communities" prove that.

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Mubarak says there will be chaos if he resigns now

I'm sorry, but I thought there already WAS chaos? Have I been watching different news?

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P.S., I think I should have mentioned Tienanmen Square too... so let this be a lesson to both those repub and dem die hards including those who slant too much towards capitalism as well as those who slant too much towards socialism and those too much towards any one religion. No of us are ready for a complete take over of any of them

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what an apologist. Stand back and let real people take back their democracy.

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I'm sorry, but I thought there already WAS chaos? Have I been watching different news?" I think this is why one should watch business news channels.

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Well said, sf2k.

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what an apologist. Stand back and let real people take back their democracy.

I'm not quite sure what Mubarak is doing wrong in some peoples eyes. His responses have been measured and calm. He has even offered to stand down in September, despite being hounded out of office by opposition activists. And for a nation with the most strategic waterway on this planet, he is completely correct in saying that there will be chaos if he leaves now. It will become another Iraq. Don't trust any government supporting this coup, as they are only interested in a power share of the Suez Canal (eh, President Obama?).

And the BBC's reporting has been a one-sided disgrace to the term journalism. Anything to do with the opposition demonstrations has used the expressions democracy and people power. However, their reporting on the pro-Mubarak supporters included accusations of their banners looking suspicious and professionally made. Why not describe the opposition banners as suspicious? Especially as this whole uprising was planned in advance by the opposition. Independent journalism it is not.

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northlondon, you said it correct. Anti Mubarack guys are called pro democracy and pro Mubarack guys are called all sort names. Its not only BBC. Aljazeera MSNBC etc

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sf2K

Democracy to me means voting in a government to make decisions for you, not "taking it back" through chaos.

The best thing all sides can do now is back off and go back to their homes and jobs and prepare for the election after Mubarak steps down. Then let each candidate state their position, whether it be fundamentalist or liberal, and have the election.

There is no need for any more violence and nothing to be gained by hounding Mubarak out of office now.

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MC72:

" Anti Mubarack guys are called pro democracy and pro Mubarack guys are called all sort names. Its not only BBC. Aljazeera MSNBC etc "

Exactly. I am just watching this charade on CNN. The bias is ridiculous. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood already stated their goal: A "democracy" with Sharia as its law. Which is of course the mother of all contradiction in terms.

And Western politicians, most notably the Potus, are cheering this on. Bizarre!

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what is happening though is that both Israel and the US are worried if someone such as the Muslim brotherhood

No, they are worried that someone will take over who isn't willing to cut a deal, Muslim brotherhood or anybody else. Mubarak has kept Egypt off of Israel's back for 30 years, and has been well compensated for it with US foreign aid and all the money that has flowed into his Swiss bank accounts. He is one very rich guy. The next guy might not be willing to go along with that, or might not be able to control those in Egypt who are anti-Israel. That is all they care about.

Just because the facts and arguments behind a smokescreen are or might be true doesn't mean it is not a smokescreen. It just means it is a more effective smokescreen, and means the Muslim brotherhood have become a very useful organization.

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This Muslim Brotherhood thing is such a false issue. From the NY Times:

"BAGHDAD — The ideology of radical Islam was developed in Egypt, and its cadres were hardened in the prisons of the country’s authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak. But as antigovernment demonstrators battled it out with government supporters in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, jihadi groups found themselves curiously on the outside. As Mr. Mubarak’s government teetered, jihadis wrestled with what it meant to see a principal adversary assailed by an uprising whose agenda they do not share, with a potential slate of candidates they do not support waiting to take his place."

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northlondon -- nonsense. If you knew what you were talking about, you would know Mubarek has ruled Eqypt with an iron fist for over 30 years -- with nothing but phony elections to provide the PR cover of some element of democracy. And he is stalling until September simply because we wants to make sure his man Sulieman has time to consolidate power. (He actually wanted his son as his successor, but now knows that is a non-starter.)

And, smartacus,

Democracy to me means voting in a government to make decisions for you, not "taking it back" through chaos. may be as silly a comment as I have read here in a while. Or did you forget that around 1776 a bunch of folks created chaos with the Brits so you could enjoy your definition of democracy?

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Journalists, human rights activists beaten by pro-Mubarak gangs

Even Japan Today are at it. The news footage I watched last night showed some pro-Mubarak supporter in an awful state being dragged away by an opposition mob (and Gold help him after that). Yet the headline here is only reporting on the pro-Mubarak attacks. Even the caption picture on this news story is showing a pro-Mubarak supporter acting aggressively and no balance by showing the opposition acitivists doing the same.

This is a done deal amongst the western news organisations and clearly being directed by the US and British governments who want Mubarak out.

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This Muslim Brotherhood thing is such a false issue. From the NY Times:" man, c'mon, the NYT? I'd prefer to get my news from Japan today before I bother spending the money for NYT...

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northlondon -- nonsense. If you knew what you were talking about, you would know Mubarek has ruled Eqypt with an iron fist for over 30 years -- with nothing but phony elections to provide the PR cover of some element of democracy. And he is stalling until September simply because we wants to make sure his man Sulieman has time to consolidate power. (He actually wanted his son as his successor, but now knows that is a non-starter.)

Unless any of us here are Egyptian and living in Egypt, I don't think we can make sweeping statements about Mubarak's phony elections and his iron fist. That is just your personal (western) opinion. Were George Bush's elections whiter-than-white? Do the British police force deal with anti-student fee demonstrators lightly and softly?

What you and some others here do not understand is that some of us are not supporting Mubarak and his policies in any way. We are merely highlighting the grave precedent it sets when a rioting mob are allowed to dictate government change. That is just common sense.

And this is not 1776.

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northlondon is right. When should an angry mob dictate change? Would you want the angry lynch mob to judge you? No. At a time like that you'd all be screaming for your human rights. What about the pro crowd? They have rights too. A few anti people shouldn't be able to change the world because well they don't like the government. If that were the way in Canada I think it would end in civil war. It's like you people support violent revolution against someone who is rather a mild "dictator". Do you also support violent change against Castro and the like?

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skipthesong: Do you usually scoff at a news outlet simply because you disagree with what the article states?

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may be as silly a comment as I have read here in a while. Or did you forget that around 1776 a bunch of folks created chaos with the Brits so you could enjoy your definition of democracy?

You've contradicted your own statement without realising it. The reason why a bunch of folks created chaos all the way back in 1776 was indeed so that we could enjoy our modern-day definition of democracy. And our definition of democracy means voting in an election with a ballot box and no longer having to resort to creating chaos anymore!

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herefornow

What's your definition of democracy? Creating a vacuum through chaos and anarchy and then letting the strongest side take power?

No thank you. I'll stuck with my definition. Have an election and vote in a leader and then allow him/her and the government to govern on the people's behalf.

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skipthesong:

" Im trying to say that the PEOPLE of EGYPT will most likely NOT elect such a group that would crush their liberal pleasures "

But yes, they will. While the Muslim Brotherhood itself only gets 20% of the votes, a huge majority of the population will vote for such innocent sounding demands like introducing "islamic principles" and "shariah courts" into the constitution. And then the country is on the slippery slope to a full Shariah dictatorship, and good night for the Coptic minority.

In an islamic country, introducing democracy by simply introducing "freedom" and letting the islamic parties take over does NOT work. Carter learned this the hard way in Iran. Bush learned it the hard way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. Hasn´t Barry learned anything?

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northlondon:

" I'm not quite sure what Mubarak is doing wrong in some peoples eyes. "

Who are "the people"? You can bet there is an educated middle class in Egypt which has really bought into idea of unspecified "freedom", Western style. And then there are the islamists, who have a very clear idea of what they want: Total Shariah, dhimmitude for the Copts, and death to Israel. The former are of course useful fools for the latter, who will dispense with them quickly and efficiently.

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WilliB: Your obsession with the Muslim Brotherhood is reaching historic proportions.

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Willi,

I was referring to the pro-opposition demonstration posters here on Japan Today. The posters who are protesting why Mubarak has not left office and how he should just go. My defence is that he is trying to keep the situation calm and not just leave his country in civil war.

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For those who think that the Muslim Brotherhood will usher in an era of free elections and peace in the region, this was reported from an article from NHK:

Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood movement has unveiled its plans to scrap a peace treaty with Israel if it comes to power, a deputy leader said in an interview with NHK TV.

Rashad al-Bayoumi said the peace treaty with Israel will be abolished after a provisional government is formed by the movement and other Egypt's opposition parties.

"After President Mubarak steps down and a provisional government is formed, there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel," al-Bayoumi said.

I guess all the "Hope & Change" that they had started to report that was going to happen in Egypt will probably not happen.

So if they do form a coalition govt. with the Muslim Brotherhood, I hope that they don't have the majority for the sake of not having a war develop in the area.

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This is a done deal amongst the western news organisations and clearly being directed by the US and British governments who want Mubarak out.

I really hope you dreamed that one up on your own.

The US and British governments want him IN, they just don't want to be too obvious about it in case he does end up out. But the USA has handed over billions to Mubarak, and they want to continue getting a return on their investment.

By the way Mubarak says thank you US taxpayer. You may not be able to pay for your schools and police and fire departments etc., but he is doing very nicely indeed.

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A European style democracy will never ever be in the Middle east or other parts of the world simply because of difference of views (morally or else) from different CULTURES! Your west idea of democracy DOES NOT FLY in Japan, China, Middle East and so on. The super power and its ally sound like Jehovah witness trying to shove what they believe on others and the best part about this is, its for their benefit only. Come on people, just accept the fact that people are different and have different views on things, especially on their definition of democracy!

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"A European style democracy will never ever be in the Middle east or other parts of the world simply because of difference of views (morally or else) from different CULTURES!"

So Egypt isn't a distinct culture and can only be viewed as just another one of "those Middle Eastern countries"?

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“When there are demonstrations of this size, there will be foreigners who come and take advantage and they have an agenda

Same with message boards.

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Don't they know that journalists just watch and should not actually have to experience the real world?

Then again, if journalists go where people are throwing rocks, they should know they might get hit.

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hereandnow -

If you knew what you were talking about, you would know Mubarek has ruled Eqypt with an iron fist for over 30 years -- with nothing but phony elections to provide the PR cover of some element of democracy.

so I take it you supported the US-led invasion of Iraq?

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GJDailleult: but there is a lot of, let's say Israeli / US "spin" going on to try and justify keeping their guy in power.

Last I checked Obama was saying that he sees Mubarak's tenure coming to an end and even sent a diplomat to say as much to Mubarak directly. What information are you basing your opinion on?

Mubarak has kept Egypt off of Israel's back for 30 years, and has been well compensated for it with US foreign aid and all the money that has flowed into his Swiss bank accounts.

I'm not naive to think that some foreign aid isn't pocketed. Just look at Arafat. But to say that all of it is going directly to him as some kind of payoff is just absurd. The aid package is a mix of humanitarian and military packages. And my guess is that despite the greedy hands of those in power the money has actually done some good for Egypt, at least to the extent that it can.

The next guy might not be willing to go along with that, or might not be able to control those in Egypt who are anti-Israel. That is all they care about.

Well stopping a potential war in the Middle East between Israel and Egypt seems like a pretty worthwhile thing to care about. You can't tell me that you're going to sit there with a smile on your face and gush about democracy if the result is tanks rolling across the border. You know it's a very complicated situation with a lot of moving parts and simply dumbing it down to "He pockets all the aid and no one cares" is just lazy.

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a protest movement that state TV and media have depicted as causing the chaos and paralyzing businesses and livelihoods.

"state TV and media" are correct. normal Egyptians have every reason to be angry with the protesters.

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I really hope you dreamed that one up on your own.

Maybe if you actually watched the coverage from the BBC then you could judge it for yourself. Pretty sure I wasn't dreaming when I watched the BBC last night.

The US and British governments want him IN, they just don't want to be too obvious about it in case he does end up out.

So when the US government are calling for Mubarak to respect the people and leave at official press conferences, is that their way of not being too obvious about their love for him? And the BBC's rather prejudiced anti-Mubarak view being beamed around the world, is also the British governments way of not being too obvious about their support for him?

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It must take a lot of guts to be out there protesting in public against a dictator who's kept a tight grip on power for 30 years through censorship and torture. Mubarak needs to step down now, and let the Egyptian people decide their future through free and fair elections. I hope to see the same thing happen in China and North Korea in my lifetime.

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So when the US government are calling for Mubarak to respect the people and leave at official press conferences, is that their way of not being too obvious about their love for him?

That's just US "doublespeak" trying to place bets on both sides of the table. So if Mubarak stays in, it can look like the US backed him. If he gets put out, then they can claim they were on the side of the protestors.

Instead of the old days, when a government made a decision, and stuck with it weather good or bad.

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SuperLib- I didn't say he pocketed the aid money, I said Egypt got aid money, and on top of that he has "all that money" in Swiss accounts. I have seen estimates of his net worth from between $20 billion to $70 billion, whether he was directly skimming off the aid money who knows, but it looks like a lot of it eventually found its way back to him one way or other.

As for US diplomacy, as said above by another poster, they are just placing bets on both sides of the table. They can't show support without getting the Egyptian people even more angry than they already are (bad if Mubarak stays) or risking backing the wrong horse if he goes. If he stays they can say "don't blame us, we said he should go". The US is just trying to be on the right side of whatever happens. And I never said anything about democracy, I said they want Mubarak to stay and so are using the worries about the Muslim brotherhood to justify him staying on.

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Instead of the old days, when a government made a decision, and stuck with it weather good or bad.

When were those 'old days'?? Fence sitting has occured in democratic government since time immemorial.

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Power is only truthfully attained thru peace. You must sit this out as a populace every day (millions protesting peacefully even with the Gov false-flag terror operations going on) and pray until the dictator is thrown out. The US backed Muslim Brotherhood is not your answer. Fiat debts (slavery) to the IMF/criminal bankers are worthless and should not be continued or repaid.

If you truly want your freedom you must fight these criminals thru peace. -Otherwise they will continue to try to install a tyranny to combat their own self-terrorism.

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When were those 'old days'?? Fence sitting has occured in democratic government since time immemorial.

@jason6: True it has, but in the past, some governments have stuck with their "persons in power" even through the bad.

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I heard that the protesters were calling for Mubarak to be tried for corruption. Fine, do that but to be fair to everybody they would also need to try all the taxi drivers, street vendors, most shopkeepers and the guys hanging around the airport as unofficial porters. I have been to Egypt many times, it's not the nicest place on earth. On one trip I commented that the place (Cairo) seemed to look a bit cleaner, were they expecting a high-level visitor? My Egyptian colleague commented, "no, it rained yesterday".

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Before you can have democracy you need civil society.

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I don't mean to alarm Mubarak, but chaos left the station a long time ago.

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GJDailleult: I didn't say he pocketed the aid money, I said Egypt got aid money, and on top of that he has "all that money" in Swiss accounts. I have seen estimates of his net worth from between $20 billion to $70 billion, whether he was directly skimming off the aid money who knows, but it looks like a lot of it eventually found its way back to him one way or other.

I don't really see your point. If he has that much money then he has more money than the US gave in aid. Or do you have an issue that aid was given at all?

As for US diplomacy, as said above by another poster, they are just placing bets on both sides of the table. They can't show support without getting the Egyptian people even more angry than they already are (bad if Mubarak stays) or risking backing the wrong horse if he goes. If he stays they can say "don't blame us, we said he should go". The US is just trying to be on the right side of whatever happens. And I never said anything about democracy, I said they want Mubarak to stay and so are using the worries about the Muslim brotherhood to justify him staying on.

That's not how I remember it playing out, but it's not like I was taking notes. I thought Obama made statements about making changes in the country and even talked about reviewing aid. Step 2 was to tell Mubarak that his time was ending. Step 3 is happening now with the US working with Egypt to plan the eventual transfer of power. I don't really see how that was playing both sides of the fence. Overall I think he did a good job of reading the situation as it was unfolding and reacting accordingly. It's not always bad to have power and influence in a country like Egypt in this situation.

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Overall I think he did a good job of reading the situation as it was unfolding and reacting accordingly. It's not always bad to have power and influence in a country like Egypt in this situation.

@SuperLib: YOu brought up good points, but what I was speaking about was a time when the US either stood by you in public, and may have made suggestions to a country in private as to what needs to be changed. Yes Obama made diplomatic overtures, but for all of his efforts, they could be viewed as trying to play on both sides of the field. What would have happened if Obama would have said, yes Egypt has a way to go in terms of political freedoms, but we have been allied with Mubarak for 30 years and we will stick with him.

I am sure Egypt has had to do a lot of "dirty work" for the US in the area, and for the US to just "dump" them now (i.e. Mubarak) does not sit well with our allies.

Just my opinion.

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Have you signed the statement on avaaz.org? "We stand with the people of Egypt in their demand for freedom and basic rights, an end to the crackdown and internet blackout, and immediate democratic reform. We call on our governments to join us in our solidarity with the Egyptian people."

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I think I look at it more in terms of him being in an impossible situation and making the most of it in the end. Mubarak will be gone, the US is able to not tilt too far one way or the other, and in the end hopefully they'll have more freedom than when they started with less blowback against the US. At the end of the day that's probably the best outcome a US president can hope for.

The fact is that if Obama supports Group A then Group B will hate him and if he supports Group B then Group A will hate him. Then the group he screwed could blow up the US embassy and people who stand here today and tell you he's making the right decision will switch sides and say he made the wrong decision and they'll use the bombing as evidence.

Just look at Egypt, Cuba, and Iraq. In one country we're trying to carefully push the country in the right direction and we get criticized for not doing enough. Remove a dictator in Iraq and suddenly those who criticize Obama for not standing up to a dictator will simply switch sides and criticize the US for removing one. And if we ignore one like in Cuba we'll get criticized for the damage we do by ignoring them. People who cry about hypocrisy never seem to realize that their position changes with each situation as well. They expect a "one size fits all" stance while they casually step across the line just to be on the other side of the US. In the end everyone is a hypocrite but only one group has to carry the burden of their decisions.

Or how about China? Venezuela? North Korea? Saudi Arabia? Syria? Are we going to be able to craft one policy that creates a positive outcome in all situations, one where there will be no blowback that we'll get blamed for? It's impossible. In the end you have to take each situation on its own and make the best decision you can make by trying to balance your ideals with pragmatism. In this situation I think Obama is making statements supporting the protesters without making demands and putting on the pressure behind the scenes. Maybe that seems watered down to some but I guarantee that those same exact people will criticize him for any negative outcome of making stronger statements. Instead of being too soft people will accuse him of meddling too much...the list goes on and on.

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AlphaApe: I am sure Egypt has had to do a lot of "dirty work" for the US in the area, and for the US to just "dump" them now (i.e. Mubarak) does not sit well with our allies.

I strayed off-topic for a bit, but I'm not too concerned about our allies. They play the same game that we play. They'll come out and blast us to placate their people but work with us behind the scenes. They aren't naive and they aren't doing us any favors without getting favors in return.

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Have you signed the statement on avaaz.org? "We stand with the people of Egypt in their demand for freedom and basic rights, an end to the crackdown and internet blackout, and immediate democratic reform. We call on our governments to join us in our solidarity with the Egyptian people."

Or alternatively you could sign your name on the website dontallowactiviststochangegovernmentwithrioting.com

You stand with a minority of activists wanting to put their man in control. Not with the people of Egypt.

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Superlib,

Your 01:20 post was a good read. I hope a lot of people take the time to read it.

Taka

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The mob, by some miracle, could install the most far-sighted, just and benign leader imaginable but facts on the ground, in the destitute and vast countryside beyond Cairo are not going to change overnight. Egypt's population has doubled since the fateful year of 1979. Illiteracy is at 30 percent. There aint no happy ending to this one.

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Suddenly the butterfly effect started to spread out to many countries namely in the Arabic world.. Mr. Mubarak may not be perfect..many people share an uncomfortable pre-feeling that, the removal of Mr. Mubarak, sounds indeed pretty easy amid a prolonged economic crisis, this would trigger a domino effect & make the region to be exposed to risks of serial 'revolutions' that end up with unsafe regimes & the Middle East will never be a relatively calm region anymore ! ..Mr. Obama should think twice before taking side..

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People keep arguing over which side the US and its allies should take, how it's a no-win situation if they either support or oppose Mubarak.

How about this- leave other countries alone. Let them grow up and take care of themselves. Do you fancy going back to live with your parents? I don't think it's any secret that meddling in other people's business ends up causing these sort of problems. That's what the Egyptian people and the Tunisians, Yemenis, etc are saying: enough meddling and geopolical tomfoolery already, get out.

If that means a lot of western corporate dollars are going to be lost, tough crackers, find another way Mr. Elite.

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