valatan (valatan) wrote,

Egypt, because I'm an insomniac tonight, and people sometimes like news recaps

So, for those of you who might not know, Egypt has been ruled for the last 30 years under an emergency rule clause in its constitution, resulting in functional one-party rule over this time. It's also been a key ally of the west, being, along with Jordan, one of two Arab states to have diplomatic relations with Israel*, and to be generally friendly about the Suez canal.

Well, with a general spike in food prices, this autocratic rule, increased persecution of Coptic Christians, and the ouster of the Tunisan government, there's apparently been a tipping point. Egyptians have taken to the streets, and the government has responded by shutting down all internet in the 26th largest economy in the world, along with a huge swath of SMS and cell-phone service. The major dissident pro-democracy leader in the country has returned, with the opposition Muslim Brotherhood party reporting that its leaders have been jailed. There are reports that the regular police have been cleared out of Cairo, meaning that perhaps the government may be calling in the uniformed military.

US response to this has been half-assed, at best. But at least they're not alone in that. And at least the current government didn't say shit like this, but that's really no consolation to me.

Anyway, Check out how fed up the street protestors are. The only thing it reminds me of is the Tienamen Square guy.

*In exchange for this recognition, Carter gave the Egyptians a matching contribution of military aid to what was given to Israel--Egypt is currently the #2 recipient of US military aid after Israel. It should also be pointed out that Mubarak's government has supported the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-led government in the Gaza strip
Tags: egypt, foreign policy, insomnia, politics

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