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controlled chaos?

We note that CNN showed many shots of army personnel basically hanging out with the protesters. NYT reported the same. Sounds good on the surface, and we thought so too, but it may be that the army has been ordered to stand down, to allow chaos to foment. The following statements are allegedly from a "man on the street" in Egypt.

· Mohandaseen is burning—we are surrounded by looters, and the army is just watching

· They are looting houses and we have no idea who these looters are

· My parents asked army tank guys and they said we cannot intervene!

· Everyone here is saying that Mubarak is being spiteful-he wants looters so that he can say-Look I gave you calm for 30 years? OK now you want to get rid of me? Well see the chaos my going can bring-Enjoy the unrest and the looting. Only I could have protected all of you!

· I was driving and 3 men with knives attacked me near Sudan street—I had to sort of run them over

· Big rumor that Mubarak is releasing prisoners and arming them so that they can infiltrate neighbourhoods and loot them

· Maadi, Street number nine-huge vandalism happening—There is looting everywhere in Rihab city, in Mohandasin, in Shubra. In Heliopolis there are plainsclothes police

· My parents are organizing all the baobabs in our street and making blockades to stop the looters

· There are Balkageyah (thugs) everywhere—all rich neighborhoods are being attacked

· I think he is fucked up yaani--He didnt resign---his speech instigated the violence---now looters and the poor think that when you know there is no hope you might as well get as much as you can as long as the chaos lasts--people were hopeful that he would go

· Maybe in other governates--people are more organized and closer to each other as community they will organize better, perhaps—In Cairo it is difficult to control the chaos and disorder—there are 19 million people in this city who often don’t talk to each other and are so separated by class and money—I am wondering how they can organize together?

· The people in Cairo are fighting two things--they are fighting police forces but also now fighting looters

· People prayed the Salat ul Genaza, the funeral prayer after the evening prayers in Tahrir—we carried a body through the crush of thousands—I was crying, so many of us were crying

Who are the looters?
On the other hand, according to DEBKAfile, Mubarak sent defense minister Tantawi to Washington to beg for a crackdown. So does Mubarak want things to get out of hand, or not?

debkafile's Washington sources report that in secret meetings, the Egyptian defense minister put the situation before President Barack Obama and a row of top US political, military and intelligence officials. He warned them that by advocating a soft hand with the demonstrators and responsiveness to their demands, American officials were doing more harm than good. Without a crackdown, he said, the regime was doomed. Tantawi also warned that the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which has stood aside from the opposition protests, was merely biding its time for the right moment to step in and take over. He asked the Obama administration for an urgent airlift of advanced riot control equipment. The American response to the case presented by Tantawi is not known. Disclosure of his trip to Washington might well add fuel to the fires of disaffection burning in cities across Egypt.
Mubarak may be under the impression that he can still hold onto power.

This would be a perfect time to demand concessions from him, to make him more compliant.

Then he can be tossed aside.


Meanwhile, according to doctors at one Cairo hospital, the death toll is much higher than reported, and many of the victims have been shot in the head or chest.

The death toll so far during Cairo's days of protests is much higher than reported in the news, according to doctors at one of Cairo's largest hospitals.
A resident doctor at the hospital who was assisting with surgeries yesterday told Al-Masry Al-Youm today that most of those admitted were not wounded, but dead. He estimated the number at more than 50.
The doctor said the wounds were from live bullets, not rubber bullets, and most appeared to be aimed at the head and heart, leading him to believe that orders to the riot police were to kill, not injure, the tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets in anti-government protests this week.


Internet shutdown was coordinated and complete. h/t Switters

In the face of mounting political unrest, Egypt took the unprecedented step of severing all Internet connections and shutting down its cellphone services—with the cooperation of international firms..Egyptian authorities asked mobile operators to "turn down the network totally," said Vittorio Colao, chief executive of U.K.-based Vodafone Group PLC, which owns 55% of Egypt's largest carrier, Vodafone Egypt.


Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman as vice president.

Jon Alterman, Mideast director at CSIS called him a "very reassuring" point man for both the US-Egyptian and Israel-Egyptian relationship.

"Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks help illustrate that point." DON'T THEY ALWAYS?

A report on an April 2009 meeting with Suleiman and Mike Mullen confirms that Suleiman's overarching regional goal was combating radicalism in Gaza, Iran and Sudan.

"It is intended to send a message that if Hosni Mubarak leaves, the system remains. It is not reassuring to the protesters, but it is reassuring to people who fear that Egypt might be slipping into chaos." ~ Jon Alterman

Right. Who cares about reassuring the protesters. Better to reassure people who FEAR that Egypt might be slipping into chaos.

Who would be afraid of Egypt slipping into chaos? Israeli citizens?

"Many Israelis did not think Egyptians had it in them to rebel." Israel worried as Mubarak teeters

''We think the regime is holding its ground and won't be closed as a regime but there is a lot of uncertainty as to the next move,'' the official said.

We're not at all sure what's going on, but we think probably some people would like
to keep the chaos at just the right temperature.

Whatever happens, it will JUSTIFY something. We'll know more about what's going on when we see what is considered a JUSTIFIED RESPONSE by the US and Israel.


Anonymous said…
Might be a good time to take a look at this one if you have never seen it before. Control of Egypt is crucial in more ways than one. There is a lot of stuff buried there you are not supposed to know about. Much of it has not been loaded up at night and carried away to the vatican and British Museum yet.
Anonymous said…
I kept watching the footage and it is obvious that the army has been standing down. There were a few soldiers trying to talk down some of the protesters, but other than that, nothing.

Yet, these same soldiers never turned any weapons towards the police to defend the protesters. Its as if it is staged or controlled, as you suggest.
A. Peasant said…
notice here the fear-mongering with the israeli public:

"Israeli intelligence, like most of the West, did not foresee the force of the turnabout (the conclusive epithet "revolution" will have to wait, it seems ).

Like them, the overwhelming majority of media pundits and academic experts were also mistaken."

they've got this narrative going that they didn't see it coming.

and israel's security may be threatened:

"The fall of the Mubarak government, father and son, will have far reaching security consequences for Israel."

something will have to be done. you know how that goes.
Hei Hu Quan said…
The situation in Egypt is indeed complicated. Is it of organic manifestation and composition? Meaning is it a people's uprising versus one orchestrated by proxy via a foreign power? One way to tell for sure is to monitor Israel's actions and reactions, and how they match up to the marching orders they give to their two main prostitutes the US and UK.

The key to gaining a true picture of what is going on in Egypt is from the masses there with their boots on the ground. Alas, the brand spanking new state strategy of unplugging the Internet has been field-test deployed in Egypt to vain attempts to suppress any citizen reportage to the international community. Freedom committed people are resilient, and it's been reported that ingenious ways are being utilised to communicate out. These include shortwave broadcasting, dial-up connections, HootSuite (a Vancouver-based site that allows social network management), Twitter, and ham radio broadcasts. Where there's a will, there's a way and what is done technologically can equally be undone.

There are eyewitnesses reporting that agents provocateurs are running riot (literally) committing strategic and random acts of theft, murder and violence. Additionally, Al-Jazeera is reporting that looters apprehended by citizen patrols were in possession of central security services IDs and government issued weapons. We need to all watch how this all transpires in Egypt, as it reveals tactics, state-sponsored subversive machinations and chicanery used to prevent any revolutionary changes. Watch and learn.
Anonymous said…
My prediction, this will spin out of control.
Anonymous said…
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
BB Yeats
Switters said…
One key to possibly understanding this phenomena may lie in looking back at old articles that discuss this possibility and checking the comments
A. Peasant said…
great comments all. switters i will check out the link. thanks.
A. Peasant said…
hmm. ElBaradai perhaps, and/or the Muslim Brotherhood. some kind of coalition government? that would be a two-fer. win win.

note the last para of Newsweek's drama-filled description of team O's handling of the situation, which they got from Daily Beast:

"It was a breath-taking pledge, with Obama coming close to making the U.S. the guarantor that Mubarak will act. In Egypt, his reference to “all quarters” will be taken to suggest that the U.S. will even reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood, an unprecedented step.

In the last week, the administration has come a long way."
Anonymous said…
When the CIA toppled Suharto, the key parts of the Indonesian military were part of the CIA plot.

- Aangirfan
A. Peasant said…
Aan you are nailing this one.