Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Clashes In Egypt Turn Violent

As you know, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak announced yesterday that he would not seek another term as president, would spend the rest of his term working on a peaceful transition of power and would step down in September.

As I predicted, that wasn't going to satisfy the opposition, who want him out now, regardless. The army had ordered protesters to return home today, but they have pretty much been ignored.

As a consequence, there have been reports of numerous violent clashes between pro-Mubarak and opposition forces, and even the media has not been immune. CNN's Anderson Cooper was apparently attacked by a mob and punched out for no apparent reason other than being a ferenghi, an experience that may modify his views a bit on the glories of Islamic culture and civilization. ( via memeorandum)

Speaking of media, a number of commentators on the scene are reporting that a lot of the protesters hate America and hate Jews. Who woulda thunk it, hmm?

Apparently the army let the chaos go on a bit too long. At this point, they would have to shoot a few people to restore order. Since I doubt they're going to do that, it also means that (a) the army is going to have to horsetrade with the opposition and the Muslim Brotherhood to include them in a new government and (b) Mubarak will be leaving much faster than he planned.

I'd be surprised if Mubarak lasts out the week.

In Jordan, the story is similar, although as I mentioned before there's a significant tribal element involved. The powerful Muslim Brotherhood opposition has refused to accept King Abdullah's new prime minister and is demanding his ouster. Apparently he's too pro-US and supports continuing the peace treaty with Israel, so I'm sure Abdullah is weighing getting rid of him to keep the peace and may likely put a new government in place of the Muslim Brotherhood's liking.

Israel may very well be looking at a scenario in the near future where it is surrounded by Iranian proxies and allies.

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