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My Distant views.. about the Chaos

Rashmi A. Raut is from Kazan, Russian FederationAs I sit in my warm room..  looking out of the frozen window.. smelling coffee in the air.. listening to the sound of silence, my mind wanders. Miles away from this part of the world, far south, below the equator, to the country where I always wanted to be. I love Egypt for its ancient history. For the pyramids and mysterious stories. For the Nile and for Sahara. For Suez canal.

But rite now Egypt is in news. It's just all over. And it is now that I know what a citizen of Egypt feels or goes through in 2011. They have a lot of problems. First and the foremost- No freedom. People there never tasted democracy it seems. No freedom of vote, no freedom of press, no freedom to speak out for urself. All these are then topped up by corruption and increasing poverty. Hailing from the largest democracy in the world, I really do know what democratic values are. But these does not fit into any! It is a live example of how a fragile newly stood up nation was taken from the hands of long standing Emergency to Democracy to Autocracy.

This is what happened in Iraq and Tunisia and this is exactly what might happen in Russian Federations. And rite now the dream of a democratic Egypt seen by its inhabitants, is like some nightmare...even at its worst.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 February 2011 00:05

Horses, Camels, Rocks, Molotovs: Egypt's Thug Tech

What type of low-tech weapons are supporters of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak using to attack the protestors in Cairo? Think rocks, camels, Molotov cocktails, space heaters and even a cavalry charge.

Egypt runs an ultra-modern security state, with extensive experience wielding the latest tools of repression. That was on display when the government shut down the Internet for six days in order to break up massive protests against President Hosni Mubarak. But as Mubarak's thugs go into suppression mode against protesters in Cairo, they're using low-tech weapons to injure an estimated 500 people at Tahrir Square.

The intensifying crackdown is decidedly old school. There was a cavalry charge into Tahrir Square: as the Army hung back in its armored personnel carriers, plainclothes police forces - some of their ID cards, captured by protesters, were shown on TV - rode camels and horses, attempting to break demonstrator phalanxes with wooden sticks.

The equine assault was a stark contrast to the Egyptian Army's armored personnel carriers in the square. After calling on the demonstrators to go home earlier Wednesday, the Army has stayed out of the assault, although some of its carriers became roadblocks to separate the warring factions. Journo/blogger Issandr El Amrani explains that presence of the horses and camels indicates that the regime "recruited from the stables near the Pyramids" to make up its hit squad.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 February 2011 01:31

All they needed was courage وكان كل ما يحتاجونه الشجاعة

When they began staging their protests in downtown Cairo, it seemed so risky, so unimaginable, so likely to be brutally swatted away by the heavy-handed hordes of government thugs.

In the republic of fear that has long reigned over Egypt, such things didn't happen. Showing the smallest hint of disobedience could be painful and sometimes fatal.

Yet the workers kept on coming despite the beatings, the threats and long confrontations with the government and companies that seemed to be going nowhere, and rarely toward workers' interests.

But they were—I know what I saw in Cairo last year. The nation's workers were  one of the groups who began to open the doors to the room where Egyptians have for decades stored their collective grit and outrage. They are now rediscovering those national assets.

Attempt at freedom

Finally finding a voice
To strike out at the villainous power
Rakish youth
Disposing of fear
To stoically stand
In the face of the demon
Whom simultaneously
Joins the ranks of revolution

(Bo Charles, United States)

What's in all that tear gas we've been selling Egypt?

What's in all that tear gas we've been selling Egypt?If you've been watching any coverage of the Egyptian protests, you've no doubt seen the tear gas plumes as canisters are shot at protestors—often to be picked up and hurled back moments later. Many of those tear gas containers falling on the bridges and streets of Cairo aren't local products, however; they come from Jamestown, Pennsylvania, home of Combined Tactical Systems.

Several reporters in Egypt have commented on that fact this week. ABC News ran a story on the gas today in which it quotes a protestor saying, "The way I see it, the US administration supports dictators."

It's no secret that Egypt is one of the largest recipients of US foreign military funding, much of which is designated to purchase US-made weapons; it's just that Americans don't often see Egyptians holding empty tear gas canisters stamped "Made in USA" up to a TV camera.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 02:47

Mubarak must go

The voices are clear
With their resounding chant
That leader has broken the back of our freedom
With his firm hateful hands
Doesn’t he understand?
Step down
We want you gone
And the internet back

(Bo Charles, United States)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 01:29