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US "Losing Credibility By The Day" on Egypt: ElBaradei

Mohamed ElBaradei
© Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images, Agence France-Presse
Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei is surrounded by reporters as he arrives at Cairo airport on Thursday.
The United States is "losing credibility by the day" in calling for democracy in Egypt while continuing to support President Hosni Mubarak, leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday.

ElBaradei repeated his call for the longtime strongman to step down, going so far as to assert it should happen within the next three days.

"The American government cannot ask the Egyptian people to believe that a dictator who has been in power for 30 years will be the one to implement democracy," ElBaradei told US network CBS from Cairo.

"You are losing credibility by the day. On one hand you're talking about democracy, rule of law and human rights, and on the other hand you're lending still your support to a dictator that continues to oppress his people," added ElBaradei, the former head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

Vader

Obama demands change as Mubarak meets army

egypt,protesteres
© Associated Press

Cairo - The United States led an international push on Sunday to force President Hosni Mubarak to yield to Egyptians' demands for democracy. But there was little sign the army was about to end his 30-year rule -- just yet.

Egyptian diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, claiming a mandate from disparate opposition groups to negotiate a handover of power with the military, called on Washington to "cut off life support to the dictator." Six days of unrest has killed more than 100 people, rocked the Middle East and rattled global investors.

But President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with European leaders, stopped short of urging the immediate departure of the 82-year-old Mubarak, who has made the most populous Arab state an ally of the West in its conflicts with Soviet communism and, now, with radical Islam.

Vader

Mubarak gives army shoot-to-kill order

Square in Cairo
© PressTV
Egyptian demonstrators gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo on January 30, 2011 on the sixth day of angry revolt against Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Reports say the army has been ordered to shoot when it sees fit. Military helicopters and jet fighters fly over major locations as the numbers of protesters multiply there.

Tens of thousands of people have practically taken over the Tahrir Square in the city center despite heavy military presence, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Clashes between demonstrators and police have left at least 150 people dead and thousands more wounded since anti-Mubarak rallies began in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria on Tuesday.

Protesters have one demand and that is the resignation of President Mubarak. They want a regime change and have dismissed Mubarak's appointment of a vice-president and prime minister.

Gear

US: Backlash over firing of pro-Palestinian professor

Image
© Wikipedia
The Brooklyn College campus and Kristofer Petersen-Overton (inset).
A group that defends academic freedom is going after Brooklyn College for the firing of an adjunct professor.

A watchdog group that defends academic freedom has now weighed in on the case of a Brooklyn College professor who was fired after complaints from a local politician about his pro-Palestinian views.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) sent off a letter today to the president of Brooklyn College about the case of Kristofer Petersen-Overton, who was fired after he was appointed to teach a course on Middle East politics but before the class had actually started. I detailed the firing, which Brooklyn College maintains was a matter of credentials, here.

Cowboy Hat

Families of Egyptian Businessmen Leave Cairo in 19 Private Jets

Cairo - An official at Cairo airport says 19 private jets carrying families of wealthy Egyptian and Arab businessmen have flown out of the capital.

The official said the jets left Saturday carrying dozens of family members of Egypt's business elite. He said most of the planes were headed for Dubai.

The passengers included the families of telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris, the executive chairman of Orascom Telecom, and Hussein Salem, a hotel tycoon and close confidant of President Hosni Mubarak.

The exodus of the families comes as Egypt enters its sixth day of mass unrest directed against Mubarak and what they say have been policies that further enrich the wealthy at the average citizen's expense.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

USA

US National Guard troops heading to Egypt

Image
© Aleah Castrejon
Groton - Connecticut National Guard Detachment 2, Company I, 185th Aviation Regiment of Groton has mobilized and will deploy to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, to support the Multinational Force and Observers.

The unit left Connecticut Jan. 15 for Fort Benning, Ga., for further training and validation. The unit operates C-23C Sherpa aircraft and has deployed three times in the last seven years in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unit will provide an on-demand aviation asset to the Multinational Force and Observers commander to support its mission of supervising the security provisions of the Egypt/ Israel Peace Treaty.

Chief Warrant Officer Four James Smith of Ivoryton commands the aviation unit.

Comment: This curious bit of news managed to escape the attention of the Mainstream media.


Chess

Egypt: US-Backed Repression is Insight for American Public

Image
© Phil Disley
As thousands more Egyptian citizens take to the streets in anti-government protests, the country is in danger of witnessing a bloodbath - at the behest of Washington.

Defying a ban on public demonstrations by the government of President Hosni Mubarak, tens of thousands of Egyptians have for the fourth consecutive day rallied on the streets of the capital Cairo and other major cities calling for his abdication. Inspired by the mass uprising in neigbouring Tunisia earlier this month, which forced its president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali into exile, the protesters in Egypt are likewise demanding Mubarak and his government to quit.

Mubarak's military apparatus has so far shown brutal determination to suppress the uprising. As many as seven civilians have been killed by heavily armed riot police, hundreds are reported injured and more than 1,000 arrests have been made by secret security agents who were videoed bundling protesters into unmarked vehicles. Now the country's formidable military forces are reported to have taken up positions in public places in Cairo and elsewhere.

But it is Washington's latest intervention that could trigger an escalation of Egyptian state violence against its people. Speaking to media, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described the Mubarak government as an "important ally" and that the US "expects" the 30-year-old regime to remain intact. Forget the hollow and cynical plea by Gibbs to the Egyptian government and protesters to refrain from violence, the key message is continuing US support for the regime. In other words, the US is assuring Mubarak that it stands full-square behind his bid to stay in power. Given that the already-lethal response of the Egyptian state did not draw a word of condemnation from the White House nor that the population's demands for democracy and social justice were unequivocally endorsed can only send the following code to Mubarak: do whatever you must to get these people off the streets.

Meanwhile, an Israeli cabinet minister probably voiced the unvarnished essence of the US position when he was quoted in Israeli media as urging the Mubarak to use lethal force to quell the protests. "They will have to use force, power in the streets..." the unnamed minister said.

Chess

One in, one out: Tunisian exiled leader Rachid Ghannouchi returns home from London

Image
© Unknown
Leader of Tunisia's main Islamic party Rachid Ghannouchi
Leader of Tunisia's main Islamic party Rachid Ghannouchi has returned to his homeland after more than 20 years in exile, following the departure of the ousted Tunisian ruler Zine El Abidin Ben Ali.

His return comes after Tunisia's interim government issued an amnesty for all the country's banned political activists. The amnesty is yet to be approved by the parliament.

Ghannouchi, who left Tunisia shortly after Ben Ali came to power in a 1987 coup, is not expecting to return "triumphantly" and wants to return simply as "a free man," AFP quoted his spokesmen as saying.

The 69-year-old leader earlier said that he plans to let younger people take over his once outlawed Ennahda (Awakening) movement.

Meanwhile, the new government installed after Ben Ali's fall has unveiled unprecedented democratic freedoms, including lifting media restrictions, releasing political prisoners and registering banned parties.

Binoculars

Sex Tapes! Blackmail & More! F.B.I. Misconduct Revealed!

Years of government investigations of agents and supervisors reveal sex tapes, misuse of government computers, blackmail and security violations.


Bad Guys

US embassy official in Pakistan accused of being Blackwater agent

Image
© Unknown
People look at the blood stains in a Lahore street after the American consular killed two Pakistanis on January 27, 2011.
Pakistani media say the US embassy official charged with the murder of two Pakistani citizens is an agent for the notorious security firm, Blackwater.

The US official identified by police as Raymond Davis shot dead two men riding on a motorcycle in Lahore on Thursday in what he claimed was self-defense during an attempted robbery.

A third Pakistani was run over and killed in the incident after being hit by a US consulate vehicle rushing to the scene to the American's aid.

The US embassy in Islamabad has confirmed the man involved was a consular official and says it is carrying out an investigation.