Nominate Tarek Heggy for Next President of Egypt

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

Voice of the Copts nominates and endorses Tarek Heggy.

The people’s revolution in Egypt is asking for democracy, freedom and human rights. Egypt has been ruled by dictators since 1952 and Egyptians are asking for the right to a democratic society – a society that respects human rights and human dignity, fights corruption and discrimination, and protects and treats citizens equally under the law without considering personal faith.

For a new and free Egypt, Voice of the Copts nominates and endorses Tarek Heggy, an Egyptian Liberal political thinker and international petroleum strategist, to lead the country of Egypt into a new democratic era.

At this time, we are asking all Egyptians living in the Diaspora to support and encourage our initiative. We hope that after Dictator Mubarak has fled Egypt and communication is restored, Egyptians will recognize our initiative and support Tarek Heggy for President.


Obama’s 3 am Moment

By: Nancy Morgan
Right Bias

One of the issues raised in the run-up to our last presidential election was the question “Which candidate is best qualified to handle a ‘3 am moment’?” America now has a partial answer. It isn’t President Obama.

Last Friday was Day 4 of the ongoing protests in Egypt, where tens of thousands Egyptians took to the streets to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. As the situation reached a flash point, with a mounting death toll and Egyptian tanks in the streets of Cairo, President Obama maintained his silence. Well, not quite. He did Twitter, by proxy.

Around noon Friday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs issued a 22 word statement on Twitter: “Very concerned about violence in Egypt – government must respect the rights of the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and internet.” The White House also informed the media that Obama had received a 40 minute briefing on the situation. Phew!

After the US markets tanked Friday, a full 4 days after the beginning of the Egyptian crisis, Obama finally addressed the nation. As usual, our president first absolved himself of any blame, stating that if only Egypt had instituted the reforms Obama had been suggesting for the last 2 years, the crisis could have been averted. He then went on to make a bold statement about human rights, “…and the US will stand up for them – everywhere.” Period.

By Saturday, the uprising in Egypt had spread to other countries, with waves of Arab protests in Tunisia, Jordan and Yemen. Saturday night, Obama partied. “The Washington A-List was out in force Saturday night at the farewell party for senior adviser David Axelrod, with a roster of guests featuring Cabinet secretaries, big shot journos and Obama.”

On Sunday, with the protests turning into a conflagration, the only word from the White House was that Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, was heading to Haiti to “mediate the political crisis.” That’s right, Haiti.

Meanwhile, the only information available to Americans comes from talking heads and the few journalists not hung-over from Saturday’s rollicking good time at the White House. The only “official” information so far from the White House was Joe Biden’s statement on Day 3 of the protests. Joe said that President Hosni Mubarak should not step down. He then proceeded to downplay the protests spreading across the Mid East as generally unconnected.

The world is left wondering what position America, the world’s former superpower, will take. The only stance our administration has taken to date is a generic plea for an end to the violence and the oft-repeated call for human rights. Meanwhile, the world teeters on the brink as a global crisis with profound geopolitical implications for the U.S. continues to unfold.

Obama’s 3 am moment has come. And gone. Obama was noticeably AWOL. America is now officially bereft of leadership, at least until the latest polls come in.

Under Obama’s leadership, the US has voluntarily ceded its authority as the world’s super power. After all, according to Obama, all countries and cultures are equal. America’s voice should be but one of many. This is now becoming a reality. Egypt continues to burn. And Obama parties and Twitters by proxy. Welcome to the new world order.

Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com.
She lives in South Carolina.

This article was first published in American Thinker on January 31, 2011


A Socialist’s “On the Ground” View of Events in Egypt

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Hossam el-Hamalawy

Mark LeVine, a leftist professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, interviews Egyptian blogger and activist Hossam el-Hamalawy from the Center for Socialist Studies, for Al Jazeera.

Even Glenn Beck and Frances Fox Piven get a mention.

Emphasis added.

Mark LeVine: Why did it take a revolution in Tunisia to get Egyptians onto the streets in unprecedented numbers?

Hossam el-Hamalawy: In Egypt we say that Tunisia was more or less a catalyst, not an instigator, because the objective conditions for an uprising existed in Egypt, and revolt has been in the air over the past few years. Indeed, we already managed to have 2 mini-intifadas or “mini-Tunisias” in 2008. The first was the April 2008 uprising in Mahalla, followed by another one in Borollos, in the north of the country.

Revolutions don’t happen out of the blue. It’s not because of Tunisia yesterday that we have one in Egypt mechanically the next day. You can’t isolate these protests from the last four years of labor strikes in Egypt, or from international events such as the al-Aqsa intifada and the US invasion of Iraq. The outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada was especially important because in the 1980s-90s, street activism had been effectively shut down by the government as part of the fight against Islamist insurgents. It only continued to exist inside university campuses or party headquarters. But when the 2000 intifada erupted and Al Jazeera started airing images of it, it inspired our youth to take to the streets, in the same way we’ve been inspired by Tunisia today.

Mark LeVine: What is the relationship between regional and local events here?

Hossam el-Hamalawy: You have to understand that the regional is local here. In 2000 the protests didn’t started as anti-regime protests but rather against Israel and in support of Palestinians. The same occurred with the US invasion of Iraq three years later. But once you take to the streets and are confronted by regime violence you start asking questions: Why is Mubarak sending troops to confront protesters instead of confronting Israel? Why is he exporting cement to be used by Israel to build settlements instead of helping Palestinians? Why are police so brutal with us when we’re just trying to express our solidarity with Palestinians in a peaceful manner? And so regional issues like Israel and Iraq were shifted to local issues. And within moments, the same protesters who chanted pro-Palestinian slogans started chanting against Mubarak. The specific internal turning point in terms of protests was 2004, when dissent turned domestic.

Mark LeVine: As you might have heard, in the US, the right wing talk show host Glenn Beck has gone after an elderly academic, Frances Fox Piven, because of an article she wrote calling on the unemployed to stage mass protests for jobs. She’s even gotten death threats, some from unemployed people who seem happier fantasizing about shooting her with one of their many guns than actually fighting for their rights. It’s amazing to think about the crucial role of trade unions in the Arab world today considering more than two decades of neo-liberal regimes across the region whose primary goal has been to destroy working class solidarity. Why have unions remained so important?

Hossam el-Hamalawy: Unions have always been proven to be the silver bullet for any dictatorship. Look at Poland, South Korea, Latin America and Tunisia. Unions were always instrumental in mass mobilization. You want a general strike to overthrow a dictatorship, and there is nothing better than an independent union to do so.

Mark LeVine: Is there a larger ideological program behind the protests, or just get rid of Mubarak?

Hossam el-Hamalawy: Everyone has his or her reasons to take to the streets, but I would assume that if our uprising became successful and he’s overthrown you’ll start getting divisions. The poor will want to push the revolution to a much more radical position, to push the radical redistribution of wealth and to fight corruption, whereas the so-called reformers who want to put breaks and more or less lobby for change in the top and curb powers of state a little bit but keep some essence of the state. But we’re not there yet.

Mark LeVine: What is the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and how will its remaining aloof from the current protests impact the situation?

Hossam el-Hamalawy: The Brotherhood has been suffering from divisions since the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada. Its involvement in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement when it came to confronting the regime was abysmal. Basically, whenever their leadership makes a compromise with the regime, especially the most recent leadership of the current supreme guide, it has demoralized its base cadres. I know personally many young brothers who left the group, some of them have joined other groups or remained independent. As the current street movement grows and the lower leadership gets involved, there will be more divisions because the higher leadership can’t justify why they’re not part of the new uprising.

Mark LeVine: What about the role of the US in this conflict. How do people on the street view its positions?

Hossam el-Hamalawy: We don’t expect anything from Obama, whom we regard as a great hypocrite. But we hope and expect the American people – trade unions, professors’ associations, student unions, activist groups, to come out in support of us. What we want for the US government is to completely get out of the picture. We don’t want any sort of backing; just cut aid to Mubarak immediately and withdraw backing from him, withdraw from all Middle Eastern bases, and stop supporting the state of Israel.

Ultimately, Mubarak will do whatever he has to do to protect himself. He will suddenly adopt the most anti-US rhetoric if he thought that would help him save his skin. At the end of the day he’s committed to his own interests, and if he thinks the US won’t support him, he’ll turn somewhere else. The reality is that any really clean government that comes to power in the region will come into open conflict with the US because it will call for radical redistribution of wealth and ending support for Israel or other dictatorships. So we don’t expect any help from America, just to leave us alone.


The Mubarak Regime Halts All Public Transportation

By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

The Egyptian dictator is still fighting against the people’s will for freedom and the call for his resignation. The number of protestors has reached one million in Cairo.

In order to prohibit people outside Cairo from reaching the city, Mubarak ordered all public transportation throughout the country stopped.  

The people of Egypt are not accepting any compromise with any member of the regime or anyone under its authority.  

Early this morning, army officials announced that the military would not fight against protestors. Two days ago, under order from Mubarak, military jets and choppers flew over the crowds of protesters to intimidate them, but from the ground people shouted in defiance, “we are not afraid, we are ready to die for our freedom.”

Food stores are shut down, the country is completely paralyzed. No one is respecting the ordered curfew/lockdown from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Protestors are reacting against the United States administration which supports the dictatorial regime headed by Mubarak and more recently affirms the Muslim Brotherhood as a potential part of Egypt’s political future.

In fact, after U.S. backing of Mubarak, the streets of Alexandria, for the first time since the beginning of the people’s upheaval on January 25th, have been filled with Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters shouting Islam is the answer.

Last Friday, after Muslims were released from prayer in mosques around the country and poured into the streets to join what was relatively peaceful protesting, violence ensued along with the increase in numbers.

As this Friday approaches, there is once again fearful anticipation that the Muslim Brotherhood will take advantage of the people’s rebellion.