BraveNewEgypt

Violence Breaks Out In Cairo- but it has a benefit

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Violence breaks out between protesters for and against Mubarak at Midan el Tahrir

The concept of ‘divide and conquer’ is among the oldest battlefield tactics ever used. Today it has been used on our beautiful revolution with devastating effect. Hosni Mubarak’s speech was carefully orchestrated. It gave enough to satisfy those who are skeptical of change, while holding back enough to ensure that Mubarak maintained his position of power until September at least.

Widespread reports are that freed prisoners, hired thugs, plainclothes policeman, known generally as ‘el Baltagiya’, are being employed to attack the crowds of peaceful protesters. This goes against all common sense, but it is the truth. The even sadder truth is that civilians have joined in the violence as well, mainly on the pro-Mubarak side. Mubarak’s speech was an impeccable orchestration, put together by a President who has 30 years of politics and repression to his name. It was designed to cause uncertainty. There were no mentions of human rights, freedom, liberty. There was only the fact that he would be around for 8 more months. This is by no means a certain conclusion. And it is from the confusion that it has caused, coupled with the military’s statement that the protests should end, that the Egyptian population has been deceived and divided.

The UN has estimated 300 deaths. 300 deaths of people, who despite having different political opinions all loved their country. Who were on the streets because they wanted to right to express their love for their country. Throughout the past 9 days, the one thing that has been clearer than any other is the fact that this Revolution is leaderless. Leaderless, and now rudderless. With no leader, anti-Mubarak supporters were divided over the answer to the question: What next? But at least they were united by the common enemy. Now, there is no common goal; some have switched sides, saying they have achieved enough and that they will support the President until he leaves, some have gone home after deciding that it is too dangerous and futile to protest, and some have decided that with no real leader to follow, that backing Mubarak would be the best course of action.

As violence plagues the streets of Cairo, it has had one major benefit. It has shed light on the disregard that the current administration has for human rights and freedom of expression. As thugs have been deployed to break up the weakened and divided protests, it has become clear to the whole world, that violence will be used if necessary. Despite the military making it absolutely clear that they have not joined the violence, the use of plainclothes policeman to exact the work of the government continues. Journalists are being attacked. Civilians have found the government IDs that have fallen from some of the pro-Mubarak supported. International leaders are becoming more and more aware of the plight of the Egyptian people, and are becoming more vocal in their support. The more the international community and Mubarak-supporters see the destruction happening in Egypt, the more likely they will be to support democratic change:

Anderson Cooper of CNN has reportedly been beaten up and injured in one of the protests.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs had this to say: “The United States deplores and condemns the violence that is taking place in Egypt, and we are deeply concerned about attacks on the media and peaceful demonstrators. We repeat our strong call for restraint.”

Ben Wedeman, a CNN correspondent tweeted this: All indications are that what is happening in Tahrir Square is government-sanctioned. #Jan25 #Egypt

Pulitzer prize winning writer Nicholas Kristof just wrote this on the New York Times websiteIn my area of Tahrir, the thugs were armed with machetes, straight razors, clubs and stones. And they all had the same chants, the same slogans and the same hostility to journalists. They clearly had been organized and briefed. So the idea that this is some spontaneous outpouring of pro-Mubarak supporters, both in Cairo and in Alexandria, who happen to end up clashing with other side — that is preposterous. It’s difficult to know what is happening, and I’m only one observer, but to me these seem to be organized thugs sent in to crack heads, chase out journalists, intimidate the pro-democracy forces and perhaps create a pretext for an even harsher crackdown.

British PM David Cameron said this: “If it turns out that the regime in any way has sponsored or tolerated this violence, that is completely unacceptable.” “These are despicable scenes that are we are seeing and they should not be repeated. They are underline the need for political reform and frankly for that political reform to be accelerated.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: “This is an unacceptable situation. Any attack on peaceful demonstrators in unacceptable and I condemn it. It is important at this junction to ensure that an orderly and peaceful transition should take place. I urge all the parties to engage in a such a process without further delay.”

Spread the word. The latest I have heard is that pro-Democracy protesters still control Midan el Tahrir. May God bless them.

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Written by BraveNewEgypt

February 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm

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