Across the Pond – Europe’s News

What’s in the news? Egypt again, of course. The situation has not dramatically changed. Mubarak still tries to smother the unrest the only way he knows, by banning the TV and the internet.

Mr. Mubarak, I have news for you: Your people is out in the streets protesting you and not sitting in front of the TV set or computer. There is no way back. There is a plane waiting for you somewhere. Your cronies have already seen the light, many rich families have fled the country and are sipping their tea in Dubai now.

What violence occurs now, is mostly looting and criminally motivated. Prison breaks are rampant and add to the confusion.

Here’s what we find on the news sites  in Europe:

The Independent:

In the pantomime world of Mubarak himself – and of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Washington – the man who still claims to be president of Egypt swore in the most preposterous choice of vice-president in an attempt to soften the fury of the protesters – Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s chief negotiator with Israel and his senior intelligence officer, a 75-year-old with years of visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and four heart attacks to his credit. How this elderly apparatchik might be expected to deal with the anger and joy of liberation of 80 million Egyptians is beyond imagination. When I told the demonstrators on the tank around me the news of Suleiman’s appointment, they burst into laughter. (read more)

The Guardian:

And Arabs from the Mashreq to the Maghreb are watching, egging on those protesters to topple Hosni Mubarak who has ruled Egypt for 30 years, because they know if he goes, all the other old men will follow, those who have smothered their countries with one hand and robbed them blind with the other. Mubarak is the Berlin Wall. “Down, down with Hosni Mubarak,” resonates through the whole region. (read more)

Der Tagesanzeiger

Die Aufstände in Tunesien und Ägypten beseelen den Westen mit neuer Hoffnung auf eine demokratischere Welt. Doch das Beispiel der ehemaligen Sowjetunion zeigt deutlich: Demokratie ist nicht ansteckend. Und selbst wenn es zum Aufstand kommt: Dass dabei ein demokratischer Staat entsteht, ist die Ausnahme und keinesfalls die Regel.

The uprising in Tunisia and Egypt instill new hopes in the west for a more democratic world order. But the developments in the former Soviet Union show clearly: Democracy is not contagious. And even if there is a general uprising: The creation of a democratic state is the exception not the rule.  (full story)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

Würde Ägypten in einem revolutionären Strudel versinken, fiele ein wesentlicher Akteur des nahöstlichen Friedensprozesses für geraume Zeit aus. Überdies gibt es in Ägypten im Unterschied zu Tunesien eine starke islamistische Bewegung, die von Mubaraks Regime unterdrückten Muslimbrüder.

If Egypt went down in revolutionary turmoil, an important actor in the Middle East peace process would drop out for a considerable time. Moreover, there is a strong islamist movement in Egypt, the oppressed Muslim Brotherhood. (full story)

Der Spiegel:

In the wake of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, the Egyptians are now revolting against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. The country feels as if it were waking up from a bad dream, but the West stands to lose a reliable partner — and Israel one of its few Arab friends. (read all)

The Jerusalem Post:

The fear and trembling is that what happened in France in 1789, in Russia in 1917 and in Iran in 1979 will repeat itself in Egypt and the Arab world in 2011. After the old was thumped out by the new in those countries, there was a brief moment when democratic forces arose – be it the National Constituent Assembly and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in France, Alexander Kerensky in Russia, or Shapour Bakhtiar in Iran – only to be swept away by the radicals: Robespierre in Paris, the Bolsheviks in Moscow, Ayatollah Khomeini in Teheran.

In Egypt, too, democratic forces are on the march, but the radical extremists are lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce. (read more)

Enjoy your reading. The situation will further unfold today and, if necessary I’ll update this post accordingly.

17 thoughts on “Across the Pond – Europe’s News

  1. Thanks EV for all the links. As always, Der Spiegel does an outstanding job of reporting. The Jerusalem Post noted that these “revolutions” started by the people eventually get controlled by the radicals. The country trades one dictator for another dictator. Could this happen in the US? I don’t know. Hungry people will turn to violence for food. I’ll be checking back later.

  2. After the interview with Hillary Clinton, Christiane Amanpour, in Egypt, interviews Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian Ambassador to the US. He’s in the This Week studios in DC.Why? Because ‘there are no government officials she could speak to in Cairo’!

  3. Mohamed ElBaradei is next, and he tells Christiane that not only must Mubarak step down, that Egypt needs a government ‘of national salvation’, to oversee a transitional period, followed by free and fair elections and a new constitution.

    He called the release of prisoners by the disbanded security forces a criminal act.

    People expected the US to be on the side of the people and to let go of a dictator. He said the US still looks to Mubarak to implement democracy, and to ask a dictator to implement democratic measures after 30 years in power is an oxymoron.

    Christiane asks about the fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will rise to power.

    ElBaradei: This is total bogus. Muslim Brotherhoods are religiously conservative. They are no way extremist. They are no way using violence. They are not a majority of the Egyptian people. They will not be more than maybe 20 % of the Egyptian people. This is what the regime sold to the West and the US, it’s either us and repression, or Al Qaeda type Islamists. This is not Egypt.

    Christiane: How do you think this will end?

    ElBaradei: It will not end until Mubarak leaves. Until we agree with the army on a national unity government… An Egypt that is democratic, that is moderate, does not mean that Egypt will be hostile to the US.

  4. Jake Tapper is holding the Roundtable, and Sam Donaldson, to his credit, pointed out right away what happened in Iran when the US overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh, as an example of what not to do when meddling in foreign countries’ affairs.

  5. The correspondent in Cairo reporting on Face the Nation, Elizabeth Palmer, could hardly make her report heard due to frequent low level flyovers of Egyptian Air Force F-16s. The flyovers are apparently being used as a psychological attack on the protesters. If the regime intended to attack the protesters, the military on the ground would have already done so. All the flyovers accomplish is to incite the crowd against the regime, not that they need any more of that.

  6. The upshot of Hillary’s appearances on all three shows I’ve watched, is that the US has called for these improvements in the Egyptian government for thirty years. She is completely disingenuous with this claim. The administration didn’t care what went on in Egypt as long as Israel wasn’t threatened. Until Israel really feels threatened, there’s no need to deviate from the status quo, which is continuing to torment the Palestinians, and encroach upon their territory.

  7. If that happens, Israel will occupy those border crossings in massive force. Guaranteed.

    Someone this morning said Israel has never been stronger militarily than now. They’ll prove it.

  8. “Someone this morning said Israel has never been stronger militarily than now. They’ll prove it.”

    With no consequences. And our money for weapons to destroy…nice U.S.A.

  9. Here are a couple more perspectives on the Mubarack turn of events:

    From Chris Hedges:

    What Corruption and Force Have Wrought in Egypt
    Very informative and insightful. Hedges has a lot of experience with the MIddle East.

    From Juan Cole.
    Another person who understands the Middle East and knows what he is talking about.

    Here’s one reason why the U.S. seems to be straddling the fence on who to support in Egypt:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/31/israel-egypt-mubarak-peace-treaty-fears

    Seems we are stuck between supporting Israel without fail, and supporting ‘democracy’ over a dictator. Stuck between a rock, and another rock.

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