Revolutions in Egypt and the Arab World

Press Statement:



Irish Anti War Movement

Revolutions in Egypt and the Arab World

Wassim Wagdy, well known Egyptian activist
Anne Alexander, writer on Egypt and the Middle East
Richard Boyd Barrett T.D.
and speakers from Libya

3-4.30: The Egyptian Revolution
5-6.30: Uprisings in Libya and the Arab world and the dangers of Western Intervention

SATURDAY, 12 MARCH 3–6.30pm

The project for a new Arab century - Mohammed Khan, 22 Feb 2011

The project for a new Arab century

The birth pangs of a new Middle East are being felt, but not in the way many outsiders envisioned.

One constituency the US has long ignored in the Arab world is the people.

No sooner did former US president George W. Bush come into power in January 2001 than a much vaunted neo-conservative doctrine came into full swing, wreaking havoc across the Middle East. Throughout the eight years of the Bush presidency, the levers of power - the political, the economic, the scholarly and, importantly, the military - were all employed towards one ultimate goal: The project for the new American century.

Bush's neo-con backers had prepared the manual for his presidency well before time. With their man in power, the greatest force of Western power since the Roman Empire set about changing the world in the name of neo-conservatism, to "promote American global leadership", we were told.

Stealing Egypt's revolution - David Africa, Al Jazeera, 180211.

Stealing Egypt's revolution

The people on the streets of Cairo got rid of their old enemy, Hosni Mubarak. Now they should be wary of new friends.
David Africa Last Modified: 18 Feb 2011 07:05 GMT

How ironic! A regime that has been sustained since 1979 by US funds to the tune of $2billion annually - and functioned in the interest of Western governments - falls, and we see a sudden deluge of statements welcoming the long overdue change in the country, applauding the bravery of the Egyptian people and even demonising Hosni Mubarak.

One could be fooled into believing the transformation currently taking place in Egypt is one that has been fought for by Western governments for years already - a long-sought change finally materialising.

Who would say that successive US, British and European governments have long argued that Egyptians, indeed all Arabs, are not ready for democracy - that "special circumstances" demand the denial of democracy, and that the brutality visited on them for thirty years was better than the risk of a free vote?

Robert Fisk: Cairo's 50,000 street children were abused by this regime

Robert Fisk: Cairo's 50,000 street children were abused by this regime

Cairo's street kids were duped into resisting the revolution, then shot by police in the chaos that ensued

The cops shot 16-year-old Mariam in the back on 28 January, a live round fired from the roof of the Saida Zeinab police station in the slums of Cairo's old city at the height of the government violence aimed at quelling the revolution, a pot shot of contempt by Mubarak's forces for the homeless street children of Egypt.

She had gone to the police with up to a hundred other beggar boys and girls to demand the release of her friend, 16-year-old Ismail Yassin, who had already been dragged inside the station. Some of the kids outside were only nine years old. Maybe that's why the first policeman on the roof fired warning bullets into the air.

Future of Israel-Egypt treaty - Patrick Seale - Gulf News 160211

Future of Israel-Egypt treaty

Whether the peace accord survives or not, Cairo's alliance with Tel Aviv will not be the intimate relationship it was
By Patrick Seale, Special to Gulf News, Published: 00:00 February 14, 2011

Israel has been unnerved by Egypt’s Revolution. The reason is simple: it fears for the survival of the 1979 Peace Treaty — a treaty which by neutralising Egypt, guaranteed Israel’s military dominance over the region for the next three decades.

By removing Egypt — the strongest and most populous of the Arab countries — from the Arab line-up, the treaty ruled out any possibility of an Arab coalition that might have contained Israel or restrained its freedom of action. As Israel’s Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan, remarked at that time: ‘If a wheel is removed, the car will not run again.’

Western commentators routinely describe the treaty as a ‘pillar of regional stability’, a ‘keystone of Middle East diplomacy’, a ‘centrepiece of America’s diplomacy’ in the Arab and Muslim world. This is certainly how Israel and its American friends have seen it.

Pankaj Mishra - Now the real struggle begins -, Saturday 12 February 2011

Pankaj Mishra, Saturday 12 February 2011 07.30 GMT

For the last two weeks I have, like innumerable others, careened from the television news to internet updates and back, longing for the moment that came last night, when the tyrant finally yielded to a brave and spirited people. History has been made; celebrations are in order. But it is not too early to ask: what next?

The so-called Higher Military Council inspires no confidence. Does another military strongman lurk in the regime's entrails? I wonder if western leaders, shamed into moral bluster after being caught in flagrante with Mubarak, will, when we relax our vigils, tip the balance towards "stability" and against real change.

I grow a bit apprehensive too, recalling the words of an extraordinarily perceptive observer of Egypt's struggles in the past: "The edifice of despotic government totters to its fall. Strive so far as you can to destroy the foundations of this despotism, not to pluck up and cast out its individual agents."