It was another hectic day today in various parts of Egypt, but something of note occurred yesterday that is at best worrying and at worst criminal.
As the Aiken Standard reports, "Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak charged into Cairo's central square on horseback and camels brandishing whips while others rained firebombs from rooftops in what appeared to be an orchestrated assault against anti-government protesters trying to topple Egypt's leader of 30 years. At least three people died and 600 were injured in the uncontrolled violence". (2/2/2011, by Hadeed Al-Shalchi). This alone is a criminal act of serious proportions. The degree of coordination and precision that these "protesters" demonstrated in crowd-control ability was too blatant not to be noticed. The vast majority of these thugs are on the Mubarak payroll; some as public servants (policemen, army), some as contracted goons asked to clear the way. These individuals are also involved in other criminal activities such as looting, as the Washington Post reported that "Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime committing acts of violence and looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability as demonstrations grew stronger against the autocratic leader" (1/2/2011, by Leila Fadel).
So keeping in mind the fact that Mubarak authorized the creation of large-scale goon squads with the objective of dispersing and intimidating the peaceful protesters, it was quite strange to hear the man himself tell ABC's Christian Amanpour: "If I leave, there will be chaos" (3/2/2011, ABC interview), in an attempt to justify the fact that he wants to "work very hard to carry out all the necessary measures to transfer power", and more precisely not running again for president in September on the basis that he has "spent enough time serving Egypt" (2/2/2011, by Paul Ohia). Hmm, didn't get the clue when millions of people started protesting all over the country Hosni? How about when you heard them chant "Leave now! Mubarak step down now!" over and over again for days?
It should come as no surprise that a man who has confiscated all political and economic power from his own people for 30 years is trying to hold on as long as he can. He is the principal military ally of the U.S [after Britain and Israel] and applies a classic capitalist recette to the economy, but it comes with a sour à la yankee aftertaste. Should he step down, public records will come out that will confirm the accusations of intent and complicity in numerous crimes and abuses put forth by Egyptian and international human rights groups. Everyone should support the anti-Mubarak supporters in their march against tyranny and arbitrary power. Those responsible for supporting and rewarding Mubarak's actions should be brought before an independent tribunal and judged for their actions. Mubarak himself shall of course be present. Families of victims will come testify before the world, as such an event should be televised worldwide, and hopefully we may utter that schizophrenic phrase one last time, "never again...".
ABC News (3/2/2011), Christiane Amanpour interviews Hosni Mubarak. http://abcnews.go.com/International/egypt-abc-news-christiane-amanpour-exclusive-interview-president/story?id=12833673