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I haven't been playing close attention to the general geopolitics regarding Egypt. I know Mubarik has been effectively the ruling dictator for the past 30 years, and has respected the peace treaty signed with Israel under Sadat. I know Egypt is considered an ally/friendly to the US. I don't know the griefs of the protesters, nor what they are likely to replace Mubarik with if he is overthrown. As such, I cannot begin to speculate whether or not it would be a good thing for them to succeed or not.

But it is interesting to sit back and watch. There is the belief that this crisis was triggered by the successful uprising in Tunisia that used social media via cell phones and the internet to spread and coordinate in a decentralized manner. Mubarik, in an attempt to shut down the protests, flipped the "kill switch" on the Internet and cell communication within Egypt -- but al Jazeera is still broadcasting. Contrary to previous reports, it appears that the revolution will, indeed, be televised.

When I heard that Mubarik gave into some of the demands, and the protests weren't stopping despite the internet blackouts, I figured that the other unpopular dictatorial governments in the area must be shitting bricks, for they might be next. I'd be interested in watching which Arab countries cut the Al Jazeera feeds of Egypt.

Today, Boing Boing posted an interesting video purporting to be Egyptian military interposing their APCs between police armed with shotguns and protesters, protecting the protesters from being shot. While I'll observe that the army's actions were nonviolent towards both the police and the protesters, it also prevented the protesters from advancing into the area the police were cordoning off -- or perhaps it prevented the police from advancing into the area the protesters controlled, (or both,) it's hard to tell. But it certainly appeared as if the army and police were not acting in a coordinated manner. That can't be good for the government.

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Things are equally bad in Yemen and Tunis, though no blackouts of tech yet in either of those. I find it interesting that so many Arab countries are experiencing this at once, seemingly out of almost nowhere. I mean, i know what's been happening in those countries well enough to know it's been fermenting for some time, but the sudden explosion of unrest is surprising to me, especially across such a wide range of countries.

I continue to enjoy reading your very well thought out commentaries!

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