Update on the Egyptian Revolution - 016

Let us recap the regime's dirty tricks, lest we forget.

Every time Mubarak gave a speech, he gave very little concessions, and it is followed by a dirty trick.

The first speech appointed a vice president who is a copy of himself (military career, pro-Israel and pro-USA, loyal to his superior, no flexibility, no leadership qualities). It was followed by the withdrawal on Friday January 28 of all the police forces from the streets. Not only riot police, but security for prisons, museums, banks, government building, borders, ...etc.

The second speech on February 1 was followed by The Battle of the Camel and Horses in Tahrir Square, followed by petrol bombs thrown from buildings on the protesters, then live bullets being fired on them, possibly by snipers.

On February 2nd, dirtier tricks followed. The internet was opened up again on that day after many days of being off. It was a "divide and conquer" strategy using state media, and Facebook. There were fake demonstrations, mainly by police out of uniform, members of the ruling party, government employees, and their families.

All this was coupled with a false choice between chaos and freedom, as if the two are mutually exclusive.

Using the internet, and TV, they are trying to discredit the protesters, split the public opinion, spreading rumors that all this is a foreign conspiracy. They are also targeting journalists with beating, kidnapping, stabbing, detention and confiscating equipment.

A very dirty plan indeed.

On Sunday, part of the Week of Solidarity, a Coptic Christian Mass and Muslim prayers were held in Tahrir Square in memory of the martyrs who have fallen. Canadian TV showed the cross and the Quran together with clerics from both faiths side by side against the regime.

One or two couples decided to get married in public in Tahrir Square. There is photo of a couple in wedding garb (bride in full white dress) with the tank in the background.

There are news that the army is trying to force the demonstrations into a smaller area of Tahrir Square.

Germany said that it would take Mubarak and his family if he would leave Egypt.

And while the prime minister and the media were saying that the Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organization, and evil incarnate (excuse for brutality and tyranny for the West), the vice president was holding talks with this very same group!

On Omar Suleiman, the newly appointed vice president, there is a lot of say, and none of it is positive. When he talks to the media, he is found to be more and more dictatorial. No charisma, no leadership, more of the same stuff Mubarak stands for and made of.

Today on Sunday's ABC program by Christiane Amanpour (video here), he contradicted himself saying that ElBaradei "has his own group 'linked to' the Muslim Brotherhood", which he called "Brother Muslimhood". Yet, he said that the brotherhood are having a dialog with him without ElBaradei. He repeated the broken record that people "have agendas". When asked if he would run for president, he said he cannot because he is not a party member [as if that cannot be solved by entering the party], and that his an "old man". He said he accepted the position of vice president "to help the president" [note the choice of words: not "the nation", nor "the people"]. He said that the "Islamic current" is "pushing" people in the Arab world, and denied that these movements are led by young people. He repeated his accusation that this revolution is not the people ideas, but came from abroad. His message to the protesters is "go home".

The "agenda" accusation is the topic of so many jokes in Tahrir Square on Facebook. An agenda in Egypt refers to a daily planner bound book thingie, normally given out by companies as gifts at the start of the year.

One mobile phone video started jokingly with "I am here to check on the agendas of the protesters". Amr Salama, a movie director who was previously beaten by riot police wrote sarcastically that there are calendars too. Several signs in the protest make fun directly addressing Omar Suleiman. One saying "Omar Suleiman, I stopped using and agenda, and now using a wire backed notebook". Another says "Omar Sueliman, your agenda is red" [alluding to a baboon's red arse].

Other allegations by state media are funny and stupid:

  • The protesters are eating Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • The protesters have agendas for Israel, USA, Hamas, Iran and Qatar.
  • The protesters are infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, foreign agents of Israel, USA, Iran, Hamas and Qatar
  • Certain entities are paying for their food
  • Where did they get expensive tents from?

The stream of jokes on the above topics, as well as others continue to come out ...

ElBaradei is saying that a presidential council of three people should take over.

Obama seems to be not pushing matters further by not saying when Mubarak to step down.

So we are still in a stalemate.

Detailed information of the Mubarak family wealth is emerging. Estimates are from $40 billion to $70 billion. This earns him the top of the richest heads of states. This means wealthier than King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and the Sultan of Brunei.

For details, see this video, this video, CNN, and this Guardian.

There is also one on Hewar (Arabic).

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Comments

Wealth of the Mubarak family

Thanks for you very insightful reports. For someone who never visited Egypt, it is very difficult to parse between all those different media reports that all have their own agendas (or do they have notebooks? I am confused )

I found it quite interesting when the media first started to talk about the wealth of Hosni Mubarak. It started to make me wonder. I believe Mubarak said in an interview, that he is for 62 years in public service. This means he must have started this public service when 20 years old.

The question is, how can it be that someone that claims to have worked basically his whole working life in public service (I presume it means being in the military and then vizepresident and president) can accumulate such a wealth. Is there any information where the money came from, or can it be proven that the money was in fact defrauded from the Egyptian people? If so, when will the court in De Hague start investigations against him?

Or does it mean that he has inherited his wealth from an already wealthy family? If so, is this then the reason that he was made/appointed president in the first place?

Are there any sources with real facts in this area.

Mubarak Wealth

Mubarak comes from a modest family with no wealth at all.

He even bragged about this, and how he did not own a car for a long time. When he did own a car, it cost 270 LE. His wife also bragged that they used to live on 30 LE. This was in a state TV interview to make them look human before elections. All this when they have amassed all that ill gotten wealth, and 40% of Egyptians living on less than $2 a day.

Media inside Egypt never raised the question of Mubarak's wealth. His oldest son, Alaa, was the topic of rumors and jokes for his excessive wealth in the 90s.

All the reports you see today are from foreign media.

The source initially was commissions on arms deals. Later in the 90s, Alaa started to expand the business empire and force himself as a partner for many big business.

Part of his stubborness in not stepping down is protecting all this money and not being put on trial.