>Africa File: Strikes paralyze Egypt, Mubarak enrages protesters, refuses to step down until Sept., military backs transfer of powers to Suleiman

>– Former Iranian President Rafsanjani Urges Egyptian Protesters to Defy Mubarak, Overthrow Pro-USA/Israel Regime in Cairo

– Crypto-Muslim Obama Admin Anxious to Implement Regime Change in Cairo, Biden Phones Suleiman, Urges “Immediate Transition,” Abolition of Emergency Laws

– Communist Cadre Leads Anti-Mubarak Kefaya Movement, Allies with El Baradei’s National Association for Change

Pictured above: Protester outside presidential palace in Heliotropolis, a suburb of Cairo, on February 11, 2011.

Yesterday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that he would transfer the day-to-day powers of governing the country to his vice president, former spy chief Omar Suleiman. In doing so, he reaffirmed his commitment to remain in his post until the presidential election in September. This only enraged anti-government protesters, who have demanded his immediate resignation. The military has pledged to facilitate the implementation of Mubarak’s proposed political reforms, which include eventually lifting oppressive 30-year-old emergency laws.

“Egypt will explode. Army must save the country now,” opposition leader Mohamed El Baradei posted on his Twitter page shortly after Mubarak made his announcement.

This week, widespread strikes erupted in Egypt in support of the anti-government protesters who continue to occupy Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Tens of thousands of workers in various sectors launched strikes nationwide, including employees in the petroleum, steel, railway, telecommunication industries, as well as employees of the Suez Canal Port Authority. Egypt’s anti-government protests, now entering their 17th day, sparked international fears that the Suez Canal would be shut down and send oil prices skyrocketing.

Egypt’s finance minister tried to mollify European and North American customers of Middle East oil. On CNN’s Connect the World, Samir Hadwan soothed: “All precautions are taken to prevent any sabotage from outside to the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal is safe and the Egyptian Army — I don’t talk on their behalf — but I can assure you it will do whatever is in its power to keep that open.”

Government officials have played up the “imminent threat of chaos” if the octogenarian president ends his autocratic rule by resigning forthwith. Striking medical doctors and a host of other health workers have joined the streets protests. On Thursday, medics wearing white coats streamed into Tahrir Square. A key Cairo hospital was reported to have been closed by strike action as an estimated 3,000 staff walked out.

On PBS’ NewsHour, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit raised the spectre of a military crackdown on the country’s opposition forces: “Do we want the armed forces to assume the responsibility of stabilizing the nation through imposing martial law and the army in the streets? For the army to rule, to step in, to put its friends on the scene, that would be a very dangerous possibility.” Speaking for Mubarak, Gheit continued: “He thinks that it would entail chaos and it would entail violence and it would entail also opportunities for those who would wish to act in a manner to threaten the state, the stability of the country and society,”

The Obama White House, which secretly sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest and best-organized opposition group, is anxious to implement regime change in Cairo. In a telephone conversation with counterpart Suleiman, the country’s former intelligence chief, US Vice President Joe Biden “urged that the transition produce immediate, irreversible progress that responds to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”

Gheit expressed amazement at Biden’s reported demand that Egypt promptly lift its emergency laws, imposed after President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists. Egypt’s foreign minister spluttered: “Jailbreaks mean that 17,000 prisoners are now loose on Egypt’s streets. How can you ask me to disband the… emergency law while I’m in difficulty? Give me time.”

On Tuesday, Suleiman himself raised the spectre of a coup, either pro- or anti-government, if the protests continue unabated: “There must be an end to the crisis as soon as possible. Dialogue and understanding are the best way to achieve stability in the country, otherwise an undesirable coup will be the alternative but we try to avoid this option.”

Meanwhile, the Islamo-Nazi regime in Tehran continues to meddle in Egypt’s domestic turmoil. “A leader like Imam Khomeini is needed for Egypt,” former two-term Iranian president Rafsanjani said in an interview with the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper, adding that “Only a leader like Khomeini can “resist the cheating of America.” Rafsanjani, who is a leading supporter of the opposition to current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, pontificated:

In the end, Americans do not want the Egyptian uprising to drag on, while Israelis are completely against the revolution in Egypt. By coincidence, all things (in Egypt) are like Iran in 1979. If the Egyptian people continue to resist, they will succeed. It needs endurance. We too endured a lot of hardships in order to triumph over the shah. I am optimistic, if the Egyptians continue their resistance. The protesters must stay united. Division will benefit America and Israel.

The Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has praised the popular revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, calling on citizens there to establish Islamic states.

Behind closed doors, Egypt’s opposition parties are expressing different stances concerning further transition talks with Vice President Suleiman. The leftist Tagammu Party has announced that it will not pursue further negotiations after last weekend’s first round of negotiations, while the Muslim Brotherhood has stopped short of abandoning the talks, despite its stated misgivings about the government’s intentions. No date has been set for the second round of talks. “Unacceptable statements by officials have put participants in confrontation with the popular revolution,” Tagammu leaders complained in a press statement.

Presidential aspirant El Baradei, who was not invited to the first round, asserted that “the talks lack credibility and were being run by the same people who controlled Egypt for the past three decades.”

The international media continues to debate the extent of the threat posed by a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. With respect to the true intentions of the Brotherhood, the Winnipeg Free Press reminds the West:

Revolution in Jordan seems unlikely at the moment. Revolution in Egypt, the home of the Muslim Brotherhood, seems imminent if President Hosni Mubarak will not resign before the elections scheduled for later this year, and if the groups demanding his resignation cannot form an opposition more credible than the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the Brotherhood tries to distance itself today from its terrorist cousins in al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas, it is useful to remember this is the same organization that routinely murdered Western tourists in Egypt in the 1970s and 1980s, is still linked with terrorist organizations in Sudan, Yemen and Syria and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Although they constitute a numerical minority, the Egyptian Communist Party is jockeying for power and influence in the country’s unfolding revolution. Founded in 2004, Kefaya (Enough) is one of several smaller coalitions of liberals, leftists, and Islamists that has allied itself with El Baradei’s National Association for Change. Since January 2007, the leader of Kefaya has been Abdel Wahhab Al-Messiri, a renowned anti-Zionist scholar and former cadre of both the Egyptian Communist Party and Muslim Brotherhood. In 2005, Kefaya joined a coalition of other opposition parties to form the National Front for Change to contest parliamentary elections, resulting in the attainment of only 12 seats, while the Muslim Brotherhood scored 88.

One response to “>Africa File: Strikes paralyze Egypt, Mubarak enrages protesters, refuses to step down until Sept., military backs transfer of powers to Suleiman

  1. mah29001 February 11, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    >ElBaradei's people were very coordinated in organizing demonstrations here in the USA…many of them were sponsored by not just ElBaradei's people, but also by Communist front groups like ANSWER and also the Workers' World Party, along with a number of Muslim Brotherhood front groups included.It's as if they are doing also a dry run scene for the USA's own collapse too which Russia Today is backing both the Tea Party and the Obama administration.

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