Paul Jay of The Real News Network talks with Egyptian Activist Mohammed Ezzeldin, a graduate of Cairo University (B.A. in political science). Ezzeldin is studying for his master’s degree in history at Georgetown University. This video was released by The Real News on 29 January 2011. The text below the video is an edited partial transcript of the interview.
Mohammed Ezzeldin: The Egyptian people trust the army over the police,
but Mubarak is still commander-in-chief
Mohammed Ezzeldin: We have two main scenarios now regarding the relation between the people and the army. We have the Tunisian scenario. There’s a division in the ruling elites, there is division in the regime, so the army will be neutral: the tanks and soldiers and officers in the streets, they are just maintaining the security of the people, they are securing the people from any brutality practiced by the police. This is the first scenario, the Tunisian scenario. The second scenario, which happened in Iran in [1978-]1979: when the Shah started to give orders to the army to involve themselves, to suppress demonstration against the Shah, and asked them to shoot the demonstrators, they did so. But after a while there was a huge division and severe division inside the army. And this moment, actually, it’s a turning point in any dictatorship when the army supporting the dictator or supporting the one ruling party suffers from a division. We don’t know, we don’t have clear information about what’s going on in Egypt, how the events in coming days are going to unfold. The chief of staff of the Egyptian army was here on a visit to the United States just one day before the demonstrations broke out. And it seems, for many commentators and many people who analyze the situation, that there’s a sort of behind-the-scene negotiations between the Pentagon and the Egyptian army or the Egyptian ministry of defense. One of the newspapers yesterday just published a piece of news about this, about these bilateral talks, because these people are very crucial and very cautious about what’s going to happen, because many people in Egypt, or the majority of the Egyptian people, understand that the army, having millions of dollars every year as an aid –.
Paul Jay: Yeah, we think it’s $1.3 billion of American aid, although do we know if that’s all goes to the military? Or does some of that go to the police?
Mohammed Ezzeldin: Most of them go to the military, I guess. But, you know, the budget of the military and the budget of the police are not discussed, and they are not publicly published or even discussed in the Parliament. So I don’t have clear information about it. But what I’m sure about: that these bilateral talks actually are going to ensure one thing that the United States and the Pentagon and the White House, of course, are interested in, which is the security of Israel. The indecisive situations and positions taken by Hillary Clinton and President Obama in the last two days actually shows one thing, one clear thing, to be frank: that the United States is not interested in any democracy or grassroots democracy or program of democracy in Egypt. Their main concern is the security of Israel — and other things, but this is their main concern, okay?
Paul Jay: The Egyptian army, given that it gets $1.3 billion a year — that’s a lot of money and it buys you a lot of generals — the Pentagon must have a lot of influence inside the Egyptian army.
Mohammed Ezzeldin: I don’t know, but maybe. We can expect a lot of things. But what actually was clear today from Mubarak’s speech: he’s completely consolidated and supported by the army.
Paul Jay: He didn’t look like someone afraid that he might have to get on a plane.
Mohammed Ezzeldin: Yeah, he was completely confident and completely unaffected and disconnected from reality. What happened actually made many people feel in the streets that the army . . . might play a role in suppressing Egypt’s road to democratization.
Paul Jay: And if they do that, it’s hard to believe they would do that without some kind of green light from the Pentagon here in Washington.
and I doubt very much its where our little dream would have it go. Yet, anyway.
Lets face it, its already a United Elites of America World. We run the joint, and run it like rum-running gangsters. I mean, seriously dudes, you cannot throw a dart randomly and NOT HIT some ratbastard dictator we have propped up for playing poker with us.
Mr. Cheney’s new Prize Pupil, President Peace Prize certainly isn’t going to demand anything resembling full-on Democracy when an F-18 can suck down 20 gallons of fuel a SECOND. Seriously. There’s no way in hell we are going to risk the Lefty Pinko Arab masses think they can have a piece of the wealth from all OUR oil under their Sand.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer staff , has published a six part series of reports in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the still lasting effects of the defoliants we used in our destruction of Vietnam. Reports from Vietnam as well as about the daughter of a brother Vietnam Veteran.
More Egyptian protesters demand that White House condemn Mubarak
In a dusty alleyway in downtown Cairo, Gamal Mohammed Manshawi held out a dirty plastic bag Saturday afternoon. Inside were smashed gas canisters and the casings of rubber bullets that he said Egyptian police had fired at anti-government demonstrators.
“You see,” the 50-year-old lawyer said, displaying the items. On the bottom of each were the words “Made in the USA.”
“They are attacking us with American weapons,” he yelled as men gathered around him.
In the streets of Cairo, many protesters are now openly denouncing the United States for supporting President Hosni Mubarak, saying the price has been their freedom.
This is actually the sixth day of protests in Egypt against the repressive, brutal regime of President Hosni Mubarak. As Mubarak struggles to maintain control, the Egyptian army is doing little to stop the protesters who have defied curfews to demonstrated against Mubarak’s 30 year rule. The appointment of former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as his vice president and Ahmed Shafik, another general and Mubarak insider, prime minister, have only fueled the protesters’ fervor for Mubarak’s ouster. Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mohamed ElBaradei returned to Egypt on Thursday and has called for Mubarak to step down. He has also plead with the demonstrators and the army to use restraint and avoid violence.
Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people…
Al Jazeera Network is appalled at this latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt
This morning reports coming from the Guardian‘s live up dates are saying that the military will take harder line against the protesters but doubt they will carry it out. Even though the military is patrolling the streets, they are doing little to stop the looting. Due to the absence of the security police, residents are trying to maintain order and protect themselves and their property.
Already today there are several thousand protesters are in Tahrir square, chanting they will not leave until Mubarak quits and in the center of Alexandria chanting: “Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak”. Some also shouted slogans in support of the army and shook hands with soldiers.
From Reuters this morning:
• Thousands of protesters have gathered in Ishmalia, east of Cairo. Police have fired teargas and rubber bullets at the crowds.
• Dozens have gathered in the central areas of Suez chanting: “Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak”. About 100 people gathered outside the morgue in the city, saying it was holding the bodies of 12 protesters.
• Thousands have taken to the streets in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour, chanting anti-government slogans and calling on Mubarak to quit.
There is a special rule for Motorsports Entertainment Complexes, allowing their buildings, grandstands, parking lots and other improvements to be written off over 7 years. IRC § 168(e)(3)(c)(ii). To write the limitation so that it mainly affected auto race tracks, as opposed to dog tracks, took 213 words in IRC § 168(i)(15). The provision was set to expire December 31, 2009, but it was extended to 2011 by § 738 of the Obama Tax Capitulation Act of 2010, more politely known as Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
One of the fun parts of tax issues is to see who benefits from a loophole. The obvious answer is International Speedway Corporation, the publicly held company that owns a bunch of NASCAR tracks, including Daytona, Talladega, Michigan International, Darlington and Watkins Glen.
Now the Very Serious People will tell you these Tax Breaks are stimulative, that they create economic demand and jobs and by the Miracle of the discredited Trickle Down Voodoo Supply Side Economics of the last 30 years they somehow benefit you.
This is a bald faced LIE!
I refuse to believe that the availability of this deduction made the slightest difference in the budgeting decisions of International Speedway Corporation. This budget was set with full knowledge that the loophole would expire at the end of 2009, and projects were going forward without the exemption. The loophole did not create a single job. The extension is a pure gift to the company.
I call it a Miracle because it’s supernatural. There’s not one shred of evidence that supports it, it’s just one of those things you take on faith like any true believing Jihadi Fundamentalist. No more scientific than burnt offerings to Mammon.
I also liked the editor’s note-
(A)nother post in Firedoglake’s semi-regular series exposing and exploring ways in which the federal government spends vast sums or forsakes vital revenue in a perpetual, profligate and pathetic quest to assure corporate America that the elected representatives of we the people are really, truly, madly, deeply “business friendly.” With each story, we hope to highlight another government giveaway, tax break, or loophole handcrafted by lawmakers and lobbyists to keep the powerful powerful and make the rich richer. If the reverse Robin Hoodism rises to special heights, we will present it with the FDL Wealthy Welfare Award-or, as we have taken to calling it back here, The Grafty.
After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East. The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region’s political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East.
If the chief natural resource of the Middle East were bananas, the region would not have attracted the attention of U.S. policymakers as it has for decades. Americans became interested in the oil riches of the region in the 1920s, and two U.S. companies, Standard Oil of California and Texaco, won the first concession to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. They discovered oil there in 1938, just after Standard Oil of California found it in Bahrain. The same year Gulf Oil (along with its British partner Anglo-Persian Oil) found oil in Kuwait. During and after World War II, the region became a primary object of U.S. foreign policy. It was then that policymakers realized that the Middle East was “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.“
Subsequently, as a result of cooperation between the U.S. government and several American oil companies, the United States replaced Great Britain as the chief Western power in the region. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, American gains were British (and French) losses. Originally, the dominant American oil interests had had limited access to Iraqi oil only (through the Iraq Petroleum Company, under the 1928 Red Line Agreement). In 1946, however, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Mobil Oil Corp., seeing the irresistible opportunities in Saudi Arabia, had the agreement voided. When the awakening countries of the Middle East asserted control over their oil resources, the United States found ways to protect its access to the oil. Nearly everything the United States has done in the Middle East can be understood as contributing to the protection of its long-term access to Middle Eastern oil and, through that control, Washington’s claim to world leadership. The U.S. build-up of Israel and Iran as powerful gendarmeries beholden to the United States, and U.S. aid given to “moderate,” pro-Western Arab regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, were intended to keep the region in friendly hands. That was always the meaning of the term “regional stability.“