WikiLeaks cable 10CAIRO237, El Baradei Returns to Cairo:
Despite his reluctance to declare himself a candidate, [El Baradei] appears, for now, to have captured the imagination of some section of the secular elite that wants democracy but is wary of the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mainstream opposition parties which regularly meet as what is known in Egypt as the “opposition coalition” (Al Wafd, the Democratic Front Party (DFP), Taggamou and the Nasserist Party) have not been able to reach consensus on El Baradei as a democratic activist or candidate.
The Egyptian uprising, which emerged as a disparate and spontaneous grass-roots movement, began to coalesce Sunday, as the largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, threw its support behind a leading secular opposition figure, Mohamed El Baradei, to negotiate on behalf of the forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
It looks like there is something of an ideological split within the Egyptian opposition movement. On one side is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is conservative but not radical —though generally they want Egypt to return to Sharia. On the other side is a fractured group of secular reformist parties, who until this week saw El Baradei as an alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Assuming Mubarak leaves, Suleiman does not succeed him, and El Baradei presides over a transitional government, these two groups will probably fight.
In Cairo, the 30th anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is seen by many as a moment for regret, not celebration.
“It’s a celebration for Israel - not for Egypt, not for the Arabs, not for the Palestinians,” says Issam al-Aryan of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist opposition movement which is officially banned in Egypt.
“I think the majority of Egyptians are against the treaty after 30 years.”
Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main reasons why official Israel seems to support Mubarak so keenly. It is considered the most popular political movement in Egypt, and its position regarding the peace treaty with Israel is clear: They want it revoked immediately.
The Egyptian uprising, which emerged as a disparate and spontaneous grass-roots movement, began to coalesce Sunday, as the largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, threw its support behind a leading secular opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei, to negotiate on behalf of the forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
I’m pretty sure this is what you call a delicate situation.
WikiLeaks cable 08CAIRO2543, Scenesetter for General Petraeus’s visit to Egypt:
To date, the U.S. investment in the Egyptian Armed Forces (over $36 billion since 1980) through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program has supported peace between Egypt and Israel and assured Egyptian support for extending peace to the rest of the Arab world.
Mubarak and military leaders view the FMF program as the cornerstone of our security relationship and believe the $1.3 billion annual grant should be viewed as “untouchable compensation” for making peace with Israel. They complain that the parity between U.S. assistance to Israel and to Egypt has been destroyed as U.S. security assistance to Israel has climbed and theirs has remained fixed. We have come to take the U.S.-Egyptian security partnership for granted, but we should not underestimate its value to us and the region. Our partnership guarantees there can be no resumption of overt Arab-Israeli war and also provides valuable US military access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace.
I get a sense that there’s a lot of rah-rah revolution going on by American observers of the Egyptian protests and the Tunisian overthrow, with a lot of knee-jerk criticism of the United States for supporting the “wrong” side in the conflict. It all seems very Tea Partyesque to me, salivating over the spectacle of radical change without any real thought whether the actual consequences will even approximate the desire sought. It’s part of our cultural DNA perhaps, anything that doesn’t smell like American liberty should obviously be thrown out with the trash, and in a manner similar to our own mythology on the subject.
Just about every radical overthrow of an authoritarian regime throughout history has been followed by years of political and economic turmoil, the deaths of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, and plenty of opportunity for another dictator to replace the old one. I’m not sure why we’d want to cheer for that. Reform seems so much, I don’t know, less bloody.
Choice bits, from the Illinois Supreme Court:
The candidate [Rahm Emanuel] was born in Chicago and, in December 1998, purchased a Chicago home (the Hermitage House), which he still owns. At all relevant times, including the time he was in Washington, D.C., the candidate continued to pay property taxes for the Hermitage House, continued to hold an Illinois driver’s license listing the Hermitage House as his address, continued to list the Hermitage House address on his personal checks, and continued to vote with the Hermitage House as his registered voting address.
Before proceeding to the merits, we wish to emphasize that, until just a few days ago, the governing law on this question had been settled in this State for going on 150 years. So there will be no mistake, let us be entirely clear. This court’s decision is based on the following and only on the following: the novel standard adopted by the appellate court majority is without any foundation in Illinois law.
So there’s a weird thing happening on Tumblr now, it’s been going on a while. I keep getting reblogged by seemingly random users whose names all use the same convention of firstname dash lastname (sometimes a number) dot tumblr dot com. Examples include:
Most of my posts to get reblogged are pretty old. My embed of Alex Blagg’s KFC Double Down video, from sometime last year, is a popular candidate.
Each site uses a different tumblr theme, and each site consists entirely and exclusively of a seemingly random set of reblogs.
Clearly, there’s some kind of bot at work here, but to what end? None of the bot sites appear to have any advertising. None have any great offers for C14L1$ or V14GR4. Is it an SEO thing? Is it some 4chan revenge for that weird kitten spam thing from a few months ago? Is it the reason there are so many server problems?
It’s all so random! Is there doom in our future?