free Egypt

flares of anti-government protesters in Tahir (Liberation) Square January 25

ADDENDUM [the first five paragraphs below]:

The patronizing West, and the U.S. in particular, has always backed dictators in Arab countries because it sees such regimes as the only alternative to fundamentalism, and yet over and over again that policy has produced the fundamentalist regimes it fears most.

We're now seeing that there is a third possibility, and we all better start supporting it before its too late everywhere.

By the way, I've just learned (from the Egyptian paper, Al-Masry Al-Youm) that The Pentagon is hosting senior Egyptian military leaders for annual bilateral defense talks this week, and that Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, commenting on the talks, said: "That's just one example of how engaged we are with the Egyptians, even as these developments have taken place on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere."

No, I'm not making this up.

The same article describes the financial history of our relationship with the Mubarek regime:

Since its 1979 peace deal with Israel, Egypt has become the biggest recipient of US military aid after Tel Aviv, receiving nearly $36 billion in military assistance in annual installments of $1.3 billion.

I was up much of the night (January 26-27) scrambling about the internet, looking for more information (in English) on what is happening in Egypt. I was amazed at how much is out there, including video and audio recordings.

I want to share with others interested in the remarkable events of this week just some of the news sources I have found. These are just a few of the most accessible, most useful, and least hysterical sites for the unfolding events (note that some of the links may change location or even disappear):


The English-language online site of a progressive Egyptian paper, Al-Masry Al-Youm

The English-language site of Al Jazeera

Mona Eltahawy (Egypt-born, New York-based columnist), anywhere you find her (heard on NPR)

The Guardian's "Egypt" coverage

The Guardian live updates

Jack Shenker's site (reporter for the Guardian)

the NYTimes' blog, "The Lede" (edited by Robert Mackey)

Huffington/AP has live updates

The Times has a good perspective/analysis piece in this morning's edition

And, finally, may the press gods bless the New York Review of Books for this

Juan Cole, oddly silent until the last few days

Democracy Now! has some good phone interviews


the demonstrations, while dominated by young men, are clearly diverse

[first image by REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih, the second by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images, the third REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh; all three from National Post]