Jump forward 1 minute in the second video to see a random person stand down an armored vehicle.
All the real news today is from Egypt. I have nothing much to contribute other than pointing out some things I’ve read. Aaron Bady has some initial thoughts. Heather Hurlburt has five points. Nick Baumann has an excellent guide that is being updated.
Aaron points out this Wikileaks document from our Cairo embassy in 2007, describing Mubarak as one of two “increasingly isolated dictators” discussed (the other being Sadat, whom he is compared/contrasted with). More:
9. (C) Mubarak relishes his self-image as a benign, paternal leader, tough but fair. Still, he has shown signs of moving toward Sadat’s modus operandi in dealing with political opponents. In the past year, Mubarak has arrested upwards of a thousand Muslim Brothers. While some have subsequently been released and only 40 are facing trial before a military tribunal so far, the message is unmistakable: after allowing the MB to participate in the 2005 parliamentary elections as “independents” (in which they won 88 seats, 20% of the Assembly), Mubarak is cracking down. Another similarity is the recent phobia Mubarak has developed towards the press. The Egyptian media, arguably as free as it has ever been (and certainly freer than it was under Sadat), is suddenly facing a cost for that liberty. In early September, four editors of independent newspapers were convicted of insulting the president and other GoE officials, while another editor is facing trial October 1 for allegedly spreading false rumors about Mubarak’s health which were damaging to Egypt’s reputation and to its economy. These arrests have been widely seen here as blatant attacks on the freedom of the press, much as Sadat’s rounding up of journalists was in 1981.
Here’s a picture of tear gas with a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo on it.
This guide to urban protesting that Alexis Madrigal translated and put up at the Atlantic is amazing; it shows a whole other way that the internet can spread information quickly. The young educated protestors have their game together.
And CNBC analyst Erin Burnett notes: “If this spreads, the United States could take a huge hit because democracy in a place like Saudi Arabia, you’ve talked about who might come in power, what that means for oil prices. They’re going to go stratospheric.”