Feb. 12th, 2011

purejuice: (billy budd)
Still not getting any reliable source info on what Hosni was supposed to say Thursday night, and at whose behest, why he didn't say it, what it was he did say, and what changed to get his ass out the next day.

This piece promises a lot and delivers nothing except the impression that Leon Panetta was listening to the radio like all the rest of us. With considerably fewer listening skills. You read it here first that Tantawi was the man to watch. Now he is the pharoah. Furthermore, Amr Moussa, it is reported, has quit his plum job as head of the Arab League in apparent preparation to run for president. You read that here first too.

The Guardian -- unlike the American papers, which are amazingly full of gasbaggery -- has this straightforward scenario:

The army appears to have expected more from him, possibly including his complete resignation or the transfer of powers to the military, not Suleiman. Clearly alarmed at the popular reaction, it sought to reassure the protesters with a declaration that the promise of free elections would be fulfilled. But that too failed to ease the demonstrations, as many in the opposition saw the statement as backing the status quo, although it could also be read as offering an assurance to Egyptians that the military was prepared to ensure Mubarak stood by his commitments.

As the protests built up during the day, a determined crowd marched on the state television building, a target of particular ire because of its stream of propaganda and false accusations against the protesters.

The station all but went off air as it was obliged to cancel live programmes because it could not get guests into the building. Several hours later the station was conducting interviews again – with protesters and victims of the regime.

The protesters fanned out to other parts of the city and began a march on Mubarak's presidential palace. Meanwhile, the military's supreme council held an emergency session to decide how to clearly confront the crisis, and concluded that Mubarak had to go once and for all.

By lunchtime he was on a plane with his family to Sharm el-Sheikh, where he also has a palace which he periodically lends to Tony Blair.

A few hours later came the announcement that had Egypt celebrating in to the night.


It seems to me the Guardian is implying that the peoples' march on the presidential palace is what galvanized the army to tell Mubarak to scram. I think this is romance, or possibly disinformation. Indeed, the lack of a smoking gun, the miasma of gasbaggery which makes today's NYT reek, suggests either real stupidity, like the CIA still doesn't speak Arabic (gobsmackin' indictment of former Pak strongman Musharraf for Bhutto's assassination, good work, American front and back channels!), or diabolical disinformation (Mossad, yeah!).

I suspect he was doing something to get his money, or his sons' jobs, into place. I wonder who asked the Swiss to freeze his assets?
purejuice: (Default)
Cleaning Tahrir Square

So it is on the BBC and lower down in this story, I predict, where the true source of Mubarak's change of mind from Thursday night's I'm stayin' to Friday noon's skedaddle is touched upon.

It is a split in the generations of the army. The tantalizing possibility is that defense minister Tantawi, 75, who now is in charge of the transition and the country, and his septuagenarian generation of Mubarak cohorts, trained by the Soviets, were outflanked by the sexagenarian, and younger, generation of chief of staff of the armed forces Enan, 63, trained by the Murricans.

Also emerging in this story is the possible actual value of the huge Wikileaks info dump -- an early assessment for the west of Enan as the younger, smarter, second in command.

Tantawi is committed, according to non-Wiki sources, to the status quo, Mubarak, and resisting social, econ, poli, and military reform. Petraeus, via Wikileaks, found him committed to 1967-era loser standards of military preparedness -- ground forces and tanks -- rather than the regional atomic threat of Ahmadinejad, which Enan, seen as brighter and more innovative, is fixated upon. The Wikileaks support Tantawi's authoritarian Mubarak's poodle pronunciamentos.

So now we have the military council, meeting sometime between Mubarak's speech Thursday and his departure at noon on Friday, for only the third time in history. At this meeting there would be Tantawi and Enan both, as the burgeoning and increasingly angry crowds surround and topple the state TV station, which turned in hours from libelling the protesters as foreign agents to interviewing "martyrs", in a bloodless coup, and are said to be marching toward the presidential palace.

Enan has been on the phone to DC, making it clear his troops would not fire on the protesters. As the leader of the army in which every Egyptian man must serve, it is perhaps Enan who understood best that the army must support the people, not Mubarak.

I wonder if it was he who led the split in the army now referred to low down on inside stories, the split which seems to me -- if real -- was the engine both of Mubarak's delusional resistance -- "B-B-but Tantawi's army will support ME" -- and the engine of his final quick despatch -- Enan's army supports, and indeed, is, the people, and fires upon them at its peril.


Feb. 12th, 2011 04:13 pm
purejuice: (acey zorro)
Caldo Gringo
I'm calling this Caldo Gringo. It's pretty damn good. Click for deets.

Also confected for upcoming Mexican dagwoods (cemitas) party:

Cemitas rolls
French pate
Home-cooked frijoles refritos with lard, mi hijo, and cebolla
Chipotles in adobo
Oaxaca cheese
And also cortijo because I can
Coriander sprigs
Lime wedgies
Jarritos brand guava, tamarindo and mango soda pop
Yellowtail cabernet

Radish/coriander/lime zest dip
Blue corn sesame chips

If I have the strength perhaps I'll make a cake.


purejuice: (Default)

January 2012


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