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Mubarak Names a Veep as Riot Toll Deepens

Posted on Jan 29, 2011
Wikimedia Commons

Omar Suleiman, a party insider and head of Egyptian intelligence, has been named vice president.

As the death toll in ongoing protests rose to 62, embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak named Omar Suleiman, the country’s head of intelligence, as vice president, bumping Mubarak’s son Gamal from the line of succession. —JCL

Los Angeles Times:

Egypt’s top intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, has been named the country’s new vice president, a move that signals President Hosni Mubarak is turning to a trusted ruling party insider during days of deadly mass protests and one of his worst political crises.

Suleiman, who is respected by the West and is credited with saving Mubarak from assassination in 1995, is an erudite diplomat who for years has been Egypt’s main negotiator with the Palestinians. The appointment suggests that Mubarak’s son Gamal, whom many regarded as a likely successor, may no longer, at least in the short term, be a contender.

“Any prospects of succession are now over,” said Mustafa Labbad, director of the Al Shaq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies. “But Egyptians will not accept Suleiman as a leader of the country after Mubarak because of his connection to the old regime.”

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, January 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

RE: the Twitter Revolt and The Muslim Brotherhood:

The Protest Movement in Egypt: “Dictators” do not Dictate, They Obey Orders

by Michel Chossudovsky

The Facebook Twitter Bloggers Supported and Financed by Washington


Freedom House fellows acquired skills in civic mobilization, leadership, and strategic planning, and benefit from networking opportunities through interaction with Washington-based donors, international organizations and the media. After returning to Egypt, the fellows received small grants to implement innovative initiatives such as advocating for political reform through Facebook and SMS messaging. (emphasis added)

From February 27 to March 13 [2010], Freedom House hosted 11 bloggers from the Middle East and North Africa [from different civil society organizations] for a two-week Advanced New Media Study Tour in Washington, D.C. The Study Tour provided the bloggers with training in digital security, digital video making, message development and digital mapping. While in D.C., the Fellows also participated in a Senate briefing, and met with high-level officials at USAID, State [Department] and Congress as well as international media including Al- Jazeera and the Washington Post. emphasis added

One can easily apprehend the importance attached by the US administration to this bloggers’ “training program”, which is coupled with high level meetings at the US Senate,  the Congress, the State Department, etc.

The role of the Facebook Twitter social media as an expression of dissent, must be carefully evaluated in the light of the links of several Egyptian civil society organizations to Freedom House (FH), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US State Department. 

BBC News World (broadcast in the Middle East) quoting Egyptian internet messages has reported that “the US has been sending money to pro-democracy groups.” (BBC News World, January 29, 2010). According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, quoting a secret US embassy document (Jan 29, 2011):

“The protests in Egypt are being driven by the April 6 youth movement, a group on Facebook that has attracted mainly young and educated members opposed to Mr Mubarak. The group has about 70,000 members and uses social networking sites to orchestrate protests and report on their activities.

The documents released by WikiLeaks reveal US Embassy officials [in Cairo] were in regular contact with the activist throughout 2008 and 2009, considering him one of their most reliable sources for information about human rights abuses.” (emphasis added)

The Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt constitutes the largest segment of the opposition to president Mubarak. According to reports, The Muslim Brotherhood dominates the protest movement.

While there is a constitutional ban against religious political parties Brotherhood members elected to Egypt’s parliament as “independents”  constitute the largest parliamentary block.

The Brotherhood, however, does not constitute a direct threat to Washington’s economic and strategic interests in the region. Western intelligence agencies have a longstanding history of collaboration with the Brotherhood. Britain’s support of the Brotherhood instrumented   through the British Secret Service dates back to the 1940s. Starting in the 1950s, according to former intelligence official William Baer,  “The CIA [funnelled] support to the Muslim Brotherhood because of “the Brotherhood’s commendable capability to overthrow Nasser.”1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood Ally to Oppose Egyptian President Nasser


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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Nefesh, - “I believe our Sindbad really is an Arab living in Baltimore MD and is (or was) an Arabic language instructor at Hopkins.”


Try to imagine Sen. Al Franken in “black face” regalia crisscrossing North America convincing people he’s an African American.  We can imagine how insulting the vast majority of black Americans would find such behavior. In fact most people, no matter their background or race, would find this behavior, well, not stable.(?)

What Mr. Franken would be to African Americans is what Arabian Sinbad is to Arabs. - Yet, while seemingly an advocate of and for Arab populations, Sinbad doesn’t appear to understand this?

I am, to say the least, unconvinced.

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nefesh's avatar

By nefesh, January 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

Go Right -
I believe our Sindbad really is an Arab living in Baltimore MD and is (or was
) an Arabic language instructor at Hopkins.  So he claimed once on these
pages and I looked up the Hopkins faculty directory and I think in this
particular instance our adorable seething Muslim actually spoke the truth.
It fits though, doesn’t it - radical Arabist antisemitic academic. Go figure.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Arabian Sinbad,

I certainly wouldn’t characterize my comments as “reacting strongly”.  I would say I reacted calmly, factually and succinctly.  I would, however, say that you react strongly in most all your comments.  Particularly when the subject is Israel and/or the United States. - Which is to say; the only subjects on which you comment.

While you may be Muslim, I have read enough of your opinions, and lived long enough in the Middle East, to understand well that you are not Arab.  Your On-line nom de guerre is highly insulting.  It does little to heighten your creditability.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment


While I have seen no indications myself, we should hope any reports of Hamas battling the Egyptian Army is true.  Not only will the Egyptian army trounce Hamas, but the armed forces in Egypt, which every able-bodied male serves, is hugely popular. - Iranian backed Hamas battling Egyptian Armed Forces, I would believe, will certainly not endear Hamas, or the Muslim Brotherhood, to the heart of Egyptians.

There you go.  Another possible reason to be optimistic. wink

BTW: Dr. Zawahiri and bin Laden do not enjoy the popularity in Egypt which the armed forces enjoy.  Every indication appears to point toward the Egyptian population desiring a secular government and educational system.  That is anathema to the goals of the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda types (i.e., Hezbollah, Hamas, Hizb-e-Islami, Quetta Shura Taliban, Tehreek E Taliban, Jemaah Islamiyah etc.).

Yes, time will tell.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, January 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

By nefesh, January 30 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

  Go Right Young Man, January 30 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

  Arabian Sinbad,
When I see the fanatic, ignoramus types like “nefesh” and “Go Right Young Man” react strongly to my comments, I feel elated for knowing that I must have hit the nail on the head by uttering a very inconvenient truth.

An Arabic proverb puts it this way, “Clouds high in the sky are not bothered by the barking of dogs.”

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nefesh's avatar

By nefesh, January 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, January 30 at 8:18 pm

I am guardedly optimistic for a few reasons.

I’d like to believe you are right.

I’ve just seen reports of HAMAS in Gaza sending in gunmen to battle it out with Egyptian Army troops in the Sinai. We know that HAMAS is the Palestinian Arab branch of the Brotherhood, so to me this is not a good sign. I have a hard time believing that the Muslim Brotherhood gives a rat’s ass about respecting the current Egyptian constitution. Remember, it was the Brotherhood who gunned down Sadat, and it was in the Brotherhood that Bin Laden’s #2 Ayman Al Zawahiri honed his Islamist terror chops.

Time will tell. I need some of your optimism these days.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment


I am guardedly optimistic for a few reasons.

First: The constitution of Egypt requires laws to implicitly agree with Islamic law, however, it also expressly prohibits political parties from running on a religious agenda.

Second: The Muslim Brotherhood simply does not have a broad appeal to the public.  In the last parliamentary election, in 2005, the Muslim Brotherhood gained only 20% of the vote.

When the Muslim Brotherhood proposed a plan that would outlaw women and Christians from becoming president, they were soundly criticized by the Egyptian public.  The public backlash to the proposal was so strong that the Muslim Brotherhood said the plan was “never final” and ended up giving up on the proposal altogether.

Third: The Egyptian population, while 90% Muslim, is secular in nature. The Egyptian population also has a significant minority of Christians who make up roughly 10% of the population.

And finally: The Egyptian economy is much more developed than it’s neighbors, with a relatively strong middle class that is less likely to be persuaded by the propaganda of radical Islamic groups.

I am cautiously hopeful.

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nefesh's avatar

By nefesh, January 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man:

I offer Barry Rubin’s analysis by way of Michael Totten’s blog

I don’t read much in those number to feel particularly sanguine about a non-Islamist regime coming to power in Cairo. I wish it were otherwise, believe me.

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nefesh's avatar

By nefesh, January 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, January 30 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Arabian Sinbad,

As misdirected as it may be, I applaud your passion.  You never miss an opportunity to turn a world event into a tirade against the U.S. and Israel.  No matter the context or the nation in the news.

Arabian Sinbad is the poster child for what is so seriously fucked-up about the Arab world - namely, the inability to take responsibility for their own sorry state of affairs, and instead showcase their shortcomings in a grotesque parade of scapegoating, usually Jews and Israel, but the US is a close runner-up. Totally, totally pathetic.

By the way, I am less optimistic than you are about the Muslim Brotherhood’s prospects in Egypt. I believe they are much stronger and popularly supported nationwide. Perhaps not amongst the cosmopolitan young who are spearheading this current revolt, but again, they are not representative of the majority of Egyptians either.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment


If you look more closely you’ll see that the Muslim Brotherhood, in just the last few days, has publicly stated that it supports the demonstrations against the government and are actively, openly, participating.

In my reading of contemporary Egyptian politics the Muslim Brotherhood does not enjoy a great deal of popularity amongst the Egyptian population as a whole.  If the world sees open elections in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood will likely gain only a few seats in a new government.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, January 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

What is more interesting is what we do not see.  We do
not see any Islamists demonstrating.  The Muslim
Brotherhood is playing a very clever game staying in
the shadows.  There will be a call for “free” election
and that is when the Brotherhood will emerge——they
are quite popular and should win close to if not a
majority of the new government seats.  Then the fun

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By rollzone, January 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

hello. our global community has a game changer. its
elusive nature baffles the establishment. the
corporate parade their banker, while the people walk
in brotherly love. social intolerance organizes by
word of mouth, knowing religion alone does not solve
the peoples’ needs. the union of voices being heard
disclose a community neglected. the nature of
competition being neglected in a true free market
society will satisfy every need. people today are
intolerant to enslaving their dreams by monopolizing
markets, which limit their opportunities. the game
changer is here, and the shrinking global corporate
community will listen to a council of wisdom, and
will only hear how they can continue to govern. good
change is a new game, for a global community
beginning at home, working to unify all the players
into improving humankind, in a corporate society.
they will find the best leader for their home: the
game changer.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, January 30, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Arabian Sinbad,

As misdirected as it may be, I applaud your passion.  You never miss an opportunity to turn a world event into a tirade against the U.S. and Israel.  No matter the context or the nation in the news.

Iran - Israel is bad and should be eliminated.
Saudi Arabia - Israel and the U.S. are tyrannical.
Egypt - Israel is fascist and the U.S. corrupt.

While the whole of Egyptian society is corrupt, while Christians are persecuted daily, while Egypt’s Copts are an endangered minority and “disappeared” regularly, after no less than ten major protests in Egypt in the last four years, all rooted in domestic Egyptian issues, you point to the evils of those horrible infidel outsiders.


P.S. Your name here, Arabian Sinbad, is considered an insult of the highest order to most Arabs. - Just thought you’d wish to know.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 30, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Mubarak the dictator has picked another brutal “yes man” from the same torture regime to be his vice president. One wonders which foreign agency has suggested to go that route…just in case Mubarak flees to Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates. In that case, Egypt will have a replacement that would still be part of the ole dictator regime…this hopeful outcome will be great for the US and of course…Israel.

I was watching Wolfe Blitzer on CNN last night and he certainly did NOT waste anytime of bringing up the topic of cutting off Egypt’s foreign aid from the US. Egypt of 80 million people gets $1.5 billion dollars from the US & Israel with 5.5 million people gets about $3-5 billion dollars.

Its amazing how quickly & willingly the reporters from CNN & other news outlets ...the topic of foreign aid to Egypt comes up & may need to be cut off, but NO one dares to bring the topic of foreign aid $$$ to Israel. In 2008/2009, Israel unleashed a barbaric assault & using American made weapons on Gaza which killed around 1400 Palestinians, mostly women & children. The flow of foreign aid to Israel just continues to flow & the US news media just don’t dare bring up the issue up.

Mubarak & his torture regime need to vanish…the Egyptian people need to chose their future & destiny towards democracy & free elections. 90% of Egyptians live in poverty while the fat cats, like Mubarak’s regime staff, are living the high life.

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By radson, January 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Arabian Sinbad ,I concur with your post .The only question that I have is whether the Americans’ will supplant Mr. Mubarak with someone from the Right or the Left .The outcome soo far would suggest someone from the Left.


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By radson, January 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Big B

Conflating R.Hess with Himmler is erroneous ,perhaps
Eichmann would be a more fitting choice.

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By Big B, January 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

So Hitler walks in one day and says, in respone to the people wanting change from our brutal regime, I have sacked Himmler and replaced him with a kinder, gentler, Rudolph Hess.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, January 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

The Egyptian people need to ignore the pathetic actions and b.s. comments by Mubarak and Obama and completely smash this rotted, worthless regime. There is no negotiating with corrupt fatcats and robber barons.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, January 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

By nominating Omar Suleiman as his vice president, the very stupid Hosni Mubarak is adding insult to injury.

This thug Suleiman, who is described by the Los Angeles Times as being so-called “respected by the West” is extremely hated and abhorred by the average Egyptian outside the corrupt establishment.

In fact, if the Egyptian revolution is going to succeed and the heads of the corrupt regime are going to be put on trial, then it must be this Suleiman who should be hanged first, even before Mubarak himself. This thug has much blood on his hands for being the executing instrument of the Mubarak regime.

Another disturbing development in relation to Egypt’s situation is what is coming repeatedly now from official U.S. as to its considering to cut off the 1.5 billion in assistance. This is an implicit threat to the Egyptian people that you are risking loosing that assistance due to your revolt. In fact, through this threat official America is, en essence, saying that this money was intended for protecting the regime. In fact, this money was a cheap bribe to the Egyptian regime to sell-out to Israel and sign a humiliating so-called peace agreement.

This 1.5 billion is indeed bad money invested for evil purposes. Both the American people and the Egyptian people are better off to see this bribe cut off.

Moreover, it’s about time that a free movement should be started to cut off the untold billions that America give to Israel to support its fascism, occupation and savagery in occupied Palestine!

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