Violence engulfs Egypt
A growing number of American politicians, including Senators John McCain, John Kerry, and Vice President Joe Biden have begun to announce support for the protesters and in some cases for Mubarak. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov however contended the issue must remain in Egyptian hands, and the Egyptian people must decide their future. He said, “I don’t think any outsiders should really be pushing Egypt one way or another. I don’t think any suggestions from outside are going to be helpful and are going to lead to a sustainable resolution of the situation. I don’t think artificial deadlines or ultimatums are in order. I strongly believe that the Egyptian political forces, political groups, must themselves find a way out.”In addition to political support a number of international human rights workers and journalists have traveled to Egypt. Many have been attacked and /or detained in the process. Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of CODEPINK, is on the ground in Cairo conducting interviews in support of the Egyptian people.She explained anti-government protesters want to minimize violence and are calling on the president to voluntarily step down, as opposed to forcibly removing him. “That might change tomorrow,” Benjamin commented. “I have never seen so many people literally ready to give their lives for this revolution, so they might very well be willing in smaller groups take to the streets and try and move to the presidential palace.” Being on the ground it is evident the revolution is not easy to control. There is little organization and no clear leader, just a universal cry for greater democracy and the removal of President Mubarak. “People are definitely feeling they don’t want to continue with business as usual,” she added. Younus Abdullah Muhammad, the chief analyst at IslamPolicy.com however contended the events in Cairo are not a revolution and are not driven by Islam. He argued the world is bearing witness to an uprising or rebellion because of grievances.“The requirements for a revolution are that a specific paradigm is put in place of an old paradigm and we don’t know exactly what the people of Egypt are calling for yet,” he said. “We do know that they have grievances. We do know that they are sick of living under the despotic rule of Hosni Mubarak.” He argued the people are upset, but the real blame falls on international influence from America. American influence and support of the Mubarak government and contribution to the class war in the nation is to blame. “All of the weapons, the tanks, the tear gas you see used against the Egyptian people to try to quell this revolution is in fact funded by American tax dollars,” Muhammad remarked. “Egypt has been a functioning American empire client state for well over 30 years.” He argued moving forward, the world, including the US will have to let Muslim counties decide their own futures and fates themselves. “It will be up to the people of Egypt to decide if they want to manufacture a revolution,” Muhammad said.