Egypt

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The cat, named Bunky, had to be put down today. He was Kate’s cat and I was fond of him because he was so big and funny and pretty. At the same time Hosni Mubarak flew to his seaside Red Sea resort, 250 miles from Cairo which immediately burst into a wild sea of celebration. I said goodbye to Bunky this morning by stroking his fur and talking to him which got his attention. Now he is no more, cremated. Mubarak too is no more, not cremated, but no more is he in charge of anything in Egypt. The generals are now in command. We’ll see what they do. They promise to give the people what they want, democracy. Promises, promises.

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Methodius has an excellent post on the false neutrality shown by much of the media. His post, False Neutrality, links to an Egyptian blog coming from one of the few locations in Cairo with an internet connection. There are also quotes from “one of the most lucid and clear eye-witness accounts of what was happening in Egypt at Robert Fisk: Secular and devout. Rich and poor. They marched together with one goal – The Independent.

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Juan Cole tells it the way it is. Here’s his last paragraph:

The Israelis on Saturday killed 5% of all the Palestinians they have killed since the beginning of 2001! 230 people were slaughtered in a day, over 70 of them innocent civilians. In contrast, from the ceasefire Hamas announced in June, 2008 until Saturday, no Israelis had been killed by Hamas. The infliction of this sort of death toll is known in the law of war as a disproportionate response, and it is a war crime.

UPDATE: I keep hearing in our MSM that Hamas must stop its rocket attacks on Israel. It’s interesting that the first Israeli killed by a rocket from Hamas since the June ceasefire was killed after the Israeli’s launched their attack on Saturday. Now Hamas is launching mortars and rockets towards the Israeli towns. This is happening in response to the Israeli attacks, not the other way around. The only Democrat who is pointing this out is, of course, Denis Kucinich.

A Little Background: A disaster was waiting to happen, and no-one was doing much about it. There was of course a date for the end of the ceasefire – December 19th. As that date approached both sides sought to improve their relative positions, to test some new rules of the game. Israel conducted a military operation on November 4th (yes, you had other things on your mind that day), apparently to destroy a tunnel from which an attack on Israel could be launched, Hamas responded with rocket-fire on southern Israeli towns. That initiated a period of intense Israeli-Hamas dialogue, albeit an untraditional one, largely conducted via mutual military jabs, occasional public messaging and back-channels. Again though the main reliance was on Egypt – by now in an intense struggle of its own with Hamas. When Hamas pushed the envelop with over 60 rockets on a single day (December 24th), albeit causing no serious injuries and mostly landing in open fields (probably by design), Israel decided that it was time for an escalation. That happened today [Dec. 27] – on a massive scale – with an unprecedented death toll.

Robert Fisk

Here’s a cell phone video:

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