Posted by on February 09, 2011 in Blog

Tahrir Square

During an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman blamed the democracy movement’s protests in his country on the “Islamic current.” In an odd stab at his own country, he went on to note that while he, like everybody, “believes in democracy,” he said democracy should only be implemented when “the people here will have the culture of democracy.” In a separate statement, Suleiman warned that the government “can’t put up with” continued protests for long.

Suleiman’s sentiment confirms that the regime still doesn’t get it, and highlights why the protestors refuse to go home and continue to stand their ground (in this case literally) demanding immediate change. Suleiman called on the protesters to “go home” in order to “save the economy of the country,” when it is in fact the regime’s insistence on dragging out this standoff by refusing to yield to the will of the people which is obstructing economic normalcy.

It’s no longer only Aljazeera which is providing due coverage to the uprising in Egypt and exposing misinformation. Over the last two nights, CNN’s Anderson Cooper dedicated his show to combating mendacity and giving a clearer picture of government policy towards the protesters. The moving interview given to a private Egyptian channel by Wael Ghonim, political dissident and Google executive, upon his release from detention by Egyptian authorities is speculated to have contributed to the swell in the size of the protests we saw yesterday (the largest since the outbreak of the demonstrations).

The mix of a stubborn regime, growing popular protests, and heightened media coverage points towards a long standoff. And depending on what Suleiman meant by not putting up with continued protests, the standoff could escalate once again into a violent confrontation. Listening to the voice of the people is the only safe and legitimate way out of this standoff.

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