Posted on | February 2, 2011 | 39 Comments
The magic words of President Obama’s speech apparently failed to pacify the Egyptian masses and — as of 5 p.m. in Cairo (10 a.m. ET) — the crowds in Tahrir Square were fighting with sticks and stones.
As much as I’d like to spend today blogging about domestic politics — and Kim Kardashian’s nude photos — it looks like those dimwit protesters are going to require me to pay attention to them again.
Don’t the idiots in Egypt know that when the Community Organizer says “the aftermath of these protests,” that means it’s time to stop protesting?
UPDATE: Hope and Change via Twitter:
Just so you know, I blame NBC for sending Brian Williams to Cairo. When the No. 1 U.S. network anchor comes to town, Middle Eastern custom requires that the “Arab street” throw a riot in his honor.
Army tanks seen moving as protesters confront one another; Egyptian military calls for end of protests: “Your message has arrived, your demands known.”
It appears that the pro-Mubarak forces took his speech Tuesday night as a signal to get out in the street and start whuppin’ some butts:
What’s the White House going to say about Mubarak rolling out his goon squad to clear the Square? Are we still in “orderly transition” mode, or is it now time for “Mubarak must go”?
We don’t know the answer to those questions. Nor do we know how Markos Moulitsas plans to blame this riot on Sarah Palin.
UPDATE III: CNN reports:
Supporters of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak flooded into Cairo’s Tahrir Square Wednesday after the president’s opponents dominated the scene for more than a week.
Separated at first by barriers, the rival demonstrators exchanged insults, then began throwing anything they could find at each other, including shoes, rocks and sticks.
Suddenly the barriers came down. People surged toward each other in a chaotic scene that conjured images of a revolution.
Some injured protesters fell. Others stumbled through the crowd. Blood streamed down the faces of the injured.
Many of the injuries were serious, even though demonstrators wrapped sweatshirts and other clothes around their heads to protect themselves from flying stones.
Note the wishful-thinking aspect of the phrase “a chaotic scene that conjured images of a revolution.” The reporter who wrote that is trying to project onto this riot — which is, so far as we can see, merely a riot — a world-historical significance, as if he were reporting from St. Petersburg in 1917.
UPDATE IV: Doug Mataconis:
It’s been a surreal scene unfolding this morning, perhaps most of all being the images of “pro-Mubarak forces” storming into Tahir Square on horse and camel back . . .
Yeah, they’re riding camels. Way to fight back against those stereotypes, you guys.
UPDATE VI: Speaking of photos you don’t want to see, images of the rioting mob in Cairo prompt Stephen Green’s rumination:
This picture from today’s Wall Street Journal reminded me that this is what you don’t get, when you have regular elections with honest results — and a resulting government which responds to the people’s wishes.
And then I thought back to the President’s State of the Union address last week and went: Uh-oh.
BTW, please excuse my sarcasm toward today’s riots. For nearly a week, American pundits kept looking at the Egyptian unrest through the prism of “What Does This Mean for Obama?”
It was obvious that the MSM wanted this story to be about Obama, so when the president jumped into this situation, made himself the protagonist of the drama, and then gave his big speech Tuesday night, my reaction was, “OK, that’s it. The Bringer of Light hath spoken, and now we have peace.”
Then I turned my TV to MSNBC this morning and saw the “Morning Joe” crew breathlessly hyping up the Cairo riot and said to myself, “Wait a minute? Why are these guys acting so enthusiastic about deadly violence?”
At which point I realized that NBC had flown its anchor, Brian Williams, to the scene and the network didn’t want the unrest to end before they’d gotten a big ratings boost out of it — and the 24/7 coverage is making it worse. The rioters wouldn’t be rioting if the TV news cameras weren’t there to broadcast the whole thing live. This is like American Idol auditions for jihadis, and now every two-bit student radical in Egypt is trying to get his 15 minutes of fame.
Lights! Camera! Molotov cocktails!