Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola
Mishawaka, Indiana, USA
March 10
Kevin Gosztola is a multimedia editor for He will be serving as an intern for The Nation Magazine during the spring in 2011. His work can be found on OpEdNews, The Seminal,, and a blog on Alternet called "Moving Train Media." He is part of CMN News, which produces a weekly podcast or radio show on Talk Shoe. He is a 2009 Young People For Fellow and a documentary filmmaker who graduated with a Film/Video B.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago in the Spring 2010. In April 2010, he co-organized a major arts & media summit called "Art, Access & Action," which explored the intersection of politics, art and media and was supported by Free Press.

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Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 1, 2011 10:59AM

Millions of Egyptians Protest in Tahrir Sq.—Mubarak Must Go

Rate: 20 Flag

A protester carrying a banner: "Leave you thief! Mubarak should be tried in front of an international court." by Hossam el-Hamalawy

*Cross-posted at

At 2:30 PM Egypt time, there are well over a million Egyptians in and around Tahrir Square. The atmosphere is being described by Al Jazeera as a festival atmosphere. CNN has Anderson Cooper reporting from the protests. And, reports are circulating on Twitter indicating Egyptian State TV is running images of Cairo looking serene, void of protesters, and flashing a "Protect Egypt" banner on screen during music videos.

The millions are deliberating over whether to march to the presidential palace or not. Having a foothold in Tahrir Square gives Egyptians control over Cairo, the power to keep the city's business halted, and that gives them tremendous leverage as the opposition continues to push for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

The U.S. government, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs representing the government's delicate stance on the unfolding revolution, has repeatedly spoke of how Mubarak must begin to establish a "transitional process" for "free elections." The U.S. government has been sticking to calls for the Mubarak regime to uphold "freedom of speech, association, communications, and assembly" as well as suggestions to lift "decades-old emergency laws, the release of political prisoners and changes in the Egyptian Constitution."

What is the likelihood that Mubarak would reform his regime? As the uprising continues to grow, a power shift is certainly making it harder for Mubarak to cling to authoritarian policies of government that have pushed Egyptians to revolt.

Typically, Mubarak has been averse to calls from the U.S. (and presumably other governments) to reform. A WikiLeaks cable, 09CAIRO874, provides insight into Mubarak's attitude toward reforming his regime:

4. (S/NF)No issue demonstrates Mubarak,s worldview more than his reaction to demands that he open Egypt to genuine political competition and loosen the pervasive control of the security services. Certainly the public "name and shame" approach in recent years strengthened his determination not to accommodate our views. However, even though he will be more willing to consider ideas and steps he might take pursuant to a less public dialogue, his basic understanding of his country and the region predisposes him toward extreme caution. We have heard him lament the results of earlier U.S. efforts to encourage reform in the Islamic world. He can harken back to the Shah of Iran: the U.S. encouraged him to accept reforms, only to watch the country fall into the hands of revolutionary religious extremists. Wherever he has seen these U.S. efforts, he can point to the chaos and loss of stability that ensued. In addition to Iraq, he also reminds us that he warned against Palestinian elections in 2006 that brought Hamas (Iran) to his doorstep. Now, we understand he fears that Pakistan is on the brink of falling into the hands of the Taliban, and he puts some of the blame on U.S. insistence on steps that ultimately weakened Musharraf. While he knows that Bashir in Sudan has made multiple major mistakes, he cannot work to support his removal from power.

The above mentioned cable highlights Mubarak's disdain for all these "freedoms" the US (and other countries) think he should grant Egyptians: "As with regional issues, Mubarak, seeks to avoid conflict and spare his people from the violence he predicts would emerge from unleashed personal and civil liberties. In Mubarak's mind, it is far better to let a few individuals suffer than risk chaos for society as a whole." (In addition to Mubarak's attitude toward "reform," the cable also indicates Mubarak was not open to talking about the Egypt economy, specifically Egyptian poverty, which has fueled the revolution.)

On elections, cables released prior to January 31, indicate that Egyptians might not be so confident that organizing free and fair elections with Mubarak still heading the regime would in the end be free and fair. A cable, 10CAIRO213, shows fear of police has led Egyptians to be afraid of "procuring voter registration cards" for elections. Another cable, 10CAIRO197, highlights a round of Muslim Brotherhood arrests that took place just before parliamentary elections in 2010. The arrests were regarded by observers as "part of a continuing GOE campaign to suppress the NDP's only significant political challenge ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections.

It is tough to analyze the past few years of governance in Egypt by Mubarak's regime and not understand why the opposition does not want to compromise or form an agreement for moving forward with Mubarak.

The opposition will continue to make demands and call for Mubarak to step down from power. The Egyptian people do not want reform. They want Mubarak gone. They do not want Mubarak in power when elections are held this year.

Wall Street Journal reports, "Participants in a private meeting Monday morning at the White House's Roosevelt Room said a long discussion of Mr. Mubarak's future left them with the understanding that the White House sees no scenario in which Mr. Mubarak remains in power for long. White House officials said they made no explicit predictions about Mr. Mubarak's future."

For the latest, tune in to Al Jazeera's live stream.

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I just don't know how the United States can offer any advice or interference in this - I mean...we were sending our prisoners to Egypt to be tortured - rather than do it ourselves. No matter what the strategic "interests" involved - it really is up to the Egyptian people to determine their own destiny.
I just commented on another post regarding this subject. The U.S. had no business intruding into the internal affairs of another nation. The Egyptian people have a right to decide their own destiny, not a neo-Con-God-Bless-America-version forced down their throats by the U.S.

Goodbye, hegemony. Hello, self-determination.
Self-determination. Powerful words. Powerful, powerful, powerful and beautiful uprising that creates the opening to make the world anew. May this initiative continue on the part of the Egyptian people and others who are rising up in the world.

What the US should and should not do regarding the Egyptian mess.
Bonnie obviously doesn't realize that we fund the Egyptian military and have been propping up this mummy for decades. The reality is that Mubarak has got to go. Saying he won't run again is not enough. If he oversees the "transition" there'll be oppression and more protests and rioting--he's already harassed journalists, and his secret police is pulling opposition leaders off the streets. But he's lost control of the situation, and my guess is that his announcements today, and the White House's tepid replies, won't be enough. Mr Mubarak, get out of Egypt. Now.
Enough already. Right on. Mubarak is wallowing in his own crapulence now for everyone to see, promising he won't run in the next election. The White House has played this wrong from the beginning. Jon Stewart showed how their policy veered first one way and then in another last night on his show. Shameful. Promises aren't enough at this point. Please--as if promises of "change" were going to convince anyone! We won't be fooled again. We're not going away. The protestors aren't going away. And it's time for the old birds in the Pentagon to pull the plug and cut their losses. They could have ended this situation and put Mubarak on a plane from the start. They're hoping it'll calm down and he can go back to arresting and terrorizing his own people--outrageous! WE WILL NOT GO AWAY. WE WILL NOT TAKE OUR EYES OFF EGYPT. MR MUBARAK, LEAVE!!
And oh yeah, RATED. And how.
Mubarak right now is like the pacifier that Washington has gotten used to. They won't give up sucking on it, no matter what. Try and take it away from them and they wail and wail their little heads off. Wonderful sight for these weary eyes to see.
@the doc,
ah, the crybabies in washington, wailing: "whatever will we do! wahhhhhh!" beautiful.
mubarak is STALLING. waiting for his moment when everyone looks away and he can go back to being the evil bastard we all know he is. he's got to go. the protestors know it. everyone knows it except a bunch of nitwits on the Potomac. GET OUT!
Nobody believes anything this lying ratshit piece of trash says anymore. Stay until September? Why? What will that accomplish? The man is a relic. He's done. Finish it off already. The people shouldn't back down an inch, and they won't, because they know what will happen if they do.
He's evil. They should go after him now.
As a friend reminded me,

"Nex ut Tyrannus."

----I could only offer him shelter in another's head. He should find a nice island in the tropics now. It's time...----
We had tyrants in England once. I believe they were called kings. We took care of that problem, somehow....
Hurumph! Hurumph! Amen.
It is a little known fact over here, but it gets cold in the winter in Egypt. Very cold. A few laps in the desert would do Mubarak a world of good...
Somebody with ambition in the military needs to step forward and break with the U.S. now and remove him from power. The people will never accept his promises, and the boys in Washington who are freezing the Egyptian military in place aren't helping things. As usual they're fucking everything up. "We aren't involved," they keep intoning at the White House. Bullshit. If it weren't for us, this situation would be over already and Mubarak would be in Paris. Somebody needs to break ranks and join with the opposition openly. Enough of this "dancing."
another dumbass that is too fucken young with an idea that he thunk he knows what is the fuck is happening....naivety so astounding that you have to LYMMAO!
There was a bully in my phyed and we all ganged up on him and kicked him in the nards over and over. He couldn't even look at anyone for a month. All those people protesting over there sure would make a long, long line for Mr. Hosnose Mufuckface. I think everyone should get two kicks apiece, too.
I'm glad they got rid of him. There's not much coverage about it anymore. What's happening there?