Mubarak sacks gov't, protesters remain in Cairo's streets
Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak fired his Cabinet early Saturday and promised reforms in his first response to protesters who have mounted the biggest challenge ever to his 30-year rule.
But many protesters were outraged by Mubarak's nationally televised address, in which he also defended the crackdown by police on tens of thousands of demonstrators that drew harsh criticism from the Obama administration Friday, and even a threat to reduce a $1.5 billion program of foreign aid if Egypt escalated the use of force.
Mubarak's decision to dismiss Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and the rest of the Cabinet would be interpreted as a serious attempt at bringing change under normal circumstances. But on a day when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand Mubarak's ouster, it fell far short of expectations.
As a result, options appeared to be dwindling for Mubarak, a 82-year-old former air force commander who until this week maintained what looked like rock-solid control of the most populous Arab nation and the cultural heart of the region.
There is much more in this article regarding the current state of affairs in Egypt.
Egypt Cuts Off Most Internet and Cell Service
Autocratic governments often limit phone and Internet access in tense times. But the Internet has never faced anything like what happened in Egypt on Friday, when the government of a country with 80 million people and a modernizing economy cut off nearly all access to the network and shut down cellphone service.
The shutdown caused a 90 percent drop in data traffic to and from Egypt, crippling an important communications tool used by antigovernment protesters and their supporters to organize and to spread their message.
White House: Time for reform to come to Egypt
The White House says that the "legitimate grievances" of the Egyptian people must be addressed immediately by the Egyptian government and violence is not the right response.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama has not spoken with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the target of roiling street protests. Asked why not, Gibbs said that "we're monitoring a very fluid situation."
Now for some insight from Joel Rosenberg:
Revolution in Egypt? And Could Jordan Be Next?
This commentary is worth reading - here are a few parts:
One thing’s for certain: No one predicted the demonstrations in Egypt would grow so big so fast. Momentum for the protests is growing. A Facebook page promoting the democracy protests grew from 20,000 members on Wednesday to 80,000 on Thursday.
The government then reportedly shut down Facebook, and disrupted Internet service in parts of the country. Twitter has been blocked. Police are beating protesters. As of Friday, more than 1,000 Egyptians have been arrested for demonstrating. Now an overnight curfew has been imposed and the Egyptian army has been deployed to urban centers.
Meanwhile, protests have mounted in recent days in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. There, too, economics is playing a critical role. Reports the AP: “The economy saw a record deficit of $2 billion this year, inflation rising … to 6.1 percent just last month and rampant unemployment and poverty — estimated at 12 and 25 percent respectively.
In Jordan, there is a very high risk that Islamic radicals would take over the regime. As I write in Inside The Revolution, “It is precisely because the Jordanians have made such progress [with positive political and economic reforms in the past two decades] that I am worried by the Radicals’ determination to launch a jihad there, seize the capital, and create a new anti-Israel, anti-Western base for Iran and al Qaeda.
Therefore, I often pray for Jordan’s peace, prosperity and continued progress. I pray for King Abdullah’s health and safety, and I pray that the Lord would grant him the wisdom to know how best to move forward in such challenging times.”
On top of all this, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror movement has just toppled the government in Lebanon. Iran’s leaders are convinced their so-called messiah known as the Twelfth Imam is coming to earth at any moment, and feverishly trying to build nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to help usher in a new messianic age and an Islamic caliphate.
One aspect of this whole situation strikes me the most. With the Hezbollah (Iranian) takeover of Lebanon - and with Egypt in turmoil. Not to mention Jordan - we now have perfect "staging areas" for the battle of Gog-MaGog. Staging areas where troops can assemble prior of the massive invasion of Israel. Israel is completely surrounded, and feeling pressure from every end.
Thankfully, they have God on their side.