Arab affairs

Editorial : Cairo’s victory and Tehran’s celebrations

The victory of the popular revolution in Egypt prevailed over the celebrations of the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran and its toppling of the regime of the Shah who was the primary regional ally of the American empire in the Gulf region and Israel’s most important ally in the East.

The course of the Egyptian popular revolution imposed comparisons at the level of the similarities between the Egyptian and Iranian revolutions, due to the prevalence of the youth element and role on the different squares, despite the presence of many divergences reflecting the specificity of the revolutionary experiences that are drawn up by the people with their blood, their conscience and the culture. What seized the attention of both the analysts and the ordinary people was the American and Israeli interference to enhance a tyrannical and crumbling regime until the last moment, and their relinquishing of a major and powerful ally in the region under the pressures of the popular revolution. In the meantime, a series of aspects seen in the two events remained the object of attention during the last few days, including the fact that Mubarak’s departure on February 11 coincided with the departure of the Shah on that same day thirty years ago.

Iran was able to instate a political system based on the idea of the transition of power in accordance with its own cultural and Islamic specificities. The policy of the Islamic republic was characterized by political realism and the exceptional ability to establish relations and alliances across the border - based on the respect of the specificities and the differences - starting with the alliance with Syria which proved to be highly efficient and flexible in embracing the doctrinal and political divergences while maintaining harmony in managing the conflict based on a joint strategy governed by the will to get rid of colonial hegemony and fight the Israeli enemy, going through close relations with the independent Latin bloc states, Russia, China and others.

National, social and democratic

Just like all the major revolutions throughout history, the Egyptian revolution is generating a series of intellectual and political repercussions in the Arab countries. These repercussions are still at the beginning and will prevail over the arenas of controversy and interaction during the next stage.

Firstly: A state of confusion and astonishment emerged among a group of journalists, analysts and intellectuals who throughout many decades became accustomed to spreading disappointment toward the Arab people and their ability to create change.

This choir worked in a massive army of mercenaries for which the American and Western intelligence bodies and the Arab governments that are allied with them mobilized massive capabilities and established gigantic media empires. During the first days of the Egyptian revolution, this media system was extremely arrogant in dealing with it and is now getting ready to keep trying to suffocate its bright historical image which constitutes an inspiration to the Arab populations and freedom fighters.

The victorious revolution ought to force all the free intellectuals and journalists in the Arab countries to start settling scores with the promoters of the dark era and their poisoned ideas, especially since the latter were the media attachés of the American armies that invaded the East to support Israel.

Secondly: some nationalists who are truly happy about the Egyptian revolution that lifted their morale and made them feel there was an opportunity to establish a new balance that goes against the colonial and especially the Israeli interests, are trying to deal with the Egyptian revolution by delivering lessons ad issuing warnings. But this is a major mistake.

What we can offer to the Egyptian revolution at this moment, is exactly what the Arab populations did in terms of the celebrations organized following Mubarak’s departure. We must show caution in issuing positions in advance, since the revolutionary course will respect the will of the Egyptian people and the political shape which these people will choose for the new authority. The revolutionary awareness shown by the Egyptian youth indicates that we might witness many interim shapes for the authority during the next few months. So for now, let us settle for supporting, embracing and drawing the lessons of the revolution and let it handle its own agenda.

The spread of the Egyptian revolution and the Syrian specificity

Amid the talk about the transfer of the Egyptian revolution, there are ongoing debates regarding the places and arenas which are prone to witness angry popular actions leading to political transformations affecting the nature of the authority. During the past days, since the eruption of the Egyptian revolution until its success in ousting Mubarak, countries like Yemen, Jordan and Bahrain witnessed wide popular actions and calls for the staging of uprisings similar to the Egyptian and Tunisian ones. However, an attempt undertaken by Syrian groups from abroad via email and through groups established on Facebook, turned out to be led by people who are acting from Lebanon, Israel, the United States, Australia and Northern Iraq and are intelligence groups that operated in the ranks of the March 14 forces and especially the Future Movement and the Lebanese Forces during the last few years to undermine the Syrian situation.

Firstly, the nature of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions point to a national awareness related to the rejection of tyranny and oppression exercised by collaborating regimes serving colonial hegemony over the region. The objective circumstances generated by the defeats of the American-Israeli colonial alliance provided the appropriate revolutionary climate for the eruption of uprisings. Consequently, the infection will spread within this exact group of states that was dubbed by Condoleezza Rice as being moderate and was dragged by the Americans for years, especially since the occupation of Iraq and the two Israeli wars on Gaza and Lebanon.

Secondly: The non-response to the calls which targeted Syria was normal and expected since the Syrian people who are known for their national awareness have gone through a state of revolutionary revival ever since Syria was targeted following the occupation of Iraq, and after President Bashar al-Assad was successfully able to lead the confrontation against the American-Israeli invasion while holding on to the resistance option.

This popular rallying around President Al-Assad who turned Syria into an active power in the region, does not deny the fact that many popular sectors in Syria have hopes of seeing the reforms and transformations which were recently promised by President Al-Assad when talking about the Egyptians revolution.

Thirdly: During the last twenty years, Syria has rejected all the American and Western recipes featuring privatization, the liquidation of the public sector and the complete distancing of the state in exchange for social offerings. Consequently, the Syrian situation on the economic and social levels is completely different from that of the states which witnessed a comprehensive elimination of the middle and poor classes. Indeed, the Syrian middle class is a key component of society, while the poor class is receiving special care by the state. Despite the signs of inflation and the rise of the prices about which some Syrians are complaining, education and health in Syria are at least available for free to whoever needs them.

Fourthly: President Bashar al-Assad is a young leader with amazing capabilities on the intellectual and strategic levels. He represents a symbol of dignity and the resistance option in the Arab space, which is why he is qualified to be the most prominent Arab leader and statesman in the coming stage and following the victory of the popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

The Arab file

The popular revolution in Egypt, which led on Friday to the fall of the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, was tackled by the Arab papers. The latter also shed light on the Arab and international positions toward the revolution, including the position of Israel which is proceeding with its attacks against the Palestinian people. The papers also addressed the spread of the revolutions and the popular protests to a number of states.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued instructions to tighten the blockade on the already blockaded Gaza Strip, ordering the hastening of the building of the so-called security fence with Egypt.


The popular revolution in Egypt was staged throughout eighteen days, while calling on President Hosni Mubarak and his regime to step down. Victory was seen on Friday 11-2-2011.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemned the interference of some foreign states in Egyptians affairs.

The British Times newspaper thus stated that Saudi Monarch King Abdullah Ben Abdul-Aziz told American President Barack Obama that his country will support Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak if the United States were to discontinue the aid offered to Egypt.

In the meantime, the reactions toward the Egyptian events on the Arab and international levels quickly surfaced, and many in a number of states took to the streets to express their joy vis-à-vis the victory of the popular revolution in Egypt.

The spread of the revolution.


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said it was ‘likely to see the staging of demonstrations on the Iraqi street, similar to the ones seen in Egypt and Tunisia’. He stressed the necessity of offering the best services to the citizens and drawing up the state’s budget to meet the urgent demands of the Iraqis. Al-Maliki announced that the government decided to grant each Iraqi citizen 15 thousand dinars ($12.8) per month as a compensation for the absence of coupons. For their part, hundreds of Iraqis took to the streets in protests against the policy of the Iraqi authorities and the lack of services. Civilian activists, politicians and senior employees also decided to inaugurate a website called Iraqleaks to expose the corrupt.


Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir announced the presidency’s acceptance and welcoming of the results of the South Sudan referendum which were officially announced by the referendum commission, assuring that the outcome “met the expectations of the Southern population”.


The opposition Islamic movement in Jordan stated that it refused to participate in the new Jordanian government which Prime Minister Maaruf al-Bakhit was assigned to form, calling on Al-Bakhit to abstain from forming this government. The movement believed he was not “a man of reform”, accusing him of having led “the worst parliamentary elections in Jordan’s history,” in reference to the 2007 elections.


Hundreds of Tunisian demonstrated in front of the parliament headquarters in the capital, demanding the disbandment of parliament and the council of advisers and rejecting the prerogatives that were offered by parliament to interim president Fouad Mebazaa.

The Tunisian army announced the summoning of the reservists in a highly significant step, seeing how the country has been living in an unprecedented state of anarchy ever since the escape of ousted President Ben Ali.


A few hundred Algerians, including deputies in parliament, tried to stage protests in the capital on Friday 11-2-2011. However, massive numbers of Algerian police elements estimated at around thirty thousand were able to prevent it, seeing how they outnumbered the demonstrators and were able to disperse them following the arrest of hundreds among them.


Following the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital Sana’a and a number of main cities on Friday to celebrate the victory of the Egyptian revolution. However, the Yemeni authorities quickly adopted strict security measures against the demonstrators who started by shouting slogans in support of the Egyptian revolution, before they turned against Ali Abdullah Saleh in demand of his ousting. Dozens of youth spent their night on the Yemeni Tahrir square, at a time when the square witnessed light clashes between the demonstrators and the supporters of the ruling party who carried pictures of Ali Abdullah Saleh and reiterated slogans in favor of the president.

The Israeli file

The Israeli papers issued last week indicated that Israel was going through a state of anticipation and confusion following the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. They assured that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued recommendations to the political and military commands not to deliver any official statements in this regard.

The papers also followed throughout last week the protests in Egypt, as well as the visit of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to the United States and his meetings through which he aimed at getting American support in favor of Israel, especially following the Egyptian incidents.

Domestically, the paper tackled the repercussions of the appointment of new Chief of Staff General Gantz, leading to disputes between the Cabinet ministers who attacked Netanyahu and Barak for having recanted Galant’s appointment as Chief of Staff.

Joint Israeli-American training to face comprehensive war with Lebanon, Syria and Iran

Sources in Israel revealed that a joint military training between the American and Israeli armies was staged in Israel for a week in utter secrecy, simulating Israel’s possible subjection to compressive war launched by Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.

The sources indicated that in the event of the eruption of war, the American units deployed in some countries in the region will be ready to reach Israel rapidly and will mainly participate in activating the American defense systems that are positioned in Israel. But in case the Israeli army were to require additional assistance, the American army will be ready to provide it.

Lebanese affairs

The Lebanese papers followed the meetings and consultations conducted by Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati to form the upcoming government, as well as the political developments on the Lebanese arena.

Following the meeting of the Change and Reform bloc, General Michel Aoun announced his rejection of the way the government formation was being handled on the basis of “this leader wants to see the appointment of this person as minister or this leader does not want the appointment of this or that person.” He indicated that following the collapse of Hariri’s government, Lebanon came face to face with a new exceptional situation that did not require rehabilitation, rather total rebuilding and planning “and this is why we are facing a few obstacles.”

In a speech delivered during a celebration in solidarity with the Egyptian people upon an invitation from the Lebanese national parties and forces, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah proclaimed solidarity with the popular revolution in Egypt against Mubarak’s regime. He thus called for solidarity with the Egyptian people, considering that what they were doing was great and one of the most pivotal points in the history of this nation and the region. He addressed Egypt’s revolutionaries by saying: “Your victory will change the face of the region in favor of its entire people and especially the people in Palestine.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem considered that “the formation of a national unity government in Lebanon has reached its final stages.” He added that “stability in Lebanon resides in the formation of a national unity government including all the factions of society, which is exactly what Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati is seeking.” He indicated that “back when he was prime minister of the Lebanese government in 2005, Mikati proved to enjoy integrity and to be concerned about playing the role of a mediator between all the Lebanese factions”, assuring: “Syria wants to see the formation of this government and is seeking the establishment of the best possible relations with Lebanon, similar to what happened with Iraq.”

The Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, called for a joint meeting in Dar al-Fatwa in the presence of the Lebanese prime ministers, the Muslim deputies and the Council of Muftis. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister of the caretaker government Saad al-Hariri, Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati and the Sunni deputies. Following the meeting, the closing statement assured that the Lebanese national democratic system was failing to materialize and evolve due to the accumulation of the violations and ambitions in the name of sects, and to the dominating powers in them trying to subdue the others to their political logic. Former Prime Minister Omar Karameh commented on the meeting from which he was absent by saying to As-Safir: “How can I attend it after what was seen in Dar al-Fatwa in terms of the squandering of the funds and the rights?” Karameh expressed his astonishment towards the participation of the prime minister-designate participation in such a meeting that issued a statement “featuring extremely odd commitments and forcing Mikati to abide by certain things which we do not know how he will be able to respect or elude.”

The American file

The events on the Egyptian arena and the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were among the most prominent files tackled by the American papers issued last week. The Los Angeles Times mentioned that the White House was getting ready to deal with the post Mubarak stage in Egypt. The New York Times indicated that the United States was seeking change following the instatement of stability in Egypt, while the Washington Post assured that Egypt enjoyed all the capabilities to rebel against the oppressive and tyrannical regime.

On the other hand, the newspapers pointed to the retreat of the American influence in the Middle East and to the Republicans’ rejection of the realistic vision and political strategy of Obama’s administration in the Middle East, considered as being completely opposed to Bush’s policy.

For its part, the New York Times revealed that Mubarak might head to Germany for treatment, which would secure his exit and his toppling as a key political player in Egypt and the Middle East.

The British file

The British papers issued last week featured several reports regarding the developments in Egypt, namely a report about the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, the threat of King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz to the White House, saying he will support the Egyptians president and provide him with the necessary funds if the American administration were to try to impose a rapid change on the rule in Egypt. Reports also tackled the relations of Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian vice president, with Israel.

The most prominent report was that of The Guardian regarding the involvement of the Egyptian army in the arrest and torture of hundreds, if not thousands of demonstrators who are opposed to President Mubarak’s regime.

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