Over 500 people have died in Egypt. Over 3700 have been injured. President Obama made a statement earlier today. “While we want to sustain a relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets. The Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the past several days.” As expected, President Obama stopped short of specifically stating that what is happening in Egypt is a coup. Yet, as the violence escalates, I believe we will have to, President Obama will have to, withdraw our $1.3 billion in military aid from Egypt. Look for Al Qaeda to try to exploit this. No matter what kind of diplomatic mumbo-jumbo comes out of the State Department and the White House, whatever’s going on in Egypt, it is clearly not a democracy.
Just to make sure that we know that George Will is still alive and kicking, he wrote one of the most unhinged, neoconservative pieces of gobbledygook that I’ve read in a while. Now, President Obama is worse than Nixon. Yes, he is talking about the Affordability Care Act. The fact that the administration stated that they’re going to wait a year before implementation represents an offense worse than Watergate. Nope, I don’t understand it either. Let’s be clear. Presidents have pushed the envelope of presidential power for as long as we’ve had a Republic. It is up to Congress and the Supreme Court to push back. Currently, we have a completely dysfunctional Congress. They can’t agree on what time of day it is, let alone whether something the president does is right or wrong. As usual, George Will is way off base.
Robert Reich continues to be one of the best progressive voices on the economy. The following is a presentation on income inequality. It is wonderful.
A convoy of Libyan rebels has rolled into central Tripoli past celebrating crowds after a day of heavy fighting in and around the capital.
They appeared to meet little resistance and civilians emerged to cheer them, waving flags and firing celebratory shots as they passed in their pick-ups.
Video from the city apparently shows the rebels celebrating on Green Square.
The rebels reportedly captured Col Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam as the leader himself vowed to fight on.
“I have received confidential information stating he has been arrested,” International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told AFP news agency.
The court has indicted Saif for torturing and killing civilians.
Another of Col Gaddafi’s sons, Muhammad, was also detained, according to rebel sources.
The BBC’s correspondent in Tripoli, Matthew Price, says the rebels appear to be trying to take control of the hotel where he and other journalists have been staying. Gun battles have raged around the Rixos Hotel all day.
Col Gaddafi is believed to still have thousands of armed followers in the capital but other reports suggest a number of them have been surrendering to the rebels.
As we all knew there was more to the story. Blackwater says they fired only after they had been fired upon. Eyewitnesses say that Blackwater simply opened fire and no one was firing at them. Without the video or inspecting the Blackwater helpcopters, there is no way to know who is telling the truth. They both (the Iraqis and Blackwater) have motivation to lie.
Iraqi officials have expressed outrage at eyewitness accounts that Blackwater contractors “initiated random and indiscriminate shooting at civilians” Sunday in Baghdad’s Mansour area, according to an Interior Ministry spokesman, Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf.
The ministry said Wednesday at least 10 Iraqis were killed and 10 wounded — all civilians except for a traffic policeman killed while rushing to the aid of a family caught in the crossfire.
Blackwater has denied the Iraqi government’s account of events, saying its contractors “acted lawfully and appropriately in response to a hostile attack.”
The North Carolina-based company added that “the ‘civilians’ reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies, and Blackwater personnel returned defensive fire.” (more…)