Despite repeated promises earlier to dissolve the Information Ministry (Mubarak’s Ministry of Truth), PM Essam Sharaf re-established the ministry and brought Osama Heikal, editor of Al-Wafd to head it. Heikal had written an editorial on 24 January, one day before the outbreak of the revolution, denouncing the call for protests, asserting that “not a single Egyptian loyal to the nation would wish to see the repetition of the Tunisian scenario in Egypt… and no one wants a confrontation between the people and the regime.”
More troubling, Heikal spent long years as the paper’s “military affairs correspondent.” In Egypt, according to our draconian press law, you cannot write a single word about the army without the approval of the army’s Morale Affairs Department (read: public relations). Those “military affairs” journalists and editors are hardly “journalists and editors” at the end of the day. They are ones who keep close contact with the official establishment of the army and are more than happy to repeat what they say and copy and paste their statements as “news reports.” Heikal is hardly an “opposition” or a “dissident” journalist. He’s someone who spent his career as an army mouthpiece.
It might be worth mentioning too that Osama Heikal’s Al-Wafd party boss, Sayed Badawi, owns Al-Hayat channel, one of the biggest counterrevolutionary media outlets we have in the country, which is sensationally whipping up security paranoia, glorifying the police, and denouncing labor strikes.
Obama continues his endorsement of Mubarak’s Field Marshal Tantawi and his ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. According to the Jerusalem Post…
[T]he United States signaled this week that it plans to continue business as usual when it comes to arms sales to the Egyptian Military.
On Friday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible sale of 125 M1A1 Abrams tank to Egypt – the first large arms deal since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February – including associated weapons, equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of just over $1.3 billion.
If approved, the deal would increase the number of Abrams tanks in Egypt from around 1,000 to 1,130.
According to the notification to Congress, Egypt would receive 125 tanks parts of which would be produced in Egypt as well as M256 Armament Systems, M2 .50 caliber machine guns, 7.62mm machine guns, spare parts, maintenance, support equipment, personnel training and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The Pentagon told Congress – which has 30 days to object to the deal – that the sale of the tanks would “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”
A Mobinil ad at the Cairo Airport, quoting Obama on the Egyptian revolution.
Mobinil is owned by the Egyptian Rockefeller Naguib Sawiris, a long time ally of the regime, who reinvented himself as a revolutionary liberal, while Obama is the man who came to Cairo to praise Mubarak as a force of stability. Such ads make me wanna puke.
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