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Posted at 7:18 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Did anti-Mubarak protesters assault Lara Logan?

By David Ignatius

Cairo -- The sexual assault on CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Tahrir Square Friday was an outrage, and I agree with my colleague Richard Cohen that CBS shouldn't have waited so long to report it. But Cohen and others who have jumped on this story may be wrong to link this brutal attack with the protests that toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak.

When I raised the Logan attack today with two Egyptians who are close to the organizers of the Tahrir Square demonstrations, they made two points worth considering:

-First, as news of Mubarak's departure spread last Friday, Tahrir became crowded with people who hadn't necessarily taken part in the 18 days of anti-Mubarak activism. Some were more like soccer hooligans than protestors, my Egyptian contacts said.

From what the protest organizers tell me, they had worked hard to contain violence within their own ranks, even when provoked. Indeed, violent provocations seem to have come mostly from the other side -- the pro-Mubarak agitators, as in the infamous "Day of the Camels" assault by counter-revolutionaries mounted on horses and camels.

-Second, Cohen repeats allegations that the crowd that assaulted Logan shouted "Jew, Jew." I don't know if that's accurate, but if it's true, the blame should go to the pro-Mubarak camp for disseminating the sick view that Logan, as a foreign reporter, was a pro-Israel conspirator. This theme that the Tahrir demonstrations were the work of pro-Israel foreign agents masked as reporters was spread by pro-government sources, and even the official media. When foreign journalists were attacked and beaten, it wasn't by the Tahrir protesters, but by pro-Mubarak thugs. The Logan attack may have been an appalling echo of this outrageous pro-Mubarak campaign against foreign journalists.

Again, none of this justifies the attack in any way. But I would want more facts before I laid blame for the assault on the anti-Mubarak movement that was itself a victim of similar thuggery.

By David Ignatius  | February 16, 2011; 7:18 PM ET
Categories:  Ignatius  | Tags:  David Ignatius  
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Comments

Liberal Attention Whooore! helping CBS with its ratings...that foot up her arse wasn't sexual...hahahaha!

Posted by: JWx2 | February 16, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I recall on the day in question they said that they had given up trying to screen every person entering Tahrir due to the sheer volume of people.

Posted by: jojoz1 | February 16, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Should have been frigid Laura Ingrams from Fox News or frigid Man Coulter, two woman who look and act like men in drag.

Posted by: pechampion | February 16, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

To JWx2- no that's your mamma your thinking about.

Posted by: pechampion | February 16, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

to JWx2 - I hear your mamma gives a good blow job.

Posted by: pechampion | February 16, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

So then, David, you have absolutely no idea who assulted Lara. Thank you for writing an article how you don't know, but you're assuming it was the pro-Mubarak people not the anti-Mubarak people. Well, there are plenty of sources who say it was the anti-Mubarak people. And yes, they were thugs, whoever it was. Violent and vicious thugs. I assure you there were some thugs in the anti-Mubarak movement as well. So why waste our time venturing some assumptions that are based on nothing.. As usual in these situations, lets forget the point, the point that men can be violent, they stir violence all accross the world, and do not respect women. It's a worldwide problem (every 2 minutes a woman is raped in USA), not Egyptian. I'm not a Lara Logan fan, but I wish her full, especially emotional, recovery and I am rooting for her. I know she's a tough cookie, that one!

Posted by: maria32 | February 16, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

ToJWx2 - What's the matter liberal women don't like the size of your wee wee, hahaha.

Posted by: pechampion | February 16, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of whether it was a pro- or anti-mubarak gang of thugs who assaulted her, it goes to show the hatred of westerners that is widespread throughout that region. I don't know what it is that would make someone think that they were immune to that hatred just because they were a journalist, and then wander out into the middle of all that.

Posted by: dhbarr | February 16, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

No decent person is happy Logan was assaulted. I do however find the press coverage hilarious. I haven't seen Logan's work... who watches CBS? But I did see the coverage of many reporters... without exception it was pro-demonstrator, anti-Mubarak. The day Mubarak was ousted in a coup d’état the coverage was downright giddy. When reporters act as agitators and cheerleaders they lose ANY protection neutrality may offer. Logan deserves the same sympathy as any Egyptian caught in the mob violence… not a scintilla more.

Posted by: Jakesterman | February 16, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is an old Israel Firster, so his comments are of no surprise. But the angle here is still to blame Mubarak and preserve the fantasy of the anti-Mubarak forces as being some sort of liberal democrats.

Posted by: Puller58 | February 16, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Jakesterman. Given the giddy coverage by many networks, attacks on reporters should be expected. I mean, duh, you take sides in a dispute where people are playing for keeps, do not expect to be able to hide behind a newsman's shield of immunity.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 16, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

As for the denial by the person close to the organizers (whatever that means), of course they are going to say that! True or not! What would you expect: "Yes, we brutally assaulted this citizen of a country that we hope for help from. We're really sorry."

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 16, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Pro Mubarek or anti Mubarek is immaterial. Antisemetic is primarily what I heard. The mob justified the brutalization of Logan based on the assumption that she was Jewish. While apologists can assert that such behavior does not represent any more than that of deplorable criminal element, Ockham's razor asserts that, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is often the correct one. The explanation: the Arab street hates Jews. Personally, I think the US should cut it's losses and stop all aid to Egypt. It might go a little way towards balancing the budget and would halt the funding of yet another future enemy.

Posted by: Voice_of_reason_ | February 16, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

In her news reports Logan ignored the beatings those "protestors" were giving those of opposing opinions and opposing political parties in that square- so those that attacked her were, in part and indirectly of her actions, thinking they were free to do anything they wanted to do in the eyes of foreigners, which they considered her to be. After the hundreds of beatings those "protestors" gave in terrorizing opponents to stay away who was to say anything about them attacking anybody? Everybody was calling them heros of freedom, how could they do wrong? They voted a democracy law right then and there-attack that person we call Lara Logan. Good democracy or bad- it was democracy as the Washington Post said of everything those "protestors" did. What Washington Post employee is going to disagree with Obama? What Washington Post employee is going to say Obama's choise of description of those "protestors" as being for democracy false- and say those
"protestors" are rapists? Nobody! The Washington Post employees are a bunch of cowards.

Posted by: DandySandy | February 16, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Voice of Reason - the term antisemetic only really works when the people who are anti-Jews are not Arabs. Arabs are a semetic people too.

Having said that - while Egypt is an 'Arab Nation' due to being primarily of the Arabic religion Islam, the majority of Egyptians are not Arabs.

Posted by: jojoz1 | February 16, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not the gang rapists were pro or anti Mubarak, the assault on Ms. Logan suggests that Egypt is not a very civilized country. And the liklihood that such a country could become a democracy any time in the foreseeable future is remote. The decision to bury the story by the entire media, including Ms. Logan's employer CBS, is a disgrace. This atrocity is surely an indicator of the state of Egypt, and the prospects for democracy, peace, women's rights and "civil society" there. It should be covered and investigated in depth,

Posted by: adamdalgliesh | February 16, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

jojoz please forgive my use of the usual use of the word antisemetic. If it will make my statement any more palatable, please replace it with anti Jewish. That doesn't alter the act or the stated reason for the rape by an Egyptian mob. My sentiment remains unchanged.

Posted by: Voice_of_reason_ | February 16, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

This says nothing about the Egyptians in particular, but rather it is the human condition in general. It was a mob. Even the most disciplined and best intentioned gathering can easily turn into a mob. This is deplorable, but it isn't exactly news. The Bible gave us plenty of warning.

Posted by: lohengrin | February 16, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

There are some things the pro Mubarak people and the anti Mubarak people agree on. They hate the US. They hate Israel. They hate all Jews. And they are viciously misogynistic.
What little mid east stability existed left with Mubarak. We are reaping the whirlwind thanks to the Obama administration's nasty, mindless, amateurish foreign policy. It will take a generation to recover from the damage they have done.

Posted by: jy151310 | February 16, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

After watching Lara on both 60 minutes and a recent Charlie Rose, I am disappointed that CBS, her husband and she didn't realize what risks she was taking. It's one thing to be protected by US military in Iraq or Afghanistan, yet another to be in the middle of a mob of middle-eastern men. Look at the pictures-virtually all men. There is a reason why women in these countries don't go out in public alone.

All these third world countries seem to be predominated by packs of wild male dogs looking for fresh meat. Sorry, stereotypes are based on reality. These middle-eastern countries have centuries of treating women like property, why would anyone be surprised they would go after a "hot chick".

Posted by: dfbuckley | February 16, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"The sexual assault on CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Tahrir Square Friday was an outrage... "

This statement might be less implausible if the rest of the column was not immediately devoted to explaining who may or may not have participated.

I couldn't care less about the political inclinations of the animals who did this.

If you truly believe the attack was an outrage, why gloss over it in half a sentence?


Posted by: missmoll414 | February 16, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Nope couldn't have been those tolerant democracy seeking paragons of virtue. My money says W did it.

Posted by: cctinc | February 16, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Ignatius suggests that Egyptian soccer ultras supported rather than opposed Mubarak and may have been responsible for the despicable attack on Logan.

Soccer hooligans may indeed be responsible, nobody knows, and if so they should be held responsible for the horrendous act.

Yet, whether soccer hooligans were responsible or not, soccer fans largely played a key role in support of the protests as The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog has extensively documented and prominent Egyptian protesters, including Ahmed Maher, one of the leaders of the April 6 youth movement, in an interview with The New York Times, and Alaa Abd El Fatah speaking to Al Jazeera, have confirmed.

The importance of soccer fans to the protests certainly does not erase the possibility of soccer hooligans from having been responsible for the dreadful attack on Logan. By the same token, possible responsibility of soccer hooligans does not mean that the majority of fanatical soccer fans backed the ousted Egyptian leader.

http://mideastsoccer.blogspot.com/2011/02/did-soccer-hooligans-assault-cbss-lara.html

Posted by: jmdorsey | February 17, 2011 1:15 AM | Report abuse

“The Columbia Journalism Review reported in 2007 of the sexual intimidati­on of female reporters by molestatio­n when they were critical of the Mubarak government­.

It is highly probable that Lara Logan was targeted by the same pro-govern­ment organized street thugs who attacked the peaceful and non-violen­t protestors a week previously­. With the news of Mubarak capitulati­ng and resigning, it is quite possible that members of the hard core Mubarak thugs in the crowd lost their cool, and decided to wreak revenge on the poor female American reporter. In their minds, foreign journalist 'interfere­nce' by the likes of Lara Logan is what caused their patron and beloved leader, Mubarak, to fall.”

Posted by: mscommerce | February 17, 2011 3:12 AM | Report abuse

The number of variations of "blame the victim" comments on this board are amazing -- and a sad sad commentary on we've not come a very long way after all.

Lara Logan has the right to do her job wherever she chooses to be. It doesn't matter if it was pro-Mubarak or anti-Mubarak supporters who assaulted her, nor is it all that important whether she was actually "raped" or not. Whoever harmed her was ultimately a criminal and whatever was done is a violation of her personhood.

Posted by: NotRightnorLeft | February 17, 2011 7:03 AM | Report abuse

I have heard looney left blather about how incivility is strictly the province of the far-right. No one with any powers of observation can claim the far-right does not overstep civilised boundaries, but the same can be said of the far left, as well. In fact, incivility is now so common that Democrats and Republicans alike are often uncouth up to the level of the White House. Still, it seems likely that at a scene where the overwhelming majority of people were anti-government, the suspicion can be fairly raised that trhe people who assaulted the CBS reporter were possibly anti-Mubarak protesters. Is it necessarily so that they were? Sadly, no.

Posted by: sailhardy | February 17, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

The fact is serious reporting is dangerous. Daniel Pearl was murdered covering a story. Many reporters in Vietnam were killed. Reporters went to war with the troops during World War 2 and risked being hurt to cover the story.

Although TV journalism in not considered to be serious journalism, even TV reporters understand that going to a war zone is dangerous. This reporter was in the mob scene in Egypt. She got hurt. The press needs to stop making her attack a story. She was hurt in the line of duty. Hopefully she will pull herself together and carry on.

Posted by: jsands2 | February 17, 2011 7:25 AM | Report abuse

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site"... so says the Washington Post. There are several disgusting, vulgar inappropriate comments in response to this column. Where was the Washington Post watchdog?

Posted by: Kansas28 | February 17, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

To assume that Lara Logan was assaulted by pro-Mubarak forces is ludicrous. It took place on the day anti-Mubarak protesters were celebrating his ouster. If the anti-Mubarak protesters are pro-Israeli, then Israel has nothing to worry about. But that does not seem to be the ground reality. Hence, the only deduction that can be made is that this assault was perpetrated by the Tahrir Square demonstrators. This was the freedom they were longing for - to assault with impunity any woman that they felt was fair game. The media should try to be less politically correct and more blunt by calling a spade a spade. This will at least force the criminally inclined to realise they cannot keep fooling the public.

Posted by: nelsontdsilva | February 17, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I believe that this 'sexual attack", was orchestrated by CBS. They had to outdo the other reports of attacks on reporters. What better than Sexual Asssualt of a Blonde woman. Just look at the results. Everyone is going on blaming one element or another. Meanwhile there is not one journalist looking into the claims made by CBS. Remember they are not above manufacturing "NEWS" stories. Think Dan Rather. There is no independent verification of the CBS story. Just blind acceptantnce of the account from a discredited News group and a proven lying adultress.

Posted by: RAPAGE | February 17, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

adamdalgleish says "Whether or not the gang rapists were pro or anti Mubarak, the assault on Ms. Logan suggests that Egypt is not a very civilized country."

You know, we've had some horrific rapes and attacks in this country, some in mob settings and others not. So does that mean the US is not a very civilized country? Every country has thugs.

Posted by: dnfree | February 17, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

kansas28, the Washington Post doesn't have the ability to monitor every comment. You can help by clicking on the "Report abuse" link by an offensive post. That alerts the Post to check it out and remove it if it violates their terms of service.

I clicked on a few of these so we'll see if they get removed. It's sad to see that kind of "she deserved it" comments to a reporter being injured.

Posted by: dnfree | February 17, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

adamdalgleish says "Whether or not the gang rapists were pro or anti Mubarak, the assault on Ms. Logan suggests that Egypt is not a very civilized country."

You know, we've had some horrific rapes and attacks in this country, some in mob settings and others not. So does that mean the US is not a very civilized country? Every country has thugs.

Posted by: dnfree | February 17, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately this column just leaves us where we were before.

Who knows what motivated the attackers?

Maybe Lara Logan could tell us, maybe not.

It's a shame that journalists covering dangerous situations have to take risks of this sort. One can only hope that she bounces back.

Posted by: hambya | February 17, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"But Cohen and others who have jumped on this story may be wrong to link this brutal attack with the protests that toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak."
Well, they may be right. Using Ignatius' logic, it could have been a band of marauding gypsy dwarves wielding lunchroom sporks that assaulted Logan. We just....don't....know.

Posted by: NNevada | February 17, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr Ignatius is it possible you would go to the streets of Bahrain confront the Bahrainian citizens get in their faces and ask them point blank "Hey Dude whats your problem"? The media has been advancing Foreign policy for the Obama Administration and needs input.

Posted by: petethegreek35 | February 17, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Here are is a Video of "Peace Loving " Tunisia Muslims this week infront of Synagogue LINK > http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/206314.php

Posted by: justQQ | February 17, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Can you put a "report abuse" flag on Ignatius's remarks?

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | February 17, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Journalistically,there's something rotten in Denma...er, Cairo concerning this story. I could be wrong, but I think all the facts and information are not out yet.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | February 17, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

February 14, 2011
Video: "Islamic Anti-Semitic Demonstration in Front of the Synagogue in Tunis LINK >> http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/206314.php

Posted by: justQQ | February 17, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Please pass our voice to the world my brother and I had went to el tahrir at the day to step down and my brother carried an interview with Lara Logan, and then we went back before this dirty process and I know that the mastermind of that process are the police, who left from the beginning thugs that walk after the decision to step down a group of people were seen came with motocycles linked by vehicles above group of men from their shows you knew that they didnt know yet about the departure of Mubarak but how after t the world had known that he steps down and they said:(we want him to step down) .
Lara is very respectable
So we want to prove to the world that these protesters honest did not participate in that farce, it is impossible who braved bullets and death participate in that, the responsibility is fully to the police, who opened the door to the thugs to do what they want ....... The former regime wants to bring to the world that without him there would be no security for foreigners in Egypt so the foreign countries will not help us in our financial crisis
Please forgive us Lara

Egyptian citizen

Posted by: poweramino2222 | February 17, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Reading some of the remarks on here regarding her attack well they just repulse me. To make fun and joke about someone getting raped is unforgiveable. I wonder if those people have a mother, sister, girlfriend, etc. She was doing her job and now this is something she will have to live with the rest of her life. It appears it is the women of this country that had guts to rescue her. Who knows whom were responsible but if they can be idenitified I hope they get the worst punishement possible by Egyptian law. I just hope some of the Egyptian people that witnessed this crime have enough guts to stand up and testify. And you guys that are making jokes maybe you should go to prison for awhile and see how funny you think it is then.

Posted by: tweetbird | February 17, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

No matter who is responsible for this outrage, I find it heartening that women came to rescue her along with the army. I am shocked by those who think rape is funny. If they themselves were subjected to a beating or a robbery, would they think it proper that someone would laugh at them?
Violation of any person is violence that should be condemned.

Posted by: Spider4 | February 17, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

@adamdalgliesh, that is a very idiotic thinking. " Lara Logan was assaulted then Egypt is not civiliszed". Have you forgotten the New York parade few years ago where a mob repeatedly assaulted women in Central Park and pictures of nude victims walking away while no body came to their rescue including police officers circulated all over the world? Many of the victims were foreigners. I bet people like you in other countries commented that americans are not civilized. At least in Egypt, people came to her rescue. If I were you, I would avoid labeling Egypt, the country of one of the oldest civilization, non civilized.
I am sorry that Lara Logan endured such a horrific attack and wish her
a speedy physical and mental recovery

Posted by: Cantstandpalin | February 17, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Reading some of the remarks on here regarding her attack well they just repulse me. To make fun and joke about someone getting raped is unforgiveable. I wonder if those people have a mother, sister, girlfriend, etc. She was doing her job and now this is something she will have to live with the rest of her life. It appears it is the women of this country that had guts to rescue her. Who knows whom were responsible but if they can be idenitified I hope they get the worst punishement possible by Egyptian law. I just hope some of the Egyptian people that witnessed this crime have enough guts to stand up and testify. And you guys that are making jokes maybe you should go to prison for awhile and see how funny you think it is then.

Posted by: tweetbird | February 17, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering why the soldiers and Egyptian women who intervened to help Ms. Logan have not come forward (at least to my knowledge).

Anyone have a link to a news site that has interviewed at least one of these heroic citizens? They deserve public acknowledgement and thanks.

Posted by: MaggieCA | February 18, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Many Egyptians joined the celebrations that followed Mubarak's departure, which included the protestors who took part in the revolution, and other people who were just there to have fun and make trouble.

I joined the protests when they started on the 25th of Jan, and was in Tahrir square daily until the day of the departure, and I assure you that in the day of the departure, there were people who knew nothing about the protests, and who were there just to join the fun. Like in any society, there are the good and the bad. In the protests, only the good ones fighting for the cause where there, but then when things got festive, we started seeing outsiders to our revolution.

Posted by: nelsaeed | February 18, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

To those of you insisting that this sort of thing only happens in Egypt, have you forgotten the women who were raped at the 1999 Woodstock music festival. It's not about nationality, race, or religion. Let's face it fellas. When you get together in large, unsupervised, marauding groups, one of the first things you do is assault women - verbally and physically. Believe it!

Posted by: Misty630 | February 18, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I hear people talking about Egypt as third world country and it is normal that for those people to commit such a crime. What about us her in U.S.A. THE FIRST CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD and yet we have the highest rate of violence among family members and others, highest rate of rapping, and crime in general. We should not accuse people of being ignorant or insult any one in general. It is an individual act that can happen anywhere and please let us not try to downgrade this great revolution for personal reasons.
By the way for the person who said Egyptians hate American, I want to ask that person, where did you see that and why did you say so. Your statement is telling me that you have too much hatred toward humanity in general. I have been in Egypt several times and they do love Americans and foreigners in general. My family and I were treated as a royal family. We had the best time ever. The Egyptian people are very kind. Please quit accusing and insulting people because of your own personal belief
.

Posted by: madymh | February 19, 2011 1:02 AM | Report abuse

For shame Ignatius! Join Nir Rosen's misogynistic circle in your attempt to use the event for the advancement your own political agenda. Additionally, I find your lame treatment of the "Jew" taunts accompanying the assault to be not so subtly racist and unworthy of the Post.

Posted by: acsilag | February 20, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Poor Lara Logan. That's all I got to say.

Posted by: HAL-9000 | February 21, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Poor Lara Logan. That's all I got to say.

Posted by: HAL-9000 | February 21, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

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