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Pardon the title.  No disrespect for the decent Copts of the world.  It's not gratuitous.  The robbers referenced are the present day "robber barons" ready to assume power over our highest government offices.  

To extend on a Dkos piece by First Amendment, and to offer some loose threads for those who like pulling them, there are some good ones to pull.

To recap the subject, the secretly recorded video, publicized by Mother Jones, of a Mitt Romney campaign event, included a startling statement Romney made.  In a back-and-forth exchange with one of the attendees, Romney expressed an interest in the possibility of a foreign crisis that could influence the election.  Considering the controversy about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, what Romney said should be reviewed.

Audience member: So my question is, really, how can you sort of duplicate that scenario?

Romney: Ohhhh. [A few chuckles in audience.] I'm gonna ask you, how do I duplicate that scenario.

Audience member: I think that had to do with the fact that the Iranians perceived Reagan would do something to really get them out. In other words [unintelligible]…and that's why I'm suggesting that something that you say over the next few months gets the Iranians to understand that their pursuit of the bomb is something that you would predict and I think that's something that could possibly resonate very well with American Republican voters.

Romney: I appreciate the idea. I can't—one of the other things that's frustrating to me is that at a typical day like this, when I do three or four events like this, the number of foreign policy questions that I get are between zero and one. And the American people are not concentrated at all on China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq. This president's failure to put in place a status forces agreement allowing 10-20,000 troops to stay in Iraq? Unthinkable! And yet, in that election, in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we have hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean that's—that was—that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I'm afraid today if you said, "We got Iran to agree to stand down a nuclear weapon," they'd go hold on. It's really a, but…by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.

Romney [to another audience member]: Please—yes?

---Mother Jones transcript of the video

Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian billionaire
Who is this man?

Naguib Sawiris is his name.  In a way, he is the Egyptian Mitt Romney and Donald Trump rolled into one.  A businessman and a failed presidential candidate.  He's a member of the Christian Copts, who make up a 10% minority in Egypt.  

Sawiris headed Orascom, a telecommunications giant that dominates North Africa and the Middle East.  He was also the founder of Mobinil, Egypt's largest mobile phone network. After the Arab Revolution, he announced his exit from the business world to enter the democratic elections in Egypt as a candidate for President.

After Mubarak left, an interim government was installed.  The presidential contest would be held in two stages in May and June 2012.  Only the top two candidates by popular vote in the first stage would proceed to the second, and final, round.

Egypt is fragmented.  There were two dozen candidates competing in the first round, representing the illiterate and semi-literate conservative and devout Muslim poor, the professional secular middle class, the Copts, and the followers of the former military dictatorship headed by Mubarak.  These groups splinter further into subgroups.  

With the number of competitors in the first round it’s easy to see that the top two could proceed to the second round with only a small base.  The run up was chaotic.  Candidates were disqualified and replaced.  Coalitions formed and fell apart. Islamists, secular moderates, and the military were scheming to have one of the two slots that would compete in the second round.  

The Copt minority had little chance of competing successfully with universal suffrage. They feared an Islamist regime and fell in with supporters of the military dictatorship.  Conventional wisdom among Copts was that Mubarak had protected them.

Sawiris threw his hat in the ring with a party platform rejecting Islam as the religion of the state, Arabic as its language, and Islamic Sharia as the main source of legislation.  Sawiris also expressed his rejection of the veil.  He was criticized as a corrupt icon from the former regime.  After a few months his candidacy and his party fell apart because of internal fighting over support of the military dictatorship. But Sawiris wasn't done.  

By sheer numbers it was assumed an Islamist would be one of the top two in the first round.  The question was how to ensure that the second slot would go to a representative of the former military dictatorship, instead of a secular moderate.  Sawiris caused an uproar in Egypt by tweeting a cartoon that spoofed Mickey and Minnie Mouse in a way Islamists found offensive.

The secular middle class observed with dismay when the strategy became obvious.  Escalating agitation by Copts came to a head in a clash with police and angry Islamists.  Two dozen Copts were reported killed.  A number of voters were swayed.  They concluded that it would be wise to restore the miitary dictatorship which had, at least, preserved order.  In the first round of voting, the top two were Ahmed Shafik, the Mubarak military dictatorship holdover who headed the interim government, and Mohamed Morsi, a moderate Muslim Brotherhood candidate.  Morsi won narrowly with 51.7% versus 48.3% for Shafik.

Morsi took office with some conciliatory gestures. He resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood and he appointed two women and two Copts as members of his cabinet.  Nothing could offset the bitterness, cynicism and anger of people who protested in Tahrir Square during the Arab Revolution expecting a liberal and secular reform movement that would guarantee freedoms, bring prosperity and modernize Egypt.  They had been effectively shut out of the election.  Shafik and Morsi were equally unacceptable choices to them.  The press picked up stories from the US media claiming that Obama had given $1.5 billion to the Muslim Brotherhood to give it an edge before the election.   Any good will that existed turned to simmering resentment and suspicion about American interference in Egyptian affairs.

A large number of Copts fled the country in a steady stream during the chaotic months before the election.  Many ended up in America with a concentration in Los Angeles.  Rightwingers and Evangelicals did not fail to notice the Copts and they began a persistent campaign to publicize their plight as victims of Islamist extremism.  They were the ones who fabricated a tale alleging Obama’s $1.5 billion gift to the Muslim Brotherhood by connecting the release of military aid   for Egypt to meetings that were held in Washington with Muslim Brotherhood representatives.

Rightwingers, Evangelicals and Copts all had a hand in the Innocence of Muslims video that was named as a catalyst for angry demonstrations in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere.  On September 13, 2012, the New York Times reported in a front page article:

Fighters involved in the assault, which was spearheaded by an Islamist brigade formed during last year’s uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute, American-made video that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. Their attack followed by just a few hours the storming of the compound surrounding the United States Embassy in Cairo by an unarmed mob protesting the same video. On Wednesday, new crowds of protesters gathered outside the United States Embassies in Tunis and Cairo.

The New York Times also reported on the involvement of Terry Jones, the rightwing evangelical pastor previously known for burning Qurans.  
Others involved in the video are named in the same article.  Some of the connections and where they lead have already been mentioned in other pieces that already appeared here at Dkos.

Now we have a propaganda campaign accusing Obama's administration of using lies and a cover up to hide information about terrorist involvement in the attack on the Benghazi consulate.  To many who watched the presidential debate earlier this week, the sparring between Romney and Obama, may have seemed like a petty and pointless argument about semantics.  

The video, the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi, were presented to Americans without any context for understanding what was happening or why.   How Americans are kept in the dark by media that is complicit in delivering lies to the public is another story.

Originally posted to leftreborn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 2-)

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:32:53 PM PDT

  •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)

    for an enlightening diary.

    •  I'm surprised Americans aren't more interested in (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      kaliope, elfling
      Hidden by:
      Wham Bam

      what happened after the Arab Revolution (Arab Spring.)

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 06:20:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  HR for every comment by author of this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        disgusting bigoted diary

        •  Worst 'analysis' of Egypt I ever saw or heard: HR. (0+ / 0-)

          This diary is an embarassment to DailyKos, and should be deleted. HR'd. Seriously, this is the least insightful and most misleading 'analysis' of Egypt I have ever heard or read (worse than anything I'd even imagined possible).

          It's an example of what goes wrong when someone who clearly knows very little about Egypt, has not lived in the Middle East for any length of time and does not speak Arabic, tries to impart simplistic, shallow analogies from the US.

          The real harm comes to well-intentioned Kossacks who naively assume it is meaningful.

          Yikes.

  •  much detail in this diary (5+ / 0-)

    from a region I know nothing about.

    thank you for filling in some context for me.  I don't like to think of myself as a conspiracy theorist, but the degree to which contexts can be manipulated does not escape my notice.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 05:21:19 PM PDT

  •  I don't find this believable. (9+ / 0-)

    Coptic Americans are deeply concerned with the safety of Copts in Egypt. The people involved in the making of that "video" are really shady characters with no standing in the Coptic community. I'd be quicker to suspect the Islamophobia industry if anything.
    I also disagree with your reading of Sawiris. Yes, most Copts supported Mubarak's men because they preferred the devil they knew, but the conspiracy stuff is disturbing. Anti-Christian prejudice in Egypt sometimes parallels anti-semitism in its propensity for CT

    The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

    by emidesu on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:14:38 PM PDT

    •  Of course I'm not talking about all Egyptian Copts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kaliope, jakewaters, llywrch

      and I was clear and explicit about that because it's very important to me.  That's why I started by saying "No offense to the decent Copts" who are great people with an amazing heritage.  This piece isn't about them.  I think you know that, too.  

      Anti-Islam activists in the US like Pamela Geller probably did have a hand in that video.  The Copts that joined with them believe they have a common interest but they're being used.  

      Please don't talk to me about prejudice because I'm not making any judgments. I'm simply telling what happened from my point of view to an audience who knows little about the context for recent events.  It helps people in the US who don't fully understand the controversy Republicans are trying to make out of events in North Africa.  

      You say that talk about conspiracy is disturbing.  Do you think it isn't disturbing to me?  That isn't a reason to be silent about it.    

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:46:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, no offense to the decent Copts... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, Sharon Wraight

        And we all know the Jews run America for Israel... but no offense to the decent Jews, right?

        This is a disgusting bigoted diary.  HR it.

        •  I'm not seeing the bigotry here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leftreborn

          Could you point it out, please? The only possibly offensive point I see is the sentence where, "Right-wingers, evangelicals and Copts all had a hand in..." which could be easily restructured to be clear that only some Coptic Christians were involved.

          Sofia objected to the factual nature of whether or not Coptics were for the revolution or not; I don't claim to have any knowledge one way or the other. But nothing I see here strikes me as something which would leave me with a negative impression of the Coptic Christians as a cultural mass.

          Never attribute to malice what is owed to ignorance or honest disagreement.

          by ConfusedSkyes on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 04:46:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This user Wham Bam has an interesting history (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            llywrch, Lost and Found

            In this diary he gets into some banter with another user comparing President Obama to President Carter. Among rightwingers, Carter is disparaged and insulted and comparing Obama with him isn't a complement.  While I'm on the subject, I don't mind tossing in a reminder that President Carter accomplished something no one else ever did before him, and no ever did again.  He got Egypt and Israel to sign a peace treaty which still stands to this day.

            On October 2, there was a diary about CA SB 1072, a law passed in California.  Without going into detail, it's a law intended to protect the rights and well-being of gay people.  Wham Bam inserted himself into the comments addressing himself to Mr. Scott Wooledge as follows,"You just compared homosexuality to cancer."  I'll refrain from speculating what the purpose of this remark might have been.  Scott Wooledge did not compare homosexuaity to cancer.  

            On Oct. 1, Wham Bam found a diary about Republican Jews and thought it might be pertinent to mention
            "that people with histories of antisemitism appear to"that people with histories of antisemitism appear to be welcome in the black wing of the Democratic Party." There didn't appear to be any constructive purpose to this comment.

            On Sept 29, there was a diary about regulations involving food safety and the prevention of food-borne illness from chicken. The diary mentions whether relaxing standards would make it more likely for food to become contaminated with chicken feces.  Wham Bam's comment  on that was, "Why not test it on Obama?"

            On Sept 25, Wham Bam couldn't resist taking a shot at Elizabeth Warren.  She's a Democrat too.  

            On Oct 14, it's looks like Wham's shenanigans started to catch up with him.  I see some of his comments were HR'd that day.  One was HR'd seven times.

            This website used to have some rules of conduct.  I think it still does.   Communication is always improved with courtesy and politeness.  I'm open to reasonable and rational discussion with people who have different ideas.  This is a community for people to share ideas, debate, argue, support each other, and hopefully to help each other achieve a common goal.  I am standing for President Obama and for Democrats in the House and Senate as well as state and local positions.  I think it would be absurd for anyone here to criticize me for that.

            Is this still a site that supports the Democratic Party?

            "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

            by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:06:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm with you for the most part, but you don't have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueyedace2

              to worry about if this site is pro-Democratic Party. Some people are to the point of groupthinking at times.

              Wham Bam has an 'interesting' history as you say; not sure what to make of him. I still hope to hear an answer from him, because I feel the HR was rather unwarranted.

              Never attribute to malice what is owed to ignorance or honest disagreement.

              by ConfusedSkyes on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:19:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for laying it out (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lost and Found, blueyedace2

              It appears Wham Bam is a zombie. I killed it with my magical scepter of bacon.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 10:30:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, really? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight, sofia

        Rightwingers, Evangelicals and Copts all had a hand in the Innocence of Muslims video that was named as a catalyst for angry demonstrations in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere.

        As far as we can tell, there is one eccentric and shady Coptic guy from LA who made this video that no one really saw. But you're tarring the large Coptic community of Los Angeles with having made the video? Why?

  •  Keyboard acting up (4+ / 0-)

    but I also was not amused by the title.

    The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

    by emidesu on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:15:30 PM PDT

  •  Wow.. (4+ / 0-)

    I think you're stereotyping.    My in laws are Egyptian Copts, who are not  from, nor in any way connected with the ruling class.  In general they are supportive of the revolution, while of course there is concern re. minority rights.

    During the Mubarak dictatorship of course attacks against Copts were quite common.

    For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas.

    by sofia on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 10:13:41 PM PDT

    •  Do you understand how the controversy fabricated (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      jakewaters
      Hidden by:
      Wham Bam

      by Republicans concerning events in North Africa is being used to hurt President Obama's chance for re-election?  
      Do you think Americans are knowledgable about events in Egypt since the Arab Revolution or in Libya since Qaddafi's regime was ended?  Did you understand the first two sentences I wrote, "Pardon the title.  No disrespect for the decent Copts of the world?" I put them there right at the top deliberately because it was entirely foreseeable that someone would decide to mistake my intention.  Clearly I'm not talking about the millions of Copts in the world and I have no quarrel against them.  I'm talking about a few people who are allied with anti-Islamic activists and Evangelical rightwing conservatives.  That doesn't reflect on all Copts.  It only reflects on those involved.  I was very careful in my writing and I linked to reputable sources.

      I'm not interested in online arguments.  It's too bad you have nothing to say about the events in Benghazi and whether you agree with Republicans who claim that Obama's administration lied to cover up the involvement of terrorists in the attack.  That's what this is about.  

      I've contacted the website moderators because I take your comment seriously.  I don't think my piece would have been Spotlighted if there was something objectionable in it but I will leave that to those responsible here to decide.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 12:03:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh please.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot, Sharon Wraight

        ... of course I understand the controversy fabricated by Repubs and others re. Benghazi and other fabrications and BS re. the Obama administration's policies in MENA.

        "Pardon the title.  No disrespect for the decent Copts of the world?"
        Ok, that's sort of comical, whether you meant it to be or not.

        For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas.

        by sofia on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 12:22:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm curious to know what you would say to those (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jakewaters

          who criticize the President's foreign policy. If we want Obama's re-election we should be ready to respond.  I am very much against Romney.  If he manages to win, it will be a disaster for the US.  It's entirely possible that he could win because the Republicans use propaganda and half of Americans are brainwashed.  The popular media is complicit in delivering lies to the public. Sometimes a lie is just omission.  Think about it.  When do we ever see or hear anything about Afghanistan?  Yet American troops are there.  Do you think that's a little strange?  How many Americans even know the name of Egypt's President? Or Libya's?  Americans think of Egyptians as if they were all made with the same cookie cutter.  Same with Libya.  How could they know that there are people with different interests.  They love hearing about protests and demonstrations for freedom.  Our leaders love to make statements about people in other countries struggling for democracy. After a couple of weeks they lose interest and forget about it.  Where there is a lack of knowledge, the Republicans are free to come in and fill people's heads with lies.  It's always the same.  There are bad people there and we must have a war.  I say no.  Americans should understand that there was an election and not all Egyptians agree.  Not all Americans agree either.  Americans don't have a right to decide the election in Egypt.  But if Romney has a chance, there will be military conflict everywhere in that part of the world. His people believe that war is a profitable business.  That's all they care about.  

          I know my intentions are right.  It will be better for everyone if we don't have drones dropping bombs on people.  I am confident in my ability to communicate that people will understand my meaning.  I know people like to fight with each other at this website.  It's not productive.  It's destructive.  I'd rather see people who support Democrats fighting against Republicans, not other Democrats.

          "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

          by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 01:11:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Btw.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, Sharon Wraight

    ..re the title of this diary.     If,  in the title, "Copts" was traded with a number of other minorities, this diary would likely be sent in to hiddens on the title alone.

    For Mitt Romney, an overseas trip is what you call it when you trip all over yourself overseas.

    by sofia on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 11:08:13 PM PDT

    •  Kudos to you leftreborn for your sincere efforts. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftreborn, Hawaiian, llywrch

      The title of your diary caught my eye and I might never have opened it and been exposed to your opinion if not for the promise of ironic wit.

      As a pale old white guy I wouldn't have seen any humor in a Diary title 'Pale old white guys and Robbers,' because unless one thinks any references to 'pale old white guys' are intrinsically funny it falls flat. As a pale old white guy I would not have condemned the title to the lowest level of HR hell either. I wouldn't have opened the diary because frankly, I'm just not that interested in pale old white guys even though i am one.

      Now, if the shitweasels who financed a movie that truely was an ethnic slur were a combination of RW nutjobs from Texas and expatriates of the Indian subcontinent, a title of 'Cowboys and Pakistanis' would have served the same purpose.  The 'WTF' factor would have made people who might not have otherwise have paid attention open it up, read and learn something.  With a disclaimer to the effect that cherished groups like folks from Austin, San Antonio, the Dallas Cowperson cheering units and the one Liberal in Lubbock  were clearly not implicated nor were the millions of those not complicit in the hiding of terrorists in their communities, there would have been no need to clamor for censorship.

      Were the bad actors a combination of champions of censorship and shallow persons, a title of 'Bookburners and Bimbos' would have fit as well but would equally risk the wrath of the humorously challenged.  

      It is sad when honest efforts, like yours, to elucidate nuances of stories are attacked on this site by the thin skinned, those too busy to read beyond a title or those so enamored of their own opinion that they refuse consider respectfully another's views.

      There are lots of other diaries one could read if one doesn't like a particular title.  Another option would be to go back to reading comic books and STFU.

      My apologies to comic book fans and the mute, of course.

      "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

      by jakewaters on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 03:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heaven help us all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Panurge

        Years ago we used to wonder how the Soviet Union managed to keep a couple of hundred million people under control.  Why didn't they revolt?  Did they know what they were missing without 50 kinds of breakfast cereal?

        Turns out it isn't that hard to keep people separate from information.  Just don't tell them anything.  They wont miss what they never heard of.  Those big empty spaces in between the ears can be filled with anything as needed when the time comes.

        "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

        by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 04:27:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You realize that normally that phrase (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftreborn

      has the two groups separate and in opposition, right? (IE, cops chase robbers, it's not that cops are robbers.) I don't really see a problem with it or the diary.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 10:33:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yuck... (3+ / 0-)

    I read this diary yesterday afternoon, just as a was signing-off for the day, and I Hotlisted it so that I could see what sort of comments (by the author and by other Kossacks) it generated overnight before adding my 0.02. On the one hand, I think that the role of a handful of extremist Coptic-Americans (allied with Islamophobia, Inc.) in the production and publicization of the film and film-trailer is a significant dimension of the overall story. On the other hand, I think that this particular diary is riddled with both factual and methodological errors to a degree that renders it unhelpful in getting at that story. Having read the diary several times now, it comes across to me as little more than an invitation to conspiracy-theorizing, a “hey-look-at-this-now-you-connect-the-dots” form of argument that really, truly, does not belong in the Community Spotlight.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 05:16:54 AM PDT

  •  I don't think you understood what was going on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, sofia

    Nothing could offset the bitterness, cynicism and anger of people who protested in Tahrir Square during the Arab Revolution expecting a liberal and secular reform movement that would guarantee freedoms, bring prosperity and modernize Egypt.

    While there may have been some people who thought that the Tahrir Square movement was going to result in a western-style liberal secular democratic government, that was mostly not the goal at all. It was more about freedom and self-determination and not having the country dominated by Mubarak and his cronies. What that translates to is a country with a more Islamic bent and set of goals. Given that the Muslim Brotherhood has existed the most well organized separate power base in Egypt for decades, there was little doubt that a populist democratic movement in Egypt was going to favor them.

    The Copts have always been a beleaguered minority. There have been a few successful members of the community at the top, but Copts "on the ground" frequently suffer the brunt of public attacks and many times trouble from the government, even under Mubarak.

    •  I think everyone knows the protesters in Tahrir (0+ / 0-)

      Square were not one homogenous group who all had the same idea in mind.  For example, there was an iconic moment when the Christian Copts formed a protectiive cordon around Muslims who were inside the square.  There was a common interest temporarily to end the Mubarak era and begin a different kind of future.

      What I don't know is whether there were concrete plans for a new government.  I don't think there were and in a democracy with universal suffrage numbers would point to the Muslim Brotherhood obviously.  I support democracy and I want the US to respect democracy abroad. (My opinion is that we have some rightwingers who only support democracy if they can choose the winner.) I don't think it was clear what role Salafists would play, what would become of the military power structure, and if there was a long shot chance of a liberal secular government.

      After the first round wasn't there talk about whether the second place finish of Shafik vs the third place finish of Sabahi would have been reversed if the election was fair.  Maybe I've been brainwashed by partisans? With Sabahi out of the running, his base which was already getting bitter, became more so.  Was the Arab Revolution theirs?  No. But I know people were driven to the edge at the thought of a Mubarak holdover winning by democratic election.  There are different narratives and variations running through here but one of the main strands has to do with the influence of the press spreading rumors and lies in a way that seems identical to Fox and other rightwing talkers. That's why Sec of State Clinton's car was pelted with thrown objects in July when she visited.

      Lastly I have nothing against the Copts.  Even when I talk bad about Republicans I know there's a privileged elite and followers who vote against their interest. Let's have common sense.  People are people.  I don't like to talk about me. Who would care?  I'm Catholic and the Copts are very interesting if you want to access the ancient origin of Christianity that has been preserved without as much alteration that happened in Europe.  

      I worry about the future.  I see how people here in the US are misled, how they accept lies and deny obvious facts.  I think the same thing is happening in North Africa.  I have one villain.  It's always the same one.  It's the rightwing, neo-cons, conservatives, including the so-called christian extremists.  They're up to no good.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:32:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What does Sawiris have to do with either (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sofia

    the film-trailer or the Romney vid? Please be explicit.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 07:12:45 AM PDT

    •  I've been following events in Egypt through two (0+ / 0-)

      filters.  One is a close friend, who is Egyptian and lives in Paris. The second filter is a constant barrage of propaganda that I research for the work that I do.  Rightwing propaganda focuses mainly on domestic issues but there's a file for Egypt.

      I started with Sawiris because I thought I was writing to readers who aren't familiar with current events in Egypt and don't know the Copts. To people who think of a persecuted minority, or an ancient religion, I'm saying a Copt can be a billionaire businessman too.  

      Sawiris was a candidate briefly around a year before the election.  He did tweet a cartoon that created controversy. He said it was innocent. He thought it was funny.

      Do you think his tweet would improve the circumstances of Copts in Egypt, especially those who aren't as privileged as he is?  

      I've been hearing for over a year that the US was interfering in Egypt's affairs, trying to influence the outcome of the election, to restore the military dictatorship.  Rumors abound.  The persecuted Copts were targeted as instigators.  You disregard such rumors for obvious reasons.  And in the end, the Mubarak military dictatorship holdover did come very close to winning in a democratic election.  Any claim that SOME Copts acted as a proxy for the interests of neo-cons was an accusation without proof, dismissed without proof.

      Then the Innocence of Muslims appeared. Youtube tracked the viewership. It's audience in Egypt spiked on September 8.  The NY Times article I linked pointed to a couple of Egyptians identified as Copts and Terry Jones, of all people.  Here was the first real evidence of what I had heard.  

      Why would such a cheap amateurish video that wasn't even a video be taken seriously.  How could it stir up the population?  Sawiris created a stir with a tweeted cartoon.  It works. Doesn't mean he had direct involvement.  Doesn't mean he had anything to do with it.  The point is that it's a stunt with a purpose.  It destabilizes the status quo.

      The Morsi government is the democratically elected government that Egyptians chose.  Any attempt to destabilize it, especially if American rightwingers are involved, is unacceptable.  It's dangerous.  Now why would I think American rightwingers want to do such a thing?  Am I imagining something?  No.  You look  in the Congressional Record and you find the bill that the teaparty freshman passed a year ago to discontinue Egypt's military aid.  You find the debate and read their concerns.  They don't want to send arms to the Muslim Brotherhood.  These are foaming at the mouth anti-Islamists.  Bachmann?  Gohmert?  Westmoreland?  
      Meanwhile the business corporations holding lucrative contracts are beating the drum for those multi billion dollar contracts.  

      A few Copts may have decided they had a common interest with rightwingers.  Why are readers jumping up to accuse me of bigotry.  What about the robbers?  Is no one concerned about what's taking place before our eyes.  Rightwingers have left the plane of reality and they're accusing our President of lies and a cover up.

      A few Democrats who aren't as sure and committed as we are, are having doubts.  This isn't the time to quarrel and snipe at each other.  Unless you want to make common ground with Republicans.  

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 10:36:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've also been following events in Egypt (3+ / 0-)

        quite closely, as you can see from my diary-history, and I'm quite aware of how the film-trailer "went viral" in Egypt between 4 and 11 September.

        One of my problems with your diary is that Sawiris is largely irrelevant to the facts as we know them related to the production, distribution and publicization of the trailer. Yet the structure of the diary (Romney's comments re "taking advantage of an opportunity") followed immediately by a discussion of Sawiris invites a connection that simply isn't there.

        Now, there's no doubt that a handful of extremist Coptic-Americans who are allied with both evangelical movements and Islamophobia, Inc. were involved with the production and publicization of this film and trailer. We've known that since at least 6 September. These extremists (Sadek, Nakoula, Zaqlamah, likely others) are representative of neither the broader Coptic-American community nor Egyptian Copts, as demonstrated by both the reactions against Sadek among diaspora Copts in Washington and the immediate and forceful repudiation of the film (and those involved) by representatives of the Church in Egypt. They've been pursuing their agenda through various media and institutions for years.

        Where I think this starts to slip down the rabbit-hole is in the open-ended cui bono style of proposing, without proof, broader right-wing involvement.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 11:22:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, I got something out of that. (0+ / 0-)

          It was never my intention to be a problem so I didn't consider something that now I think I should have, out of respect for Kos.  I'm sure he doesn't want his website to be the home for wild accusations that sound like slander or libel.  I don't think what I wrote fits that description but I should make an adjustment for the sake of clarity.

          I deliberately leave open ends when I write.  Rather than tell people exactly what they should think, I hope a reader will find something like a thread to pull on, as I said at the beginning.  Maybe unravelling isn't the right image when I mean to encourage people to look for more than what they're handed and make up their own minds.

          "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

          by leftreborn on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 12:10:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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