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I worked in Egypt for 4 years as a technical expert with the Egyptian Customs Authority.  We worked in Alexandria (Customs HQ) but spent a lot of time in Cairo.  My wife and I lived in an apartment and between work and daily life made a lot of Egyptian friends and acquaintances.  These people ranged from very senior government officials, young professionals, our landord's family (which practically adopted us), university staff and working people at the vegetable market, barbers, shop owners, a baker on our street to name just a few.  Egyptians, nol matter what strata of society, are friendly, welcoming and hospitable people.  We keep in touch with many of our friends, particularly those from work through facebook and email.  Here's what I know and what I've been hearing from them.

Egyptians are proud of their role in human civilization and of the fact that so much civll pogress dates from ancient Egypt.  In the modern era, they have had a troubled history including a long succession of absolute rulers, two wars with Israel and assassinations of national leaders.  With the assassation of Sadat in the early 80's, Egypt began an approximate 30 year history of being governed under emergency decree or martial law.  Many opposition parties were outlawed and while there was limited democracy in terms of parliamentary elections, the electoral process had been corrupted leaving the average Egyptian cynical and distrustful of their government and elections in general.  It might have been a livable situation had the Mubarek government effectively managed the economy, and created jobs and opportunity.  It didn't.  Everyone was aware of the presence of the secret police and the fate of those who openly and persistently criticized the government.  Anger and the sense of being oppressed grew so that by 2005, the beginning of my work there, there was a very discernible disatisfaction with the government, the lack of a credible democracy and a feeling of pessimism with respect to one's future.  This malaise was not confined to those in the lower echelons of society.  It cut across all economic and class lines.  Our landlord or senior government officials with whom I worked were just as likely to express anti Mubarek sentiments as was the guy who sold me vegetables on the street or cut my hair.  There was a sense of living in a pressure cooker and a certainty that this was about to spin out of control.  Of course it did.
There was also a very deeply felt anger at the United States some of which was the normal stuff related to support for the State of Israel.  But much of it related to American support for Mubarek which gave rise to a contention that the US was a hypocritical nation supporting freedom and democracy for Americans but propping up oppressive dictators to rule over others.  This was multiplied a hundredfold with the Iraq war which Egyptians saw as an attack on Arabs in general notwithstanding their own understanding that Saddam Hussein was a homicidal tyrant.  Arabs have a strong sense of what's called in Arabic Ummah (various spellings) which refers to the village, the family or the people and the invasion of Iraq was an attack on the people.  Of course this was excacerbated by the Bush administration's attitude and demeanour throughout this sad affair.  Egyptians and many Arabs saw the Iraq war as another crusade and pictures of US troups praying en masse received wide circulation in Egypt.  
The events in Tahir Square, which I crossed many times en route to our hotel, were no surprise to me and I sensed from my friends' FB postings a sense of optimism that had not been present when I was working there. Mubarek fell and there were elections.  They proudly posted pictures of themselves with ink stained fingers showing the world that they had voted.  I saw a lot of those pictures during those days. There was also a more positive view of the US not just because Bush was gone, although that helped, but also because they truly liked Obama.  They still do only not as much
The problem was that after 30 years of dictatorship, there was not much in the way of a viable opposition and little in the way of parliamentary tradition to fall back on.  The Brotherhood won narrowly mainly because they promised not to govern as an Islamist party and Egyptians with few options decided to give them a chance.  Most Egyptians, while devout Muslims, are not fundamentalist and for many, the introduction of Sharia Law as interpreted by fundamentalists would be a nightmare for people who have attained a certain level of sophistication, education and worldview.  Of course, the MB failed to keep that promise which lead to the events of the past few months and the past few days.  
I think that throughout this, Obama has been in a difficult postion given the history and the longstanding American support of Mubarek.  He came out ultimately pressuring Mubarek to leave and I think that there was a reluctant acceptance informed by the lack of any other choice in supporting the MB.  When the Egyptian people turned on that government, the US was caught short.  Saddled with the history of supporting Mubarek and the resultant loss of credibility that that brought, the range of decisions options were limited.  Of course now, the US and Obama is being criticized for supporting the MB who my Egyptian friends are now referring to as terrorists.  One of them, a very sophisticated and educated woman in her thirties posted today that "if the US is against us, we must be on the right track"  There it is.  The chickens usually do come home to roost even though they might not all have been Obama's chickens.
Today, another friend posted what appears to be an official statement by the government in response to Obama's remarks of yesterday on Egypt.

 URGENT | full text of the presidential statement - in response to Obama's speech:

"The Egyptian presidency followed the statement issued by U.S. President Barack Obama on the situation in Egypt,
Cairo Appreciating the attention of the U.S. side to developments in the situation in Egypt, but they would have liked to put things right, and realize the full facts of what is happening on earth in this regard, the Egyptian Presidency would like to confirm the following:

First: Egypt is facing terrorist acts, aimed at government institutions and vital installations, including dozens of churches, courts and police stations, and many public facilities and private property.

Second: groups of armed thugs in violence targeted innocent civilians causing the loss of life, also targeted cultural features of the Egyptian state of libraries, museums and public gardens and educational buildings.

Third: the Egyptian presidency sincerely regrets the casualties and loss of Egyptians lives and working hard to establish security and peace in the community, we emphasize it's full responsibility towards the protection of the country and the lives of its citizens.

Fourth: the Egyptian Presidency fears that statements that are not based on the realities of things would lead to strengthen the groups of armed violence and to encourage them in their approach against stability and democratization, including the completion of the map of the future, which insist on the completion on schedule ... Of the Constitution to the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Fifth: Egypt appreciates the sincere attitudes to the world, but it just emphasizes the full sovereignty and independent decision, and to enable the will of the people which was launched in the twenty-fifth of January 2011 and the thirtieth of June 2013 for a better future for a great country."

Lastly, a note about the Egyptian military.  Most Egyptians I know see the military as their allies.  Ultimately they were in the overthrow of Mubarek and once it became clear that the MB had lost the bulk of popular support they supported the popular will in ousting the Morsi and his government.  Again, without strong democratic institutions, the military has become the most stable force in this whole sad affair.  It is difficult to see how, over the short to medium term, this can evolve to a healthy democratic system given the fact that the Brotherhood seems to be willing to embark on civil war over their loss of power and the military is willing to use the brutal tactics that we saw this week.  
I am deeply saddened by these events and by the plight of our friends in Egypt who only want what the rest of us want--a stable country, freedom to speak and to choose their own government, economic opportunty and a chance to see their children thrive in a strong and healthy country.  I hope that this is where this road leads although optimism is in short supply lately.

Originally posted to Pierretrudeau on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 12:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  that's an accurate (11+ / 0-)

    description as far as my friends are concerned as well. Thank you for this diary.

    “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

    by valadon on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:42:29 AM PDT

  •  Hundreds of unarmed people have been brutally (15+ / 0-)

    murdered by the Egyptian military in the last 48 hours.

    Squads have gone into their homes and beaten them to death in their beds.

    They've been executed in alleys.

    They've been mowed down with live ammunition while peacefully encamped.

     It is evil.  It doesn't get better "with context".  It's as utterly evil as the Iranian reaction to the Green Revolution, and it is similar in scope.

    Many of the Egyptians I know believe that the structural Egyptian Military (not the conscripts or even most of the lower level officers)  is an evil institution which was entirely behind Mubarak for as long as it was possible to back him, and that all they really want is another Mubarak to serve as a distraction for 30 more years while they loot the treasury and get rich off the blood of the poor.

    Many of the Egyptians I know can't stop talking about how corrupt the upper officers are, and how nepotistic the system is, and how they're really just a bunch of nobles.

    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

    by JesseCW on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:17:42 AM PDT

    •  I appreciate reading both sides nt (9+ / 0-)

      www.tapestryofbronze.com

      by chloris creator on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:02:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  El Baradei has resigned in protest. To me, (16+ / 0-)

        that speaks volumes.

        When he agreed to take a position with the Coup installed government, I really wondered if he'd lost that astounding integrity he showed when he was with the IAEA.

        Well, it doesn't look like it.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:28:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Double betrayal (10+ / 0-)

          Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood betrayed their pledge to honor democracy and not build an Islamist theocratic regime.

          The Army betrayed its pledge to defend democracy when it decided the removal of Morsi provided the opportunity to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood as a political movement. (Of course Morsi and the MB helped provide the excuse for this by declaring they were going to use armed uprising to reclaim their power).

          The vast majority of Egyptians want secular democracy and have been betrayed by both sides. The good news: the Revolution is not yet over. The bad news: the MB and Army seem intent on escalating their power duel into civil war.

          •  The only poll I have seen (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wasatch, Be Skeptical, JesseCW, basquebob

            does not support the idea that Egyptians want a secular society. From Pew:

            Islam has played an important role in Egyptian politics since the revolution, and most Egyptians continue to want a prominent role for religion in public life. About six-in-ten (58%) say the country’s laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Quran, while 28% believe laws should follow the values and principles of Islam but not strictly follow the Quran. Only 11% think the Quran should have no influence over the nation’s laws.
            http://www.pewglobal.org/...

            The same poll said people by only a 39-30 margin that they were better off now then when Mubarak was in power.

            The real problem in Egypt is probably economic given the numbers/

            •  The problem with such polls is they (13+ / 0-)

              don't allow the respondents to specify what they mean by "Quranic principles." These are subject to different interpretations--and have been since the first century of Islam. Hanafis and Sufis are likely to interpret Quranic principles broadly so as not to infringe on the rights of religious minorities and women-- in other words, they want democratic pluralism; Salafists are likely to insist that these principles be very rigidly and literally interpreted; they want an ultra-conservative theocracy. But Egypt has a large educated middle class which is secularly oriented and despises Salafi literalism.

              The election that put Morsi and the MB in power gave him 51% of the vote. But his main opponent was Shafik, Mubarak's final Prime Minister, who got 48%; Shafik was left as the only alternative on the ballot because a half dozen other candidates had been "invalidated" by the Mubarak-appointed Supreme Court. In all 25 million people voted in last year's election.

              But the petition drive this June calling for Morsi's ouster collected twenty-two million signatures! Morsi was widely seen as violating his pledge to observe democracy. He and the MB had dissolved both houses of Parliament and set up their own MB-dominated commission to produce their own draft for a new constitution-- which draft deprives women of their rights and strips the Copts of their civil rights. Morsi also decreed that his edicts were "exempt" from any legal review. This was tantamount to establishing a theocratic MB dictatorship.

               

              •  "Large" in raw numbers, but they're only (0+ / 0-)

                about 15% of the population.

                Most of Egypt is desperately poor and has received little education from the State.  

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:31:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  My memory of the election is that there was a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LanceBoyle

                runoff between Morsi and the military guy.  By the numbers, it looked to me like the people who'd voted in the first balloting didn't vote when it was between Morsi and the military guy.  In other words, it looked like half the electorate didn't want either of them.  Of course, part of that half might have been people who wanted the even more Islamist party.

                •  Correct. Those are the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ahumbleopinion, Lawrence

                  numbers from the run-off election. Egyptians who didn't want Shafik (a Mubarak creature) either didn't vote or held their noses and voted for Morsi, thinking Morsi was being honest in repudiating his theocratic agendum. Once in power Morsi reneged.

                  There was an even more fundamentalist Salafist Party running in the first round, but it didn't get that many votes.

                  •  I can't help wondering if some people voted for (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lawrence, LanceBoyle

                    Morsi, not realizing he was a fundamentalist, because they saw the Salafists as the fundamentalists.  And if I recall, the Muslim Brotherhood didn't run as the Muslilm Brotherhood.  They called themselves the Peace and Justice Party.  So I wonder if people voted for them, not realizing what they were voting for.  I doubt anyone would admit to being fooled though, if they were fooled.

            •  33% of Egypt lives on less than two dollars a day. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              basquebob

              Desperately poor people often turn to religion.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:30:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  yes! eom (0+ / 0-)

            “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

            by valadon on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:56:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Two articles from Professor Juan Cole (8+ / 0-)

        The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

        by ybruti on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:20:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Both sides (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, NYC Sophia, Lawrence

      have their problems, Jesse and The MB is not just an innocent victim in this...although that doesn't mean I condone any violence whether it comes from the state or from the MB. The latter has attacked churches and destroyed other buildings and hurt people as well etc..they are giving the state the excuse they need to call them terrorists.

      There is a minority that I hope will grow over the next few days or weeks, some call them the silent majority, that do not accept the military or the MB. Those are the people that I hope will prevail and bring some sanity back to Egypt...There needs to be a civil resolution to this...currently neither the MB nor the military can offer what Egyptians want or need.

      “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

      by valadon on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:55:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know why you're arguing that (0+ / 0-)

        unarmed people being slaughtered in the streets and killed in political purges are "not innocent victims".

        There aren't any excuses for politically motivated mass murder.  There aren't any mitigating factors.

        I really don't care how you feel about the ideology of the victims.  This is, period, wrong.

        And we're paying for it.  Just like we did from Chile to Indonesia.

        'Islamism' is the new Communism, and you're being encouraged to accept this shit the same way people where encouraged this kind of horror for 50 years when the targets were Communists.

        The scripts haven't changed at all.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:35:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They aren't unarmed eom. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Harshmellow, kickass, Lawrence

          “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

          by valadon on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:03:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The overwhelming majority of them ARE (0+ / 0-)

            unarmed.

            This place makes me want to vomit.  It's like listening to Ahmadinejad supporters pointing to pictures of protesters throwing the tear gas back or beating up the Basij.

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:07:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  MB thuggery = Basij Thuggery (0+ / 0-)
            •  Sorry Jesse (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sandbox

              didn't mean to make you vomit, We've agreed on many things before, but there is a lot of disinformation that is coming out of Egypt...as would be expected with these things and I'm afraid you are wrong about whether the MB has been armed. I certainly didn't say that they all were, but they are not all innocent victims here...they have attacked churches, journalists and other civililians...just like the state. We can't just take a binary view of this and say the military is bad, therefore the MB is good!

              They are both in error and I hope saner heads prevail. There are decent Egyptians who want something better than both of these anti-progressive parties.

              “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

              by valadon on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:49:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Please see this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shigeru, Lawrence

          http://www.emannabih.com/...

          before claiming again that the MB thugs are innocent and unarmed civlian protesters.

        •  MB and other islamist extremists are not (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kickass, native, valadon, ahumbleopinion

          innocent, well intentioned, honorable, nor peaceful people. Islam fundamentalism is as much to be feared as christian fundamentalism unfortunately. The end results of islamism are apparent in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a dozen other islamic terror states.

          killing unarmed people is wrong, but the mb has done more than its fair share of it and it is just as wrong for the mb agitators to use the religious as shields and puppets.

          btw in even peaceful muslim countries such as Malaysia it is a good month in which no churches or ashrams are torched by extremists. to the extent that some groups will only worship in small cells in private homes - even this takes some courage.

          “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

          by shigeru on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:14:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is the modern red-baiting. We can replace (0+ / 0-)

            the rants of the right with the word "communist", and nothing else changes.

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:08:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're denying the reality (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shigeru, native, artebella, sandbox, jabney

              of jihadist terrorist attacks that take place all over the world every single day (about 10 terror attacks claiming about 50 live per day, not even counting the events such as those unraveling in Egypt now) in the name of Islam, including here in the US (9/11, Nidal Hasan, Boston bombings, attempted Times Square bombing, etc). The perpetrators such as Hasan, Shahzad, Tsarnaev keep explicitly stating that jihad is their motive for mass murder.

              The red scare was regarding a buildup b/w two "super power" countries vying for world domination where an actual direct war never actually took place between the two powers, but here we're talking about actual atrocities that are committed every day in the name of an ideology. The two are not comparable.

              A close parallel to Militant Islamism is the Nazi ideology. Perhaps that explains why Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during WW2, collaborated with the Nazis and even helped them in creating a Muslim-SS unit (the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar) in Croatia.

              The antidote to Islamic fanaticism, radicalism and militancy is secular reformation of Islam. That's why the secular uprising such as the Green movement in Iran, the Tamarrod movement in Egypt, and the uprisings in Turkey against Erdogan are promising signs of potential for the rise of secularism in the Muslim world. If and when the Muslim world becomes secularized, peaceful coexistence with the non Muslim world becomes easy to realize, and seemingly intractable problem such the Israel-Palestine conflict will become easy to resolve.

            •  It is reality, unfortunately. I had the good (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native, sandbox, jabney

              fortune to work in Malaysia for a year just a couple of years ago. It is a muslim police state. Even AA meetings get raided due to the law that non-muslim gatherings of more than six people can be illegal. The big fear? That people are attempting to convert muslims ( subject to the death penalty btw).

              Want to see a true to life example of the Handmaid's Tale? Go to any state in which shariah law is in effect.

              The MB folks are not good people.

              “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

              by shigeru on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:53:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You know, you continually falsely claiming that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          valadon, sandbox, ahumbleopinion

          the MB "protesters" are exclusively just a bunch of innocent, unarmed lambs at some point moves from just being ludicrously false to being a blatant lie.

          There is so much video footage of "unarmed" MB "people" firing machine guns and other guns, throwing petrol bombs from the roofs of buildings, throwing rocks and petrol bombs at other civilians and police that your claims of the MB "protesters" being a bunch of innocent lambs are becoming more ludicrous by the day.

          The MB also constantly claims that they are peaceful, yet eye witness reports and video evidence very clearly show that they are not even close to all being peaceful.

          You can be against the deposing of Morsi without having to resort to parrotting the false claims of the MB, you know?

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:51:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The question is answered. (0+ / 0-)

            There's no abuse of people you dislike that is to heinous for you to try to excuse and justify.

            Throwing rocks and molotovs?  You mean, exactly like Greens in Iran did after hundreds of them were slaughtered?

            You mean exactly like anti-Mubarak protesters (many of them Muslim Brotherhood) did two years ago?

            When you agree with the protesters, you don't give a fuck if   a minority of them hurl rocks.  |

            When you disagree, you try to use it to excuse mass murder.

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:10:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I see you tried to casually avoid the fact that (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kickass, Kane in CA, valadon, sandbox

              MB "protestors" are firing on security forces with machine guns and other types of guns.

              I saw nothing of that sort when people were protesting against Mubarak nor during the Green Revolution.

              You ignoring uncomfortable facts that don't fit your "innocent lambs" being mass murdered narrative is duly noted.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:18:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  MB militia thugs are the like Basij thugs of Iran (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sandbox

              in modus operandi and radical Islamist ideology. The Tamarrod are to be compared with the Iranian Greens. MB thugs couldn't overpower them because tens of millions of Tamorrods hit the street to bring down Morsi.

              Your comparison of MB to the Iranian greens is therefore perversely illogical.

        •  It's not easy to reason with theocrats, (5+ / 0-)

          no matter what religion they profess. Imagine how we would react if fundamentalist Christians were to engineer a legal takeover of the US government. Not just a few offices, but the entire government -- and then proceeded to re-write the Constitution.

          As soon as the army took over, MB fanatics started burning down Christian churches. Twenty or thirty of them so far. The MB is angry, armed, and dangerous. There are no good-guys or bad-guys in this situation, and it is not  parallel to the persecution of Communists.

      •  I agree there's might be a majority that doesn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        valadon, Dogs are fuzzy

        want either the military or the MB, but I don't see either the military or the MB giving up power to that majority.  

    •  Obviously, you know different Egyptians (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, Lawrence
    •  This is such a blatant lie I am amazed you bothere (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYC Sophia, Lawrence, native
      They've been mowed down with live ammunition while peacefully encamped.
      Sorry.  We've all been reading and watching the news.

      The Muslim Brotherhood encampments were anything but peaceful.

      There is a reasonable argument to make that force was legitimate, given the military's previous actions, but calling them peaceful is ludicrous.

      Squads have gone into their homes and beaten them to death in their beds.
      Evidence please?  I do not find this unbelievable, but I have not seen this claim before.

      The Muslim Brotherhood had clearly lost its mandate.  They did not care - democracy had reached the stop they wanted and they felt it was time to get off.

      I don't know if the Egyptian military will restore democracy, but I do know that if the Muslim Brotherhood had remained in power democracy in Egypt was over.

      •  It sounds a lot like you've been watching Fox (0+ / 0-)

        News and ignoring NPR and Democracy Now.

        The Egyptian Military has ruled Egypt for 60 years.

        If you seriously think they're going to "restore" a democracy that has never in fact existed, you know absolutely nothing about the situation.

        You're repeating propaganda that's identical to Mubarak's or Ahmadinejad's or the Bahrani Royals.

        Their supporters also tried to pretend that people resisting being beaten by cops were violent, and that such "violence" justified mowing them down with live ammunition.

        This place stinks a lot like Red State some days.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:15:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Watch your peaceful protesters pushing an occupied (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kickass, Lawrence

          armored car off an overpass.

          http://www.slate.com/...

          Their supporters also tried to pretend that people resisting being beaten by cops were violent
          Were they resisting being beaten by cops by attacking Coptic churches? http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        •  Or maybe he's watching Egyptian television? (0+ / 0-)

          You know, it's ironic that the military that you like to accuse of mass murder is the only thing preventing the 100s of pro-Morsi people holed up in the mosque at Ramsi Square from being killed.

          Because, if the military weren't there and shielding them, the mass of anti-MB civilians/residents currently surrounding the mosque very well might kill most of the pro-Morsi people holed up in that mosque.  Contrary to what you may believe, the MB isn't exactly popular in Egypt right now.

          And all of this despite the fact that there are people with guns in the mosque.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:39:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You mean the military controlled Egyptian (0+ / 0-)

            TV?

            •  I don't think Egyptian television is necessarily (0+ / 0-)

              controlled by the military, although they are obviously pro-coup and/or anti MB.

              The MB managed to make itself very unpopular in Egypt.

              And the Egyptian television currently is the only one with a live feed.  Even Al Jazeera English uses that live feed.

              And you know what's clearly visible on that live feed right now?

              A scene at Al Fatah Mosque where groups of police and army are acting as human shields to prevent islamists that were holed up at the mosque from being ripped apart as they leave the mosque.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:51:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  In a democracy (0+ / 0-)

        when a government loses its mandate with the people, the military should not come in to depose that government. The people need to wait until the next election to vote that government out.

  •  Good diary. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm crossing my fingers for Egypt that it all works out well in the end and that they get to vote within the next year and get back on track towards a democratic and stable country.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:43:46 AM PDT

  •  Death count much higher than the official figures. (6+ / 0-)

    http://mobile.reuters.com/...

    Also, see this comment of mine linking to German article quoting New York Times correspondent David Kirkpatrick:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by lotlizard on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 04:18:43 AM PDT

  •  It sort of seems that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, Be Skeptical, northcountry21st

    no matter who prevails it won't be great for women. Democracy even as it is expressed seems largely for the dudes in Egypt.

    •  That seems reasonable to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, valadon

      American democracy didn't start out with universal suffrage.  Sure, it'd be nice if women were treated better, but I don't expect Egypt to start out near the top in that category.  They're better off with a stable, imperfect democracy as a foundation for sustainable growth of the political process.

      •  I wish, but I don't see it happening. At the time (0+ / 0-)

        of the first revolution, I kept hearing news reports mentioning that the military dominated most (all?) of the industries in Egypt.  Democratization would likely mean they'd lose their economic advantage, so I don't see how you get there from here.

  •  Pierre - thank you very much (9+ / 0-)

    for a very thoughtful and informative diary.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:49:19 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for sharing you experience (4+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, things have spun out of control.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:51:53 AM PDT

  •  The sad truth is that if it wasn't for oil, the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devis1

    western world would not really care about the Middle East.  We are just a few years away from not caring.  I am not sure what that will mean but what it probably means is a massive civil war across the area along tribal lines and the boundaries that were drawn for convenience of the west will come apart.  

  •  Fundamentalism ruins everything. (11+ / 0-)

    Whatever country they rise up in, whatever faith.

    It prevents any hope of peace in Israel, where ideologues are certain that God gave them the right to kill anyone on the land God gave them.

    It is a force of destruction throughout the Muslim world, making certain that tribalism and misogyny and ignorance are the foundations for what passes as governments in the countries where fundamentalists take control.

    And it keeps America on the precipice of disaster, electing utter morons, paralyzing our government in the last decade where we can stop the oncoming environmental collapse.

    They are killing us, as a species. We don't have time for this shit.

    •  Military Juntas ruin everything. (0+ / 0-)

      Whatever country they rise up in, whatever political ideology they espouse.

      The prevent any hope of justice, sure that lining their own pockets is more important than serving the will of the people they skim from.

      They are a force of destruction throughout the "developing" world, making certain that the slightest hint of free thought or free expression are brutally crushed, in hope that the tap of Western largess will remain open if greased with the blood of the poor.

      The idiotic practice of supporting them logistically and financially keeps America on the precipice of disaster, bouncing from one war to the next, and preventing any efforts at all to stop the oncoming environmental collapse.

      They are killing us, as a species, and we don't have time for this shit.

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:20:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Egyptian majority (5+ / 0-)

    Does the Egyptian majority really want a secular government? This isn't a leading question, I really dont know. The election results did not seem to show that, as Morsi (Moslem Brotherhood) and Fotouh (more Islamicist than MB) got >40%, Shafik (from Mubarek regime) got 24%, Sabahi (Nasserite) got 20%, and Moussa got 11%. The hinterlands were very different from Cairo and the delta, where Sabahi won. The anti-Morsi protestors also included a wide range of people including El-Baradei types, people upset with the economy, Copts, and those who were upset that Morsi didn't impose Sharia.

    Of course, you can't really extrapolate from this since secularism was far from the only issue on the ballot. But it seems to me that the majority is fine with Islamicists as long as they can fix the economy.

    •  Take this with more than one grain of salt (0+ / 0-)

      All the Egyptians my wife met were in the tourist industry, one of the worst cases of sample bias you will ever see.

      They, however, were devout while being the opposite of fanatic, taking a long view of history.

      Anyone considering a dog for personal safety should treat that decision as seriously as they would buying a gun.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:49:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, Egalitare, JesseCW

    'few options decided to give them a chance.' (sounds familiar unfortunately).  It seems to me that having the military as the real power and enforcers behind all political process's or populist change  makes a functioning democracy of any kind impossible. The atrocities that are happening now and the resignation of  El Baradei does not bode well for any form of parliamentary humane governance or even basic reform.

    The Arab spring with it's promise of self determination, and decent governance for the people is not geo-politically in the US's 'interests'.  I am not surprised by the fact that the US is not going to stop giving aid to the Egyptian military. Our ME geopolitical neo-con foreign policy has no interest in stable parliamentary  governance, the common good for the people in this region or their universal human rights  My heart goes out to the people of Egypt.

    Indignez-Vous -'Time for Outrage'  Stephane Hessle 2011  

    “To you who will create the twenty-first century, we say, from the bottom of our hearts, to create is to resist. To resist is to create.”

    "This is not an ideological revolution. It is driven by an authentic desire to get what you need. From this point of view, the present generation is not asking governments to disappear but to change the way they deal with people's needs.'

       

                 

    •  very true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, native

      The army cannot keep control...this needs to be resolved by  the civilian population. The MB is not the answer either...it will take a very determined group that is unwilling to accept either of their agendas to move this forward...and it will have to be a group that is inclusive and diverse.

      Anyone still rooting for the MB because of the actions of the state better think about what that would mean...We might as well give our country away to the RW fundamentaists too...we are straddling the same possibilities and if it weren't for our civil government...such as it is, we might be in the same predicament.

      “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

      by valadon on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 12:07:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except, of course, that it isn't up to us (0+ / 0-)

        Egyptians can choose to govern themselves as a fundamentalist theocracy if a majority of them vote for that..or they ought to be able to.

        •  of course, but that seems to be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          what a majority of Egyptians want. They want a secular government that protects rights much as our own Constitution. They don't want military rule and they don't want the agenda being pushed by the MB.

          “Fiction is a lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

          by valadon on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:41:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Worse than "does not bode well" (0+ / 0-)

      I'll see "does not bode well" and raise you "sowing dragon's teeth".

      Anyone considering a dog for personal safety should treat that decision as seriously as they would buying a gun.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ON Tv has a live stream with multiple live (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor, valadon

    cameras in Cairo:

    http://www.livestream.com/...

    It's in Arabic and is an anti-Morsi channel, but even without understanding the language one can catch a better glimpse of what is going on there.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 08:56:35 AM PDT

  •  I spent five months in and around Cairo (9+ / 0-)

    back in 2000.  The Egyptians I met were some of the friendliest, easy going, helpful, intelligent, and outrageously funny people I have ever met.  I wish them all the best...I hope the bloodshed ends very soon, and they get on to living the lives they deserve.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    by Bisbonian on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:25:27 AM PDT

  •  What about the enormous financial assistance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    coming into Egypt?  UAE and Saudi are sending $8B annually to this regime.  Far more than the US $1.5B.  Also, Turkey and Qatar are financially aiding the Morsi party, but I don't know how much they're sending.

    I hope we have further DK discussion of the meaning/effect of all this money, and whether it is relatively crucial, or relatively marginal, under the circumstances.

    At this point, it is hard for me to accept the fact that our government is sending $1.5B to a junta that is massacring its own people by the hundreds.  But I am willing/eager to learn more about the context of all this.

  •  What is gonna eventually happen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ripeness Is All, native

    The Suez Canal is gonna be shut down by the Muslim brotherhood ,bringing an abrupt halt to  oil shipment through the Canal ,creating the price of oil to soar

  •  yep.. (0+ / 0-)

    I ain't gonna argue with speculation facts...how could I..any question I might have about your truthiness would just be speculation upon my part..

    ashes..ashes..we all fall down

  •  It's clear that the police and army see MB as the (0+ / 0-)

    enemy and the stupid MB did not fail to meet expectations.
    It looks entirely predictable.
    Obama said as I remember that people have to look to the future and I think this is where the Egyptians are looking,
    for answers.
    As obnoxious as these measures are, the military government needs
    to restore order and confidence and that probably means
    banning the MB for 1 year as they spend lots of money to fix the economy, while the politicians fix the Constitution.

    •  Gee (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, elmo

      The military claims it needs to crack down and ban MB. Kind of like the last 60 years.  Mubarak has returned

      There’s no way for a healthy human being to maintain the level of outrage warranted by the situation. - Dave Roberts, grist.org

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:06:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think a lot of these folks were sad to see him (0+ / 0-)

        go.

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:23:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That sounds just like destroying the village (0+ / 0-)

      in order to save it.

      Yep, ban the political party that won the last presidential and parliamentary elections, while you "work on" a constitution.

      This is democracy?

      •  MB was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        the only seriously organized party when Mubarak was deposed. So they won by circumstantial factors than through real support. The election as well as the MB-written constitution thereafter were rushed through. Reset was badly needed. Egypt should now take its time to create a new robust democratic structure. See my 7-point plan below:
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Also, Zogby's poll found the following:

        Egyptian Attitudes in the Post-Tammarud, Post-Morsi Era
        Posted: 08/10/2013

        Back in May, 82 percent of all Egyptians told us that they had been hopeful at the time of the 2011 revolution. By May that hope had evaporated with only 36 percent saying they were still hopeful about developments in their country. In the July survey, following Tamarrud and the deposing of President Morsi, the percentage of Egyptians who now say they feel hopeful has jumped to 68 percent.

        snip

        In fact, the only entity to earn the support of more than 30 percent of Egyptians is the Tammarud movement, which has the confidence of 39 percent of those polled.

        snip

        Nevertheless, Egyptians are divided on the matter of how important it is for their country to have good relations with the United States with 48 percent saying it is important and 51 percent saying it is not important. Interestingly the only sub-group in which a majority agrees that relations with the US are important are the supporters of the Tamarrud movement.

        Two-thirds of all Egyptians feel that the US was too supportive of President Morsi. And more than 8 in 10 feel that "Egypt was harmed by the US policy of support for Morsi."

      •  Democracy without Constitutional guarantees is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        worthless.
        Some anti-democratic parties run in democracies
        with the aim of overthrowing democracies. I believe the MB
        is such a group. Hamas ran and won elections but as soon as they got into power, there were no more elections.
        Do you think Iran is a democracy?
        The most worked up critic of the coup is Erdogan a popular dictator who runs the Turkish MB and who just purged the secular army.

        Egypt has no tradition of democracy whatsoever. Politics is
        a knife fight between MB Hamas types and the police backed by the Establishment. The sooner it is over the better.

  •  the paradox of democracy (6+ / 0-)

    the people "democratically" decide to abolish democracy in favor of theocracy.

    I realize that isn't what the Egyptians voted for when they gave the MB a chance to govern. The MB blew it, and imho, got righteously slapped down for it.

    Religion needs to stay in the church, or the mosque,  and not be permitted political power in a democracy.

    This is a taste of what would happen in our country if the theocrats managed to get themselves elected, although I'm not sure we can count on our own military to come to the aid of democracy and The Constitution.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:12:30 PM PDT

  •  As an Egyptologist (12+ / 0-)

    the destruction of the cultural heritage is particularly shocking.  It has been that shared pride, no matter the heritage, and the source of great imported wealth that made it from the top of society down to the lower levels.  It supported a middle class that was outward looking and educated and interested in interactions with the rest of the world, while often frustrated with paternalism from external constituencies.  However, things like the looking of the Minya Museum (1040 of 1089 objects on display were taken last night, many of the rest, too big to move, were damaged, the security guard shot and killed, the director wounded, and the building with its remaining artefacts burned today) and the destruction of the sites will have ramifications for tourism and heritage for the rest of eternity (and no I am not exaggerating).  This has been getting progressively worse over the past several years, but without a working police system it has skyrocketed.  

    I know there are thousands of people dead, and that is horrific.  But there are a lot of benefits to tourism and foreigners on the ground in Egypt.  Without tourism the society will become even more stratified, and without the influx of money into even small towns that an archaeological project provides (thousands and thousands of dollars, even at the smallest scale, paid directly to villagers for working, food, housing, etc.) there are ramifications beyond the disasters in the cities.  

  •  I work with a Coptic Egyptian man... (9+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this thoughtful diary, Pierre. What you have said is similar to what I've heard over the past few weeks from my co-worker, a Christian Egyptian from the Sinai in his mid-30s and a licensed professional.

    He insists that the Egyptian military has always had respect from the majority of the population, no matter their religion or region, because the military and civilians are very well integrated through mandatory service for men, exceptions given to sons who has no male siblings so that the family will have a breadwinner. Everyone knows someone in the military and they are reliable and respected.

    He also says that most Egyptians are secularists when it comes to their government. This is not to be confused with being either liberal or democratic. This has been hard for me to grasp, but it seems the people want a government that is blind to religious divisions or differences, and would be willing to trade some of the democratic principles that we hold dear for a peaceful civic life. Women in Egypt deal with a traditional patriarchy, but many women have not had a problem with forging ahead with education, private employment even at a high level, and no mandatory religious coverings in exchange for I suppose what could most easily be described as a macho culture.

    He said that the Muslim Brotherhood is neither new, nor exclusively Egyptian. He says that they have been organizing all over the Islamic world for decades and take on different organizational names depending on the country they're in. They've been associated with Hamas and Al Qaida for years and that they want one thing: total Islamic domination of the world. It almost sounds ludicrous to hear this, but this was delivered with passion and seriousness.

    My co-worker said that during the elections last year most Egyptians saw the tide of favor toward the MB, heard their innocuous sounding campaign pitches, and decided to give them a chance. Egyptians aren't immediately going to get or expect in a post-Mubarak world a president who in anyway ressembles who we in the west would consider a true reformer in a progressive, liberal sense. There are too many miles to walk down that revolutionary road. And of course, there is the reality that revolutions are based in anger, feelings of injustice and take a long time, not a few weeks to pan out. Egypt has years of struggle ahead.

    Anyway, the MB were voted in, and immediately started implementing their "reforms" which the population didn't like, but it started softly, then built up exponentially. When they started the equivalent of redistricting so that the courts would be affected and influenced, that's when the referendum to pull Morsi out got serious. My co-worker says that the courts in Egypt have a long history of being strong and neutral, staffed by well-educated men many of whom are considered Egypt's finest thinkers and intellectuals in public service.

    What the world called a coup people like my co-worker did not. He called it the most radical kind of buyer's remorse. The equivalent of making a return with a receipt, although not easily undertaken, one that was done to save Egypt from the complete unraveling of civil society.

    My co-worker is dismayed and in grief about what is happening in his country, but he doesn't believe the MB to have Egypt's best interests at heart. He says the people in the street are not peaceful, they have been burning churches and businesses and schools. He came to me yesterday with a photo print of his Catholic school, one built over a hundred years ago by Franciscan missionaries, one that he attended for 14 years from the time he was 3 years old, on fire, completely being gutted by flames. He talked about how many Muslim families sent their children to school there as it was considered the best education. (I have a Jewish Turkish friend who was also educated by Catholics in Turkey for the same reasons.) Christian minorities, especially in the provinces, are being specifically targeted. I'm very worried as my co-worker's father is a priest.

    My co-worker has said that throughout it's history, Muslims and Christians have been able to live side by side and now the MB has come in as a group of ursurpers, tagged as part of their army the most desperate or vulnerable within Egypt to be at their side and are still a tiny minority of violent Islamists who want to destroy the once vibrant and very proud country they live in.

    I've never been to Egypt, although I hope one day I will be able to go. This is all from my co-worker said to me over several weeks and it is through his bias, of course, but it is a fascinating viewpoint that I have never heard in the American media.

    Oh, I asked him yesterday about El Baradai since he'd always been considered a respected man vis-à-vis Egyptian and international politics. He said that mostly El Baradai resigned to protect his international reputation and to stay above the fray and that he could understand the resignation in some ways, but was disappointed in the quick retreat when the current government, as transitory as it is, needs some smart and respected leadership.

    The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice - MLK

    by Ripeness Is All on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:45:22 PM PDT

    •  I was a huge supporter of the Egyptian Revolution (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisVoter, Gary Norton, native

      and was one of the people liveblogging it here and my favorite street chant at the time was "Muslims, Christians, we're all Egyptians".

      When Morsi was elected I was disappointed.  Nonetheless I was hopeful that they might turn out to be semi-moderate.

      Boy, did they ever disappoint that hope.

      And the more I look at their behavior, the more their actions towards Egyptian Christians remind me of the manner in which the Nazi Party treated Jews in their early days.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:39:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you had no problem with molotovs then. (0+ / 0-)

        You didn't see that movement as delegitimize when stones were hurled back at attackers, or when the occasional rifle shot rang out at Mubaraks goons.

        But if you're going to go Godwin, do it early and often - and do it in defense of a military regime that's actually murdering hundreds.

        Not "might".

        Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

        by JesseCW on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:27:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The mass demonstrators during the Egyptian (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          artebella

          Revolution had far, far more people on the streets than the MB has now, yet they were far more peaceful and tried really hard to be peaceful.

          If they had employed the same tactics as the islamist protestors are now, including frequent use of machine guns and other guns, possible use of grenades, burning down churches, attacking and entering police stations and executing the police, torturing civilians opposed to them, etc. then I would not have supported them.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:51:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The MBro's are terrorist thugs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    Here is a HUGE compilation (a must see) of videos and pictures proving that MB set out to create the mayhem that we're witnessing:

    Videos Egypt Under Brotherhood Militias Terror Attacks
    14 Aug 2013
    Posted on August 14, 2013 by Eman Nabih
    Here's a list+links of their attacks on the Copts and their churches.

    Not something that's coming through the media, incl. HuffPo.

    •  I don't think that MB members are all (0+ / 0-)

      terrorist thugs.  

      However, they obviously have armed islamist fanatics and terrorists running with them.

      Thanks for the link.  Those are, indeed, disturbing videos and pictures and I can understand that a lot of Egyptians are pissed off about the shoddy reporting in a lot of western media.

       

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:00:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do wonder what our own government (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, kickass

    would do if a million camped long term in DC, trashed government buildings and demanded a change in government. We do have some foretaste of this from the way the Bonus Marchers, May Day demonstrators and recent convention protesters have been treated. I doubt that would treat them any better than the Turks and Egyptians did.

    BTW to the folks who are so outraged at the Egyptian governments, where is/was your outrage at Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia - all Muslim states who killed and beat secularist demonstrators.

    “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

    by shigeru on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:19:29 PM PDT

    •  Well, there haven't really been all that many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru, kickass

      MB members demonstrating, considering that the MB had called for millions.  I saw a German reporter and Robert Fisk estimating that there were maybe around 30 thousand pro-Morsi demonstrators yesterday at Ramsi Square.

      But I can guarantee you that any security forces of any nation, be they authoritarian or democratic, would react harshly if there were people amongst the protestors firing on the security forces with machine guns and pistols.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:30:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What would you do (0+ / 0-)

      if in response to the Tea Party protests several summers ago, the U.S. military had deposed President Obama,  held him secretly in detention somewhere, and taken over control of our government?

      Would you camp out in D.C., trash government buildings, and demand a change back to democratically elected government? I sure hope we all would.

      •  poor comparison (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shigeru, native, Dogs are fuzzy, Lawrence

        Obama was passing stimulus bills and trying to pass healthcare bills. The tea party of 2009/2010 was opposing that.

        OTOH, MB and Morsi were working to jettison democracy itself and turn into a theofascist dictatorship.

        There's a little bit of difference between the two scenarios, isn't there?

        •  The comparison is (0+ / 0-)

          a democratically elected government is ousted by the military.

          You may not like it, but Morsi and the  Muslim brotherhood Parliament that was unseated by Mubarak appointees on the Egyptian Supreme Court were elected by the Egyptian people.

          •  Hitler was democratically elected too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lawrence

            But recycling your own analogy instead..

            Had Bush and Cheney used the pretext of 9/11 to go beyond what they did (patriot act, surveillance, iraq war, etc) and actually amended the constitution and issued executive orders to make themselves functional dictators (that's what Morsi and the MB did in Egypt), and the military (under the leadership of some general named Al C. Chamberlin, say) intervened to oust them with a promise to hold new elections after things settled down (i.e. would have 'restored democracy'), whom would you have sided with: the patriotic military or the Bush-Cheney dictatorship?

              •  The German referendum of 1934 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lawrence

                https://en.wikipedia.org/...
                made Hitler the all-powerful dictator that he became. Granted, it isn't a direct election, but the German voters knew the person they were approving for dictatorial leadership via that vote. Also, the Nazi party won the plurality in 1932. Taken together, this is comparable to how Morsi and MB went about their business (Morsi wins presidential election, issues decree to declare himself judicial oversight, the MB crams through a constitution to cement their stranglehold.)

                What do you have to say about by Bush-Cheney/US military question that's the flip side of your tea party/Obama analogy?

                •  Do you find it significant at all (0+ / 0-)

                  that the Egyptian Supreme Court, filled with Mubarak appointments, decided to overturn the Parliamentary elections that gave the Muslim Brotherhood a governing majority?

                  My point is that you can't view Morsi's actions without understand the context that the military, in my view, was obviously doing everything they could do from the outset to undermine him after he beat their handpicked candidate.

                  Did Morsi screw up? Sure. But given the hand he was dealt, with the military rigging everything, what could he do?

      •  The fallacy with your argument is that the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kickass, native

        Tea Party is more akin to the Muslim Brotherhood and the MB had actually done what the Tea Party would like to do. I.e. take control of the levers of government an then start to destroy the rights of those who do not agree with them. See Texas and NC for real life examples.

        “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

        by shigeru on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:02:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I live in Texas (0+ / 0-)

          and I hope you are not suggesting it would be A-OK to violently overturn the democratically elected government of the state of Texas based on disagreement with the policies that elected government is putting into place.

          The solution is the ballot box. That's democracy.

          •  Not yet. However there is a point at which it (0+ / 0-)

            would be justified if Texas drifts very much further to the right.

            However unlikely that may be I do believe that many elements on the right would like to do that to, for example, secede from the US.

            “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

            by shigeru on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:35:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hoping for insight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    While appreciating the spirit of the article to give a closer view of the situation, it is nevertheless dispiriting that an article which purports to give an inside view, to which we assumedly would otherwise have no access, unfortunately offers nothing which is not glaringly obvious just from reading the headlines and listening to the stringers' reports.  But then, it appears to be the case that absolutely no one in the whole world has much insight in how to avoid this tragedy.

  •  Interesting situation at the mosque at Ramsi (0+ / 0-)

    Square today.

    It seems that Islamists are holed up in the mosque there and there is a huge anti-Morsi mob outside.

    Currently the security forces and the military are having to protect women who want to leave the mosque and are escorting them away, shielding them from anti-MB civilians.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:34:30 AM PDT

  •  I am hopeful of a bright future for Egypt (0+ / 0-)

    Here is an outline I'd like to put forth for getting there.

    A Plan for a New Egypt

    1. the military should root out the militant wings of the MB and other Islamist outfits.

    2. once the situation is stabilized, work on improving the economy and educational infrastructure.

    3. they should work with civilian leaders to create a robust constitution that is secular and grants equal rights to minorities (including copts and other Christians, jews, minority Islamic sects such as the Shias, apostates and other non-believers, etc). It should explicitly ban  political parties that have totalitarian agendas.

    4. democratic institutions should be fully thought through along with the constitution, and steps should be taken to create them

    5. hold elections to ratify the new constitution

    6. the Tamarrod movement should establish a political party

    7. hold elections to usher in a secular democratic nation of Egypt

    Six months is too short to get there. Two to four years is more like it.
  •  Thanks. It is so hard to get insight into (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    how different folks are reacting when the media talks only of blood. What you have written seems to square with the few other reports I've been able to read.

    Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

    by Gary Norton on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:40:59 AM PDT

  •  I am against any religious form of govt. (0+ / 0-)

    But I don't like the killing unless they are armed. Be it stones or guns.  But indiscriminate killing is not ok.

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:34:14 AM PDT

  •  excellent analysis & consistent w-my academic (0+ / 0-)

    research on democracy, public opinion and hostility towards the US in Muslim majority countries.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:49:21 PM PDT

  •  why can't the government just turn down (0+ / 0-)

    US aide then? I am so exhausted by this country playing God and feeling we have a say in things when we are using money which we borrow to act as if we can control situations?

    the whole situation is ridiculous. Obama should have no say in what goes on in Egypt or any other country for that matter. Put your money where your mouth is.

    WHAT MONEY? Do the US people really support our government's going further and further into debt to support a US-centric world government?

    I don't.

    Let Egypt control its own destiny. Let international aid orgs help out.

    Just my two cents after a mere 3 hours sleep

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