Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 05, 2013

Egypt: Today's Developments

A big thanks to all the commentators in the recent Egypt threads. The discussion is lively and that is as it should be. Please hold off with ad hominems.

To continue, some points from today's after-the-coup news from Egypt.

There were attacks on army installations in the Sinai and some soldiers died there. This is pretty much off the radar in the news but will play a big role in the thinking and planing of the Egyptian military. Sinai is pretty wild in terms of Jihadi activities, there are lost of weapons there and is also of economic concern.

The Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood Badie was not, as was reported yesterday, incarcerated. Two other high MB leaders were released by the police. Former president Morsi is seemingly still in army custody.

The MB staged rallies all over Egypt today. There is little news of what is happening in the periphery even though that may, in the end, be more important than what is happening in Cairo. In Alexandria MB followers clashed with other demonstrators and also with the army. In upper Egypt an MB crowd tried to storm an orthodox church but was pushed off by army soldiers. In Cairo a demonstration was held at an army place where, allegedly, Morsi is held. The army told the protesters to stand off. Most of them did and MB guides tried to hold them back. But some tried to get to the concertina wire and were shot at. One to three where, reportedly, killed.

A quite big demonstration took place at the Rabaa mosque where the MB had a big stage and where many of the MB higher ups, including the supreme guide, held fierce speeches. From the TV pictures I saw I estimate the crowd there at 100-150,000 max. While the speakers called for peaceful protests they also added quite a bit of toxic sectarian poison. Not only against Copts but also against Al-Azhar, the Islamic high university, and against some Salafist groups. The general idea: The MB are the victims and everyone else is the enemy. The crowd got fired up. No one tried to calm it down.

In the evening groups of MB followers approached the bridges at Maspero towards Tahrir Square which led to a hefty clashes with anti-MB protesters who hold on to Tahrir. Neither the police nor the military intervened at this time. This is likely to get more ugly throughout the night.

The army seems, in general, to hold back and stay defensive. But throughout the day it made a lot of "show of force" noise by sending helicopters and jets into the sky over Cairo. Wasn't there some petroleum shortage? The army's message is: "We will let you protest but be reminded that it is us who have the heavy weapons."

My general impression is that the army is not seeking a fight and allows the MB followers to let off their steam. There is no sign of any harsh suppression so far but that may change anytime.

The silence of the "west" towards this military coup may well be the end of the neoconned "democracy promotion" campaigns we have seen over the last two decades. The hypocrisy is now so obviously stinking that any future mentioning of "democratic principles" in the Middle East by some sanctimonious "westerner" will be rightfully laughed off. The fall of the MB in Cairo has already a dampening effect on the "western" backed Syrian opposition.

Posted by b on July 5, 2013 at 19:29 UTC | Permalink

next page »

According to the Guardian, there's a big battle, mainly unarmed but not entirely, still going on around the 6th October bridge. There doesn't seem to be news yet as to who is winning.

Posted by: alexno | Jul 5 2013 19:55 utc | 1

Was this coup instigated and initiated by the Egyptian army or was the army a follower of public sentiment?

Clearly the MB overplayed their hand. Considering that a minority of the people supported them and Mursi won by a thin margin they sure pushed hard with their vision of an Islamist state, packing the levers of power with their close associates much to the detriment of other groups. It seems their agenda, governing style and grab for power drove the opposition to unite against them. What I find interesting is that even some salafist groups who should be their natural allies joined their opposition.

When looked at from the perspective of outside parties was this positive for the Saudis or Qatar? What about Israel and Hamas? No doubt Assad is happy with this outcome. The US and the EU continue to look clueless as would be expected.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 5 2013 20:02 utc | 2

ab initio

Yes Gulf are happy along with Israel, US. hamas is not happy.

Dont understand Assads joy though.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 5 2013 20:06 utc | 3

The fall of the MB in Cairo has already a dampening effect on the "western" backed Syrian opposition.

Yeah, I should think Asad is going to get at least a breathing space out of the Egyptian crisis. Some have said Asad will lose from the Egyptian events, but I find that hard to see. Western interest has turned elsewhere for the moment, and the political style of the Egyptian movement is not far from his own.

Posted by: alexno | Jul 5 2013 20:15 utc | 4

"My general impression is that the army is not seeking a fight and allows the MB followers to let off their steam..."

The Army leadership may very well be happy to watch the Brotherhood and its opponents weakening each other and strengthening the case for a "law and order" dictatorship.

The truth is that the real problems, hunger and unemployment, get worse every day. And neither the Army, the Brotherhood or the opposition (as a common front) has any idea of how to deal with them. Or to come close to satisfying the minimal demands of the people.

The choice is between deepening repression or a return to Nasserism.

Neo-liberalism offers no way out, nor does any form of "representative democracy" which refuses to allow the people to control their own economy and their own lives.

It is difficult to believe that there are not junior officers and ncos who are reflecting today that it is not the Staff but they, and their men, who have the weapons. That is what the young Nasser realised, when last Egypt changed the world.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 5 2013 20:21 utc | 5

By "Nasserism" in this context I mean a rejection of imperialism.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 5 2013 20:23 utc | 6

@2 abinito: I've seen no evidence Israel is "happy" about the protests or the coup, but I haven't been following their reaction.

I'd be interested to see some links, op-eds, or other statements if any exist.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 5 2013 20:24 utc | 7

I would think Assad must be very pleased. Desperate Egyptians being sent to Syria to take heads would make a bad situation - though much improved recently - so very much much worse.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 5 2013 20:27 utc | 8

Saudi Arabia is bankrolling the Egyptian Army and, as payoff, might want Egyptian jihadis to go to Syria. The Egyptian Army wouldn't mind losing some Egyptian hotheads to the Syrian meat grinder.

Posted by: Joel | Jul 5 2013 21:01 utc | 9

#9 Joel In exchange for losing some hotheads, the survivors would be battle hardened veterans. That is the last thing the Egyptian army would want to see returning in a few years. Morsi's call for jihad in Syria seems to be the event that convinced the army to remove him.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 5 2013 21:42 utc | 10

I hear Egypt is a land of millions of unemployed crowding both sides of a big river without oil or any major industry. No way yet has been discovered to manage such a place. But we know voting doesn't work; nor, prayer.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 5 2013 21:47 utc | 11

Exit Qatar
Enter Saudi Arabia.

This is the headline and story at Angry Arab. This is obviously referring to events in Egypt. In Syria it probably means Exit Qatar and I would guess further undermines any support for the Syrian war inside Turkey. Erdogan is going to have to tread very carefully, he now has to conserve his political capital just to stay in power.

This has to be the best news Assad has received since his forces started to turn the tide on the battlefield. The additional benefit is that he doesn't have to worry as much about thousands of Egyptian volunteers joining the Syrian jihad. It is very difficult to predict exactly how Qatar and Turkey are going to respond. If they are rational, they would get out of Syria. But if they are guided by religious fanaticism they might just decide to double down.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 5 2013 22:05 utc | 12


What does Mursi have to do with egyptians fighting Assad. You think they would stop travelling to Syria just because Mursi is gone?
And why would Erdogan be worried? He enjoy great support. Also why would Turkey and Qatar end their Syrian policy?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 5 2013 22:27 utc | 13

@ Anon

What does Mursi have to do with egyptians fighting Assad.

Mursi was a sectarian leader who was using his position as President to try and topple a neighboring country in Syria. This article talks about how important Morsi attending the Syria rally on June 15th was to its thinking.

Army concern about the way President Mohamed Morsi was governing Egypt reached tipping point when the head of state attended a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria, military sources have said. At the June 15th rally, Sunni Muslim clerics used the word “infidels” to denounce both the Shias fighting to protect Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the non-Islamists that oppose Mr Morsi at home.
For the army, the Syria rally had crossed “a national security red line” by encouraging Egyptians to fight abroad, risking creating a new generation of jihadists, said Yasser El-Shimy, analyst with the International Crisis Group. The military source condemned recent remarks made by “retired terrorists” allied to Mr Morsi, who has deepened his ties with the once-armed group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya.

As to your comment on Erdogan "enjoying great support" and not being worried about the loss of a similar Islamist government. I'm just going to assume you were asleep two weeks ago during the Gezi Park protests. Erdogan survived that barely, by insisting he was democratically elected and this wasn't an "Arab Spring" like Mubarak or Assad. If those protests start again (especially with Turkey's own history of military coups) that line about being democratically elected will save him just as much as it saved Morsi.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 5 2013 22:58 utc | 14

"What does Mursi have to do with egyptians fighting Assad." He has been encouraging them.

"You think they would stop travelling to Syria just because Mursi is gone?" Maybe not, but they may be less enthusiastic.

"And why would Erdogan be worried?" Because he will have less support for his anti-Syria policy. He will also be worried about a similar 'coup' in Turkey. His support is mainly for his domestic policy.

"Also why would Turkey and Qatar end their Syrian policy?" Because it's not working.

Posted by: dh | Jul 5 2013 22:58 utc | 15

I'm not sure if it's not too early for many conclusions. The whole thing is too fresh, quite some possibly very importants questions as for the background are still open and there are quite some open ends.

One example: One might be tempted, and actually even some serious journalists have thought in that direction, to draw conclusions for turkey, particularly along the line of the billions invested by qatar.

I agree, qatar might really approach a position of basically saying "We've lost too much money with Islam-related adventures. Syria is basically lost and lots of our money wasted therefore and if we ever see back the billions given to morsi is a painful question. So let's withdraw our money from turkey, too and put it outside islamic countries".

On the other hand though watar might as well come to the opposite conclusion, i.e. "let's pump even more money into turkey and erdogan support; it's maybe our only investment that will move things, buy influence and standing for qatar, and pay off".

And on top of that there is a new emir, the son, in qatar. While it seems reasonable to assume that he won't diverge far from his fathers line and soon experience also shows that sons have a tendency to have their own views, ideas and preferences.

Furthermore there is more than one layer. While we all see the public face of politics and politicians there is also (at least) one more layer that is usually quite well hidden and not at all easy to interpret.

An example here, too:

qatars natural resources are limited. They knew that since many years and have, sure enough, some ideas for the future. Similarly, most arab countries, while not showing it publicly, sure enough can't have missed the decline of zusa and it won't be simple as saying "Well, from now on we'll obediently serve BRIC (or whomever)". When, possibly uncomfortably soon, their zusa centric world changes hey'd better be prepared; Russia for one won't be impressed or pushed by oil and even China will only be mildly seduced by soon exhausted resources in countries that have shown strong loyalty to zusa, been troublesome and not at all trustworthy and btw. militarily basically insignificant.
So, qatar has a solid level of urgency to think and think very well about the near to mid term future and to keep in mind that what they do today may well be a first step toward a cliff rather than away from it.

Finally, many (too) quick an analysis have not survived even 2 days. From what can be seen so far, the Egypt military doesn not brutally hunt down mb but rather allows for some cooling period. And they, too, have to think about their and about Egypts next steps in an increasingly changing world context. Probably it's about time to turn away from the zusa led block; on the other hand Egypts current weakness strongly suggest to avoid to brush and confrontative steps. Maybe it's not a coincidence after all that Russia today announced to continue the grain deliveries, implying that payments through credits mit not be out of reach.

So my suggestion for the moment is to watch and think rather than hip-shot analysing.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 5 2013 23:17 utc | 16

Btw: My apologies for the many typos. I'm currently suffering from a keyboard that I basically like(d) very much (and don't want to throw away) that does, however, increasingly ignore my fingers work ...


Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 5 2013 23:22 utc | 17

"So my suggestion for the moment is to watch and think rather than hip-shot analysing."

Excellent pragmatic advice. However there are many of us who enjoy speculation for its own sake. It passes the time.

Posted by: dh | Jul 5 2013 23:22 utc | 18

It is interesting that you see the problems amongst the Syrian opposition coming to a head, inevitably in favour of the saudi backed terrorists, as a good thing, a positive, b, whereas I see the inevitable end of a divided Syrian resistance as boding very badly for the future of Syria and eventually the entire ME.

I mean in the short term confusion in the ranks of the "Syrian National Coalition" may take the pressure off the Syrian Army & give the Lebanese support some breathing space, but events in Qatar & Egypt are going to make things tougher for Hezbollah long term. Similarly the end of division in the ranks will provide France & amerika (in this instance the two largest foreign drivers of Syrian regime change). France was never happy to have to settle just for the coast when their empire carved Lebanon out from Syria & that should force a sobering reality check on us all. Imperialist ambitions never really disappear. They sit on hold in the minds of old men until they find much younger men, naive to the reality of what really inspired the failure & then crank the shit up again, and again, and again.

amerika isn't going to stop harassing Syria just because it initial forays haven't been successful. Getting rid of qatari & egyption distractions will be seen by state dept strategists as a good thing.

Late this summer or early next, westerners will be sold on the idea of 'the new syrian opposition', purged of AQ & other unreliable factions. None of it will be true. What will be true will be that this new FSA will for the first time speak with one voice, stay on message and generally perform as the media demands of its clients.

As before russia will be the key to this. If you can cast your minds back to the illegal invasion of Iraq, Russia was determinely opposed to that & it is likely that the decision to stop at Kuwait in episode 1 of the "Theft of Mesopotamia" was at least in part brought about by concern that Russia would spot the empire's fangs too soon (1990 Russia was deep in the throes of having all of its plum assets 'privatised' ie carved off and sold to the usual suspects). Successive amerikan administrations kept the pressure on Russian leaders remorselessly, never easing up until a dose of the usual- a mixture of bribery & deceit finally got russian agreement at the security council.

It is true that Putin is less likely to be conned and he is well aware of many of the tactics, equally true that the difficult call over Ed Snowden was made because Putin understands that he might succeed in holding firm on Syria, if Russian mana isn't spent on a quixotic defence of one human, but both Putin's personal priorities and Russia's national issues will shift and change over time, so relying too heavily on indefinite Russian support is dangerous for Syria's long term health.

I don't see the changes to the SNC as a positive and believe that Syria is in a race for its life which won't end because of purges amongst its attackers. The only chance Syria has if the empire suffers some major setback & goes into decline. Syria escaped from France by the skin of its teeth, chiefly by giving France it's vast silk industry along with Lebanon. France was also tricked into grabbing more territory that was chocka with Druze, Sunni & Shia outnumbering the maronite xtians the french had found easy to administer, a move which prevented coastal lebanon from being absorbed into greater israel 50 years later - a good thing, but the resulting instability was also the chief cause of the civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

The french would have been back for the rest but Syria was saved by the onset of part two of the great european war of the 20th century-maybe something similar can happen again. Of course that doesn't bode well for a bunch of people somewhere else. Maybe only amerikans - they have bought into the bullshit whole heartedly; so I suppose if anyone has to cop it they are as fair a choice as as any- though conflict normally causes at least two mobs of humans to get butchered. It is unlikely that only amerikans will be raped & murdered if something else, somewhere else does distract amerika from attempting to swallow Syria in one gulp.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 5 2013 23:22 utc | 19

dh (18)

You made me laugh and you are right. But then what I wrote didn't mean "shut up!" but rather "let's not start fights about things that are far from clear" ;)

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 5 2013 23:32 utc | 20

My question, and one when it links to external support; the fireworks show for one, it was planned, it’s also 4th July time, secondly, the Laser show, why on earth was it mostly in ‘English’ words like ‘OUT’, likewise who paid to set this all up, it’s not the military apparatus (They are not into Cheerleading stuff), it’s not the population, they enjoy shoe slapping, flag flying, horn beeping, and rape (The number of sex attacks and rapes against female protesters in Egypt's Tahrir Square has hit 91 –reported! in just four days)

Funding and the Mil as they conducted fly by’s that are costly, this must have come from somewhere, the budget constraints of the recent past would limit such PR, unless that is injected from someone. In that, this was very organized and well funded.

Egypt is a Dodo and its civil society is in the dark ages, so just how can it recover and the reason why it can be bought and manipulated by those needing it as part of an agenda, now that most sides bordering Israel are destabilized, the World knows (West) all the BH actors (Monitoring the last few years; the rest is obvious. The only saving grace and why Egypt survives is the control of the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, a crucial role in global energy and other supplies.

This is nutty, and if one thinks of show and paying -$630,000 U.S. State Department spent to increase Facebook "likes" on four of its pages, according to an inspector general's report.

The campaign to attract Facebook fans spanned between 2011 and March 2013, and resulted in an increase fans from about 100,000 to more than 2 million per page, according to the report. I woulf have done the same for a couple of grand, in fact they can just us ‘Fiver’ and get 10,000 (US likes) for $5 (But not all human, many bot’s).In that, not saying it was the State Dept - However it was an 'English speaking' show.

Posted by: kev | Jul 5 2013 23:38 utc | 21

Reposting here from the previous thread:

I think there have been more than 500 posts total about the coup in Egypt. Nobody but supporters of Egypt's democratic process has even mentioned the elections for People's Assembly that are constitutionally required but cancelled by the Constitutional Court.

As the faction against the democratic process in Egypt was claiming to gather 22 million signatures, the only legal and objective test of support from the Egyptian population was being delayed permanently by others in that same faction.

If there was or is an anti-MB majority in Egypt, there is an appropriate way to express that majority that will result in no loss of life and minimal disruption of the national routine. The coup faction does not seem to believe there is an anti-MB majority in Egypt.

It is unconscionable to support a power-grab by the factions of the Egyptian that have the closest ties to the US taking power away from the officials who were elected by Egypt's voters and whose electoral majorities have not been, when they could have been, rescinded by those Egyptian voters.

To explain this unconscionable support for a power grab by the closest factions in the country to the US from Egypt's voters it is hard to avoid ideas like orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia, which are more surprising and disappointing to see from people who earlier might have claimed to know better.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 5 2013 23:42 utc | 22

#14 and #15. Colm and dh make the case better than mine, so no need to say more.

Except to add: What is Obama going to do now? His Syrian policy "Assad must go" is now in tatters. If Qatar and Turkey get cold feet, this will put pressure on Obama to fill the void. Let us hope not. Unfortunately, if Assad does not go, Obama will lose face. Another possible point of escalation.

It has been clear for years that he does not have any coherent ME policy. It is just a series of careless statements followed up by reacting to one unforeseen circumstance to another. Poor Obama, who would have predicted the political crisis in Turkey, the coup in Egypt and the attack on our consulate in Benghazi just one year ago. No one did as far as I can tell. But one could have predicted with some confidence that an unforeseen circumstance would erupt that would put in danger his "Assad must go" policy.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 5 2013 23:43 utc | 23

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told BBC radio:
"We have to work with whoever is in authority in Egypt.We have to do that for the safety of British nationals, we have to do that because there are so many British companies there".
"We will always be clear that we don't support military intervention but we will work with people in authority in Egypt. That is the practical reality of foreign policy."
"This is a military intervention in a democratic system. We have to understand it's a popular intervention, there's no doubt about that in the current state of opinion in Egypt."
hey Mr.Pragma do you smell the Spin?

Posted by: Some1 | Jul 5 2013 23:53 utc | 24

debs 19

Syria became independant because the British forced out the french Armed forces who had accepted the Vichy Government rather than De Gaulle's London outfir,

Posted by: heath | Jul 6 2013 0:03 utc | 25

@Arnold Evans | Jul 5, 2013 7:42:56 PM | 22

Behind the facade of an affluent nation, Egypt is actually facing high levels of unemployment and immense poverty. More than 15+ million Egyptians live on less than $1 a day, and the figure is increasing. So where do you get millions to vote? Or to protest for that matter, just chuck them a buck a day.

In that Islamic lean and rule is not a solution, that will just further backward the Country. It is not phobia, it's just bias in an already gender bias nation, alone in the literacy rate is just about 71 percent, with males at 83 percent and females at 59.4 percent displays that obvious disparity.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 0:25 utc | 26

"closest factions" "orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia"

Everything to turn this into an outside plot driven by Western racism and nothing that admits that this all began with the enormous outpouring of anger on the part of the Egyptian people.

You can attempt to hang whatever terms you like on people who are supporting that outpouring, but you can't hang such things on the Egyptian people in the street.

These kind of statements: "there is an appropriate way to express that majority that will result in no loss of life and minimal disruption of the national routine " completely ignores the revolutionary state of Egyptian society right now. Perhaps the MB figured that, after 30 years of dictatorship and its sudden overthrow, the Egyptian people would go quietly into the night should they be betrayed. They were wrong. The people will not go quietly. They will not follow simple rules that suit their new masters. They will be on the streets until they get the government they want. And it has nothing to do with the talking heads of the west, nor the commentariat of the blogosphere, nor the CIA.

This is an expression of the will of the Egyptian people.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 6 2013 0:27 utc | 27

I heard some online report that the Army cut labor unions out of negotiations and that there have already been non-MB protests against the military coup.

So of course we see that the revolution is still in progress.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 6 2013 0:39 utc | 28

There's clearly winners and losers in what just happened in Egypt.

MB is obviously the biggest loser. Not only it lost power in Egypt, but a lot of its flock could join the Salafists and its influence elsewhere in the Middle East will melt.

Qatar got a blackeyed. Playing the MB card to gain influence angered the Saudis who just got their revenge. They thought they had it when Khadafi was toppled but they couldn't capitalize on Morsi election and got in a quagmire in Syria. Even Al Jazeera is now considered leaning too close to Qatar interest and lost a lot of its credibility.

Hamas people are banging their head on the wall. They rejected Hizbullah's aid in favour of MB and now they're more than ever at their mercy of their foes, who are probably rubbing their hands with glee.

Yes, Israel is the clearly the winner here. Even if MB were trying not to antagonize the Israelis, they were suspicious of the Brothers and now that the army is back, they know that they'll get more stability on that front. Israel aims at this moment is to crush Hezbollah and bomb Iran.

The Saudis are clear winners too. They got rid of Qatar meddling and now their influence will grow faster. We should see a turnaround within Syria's opposition soon. They could also pull the strings of Salafists and Takfiris group to gain more power in the Middle East.

I dont know where to place these actors:

The USA. Its like they decided to give the MB and Qataris a try but just got a "We told you so" by Israel.

Hafez El Assad. He got space to breathe now, but for how long? The rebels backed by the house of Saud and Israel will regroup soon. But they're a real shame. And Syrians realize now that the evil they know might be better than what would replace him.

Now that Egypt is settling, we will probably hear once again more "news" about the Assad the Butcher and the Iran threat to the world.

Plus ça change...

Posted by: greggg | Jul 6 2013 0:52 utc | 29

@ greggg | Jul 5, 2013 8:52:45 PM | 29, Concur with Israel being the winners here. Much like a hurricane, calm in the center, and chaos on the outside. I kinda give up on trying to read the outcomes and the players regionally, as it seems everyone is stabbing each other in the back. A great stance if your externally exploiting opportunity as you just prod when needed and let the rest do your work.

As Israel has been very silent over the last month, it indicates it has been privy or participated. Bibi must be smiling right now and Obama (Administration) content if they take it a step further, anything to dampen the ‘Snowden’ issues.

For all we know it could 'ALL' been part of the construct?

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 1:08 utc | 30

It's naive and flat out wrong to think this "all began" with an enormous outpouring of anger. The "enormous outpouring of anger" was planned and coordinated over the last months, as was the takeover of power by the military that used these pre-planned protests as a pretext to seize power from the elected organs of state.

Why exactly should there not have been People's Assembly elections which would have measured Egyptian popular support for the MB? I couldn't figure out an answer from what you wrote. During revolutionary times elections don't count. The only thing that counts is your assessment of protests, even though you're not Egyptian.

What can that be but, in your words, western racism?

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 1:20 utc | 31

This was an expression of the will of the millions of Egyptians who voted against the MB in elections, but were outvoted by millions more Egyptians who voted for them.

b would say maybe some MB voters changed their mind.

After an election, you change your mind by voting for someone else. Egyptians did not get a chance to do that.

The FSF announced that it would boycott People's Assembly elections. You don't boycott elections because you believe you're the majority. You boycott elections because you've learned after six losses that you cannot produce a message as compelling to the Egyptian people as the MB can.

This was an expression of the will of the millions of Egyptians who form the minority that you like more than the majority and therefore you believe should be in power.

Yes, that's in your words western racism. In my words orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia.

If its this pervasive here, imagine how strong it is in the US Embassy in Cairo.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 1:28 utc | 32

@ Arnold Evans 22

that will result in no loss of life and minimal disruption of the national routine

But what if the national routine is ever increasing chaos, poverty, and hunger?

Do you not think that, say, a month ago there was increasing chaos, poverty, and hunger in Egypt?

Posted by: ahji | Jul 6 2013 1:33 utc | 33

I don't judge Morsi. In a situation where Morsi must stand for a fair contested reelection and where a fairly elected Parliament has mechanisms for referendum and impeachment, the Egyptian people are equipped to judge Morsi.

Instead I judge the leaderships of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and others whose people do not have the ability to vote for the officials who set their national policies, instead their policies are set by the US Embassy.

Now Egypt is back on the list of US colonies and the consensus at MoonofAlabama was to cheer that process. It was sad to see.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 1:37 utc | 34

#33: That's not for you to judge. That's for the Egyptian people to decide on at elections. Or it should be. Unless you've decided that the side that loses election should still be in charge. Unless you're willing to assert that you know better for Egypt than the majority of Egyptians. In other words, unless you're exhibiting orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 1:43 utc | 35

Still no mention in any way by any anti-MB person here of the cancelled People's Assembly elections. Not even to explain why these elections would have been less valid than petition campaigns or street protests.

Egyptian court suspends April parliamentary elections
Morsi’s Islamist supporters and some in the public exhausted by the turmoil have viewed the parliamentary elections as a step toward stability, accusing the opposition of stirring up unrest to derail the voting. But the mainly liberal and secular opposition had called a boycott of the vote, saying Morsi must first find some political consensus and ease the wave of popular anger. Whether or not the opposition boycotts, the Islamists probably would win a parliamentary majority.

This entire episode was westerners, most importantly in the US Embassy but most surprising here, siding with the minority of Egyptians that they like better, and because of that favortism, at best, convincing themselves that the minority they like better just might be the majority and at worst deciding that it doesn't matter who is the majority because they know better for Egypt than Egyptians.

Impossible to explain except by orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 1:55 utc | 36

The AP has a timeline of events, which contains this interesting tidbit:

"We knew it was over on June 23. Western ambassadors told us that," said another Brotherhood spokesman. U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson was one of the envoys, he added.

No, I don't draw the conclusion that it was all foreign organised… But it is becoming obvious that the opposition factions behind this coup wouldn't take any compromise with (former) president Mursi.

Posted by: Philippe | Jul 6 2013 2:08 utc | 37

b wrote: The hypocrisy is now so obviously stinking that any future mentioning of "democratic principles" in the Middle East by some sanctimonious "westerner" will be rightfully laughed off.

I thought they should have been laughed off after Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006 and the US backed Abbas to reverse that election. Hopefully you are right this time. Maybe people will stop listening to the humanitarian warriors other democracy advocates inside the current administration.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 6 2013 2:17 utc | 38

@Arnold Evans | Jul 5, 2013 9:28:50 PM | 32, why the anti-West sentiment and go by "Arnold Evans"? Just does not sound very Egyptian! This is your Blog right -

You always state “Impossible to explain except by orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia”, yet you are doing just the same (reversal). Been to your blog and read your tweets, all you do is drive an agenda when challenged, you simply threaten to delete posts or just delete posts, not very democratic or open minded - All you exhibit is ‘my’ way or the highway and hate…

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 2:39 utc | 39

"Yes, Israel is the clearly the winner here."

No doubt many Israelis feel this, but they are wrong. So far we do not have a result, so we cannot proclaim winners or losers, but, in general terms, nothing is worse news for zionists than signs that Arabs are taking an interest in politics. The people of Egypt are awake, and before they settle down again they will have something to say about Israel's behaviour.

Arnold, the vague semi-statistics that you regularly cite are wearing a bit thin: not only did very few people vote for Morsi, (about five out of eighty millions) but among those who did were all opposed to the re-election, in effect, of Mubarak.
And then there is the nature of the debate preceding the vote and the campaigning, neither of which was particularly edifying. And could not be said to have constituted a mandate. A popularity poll, maybe but not a mandate to govern.

You say: "It's naive and flat out wrong to think this "all began" with an enormous outpouring of anger."

But of course it did begin in precisely that way, In Alexandria, as I recall, and a couple of years ago.
The problem is that you have misunderstood what has been occurring: the revolutionary process which led to Mubarak's fall, has been continuous and has now led to Morsi's fall. Others too, including, perhaps, brother Baradei, will fall before this is over. There are many layers of compradors, poseurs, wannabe statesmen and clapped out international civil servants, to be worked through before we get down to something new, interesting and Egyptian.

Such is the nature of revolutions, and, when tens of millions of people, most of whom have never climbed upon the political stage before, are involved they need time and experimentation before they decide upon what sort of government, economy, educational system, justice, etc it is that they want.

And that is putting aside the complication that others, external forces, imperialists, for example, will interfere and try to shape the course that events take. Which will lead to reactions from Egyptians.

Revolution is a very complex process. Your world appears to be a very simple one, in which parties contest elections, votes are counted, winners proclaimed and, after a brief interval, the campaigning begins again for the next quadrennial or septennial event. Welcome to the real world: it is much more interesting than bourgeois kabuki productions.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2013 2:54 utc | 40

Kev, do you have a better explanation?

Why oppose the Muslim Brotherhood as the ruling party of Egypt despite the fact that Egyptian voters repeatedly elected them and the opposition was boycotting and cancelled an election at the same time it was planning this coup.

It is impossible to do that without asserting that you know better than the majority of Egyptian voters for Egypt.

What is your better explanation for that assertion?

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 3:26 utc | 41

If five out of eighty million people voted for Morsi, and the opposition brought out fewer than five million, then Morsi has brought out a majority of Egyptian voters and is the legitimate President of Egypt until someone else gets a majority to replace him.

(Actually 13,230,131 votes though.),_2012#Results

A majority of Egyptian voters prefer Morsi. If they lose confidence in him, they can vote him out, if they drastically lose confidence in him their representatives in the other elected branch of government can replace him.

Morsi's opposition includes a minority of Egyptian voters and a lot of westerners who would be deferring to the wishes of the Egyptian electorate except that they presume to know better for Egypt than the majority of Egyptian voters.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 3:35 utc | 42

Two narratives about what happened in Egypt:

1) "The revolutionary process which led to Mubarak's fall, has been continuous and has now led to Morsi's fall."

2) After decades of being accountable to the US Embassy, the Egyptian government became accountable to Egyptian voters, but opponents of the selections of Egyptian voters have have returned accountability to the US Embassy and have decreed themselves 9 to 12 months to figure out a way to formulate a facade of limited elections while maintaining for the US control of those policies the US cares most about.

Which narrative is correct? A few things to consider.

A) The street protests provided a pretext but not a cause of the pre-planned military transfer of power to the one branch of government that is not elected but heldover from the Mubarak era.

B) The coup planners actively avoided elections that were already scheduled for the legislative branch of government.

C) The United States openly admits, has certified to the US Congress, that its $1.5 billion annual bribes to the Egyptian military provides it leverage over Egyptian military policy as it has since the 1980s as Egypt has clearly and openly had policies that have been pro-Israel and in line with the US regional agenda.

D) The Constitutional Court openly admits that it crafts its rulings to limit the amount of control elected officials wield over government policy in favor of insulating the military from electoral oversight.
Judge Helped Egypt’s Military to Cement Power

I don't think it is possible to consider this a continuation of the revolution rather than a reversal of it. Passing all control of every aspect of government to the Mubarak-era court (literally making that person a dictator) is, of course, not a continuation of the revolution.

Egypt's voters two weeks ago were in a position to punish an elected official who failed to embody their values. (Not mine or anyone else here's, but theirs.) Now they are not.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 4:09 utc | 43

"Morsi's opposition includes a minority of Egyptian voters and a lot of westerners who would be deferring to the wishes of the Egyptian electorate except that they presume to know better for Egypt than the majority of Egyptian voters."

Morsi's supporters also include a lot of foreigners. Until he was ousted they also included many "western" leaders including Obama. The idea that nobody loved Morsi except the Egyptian people may be very potent as a legend for the future but it just ain't so.
Morsi was making friends all over, in Qatar, in Paris and in Tel Aviv.

"A majority of Egyptian voters prefer Morsi."
You got the tense wrong, the word is "preferred." It wasn't a majority either: there are more than eighty million Egyptians, 13 million (sorry not 5) is far from being a majority.

"If they lose confidence in him, they can vote him out, if they drastically lose confidence in him their representatives in the other elected branch of government can replace him."

Firstly, they can not "vote him out" unless there are elections.
Secondly, who are "their representatives in the other elected branch of government"?

The truth is, Arnold that we are all profoundly grateful for the attention you have given our posts and for the advocacy of a position that needs to be understood.
But the fact is that Morsi is gone. And he won't be re-elected, because he has proved himself to be a busted flush. In this he is an exemplary representative of the Brotherhood which seems to have run out of ideas, if it ever had any.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2013 4:13 utc | 44

I agree with you, bevin. If we could be sure of a left-liberal result, there or anywhere else, we wouldn't mind paying a few wage increases or leaving a few hospitals (this is the Soros philosophy). But left liberalism also creates an opening to radical leftism, and this is dangerous.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 6 2013 4:15 utc | 45


On the issue of Egypt’s recent developments I agree with you, I don’t think US was left with any better choice than to instigate a soft cope and the demos were helped and inspired. Specially after what happened last month in Turkey, more importantly this shows that US no longer has a coherent policy for Islamic Middle East, US/western policy of promoting moderate Islam to divert and control political steam coming out of the Muslim youth of ME, clearly didn’t work and was defeated by the events of Libya, Syria, Turkey in each case the modern Islamism did not and could not prevail, in each case either it became too extreme and dangerous or it was totally ineffective to fulfill desires of the newly seculars. Therefore in my opinion out any better choice US policy makers resorted to their old medicine of military cope before it became too late to have a say and control, I would think this will send the entire Sunni Muslim Middle East into a long term spinning which out to make the west dizzy for a while, this event is not dangerous to Iran and her allies it actually will help them take some strategic brake.

Posted by: kooshy | Jul 6 2013 4:22 utc | 46

You think he's a busted flush, but you're not most Egyptian voters. Most Egyptian voters have not decided that he's a busted flush. Which leads to the question, when you disagree with most Egyptian voters, why should your position prevail? There is not a pleasant answer to that question. The answer is orientalism, colonialism and islamophobia. Sorry.

The elected representatives of the Egyptian people are the People's Assembly and the Shura Council. Their election was cancelled this spring by the Constitutional Court that now presides over every branch of government with no constitution or rules.

Under the ratified constitution, these representatives had the right to impeach Morsi if he really lost confidence of the Egyptian people to the degree that it was unbearable for him to finish his term and lose reelection.

You also really don't get to count people who don't vote as being on your side anywhere in the world. That's not how elections work.

But instead of organizing 22 million signatures, in the unlikely event that they actually did, if the opposition had organized 22 million voters for the people's assembly, the opposition might have had a majority that would contain if not remove Morsi. Instead they boycotted the election. Because they rightly did not believe they represent a majority of Egyptian voters.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 4:24 utc | 47

I think radical leftism is when somebody is orientalist, colonialist and islamophobic and you call that person orientalist, colonialist and islamophobic.

Really dangerous.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 4:28 utc | 48

"Syria became independant because the British forced out the french Armed forces who had accepted the Vichy Government rather than De Gaulle's London outfir," heath #25

er No- Syrian independence was a foregone conclusion following the League of Nations adoption of the Sykes-Picot agreement on the disposition of territories following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
Basically that meant France was going to be allowed to hang onto Lebanon a larger Lebanon which included the druze, shia & sunni territories I mentioned above, but their occupation of Damascus was always intended to be strictly temporary until the League judged Syria able to become a sovereign state.

This was borne out by the so-called 'decolonisation' following the cessation of hostilities of episode 2 of the european war when Syria & Lebanon's borders were set according to the 1920 San Remo conference, rather than according to the original Lebanon provincial borders.

I agree that considering history on the basis of what occurred rather than a mob of dusty old documents full of major players' broken promises, is the way to go, but in this instance england's chasing out of the Vichy had no real impact on Syria's final status.

None of it really matters except that the belief by englanders that they saved Syria is typical of the historical revisionism used by all empires to soft sell their crimes to their domestic population. afaik england was just as cruel, capricious & greedy in their imperial territories as every other empire has been, yet explaining that even to leftie englanders is a struggle, akin to the self delusional contortions undertaken by amerikan supporters of the democrat party when confronted with evidence of oblamblam's war crimes.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 6 2013 4:29 utc | 49

Wow, thanks Phillipe for the link to the timeline and detailed description of the military's conspiracy against their constitutional commander in chief. Who is the army, before the protests started, taking orders from, if not their commander in chief? This is what $1.5 billion dollars worth of leverage and close military ties to multiple levels of Egypt's military hierarchy looks like in detail.

In his final days, Morsi was isolated but defiant

Morsi searched for allies in the army, ordering two top aides — Asaad el-Sheikh and Rifaah el-Tahtawy — to establish contact with potentially sympathetic officers in the 2nd Field Army based in Port Said and Ismailia on the Suez Canal.

The objective was to find army allies to use as a bargaining chip with el-Sissi, security officials with firsthand knowledge of the contacts said.

There were no signs that Morsi's overtures had any effect, but el-Sissi, on learning of the contacts, took no chances. He issued directives to all unit commanders not to engage in any contacts with the presidential palace and, as a precaution, dispatched elite troops to units whose commanders had been contacted by Morsi's aides.

There is a lot to learn from this counter-revolution, once we get past any impulse we have to sympathize with it.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 5:09 utc | 50

@Arnold Evans | Jul 6, 2013 12:09:43 AM | 43, I see where you wiggling, bevin 44 gave a better narrative that I would have done, I am not that tactful. Just to point out: ‘To consider'- 'C'; billion given to 'Morsi' by the US, so same shit, no better than the last, in fact Mosri took lots of kickbacks, not just the US 'Again', so he dad no loyalties other than suppressing those who spoke out. Going back, with 15+ million in poverty ($1 a day), and another 20 million just surviving, with less than 50% voting and from the voters were a great percentage who just wanted MB out, the whole process was nothing to do with democracy other than going through the motions of democracy, since nothing improved, it just got tighter. Then to reply - 1. "The revolutionary process which led to Mubarak's fall, has been continuous and has now led to Morsi's fall." is spot on. All that got dumped on top was 'Islamic' and Brotherhood, more controls and more isolation. Even if you have a Islamic culture, is it right to enforce this on all, the new and old?

As for "The only thing that counts is your assessment of protests, even though you're not Egyptian". Are you, and where do you live? Hypocrite!

You have an extreme hate for anything other than your ideals that 'Must' be taken on board. As for you assertion; Islamophobia, (A repeating that anal one liner, do you sand in front of as mirror doing it?) a typical 'Playing card', you’re as fake as they come, riding a supposed intellectual white horse but exude toxic fumes from textbook referencing and possibly suffer from Xenophobia.

The reality is we all are bias, we all are not equals, we all are nationalistic, just in varying degrees; so call a spade a spade rather than pursue the victim blame game and sling mud as if you’re a saint, your not, you are just a arse -I know a crippled, black, gay Muslim who had an abused childhood, displaced and works to assist minorities that has more moral fiber in his little finger than you, and never plays 'his' armory of 'Cards', and he could. Its people with your ideals that excluding your own from economic, social, and public life, inside and out, what you are enforcing is utter segregation, nothing is inclusive or choice.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 5:28 utc | 51

Arnold Evans thanks for coming here and making your case for Morsi's right to continue as President. To a large extent I agreed with your arguments -- ousting a democratically elected government through a military coup rarely results in any good. I put my approval in the pass tense because today we have a new situation. Morsi is toast. He lost his mandate from heaven to continue his rule. Your complaints are becoming repetitive.

Today the people of Egypt have a new problem and that is how to prevent the army from reestablishing its rule. I suspect that many of those millions who showed up on the streets of Cairo and ousted Morsi are quite aware that their struggle must continue and that their enemy today resides inside the Egyptian military.

It is time to forget Morsi and see how the Egyptian people solve this new problem. Who knows, maybe a real revolution might emerge from this chaos?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 6 2013 5:32 utc | 52

The Leverett's latest post headline's a Counterpunch article by Esam al-Amin which examines the military coup and the plethora of competing forces/factions involved.
First Reflections on the Egyptian Coup

If someone has already posted a link to this, please the clutter.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 6 2013 5:55 utc | 53

Kev, what do you want me to say? Egyptians voted for the Muslim Brotherhood in six elections. A seventh was scheduled and the opposition preemptively conceded it before the Constitutional Court canceled it. Popular support is, by Egypt's constitution - as well as by every constitution on earth - determined by elections. If it is impossible to get a majority of Egyptians to vote against the Muslim Brotherhood in an election, then the Muslim Brotherhood should be in power. Period. Not my assessment, but the rules in Egypt and also everywhere.

We're not the same. I'm not claiming Egypt's elections should be overruled to reflect my distaste for the MB. If the Egyptians had voted for Mubarak in fair contested elections, I would have supported their right to do that. I don't think my view of Egyptian politics should override the view of the majority of Egypt's voters. So I don't have to try to explain such a position without resorting to orientalism, colonialism or islamophobia. You do. And you can't. Again, sorry.


I kind of agree. I'm upset both at the counter-revolution and at the support the counter-revolution is getting from a part of the internet where I would not have expected such support. Despite being wrong on pretty much every issue, opponents of the MB here have caused me to look in more detail and more carefully at what has actually happened in Egypt this year than I might have otherwise.

There will come a time, probably somewhat soon when I decide that everything I have to say on this has been said on this topic. The urge for last-wordism is a real problem on the internet and I actively work to curtail on the much less frequented comments section on my blog.

I am going to try, even if prompted, to refrain from further comment on this topic that would just be a rephrasing of something I've already written. I think my posts at 43 and 50 capture my argument as well as anything I can write later.

Posted by: Arnold Evans | Jul 6 2013 5:55 utc | 54

Zionism's plan for the middle east is rolling. First, weaken or completely destroy the military. Once that is achieved, divide and conquer becomes a cakewalk.

1. Iraq's army destroyed
2. Libya's army gone.
3. Syria's army exhausted
4. Egypt's army will be targeted next.

Posted by: hilmi hakim | Jul 6 2013 5:56 utc | 55

...please excuse the clutter.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 6 2013 5:57 utc | 56

There is no use to discuss with you. Of the 500 posts on Egypt you mentioned you wrote more than 100. Why such focus? Personal interests? Working for the PR of a government who does not want to lose its contacts within the MB?

You are twisting so many facts that it would be a full-time job to answer you. I quote just one of the latest example, where you say "The elected representatives of the Egyptian people are the People's Assembly and the Shura Council. Their election was cancelled this spring by the Constitutional Court that now presides over every branch of government with no constitution or rules." This is pure BS and you know it.

Thanks for stating that you think governements should be protests- and demonstration- proofs. Nothing should remove them except waiting for the next election letting them totally bankrupt the country, in case they started to do so, something like the UK and Netherlands monarchies. Or maybe Africa? The Somalization of Iraq, Lybia, Syria and now Egypt is certainly the dream of many people in the region.

You probably consider that Bassam Youssef and the people who watch him and have participated in gathering the momentum (they followed the progresses of the Tamarod petition, saying it was at 7 millions at the beginning of June and encouraging people to sign it,) are CIA operatives and organized the whole thing with the army?
There is no doubt that the activists are angry against the army shooting at the MB protesters now (just as they themselves have been killed by the SCAF in Muhammad Mahmud and at Maspero), but the fact is, the MB have weapons, use the rhetoric of djihad and martyrdom on a daily basis, and therefore are not "peaceful" opponents. Even among the MB Morsi has disappointed many, and I think the army bets on the fact that only the violent currents (of the MB but also of Abu Ismail, who was arrested yesterday, and other Salafi currents) will stay on the ground and "be dealt with".

The army has announced yesterday that it will publish the material it has showing that the MB and others (there are many currents in the MB, not all of them are pro-terrorism) were planning a bombing campaign in Egypt. Behind that, there is probably simply that they have enough against a few personalities in term of undeclared weapon to put them in jail.
But what remains is that indeed, Egypt was being transformed into a hub for Lybians and Daghestani djihadists to go to Lybia/Algeria/Jordan/Syria, and this, you can imagine, is not acceptable. When the MB turned a blind eye (not to say more) on the gathering of Lybian weapons in Sinai, and thought that to nominate an ex-Djihad al Islami guy to negotiate with the groups who have killed soldiers at the al Arish border or kidnapped toursist, they should have known they were taking risk. This has nothing to do with the sacrality of the ballot boxes. Democracy is not just an election. Democracy is the principle of equality of all citizens: men and women, muslim and non-muslim.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 6 2013 6:16 utc | 57

Mr Evans does seem to be posting as many comments as everyone else put together (including a fairly long verbatim repost of a comment of his own from the previous thread). They are all very repetitive in their arguments. This is flooding the comments board, which is surely not a welcome tactic by the standards of most comments boards.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 6 2013 6:37 utc | 58

#54 Arnold. As I mentioned before you have made an honorable defense of Morsi. It is too late for him today. But you might be interested in this (you probably have seen this and it seems it is indirectly linked above): This article also describes many of the problems you raised. However, it misses the point that Morsi is history and if what is happening in Egypt right now is a revolution in progress then the author is missing it.

Something else you seem to not really understand. A number of times you have wondered why so many of us who have been attracted to MoA seem to be backing this military coup against a democratically elected government. It does seem strange. Here is what is happening -- the Morsi government is the result of a compromise that occurred during an insurrection that had many factions. It is basically an unsettled reform. Many of us, me included, wish to see more and that is a real revolution. This new situation makes that a possibility for Egypt. Anyone with any historical understanding must realize that these situations can end very badly and maybe gradual reform might be more prudent. We can list the precedents: the French revolution, Europe in 1848, Germany in 1919 to 1932, Russia in 1917 and China in 1949. Those are some ugly precedents.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 6 2013 6:48 utc | 59

I hear Egypt is a land of millions of unemployed crowding both sides of a big river without oil or any major industry. No way yet has been discovered to manage such a place. But we know voting doesn't work; nor, prayer.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 5, 2013 5:47:51 PM | 11

Egypt does have natural resources and an industry. It has a trade deficit though, is in debt, and is dependent on food import. That makes it vulnerable to the currency devaluation it needs to be competitive.

It has an army of half a million and one million reserves in a population of 80 million. This is the business there is.

The US pays $ 2.000 per Egyptian soldier. That money does not go anywhere, as US weapon have to be bought with that, i.e. the US provides close to nothing for the Egyptian economy.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 7:01 utc | 60

Assad hated Morsi, when during the NAM convention in Tehran, Morsi stated his support for the Syrian people but expressed his distaste for Assad. I believe he even called him a dictator. So is Assad happy Morsi has been toppled and hasn't been? You betcha.
I think Odummy also described the government in Egypt as neither an Enemy nor an ally. Not an auspicious way to start a relationship.
Morsi then tried to buddy up with China.
Then tried to romance Iran.
Didn't work, pissed off USA and got the other Sunni countries upset.
The economy was and is still in the shits, so Masar, why do people keep calling it Egypt, it's Masar!!!!!
So, fine Egypt is limping along recieving injections of cash every so often. The country is weak. This means more trouble for Dr. Morsi.
Instead of uniting the country and telling them that he wants the support of every Egyptian he starts tightening the screws.
More religion.
Then he commits the gravest of sins in my eyes. He shuts down the tunnels that feed the Palestinians of Gaza.
So now he is a lackey of the Zionists. He is a hypocrite a liar & a slave to Tel Aviv.
I'm glad he was sent on a vacation. For not helping the Palestinian brothers and sisters he is slime.

The army needs to step back and let the people find the method or manner of government they desire. I think they are doing a good job. Provide stability and security. The rest the people will handle.

The Israelis should not be happy, the tribes that live in the Sinai, they are calling Jihad against Israel and will take the chance to kill any Jews they can find.
The Egyptian army is an ineffective tool since it cannot control those tribes or jihadis either.
Plus, there is the looming conflict with Ethiopia over water rights.
Ever since Egypt was separated from Sudan at independence it was doomed to be a crippled country. Egypt and Sudan were always one place and the people are like family. That would have been a true world power. A real force to be contended with. However Egypt in its current iteration is to weak to go forward and too much has happened for it to try to recreate the past.
Sudan itself has been divided further. An outrage, a new paradigm is needed for Egypt, so that this amazing country can blaze a trail once more.

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 6 2013 7:02 utc | 61

@Arnold, you are just text book writing yet again and back to playing that 'card' - Rules? Who plays by the rules, you certainly don’t on your blog, that is where your process breaks down. My take and the exclusions/limitations created by Morsi -The Brotherhood has 600,000+ dues paying members in Egypt alone. It is a ‘Gang’ at its goal is ‘Power’ as a Islamic cult, yes cult, where the affiliated give 5% to 8% of their earning, and if they don’t they are penalized even pressured, even physical threats.

The main aspect is the Quran, Governance or Government is in turn ‘Religious ideology’, not the best method to run a Country or allow ‘democracy’. Being serious now; what effect or good can come from The ‘Brotherhood's credo’; "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."? Part of Its vision; work to unify Islamic countries and states, mainly among the Arab states, yet is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states?
Do you want a Nation to be economically stable, productive and inclusive, or do you want regional tension and Egypt to become isolationist with a Islamic only rule?

Does Egypt still need a dictator? Possibly, since it has not experienced anything other and this is a fast transition, but to jump from one dictator to another is not what the people want, nor do they want the increase of poverty, suffering, and to become isolated.

@hilmi hakim | Jul 6, 2013 1:56:34 AM | 55, that is a bit overly, arms sales are far too important. You could say a shift in power, and each for various reasons, most just economic and Industrial, Libya by far the worst case as of yet. However who done it? If I asked you jump off a cliff would you, and herein lays the problem, blame the West, when it is the greed on the inside that accepts. Not even Nationalism is truly nationalistic, it sells out its own.

During 2008–12, 19 per cent of all major arms transfers to the Middle East went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), followed by Saudi Arabia (18 per cent), Turkey (17 per cent) and Iraq (10 per cent). What is happening is who selling and to what markets China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states, it now out does UK in terms of arms sales. SIPRI's list of the top 5 arms exporters in 2008-2012 (share of international exports in parenthesis):

1. United States (30 percent).
2. Russia (26).
3. Germany (7).
4. France (6).
5. China (5).

Here is the US perspective

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 7:11 utc | 62

@ somebody | Jul 6, 2013 3:01:19 AM | 60, bar the mil stuff, Egypt has economic viability.

The Suez Canal, one of the most vital waterways for international shipping and one of its most lucrative, is a 192 km passage dividing Africa from the Middle East. Carved out of the desert in 1869, the canal processes 3.35 million tonnes of cargo per day, 7% of all the sea-transported trade in the world. By offering an enormous shortcut to a long and expensive course around the Cape of Good Hope, Suez has transformed the international exchange of goods over the past century since its completion in 1869. It has also provided a financial lifeline to the largest country in the Arab World.

Shipping companies shell out an average of USD 250,000 to make a single trip between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and the resultant revenues – around USD 400 million a month in 2010 – are a crucial source of income and foreign exchange for Egypt, especially following the Arab Spring upheavals which have buffeted the economy badly.

It’s weakness is Agri/Farming, the U.S.'s largest market for wheat and corn sales, accounting for US$1 billion annually and about 46% of Egypt's needs from imported wheat. It also subsidizes bread and most are in poverty right now.

Gold production facilities are now reality from the Sukari Hills, located close to Marsa Alam in the Eastern Desert. The concession of the mine was granted to Centamin, an Australian joint stock company, with a gold exploitation lease for a 160-square-kilometer area. Sami El-Raghy, Centamin Chairman, has repeatedly stated that he believes Egypt's yearly revenues from gold in the future could exceed the total revenues from the Suez Canal, tourism and the petroleum industry.

The Egyptian tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in the economy, in terms of high employment and incoming foreign currency. In 2009/10 tourism in Egypt constituted 1% of the world's tourism market, that is fking epic, shame it’s tit’s up at the moment.

All this hype about other countries taking our 'Egypt' is just such crap. It's the leadrship allowing it, and simply because they are to lazy to do anything. You offer and youth on the streets right my the chance to live in the US, UK, 99 out of 100 would in a heart beat. You go to invest and they will grab your money, go on Holiday, they love you; when thats gone, blame everyone but the root of the problem; 'Religion' and 'politics' as the political ethos, they dont mix and should not mix...

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 7:37 utc | 63


Not so sure about that. Israel love the egyptian army, thus they support this coup.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 7:46 utc | 64

64, anonymous, objectively the Muslim Brotherhood attacking pro coup demonstrators (or vise versa, I think both sides are capable/motivated for that), and Al Qeida threatening the army "in support of Mursi" now plays in favor of the Egyptian army justifying a crack down.

I also consider the Muslim Brotherhood as a cult like organization for whom democracy and human rights are not a goal but means for a goal - and that goal is not democratic.

The West's "support" is hypocritical as always - and the "threat" Western elites supported in Libya, Syria and maybe even now in Egypt is used to justify absolute control of its own populations.

This here is the Daily Telegraph

Syria a 'game changer' for UK terror threat, warns Home Office intelligence chief The Syrian conflict has become a “profound game changer” and poses the biggest terror threat to the UK and Europe for a decade, the Home Office’s terror chief has warned. ... James Brokenshire, the security minister, told the conference the trade off between national security and civil liberties was under the greatest pressure in the country’s history.

He signalled that leaks such as the Edward Snowden exposes, could put lives at risk by revealing sensitive techniques and methods.

However, the minister stopped short of commenting directly on the case or criticising the Guardian newspaper, which published the leaks.

The scandal has raised concerns over the level of snooping on individuals and friendly states by the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ.

Mr Brokenshire said the public would be forgiven for thinking the main threat to freedoms came from those tasked with protecting them but insisted that was not true.

He said it was right that people were able to challenge the activities of the security and intelligence services.

But given that so much of people’s lives are now online he said the balance between protecting their security and their liberty was “more pressing than at any moment in our history”

This here is the Washington Post

In those respects, the government of Mohamed Morsi differed little from those of Juan Perón in Argentina, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela or Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand. However, its excesses fell well short of those of Chávez, or Chile’s Salvador Allende;

unlike Shinawatra or Perón, Morsi did not set up militias or establish death squads. Although his government failed to compromise with opponents and sought to concentrate its power, it made only modest attempts to impose its Islamic ideology on the country and did not seek to alter Egypt’s capitalist economy, which was slowly sinking but not imploding. It preserved crucial foreign relationships with the United States and Israel.

Muslim Brotherhood's members might not realize it but the Muslim Brotherhood serves Western interests just fine.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 8:21 utc | 65

MB attacking protesters? What does that even mean, they have no power! Its the military that have cracked down on MB. There are Mursi supporters who protests against this. Cult? Again they are elected.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 10:04 utc | 66

66) fact is, it is not the army fighting against protesters, it is protesters fighting against each other.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 10:13 utc | 67

The issue is the world bank loan accompanied by austerity measures i e cut of food and diesel subsidies.

If Egyptians let themselves played off against each other on life style issues that is what they will get.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 10:22 utc | 68

the chess board has changed from black/white to green/red -us +west vs china+east

crucial pieces are the suez canal and Libyan oil plus African resources

the fight for control of the suez canal has begun which will lead to western intervention.oil prices will rise and producers will intervene.the present Egyptian revolution is a smoke screen for control of the Sinai and the insurgency that started last year in the Sinai,the build up of us forces and the war games in Jordan were preparations for this scenario.

Chinese container traffic to Europe will suffer so the ground is being prepared for this project too

American aid to Egypt is being challenged by the Chinese so the us engineered a coup to alter the balance

attack in Benghazi was the loss of a knight ------loss of morsi a rook

so how will the us respond

easiest will be a blockade of Chinese container ships both through the suez and around Africa (Obama visit to to ask for assistance----his African roots a timely connection --was that why he was elected
roots and boots I called it or alternatively the sinking of a Chinese ship by "rebels" in the next month will signal intent

Posted by: mcohen | Jul 6 2013 10:41 utc | 69


There is 3 parties Mursi supporters + opposition + military where the military support the opposition.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 10:44 utc | 70

70 Meaning the army does not support Mursi, protect Mursi supporters or Muslim Brotherhood headquarters. They do not protect anti Mursi protesters either. So when Mursi supporters clash with anti Mursi protesters the army looks on when clashes get out of hand this will be the justification for a curfew and crack down on any protests.
Already there are many measures (like installing a Mubarak era intelligence chief) that under normal circumstances most anti Mursi protesters would strongly disagree with - the Muslim Brotherhood has managed to unite everybody from Salafis to Western style libertarians to consider the Muslim Brotherhood the main enemy and prefer the rule of the army.
It is a huge Mursi/MB policy fail.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 11:04 utc | 71


Actually they do, very similar how the military once ignored tho stop the attacks by pro-mubaraks during the initial protests against Mubarak.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 11:13 utc | 72

@Anonymous | Jul 6, 2013 6:04:40 AM | 66, Yes a Cult - Becoming a Muslim Brotherhood is a long, intricate and intensive procedure which often involves subterfuge. Prospective candidates at universities are chosen without their knowledge and groomed within the context of non-political social activities while children of MB members are targeted as early as 9 years of age. This recruitment process only culminates in full membership after 5 to 8 years. The Muslim Brotherhood’s internal cohesiveness and ideological rigidity derives from its highly selective membership process. Local members scout for recruits at virtually every Egyptian university. These recruiters begin by approaching students who show strong signs of piety. Certain members of the Muslim Brotherhood are supposed to meet and befriend new students and engage them in very normal, nonpolitical activities — football, tutoring — stuff that appeals to everyone, then the process starts. even the name Muslim Brotherhood sounds misogynistic, yet they do have a female chapter 'The Sisterhood'. Walid Shoebat, Former Muslim Brotherhood
Member Now Peace Activist - The “Sisterhood” List and It’s Defined Goals.

Eric Trager* writing for Foreign Affairs magazine provides a detailed description of the process:

Ziad Aql - writing in the Daily News Egypt –in an article borrowing heavily from Eric Trager’s piece- goes on to say:
“Joining the Muslim Brotherhood is not an easy task; it is a process that takes years and years. It is not a matter of filling an application or attending a couple of meetings or even donating some money; it is a process that rids you of your individuality and turns you into another cog in the a machine, or in the words of Roger Waters, another brick in the wall.”

Ziad Aql is a political sociologist and a Middle East specialist at the AhramCenter for Political and Strategic Studies. He is a senior researcher at the Egyptian Studies Unit and managing editor of the periodical “Egyptian Affairs.”

They extend beyond Egypt and have storng political footing, for example he Muslim Brotherhood (The Society of the Muslim Brothers) controls the most powerful political organization in Jordan and beween them both are spread globally.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 11:38 utc | 73

You don't have to go to rabid FrontPageMag-type anti-Islamists like Walid Shoebat. Just look at the "MB in English" blog, which I cited yesterday, and read some translations of originally arabic-only stories from the Ikhwan's official website:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 6 2013 11:43 utc | 74


Sounds like a regular political party/movment then, which it is.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 11:53 utc | 75

73) kev, I agree with you to a large extent, however, no organization can "control" a large membership if this membership does not see the organization working for their interests.

Muslim Brothers could realize that it is in their interest to negotiate alliances and coexist with other parts of society. It would need tolerance and presumably would mean splits in the Muslim Brotherhood. As is they are a force to keep Muslims down.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 11:55 utc | 76

mcohen @ 69 -- On what grounds could a Western blockade of Chinese shipping through the Suez Canal be justified? Even if it can be made to look like the coup leaders or civilian leader of Egypt undertaking such a blockade?

Intriguing hypotheses.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 6 2013 12:04 utc | 77

@Anonymous | Jul 6, 2013 7:53:32 AM | 74, last time I checked my local parties none were of a ramming religious ideology down my throat in terms of politics or gave some like credo’; "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations." etc, that would be scary! I would expect that from a Cult though?

@73, If you vote Rep/Dem (In the millions, so large) many as disgruntled at the policies but still are Rep/Dem, I guess that human nature, hoping for something better - One day! However in such a case and with a strong religious undertone, you just don’t argue. It’s just not in Islam, take Iglesia ni Cristo, also the same MO, dues, enforced rules, clear male dominance, thug culture, both are noted for bloc voting, known for its strong political influence and about the same decade of conception as the Muslim Brotherhood ironically.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 12:24 utc | 78


Thats because you dont belong to a religious party?

Instead you hear: Capitalism is the way, secularism is the way, President is our leader. Etc.

Besides there is no:
"ramming" "down my throat" "cult"

Very sad how Orientalism seems to be vibrant here.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 12:39 utc | 79

Those who consider the current situation in Egypt as some sort of ongoing revolution where the people will eventually get what they need are indulging in wishful thinking, worse, they have thrown aside the realities of a century of people's uprisings in favour of discredited theories promulgated nearly 200 years ago.

The best thing the original Egyptian revolution had going for it was that it was totally unexpected.
fukusi was completely unprepared for what happened and were forced to compromise to escape with anything.
That is certainly not the situation now, they will be busy 'gaming' every imaginable egyptian scenario and developing strategies to counter every attempt to move Egypt away from the tightly controlled route they have pre-determined.

Since the undertakings made by the military at the time of Mubarak's ouster we have seen time & time again that the army bosses have resiled from their initial agreements & at every opportunity have worked closely with the corrupt judiciary to water down much of the freedom of political expression that had initially been conceded in the face of the anti-mubarak protests.

Why would anyone infer from that the army will now do the opposite and open up political expression?

Because there will be further protests? Bullshit! - everyone is forgetting that when push came to shove in Tahrir square & Alex during the original revolution, that the bourgeois urbanites - students & technocrats were getting their asses handed to them until the MB let their youth branches of young working class & unemployed egyptians join in support of the students.
Those MB cadres have been copping it rough from both the army & the police since then despite the efforts of Morsi & co to prevent it.

Now Morsi has gone the army has been ruthless as it ever was in mubarak times, with its determination to smash any organised resistance from the proletariat (not a term I like using but lower class is an even worse way of labelling the millions of young egyptians who have been born without a pot to piss in).

The army & police allowed/encouraged/enabled the latest round of protests, but now the army bosses have what they want - carte blanche to unilaterally rearrange & rewrite all the constitution, all avenues of public political expression will be closed off.

The excuse they give will be the bloody events that are about to occur all over Egypt as MB members express their anger & disgust at their unjust & undemocratic ouster.

I still can't get why so many MoA-ites refuse to confront the reality of what has happened in Egypt. If this is some sort of twisted revenge fantasy over Syria, I am frankly disgusted that people many of whom held opinions I respected, could be so narrow minded & petty.
Painting the world into areas of black or white is the action of mental midgets.

Posted by: debs is dead | Jul 6 2013 12:41 utc | 80

@ jawbone | Jul 6, 2013 8:04:28 AM | 76 & 69, good point, the US lost huge ground to the Chinese in Africa, and still are in W. Africa, it would be a massive blow well a couple of thousand km's. Under an International agreement it may be used in time of war as in time of peace, I don’t think they could block directly, but could turn a blind eye to incidents. Interestingly, and possibly the Chinese have thought on this, Israel has declared that it will construct a railroad through the Negev desert, to compete with the Suez canal and that the construction will partly be financed by China.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 12:43 utc | 81

debs is dead

Very good points.

Especially this:

"I still can't get why so many MoA-ites refuse to confront the reality of what has happened in Egypt. If this is some sort of twisted revenge fantasy over Syria, I am frankly disgusted that people many of whom held opinions I respected, could be so narrow minded & petty."

If Egypt would have supported Assad, one wouldnt have seen people now enjoying a coup against the MB. But this is the problem with many on the left, they have become too ignorant.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 12:48 utc | 82

Agree with him or not, Arnold has the most well argued comments of anyone here. At this point, it is obvious he is not trying to re-instant Morsi, but perhaps continued debate will reveal how the color revolution, if this is one, has been refined and modified.

Now for the sake of argument, let us assume this was a carefully planned color movement, planned from abroad. How is it different from the other ones we have seen, say Iran in 2009.

1) There really was no breathless coverage in the media, none of the "protesters good-government evil" simplifications.

2) The US took pains to make it seem it was either taking no sides, or pretending to be sympathetic to the side being deposed.

3) There seems to be no official color.

4) Organization of mass movements seems to have been greatly improved, thus creating the very successful illusion of a majority. (Given Egypt's population density, this is easier to do there than elsewhere.) They could not come close to this in Iran, even in the first week post election, before the crackdown began.

I'm sure one can think of other differences. Whether that is because this was legitimate revolution, or a new improved color movement without the color rremains to be seen. Whether the fullness of time proves Arnold right or wrong, we should be aware that western intelligence agencies are fully capable of adapting and improving their methods of subversion.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 6 2013 13:26 utc | 83

Anonymous | Jul 6, 2013 8:39:22 AM | 78,

That is correct, I don’t, and luckily by choice, something good in being afforded that right to choose. As for ‘Orientalism’ I do noticed that term tends to be used mostly by Orientals living in the West, strange that! One could also say Far too much Occidentalism here?

Yes one may hear capitalism etc, but you are not ‘Legally’ bound or tied in, and if you express your opinion ‘Freedom of speech’ should prevail (I will use ‘Should’ lightly, that’s like walking on egg shell's today) - I am not from the US before you ask.

Rammed – OK, that is a cultural disparity and view and a bit of colloquial vernacular. But for me; and say I wanted to live in Egypt, I would be ostracized to a greater extent just because I am not Islamic. Rammed - force Allah’s law and spiritual goals of Islam as the true religion, and anything else is bad, is pretty pushy, I would call that rammed -but let’s not split hairs.

Though interpretations of sharia vary between cultures, in its strictest definition it is considered the infallible law of God—as opposed to the human interpretation of the laws, again something that is cultural and very different, in terms of International Law, its conflicting, thus not universal. Some countries have maintained institutional recognition of sharia, and use it to adjudicate their personal and community affairs. In Britain, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal makes use of sharia family law to settle disputes the same return and respect is not afforded to a ‘Brit’ under Morsi in Egypt for example, so not very open, just a one way street. I guess I would be classed as a 'infidel', so that would be problematic, at least for me. In this light I see it as totalitarian a Political/Religious program as is/was fascism, national socialism, Japanese imperialism, etc along with a militant backing and total isolation. I am not going to get into specifics, but it alienates, segregates, dominates, forces as it professes the World is against it, it’s a puzzling paradox.

All I am saying, religion should be private, Politics should be free of religion and a governing Law should be for all i.e. International Law. as globalization is now here and thus important, at least that is my view.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 14:02 utc | 84

definition of revolution:
"a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system"

definition of government:
the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office

definition of coup
a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government

Let's see:
Egyptian ministers of defense: Mubarak, Tantawi, Sisi (still there after the "coup" - all army.
Egyptian interior ministers: Mansour el-Essawy (police), Mohamed Youssef Ibrahim (police), Ahmed Gamal El Din (military, police), Mohamed Ibrahim (still there after the so called coup :-))

These are the positions that have the control of executive power. They were not overthrown. Same is true for many other posts holding central power including the judiciary.

The Muslim Brotherhood attempted a revolution = overthrow of government via elections and presidential decree. That just is not how it is done.

So obviously it is neither a revolution nor a coup. It is a regime trying to gain democratic legitimacy.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 14:09 utc | 85



Thats the problem, we are not talking about you here, not your views, not your world view, not your interpretation. We are talking about Egypt and what they voted for.

Yes unfortunately there is alot of orientalist arguments here which unfortunately you contribute to deliberate or not.
Besides you dont have to be islamic(sic) to be an egyptian. And Islam is not a fascist religion, however often pushed in the west by loonies as Pam Geller, Hirsi.

I find it funny how you seems critical of islam/muslims and seems worried about minorities in Egypt. Then I assume you care very much about the minorities such as muslims and islamists in UK where I assume you come from?

Also, in fact capitalism is part of western society whetever one like it or not and cant be "voted away", however thats another question.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 6 2013 14:18 utc | 86

But left liberalism also creates an opening to radical leftism, and this is dangerous.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 6, 2013 12:15:42 AM | 45

How does that work? Do these "radical leftists" descend from Mars?

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 6 2013 14:32 utc | 87

I'm speaking from the point of view of the reigning capitalist elite, not from my own point of view. To give an obvious example, some consider that tame trades unions are safer than no unions at all. So they legalise unions and spend quite a bit of time and money making sure they are tame, by favouritising their leaders. Others consider that the whole concept of trades unions is too dangerous because it gives the rank and file workers dangerous ideas, and parallel or underground union organisations may develop beneath the cover of the 'tame' ones. So they declare that all unions are against the freedom of the market. This has been happening in the USA, in some states (the euphemism is "Right To Work", which means in practice non-union labour):
So that's an example, where the left liberals at all levels from the shop floor to the white house would say, no, it's actually safer to have unions, and manipulate them, but the others, call them what you like, right-wing liberals, 'conservatives' or whatever, say no, the whole concept of trade unions is dangerous in principle.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 6 2013 14:42 utc | 88


Can you define what YOU mean by orientalism?
And why can't Kev be critical of Islam, are you implying he is islamophobic? That discussing Islam is a hands of topic and it's only ok to criticize capitalism, Christianity and I dunno tree trunks?

Debs is dead

Very good points


Very interesting hypothesis, the Chinese are making huge inroads.

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 6 2013 14:51 utc | 89

@88, condescending much? You don't have to link to Wikipedia, I know what Right-to-work means.

But who are the dangerous ones, the "radical leftists" or the "right-wing liberals"?

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 6 2013 15:07 utc | 90

mcohen (69)

While I agree that it may seem attractive for zusa to control or block Suez, I'm quite certain that such an attempt would turn out to be a suicidal undertaking.

For start, zusa would any and all legitimacy in their demand to respect the freedom of passage through the Iran controlled gulf which would actually be a double whopper because that passage is extremely important for zusa herself.

And how would they do it? Would zusa be ready to engage in a war? That is very strongly to be doubted. Or, as you seem to suggest, through "rebels"? Sounding more realistic at first. But: That would invite and legitimize other parties to fight those rebel (who would, sure enough, very soon be declared "terrorists"). And again zusa were on the losing end.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking your view. Actually, you have strong points on your side considering that zusa has again and again acted criminally and instigated much turmoil. I'm just certain that it would turn against themselves and that, maybe I'm to generous here and erring, even zusa's stupidity has limits.

And there is more. While I do not want to discuss here and now how exactly that whole Snowden thing worked it seems obvious that its effect was, among others, to show zusa as a liar and thug who loves to play holdng the moral high ground but actually - and now very obviously - is routinely as much below the moral high ground as a country can possibly be.

Thanks to Mr. Snowden a further zusa attempt to somehow magically have "rebels" or "fighters for democracy" appear at a location of zusas interest wouldn't need to be a longterm bloodbath with faible diplomatic attempts around it (like Syria). No, meanwhile the situation has changed and would allow for Russia, China (or both) to quite quickly and openly demask the events and to engage, militarily if needed.
And funnily even the European whore who loves so much to have well filled showrooms and shop shelfs would, if secretely, wish Russia (or whomever) the best of luck and Suez free again.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jul 6 2013 15:28 utc | 91

The world according to DebsisDead @80.

"Those who consider the current situation in Egypt as some sort of ongoing revolution where the people will eventually get what they need are indulging in wishful thinking, worse, they have thrown aside the realities of a century of people's uprisings in favour of discredited theories promulgated nearly 200 years ago."

Or, to put it another way, revolution is impossible. The history of the C20th proves this.
Which is nonsense. Revolutions will fail until one succeeds and then all will be changed.
And the reality, that the wizards who run the Empire are rather unimaginative, greedy, immoral little cowards, with a "thing" about cops, who have built nothing but simply pull the levers and press the buttons of an evil system of exploitation which they inherited from past generations of nasty, narrow minded, racist scum who never built anything, will kick in. The slave in revolt is always worth half a dozen masters.

The supermen behind the curtain are not just ordinary, but less than ordinary because they decided, early on, to take the easy way, do as they were told and fasten their teeth into the arteries of the weak.
You talk about them as if, what with their "game theories" to help them, and their armed guards they are invulnerable. On the contrary, if the history of "peoples uprisings" for many more than two centuries proves anything it is that these elites dissolve when spat upon. And disappear when chased.

"The best thing the original Egyptian revolution had going for it was that it was totally unexpected."

To whom was it unexpected? Ever since Sadat signed up with Israel and the USA this House of Cards has been doomed. It could not last and it was bound to fall. Was it unexpected? Of course: any change is unexpected to cynics and pessimists. But to anyone with an acquaintance with history it was inevitable.

"fukusi was completely unprepared for what happened and were forced to compromise to escape with anything."

This is another matter. And it tells us something important about imperialism: it is run by-see above-people are not very bright or motivated. They spend their lives running a system that doesn't bear thinking about, so they don't think, if they can help it.

Here's a question. When did the imperialists last get anything right? For all their trillions of dollars spent on "intelligence" they completely missed the slow motion collapse of the Soviet Union, for example. They didn't see the Shah slipping either. It took Stalingrad to convince them that the Wehrmacht was mortal.
They are probably quietly confident that the Hashemites and the Sauds will live for ever (bathed in the adoration of the Arab masses).

So they were totally surprised by Mubarak's fall? Yes they were. Don't tell us that you were.

"That is certainly not the situation now, they will be busy 'gaming' every imaginable egyptian scenario and developing strategies to counter every attempt to move Egypt away from the tightly controlled route they have pre-determined."

How will they manage this, then? They can game away until they become skilled at it, but the reality is that the Brotherhood fell because it could not get to grips with the contradictions of plummeting living standards and rising expectations.
Tell us when the Pentagon's computers come up with an answer to that one. There is a market for it in Greece, Portugal, Italy, France...everywhere.
They may "pre-determine" as much as they like but under the current system there is not enough food to go around the people of Egypt, a ruling class living like pharaohs and international creditors skimming a usurer's percentage off every plate that comes out of the kitchen.

"Since the undertakings made by the military at the time of Mubarak's ouster we have seen time & time again that the army bosses have resiled from their initial agreements & at every opportunity have worked closely with the corrupt judiciary to water down much of the freedom of political expression that had initially been conceded in the face of the anti-mubarak protests."

Yes we have.
And the MB went right along with them. It simply asked for a few jobs for its boys and everything else, from pumping sewage into Gaza's aquifers and despatching hard men to blow up alawi villages, to licking Obama's footwear in the White House, was acceptable.
Even though these policies passed unmentioned during Arnold's six election campaigns. And one to come.

I'm not ashamed of being optimistic. Nor of admiring the fighting spirit and courage of the poor people of Egypt. They may very well fail: the probability is always that revolutionaries will fail.
But the alternative is not an endless procession of tedious election campaigns-hellish though that prospect is- but the end of the human race and thousands of other species too.

There is no alternative to a rising of humanity against imperialism.
And the good news is that imperialism is a paper tiger: its muscles are made up of young men and women who are capable of transforming themselves from NSA grunts into heroes of virtue.

And, by the way, that much vaunted Egyptian military consists of hundreds of thousands of potential Snowdens with guns by their beds. Not unlike the Russian Army in 1917.

PS Anyone who wants to read an interesting article on Arnold Evans's democracy should go to:

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2013 15:36 utc | 92

For the American-British_Zionist cabal their motto is Never let a crisis go to waste. In other words, using your global levers, always be ready to either incite unrest when need be or simply exploit unrest that may spontaneously arise. This formula naturally applies to political unrest as well as economic unrest.

Posted by: hans | Jul 6 2013 15:48 utc | 93

Anonymous | Jul 6, 2013 10:18:20 AM | 86,

‘I’ feel your just baiting because it’s what you do best (Poorly) when you’re disjointed.

OK; So your Egyptian and in Egypt ? Secondly is this is a ‘orientalist’ (WTF?) site by definition purely, and ‘I’ in your mind’s eye cannot comment or deliberate, ‘I’ must just concede to your values? BTW, I have some great Oriental art depicting aspects of Middle Eastern culture where I spent five or more years in the region. My wife is oriental, now there’s a thing, her best friend is Muslim, and she is a friend of mine, and her hubby a South American who converted to Islam, still a good bloke, in fact nothing changed, he was always bearded, but still drinks beer!

I know you don’t have to be Islamic to be Egyptian, however you ‘DO’ need to be Islamic in the eyes of the ‘Brotherhood’ , and they by all accounts fascists that wants to turn the country into a fascist state dominated by demagoguery with a religious devout overtones that has caused alienation - just a point.

As for your ‘Capitalist’ comments - No bearing on me or is it my line, following, lean, but you like to chuck out there for some reason, much like I could say, sectarian violence is a part of ‘Islamic’ society and can’t be voted away - On that note; Gunmen shot dead a Coptic Christian priest in Egypt's Northern Sinai, just could be the first sectarian attack since the military overthrow of ‘Islamist’ (Brotherhood) President Mohamed Missery.

Yes, I am critical of the Brotherhood and its forced Islamic values, likewise I am critical of the Catholic Church for various reasons. In both I do not like the segregation values they emulate and the hypocritical BS they spew.

In that, "nae wonder some foke oan here dae ma heed in alwas seams tae b the samefoke nothn betr tae dae than bug foke. Away n' bile yir head ya stumur, dont be sae stupit; ya bampot” will give you a more geographical orientation of my roots.

Posted by: kev | Jul 6 2013 15:55 utc | 94

Git intae the radge Kev, goan yersel son!

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jul 6 2013 16:03 utc | 95

wow, US ambassador Anne Patterson's speech on June 18th in Cairo - on June 30th

Dr. Saad asked me to speak today about the United States government's relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.


I know that some would counter that the U.S. Government, specifically the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, has had contact with the Muslim Brotherhood for more than two decades. Is this not, they might ask, evidence of a long-term plan or conspiracy to support the Muslim Brotherhood to replace the government of former President Hosni Mubarak?

An understanding of how nations deal with each other will show that I believe such speculation is groundless. Like many other countries, the United States--in addition to dealing with the political actors running any given government--also maintains contacts with those out of power. This is in keeping with our belief in universal rights and values: we seek to ensure that the diverse views of all citizens are fairly represented and that their human rights are respected. It also is consistent with America's self interest: today's political outcasts may be tomorrow's leaders, and therefore it is wise to get to know them and their views. This may seem like a very simple picture compared to the complicated scenarios proposed by some. But I think if you look at history, you will find that the simple explanations invariably are the correct ones.


Some say that street action will produce better results than elections. To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical.

Egypt needs stability to get its economic house in order, and more violence on the streets will do little more than add new names to the lists of martyrs. Instead, I recommend Egyptians get organized. Join or start a political party that reflects your values and aspirations. Egyptians need to know a better path forward. This will take time. You will have to roll up your sleeves and work hard. Progress will be slow and you often will feel frustrated. But there is no other way.

Ladies and gentlemen, democracy is a means, not an end. There is no winner, except for the people, who have the right to choose. They are the real power brokers, and it is your responsibility to help them see your vision. Every day, my colleagues and I at the U.S. Embassy meet with Egyptians from across the political spectrum. If you belong to a party or a trend and feel that we have overlooked your views, please tell me, and get in touch with us. We want to get to know you, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

That's why the Muslim Brotherhood miscalculated so badly ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 6 2013 16:14 utc | 96


I'm sorry Arnold, I see no reason that "enormous outpourings of anger" and "month-long planning" are mutually exclusive. It's called political organizing and it's no different from the organization that brought down Mubarak. You can't deny all the millions in the streets. Every single soul had a motivation to be there, and it wasn't "oh, I bet the CIA is gonna love this".

"During revolutionary times elections don't count. The only thing that counts is your assessment of protests, even though you're not Egyptian." Arnold, this is my assessment indeed but that, of course, is unimportant. It's obviously also the assessment of the millions of Egyptians who made the decision to risk their lives to go out on the streets.

I can't figure out what you're fighting anymore. It seems less focused on the fact that the protests triggered the coup and all that means and instead to be worried about how people in the west are taking this. Please don't uncouple my feelings from the protestors on the streets in Egypt. My opinion on this whole event is based on their concerns.

I believe that the massive protests of the Tamarod we're a huge organized political action of millions and millions of Egyptian souls to move their country in the right direction. You'd like to reduce it to a CIA plot. History will tell the answer to that.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 6 2013 16:16 utc | 97

Wall Street Journal says Egypt needs a Pinochet

Just as you might expect. Who's surprised?

The chances of an election actually taking place are usually pretty low, after a military coup. We are just seeing the natural course of events emerge.

Posted by: alexno | Jul 6 2013 16:24 utc | 98

who are the dangerous ones, the "radical leftists" or the "right-wing liberals"? Posted by: ruralito | Jul 6, 2013 11:07:26 AM | 90
How on earth should I know who in practice is going to manifest a radical leftist attitude, in the day-to-day manoevring of the so-called "Tamarod"? I'm not a mind-reader. They will make themselves conspicuous by their actions. As for the right-wing liberals, they are the majority of all political leaderships everywhere, the 'technocrats' who bow to the dictates of 'the market' as articulated by the IMF in its 'conditionalities', without obeying which you are starved of the actually worthless US Dollar which the world so worships. You shouldn't have any trouble finding these characters, just look at any government, there they are. I don't understand why you are asking these peculiar questions.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jul 6 2013 16:30 utc | 99

Arnold: "Why oppose the Muslim Brotherhood as the ruling party of Egypt despite the fact that Egyptian voters repeatedly elected them and the opposition was boycotting and cancelled an election at the same time it was planning this coup."

Arnold, is this about all of us gabbing away on MOA, or is this about the Egyptian people? Because those people on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, et al? The ones fighting and dying? THEY'RE EGYPTIANS TOO. YES. Maybe not your favorite Egyptians, but Egyptians all the same. It's like if you vote for the losing side at one point in history you lose your citizenship or something.

So: "Why oppose the Muslim Brotherhood as the ruling party of Egypt"? Well, ask those millions of Egyptians - Liberals, Salafists, Copts, Soccer Ultras - their reasons? There is probably one for every soul at the protests. Egyptians have the right to organize, boycott elections, and do whatever the hell else they please! They probably think that's a hell of a lot bigger deal to come out of toppling a 30 year dictatorship than "voting" don't you think?

If you want to complain that we here on MOA - some of of westerners, me a USAn - could possibly have the temerity to give our non-Egyptian opinion on the matter, well fine then. But why the hell are you doing it to?

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 6 2013 16:36 utc | 100

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