Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 16, 2013

Egypt: Chaos But Brotherhood Lacks Support For Escalation

As I was traveling I could not follow the Muslim Brotherhood "Day of Rage" in Egypt today. The result seems to be more chaos. Some 70+ Muslim Brotherhood supporters died today as, according to the government, did some 24 policemen. The army has checkpoints on major streets in Cairo and some loyalists vigilants appear to create some anarchic form of neighborhood watch groups.

The Saudi and the U.S. government are against "terror" in Egypt and back the generals but cooperate in creating terror in Syria and Lebanon. But others, including Russia, also support the generals. No one in the international field seems to take the side of the Brotherhood.

That gives some hope that the situation in Egypt will not evolve into the proxy war like the one that is waged on Syria and now also on Lebanon.

Posted by b on August 16, 2013 at 17:49 UTC | Permalink


Very unfortunate that not only US but now also Russia, China approve the army, of 2 obvious reasons.
1. For Egypt this is bad since the overwhelming violence army use will only cause misery, maybe leading to a civil war and 2. in the end end with radicalism.

There is no killing out of this.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 16 2013 18:11 utc | 1

It would be surprising if China and Russia had not given their approval.
It is all part of the jockeying over "interventionism" and sovereignty between the US and its rivals: parallels between Syria and Egypt will be raised and the game of exposing US hypocrisy will enter another round. This is a game played for those who cannot see what is obvious.

What is daunting, however, is the reminder that, far more significant than the issues dividing the powers is the unanimity with which they assert the rights of capital over labour, wealth over poverty and their blindness to morality.

There are two sides in Egypt, that of the dictatorship and that of the people. The live ammunition may be hitting supporters of the Brotherhood but it is aimed at anyone who dares to stand up and assert his rights against those of the kleptocracy.
"Ask not for whom the bell tolls," democrats, secularists, trade unionists, anti-zionists, nationalists and young revolutionaries
"The bell tolls for thee."
It tolls for all of us too, with the exception of slothrop and the hasbarista.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 16 2013 20:28 utc | 2

On July 25, 1934, the Austro-Nazi Austrian Legion attempted a coup against the Austro-Fascist Ständestaat, previously known as the Austrian Republic. In Vienna, they assassinated the Chancellor, Dollfuß. In Carinthia and Styria the fighting lasted until July 30. The army, the gendarmerie and the police put down the revolt with heavy casualties. On the government side there were 107 deaths and 500 injuries. On the rebel side there were 140 deaths and 600 injuries. 13 rebels were executed and 4,000 people were imprisoned without trial. Many thousand supporters of the Nazi party were arrested. Up to 4000 fled over the border to Germany and Yugoslavia. I do not suppose that if you had been there to comment on this event, you would have said:

There are two sides in Austria, that of the dictatorship and that of the people. The live ammunition may be hitting supporters of the Legion, but it is aimed at anyone who dares to stand up and assert his rights against those of the kleptocracy. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, democrats, secularists, trade unionists, anti-zionists, nationalists and young revolutionaries: it tolls for thee.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 16 2013 21:36 utc | 3

People forget that there is a difference between Cairo (and Alexandria) and the rest of Egypt. It is true that in Egypt Cairo dominates, and has done so since the beginning of Islam, but it is not the only place from which to draw opinions.

According to a BBC programme I heard a couple of weeks ago, which visited the different regions of Egypt, the consequence of Morsi's rule was that it was the local influential families who took power. No doubt this has something to do with the appointment by Sisi of generals to local governorships.
The question is not so easy to resolve. Sisi may be able to reconquer Cairo militarily (though I am not convinced), but the provinces are going to be much more difficult.
The result, I imagine, will be that Sisi rules Cairo, but not the rest of the country.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 16 2013 21:55 utc | 4

@1, or it will end when everybody realizes Allah doesn't play favourites no matter how hard you pray or what you sacrifice.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 16 2013 21:55 utc | 5

Myself, I look upon Sisi's crackdown as a risky move. It may succeed in Cairo, but it will not go down well in Upper Egypt.

A split looks in prospect.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 16 2013 22:09 utc | 6

Rowan, are you seriously comparing the Brotherhood supporters, who, in the sit-ins which were massacred on Wednesday were certainly unarmed civilian protesters, with the Nazis?
You comparison of the Dolfuss government with the army however is apt: both were fascist.
The Al-Amin article at Counterpunch is worth anyone's attention. So is Bhadrakumar's at AToL:

"The appointment of Robert Ford as the new American ambassador to Egypt was indeed an ominous sign that the Obama administration expected civil war conditions to arise in Egypt. Ford’s forte during his hugely successful “diplomatic’ assignment in Baghdad in the middle of the last decade was to organize the notorious death squads, which tore Mesopotamia apart and destroyed Iraq almost irreparably.

"Equally, Ford played a seminal role in his subsequent ambassadorial assignment in Damascus in 2011 in successfully triggering the Syrian civil war. Ford is the living embodiment of the stunning reality that between the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, there has been no real shift in the United States’ policies in the Middle East aimed at perpetuating its regional hegemony.

"Make no mistake about it that the US game plan is to destabilize and destroy Egypt just the same way Iraq and Syria have been destroyed so that Israel’s absolute security is assured in the region for the conceivable future.

"This is the conclusion that can be safely drawn as the Egyptian junta launched the mass murder of hundreds of Egyptian protestors on Wednesday. A bloodbath of horrendous proportions has commenced in Egypt.

"The Egyptian military is literally the creation of the US. The American military aid is the vital lifeline for the Egyptian junta. The real agenda behind the overthrow of the elected government of President Mohamed Morsi cannot any longer be hidden. America’s apologists spread the story far and wide that Morsi paid a price for political intransigence and for shutting the doors on “inclusive’ democracy.

"But the bloodbath that has begun in Egypt exposes that the real American agenda tells a different story, which is that a process began pushing that country into the abyss of a civil war from which it may never return as the throbbing heart of ‘Arabism.’

"The military junta has no intentions to transfer power to a democratically elected government. The Americans have been going through the motions of cajoling the junta to go back to the barracks in a calibrated fashion with a view to create the impression that Washington is on the ‘right side of history’ in the Middle East.

"But in reality, Washington counts on the junta to pursue security policies that serve Israel’s interests. That is the bottom line for the Obama administration and the junta knows it, too. The quibbling over the word ‘coup’, the dispatch of senior envoys to meet Morsi in prison, Senator John McCain’s appearance in Cairo – all these are mere charades to hoodwink international opinion.

"The heart of the matter is that the US is immensely pleased that the Egyptian junta is turning the screws on Hamas and helping to reimpose the blockade of Gaza. On the other hand, Cairo has again become the watering hole for the Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas – as it used to be in the Hosni Mubarak era – who is a puppet on a string willing to dance to the tune of Washington and Tel Aviv, which in turn serves to create the illusion of a Middle East peace process under American mediation, where none really exists.

"In sum, what emerges is that there is a back-to-back US-Israeli-Saudi deal over Egypt. The Saudi regime has never hidden its antipathy toward Morsi’s government and its obsession with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudi regime is mortally afraid that the Brotherhood’s ascendancy in Egypt within a democratic framework sets a compelling example for the ‘Arab Street’ in the Persian Gulf oligarchies. The Saudis, in a nutshell, are willing to bankroll the Egyptian junta so long as the latter suppresses the Brotherhood and prevents the Brothers from advancing their programme to force regime change in the GCC states.

"For the Obama administration, too, the Saudi role is very crucial because the regime change in Cairo has not cost the American taxpayer anything and the US is not called upon to spend money to salvage the Egyptian economy. Suffice to say, the convergence of interests between the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia is almost one hundred percent when it comes to the preservation of the military junta – politically, financially and militarily – in Egypt. ......

Posted by: bevin | Aug 16 2013 22:09 utc | 7

bevin #2, #7

I fully agree with you. One point though, actually the military and much of the opposition works together. That is, alot of egyptians unfortunately support this kleptocracy. I hope this change though.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 16 2013 22:31 utc | 8


I believe Rowan has a strong anti-islam bias which skew his "analysis" a lot. He is showing the same symptoms that the opinion column writers in NRO are displaying. I asked him the other day to explain with the facts the reason he thinks Iran's foreign policy is based on "fantasmatic" and he refused to answer me.

Posted by: ATH | Aug 16 2013 22:38 utc | 9

Bevin, with much respect, this seems off the mark: "There are two sides in Egypt, that of the dictatorship and that of the people." Assuming I have gotten the spirit of what your words, I'd offer the following.

I am afraid that we are not seeing the people's hand in any of this, though we are seeing, sadly, plenty of their blood. It appears to me that the Muslim Brotherhood - as they intended to do in Syria - are willing to use the lives of poor Egyptians to achieve their own political ends. My contention at this point is that we are witnessing not a revolution, but a battle between two sectors of the Egyptian elite, neither of has done anything to deserves any association of their name with the plight of common Egyptians.

What is happening now bears few similarities with the events of 2011, when the entirety of Egypt took to the streets to depose Mubarak. We have here one group (the MB), so wedded to their own narrow ends that they have lost the support of all other sectors of Egyptian society, versus another (the army), cynically using the desires of the people to be entirely free of any sector of the elite, to launch an aggressive round of repression. The MB cannot make a revolution on their own, or they would have done it decades ago. And they cannot claim, now, to speak for the Egyptian people when clearly a huge part of Egyptian society wants nothing to do with them. A real revolution of the power of the one that toppled Mubarak, like the one that will be necessary to topple the army chieftains, will require ALL of Egyptian society. But if the elites of the MB intent to double down on their bet (using the lives of their poor followers like so many poker chips) that they can return to power in the face of overwhelming rejection of their rule, they may well fracture the only coalition that can save the people of Egypt from the starvation and violence that surely awaits them.

There is no way at all to defend the army's actions, nor the coup itself. But it is equally impossible to, for the reason of their being removed from power, to suddenly begin to defend the disastrous rule of the MB. Al Amin calling the army "obstinate" may be true, but certainly ignores the obstinacy that allowed the army coup to come to fruition - that of Morsi using the word "legitimacy" like some magic talisman that would make him immune to the very real anger of huge numbers of Egyptian people. I can't accept the suggestion that the Egyptian people have to stand up for a party of elitist fundamentalists so as to effect a people's revolution. The leaders of the MB, having spent decades throwing tiny scraps to the poor while they edged their way into the top positions of wealth and power in Egypt and the Middle East, are responsible for the lives of their followers that they are so callously throwing away as some repulsive human sacrifice on the altar of their past charity. They would also recognize, if the leaders of the MB cared for even a moment about the future of all the people of Egypt, that their display is doing nothing to secure that future. In fact this display (to turn Marx's famous quote on its head), is but the serious tragedy following the farce that was their obstinate attempt to hold onto power at the end of June.

I can't see the meaning in Al Amin attempting to compare these few weeks of killing, certainly terrible and bloody (but, at least yet, less bloody that the heady days of 2011), with Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Nakba. This kind of ahistorical hyperbole doesn't serve anybody well, certainly not the Egytpians who are dying on the street to secure the power of people who intend nothing for them except austerity, poverty, and religious stricture. To compare this event with ones that have caused the death and/or displacement of millions (especially in light of the fact that those losing their lives know full well that Morsi intended to inflame the brutal war in Syria) strikes such an exceptionally discordant tone.

The people of Egypt are served by neither the army nor the MB. The Egyptian people need rely on no one, indeed, other than themselves fighting as one. They proved their power when they removed Mubarak. They proved their power when the pushed the army into elections (as skewed as it was) and forced the army to elections. They proved it again when they removed Morsi. They can do it again, and the opinion polls that Al Amin point to shows that they have the inclination. That is, of course, if they don't allow the Brotherhood to sap their strength in this foolish "revolution" of which the aim is to return a wildly unpopular elite back into power.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 0:14 utc | 10

yikes, sorry, that was very long and very repetitive. For the merely long and repetitive version, I suggest paragraphs 1,2,4, and 5

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 0:16 utc | 11

2. Someone is trying to start a civil war, so that Egypt can be broken up, just like Yugoslavia.

"Mohamed Ibrahim, the interior minister, said that 43 police had been killed in the day’s violence...

"At least half a dozen churches were burnt in Sohag, Minya and other locations in Upper Egypt...

"A deep well of support for the military appeared undiminished by the bloodshed. Residents gathered behind military lines outside Rabaa al-Adawiya, shouting 'the army and the people are one hand'.

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 0:53 utc | 12

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 16, 2013 2:11:01 PM | 1

you need to pay attention:
how to start a civil war: snipers in cairo

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 0:56 utc | 13

While the obvious attention is on the Egyptian security forces storming two protest camps in Cairo this angle is misleading. After all, images clearly show that pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters and religious zealots from other militant Islamist groups were preparing for violence. Not only this, many videos show militants attacking the security forces with guns and currently it is known the 43 members were killed by pro-Morsi supporters. Therefore, a much better picture of the crisis is how militants within the Muslim Brotherhood behave towards communities which had nothing to do with the protest camps in Cairo.
Ahram Online provides a snippet of what happened on the ground within the last 24 hours. It is noticeable that within 5 minutes of the police attacking pro-Morsi camps in Greater Cairo, that Christian churches were attacked by zealots which support the Muslim Brotherhood cause. This applies to a Coptic Orthodox Church in Sohag and another Christian church in the governorate of Minya being attacked. Of course, the embattled Christians of Egypt had nothing to do with the sit-ins in Greater Cairo. However, for militants within the Muslim Brotherhood this is immaterial because in their eyes the Coptics are deemed inferior for being Christian.
In other words, if pro-Muslim Brotherhood militants and other Islamist groups can use violence so openly against a minority group not involved in the pro-Morsi camp issue; then clearly the same supporters are bound to use violence against the state apparatus. It is known that a Franciscan school was attacked; the Al-Raey Al-Saleh Church had Molotov cocktails thrown at it; a Christian youth center was set ablaze in Fayoum in Upper Egypt; in Luxor shops owned by Christians were attacked; the Mar Girgis Christian church suffered damage in Al-Arish; in Minya several Christian churches were damaged; and many other reports stress that churches, monasteries and Christian owned shops were set ablaze. This reality highlights the violent nature of militants within the Muslim Brotherhood and various Islamist militant groups in Egypt.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that “No sooner did security forces, backed by armored cars and bulldozers, clear encampments in the city’s Nadha and Raba’a al Adiwiya squares did the Islamists turn to targeting Christian churches. Approximately 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters set fire to the Churches of Abraham and the Virgin Mary in Menya.”

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 1:07 utc | 14

Someone is playing games with these opinion polls, that's for sure. We hear one day 70% support the ouster of Morsi, then the next 70% oppose it. It is difficult to evaluate these claims without seeing the questions and it could simply be a matter of the MB claiming that "anti-coup" means "pro-Morsi" or some similar convoluted reporting, but in any case both cannot be true.

11 July, 2013: Report shows that 69% of Egyptians oppose Morsi's removal

22 July, 2013: Approximately 71% of Egyptians do not sympathize with the demonstrations in support of former president Mohammed Morsi.

Poll results which are certainly true are the following (from ostensibly pro-MB Al Jazeera):

The debates are intense, but they do not represent the aspirations of most Egyptians. Most Egyptians simply want a good, secure life. Polls conducted by the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute and the Al-Ahram Centre for Political Studies find that more than 70 percent of Egyptians believe the most critical issues facing Egypt today are economic - unemployment, inflation and social inequality.

While the vast majority, 70 percent of those polled, support democracy, they equate it with narrowing the income gap between rich and poor, or providing basic necessities to all citizens. They are much more interested in feeding their children than they are in whether Sharia forms the basis of law.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist Nour Party swept the 2011 parliamentary elections because Egyptians thought they could deliver a better life, not because they demanded an Islamist state. DEDI-ACPSS surveys consistently show that only 24 percent of Egyptians are strongly Islamist (defined as desiring a strong role for religion in the workings of state) and about 20 percent are strongly secularist (preferring a separation of religion and state). Most Egyptians' own preferences lie in the centre.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 1:28 utc | 15


The real issue is not sunni against shiia or muslim against christian, it is how people will be represented at the top of the state so that the destiny of the country will be based on the sovereign decision of their legitimate representative.

Posted by: ATH | Aug 17 2013 1:35 utc | 16


The real issue is not sunni against shiia or muslim against christian, it is how people will be represented at the top of the state so that the destiny of the country will be based on the sovereign decision of their legitimate representative.

Posted by: ATH | Aug 16, 2013 9:35:06 PM | 16

ATH sounds like a new drug! but what we are looking at is 'divide and conquer': as for the MB they are bad news for egypt africa and the middle east.Note the end off Mubarak pushed egyot into a struggle between competing islamists and the military: secular parties came off worse

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 3:01 utc | 17

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 16, 2013 9:28:51 PM | 15

ah yes: aljazeera: they have a dog in this fight: the same AJ that brings you lies about syria and Assad and supports the FSA jihadis is keen to see MB win: wonder why?

As many as 22 Al Jazeera employees have quit since the overthrow of Mohammad Mursi, amid concern over the channel’s alleged bias towards the Muslim Brotherhood and its coverage of Egypt.
Criticism over the channel’s editorial line, the way it covered events in Egypt, and allegations that journalists were instructed to favor the Brotherhood are said to be the main reasons behind the mass resignations.

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 3:06 utc | 18

@18 You're right. AJ is the mouthpiece of a dictator. Though they started off well (if only because they were an entirely new concept) and brought some interesting personalities to the stage and had great accomplishments during their reporting on Iraq, you could see in the last few years how they drifted towards the western position (especially over Syria) - though they still did better work than most on Palestine, esp w/ the leaked "Palestinian Papers" (not sure if that was the term they used for it) and the reporting during the Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon.

Now, though, with the Qatari coup, I'm sure they'll be even more firmly in the western camp. The whole Qatar "leadership change" seems like the biggest "know your place" move the US has put on an ally since we attacked Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War. This seems like a hugely important if incredibly low key event for the region.

Anyway, luckily the model was good and it has been copied by many now (RT, PressTV, TeleSur are notable... does China have a similar international station?) - all of which outshine AJ in their politics, even if they are not as slick.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 3:33 utc | 19

Why am I not surprised to see self-confessed 'Marxists' rail against other more successful religions than theirs? Think about it Islam may not have been around as long as xtianity, but its been around a helluva lot longer than the 100 years it took for the Marx/Engels cult to collapse in a heap of corruption, idolatry & recrimination.
Like all the other organised religions marxism avows to be 'for all the people' but once followers have been used they are discarded like so much fucking toilet paper.
The comments in here dismissing the deaths of more than a thousand egyptians citizens as what you get for being a muslim IMO shows that criticisms that marxism claims to be for people yet has followers who don't much like other humans has some validity.
Types who would rather sit around arguing about obscure points of the meaning of dictatorship of the proletariat than actually mingle with the proletariat are no different to the medieval catholic priests who lived off the poor while they argued about how many angels you could fit in the head of a pin.

The attitude of the marxists in here towards fellow humans, egyptians who having already been let down by Nasser & Co's piss weak attempt at founding a people's paradise, realised they aren't gonna get jackshit in this life is a classic example of marxist hypocrisy. Of course their life after death spiel belief is pure fantasy but that be what humans do when surrounded by no hope - they fantasize. It may seem ridiculous to those on the outside; those of us who still copping 3 squares a day & a roof over their heads, but these are fellow humans just trying to get by in a world of no hope.

Once upon a time many people who considered themselves Marxist would have understood that, but now that Marxism appears to be little more than the last refuge of western dillettantes concealing their anti-social tendencies by adopting a rejectionist political pose, most marxists are more interested in processes than people.

If they really cared about humans they would be up in arms about those who got butchered, but they aren't because just like the amerikan empire, and their mates trying to revive the Russian empire, all they really care about is getting their hands on the levers of power.

These types hate the egyptians who got killed because the dead were with the Muslim Brotherhood - so what? says anyone who likes humans.
Well you see once a member of the MB got elected to president of Egypt and realised how little actual power he had, he played the game all pols play, its called distraction. Morsi decided to distract his supporters with bullshit foreign policy issues -same thing thousands of 'representatives of the people' do every day on this planet. To many of us this is no big deal - a politician behaving as politicians everywhere do.

Well it seems he he really fell foul of the marxists because he got himself in a bind on the issue he picked. If he had picked Israel to rail on about (it is worth noting at theis point that Morsi was probably only talk and no actual walk he was just after a distraction) if he had picked Israel well then he woulda made marxists ( and humanists I should add) happy for a time anyway, but he'd have been deep in the shit with a big mob of other players who had more power to bring him down than us mob.
A major speech against Israel woulda had the amerikans jumping up n down at the behest of their zionist lobby. The egyptian army prolly woulda lost a big chunk of the bribes that go to the officer class, or more likely they woulda been threatened with it unless they offed Morsi tout de suit.

So silly old Morsi thought he was safe by picking Syria to rail on about & yet he wasn't.
Maybe he knew that n thought he could bluff his way out, maybe he knew they were gunning for him & he'd try one last roll of the dice. We will never know.
What we do know is neither the army (who it seems are too busy making money and oppressing egyptians to get caught up in 'side-shows')nor the amerikans (who haven't forgotten that 90% of the blokes who undertook the trade center and pentagon actions back in 2001 were egyptian) want to see officially sanctioned egyptian guerrilla groups going anywhere outside Egypt's borders.

The sort of people who still follow marxism in 2014 tend to be very concrete thinkers, literalists who can't understand irony in its true sense. Morsi prolly didn't have had the slightest intention of sending Egyptians into Syria. He was all about distraction and trying to appease any islamic elements who intended participating in the June 30 protests. That is why he indulged in the usual tricks of a pol who is more about talk than walk on an issue. The only actual anti-Assad actions he took were piss-weak eg 'severing' diplomatic ties.

Nothing that couldn't be walked back from later but he reckoned without the ire of the Marxists who abound on the planet /irony.

In 1940 amerikan Marxists led strikes to protest amerika's decision to sell tanks to england because Adolf Hitler and 'uncle' Joe Stalin had signed a mutual non-aggression pact -this is pretty much the same sort of bullshit.

Marxists in 2013 regard any action which could cause upset to their old hero Russia, no matter how second-hand it may be, as a personal affront.

Hence peeps who claim to be adherents of a cause that is all about humans, supporting an action that just ended the existence of at least a thousand humans.

I'm sure that several loony tunes will take this post as evidence I support the terrorist actions in Syria. I have no power over their determination on that, but I will say if Egypt did decide to aid those thugs now, in the future or even back when Morsi was 'pharoah', that call will be made by players further up the food chain than Morsi ever got.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 17 2013 4:06 utc | 20

As soon as the match started the christians get attacked.
why and what logic is behind this
Poverty not relegion or politics is the reason
attack minorities to obtain resources
poverty ,no jobs,poor work rate,are the main factors behind the frustration of the egyptian people
But the biggest problem is credible leadership and that is what will come from this crisis
until then it will be sorrow tears and blood

Posted by: jub | Aug 17 2013 4:10 utc | 21

Well debs, in your opening you perfectly describe the Muslim Brotherhood, a 90 year old organization (and one certainly not to be confused with all of Islam, or am I wrong about that?) than you do the groups of Marxists who, maybe in the west might appear as "dilletants" but you certainly wouldn't say the same of the thousands of union leaders getting the shit kicked out of them and murdered for running real people's organizations in the Middle East, and South America, and, incidentally, Egypt would you? And I don't see them crying out for the Muslim Brotherhoods rule of war (ok, in your view "threats of war" and a few lynchings, much better), poverty, and more religious strictures.

So what to make of them, if you want to bombast on about "leftists" in the western countries - perhaps coddled as any westerner and most certainly some Louis Proyect type clowns in the mix, but a great number of others certainly struggling very hard - in unions, in community organizations, in the international peace movement, and the people who just took down stop and frisk - than their countrymen. If you want to spend time attacking some small group of pants pissing failed intellectuals who can't tell a western terror war from a "revolution" go ahead, but you're ignoring a huge mass of committed, tough, working class people facing violence all over the world. I know it's an easy target, but come on.

If you seriously want to armchair quarterback Morsis private intentions over Syria, I don't know what to say. What exactly do you think Qatari dictator was giving him all that cash for, because he likes the Egyptian people? We might as well say Libya was "okay" because Gaddaffi was surely going to massacre Benghazi.

I don't think you support terrorists in Syria, but you sure seem pretty blase about what's going on there. Maybe supporting a war of 100,000 dead in Syria, churches getting burned, a lynching doesn't rise to the level of having to expect the worst of someone (that's benefit of the doubt material, right?), and maybe a million on the streets of people making a revolution doesn't pass as an attempt "get by in a world of no hope" to you (that's what little books and some prayer are for, right).

But what do I know. I'm a marxist.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 5:07 utc | 22

20) Your rant - which I agree with - applies to everybody who puts ideology over common humanity. Actually Stalin handed German communists back to the Nazis after the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Anybody with any sense on the German left - like the guy who gave the name to this blog - emigrated to the US - not the Sovjet Union - which led to him having to appear in front of a McCarthy committee but saved his life.

but I will say if Egypt did decide to aid those thugs now, in the future or even back when Morsi was 'pharoah', that call will be made by players further up the food chain than Morsi ever got.

I was wondering about that actually. The explanation you give is good.

The reason why I feel most Egyptians did support the coup (what support can mean in a choice of pest and cholera) is this - from April 2013:

A new draft law on private security companies currently on the table is an attempt to regulate a sector that for more than 30 years has operated with almost no oversight.

This past week, students at Misr International University, who were engaged in a sit-in to demand increased safety measures on the highway and a road leading to campus, were attacked with excessive force by the university’s private security.

Police refused to intervene in the clashes, highlighting a troubling security dynamic in Egypt’s post-uprising streets.

Under former President Hosni Mubarak, crime was contained by an Interior Ministry that worked at the behest of the regime and had few scruples about the heavy-handed methods it employed to contain any activity deemed antagonistic to its interests. As a result, major crime in touristic and upper-class areas was rare.

After the revolution, and in the vacuum left by an unraveling Interior Ministry, whose authority on the streets has evaporated, Egyptian citizens and the state have to adjust to a new reality of increased crime rates.
According to the adage, security breeds security: People see their neighbors taking security measures and think they should be doing the same. Care Services’ Operations Manager Mohamed Eissa says business has increased by 10 percent after the revolution, a trend confirmed by other security companies Egypt Independent spoke to.

Egypt may well be heading the way of South Africa, where there are 2 million people employed in private security firms — more than are employed in the police force — performing policing functions.

In “Policing for Profit: The Future of South Africa’s Private Security Industry,” Jenny Irish lists the reasons for the expansion of the sector: the growth of public-private property such as shopping malls and the perception that the police are unable to protect the public — both relevant to the Egyptian context.

Notably, Irish writes, “Private security shifts the responsibility for social control and order away from the state.”

“The expansion of private security involvement, such as patrolling the neighborhoods of those who can afford it, has the effect of creating ‘enclaves,’” she writes. “There may be a reduction in crime in an enclave, but this does not lead to an overall reduction in crime.”

and this - from March

Talks of the Interior Ministry contracting private security companies have created a stir, especially after a leading member of the Freedom and Justice Party called for granting them arrest powers.

News reports claimed negotiations are under way between Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and private security companies to aid the ministry in clamping down on protests and widespread unrest.

Saber Abul Fotouh, head of the FJP labor committee, called for alternative methods to maintain security in the country in light of a recent wave of police strike that saw Central Security Forces close their camps and dozens of police stations close nationwide.

Among Abul Fotouh’s suggested methods is a draft law that would allow private security personnel to arrest citizens and hand them over to the prosecutor general, raising fears of laxer laws creating fertile grounds for armed militias.

On his Twitter account, the chairperson of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Hafez Abu Seada, said no party or parliament is entitled to form “special forces” or “militias” with arrest, arguing it is unconstitutional.

However, Abul Fotouh downplays any talk of militias, blaming it on media hype, and explaining that he rather seeks “legal measures” to maintain security.

He tells Egypt Independent that the draft law was merely a personal suggestion that is a result of the current crisis, namely the police strike.

A suitable solution, Abul Fotouh says, would be drafting a law that would issue licenses to grant private security companies legal powers “to protect citizens and institutions from any assault.”

The draft law, he says, would allow private security companies to “combat assailants and hand them over to either the prosecution or the Justice Ministry.”

He also suggests forming people’s committees akin to those formed during the 18-day uprising in 2011 after the police forces withdrew from the streets.

Abul Fotouh explains that the media created unsubstantiated rumors about the formation of militias, and that he only seeks legal methods to maintain security, bound by the suggested draft law.

He says ideally, the Interior Ministry would be doing its job in maintaining order. However, he laments the “scheming by remnants of the ousted regime and [former Interior Minister] Habib al-Adly’s followers,” who he alleges are causing the crisis.

In January, the Shura Council approved a controversial law granting the Armed Forces judiciary powers to arrest and try civilians. The Armed Forces were also previously given temporary arrest powers during the constitutional referendum in December.

For its part, the Interior Ministry media office has said it had no knowledge of any negotiations with private security companies.

Tarek Khedr, head of the constitutional law department at the Police Academy, fully rejects the idea of giving private security companies arrest powers.

“Private ­­­­security companies cannot under any circumstances obtain arrest powers,” Khedr says, adding that it would undermine the state’s authority and fuel the current state of polarization, further spreading chaos and disorder.

Khedr sheds light on private security companies’ “legislative limits,” saying they have to be redefined.

Only police are entitled to arrest powers, Khedr explains, and the Armed Forces were the only exception.

Force as the monopoly of the state is a prerequisite of any democracy. Otherwise the power lies with young men with guns.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 5:08 utc | 23

ugh, I'm an idiot. "We might as well say Libya was "okay" because Gaddaffi was surely going to massacre Benghazi." does make amy sense, thats your argument.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 5:38 utc | 24

b, afa what I heard from different sources, the last of which was a German n-tv report, there is a growing number of protesters who demand democratic rights and an end to violence. And these people, too, are being shot at and sold as "Islamists" (stupid term) oder "Muslim Brothers" (likely as stupid). Why stupid? Nobody speaks of "Christianists" in the Bavarian Alp Mountains or "Judaeists" in Israel. There, the euphemism "orthodox" is being used.

Posted by: g_h | Aug 17 2013 6:20 utc | 25

20) this here actually is factually wrong

What we do know is neither the army (who it seems are too busy making money and oppressing egyptians to get caught up in 'side-shows')nor the amerikans (who haven't forgotten that 90% of the blokes who undertook the trade center and pentagon actions back in 2001 were egyptian) want to see officially sanctioned egyptian guerrilla groups going anywhere outside Egypt's borders.

No. 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi. The US did not invade Saudi Arabia but Iraq and Afghanistan. The hijackers had been to Al Qeida camps in Afghanistan left from the US supported insurgency against the Soviet Union. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

The hijackers learnt how to fly a plane in Florida. Four of them had been based in Hamburg - as students. Others had fought in Chechnya.

9/11 and Saudi involvement in it has never been fully explained to the US public, though there are many clues

A Saudi family who “fled” their Sarasota area home weeks before 9/11 had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” according to newly released FBI records.

One partially declassified document, marked “secret,” lists three of those individuals and ties them to the Venice, Fla., flight school where suicide hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained. Accomplice Ziad Jarrah took flying lessons at another school a block away.

Atta and al-Shehhi were at the controls of the jetliners that slammed into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people. Jarrah was the hijacker-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania.

The names, addresses and dates of birth of the three individuals tied to the flight school were blanked out before the records were released to amid ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation.

The information in the documents runs counter to previous FBI statements. It also adds to concerns raised by official investigations but never fully explored, that the full truth about Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks has not yet been told.

National security and other reasons are cited for numerous additional deletions scattered across the 31 released pages. Four more pages were withheld in their entirety.

The records cast new light on one of the remaining unresolved mysteries regarding Florida’s many connections to the 9/11 attacks: What went on before the attacks at 4224 Escondito Cir., the home of Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his family?

Read more here:

The released FBI records are in two tiers: reports and other material written in 2001-2002, and memos, letters and email that followed publication of the first story about the matter in September 2011.

A number of pages recount information provided to the FBI by mail carriers and others, including a Sept. 18, 2001, observation that the al-Hijji family appeared to have “left in a hurry.”

A Sept. 25, 2001, report talks of bank records that agents had obtained. The report was referred to the counterterrorism division’s Usama Bin Laden Unit/Radical Fundamentalist Unit.

One of the reports written in September 2011, after the existence of the Sarasota investigation was revealed, discusses briefly the unnamed “family member” who took flight lessons at Huffman Aviation.

The family member “was interviewed multiple times after 9/11 and identified Atta and al-Shehhi as individuals [phrase deleted] flight training at Huffman. However, investigation did not reveal any other connection between [name deleted] and the hijackers and the 9/11 plot,” the report says.

FBI reports about those interviews were not made public.

Al-Hijji, who following 9/11 worked for the Saudi oil company Aramco in England, could not be reached by phone or email last week. Aramco staff said there was no longer anyone by that name in the London office.

Basically 9/11 was done by the CIA/Saudi network used against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. US secret services protected and saved their assets after the fact. Presumably those assets are still in use in Libya, Egypt, Syria and the Caucasus.
The fun fact is that Iran participated in that network.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 6:30 utc | 26

torched by muslim brotherhood, chuches to be rebuilt by military

Bishop Mousa thanked Sisi for his efforts to repair the damaged churches.
“We thank Col. Gen. Sisi for commissioning the brave Egyptian armed forces to rebuild the places of worship damaged during the recent events,” Bishop Mousa said on Twitter.
which of these acts would Mohammed approve?

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 6:38 utc | 27

This is hilarious. I'm hearing a bunch of failed Trotskyites and dishrag liberals pick and choose religions they find it satisfying to regard as 'progressive'. What are the religions du jour? Tibetan Buddhism, good. Sri Lankan Buddhism, bad. Egyptian Sunnism, good. Saudi Sunnism, bad. Lebanese Shi'ism, good. Iranian Shi'ism, bad. Egyptian Christianity, good. USAian Christianity, bad. Etcetera. Throw your religions out of the window, and start thinking in class terms, otherwise you'll never make sense of anything, which is maybe what the failed Trots etc want.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17 2013 7:16 utc | 28

25 ) this here is the Guardian editorial

It reveals two things - a) the West continues to wish for the Muslim Brotherhood to be part of the Egyptian government and part of their Middle East strategy b) the West continues to whitewash the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, pretending a distancing of the Muslim Brotherhood from the persecution of Christians the Muslim Brotherhood has not done - quite the contrary.

Western manouvering in the Middle East is a joke - they support a group with an Iran like ideology whilst supporting Saudi Arabia against Iran. Something has got to give.

The crackdown has nevertheless been fuelled by the support from a significant section of the population, some of whom set up roadblocks in Cairo to stop marchers from entering the centre of the city. But claims from the supporters of the military government to be the authentic, and exclusive, voice of the Egyptian people should be treated sceptically. Before the polarisation of Egyptian society goes deeper, it is worth restating a few basic hopes. The first is that the shock generated by the deaths of fellow Egyptians will eventually bring people together. It is one thing to oppose an Islamic movement and fight – at the polls – the cause of a pluralistic, multifaith, democratic Egypt. It is quite another to applaud their deaths and justify their massacre.

So far only the Salafist al-Nour party, the liberal April 6 group and the far left revolutionary socialists have spoken against the killings. Most other factions call the Brotherhood a terrorist threat and support the government action. But the cracks are growing. Khaled Dawoud, the spokesman of the National Salvation Front, who supported the coup, resigned on Friday, tweeting that he could not continue with political parties who refused to condemn the shootings. If the ranks of the demonstrators are being swollen by prominent liberals such as the youth leader Abdul Rahman Fares and the secular poet Abdul Rahman Yousef, then a split between secular revolutionaries and the Brotherhood that goes right the way back to the start of the revolution in 2011 could be in the process of being repaired. This could be a way forward. The forces that combined to oust one military dictatorship will have to find a way of replacing a second and even more brutal one.

The second hope is that the anti-coup protest remains focused on the coup. This is not certain at present. At least 12 Coptic churches have been torched and over 20 attacked. The Brotherhood has condemned the attacks, saying that the fact that the Coptic church applauded the coup is no justification for sectarian attacks on Christian worshippers. They should go further and provide physical protection for them, especially if the police stand by and do nothing. Sectarianism is as much an enemy of an anti-coup movement as retaliatory violence is.

The international community is starting to grasp the dimensions of what is unfolding. Europe is on Egypt's doorstep and if it descends into civil conflict, as it still might, the displaced will travel north across the sea if they can. The EU foreign policy representative Baroness Ashton, who met with President Mohamed Morsi and called for utmost restraint, should continue with her mission. Diplomatic pressure from Europe is all the more important as Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah declared his support for what he termed Egypt's "fight against terrorism". There are no easy options here, but only one condition will guarantee Egypt's stability – the return to full democratic legitimacy.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 7:32 utc | 29

28) maybe thinking in human terms will help most - otherwise you might end up killing for class terms.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 7:55 utc | 30

Many intelligence people must be very happy from the outcome of the Arab Spring (and of the Islamist summer?), as they have now a very precise idea of the number of MB supporters everywhere.
Le Monde, though, decided to speak of the reactions in the "Arabo-Muslim" world, with no mention of Turkey (the most vocal and first one to have recalled her ambassador)... Le Monde will probably be the last guardian of the holy "Friends of Syria" French-British-Qatar-Turkey axis for a long time to come. With all the participations Qatar has now in French companies, I wouldn't be surprised if they already own a few share of Le Monde
(Finally there is one pic from Istanbul, dissimulated right at the end of the portfolio!)
One has to search the Turkish newspapers (the ones for Western consumption of course) to find a reference to the demonstrations yesterday.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 8:13 utc | 31

Somebody,"a) the West continues to wish for the Muslim Brotherhood to be part of the Egyptian government and part of their Middle East strategy"
Yes, because it is precisely what they have been trying to enforce on Assad for 2 years as a necessary "part of the deal". It is not the first time actually that EGarmy comes to the rescue. I believe pepe did not want to say it plainly.
Bevin, the end of Badhra's article has a very different tone, more realistic I would say.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 8:17 utc | 32

After Hamas obliged to move from Damascus to Cairo and Qatar, now it is the SNC which is obliged to move from Cairo to Turkey!

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 8:19 utc | 33

32) However, that would not be what Saudi Arabia would be after. Continuing that line of argument would be Saudi Arabia saving Assad from a coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Somehow, I do get the impression the West has lost control :-))

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 8:42 utc | 34

Anything that obliges KSA to show its duplicity is good news.
Somehow, during the presidential campaign I was impressed with the people of the Nur party who were much more articulate than the MB without falling into obvious extremism. The problem again is that when people adhere to a party because their relatives and friends tell them "this guy is a good Muslim" (while actually having no real idea of how the guy actually lives on a daily basis) it means there is no cohesion, and very different currents and "programmes". When the programme is simply messianism, it doesn't help politics. If everybody is happy that Ahmadinajad is gone, it wouldn't be fair to rejoice with the arrival of new messianists (in addition to the israelis buffoons).

Important articles here (and the Ahram daily English website is down, so the weekly is a good alternative; it's where many people who were living in Cairo at the time have discovered Edward Said and even some articles by Chomsky in the 90s).

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 8:56 utc | 35

b. I think Egypt is heading to civil war simply because the generals have decided to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood so they are forced to fight.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 9:05 utc | 36

The MB are not so many (take the 1st tour of the presidential: 20 percent of the 40 percent who went to vote, or take the referendum: 50 percent of the 32 percent who went to vote), and only the leaders had the access to the weapons. Egypt is NOT heading for civil war. It has been there before in the early 90s with both MB and Jama'a Islamiyya trying to import the Algerian FIS revolution.
These are not revolutionary movements but rather "insurectionary movement". They cannot go further. They joined the protests in 2011 after weeks saying that "demonstrations are haram" and only after a deal with Omar Suleyman.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 10:04 utc | 37
That's for those who couldn't make it to Syria
"The Kerdassa police station (Giza) has been attacked using an RPG after elsewhere in the city sit-ins of demonstrators were broken up. This resulted in the death of the local police chief and several police officers whose bodies have then be mutilated. Twenty other police stations were attacked, often with weapons that they were not prepared for."

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 10:19 utc | 38

38) Yep. what could stop it now? It will just go on.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 10:25 utc | 39

View from the ground

What could stop it? 1,000 people arrested last night. Leaders are already in jail. They've been there before. It will die out.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 10:28 utc | 40

40) 80 million Egyptians, median age 24, at least 10 percent probably 20 percent strong Brotherhood sympathizers, do the math ...

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 10:58 utc | 41

The crackdown keeps on going, over 1000 protesters arrested overnight and the death toll is now also beyond 1000s for the week.

Its time for European Union and US to act now if they want to have any credibility left in the region.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17 2013 10:58 utc | 42

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17, 2013 6:58:53 AM | 42

what stupid advice? who do u think has created the chaos in the region?

eg here are the brits at work

Zliten Massacre carried out by the British Royal Air Force

never trust an anonymous

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 11:14 utc | 43

Telling it like it is - the old guard of reporters weighs in

What should have been predictable in Egypt, and would have been with reporting that was broader and deeper, is precisely what has happened. To anyone who knew the country well, it was inevitable that tensions between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood would descend into terrible violence.

In a region where Western options have been shrinking at an alarming rate for a decade, a seriously destabilized Egypt - by far the most populous Arab nation - raises bleak questions. Like it or not, Washington is a de facto party to the army coup that overthrew Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, Mubarak's successor as president.

Almost all Egyptian weapons and other military equipment are American made, thanks to $1.3 billion in annual U.S. subsidies. Scores of senior officers, including coup leader Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, were trained in the United States, and there are certainly U.S. technical advisers on the ground, if not openly.

The policy implications for the Obama administration and its European allies are nightmarish. Back the Egyptian military in its coup, and a Western government abandons all claims to supporting the cause of democracy. But to support the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - which grew ever more strident in its religious dictates as it governed - is to invite the eventual imposition of a profoundly anti-Western theocracy. There are no good choices in Egypt today.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 11:32 utc | 45


Yes west have made blunders in the middle east, enormous such, but I think these events are too big too ignore for them, they cant be that stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17 2013 11:58 utc | 47

46) you are splitting some browser screens if you link like that Mina use the

Allowed HTML Tags: a href described above

to cover your links - otherwise you are a nuisance for some users ...

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 12:02 utc | 48

I am sorry, this was the link provided in the "share-copy" button of the RT page. Usually they have a shorter one but apparently not for the live material.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 12:20 utc | 49

Here is a private Egyptian channel covering live where someone is providing a simultaneous translation

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 12:32 utc | 50

There is still some shooting between the minaret and the army on the ground below. Crowds are watching all around

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 12:37 utc | 51

note: 'Ali Mahdian told FNA that the US and the British governments have been playing with the al-Qaeda through their Arab proxy regimes in the region in a bid to materialize their goals, specially in Syria.

He said the Saudi and Qatari regimes serve as interlocutors to facilitate the CIA and MI6 plans in Syria through instigating terrorist operations by Salafi and Arab Jihadi groups, adding that the terrorists do not know that they actually exercise the US plans.'
bit the====
Notthe: 'we make blunders' line, used to blunt fact that the west commits war crimes

and who made the LOOOOONNNGGG Url?!

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 12:51 utc | 52

Live video from inside the mosque, looks peaceful currently:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17 2013 13:16 utc | 53

Sorry sorry! I hope B can remove the link. (It's NOT a personal revenge because I can't post when I use Android 2!)

On al Jazeera Mubasher a so called witness was explaining that he had been in the besieged mosque all the time and that it's the army who had set some armed guys in the minaret. Sure...

Here is an interesting video. It shows a Muslim Brotherhood "demonstration" in Egypt that was specifically staged to get the most dramatic poses, as the actors freeze their poses for the photographers.
(If the army has managed to fabricate that, they are getting really hi-tech)

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 13:17 utc | 54

no, no Brian, the West is an innocent, well meaning mediator :-)) - irony

For weeks before Wednesday’s government crackdown, Secretary of State John F. Kerry or Burns spoke nearly every day with the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, whose influence with the opposing sides in Egypt was often stronger than Washington’s.

The two small, rich Gulf nations play outsize roles in regional foreign policy and tend to back different sides in Mideast conflicts. Along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the two Gulf states are sending more money to Cairo than the United States is, several officials involved in the effort said.

Throughout the six-week crisis, the United States has leaned on the UAE to intercede with the interim government and the Egyptian military, and used Qatar as a go-between with the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar, which has backed Islamist movements and is accused of backing militants in Syria, has emerged as a leading international backer of the Brotherhood.

Notice, that there is no mention of Saudi Arabia ...

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 13:28 utc | 55

Life goes on as usual
The journalists asks "who are these people, including kids, women etc on the stairs of the mosque? what kind of anarchy is that? and we here shooting"
the mukhabarat guy who is the guest in the studio answers "ya, it is such a pity, and you can bet that if there is such an anarchy on the stairs, it is probably even worse inside"

the correspondent on the ground "yes there is a big number of people, families, journalists" (some people are still inside refusing to go out

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 13:58 utc | 56

Live video from inside the mosque, looks peaceful currently: Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17, 2013 9:16:57 AM | 53
Way to go. That isn't live. I just went back and looked at it again after four hours or whatever, and it's the same clip. Not live but recorded some time ago. Therefore, for all I know, they could be firing knock-out gas into the mosque by now, and that video would still be showing the same deceptive scene. I expect if I could read arabic, I would have noticed somewhere that it said 'recorded', not 'live'.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17 2013 14:05 utc | 57

satire from ALjazeera
Al Jazeera English
Live: Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs speaks about ‪#‎Egypt‬, says Qatar condemns excessive use of violence
but qatar would NEVER EVER use or support the use of excessive violence...right? #syria #FSA

Posted by: brian | Aug 17 2013 15:01 utc | 58

There are two sides in Egypt, that of the dictatorship and that of the
from the article bevin posted at 7, discussed also by guest 77.

1) The military, combined with the ‘old’ ruling class, Mubarakists, and parts
of the opposition to Mubarak - upper-class, the twitter crowd, etc.

2) The MB, their members, and strong supporters

3) Everyone else, which includes many Morsi supporters, as the first elected
prez. and so on

1 is set to decimate 2 and 3 is voiceless and powerless. (see Syria..)

The military junta has no intentions to transfer power to a democratically
elected government.


That a US instigated process began pushing that country into the abyss of
a civil war from which it may never return as the throbbing heart of ‘Arabism.’

I am not so sure. (Of course the aspect of support to Israel has not flown
out the window and the junta has closed the crossing to Gaza..)

I see it more as an internal Egyptian situation with the US being very unsure,
having a mix of agendas that collide. No, I don’t think I’m falling for the
window dressing. Yugoslavia and Syria are different cases..

I’m also convinced there are some hidden dimensions to all this,
making it hard to dope out.

Lastly, I expect there will be no civil war, the MB will be crushed by the
Army/Police etc. apparatus, and that is the reason they hit hard, strong,
over the top. Pre-emptive!

After removing Morsi that decision would not have been hard to take.
It follows inexorably. Imprisonment as before will follow.

A civil war is NOT in the interest of the ruling elites,
and their way of preventing it is to crush the designated adversary. Note
a showy, strident ‘majority’ seems on board, media, the top biz ppl, etc.

No matter how you look at it, the losers are the ppl of Egypt. The MB were
perhaps almost accidentally given a window into power on the ‘wait and see’
attitude. Or it was more devilish: they will fail, we can provoke that failure,
it is all good.

-> used a lot of carriage returns to make it readable

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 17 2013 15:04 utc | 59

Rowan, it was live when I posted the long link. Since then, people go in and out the mosque, big crowd in front.
There is a bilingual press cnoference of the EG gov now, here is a short summary (it is broadcasted live on cbctv)

1st question: why didnt you yet cut diplomatic relations with qatar
2nd question: we see some famous political figures going all the times to the american embassy, why isn't the "laws against terrorism" applied to them?
A: it will happen in time

Bloomberg journalist steps in with a question on the burned churches
A: The spokeperson asks where are in the international media the stories of churches destroyed, peopled killed and their bodies showed, the father who found his son ALIVE in one of the body bag of Rabaa that we have seen on all media, but we read about the "peaceful demonstrators" that no one in Egypt have seen, rather we ve seen people killing at random, using snipers, using kids and women as shields, sacking Malawi museum, whole (Christian) villages destroyed in bani sueyf and alminya

French Le Monde: On the 14th August did it go as planned or did the security forces lost their nerves? also i was in Rabaa and didn't see any mass grave (of tortured anti-Morsi)
A: The steps that were taken were taken in frnot of everybody, NGO and journalists. there were many MB snipers in both Rabaa and Nahda and some 3 policemen and special forces were killed. As for the rest we ll make sure that you will see whatever you want to see.Other media have showned it. He then says that one just had to read the statement of the Coptic Patriarch who stated
yesterday that the Western media is trying to cover what has been going on of attacks against the Christians (text is available on

Posted by: Mina | Aug 17 2013 15:09 utc | 60

Now the regime talking about banning the MB altogether, another blunder by them.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17 2013 15:30 utc | 61

Galloway has it correct on this weeks "Comment":

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 17:22 utc | 62

Your link is still live, Noirette:
I was talking about the one I had given which turned out not to be live:

They've cleared the mosque, according to the WaPo: "government put Friday’s death toll at 173, in addition to 57 members of the police, and said it was considering measures to outlaw the MB." (link). There are clips already on YouTube of the process of clearing the mosque, taken from inside, of which this is the clearest, though it's confusing enough (link). There is no sign of actual gunfights within the mosque, of soldiers shooting the people inside, anything like that. There was firing between soldiers outside and shooters in the minaret. This firing between ground and minaret may have 'triggered' the invasion of the mosque. But the essential thing is that those inside, quite a few of whom seem to have been able to shoot video, did not actually get fired at during the invasion. There were people inside (in the main mosque area) with firearms of some sort, but all they did was wave them in the air, I think.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17 2013 17:44 utc | 63

"Your link is still live, Noirette." Sorry, Mina. Not scrolling back all the time to verify things.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17 2013 17:45 utc | 64

Morsi is the democratically elected president of Egypt.Full Stop.Any other interpretation is based on ethnic or religious prejudice.The difference with Syria is that the resistance wasn't elected,and I distinctly feel the populace would have great hesitation in voting them in if given the choice.All these dead civilians in Egypt,a disgusting and merciless act,and the West is fully complicit.We,again,will bear the consequences.
Create the caliphate already;it won't threaten anybody outside of its territory(as its fascism will be industry lite-no comparable weaponry),and the world will move on.
Israel might not like it though;and there is the huge rub.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 17 2013 18:08 utc | 65

@62 listening now - caller makes good point: US/Israel playing with the Egyptian Army like they did w/Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 17 2013 18:17 utc | 66

The Graun says "The ministry also said that since Wednesday 57 policemen had been killed." That makes more sense that 57 police killed on Friday alone, which was what the waPo said.

Create the caliphate already;it won't threaten anybody outside of its territory, as its fascism will be industry lite, with no comparable weaponry, and the world will move on.

That is a truly bizarre statement. There's so much wrong with it I don't know where to start. How many misconceptions can you cram into one sentence? In the first place, none of this would be happening if the British and following them the US had not artificially created the MB as a fifth column against Nasser. Western secret services have been feeding the MBs in the various Arab countries ever since, out of the classic western viewpoint that you need extra-legal right-wing forces to contain the anti-colonial Left, the workers' parties, and most of all the dreaded commies. So none of this is a bona fide reflection of the Muslim soul. It's all artificial.

The previous prototype for this was the West feeding and arming numerous right-wing underground armies in eastern Europe during and after WW2, for exactly the same reason. So eastern Europe, both the parts actually occupied by the Russians and the parts occupied by the US and its 'Allies', were crawling with right-wing militias, most of them Catholic-fascist, throughout the Cold War and even beyond ('Gladio'). But of course it escapes control. One or another of these more or less crazed militias is always launching anti-Left terror actions of its own. Or the secret services use them to stampede ordinary bourgeois governments into taking extreme anti-Left measures ('strategy of tension'). It's the same thing. So that's the origin and mysterious funding of the MBs in a nutshell.

Next, the idea of a Caliphate is nonsensical. We live in a world of compact nation states, not the disorganised world of 1300 years ago. Each nation state is armed to the teeth with very modern weapons, most of them supplied by the US but some by Russia. Even in north Africa, state forces are very jealous about their borders, and there is no longer any such thing as unclaimed no-man's-land. Even the Saudis, if in some alternate reality they decided to formalise their relationship to all the countries they give money to as a Caliphate, and even if the US was backing them, in despair at producing its beloved 'democracies', they still couldn't do it. There are too many enemies and it would cost more than even they could manage. It's just nonsense.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 17 2013 18:28 utc | 67

Oh somebody, such tepid, self-satisfied bs

"maybe thinking in human terms will help most - otherwise you might end up killing for class terms."
"applies to everybody who puts ideology over common humanity"

Because god knows the real dangers in today's world are people "killing for class terms." Oh, scary!

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 18:34 utc | 68

@Rural, yes, that was good. There are several good callers... and a couple of nuts.

I think Galloway has it right with: "The MB have paved the way for this disaster by encouraging murder in Egypt" and with his uncompromising denouncement of the Egyptian army.

btw, your comment yesterday about "the term 'engaging with' means anything from 'having brunch with' to 'incinerate'" had me rolling.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 18:43 utc | 69

68) To clarify: the danger are people killing (or getting themselves killed) for ideas, the war on terror, nationalism, religion, race, progress you name your favourite. I agree, communism has been out of fashion for quite a while.
The fight for the correct Marxist interpretation did kill quite a few people needlessly though.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 19:18 utc | 70

re Noirette 59

A civil war is NOT in the interest of the ruling elites,
and their way of preventing it is to crush the designated adversary. Note
a showy, strident ‘majority’ seems on board, media, the top biz ppl, etc.

That solution didn't work in Syria. Why not? One reason is that Bashshar
is too nice, and didn't want to massacre large numbers.
Another is that Syria is a country of dispersed centres: Damascus,
Homs, Hama and Aleppo. By contrast Egypt is all centred on Cairo.
That was why my post 4. Journalists don't go further than the capital.
The main support of the MB is outside Cairo in the provinces.

Sisi may succeed in crushing the MB in Cairo, but outside
in the provinces, it is not so easy. I don't know how that
question will go, but massacring large numbers of Cairene
MB is not going to make the reconquest of Upper Egypt easier.

Posted by: alexno | Aug 17 2013 19:31 utc | 71


Yes Israel have been in contact with the west about keeping the support the military and not break away from them and thats the support we now see.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17 2013 20:47 utc | 72

"The fight for the correct Marxist interpretation did kill quite a few people needlessly though."

Yeah? How many? 1/1000th of the number killed for commodities, empire, and "lebensraum" maybe?

The crimes of others seem to be a favorite topic of people living in the most criminal countries. To think that that withered old tree of anti-communism still bears so much rotten fruit is a real testament to the power of using bullshit as a fertilizer.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 17 2013 20:47 utc | 73

73) The emphasis is on needlessly. The Russian civil war was ruthless. When you look at the state of affairs in Russia now, the bolsheviks might as well have let the Mensheviks and the Bourgeoisie do their jobs.

The Vietnam war was one of the US/French big crimes you mention. They won an heroic guerilla fight that killed many and destroyed their environment.
To be in this situation:

Vietnam has been very successful in attracting foreign direct investment, sustaining FDI levels around USD 10-11 billion a year over the last five years, up from almost nothing just a decade ago. Vietnam’s attractiveness to foreign investors resulted in large part from the country’s open government policies encouraging FDI, geographical position near global supply chains, political and economic stability, and abundant labor resources. Recently, however, international investors have voiced concerns that the investment climate has deteriorated. Problems include corruption and a weak legal infrastructure, financial instability, inadequate training and education systems, and conflicting and detrimental bureaucratic decision-making. Investors have called for immediate reforms and the development of sound economic policies in order for Vietnam to continue to attract good-quality foreign investment.

Openness to, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

Vietnam officially encourages foreign investment as part of its development strategy and the government has stated its commitment to improving the country’s business and investment climate ...

Compare that to South Korea ...

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17 2013 21:46 utc | 74

This video of an armoured vehicle mowing down a crowd of people throwing stones is pretty sickening. To see how much approval of this there is around here has permanently changed my opinion of this site.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17 2013 22:55 utc | 75

Anon, are you Egyptian? I'm guessing you are. How do you feel about attacks on churches? Now granted the MB leadership has condemned the attacks, but if they can't control their followers then what can one say? And if they somehow manage to regain power now, what do you think they will do?

I'm also curious how such a strategy could possibly help them win. It makes them hated by everyone else, even those who might have been sympathetic to them. A purely non-violent strategy of constant protests might have gained sympathy for the brothers and might have caused division in the army. But for some reason, they are not able to follow it.

Which is unfortunate because I do agree the army police, after they have "restored order" will be much more oppressive than ever.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 18 2013 1:30 utc | 76

P.S. I should add that I think the coup is a disaster for Egypt and its full effects are yet to be seen. Unfortunately, the brothers are, as always, their own worst enemy.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 18 2013 1:37 utc | 77

Planted Reports on Al-Jazeera Perpetuated Worldwide. The Ministry has rejected claims and news reports which have been circulated by al-Jazeera and other Muslim Brotherhood associated TV channels, according to which the military should have used live ammunition against protesters in the Rabaa al-Adwiya and al-Nahda Squares. The reports by al-Jazeera and others have led to the false reports being perpetuated throughout other media, such as RT as well as most Western mainstream media.

nsnbc international has spoken with several eyewitnesses who were at the scene of the events who reported, that snipers were firing into the peaceful protesters, stirring up violence. The eyewitnesses stressed, that unless journalists were aware of where the armed radicals were shooting from, and where snipers were located, it was understandable that journalists at the scene would get the impression that the protesters were being targeted by the police and military. One eyewitness added “After all, most of the protesters who were leaving also thought that the police was firing on them”.

Moreover, eyewitnesses reported to nsnbc international, that the armed radicals at the two squares, who were barricaded behind the fortifications of sand-filled sacks, opened fire at the police, killing many of the peaceful protesters who were caught-up in the line of fire.

Posted by: brian | Aug 18 2013 2:27 utc | 78

78) Yes brian, but set up by whom? I can only see two parties a) the Egyptian state b) the Muslim Brotherhood. Both think the other's violence works for them.
To assume 3rd party is thinking the most unlikely. It was a sit-in surrounded by high rise flats. The Egyptian army/police had waited for weeks watching the sit-in. They had helicopters i.e. could see the snipers from the air, and if they were not theirs could have taken them out. The Egyptian army /police has very modern weapons for crowd control - supplied by the US - as this video shows.
But most of all: None of the players claim third party involvement, you should think the Egyptian state would say: No, if was not us - if it had not been them, or the Muslim Brotherhood would say, no, the Egyptian police we saw actually was quite nice but someone fired on us from the roof.
They are not saying that. It is clear the Egyptian state intends a violent crack-down, it is clear, arrested Muslim Brotherhood leaders are incommunicado, and everybody expects arrested Muslim Brotherhood members and others are being tortured. A police does not get that reputation by third party involvement. So yes, the Egyptian state knew those snipers and they were theirs.
It is possible to provoke a fight by firing first - the rest has to be done by others then though. You do not get over a thousand dead by proportionate reaction.
Another fact is that the fighting was not just between the state and the Muslim Brotherhood, there were also vigilante, neighbourhood groups doing the work of the state.
The Egyptian state has now framed the Muslim Brotherhood successfully into "terrorists" and the Muslim Brotherhood just fell into that trap.
It is possible and likely that quite a few violent incidents coming from Muslim Brotherhood crowds were done by secret police, and a few churches were torched by them, however, the Muslim Brotherhood did nothing to fight the impression it was them ie. protecting churches with their organization. No, quite the contrary their statements against the Coptic church could be understood as incitement diverting from the fact that the Muslim Azhar authority had also supported the popular coup. They also seemed to justify the attacks with "every action has a reaction"
The Muslim Brotherhood did have liberal support against military rule when they started a year ago. They jinxed it.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18 2013 4:48 utc | 79

What is the "custodian of the two holy mosques" trying to say here?

What had happened, he said, was deeply painful to all who wished to see stability and unity prevailing in Egypt. Those who had chosen to interfere in Egypt's affairs needed to understand that they were stoking the fires of sedition. Even if they claimed that they were in fact fighting terrorism, the reality of their actions was that they were actually aiding and abetting this great evil of our modern times. King Abdullah said that he only hoped that sooner, rather than later, they would return to their senses and abandon their wicked path.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18 2013 5:07 utc | 80

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18, 2013 12:48:00 AM | 79

you may need glasses: cause two parties you overlook are US and israel..or is that one party....these snipers need to be caught and identified

Posted by: brian | Aug 18 2013 5:09 utc | 81

The MBs themselves claimed a couple of days ago that the civilian shooters were from Gama'a Islamiya, which is well to the right of the MB and actually allied with al-Nur Party (Noor, in the current spelling with its ee's and oo's, which I hate) in the 2011 elections. So there is a plausible 'third force provocateur' candidate for you, brian. Gama'a could have provoked the army into firing, by planting its shooters among the crowds. But MB should have posted its own armed marshals to spot and deter this. There's no other answer to it, since the unarmed members of the crowd can't confront & deter such men. If you don't know what I mean, here's wikipedia: "Demonstration marshals, also called stewards, are used by the organizers of large or controversial demonstrations, rallies and protests, to help ensure the safety of the participants. They are especially important for preventing infiltration by agents provocateurs."

For sure this video clip (Posted by Anonymous, @75) of APCs firing into apparently unarmed demonstrators is sobering:
It was posted Aug 15 but not reading arabic, I can't say exactly when or where it was recorded. I cannot tell from the soundtrack if anyone is firing back at the APCs and the troops crouched behind them.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 18 2013 5:59 utc | 82

81) this may be your pet theory, the Muslim Brotherhood who should know from close is simply saying this

On Friday alone, the putschists’ security forces killed at least 213 Egyptians (a toll most likely to rise, unfortunately) during peaceful demonstrations to condemn the massacres of August 14, and to demand the overthrow of the coup.

Friday also saw a serious development where the putschists used war planes and military helicopters to machine-gun peaceful demonstrators in Ramses Square in Giza. The army also used armored attack-vehicles’ heavy guns to fire on demonstrators in Alexandria.

General Sisi and his henchmen therefore have the dubious honor of being the first to use the Egyptian armed forces and heavy weapons to kill Egyptians in a historical precedent and a crime against humanity that will not go unpunished by the law.

In another development, the July 3 coup forces used bullets that are forbidden internationally. They kidnapped women who were on their way to participate in peaceful protests on Friday. They continued their unholy practice of violating the sanctity of the dead by mutilating bodies of martyrs. They even attacked the wounded in hospitals, not to mention their attacks on journalists and abduction and targeting of photographers, in an attempt to hide the truth.

The unspeakable massacres those cold-blooded forces committed will be a mark of shame on the forehead of humanity that shows how the coup commanders lost their human senses together with all feelings and values, principles and ethics.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18 2013 6:10 utc | 83

Friday also saw a serious development where the putschists used war planes and military helicopters to machine-gun peaceful demonstrators in Ramses Square in Giza.
If that happened in Ramses Sq there would be multiple reports & videos of it.
The army also used armored attack-vehicles’ heavy guns to fire on demonstrators in Alexandria.
That sounds like the event recorded in the video I just mentioned (in #82).

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 18 2013 6:52 utc | 84

Saudi Al Hayat

Apart from the contradictory description of what is happening in Syria
- accusing the US and Syria to instigate a fight between Al Nusra and the FSA/Kurds -
it is shorthand for "We are not satisfied by the actions of either US nor
Russia and are reevaluating our options"

A security cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia should be interesting to say the least.

The United States is setting a condition on the Syrian opposition
– it must confront the extremist Islamist forces in the country,
especially the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,
for it to receive support in the form of weapons.
Meanwhile, the US has been trying – since before the Egyptian police
and Army broke up the Brotherhood's street sit-in –
to broker a reconciliation between this group and the 30 July popular uprising.
In doing so, it was ignoring the acts of the Brotherhood,
which aborted the rise of a pluralist order in Egypt.
The US sympathized with the Brotherhood when the protests were broken up,
ignoring both its role in inciting violence and the million-person popular
demonstrations against the Brotherhood's usurpation of power.

Meanwhile, Russia is allowing the Syrian regime to pursue tactics that Moscow
has mastered, such as turning over some areas to hardline Islamists a few months ago
(Nusra and ISIS), in the province of Raqqa. This was in order to spark a struggle between
these two groups and the rebel Free Syrian Army, as well as with the Kurdish forces in the
country's northeast. Moscow looked on,
even though its chief excuse in supporting the Syrian regime is its concern about the control
over Syria by hardline Islamists and terrorists, if the regime falls.
In Egypt, Moscow ignores the regime's repression of the Brotherhood for the sole reason that
Washington has been critical of the crackdown.
One of the ironies about the impact that the balance
of power on the ground has on the stances of other countries
is that while US-Saudi relations are seeing disputes and
differences over events in Egypt, and the option of providing
qualitative arms to the Syrian opposition, Russian-Saudi relations
are characterized by tension. This is because Russia is vetoing any
United Nations Security Council resolution that is tough on the
regime of Bashar Assad. There have been attempts to revive previous
understandings, which were raised between the two sides in 2008,
in talks a few weeks ago. These discussions took up the future of
Syria and the possibility of arriving at a political settlement
over the country, one that would end with Assad's departure.
This openness between Russia and Saudi Arabia represents a limited
breakthrough, which establishes the beginning of serious dialogue
– if this is the case, the two countries are bound, during the
current circumstances, to confront a common rival, namely Islamic extremism.
Moscow fears that this hardline Islamist current will have an impact
on the Republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation.
It is most likely that the progress of Islamic extremism
depends on the situation on the ground in Syria,
in parallel to what finally stabilizes in Egypt.

Thus, Moscow is moving toward reducing the repercussions
of its disputes over the Syria crisis with all other countries,
including Europe, on its relations with these countries.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18 2013 6:54 utc | 85

This here is AP's description

Unlike in past clashes between protesters and police,
Friday's violence introduced a combustible new mix,
with residents and police in civilian clothing
battling those participating in the Brotherhood-led marches.

Few police in uniform were seen as neighborhood watchdogs
and pro-Morsi protesters fired at one another for hours
on a bridge that crosses over Cairo's Zamalek district,
an upscale island neighborhood where many foreigners
and ambassadors reside.

Friday's violence erupted shortly after midday prayers
when tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters answered
the group's call to protest across Egypt in defiance of a
military-imposed state of emergency following the bloodshed earlier this week.

Armed civilians manned impromptu checkpoints throughout the capital,
banning Brotherhood marches from approaching and frisking anyone wanting
to pass through. At one, residents barred ambulances and cars carrying wounded
from Cairo's main battleground, Ramses Square, from reaching a hospital.

By choosing Ramses Square as the focus of Friday's demonstrations,
the Brotherhood appeared to be trying to establish another protest site
to replace the two forcibly cleared Wednesday — but this time in an area
that cuts through the heart of Cairo. The area is near Tahrir Square,
where the army put up barbed wire and deployed 30 tanks outside the Egyptian
Museum overlooking the area as a buffer between the protesters
and a small anti-Brotherhood encampment in the square.

Heavy gunfire rang out over a main overpass where pro-Morsi protesters were marching
toward Ramses Square. Video online showed protesters trying to flee the bullets,
with at least one person jumping off the high overpass and others hanging off the side.
Some used a rope to get down. It was not immediately clear where
the bullets were being shot from.

Alia Mostafa of the Anti-coup Alliance, a group that works closely
with the Brotherhood,said snipers were shooting down at protesters
in the Ramses Square area.

"Police are firing live ammunition from the roof tops of the
nearby police station," she said.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18 2013 7:30 utc | 86

Here is a clip of the moments before the army broke into the mosque: link. And here (second clip down, not yet on youtube) is a clip of the police herding people in the interior of the mosque towards the exits (quite nonviolently): link. Now this is curious. Egypt Independent (associate of al-Masry al-Youm) posted this & then pulled it, probably because it’s just bollocks:

Putin to arrange for joint military exercises with Egypt: source
Egypt Independent, Aug 15 2013 (Google cache)

Sources told Egypt Independent that Russian Pres Putin called for an extraordinary session at the Russian Kremlin to discuss the situation in Egypt and take the necessary steps to put the Russian military facilities “at the Egyptian military’s disposal.” Putin will discuss Russian arrangements for joint military exercises with the Egyptian army. These developments come after US Pres Obama’s announcement that the US is calling off joint military exercises with Egypt and threatening with further steps.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 18 2013 7:51 utc | 87

Plain and clear, from the Arabist today

"Hamza Hamdawi, for AP:

CAIRO (AP) - After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like "prisoners of war" before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob."

Posted by: Mina | Aug 18 2013 8:54 utc | 88

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18, 2013 3:30:32 AM | 86

associated press(AP)

nice sauce! goes well with tripe

Posted by: brian | Aug 18 2013 11:40 utc | 89

Posted by: somebody | Aug 18, 2013 2:10:29 AM | 83

peaceful demonstrations?

As expected, and as the mainstream media was raving about the horrifyingly bloody crackdown on the peaceful Muslim Brotherhood ‘sit-ins in Cairo on Wednesday morning August 14, most Egyptians (the decent patriots with a functioning and sane mind still) were heaving a sigh of relief.

The two sit-ins, or to be honest, the terrorist bases in Rabaa and Nahda squares, were not peaceful at all; unless you believe Moltov cocktails, automatic guns, grenades, and RPJs are legitimate tools in protests and occupy movements with a good cause. (Watch video of the confiscated firearms after raiding the sit-ins)


Posted by: brian | Aug 18 2013 11:42 utc | 90

support for the Muslim Brotherhood on this site: strange

youve joined Aljazeera!

Posted by: brian | Aug 18 2013 11:43 utc | 91

There is no real secret about why Russia is not coming out against the coup:
Under the Muslim Brotherhood there was a large persecution of the Copts, who are Orthodox Christians (even though the worst acts were carried out against them by the Salafists, it was done under Brotherhood watch), & the Muslim Brotherhood was heavily supporting the rebels in Syria, as well as supporting the export of 'revolutions' elsewhere.

However, I think that the support for military coup has been heavily exaggerated in the western press (usual propaganda bull about making it look like the west is always on 'the right side of history'), & think the report of potential war games between Russian & Egyptian military is a complete fabrication.
The Russians know this whole mess has deep involvement with all sides with western & GCC power players, & in no way are they going to themselves deeper into this than they have to.

Careful statements (which the western press will duly misrepresent) while keeping a close eye on developments is likely as far as the Russians will go, & pretty much the same with the Chinese.


RE: one thing Fisk has got right with his analysis in Egypt is that the Brotherhood supporters are mostly the poor.
Morsi managed to alienate his base by playing power games and pandering to the neo-liberals & the neo-imperialists - this could well re-invigorate them in the slums & provinces and turn them into a genuine revolutionary mass-movement...

Posted by: KenM | Aug 18 2013 17:30 utc | 92

I think the report of potential war games between Russian & Egyptian military is a complete fabrication.
I think you're right, ken. It appeared on Egypt Independent, which apparently is the english-language offshoot of al-Masry al-Youm, about which I noted (on my own blog) the following. Hisham Qassem, a founding publisher of privately-owned al-Masry al-Youm, told the WSJ on Aug 8:
The state media are programmed to the line of whoever is in power. They don’t need instructions or calls to be told what to write. Years of state-cultivated xenophobia have left Egyptians suspicious of foreign policy and US interests in Egypt.
Irrespective of whether his statement to the WSJ was true or not, what that tells me is that he is painting himself as more pro-US than the government. And someone who does that is perfectly capable of manufacturing a rumour that Putin is supporting Sisi just because he thinks it will get him brownie points in the US. But I have to disagree with your assumption that Russian solidarity with Egyptian Copts counts for anything. The Copts are not 'Orthodox' in the Russian sense. If you want people who are, then look to the Greeks. Oriental Orthodoxy split from Eastern Orthodoxy at Chalcedon (451 c.e.) because the Orientals are Monophysites.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 18 2013 18:38 utc | 93

"The Copts are not 'Orthodox' in the Russian sense" might be technically true, but they are close enough for the Moscow Patriarchy to take a serious interest. There has been some major shuttle diplomacy going at high level for some time between the Moscow Patriarchy and the Egyptian Copts, as well as Syrian & Lebanese Christians, and they have been lobbying the Russian government heavily to get more involved in protecting Christians in the Middle East.
This is likely to have a serious effect on the Russian governments view of the players.

Posted by: KenM | Aug 18 2013 21:46 utc | 94

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