Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 14, 2013

Egypt: Repressing the Muslim Brotherhood

The ruling Egyptian military decided to shut down the weeks long Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo. This morning it started to clear the places and Mosques the Brotherhood occupied. As expected the Brotherhood supporters resisted and the situation quickly escalated.

The police used lots of tear gas, bird shots and bulldozers to clear the barricades and tents. Snipers were seen on roofs. Some hundred of Muslim Brotherhood followers died. Many more were wounded. Some were burned when the tents they were in caught fire. Others were killed in stampedes. An unknown number were shot. The protesters used Molotov cocktails and stones against the police. Some of the protesters were seen with firearms fighting against police units. Various pictures from the riots can be seen here.

While the clearing of the sit-ins in Cairo was ongoing supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in upper Egypt set fire to at least seven Coptic churches and ransacked several police stations. Brotherhood leaders were overheard by journalists advising outside supporters to not come to the sit-ins but to "burn down police stations". Police stations and police cars in Cairo were attacked, several policemen were killed.

A daughter of billionaire and Muslim Brotherhood big wig Khiret El-Shater and her husband were reportedly killed. A daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leader El Beltagy was killed at the Rabaa sit-in. The conflict will now be a very personal issue for them.

Journalists and TV staff were attacked by police as well as by protesters. Two were killed and several reported that their equipment was confiscated and/or stolen.

Later today the military will likely impose a curfew in Cairo and elsewhere around the country.

Earlier Secretary of State Kerry had said that the Egyptian military was "restoring democracy". There will come little condemnation from Washington today and what will come will be ignored by the new rulers in Egypt. In seldom unity Iran, Qatar and Turkey condemned the violence (insert pot kettle joke here). The iman of Al Aznahr, the center of Muslim teaching in Egypt, called on both sides to end the violence.

All attempts to find a political solution in recent weeks had failed. After today it is even less likely that that one will be found. The military will suppress any new Muslim Brotherhood activity and parts of the MB may consider to go underground and fight a guerrilla or terror war. That will only increase the pressure coming from the state. The political winner of the MB-military conflict will be the Salafi Nour party which had kept its followers away from the altercations. It has support from the Gulf states and the Egyptian economy currently depends on money from the Gulf. It is difficult to see how in the long term some balance between the transnational Islamic movements in Egypt and the nationalist, more secular forces can be found.

Posted by b on August 14, 2013 at 13:04 UTC | Permalink

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Now the thuggish army is killing off western journalists.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 14 2013 13:08 utc | 1

Those AFP photos are very interesting (though slow to load). In several of them, AFP captions "An MB supporter/ Morsi supporter carries/ fires an AK47... " On one, supposedly, "An MB supporter/ Morsi supporter fires fireworks..."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 14:28 utc | 2

History is a brutal teacher. What the army is doing now in Cairo would have been impossible a few months ago.

The Brotherhood, from the beginning of this revolution has attempted to distance itself from the popular movement, to surf on the waves of revolution rather than to join with the crowds. During the electoral process this tactic appeared to have been fruitful, but now its dangers are starkly revealed. Disdaining the popular forces of the street, eschewing the intimately related causes of redistribution and solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians, attempting to finesse the cardinal questions of imperialist hegemony in the form of neo-liberalism and zionist triumphalism, the Brotherhood neatly positioned itself between the two stools of the Empire and the People.

But this is not to justify in the slightest degree the infamous behaviour of the Army which, after sixty years is now back to where it was, an auxiliary to the Empire; once the creature of the British High Commissioner now subservient to the US Ambassador. The Egyptian Army now occupies the same place in society that the Argentinian, Brazilian, Guatemalan and, most notoriously, the Chilean army has filled during the past few decades. It is the enemy of the people, wholly dependent on foreign support and firmly opposed to the interests of the population, including the masses from whom it conscripts its recruits.
The revolution has not ended.
The sad truth of the massacres of Brotherhood supporters and, no doubt, the best elements of the people showing solidarity with the victims of imperialism, is that the electoral process was as hollow and meaningless as, at the time, it appeared to be. Had the Brotherhood the support that it claimed to have had and interpreted as its mandate to govern as it did, these massacres could never have happened. Clearly the people who chased Mubarak into prison have watched, not without emotion but without any conviction that the passing of Morsi's government represents any real loss to them.

Now the die is cast: the army, as did Morsi and his party, has taken the side of the ruling class and the imperialists. Its next task will be to reclaim the few scraps of food and property that have fallen into the hands of the poor, for their masters. The needy millions must be starved again to stuff the bellies of the usurers, the landowners, the capitalists, the military oligarchs, the corrupt intelligentsia and, above all, the foreigners.
It will be doing so, attacking the population, at the least propitious of times, the economy, globally is contracting. The cost of food grains is rising, the market for Egyptian exports is declining. There are no short term fixes, no easy ways out, except social revolution.
We are back where we started when Mubarak's rule was being challenged, except that both sides have drawn conclusions from experience.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2013 14:57 utc | 3

re #3:right on bevin, egyptian army shows true colors as colonial gendarmerie...sorry prof. tarpley, al-sisi IS the new pinochet NOT the new nasser.

Posted by: bfrakes | Aug 14 2013 15:20 utc | 4

I am not convinced that the Army staged the coup at the behest of the US Ambassador. I am aware that there were talks between the Army and various levels of the State Dept before the coup, but I don't think there's any evidence that those talks led to an agreement rather than a disagreement. Is there in fact any such evidence -- even anecdotal?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 15:22 utc | 5

In a weird way, I never feel sorry for the brotherhood and in fact, I think they deserve every sh*t they get..

I lost touch with them the moment Mursi called to jihad in Syria.. I mean, who would'e thought that a movement that had been oppressed by US backed regime for decades will be on the same side as the US in the Syrian conflict???

I think both the army and the brotherhood deserve each other...I have no sympathy for either of them!!!

Posted by: Zico | Aug 14 2013 15:32 utc | 6

"I am not convinced that the Army staged the coup at the behest of the US Ambassador. I am aware that there were talks between the Army and various levels of the State Dept before the coup, but I don't think there's any evidence that those talks led to an agreement rather than a disagreement."
I agree completely, I hope that I did not imply otherwise. My reference to the Ambassador was perhaps unwise: these days Ambassadors are little more than figureheads and the CIA is running things.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2013 15:38 utc | 7

Ok, then let's take it a stage further. Do you think that the US actually prefers Army rule to MB rule in Egypt?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 15:50 utc | 8

Meet the old boss, same as the new boss.

Apologies, I genuinely typed that out backwards.

Morsi was too autocratic, too Islamist, over-stepped his powers (as seen by a W sorta democrat like me), possibly stupid and so on as well, and at the same time he tried to compose with the powers in place.

The army, the Mubarakists, the old regime, the vaguely hallowed State Apparatus, the Authorities. He tried to insert himself in it, or at least to leave its legitimacy and core structure more or less intact, like the new boy on the block who suddenly gets status thru some unexpected means.

In this case, a popular vote. (Assuming he did ‘win’ the elections for whatever that is worth.)

Following one’s squinty slant, he was in an impossible position and bound to fail / a fool who fell in a trap / a completely ridiculous politician / and Islamic despot in the making / just an MB stooge which is not acceptable / an elected leader scandalously treated / other...

Who knows. Nevertheless, the crux is the taking-on and parcelling out of authority.

Central here imho is that whatever moves towards people’s or democratic control of the State and Associated Apparatus, which in Egypt is massive, tentacular, and entrenched: Army, Police, State - education for ex. - business interests, wealth, rich families, control of territory, agriculture, transport, foreign contracts and deals, etc. has reacted with the military coup of July 2013 to show that they will brook no interference of any kind.

Their one experiment into religious-dominated control has failed and they will never allow anything like that to happen again.

The MB will be branded ‘terrorists’ (as before if under different labels or none), the PTB have played the cards of divide-to-rule masterfully, riling up -quotes around all -: liberals, democrats, secularists, women’s lib, modernists, unionists, old style pan-Arab socialists, students, young educated unemployed, etc. *against* the MB.

Simultaneously, the MB against other factions, generally defined as tribal > thus religious (as that is how the MB define themselves), they are prompt to lash out against anyone if sent into their policed trenches, possibly manipulated to do so.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 14 2013 15:56 utc | 9


The overall rule of the strategy in place is to undermine the legitimacy of anyone siding with an independant political path in any middle-east nation. From that you can easily derive the preference. This can translate to wanting MB in power, the military or both together or noen of them. It can mean fierce fighting between factions or simply a civil war. it all depends on time and circumstances.

Posted by: ATH | Aug 14 2013 16:08 utc | 10

Re: #3, #5 and #7

I think that military coups could be classified into two groups:

1) Coups designed, instigated, managed and executed to its very details by the imperialism. Best examples of this kind of coups would be the military coups in Iran (most notably 1953, but also the ones before that) and the coup to topple Allende in Chile.

2) Coups which are mainly the result of the internal dynamics of a country and the role that armed forces play in the balance of power in such countries. Such coups may very often have the approval of the imperialism, but they are not necessarily designed, instigated and executed by the imperialism. The best example of such coups are the military coups which have taken place in Turkey, all along the 20th century.

In my opinion this past military coup against the MB government in Egypt falls into this second category and NOT in the first.

Posted by: pirouz_2 | Aug 14 2013 16:27 utc | 11

re: egypt crackdown pix...those bulldozers look alot like the ones' the izzies use to knockdown palestinian homes and murder people...s'pose they're hired for the day?

Posted by: bfrakes | Aug 14 2013 16:45 utc | 12

Those are both good arguments. But I have a number of ideas about this particular coup, which could of course all be quite wrong:
(1) The MB was until recently regarded by both the US and Israel as a controllable asset, its control being exercised deniably via Qatar.
(2) Morsi's stepped-up guerrilla militarisation of the Sinai crossed an Israeli "red line" rather than a US one.
(3) Israel, not the US, was the imperial or mini-imperial authority which greenlighted the coup.
(4) The US was disconcerted by this but could not override the Israeli decision.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 16:50 utc | 13

Ok, then let's take it a stage further. Do you think that the US actually prefers Army rule to MB rule in Egypt?

Well its a bit of a rigged game isn't it. The US had both the MB and Egytian Army in its pocket, so whoever came out on top it had someone it could do business with. The wildcard is of course Saudi Arabia. The US could live with either a MB government or a Military government but Saudi Arabia couldn't tolerate a Muslim Brotherhood government. In the end, Saudi Arabia got its way and the US shrugged it shoulders at replacing one puppet for another puppet.

The interesting thing going forward is if the Muslim Brotherhood comes out on top again (in the next 5 years or so). The US could count on the MB.... right up until they stabbed them in the back. If the MB returns to power, I think they will be a lot more hostile to US interests. The Egyptian Military has won today but the chaos is still there. In a year or so when the Economy is still bad who knows who will come out on top.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 14 2013 17:22 utc | 14


Of course? Its self-evident because they are allied. The Sisi is even trained by and in the west.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 14 2013 17:29 utc | 15

I wonder what impact this will have, if any, on events in Syria. The brewing conflict in Egypt might just lure some of the Sunni, religious extremists to Egypt instead of Syria. That would be good as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: alaric | Aug 14 2013 17:46 utc | 16

- The pseudo liberal figleaf ElBaradei has resigned from the VP position as have several others in the figleaf civil government.
- All top MB leaders are now in jail and will likely not leave it for some years.
- Rabaa square seems to be cleared.
- A state of emergency and a curfew have been declared.
- Lots of violence in other Egyptian cities north and south against Copts and against the police. Some 100 dead outside of Cairo. Probably 200+ in Cairo.

This will sound a bit off but the death count is quite low. I would have expected many more dead coming out of this.


The liberal interventionist Marc Lynch thinks that the US should do "something"

With blood in Egypt's streets and a return to a state of emergency, it's time for Washington to stop pretending. Its efforts to maintain its lines of communication with the Egyptian military, quietly mediate the crisis, and help lay the groundwork for some new, democratic political process have utterly failed. Egypt's new military regime, and a sizable and vocal portion of the Egyptian population, have made it very clear that they just want the United States to leave it alone. For once, Washington should give them their wish. As long as Egypt remains on its current path, the Obama administration should suspend all aid, keep the embassy in Cairo closed, and refrain from treating the military regime as a legitimate government.
Yeah. And the Egyptian military will find that all U.S. ships that want to travel through the Suez canal are also illegitimate. Besides that the some 80-90% of the $1.5 billion that "goes to Egypt" actually goes to the U.S. companies. Good luck with cutting that.

The liberal interventionist sound exactly like the neocons. Compare Lynch with the Washington Post editorial:

It may be that outside powers cannot now change this tragic course of events. But if the United States wishes to have some chance to influence a country that has been its close ally for four decades, it must immediately change its policy toward the armed forces. That means the complete suspension of all aid and cooperation, coupled with the message that relations will resume when — and if — the generals end their campaign of repression and take tangible steps to restore democracy.

Posted by: b | Aug 14 2013 18:05 utc | 17

@15: whatever it is that makes it self-evident for you doesn't make it self-evident for me, unfortunately.

@16: this is the other thing, that perhaps spoils my theory. There was some sort of crisis in the Qatari leadership, well before the Sisi coup in Egypt. And this crisis in Qatar had something to do with their policies in Syria. The old emir had given too much slack to the Syrian Jihadis that he was funding, which led to al-Qaeda running riot there and trying to combine the Iraqi and Syrian Jihadi theatres into one, which the US did not like. So the US forced the old emir to retire, and imposed a reorganisation whereby the Syrian Jihad would be funded and managed by Saudi instead of Qatar, and thus, the US hoped, both the MBs and al-Qaeda would become much less important. And Israel had nothing to do with this. Israel's concern was the Sinai, and the danger that Egyptian MBs would create a sort of Jihadi free fire zone stretching all the way from Egypt to Gaza.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 18:07 utc | 18

17)numbers will grow, official count is 149 now. 15 policemen have also died.

Egypt shares a long border with Libya, it should be surprising if Libyan weapons did not find their way to Egypt.

Egypt might be in for a long splintered civil war. The decapitated leadership cannot control their organization any more. Attacking police stations and burning churches is not really political strategy.

Muslim Brotherhood membership could be something up to 20 percent of Egyptians. That is a lot to cause trouble with.

No this is not a plan made in the US or Israel. A destabilized Egypt the army cannot control is definitively not on Israel's wish list.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 14 2013 18:58 utc | 19

I applaude El Baradei, thats a descent move from what turning into a fully fledged military dictatorship, led by the US-backed Sisi that have a love for killing civilians and checking out the genitals of girls.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 14 2013 19:10 utc | 20

@20: you keep saying "US-backed Sisi" but saying doesn't make it so. You need to provide some sort of reasoning, among other things why Ambassador Anne Patterson made herself so universally hated by defending Morsi during the coup. And State Dept troubleshooter George Burns didn't exactly cuddle up to Sisi and the military, AFAIK. Then there are McCain & Graham, but I wouldn't rely much on them to prove anything, it's true. You must be assuming that all this US repugnance at the coup and US moaning about how Morsi was "democratically elected" is just fake, 'crocodile tears', and really they planned the whole coup and just pretended to be surprised and disconcerted. This is what makes people complain about 'conspiracy theory'; if you just insist that the elites behind the scenes are doing the opposite of what they pretend in public, you can 'prove' anything.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 19:21 utc | 21

Of course? Its self-evident because they are allied. The Sisi is even trained by and in the west.

Your beloved Mursi is trained by and in the West.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 14 2013 19:23 utc | 22

This will blowback against the US, especially (but regardless of) if the egyptian army keep killing.

Take this picture:

All shot by american bullets and weaponry.

Very stupid move by US to support these thugs especially since the support for US in Egypt is already down at the bottom.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 14 2013 19:28 utc | 23

Perhaps the Qataris simply spent so long balancing on the highwire that they got dizzy. They (including Al Jazeera)have certainly fallen a long way quickly. It was only a few months ago that one of their diplomats was chairing the UN General Assembly and laying down the law. He'd be laughed off the podium today.

In these periods of transition, all sorts of marginal actors can be stars for a day as they take advantage of the caution with which the real players, such as China and Russia, make their moves. Qatar could lead because nobody else wanted to, the US because it realised that it had to take a back seat occasionally and its rivals because they are waiting both for it to make mistakes and to suffer the consequences of the mistakes it has already made.

The US suffers from the weakness of too much strength: it doesn't need to think or calculate so it doesn't.
In Washington everyone can pursue a foreign policy: the hawks, who believe in force alone, favour the army over the Brotherhood. This weakens the army as we have seen as its liberal allies have shrunk away from its extreme and unnecessary violence.

The "moderates" in the US favour the Brotherhood, whose reputation as indigenous, islamic and populist, they cherish as cover for the Empire.
And there are all manner of other power centres with agendas of their own. In the US this is possible because complete defeat is impossible. But in other countries, interested in pursuing their own interests (and their are very few of these, most, like Britain regarding the national interest as following, facilitating sometimes even assisting to shape America's lead) the government speaks with one voice. Most often it keeps silent.

China's silence during the long crisis in the middle east is the silence of "that two-handed engine at the door (which)
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more".

Russia's position is only marginally different. And both powers are geographically close to the region. A few days march away, in the old military calculation. Everything that happens there- Israel's mini-hegemony, Saudi Arabia's adventures in darkness, the sanctioning of Iran, the bleeding of Syria and Iraq- is not just because of American power but, much more, because the Shanghai Co-operators have better ways to spend their time, money and psychic energy.

They watched, with mingled disgust and pleasure as the US discredited itself and the UN and its NATO alliance in Libya. In Syria they again allowed Obama as much rope as he needed but they insisted, by vetoing a UN sanctioned No Fly zone, that he be allowed time to tie himself in knots and a good chance to hang himself.

Are they not thinking the same about Egypt? Not only does the US back both but it is also bound to lose. That's what happens when you cover your bets, not only do you always win, also you always lose.

Whatever the army does, the US takes the blame because it pays for it. As to the Brotherhood, nothing is less convincing than the Army's charge that Morsi was in the pockets of Hamas, it just reminds us that the Brotherhood betrayed Hamas at America's insistence.

The sky over Egypt is dark with chickens going home to roost. Some are bound for America, others for Israel and Turkey, but a few of the meanest looking flocks are flying southeast to Riyadh, Sa'ana and the Gulf city states with their mercenary police forces, their imported proletariats and their debauched elites.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2013 19:34 utc | 24

Somebody said:

"No this is not a plan made in the US or Israel. A destabilized Egypt the army cannot control is definitively not on Israel's wish list."

Most of the time the events in the terrain have their own direction, but this doeasn't mean the most influential and militarily active belligerents in the middle-east don't implement their own strategic objectives, it means that they need to adjust it in real-time in a turbulent situation. And they are the ones that have the most capabily to do it since they have vast amount of resources. Their goal, as I said before, is simple, discredit and deligitamize any popular movement and leadership that can have an independant and sovereign plan of action. Be it secular, muslim, socialist etc...

I don't see why a situation like this, chaos and potential civil war would be outside the belligerents interests. "Religious extremism" was a phenomenon "under control" since more than 12 years ago and I don't see why they couldn't be maintained in the boundaries they "should" remain according to belligerents intereest, i.e. inside the muslim world.

Posted by: ATH | Aug 14 2013 20:01 utc | 25

"That two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more."
I saw the same quote discussed in a book somewhere really recently, but I can't remember where or why. What on earth is it?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 14 2013 20:10 utc | 26

@26, Milton's Lycidas. He's complaining about the corrupted establishment clergy.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 14 2013 20:32 utc | 27

Pretty fucking simplistic analyses goin on here. Sure blame the victim its easier than admitting that the opinions of so many posters here, that the coup was a good thing, was so out of touch with the reality of Egypt, that it made a mockery of any pretense of objective punditry.

The MB was very new at governing, as were any of the other political movements vying for power in egypt that hadn't been part of the oppressive mubarak regime. Ya get that after a dictatorship. Of course they were gonna make mistakes but the parliamentary elections which were about to be held in Egypt before the coup, would've provided a good balance on Morsi (yes even if the MB won most seats-I betcha Morsi didn't have 100% support amongst his fellow pols) which is why the army had to move when they did. Right when Morsi's period of sole rule was at its power zenith.
Very few transitions from tyranny to elected leaders go smoothly - there is nearly always an interim period like the one Egypt had under Morsi as everyone readjusts their settings, but we'll ignore that eh, otherwise we'll hafta admit we're a mob of vicarious dickheads.

Idjit urban liberals got played and the odds of a western style 'democracy' emerging from egypt now are about nil. Egypt has moved back into repression.

There is a curious inability for many to look beyond the sound bites. Like the ninnies who tried to argue against amerikan torture of thousands of innocents because "torture doesn't give good intelligence".

They were torturing innocents and knew it, it was never about getting intelligence, it was about revenge and fear-mongering, just like as these attacks on Morsi's supporters by the the thugs who run Egypt are.
The army and police's hands were tied when Egypt's poor were banded together with the liberal elite during the Mubarak overthrow, so they waited. The urban & rural poor supported the MB which like so many other 'peoples champions' had its share of greedy & corrupt assholes, just as the liberals do just as any power structure anywhere does. Once that happened - the elections had in fact divided the protesters, the military followed the advice of its state dept advisors and waited for their moment to rid Egypt of this pesky business of having to listen to the people by using the liberals, as they have been used so often in amerika and the west.

The army are firmly back in control. Funny how they never stormed the urban liberal protesters camps with machine guns a coupla months ago eh.
Amerikans won't give a toss about a mob of koran bashing ragheads getting shot. Google employees who speak english that's another matter.
Not to worry after the treatment that has been dished out to the MB in the last coupla weeks the Cairo yuppies will now be suitably circumspect & go with 'going along to get along' just as their fathers did.
The amerikans here can lie to themsleves about their own government involvement in this classic example of assholery as much as they want, it won't change the facts one iota. Shit most already believe a bunch of facile garbage about their govt blowin up the world trade center yet they won't consider the truth about things their government actually did do. It is this sort of xenophobic amerikan exceptionalism that has idjits convinced that as they put it, "a bunch of unwhites in caves couldn't possibly do that to us", but 'we' wouldn't fuck over egypt; that allows the empire to behave so egregiously.

That and a stupid binary good Vs bad attitude to everything. e.g. "Morsi didn't agree with me on Syria so it's OK that Egyptian people are gonna be oppressed for at least another 40 years".

Arrogant egocentric bullshit I call it.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 14 2013 21:10 utc | 28

sympathy for the MuslimBrotherhood? from me: none
they are real bad dudes who destroy everything they get involved in.

Posted by: brian | Aug 14 2013 21:54 utc | 29

Is the Egyptian revolution primarily about religious identity?--or is it about national/social unity, livelihood, education, justice, and bread? If the steam has built up for a real class and social struggle; then it is easy to see that the Egyptian Army will be backed to the hilt by both the US and Israel. As the imperial powers give tacit approval to the coup, Egypt's top brass dependably becomes rich as it taps the Pentagon treasury and maintains the status quo. And the Generals also have a real stranglehold on the economy, being big land and business owners, and to a large extent the employers of much of the country's labor, to develop and maintain their holdings. And they are the oligarchy complete and unto themselves; and they are the dominant power coming out of the gun barrels.

Egyptians at the beginning of the revolution manifested a deep faith the Army,(not in the corrupt Generals, certainly), but in the Army as a national institution that could support their struggle to remove Mubarak. The image of the Army composed of their brothers who would not turn their guns on the people when it came to the moment of truth, was a faith, a belief that gave them hope.

It's more likely that Egypt's top military would be dealing with terrorist attacks in the Sinai whether Morsi or some other figurehead had ordered it or not; and this would not of itself upset the Israelis, because they have a dependable relationship of long standing with Egypt's Army. This Army keeps the borders to Gaza closed, and does its part to put the squeeze on the Palestinians, helping to starve them, the way the Israeli government likes it done.

The Generals likely were not thinking the people were ready for democracy before, and these Generals don't think they are ready for it now , after a mere facade of democratic process was allowed to go forward, pitting the doddering corpse of the Mubarak era, against Morsi, in another of our era's sickening non-contests. But they called it democracy, even when the winners who ought to have been looking to bind together the nation, went as per usual, to the winner take all arrangement.

If you're a cynic you might think that the Generals intended to cover all their bases: either giving the long restive MB the rope with which to hang themselves, or keeping the Brotherhood on a tight leash. But the endgame is just as it was before, and as it has been for decades, political control by the Generals, with or without a figurehead.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 14 2013 22:01 utc | 30

Garikai Chengu ‏@ChenguGold 56m
I hope that future protests in Egypt focus on the real dictatorship that makes the actual decisions. The dictatorship based in Washington.

Posted by: brian | Aug 14 2013 22:07 utc | 31

damn, debs. You're right. No time now for the usual bit of staggering circumspection about b's intellectual dishonesty. Why don't you just go for it?

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 14 2013 22:16 utc | 32

lack of circumspection, I meant to say.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 14 2013 22:21 utc | 33

Of course this is Zionist(neolibcon) inspired;everything from 9-11 to Egyptian slaughter is inspired by those crazy wackos.
What gets me is antipathy by US and westerners for Islam,and the MB.When in Rome,you do as the Romans do,IOW,their culture is different from our wacky pursuit of toys,and they believe,or at least pay lip service to a God,unlike most western atheist know it alls who actually have absolutely no proof of their agenda of nihilism and self(ish) absorb.
The MB won a democratic election,followed the rules,and gets the shaft.Hypocrisy made large.We aint seen nothing yet.The decisions of 1948(CIA,Israel)continue to haunt US and the world.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 14 2013 22:40 utc | 34

We're getting some powerful spin from several parties in Egypt, so it is hard to sort through what is happening. Even if one grants that Morsi was legitimately elected, but made some bad choices and that other parties in Egypt had a right to protest against Morsi's policies but not to stage a coup, the current situation in Egypt is chaotic. MB representatives are claiming that they are nonviolent and that thousands of their members have been killed at the same time that some of their members are being filmed at protests with rifles and molotov cocktails. Coptic churches are being attacked. The Egyptian army is only acknowledging a few hundred deaths, while claiming that they are attempting to maintain calm and order. All the while, America won't call a coup a coup while claiming that we are attempting to ensure a democratic transition of power.

Who is benefitting from the violence in Egypt? While both the MB and the military want power, neither benefits longterm from instability. While the US likes to sell arms, it benefits from stability in Egypt, both in having a government willing to abide by the treaty with Israel and by stable prices of commoditities and trade routes for US businesses. Both salafists and Israel benefit from instability in Egypt. Salafists benefit because the coup makes the MB's participation in elections look foolish. Israel benefits because its neighbors' problems keep Israel's ethnic cleansing out of American news and keep Israeli citizens just worried enough about ARABS that they are willing to put up with anything "for security reasons."

MSM reporters who have visited Egyptian morgues are counting a large percentage of protesters shot in the head. Are we seeing protesters targeted by "government snipers" as we did early in the Syrian protests? Egypt is an easier country for outside agitators to infiltrate than Syria -- and agitators could come from more than one source.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Aug 14 2013 22:49 utc | 35

my sources have confirmed for me that it,s going down at noon at the ok corral

Posted by: jub (aipac rep cairo) | Aug 14 2013 22:53 utc | 36

My niece goes to a prestigious American university with the daughter of the new commander of the Egyptian Navy. So this guy is no nationalist, none of them are, probably. Oh and this guy's daughter is 100% USian, has "converted to Christianity"(of the sappy sorority flavour), and plans to stay here and have a professional career.

Posted by: L Bean | Aug 14 2013 23:46 utc | 37

Concerning #24, Bevin's quotation from Milton is amazingly apt: it's supposed source, Zech. 13:7, reads "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn my hand against the little ones". Got it in one: even Mubarak had to keep the Army satisfied and never had them under his thumb. Next it's the turn of the poor, the naive "democracy" protestors, or whoever else tries to raise his head.

Posted by: rackstraw | Aug 14 2013 23:51 utc | 38

Military rule, fascist thuggery and gratuituous violence brought to you by U.S. funding.

The destruction of Syria brought to you by U.S. foreign policy, meddling and funding of rebel groups.

Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt...U.S.-funded destruction.

Posted by: kalithea | Aug 15 2013 1:20 utc | 39

@19 "No this is not a plan made in the US or Israel. A destabilized Egypt the army cannot control is definitively not on Israel's wish list."


The U.S. funds Egypt's military because it is on the side of only one party, ISRAEL, and the Egyptian people of any party affiliation be damned! Same goes for Syria. The U.S. could care less who's killing whom as long as Israel is happy and Israelis love it when Arabs are killing Arabs or Muslims are killing themselves.

Posted by: kalithea | Aug 15 2013 1:36 utc | 40

Arnold and Lysander are you there?

On Egypt what do you think now? Did you think this will happen; a few years back I thought Egypt will finally blow up but didn’t think as the result it becomes a failed state.
Your comments are appreciated. I think that is the trajectory for now. Your comments are appreciated.

Posted by: kooshy | Aug 15 2013 1:58 utc | 41

@debs "Morsi didn't agree with me on Syria so it's OK that Egyptian people are gonna be oppressed for at least another 40 years"

This line of argument, presented again, seems rather weak if you're trying to account for peoples here antipathy for the MB.

Morsi did far more than share some disagreeable opinion on Syria - he was on the precipice of sending as many Egyptian youth as Qatar could arm into Syria; his intention to solve the problems of hunger at home not by feeding people but by turning them loose to feed on what's left of Syria. He intended, with Qatari oil money, to launch a sort of crusade against the 20 million people in Syria two years into the war when some sort of peace is finally returning to the country. This isn't "disagreement". This is a man man becoming increasingly dangerous and desperate, intent on trying to worm his way out of his problems not by hard work and compromise but through murder and war. If people can't judge him on that then what does one judge him on?

And the issue in Syria was just an example of the viciousness with which he was ruling at home - sectarian attacks rearing their ugly head (which you want us to simply brush aside by calling it "a transition period") while increasing the austerity during a downturn. The fact is, for whatever the Army is doing now, he was leading Egypt down the same path just with different people doing the killing. The Egyptians could see this coming.

I hear people talk about "the fascism of the Tamarod", but If the MB intended to try and bring Egypt out of its problems by starting a war abroad and attacking minorities at home, well that sounds an awful lot like fascism to me. If the MB had only church burnings for the Xtians, lynchings for the Shia, austerity for the poor and fundamentalism for the young, then why should we be surprised if they prefer one dictator to another? So they came out on the streets in an effort to stop going down an ugly dead end in which the few hundred dead today might have been 10000 dead in Egypt and Syria.

One fact remains out there: the coalition that brought down Mubarak still exists. The question is wether the Brotherhood will destroy the coalition that was able to secure the overthrow of a hated dictator by giving the army an excuse to launch crackdowns against all protests. But if they think they're going to come back to power against the wishes of 80% of Egypt, they are truly insane. I don't like the idea of the Googlized Egyptians anymore than anyone else, but they are no more or less Egyptian just because they wear blue jeans instead of growing their beards. And apparently they are too string and too much part of the original revolution that the MB cannot simply use them as scapegoats and murder them like they can some poor Copts to blow off some steam.

But you're right in that the State Dept. and the army split the population, but its not because of the failures of the Egyptians that came out to topple Morsi, but it is for the reasons bevin gave early on in this thread: the MB never for a moment cared about democracy or Egypt. They simply cared about putting themselves in power. Now we all see the real results of real political failure - the MB, so eager to step on people in their climb to the top, are now lonely and twisting in the wind with no one to defend them. Their greed and shortsightedness gave the Army and the US the opportunity it needed and now all of Egypt has lost.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 15 2013 2:12 utc | 42

You know how the U.S. is the dishonest broker in the Israeli/Palestinian bogus peace process? Well what's happening in Egypt right now proves that the U.S. is dishonest when it pretends to care about the Egyptian people, while it trains, arms and funds the Egyptian military. The U.S. wants a military-ruled Egypt. PERIOD. The only reason the U.S. humored the MB for a while in Egypt was to get Syria on the path to self-destruction as well. Now that millions of Syrians are in refugee camps and Syria is in ruins; fvck the MB; fvck the other side; fvck Arabs; fvck Muslims. Here's America's foreign policy: fvck Arabs, fvck the Euro, fvck Russia, fvck China, fvck everyone except America and its own interests.

Don't you all know this by now???

Posted by: kalithea | Aug 15 2013 2:30 utc | 43

@43: I don't hear ANYONE supporting the US role in this.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 15 2013 3:18 utc | 44

The wheel's still in spin.

The army has gone too far, just as the class backing it and their allies in the media and clergy have been too greedy, too confident of the power of thuggery.

Baradei's resignation is extremely embarrassing to "this is not a coup" Washington. Sisi has less legitimacy than Mubarak had.
The army will be suffering from growing fissures, they did not sign up for what has been done in their name.
The coup is falling apart, rather more quickly than but, just as predicted.
Debs, unusually, is wrong. In 1917 there were many who felt Prince Lvov deserved better and that Kerensky ought to have been given a decent chance to fail.

Poor old Morsi failed because he betrayed all his potential allies among the masses. He betrayed the nationalists, then he betrayed the poor, he betrayed Gaza and he betrayed Sinai and when he needed help few outside his faction were enthusiastic enough to offer any.

Now all is changed, "changed utterly." And for the same reasons that, in Dublin in 1916, everything was changed when the British Army turned Padraic Pearse's Quixotic gesture into a parade of martyrs.

True to their origins the Egyptian army has done the same, taking the dying embers of Morsi's pathetic rule and blowing it up into a bloodbath of unarmed protestors, (and does anyone doubt that they were unarmed?) martyring them in full view of the world. Seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

As to the USA the legality of continuing to subsidise the army is now an issue that cannot be fudged. Sisi will have to be sacrificed and elections held soon. Baradei looks like a good bet for the office of caretaker.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 15 2013 3:50 utc | 45

bravo to you, bevin, for three fine posts on this thread.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 15 2013 4:06 utc | 46


Correct. Especially troubling here is some people approval of massacare of maybe 400 ppl, I guess that shows the Power of media to influence weak minds.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2013 4:20 utc | 47

Hi Kooshy,

Speaking to relatives, I get the impression that a significant proportion of the population, perhaps 1/3, absolutely despise the brothers and were justifying the army's actions today. They say essentially that the brothers were given ample time to disperse and were offered numerous compromises by the ruling junta. Mind you these are people who themselves were protesting against Mubarak and then SCAF. Now military rule is just Kool and the Gang as far as they're concerned. Maybe in a few years they will change their minds again.

While I can't predict the future, my guess is the MBs will not ever be in power. The only question is how many massacres before they stop protesting. And whether they will try a guerrilla war after that.

Another conversation I had with a cousin may be a sign of change. She was very anti-Mubarak, very anti-Morsi...and was very Anti-Assad in Syria. We used to argue about that. Last time I talked to her she had totally changed her mind about Assad, saying that he needed to do whatever he needed to do to keep the MB from taking over in Syria. I bet she isn't the only one.

Simply put, the brothers squandered a fantastic opportunity to form a coalition with the leftists and liberals. They needed their help to displace, eventually over time, the military. Instead they tried to form a coalition with the military against everyone else. Too clever by half, as they say.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 15 2013 4:28 utc | 48

One other thing I should add. There is a very strong likelihood that the military will overplay it's hand. If they loose the support of the Anti-MB coalition, or it breaks up, all bets are off. However, and MB-Secular alliance against the military will not be possible for a very long time.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 15 2013 4:36 utc | 49

"There is a very strong likelihood that the military will overplay it's hand."

They have already over-played their hand big time. They have essentially created a martyr out of a dead horse!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Aug 15 2013 5:00 utc | 50

48) and then they pissed off the military by forming own militias ...

The US was trying to coopt the Muslim Brotherhood and get Hamas/Islamists out of Iran's influence/split them from the radical groups - their clever "soft power" has just blown up into their faces.

This here is the New York Times on what is going on in Sinai

All the Islamic groups with an official presence here deny responsibility for the recent violence. But some of the more conservative Islamists also talk with a certain confidence about their situation, as if they held a trump card.

“If the military pushes the Brotherhood down here, it will have to push all the Islamic groups down, because they are all supporting the Brotherhood,” said Sheik Asaad el-Bayk, a Shariah court judge and a leader in a new hard-line Islamic movement called People of the Sunna and the Community. “They cannot do that, because it would mean major violence.”

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 5:06 utc | 51

True to their origins the Egyptian army has done the same, taking the dying embers of Morsi's pathetic rule and blowing it up into a bloodbath of unarmed protestors, (and does anyone doubt that they were unarmed?) martyring them in full view of the world. Posted by: bevin | Aug 14, 2013 11:50:37 PM | 45
Does anyone doubt that they were unarmed? Some of them were filmed popping off at the Army with AK47s. That would suggest some cause for 'doubt'.
The only reason the US humored the MB for a while in Egypt was to get Syria on the path to self-destruction as well. Now that millions of Syrians are in refugee camps and Syria is in ruins, fvck the MB (etc) Posted by: kalithea | Aug 14, 2013 10:30:39 PM | 43
That doesn't work, chronologically. The US didn't get any assistance in its Syria project from Morsi's Egypt. In fact, Morsi's Egypt probably contributed to the US's forced decision to stop the Qatar/MB-based recruitment drive for the Syrian Jihad and start a completely differently organised one, from Saudi. I tried to figure out how this worked, further up.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 15 2013 5:17 utc | 52

MSM reporters who have visited Egyptian morgues are counting a large percentage of protesters shot in the head. Are we seeing protesters targeted by "government snipers" as we did early in the Syrian protests? Egypt is an easier country for outside agitators to infiltrate than Syria -- and agitators could come from more than one source. Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Aug 14, 2013 6:49:50 PM | 35
No, this is the third time we've had rooftop snipers shooting into the MB crowds, since the Sisi coup. If the Army let some third force death squad into a totally policed area to shoot people, three times running, then you can't meaningfully describe it as a third force any more, whoever it's composed of. Conversely, your assumption that the rooftop snipers firing into the Syrian crowds were "government snipers" and not a third force, cannot be supported by the argument I am making: the rooftop snipers in Syria may really have been a "third force" because unlike in Egypt, the Syrian govt did not possess total security control of the urban environment. So I think you have both parts of your argument inside out.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 15 2013 5:36 utc | 53

Basically, the US has tried cultivating the Egyptian army and the Muslim Brotherhood not realizing they are incompatible.

This here sounds very much like a truthful description what the US did

PARIS (Reuters) - Western allies warned Egypt's military leaders right up to the last minute against using force to crush protest sit-ins by supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, arguing they could ill afford the political and economic damage.

A violent end to a six-week standoff between Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood and the armed forces that toppled Egypt's first freely elected president seemed likely once the new authorities declared last week that foreign mediation had failed.

But the United States and the European Union continued to send coordinated messages to army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei during the four-day Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday that ended on Sunday, pleading for a negotiated settlement, Western diplomats said.

"We had a political plan that was on the table, that had been accepted by the other side (the Muslim Brotherhood)," said EU envoy Bernardino Leon, who co-led the mediation effort with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

"They could have taken this option. So all that has happened today was unnecessary," Leon told Reuters in a telephone interview. The last plea was conveyed to the Egyptian authorities on Tuesday, hours before the crackdown was unleashed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was unusually forthright in condemning the imposition of a state of emergency - a throwback to the nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule under U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak, toppled by a popular uprising in 2011.

"In the past week, at every occasion ... we and others have urged the government to respect the rights of free assembly and of free expression, and we have also urged all parties to resolve this impasse peacefully and underscored that demonstrators should avoid violence and incitement," Kerry said.

Some of the toughest U.S. messages were delivered personally to Sisi in almost daily telephone calls by Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, diplomats said.


The United States took the rare step of signaling its displeasure to a strategic Middle East ally, which has a peace treaty with Israel, by halting delivery of four F-16 aircraft under its military aid program last month.

Washington also enlisted key Arab ally and aid donor Saudi Arabia to tell Sisi he needed to find a peaceful, inclusive solution "to retain international financial and political support", a person involved in the diplomatic exchanges said.

Flanked by the foreign ministers of Qatar, a major financier of Mursi's government, and the United Arab Emirates, a supporter of the military takeover, U.S. and EU negotiators sought to coax both sides into a series of mutual confidence-building measures. They would have begun with prisoner releases and led to an honorable exit for Mursi, an amended constitution and fresh elections next year.

An Egyptian military source said the army did not believe the Brotherhood would eventually agree to a deal and felt they were only bluffing to gain time. "They tell the mediators one thing and tell their supporters another," he said.

The diplomatic source said Western mediators tried to persuade Sisi that Egypt would suffer lasting political polarization and economic hardship if there was a bloodbath.

Sisi and the hardline interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, were explicitly warned that ElBaradei would resign if they chose force over negotiation, robbing the military of its principal source of liberal, civilian respectability, the source said.


ElBaradei announced his resignation after Wednesday's assault, saying he believed a peaceful path could still have been found and the government's crackdown helped extremists.

"The hardliners have a remarkable ability to ignore reality," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the diplomatic exchanges.

The Egyptian military source said public outrage after critical comments by visiting U.S. senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham last week and leaked reports of a possible deal between the authorities and the Brotherhood had put the army in a tough position.

The mediators warned that any move to break up the sit-ins would likely cause hundreds of deaths and drive many conservative Salafi Muslim activists, initially supportive of Mursi's overthrow, to join forces with the Brotherhood in fierce opposition to the authorities.

The economic message was just as stark. The Western source said Egypt had been warned that it could not afford to go on spending foreign currency at a rate of $1.5 billion a month until its reserves were exhausted.

With tourism and investment decimated by political turmoil since the overthrow of Mubarak in 2011, foreign reserves had shrunk by more than half to less than three months' import cover by the time Mursi was ousted on July 3.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, relieved to see the back of the Brotherhood, seen as a threat to their own monarchies, immediately promised $12 billion in aid to the new authorities, to help overcome imminent fuel and wheat shortages.

At its current burn rate, that money will keep Egypt going for less than a year.

The source said wiser heads in the government realized Cairo needed broader international support, including cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, to revive the economy, but such arguments cut little ice with the security establishment.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 5:39 utc | 54

No this is not a plan made in the US or Israel. A destabilized Egypt the army cannot control is definitively not on Israel's wishlist
Posted by: zomebody | Aug 14, 2013 2:58:56 PM | 19

Could he be any more obvious?

Given that almost everything this guy says turns out to be wrong, or a blatant lie, we can probably take it the bank that the truth of this situation IS the exact opposite of how his employers have told him to describe it here

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 7:21 utc | 55


What I hear from Egypt is similar, though more like half of the population who really, really detest the MB, and many of these did not care for Mubarak. There is no way the MB will win an election again, at least for many, many years. Also, a large percentage of the population see the US as backing the MB as part of a strategy to weaken the country enough to take over the Sinai or Suez Canal.

Most Westerners have no idea how disastrous the Morsi government was. It's unfair, but the following does illustrate the incompetent radicalism of Morsi:

The problem from a US point of view is that the desire to promote turmoil or civil war has led to turning a very large percentage of the population against the US position. Paying the MB to destroy churches and such is unlikely to work as well as that approach went in Syria. Even there, the West could have tried to create an alternative to the Assad government, but instead went for total destruction as a strategy, and this led to a collapse in the percentage against the government.

Posted by: Ozawa | Aug 15 2013 7:26 utc | 56

The journalists and the diplomats who visited Cairo recently did their best to create a momentum and give a "legitimacy" to Morsi while he had lost it among a large proportion of the society.
Just as in the case of the beginning of the Syrian war, we don't see the pictures of the lynchings of Shiites and Copts during Morsi's time, nor do we see now the attacks on police stations and churches or christian schools. These are on Youtube, but the Western press uses Youtube only to go after "socialist" regimes such as Syria. They don't use it either when it comes to Bahrein or Saudi Arabia.
What kind of journalism is a "journalism of the 5 stars hotels in the capital"?
We didn't hear about the reasons why people got fed up with Morsi and his gang: no clean water (worse than under Mubarak: the employees would take holidays when they decide; there were several case of collective poisoning with dozens of death), absent teachers (the teachers taking holidays when they decide), general atmosphere of chaos (to see a real queue in Egypt was a rare phenomenon before Morsi, but after it had vanished). Journalists have no time to visit the cities were riots raged last January (Suez and Isma'iliyya)... etc

The fundamental problem is that when the people who protest state themselves that "protests should not be tolerated" and that "with the implemention of real shari'a islamiyya" every problem would be solved, you get nowhere.
The Egyptian expats' votes in the last elections show a complete fracture between the Egyptians living in the Gulf and all the others. The Gulf people voted for MB and Salafists, while the others vote secular.
In the Gulf, they have no right to demonstrate, no right to strike, no right to express opinions against the rulers, and they think it is allright and stated already in "shari'a islamiyya" (the magic word).
The people in the sit-ins have been told to go back to their houses for weeks. Nothing in religion tells them to risk their lives for the sake of Morsi or his colleagues. So why did they take such risk? "Because God is on their side" and "because they want shari'a islamiyya".
At this stage what can you do? Add to it that "martyrdom" is supposedly the best thing they can achieve according to their own statement (sorry Pirouz, if indeed it sounds like if suddenly Israhell can say 'I've told you so').
People here should not be too naive as to the reasons why the EU and the US are trying to help the MB. They would be very embarrassed to see the Egyptian gov reveal how the Libyan and Syrian massive psyop operation started directly on Tahrir, with the little help of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who were not too happy with two revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia where seculars and the syndicates figures had the upper role.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2013 7:44 utc | 57

The Egyptian expats' votes in the last elections show a complete fracture between the Egyptians living in the Gulf and all the others. The Gulf people voted for MB and Salafists, while the others vote secular. 

THIS is really just your own personal version of racist Prof Bernard Lewis' pro-zio-imperialist Clash of Civilisations theory, isn't it Zina?

Basically you seem to be pimping the "Muslims can't do democracy" line, beloved of western zio-imperialusts everywhere

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 7:57 utc | 59

Wrong quote, should be
In the Gulf, they have no right to demonstrate, no right to strike, no right to express opinions against the rulers, and they think it is allright and stated already in "shari'a islamiyya" (the magic word).

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 7:59 utc | 60

Or more correctly, Zina: ARABS don't do Democracy.

Now what group of people just loves to push that particular line, eh?

I wonder . .

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 8:06 utc | 61

"In the Gulf, they have no right to demonstrate, no right to strike, no right to express opinions against the rulers, and they think it is allright and stated already in "shari'a islamiyya" (the magic word)." THIS is really just your own personal version of racist Prof Bernard Lewis' pro-zio-imperialist Clash of Civilisations theory, isn't it Zina? Basically you seem to be pimping the "Muslims can't do democracy" line, beloved of western zio-imperialusts everywhere. Posted by: hmm | 59, 60
It isn't a question of which racist, western zio-imperialust happens to have said it too, it's a question of whether it's true or not. And there is nothing particularly racist about saying it's true, as long as you note that this is true of theocrats in general, whether they are Muslims, Jews, Calvinists, Catholics, or Buddhists. Theocracy and democracy are mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 15 2013 8:13 utc | 62

here they are yet again: mysterious snipers: sowing chaos among emotional people:

'Ch.L.: I think it was a very wise decision, but first let me tell you that I have been talking with eyewitnesses this morning, who reported that the live ammunition that was used was used by snipers. It may very well be foreign elements who have been shooting at protesters too to stir up violence.'

remember this?

Unknown snipers played a pivotal role throughout the so-called « Arab Spring Revolutions » yet, in spite of reports of their presence in the mainstream media, surprisingly little attention has been paid to to their purpose and role.

The Russian investigative journalist Nikolay Starikov has written a book which discusses the role of unknown snipers in the destabilization of countries targeted for regime change by the United States and its allies.

Posted by: brian | Aug 15 2013 8:26 utc | 63

there is nothing particularly racist about saying it's true, as long as you note that this is true of theocrats in general, whether they are Muslims, Jews, Calvinists, Catholics, or Buddhists

Yes rowan, but these people, the Zinas, the zomebodys, never do though.

When called on it they'll always try to cover it up by saying of course they agree. Now that You mentioned it.

But unprompted, they'll just keep bashing just islam, like the bigots they are

That is how to recognise them for what they are.

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 8:28 utc | 64

Israel has now a front from Gaza (Hamas), Sinai (whoever), Golan (Hezbollah), Lebanon (Hezbollah). There is a direct route for Libyan weapons from Libya via Egypt to Sinai, Gaza and via Syrian rebels. The Muslim Brotherhood remaining in the Western Camp is doubtful if the US cannot convince the Egyptian army to let them live which the US does not seem to be able to do.

How many expensive iron dome batteries does Israel have? Hezbollah proved that Israel cannot enter Lebanese territory despite Unifil watching Hezbollah activities along the border. Last Israeli war with Gaza US/Israel needed Morsi's mediation, that is no longer possible.

It is highly doubtful that Jordan will make it. It has been thoroughly destabilized by the war in Syria. And all is not well in Bahrain.

The US has effectively subcontracted its Middle East policy to Saudi Arabia - of course they will not confront the Egyptian army in any meaningful way and of course Egypt's economy will be kept afloat by the Gulf states.

However, this policy is in the interest of Saudi Arabia first and foremost, not in the interest of Israel.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 8:53 utc | 65

On the potential of a Muslim Brotherhood Iran alliance - and steps taken to make it happen

Actually it is quite funny how Iran manages to inherit US policies - from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Muslim Brotherhood strategy.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 9:27 utc | 66

Izzy Defense Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya’alon told US JCoS Dempsey yesterday:

It is forbidden to allow the axis of evil, Tehran-Damascus-Beirut, to win this conflict!

That's a very characteristic israeli mode of speech, originally religious. But it isn't too tactful to speak to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff like that. It will sound to Dempsey like:
Hörzu, amerikanisch dummkopf! Das ist strichtig verboten!

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 15 2013 9:31 utc | 67

67) Yeah, found the quote, it is a joke. Note the inclusion of Beirut into the axis of evil. Note the referral to George W. Bush's way of explaining the world.

Sounds like Israel has been planning to invade Lebanon again. So what were they planning with the recent border incident - getting soldiers captured as a pretext for war? Triggering off mines they might or might not have planted themselves?

Who will be the mediator next time when they need to stop a war? Iran?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 9:52 utc | 68


No they have not yet overplayed their hand. Right now, such a huge proportion of the public hates the MB that the army could mow them down with Apache helicopters, film the exploding bodies on youtube and still find plenty of apologists. At this point, a lot of people are attacking the army for being too lenient.

No, the army will overplay its hand when it turns on the liberals if and when they start making their Mubarak/SCAF era complaints. And even then, they might prove to have a very strong hand. Mubarak was hated by 80-90% of the public and yet managed to hold on for 3 decades.

@ somebody, I can assure you that Israel would rejoice at the collapse of the Egyptian state. It would be the best thing that ever happened to them since 1967. They would enter Sinai to "fight militants" and never leave. They might even take the west bank of the Suez canal "to protect freedom of the seas" or some such BS. I can only hope that the army, much as I despise Sisi, can (and intend to??) keep it all together.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 15 2013 9:56 utc | 69

I'm not interested in talking with people who have never set a foot in either Egypt or Syria and want to talk about politics in the Middle East.
There are plenty of white supremacists visiting this website to get excited at every new conspiracy (not to say that conspiracies do not exist) and someone today made an interesting parallel on le Monde website about the possibility of the Extreme Right winning the elections and doing what the MB have been doing. I'll go further in the parallel: "imagine the extreme-right wins the next elections and start firing journalists, has TV channels encouraging the church to have its masses in Latin, spreading rumours against minorities or explaining how raped women can be blamed for what happen to them because the thighs muscle is the strongest in the body" and decide on which side you'll be when the army intervene to stop it.
I have read "Crime and Punishment", so I don't need to give my consciousness fake excuses like El Baradei who explained that he resigned because "I cannot be responsible before God for a single drop of blood"

On the Expats votes, I have no time to give you all the Google results, here are some
(Dubai, interestingly didn't buy Morsi: but Dubai is supposed to be the "freer" place in the Gulf, since even Western tourists are now flocking there too).
(It is about some irregularities, even in KSA. But you are not interested in the iregularities that took place also everywhere in Egypt probably).

Weapons reaching the Syrian rebels from Sinai via Gaza? You should really try to find a correct map, dud.
If you have read the reports about Benghazi, you should know that the weapons were shiped and airlifted to Turkey (and Lebanon?)rather than directly to Syria. To think that boats can go from Gaza to the Syrian coast without being shot by Tel Aviv is pure delirium.
As for the article of the NYT on Sinai it is psyop/wishful desire. The shaykh who says that all the Beduins support Morsi speaks only for al Arish and its area.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2013 10:02 utc | 70

About the "no democracy for the Arabs" accusation, deomcracy means that every citizen can have a voice/vote. The MB precisely (and the Salafists) consider that a woman cannot go to the polling station without her husband's consent, and that the constitution should guarantee that. It is among the reasons why half the constituent assembly has walked out of the writing process and that Morsi had to do his constitutional coup (with a referendum announced just a few weeks in advance and with a very low turn out),_2012

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2013 10:11 utc | 71

Well, Zina, everything but the kitchen sink, eh?

Even managed to slip in "White supremacists" i see?

Well done, 2 extra hasbara-golden-stars for that one, Zina.

Usually you lot back off a little after your Bernard Lewis bullshit has been pointed out, but i can see your going all-in on this one.

So still basically "Arabs can't do democracy"

Ok, got it.

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 10:14 utc | 72

I did agree wih you on one thing though

Zomebody,Weapons reaching the Syrian rebels from Sinai via Gaza? You should really try to find a correct map, dud.

He certainley IS, isn't he?

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 10:17 utc | 73

I think it is precisely because of the total mess created by the MB in Suez and Sinai that the army intervened. It is not only about Hamas and Syria (although people would be happy to find gasoline rather than see it sold in al Arish for triple money).
With analphabet Beduins, it is more easy to make people believe that "Sinai has gold and plenty of oil and natural resources" and that it should be independent from Egypt... The MB actually promessed (before the elections) jobs to all the people with a shahada, in the oil industry and within the city councils, but these of course never materialized. Instead they were busy with repainting the old NPD building into the (most important) local MB party building!

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2013 10:17 utc | 74

70) sorry, i wrote "via Syrian rebels" meaning those weapons might go anywhere within Syria or across its borders - there is no effective control.

Mina, I agree with you against the Muslim Brotherhood, I disagree on the methods used to fight them. They are human beings with human rights. And they are individuals who should not be punished collectively. To be effective fighting the Muslim Brotherhood you would have to convince them. And as they are to a large part an economic alliance, there would have to be economic alternatives. The Egyptian military state seems to have been unwilling to provide that.
They also seem to be unwilling to protect the Christian churches and Copts attacked.

All that is happening in Egypt now is reinforcing a cycle of senseless violence and counterviolence.

This here is Dr. John Eibner testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committe on the crimes against Christians and Alawites by US supported Syrian rebels

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 10:25 utc | 75

@Zina Lewis

I wasn’t a recent coup supporter. Certainly not because I am a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor am I a supporter of religious extremism in any way shape or form. That includes the Islamic, Judaic and Christian forms of extremism.  In fact, I don’t support organized religion. Period. 

It’s all mind control in my book.I simply could not support the coup because it looked to me to be a step in a very bad direction. Not a correction. Certainly not anything that could be touted as restoring democracy. And definitely not something done for the benefit of the populace of Egypt.Just a step towards destruction & death.

Some people understood where I was coming from. Others, not so much. Immediately after the psyop coup you may recall my comment “cue the civil war”. That is how I interpreted that event.  An inevitable push towards chaos.

The whole meme for the coup was ‘well democracy just can’t work for those people” I made reference to “white mans burden” and other of the usual western drivel.

The Egyptians are quite capable of running their own country. As are the Syrians. As were the Libyans. The biggest problem for these nations is all the meddling of other self appointed    imperious jack asses and the sycophants within the targeted nation states. Who are usually compromised in some way... but even so they are compromised by said imperious jack asses.

Power corrupts and often corrupts what it touches, too.

The coup was presented as the only option. 

A false paradigm for a contrived dilemma.There is always more then one way. Often there are hundreds of option. Limited only by a failure of imagination.                                   

More of that False Paradigm:  People will pay if army fails challenge of political Islam Either military theocratic tyranny or  run of the mill theocratic tyranny. And dammit you will believe the media when they tell you that nothing lies between those two extremes.


She wrote so i don't have to

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 10:42 utc | 76

Front up: How boring (and predictable). And again we hear a whole lot of zamericans, how they see it, what they want, whether they like or like not, bla bla. May I kindly guide your attention to the fact that we're discussing a souvereign country and that the very fact that zusa interests are not completely irrelevant strongly indicate a kind of stinking cancer.

Before looking deeper at the situation and any possible evolution I would like to summarize what I perceive to be a short overview.

First the Egyptians wanted mainly one thing that is, away from mubarak and his regime. If they had any concrete wishes beyond breaking free from mubarak that would have been along the line "a democracy with a clear islamic touch but within reasonable and civilized limits". morsi was the offer, he seemed to promise whata majority wanted.
Then the Egyptians, incl. many morsi voters, found themselves a) with a quite extreme islamist who didn't care too much about democracy and constitution and b) entangled in a strange and quite unpleasant web of diverse international interest groups, mainly of zusa/israel and/or saudi and qatar making and origins.
So, they once more wanted what they already wanted before morsi and what he didn't deliver. As it became evident that morsi would hold to his power not caring about what the Egyptians wanted the military stepped in and terminated morsis regime.
To avoid misunderstandings the military made clear - and seem to stick to so far - that they did _not_ want to have the power themselves; they rather wanted to protect Egypt on its way to a democracy.
Unfortunately, the mb, too, didn't care about what the majority wanted but increasingly brutally defended what they considered theirs, the leadership. Of course- and rightfully - the military reacted by also increasing the level of force as introduced by mb.

What do the Egyptians want? Quite certainly what they wanted from the beginning pre morsi: "a democracy with a clear islamic touch but within reasonable and civilized limits".

Normally that wouldn't be too much of a problem. The diverse factions, incl. a strongly islamistic (but, as it seems, not extremist) group. Normally those factions would come together, discuss and come to some kind of result, almost certainly leading to an acceptable government with a majority of Egyption behind them.

Unfortunately tough, there is major problem: mb - like morsi before - stubbornly, ignorantly and violently holding to the power they don't have anymore. Accordingly the military must - for the Egypt people - fight that mb instigated "war" to the end so as to then allow to happen what could and would have happened without the private war of mb.

Let us not forget that there is only 1 party whose wishes are relevant. Not zusa, not israel, not Europe, not saudis, not qatar or China or Russia - but the Egyptians and the Egyptians only.

If an insofar others want to discuss they should not forget that mb is tightly related to the crime regimes of saudi arabia and qatar and those thugs incl. mb openly supported the mass murdering terrorists in Syria.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 15 2013 10:42 utc | 77


Egyptian man experience vague sense of déjà vu while out protesting in support of the army

An Egyptian man experienced a vague sense of déjà vu while out protesting in support of the army last Friday. Mohamed al-Nassi, 64 from Cairo, felt the yet unexplained sensation when he was at Tahrir Square carrying a large poster of army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

“I was chanting one of the approved slogans that the army distributed to us before the protest started, when I suddenly felt I have been in this situation before but I couldn’t quite place it.

It was baffling.”

Political analysts that we spoke to said that there was absolutely nothing in Egypt’s history resembling this great moment of democratic transition and popular support for al-Sisi’s ‘War on Terrorism’.

“There is a 99.99% support for this revolution; it’s a far cry from the old days of dictatorship and authoritarianism. There is really no political explanation for what Mohamed experienced,” said T. Friedman, a long-time observer of Arab politics.

Egyptian media was concerned by this development, which has shattered the image of universal consensus and support for the revolution among the Egyptian people.

Many commentators argued that Mohamed’s patriotic sentiments were weakened because he lived in Saudi Arabia for over a decade. A well-known columnist advised him not to take any holidays and watch Egyptian state media only from now on.

A spokesman for the US State Department declined to discuss the matter: “We can’t comment on individual cases, but we are keeping a close eye on the situation. We don’t have any explanation for what happened at the moment.”

“I was looking at the people around me carrying posters of General al-Sisi, God protect him, dressed in his military uniform and exuding self-confidence and assertiveness, and suddenly I had that terrible feeling. It’s the work of Satan.”

- See more at: karlremarks

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 10:55 utc | 78

re: 76

There was no other way than the military kicking the MB out. If not, true disaster would have ensued. No amount of talk and demonstrating would have stopped the MB. This is not like the choice between two almost-identical corporate whores as we see in the West. It was a fascist and dangerous group that was taking the country down the drain, a drain that Israel and the West were happy with, at least as long as they had it under control.

Posted by: Ozawa | Aug 15 2013 11:00 utc | 79

Ok, let's imagine the army coup didn't occur on the 3rd of July.

After some days of protests, sittings and sporadic fights, the army would have been asked to crush the protests of the MB fed up people. And then where?

Just look at the riots which occured under Morsi, with early dawn sit-in evacuation after apparition of armed people on Tahrir who simply shot in the people sleeping. The same methods have been applied all along and the army has documentation of all that (not to forget the NSA, of course!)

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2013 11:03 utc | 80

Mr Pragma,
Sorry but you need to add to your analysis that most Egyptians working in the tourism industry (Red Sea resorts, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan) are crying rivers on Mubarak's fall. They had nothing to complain about. I have friends who ask me before the first tour of the presidential election if Mubarak was running! (They represent the people that are more busy watching soaps on TV than the talk shows in the evening). Of course they knew Mubarak was in jail, but somehow, since Shafiq was in the governement and that it is supposed to be "democracy" they still thought it could be possible.

Which does not help in finding some justice to the 99 percent.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 15 2013 11:11 utc | 81

"Pretty fucking simplistic analyses goin on here. Sure blame the victim its easier than admitting that the opinions of so many posters here, that the coup was a good thing, was so out of touch with the reality of Egypt, that it made a mockery of any pretense of objective punditry"

Kudos to debsisdead for saying it like it is.
When attempts were made by myself,, like you, to point out this coup was not beneficial to the Egyptian people I was very quickly chastized by a few of the shallow type analyzers.

And now that this has turned out to be exactly the horrific mess persons such as you and I had suggested..

still simplistic analysis abounds

debsisdead "The army are firmly back in control. Funny how they never stormed the urban liberal protesters camps with machine guns a coupla months ago eh."

While I come from the point of view that the army was always in control. I too pointed out the fact that the military never stormed the protestor camps from coup psy-op #1. Due to the fact that the military is controlled by NATO/US and rampant corruption that makes their leaders all western trained beholden to the west.

And the simplistic analysis goes on...

thanks hmmmm whoever you are? It's nice to be appreciated :)

Posted by: Penny | Aug 15 2013 11:15 utc | 82


Regarding Egypts army and where it's loyalties lie.

Egypt's Military State Within a State- excerpts below

I have stated on numerous occasions Egypts military is not like the military in Syria.

It is more akin to the Turkish military.

The generals also preside over 16 enormous factories that turn out not just weapons, but an array of domestic products from dishwashers to heaters, clothing, doors, stationary pharmaceutical products, and microscopes.

Most of these products are sold to military personnel through discount military stores, but large amount are also sold commercially.The military also builds highways, housing developments, hotels, power lines, sewers, bridges, schools, telephone exchanges, often in murky arrangements with civilian companies.

The military are also Egypt's largest farmers, running a vast network of dairy farms, milk processing facilities, cattle feed lots, poultry farms, fish farms. They've plenty left from their huge output to sell to civilians through a sprawling distribution network.

The justification for all this non-military activity is that the military are just naturally more efficient that civilians. Hard not to be "more efficient" when you are able to employ thousands of poorly paid military recruits for labor.Many civilian businessmen complain that competing with the military is like trying to compete with the Mafia. 

 Whatever the number, Robert Springborg, who has written extensively on Egypt, says officers in the Egyptian military are making "billions and billions and billions" of dollars.

But there's no way to know how efficient or inefficient the military are, nor how much money their vast enterprises make, nor how many millions or billions get skimmed off since the military's operations are off the nation's books. No real published accountings. No oversight. 

Even Mohammed Morsi was obliged to agree to the military's demand that there be no civilian oversight of the military budget.

So, don't tell me that Morsi ran Egypt.

He was the figure head as long as the military allowed .

penny again.

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 11:16 utc | 83

Mina (81)

Of course, many felt OK with mubarak and, of course, the Egyptian military has their own dark corners.

The guiding line, however, must be to reach a situation where a) the majority of Egyptians is represented in and establishing the government and b) (ideally) nobody is disenfrechnised, terrorized or the like.

In war like times one must care about this or that dark spot on someones vest. As it seems the military isn't trying to take over the power themselves but rather to protect the country and to allow for a reasonable government supported by a majority to be established.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 15 2013 11:30 utc | 84

Correction: "In war like times one must _not_ care about ..."


Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 15 2013 11:32 utc | 85

here's a whole nother stack of jihadis, this time in lebanon, and they may be chechens or whatever, they may not know where the hell they are (I've read of cases who were told by their squad leaders they were in palestine). Who do their orders come from? I doubt if anybody knows for sure any more.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 15 2013 11:36 utc | 86


finding some justice to the 99 percent

how cute

cue: "zomewhere, over the rainbow . . . "

maybe if you back the military in another coup, or even two, the poor old mythical/symbolix downtrodden 99 percent will finally arrive in that ever-elusive secular democraic nirvana you claim to crave,

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 11:43 utc | 87

79) You are probably right. It does matter however how things are done. The army did it the
worst way. And did not end a conflict or lifted it to another stage but prolonged it for eternity.
Torture and unlawful killings in Egypt are bound to continue and fuel the conflict.

I did not hear any news that the Egyptian army is planning for elections.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 11:54 utc | 88

Due to the fact that the military is controlled by NATO/US and rampant corruption that makes their leaders all western trained beholden to the west.

Who is the West, Penny. The West is Zionist Israel! It is Judaism hijacked by Zionist out to destroy Islam, Christians in Greater Zionist Israel. Chaos is what they want, chaos is what they are getting in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, soon Sudan. Except they never bargained for the strong support of Iran and the ROC against Zionist Judaism. The failure in Syria will see a downfall of may Zionist Judaism projects.

Posted by: hans | Aug 15 2013 12:00 utc | 89


The army did it the worst way.

how cute

still : "zomewhere, over the rainbow . . . "

maybe the poor old mythical/symbolix downtrodden 99 percent will finally be liberated in a PACIFIST military coup?

What ye think?

Posted by: hmm | Aug 15 2013 12:05 utc | 90

What does the egyptian army trying to achive anyway? Massacraring its own citizens over and over again? If they keep doing this there will be a civil war, or is that what the army wants? They are out of touch mentally.
Now its the time for US, EU to end its support for these thugs and use sanctions on this regime.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2013 12:17 utc | 91

90) well the Egyptian military seem to walk into the Iranian scenario eyes wide open - killings - funerals - killings - funerals .... with a conscript army ...

actually I am pretty sure that water is stronger than stone, it just takes a very long time, sometimes too long for one life.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 12:18 utc | 92

Mr pragma 85

can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs right?

Posted by: heath | Aug 15 2013 12:34 utc | 93

heath (93)

No, that's absolutely not the idea.

But the Egypt military would be a lousy organisation and a poor protector if it simply looked away and let the mb do their violent and oppressive thing.

Let's not forget what happened. morsi did have a majority; and then, by going the hardline mb way, lost that majority. The military merely did the necessary to avoid yet another dictatorship. The escalation of violence wasn't the plan or the wish of the military, it rather was instigated and driven by mb.

So, it's not "can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs" but rather "mb started violence and was ready to escalate it. Now they just have to bear with the outcome" or "If you start a fire it gets hot. Don't you complain"

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Aug 15 2013 12:56 utc | 94

Issandr al Amani on the violence and how it likely was planned for: It only gets worse from here

You could ask a thousand questions about the violence that has shaken Egypt, from why police decided to move now against Islamist sit-ins and with such brutality after making so much of its careful planning in the last week, to whether the attacks on churches and Christians more generally that erupted in reaction are part of a pre-planned reaction or the uncontrollable sectarian direction political tensions take in moments of crisis. But the question that really bothers me is whether this escalation is planned to create a situation that will inevitably trigger more violence – that this is the desired goal.
An Islamist camp that, as elements of it are apparently beginning to, sets fire to churches and attacks police stations is one that becomes much easier to demonize domestically and internationally. But it is also much more unpredictable than Egypt's homegrown violent Islamist movements were in the 1980s and 1990s, because there is a context of a globalized jihadi movement that barely existed then, and because the region as a whole is turmoil and Egypt's borders are not nearly as well controlled as they were then (and today's Libya is a far less reliable neighbor than even the erratic Colonel Qadhafi was then.)

In their strategy against the July 3 coup, the Brothers and their allies have relied on an implicit threat of violence or social breakdown (and the riling of their camp through sectarian discourse pitting the coup as a war on Islam, conveniently absolving themselves for their responsibility for a disastrous year) , combined with the notion of democratic legitimacy, i.e. that they were after all elected and that, even if popular, it was still a coup. On the latter argument, they may have gained some ground over time both at home and abroad. But on the former, they got things very, very wrong: their opponents will welcome their camp's rhetorical and actual violence, and use it to whitewash their own.

Issandr is a journalist from Morocco but most of the time lives in Cairo.

Posted by: b | Aug 15 2013 12:59 utc | 95

91) Why not call for invasion? :-)) It is possible that the Muslim Brotherhood provokes the army now into brutish stupidity calling for international intervention will not help their popularity though. Quite likely Egyptians will develop really strong sympathies for the Syrian regime ...
It seems both Egyptian sides strongly overplay their hands - I wonder why that is - stupidity or bribery?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 13:00 utc | 96

93) Full quote, Issawi: One Cannot Make An Omelette Without Breaking Eggs -- But It Is Amazing How Many Eggs One Can Break Without Making A Decent Omelette.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 13:03 utc | 97

Jackass Kerry has issued some blather:
And the luckless Ms Thing (currently Jen Psaki has taken questions:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 15 2013 13:11 utc | 98


Invasion is naive proposal, that hardly bring any good (Iraq, Afghanistan to name two) and no egyptian will accept that.
Sanctions however is not only a political statement that west dont support this brutality but will also most likely turn the military off its scheme to murder its own citizens.
Perhaps the egyptian army will work free after this massacre, but if this happen again, and it sure will, I think there will be a response by the west.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2013 13:13 utc | 99

99) Have there ever been sanctions that do not hit the population in general? Or diminish the fighting power of a country, ie defense against Israel?

The way this scenario works against the MB is to lose all internal support except from their core constituency - see Syria. And the core constituency is not enough.

The article, b. linked to claims that the violence is intended to provoke the Muslim Brotherhood into a Syrian or Algerian scenario. This is the third time this happens - does the Muslim Brotherhood ever learn?

I do think that the Egyptian army miscalculate when they think they can contain it, they basically walk into a civil war.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2013 13:37 utc | 100

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