Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 22, 2013

Where Egypt Might Go

The former Egyptian president Mubarak has been released from prison and put under house arrest. One wonders if he will run in the next presidential elections. How many votes would he get?

Here is a quite interesting piece on the take down of the Muslim Brotherhood reign: Shallow Democracy v. Deep State: An Archaeology of the Crisis in Egypt. It is correct in demonstrating how all kind of nefarious powers within the military, the bureaucracy and judiciary worked together to make former president Morsi's job as difficult as possible. He did not manage to co-opt or reform those forces. But it still does not sufficiently explain why the Egyptian military intervened and kicked Morsi out.

There are all kinds of conspiracy theories around this issue. The Saudis bought off the military because they hate the Brotherhood. The U.S. wanted the military to take over. If you believe the more and more erratic Turkish premier Erdogan it was the Israelis that were behind the coup.

I doubt all these theories. They all deny agency to the Egyptian military. Are we to believe that the generals in Cairo, who see themselves in the tradition of Gamal Abdel Nasser, can simply be bought off? The generals likely had their very own interests in launching the coup and those were not their economic ones. Sure, the army and the generals own a lot of factories and land and profit from that. But those economic privileges were securely protected in the Morsi supported constitution.

But Morsi showed lenience towards takfiri jihadists in the Sinai and belligerence towards Syria and Shiite in general. He stood next to jihad preachers when they called for Egyptians to join the takfiris in Syria. The Egyptian military has for years fought, with quite some losses, against takfiri minded sectarian terrorists within central Egypt and in the Sinai. When Morsi openly supported those forces he practically incited the army's longtime enemy against it.

Hardly any military in the world would condone such a situation. This point, rather then some foreign influence, was what launched the military's move.

Will the Egyptian generals now fall into the trap of a dirty war like those we have seen after the coups in Latin America? Will General Sisi turn out to be another Pinochet? I have my doubts that an attempt of "repressive stability" in Egypt would be indeed stabilizing.

The military will have an interest in avoiding further trouble and will likely hand off the economic and political mess to some civilian government. It is at least working into that direction. The new amended draft of the Egyptian constitution, not much changed at all, will do away with some contentious issues introduced under Morsi and has a new prohibition against religion based parties:

Article 6 in its amended form states that "it is forbidden to form political parties or perform any activities on the basis of religious foundations or on the basis of discrimination in terms of gender or sex."
The Muslim Brotherhood, if it wants to participate in the next elections, will thereby not be able to act as one political movement but will have to split out over several parties with varying interests. It could be a chance for the Brotherhood to change from its highly hierarchical organization into some broader based political organization.

It was somewhat amusing to yesterday read two divergent pieces on the U.S. "leverage" in Egypt in the same paper. The first one, Cairo Military Firmly Hooked to U.S. Lifeline, argued that the Egyptian military depends on U.S. maintenance of its tanks and air planes:

[A] close look at the details of American military aid to Egypt shows why the relatively modest $1.3 billion may give the United States more leverage over the Egyptian military than it may seem,..
While an op-ed piece on another page more realistically claimed that America Has No Leverage in Egypt.

The second piece is correct. The $1.3 billion military aid to Egypt goes into the pockets of U.S. arm manufacturers. It will therefore be difficult to kill. But should it be killed the Russians will immediately stand by to sell their weapons. How would the U.S., and its sidekick Israel, like some brand new Russian build and Saudi financed Mig-35's in the Egyptian air-force?

The U.S. has no leverage in Egypt and can do little but stand by and watch how the Egyptian military sorts out the mess and imposes a system it can live with. It will likely not be the "democratic", "liberal" and "secular" system that liberal interventionist and neocons say they prefer. It will be some muddle through,  somewhat democratic system under strict military oversight that can at least partially satisfy most Egyptians. One hopes that it will be a bit more energetic and agile than the ossified Mubarak regime.

Posted by b on August 22, 2013 at 17:24 UTC | Permalink


I do not think the Egyptian military has anything against a "democratic", "liberal" and "secular" system – that is, if any political force can establish such a system and win support for it in the upcoming elections. The trouble is, the Western-minded liberal elite is very thin. Most of the Egyptian electorate will not support democracy for democracy's sake.

Elections will tell.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 22 2013 18:16 utc | 1

Anyone seriously believe the US have no leverage on Egypt? Then you have bought the propaganda expressed by the US.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 22 2013 18:39 utc | 2

Socialists: enemies of the People??

But the Revolutionary Socialists and their international co-thinkers, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Britain and the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) in the United States, are likewise up to their elbows in blood. An extensive public record shows that they not merely supported, but played a vital part in, a political conspiracy against the Egyptian working class.

This conspiracy consisted of the setting up of a front organization, known as Tamarod (Rebellion), by the Egyptian military and sections of the bourgeoisie closest to the former regime of Hosni Mubarak and opposed to those sections allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. Through Tamarod, the RS maintained its own connections to these bourgeois layers, working to ensure their triumph in the coup of July 3.

Tamarod is the most vocal supporter of military rule and the bloody crackdown it is implementing, which has cost hundreds of lives. It has urged Egyptians to form vigilante groups to aid the military in suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood and “protect Egypt and the revolution and to defend the future of our children against terrorism.”

Its leader, Mohamed Badr, declared that Egypt was in the process of “getting rid of the Brotherhood’s fascist group before it takes over everything and ousts us all.” He added that he “did not see anything bad from the army. They did not interfere in politics and I am witness to that. I back its decisions on my own and without any instructions, as I think they are right and getting us where we want.”

As if launching a Coup is not "interfer[ing] in politics"

Posted by: hmm | Aug 22 2013 18:43 utc | 3

"Elections will tell.

they already had elections, remember?

Posted by: hmm | Aug 22 2013 18:44 utc | 4

I think that the U.S. does have leverage. It has leverage in terms of the weapons systems it has provided to the Egyptian Armed Forces for the last 35 years; in its training of the Egyptian officer corps; in trade and tourism. Yes, the military with Saudi assistance could begin the process of swapping out those high-tech weapons for Russian-supplied equivalents, but that's highly unlikely.

The Egyptian generals know they can bully Obama. The Saudis and Israelis have huge political clout in the U.S. That's the determining factor here, not that the United States has "no leverage." Possibly this is a distinction that doesn't need to be emphasized, but I think it does.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 22 2013 18:48 utc | 5

The Egyptian generals know they can bully Obama


Poor old bulling-victim Obama - maybe they were hate-bullying him. Perhaps we can indict them on Hate Crime charges?

they probably bullied Obama just cos he black - F'n racists!!!

Posted by: hmm | Aug 22 2013 18:51 utc | 6

The Egyptian generals know they can bully Obama


Posted by: hmm | Aug 22 2013 18:52 utc | 7

B's post is leaning towards the 'Nasserist' deus ex machina, which I like. This is also the view of the always entertaining Tarpley.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 22 2013 18:57 utc | 8

On the question of the thinking of the Egyptian army generals, I found the following video informative. It is a four-minute extract from a speech by Egypt's General Al-Sisi in front of an audience of Egyptian generals on or shortly before 24 Jun 2013 (that's before they ousted Morsi), with English subtitles. .

The above speech has been translated to English by MEMRI--TV, an Israeli or pro-Israeli translation outfit that has an ugly tendency to belittle Arabs and all things Arabic, an ugly tendency which is on display in the majority of the other translated videos by MEMRI--TV at Youtube. Nevertheless the following is another informative video from MEMRI--TV about Egypt. It consists of extracts from Egyptian secular-leaning mass-media TV stations on the night that the army ousted Morsi (where by mass-media I mean these particular TV stations have really big audiences in Egypt, and the TV program hosts in the video are household names throughout the land). .

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 22 2013 19:29 utc | 10

2 - they have, I agree, and they do not have, I agree with b.

Compare it to Iran or Syria

a) The US could support Turkey and Qatar supplying weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood, encouraging them to use it
b) The US could call the coup a coup, stop funding the Egyptian military and turn over the money to Israel instead (would solve the problem for the US weapons industry)
c) they could try and get a UN security council decision with Russia and China vetoing it
d)they could isolate Egypt in Europe/US/Canada/Australia ... - not that Egypt had much to do with those countries anyway
e)they could try sanctions - with Russia and China vetoing - ie. the countries in d) would sanction not the rest of the world

all this leaves much of the rest of the world for Egypt not to be isolated with. The generals could also threaten to close the Suez Canal or raise the prize. They could also stop security cooperation with Israel.

What would an Egyptian civil war mean - Suez Canal pirates?- is anybody's guess.
Spill over to Libya and Sudan (neighbours, lots of oil) is already guaranteed. Saudi Arabia is just across the Red Sea. 1.2 million of a workforce of 25 million Egyptians work in Saudi Arabia.

A US conflict with Israel and Saudi Arabia would be guaranteed (not that these countries are not dependent on the US - they might resort to all sorts of political blackmail though and make the life of US politicians difficult.

What would the US national interest be in all this? Of course - go with the generals. Or do you think the Muslim Brotherhood would further US interest?

However, the US does have leverage. It will cost the generals to get universal acceptance for their coup, to continue to receive US cash. And the Muslim Brothers seem to be still needed in Syria.
They won't be needed though if the US achieves agreement with Iran.

And maybe this is what it all is about.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2013 21:48 utc | 11

Instead of debating leverage and influence, the discussion should focus on degrees of influence. Certainly, the US does not direct the generals. Likewise, I find it hard to believe that they would have acted without Washington's tacit approval.

US aid comes in many forms, not just military. It includes IMF loans, trade concessions, and acceptance in the "international community." Seriously pissing off Washington would not be something the generals could risk. The generals had to signal what they were about to do, which they did a few days before June 30. Washington did nothing.

There are two other intriguing aspects. First, a year ago Morsi was selected after days of suspense. I say "selected" because that is what I believe happened. Was there some gamesmanship by the generals to cede power temporarily?

I see three advantages in gamesmanship. Had Shafik won, it would have prolonged the era of Mubarak, since both Shafik (13 years younger) and Tantawi (7 years) were more of Mubarak's generation. Worse it would have stalled the careers of the next generation, men like el-Sisi who is 26 years younger than Mubarak.

Having Morsi win brought the next generation to the fore. It was a risk, but the generals could bet that they could take care of Morsi and discredit political Islam all in one fell swoop, which they did. They may have also needed some time to sort out the pecking order in their own ranks.

The second issue is Saudi Arabia's generous support of the coup. Certainly, the royals are happy to have the military back. But could there be strings attached, like tolerance of salafis?

And how long can the Gulf emirates bankroll Egypt? They have deep pockets, but I doubt that they are deep enough to keep Egypt afloat for very long, which Egypt will need.

So we're back to the degree of US influence. The US knows that its name is mud in the Muslim world. It is trying to keep a very low profile. Its track record is to trumpet democracy and instigate autocratic coups, AKA "restoring" democracy. They would have been delighted to have the Gulf emirates out in front on this one.

But when the emirates tire of sinking money down the Egyptian hole, someone will have to pick up the slack--the good old "international community," prodded by Israel.

So I think the US has a lot more influence than it is willing to admit (preferring to posture as "pro-democracy") and has chosen to keep a low profile, as it did in Libya and is doing in Syria.

Posted by: JohnH | Aug 22 2013 21:50 utc | 12

Excellent post, b, as usual. Almost everything you say here is probably the right interpretation of these events.

Posted by: FB Ali | Aug 23 2013 2:18 utc | 13

Please, when you use the word "billion" , said (E3) or (E6).
Thank you.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 23 2013 3:02 utc | 14

Sorry, must be (E9) or (E12).

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 23 2013 3:09 utc | 15

See this is after the fact apologist nonsense:

Hardly any military in the world would condone such a situation. This point, rather then some foreign influence, was what launched the military's move.

In nations with robust political systems politicians (including government politicians) are able to debate points of view that anger their military bosses without having to worry whether they will be jailed and their supporters butchered.

Now plenty of people around the planet today are pointing out that since oblamblam made it plain a red line for him regarding Syria was the Assad government's use of chemical weapons, it is a reasonable inference that Assad wouldn't use chemical weapons because that would only assist the Syrian government's enemies.

Surely the same situation holds true for Egypt. If any military anywhere would reasonably topple an elected government that spoke in favour of the military's enemies, then surely Morsi would never have made such a statement?
I'm not saying he didn't say that but I am saying that if speaking positively of the indigenous people of the Sinai was a dead set obvious guaranteed invitation for an army takeover, then surely Morsi wouldn't have done it?

Remember this is only words that Morsi stands accused of using & given Egypt's military undertook to abide by democratic processes, the reasonable thing for the military to have done would have been to use the TV, Radio stations & newspapers the military own to publicly debate Morsi's 'treason'.
A general election was two months away, so if Morsi had indeed endangered the state, it would have been trivial for the military to highlight that & use the situation to cause defeat for the MB at the polls.

Say what you like, rationalise apologise and revise to your heart's content but the facts remain the same, if the military held any intention at all of allowing power to to be passed on by way of Egyptian citizen input, they would have allowed the established process (which they had determined and which was being overseen by a judiciary they own)to continue.
Instead they have staged a bloody coup, isolated the MB leadership from its base, while butchering members of the MB's grass roots support knowing that by doing so they will incite violence to the point where they can re-declare a state of emergency & suspend elections for as long as it takes. I.E. forever - just like the stunt their mate the freshly exonerated Mubarak pulled.

Posted by: debs is dead | Aug 23 2013 4:29 utc | 16

Debs, no-one is claiming Morsi made any public statement about Sinai. They are claiming, and it is very easy to prove, that he made a very public statement calling for Jihad in Syria.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 23 2013 4:52 utc | 17

About Sinai, chaos in Sinai means possibility for djihadists to shoot at the boats passing the Suez canal very easily.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 23 2013 11:44 utc | 18

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 23 2013 11:56 utc | 19

@Debs - June 16 - Morsi's new tough tone on Syria raises concerns of a nod to jihadi fighters

On Saturday, Morsi attended a rally by hard-line clerics who have called for jihad and spoke before a cheering crowd at a Cairo stadium, mainly Islamists. Waving a flag of Egypt and the Syrian opposition, he ripped into the Syrian regime, announced Egypt was cutting ties with Damascus and denounced Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas for fighting alongside Assad's forces.

Clerics at the rally urged Morsi to back their calls for jihad to support rebels. Morsi did not address their calls and did not mention jihad. But his appearance was seen as in implicit backing of the clerics' message. It came after a senior presidential aide last week said that while Egypt was not encouraging citizens to travel to Syria to help rebels, they were free to do so and the state would take no action against them.

Khalil el-Anani, an Egyptian expert on Islamist groups, called the move "Morsi's endorsement of jihad in Syria" and warned it was "a strategic mistake that will create a new Afghanistan in the Middle East."


Egypt's powerful military also seemed to distance itself from Morsi speech, in which he pledged that Egypt's government and military are behind the struggle of the Syrian people against Assad.

On Sunday, the state news agency quoted an unidentified military official underlining that "the Egyptian army will not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. It will not be dragged or be used in any of the regional struggles."

This, and the situation in Sinai where soldiers and policemen got killed, clearly influenced the military's decision.

Posted by: b | Aug 23 2013 12:29 utc | 20

I confused the names of the authors in my #19 above, sorry. I twice referred to the article B originally cited, as being by Emad Mekay, whereas in fact it's by Musa al-Gharbi. Emad Mekay wrote one of the articles cited in it and examined by me in the comment.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 23 2013 12:52 utc | 21

Nasser's career was a tragedy which ended, essentially, in 1967 as Israel and Saudi Arabia (in Yemen) teamed up to beat the Egyptian army and put an end to Nasserism.
It was already doomed, though: Nasser was one of a generation of post colonial nationalists who attempted to build popular support around programmes of strident defiance of imperialists, paternalist social policies and economic self-strengthening, without disturbing basic class relationships.
Nasser was revered in the Arab world for standing up to Britain and for his anti-zionism. But he was hated by the Saudi government and all the puppet tyrants that Britain was setting up to perpetuate imperialist rule.
When Egypt committed an army to support the revolution in Yemen, the "west" bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, struck: the "Royalist" counter revolution was led and trained by mercenaries, including British army officers on leave. The "guerrillas" had air support and were able to make life miserable for Nasser's men, weakening the Egyptians like a running sore. When Israel attacked "pre-emptively" (for those who believe in fairy tales) Egypt's best troops and Generals were hundreds of miles away chasing tip and run guerrillas.

The tragedy of Nasser was the tragedy of the Bandung movement, the failing of self development hopes in an international economy dominated by the United States, the evaporation of the new nationalisms in the cruel reality of poverty and backwardness, bigotry and disease, and the defeats of conscript armies, ill trained and badly led by officers recruited from comprador elites.

Sisi is to Nasser as Louis Napoleon was to Bonaparte, a farceur hawking his image and charisma to a cynical ruling class in the market for another figurehead. If Sisi has any private fantasies of building a new Egypt and cleaning up the corruption, of repudiating the crippling debt and introducing land reform, he would be well advised to keep them to himself.
b is quite right, the US does not do as it pleases with Egypt, but, as JohnH argues, it has enormous influence exerted most often through the ruling class that misses Mubarak and intends, in Sisi, to reconstruct his system.
In Egypt we are back where we started: millions of Egyptians tremble on the brink of famine, living standards are low and falling. And, to make things perfectly clear, the poor now know, from the vicious displays, such as that in the Rabia mosque, put on by Sisi's military, that the future will be an authoritarian dictatorship serving the kleptocrats, international finance and zionism. So the struggle for life will be even harder. And the ruling class will be even more ruthless as it attempts to add to its ill gotten gains and maintain its privileged lifestyle.

Or, perhaps, Sisi will disappoint his Saudi allies by striking an independent course and putting the needs of the poor first; and defy the US by insisting on his right to deploy the military to defend Egyptian sovereignty, and, imitating Ecuador, audit the vast national debt and repudiate that which is odious in law and fact.

But don't hold your breath: the smart money backs the racing certainty that Sisi is just one more, count them, tyrant backed by the United States, allied with Israel and hated by the people who will live, once more, under the rule of secret policemen, torturers and death squads.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 23 2013 14:36 utc | 22

The Shallow Democracy ... piece was thorough and interesting if not very inspired or original.

I think the pre-history of it all is that the Deep State was well aware of the unrest in the country and it was more or less felt that change was coming, plus, that Mubarak was past his sell-date. (Likely, there were rivalries at the top with some to take his place, or change this or that, or not, etc.)

However I’m not sure the author is right when he says that the Military + Affiliated were unaware that the vote was in the hand of muslims / MB supporters / those distrusting the PTB, etc. Yes, there is herd mentality, typically on such topics, and it takes time for facts or intelligence to be disseminated and absorbed..still...this fact was really a no-brainer.

They did however, as the article points out, adapt to it on the legal and prop end. The slow adaption may have been calculated by some, to get others or a majority of the in-crowd progressively off cloud 9 (these would be the semi-bourgeois elites, state employees, connected to the Army, biz ppl, secularists..), process which took, all told, about 10 months.

All can be seen as a leap into the unknown from behind the scenes while being certain or regaining control, and ultimately having more control, power, influence than *before.*

Events demonstrated that “respect for the State is more necessary than ever” - “Egypt is not ready for democracy” (heard that from some Brits) - “We cannot be governed by ..insert.. terrorists/ Muslims, religious parties/ medieval customs, laws/ partisans who don’t collaborate/ one faction over another/etc.” - “In any case the demos / violence have to stop as our economy is going down the drain”. ETC.

So where will Egypt go?

Where it was before, Mubarak-mark II (perhaps with a flimsy democratic facade) but with far more stress and strain. The State has plenty of practice in repressing the MB / close, in this they will succeed, with no difficulty.

All the protests etc. will die out very soon, in the next few weeks.

The top class will become more rapacious, with maybe at first, fig leaves and stipends and some Yes We Can discourse. Inequality will increase, the countryside (such as it is in Egypt) even more miserable and powerless. Unions and the like will be viciously repressed. Egypt will kow-tow to the US, Isr. and KSA, more openly.

And then, 5 years later, the sh*t will hit the fan...

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23 2013 15:40 utc | 23

Mubarak was past his sell-date. (Likely, there were rivalries at the top with some to take his place, or change this or that, or not, etc.) Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23, 2013 11:40:01 AM | 23
I think there was a confrontation with SCAF over whether his son Gamal would feature:
Mubarak declared on Feb 1 2011 that he had no intention to run in the presidential race at the end of 2011. When this declaration failed to ease the protests, Mubarak's vice president stated that Gamal Mubarak, the son, would not run for president. With the escalation of the demonstration and the fall of Mubarak, a former influential figure in the National Democratic Party, Hamdy El-Sayed, claimed that Gamal Mubarak intended to forcibly take over his father's position, assisted by then Interior Minister, Habib El-Adly. (Wikipedia)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 23 2013 16:40 utc | 24

Two points:

- Protests today, called for by the MB as a Friday of martyrs, were, according to photos, attended by only a few hundred people. There was strong military presence though.

- The attacks on Coptic churches and homes. There is not one iota of evidence that I have seen that these attacks came from the MB or some other Islamic circles. Instead police stayed away when the attacks happened. I believe that these attacks are part of a "strategy of tensions" that the military is using to a. denounce the MB as internal terrorists b. convince the "Christian west" that standing for the MB means standing against Christians. From various comments at "western" news sides this strategy seems to have been successful.

Posted by: b | Aug 23 2013 16:58 utc | 25

In the vast majority of the 42 cases Human Rights Watch documented, neither the police nor the military were present at the start or during the attack. In one case, in Dalga, a village in southern Minya governorate, residents said that men had attacked the local police station around the same time. In Kirdassa, Giza, west of Cairo, an activist said that mobs attacked the local police station, killing 15 officers according to AP, before attacking al-Mallak church. (HRW)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 23 2013 18:11 utc | 26

"An activist said . . . "

ROWAN, "activists" are now reliable sources?

Is that all the time, or only when they say something you'd like to believe is true?

Posted by: hmm | Aug 24 2013 6:58 utc | 27

muslim brotherhood terrorism in egypt

Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 7:06 utc | 28

The attacks on Coptic churches and homes. There is not one iota of evidence that I have seen that these attacks came from the MB or some other Islamic circles.
Posted by: b | Aug 23, 2013 12:58:57 PM | 25


so this never occured?

Egypt: Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood Mobs Burn Christian Coptic Churches
The 4th Generation Warfare

lets play spot the salafists

of course what we could be seeing a strategies of tension.

Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 7:20 utc | 29

if MB didnt burn the churches , who did? the army? theres even less evidence of that. Unknown terrorist? who? copts. other christian israelis?

not b's best effort at reflecting on events


On Sunday, 18 August 2013, the Foreign Ministry of Egypt called on all world countries to condemn the violent acts which are currently taking place in the North African country. During a press conference, Egypt´s Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, displayed footage, showing members of the Muslim Brotherhood burning churches, mosques as well as other buildings and establishments, including museums.

Moreover, the footage confirmed what nsnbc international has reported from the onset of the events on 14 August, which is, that radical, militant members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been firing at unknowing protesters as well as on Egypt´s police and military forces in Nahda Saquare and the Rabaa el-Adawya area. The footage shown to Egyptian and foreign journalists corroborated hundreds of eyewitness reports as well as photo and video evidence nsnbc international has received from Egyptians, using the nsnbc international hotline and previous reports published in nsnbc international.

back in 1982 in syria: MB killed alawites

Technical committee to propose radical changes to Egypt's 2012 constitution
August 19, 2013 at 11:18pm
Technical committee to propose radical changes to Egypt's 2012 constitution
Informed sources tell Ahram Online that Egypt's 2012 constitution, drafted by an Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, will be fundamentally changed
Gamal Essam El-Din, Sunday 18 Aug 201

so where has b done his research on egypt?

Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 7:31 utc | 30

"An activist said..." ROWAN, "activists" are now reliable sources? Is that all the time, or only when they say something you'd like to believe is true? Posted by: hmm | Aug 24, 2013 2:58:22 AM | 27
Well of course it's stinking HRW, who cannot be trusted on anything, but AFAIK they are the only people who have actually enumerated the attacks on churches, 42 of them in fact, which I think is too many for if it was an army/police provocation. So the HRW report is at least worth reading, if it's the only one there is.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 24 2013 7:33 utc | 31

interesting article

'Add to all this the fact that, despite the very serious charges filed against them—including inciting murder and terrorism, and grand treason—the Obama administration, first with Anne Patterson, and now with Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, keep pressuring Egypt to release Brotherhood leaders; McCain personally even visited the civilian al-Shatter, whose raided home revealed the passport of ‘Azzazi, whom Musa claims is the murderer of Stevens.'

whereever McCain is Turmoil follows

Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 7:41 utc | 32

The Turkish government of Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan condemns the violence and the brutality of the Egyptian security forces, not based on the evidence, but based on the fact that the people-powered military counter-coup against Morsi and the MB, who had succeeded to:

a) suspend the lower house of parliament, b) suspend the judiciary c) change the constitution to favor Islamist parties and organizations and e) changed the election law so it became all but impossible for any other parties other than the AKP and the Salaifits to register for the next elections,….

was a blow for Turkey´s Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, it was a blow against the US, Israeli, European re-colonization project. Erdogan succeeded in Turkey and is likely to successfully implement more legislative changes to secure that Turkey becomes an Islamic State rather than a Secular Republic when he initiated the Ergenkon plot. Erdogan already manufactured a coup against the Turkish military and the opposition five years ago, when 600 officers, intellectuals, journalists, scholars, party leaders and members of parliament were arrested. Last months, after five year sentences were passed by specially authorized courts, many of them lifetime prison sentences. The ouster of Morsi is a stark reminder for Erdogan, about what may very well be waiting for him.


Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 8:13 utc | 33


The only objectionable thing i could find in the law mentioned in your link was :

Article 6 (1). . . A party's founders and leaders should meet the requirement of having an Egyptian father.

Posted by: hmm | Aug 24 2013 9:01 utc | 34

It seems to me that Erdogan is in the process of being undermined from within his own government by the Gulen movement, which clearly has CIA backing. Gulen himself weaves his web from an enormous mansion in Pennsylvania, USA:

This reporter made a recent visit to Gulen’s 28-acre mountain complex at 1857 Mt Eaton Road in Saylorsburg, PA, the very heart of the Pocono Mountains. The complex consists of a massive chalet that is surrounded by numerous out buildings, including recreational centers, dormitories, and cabins for visiting foreign dignitaries. The property also contains a large pond, a helicopter pad, and, reportedly, firing ranges....

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Aug 24 2013 9:06 utc | 35

ex alqaeda Naim on Egypt:

In a televised interview, Nabil Naim, who is a former leader of the Islamic Jihadist movement in Egypt and a once close companion of current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri alongside whom he fought in the Afghan-Russian war in Afghanistan, says that the Muslim Brotherhood regional organization had announced in Turkey the formation of a "Free Army" in Egypt, similar to the one in Syria fighting against the government. He also stated that the goal is to break up the country and weaken it as part of an Israeli plan called "the Clean Collar" that targeted three countries: Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. However, the military intervention on June 30th after a large popular revolution prevented Egypt from going down the same road as Syria.

im with Naim!

Posted by: brian | Aug 24 2013 9:44 utc | 36

@23 Noirette,
I am not sure it will take 5 years. The high bread and fuel prices and the desperation it breeds is still there. For now, the Gulf state money can be used to plaster over the current account deficit, but are the Gulf states willing to bank-roll Egypt to the extent that the desperation can be dealt with? And is the government willing to increase bread subsidies instead of handing it out to supporters?

I think the current government will fall within a year.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Aug 24 2013 18:57 utc | 37

It bears watching, I think, the Tamarod's reaction to the army's return to Mubarakism. Specifically, whether their reaction is to do anything more than talk.

I have never seen the following source before but it certainly has the most extensive and interesting statements form the key secular players in the revolution.

The problem at this point with anything thing Tamarod says is that no matter what they claim about the MB (even blaming them for the release of Mubarak in the sense that they failed to pursue him in a Obama-like "look forward" policy), the facts that the greatest reversals of the revolution have come from their inviting the army coup. The bizarre call for a "popular trial" and "popular penalty" for Mubarak seems absolutely bizarre. Perhaps they are relying on the fact that since Mubarak is not allowed to leave Egypt (I can't find a link for this, but I do recall it) he potentially can be taken back into custody at any point.

I have trimmed the following articles. They should be read in full by those interested.

Egypt's Tamarod calls for keeping Mubarak in prison

The Tamarod (rebellion) movement has called on Egyptian officials to keep toppled President Hosni Mubarak behind bars under Egypt's emergency law.

Tamarod said that it plans a "popular trial" for Mubarak in the coming days.

"What had happened under Mubarak -- corruption, killings, destruction, the undermining of political parties and [Egypt's] falling into the hands of the United States -- are sufficient for him to receive the heaviest popular penalty," the group added.

The so-called "Judges for Egypt" movement, meanwhile, described Mubarak's imminent release as the "fruits of the [July 3] military coup."

"The release of Mubarak will return us to the pre-January revolution era; the same regime will come back," movement coordinator Walid Sharabi told the Anadolu Agency.

Earlier on Wednesday, the April 6 youth group described Mubarak as a "criminal".

"Mubarak has committed crimes against the people," group spokesperson Khaled al-Masri told the AA. "He [Mubarak] is a criminal, whether or not he is acquitted by the court."

The Muslim Brotherhood, for its part, said Mubarak's release would usher in a peaceful "popular movement" in the coming period.

"It [Mubarak's release] is the starting point for a peaceful popular movement in the period ahead," Mokhtar al-Ashri, head of the legal committee of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told the AA.

He insisted, however, that the ousted president's release did not represent the "defeat" of Egypt’s January 2011 revolution.

"The revolution has learned a lot and will continue to face this new reality peacefully," al-Ashri asserted.


Egypt revolution back at square one: April 6 movement founder

Ahmed Maher's April 6 movement helped lead the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011. With Mubarak now out of jail, he says the revolution is back to square one, and could take a generation to prevail.

"We don't fully understand what is happening in the new regime," he said. "There are fears of the return of the old regime, its people and methods."

April 6 backed Morsi in that vote, but later turned its countrywide activist network against him, echoing critics who said his Muslim Brotherhood was seeking to entrench its power even as it failed in government.

Maher said public hatred of the Brotherhood was now running so deep that it was difficult for activists to speak out about worrying trends such as the re-imposition of a state of emergency. "Everyone is directed towards the idea of the 'war on terror', and if there are violations, they are being ignored."

"Naturally, there are fears, especially after the release of Mubarak," Maher said. "But as a revolution, we knew at the start there could be many setbacks ... We were expecting difficulties. But nobody thought it would be this complicated."

"I should be depressed, and I am depressed, but I still have hope, even with these complications, the violence, these fears. I still have confidence that one day we will see a new Egypt," he said. "My generation might not see these changes. We might be paving the way for the new generation to see these changes."

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2013 20:07 utc | 38

'The blatant criticism of the military’s role in Egypt is a message from Erdogan to the Turkish interior. He wants to distort the Egyptian army’s image to justify further action that weakens the Turkish army and blocks any coup attempts.
Portraying the Egyptian army as a group of putschists who oppress and kill civilian protesters and Erdogan’s media focusing on bloody scenes aims to consolidate the image of Erdogan and his group as “persecuted.” This aims to generate popular sympathy to compensate for the decline in AKP popularity after the suppression of the Taksim and Gezi uprising. Portraying Erdogan as a victim is not possible now that he has betrayed all the democratic forces that helped him get rid of the military’s influence only to establish an authoritarian rule with a religious penchant.
The Turkish attitude against the June 30 revolution is dangerous because it signals Turkey’s blatant interference in Egyptian internal affairs. Erdogan is dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood as if it were a Turkish component, not an Egyptian one. This looks like a return to Ottoman Empire, against which the most serious rebellion came from the ruler of Egypt Muhammad Ali Pasha and his son Ibrahim Pasha in the first half of the 19th century. Had England and the major powers not protected the Ottoman sultan back then, Ibrahim Pasha’s military campaign would have ended the Ottoman sultanate after he stood on the outskirts of Adana in Anatolia. The June 30 revolution will not under any circumstance allow the return of the Ottomans to Egypt or to the Arab region.'

Posted by: brian | Aug 25 2013 0:13 utc | 39

in the line of b, I was somewhat doubtful of the reports on attacks on Coptic etc. churches. I have no idea about the facts - don’t think one can ascertain them really - but a few reports also mentioned attacks on other institutions, as brian @ 30 details.

That MB members, supporters, the sincerely religious, would attempt (succeed or not) to damage, destroy, physical buildings that symbolize the State and in their eyes foreign, or Christian influence, is not a wild idea. It is a practice common to internal opponents, and a check list for foreign invaders, see for ex. the destruction of Iraq by the US. And one should not forget that these kinds of actions are easy to implement, by a few hot-heads, when political legitimacy has been withdrawn. So who knows, in any case the media, and Human Rights etc. report selectively. The truth may be in between, with some false flag.

> a swedish kind of death @ 37. Yeah you are probably right. i was seeing a crushed population putting up with things and afraid of more disturbance, violence. But the economic situation is so bad, the rubber will hit the road sooner. Note the Army has been arresting the steel workers, Unionists, etc. April 6 members arrested, then freed....? as I said, the Coalition (Army Junta plus all the buddies) is taking the oppo’ to strangle all opponents and fix the pol scene in concrete.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 25 2013 14:07 utc | 40

to those who support Morsi and MB :SHAME

on twitter

Cherine 25m
"We will prevent any American warship to enter #Suez Canal to hit #Syria."

~ Abd Alfttah Al Sisi, Egyptian minister of defense #US #Egypt

Sisi: We will close the Suez Canal on the US warships on its way to #Syria. #Egypt

did Morsi or MB plan top protect syria?
at least my instinct is sound

Posted by: brian | Aug 27 2013 23:18 utc | 41

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