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Muslim Brotherhood decries killing of Morsi supporters in Cairo 'massacre'

Egypt's crisis plumbed new depths on Monday after 42 supporters of Mohamed Morsi were killed by government security forces in Cairo, triggering a call by the Muslim Brotherhood for an uprising to restore the deposed president to power.

The country's single bloodiest incident of recent times took place outside a Republican Guard club in the capital where Morsi is rumoured to be in detention. The Brotherhood condemned what it called a massacre. The army said "terrorists" had attempted to storm the heavily guarded building. The health ministry said 322 people had been injured.

The fantasy notions that the latest military coup in Egypt was going to usher in a new regime of western secular democracy don't really seem to be turning out very well. The supporters if the deposed Morsi government are not disposed to knuckle under quietly. They are basically doing the same thing that the opponents of the government did to precipitate the takeover. They are taking to the streets.

The weekend saw a political farce of fumbling efforts to form a new government. It was announced that Mohamad ElBaradei would be appointed prime minister. He was quickly embraced as the ideal poster boy for the new brand of democracy. However, that didn't fly so well in Egypt and the idea was withdrawn before the appointment could be confirmed. That prompted the conservative Salafi al-Nour party to completely withdraw from talks on government formation. That situation remains is chaos.

I would like to invite the attention of people interested in the situation to an excellent diary that was posted over the weekend by someone with actual on the ground experience in Egypt.

The Egyptian Judiciary: The Key to the July Coup

I found it very useful in gaining a better understanding of what has been happening over the past two years. It confirms my sense that there is not an easy simple solution to this problem.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anyone who suggests a simple answer (0+ / 0-)

    ...probably has a ring of spray paint around their mouth. If you get my drift here.

  •  Oh, wonderful wonderful civil war. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    (sigh)

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:42:32 AM PDT

  •  It would help if as some of the protesters (0+ / 0-)

    carrying signs said, "Obama and IMF keep your hands off Egypt".

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:47:32 AM PDT

    •  Egypt is in desperate need (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tony Situ

      of the loan from the IMF. The problem comes with the conditions that they have attached to it. There is now also a question whether the IMF will continue negotiations with an unelected government.

      •  No way man. The IMF is a big part of the reason (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins, Lepanto

        for all this. The people are rejecting austerity demanded by the IMF.  

        "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:53:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are also close (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mookins, Tony Situ

          to running out of foreign exchange to pay for imports.

          •  The IMF wants to tear the country apart. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mookins

            IMF loans are evil, it means control, poverty, austerity.   Morsi had been obeying the IMF dictates by raising taxes and doubling the price of gas but was having problems with it.  This is another U.S. backed regime change.  John Kerry is spearheading the IMF loan business and the regime change.

            "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:00:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No Morsi (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mookins

              had not obeyed the IMF. He was dragging his feet on their conditions and that is why the loan has not been approved.

            •  Oh please. The far left's bullshit CTs are so (0+ / 0-)

              tired.

              You think the coup was US backed and US "spearheaded" regime change?  Has the far left in America really become THAT deluded?  These days it's hard to tell who is more deluded, the far right or the far left.

              During the demonstrations, there were people on the left bashing the US for "backing MB", and they referred to the few (very few) signs by some Egyptian protestors blaming the US for supporting MB (because the US dared try to establish good relations with the elected MB government).  Now the far left bashes the US for spearheading the overthrow of MB.  rolls eyes

              The Obama administration's statement on the coup was pretty disapproving of it, actually, but took care not to do an outright condemnation of it.

        •  I agree and more: when you've got mass (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, jabney

          unemployment and the wealth sequestered in the hands of the few, it's time to bust it up: nationalize that capital, employ everybody to build what's needed to survive, like those 'food towers' for urban farming.

          "The war on drugs followed by the war on terror has eliminated protections we have had since the Magna Carta." -Horace Boothroyd III

          by mookins on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:02:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  mookins - I would be shocked if the wealthy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mookins, Kickemout

            in Egypt have kept any significant deposits in Egyptian "pounds" or within the Egyptian banking system. The Egyptian pound has been on a steady five year decline against the US dollar, the Euro, and the British pound.

            Egypt's economy has suffered from the lack of security which has devastated Egypt's historically significant tourism industry. Most travel agents warn against traveling in Egypt. Second, to one of the points in your comment Egypt has suffered from a substantial capital flight as people who have significant financial, and other non-real estate assets, have moved them out of the local currency and out of the country for safekeeping and portfolio risk management purposes.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:04:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  No Idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Florida Democrat

    I was very skeptical that the Arab Spring would produce positive results for most people in the Arab world.

    But when the anti-Morsi forces and the Egyptian military started being lauded by all the usual Neo-Conservative suspects, I had a big "uh-oh" moment.

    If David Brooks wants a military coup, you should immediately assume it's a really bad idea.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:51:05 AM PDT

    •  A bunch of progressives (0+ / 0-)

      on the same side as David Brooks started to give me that Alice In Wonderland feeling.

      •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund

        However, it might also be that there is only this one really bad idea on the table and few or no alternatives. It doesn't make it less bad -- perhaps just inevitable.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:55:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I supported 30 June (0+ / 0-)

        I do NOT support the military coup.  It IS possible to separate those things.  The military hijacking of 30 June was neither inevitable, nor even highly predictable.  But it is what it is, and suggests a long period of struggles and upheavals lies ahead.  Among other consequences, an Islamic Revolution is now well within the realm of possibility.  But counterrevolutions of various sorts are also now on the table.  It's real politics, and none of us Americans are equipped to deal with that.

        "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

        by ActivistGuy on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:17:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You can't decide on issues based solely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, NYFM, VClib

      on who has staked out which side. Just because Dick Cheney is for something does not automatically mean we should be against it. If you allow the right to dictate to you which side you should be on you are giving them too much credit. Everyone in America has an interest in keeping Islamic theocracies at bay (and as progressives who think women's rights and gay rights are important, we have a particular interest in fighting against theocracies, including elected ones).

    •  Did Brooks actually want the coup? (0+ / 0-)

      I read the diary criticizing Brooks for saying Egyptians lacked mental capacity (or whatever) for democracy, but I didn't get the idea that he wanted the coup.  I thought he was saying that the coup occurred because of the Egyptians supposed lack of mental capacity for democracy.  Then again, I didn't read the actual article, only what I saw in the diary.

      As for the neocons, they claim they want democratic regimes in the Middle East, but then they go apeshit when Islamists win the elections, and then they blame the Obama administration fo rnot using its "influence" to shape the elections to a particular outcome.

    •  I'm pretty sure that conservatives would have (0+ / 0-)

      been against the Nazis. I no longer judge issues by a kneejerk "Whatever the conservatives are for, I'm against" metric.

  •  Doesn't Egypt have... oil? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon

    18 billion a year, I hear...

    Yup, definitely time for some "Humanitarian" intervention.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:56:08 AM PDT

    •  That sounds like something (0+ / 0-)

      deserving some research.

    •  Egypt has the Suez canal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      Oil reserves? A can of 3-in-1 Oil as compared to a Supertanker. If that much.

      •  See (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund

        Economy of Egypt

        Over the last 15 years, more than 180 petroleum exploration agreements have been signed and multinational oil companies spent more than $27 billion in exploration companions. These activities led to the findings of about 18 crude oil fields and 16 natural gas fields in FY 2001. The total number of findings rose to 49 in FY 2005. As a result of these findings, crude oil reserves as of 2009 are estimated at 3.7 billion barrels (590,000,000 m3), and proven natural gas reserves are 1.656 trillion cubic meters with a likely additional discoveries with more exploration campaigns. In August 2007, it was announced that signs of oil reserves in Kom Ombo basin, about 28 miles (45 km) north of Aswan, was found and a concession agreement was signed with Centorion Energy International for drilling. The main natural gas producer in Egypt is the International Egyptian Oilfield Company (IEOC), a branch of Italian Eni. Other companies like BP, BG, Texas-based Apache Corp. and Shell carry out activities of exploration and production by means of concessions granted for a period of generally ample time (often 20 years) and in different geographic zones of oil and gas deposits in the country.
        However, they are still a net importer.
        •  Why is Egypt so dirt poor (0+ / 0-)

          with all of it's free market trade while Iran which is under economic attack by the USA and most of it's allies isn't suffering such instability?

          •  That is probably not a simple question. (0+ / 0-)

            They have by far the largest population in the Arab world. There has been a significant rise in the birth rate in recent years. Much of the country is still involved in agriculture. The military has had a strangle hold on the economy since they took power in the 1950s.

            •  They have comparatively the same population (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mark Lippman

              Here is a google population trajectory of Iran, Egypt, and Turkey.  I have heard that the population of Iran stopped climbing as dramatically as it did in the 80s because the clerics decided to dump tons of birth control onto the population in fears that the increase in population would be unsustainable.  That now they are trying to stop that policy.

              Back to the point I guess.  Nasser was all about industrialization.  What happened?  Was becoming an ally to America and "westernizing" that devastating?

              •  I think that Turkey (0+ / 0-)

                would be an interesting basis for comparison. While they have been having some political upheavals recently they are much more economically prosperous and are at least theoretically candidates for admission to the EU.

                I am most certainly not an expert on Egypt and its problems. I got interested in it when the initial uprising began two years ago. The thing that seems to stand out about the economic problems is the role of the military leaders and their accumulation of personal wealth.

                It is also a country that has been heavily dependent on tourism because of its history. That has pretty much dried up because of the political instability.

                 

              •  The three points of that triangle make an (0+ / 0-)

                interesting comparison.  

                I searched this page for the word 'Israel' and I wasn't able to find it.  It is, of course, Egypt's neighbor, and there has been peace between them for 34 years.  

                The importance of preserving peace must be remembered.  The relationship between the US and Egypt is primarily based on the treaty obligations to maintain that peace.  

                It is also important to question whether the 34 year-old US policy is still the best way to keep the peace.  The US accomplishes that goal by ensuring that Israel and Egypt have the ability to defend themselves against each other.  It continually supplies weapons, arms, other military equipment, training, and financing, in effect, balancing the power between the two.  Neo-cons and the military industrial complex see to it that Egypt is kept on a leash.  It has the potential to achieve overwhelming power compared to its neighbor, so it is always cast as a danger.
                This US policy is stuck now at a dead end.

                There is no existence without doubt.

                by Mark Lippman on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:37:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  One is under the thumb of the West and it isn't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon

            Iran.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:26:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well Iran is suffering such instability (0+ / 0-)

            The Iranian Rial abruptly plummeted in value below 50% in the space of a week or so and has shown no sign of recovery.

        •  Most every nation has some oil production (0+ / 0-)

          That does not mean all other considerations on Earth do not matter. Net oil importers are not major factors in the global oil supply equation. It gets a little tiresome hearing comments that go no deeper than, "Oil!"

          Now if someone wants to argue that controlling the Suez Canal is a strategic plum, I'm about the last person to argue. Unlike oil wells, the global census of those is "one".

    •  Egypt is a small player in the oil world (0+ / 0-)

      Their production peaked in the mid 90s while their consumption continued to increase. Currently Egypt is at about a breakeven between import and export of oil and the forecast is for Egypt to soon be a growing oil importer.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:13:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I looked it up just now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        and they seem to still be a net importer, even though they have been pushing to expand discovery and production. Fuel subsidies are the major political hot button issue in the negotiations with the IMF.

        •  To put it in perspective, Egypt's production is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon

          about 1/5 of Iran's.  It's less than 1/3 of Venezuela's.

          It's production level is comparable to Argentina and Columbia which aren't considered to be big oil producers.
          And Egypt's population of 85 million is much larger than Argentina or Columbia.  It's very likely that it consumes what it produces.  It isn't known for having a reserve amount that would invite development.  

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:06:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for pointing people back to the court (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, mookins, NYFM
  •  The current situation was predictable and there (3+ / 0-)

    are lessons, but whatever there is to be learned is probably lost on most Americans.  It's ironic because the US is locked into its own death spiral and unable to save itself.  Rigid ideology is worn like a blinder.

    In the runup to the first round of voting, it seemed logical that the two candidates who'd emerge from a crowded field to proceed to the runoff would be one favored by the broad Muslim Brotherhood umbrella and one favored by a coalition of secular professionals and the left.  

    That isn't what happened.  The large number of candidates split the vote.  Instability and violence added to support for Ahmed Shafiq, who was Mubarek's Prime Minister and led the interim government.  For some, the military dictatorship, as objectionable as it was, at least kept order and stability.  It's possible that provocateurs deliberately stirred up mayhem and chaos to drive voters to Shafiq.  That's controversial and even offensive to some people who can learn the details on their own if they're interested.

    The first round vote totals showed Morsi with the highest vote total, followed by Shafiq who came out 700,000 votes ahead of Hamdeen Sabahi in 3rd place.  Maybe the most remarkable result was the low participation.  Less than half of eligible voters turned out.  

    Sabahi represents the left in Egypt.  An American's idea of the left doesn't transpose to other countries. Sabahi is a politician with skills or a panderer, depending who you believe.  He's ahead of the pack, at least understanding that Egypt can become hopelessly fragmented or glued together with populism.  He proposed higher taxes on business and the wealthy and championed the public sector.  More recently, he criticized Morsi for pursuing the $4.5 billion IMF loan.  He was speaking directly to Morsi's supporters when he said devotion to Allah won't put food on anyone's plate.  25% of the population lives on $1.50 a day.  Another 25% isn't doing much better.  Sabahi did support the toppling of Morsi by the military and he is calling for a government to be organized immediately.  

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:17:30 PM PDT

  •  Morsi's crime: "elected while Muslim" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Anastasia Castro

    For hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims around the world, it will be hard to argue against this now.

    People of Egypt come out in significant force to elect a parliament and president. Morsi becomes the first democratically elected leader of Egypt, ever.

    * Military chiefs (SCAF) disqualify Muslim Brotherhood chief (El-Shatter) from running in the post-revolutionary election. Reason? He was in Mubarak's Jail less than 6 months ago. At the same time, they over turn the newly elected parliament's decision to allow Mubarak's last prime minister (Shafiq) to run for election, while also throwing 900,000 extra votes his way.

    * Elected parliament gets squashed by Mubarak's judiciary, military backs the decision

    * Constitutional assembly chosen by people gets dissolved by Mubarak's judiciary

    * Morsi tries to revive the Constitutional assembly by decree, receives backlash that he's putting himself "above the law" (yes, true, above Mubarak's corrupt courts)

    * Morsi is deposed by force and Military installs the chief of the Judiciary. Top MB officials including their first candidate El-Shatter is arrested. Military propaganda tells people Morsi is "guest" at their compound, hiding the forceful nature of coup during a crucial time from the street protestors

    * Army opens fire on unarmed protestors on several occasions and continues to lie about them, blaming the victims each time

    * Mubarak era TV personalities, ambassadors and government functionaries are all of a sudden all over the western media saying this was not a coup. Meanwhile, all brotherhood media in Egypt has been forcefully shut down. The state TV stations only show the anti-Morsi crowd in Tahrir, and dutifully parrot Army propaganda

    * After initially backing the coup, the Salafi Al-Nour party (second largest party in the freely elected-now-deposed parliament) pulls out of the coalition

    Lesson to muslims everywhere: We will not let you govern, elections be damned. Just like HAMAS in Palestine, you can win all the elections you want, but you will not be given power.

    Frankly, this lifts a huge burden from Muslim brotherhood and Islamist parties in Egypt. They tried to play by the rules, and they were victims of it. During the brief time they held some power in Egypt, the country didn't become Talibanistan, as was alleged. No one tried to cover up women and outlaw alcohol as was predicted. But they got accused of that anyway.

    So what's the point of the peaceful approach? They end up being persecuted, shot and arrested either way.

  •  These protestors? (0+ / 0-)

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:16:39 PM PDT

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