Egyptian riots

Oh this is going great now.

At least 34 people have been killed in an attack outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo, an Egyptian health ministry official says.

Khaled el-Khatib said initial reports indicated 34 people were killed and 300 wounded in shooting outside the building in the early hours of Monday. Earlier, Egyptian military officials had said gunmen killed at least five supporters of the former president and one officer died when people tried to storm the building.

The Muslim Brotherhood said shots were fired at supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi near the headquarters, where Morsi is being held. The Egyptian military said "a terrorist group" had tried to storm the building.

Shot during morning prayer. Yikes.

The Egyptian military doesn't hesitate to pull the trigger. They are still somewhat sensitive to people who accidentally cross from Israel ( a guy that did that accidentally was smart enough to surrender immediately).If the see smugglers they don't hesitate shoot . I've heard that the local illegal drug market dried out a lot because of the mess going on in Egypt,Lebanon and Syria.The Jordanian border guards are also known to be ruthless . There is now a very large barrier that was built on the Egyptian border to make it close to impossible to cross into Israel undetected .

The problem now is that there is a huge support base to the Islamic brotherhood in Gaza and they have started attacking Egyptian targets in recent years. I heard on the news the Egyptian military destroyed close to 50 smuggling tunnels to Gaza. Iran has been sending tons of weapons into Gaza so if the Islamic brotherhood want to arm themselves they can find a source. This also depend on the cooperation of the Salaf group which are known as extremists (I'm not exactly sure so I don't prejudge) . I'm not sure if the other non secular group has an interest in disestablishing the country.

Iran has a vested interest to destabilize Egypt and they can send the Islamic brotherhood weapons through Sudan . There is still a conflict of interests because the Islamic brotherhood is a Sunni movement if I remember correctly (Iran is Shiia) . The Iranian prefer to send weapons to Islamic Jihad groups .

It's still doubtful the Islamic brotherhood can do anything against the Egyptian military. They might continue performing terror attacks but I'm not sure how effective they would be . Terrorism can hurt tourism but that industry already took a big hit so I don't think it will effect it by much. The Consumer market can also get hurt by terrorism. Egypt might not as big a debt as the rest of the world but it's constantly growing. The military should get a government up and running ASAP .

Egypt has to somehow create more trade relationship and abandon their hate. They can benefit much more by cooperating with Israel than hating it. Hate can't feed and provide an income to 82.5 million people . I also mentioned they are in a collision course with Ethiopia.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
I'm a little torn myself. Morsi was elected democratically, but if his election results in repression the people are perfectly within their rights to protest. A proper constitution protects minorities from the tyranny of the majority and if the constitution is flawed or doesn't exist popular uprising is the best way to make changes.

Yeah, electing a government to destroy the foundations of democracy (or in this case, not build up the foundation in the first place) can hardly be considered democracy anywhere.
Democracy obviously isn't simple majority rule.

That doesn't exactly mean a military coup is justified, but it is not right to look at this as a democratic legitimate government being replaced. More like one undemocratic leadership being replaced by another.

In any case we have seen repeatedly over the last decade (and before that too of course), that its pretty damn hard, if not impossible, to create democracy, just by willing it. Going to require quite a lot of 'education' among the population, to both understand their own power, and the limitations they have to accept as fundamental rules to achieve that power. Probably going to be both bloody and far away. There is too much focus on the voting aspect of democracy in general - if we can vote, we have democracy... or something.

Things have officially gone to sh*t.

The numbers are still being counted after security forces opened fire early this morning on a Muslim Brotherhood protest. Early reports suggest that at least 136 people have been killed and thousands injured. The killings follow another incident in Alexandria on Friday in which five Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed.

What? Egypt? Why things are going great, why do you ask?

Egypt has declared a month-long state of emergency after scores of people were killed when security forces stormed protest camps in Cairo.

The camps had been occupied by supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was deposed in early July.

State media say the security forces are now in control of the two main camps.

The health ministry says 149 people were killed - but the Muslim Brotherhood, which was behind the protests, says more than 2,000 died.

The state of emergency is scheduled to last for a month. It imposes a curfew in Cairo and several other provinces between 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) and 06:00.

The measure was taken because the "security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups," the presidency said in a statement.

Vice-President Mohammed El Baradei has announced his resignation from the interim government in the wake of the violence.

"I cannot continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood," he said in a statement.

This week someone shot 3 grad rockets from Sinai on Eilat and 2 were intercepted by Iron dome. Looks like the Egyptian military has its hands full. There are conflicting reports on "who retaliated" but it generally doesn't matter because those provocations will not really effect the "peace treaty" we have with them.

There is a big operation in Sinai currently because the Egyptian military is trying to enforce order there. Hamas is an organization that spawned from Egyptian Islamic Brotherhood so they are supporting the "old regime" . Currently the Egyptian military is putting a strangle hold on Gaza and trying to convince the residents of Sinai to not support the "rebels" ( aka old regime) . The residents of Sinai have been making a living from smuggling all sort of things to Israel and/or Gaza (drugs,people,weapons) and the fact Israel built a physical barrier and the Egyptian military is destroying tunnels to Gaza really hurt their livelihood.

The other major source of income in Sinai is tourism along the beach of the Red Sea which is a great diving spot and has warm weather year round. The stability problem in Egypt devastate the tourism industry which was one of the main sources of income in Egypt before the revolutions.

Meanwhile, U.S. aid to the military continues to flow unhindered and President Obama refuses to call the military coup a coup.

Aetius wrote:
Meanwhile, U.S. aid to the military continues to flow unhindered and President Obama refuses to call the military coup a coup.

Didn't we cancel joint military operations of some kind (I think war-gaming?) with Egypt yesterday in the face of the violence occurring there?

Demosthenes wrote:
Aetius wrote:
Meanwhile, U.S. aid to the military continues to flow unhindered and President Obama refuses to call the military coup a coup.

Didn't we cancel joint military operations of some kind (I think war-gaming?) with Egypt yesterday in the face of the violence occurring there?

Yes, and the main reason the Administration refuses to consider it a coup is because as soon as that happens they'll be forced to cut around $1.5b in aid and other things to the country. If I understand the BBC report from one of my morning commute podcasts, this money was setup during the Camp David peace agreements back in the 70's and has basically served as a way for the US to have some influence on what goes on in the region.

Of course, it sounds like the military leadership in Egypt isn't really listening to the Obama Administration even with that money on the line

We're supporting a government that uses rape as a weapon of war, in their bid to dominate a rebel force that uses rape as a weapon of war.

What's the downside to keeping that 1.5B domestic?

Egypt is looking a lot like Syria.

I'm staring to think of Egypt much like I once thought of the Balkans. I visit the Balkans now regularly. It's very beautiful there now and the people are very nice these days. I'm sure Egypt once was as ok well. But the rape epidemic is too much. I won't feel safe taking my wife their for 15, 20 years. And that's only if they get their act together. If they don't I may never see Egypt. And, honestly, I'm not sure I'm too broken up about that right now. They want to burn their country to the ground and act like that then I frankly don't ever want to go.

garion333 wrote:
Egypt is looking a lot like Syria.

Not really I doubt it will turn into a civil war on the same scale. The Egyptian military is very strong and the militant factions are mainly localized in Sinai . The Egyptian Military also have the popular support of a large portion of the public . The Egyptian public is very dependent on the government and it was not too oppressed by Mubarak.

I heard that the Egyptian military have gave up hope of getting help from the USA. They still need to find allies because their economy is limping. They may try to crack down on extremists in order to bring back the tourism industry to its former glory. This is one reason there is almost no risk of a war starting between Egypt and Israel . The Egyptians might hate Israel and Israelis might be suspicious but the Israeli economy always try to give Egypt a hand because of pure economic reasons.

The Egyptian government also made a big mistake of cutting off the gas supply to Israel . Their inability to secure the pipeline also hurt the sales to Jordan. At this point of time Israel tapped into its own gas deposit which means that we don't really need the Egyptian gas. The other problem is that Israel can now offer the Jordanians gas at a better price.

During bad economic conditions countries have to put aside their differences and cooperate because trade is a great way to improve the economy. This might have been the reason the military decided to act against the "elected government". The military doesn't want a civil war and nor do the people of Egypt. They were not as oppressed and sanctioned as the Syrian people .

I think and hope that the current conditions are temporary but Egypt might need to be under martial law for a year or two in order to prepare for a more democratic form of government. It's likely that Russia or China will take the US's place as a subsidiary . The US's foreign affairs policies is a chain of disasters .This is why I'm a fan of Ron Paul despite the fact he's considered "anti-Israel" ( I don't think that's true) .

I'm more or less in agreement with Niseg's take. It's also important to note that the Egyptian military also controls a large portion of the white market economy, so they are invested both politically and economically - I believe that Morsi's hopelessly inept economic policy is what actually pushed the military into action. I'm less optimistic, though, on the hope for a democratic form of government; the military in Egypt is accustomed to ruling and won't be in a hurry to hand things over to another economic bungler, preferring instead to bungle things themselves. As far as Russia and China go, I don't know about that but Saudi Arabia has made an offer of ten times what the U.S. was sending them, so I suspect they will take that.

Niseg wrote:

This is why I'm a fan of Ron Paul despite the fact he's considered "anti-Israel" ( I don't think that's true) .

Not only is he isolationist, he's speaking at a conference of an anti-Semitic organization, and he's published a lot of anti-Semitic writings which he disavowed when they were discovered. He made a lot of money off those newsletters, too.

In early 2012, when Paul was asked whether, as President, he would provide military aid to Israel if it were attacked with nuclear weapons by Iran, he said "No".

Robear wrote:
Not only is he isolationist

Except that he's not. He's a non-interventionist, which means he thinks the United States shouldn't be the world's police, nor should it maintain an empire with troops all over the world. Hardly a radical concept.

In other news, the Obama administration may not be entirely useless when it comes to military aid after all. It's still a weak, pandering position, but at least the U.S. isn't actively supporting the regime.

Aetius wrote:
In other news, the Obama administration may not be entirely useless when it comes to military aid after all. It's still a weak, pandering position, but at least the U.S. isn't actively supporting the regime.

Weak and pandering? There's effectively three choices he could have made and he made the best one.

Choice one is the throw the full support of America behind the Egyptian military and keep the aid flowing permanently. This isn't a good choice, especially as the body count climbs.

The second choice is to publicly declare this whole thing a coup and cut off the aid permanently. Once that happens all we'll be able to do is watch things from the outside because we would have just thrown away one of the only levers we have to influence things Egypt.

The third choice--temporarily cutting off aid--gives us the most flexibility. It buys us some time to see how things unfold and it doesn't require us to get rid of the only carrot we have left.

Aetius wrote:

Except that he's not. He's a non-interventionist, which means he thinks the United States shouldn't be the world's police, nor should it maintain an empire with troops all over the world. Hardly a radical concept.

You're right, I stand corrected. But the effects for Israel are the same; we would retain diplomatic missions, but not military aid, especially during military conflicts. It would amount to a large scale-back in support we currently provide to many countries.

Robear wrote:

Not only is he isolationist, he's speaking at a conference of an anti-Semitic organization, and he's published a lot of anti-Semitic writings which he disavowed when they were discovered. He made a lot of money off those newsletters, too.

It's fine with me if he's trying to get political support of some cult or another . They can hate Jews as much as they want as long as they don't break the law .

Robear wrote:

In early 2012, when Paul was asked whether, as President, he would provide military aid to Israel if it were attacked with nuclear weapons by Iran, he said "No".

Iran won't attack Israel with nuclear weapons because it's the only country in the region that can intercept those very expensive strategic asset. They would prefer to muscle into neighboring countries using the threat of a nuclear option.

It's fine with me if Ron Paul would not provide aid to Israel as long as he also doesn't do the other way around which is economic sanctions.Non intervention is a two lane road . France was once our friend but in the 6 day wars (if I'm not mistaken) they refused to provide Israel with supplies . In 1973 the US was pushed into supporting Israel to offset the Support the soviet union gave Egypt. Most suspect a nuclear threat which spawned this

As far as I heard on local news Israel is pressuring the US and Europe not to stop the funding to Egypt so it won't be tempted to break the peace treaty with Israel. We might not get along with the Egyptian but escalating to a state of "no peace" would be a stupid idea from the Egyptian side . A state of "no peace" would allow Israel to retaliate in more extreme measure against attacks from Sinai and Israel have conquered the whole peninsula twice and held onto it in Yom Kipur war.

I think there is currently full cooperation between the IDF and Egyptian military in terms of Sinai operations. We might not like each other but both side have a common interest that the peace in Sinai would be kept. Much like how some Israeli don't like the fact the US is sticking its nose into Israeli politics the Egyptian don't want Israel or the US to stick their nose into Egyptian politics.

I've read in a few places that the US is losing interest in the middle east because it will soon reach energetic independence and won't need the middle east oil. I think the Egyptian military can handle the situation and prevent escalation to a full civil war. They have enough power to pressure Gaza to stop interfering in Egyptian affairs and also make demands on Hamas. The Egyptian military has the ability to close the borders and they also have the support of a very large portion of the population.

I seriously doubt that Egypt will escalate to the conditions in Syria. Syria has gotten Lebanese and Iranian support and also some Russian support. All the Egyptian got close to them is maybe Saudi Arabia which would prefer not to get its hands dirty with blood and a bunch of African nations which are unstable and have no interest in getting involved in Egypt.

The strong countries by Egypt are pretty much Israel, Jordan(well somewhat strong),Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia(most have their own problems to worry about). The Egyptian military also has control over the Sues canal which is major leverage on the western world and the Major oil exporters in the region like Saudi Arabia and Iran . None would try to anger Egyptian Military too much. In Syria the government doesn't have any leverage on the world which is why none bother to interfere in the civil war there. I heard the Syrian gassed about 1300+ civilians to death yesterday and the UN security council didn't bother to investigate.

If I lived in Israel, I think my 20 year plan would be to move to New York when it was financially feasible. I think the Middle East is moving back into a period of renewed nationalism and Islamist resurgence; I don't think it's going to get better any time soon.

Hopefully I'm wrong.

Early this year, Intelligence Squared had a debate on whether elected Islamists were better than secular dictators installed by revolution or Western help.

http://intelligencesquaredus.org/iq2...

It really is food for thought.

The issue with Egypt is a great example of that. Fact of the matter is that the US is a lot further away from the militant Islamists. How does the view change for Egypt or Syria if you live in Greece, Italy, or Spain? What of the people in Kashmir and Northern India, or Western China who need to contend with the likelihood of militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan? It is really easy to preach for non-intervention when you do not share a body of water or a border with such nations.

So has Egypt basically become Animal Farm? Where they ousted someone only to find roughly the same people back in charge.

Ugh. I kinda love Egypt and since my wife's an egyptologist, we've been there a number of times and have been planning a new visit for some years now. Doesn't look likely, now... I really hope they get it together.

DSGamer wrote:
So has Egypt basically become Animal Farm? Where they ousted someone only to find roughly the same people back in charge.

Has there ever been a revolution that didn't become Animal Farm? The book is basically a roadmap for post-revolution societies. Even those where the revolution wasn't a violent one (like mine).

Remember, the Egyptian military has a tight relationship with government, and has for decades. It's been regarded as the protector of the secular state. So when Mubarak was finally removed and the Army ensured the transition, they were hailed. What I find odd is that we'd be more supportive of an Islamist party that had started to break with democracy, than with the Army that removed them for it. I'd think we'd have an interest in Egypt as a secular state, perhaps more than Egypt as a democracy. But it seems that the opposite conclusion has been reached.

One key thing to remember is that the Islamists have used the current unrest to attack Coptic Christians, which kind of tells you how far the Islamic Brotherhood has moved towards Islamism. In the past, if this had happened, they'd likely have sent militias to protect churches and neighborhoods, but that's distinctly lacking as their more radical members and associates take advantage of the troubles.

No, I don't favor imposed dictatorships, but if the Army follows it's previous patterns, then they'll neuter the Islamists politically and hold elections.

DSGamer wrote:
So has Egypt basically become Animal Farm? Where they ousted someone only to find roughly the same people back in charge.

The same people have been in power the entire time: the Egyptian military.

It's true that the Egyptian military has a strangle hold on both politics and the economy of Egypt but I'm not sure the alternative is very good. For democracy to exist people have to be educated enough to pick their leaders wisely and Egypt has a very low literacy rate. In order for a democracy to exist the people must be educated and I hope the military regime will invest in this. I hope they understood that neglecting regions to illiteracy and economic poverty will attract groups of extremists like the Islamic Brotherhood to those region to give alternatives to the government .

This happened in Gaza with Hamas which took advantage of its funding to lure people into free clinics and schools which addressed the population's immediate needs. The extremist group might get funding to help the population but their goals will generally hurt their future welfare.

War and intolerance will certainly lead to bad economic conditions especially if the country have little natural resources to rely on. I heard on the news that the people of Sinai were highly reliant on the smuggling business to Israel and Gaza. They were also very reliant on the tourism industry in the coastal regions. The current situation with the tightly closed border leave them with no livelihood. The people Sinai has less to lose than the government because their livelihood was taken away by the revolution and terrorism. Sinai is a region in Egypt which has Gas and Oil and the Egyptian economy highly relies on that income. They have neglected Sinai even when Mubarak was in power and it hurt their economy badly.

I'm not sure how bad things are in the Nile Delta region but I bet people there have more work because they have something that Sinai Lacks - a stable source of water. The Egyptian government should get its act together in a hurry because as I mentioned in this post they will face water supply problems in the future.

The problem with targeted violence against minorities isn't a special case for Egypt. The extremist elements in society tend to attack the weak. They would prefer not to confront the strong military. The extremist elements are not going to get back in power so they are just burning down the country with rage. The extremists would prefer the government to fail so they can take over the ruins. Extremist elements usually thrive in poverty.

Work on a new Egyptian constitution proceeds. This article explains the mechanics and timelines, and notes that there would be restrictions on parties based on religion, gender, ethnicity or the like.


A presidentially appointed 10-member panel has completed work on a draft constitution, and state-affiliated media have reported on its key elements in recent days. Along with clamping down on religious political parties, the proposed charter repeals a move by Morsi to strengthen the role of Islamic law in Egypt.

The draft is expected to be sent this week to another presidential panel, consisting of 50 people drawn from a cross-section of society, including the large trade unions, major religious groups, political parties, the security establishment and other constituencies. They are to make final recommendations in 60 days.

A constitutional referendum would follow in the fall — the second such vote in as many years — and set the stage for national elections to choose a new president.

Bear in mind that one of the important precipitating factors for the current situation was the redefinition of the legal system to move it towards religious law.

The Arab Spring is looking a lot more like say the Lebanese Civil War in the 70's, every day.