Protests In Egypt

Grand Potentate

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This shit's about to go off:

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/30/egypt-protests_n_3524568.html
Egypt: Protesters Gather Nationwide To Demand Morsi's Ouster
By HAMZA HENDAWI, SARAH EL DEEB and MAGGIE MICHAEL 06/30/13 10:10 PM ET EDT
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CAIRO — Hundreds of thousands thronged the streets of Cairo and cities around the country Sunday and marched on the presidential palace, filling a broad avenue for blocks, in an attempt to force out the Islamist president with the most massive protests Egypt has seen in 2 1/2 years of turmoil.
In a sign of the explosive volatility of the country's divisions, young protesters mainly from the surrounding neighborhood pelted the main headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood with stones and firebombs, and at one point a fire erupted at the gates of the walled villa. During clashes, Brotherhood supporters barricaded inside opened fire on the attackers, and activists said at least five protesters were killed.
At least five more anti-Morsi protesters were killed Sunday in clashes and shootings in southern Egypt.
Fears were widespread that the collisions between the two sides could grow more violent in coming days. Morsi made clear through a spokesman that he would not step down and his Islamist supporters vowed not to allow protesters to remove one of their own, brought to office in a legitimate vote. During the day Sunday, thousands of Islamists massed not far from the presidential palace in support of Morsi, some of them prepared for a fight with makeshift armor and sticks.
The protesters aimed to show by sheer numbers that the country has irrevocably turned against Morsi, a year to the day after he was inaugurated as Egypt's first freely elected president. But throughout the day and even up to midnight at the main rallying sites, fears of rampant violence did not materialize.
Instead the mood was largely festive as protesters at giant anti-Morsi rallies in Cairo's central Tahrir Square and outside the Ittihadiya palace spilled into side streets and across boulevards, waving flags, blowing whistles and chanting.
Fireworks went off overhead. Men and women, some with small children on their shoulders, beat drums, danced and sang, "By hook or by crook, we will bring Morsi down." Residents in nearby homes showered water on marchers below – some carrying tents in preparation to camp outside the palace – to cool them in the summer heat, and blew whistles and waved flags in support.
"Mubarak took only 18 days although he had behind him the security, intelligence and a large sector of Egyptians," said Amr Tawfeeq, an oil company employee marching toward Ittihadiya with a Christian friend. Morsi "won't take long. We want him out and we are ready to pay the price."
The massive outpouring against Morsi raises the question of what is next. Protesters have vowed to stay on the streets until he steps down, and organizers called for widespread labor strikes starting Monday. The president, in turn, appears to be hoping protests wane.
For weeks, Morsi's supporters have depicted the planned protest as a plot by Mubarak loyalists. But their claims were undermined by the extent of Sunday's rallies. In Cairo and a string of cities in the Nile Delta and on the Mediterranean coast, the protests topped even the biggest protests of the 2011's 18-day uprising, including the day Mubarak quit, Feb. 11, when giant crowds marched on Ittihadiya.
It is unclear now whether the opposition, which for months has demanded Morsi form a national unity government, would now accept any concessions short of his removal. The anticipated deadlock raises the question of whether the army, already deployed on the outskirts of cities, will intervene. Protesters believe the military would throw its weight behind them, tipping the balance against Morsi.
The country's police, meanwhile, were hardly to be seen Sunday. In the lead-up to Sunday, some officers angrily told their commanders they would not protect the Brotherhood from protesters, complaining that police are always caught in the middle, according to video of the meeting released online.
"If the Brothers think that we will give up and leave, they are mistaken," said lawyer Hossam Muhareb as he sat with a friend on a sidewalk near the presidential palace. "They will give up and leave after seeing our numbers."
Violence could send the situation spinning into explosive directions.
The fire at the Brotherhood headquarters, located on a plateau overlooking Cairo, sent smoke pouring in the air. Witnesses said it was caused when the youths hurled a gas canister at the heavily barricaded gate and it exploded. For several hours after, Brotherhood supporters inside fired on stone-throwing youths outside. At least five on the anti-Morsi side were shot to death, and 60 were wounded, an activist who monitored casualties at the hospital, Nazli Hussein, said.
Southern Egypt saw deadly attacks on anti-Morsi protests, and five people were killed. Two protesters were shot to death during clashes outside offices of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, one in Beni Suef, the other in Fayoum.
In the city of Assiut, a stronghold of Islamists, gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a protest in which tens of thousands were participating,, killing one person, wounding four others and sending the crowd running.
The enraged protesters then marched on the nearby Freedom and Justice offices, where gunmen inside opened fire, killing two more, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to the press. Clashes erupted, with protesters and security forces fighting side by side against Morsi's supporters.
At least 400 people were injured nationwide, the Health Ministry said.
Morsi, who has three years left in his term, said street protests cannot be used to overturn the results of a free election.
"There is no room for any talk against this constitutional legitimacy," he told Britain's The Guardian newspaper in an interview published Sunday, rejecting early elections.
If an elected president is forced out, "there will (be) people or opponents opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later, they will ask him to step down," he said.
Morsi was not at Ittihadiya as Sunday's rally took place – he had moved to another nearby palace.
As the crowds massed, Morsi's spokesman Ihab Fahmi repeated the president's longstanding offer of dialogue with the opposition to resolve the nation's political crisis, calling it "the only framework through which we can reach understandings."
The opposition has repeatedly turned down his offers for dialogue, arguing that they were for show.
The demonstrations are the culmination of polarization and instability that have been building since Morsi's June 30, 2012, inauguration. The past year has seen multiple political crises, bouts of bloody clashes and a steadily worsening economy, with power outages, fuel shortages, rising prices and persistent lawlessness and crime.
In one camp are the president and his Islamist allies, including the Muslim Brotherhood and more hard-line groups. Morsi supporters accuse Mubarak loyalists of being behind the protests, aiming to overturn last year's election results, just as they argue that remnants of the old regime have sabotaged Morsi's attempts to deal with the nation's woes and bring reforms.
Hard-liners among them have also given the confrontation a sharply religious tone, denouncing Morsi's opponents as "enemies of God" and infidels.
On the other side is an array of secular and liberal Egyptians, moderate Muslims, Christians – and what the opposition says is a broad sector of the general public that has turned against the Islamists. They say the Islamists have negated their election mandate by trying to monopolize power, infusing government with their supporters, forcing through a constitution they largely wrote and giving religious extremists a free hand, all while failing to manage the country.
"The country is only going backward. He's embarrassing us and making people hate Islam," said Donia Rashad, a 24-year-old unemployed woman who wears the conservative Islamic headscarf. "We need someone who can feel the people and is agreeable to the majority."
As they marched toward the presidential palace, some chanted, "You lied to us in the name of religion." The crowds, including women, children and elderly people, hoisted long banners in the colors of the Egyptian flag and raised red cards – a sign of expulsion in soccer.
In Tahrir, chants of "erhal!", or "leave!" thundered around the square. The crowd, which appeared to number some 300,000, waved Egyptian flags and posters of Morsi with a red X over his face. They whistled and waved when military helicopters swooped close overhead, reflecting their belief that the army favors them over Morsi.
Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi warned a week ago that the military would intervene to prevent the nation from entering a "dark tunnel." Army troops backed by armored vehicles were deployed Sunday in some of Cairo's suburbs, with soldiers at traffic lights and major intersections. In the evening, they deployed near the international airport, state TV said.
Similarly sized crowds turned out in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta cities of Mansoura, Tanta and Damanhour, with sizeable rallies in cities nationwide.
"Today is the Brotherhood's last day in power," Suliman Mohammed, a manager of a seafood company, said in Tahrir.
The protests emerge from a petition campaign by a youth activist group known as Tamarod, Arabic for "Rebel." For several months, the group has been collecting signatures on a call for Morsi to step down.
On Saturday, the group announced it had more than 22 million signatures – proof, it claims, that a broad sector of the public no longer wants Morsi in office.
It was not possible to verify the claim. If true, it would be nearly twice the some 13 million people who voted for Morsi in last year's presidential run-off election, which he won with around 52 percent of the vote. Tamarod organizers said they discarded about 100,000 signed forms because they were duplicates.
Morsi's supporters have questioned the authenticity of the signatures, but have produced no evidence of fraud.
Near Ittihadiya palace, thousands of Islamists gathered in a show of support for Morsi outside the Rabia al-Adawiya mosque. Some Morsi backers wore homemade body armor and construction helmets and carried shields and clubs – precautions, they said, against possible violence.
At the pro-Morsi rally at the Rabia al-Adawiya mosque, the crowd chanted, "God is great," and some held up copies of Islam's holy book, the Quran.
"The people hold the legitimacy and we support Dr. Mohamed Morsi," said Ahmed Ramadan, one of the rally participants. "We would like to tell him not to be affected by the opponents' protests and not to give up his rights. We are here to support and protect him."
 
Wow, shit's gone off. Seems like Morsi's out and the army's taken over. From the MB's FB page:

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...=1&theater&refsrc=http://t.co/pXaLA6wQeQ&_rdr
Office of Assistant to President of Egypt on Foreign Relations - Official
The Egyptian Presidency

Office of the Assistant to the President on Foreign Relations & International Cooperation

_______________
____________________________________________

For Immediate Release, July 3, 2013

As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page.

For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup.

It has been two and a half years after a popular revolution against a dictatorship that had strangled and drained Egypt for 30 years.

That revolution restored a sense of hope and fired up Egyptians’ dreams of a future in which they could claim for themselves the same dignity that is every human being’s birthright.

On Januray 25 I stood in Tahrir square. My children stood in protest in Cairo and Alexandria. We stood ready to sacrifice for this revolution. When we did that, we did not support a revolution of elites. And we did not support a conditional democracy. We stood, and we still stand, for a very simple idea: given freedom, we Egyptians can build institutions that allow us to promote and choose among all the different visions for the country. We quickly discovered that almost none of the other actors were willing to extend that idea to include us.

You have heard much during the past 30 months about ikhwan excluding all others. I will not try to convince you otherwise today. Perhaps there will come a day when honest academics have the courage to examine the record.

Today only one thing matters. In this day and age no military coup can succeed in the face of sizeable popular force without considerable bloodshed. Who among you is ready to shoulder that blame?

I am fully aware of the Egyptian media that has already attempted to frame ikhwan for every act of violence that has taken place in Egypt since January 2011. I am sure that you are tempted to believe this. But it will not be easy.

There are still people in Egypt who believe in their right to make a democratic choice. Hundreds of thousands of them have gathered in support of democracy and the Presidency. And they will not leave in the face of this attack. To move them, there will have to be violence. It will either come from the army, the police, or the hired mercenaries. Either way there will be considerable bloodshed. And the message will resonate throughout the Muslim World loud and clear: democracy is not for Muslims.

I do not need to explain in detail the worldwide catastrophic ramifications of this message. In the last week there has been every attempt to issue a counter narrative that this is just scaremongering and that the crushing of Egypt’s nascent democracy can be managed. We no longer have the time to engage in frivolous academic back and forth. The audience that reads this page understands the price that the world continues to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Egypt is neither Afghanistan nor Iraq. Its symbolic weight and resulting impact is far more significant. Last night, demonstrators at Cairo University supporting the President were fired upon using automatic weapons. Twenty people died and hunderds were injured.
There are people in Egypt and around the world that continue to try to justify the calls for early presidential elections because of the large numbers of demonstrators and the validity of their grievances.

Let me be very clear. The protesters represent a wide spectrum of Egyptians and many of them have genuine, valid grievances. President Morsy’s approval rating is down.

Now let me be equally clear. Since January and again in the last couple of weeks the President has repeatedly called for national dialog. Equally repeatedly, the opposition refused to participate. Increasingly, the so-called liberals of Egypt escalated a rhetoric inviting the military to become the custodians of government in Egypt. The opposition has steadfastly declined every option that entails a return to the ballot box.

Yesterday, the President received an initiative from an alliance of parties supporting constitutional legitimacy. He discussed it with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense and all three of them agreed that it presented an excellent path for Egypt out of its current impasse. The initiative called for a full change of cabinet, a prime minister acceptable to all, changing the public prosecutor, agreement on constitutional amendments, and a reconciliation commission.

And let us also be clear. The President did not have to offer all these concessions. In a democracy, there are simple consequences for the situation we see in Egypt: the President loses the next election or his party gets penalized in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Anything else is mob rule.

In the last year we have been castigated by foreign governments, foreign media, and rights groups whenever our reforms in the areas of rights and freedoms did not keep pace with the ambitions of some or adhere exactly to the forms used in other cultures. The silence of all of those voices with an impending military coup is hypocritical and that hypocrisy will not be lost on a large swathe of Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims.

Many have seen fit in these last months to lecture us on how democracy is more than just the ballot box. That may indeed be true. But what is definitely true is that there is no democracy without the ballot box.
 
The Egyptian military has announced the removal of Mohammed Morsi as president, presenting a roadmap for reconciliation in the country.
In a televised statement on Wednesday, Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that the plan calls for the temporary suspension of the constitution and the institution of a technocrat government. The chief justice of the constitutional court will lead the country in the interim.
Tahrir Square, where thousands of people had gathered during the day, erupted in celebrations as soon as the news was announced.
According to the Associated Press, an aide to Morsi said the Muslim Brotherhood leader has been moved to an undisclosed location.
More from the Associated Press:
CAIRO (AP) — The armed forces ousted Egypt's first democratically elected president Wednesday after just a year in power, installing a temporary civilian government, suspending the constitution and calling for new elections. Islamist President Mohammed Morsi denounced it as a "full coup" by the military.
After the televised announcement by the army chief, millions of anti-Morsi protesters in cities around the country erupted in delirious scenes of joy, with shouts of "God is great" and "Long live Egypt."
Fireworks burst over crowds dancing and waving flags in Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Now it was one of multiple centers of a stunning four-day anti-Morsi revolt that brought out the biggest anti-government rallies Egypt has seen, topping even those of 2011.
But the move potentially throws the country into further confrontation.
Moments after the army statement, a statement on the Egyptian president's office's Twitter account quoted Morsi as saying the military's measures "represent a full coup categorically rejected by all the free men of our nation."
Morsi has insisted his legitimacy as an elected president must not be violated or Egypt could be thrown in to violence. Some of his Islamist backers, tens of thousands of whom took to the streets in recent days, have vowed to fight to the end.
"Down with the rule of the military," some of them chanted after the army announcement, reviving a chant used by leftist revolutionaries during the nearly 17 months of direct military rule that followed Mubarak's removal.
The army has insisted it is not carrying out a coup, but acting on the will of the people to clear the way for a new leadership.
In his speech, army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court would step in as interim president until new elections are held. He would be sworn in judges of his court, el-Sissi said. A government of technocrats would be formed with "full powers" to run the country.
El-Sissi spoke while flanked by the country's top Muslim and Christian clerics as well as pro-reform leader Mohammed ElBaradei and two representatives of the youth opposition movement behind the wave of protests.
He promised "not to exclude anyone or any movement" from further steps. But he did not define the length of the transition period or when presidential elections would be held. He also did not mention any role for the military.
The constitution, drafted by Morsi's Islamist allies, was "temporarily suspended," and a panel of experts and representatives of all political movements will consider amendments. He did not say whether a referendum would be held to ratify the changes, as customary.
Seeking to avert a destabilizing backlash, he warned that the armed forces, police will deal "decisively" with violence.
After the 9:20 p.m., the Brotherhood's TV station went blank
Shortly before the 9: 20 p.m. announcement, the army deployed troops, commandos and armored vehicles in cities around the country. In Cairo, they stationed on bridges over the Nile River and at major intersections. They also surrounded rallies being held by Morsi's supporters — an apparent move to contain them.
Travel bans were imposed on Morsi and top figures from his Muslim Brotherhood including its chief Mohammed Badie and his powerful deputy Khairat el-Shater.
At least 39 people have been killed in clashes since Sunday, when the mass protests against Morsi began — hiking fears that greater violence could erupt when the final move was made against him. Street battles in the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh on Wednesday left at least 200 people injured.
The army's move is the second time in Egypt's 2 ½ years of turmoil that it has forced out the country's leader. It pushed out Mubarak and took power itself. This time, however, its removal of an elected figure could be more explosive.
Elected with 51.7 percent of the vote in last year's presidential election, Morsi took office vowing to move beyond his roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.
But his presidency threw the country into deep polarization. Those who took to the streets this week say he lost his electoral legitimacy because he tried to give the Brotherhood and Islamist allies a monopoly on power, pushed through a constitution largely written by his allies and mismanaged the country's multiple crises.
"Now we want a president who would really be the president of all Egyptians and will work for the country," Said Shahin, a 19-year-old protester in Tahrir, said, falling to the ground to pray as soon as el-Sissi spoke.
Mahmoud Badr, spokesman for Tamarod, or Rebel — the youth movement behind the rallies — praised the crowds in the streets saying, they succeded in "putting your revolution back on track."
"Let's start a new page, a new page based on participation," he wrote on his Twitter account. "Our hand is extended to all
Morsi and his allies say the opposition never accepted their appeals for dialogue — seen by opponents as empty gestures — and that Mubarak loyalists throughout the government sabotaged their attempts to bring change.
The military had issued an ultimatum on Monday giving Morsi 48 hours to find some solution with its opponents. Any deal, however, was a near impossibility, making it inevitable the military would move.
Earlier in the day, el-Sissi met with ElBaradei, Egypt's top Muslim cleric — Al-Azhar Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb — and Coptic Pope Tawadros II, as well as youth representatives and some members of the ultraconservative Salafi movements. The consultations apparently aimed to bring as wide a consensus as possible behind the army's moves.
But the Brotherhood boycotted the session, its political arm the Freedom and Justice Party said.
In a last-minute statement before the deadline, Morsi again rejected the military's intervention, saying abiding by his electoral legitimacy was the only way to prevent violence. He criticized the military for "taking only one side."
"One mistake that cannot be accepted, and I say this as president of all Egyptians, is to take sides," he said in the statement issued by his office. "Justice dictates that the voice of the masses from all squares should be heard," he said, repeating his offer to hold dialogue with his opponents.
"For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let's call what is happening by its real name: Military coup," Morsi's top foreign policy adviser Essam al-Haddad wrote on his Facebook page.
 
For a second I thought this was a necro-bump from last year. Then I realized the forum didn't exist then.

OBAMA! ARAB SPRING! PEACE IN THE MIDEAST!
 
Some people seem to be unhappy with what's going on:
Morsi Supporters Killed As Army Opens Fire At Rally In Cairo

Reuters | Posted: 07/05/2013 9:45 am EDT | Updated: 07/05/2013 12:15 pm EDT

CAIRO, July 5 (Reuters) - Security forces shot dead at least three supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Friday as a crowd of hundreds tried to march towards the military barracks in Cairo where he is being held by the military that overthrew him.

Thousands of Morsi supporters demonstrated in cities across the country on what his Muslim Brotherhood called a "Friday of rage" against what they describe as a military coup that toppled Egypt's first elected leader a year after he took office.

A witness told Reuters he saw several people fall to the ground, wounded by shotgun pellets. Security sources told Reuters at least three demonstrators were killed when security forces opened fire.

Thousands of Islamists also took to the streets of Alexandria and Assiut to protest against the army's ouster of Morsi and reject a planned interim government backed by their liberal opponents.

In the Suez city of Ismailia, soldiers fired into the air as Morsi supporters tried to break into the governor's office. The Islamists retreated and there were no casualties, security sources said.

Egypt's liberal coalition issued an "urgent call" for its supporters to take to the streets in response to Islamist protests, raising the risk of clashes between the rival groups.

In Damanhour, capital of the Beheira province in the Nile Delta, 21 people were wounded in violence between the factions.

Ehab el-Ghoneimy, manager of the Damanhour general hospital said three people had been wounded with live bullets, others were wounded with birdshot, rocks, or had been hit with rods.

Hoda Ghaneya, a leading female figure in the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) political arm, said she and two of her sons accompanying her at a Cairo rally after Friday prayers were ready to sacrifice themselves to the cause.

"We will die not as a sacrifice for Morsi, but so the Egyptian people recover their freedom," she told Reuters near the Rabaa Adaweya mosque in a Cairo suburb that has been the centre of Islamist protests in the last few days.

Dozens of people were wounded in clashes in Morsi's Nile Delta home city on Thursday, raising fears of more of the violence in which several dozen have died in the past month.

In the Sinai Peninsula near Israel, gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints guarding an airport and rocketed a police station near the border with the Palestinian territories. One soldier was killed and two wounded, a security source said.

An army spokesman said the army in the Sinai Peninsula was "on alert". He denied an earlier report by state-owned media Al-Ahram that a state of emergency had been imposed in the South Sinai and Suez provinces, which had caused a spike in oil prices from international markets on edge over the unrest.


ANGER ON THE STREETS

How the army deals with any unrest on Friday and beyond will help determine future support for Cairo from the United States and other international powers.

Concern that the generals have staged a military coup against Morsi has left Washington reviewing the $1.5 billion in mostly military aid it annually gives Egypt.

U.S. law bars aid for countries where the military has toppled an elected government in a coup. Washington has so far avoided using that label.

In the skies above the teeming city, the airforce staged fly-pasts, with jets leaving red, white and black smoke streams - representing the Egyptian flag - behind them in a show of force the military has employed frequently since Morsi's ouster.

A military source said: "We will continue to secure the places of protest with troops, and jets if necessary, to make sure the pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators don't confront each other. We will let them demonstrate and go where they want."

Morsi's political opponents insist there was no coup.

Rather, the army heeded the "will of the people" in forcing the president out. Millions rallied on Sunday to protest over a collapsing economy and political deadlock, in which Morsi had failed to build a broad consensus after a year in office. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif, Mike Collett-White, Alexander Dziadosz, Seham El-Oraby, Shaimaa Fayed, Maggie Fick, Alastair Macdonald, Shadia Nasralla, Tom Perry, Yasmine Saleh, Paul Taylor, and Patrick Werr in Cairo, Abdelrahman Youssef in Alexandria and Yursi Mohamed in Ismailia; Writing by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Peter Graff)
 
Interesting...
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/07/egypts-support-for-intervention-in-syria-was-the-last-straw/

by Washingtons Blog - July 5th, 2013, 1:30am
What REALLY Caused the Coup Against the Egyptian President

The protests in Egypt against president Mohammed Morsi were – according to the BBC – the largest in history.
The Egyptian military threw Morsi out in a coup today.
Why?
Irish Times reports:
Army concern about the way President Mohamed Morsi was governing Egypt reached tipping point when the head of state attended a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria, military sources have said.
***
Mr Morsi himself called for foreign intervention in Syria against Mr Assad, leading to a veiled rebuke from the army, which issued an apparently bland but sharp-edged statement the next day stressing that its only role was guarding Egypt’s borders.
***
“The armed forces were very alarmed by the Syrian conference at a time the state was going through a major political crisis,” said one officer, whose comments reflected remarks made privately by other army staff. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to talk to the media.
***
For the army, the Syria rally had crossed “a national security red line” by encouraging Egyptians to fight abroad, risking creating a new generation of jihadists, said Yasser El-Shimy, analyst with the International Crisis Group.
At the heart of the military’s concern is the history of militant Islam in Egypt, homeland of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. The military source condemned recent remarks made by “retired terrorists” allied to Mr Morsi, who has deepened his ties with the once-armed group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya.​
Obama had recently sent American troops to prop up Mursi, and the protesters were furious at the U.S. for backing Islamic radicals.
(The U.S. backed Egypt’s previous dictator, as well).
Support of Western intervention in Syria was also one of the main causes of the recent enormous protests in Turkey … which came close to toppling the Turkish leadership.
Indeed, the American government has been providing arms, money and logistical support to Al Qaeda in Syria, Libya, Mali, Bosnia and other countries – and related Muslim terrorists in Chechnya, Iran, and many other countries. So moderate Arabs all over the Middle East and North Africa are becoming furious at U.S. interventionist policies.
Note: The coup is a set-back for the U.S. , because Egypt – unlike Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran – isn’t on the 20-year-old list of countries targeted for regime change.
 
Scores Dead in Egypt after Army Opens Fire on Protestors

Late-night violence at the site of a sit-in held by supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi left at least 42 dead—nearly all protesters—and over 300 wounded, and led the right-wing Salafist party Al Nour to suspend its participation in the army's "roadmap" for transition.
In what the Muslim Brotherhood is calling a "massacre" and a "bloodbath," the Egyptian army and police apparently opened fire on protesters around 3:30 a.m. at the Republican Guard barracks where Morsi is thought to be held. "Every police force in the world understands how to disperse a sit-in," Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Haddad told Al Jazeera. "This is just a criminal activity targeting protesters."
The army says it was responding to a raid by a "terrorist group." Two officers were killed in the violence.
In response, the ultraconservative Al Nour party—a rival to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the group that had given the army's roadmap credibility among a broader grouping of Islamists—suspended its participation in talks. On Saturday, Nour, which has said it would prefer a prime minister with no party affiliation, had torpedoed diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei's chance at the premiership.
The National Salvation Front, the alliance of liberal, left and secular parties that organized the Tahrir Square demonstrations that led to the Army's removal of Morsi from power, has called for an "urgent and just" investigation.
 


I wonder how many government officials, party members and supporters knew going into the weekend that they would be labeled rebels, terrorists and protesters coming out of it?

Once again, the worm has turned.
 
I read an article about this. I forget if it was Time or the weekend paper. Basically it says the Egyptians are not very good at setting up government but are getting adept at staging protests and toppling governments. It reminds me of this lady who used to drive me nuts at work. She said we're good with the escalating [of issues] but not at normal sane relations.
 
Over 600 killed now. Here's a good Real News Network piece on what the military is up to.
 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/egypt-military-muslim-brotherhood_n_3762068.html
Egyptian Military Backed Out Of Prisoner-Release Deal That Could Have Averted Killings: Sources
Posted: 08/15/2013 3:22 pm EDT | Updated: 08/15/2013 5:38 pm EDT

CAIRO -- A week before the Egyptian government ordered Wednesday's deadly clearing of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps, military leaders and the Brotherhood very nearly came to an agreement that involved a prisoner release and other measures that might have averted the catastrophe, The Huffington Post has learned.

The notion of such a plan, mediated by a handful of diplomats from the U.S. and Europe -- including U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and EU Special Representative Bernardino Leon -- was first reported on Wednesday by Reuters. HuffPost has learned that the terms of the proposed deal would have seen the Muslim Brotherhood reduce the size of their protest camps by half, and the military release two notable prisoners: Saad El-Katatni, the chairman of the Brotherhood's political party who was arrested during the military takeover in July, and Abou Elela Mady, the chairman of the Islamist al-Wasat Party who was locked up in the aftermath.

Brotherhood leaders had agreed in principle to the plan, but in the end the military-backed government declined to take part, sources say.

"The deal fell apart last week, and that's when diplomatic mediators realized that the storming of the camps was probably inevitable," an outside adviser familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. "Would the deal have worked in the end? I don't know, but the sides were definitely participating in the mediation efforts."

Leon, the EU envoy, had told Reuters, "We had a political plan that was on the table, that had been accepted by the other side" -- meaning the Muslim Brotherhood. "[The military] could have taken this option. So all that has happened today was unnecessary."

On Wednesday, the Egyptian leadership surprised most of the country when they ordered a forceful evacuation of the two Brotherhood protest camps, outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and in Nahda Square -- something they had been threatening to do for weeks. The ensuing violence there was staggering and has led to further unrest elsewhere in the country. The Egyptian ministry of health has put the death toll so far at 638 people.

For weeks ahead of the clearings, diplomats from the U.S. and E.U. nations had worked hard to bring the Egyptian military and the Brotherhood into some sort of political agreement that might avert such a disaster. Both sides have proven difficult to move from their publicly stated positions, with the Brotherhood demanding the complete reinstatement of Mohammed Morsi's elected government, and the military demanding an end to all sit-ins and offering few if any concessions.

Burns, who arrived in Cairo at the beginning of August, worked closely with Leon and his boss, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, to prevent the military from taking action before the close of the Ramadan holiday, as had been threatened. When the end of the Islamic holy month came and went without an intervention at the sit-ins, American officials believed they saw a chance for a breakthrough, and on Monday, Aug. 5, Burns extended his stay in Cairo "indefinitely." Then two days later, he left the country, while the Egyptian government declared that negotiations had failed.

In a joint statement released that Aug. 7 night, Ashton and Secretary of State John Kerry urged the two sides in Egypt to pursue several "confidence building measures" in the near future, including ending incitement in the media, "beginning the process of releasing detained political figures," and taking "steps to scale down and ease tensions" at the protest sites. Each of those items, HuffPost was told, were steps to which the Muslim Brotherhood negotiating committee had previously committed.

An Egyptian military spokesman could not be reached on Thursday, but in the Reuters story, an unnamed military official said that the military declined to make the deal because they did not believe the Brotherhood would actually follow through. A spokesman for the Brotherhood did not respond to a request for comment.

One day before the talks fell apart, visiting U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), had sparked a furious outcry among the Egyptian leadership and public, when they announced at a press conference that they believed the July military takeover was a coup. "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck," McCain said at the time.

An Egyptian military source told Reuters that the press conference had been a turning point, making it harder for the military to make concessions. A U.S. official, who declined to be identified by name, added to this, telling HuffPost Thursday that McCain and Graham's remarks had "muddied the waters."

"At a sensitive time when the U.S. government was going to great lengths to make its position clear in Egypt, having conflicting messages coming out on the ground there from two different branches of the U.S. government was frustrating and problematic," the official said.

Both the Egyptian military and the Obama administration, of course, have reasons to seek to direct the focus of the failed talks away from themselves and onto a third party, such as a pair of visiting Republican senators. An aide to McCain, speaking on the condition of anonymity, called the claims "total garbage."

Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, declined on Thursday to comment on the possibility of a military-Brotherhood deal or on the role played by Sens. McCain and Graham. "We provided constructive ideas and left them on the table during conversations our senior diplomats had in Cairo recently," she said. "Despite the deplorable violence we've seen over the past day, we still believe the time for dialogue has not passed. The United States remains ready to work with all of the parties in Egypt to help achieve a peaceful, democratic way forward."

In a blog post published on a personal page on Thursday, Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, discussed the failure of the talks in Egypt last week and said the "openings for dialogue" came "mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood's side." A "precondition" for the talks, Bildt added, was that the imprisoned political leaders who would conduct the talks be released.

President Barack Obama condemned the violence on all sides in Egypt, releasing a statement Thursday from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard. He also alluded to disappointment that negotiation efforts had failed to reach a compromise, seeming to suggest that the military-backed government may bear the preponderance of the blame.

"After the military's intervention several weeks ago, there remained a chance for reconciliation and an opportunity to pursue a democratic path," Obama said. "Instead, we've seen a more dangerous path taken through arbitrary arrests, a broad crackdown on [the Muslim Brotherhood's] associations and supporters, and now, tragically, violence that's taken the lives of hundreds of people and wounded thousands more."
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/world/middleeast/egypt.html?hp&pagewanted=all&_r=0
New Bloodshed in Egypt as Islamists Defy Threat of Force
  • by DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and ALAN COWELL
  • Aug. 16, 2013

CAIRO — Dozens of people were reportedly killed in renewed clashes on Friday as thousands of followers of the embattled Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets of Cairo and other cities, facing police officers authorized to use lethal force if threatened.

As the Islamist Brotherhood sought to regain momentum after a crushing crackdown by security forces on Wednesday in which almost 640 people were killed, witnesses spoke of gunfire whistling over a main overpass in Cairo and at a downtown square as clashes erupted and police officers lobbed tear gas canisters. Reports of a rising death toll continued throughout the day, with up to 50 dead, a Reuters report said. It also quoted a Reuters witness as saying dozens of bodies were laid out in a mosque in Ramses Square, which was being used as a makeshift gathering point as the injured were brought in from heavy clashes that included gunfire nearby.

Fatalities were also reported from protests in other parts of Cairo and in the city of Ismailia near the Suez Canal, and fighting erupted in Fayoum and in Alexandria. In some of the urban battles, it was not immediately clear who was fighting, as gunmen in civilian clothes opened fire.

Under military lockdown after the authorities declared a state of emergency, Cairo and other cities had been bracing for more violence after Friday Prayer, which has been a central trigger for protest since the wave of turmoil known as the Arab Spring swept through the Arab world beginning in early 2011.

In response to the call for what the Brotherhood called a “Friday of rage,” thousands of supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, marched from northeast Cairo after the noon prayer, witnesses said, defying a show of strength from the military as they headed toward Ramses Square downtown. For its part, the army and security forces sealed off streets and positioned armored vehicles in Tahrir Square, once the crucible of broad revolt but now a stronghold of Morsi opponents. At least four people were killed and many more were wounded by gunshot and birdshot during the protests in central Cairo on Friday, Reuters reported.

The outcome of the growing confrontation between secular and Islamist forces in Egypt — a contest that could shape the country and the region for years to come — seemed cloaked in uncertainty. “After the blows and arrests and killings that we are facing, emotions are too high to be guided by anyone,” said a Brotherhood spokesman, Gehad el-Haddad, according to Reuters.

The clash of powerful forces has alarmed many outsiders stunned by the ferocity of the crackdown and fearful of the potential regional repercussions. On Friday, news reports from Paris said President François Hollande consulted Britain and Germany about the crisis, but it was not immediately clear how the situation could be swayed by outsiders’ diplomacy.

On Thursday, some European officials called for a suspension of aid by the European Union, and at least one member state, Denmark, cut off support. The British and French summoned the Egyptian ambassadors in their countries to condemnthe violence. In Ankara, Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ideological ally of Mr. Morsi’s, called for an early meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss what he called a “massacre.”

The Brotherhood, for decades the repository of Islamist sentiment, said it wanted millions to march on Friday to display “the pain and sorrow over the loss of our martyrs.” In a statement, the Brotherhood said the actions of the military-backed interim government against Mr. Morsi’s supporters had “increased our determination to end them.”

With their leaders jailed or silent, however, some Islamists reeled in shock at the killings, which began on Wednesday when security forces razed two protest camps where Mr. Morsi’s supporters had been staging sit-ins since his ouster six weeks ago. By Thursday night, health officials had counted 638 dead and nearly 4,000 injured, but the final toll was expected to rise further, in the worst mass killing in Egypt’s modern history.

On Thursday, many of those waiting outside a makeshift morgue talked of civil war. Some blamed members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority for supporting the military takeover. A few argued openly for a turn to violence.

“The solution might be an assassination list,” said Ahmed, 27, who like others refused to use his full name for fear of reprisals from the new authorities. “Shoot anyone in uniform. It doesn’t matter if the good is taken with the bad, because that is what happened to us last night.”

Mohamed Rasmy, a 30-year-old engineer, interrupted. “That is not the solution,” he said, insisting that Islamist leaders will re-emerge with a plan “to come together in protest.” Despite the apparently wide support for the police action by the private news media and much of Cairo, he argued that the bloodshed was now turning the rest of the public against the military-appointed government.

“It is already happening,” he said.

The outcome of the internal Islamist debate may now be the most critical variable in deciding the next phase of the crisis. The military-backed government has made clear its determination to demonize and repress the Islamists with a ruthlessness exceeding even that of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the autocrat who first outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood six decades ago.

How the Islamists respond will inevitably reshape their movement and Egypt. Will they resume the accommodationist tactics of the Muslim Brotherhood under President Hosni Mubarak, escalate their street protests despite continued casualties, or turn to armed insurgency, as some members did in the 1990s?

President Obama, interrupting a weeklong vacation to address the bloodshed, stopped short of suspending the $1.3 billion in annual American military aid to Egypt but canceled joint military exercises scheduled to take place in a few months.

Instead of “reconciliation” after the military takeover, he said, “we’ve seen a more dangerous path taken through arbitrary arrests, a broad crackdown on Mr. Morsi’s associations and supporters, and now tragically the violence that’s taken the lives of hundreds of people and wounded thousands more.” Mr. Obama added, “Our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back.”

Soon after the president’s speech, the State Department issued an advisory warning American citizens living in Egypt to leave because of the unrest.

The Cairo government accused Mr. Obama of failing to grasp the nature of the “terrorist acts” it said Egypt was facing.

A statement issued by the office of the interim president, Adli Mansour, said Mr. Obama’s remarks “would strengthen the violent armed groups and encourage them in their methods inimical to stability and the democratic transition.”

On Thursday, Egyptian Islamists continued to lash out across the country. Scores of them blocked a main highway circling the capital. In Alexandria, hundreds battled with opponents and the police in the streets and health officials said at least nine died. Others hurled firebombs that ignited a provincial government headquarters near the pyramids in Giza. In the latest in a string of attacks on Coptic Christian churches and businesses, at least one more church was set on fire, in Fayoum.

In Cairo, some Islamists contended that the Coptic pope, Tawadros II, had appeared to endorse the crackdown, and they portrayed attacks on churches around the country as a counterattack. “When Pope Tawadros comes out after a massacre to thank the military and the police, then don’t accuse me of sectarianism,” said Mamdouh Hamdi, 35, an accountant.

The Islamist movement, usually known here for its tight discipline, appeared to slip loose from its leaders, entering perilous new ground, said Ali Farghaly, 47, an executive at a multinational company who was waiting outside a mosque. “Forget the leaders now,” he said. “The streets are leading this, and when things get out of the control of the leaders no one can predict the situation.”

But if the Islamists hoped that Wednesday’s violence would turn the rest of the country against the military-dominated government, there were few signs of it on Thursday. Mohamed ElBaradei, the interim vice president and a Nobel Prize winner, was the only official to resign over the crackdown, and he was widely criticized for it in the state and the private news media.

The ultraconservative Nour Party, the liberal April 6 group and the far-left Revolutionary Socialists spoke out against the killings. But most other political factions denounced the Islamists as a terrorist threat and applauded the government action.

With the main Islamist satellite networks shut down by the new government, Egyptian state and private television coverage focused on unsubstantiated allegations that the Islamist sit-ins had posed a terrorist threat, or that their participants shot first at the police. Unlike newspapers around the world, none of the major Egyptian dailies put a picture of the carnage on their front pages on Thursday.

Veterans of Gamaa al-Islamiya, the ultraconservative Islamist group that waged a terrorist campaign in Egypt two decades ago and later renounced violence, said that since the military takeover they had been warning angry jihadists to shun their group’s former tactics.

“Because of our experience and the position that we have against the use of violence, we persuaded them that Egypt can’t stand fighting, that an armed conflict is a loss to everybody,” said Ammar Omar Abdel Rahman, a leader of Gamaa al-Islamiya and the son of the blind sheik convicted of terrorism in the United States 20 year ago.

But Wednesday’s crackdown had made that argument much harder to win, Mr. Abdel Rahman said. The security forces “are the aggressors,” he said. “Being a military doesn’t give you the right to kill and exterminate whoever you want.”

David D. Kirkpatrick reported from Cairo, and Alan Cowell from London. Mayy El Sheikh and Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from Cairo, and Christine Hauser from New York.

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The President has canceled a joint training mission between us and the Egyptian military, Operation Bright Star.

This is why we can't have nice things.
 
I'd bet they'd be open to good offers on the pyramids about now.

Kind of agree with Harvey, let them kill each other.
 
[quote="OfficePants, post: 25619, member]

Kind of agree with Harvey, let them kill each other.[/quote]

Except then the rest of the world would be up in arms too. The world doesn't want us to police it, but if we pull aid out all of a sudden we 're isolationist bastards, only caring about ourselves.
 
Isolationism wouldn't be such a bad idea in our current state since we are in so much debt ourselves.
 
I was inside of them when I visited Cairo....Not as fab as you think.....You would need to put some serious $$'s into decorating!

Definitely, but look at all that parking. You could hang some giant ladies underwear on the head of the Sphinx, cut out a few sky lights inside, widen the entry way. Then some nice hi-fi, TV projectors, invest in some refrigeration and wifi. Dig in a pool. Party.
 
Definitely, but look at all that parking. You could hang some giant ladies underwear on the head of the Sphinx, cut out a few sky lights inside, widen the entry way. Then some nice hi-fi, TV projectors, invest in some refrigeration and wifi. Dig in a pool. Party.
I would also add an outdoor kitchen/grill setup/Kegerator/etc.
 
Back to the news...

http://www.juancole.com/2013/08/democracy-washington-reluctant.html

It’s not about Democracy: Top Ten Reasons Washington is Reluctant to cut off Egypt Aid
Posted on 08/17/2013 by Juan Cole

another 80 people died in violence in Egypt on Friday, as Muslim Brotherhood crowds protested the military crackdown on their sit-ins that cost hundreds of lives this week. Some of the violence resulted fro police heavy-handedness, some from an armed Brotherhood attack on a police station. The continued unrest upped the pressure on the Obama administration to cut off military aid to Egypt. It is the only legal and ethical thing to do, but here are some reasons it has been difficult for Washington to take that step.

1. The US doesn’t give much aid to the Egyptian people per se. Only $250 mn a year out of $1.55 bn is civilian. The aid is to cement a relationship between the Egyptian officer corps and the Pentagon.

2. The military aid, $1.3 billion a year, is mostly in-kind, a grant of weaponry . It must be spent on US weapons manufacturers. It is US arms manufacturers like Lockheed-Martin and General Dynamics (and their employees) who would suffer if it were cut off.

3. The Congress gave the Egyptian Generals a credit card to buy weapons, and they’ve run up $3 billion on it for F-16s and M1A1 tanks. If the US cancelled aid, the US government would still have to pick up that bill.

4. Even most of the civilian aid is required to be spent on US goods and materiel. It is corporate welfare for the US

5. The aid was given as a bribe to the Egyptian elite to make nice with Israel. Given the chaos in Sinai, and Egypt’s instability, Congress is more worried about that issue than at any time in 40 years.

6. The Israelis asked the US not to suspend the aid.

7. Congress even structured the economic aid to require some of it help joint Israeli-Egyptian enterprises in Egypt, so some of the aid to Egypt actually goes to . . . Israel.

8. It is not generally recognized, but the Egyptian military provides a security umbrella to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE against Iran (and sometimes Iraq). The Gulf oil states also have powerful Washington lobbies and want Egypt to continue as a Gurkha force. Children, can you say oil?

9. Many in Congress don’t actually disagree with the generals’ actions in overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party and driving it underground, since they agree it is a terrorist organization

10. Behind the scenes Egyptian military intelligence has helped the US track down Muslim extremists and in the Mubarak era ran black sites where they tortured suspected al-Qaeda for Washington. The US deep state would like to ramp that relationship back up.
 
http://gawker.com/egypt-bans-muslim-brotherhood-1370912334

Egypt Bans Muslim Brotherhood

On Monday, an Egyptian court issued a ruling that banned the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters applied the ruling to the Islamist group's non-governmental group, its recently formed political party, and any groups affiliated with or receiving financial support from the organization.

The ruling also ordered the immediate "confiscation of all the group's money, assets, and buildings” and for a panel to be formed to distribute those funds until any appeals have been heard.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed for most of its 85 year existence, but in 2011 – after Hosni Murbarak was removed from power – it was allowed to exist openly and quickly rose to power, with political efforts culminating with the June 2012 election of Mohammed Morsi as Egypt's president. But the after last summer's military coup, Egyptian authorities again cracked down on the group and arrested its leader, Mohamed Badie. http://gawker.com/u-s-secretly-cuts-aid-to-egypt-as-brotherhood-leader-a-1171139519


U.S. Secretly Cuts Aid to Egypt as Brotherhood Leader Arrested
The U.S. has reportedly cut all aid to Egypt, but hasn't yet publicly declared the military removal of democratically elected president Mohamed… Read…

Naturally, members of the Muslim Brotherhood weren't thrilled by the decision. From the Associated Press:

"This is totalitarian decision," leading group member Ibrahim Moneir said in an interview with Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV. "You are losers and it (the Brotherhood) will remain with God's help, not by the orders by the judiciary of el-Sissi," he added, referring to military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the overthrow of Morsi on July 3.
 

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