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Old 07-09-2013   #21
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Default Video clips of Army - MB confrontation

NYT, Video of Army Shooting Islamists in Cairo Stokes Anger (8 Jul 2013). 16 vid clips; limited editorial comment.

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Old 07-09-2013   #22
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Default Who was blind-sided?

Two very different commentaries. First from Israel's Haaretz, which ends with:
Quote:
Israel is mainly concerned right now about the possibility that violence in Sinai − where the Egyptian army has long had trouble coping with radical Islamist groups − will spill over into attacks on its territory. But as usual, itís also preoccupied with the question of whether its intelligence agencies were blindsided.

In this regard, sections of Military Intelligence chief Aviv Kochaviís speech to the Herzliya Conference four months ago have recently been republished. The speech shows the Israel Defense Forces had long thought Morsiís government was unstable, and that a severe crisis in Egypt could topple it. That certainly wasnít a precise forecast of what happened, but expecting any intelligence agency to provide such a forecast is unrealistic.

If the Egyptians themselves didnít foresee the speed and determination of Morsiís ouster, itís hard to expect Israeli or Western intelligence agencies to do so. The question that should be asked, however, is whether Israeli intelligence had any indications about the specific events of last week.
Link:http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-e...emium-1.534672
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Old 07-09-2013   #23
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Default Egypt's new revolution puts democracy in danger

The second commentary is from Dr Omar Ashour, an Egyptian, who provides a succinct context for the crisis and ends with:
Quote:
But if the junta-led political process somehow did roll back from exclusion, political and media repression, we may yet see a transition similar to Turkey post-1997. The scenarios aren't certain, but what is certain is that the future of Egypt's democracy is in great danger.

What is also certain is that the consequences of ending democratisation in Egypt won't be limited to the country itself. What happens in Egypt never stays in Egypt.
Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...cracy-in-peril
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Old 07-12-2013   #24
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Default Al Jazeera Is Reporting

That the USA was sponsoring/financing the present ant- Morsi takeover. Link to the report.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...522489801.html
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Old 07-15-2013   #25
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Aljazeera also ran a piece on the criticism of their reporting. They gave quite a bit of space to the NED to refute claims against them. Its possible some three letter people run sources through them i would guess, similar to usaid ect but the reality is probably a whole lot less sexy than the original report.

The comparison between the military's role in turkey and their new one in egypt is pretty interesting. I wonder if the egyptian generals are forging their own path or looking at similar coups elsewhere...
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Old 07-19-2013   #26
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Default Egypt Protest & Power: lessons from 1954 for 2013

Dr Omar Ashour's column reveals the contest in Egypt is not new, it happened in 1954 too (partly cited below) and then looks at today's scene:http://www.project-syndicate.org/com...by-omar-ashour

Quote:
Egypt’s crisis has been called the worst in its history. But in fact, it bears a striking resemblance to a previous episode, almost 60 years ago.

On February 28, 1954, almost a million protesters besieged Cairo’s Abdin Palace, then being used by Gamal Abdel Nasser and other leaders of the July 1952 coup. The protesters’ main demands were the restoration of Egypt’s fragile democratic institutions, the release of political prisoners, and the army’s return to its barracks.

The two-month crisis of 1954 was sparked by the removal of Egypt’s president, General Mohammed Naguib, by Nasser and his faction. As in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood was at the center of events, mobilizing on the side of the deposed Naguib. But, following Nasser’s promises to hold elections in June 1954 and to hand over power to civilians, one of the Brotherhood’s leaders, Abd al-Qadr Audeh, dismissed the protesters.

Nasser’s promises were empty....
He concludes that:
Quote:
Any resolution to the current crisis should aim to save the remnants of the only gains made so far in Egypt’s revolution: basic freedoms and democratic institutions. That will require ceasing violent repression, stopping propaganda and incitement in pro-junta media and at pro-Morsi protests, and trust-building measures.

A credible guarantor, possibly the Obama administration, needs to be heavily involved in this process, given the absence of trust among Egypt’s main political actors (indeed, every institution is politicized and willing to cheat if it can). Finally, a referendum on any final deal is essential.

In short, the credibility of ballots and democracy must be restored in Egypt (and throughout the region); bullets and violence must not be allowed to rule.
From my armchair I cannot see the USA taking on such a role, which cannot be private.

There is a main thread on the current situation: Egypt: has the Spring ended? So a merger one day, but this article warrants it's own thread today.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-22-2013 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Was a stand alone thread and now merged after 374 reads.
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Old 07-30-2013   #27
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Default Three viewpoints

Sometimes one gets to read and contrast the depth and accuracy of reports on Egypt. Judge for yourself.

BBC analyst:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23493214

A short interview with Joel Beinin, Professor of History of the Middle East at Stanford University (California):http://www.opendemocracy.net/joel-be...tist-coalition

A longer interview with Sameh Naguib, a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt (who don't appear to be that revolutionary):http://www.opendemocracy.net/sameh-n...ing-your-enemy
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Old 07-31-2013   #28
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Default Thought for the day ..

I started with an idea, that a military, any military, is sworn to defend ( and feels a real duty towards) it citizens.

Now, reality is that whom the military considers "citizens" is a cultural matter. Further, any military, particularly in those parts of the world (like Indonesia) where the military is expected to fund its own operations (though various means) may be divided between the military's best interest and the citizen's best interest, may present a natural wedge between the military and the citizen. Despite this most military's feel duty bound to protect and defend the civilian population.

Where there is a total break down of civilian rule the military feels compelled, based on their oath, to step in. Is this so wrong? Should we not find ways to support this? If "yes" what are the parameters of our support?
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Old 07-31-2013   #29
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Default Moderator ponders

Curmudgeon,

Your last post appears to resume the discussion on another thread 'Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?' :http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=18422

So mindful of this declared pondering, I think the question you pose is best answered on the other thread.
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Old 08-06-2013   #30
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Default Egypt: When a Coup is Not a Coup

Egypt: When a Coup is Not a Coup

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This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.
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Old 08-17-2013   #31
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Default The 23 Twitter Accounts to Follow on Egypt

The 23 Twitter Accounts to Follow on Egypt

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Old 08-18-2013   #32
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Default What next?

Dr Omar Ashour's latest column, which examines broadly what could happen as the whirlwind of events spins on:http://slink.eu/xx

Note a number of comments on the current situation in Egypt, with possible implications beyond, are on two other threads: 'Egypt and the Treaty of Westphalia' and 'Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?'.

If you want to read more then Shashank Joshi provides a pointer:http://shashankjoshi.wordpress.com/2...sacre-edition/
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Old 08-18-2013   #33
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If nothing else, the Arab Spring will go dormant in Egypt because the military will come to the fore (albeit reluctantly) for the next twelve months as it re-examines what happened in the past twelve.

Unrest is all around bad for the military and its economic interests, so I can't imagine it will rush headlong into a transition of the type being advocated/instigated by the US Govt. and current administration. It is going to develop policy, get on message, and move forward deliberately.
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Old 08-18-2013   #34
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One thing that seems to be forgotten in all these discussions is the Egyptian Army is not acting alone. There are millions and millions of Egyptians who support their actions. This article says that one of the curious aspects of this support is that the old line liberals, the guys who opposed Mubarak and believe all the things we believe in, are almost 100% behind the army.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...-military.html

This and other things I've read here and there lead me to believe this goes way beyond parliamentary niceties, definition of coups and the bleatings of the flock inside the beltway. This is a life and death thing the resolution of which won't be pretty.

It seems to me that one side views the Muslim Brotherhood as having done their best to stack the deck politically when they reached power, the object of which was to insure they never left power. And it seems to me that the reason they are viewed as having wanted to do this so they could transform Egypt into a thing dominated by one view of religion, theirs. Their opponents don't like this and obviously feel there is no way to stop it short of doing what they have done and are doing.

The Muslim Brotherhood seems to feel that they won fair and square and they are fully justified in putting the President beyond judicial review and all the other things they did or tried to do. They won. So now that they've been kicked out in a highly irregular manner, I am guessing they feel that they've tried the political route and got cheated of their just reward, the authority to reshape Egypt into the Islamic entity they wanted. If they feel that way there is no good reason to go back to open peaceful politics.

So I think it may be probable that both sides feel the other side is cheated them, is going to make Egypt into something they will not abide, is not to be trusted and must be stopped, however. If that is the case (and are the musings of somebody who only knows one word of Arabic-habibi) there will be no option other than fighting it out and crushing the opposition. This may get very bad.

It also is may be a lot bigger than Egypt. Maybe this is a reflection of the fight in the Arab/Muslim world between the secular and takfiri. If that be the case, and since it is taking place in the biggest Arab country of them all, it will have ramifications far beyond Egypt. It seems the oil states may be viewing it that way considering the money they have been pouring in on the side of the Egyptian Army.

God pity the Egyptians.
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Old 08-18-2013   #35
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"Arab Spring" is another overly vague label that confuses more than it helps.

The people of the greater middle east have been attempting to overcome and force evolution on local and foreign regimes affecting the governance over their lives for generations. In the modern era to push back the Ottomans, Europeans and ultimately, Americans, began in 1905. Turkey and Iran made major advances early, but WWI, and the replacement of the Ottomans by European powers placed such movements back into check. As did US led Cold War operations.

Egypt is but one of many nations who will struggle for generations to get to what works for them. Best thing we can do is be patient, avoid excessive interference or manipulation, and also maintain an open mind to work equally with every version/flavor of governance that is likely to emerge from all of this.

We need to be careful of setting precedence that will tie our hands when KSA or Jordan, or other close allies finally get caught up in this inevitable cycle. Our doctrine and instinct is to weigh in to force stability or to shape things to our current desires. We need to guard against those instincts.
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Old 08-19-2013   #36
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Quote:
So I think it may be probable that both sides feel the other side is cheated them, is going to make Egypt into something they will not abide, is not to be trusted and must be stopped, however. If that is the case (and are the musings of somebody who only knows one word of Arabic-habibi) there will be no option other than fighting it out and crushing the opposition. This may get very bad.

It also is may be a lot bigger than Egypt. Maybe this is a reflection of the fight in the Arab/Muslim world between the secular and takfiri. If that be the case, and since it is taking place in the biggest Arab country of them all, it will have ramifications far beyond Egypt. It seems the oil states may be viewing it that way considering the money they have been pouring in on the side of the Egyptian Army.
My current job pretty much calls for me to understand the workings (.mil and .gov) of one country: Egypt. I am fortunate in that it is the first time in my career where I can become fully invested in a pretty straightforward task. I am deep into a constant review of profiles, analyses, commentary, and breaking news, and I still do not know anything near what I should, but from what I have digested the past four weeks I think the future is fairly positive.

The strong secular traditions, and liberal tendencies that resonate within Egypt are indeed experiencing significant shifts that seem to be nudged further along by the military. There isn't a lot that suggests the military wants to play kingmaker, and Bob is right to caution that our policy needs to tread carefully and not follow the standard line. The current administration is already in a Catch-22 of sorts, and sometimes the best thing to do is to let things settle and shake out rather than rushing headlong into another policy cesspool.

We can pick up a few clues of the nature of the response, from the footage and stills that are out there of the crack down. One specific one that comes to mind are the sequence of pics of the armored 4-wheel vehicle spilling off of the 4-story overpass. The aftermath pics show a policeman lying on his side, apparently deceased. Around him are at least a dozen expended 37mm tear gas casings that were fired by policemen who responded to the scene. Perhaps they weren't outfitted with anything more than less-lethal tools (already a positive for the perception of police response), but the fact that the scene is not littered with 7.62mm shell cases tells another story as well.

It will be some months and this situation may continue to simmer for longer while the military assumes a more hands-on role in the way ahead for Egypt, but I don't see it approaching a degree of chaos like much of Syria. The people who voted the MB in seem to have been riding on a wave of anti-Mubarak sentiment (much like the Tea Party adherents in the US), but many of them clearly realized that Mr. Morsi was not able to produce expected results.

I can't say whether those expectations were unreasonable, but the next guy who make sit to the top to govern will have learned a very valuable lesson.
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Old 08-19-2013   #37
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jcustis:

What % of people who voted for Morsi do you guess feel some buyers regret? And how much do you think is because of disappointment with the economy and how much because they were afraid of the way things were developing politically?
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Old 08-19-2013   #38
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I don't know about buyer's remorse--there's some for sure--as much as people are distancing themselves from an organization that is going to start laying low lest it draw detentions, arrests, etc.

Cairo and its immediate neighborhoods are what, 20 million people? That many people were not on the street after Eid al-Fitr's end.

The narrative the MB is using is unique when you think about it. Notice the deliberate use of "anti-coup" verbiage on protesters' signs, rather than "Morsi supporter". They seem to be paying attention to "optics" (I hate that word.

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Old 08-19-2013   #39
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Do you think it might go the way of Algeria, sort of? I know the people and the geography are vastly different but what I mean is going the way of Algeria in the sense of the Islamists who lost their power going the insurgency route.
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Old 08-19-2013   #40
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Perhaps. I do not fully understand their agenda or allegiances, but there are militants in the Sinai who give the security apparatus problems. Cairo is different terrain though.
The Mubarak regime had a significant apparatus to watch and control those discontents, so I think it would be hard for any hardline, radical opponents to take action without it ratcheting up to pretty open conflicy very quickly. Egypt is not some burgeoning state. Its security forces would be fairly capable of controlling a critical situation unless you're talking about a very wide sort of insurgency, which I do not see this expanding to.

I will say this though...Egypt's current state of affairs is a complex problem and the issues are not black and white. What's even more interesting is the fact that you won't be able to pull tribal identity out of the average man on the street like you might an Afghan farmer from Helmand or Khandahar.

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