Trending Topics:

Egypt’s continuing revolution makes a mockery of Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’

on 109 Comments

Even as Egypt braces for what’s next, the images from Tahrir are hugely inspiring. They remind us of the unending technological ingenuity of the Egyptian revolutionaries, and of the importance of self-determination: the protagonists are all Egyptian, the international forces seem largely at bay. And there seems some real hope of a thriving democracy emerging from this turbulent process. Fresh from a visit to Tahrir Square, Hani Shukrallah celebrates Egypt’s “continuing revolution” in Ahram online, and says that the apparent popular overthrow of an Islamist regime banishes the tired western paradigm of a clash of civilizations:

Egypt is making world history; in particular, world revolutionary history. Already, it is firmly up there with the two axiomatic revolutions of the modern world, the French and Russian revolutions. The popular upsurge on 30 June has been described as the biggest demonstration in the history of mankind; we would be hard pressed as well to site other examples of two major revolutionary upsurges in the space of two and a half years, overthrowing two regimes (and make no bones about it, the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt is over and done with), meanwhile putting somewhere between 30-40 percent of the nation’s adult population on the streets in a single day.

Simply, there is no historical precedent for any of this. Let alone that even in the grimmest of times during the past two and a half years, under the military/Muslim Brotherhood alliance, under the Muslim Brotherhood/Military alliance, and under the Muslim Brotherhood’s frenzied power grab, popular resistance did not cease for a single day. And it was thus that the first wave of the Egyptian revolution slipped – just like waves are known to do – into the second.

Also, for the first time in modern political history, a popular revolution is in the process of overthrowing an Islamist regime.

Thirty-four years in Pakistan, another 34 years in Iran, 24 years in Sudan, a foreign invasion to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan (and never mind for the moment the fractured and corrupt caricature that has produced), a foreign invasion actually bringing Shia Islamists to power in Iraq, which Saddam had been Islamising already via a debased marriage of degenerate Arab nationalism and Sunni Islamism. Against that backdrop, the overwhelming conviction everywhere was that once in power, Islamists were there to stay – short that is of foreign invasion.

Egyptians, however, did it, in 12 months. 

All of which makes it doubly imperative for the revolutionary and democratic forces in the country to be fully aware of their place in history, and for God’s sake to not let the trees blind them to the wonderous magical forest that lies just beyond….

As predominant dogma would have it, the political, social, cultural and economic behaviour of Arabs and Muslims could only be understood by reference to Islam, wherein, supposedly, “freedom” has little or no place.

Tens of thousands of words have been written pontificating on this theme; Mr. [Samuel] Huntington created his absurd little meta-theory of “the clash of civilizations”, the very thrust of which was to presumably explain Arab/Muslim “exceptionalism”; Mr. [Francis] Fukuyama grudgingly admitted that Muslims may indeed be the globalised world’s single exception to his “end of history”, constituted by neo-liberal economic policy and oligarchic liberal democracy.

On one occasion during these fatuous decades, I had to suffer through a lecture by an intensely post modern American scholar in which he argued that Islamism in the Arab and Muslim worlds was the Muslims’ equivalent of the feminist and gay liberation movements in the West. This mind-numbingly boring drivel was thankfully delivered in English, and to an American University in Cairo (AUC) audience, who lapped it up. Had it been delivered to real, as opposed to “fashionable” Islamists, the young post-modern scholar would have been hard put to escape the lecture hall bruise free.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

109 Responses

  1. annie on July 3, 2013, 10:30 am

    The popular upsurge on 30 June has been described as the biggest demonstration in the history of mankind; we would be hard pressed as well to site other examples of two major revolutionary upsurges in the space of two and a half years, overthrowing two regimes (and make no bones about it, the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt is over and done with), meanwhile putting somewhere between 30-40 percent of the nation’s adult population on the streets in a single day.

    Simply, there is no historical precedent for any of this.

    i must admit i am incredibly impressed by the egyptian people. it’s just overwhelmingly inspiring to see this kind of mobilization. i can’t say i have a firm grasp on what is going on (because i don’t!) but i can see with my own eyes and it’s breathtaking.

    and i’m jealous. i wish there was this much unity in america.

    • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 10:54 am

      If memory serves, in Egypt (& Iran), half the population is age 25 or under. They are out en masse in the streets because they have no jobs, live in poverty, same as before, and, while they feared the brutal cops under the last regime, now they fear total insecurity in the streets, and the MB’s religious fanaticism.

      As an aside, because there’s no recent MW article to tie it to, on CSPAN now is a panel of right wing Americans dissing the hell out of Obama’s UN ambasador nominee, Samantha Powers–the constant charge among them is she’s anti-Israel, never having spoken up for the poor Israeli Jews suffering under constant Palestinian rocket attacks for years. Watching, you’d think the whole panel lives in Israel.

      • American on July 3, 2013, 12:02 pm

        @ Citizen

        John Bolton on news this am……says current Egypt revolution must succeed cause ‘Israel is the cornerstone of US ME policy” and we cant have a Muslim Brotherhood running Egypt.
        Whatever Bolton is for I’m against.
        I dont trust this revolution…..if the ‘majority’ in Egypt didn’t want a Brotherhood president why did they elect Morsi to begin with?
        And has anyone seen a list of actual ‘demands’ from the protestors? I’ve looked everywhere and cant find any specific demands or gripes about what the protestors want done or not done—the only demand is that Morsi step down, ..which according to the western press is because he is in the Muslim Brotherhood
        I just think this isnt what it seems.

      • annie on July 3, 2013, 12:17 pm

        if the ‘majority’ in Egypt didn’t want a Brotherhood president why did they elect Morsi to begin with?

        well, there was some hanky panky wrt to the elimination of candidates and just who was allowed to run in the election. i’m not an expert but it’s not quite that simple.

      • Reds on July 3, 2013, 1:30 pm

        The demand was Morsi step down and allow new elections and allow the Former Dictator court to rule the actually elections previously as invalid.

        Of course such demands are perfectly democratic… eye rolls.

      • American on July 3, 2013, 2:23 pm

        @ annie

        just like the hanky panky in the Hamas election that was thrown out by the US?
        humm…..wonder why we didn’t have the US military throw out the hanky panky election of George Jr.?
        last I heard Egypt does have a Supreme Court to take the hanky panky to just like dumb and dumber did in the US.
        Nope, I am not buying this is “”about democracy””.

        Suit me fine if the US military cleaned out the WH and congress and shook things up in this country—BUT… I wouldnt be hypocritical enough to call it a democratic move…I’d call it what it what it would be –a coup.

      • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 3:04 pm

        @ Annie Robbins
        I agree that whatever Bolton is for I’m Against. I think Morsi got in because in the chaos of the initial Arab Spring, they were most organized to win the vote.

      • biorabbi on July 3, 2013, 3:39 pm

        I, as usual, completely disagree. Morsi was elected in more than one election. Yes, I would have preferred Mubarak(personally), but I’m not Egyptian. Egypt has been ruled by a military dictatorship since their King went into exile.

        While I strongly dissent from Morsi or the Salafists(who had previously aligned with Morsi–but now have major problems with Morsi), is it really my call who they should elect?

        If Palestinians reject the PA stooges and elect Hamas, should I reject this? If the far right wins every election in Israel with stronger majorities, leaving the Peace Now ilk far behind, should Israel throw out the elections because hundreds of thousands of secular Israelis protest in the bubble(Tel Aviv)??? Is an Israeli Peace Now member who rejects the occupation representative of Israel??? Is a secular Egyptian who hates Islamist thought and practice representative of “Egypt”? or is Morsi with all his warts??? I would strongly argue Morsi was the first sprouting of any sort of democracy in Egypt… not the secular blogger or the army.

      • Sibiriak on July 3, 2013, 3:59 pm


        I would strongly argue Morsi was the first sprouting of any sort of democracy in Egypt… not the secular blogger or the army.

        Morsi won with only 51% of the vote. I don’t see how you can say the secularists and others in the opposition were not part of the democratic process in Egypt. The fact is Morsi has not ruled as the leader of all Egyptians.

        As Juan Cole put it:

        On taking office in summer 2012, Morsi did not appoint a government of national unity. He named no politicians from other major parties to important cabinet posts, nor did he reach out to the revolutionary youth.

        Although he made a neutral technocrat, Hisham Qandil, his prime minister, he put members of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in charge of key cabinet posts. He thus created the impression that he was trying for a “Brotherization” of the government.

        Despite Egypt’s sagging economy, Morsi did not make stimulating it his first priority, and instead tried to please the International Monetary Fund with austerity policies, rather on the model of the Mariano Rajoy government in Spain.

        The Brotherhood’s class base is private business, whether small or large, and Morsi has been distinctly unfriendly to the demands of labor unions and to those of the public sector, which account for half of the country’s economy.

        Having said that, it’s quite possible that the military intervention will have an anti-democratic outcome, as in the case of Algeria. It’s never a good sign when a military overthrows a democratically elected government.

        Robert Fisk:

        The crowds in Tahrir Square roared their approval. Of course they did. The army called their protests “glorious”.

        But they would do well to think through what this means. Secular Algerians supported their army in 1992 when it cancelled the second round of elections which would have been won by the Islamic Salvation Front. The “national security” of the state was in danger, the Algerian generals said – the very words used by Egypt’s military leaders on Monday. And there followed in Algeria a civil war that killed 250,000 people.

        […] the Egyptian government has frittered away its time imposing a Brotherhood-style constitution, allowed ministries to stage their own mini-revolutions, and promoted laws that would shut down human rights groups and foreign NGOs. Furthermore, Morsi’s 51 per cent “win” at the polls was not sufficient, amid the current chaos, to make him the President “of all Egyptians”.

        The 2011 revolution’s demand for bread, freedom, justice and dignity has gone unanswered. Can the army satisfy these calls any more than Morsi, just by calling the demonstrations “glorious”? Politicians are rogues. But generals can be killers.

      • gloopygal on July 3, 2013, 5:28 pm

        My understanding of the situation was, after 30+ years of dictatorship there was no coherent political opposition. In the wake of their new-found freedom, all these political parties popped up and the Egyptian vote was split amongst them. The only two parties that were organized and had a base were the NDP and the MB, which is why those two candidates gathered more votes than the others combined. I think so many Egyptians were disappointed by their final choice that they didn’t even vote in the final election. And of course, after so many people were tortured or killed in Tahrir Square trying to get rid of Mubarak, were they going to elect the same party into power? I think they tentatively elected Morsi in, and though he made great promises, he never followed through on any of them and in fact began to act like a dictator himself – a worse one than Mubarak, because he backed a regressive, religiously fundamentalist agenda. AND to top it off he declared holy war on Syria. No loss there, I just hope the military can be trusted to step down when asked. Anyone who knows the situation better LMK if I’m wrong.

      • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 6:58 pm

        @ Annie Robbins
        I think you commented elsewhere that you had no idea of what they were protesting as they didn’t specify. There’s this, from a recent article on Counterpunch:

        “The opposition Tamarod (Rebel or Rebellion in Arabic) June 30 protests clearly marks a new and higher stage of the revolution, distinguished not just by their enormous size but by their far-reaching popular demands.

        “We reject you,” Tamarod petitions signed by millions declared emphatically before each phrase, “…Because Security has not been established; …Because the deprived have still no place to fit; …Because we are still begging loans from the outside; …Because no justice has been brought to the martyrs; …Because no dignity was left neither for me nor for my country; …Because the economy has collapsed and depends only on begging and,…Because Egypt is still following the footsteps of the United States.”

        A mass petition drive represented a new tactic for the government opposition, initiated several months ago by its radical youth wing.

        Young Tamarod Rebel organizers switched tactical gears to prepare for June 30 by taking into account police repression of public protests that have increased fears and anxieties and dramatically reduced the size of protests this year.

        “The rationale behind ‘Rebel’ is to move the revolution from the squares, in which demonstrations are held, to society at large,” Tamarod leader Abdel-Aziz told, website of Egypt’s largest circulation daily newspaper, Ahram.

        Instead of simply calling for another demonstration, a broad educational campaign was begun with the ambitious intention of gathering 15 million signatures calling for early presidential elections in order to oust Morsi and to release the ever tightening grip of the Muslim Brotherhood.

        “‘Rebel’ forms are now available from street vendors, at bakeries, at grocery stores and at kiosks,” another Tamarod leader told Ahram last week, adding that, instead of people hearing about protests and demonstrations through the media, they can directly communicate with each other in their homes, workplaces and the streets where critical political conversations can take shape.

        Ultimately, as June 30 protests approached, credible news agencies reported 22 million people actually signed the Rebel petitions, another unprecedented milestone in a country of 84 million.

        By contrast, Morsi was elected with 12 million votes on June 30 last year and that was only by the narrow margin of 51 percent. Many indicated they voted for Morsi in the second and final election round because there were only two choices left – Morsi and deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak’s cohort, Ahmed Shafik. Others indicated they voted for Morsi because they believed his religious values enhanced his promises to address the country’s grave social problems.”

        Tamarod’s website criticizes Morsi’s government for “following the footsteps of the USA” as well as “begging” for loans from the International Monetary Fund.
        Hegazi played down the anti-American rhetoric, saying that most of the demonstrators wanted the similar freedoms to those in the U.S.
        “We are pleased that President Obama is taking an interest,” he said. “What he said about democracy not being just about elections is exactly right.”

      • Shingo on July 3, 2013, 8:18 pm

        I agree that whatever Bolton is for I’m Against.

        I wouldn’t put much stock into what Bolton says or thinks. Washington has been cooperating with the MB for decades . They are a bunch of old conservative pragmatists and were never going to present a problem for Israel or the US. If anything, a nationalist, secular leadership will present more of a headache for Israel.

      • Hostage on July 3, 2013, 8:50 pm

        Whatever Bolton is for I’m against.

        Bolton went on record two years ago saying that Egyptian democracy was bad news because it threatened the Camp David Accords with Israel.

        .if the ‘majority’ in Egypt didn’t want a Brotherhood president why did they elect Morsi to begin with?

        ??? The fact that Californians elected Grey Davis to the governor’s office twice didn’t prevent them from changing their minds and launching a recall effort.

        FYI, Morsi disregarded Court rulings which held that the parliamentary elections were invalid and should be conducted again. He subsequently rushed through an unpopular constitution written by the same list of lawmakers.

      • American on July 3, 2013, 9:41 pm

        @ hostage

        that anwers my questions..thanks

      • Hostage on July 4, 2013, 12:03 am

        @ hostage

        that anwers my questions..thanks

        Haaretz is now shreying that “If a revolution aimed at fostering democracy is obliged to ultimately rely on the army’s bayonets in order to achieve its aims, a new meaning of democracy will have to be coined.”

        This is news to those of us familiar with the way that General Washington dealt with the so-called mutinies in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey lines in 1781. Threats and summary executions were employed as a stop loss measure when enlistments expired and the members of the Army hadn’t been able to send any pay home to feed their starving families, because the United States simply hadn’t given them any.

        Here is a link containing a written eyewitness account published in Zinn (editor), “A People’s History of the United States”:

      • Walid on July 4, 2013, 4:12 am

        Not wrong at all, gloopygal, I’m happy for what happened because while the MB and the Salafists were in control, the Christians’ days in Egypt had been numbered; maybe now things will be safer for them.

        Now if only Tunisia would follow suit with a second revolution of its own, we’d be on our way of getting out of this mess.

      • Hostage on July 4, 2013, 6:18 am

        Having said that, it’s quite possible that the military intervention will have an anti-democratic outcome, as in the case of Algeria. It’s never a good sign when a military overthrows a democratically elected government.

        The US still has anti-coup legislation on the books that can be used to prevent the Generals from receiving any US foreign assistance appropriations unless they hold elections. Sen. Leahy waived it temporarily when Mubarak was deposed, but threatened to put a hold on appropriations a year ago when the Generals and Morsi first locked horns.

      • Woody Tanaka on July 4, 2013, 7:55 am

        “Haaretz is now shreying that ‘If a revolution aimed at fostering democracy is obliged to ultimately rely on the army’s bayonets in order to achieve its aims, a new meaning of democracy will have to be coined.'”

        LMAO. This is rich, given that the zionist entity relies on its terror forces, the i’d’f, to keep all the Palestinians in de facto “israel” from having a vote in the state the controls their lives, and does so on racist grounds. Typical hypocrite zionists.

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 8:24 am


        I just read a tweet commenting that the Egyptians did it without a Second Amendment, so why can’t Americans do it?

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 8:38 am

        Yep. That damn Fox News channel has Bolton on as the wise pundit almost daily. He repeats his tired, pure neocon crap like a mechanical parrot. Today his big point is that he does not know why Obama has supported the MB because “the American people” don’t. Meannwhile, the competition MSNBC, “the Lean Forward” channel, has a lady pundit on saying the key thing is Egypt has supported Israel, which has been why US has funded Egypt’s military all these decades, and now that’s again in doubt.

      • Shingo on July 4, 2013, 8:53 am


        You might want to look at this CNN clip. Reporters on the ground are suggesting that one fo the reasons behind the reaction against Morsi is because he is perceived as a US puppet

        CNN: Protestors ‘Anti-Obama’ As Well As Anti-Morsi

        You might also get a laugh out of this

      • piotr on July 4, 2013, 9:13 am

        If you believe my own counting, I am supported by 30 million Egyptians (or is it 60 million?).

        Actually, as a college sophomore I had to do something like that. I was an organizer of an outing and we have purchased snacks using university money that for some reason could be used for transportation only. Which was 1 buck per person. And I had to produce 300 signatures attesting that the undersigned got the respective one-way ticket. Clearly, something akin to the Miracle in Cana saved my day.

      • Keith on July 4, 2013, 12:05 pm

        CITIZEN- That is an excellent article from Counterpunch. It is at least slightly encouraging that some of the leadership of Tamarod understand the reality of Egypt’s predicament. Additionally, the populace is aroused, not resigned. This situation is critically important for the future of the global political economy. How much influence can an aroused, knowledgeable citizenry have on the global neoliberal juggernaut? How effective will the 1% be in overcoming resistance in Egypt, and by implication, elsewhere? I would like to be optimistic, but I think that unless imperial stability is restored in Egypt soon, the Egyptian resistance to neoliberalism will be smashed and made an example for others as to what happens when you defy the Godfather. People who describe these mass protests (acts of desperation) as a “revolution” and a huge victory are seriously deluded.

      • W.Jones on July 4, 2013, 10:22 pm

        Is it relevant that this happened on July 3-4?

  2. Reds on July 3, 2013, 11:02 am

    I disagree.

    The salafist are actually protesting right now against the Muslim Brotherhood. Not because he’s a islamist but because he didn’t go far enough. Many outside NGO’s have their hand in this protest to and the U.S. while claiming it has no choice in the matter are backing the so-called “liberal side” of the protest who are burning Muslim Brotherhoods Offices(hardly a sign of enlightenment or a step towards democracy). Also the picture (not being presented by the U.S. press) shows many protesters have a beef with the U.S. Lets not forget the former backers of the Former Dictator who have been trying to undermined democracy and care not a whit for it. I understand theirs people out there that want and desperately seek to keep the hope of democracy but for this to happen they need to respect the votes of millions who voted for the Muslim brotherhood and then organize and win the next election. The problem of course if violent protest are successfully used to oust the president and his party than such violent protest will be used or claimed as justification against the next.

    What happens if the salafist win the next election? would one respect the vote of the people or would elections be held again(until the right person/group won)? Than what kind of democracy is this if say the military decides who can or cannot hold power? Same if the “liberals” won the next election? If thousands or millions went on the streets against it would the “liberal” government step down? how about if salafist or the Muslim brotherhood started burning their offices? Than called for such “liberal ” government to step down and the military to take charge?

    I hope by now one sees the issue of violence in place of voting.

    • ritzl on July 3, 2013, 11:24 am

      Great comment, Reds. I tried to say the same thing downthread, but I think you nailed it.

    • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 12:05 pm

      @ Red
      Seems to me you are too much into labels of power groups. I’m not sure the average Egyptian thinks in such simple terms these days; seems to me he/she is looking at what the regime is doing or not doing to give he or she a small spot in the sun.

      I think, very slowly, the average American may begin to ape the average Egyptian. A pox on political labels, parties, religious sects, etc., because nothing good trickles down. Egypt may actually be doing it’s version of the OWS v the 1% that failed here in USA.

    • Walid on July 4, 2013, 4:22 am

      Reds, the Salafists can’t win the next elections because they don’t have the numbers and they don’t have the organizational know-how of the MB. The group that will win is the one to be picked by the US.

      The basic differences between the Salafists and the MB are not on ideology; both groups were headed in the same direction and with the same objective; the Salafists wanted all the changes to take effect now whereas the MB wanted exactly the same changes but to have them carried out over an extended period. Another difference was that the Salafists were fully backed by Saudia whereas the MB was competingly backed by Qatar. Same competion is currently ongoing in Syria.

    • W.Jones on July 4, 2013, 10:48 pm


      If you are dedicated to Democracy, why not vote elected president Morsi down in an election? If it’s urgent, why not impeach him? If the parliament supports him over the people, perhaps the use of free assembly will persuade them otherwise? And if he is not suppressing the free assembly, why does the elected government need to be deposed with force?

      I can see in the cases of the American, English, French, and Russian revolutions that the ousted governments were oppressive, hardly elected, and very unresponsive to people’s demands. Has Morsi been those?

  3. ritzl on July 3, 2013, 11:04 am

    A note of caution. FWIW, the worst possible outcome is for any democratically elected government in Egypt to be “overthrown.” Everything in Egypt and the region depends on democratic institutions taking hold in Egypt. Everything. Otherwise what’s institutionalized is change by coup, i.e. instability. Orderly transition is the key here, and I’m in no way an ‘orderly transition’ freak.

    If Morsi is allowed to become the face of the product of Egyptian democracy now and forever, which he is being used as imho, then the forces of failure (e.g. the “only democracy in the Middle East” chorus, among others) score a huge win.

    Tough problem. And to echo Annie, what the Egyptian people are doing is impressive and profound.

    I hope that media in the US can be persuaded to differentiate between the transitory negative of an elected fundy and the first-order, long-term, and maybe ultimate positive of institutionalizing the process that elected him. I don’t think that’s happening at the moment.

    Thanks for the coverage and analysis.

  4. OlegR on July 3, 2013, 11:09 am

    /Already, it is firmly up there with the two axiomatic revolutions of the modern world, the French and Russian revolutions./

    I don’t think she wants Egyptian revolution to be firmly up there with those two.
    Just to think of the body count…

  5. ramzijaber on July 3, 2013, 11:43 am

    The Egyptian people are the soul of the Arab Nation. Yes, I am a VERY proud Palestinian but my respect and admiration for Egypt and its people are immeasurable. President Nasser was a true pan-Arab leader. As the most populous Arab state, it is likely that the next pan-Arab leader will come out of Egypt again.

    Egypt and the Arabs in general, and the entire Moslem world I may add, are not extreme fanatics or religious bigots. The heroic Egyptian people are showing the entire world that, while the dominant religion is Islam, they want to live in the 21st century, they want to modernize their society, and that modernization does not mean westernization.

    So I salute the heroic Egyptian people and their march towards democracy. Egypt and the Arab Nation has entered what I believe will be a 10-year upheaval after which the new structure of the Middle East will emerge with a democratic core that will have a pan-Arab middle eastern hue to it.

    In the meantime, I urge my fellow Palestinians and our supporters everywhere to learn from our Egyptian brothers and sisters, and to match en-masse within and outside occupied Palestine until we are free of occupation. Coupled with intensifying and accelerating BDS/ICC/ICJ/non-violent actions, we will win. Yes we can!

    • ritzl on July 3, 2013, 12:06 pm

      @Ramzi Jaber “Egypt and the Arab Nation has entered what I believe will be a 10-year upheaval after which the new structure of the Middle East will emerge with a democratic core that will have a pan-Arab middle eastern hue to it.”

      I hope, and do believe, that this is the case. Glad you said it this directly. Very scary stuff inside the DC Beltway. It will be resisted vehemently, yet imho unsuccessfully.

      OT, but “Yes we can!” comes attached to a huge body of subtext. Not all of it is positive… ;)

      • ramzijaber on July 3, 2013, 5:01 pm

        ritzl, while O is a great disappointment, “yes we can”, with all its disappointing O subtext, remains a good rallying call for action beyond O!!

      • ritzl on July 3, 2013, 8:31 pm

        Fair enough. :)

    • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 12:17 pm

      @ Ramzi Jaber
      I tend to agree with your longer-term assessment at this jucture in time. What hand will Saudi Arabia play in this? And the little oil states?

      • ramzijaber on July 3, 2013, 5:10 pm

        Great questions Citizen. Certainly worth watching and tracking.

        I strongly believe that, along with major guidance and enticement from israel and usa, Saudi Arabia and the oil dictatorships have already played a dominant role behind the scenes in this coup d’état in Egypt.

        While I respect the will of the Egyptian people, I just hope that their trust and confidence in their military are not misplaced and that they will not be let down. I do not trust any military in the Arab world today. And, as much as I am NOT a supporter or Morsy and as much as I am AGAINST the MB, I am particularly troubled that a democratically elected president is deposed by the army.

        I wish my Egyptian sisters and brothers the best in this situation, and I call upon them to be very wary and to closely monitor and oversee their army since the interest of that army’s echelon is more in line with usa and israel than it is with the people of Egypt IMHO. I hope I’m wrong. Time will tell (soon).

    • Obsidian on July 3, 2013, 12:50 pm


      Or maybe the Egyptian people rejected the Moslem Brothers when it became immediately apparent that the Brothers couldn’t make a dead cat bounce.

  6. Obsidian on July 3, 2013, 12:43 pm

    I wonder what Hamas is going to do now that they’ve lost Syrian AND Egyptian patrons?

    My, how things do change.

    • Tobias on July 3, 2013, 5:47 pm

      Hamas will be fine. You need not worry. They have survived losing patronage before. I’m thinking of one of their early backers, a very violent sectarian ‘democracy’ you’re so proud of.

    • just on July 3, 2013, 6:50 pm

      Obsidian– You sound positively gleeful and perhaps just a bit Islamophobic.

    • Walid on July 4, 2013, 4:40 am

      “I wonder what Hamas is going to do now that they’ve lost Syrian AND Egyptian patrons?

      My, how things do change.” (Obsidian)

      Hamas did not lose its Syrian patron; it got a better offer from Qatar and moved its admin offices to Doha. It didn’t lose much from the Egyptian one either since it has been accepting the Egyptian lockdown of the Gaza border without any complaint to not disturb or put into a negative light the Egyptian brothers. Not any real loss there since no matter which party ends up ruling Egypt, the US orders will keep the Gaza border shut.

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 8:41 am

        I read the Egyptian military is filling in the tunnels to Gaza, and Israel is also cutting back Gaza’s access to outside world via Egypt.

      • ramzijaber on July 4, 2013, 11:20 am

        Totally expected. Before the coup, they massed tanks on the Gaza border, why? They also started closing the tunnels a couple of months back. Clearly the army only has one interest: their own.

      • Obsidian on July 4, 2013, 1:25 pm


        Uhh…there seems to have a been a mini-coup in Qatar as well.

        Qatar had been backing the Muslim Brotherhood in several countries but is now backing away from it. Today the Qatari government said that it has “always been supportive of the will of the Egyptian people” and it “praises the [Egyptian] army role in defending Egypt’s national security”.

        So. Hamas may have bet the wrong horse. Again.

  7. Les on July 3, 2013, 1:15 pm

    The clash of civilizations is true to the notion of American exceptionalism, meaning the bad guys (them) versus us (the good guys). From our very beginning it was the Indians who were defined as the savages for resisting the onslaught of the Europeans who presumed their plundering to be that of civilized people.

    • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 3:13 pm

      @ Les white man Kerry still speaking with forked-tongue in Israel. Too bad the colonial Jews didn’t bring along small-pox, or the Palestinians were immune.

  8. Nevada Ned on July 3, 2013, 1:58 pm

    Huntinton’s argument about the “clash of civilizations” should have been dismissed as just plain silly, even before the Arab Spring.

    For example: Huntington’s clash “explains” a conflict between a Christian West and the Moslem World: in today’s Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    But what about what it doesn’t explain? For example:

    In Afghanistan in the 1980’s, the Christian US aided the Moslem resistance to the Soviets and the Soviet-allied atheist government in Kabul.

    In Central America in the 1980’s, the US aided the rich Catholic ruling class vs Catholic left-wing insurgents (El Salvador and Nicaragua).

    In Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, the Christian West aided the Moslem residents of Kosovo against the Christian Serbs, living in Serbia and Kosovo.

    For over a decade now, the US and Venezuela, both largely Christian countries, have confronted each other. Venezuela is allied with Cuba, whose long-time leader Fidel Castro was raised as a Catholic, and even attended a Jesuit high school

    There are a lot of exceptions to Huntington’s clash of civilizations, too many exceptions to take Huntington seriously.

    • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 3:21 pm

      Further, While Huntington’s theory gives the West a monopoly on progressive values, Turkey is more than 90 percent Muslim and has made more strides on human rights issues in the past 10 years than the United States. This includes, most notably, abolishing the death penalty and improving prison conditions. While Turkey still has a long way to go to satisfy international human rights law standards, it is Turkish Muslim advocates, not Westerners, who are demanding more progressive laws to reflect their own values. With Prime Minister Erdoğan recently declaring that Turkey could pave its own path without European Union membership, it looks like Turkey doesn’t wish to pick a side in the alleged civilization clash.

      Edward Said rips apart the simpleton notion of a “clash of civilizations” here:

  9. Obsidian on July 3, 2013, 3:16 pm

    100 women assaulted or raped at anti-Morsi demonstrations.,7340,L-4400527,00.html

    • OlegR on July 4, 2013, 5:39 am

      Oh come on , you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

    • Ellen on July 4, 2013, 6:14 am

      Indeed, life can is dangerous for women. A timeless reality.

      How many women were raped within the US Military just this past year? How many women raped and beaten on US college campuses? (Way more than a 100.) How many women were raped and assaulted at Mardi Gras this year?

      And your point is?

  10. American on July 3, 2013, 3:54 pm

    lsrael and US says pleased with military coup, but doesnt want the military to stay in control…lol

    And…..but then the US bulding up troops in Jordon and around Egypt supposedly just becuase of Syria, began before the Egypt military ultimatum to Morsi so did someone know something?

    Israel Authorized Egypt’s Tank Movements Along Gaza Border
    Army Officials Say Move Meant to Contend With ‘Security Threats’

    The Israeli military has followed up on yesterday’s reports of Egypt massing tanks along the border with the Gaza Strip, confirming the movements were done in coordination with the “most senior levels” of Israeli leadership.
    The speculation so far is that Egypt’s decision to move large numbers of tanks to the Gaza border was an attempt to forestall any Hamas intervention on behalf of Egypt’s civilian government in the lead-up to a potential coup d’etat.
    The increased Sinai deployment also comes at a time when US and other troops have been deployed in unusually large numbers along the peninsula’s border with Israel.

    Do well to remember that Egyptian experts ( and I stress this was said by Egyptians themselves and it was a ‘complaint in the first revolt also) that “up to 40 percent of the Egyptian economy is controlled by the military”.
    Sooo…. the military which itself is responsible for much of the economic discontent of the Egyptians in Tahrir Square right now is a win for them?
    I have my doubts…but maybe pigs can learn to fly…good luck Egypt.

    Know Your Egyptian Generals
    Posted By David Kenner

  11. ToivoS on July 3, 2013, 4:04 pm

    What is going on in Egypt is, to say the least, very interesting. But to hold this up as some kind of revolutionary event is really weird. A mass demonstration that has absolutely no program except Morsi must go. Nothing there but enthusiasm. Remember the flash in the pan occupy movements — no identifiable political program. However they do have one demand — clamoring for the army to oust the legally elected government. The most likely outcome at this point is that a new military government will be created. Perhaps not an outright led military dictatorship, but probably one with a weak civilian structure and a very powerful defense department. Sissi will be the big winner here.

    People must realize that it is the military that has been closing the tunnels into Gaza and allowing Mossad to kidnap Palestinians that are traveling through the Sinai. This new military is not the one Nasser led, it is directly on the payroll of US imperialism.

    • Citizen on July 3, 2013, 5:30 pm

      I agree, sort of. I don’t think the Egyptian wants to run the government directly, just continue being the key influential force behind any regime, so the US will continue paying them with the second largest chunk of annual US foreign aid (behind Israel). My local Fox news station is describing Egypt as “the biggest US ally in the Middle East.”

      Do they mean land size, or by population?” I thought that praise was reserved for Israel in any case. Apparently not.

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 9:03 am

        In my first sentence of my comment, I meant the Egyptian military

    • biorabbi on July 3, 2013, 5:34 pm

      I had/have profound misgivings about President Morsi based on some of his past comments. He has tried on been inclusive, appointing Christians to his cabinet, rejected blind deference to the military, upheld his treaty obligations with Israel(despite his probable disgust with Camp David). In what way has he proven to be that irresponsible? Is he responsible for the economic downturn? for the decline of tourism? Some things are outside of his pay grade. I do not want to see Egypt becoming another failed state, but how does having the military kick out the elected Egyptian leadership serve Egypt’s future? Seems to me that pissing off the Muslim Brotherhood bodes for good tidings.

    • Keith on July 3, 2013, 8:40 pm

      TOIVOS- “But to hold this up as some kind of revolutionary event is really weird. A mass demonstration that has absolutely no program except Morsi must go.”

      That is exactly correct. This article and the Hani Shukrallah quote is giddy romanticizing, hopelessly out of touch with reality. Egypt is an economic basket case dependant upon loans to finance the importation of food to feed it’s people. Getting rid of Mubarak provided some slight benefits, however, the county’s economy remained controlled by global finance and the empire. The people are rebelling against neoliberal structural adjustment, austerity and privatization, in other words, against the consequences of neoliberalism. Unfortunately, the empire is not going to simply give up. Popular resistance to neoliberal globalization was anticipated, and the empire intends to deal with it harshly. So far, nothing of substance has changed in spite of these huge demonstrations which are unlikely to force significant concessions from the global 1%.

      To repeat what I said on a previous thread, unless some group can figure out a way to extricate Egypt from the global matrix of financial control, to be able to feed the people and have an economy without IMF loans and interference, nothing will fundamentally change. Washington would rather see a failed, starving Egypt rife with sectarian strife, than a successful Egypt outside of empire.

      • Keith on July 3, 2013, 9:01 pm

        I am adding a quote to indicate what I mean by Egypt being an economic basket case.

        “Of course it will all depend on…. whether Qatar, and even Iran, are able to help the Muslim Brotherhood to keep Egypt from not collapsing (there’s no money for anything; a $36 billion annual deficit; nearly half the population is illiterate; and the country imports half of its food).” (Pepe Escobar)

      • Walid on July 3, 2013, 11:11 pm

        It’s refreshing to see something else besides Israel being discussed here.

        It worth remembering that after the fall of Mubarak, it was the US that convinced the Egyptian military to lift its boot off the Brotherhood’s and Salafis’ neck after 55 years and to let both run as approved parties in the elections. This was done after it had received assurances that the Brothers wouldn’t do anything to disrupt the Egypt-Israel treaty and sure enough, both continued playing nice to Israel. But the US has now realized its error of using the Muslim fundies everywhere because in the long run, these are an even bigger threat to Israel and to the US. After his election, Morsi’s first call for assistance ($3 billion) was to Saudi Arabia and it was imediately rejected. The next day, Qatar came through with the cash.

        Next in line to become President is el-Baradei, another US loyalist, and he and the military will continue having good relations with Israel and nothing will really change.

      • seafoid on July 4, 2013, 12:14 am


        The Egyptian economy is a mess. That drives everything.

        The Brotherhood were very strong on the higab issue but otherwise they didn’t have any decent policies.

        The Yanks of course want to protect Israel but the people of Egypt hate Israel and that’s not going to change. A failed state of 90m people on the southern border of Shangri La is very dangerous. Even if Baradei is in charge.

        Zionism is deluded. They controlled the region for 60 years and the chickens are coming home to roost now.

        I think poor Egypt with its Army and YESHA are 2 deep crises with the same roots.

        US Foreign policy.

        In Cairo if you ask people how they are they’ll often answer “miya miya willa faragh al gamaeya”

        “great , like a gamaeya chicken”

        Gamaeya was a state run shop network that sold really scrawny chickens to the poor.

        And that was when the population was only 40 million.

      • Ellen on July 4, 2013, 6:23 am

        el-Baradei is not a US loyalist. Didn’t you hear McCain and the Cabal trash him relentlessly last year?

        Egypt had a huge, young and increasingly educated population. It will be a different country in 40-50 years. The MB existed because of repression, that gave it legitimacy. It will fade away as the society changes.

      • Woody Tanaka on July 4, 2013, 7:51 am

        “The Yanks of course want to protect Israel but the people of Egypt hate Israel and that’s not going to change.”

        And this a perfect example of how zionism poisons everything. Egypt is clearly a key state in the region and America’s standing would be so much better in the world if it had spend the last few decades showering it with cash, assistance, and diplomatic support, rather than dangling from puppet strings on behalf of AIPAC’s political contribution, on behalf of the zionist abomination. Opportunity missed.

      • Walid on July 6, 2013, 10:20 am

        “el-Baradei is not a US loyalist. Didn’t you hear McCain and the Cabal trash him relentlessly last year?” (Ellen)

        Ellen, keep your eye on el-Baradei, not those other clowns; if you discount half of what Franklin Lamb wrote yesterday in the linked article below, there would still be enough to answer your question. Rehmat’s blog wrote:

        “ElBardei, was one of executives of the pro-Israel advocacy group, International Crisis Group (ICG), mainly funded by Jewish billionaire George Soro. He resigned from ICG in January 2011 when he returned to Egypt to contest post Mubarak presidential election. ”

        From the Lamb article:

        … That is once it became evident that Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi might well be ousted by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The next day, ElBaradei’s representatives reportedly also made contact with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations which claims to represent the 52 largest US based largest Jewish groups.

        ElBaradei, perhaps the current front-runner to replace his long-time nemesis, Mohammad Morsi, moved fast to organize some key allies in Cairo and Washington to pick-up where his earlier failed Presidential campaign left off shortly before the 1/25/2011 Egyptian Presidential election.

        … What ElBaradei’s representatives are reportedly offering the White House in exchange for Obama’s discrete assistance, is that it that the 1979 Camp David Accord, including all its elements will be observed and that in addition, additional guarantees will be given to Israel with the Zionist regime occupying Palestine will be given prime estate for its Embassy. In addition, Egypt under ElBaradei can be expected to toughen its stance on Iran’s nuclear program with altering and adjusting publicly some of his pre-2012 comments on Iran that the White House and Israel criticized as being “soft on the Islamic Republic.”

        Israel is also being promised by ElBaradei’s agents, major security cooperation with Egypt, under which they also pledge to the White House, will continue to grow stronger. ElBaradei’s objective is to secure Barack Obama’s personal support during his jockeying for the White House imprimatur for the expected soon to be held Egyptian presidential election and before.”

      • seafoid on July 4, 2013, 12:28 am

        “Unless some group can figure out a way to extricate Egypt from the global matrix of financial control, to be able to feed the people and have an economy without IMF loans and interference, nothing will fundamentally change. Washington would rather see a failed, starving Egypt rife with sectarian strife, than a successful Egypt outside of empire”

      • Walid on July 4, 2013, 7:50 am

        “Unless some group can figure out a way to extricate Egypt from the global matrix of financial control, to be able to feed the people and have an economy without IMF loans and interference, nothing will fundamentally change. ” (seafoid)

        In it’s usual MO of making huge loans and turning around economies by imposed privatizations, do you think the IMF will go anywhere near hinting at privatizing Egypt’s industry, 40% of which is owned and controlled by the military or is this approach taboo? a fractioin of that 40% would go a long way to fixing some of those economic woes you mentioned. Maybe this the element that is keeping the military amenable to the wishes of the US and much more than the military aid.

      • seafoid on July 4, 2013, 8:50 am

        Poor Egypt can’t escape the geopolitical context. It didn’t ask to have the bots set up state beside it.
        Camp David is often cited as a success but it turned the Egyptian army into a monster and now it is slowly killing Egypt.

        And there are so many other problems. Masr ta’baan khaalis

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 9:10 am

        @ seafoid
        Well, the US has not yet reached austerity for the masses, but we do have a baby step, which is sequestration; the masses of Americans are suffering, but the annual aid to Israel just went up net, even with a small foreign aid cut to Israel.

      • yourstruly on July 4, 2013, 9:38 am

        “Washington would rather see a failed, starving Egypt rife with sectarian strife, than a successful Egypt outside of empire”.

        as per Tunisia and Libya today with Afghanistan and Iraq headed the same way, not to mention what happened only a few decades ago when liberation movements in Central America temporarily achieved a measure of independence from their neighboring goliath.

      • Keith on July 4, 2013, 11:13 am

        SEAFOID- Thanks for the link! That is what I am talking about.

      • Keith on July 4, 2013, 11:35 am

        WALID- “…do you think the IMF will go anywhere near hinting at privatizing Egypt’s industry, 40% of which is owned and controlled by the military or is this approach taboo?”

        I am not all that knowledgeable on Egypt, however, I doubt that the 40% (35% ?) of the economy controlled by the military is state owned, hence, no need for privatization of what is already privately owned in a corrupt economy. The IMF will likely go after any and all subsidies which benefit the 99%, and push for further austerity. Economically, I doubt that Egypt has a lot to offer global capital. It does, however, offer the empire an excellent laboratory for testing the types of social control necessary for quelling the unrest which inevitably results from the implementation of neoliberal capitalism. Techniques which may be used on the First World 99% in the near future. The empire is running amok.

        My thoughts on the current configuration of empire is contained in the following quote: “…as some critical scholars argue, contemporary imperialism should not be conceptualized as rival national bourgeoisies in competition with each other as much as the hegemonic expansion of the ruling transnational class and the imposition of its neoliberal agenda in all aspects of life and all corners of the world.” (Dave Feldman)

      • Keith on July 4, 2013, 2:29 pm

        WALID- I just read an article at Counterpunch suggesting that the military’s 40% of the economy may be government owned. No problem. Anything marketable can be privatized to the generals themselves at pennies to the dollar using insider banks loans. Then, the generals can sell the assets to the transnational corporations at quarters to the dollar making both even richer as the 99% get poorer.

  12. Citizen on July 3, 2013, 5:40 pm

    Joke of the week:

    WASHINGTON | Wed Jul 3, 2013 5:27pm EDT
    (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, said on Wednesday that his panel would review the $1.5 billion in annual assistance the country sends to Egypt in the wake of the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.

    “Egypt’s military leaders say they have no intent or desire to govern, and I hope they make good on their promise,” Leahy said in a statement. “In the meantime, our law is clear: U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree.”

    Let’s see, how many democratically elected regimes has the US help overthrow, say in S America? And when HAMAS was elected in a very honest election, what did US do?
    WTFK is wrong with the US mainstream reporting?

    • just on July 4, 2013, 3:22 am

      I was thinking of President Aristide earlier today……..and Colin Powell doing the dirty work by “escorting” him out of his own country. Powell shamed himself, imho.
      It was the first of many times that I thought he should have resigned.


  13. Citizen on July 3, 2013, 5:56 pm

    Can the Egyptian military infuse itself with the various factions within Egyptian society? No doubt the Egyptian military does not like to be hated by any significant portion of the populace. Have they learned their lesson from the original Arab Spring?
    Stay tuned.

  14. just on July 3, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Democracy is a slow process. I am sad for the Egyptian people that there has been a military coup. I can’t help but be fearful for them. I understand they were striving for quick change, but patience is hard to come by.

    Democracy lost, I am sad to say.

    • just on July 3, 2013, 6:17 pm

      Democracy lost– and we were instrumental in its downfall.

  15. Citizen on July 3, 2013, 6:49 pm

    Dennis Ross is being interview by Al Sharpton on MSNBC. Ross is billed as a former ambassador. Also, interveiwed is Hisham Melhem of an Arab news channel. “This has never happened before in the Arab world, a soft military coup by invitation” of the citizens.

    Technically it’s illegal under the Egyptian constitution. How will the US play this soft military coup on a democratically elected regime? Can’t wait to watch Obama’s spin after he confers with his handlers. “Rule of law” is supposed to be a big thing in American policy, both domestic and abroad.

  16. kalithea on July 3, 2013, 7:18 pm

    As far as I can see and I didn’t read every comment fully; only American and ToivoS get it.

    “…the protagonists are all Egyptian, the international forces seem largely at bay.”

    What??? Hello! The Egyptian military has been running the show for some time and the Egyptian military is funded, equipped and trained by the U.S. and some Egyptian generals studied in the U.S.! The Egyptian military is BRIBED by the U.S.; therefore the U.S. is the most powerful column (i.e. international force) of influence in Egypt.

    When Obama and his minions state they are neither for Morsi or the other side; they are fooling Egyptians; because in fact, the U.S. is squarely in the Egyptian military camp or more like vice versa the Egyptian military is in the U.S. camp. So the U.S. doesn’t care who wins in Egypt as long as the Egyptians military gets to overrule the Egyptian people’s “democracy” when necessary for the benefit of U.S. policy AND ISRAEL.

    Mona Eltahawy gets how powerful the Egyptian military is. She sees the hand of the U.S. behind the Egyptian military. I only wish she would speak out against the over-reaching influence of the U.S. in Egypt’s affairs via the Egyptian military again and again until the Egyptian people see what’s really going on here and who keeps subverting their revolution and fledgling democracy. U.S. control of the Egyptian military through bribery is a threat to Egyptian democracy on every level.

    Egyptians will never be free to control their destiny until they take back their military and stop the bribery.

    Palestinians with never be free either until the Egyptian military is no longer controlled by the U.S. Israel controls Palestinians in large part through U.S. influence over the Egyptian military.

    So the Egyptian military is the tool that Israel uses with U.S. funding to oppress not only the Palestinians but Egyptians as well.

    • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 9:16 am

      Reread the comments. We get it. What you say is assumed by most of us. In short, not to worry, we agree with your comment.

      • annie on July 4, 2013, 9:28 am

        i don’t agree obama is ‘fooling egyptians’, i think the egyptians are smarter than that. had kalithea been paying attention she’s know we have some inkling of what’s going on.

      • ritzl on July 4, 2013, 9:35 am

        Ditto, Citizen. That’s in fact WHY Morsi AND the opposition had to avoid this result at all costs. They all played right into the hands of the Egyptian military and the manipulative forces behind them. This coup is nothing more than a reassertion of the way it’s always been (status quo ante?) in Egypt.

    • yrn on July 4, 2013, 9:27 am

      Well until the USSR broke down, Egyptian military was all Soviet aid, from top to bottom.
      It did not make any deference, it did not help the Palestinians issue at all .

      Now lets see your assumptions, back in the old USSR pink times.
      You just change the same old story’s of blaming , but this time its even better because its the US.

  17. ToivoS on July 3, 2013, 7:33 pm

    There is at least one bright spot in today’s coup. Qatar is going to come out of this as a big loser. They have also been a major player in the Syrian war by bankrolling the MB militias there to the tune of $3 billion. Maybe now that the old king was just deposed his son might begin to pursue more rational policies. That is just a maybe since the new king apparently is very close to one of the fanatical Sunni mullahs.

    In any case, this has to be good news for Assad. Another MB enemy smitten. It was interesting to see in the Irish Times that the Egyptian army became very alarmed when Morsi called out for Egyptian volunteers to go fight in Syria. According to the article, talk of a coup became serious after that point. Imagine the army having to worry about returning battle hardened MB veterans from the Syrian war.

  18. tokyobk on July 3, 2013, 8:05 pm

    Why just two axiomatic revolutions?

    The American and English revolutions can be as well and it is entire possible what is happening in Egypt will result in a stable and democratic government which protects rights of individuals and minority groups.

    • Woody Tanaka on July 4, 2013, 8:06 am

      The American Revolution was one that was buy the rich, white men, of the rich, white men and for the rich, white men. And they’re still causing trouble to this day. Let’s hope that no revolution follows this example.

      And while we’re at it, lets hope it takes less time than the hundreds of years of slavery, oppression and injustice that it took after the American Revolution to reach the still-very-messed-up state we have in the US today.

      Happy July Fourth!

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 9:22 am

        @ Woody Tanaka
        Thanks for the birthday wish. I don’t disagree with what you say about American history, but I would like to know what country you would put up against America as the best candidate for “light to the world.” Which one is your standard? Just so we know. Between the real and the ideal, falls the shadow.

  19. American on July 3, 2013, 8:13 pm

    UK Independent…

    Adly Mansour: Egypt’s interim President

    Adly Mansour only took up his job as chief justice of the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court on 1 June, and now finds himself Egypt’s interim President.

    Born in 1945, Mansour was appointed to the court in 1992, making him one of its longest-serving judges. The Muslim Brotherhood and the court repeatedly clashed during Mohamed Morsi’s clumsy attempts to force through constitutional change, with the Islamist party seeing it as an enemy and launching sometimes violent protests against its members.

    Despite his control over Egypt’s political institutions Morsi was never able to control the judiciary, many of whom were Mubarak-era appointees.
    In December last year security guards had to step in after the car of Maher al-Beheiry, Mansour’s predecessor, was attacked by Brotherhood supporters fearful the court would dissolve the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the amended constitution.

    Mohamed ElBaradei: Egypt’s interim Prime Minister

    Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog and Nobel Peace laureate, was a virtual unknown in his own country until a few years ago. Returning to his country in 2010 after years working abroad, he decided to challenge the then President, Hosni Mubarak.

    He played a key role in protests that removed Mr Mubarak from power, and he has since emerged as a key opposition figure.

    He was to stand as a liberal, secular candidate in July’s presidential elections, but withdrew his bid in January citing concerns about the undemocratic way the military was governing Egypt.

    In April 2012, Mr ElBaradei launched a new political party which he said would be above ideology. He is now expected to take the role of Prime Minister in a technocratic government till new elections.”

  20. JustJessetr on July 4, 2013, 12:07 am

    I’m very happy that the millions and millions of people speaking their revolution in Egypt are throwing out the Islamists. I think that the better alternative would have been to throw Morsi and his cronies out via democratic election, but there was no indication the political situation was headed towards another election. I’m not sure the army will allow one either. But better the Egyptians choose the army which is respected by the millions and millions of people calling for Morsi’s ouster than another repressive Islamist government that will attempt to smother women’s rights, gay rights, Christian and Jewish safety, and drag Egypt into a pointless war with Israel.

    Even if there was no democratic ouster of Morsi, millions and millions in the streets make the will of the people plain as day. Goodbye Muslim Brotherhood. You got a taste of your own medicine when your offices were firebombed. You are not the victims, you are oppressors who are experiencing the liberation of those you want to oppress. Goodbye and go straight to hell where you belong.

  21. seafoid on July 4, 2013, 12:52 am

    Shufti baqa

    “Kamal Habib, a former jihadi turned political analyst, said he was surprised at the weakness of the Brotherhood’s organisation once it took power.
    “They did not possess the tools to deal with the state,” he said. “In addition, they handled it unwisely, so it refused to yield to them. What we see now is a rebellion from the institutions of state, against the president.”
    He also points to a clash of cultures between the Islamists and the institutions of the state.
    Long-ruled by career bureaucrats, with a preponderance of retired police and military officers in senior administrative positions, the Egyptian state, despite its weakness and dysfunction, still subscribes to a “modernist” image of its role at odds with rule by Islamists.
    Mr Habib said the Islamists failed to understand “the spirit” of the state they tried to bend to their will.
    Tellingly, unnamed army sources have been quoted as saying that the tipping point in the attitude of the military, who had been hitherto reluctant to intrude in politics, came when Mr Morsi attended a rally packed with hardline Islamists calling for a holy war in Syria.
    At the meeting clerics described Shia Muslims as “impure” and the president’s political opponents as “hypocrites and unbelievers”, but Mr Morsi failed to distance himself from their views.”

  22. Taxi on July 4, 2013, 2:19 am

    When 33 million people take to the streets and demand the resignation of their incompetent president and succeed in deposing him, well folks, this IS democracy!

    All you cynics out there proclaiming that that the 2nd Egyptian revolution is corrupt, undemocratic, etc., please be mindful that all revolutions determine their OWN rules. They don’t follow the bad old rules that inspired the revolution in the first place. It’s just the way it is.

    Congratulations to the Egyptian Tahriris! They learned from their mistakes two years ago and have been organizing and putting these lessons to practice, producing momentous results – at the surprised and astonished chagrin of the world, it seems.

    Viva the WILL OF THE PEOPLE all over the world!

    • Marco on July 4, 2013, 3:24 am

      The Egyptian masses learned nothing.

      At the end of the day, they signaled one message, loud and clear:

      They are dependent upon the power of the Egyptian military to achieve anything.

      Unable to win a free election, they could only resort to the same uniformed bozos who had led the country under Mubarak to arrest Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and usher in a new era of continued military hegemony.

      And in the final analysis, this military is a U.S. funded institution whose main function is to maintain peace with Israel and the Israeli illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

    • just on July 4, 2013, 3:33 am

      I love the fact that millions took to the streets. I also think that the military coup is not a good thing. The ballot box is far better.

      There is no way that I can believe that ours and others fingerprints are not all over this— sorry. We have fomented such terrible unrest in the entire region– it is roiling. We don’t really care about the people– we care for our “interests” only, and it is not our land, our resources, and certainly not our business. I feel the same about Syria.

      I hope that things work out well for the Egyptian people, and that the military does not take total control. I would hate to live under military rule.

      I am grateful that our puppet Mubarak is out. I hope we don’t install another.

      (Marco– you make much sense)

      • Taxi on July 4, 2013, 4:56 am

        Whoever doesn’t believe that both Egyptian revolutions were propelled by the Egyptian people themselves, doesn’t know Egypt from Smygypt. The first revolution took the world by surprise, including the White House, and it took them some two weeks before they decided that their best policy option was to aid in installing a brotherhood replacement for Mubarak. In other words, the revolution started off pure and got hijacked by outsiders and cynics.

        Whoever thinks that the CIA can get 33 million Egyptians to simultaneously demonstrate against their leader is really smoking some serious weedow. It is offensive to millions of Egyptian activists who’ve been working so frigging hard for the past two years, learning from their previous mistakes and galvanizing their supporters, once again, to have you guys reduce their highly intelligent and herculean efforts to a mere CIA op.

        Give credit where credit is due, people. This second revolution is gonna be harder for outside influences to infiltrate and influence – Egyptians aren’t dumb sheep, you know. And as much as USA threatens to withdraw giving aid to the Egyptian armed forces, they will never do it. Israel won’t let America cut off aid to Egypt’s army for fear of having 33 million Egyptians charging, with the approval of their Nasserite army, towards Jerusalem.

      • Citizen on July 4, 2013, 9:59 am


        “And as much as USA threatens to withdraw giving aid to the Egyptian armed forces, they will never do it.”

        The usual figure of Military aid to Egypt is $1.3B, or $1.5B. MSNBC punidt just said (I guess total) aid was $1.7B annually. This article, covering up to 2011 includes some details on annual non-military aid, which is in millions.
        It says the main benefits of the military aid is to Israel, to privileged treatment of US ships & over Egyptian air space, and to American weapons contractors. (Remember Israel is the only country that gets to spend any of its Military aid from US on anything but to buy US arms and military services):

      • just on July 4, 2013, 10:32 am

        The Egyptian people have my respect, and I accord them much credit. I’ve been humbled by their passion, and certainly do not underestimate their intelligence.

        I know many Egyptians, and have been there. I wish all of the people much success.

    • Walid on July 4, 2013, 4:50 am

      Taxi, it’s not as glorious as it appears; the US knew it back then that by their backing the MB to officially run the show, it would eventually get its nose bloodied and its body weakened. From the start, the chosen leader by the US was Baradei but it chose instead to let the MB run the show temporarily to expose its incompetence with the Egyptian people. The US ran the show back then, it’s still running it today and will continue to do so in the future.

      • JustJessetr on July 4, 2013, 8:18 am

        @ Walid.

        That sounds very far-fetched. And it sounds a little too forward-thinking of the US. I doubt Obama or anyone in his circle are that smart.

      • Walid on July 4, 2013, 2:24 pm

        JustJessetr, Obama doesn’t need any smarts; he’s just an accessory in what’s been happening all around him. He makes great speeches though.

  23. biorabbi on July 4, 2013, 3:21 am

    According to what I’m reading tonight, the last straw for the military was Morsi calling for Jihad in Syria. The Egyptian military felt this was a red line for Morsi… and also the violence against Shia in Egypt. But it seems to me that an alliance of secularists, salafists and the military isn’t going to last long.

    • Ellen on July 4, 2013, 6:43 am

      biorabbi, what you read is what I hear from Egyptians — educated, employed individuals, protesting with wives and families in Tahir.

      The military has a respect and role in Egypt that we in the West csnnot relate to and do not understand. But that does not mean they want the military running the country. The military has run the country for a very long time. It will take more than a year and a series of revolutions to change that.

      The man and woman on the street seek a secular society. Unfortunately — and like everywhere else — those seeking power and influence will play the ideology cards to confuse, divide and conqure their own people.

      That is how it works everywhere. Hopeful thinking, but maybe the Egyptian people will show us the way.

  24. PilgrimSoul on July 4, 2013, 9:06 am

    The Obama administration was surprised by Morsi’s lack of pragmatism, and I have to admit, so was I. This astonishing lack of flexibility, combined with the economic situation, led to the MB’s ouster. This is all so unprecedented that nobody can tell what comes next, but I’m with those who wish to focus on the horrific economic situation; the call for economic technocrats is usually a cover for autocracy of one form or another, but in this case I think it’s the right way to go.

    I just hope that the West can understand what this says about Islam and the Egyptian people. Every country is different, but the amazing thing in this instance is that it was Muslims in Egypt who overwhelmingly saw that the MB was not going to give them the kind of society they wanted, or the kind of non-governmental approach to Islam and Christianity that they longed for. Egyptian Muslims and Christians working together supplied the pragmatism that the MB was unable to provide. That was truly inspiring, and I hope that good people in the West can see that, and emulate it in their own societies.

  25. Justpassingby on July 4, 2013, 9:17 am

    Yeah it very inspiring and positive when the U.S. funded and israel-aligned army destroy egyptian democracy.

    What happend with folks here? Are you really that naive?

  26. yourstruly on July 4, 2013, 10:51 am

    from Wael Eskander’s “There’s Still Hope for the Egyptian Revolution”, Counterpunch, July l, 2013

    ……….”Direct action is becoming widely accepted and adopted as a means of change. The constant rhetoric that problems should be addressed by political parties and legal means is being challenged. This may mean than until a system can be set up which change can be effected through elections and organizations, people will give legitimacy to street politics and actions. The people may be cheering for the army today, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be cheated out of their rights. The hope is that some of those who took to the streets adopt positions that are value-driven rather than loyalty driven. Their is hope that they will continue their path and see things for what they are and be fooled less by politicians and propaganda. There is hope that the revolution that was founded on human dignity started calling for bread, freedom and social justice will continue until those promises are delivered. There is hope that even if we go through another tunnel, there will be light. There is hope.” –

    and beyond hope there is the demonstrated creative potential of a revolutionary people. But how to sustain the revolution, because after those magical eighteen days in Tahrir square two years ago, the fire, while it didn’t go out, seemed to sputter. How to keep it simmering, at least, so as to prevent the “counters” from regrouping and taking over? Obviously there can’t be permanent mass street mobilizations, not if there’s to be a viable economy. Here, perhaps, the internet will be useful? Meanwhile, power to the people – today, tomorrow, always.

  27. seafoid on July 4, 2013, 10:52 am

    “With 40% of Egyptians already below the UN poverty line of less than £2 a day, Morsi’s IMF-inspired policies amounted to a form of economic warfare on the Egyptian people. To make matters worse, as Egypt’s economic crisis made it harder to arrange payments, wheat imports dropped sharply – between 1 January and 20 February, the country bought around 259,043 tonnes, roughly a third of what it purchased in the same period a year ago. Coupled with ongoing unemployment and poverty, Morsi’s Egypt was a time-bomb waiting to explode.
    Post-Morsi, Egypt still faces the same challenges, which have worsened under the Brotherhood’s mismanagement. In the long term, the country also faces a growing demographic crisis. Currently at 84 million, the population is projected to increase to an estimated 100 million after about a decade.
    In this sense, Egypt is in some ways a microcosm of our global challenges. With the age of cheap oil well and truly behind us, an age of climate extremes and population growth ahead, we should expect increasing food prices for the foreseeable future. This in turn will have consequences. For the last few years, the food price index has fluctuated above the critical threshold for probability of civil unrest.
    Unless Egypt’s leaders and activists begin taking stock of the convergence of crises unraveling the social fabric, their country faces a permanent future of intensifying turmoil.
    And that lesson, in a world facing rising food, water and energy challenges, is one no government can afford to ignore.”

    Hathihi Laylati (these are my nights) is one of Umm Kulthoum’s most famous songs. But Egypt’s nights are much worse now.

Leave a Reply