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In Egypt, fascist incitement

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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

I don’t know who is more difficult to believe–Prime Minister Netanyahu thumping his point home to the UN Secretary General that the real problem of the Middle East is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or various Egyptian Generals claiming that the real problem in Egypt are terrorists and traitors?

Then there are the statements of various American officials pledging support for the Egyptian military with the caveat that it goes no further on the road to violence, then when more violence ensues reiterating American support – if that’s the end of the violence.   Since the violence continues to escalate, where is the point when the “no further” becomes “too far?” 

President Obama has to decide what that point is and what to do when it is reached.  Obviously the administration’s Plan B must be unappealing otherwise it would have invoked weeks ago.  Or has the American foreign policy establishment already been through Plan B, C, D and beyond?

The New York Times reports today that American – and European – officials were close to striking a deal with the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood that had both sides on the road to compromise.  In the end, though, the military balked.  They held fast to the notion that only decimating the Muslim Brotherhood would secure Egypt’s future.  Or was it their own future they were concerned about?

Where was Israel on US aid to the Egyptian military and the negotiations with the Muslim Brotherhood?  Where they’ve been from the beginning of the coup. Who has Israel been allied to? With the same countries since the beginning of the coup.  Here’s how the Times lays it out:

Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Emirati foreign minister, went to Washington last month and urged the Americans not to cut off aid. The emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, had swiftly supported the military takeover with a pledge of billions of dollars, undermining Western threats to cut off critical loans or aid.

The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.

If anyone knows about America’s empty threats, Israel does.  Israel encouraged Egypt to play the US in the same way Israel has for decades.  Perhaps the new collusion between Israel and Egypt is playing the US together.   The leadership of Israel and Egypt make quite a pair.  Twins?

It’s amazing how inflated and conflated those in power can be. And how power can be played, when the deck is stacked in certain ways.  But, then, when we move away from our favorite targets, politicians and governments, the movements supposedly invested in progressive change are often little better.  According to Egypt Independent, yesterday Tamarrod’s website carried this incitement: 

The Tamarrod movement (Rebellion) started a petition under the name “Stop Foreign Aid” aimed at rejecting U.S. aid and scrapping the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

On its website, Tamarrod said that the unduly meddling of the U.S. in Egyptian internal affairs and its support of terrorist groups prompted their calls to reject the U.S. aid and call off the peace treaty with Israel, so that Egypt would be at liberty to secure its borders as necessary.

The statement further explained that the aim of this initiative is to regain Egypt’s complete sovereignty and control over its internal affairs and to put an end to years of humiliation and political-dependency.

They called on Egyptians to sign their petition, announcing that a digital version would be uploaded on the movement’s website.

When movements adopt the rhetoric of regaining “sovereignty” and ending years of “humiliation and political dependency,” we enter fascist terrain. The rhetoric of the military and its supporters are already there.  As importantly, the actions of the military, police and, according to reports, armed civilians can only be emboldened by such rhetoric. But, then, if the American administration has already passed through Plan B, C and D without another plan in evidence, the question for the leadership of Egypt and its supporters is if they have any other plan than direct violence and fascist incitement. 

Banning the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force is one thing.  Eliminating them altogether is still another.  But during the last days of violence, another question has arisen:  Are the army and its allies losing ground?  Is it possible that the armed might of the Egypt government might lose the battle in the streets and because of its violence the hearts and minds of Egypt’s citizens?

Perhaps it’s simple irony that in the violence of the last days the retrial of former President Mubarak has been postponed.  This as ex-President Morsi is threatened with trial for his alleged crimes against the state.  These formers, though, are the lucky ones.  They’re alive and well-fed, ostensibly safe from the violence in the streets. 

What if both ex-Presidents are joined on trial by General Sisi?  That is, if he is ousted, with the will of the people, the very same will the general claimed as his mandate to overthrow President Morsi – after the people’s will was invoked in the overthrow of President Mubarak. 

Perhaps a separate tribunal can be established for the ex-leaders of Egypt.After all, the number of formers is growing at a rapid rate, the cycle of violence and incitement is intensifying and no one – not even General Sisi–knows where the Egyptian “revolution” will end.

Marc H. Ellis
About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.

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43 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    August 18, 2013, 9:06 am

    The army have lost it completely, now using the rhetoric Israel use (“terrorists” etc).
    I am ashamed that west keep supporting the military dictators in Egypt.

  2. dimadok
    August 18, 2013, 9:18 am

    The incitement is rather nationalistic than fascist – Muslim Brotherhood is a purposely fascist organization, same as Erdogan party in Turkey. Both parties in Egypt are devoted Muslims, but the army takes the needs of Egypt first, while the brothers see it as another stepping stone to the pan-Islamic union of nations.
    Mr. Ellis should go back to the history of nations.

    • just
      August 18, 2013, 1:30 pm

      dimadok– your assessment regarding fascism sounds about right if you are talking about Zionist Israel as it currently exists………

      And yes, the military in Egypt certainly are ‘responding’ to the incitement to fascism.

      I continue to wish for peace and transparency for the citizens of Egypt.

    • Justpassingby
      August 18, 2013, 2:53 pm

      Why not call them nazis while your at it?

    • Shingo
      August 18, 2013, 5:57 pm

      The Israeli ruling coalition is more fascist than either if them. What with Bibbi wanting blood tests to prove Jewish identity and Bennet wanting Israel to be more Jewsush than democratic, Israel has redefined fascism

  3. seafoid
    August 18, 2013, 10:21 am

    This piece by Nick Cohen gives some very good insight into the actions of the Ikhwaan that prompted the coup.

    “ the Middle East, where the choice is between secular, or occasionally secular, authoritarians and Islamists – between “fascists with uniforms and fascists with Korans” as the Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy put it, with only a touch of hyperbole.”

    • Justpassingby
      August 18, 2013, 2:52 pm

      Yes “very good insight” if you want to be a propaganda megaphone for the army in Egypt.

    • aiman
      August 19, 2013, 9:45 am

      Nick Cohen: ‘between “fascists with uniforms and fascists with Korans” as the Egyptian feminist Mona Eltahawy put it’

      Eltahawy, whose twitter account is more unbearable than 1000 screaming cockatoos and whose vocabulary can be summed up with her favourite word “shit”, has been justifying the pro-coup killings on the street. How convenient for Eusten Cohen Manifesto to quote Opportunistically Ambivalent (Me, me, me) Eltahawy.

  4. seafoid
    August 18, 2013, 10:30 am

    A very good FT editorial.

    The painful birth of Arab democracy
    Genuine representative government has yet to be tried

    “As Egypt’s experiment with democracy came to a bloody end this week, so too did the last hopes for the Arab spring. The illusion that the people’s revolutions which swept the region two years ago would usher in a new era of democratic freedom and cordial relations with the west was shattered when Egyptian soldiers opened fire on

    Responsibility for democracy’s failure in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and beyond is widely shared. Counter-revolutionary forces yield power reluctantly. Islamist and liberal forces have yet to learn the rules of democratic engagement. Hard work, organisation and policies are required for democracy to succeed, rather than simple protest. Finally, echoes of the west’s historical ambivalence to the emergence of democratic expression in the Middle East still resonate. Many of the revolutions were against vile autocratic regimes supported by the west as the best safeguard for oil interests and the state of Israel.

    The US in particular has struggled to reconcile its strategic priorities with democratic principles. More often than not this has had consequences for the region. The Palestinian civil war was sparked by a US backed powerplay against Hamas when the extremist Islamist group won elections in Gaza. There were hopes for a reset of relations with the Muslim world after Barack Obama came to power in 2009. In his landmark Cairo speech, Mr Obama called for a “new beginning between the US and Muslims around the world”. Yet Washington stood silent as the Egyptian military ousted another democratically elected Islamist government last month.

    Despite the mounting body count in the morgues of Cairo, the US still dithers about whether to suspend the $1.3bn in military aid that is crucial to equipping the Egyptian army. This should be done. As long as the military is firing on citizens and holds the reins of power, there can be no hope for democracy in Egypt.

    But sending the army back to the barracks and holding elections is no guarantee that democracy will emerge in the Arab world’s most populous country. Democracy will only flourish if, in the meantime, those in power establish the building blocks of representative government – separation of powers, independent institutions and, most importantly, protection of minorities.

    There will be those who point to the Egyptian tragedy as proof that the Arab world is unsuited to democracy. They will be emboldened by the dimming of the Arab spring to argue that only autocratic regimes can bring stability.
    Yet this is to endorse a counsel of despair. The road to democracy will be difficult and complex. But democracy has not failed definitively in the Middle East. It has yet to be tried.”

  5. HarryLaw
    August 18, 2013, 10:41 am

    Mahmoud Badr co-founder of the Tamarud movement when defending the military’s conduct said…”I did not see anything bad from the army. They did not interfere in politics and I am a witness to that,” said Badr. “I back its decisions on my own and without any instructions as I think they are right and getting us where we want.”..
    He is backing the army now, will he back them when they inevitably turn on his organization?

  6. Citizen
    August 18, 2013, 11:27 am

    Where’s Obama’s red line on the amount of violence that can be supported? Same as his red line on Iran? Israel’s are clear to see. Bomb Iran ASAP. Support the Egyptian generals, coups are irrelevant if the impact is most favorable to Israel.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      August 18, 2013, 1:53 pm

      Obama is reported as saying that “American cooperation with the Egyptian government cannot continue when civilians are being killed in the streets.” I am tempted to interpret this as a request not to kill civilians in the streets but to arrest them and kill them somewhere away from the public eye.

  7. RudyM
    August 18, 2013, 12:00 pm

    When movements adopt the rhetoric of regaining “sovereignty” and ending years of “humiliation and political dependency,” we enter fascist terrain. The rhetoric of the military and its supporters are already there.

    On the contrary, this is a glimmer of hope. I am not defending the coup or the accompanying slaughter, but regaining sovereignty and escaping political dependency is a worthy goal. At the moment, defending national sovereignty is often a progressive act, possibly one of the few effective acts of resistance against Zionist and neo-liberal domination. I think there are lots of good examples of this in Latin America (particularly regarding independence on economic policy).

    I am not going to hold my breath, however, waiting for Sisi and company to reject further U.S. aid.

  8. Betsy
    August 18, 2013, 12:45 pm

    @ Marc — I think we need to be very careful as American progressives not to pre-judge what progressives & democracy-fighters in other places are deciding. What I’m hearing from friends in Egypt right now — is framed very differently from your language of

    When movements adopt the rhetoric of regaining “sovereignty” and ending years of “humiliation and political dependency,” we enter fascist terrain.

    . One of them has posted this link on facebook — which bears careful read by Americans.

    In any event, our most important struggle is to confront our own govt’s military expenditures in Middle East — and our own war machine & its imbrication w/ plutocratic, authoritarian networks in Middle East…And, those countries HAVE been subjected to imperialist denial of their sovereignty for well over a century by Western Empires — why shouldn’t folks be explicitly calling the West out on that? How exactly is it ‘fascist terrain’ to do that?

    • Dan Crowther
      Dan Crowther
      August 18, 2013, 3:59 pm

      Posting links from Glenn Beck’s site? ha – wow.

    • American
      August 18, 2013, 4:10 pm

      Dear Besty,

      This pure crap.

      Putting Egypt in Context – What If President Obama Did What Morsi Did?
      Jul. 31, 2013 10:12am

      Tarek Ragheb is an Egyptian American. A senior advisor to a US Aerospace Corporation and its former senior Vice President for 18 years. Currently is the founding Chairman of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) and is a former United States Air Force Officer and US Diplomat. Tarek Ragheb also served as communication Director for the US Republicans Abroad and an investor in Egypt.

      ..I received this from an Egyptian friend and I would like to share it with as many Americans as possible to help them unravel the events in Egypt.

      I changed very little, only a few things to make it an easier read. So here’s exactly what happened in Egypt over the past 12 months, but expressed in “American” terms (such as substituting U.S. President Barack Obama’s name for that of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi).

      There are no exaggerations or lies. All these events actually took place in Egypt.

      Try to imagine if …

      On June 30, 2012, democratically elected Barack Obama wins the election by a razor thin margin of 50.7% of the vote, takes the oath, and is sworn in as president of the United States.

      Me -[[ Obama was elected on 51.1% to Romney’s 47. 2% ]]

      The first five months of his term go relatively smoothly, where he makes almost no decisions (except for some dubious presidential pardons to a dozen convicted terrorists, including some convicted for their part in the assassination of a former president, and issues pardons to a number of convicted criminals and drug dealers ).

      Me -[[ Obama takes no steps to indicte or even investigate the prevous Adm officals who ginned up a multi trililon invason of Iraq based on lies, nor does he prursue those guilty of instituting the use of torture in US wars.]]

      Suddenly, on Nov. 21, 2012, and despite his razor thin victory margin, President Obama issues a presidential decree giving himself sweeping powers, to the extent that his future decrees become un-contestable in any court, beyond all judicial review and in effect his decisions henceforth are akin to the word of God. His laws are a new Bible.

      Me -[[ Obama was fully aware of the NSA spying which is *Contrary to the US Constitution* and took it upon himself to not have it revealed to the US public. ]]

      Nationwide protests erupt as a result of this decree and 1.5 million Americans organize a sit-in at the White House to peacefully request he rescind his presidential decrees.

      Me- [[ Nation wide protest have erupted in the form of petitions, editorals and etc. to numerous stands Obama has taken on not pursuing the torture instllers, not pursuing the individuals and institutions who were responsible for the trillion dollar WS melt down, against the taxpayer bailout of said criminal individuals and groups, against still havng troops in Afaghan, against ‘kill list’ wthout charge or trials of US citizens designated as terrporist, aganst treating whistle blowers like Snowden as traitors… want me to keep on? The only thing we havent done is make blood run in the streets. ]]

      Some of Obama’s hard line Democratic Party supporters attack the peaceful sit-in outside the White House with guns and shoot five peaceful protesters dead.

      Me -[[ Some of Obama’s hard line opponants have numerous times gotten violent towards pro Obama supporters at rallies. Does a man being thrown out of his wheel chair and a woman being beaten up ring any bells? Does Obama saying nothing, doing nothing about the police forces that peppered sprayed unarmed kneelng OWS protestors ring any bells?]]

      .A few weeks later demonstrators of the hard core Democratic Party surround the U.S. Supreme Court, preventing the justices from convening so as to prevent any judicial review of the president’s decisions. Instead of protecting the judiciary, Obama dissolves the U.S. Supreme Court and labels its members all “traitors to America.”

      Me- [[ The hard core opposition to Obama doesnt have to protest the judicary in the US, they already own it as shown by how the guns transfers to Mexcan drug gangs was ignored and no one had to answer for their ‘bad judgement” ]]

      One short week later, he fires the U.S. Attorney General and personally appoints a Democratic partisan to replace him without going through the Constitutional due process.

      Me- [[ One month after Obama’s health care launch effort he huddles with US for -profit insurers to cut a proftable deal for them in exchange for letting it look like a universal health care plan. One month after Kerry’s peace talks charade Obama’s ignores or helps the appointment of jewish partisan Indy detrermintal to real US interest, after assuming office Obama appoints one of his largest donors as an ambassador to a foreign country who is so bad and causes such diplomatic havoc with said country that all the embassy employees and officals have to threaten to walk out before Obama agrees to remove her. ]]

      A month later, he annuls the U.S, Constitution and forms a “constitutional committee” to draft a new constitution in four days, (the committee includes no Republicans or Independents, no Muslims or Jews, and only a handful of women … and is composed primarily of Democrats & religious hardline preachers).

      Me-[[See the above on torture, malfesence by officals in ginning war on lies, the NSA and the ‘Constitution’, the appointment of ‘only jews to Israel, the appointment of ethncs to the Supreme court ‘just because’ they are ethnics. Ad nausem. ]]

      In a referendum not supervised by any judicial branch ( as judges all over the U.S. boycotted the process ), this constitution narrowly wins, and President Obama ratifies it the very next morning (despite it having only receiving the approval of 18% of all Americans).

      Me- [[ Once again see above. And the US Congress has only a 10% approval rating
      from the entre Anerican publc and it passes laws and blls every day that the public doesn want , like or approve of so what is your point here?]]

      Within a month, he invites top global terrorists, known jihadists and al-Qaeda members, from all over the world, to a rally in Yankee Stadium, where he cuts ties with and declares war on Canada.

      Me -[[ Every month he slimes the US with his support of terrorist Israel , cutting all the ‘ties’ that bind countries together under international law]]

      Throughout this whole time, the U.S. economy is sinking, the stock market collapsing, foreign investment has all but stopped, tourism has died, and electricity, fuel, and water shortages are a daily occurrence.
      Unemployment has almost doubled, and the U.S. dollar has lost 20 percent of its value globally.

      Me-[[ Once again….mortage melt down, no regulation or reforms pushed for by Obama, no jobs, more global trade deals that favor importers and not US production, bridges and roads and even cities lke Detriot crumblng while Obama shoot hoops or smokes or whatever the hell he does when he’s not fund raising or kissing the foregn lobby’s ass. ]]

      Oh, and President Obama also outlines his new plans to lease the entire Silicon Valley area to China for 50 years (with full administrative control)…

      Me-[[ Oh, and O just contnues to lease the US policy, sanctions on Iran and whoever else, possbly even a strke on Iran to the jewsh Lobby and Israel.]]
      includng war wih Iran to the forein country of srael.]]

      With only .07% majority, democratically elected President Barack Obama has done all the above in his FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE!!!

      Me- [[ And wth only a 1.1% majorty Obama HAS accomplished all this, not once but TWICE. ]]

      Ultimately, on June 30, 2013, 110 million Americans take to the streets in 50 states to peacefully and politely demand — for four straight days — that democratically elected President Obama leave office immediately, and that he not serve his remaining three years.
      Instead of listening to the people, President Obama goes on TV during prime time hours and threatens the nation with veiled and not-so-veiled threats.

      Me -[[Nope, Obama and the Dems however they ‘ may regret it dont ya know’, wll let loose all the enforcers of the establshment ..for the sake of ‘keeping order, dont ya know’ and not step down …what Morsi ddnt do is command the military to shoot down the protestors—-and THAT is exactly what the current occupiers of the US government would do.]]

      To protect the 110 million Americans, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military ask Obama to step down, and because Congress was dissolved earlier this year due to the unconstitutionality of its election, the country is turned over to the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
      That’s it in a nutshell.
      Who would you say had “legitimacy” in this case if it had been America?
      “Democratically” elected President Barrack Obama, or the 110 million Americans who, in effect, fired him?

      Me- [[ The Democratically elected President has the actual ‘LEGITIMACY’….whether he’s good or bad…..THE COUP does not have DEMOCRATIC legitimacy whether it’s good or bad for the country.

      Please do not come here and insult everyone’s intellgence wth this stuff.
      Your reasoning or lack therof reminds of the typcal zionist type hokey pokey of ”Jewish AND Democratic.”
      But I guess if those who put nationalism first for the US throw a coup wth the army on their side then it’s o.k. wth you if they shoot you progressives down in the streets like dogs and make sure you dont have any part on US goverment.
      You wont call it democracy or the greater good then I bet.

    • Blank State
      Blank State
      August 18, 2013, 6:23 pm

      Careful read? Beck??? Before or after I wipe my ass with it?

    • ToivoS
      August 18, 2013, 6:37 pm

      Dan I was not at all aware that that was a Glen Beck site but what caught my attention was the athor:

      Tarek Ragheb is an Egyptian American. A senior advisor to a US Aerospace Corporation and its former senior Vice President for 18 years.

      This is perfect. Becky is citing a member of the MIC (Egyptian born, of course) on how “progressive” the military fascist coup really is — a military that receives 1.3 billion dollars a year as long as they buy their weapons from US military contractors.

      Becky you have to be really stupid to use these sources in support of your “peoples revolution”. If you are that dumb, it would be pointless to try to argue with you that the July 3 military coup is NOT a “peoples revolution”.

      • Shingo
        August 18, 2013, 10:27 pm

        This is perfect. Becky is citing a member of the MIC (Egyptian born, of course) on how “progressive” the military fascist coup really is — a military that receives 1.3 billion dollars a year as long as they buy their weapons from US military contractors.

        So add Glenn Beck to Taxi’s stable of fellow travellers, along with John Bolton.

      • Betsy
        August 19, 2013, 9:04 am

        Whoa! I totally agree with everyone that it was very stupid of me to put up this problematic link — SORRY! — I pulled the link from a friend on Facebook whom I trust (who is very insightful & posting moment-by-moment reports) — I didn’t read it carefully enough, because I’m surfing too fast. Very irresponsible of me! @American — great critique of Obama, I totally agree. That said, my Egyptian friends are furious about the US coverage of what’s going on (in both the right & the left venues). ..I’m not going to wade into this any further because I’m not knowledgeable enough about Egypt to say much. My main point is that Marc Ellis is moving too fast when he labels the progressive forces as moving “into fascist terrain” when they call to stop the military aid from US & the foreign meddling — as a way to reclaim sovereignty.

        Here’s a link to Khalid Abdalla on BBC news that seems eloquent to me about what’s fascist & what’s not: Aug 16, 2013


        A very dark & very sad time…the first thing that has to be sad is an utter and complete condemnation of the killing and the killers. The thing about how to read what’s past & also how to read what’s coming is to…reject the binaries that we’re being forced into…about saying the Army or the Muslim Brotherhood is wrong…they’re both wrong. They’re both fundamentally & utterly wrong and they’re both fundamentally fascist organizations. And, what we’re in right now is a moment in which we are transitioning between two attempts to create a fascist future for Egypt. And I refuse both of those…the vision for the future has to be an inclusive one, has to be one inside which everyone is represented… We are in a revolution…what that means is that you are trying to build the state anew…we live in a context in which there are no checks & balances. The checks & balances are provided by the Street and until we have a new constitution. Until we have the organs of the State protecting the rights of people, we are going to keep changing from one power to the next. And they’re going to come in brutally…Everything is being framed as if it’s a binary of the Army and the Muslim Brotherhood. The real binary is between organized Fascism and disorganized social movements. Now those social movements have proved again & again that they will not accept authoritarian Fascism as a status quo. We’re in a very dark moment and it will take a very long time to get out of it… people will not accept to be brutalized in this way, whatever their background, whatever their political opinion…and ALL of those political opinions need to be included in the future of Egypt.

    • dbroncos
      August 18, 2013, 6:46 pm

      ” I think we need to be very careful as American progressives not to pre-judge what progressives & democracy-fighters in other places are deciding.”

      I agree, Betsy. One of the soveriegnty issues that has made Egyptions bitter for decades is the status of the Sanai peninsula. It was “returned” to Egypt as per the Camp David accords but Egypt wasn’t free to exercise its sovereignty by posting its military there. Instead it was mainatined as a demilitarized zone by an inernational peace keeping force. Israel flatly rejected the idea of hosting an international force on its side of the border. Since then the Sanai has been promoted as an international tourist destination for, among others, Zionist Israelis and toppless sun bathers, the presence of whom irritates many Egyptions and insults their traditions and political points of view.

      “Regaining soveriegnty” isn’t limited to “fascist terrain”. There are histories to be acknowledged and cultural traditions that need to be accounted for when considering what Tamarrod means by Egyption soveriegnty.

  9. HarryLaw
    August 18, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Talk in Egypt now is that the Brotherhood should be banned, if the coup supporters are so confident there is such a huge majority against them, why do they need to be banned? Or are the Army and their supporters afraid the Brothers could win again?

    • Shingo
      August 18, 2013, 11:03 pm

      That is exactly what they are afraid of. The MB are the only ones who are organized, so in a fee and fair election, they would likely win or do very well.

      This is not a revolution, it’s a counter revolution. All of the Mubarak regime (except for Mubarak) are back in charge.

  10. Walid
    August 18, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Egyptian state TV currently running a permanent banner on the top of the screen in English that says “Egypt Fighting Terrorism” with non-stop reporting and disparaging the Brothers, along with pro-Military videos and music.

    Jazeera now covering live the marches of the thousands of Brothers in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other cities. Reuters reporting that 38 militant Brothers killed today while trying to escape from the Abu Zaabal jail.

    Egypt’s government in now in session to decide to revoke Jazeera’s permission to broadcast from Egypt. Looks like Jazeera is about to be shut down in Egypt.

    • Shingo
      August 18, 2013, 10:18 pm

      Egyptian state TV currently running a permanent banner on the top of the screen in English that says “Egypt Fighting Terrorism” with non-stop reporting and disparaging the Brothers, along with pro-Military videos and music.

      This must be the credible news source that Taxi is getting her news from.

      Stick to the banners and the music folks. They news you can trust.

      Egypt’s government in now in session to decide to revoke Jazeera’s permission to broadcast from Egypt. Looks like Jazeera is about to be shut down in Egypt.

      News outlets being shit down and the military vowing to wipe out the MB, who represent a large chunk of Egypt’s population.

      Mass censorship, fascism and genocide. Weren’t we told that the demonstrations were intended to reject such outcomes?

      I really can’t fathom what has gotten into Taxi.

      • Walid
        August 19, 2013, 2:54 pm

        Some may have been simply taken up with the romantic aspect of what appeared as a popular movement to oust the fundies. I was also rooting for the downfall of the MB until I realized the whole thing had been a set up from the day Mubarak fell and the US began its lobbying to have the SCAF legitimize the MB for the coming elections. Others here felt likewise during the West’s and the Gulf’s onslaught on Libya thinking it was simply a matter of the good guys ganging up on the bad guys. Same stuff happened in Egypt and few felt what was really happening there until the Maspero massacre of the 30 Christian Copts by the military and the fundies.

    • MHughes976
      August 19, 2013, 9:30 am

      A few notes from the UK.
      BBC reporting that pro-Morsi demos in Cairo are being cancelled but that over 20 police have been killed in an ambush in Sinai.
      In the Independent Robert Fisk reports from Cairo, mentioning the intense atmosphere of fear and lawlessness. On the opposite page is a report that General Sisi is now ‘hugely popular’ in Egypt – irony??
      Fisk also discusses the split over in the Arabian peninsula between Qatar and Saudi and suggests that the Saudis are backing the Salafi Noor Party in Egypt and want the MB out of the way.
      David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner and a Brazilian citizen, was detained for 9 hours at Heathrow and an MP is demanding an explanation from the police of this remarkable act of harrassment.

    • seafoid
      August 20, 2013, 8:28 am


      Are the police back? That was one of the defining features post Tahrir Sq, that the police were so weak.

  11. American
    August 18, 2013, 2:13 pm

    “Perhaps the new collusion between Israel and Egypt is playing the US together. “…ellis

    Yes the US gets played all the time by all the parties. Has always been so in every region we meddle in. And there is no honor among theives so to speak–today Isr and Egypt may collude for a mutual advantage to be granted by the US —-tomorrow they could try to cut each others throats for a different advantage.

    One of first things I read long ago was Hadar’s paper below–describes perfectly how it works when the US lets itself be talked into creating a new “Enemy’.

    Hadar actually wrote this in 1992 way before the public ever had a thought of Islam.

    The “Green Peril”:
    Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat
    by Leon T. Hadar

    (small excerpt)
    *Regional Powers Exploit U.S. Fears
    Not surprisingly, foreign governments, including those of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, India, and Pakistan, have reacted to the evidence of U.S. fear. With the end of the Cold War they are concerned about a continued U.S. commitment to them and are trying to exploit the menace of Islamic fundamentalism to secure military support, economic aid, and political backing from Washington as well as to advance their own domestic and regional agendas. The Gulf War has already provided the Turks, Saudis, Egyptians, and Israelis with an opportunity to revive the American engagement in the Middle East and their own roles as Washington’s regional surrogates.”

    continued with…..

    *The Beneficiaries and Their Motives

  12. just
    August 18, 2013, 5:07 pm

    Interesting, to say the very least………..

    “The fate of two Canadian men who were arrested in strife-torn Egypt remains unknown amidst growing concern from family and friends.

    Tarek Loubani, an emergency room doctor from London, Ont., and John Greyson, a filmmaker and professor at York University, were arrested in Cairo Friday, according to Justin Podur, a mutual friend of both men.

    At around 4 p.m., which is approximately 10 p.m. in Cairo, Loubani called Podur to tell him he and Greyson were being arrested.

    “He basically said ‘We’re being arrested by Egyptian police,’” he told the Star, adding that the phone call was very brief. “I don’t know where they were arrested and I don’t know where they are now.”

    Podur, a professor at the faculty of environmental studies at York University, says Loubani was on his way to Gaza as part of an ongoing collaboration between the University of Western Ontario and Al-Shifa Hospital. Greyson was tagging along as a filmmaker to do some exploratory work.

    “Their plan was to travel from Egypt to Gaza,” he said. “They were in Cairo and the crossing was closed from what I understand so they stayed an extra day in Cairo and that’s when they were arrested. I haven’t heard from them since.””

    One is left to wonder…and hope for their safety.

  13. Keith
    August 18, 2013, 7:24 pm

    MARC ELLIS- “When movements adopt the rhetoric of regaining “sovereignty” and ending years of “humiliation and political dependency,” we enter fascist terrain.”

    Good grief! Since when is telling the truth considered “fascist terrain?” Very disappointing analysis, professor. Egypt is, in fact, a vassal state whose elites are dependent on the empire for their continued position of privilege, and whose economy is more or less controlled by the IMF and global finance. A nation is not sovereign if its financial system is controlled by foreigners, nor if its army is subsidized by empire, its senior officers on Uncle Sam’s payroll.

    The problem with the statement isn’t that it is fascistic- it isn’t – it is that it is a dishonest attempt to distance Tamarrod from the inevitable consequences of the coup which they supported, and the violence which they encouraged. Same with El Beradei. These guys are quislings, pure and simple. They are attempting to distance themselves from events for which they bear considerable responsibility in the hope of appearing ‘moderate’ politically. The notion that Egypt could survive without foreign financial assistance is ludicrous. This is pure grandstanding. Egypt is totally enmeshed within the global financial empire and lacks the ability to break free. Perhaps the Tamarrod spokesperson could explain how they intend to feed the people without foreign assistance?

    • piotr
      August 20, 2013, 9:04 am

      Keith: Good grief! Since when is telling the truth considered “fascist terrain?”

      Telling the truth is actually a well-known hallmark of fascism. Of course, it is telling in a special way.

      1. The paramount truth is that all troubles are caused by the enemies. When you lance any boil on the body of the German (Egyptian) nation you will see a Jew (a terrorist from Muslim Brotherhood).

      2. Enemies are ELIMINATED, starting with their treacherous media who would spew falsehoods if allowed.

      3. Hatred of the enemies becomes the principal virtue.

      4. Adulation of the wise leaders becomes another principal virtue.

  14. Keith
    August 18, 2013, 7:42 pm

    MARC ELLIS- “Since the violence continues to escalate, where is the point when the “no further” becomes “too far?”

    Sometime after the Muslim Brotherhood is completely destroyed! This strikes me as quite similar to the coup in Indonesia, where the military with US support, encouragement, and direction, virtually annihilated the Indonesian communist party which was the only mass based political organization. Sukarno had used the communist party as a counterweight to the US supplied and trained military, hence, when Suharto took over he eliminated the only potential rival to unrestrained military control, all with tacit US approval. Now, the Muslim Brotherhood, having made profound political mistakes, is in the process of being crushed. The military serves the empire, and the empire will not tolerate successful defiance of neoliberal globalization. Egypt will be destroyed and starved before being allowed to break free. All of this imperial concern for the Egyptian people is public relations, not to be taken seriously.

  15. bilal a
    bilal a
    August 18, 2013, 8:15 pm

    Im waiting for ynet and JWF to editorialze support for this one :

    Military accidentally now gassing prisoners to death in Vans ?

    There are two stories circulating concerning the deaths of the Muslim Brotherhood prisoners. The first, from the government, explains that the prisoners were suffocated by tear gas during a prison escape attempt. But Muslim Brotherhood leaders say that the prisoners were killed by asphyxiation in the back of a security van

  16. Mayhem
    August 19, 2013, 12:43 am

    The leadership of Israel and Egypt make quite a pair

    Ellis continually demonstrates his total incomprehension of the basic politics of the situation.
    The comparison is so far apart – the leadership of Israel espousing democracy and free speech while the Egyptian leadership doing the exact opposite.
    The Israeli government has maintained tacit support for the military in Egypt because it is obviously in Israel’s interests to maintain the Camp David agreements and prevent Islamists from operating against it from the Sinai.
    The Tamarod movement campaign is in response to alleged “unacceptable” US interference in Egyptian political affairs, after US President Barack Obama decided to cancel a joint drill with the Egyptian military in response to the outbreak of violence in the country earlier this week. These donkeys actually claim that Israeli and international peacekeeping forces in Sinai prevent the Egyptian military from sending more forces to the peninsula to stop terrorist activity in the area – refer
    In most circles Obama’s move would be considered far too little, but for Egyptian nationalists wanting to harken back to the ‘halycon’ days of Abdul Nasser, this is all too much.
    There is a long history of Egyptian governments banning the Muslim Brotherhood. The wish to do that now needs to be viewed through the lens of history and not with knee jerk reactivism.

    • Walid
      August 19, 2013, 2:16 pm

      “… but for Egyptian nationalists wanting to harken back to the ‘halycon’ days of Abdul Nasser…”

      Mayhem, you really don’t know anything about Egyptians.

      • Mayhem
        August 20, 2013, 3:13 am

        When I ate at a very popular cafe in my home town that was run by an Egyptian immigrant I noticed he had a picture of Abdul Nasser up on his wall. We discussed how he despised Mubarek, Egypt’s president at the time, and how he wished that Egypt had a leader today like Nasser.
        Further to this Walid I visited Egypt only two and a half years ago leaving in the nick of time 9 days before the Arab Spring sprung. You don’t need to tell me that I don’t understand Egyptians.

      • Ellen
        August 20, 2013, 8:19 am

        Mayhem, with all respect, eating in a cafe run by an Egyptian immigrant who has a picture of Nassar on the wall and visiting the country does not make an expert on Egyptian society, or one who understands Egyptians.

        Having visited the country, even briefly, you surely then know it is a vast and varied society.

        Having briefly worked in the country, visited a few times, and with close Egyptian friends, I may offer this: not even Egyptians would say they completely understand their countrymen.

        Nasser was respected by many in another generation. (Perhaps the generation of your immigrant cafe proprietor?) Heck, he completely charmed the Americans. (Just read the accounts from McNamera) And he played both the US and the USSR like a fiddle, to get what he wanted.

        Do not forget that the USA had committed to help Nassar on building the Aswan Dam, but then the lobby intervened to put THAT to and end — so Nasser turned to the USSR for help on that and other development projects, setting the US on the path of irrelevance in the Middle East. A path it now finds itself on in spite of the fact that the USSR no longer exists.

        All modern era Egyptian leaders come up through the military (as most do in Israel as well). In a country that has been under occupation and meddling by the west since Napoleon ventured into the desert, the military is the only enduring modern Egyptian institution. And sadly, it is trusted by many Egyptians, just as a captive may trust an authoritarian and often-abusive holder, as it is all they know.

      • Obsidian
        August 20, 2013, 11:26 am


        By my reckoning, most of Israel’s Prime Ministers were not military men.
        In the early 1950’s Egypt and South Korea had similar histories, population density and similar economies.
        South Korea picked it self up by it’s bootstraps and Egypt did not.

    • eljay
      August 20, 2013, 7:44 am

      >> … the leadership of Israel espousing democracy and free speech …

      The leadership of Israel espouses “Jewish State” supremacism and “Greater Israel” expansionism and colonialism.

  17. Obsidian
    August 20, 2013, 3:44 am

    Egypt is severely over-populated and her resources are shrinking.

    No amount of talk, here or in Cairo, can change this.

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