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Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish: Cause for Celebration, Reflection and Much, Much Caution

Muslim Brotherhood headquarters gets remodeled.

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: We have spoken at great length in recent years about the covert operation undertaken during the second Bush operation and reaching fruition during the Obama administration. That operation–assisted by the far-right, Nazi-linked WikiLeaks organization–has come to be popularly known as “the Arab Spring.”

We called it “the Muslim Brotherhood Spring,” for we stated that the goal was to install the Brotherhood in the Muslim and Third Worlds for the purpose of bring “corporatism” to those areas.

(The For The Record series on the “Muslim Brotherhood Spring” runs from FTR #733 through FTR #739. Users of this website are emphatically encouraged to study this series at length and detail. The analysis is long, detailed, complex and multi-layered.)

It is our view that the Brotherhood forces–brought to power by the GOP/Underground Reich element of U.S. intelligence–are  also intended as foot soldiers to be used against the U.S., U.K., Russia, China and India, as well as Israel. The Islamists are intended as proxy warriors for the Underground Reich.

A recent post noted the observations by a Cornell professor that highlight the “German hand in both the Islamist and American gloves,” so to speak.

We note that some of the demonstrators that called for Morsi’s ouster said that the CIA was backing Morsi and the Brotherhood. This is accurate, up to a point. It was the “bad guy” sector of U.S. intelligence that initiated that coup. 

As noted in FTR #706, the U.S. intelligence structure is divided–a schism dating back to the immediate post-World War II period. The larger, “bad guy” faction is associated with the GOP, the Underground Reich, the transnational corporations and is profoundly anti-democratic. The smaller, less powerful faction is identified with the Democratic party and is pro-U.S. and pro democracy.

As we contemplate the overthrow of the Islamic fascist regime of Mohamed Morsi, there are a number of things to contemplate:

  • It is heartening to see the popular outrage over Morsi’s dictatorial regime driven out of power by an army motivated by the public’s unwillingness to go along with the Brotherhood agenda.
  • As is the case with fascist governments, Morsi’s regime was incompetent in all civic respects.
  • As is the case with fascist governments, Morsi’s brand of Islamic fascism was unable to successfully manage the economy. This is generally the case with fascist regimes, which don’t deliver the bacon.
  • We note that the U.S. is, officially at least, over a barrel. This country is bound by legislated convention not to provide assistance to a regime that comes to power through a military coup.
  • On a global scale. The Brotherhood is a fascist organization that was allied with the axis in World War II. In all probability, they will turn to terror and mayhem in order to realize their goals.
  • Because of the preceding consideration, an out-of-power Brotherhood will likely be, if anything, a more effective proxy battle force for Germany and the Underground Reich.
  • It remains to be seen what the Egyptian army does to Morsi. Perhaps they will put him in a basket, drop his Nazi a** in the Nile and see who–if anybody–fishes him out. This, after changing his name to “Mo-z-iz.”
  • Happy Independence Day!

 

 

Discussion

7 comments for “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish: Cause for Celebration, Reflection and Much, Much Caution”

  1. Great news indeed! Hope you had a great 4th, Dave. =)

    Posted by Steve L. | July 5, 2013, 6:37 am
  2. There are now calls from the Muslim Brotherhood for a popular uprising against the military (and presumably also putting the MB back in control) following a rally outside of the Cairo Republican Guard headquarters that led to over 50 deaths and hundreds injured. The Brotherhood is asserting that they were peacefully protesting (the headquarters is where they believe Morsi is being held under house arrest) while the army claims it was coming under fire. So while it’s unclear what prompted the shootings, the MB’s calls for an uprising make it becoming increasingly clear that we’re going to see a lot more events like this in coming months

    Washington Post
    Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood calls for uprising after troops shoot protesters

    By William Booth, Michael Birnbaum and Abigail Hauslohner, Updated: Monday, July 8, 8:05 PM

    CAIRO — Egypt lurched into dangerous new terrain Monday as an angry and bloodied Muslim Brotherhood called for an “uprising” against the new order, and the head of Egypt’s top Islamic authority warned that the country was headed toward “civil war,” after security forces opened fire on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in the early morning hours.

    In one of the deadliest days of political violence since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown more than two tumultuous years ago, Egyptian soldiers on Monday fired on protesters as they massed in front of the military headquarters, where they believe Morsi — ousted by the military on Wednesday — is being held under house arrest, according to witnesses and security officials.

    A Health Ministry spokeswoman said 51 people were killed and 435 were wounded in the shootings. Military officials said that they responded after being fired upon by protesters and that one soldier was killed and 42 were injured.

    Interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree late Monday that set the parameters for a referendum on a revised constitution within about 41 / 2 months, parliamentary elections within about six months and presidential elections after that.

    The measures appeared aimed at lending some stability to a situation that threatened to spiral out of control. But a prime ministerial appointment that had been expected Monday never came, and the day was consumed with news of the violence and an immediate debate about its causes and meaning. Both the military establishment and the Muslim Brotherhood pleaded their cases to the Egyptian people, each swearing it was the innocent victim.

    Islamist witnesses, including many members of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the shootings started unprovoked as protesters were reciting dawn prayers in front of Cairo’s Republican Guard headquarters.

    Security officials said members of the pro-Morsi camp attacked first.

    “We did not attack protesters; we were rather defending a military facility,” said Ahmed Ali, a spokesman for the military. “They moved on us to provoke our soldiers and create this violent scene.”

    Regardless of who fired the first shots, the violence shocked Egyptians and threw the nation’s shaky post-coup order into further disarray, as important factions pulled out of the coalition that lent broad unity to the effort to oust Morsi, who led the country for 368 days.

    The ultra-conservative Salafist Nour party, the only Islamist political bloc to support Morsi’s ouster, said it would abandon negotiations over who should take over as prime minister to protest what it called a “massacre.”

    Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic authority, had expressed support for Morsi’s ouster. But Monday, he appeared on state television and said he would remain in seclusion at his home “until everybody takes responsibility to stop the bloodshed, to prevent the country from being dragged into a civil war.”

    Another Islamist, former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who had met with Mansour two days ago, called for him to resign after the violence.

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm urged “an uprising,” using the language of the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

    Dramatic funeral marches were expected by the dozens Tuesday, creating more potential flash points for conflict.

    Bloodshed and panic

    Abdel Naguib Mahmoud, a lawyer from the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, said he and fellow protesters had knelt to the pavement for the second time, their backs to the Republican Guard headquarters, when he heard shouts from the perimeter that security forces were encroaching.

    “So we finished our prayer rapidly,” Mahmoud said. He said he heard the boom of tear-gas canisters being fired and the crackle of gunfire. Running toward the entrance of the sit-in area, he and several friends began to pick up the wounded, Mahmoud said. More shots rang out, and the men lay down on the pavement.

    Mahmoud said he saw forces in military fatigues and police officers dressed in black. Moments later, he said, an officer stood over him and kicked him, telling him to move. When he ran, gunmen opened fire. He said he was hit in the back with birdshot, and he lifted his shirt to reveal a scattering of small bloody wounds.

    To support their assertions that they were defending against an assault, military officials played video footage at a news conference that sought to show an increasing ferocity of attack by Brotherhood supporters at the scene.

    The footage showed at least one man with a short rifle and another with a handgun firing at soldiers in the daylight after the initial conflict started. The military said armed men on motorcycles had started the assault, but it offered no evidence to back up the assertion.

    Individuals in the crowd are shown hurling rocks at the troops and later launching pieces of broken toilet bowls from rooftops and chucking what appear to be spears.

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party issued a statement calling for an “uprising against those who want to steal the revolution with tanks” and asking the world to prevent a “new Syria.”

    Note that the threat of a “new Syria”, with heavily-armed Islamist militants flooding into the country intending to impose a Taliban-style state, probably shouldn’t be underestimated:

    Washington Post
    Islamist groups: Egypt’s crackdown vindicates use of violence as political tool

    By Liz Sly, Monday, July 8, 6:35 PM E-mail the writer

    BEIRUT — The Egyptian army’s escalating crackdown on supporters of the country’s ousted Muslim Brotherhood government is being seized on by many radical Islamists as proof that violence, not democracy, is the only solution to the region’s problems.

    In the days since Egypt’s military toppled the country’s first freely elected government, jihadist groups in the region and elsewhere have rushed to assert the futility of elections and Western-style democracy, in statements and in chat forums on jihadi Web sites.

    Among them is Afghanistan’s Taliban, which issued a statement Monday condemning the coup against President Mohamed Morsi after Egyptian troops killed at least 51 of his supporters.

    “It has become clear,” said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Yusuf, that “so-called elections, the demands of the people, and justice, freedom, security and peace are merely hollow chants and slogans used by the West and the secularists to trick the people,”

    Others had earlier asserted similar sentiments. “When will the Muslim Brotherhood wake up from their deep slumber and realize the futility of their efforts at instituting change?” asked the Somali militant group al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, in a comment posted on Twitter after Morsi’s overthrow last week.

    “Change comes by the bullet alone; NOT the ballot,” the group said in another tweet.

    At least two new jihadi groups have been formed in a bid to counter the challenge to the Brotherhood. Within hours of the shootings Monday, a group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades of Egypt declared that it had been created to counter the “criminality” underway in the country.

    Rita Katz, executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which has been monitoring these and numerous other responses by jihadi groups to the events in Egypt, said there is no confirmation of the groups’ existence or of any increased jihadist activity linked to the turmoil.

    But, she added, “this is a great recruitment tool for them. The bottom line is that a lot of incitement is going on.”

    It is also too early to tell whether the calls will have any effect beyond Egypt’s borders at a time when the war in Syria has already mobilized thousands of young men across the region to volunteer to fight and extremists in Iraq are in the midst of an intensified bombing campaign that has killed thousands in recent months, said Steven Cook, senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    In Syria, government opponents long ago abandoned peaceful demonstrations after troops repeatedly fired on them, and Islamist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda are gaining influence as the war drags into a third year with no sign of a resolution.

    The biggest effect, Cook said, may be in Egypt, where Islamist extremists affiliated with the Gamaa Islamiya fought a low-level insurgency in the 1990s before agreeing to lay down their arms in 2003.

    Egypt is awash with weapons that have been smuggled across the border from Libya, and “given the political dynamics, you can see the outlines of how this might emerge,” he said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 8, 2013, 5:42 pm
  3. @Pterrafractyl–

    As satisfying as it was to see the Brotherhood turned out of power, I cautioned, well, “caution.”

    This is why. It is difficult to see how this will work out well. Military coups generally (no pun intended) don’t end happily ever after.

    I predicted that the Brotherhood and other jihadis will become more effective proxy foot soldiers for the Underground Reich.

    How that plays into Snowden’s Ride will be interesting to watch. I HOPE that NSA REALLY maintains a vigil on Deutschland.

    Stay tuned.

    It is also noteworthy that the Egyptian populace, both secularists and Brotherhood, are blaming Obama/US.

    And, they are PARTIALLY right, in that the GOP/Underground Reich/transnational corporate element of U.S. intelligence DID boost the Islamists, as part of the “turn to the Brotherhood” that I discussed in FTR #’s 733-739.

    Note that the Syrian bloodbath is putting Obama in what psychologists call a “double bind” (that civil war being and outgrowth of the so-called “Arab Spring”). The Benghazi affair is also being used by the Nazified GOP to attack Obama (that also being an outgrowth of the “Arab Spring”). The destabilization of Obama, which I predicted at the time, is right on schedule.

    You doubtless recall that such an outcome was one of my predicted results of this Bush-era covert op.

    NEVER forget all of the celebratory tones that our media engaged in at the time.

    “Egypt Is Free!” ran a San Jose Mercury News headline after Mubarak’s ouster.

    Just goes to show how wrong you can be.

    There is an old saying: “There is nothing like stepping in a cow-flop to make you realize just how nice tripping over a stone can be!”

    Keep up your magnificent work!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | July 8, 2013, 7:15 pm
  4. The rhetorical lines in the sand are rapidly getting drawn and it looks like the Muslim Brotherhood is focused on escalating the situation and prepping for a mass showdown with the army at this point:

    Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood rejects transition plan
    Maggie Michael, Associated Press 9:39 a.m. EDT July 9, 2013

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday rejected a new timetable announced by the military-backed interim leadership that sets a fast track for amending the Islamist-drafted constitution and holding new parliamentary and presidential elections by early next year.

    The quick issuing of the transition plan showed how Egypt’s new leadership is shrugging off Islamists’ vows to reverse the military’s ousting of President Mohammed Morsi and wants to quickly entrench a post-Morsi political system.

    Since then, the military and allied media have depicted the campaign to restore Morsi as increasingly violent and infused with armed extremists. Islamists, in turn, have talked of the military aiming to crush them after what they say was a coup to wreck democracy.

    Essam el-Erian, a senior Brotherhood figure and deputy head of its Freedom and Justice Party, rejected the transition timetable, saying it takes the country “back to zero.”

    “The cowards are not sleeping, but Egypt will not surrender. The people created their constitution with their votes,” he wrote on his Facebook page, referring to the constitution that Islamists pushed to finalization and then was passed in a national referendum during Morsi’s year in office.

    He said the military and its allies were targeting “not just the president but the nation’s identity, the rights and freedoms of the people and the democratic system enshrined in the constitution.”

    The constitution passed under Morsi — and suspended since his fall — was written by an assembly created by the first post-Mubarak parliament, elected in 2011-2012. But the panel was deeply controversial.

    Reflecting the parliament, the constituent assembly had a strong Islamist majority. Most non-Islamists eventually abandoned the assembly, complaining that the Brotherhood and its allies were imposing their will. Courts were considering whether to dissolve the panel but Morsi unilaterally decreed that they could not while his allies rushed to finalize the draft.

    The final version had a strong Islamist flavor, deepening requirements for laws to abide by Shariah. The document passed in a referendum with around 60% of the vote — but only around 30% of voters casting ballots.

    Under the timetable issued Monday by interim president Adly Mansour, two appointed panels would be created.

    One, made up of judges, would come up with amendments. The other, larger body consisting of representatives of society and political movements would debate the amendments and approve them.

    The new constitution would be put to a referendum within 4 ½ months from now.

    Elections for a new parliament would be held within two months of that. Once the new parliament convenes, it would have a week to set a date for presidential elections.

    And note that the calls for maintaining the new constitution is relatively tame compared to the other rhetoric coming from the MB’s allies:

    9 July 2013 Last updated at 10:03 ET
    Is Egypt heading for holy war?
    By Frank Gardner BBC security correspondent

    Even posing that question will annoy many.

    Away from the troublespots, life for millions of Egyptians continues as normal. Egypt’s most fundamental problems are more economic than political.

    But in a week when the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood called for “an uprising by the great people of Egypt against those trying to steal their revolution with tanks”, when dozens were killed in clashes between the army and Islamists and when the grand sheikh of al-Azhar warned of a civil war, an awkward question hovers in the air.

    Is Egypt now prone to a new “holy war” fought by Islamists against the authorities?

    Extremist minority

    There are plenty of grounds for optimism that the Arab world’s most populous country should be able to avoid a descent into wide-scale, fanatical, religiously-inspired violence following the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi last week.

    Having lived there twice, for several years, I have experienced first-hand how good-natured, generous and mostly tolerant Egyptians can be.

    There are extremists in their midst but they are in a minority. Their views, however noisily they are broadcast, do not represent the bulk of the population.

    Egypt has also survived worse crises within living memory: the assassination of its president by a jihadist cell in 1981 and an Islamist insurgency that killed more than 700 people in the late 1990s, culminating in the massacre of 58 foreign tourists at Luxor in 1997.

    But given the unhappy confluence of events and trends surfacing in Egypt this week, it would be unwise to ignore the seeds of a potential holy war now being sown.

    Let’s look at the ingredients:
    ‘Martyrdom’, banners and rhetoric

    We will carry out explosions, we will shoulder arms, and nothing other than death will dissuade us from restoring President Morsi to the palace,” the newspaper, al-Hayat, quoted a bearded man proclaiming at one of the sit-ins by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

    Small numbers of young men are starting to be seen in the crowd wearing the white shrouds of “martyrdom”, a theatrical show of how far some say they are prepared to go to return an elected Islamist president to power.

    Since Mr Morsi’s removal, some internet forums have erupted with angry calls for vengeance against Egypt’s military, calling it “the enemy of Islam” and declaring police and soldiers to be targets for attack, as they were in southern Egypt during the insurgency of the 1990s.

    For now, these statements are mostly rhetorical and aspirational – although security forces have often been attacked in the Sinai.

    The threat to mainland Egypt only becomes real when such rhetoric inspires people to translate it into violent action.

    Available weapons

    Security in Egypt has deteriorated dramatically since the overthrow of the dictatorial President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but compared with Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen there are still relatively few firearms in private hands.

    Yet mainland Egypt is sandwiched between two land masses awash with illegal weapons: Libya and the Sinai peninsula.

    The overthrow of Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime next-door in Libya threw open the doors to his armouries, releasing a flood of firearms, many of which have ended up with jihadist groups operating across the Sahara and in eastern Libya.

    A UN report published in April concluded that “weapons used during the Libyan civil war against Muammar Gaddafi are being funnelled at an alarming rate to other countries in the region”.

    It said the weapons ranged from small arms to high-powered explosives, mines and portable air-defence systems.

    The report said this flow of weapons into Egypt was a threat to its internal security because many were reaching anti-government insurgents in Sinai.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 9, 2013, 8:45 am
  5. There’s a new report on the growing tensions between Morsi and the military that led to Morsi’s July 3rd overthrow. It sounds like there was strong disagreement between the Morsi government and the military over the need to crackdown on foreign Islamist militants operating inside Egypt:

    Source Of Egypt’s Coup: Morsi Gave Free Hand To Islamic Militants, Ordered Military To Stop Crackdowns On Jihadis
    HAMZA HENDAWI July 19, 2013, 7:08 AM

    CAIRO (AP) — The head of Egypt’s military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, sat with a polite smile in the front row listening to President Mohammed Morsi give a 2 1/2-hour speech defending his year in office. El-Sissi even clapped lightly as the audience of Morsi supporters broke into cheers.

    It was a calculating display of cool by an army general plotting the overthrow of his commander in chief. Just over a week later, el-Sissi slid in the knife, announcing Morsi’s ouster on state TV on July 3 as troops took the Islamist leader into custody.

    The move was the culmination of nearly a year of acrimonious relations between el-Sissi and Egypt’s first freely elected — and first civilian — president.

    A series of interviews by The Associated Press with defense, security and intelligence officials paint a picture of a president who intended to flex his civilian authority as supreme commander of the armed forces, issuing orders to el-Sissi. In turn, the military chief believed Morsi was leading the country into turmoil and repeatedly challenged him, defying his orders in at least two cases.

    The degree of their differences suggests that the military had been planning for months to take greater control of the political reins in Egypt. When an activist group named Tamarod began a campaign to oust Morsi, building up to protests by millions nationwide that began June 30, it appears to have provided a golden opportunity for el-Sissi to get rid of the president. The military helped Tamarod from early on, communicating with it through third parties, according to the officials.

    The reason, the officials said, was because of profound policy differences with Morsi. El-Sissi saw him as dangerously mismanaging a wave of protests early in the year that saw dozens killed by security forces. More significantly, however, the military also worried that Morsi was giving a free hand to Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula, ordering el-Sissi to stop crackdowns on jihadis who had killed Egyptian soldiers and were escalating a campaign of violence.

    “I don’t want Muslims to shed the blood of fellow Muslims,” Morsi told el-Sissi in ordering a halt to a planned offensive in November, retired army Gen. Sameh Seif el-Yazl told AP. Seif el-Yazl remains close to the military and sometimes appears with el-Sissi at public events.

    And at root, the military establishment has historically had little tolerance for the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s Islamist group. The military leadership has long held the conviction that the group puts its regional Islamist ambitions above Egypt’s security interests.

    Its alliances with Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other Islamist groups alarmed the military, which believed Gaza militants were involved in Sinai violence. The officials said the military leadership also believed the Brotherhood was trying to co-opt commanders to turn against el-Sissi.

    The military has been the most powerful institution in Egypt since officers staged a 1952 coup that toppled the monarchy. Except for Morsi, the military has since given Egypt all of its presidents and maintained a powerful influence over policy. Having a civilian leader over the military was entirely new for the country.

    The Brotherhood accuses el-Sissi of turning against them and carrying out a coup to wreck democracy. Since being deposed, Morsi is detained by the military at an undisclosed Defense Ministry facility.

    The Brotherhood had believed that el-Sissi was sympathetic with their Islamist agenda. A senior Brotherhood official told AP that Morsi installed el-Sissi, then the head of military intelligence, as defense minister and head of the armed forces in August 2012 in part because he had been the contact man between the Brotherhood and the military junta that ruled Egypt for nearly 17 months after the February 2011 fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

    El-Sissi spoke of his differences with Morsi for the first time Sunday when he addressed military officers in a meeting that was partially televised.

    “I don’t want to count to you the number of times that the armed forces showed its reservations on many actions and measures that came as a surprise,” el-Sissi said.

    Along with the Brotherhood official, eight current senior officials in the military, military intelligence and Interior Ministry — including a top army commander and an officer from el-Sissi’s inner circle — spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the events between Morsi and the military.

    They recounted tense conversations and meetings with a frustrated Morsi frequently reminding the military chief of his rank as supreme commander.

    As early as April, the army drew up a contingency plan to assert control of the nation by taking charge of security if street violence escalated out of Morsi’s control, the intelligence and defense officials said.

    The plan did not entail removing Morsi. Instead, it was an expansion of the role the army took in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, which by that time had seen months of anti-Morsi protests that evolved into an outright revolt. More than 40 protesters had been killed by police there, as Morsi publicly urged security forces to deal strongly with the protests. The military was deployed in the city, largely welcomed by the residents, who continued protests and strikes.

    The military officials said Morsi had ordered the army to get tougher on protesters, but el-Sissi refused, telling him, “The people have demands.”

    About this time, in April and May, el-Sissi’s officials met with commanders of the Republican Guard, the army branch that protects the president. The commanders told them that Morsi’s aides were trying to co-opt Guard officers and senior army officers in a move to replace el-Sissi, according to the official in the military chief’s staff.

    Seif el-Yazl and the military and intelligence officials said security in the strategic Sinai Peninsula bordering Gaza and Israel was at the heart of the differences. The region plunged into lawlessness after Mubarak’s ouster, with Islamic militants gaining increasing power. Soon after Morsi took office, militants killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in a single attack and smaller-scale shootings on security forces mounted. In May, six policemen and a soldier were kidnapped.

    Morsi in each case vowed action, but he and his aides also spoke publicly on the need for restraint and dialogue. At one point, he publicly acknowledged holding the military back from a raid to prevent civilian casualties, and he also spoke of the need not to harm the kidnappers as well as the captives. Morsi’s ultraconservative Salafi allies mediated with militant groups to get them to halt violence, although attacks continued.

    In November, Morsi ordered el-Sissi to halt a planned Sinai offensive a day before it was to be launched, and el-Sissi complied, Self el-Yazl said. In May, the kidnappers released their captives after a week, apparently after mediation. Morsi vowed publicly to track them down, but the military officials said the president ordered el-Sissi to pull his forces out of the area where they were believed to be. Again, the military complied. The kidnappers have not been caught.

    The security and intelligence officials said they reported to Morsi about a rising number of foreign jihadis, including Palestinians, entering Sinai. The military identified Gazan militants involved in the killing of the 16 soldiers, but Morsi rejected a request by el-Sissi that he ask Hamas to hand them over for trial, the officials said. Hamas has repeatedly denied any role in the killings.

    Morsi instead ordered el-Sissi to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to discuss the issue. El-Sissi refused, because of the military’s longtime view of Hamas as a threat, said the officials.

    The military saw the policy of dialogue as being rooted in the Brotherhood’s sympathy to others in the Islamist movement, even ones engaged in violence. Another incident deepened the military’s belief that Morsi was more interested in a regional Islamist agenda than what the army saw as Egypt’s interests.

    During an April visit to Sudan, which has an Islamist government, Morsi showed flexibility over the fate of a border region claimed by both countries. After Morsi’s return, el-Sissi sent his chief of staff to Khartoum to “make it crystal clear to the Sudanese that the Egyptian armed forces will never surrender” the territory, one defense official said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 19, 2013, 8:53 am
  6. With the deeply unfortunate violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood now officially underway in Egypt were seeing the significant possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood-led showdown in response that could quickly escalate. So one of the big questions going forward is if/when we see a military response by the military wings of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates, especially those already operating in the Sinai. Another big question is how successful Israel be at avoiding entanglement:

    The Atlantic
    How the Israeli Drone Strike in the Sinai Might Backfire
    With nationalism in Egypt rising, Jerusalem’s attempts to hunt terrorists in Egypt’s restive peninsula might only draw more militants.
    David Schenker Aug 13 2013, 11:15 AM ET

    In April 1982, Israel withdrew the last of its military forces from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. On Friday, for the first time in more than 30 years, Israeli military assets reportedly reentered Egyptian territory. On August 9, an Israeli drone operating in Sinai airspace with Egyptian approval killed five militants preparing to launch a rocket into Israel.

    The proactive Israeli action may herald a positive new dynamic in Israeli-Egyptian relations. But for the Egyptian military–which depends on popular goodwill to govern post-coup Egypt–enhanced security coordination with Israel might not be politically sustainable. Already, this unprecedented move has provoked a backlash against the generals.

    Ever since the toppling of Egypt’s longtime President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, security in the Sinai–a region long underserved by Cairo–has become precarious. During the revolution, Egyptian intelligence, which had previously been responsible for securing the Sinai, was routed, leaving the task to the military — the country’s sole remaining, functioning national institution.

    Unenthusiastic about and ill-equipped for the mission, the military did little and security in the Sinai rapidly deteriorated. In a matter of months, Al-Qaeda and other dangerous Islamist elements started to take root among the increasingly radicalized local Bedouins.

    Over the past two years, Egyptian and foreign jihadis–as well as Palestinian terrorists entering the Sinai via tunnels from Gaza– have launched dozens of attacks in the Peninsula. While most of the operations have targeted Egyptian police and border guards, on occasion soldiers have been killed and kidnapped and tourists abducted. Militants have also assaulted and snatched troops in the Multinational Force Observers or MFO, which are deployed in the Sinai to monitor the terms of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

    More potentially destabilizing, these terrorists have infiltrated Israel–killing six civilians and two soldiers in one August 2011 operation–and fired rockets across the border. Friday’s drone strike came just one day after an unprecedented temporary closure of Israel’s Eilat airport. At the time, militants in the Sinai were believed to be preparing to target Israeli civilian aircraft with rockets or shoulder fired missiles procured from post-Qaddafi’s Libya.

    If those reports about shoulder-fired missile targeting Israeli civilian air travel are accurate (who knows but it’s certainly possible) it’s going to be hard to see how Israel can avoid further cross-border incursions. And even if they aren’t accurate it’s still hard to see how the Sinai doesn’t become much more dangerous.

    At the same time, any whiff of al-Qaeda affiliates operating on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and/or the Egyptian Salafist might completely alienate any hope by the Islamists of garnering the support of a large swath of the secular-leaning public during this period. The situation simultaneously compels the more extreme elements on all sides to escalate the situation while being filled with all sorts of punishing consequences for any side that appears to be doing to be doing the escalating. That sort of dynamic often exists but it’s much more high-stakes right now. While the Muslim Brotherhood could take the path of non-violent resistance its history suggests non-violent Muslim Brotherhood resistance coupled with parallel violent resistance by its military wing and allies. We’ll see. While this was a really dark day for Egypt it might end up being the answer to the Muslim Brotherhood’s prayers in terms of garnering public support and returning to power. But in order for the Muslim Brotherhood to successfully leverage this moment they have to avoid a violent response. And they know this. So we should probably expect a period of provocations on both sides as the Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition and military both strive to engage in conflicts that leave the other side looking worse. There are a lot of questions about what happens next but the answer inevitably involves something awful.

    Plus, there’s the question of how long some sort of violent or non-violent standoff can continue because Egypt is still about to run out of cash:

    Exclusive – West warned Egypt’s Sisi to the end: don’t do it
    Reuters Paul Taylor 8/14/2013

    PARIS (Reuters) – Western allies warned Egypt’s military leaders right up to the last minute against using force to crush protest sit-ins by supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, arguing they could ill afford the political and economic damage.

    A violent end to a six-week standoff between Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the armed forces that toppled Egypt’s first freely elected president seemed likely once the new authorities declared last week that foreign mediation had failed.

    SIGNAL OF DISPLEASURE

    The United States took the rare step of signaling its displeasure to a strategic Middle East ally, which has a peace treaty with Israel, by halting delivery of four F-16 aircraft under its military aid program last month.

    Washington also enlisted key Arab ally and aid donor Saudi Arabia to tell Sisi he needed to find a peaceful, inclusive solution “to retain international financial and political support”, a person involved in the diplomatic exchanges said.

    Flanked by the foreign ministers of Qatar, a major financier of Mursi’s government, and the United Arab Emirates, a supporter of the military takeover, U.S. and EU negotiators sought to coax both sides into a series of mutual confidence-building measures. They would have begun with prisoner releases and led to an honorable exit for Mursi, an amended constitution and fresh elections next year.

    An Egyptian military source said the army did not believe the Brotherhood would eventually agree to a deal and felt they were only bluffing to gain time. “They tell the mediators one thing and tell their supporters another,” he said.

    The diplomatic source said Western mediators tried to persuade Sisi that Egypt would suffer lasting political polarization and economic hardship if there was a bloodbath.

    Sisi and the hardline interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, were explicitly warned that ElBaradei would resign if they chose force over negotiation, robbing the military of its principal source of liberal, civilian respectability, the source said.

    “IGNORING REALITY”

    ElBaradei announced his resignation after Wednesday’s assault, saying he believed a peaceful path could still have been found and the government’s crackdown helped extremists.

    “The hardliners have a remarkable ability to ignore reality,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the diplomatic exchanges.

    The Egyptian military source said public outrage after critical comments by visiting U.S. senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham last week and leaked reports of a possible deal between the authorities and the Brotherhood had put the army in a tough position.

    The mediators warned that any move to break up the sit-ins would likely cause hundreds of deaths and drive many conservative Salafi Muslim activists, initially supportive of Mursi’s overthrow, to join forces with the Brotherhood in fierce opposition to the authorities.

    The economic message was just as stark. The Western source said Egypt had been warned that it could not afford to go on spending foreign currency at a rate of $1.5 billion a month until its reserves were exhausted.

    With tourism and investment decimated by political turmoil since the overthrow of Mubarak in 2011, foreign reserves had shrunk by more than half to less than three months’ import cover by the time Mursi was ousted on July 3.

    Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, relieved to see the back of the Brotherhood, seen as a threat to their own monarchies, immediately promised $12 billion in aid to the new authorities, to help overcome imminent fuel and wheat shortages.

    At its current burn rate, that money will keep Egypt going for less than a year.

    The source said wiser heads in the government realized Cairo needed broader international support, including cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, to revive the economy, but such arguments cut little ice with the security establishment.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 14, 2013, 10:37 pm
  7. Here’s a report from a few days ago that suggests the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were banking on a ‘war of attrition’ with the military so the torching of a government building by Muslim Brotherhood protestors today in response to the violent crackdown yesterday might be a sign of things to come:

    Global Post
    For defiant Morsi supporters, negotiations with the military a ‘betrayal’

    The heightened rhetoric is raising concerns that Muslim Brotherhood leaders will ultimately be unable to control the radicalizing crowds they deployed to pressure the new government.
    Louisa Loveluck August 10, 2013 07:07

    CAIRO, Egypt — The thousands of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi camped out at protests across Cairo are becoming increasingly defiant as their standoff with the new military-backed government intensifies.

    Many of the protesters staging sit-ins at the two sprawling encampments say they are willing to die in order to see Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, reinstated as the country’s legitimate president.

    Even as their Islamist representatives are reported to have at least nominally entered into negotiations with political foes this week, pro-Morsi demonstrators say either they do not believe their leaders would “betray” them by starting talks or that they reject any compromise outright.

    “When we read of these talks, we don’t believe them,” businessman Essam Sayed said from the pro-Morsi demonstration outside Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adaweya mosque.

    “We trust our leaders and know they wouldn’t compromise on our demands. They wouldn’t sell us out like that,” he said.

    The heightened rhetoric — following the massacres of roughly 140 Morsi supporters by security forces in two separate incidents in July — is raising concerns that Brotherhood leaders will ultimately be unable to control the radicalizing crowds they deployed to pressure the new government.

    Continued threats from officials that police are preparing to disperse the protests is also contributing to fears Egypt will tumble further into a spiral of violence.

    Not only are emotions high, but other more conservative religious groups have also joined the protests. The Brotherhood is an 80-year-old grassroots organization known for its mobilization and discipline, but wields little control over the more extremist fringe.

    “The Brotherhood could probably impose discipline on its own members if push came to shove,” Rabo said. “The problem is that they are unlikely to make other groups fall in line.”

    One of member of the hardline al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya movement — a former terrorist group — says he will “hold his ground” at the demonstration, even if he has to die.

    Other protesters, the majority of whom do not belong to Islamist groups like al-Gama’a, also mention martyrdom when speaking of their political resolve.

    “The military have given us no choice but to offer our sons as martyrs for the cause they stole from us,” said Mona Ismail Emad, an engineer and Brotherhood member.

    Emad’s daughters clamber around her as she speaks, playfully fanning their elders with a poster of the ousted president.

    In a new report, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group says the Brotherhood is “closing ranks [and] banking on a war of attrition.”

    Negotiations indeed made little headway. But if the two sides do reach an agreement, the trust that this diverse group of Islamists has put in their leaders is likely to be deeply damaged.

    “Even if the Brotherhood struck a deal and told us to go home, they couldn’t control what happens here,” Sayed, the pro-Morsi businessman, said. “Lots of other parties have joined our number and we’ve all agreed on our common goals. Those are the only terms we’ll consider.”

    If the above report is accurate it’s hard to see how the Muslim Brotherhood’s base is not going to allow its leaders to negotiate with the military at this point. And the military appears unlikely to back down any time soon. So the calls for an international resolution are likely to grow significantly.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 15, 2013, 9:27 am

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