Category Archives: Egypt

Lock Them Up In Egypt

There was a moment during the Arab Spring, just a fleeting moment when the concept of democracy was being practiced in nations long accustomed to rule by this or that petty dictator. Ordinarily, the dictator formerly wore a uniform in an army that never actually fought anyone unless they were their own people. Al-Jazeera is a competent and professional organization which approaches news in the Middle East with seriousness and a sense of professional conduct. It is rare among Middle Eastern news media since it regards its duty to report various viewpoints pertaining to an event rather than simply following the government party line. This attitude is not that which is desired by the Egyptian government, which, in reality, is simply an arm of the Egyptian military. Twenty correspondents who work for al-JaZeera in Egypt have been arrested and charged with crimes against the state.

The group was charged with disseminating stories that were examples of “fabricating news that tarnished the reputation of Egypt.” They were accused of being “biased.” Huh! Egypt currently is a nation in search of its soul and that includes its desire for democracy.

Farce Time In Egypt

The good news from Egypt is that a majority of people are ready to accept the concept of democracy for their nation, and by, “democracy,” that means an honest election and the right of the majority to elect a civilian to lead them. It does not mean, another arranged election in which either those who manipulate voting or those who have weapons to use, gain victory. Former President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood gained the presidency with barely a 50% vote in which only 35% of the nation voted. This led to protests, and that led to the military deciding to once again govern the country. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood were attacked, their headquarters set on fire and President Morsi arrested last July.

The world will now have the opportunity to witness what goes for a “trial” in which Morsi and other MB leaders are in court room in order to prove this farce is a real trial. Former President Morsi was placed in a specially designed glass cage and wheeled into the court. There is a microphone in the cage and it was turned on only to have Morsi shout to the world: “I have been absent from the world since the fourth of July, and have’t met anybody from my family or defense. I’m the legitimate president of Egypt!”

The judge shot back: “I’m the president of Egypt’s Criminal Court” and to shut Morsi up, the mike went dead. This is not a trial, it is a farce. The people of Egypt are entitled to a fair trial, and this means Morsi has the right to defend himself. How can Egypt become a democratic nation based on what transpires in a trial that lacks legitimacy?

Another General For Egypt

The Egyptian Army Council shocked the people of Egypt by announcing they not only had promoted General Sisi to the rank kof Field Marshall but urged him to take the next step and become marshal of the land. He was granted permission to run for president and the general or Marshall or whatever title he now has responded with joy to being permitted to head the land. I am rather impressed by this military leader whose chest is loaded with medals and medials and he is hailed as a great military leader who is now ready to become a great general like former president Mubarak. As far as I know, the last time Egyptian generals actually fought in a battle in which the other guys had guns and tanks and planes was in 1973, that was forty years ago and obviously, “MARSHAL SISI” was rather too young to be in battle in which people fired back. It is akin to American males who proclaim themselves to be tough and willing to take on any robber who pulls a gun on them.

I would so love to be in an Army which makes you the top general even though you have never fired a gun in anger against anyone, friend or foe. And, think of all those medals!

Egypt, Another Day Of Bombing

The Middle Eastern pattern is always the same. People become disgruntled with their existing government, they go into the streets to demonstrate anger and call out for a new deal in their society. Police and the military, at one point or another, intervene in order to establish calm and peace. Naturally, those who lead the armed forces conclude the solution to any problem is placing this general or that general in charge which results in new demonstrations by the people who seek a new deal. In other words, the new deal sought is to get rid of the military and replace them with civilian rule. In Egypt, the military was driven out–for the moment– and Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood assumed power. Naturally, they enjoyed the wine of power and acted in the same manner of ousted General Mubarak which led to new riots and a new military government.

Chaos invariably leads to violence and a new al-Qaeda group has emerged in Egpt–Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, and they are setting off bombs throughout Cairo and killing and wounding the innocent. Tunisia is the only Middle Eastern nation to escape this pattern by having all parties meet, agree on a coalition and make certain the military remains on the sidelines. The Middle East needs a Nelson Mandela and all it gets in Egypt is General Sissi In the meantime the people suffer violence and hatred.

I await some leader playing the “Israel card.” In other words, let’s blame our mistakes on Israel! Just look in the mirror of discontent for the answer.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23 year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We place in the prison of our soul, love.

God is a whisperer.

Some are detail folk.

To contemplate who I am is to be who I am.

The child lives in today, the adult in yesterday.

Bear a grudge, bear witness to hate.

I so wish to have known my grandparents.

We feed wealthy money and the poor anger.

To know how others think is to think everyday.

My first allegiance is to the poor.

At age 83 I nod to elderly people.

Some believe believing in nonsense.

Some prefer the company of fools.

Pay attention to your words in all situations.

Injustice overwhelms my soul and leads to anger.

Humans possess an infinite capacity to hurt one another.

I place hand on chin when angry.

Times to rise and times to sit.

America And Egypt

There is scant doubt that newly elected President Barack Obama inherited dysfunction in the Middle East stemming from bankrupt policies of President Bush and his two cronies, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Obama confronted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan along with emerging problems in Egypt. Literally, from day one of his administration Barack Obama has been struggling with what to do and who to support in that country. He went to Cairo and gave a nice speech about democracy in the Middle East. For some strange reason, he never touched base in Israel, just another example of his ineptness in the Middle East. During the past five years, the Obama administration has witnessed the overthrow of former dictator Mubarak in Egypt, and the subsequent overthrow of former President Morsi who now lingers in jail awaiting trial for instigating violence in his nation. The unanswered question simply is: what is the foreign policy of the United States toward the nation of Egypt?

Frankly, there is no foreign policy, there are no specific goals, it simply is one stumble after another. At this moment, the Egyptian military, the same crew that surrounded Mubarak, is in charge of the country. At this moment, Ahmed Maher, Mohammad Abdel, Ahmed Douma, and Alaa Abdel Fattah, the four men who organized the overthrow of Mubarak are in jail for inciting violence against the current military government. They spend twenty hours a day in their cells. In other words, those who began the famous “Arab Spring” are in jail.

In other words, the United States supports efforts in the Middle East to further the cause of democracy.

Question: OK, I now know the goal of American foreign policy in the Middle East for democracy so why are we supporting governments that suppress democracy?

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Woman Struck By Train”

The train is reported to be doing OK.

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “Meet You At End Of World”

So, now you tell me of your love!

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: ‘Officials Suspended For Misleading Parliament”

Are you telling me that is wrong?

China, China Post: “Forbidden City Closed On Monday”

I assume this means the Forbidden City is not forbidden the other days of the week.

Egypt, al-Arahm: “Gunmen Shoot Dead Yemen Colonel”

I gather they should shoot to wound.

UK, Guardian: “I Am Humiliated”

OK, Chris, we heard this already.

Sweden, Local: “Royals Change Mind”

That’s why they are called of royal blood!

Egyptian People Vote-At Least Some Do!

An election was held in the land of Egypt. The people of Egypt have had “elections” over the past half century after never having them during the prior four thousand years. During the history of this land there usually was some Pharaoh or king or strong guy or gal who ran the place and decided how government was to be conducted. About sixty years ago, the Egyptian military took over and for most of the time a general or colonel run the land, and made clear to Islamic clerics they obeyed orders and did not give them. Last year in a vote by 33% of the people of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi was barely elected president. An intelligent person would assume that barely getting just 50% of the vote by 31% of the people suggests that you should reach out to opponents and form a coalition government. Alas, that logic was beyond the mental capacity of Mr. Morsi. He attempted to impose an Islamic government and ran into a stone wall of opposition from most Egyptians and the Egyptian army.

The army now rules and this time 38% of the people voted for a new Constitution that restricts religious control of society, provides greater rights for women and the disabled, and suggests the need for greater political harmony. The vote represents a sense that people want an end to Islamic rule, but it does not prove they want a return to Army rule. Until at least 505 of the people vote for something, there is no clear idea as to what Egyptians want or do not want.

Assad Survives While Rebels Founder!

Once upon a time in a land that is known as “Syria” there lived a cruel dictator who made life miserable for anyone who opposed his rule. So, many good people in the land of Syria rose in rebellion. They demonstrated, but there was no change. They shouted but there was no change and the cruel dictator continued to oppress his people. Finally, many people secured guns and other weapons of war and challenged the armed forces of the dictator. Battles raged, thousands were killed and into the land of Syria came hordes of men and women who also hated the tyrant that ruled the land. Cities were bombed by airplanes so rebels began to bomb areas of Syria that were under control of the government. A year passed and thousands died. A year passed and thousands fled the land. Another year passed with death and death and destruction and millions had fled their homes.

As in all rebellions against tyrants, rebels eventually turn on one another. Now, in Syria there are groups connected with al-Qaeda, there are groups connected with Islamist fundamentalists there are groups which seek to create a secular democratic society and there are groups led by some local rebel. President Assad is a “survivor.” He now claims to seek a “ceasefire” in order to create peace. He proposed to end fighting in Aleppo and urged everyone to end fighting. Naturally, rebels are do divided they can not agree on anything other than to continue fighting and fighting.

So, in the end of this tale, the bad, bad, dictator is now urging peace and prosperity. Such is usually NOT the way a fairy tale concludes!

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23 year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

Some never chase a dream.

Sometimes the right turn is the wrong turn.

To do joy for others do joy for self.

Never forget from whence one comes.

In every end lurks another end.

Some Jews carry Judaism on their nose, not their heart.

Long time since I heard, ‘Jewboy” comment.

Most fast food workers are friendly, but not their boss.

Some gaze at page with curiosity.

I will never fathom how God thinks.

These are times when jeans are OK for a date.

I no longer know any childhood friends.

I do not understand smart students who do not enjoy learning.

I never thought I was smart, just different.

Some days I feel guilty for being alive when others are dead.

Few women at forty have a slim figure.