Category Archives: Egypt

Another Egyptian Tragedy

During the past sixty years, the people of Egypt have enjoyed the benefit of one military ruler after another. As of this date, there is no evidence being led by a general is any better than being led by the corner candy store man. The economy is stagnant, thousands who obtain education, flee seeking a job, and opportunity to enjoy freedom of speech. The latest example of an incompetent general is General Abdel Fatah al Sisi, who definitely is NOT a sissy when it comes to violating human rights. There was something termed a “trial” for three members of al-Jazeera and all three were found guilty of something. Amnesty International insists the so called, trial,”failed to produce a single shred of solid evidence.”

Australian Peter Geste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy,and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were sentenced to terms of seven to ten years. US Secretary of State John Kerry asked President Sisi to reverse the decision. The General–I have no idea if this general actually did any fighting in a war–responded: “We will not interfere in judicial rulings. We must respect judicial rulings and not criticize them even if we do not understand this.”

How about Canada, Australia, and the US freezing funds for Egypt?

Freedom Of Speech In Egypt Ending

As you recall,once upon a time there was something termed the “Arab Spring” whose goals were to create modern democratic societies in the Middle East. Yes,Hosni Mubarak was driven from power after his thirty year term of office,and then Mr. Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood was forced to abandon his attempt at seeking to create a new dictatorship. Enter General Sisi who won an “election.” Since he took over from Morsi, the rights of those who fought to end dictatorship have ended. Oh, I forgot, dictator Sisi holds, “trials.” The latest example was a “trial” that placed reporters for Al-Jazeera in a courtroom where something that has to do with the law took place. It was a farce from day one.

This “court” and these “judges” found Al-Jazeera staff guilty of “aiding terrorists” and endangering national security. Former BBC correspondent Peter Greste got a seven year term in prison, ex CNN journalist Mohamed Fahmy received a similar sentence as did a local producer, Bahar Mohamed. Four students also will become prisoners for the crime of exercising free speech. US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo to give Egypt money for its military. He condemned the verdicts but gave the dough.

Sisi won this round, but there will, eventually, be an Arab Spring that gains victory over dictators.

America’s Middle Eastern Policy

A president of the United States is once again confronted with what to do in what we term, the Middle East. Actually, the expression, “Middle East” was invented at the turn of the 20th century by American Admiral Alfred Mahan. He was discussing the conduct of American military policy, and cited the importance of that area in our trade relations. A major problem confronting President Obama is: what exactly should be the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East? Let me offer some suggestions:

1. It is critically important for Israel to build positive relations with Arab nations. Both Israel and Arab leaders share a joint concern about terrorist groups in the region. First step on the part of America is insisting that the Israel government cease its settlement building, and work with President Abbas to create an independent Palestinian state. That action would open doors for Israel to establish diplomatic relations with most Muslim nations in the region.
2. Iraq requires a coalition government including both Sunni and Shiite leaders. Either Prime Minister Maliki agrees to this basic concept or he is on his own. Fighting guerrilla groups depends upon winning the support of local people.
3. The situation in Syria has deteriorated to such an extent that moderate forces no longer have any power. Whatever such groups are still existing need moderate military support.
4. An agreement must be reached with Iran that includes their right to pursue nuclear development for peaceful purposes.
5. Nations such as Tunisia should be provided economic assistance since leaders in that nation have come together to work for peace and stability.
6. Egypt is now beyond our influence. It is simply too late to support moderate groups seeking to develop a democratic society. Just wait and listen.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

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

Sweden, Local: “Getting Naked In Sweden”

Brrr…

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Government Helps Children Of Alcoholics”

To get drunk along with dad?

USA, aol: “Priest Slain In Church”

Now, do you believe there is a Devil?

China, China Daily: “Space Ticket Sales Skyrocket”

People hear the Tea Party will gain control of Congress?

France, Connexion: “Police Fine Bad Pedestrians”

So, do they also fine bad police?

Israel, Jerusalem Post: “World’s Best Gay City”‘

It certainly is not Baghdad!

UK, Guardian: “Gun Collection Banned”

Not in the state of Texas! They ban sanity.

It’s Them, Not Us!

The outgoing president of Egypt, Adly Mansour decided as his gift to the women of his country to issue a law that made sexual harassment of females a crime in the country. In theory, if a male engages in harassment of a female, he could be sent to jail for six months and forced to pay a fine. A recent United Nations study revealed that 99.2% of women in Egypt reported to have been threatened, at one point or another in their lives, by men engaged in the act of harassment. Eba’a El Tamimi of HarassMap argues the problem stems from the reality that “society does not see it as a crime. And, police tend to sympathize with the harassers or be harassers themselves.” Police argue the problem is not Us, it it them since even if they enforced the law, males would turn their anger on the police.

I do understand the dilemma. However, my main interest is in the .07% of women who did not report being sexually harassed. So, how come this group never got harassed? I think we need a massive study of women in this group in order to learn how to avoid getting sexually harassed in Egypt. Or, we can organize groups of women to harass men, you know, play with their penis in public. Or, give them a nice swat on the butt. Fair is fair!

“I Am A Harasser”

I admit to being somewhat confused when it comes to topic of sexual harassment of women in Middle Eastern nations. On one hand, governments such as those in Saudi Arabia or Egypt claim that women can not enjoy equal rights because they are women and thus must be protected. OK, I get that point. On the other hand, 99% of Egyptian women claim that, at one point or another in their life, they have been the target of a sexual harasser. Perhaps, I am not the most intelligent person in the world, but if a government insists that women can not go out by themselves or drive a car or be seen holding the hand of a male other than dad or a brother, why is it OK for males to touch, fondle, and even strip women of their clothes?

I believe a figure of 99% strongly indicates that most Egyptian males harass women. Please explain to me how a male who will not allow his sister to hold hands with a stranger believes it is OK to touch the breasts of his friend’s sister? Oh, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is no sissy on this matter. He claims to oppose such harassment. Perhaps, then, he might begin with punishing police and soldiers who harass women!

A group of Egyptian women marched in Tahrir Square with banners proclaiming, “I am a Harasser, I am an animal.” And, believe it or not, they were protected by members of the Egyptian army. I guess these soldiers took time off from fondling women in public.

Egyptian Dream Becomes Nightmare

It seems like only yesterday when we were all excited about something then known as “the Arab Spring.” In Middle East nations from Tunisia to Turkey millions of Muslims and Christians rallied for the right to enjoy basic human rights. Egypt’s long term dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was sen to a hospital suffering from a bad case of nerves since the streets of Cairo were filled with people demanding that he leave the scene of power. Libya witnessed the end of Gaddafi and there were hopes Bashir Assad might either actually allow a free election or he might return to the practice of medicine. Alas, that was then, today is now. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan each day asserts his right to decide who can speak. Libya is in chaos. We all know the horror of Syria.

Egypt DID have an election. Of course, they DID have an election two years ago, and due to lack of organization, Mr. Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood barely got elected. It only took about five months before the Muslim Brotherhood proved to the people of Egypt it had no understanding of brotherhood for those who opposed them. Morsi is now in jail along with a few thousand MB followers. At least a thousand are dead.

An Egyptian court yesterday sentenced Alaa Abdel Fattah, a young man who fought to end the dictatorship of Mubarak and Morsi, to jail. His crime? He protested against the current rule of Egypt’s Army. He will spend 15 years in jail for exercising the right of freedom of speech.

The dream, ah, the dream….

Chairwoman Hillary Speaks

It was merely a matter of time before Hillary Clinton came out with her views on what should have been American foreign policy during her tenure in the job of Secretary of State. Her new book, “Hard Choices” is, most probably, an attempt to establish that she was under the orders of the president during her tenure in that position, and she wants one and all to know that she always did not agree with Obama on issues of foreign policy. Hillary argues in her book that the Obama views on Egypt was wrong. She wanted former strong man, Hosni Mubarak to hand over power to a successor and allow a free election while Obama and his advisors wanted to allow the Arab Spring to follow its course–which, of course, led to the election of Morsi as president. We are now into, “you should of rather than do what you did.”

Hillary also believes America should have insisted that East Jerusalem be included in areas in which new settlements were not allowed. She believes failure to include East Jerusalem resulted in failure of the Palestinian government under President Abbas to support continued negotiations. Frankly, the history of the past decades is a study in refusal of American presidents to use the power of money to force Israel to cease and desist in its construction of West Bank settlements.

The Election When No One Showed Up

During the past few days we have been reporting on an election which undoubtedly will change the lives of those living on this planet. It is the election in Egypt in which General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is running against himself. Now, let’s be honest, it is very difficult for anyone to run against himself. After all, how can you express lies and anger against your own self? If you rig the election to prevent General Sisi from winning then it simply means General Sisi will win. The election was originally to last two days, but when those supervising polls did not have anyone show up to actually vote, what else could the government do but add on another day, give a holiday to all government employees, provide transportation and make clear, no vote, no pay.

Latest figures indicate about 46% voted. Of course, that is the figure issued by the government. In fairness, at least General Sisi was more honest than Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin because when they held an election, the vote always was 99.9% for them. A few guys were allowed to vote the other way in order to prove to the world, there was an opposition person. Oh, those who originally wanted to run for president decided to boycott the farce.

People Do Not Speak In Egypt

The Egyptian government is proud to report there was an election. It is proud to report that someone won the election for president of the nation. In announcing his candidacy, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promised that over 80% of the people in his nation would turn out in a free election and vote for him. The figures are in. About 47% of Egyptians voted. Many polling places never had anyone show up to vote even though people could be fined for not voting. The good news is that 96.1% voted for you know who–the general in charge of the army. I understand there are those who do not believe this was a free election and that General Sisi is no sissy and he will get angry.

On the bright side, there is no need for a run off because no one failed to get 50% of the vote.
On the bright side is the fact those in the Muslim Brotherhood will not receive a get-out-of-jail card.
On the bright side, General Sisi will not have to share any of the loot with any other than his fellow officers.
On the bright side Egypt will not change and poverty will continue. At least those in poverty know what tomorrow will bring– continued poverty!