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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:26 PM

Egypt's president offers nothing to defuse crisis

Source: AP-Excite

By MAGGIE MICHAEL and AYA BATRAWY

CAIRO (AP) - An angry Mohammed Morsi refused Thursday to call off a referendum on a disputed constitution that has sparked Egypt's worst political crisis in two years, drawing chants of "topple the regime!" from protesters who waved their shoes in contempt.

The Egyptian president's uncompromising stand came a night after thousands of his supporters and opponents fought pitched battles outside his Cairo palace, leaving at least six dead and 700 injured.

Speaking in a nationally televised address, Morsi accused some in the opposition of serving remnants of Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian regime and vowed he would never tolerate anyone working for the overthrow of his "legitimate" government.

That brought shouts of "the people want to topple the regime!" from the crowd of 30,000 Morsi opponents - the same chant used in the protests that brought down Mubarak.

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20121207/DA30JM082.html





Egyptian protesters stand behind barbed wire on a road leading to the presidential palace during a protest against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. The Egyptian army has deployed tanks outside the presidential palace in Cairo following clashes between supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi that left several people dead and hundreds wounded. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Egypt's president offers nothing to defuse crisis (Original post)
Omaha Steve Dec 2012 OP
triplepoint Dec 2012 #1
happyslug Dec 2012 #2
sinkingfeeling Dec 2012 #6
bemildred Dec 2012 #8
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2012 #12
sinkingfeeling Dec 2012 #13
happyslug Dec 2012 #14
sinkingfeeling Dec 2012 #15
Alamuti Lotus Dec 2012 #4
David__77 Dec 2012 #3
sinkingfeeling Dec 2012 #7
David__77 Dec 2012 #9
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2012 #11
zellie Dec 2012 #5
Euphoria Dec 2012 #10
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #17
zellie Dec 2012 #18
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #16

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:34 PM

1. Why is Morsi STILL even Breathing?

 

Last edited Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:21 PM - Edit history (4)

...just asking...

The last thing the Egyptians need is another Pharaoh.
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Hopefully, the (true) will of the majority of Egyptians will prevail and they won't be subjected to a Tiananmen Square-like Massacre:
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Looks like "Tank Man" is STILL a mystery...:

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:15 PM

2. Because 75% of the people support him????

Remember the Moslem Brotherhood run just over 50% of the vote when it came to the seats in the Egyptian Parliament. The second largest group, at about 25% of the vote where they even more religious allies. Morsi won with over 50% of the vote, but that was after a good bit of vote cheater done to DENY HIM THE PRESIDENCY (Morsi and the Moslem Brotherhood did not cheat, the Government did but Morsi still won the election).

If you look at what is occurring in Egypt, supporters of the Army Leadership are doing the rioting. The Army Leadership is looking to any allies for they can NOT trust they own troops (one of the problem with a Draftee Army, the enlistees tend to support what the people of the Country wants, NOT what their military leaders want the reason is the people and the Army tend to be one and the same, or at least the Army is pulled from the people and remain attached to them).

Right now, the fight is between the Army Leadership and the Moslem Brotherhood, with the Secular groups (including the Copts) caught in the middle. When I think of that, I remember the old quote about people in the Political Middle of the road "The only thing in the middle of the road is road kill" and I am afraid that is what will happen to most of the secular middle. They may NOT trust the Moslem Brotherhood, but the Army leadership will eat them alive. I suspect many of the rioters prefer an enemy they know (The Army leadership) over one they do NOT know (the Moslem Brotherhood) but I also think that is a mistake.

The problem right now with Egypt is the old elites (the army leadership and their fellow elites, Egypt's 1%) they have been pigs at the trough so long that they do NOT want to share, and will do everything they can to make sure they do NOT have to share the wealth of Egypt with the other 99%. The Moslem Brotherhood is harder to pin down, how much wealth redistribution will they support is unclear but they have the organization to take over Egypt, which no one else in Egypt has. This is like the Communists in Russia in 1917, even if they do NOT have popular support (and the Moslem Brotherhood look like they do) they have the organization to take over. It is for that reason the Army Leadership want the Moslem Brotherhood discredited and one of the reasons for these riots.

The Brotherhood has done its best to avoid violence, so that the Army can not intervene to "Prevent Bloodshed" and take back the Country. Violence is increasing, due to Morsi successful handling of the recent Gaza problem (The Army leadership received no credit, Morsi received all the credit, thus Morsi's ability to rule must be destroyed thus the riots).

Remember, the Constitution being proposed would END all of the emergency rules issued since the fall of Mubarak, including not only the rules issued by Morsi that everyone is objecting to, but also the rules issued by the Military leadership (and the Military leadership wants back the ability to make rules that can NOT be overturned by anyone, they want dictatorial powers, they do NOT want dictatorial power to go to a person the majority of Egyptians support.)

Some more reading on the ins and out of Egypt's politics:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/30/showdown-in-egypt/

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/24/egyptian-military-checkmated/

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Response to happyslug (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:47 AM

6. I think you have a few things wrong. Morsi is looking for the military to support him.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-egypt-protests-turn-violent-as-political-crisis-intensifies/2012/12/06/b176f912-3f76-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html

Most of the people I spoke with in Egypt want a secular government. They fear Morsi's connection to MB will lead to a situtation like Iran, with Safwat Hegazi pulling the strings. Also most claimed that Morsi only won by massively cheating, including buying the company that printed the ballots, already marked for Morsi and the MB. The people feel completely betrayed by Morsi on the Constitution and the decree issued while I was still in Egypt.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:52 AM

8. Yep, he needs the military, and it is not at all clear how that will go.

The bigger the crowds, the weaker he gets. He's already uttered a few dissembling comments.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:42 AM

12. Could there have been selection bias in your sample?

Since that seems at variance with the election results.

If you're talking to college-educated, English-speaking twitterheads, you may not have a representative sample.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:56 AM

13. Everybody in Egypt speaks English and I was talking to waiters, street vendors, stall

owners, guides, and armed guards. The election had Morsi winning by 51% and most think he should have lost by around 5%.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:18 PM

14. Not the 18-40% who live on less then $2 a day? I hoped you tipped more then that

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/egypts-silent-poor-majority/242105/

The elites may want cell phones and more internet service, but 18-40 % (Depends on the source) of Egyptians live on less then $2 a day or less, ($730 a YEAR or LESS),

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/07/egypts-silent-poor-majority/242105/

http://data.worldbank.org/country/egypt-arab-republic?display=default

22% of the population live in poverty:
http://data.worldbank.org/country/egypt-arab-republic?display=default#cp_wdi

Gross National Income per Capita is only $2600, compared to the US of $48.450 and Israel of $28.930.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD/countries/EG-XQ-XN?display=default

Thus most of the people you are dealing with, while poorer then poor Americans are richer then most Egyptians. English speakers tend to be tied in with the elites, much like how many poor in the South voted against their own interest by voting for the GOP. The Egyptians, who speak English, see themselves as superior to non-English speakers and part of the "Elite" of Egypt, must like 48% of the population of the US supported the GOP, even as the GOP advocated programs that undercut the social programs many of them depend on.

On top of this is what their employer wants to present, i.e. NEVER go against what your employer says, except to people you trust, and customers are NEVER to be trusted. Thus people will revert to the "Company line" if they jobs are at stake (And in most cases the Job is at stake UNLESS they speak the Company line, Unions are weak in Egypt as is the rest of the Social Network).

The Moslem Brotherhood's strength is in that group who are either concerend about the poor OR are the poor of Egypt NOT in the groups who cater to the tourist market.

Living standards in Egypt are low by international standards, and have declined consistently since 1990. According to United Nations figures, some 20 to 30 percent of the population live below the poverty line. Despite widespread poverty, however, uneven development has led to the emergence of an affluent class that controls most of the country's wealth and enjoys an elevated standard of living that includes shopping at centers that feature the best imported goods. Living in such Cairo suburbs as Garden City, al-Zamalek, and Nasr New City, the wealthy send their children to private schools and to universities abroad. Yet not far from these affluent neighborhoods, a significant number of poor Egyptians live in squalor, with poor and overcrowded housing, limited food supply, and inadequate access to clean water, good quality health care, or education. The extremes are reflected in the country's distribution of income: in 1996, the wealthiest 20 percent of Egyptians controlled 39 percent of the country's wealth, while the poorest 20 percent controlled only 9.8 percent of wealth.

Read more: http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Africa/Egypt-POVERTY-AND-WEALTH.html#ixzz2EOrbNIoz

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Africa/Egypt-POVERTY-AND-WEALTH.html

63% of wealth is controlled by 30% of the population, with the bottom 50% controlling less then 23% of the wealth.

The GINI score (a test on income fairness) of Egypt is 34.4, better then the US's 45, but still a good bit away from Sweden's 23 (With GINI the lower the score the better).

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html

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Response to happyslug (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:33 PM

15. Yeah, 5 and 6 year-olds hawking scarab necklaces on the street are so Elitist.

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:27 AM

4. precisely what qualifies you to suggest which foreign leaders should perhaps be killed?

 

that sentiment seems to be increasingly prevalent among Americans with little more than a cursory knowledge of what they have half-heard on television; the supreme arrogance of this trend both amuses and troubles me.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:38 PM

3. The people will have yet another chance to vote soon.

It seems pretty clear that these "topple the regime" forces have little public support. The salafists are more popular than them.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:48 AM

7. Seems like the 'topple the regime' forces have massive public support.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:03 AM

9. We will see when the election comes.

It is not being focused on by the Western media, but the pro-government forces muster pretty large crowds too. Not only that, but they have won every election since the "revolution." These were considered pretty fair elections by foreign monitors.

Being able to muster a large crowd in a major city hardly in itself indicates anything close to majority support.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:39 AM

11. A few tens of thousands in a country of 80 million.

They get the TV cameras. But Morsi won the election, and the Egyptians will approve the constitution. That's my guess.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:27 AM

5. How's that Arab spring working out ?

 

I had complete faith that a secular peaceful democracy that respects women , minorities and the rule of law would work out there.

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Response to zellie (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:30 AM

10. We all know how difficult it is to establish a robust and working democracy

with a variety of institutions, procedures, traditions, etc.

Do consider that Egyptians have only just come out from decades' long dictatorship.

And frankly, the US is still going through all sorts of political and cultural disagreements; including such as, rights of women, voting rights, rights of minorities, economic justice, poverty, hunger, environment degradation, lack of educational funding and support, and so on.

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Response to Euphoria (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:21 PM

17. Yeah, I just adore how smug people gloating about its failure can be about all of this

"Hyuk hyuk, those damnfool ay-rabs couldn't get it together in two whole years! Guess they just can't handle freedom!"

Never mind that, say, Canadian or American democracy are at the end of a developmental and philosophical chain that goes back to 1215. I don't suspect for a minute that emerging democracies will take anywhere near that long to stabilize, but I can only roll my eyes at the people who sneer and issue the final verdict in one four hundredth of the time it took us.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:31 AM

18. No..nothing funny in this story.

 

So, how many years should we give it?

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Response to zellie (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:19 PM

16. Like most continental-scale upheavals, anyone who expects a snap answer in two years is nuts. (nt)

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