Posts Tagged ‘Hosni Mubarak’

Egypt: Dispatches From the Continuing Crackdown

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

There’s a lot of Egyptian news going on, much of it of the classic Middle East Problem Solving variety. In particular, the Egyptian government seems to be doing most of the “solving,” so expect to see some 50-100 members of the Muslim Brotherhood develop acute lead poisoning every day for the foreseeable future.

Beyond that, I can’t tell you. My knowledge of Egypt is basically that of a one-eyed, myopic man who can at least see shapes in strong sunlight. Here’s an Egypt news roundup in mini-LinkSwarm form.

  • The Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader is arrested. That’s going to be a big blow to them, and probably indicates the Egyptian military is fairly confident they’ll not only win the current test of wills with the Brothers, but win it decisively.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood isn’t dead yet, but they are severely weakened. “The army seems determined to decapitate the Middle East’s oldest and arguably most resilient Islamist movement, to prevent it from preparing a political comeback.”
  • Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss?
  • The Coptic Kristallnacht.
  • Hosni Mubarak has been found innocent and should soon be released. Don’t expect to see him return to power, as the military opposition to his turning the country into a dynastic fiefdom by anointing his son Gamal as his successor is the reason they let him get toppled in the first place.
  • Egypt’s burning, Obama’s golfing.
  • Is Obama secretly suspending aid to the Egyptian government? If so, he’s once again superbly crafted a policy to please no one and accomplish nothing.
  • Thomas Sowell on Obama’s (and America’s) illusions about democratizing the Middle East.
  • “The President and his team have been taken in by two very old American mistakes about the rest of the world. One is to confuse the end of history with the morning news. The other is to exaggerate America’s importance to the rest of the world. ”
  • Evidently the rest of the Arab world is pissed at Qatar (and Qatar-owned Al Jazeera) for backing the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • I’ve been seeing a lot of very dubious reports about Obama secretly giving the Muslim Brotherhood $8 billion. Look, as much as I think Obama is an incompetent failure whose Administration has played footsie with the Brotherhood, I don’t buy this for a minute. Setting aside the why, not even President Trillion can conjure $8 billion from thin air to hand out on his own.
  • Hosni Mubarak Declared “Clinically Dead”

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

    It looks like last week’s post was only slightly premature, as doctor’s have declared Mubarak clinically dead after suffering a stroke.

    My previous comments still largely apply, although given the Egyptian High Court’s invalidation of parliament, a Muslim Brotherhood takeover is looking a lot less likely.

    Mubarak Dead? Update: Probably Not

    Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

    I’m seeing Twitter reports (including one from what appears to be the Egyptian Minister of the Interior) that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has died. Waiting for confirmation.

    Mubarak was right around the 50-yard line for brutality and corruption for Arab dictators, more a symptom of the sickness in Arab politics than a cause. He actually observed the treaties his country signed. He was notably worse than Anwar Sadat, but almost certainly better than whoever ends up following him.

    Updated to add: That Twitter account is pretty new, so this could well be a hoax. Also, why would the official Twitter feed for the Interior Minister of Egypt be following 320 accounts less than a day of starting up?

    I would try to find confirmation on the official Egyptian Interior Ministry webpage, but their server doesn’t feel like working right now…

    Update 2: NBC reporter Richard Engel says the interior ministry has denied that Mubarak has died. So I think we can update his status to “I’m getting better.”

    Obama’s Handling of Egypt: The Reviews Are In

    Monday, February 14th, 2011

    And they’re every bit as warm as those for Spiderman: Turn off the Dark:

  • Mary Steyn: “For the last three weeks, the superpower has sent the consistent message to the world that (as Bernard Lewis feared some years ago) America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.”
  • Niall Ferguson in Newsweek (yes, it’s evidently still being published):

    “Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity … and missed it completely….This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried….The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so. A succession of speeches saying, in essence, ‘I am not George W. Bush’ is no substitute for a strategy.”

  • Michael A. Walsh in the New York Post: “No matter how things shake out in Egypt, one thing has become depressingly clear: Something is very wrong with the American intelligence services.”
  • Investor’s Business Daily:

    “As our once-stable ally Egypt hurtles down a path leading into the dark unknown, the U.S. can blame itself. The White House apparently did little after our intelligence agencies warned late last year that President Hosni Mubarak’s government was wobbly. Like Jimmy Carter’s handling of Central America, the U.S. backed a revolution, hoping it would make the revolutionaries our friends.”

  • Victor Davis Hanson in National Review: “For nearly three weeks, the Biden/Clinton/Obama policy concerning the tottering Mubarak regime was contradictory, incoherent, and predicated entirely on the perceived pulse of the demonstrations.”
  • Like Julie Taymor’s production (which I have not seen, but I have seen enough of Ms. Taymor’s previous work to trust the reviews of it I’ve read), Obama’s foreign policy is far more concerned with flash and spectacle than the boring matter of actual substance. Unfortunately, there’s no chance that Obama’s foreign policy will fold in previews, and we can’t make things better by getting Bono and The Edge to write us a few new tunes…

    Mubarak Resigns, Hands Control Over to the Military

    Friday, February 11th, 2011

    According the latest news flash. I’m guessing the military finally told him they’d had enough.

    What’s next? Anyone’s guess. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say talks with some elements of the opposition together with a crackdown against others.

    Leon Panetta: Mubarak Will Step Down Today: Mubarak: The Hell I Will

    Thursday, February 10th, 2011

    Despite the predictions of all the Usual Supects, Mubarak isn’t stepping down. I guess my low opinion of the sagacity of Leon Panetta has been borne out.

    In email, Stratfor is saying that Rather than letting protesters storm the Presidential Palace, or firing on them to prevent same, the Egyptian military will replace Mubarak in a coup. I remain skeptical; except for a couple of signs early in the crises, they has been no hard evidence that the army has ever wavered in its support of Mubarak.

    It is hard to tell at this remove how effective the calls for a general strike have been. Those claiming the strike is widespread have tended to be left-leaning publications that celebrate just about any strike.

    The Magic 8-Ball has the same answer it’s been giving since unrest began: ANSWER CLOUDY, ASK AGAIN LATER.

    This Week in Jihad for February 3, 2011

    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

    All eyes are still on Egypt, but that’s not the only hotspot for jihad:

  • Suicide bomber prematurely detonates thanks to spam text message. (Via Slashdot)
  • “Barack Obama has endorsed a role for the Muslim Brotherhood in a new, post-Mubarak government for Egypt.”
  • The current unrest in Egypt makes makes things look pretty grim for the Copts: “I’ve pored over every news report I can find, and have seen no sign that local Christians are involved in this uprising against Mubarak. This tells me all I need to know about the calls for ‘democracy’ and ‘reform’ in Egypt. They know that Mubarak’s fall would mean to them what Hussein’s fall meant to Iraqi Christians: the end.”
  • More from JihadWatch’s indefatigable Robert Spencer on the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in the unrest in Egypt. The amount of writing and analysis keeps up on the topic of jihad is positively dizzying. It’s hard to keep up just summarizing him…

    Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey (whom I linked to a few days ago), has been arrested and then released by the Egyptian government. “I am ok. I got out. I was ambushed & beaten by the police, my phone confiscated , my car ripped apar& supplies taken”

  • While everyone was paying attention to Egypt, Hamas fires rockets into Egypt.
  • Fifteen-year old Bangladeshi girl whipped to death in Koranic punishment for fornication.
  • Tell a Muslim their food smells bad and lose your house in Canada. This decision was overturned, but it proves Mark Steyn’s point that all Canadian “Human Rights Tribunals” need to be eliminated as threats to free speech…
  • Add New York City building code to the list of rules that are no longer applicable to Muslims.
  • A white Vietnam Veteran jihadi?
  • More reports of an al Qaeda dirty bomb.
  • Mubarak is Lying. Mubarak is Telling the Truth

    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

    The latest from the beleaguered President of Egypt:

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he would like to resign immediately but fears the country would descend into chaos if he did so.

    In his first interview since anti-government protests began, he told ABC News he was “fed up” with power.

    It came as Cairo saw another day of violence with clashes between the president’s opponents and supporters.

    Mr Mubarak warned that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party would fill any power vacuum if he stepped down.

    Mubarak is lying. Dictators almost never want to give up power, except to pass it on to their heirs. (There are exceptions, such as Turkey or Chile, where a military dictator stepped in to prevent a radical regime from inflicting further damage, only to step back and restore control once the danger (and the lives of some political opponents) had passed, but these are the exception rather than the rule.) If Mubarak was really tired of power, he could have stepped down any time in the last 30 years.

    However, his statement that that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party would fill the power vacuum are, sadly, probably true.

    What’s Going On In Egypt?

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    Good question. Wish I knew. Or, more accurately, wish I knew more than what I can glean from various reports, which is that anti-Mubarak forces are getting a smackdown from pro-Mubarak forces, including (reportedly) police (secret and otherwise) in disguise. Beyond those clashes, its hard to tell what is going on. Maybe Mubarak waited until popular rage had run its course, and delayed the crackdown until fears of disorder and looting drove the majority of non-hardcore protesters off the street before beginning the crackdown.

    The more I’ve read the past few days, the more I think that Mubarak survives until his promised stepping down in the September elections. What I’ve seen is lots of anti-Mubarak forces saying he has to step down now, he can’t survive, etc., as well as similar noises from various international governments, but no reports of Egyptian generals or colonels saying the same thing.

    A few other interesting articles on the situation:

  • First-hand report of The Battle of Tahir Square
  • A summary of events as they have unfolded so far. It talks about Gamal Mubarak’s technocrat friends working economic miracles but their takeover of the ruling ruling NDP party alienated the army, which saw the NDP as a rival power.
  • Michael Totten interviews Abbas Milani on parallels between Egypt today and the fall of the Shah in Iran.
  • The ever readable Christopher Hitchens on Mubarak’s shaming Egyptians. “It’s possible that people will overlook outright brutality sooner than they will forgive undisguised contempt.” (David Pryce-Jones also made much of the Arab shame/honor response in The Closed Circle.)
  • Egypt: A Fist, Slowly Clenching

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    Hosni Mubarak seems to have adopted an interesting strategy to deal with the unrest gripping his country: Let the worst of it rage with a minimum of reprisals and crackdowns, and then slowly but surely reassert his control using the police and the military. Such a strategy walks the fine line between appearing weak enough to let the revolution push him out of power, and a Tienanmen-type crackdown that leaves thousands dead. So far it seems to be working: Despite some blips and waivers, the army still appears to be following Mubarak’s orders. If they continue to do so, it’s hard to see how the called-for general strike can be total enough to paralyze the nation. And if gas and food continue to make it through, it’s hard to see the general masses being radicalized enough to join the call to oust Mubarak.

    Also, National Review reminds us that the Muslim Brotherhood is bad news.