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August 15, 2013

The Rise and Fall and Fall and Fall of Egyptian Democracy: 638 Killed in Clashes Between Military, Police, and Muslim Brotherhood


Egypt's military-backed government also pledged Thursday to confront "terrorist actions and sabotage" allegedly carried out by members of former President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group since he was ousted in a military coup July 3.

The government buildings burned in Giza were a two-storey colonial-style villa and a four-storey administrative building. The offices are on Pyramids Road on the west bank of the River Nile.

State TV blamed Morsi supporters for the fire and broadcast footage showing both structures burning as fire men evacuated employees from the larger building.

Tamarod, the youth movement that had organized mass rallies calling Morsi's ouster, said citizens should set up neighbourhood watch groups to protect government and private property. Meanwhile, successive attacks on Coptic Christian churches continued for a second day, according to Egypt's official news agency and human rights advocates.

Obama is... writing a strongly-worded letter.

Less than two hours before the police force measures were announced, Obama put Egypt on notice in cancelling the Bright Star military exercises that have been a centrepiece of the countries' military relations for decades. He also warned Egypt to lift its state of emergency and work towards peace or further action could be taken. Later Thursday, Canada urged Egyptians to show "restraint" and urged "all parties to engage in a productive dialogue to ease tensions."

"The U.S. strongly condemns the steps taken by Egypt’s military," said Obama, who interrupted his week-long vacation on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. "We oppose pursuit of martial law, which denies those rights to citizens.

We will, however, continue sending the Egyptian military their $1.5 billion per year, even though Obama can't do that because the law forbids aid to countries whose leadership has been changed by coup.

I'm sure they're busted up about the cancellation of joint exercises.

The Muslim Brotherhood isn't backing down, either:

When asked how far the Muslim Brotherhood is willing to let the situation in Egypt escalate, El-Hadad responded:

"My generation has lived under military rule for most of our lives.... If it means that we continue fighting until we reverse this military coup and restore our democracy, as inexperienced as it was, I will continue doing so, even if we have to face the live bullets of the army once again."

Which the army seems pretty determined that they will. The further use of deadly force against protesters has been authorized.

Egypt’s military-backed government authorized the security forces to fire live ammunition against opponents Thursday, underlining its determination to crush with force any lingering challenge posed by supporters of the country’s ousted elected president in the wake of a bloody crackdown on their camps.

One big benefit of the tendency towards a more isolationist, or at least more modest, foreign policy is that there is no need to feel ownership over any of this. We don't make their troubles. They make their own, and in great quantity.

Let them figure it out.

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posted by Ace at 06:00 PM

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