Tag Archives: Suez Canal

82 hurt in downtown Cairo clashes

Opposition activists and Islamists clash outside court near iconic Tahrir Square

Cairo clashes

At least 82 people were hurt on Friday in clashes after opposition activists marched on thousands of Islamists rallying outside a central Cairo court demanding judicial reform, an official said.

 

The fighting erupted near the iconic Tahrir Square, roughly 0.5 kilometers from where the Islamists had staged their rally, with each side throwing stones at the other.

 

A few activists on the opposition side fired homemade guns loaded with birdshot at the Islamists, who had taken over a main bridge that crosses the Nile River.

 

Five Islamist protesters wounded with birdshot were carried away by comrades, an AFP correspondent reported. The head of the Egyptian emergency services, Mohammed Sultan, told television at least 82 people had been hospitalized.

 

Riot police on foot and in armored vehicles had by nightfall succeeded in creating a cordon between the two sides, but ended up clashing with the opposition activists.

 

A riot police vehicle on a side street came under fire from birdshot rifles as Islamists ducked for cover behind the armored vehicle.

 

A police officer fired back what appeared to be birdshot from a rifle as Islamist protesters cheered, but an interior ministry official later insisted to AFP that police had been armed with only tear gas and blanks.

 

“The people demand the toppling of the regime,” the opposition protesters chanted — the signature slogan of the early 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak and eventually brought Islamists into power.

 

“Morsi! Morsi!” the Islamists chanted back, referring to President Mohamed Morsi, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader.

 

An interior ministry statement said police had arrested 19 suspects in Cairo’s clashes, including three young men suspected of torching a bus that had transported the Islamists to their rally.

 

Islamists and their opponents also clashed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where four people were wounded, the health ministry said in a statement.

 

The statement added that one protester had been injured in smaller clashes in the Nile Delta province of Dakahaliya.

 

Prime Minister Hisham Qandil issued a statement warning that “demonstrations accompanied by violence completely harm the security and economy of the country and hamper plans for reform.”

 

Morsi’s presidency has been plagued by deadly clashes between protesters and police, a revolt in Suez Canal cities, sectarian violence and a devastating economic crisis, which many fear is bringing Egypt to the brink of chaos.

 

Since Morsi’s election in June, the Islamist leader has sought to face down an increasingly vocal opposition that accuses him of betraying the goals of the 2011 uprising. He has even had to confront unprecedented strikes by the police.

 

In Friday’s clashes, police had initially withdrawn after their first attempt to separate the protesters. They thought the Islamists would use them as shields, the police lieutenant colonel who ordered his conscripts to retreat told AFP.

 

They later massed again when the Islamist protesters agreed to hang back.

 

The Islamists rallying on Friday were demanding an overhaul of the judiciary, which they believe is hostile to Morsi.

 

Last month, a court overturned a controversial decree by Morsi to sack state prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud, appointed by Mubarak, and replace him with Talaat Abdallah.

 

The court believed Morsi had overstepped his powers in sacking Mahmud, who has been blamed for bungling the trials of former regime officials, including Mubarak himself, after the 2011 uprising.

 

The Islamist-controlled Senate is currently preparing to debate legislation that would lower the retirement age for judges from 70 to 60. Many judges see this as a maneuver to get rid of suspected anti-Morsi figures.

 

A court had also overturned Morsi’s calling of parliamentary polls for this month, ruling that he had ratified a new electoral law without consulting the constitutional court.

 

Friday’s violence came days after a negotiating team from the International Monetary Fund left Egypt after talks over a key $4.8 billion loan that Morsi’s government hopes will revive the badly hit economy.

 

But any IMF loan would require considerable reforms, and progress in the talks has been hampered in part by the inability of the government to build a political consensus around the program.

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Arab Rage, Unrest and Anti-Americanism Is Nothing New

The delivery of tanks and F-16s to Egypt, originally promised to the Mubarak regime, but now forwarded to Morsi and the Brotherhood, is the latest phase of U.S. engagement with a Middle East in turmoil. Though all kinds of nasty and brutal individuals are still in charge, and though the thrust of the Arab world remains anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-American, the official line of our prescient government is that all this is an extension of the “Arab Spring” and, despite setbacks, is tending towards greater democracy in the Arab world.

We are, under Obama, supposedly the good guys because we generally support “democracy.”  What appears to be developments that are cancerous and threaten world peace, should be seen as just another Excedrin headache for our sincere, hardworking, compassionate, and all-knowing leaders.  After all, our President has an intuitive sense of the Muslim mind.  He can reconcile us with those who appear to be irreconcilable.

Stories are written as though the events in the Middle East, the turmoil and barbaric upheavals, were something new.   When the dust settles, we shall presumably see a more benign and tractable community of interests in the Arab world.  If anti-Americanism and anti-infidel expressions are reflected in Algeria, Libya, Syria, Mali, or Egypt, they are reflective of a new more harmonious relationship with us reflective of the influence of our balanced and giving President.

In fact, we see a deep-seated anti-American and anti-Western “rage” going back to Gamal Abdel Nasser with the closing of the Suez Canal and alignment with the Communist bloc.  Following Nasser, the assassination of his successor, President Sadat of Egypt, was clearly a rejection of the American-brokered Camp David Accords that led to the Egyptian recognition of the State of Israel.  There is a direct line from the deposing of Pres. Mubarak to that long-ago assassination. Therefore, Mubarak’s deposing was not pro-democratic, but anti-American at its heart.

If one believes that the history of thirty years ago cannot motivate Egyptians today, he or she would be very wrong. Incredibly, until today, many Egyptians and Arabs “on the street”  will tell you a bitter story of wrongdoing by the Crusaders who came in the late 11th and early 12th centuries.  Christianity and the West are blamed and condemned for those events of one thousand years ago.  The reader should understand that the “Arab street” really knows what it means to hold a grudge.

Further, if there is any doubt about deep-seated Arab animus towards the West and towards the U.S. in particular, we need only look at history to dispel that doubt.  Way back in the early 19th century, the Barbary pirates routinely attacked American vessels until President Jefferson sent in Stephen Decatur and the Marines to crush the piracy. Almost 150 years later, we find that the Muslim Brotherhood allied itself with the Nazis in their fight against the Allies in North Africa.

By the 1950s, under the rubric of Pan-Arabism, Nasser tried to pressure Lebanon, where a civil war was waging between Maronite Christians and Muslims, to join the United Arab Republic, which would thereby align Lebanon with the Soviet bloc.  Eisenhower, defending Western alignment, sent in 14,000 troops to force a compromise which kept Lebanon within the Western fold.  Then, in 1983, approximately 25 years later, the Marine barracks in Lebanon were bombed killing 241 Americans during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Then, as a small-scale reprise of the Marine barracks bombing, we must recall the repeated hijacking of American passenger flights in the 1980s, and of the terrorized cruise ship the Achille Lauro in 1985.  During the terrorist takeover of that vessel, Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair bound American senior citizen, was thrown overboard by hijackers when he fearlessly repudiated their activities to their faces.  These egregious events of the 1980s only stopped when, in 1986, President Reagan bombed Libya.

Closer to our own time, we must think of Ramzi Yousef, now serving a life sentence in Colorado in a federal maximum security prison, with the likes of the Unabomber and a mafia hit man on the same cell bloc. He led a team that blew up the World Trade Center in 1993, as a precursor of the 9/11 destruction to come.  While on the run from the FBI, he was hidden safely by many friends in  the Arab world, and had unsuccessfully planned a mission to blow up more than a dozen planes that were scheduled for departure from Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines. He represents the action-spearhead, the maniacal avant-garde, of the same mindset we see manifested on the streets and in the universities today protesting against the USA.

Lastly, we drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and ostensibly smashed Al Queda.  Yet, the Taliban is still fighting us, and the government of Karzai (presumed to be democratically elected) is under armed siege month after month and year after year.  Does this not show the failure of both the “democratic” or nation-building solution and the military solution?

To think that cordiality between America and these unstable and anti-American countries can be achieved by supporting one side (the democratic) over another side (the despotic) in a part of the world where violent power struggles have been the norm for centuries and anti-Americanism has existed for decades, or longer, is just bad thinking.

We are being “played” by the Islamo-fascists, who have used the magic word “democracy” to persuade our own self-serving, ideological President that their interests and ours really are compatible.By

#Fail: Egypt demanding $500 billion from Israel for Sinai damage

EOZ//Egyptian media is reporting that Egypt has prepared a 750 page document detailing Israel’s liability for damage done to the Sinai while Israel controlled it from 1967 to 1982.

Rose El Youssef says that the report being given to the UN. It details how Israel supposedly ravaged the Sinai and hurt the Egyptian economy. It includes some 190 maps.

Among the ludicrous charges:

  • Israel destroyed the fishing industry
  • Israel destroyed 40% of the coral reefs
  • Israel took lots of oil from the Sinai
  • Israel stole 25% of the precious gems and marble, leaving worthless rocks behind
  • Israel took the entire contents of two gold mines, leaving nothing of value left
  • Israel disrupted international maritime trade through the Suez Canal, depriving Egypt of revenue
  • Israel killed 250,000 (!) Egyptians and injured a million more
  • Israel looted all Egyptian banks in Gaza the day before the Six Day War, in the “biggest military robbery in modern history”
  • Israel stole priceless artifacts from Egypt’s museums in the Sinai and gutted archaeological sites there
  • Israel emptied out 30% of the fresh water wells in the Sinai, and placed there pipes that continue to drain Egyptian water towards Israel today
  • Israel stole millions of tons of valuable sand, worth $49 billion in today’s prices
  • Israel used the Sinai to research desert agriculture Israel benefits from the research but the Sinai desert lands were weakened as a result
  • Israel destroyed Sinai’s wildlife and stole many exotic animals to make medicines being sold to Europe
  • Israel shot down Libyan Airlines Flight 114 (that is true, details at Wikipedia; the plane strayed into Israel accidentally and purposefully refused to acknowledge the IAF pilots’ attempts to contact them)
  • And, of course, Israel destroyed Egypt’s air force “for no reason” at the beginning of the 1967 war
You can’t make this stuff up.

I think if Israel managed to steal $50 billion worth of sand, then Egypt’s cash flow problems are over – the rest of the sand in the Sinai must be worth trillions! Who needs oil when you have such valuable sand?