Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Egypt - Civil War?


Yes, it may come to that.

The new provisional government submitted a plan today that would call for a referendum on a new constitution in 6 months, with new elections to follow. The Muslim Brotherhood rejected it, saying that they would settle for nothing less than Morsi's reinstatement. There's a lot of talk about 'martyrdom' going on, and increased violence.

Last night, there was an altercation between Brotherhood demonstrators in front of the Republican Guard offices in Cairo. The Brotherhood claimed they were just doing morning prayers and minding their own business when the police and the army tear gassed them and fired on them with live ammo.Something like 51 people were killed.

The Army has a very different story. Colonel Ali Ahmad, the army's spokesperson gave a press conference showing that the troops and police were fired on by the Brotherhood, and showed a video clearly showing the gunmen. In addition, two soldiers were reported killed.

I suppose whom you believe here is based on which side of the fence you're on, but Egypt definitely is awash in weapons, thanks to our clueless intervention in Libya.

If the Brotherhood does opt for violence ( and don't let anyone tell you they haven't embraced it as a tactic when it suited them), they will lose, and badly.

The Brotherhood is also attacking Christians, whom they blame as instigators of Morsi's ouster. Gunmen targeted the Mar Mina Church in Port Said's al-Manakh district today, but managed to escape. No one was killed, but a Coptic Christian priest Saturday in Masaeed in North Sinai wasn't so lucky. He was shot dead.

Attacks on Coptic Christians became fairly common in Morsi's Islamist run Egypt, so there's not much doubt whom Christians are siding with, for obvious reasons.

Morsi and the Brotherhood's removal also brought in a badly needed aid package for the region's Sunni states.

The Saudis kicked in with an offer comprised of a $2 billion central bank deposit, $2 billion in badly needed energy products, and another $1 billion in cash, according to the Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf.

The UAE offered $3 billion, including a grant of $1 billion and a $2 billion interest-free deposit in Egypt's central bank.

This will buy Egypt's new regime some time to get their house in order. If the economy can't at least show some signs of getting better, it isn't going to matter who rules to the average Egyptian.

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