Monday, July 08, 2013

Bloomberg
The dethronement of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood party is giving rise to a new political power. The ultra-conservative Nour Party was the only Islamist group to support the military-backed plan to topple Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood organization that fielded him for office. The move has cast them as political power brokers, evidenced by their scuttling, at least for now, of Mohamed ElBaradei’s appointment as prime minister. 
“The Nour Party for the time being has a veto power over major decisions because the new order needs at least one major Islamist party on its side,” said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in the Qatari capital. “It’s never been so influential.”
AA
Does the fierce Saudi defense of the Sisi coup not give you any pause?
Sarah Carr
On Sheep and Infidels
Before I begin, let me state some facts, so that when people begin the ad hominem attacks they can try to rein them in within the following boundaries:

I voted for Mohamed Morsi in the second round of the presidential elections (to keep Ahmed Shafiq out).

I am one of the administrators of a blog called “MB in English” that features English translations of awful statements of a sectarian, conspiratorial or bonkers nature that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) intends for domestic consumption only.

I am against army intervention in politics.

I state all this because Egyptian politics and society in general are currently split along identity lines in a way that they have never been over the last three years. This problem is so chronic that the merits or flaws of an argument are almost entirely determined by who is making the argument, considered through a haze of fury and suspicion. 
...On 4 July, the day after Morsi’s removal, I went to the Nasr City sit-in. There was a line of tanks about a kilometer from the entrance checking bags and bothering journalists. Behind the tanks, barbed wire had been put in place. Two men stood five meters apart in silence, both carrying pictures of Morsi.

A man went past them and began shouting. He was an engineer with a lisp who explained in a desperate tone that he did not take part in the 25 January protests but that these protests taught him “how to state an opinion and protect it.” He had voted for Morsi in both rounds of the elections, but insisted that he was at the protest not to support an individual, but “an idea.”

“I learned democracy from the elite. So I voted. But I have learnt that there is no revolution and no democracy,” he said.

As he was talking, a man nearby started screaming in the direction of the army while holding up a poster of Morsi. He was so furious that he succeeded in pulling his poster in two, at which point he crumpled into a ball on the ground and wept.

On Saturday I attended the somber and low-key funeral of Mohamed Sobhy, a father of two who was shot in the head outside the Republican Guards Officers’ Club. Eyewitnesses say that this happened after he put a Morsi poster on the barbed wire in front of some troops who seem to have gotten nervous. In total, four men died at the protest.

I saw his body half an hour later, covered in a sheet and surrounded by bewildered protesters. I tried to tweet the picture but the network was not cooperating and it would not send. So I tweeted that a man had been killed and his body was still here and that I was trying to send a picture for all those who I know would say I was lying.

The problem is not that people did not believe me after the first tweet (it is always good to be cautious). The problem is that they were disputing that a man had died even when the photo was uploaded. One man responded: “he doesn’t have Egyptian features.” Others suggested it was an old photo. When a video appeared and it was no longer possible to dispute the fact that a man had been shot outside the Presidential Guards Officers’ Club in Cairo at the same date and time as the pro-Morsi lot were alleging, attention turned to his injuries. Sobhy was facing the army when he fell to the ground, and blood gushed out of the back of his head.
The lack of serious discussion of world politics among US liberals is more than simply worthy of note.  The limits of normative debate, and curiosity, are more and more clear, and the arrogance of the elite is the worst of it. More and more arrogant the less they have to say. The world moves on.

Below is Crooked Timber's link list.
11D3 Quarks DailyA Fistful of Euros, Atrios, Balkinization, Best of Both Worlds, Blood and Treasure, Brad DeLong, Cosma Shalizi, Corey Robin, Critical Mass, Daily Kos, Daniel Drezner, Digby, Ed Felten, Edge of the American West, Ezra Klein, Feminist Philosophers, Firedoglake, Glenn Greenwald, The Inverse Square, Jacobin, Jim Henley, Joshua Marshall, Juan Cole, Kevin Drum, Lawrence SolumLawyers, Guns and MoneyLeiter ReportsMaking LightMarc LynchMarginal RevolutionMark ThomaMatthew YglesiasMaud NewtonMichael FroomkinMiriam BursteinNaked CapitalismNew Left ProjectThe New InquiryPharyngulaPolitical Theory Daily ReviewPolitics, Theory and PhotographyRussell Arben FoxSlugger O’TooleSociological ImagesSteven JohnsonSteven PooleTalk LeftTappedThe Virtual StoaTim LambertTimothy BurkeUncertain PrinciplesYorkshire Ranter
Beyond a few exceptions there's really not much there. The foreign policy types are American nationalists. Juan Cole is there for his writing on the Iraq war.  He's not an Arab, let alone an angry one, and they don't refer to him anymore, since he refuses to separate Israel from other issues in the region.  I've said all this before. There's a link to Jacobin but not Jadaliyya, to a journal about political ideas but not to one about politics as such, and culture.  It'd be too much to expects links to AbuKhalil, or Phil Weiss. They link to Marc Lynch, a knowledgable strategist of American power, but not Josh Landis. They link to two people at Foreign Policy, but why Drezner, and not Walt? The only excuse for that his friendship from the beginnings of blogging. That and the fact that Farrell likes to criticize Walt as a theorist while ignoring his observations on politics; we're back to ideas again. Their Greenwald link is outdated.  Following the link at the end of the previous sentence will remind you of the history.

Here's AA's July archive, full of links.  Arabist links to the NYT
CAIRO — As President Mohamed Morsi huddled in his guard’s quarters during his last hours as Egypt’s first elected leader, he received a call from an Arab foreign minister with a final offer to end a standoff with the country’s top generals, senior advisers with the president said. 
The foreign minister said he was acting as an emissary of Washington, the advisers said, and he asked if Mr. Morsi would accept the appointment of a new prime minister and cabinet, one that would take over all legislative powers and replace his chosen provincial governors. 
The aides said they already knew what Mr. Morsi’s answer would be. He had responded to a similar proposal by pointing at his neck. “This before that,” he had told his aides, repeating a vow to die before accepting what he considered a de facto coup and thus a crippling blow to Egyptian democracy. 
His top foreign policy adviser, Essam el-Haddad, then left the room to call the United States ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, to say that Mr. Morsi refused. When he returned, he said he had spoken to Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser, and that the military takeover was about to begin, senior aides said. 
“Mother just told us that we will stop playing in one hour,” an aide texted an associate, playing on a sarcastic Egyptian expression for the country’s Western patron, “Mother America.”
Academic distance in the name of "science" devolves into the passivity seen both in the powerful and the damned. Irony is the glory of slaves, but the irony of the powerful is perverse.  Daniel Drezner's tone is one of snide superiority and contempt: moralizing prurience. Like Yglesias and Holbo, he plays to an audience while fully aware his own sleazy mediocrity. Robin and Bertram are moralists, but very selective in their targets: self-preservation comes first.

repeat. Yglesias: "terroritories"
After the last depressing news from the Middle East I think we have to start asking just how inhumane it would be for Israel to just expel the Palestinians from the occupied terroritories. [sic] The result would probably be out-and-out war with the neighboring Arab states, but Israel could win that.
All forced population transfers are humanitarian disasters, of course, but so is the current situation. It's not like there's not any room in the whole Arab world for all these Palestinian Arabs to go live in, it's just that the other Arab leaders don't want to cooperate.
AP
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration wants to find a way to avoid labeling the overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist president a “coup” to keep crucial aid flowing to the Egyptian military without violating American law, U.S. officials said Monday.

While not directly ordering a pre-cooked outcome of a legal review into Mohammed Morsi’s ouster last week, the officials said Monday that the White House has made clear in inter-agency discussions that continued aid to Egypt’s military is a U.S. national security priority that would be jeopardized by a coup finding. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal administration deliberations.

The legal review being led by State Department lawyers has not been completed, but under U.S. law, a coup determination would require a suspension of all non-humanitarian aid to Egypt, including $1.3 billion that directly supports the Egyptian military.
John Quiggin refers to the Overton Window and Agnotology, without irony.


"Only elsewhere in the region"
I'm not asking Israel to be Utopian. I'm not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I'm not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I'm actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel's security and for its status as a Jewish state.
"Jimmy! Get the PHD!" [true story]

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