Heavy shit. A very important account of Egypt’s Arab Spring & the transformations that have occurred in its disastrous aftermath.
David Kirkpartrick was an international correspondent for the New York Times stationed in Cairo in 2011. This book recounts his observations & journalism on the ground & in the field up until around 2016 as well as illumination on Washington’s troubling relations with it’s close beneficiary (the US endows Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid every year, basically to act as doorman & proxy-sentry for Israel which receives the largest of all annual US subsidy – $3.8 billion).
Egypt exhibited immense bravery in the initial Tahrir uprising. It was marvelous albeit very costly for the courageous citizens that battled with the regimes execrable security forces & their many affiliates to eventually oust the staggeringly corrupt inveterate kleptocrat Hosni Mubarak who had been taking the piss for decades. Eventually, the unexpected democratic victory of Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood emerged from the emancipatory furor, stunning the establishment. Although completely legitimate, this nomination was considered an unacceptable outcome by Saudi Arabia & the Gulf Autocracies (bar only Qatar), Israel, much of the US administration (John Kerry in particular who is a rent-boy of the Persian Gulf dictatorships) & the core old order of Egypt (the police, intelligence services, mukhabarat, judiciary, the military, media tycoons etcetera). & thus, the revolution turned into a coup. From liberation to lock-down. & with this being Egypt, & with Israel -the apogee of American priority- having any probability of its security jeopardized, not to mention the wishes of the vicious & savage Gulf-despot petroleum-monarchies believing it to be against their interests in the region – the blood had to flow & the brutality had to amplify. The hysteria that follows, the subversion, divide & conquer role-out, oppression, disinformation, deception, massacres, scapegoating, extreme state violence, assassination, political internment, torture, summary executions, abduction, censorship, media assault & full pantheon of dirty-war cum dictator’s tool-box, remains the biggest fixation for this book, along with the personal human toll scrambling in this madness. The US is pathetic. It aids the abuser, funds him, goads him, protects him & piddles a pittance on the rare occasion 100 red lines are crossed in one single instance, which is only for show. As usual, everything it apparently categorically opposes (see the latter descriptions) is endorsed & excused under the old adage of “allowing them to get away with it may mean we can influence whether they continue to do it at some stage.” Or – ”He may be a bastard but he’s our bastard.” Surprisingly, as I am no fan, Barak Obama emerges quite well, being blocked, contested & precluded by his own administration, which clearly has other ideas & other loyalties. What a complete joke. But the biggest state-on-civilian massacre since Tianmen Square is not really chuckle material. The clearing of the Rabaa camp by ‘security forces’, where pro-government (yes, that’s the sitting, democratically installed government) civilians were staging an ongoing protest resulted in the deaths of well over a thousand people. Indiscriminate slaughter by state goons, gunned down & run over by military vehicles – leaving corpses shot, crushed & burned.
“On March 24, 2014, a three-judge panel in Minya had sentenced 529 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death, all for the killing of a single police officer during an antigovernment riot on the day of the Rabaa massacre. The trial took only two sessions, each less than an hour. More than 400 defendants were sentenced in absentia.”
General Sisi is the man. The Pinochet-styled, authoritarian tyrant with a penchant for military masochism & son of a rich businessman (well of course) lurches to power. Its not a coup! It’s the Egyptian peoples will! Its god’s will! It’s the revolutions true intentions. It’s the only way to beat ‘the terrorists’! roll-on propagandist, hyperbole histrionics & dog-shit logic that ends up eating its own tail & contradicting itself out of any coherence beyond the fascist, totalitarian, fear-whipping fuck-up that it is. After a while, you don’t even need to attempt to be convincing & the ‘emergency measures’, bloody trail of human examples, intimidation & menacing are the real substance of the charade. The guys a fucking lunatic. Its almost funny. A shitter Saddam, & one happy to prostitute his country to external entities (the islands in the Red Sea tossed to Saudi & major commiserations to Israel despite maintaining public opposition & condemnation). I actually found much of Sisi’s coverage in the book the most transfixing. The madness, the erraticism, the hyper-illogical reasoning, dire defective thought & nonsensical justification. many internal leaks are quoted with the General or his cronies laughing about how lucrative their exploits are. He went the military route, but in its politicized, careerist form –
“He never saw combat. He specialized instead in diplomacy and intelligence. He served as a military attaché in Riyadh, trained at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Britain, and studied at the United States Army War College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.”
So an external creation, cultivated abroad x3, indoctrinated & issued assignment elsewhere, only to insist he is the nationalist personification of Egyptian purity, balanced by foreign donors to enact a new agenda (or perhaps maintain an old one?).
“Sisi had once told fellow military officers to think of Egyptians as children. The army is ‘the very big brother the very big father who has a son who is a bit of a failure and does not understand the facts,’ he told a group of senior officers, in another leaked recording. ‘Does the father kill the son? Or does he always shelter him and say, I’ll be patient until my son understands?’”
Its no wonder that Chump call’s Sisi his “favorite dictator” (yes, that is a direct verbatim quote by Donald on General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi).
‘I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality.’ Sisi oozed to Trump.
Trump shat the following -“He took control of Egypt, and he really took control of it.” “We are going to be friends for a long, long period of time,”
Let us not leave the United Kingdom & its mass murderous, blood streaming, baby-killer, war criminal Conservative government out of this sanguine saga of violence terror & wrongdoing. The David Cameron coalition government invited Sisi on a state visit to Britain in 2015 & went to extraordinary lengths to secure immunity from prosecution for some of the attending Sisi ‘dignitaries’ who were effectively considered war criminals. It was an extremely controversial, monolithically shameful act of calculated wickedness & criminal complicity that laid some of the foundation work for the abyss of shit that we are currently adrift in. never, ever, ever forget, or forgive, the Conservative party’s role in sanitizing so cynically & with such sanctimony, the butchery, murder, state terror & barbarism of this vavasour outpost.
In March of this year, UK foreign office minister Tobias Ellwood had to be asked six consecutive times by a parliamentary committee whether the subject of human rights had been brought up during a government-led trade delegation from Britain to Cairo, before admitting it had not. “Our focus was on the commercial aspects,” Ellwood told the committee. “There is a time and a place … when you can raise [other] specific issues.”
“If we just say, ‘Hey, you guys, we are washing our hands, you are done,’ then guess what? Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and all the other countries, including Israel, will be right there, one hundred percent. They are all, at heart, in the same frame of mind.” – John Kerry justifies genocide
David D. Kirkpatrick-2018-Bloomsbury-339 pages