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Egypt military coup and ongoing discussion
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Lord Beria3 wrote:
Of course, as usual the mainstream media miss the main story... that is Egypt was within months of running out of money to pay for imports of oil and wheat - leading to a total state collapse.

The Army moved to prevent a total collapse of the economy and the inevitable bloodshed caused by the extremist and sectarian policies of the Brotherhood.



Question! ? How does the army taking over improve the economic situation of the Egyptian people or the country as a whole?


I am not very hopeful that the army will improve the economic situation, but it is just about possible if comparing a military government to a hard line islamist one.

In the recent past a fair bit of the money came from tourism, many tourists enjoy alcohol or like to wear scanty attire on the beaches, beside swiming pools etc.
Such behaviour is discouraged by Islam, and may be totally prohibited.
Even if the government allows alcohol sales and decadent western swiming costumes, it is probable that local sharia enforcers would take a different view.

Other tourists visted Egypt to view the many ancient monuments and remains, Islamic counries have a poor record of preserving ancient remains, and the army MIGHT do better.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the macro-macro viewpoint, one thing an economy needs is 'stability'. I think the army are more likely to maintain some semblance of stability better than the previous administration which has demonstrably just failed at this primary task.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem, for not only Egypt but also the rest of the middle east, is that they have not had an organic cultural transition from the medieval age to the modern age in the way that Europe did. In an ideal world, they would be left to get on with that difficult transition for themselves that, for us, took centuries to complete.

However, it is not an ideal world. Much of the economic lifeblood of the rest of the world lies under the stony ground of the Middle East and so the rest of the world is economically and politically compelled to intervene. It is this dissonance between the need of the Arabs to slowly make their own way out of their own dark age and the rest of the world's need for them to have all of the cultural, as well as technological, apparatus of the modern world in place right now that is at the heart of the problem. Thus, we attempt to influence events in favour of our own strategic interests, usually disastrously for the people who live there.

It started all the way back after the end of the first world war with a plethora of artificially constructed national boundaries that bore no resemblance to the ethnic/religious/cultural distribution of people on the ground This was further exacerbated after the second world war with the creation if the state of Israel. And so it goes on to this day.

There was always going to have to be a reckoning between the forces of secularism and those of religion, between the Shias and Sunnis, between the old world and the new and this reckoning would always need to occur at a pace and in a manner that was born of their specific history.

The tragedy is that as long as we need the oil, they will never be left alone to find their own unique way forwards. And so the hell that exists in that part of the world will continue for the people who live there until the oil runs out.

We should walk away. But we wont because we can't


Last edited by Little John on Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some interesting articles about the current turmoil in Egypt - but don't bother with lamestream media as you'd be totally in the dark as to why these events are happening.
First up an assessment as to the failings of the Muslim Brotherhood can be found here
Quote:
The brief, uninspiring reign of the first Muslim Brotherhood government will alter the course of Middle East history, whose modern chapter was formed, in part, by the rise of the Brotherhood. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has done the Middle East a profound favor by exposing its political and economic ideology for what it is: pro-western/capitalist economic policies that serve the IMF-dominated big banks, while preventing any real measures to address Egypt’s jobs crisis and massive inequality — itself born from previous neo-liberal privatization policies.

What did the Brotherhood do with the corrupt state they inherited? They tried to adapt; they flirted with the Egyptian military, coddled up to the security services, and seduced the dictatorship’s primary backer, the United States. They shielded all the Mubarak criminals from facing justice.

The Brotherhood’s foreign policy was also the same as Mubarak’s, favoring Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and favoring the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels against the Syrian government, while increasingly adopting an anti-Iran agenda. A primary financial backer of the Muslim Brotherhood government was the oil-rich monarchy of Qatar (a U.S. puppet government), who helped steer the foreign policy of the Egyptian government.


The Muslim Brotherhood had been following the neoliberal doctrine all along with its usual disastrous results. So, will the coup result in a change of direction? Probably not, in this aptly titled piece America's Plan B in Egypt: Bring Back the Old Regime
Quote:
July 08, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "Strategic Culture Foundation"-- The road that has been taken in Egypt is a dangerous one. A military coup has taken place in Egypt while millions of Egyptians have cheered it on with little thought about what is replacing the Muslim Brotherhood and the ramifications it will have for their society. Many people in cheering crowds have treated the Egyptian military’s coup like it was some sort of democratic act. They fail to remember who the generals of the Egyptian military work for. Those who are ideologically opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood have also cheered the military takeover without realizing that the military takeover ultimately serves imperialist behaviour. The cheering crowds have not considered the negative precedent that has been set.

Egypt was never cleansed of corrupt figures by the Muslim Brotherhood, which instead joined them. Key figures in Egypt, like Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Ahmed Al-Tayeb (who was appointed by Mubarak), criticized the Muslim Brotherhood when Mubarak was in power, then denounced Mubarak and supported the Muslim Brotherhood when it gained power, and then denounced the Muslim Brotherhood when the military removed it from power. The disgraced Muslim Brotherhood has actually been replaced by a far worse assembly. These figures, whatever they call themselves, have only served power and never democracy. The military’s replacements for the Muslim Brotherhood—be it the new interim president or the leaders of the military junta—were either working with or serving the Muslim Brotherhood and, even before them, Hosni Mubarak’s regime

Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.

There is one mainstream journalist who does get it and is worth reading: Robert Fisk. When is a military coup not a military coup? When it happens in Egypt, apparently
Robert Fisk wrote:
For the first time in the history of the world, a coup is not a coup. The army take over, depose and imprison the democratically elected president, suspend the constitution, arrest the usual suspects, close down television stations and mass their armour in the streets of the capital. But the word ‘coup’ does not – and cannot – cross the lips of the Blessed Barack Obama. Nor does the hopeless UN secretary general Ban DOD-moon dare to utter such an offensive word. It’s not as if Obama doesn’t know what’s going on. Snipers in Cairo killed 15 Egyptians this week from a rooftop of the very university in which Obama made his ‘reach-out’ speech to the Muslim world in 2009.

Is this reticence because millions of Egyptians demanded just such a coup – they didn’t call it that, of course – and thus became the first massed people in the world to demand a coup prior to the actual coup taking place? Is it because Obama fears that to acknowledge it’s a coup would force the US to impose sanctions on the most important Arab nation at peace with Israel? Or because the men who staged the coup might forever lose their 1.5 billion subvention from the US – rather than suffer a mere delay -- if they were told they’d actually carried out a coup.



For some more insightful views as to what the hell is really happening in Egypt and Syria try Information Clearing House
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:
There are some interesting articles about the current turmoil in Egypt - but don't bother with lamestream media as you'd be totally in the dark as to why these events are happening.
First up an assessment as to the failings of the Muslim Brotherhood can be found here
Quote:
The brief, uninspiring reign of the first Muslim Brotherhood government will alter the course of Middle East history, whose modern chapter was formed, in part, by the rise of the Brotherhood. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has done the Middle East a profound favor by exposing its political and economic ideology for what it is: pro-western/capitalist economic policies that serve the IMF-dominated big banks, while preventing any real measures to address Egypt’s jobs crisis and massive inequality — itself born from previous neo-liberal privatization policies.

.................

The Brotherhood’s foreign policy was also the same as Mubarak’s, favoring Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and favoring the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels against the Syrian government, while increasingly adopting an anti-Iran agenda. A primary financial backer of the Muslim Brotherhood government was the oil-rich monarchy of Qatar (a U.S. puppet government), who helped steer the foreign policy of the Egyptian government.


A lot of that ignores the dominant factor in Middle Eastern politics, which is the Sunni/Shia split. To a Sunni Muslim brotherhood member a Shia heretic Iranian or Syrian is worse than a kufar westerner. As long as the government of Qatar is Sunni they can do no wrong in the eyes of fellow Sunnis, especially if that criticism is coming from a kufar or, even more so, from a Shia heretic. It works in reverse too!
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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
raspberry-blower wrote:
There are some interesting articles about the current turmoil in Egypt - but don't bother with lamestream media as you'd be totally in the dark as to why these events are happening.
First up an assessment as to the failings of the Muslim Brotherhood can be found here
Quote:
The brief, uninspiring reign of the first Muslim Brotherhood government will alter the course of Middle East history, whose modern chapter was formed, in part, by the rise of the Brotherhood. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has done the Middle East a profound favor by exposing its political and economic ideology for what it is: pro-western/capitalist economic policies that serve the IMF-dominated big banks, while preventing any real measures to address Egypt’s jobs crisis and massive inequality — itself born from previous neo-liberal privatization policies.

.................

The Brotherhood’s foreign policy was also the same as Mubarak’s, favoring Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, and favoring the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels against the Syrian government, while increasingly adopting an anti-Iran agenda. A primary financial backer of the Muslim Brotherhood government was the oil-rich monarchy of Qatar (a U.S. puppet government), who helped steer the foreign policy of the Egyptian government.


A lot of that ignores the dominant factor in Middle Eastern politics, which is the Sunni/Shia split. To a Sunni Muslim brotherhood member a Shia heretic Iranian or Syrian is worse than a kufar westerner. As long as the government of Qatar is Sunni they can do no wrong in the eyes of fellow Sunnis, especially if that criticism is coming from a kufar or, even more so, from a Shia heretic. It works in reverse too!


There is actually another dynamic at work here, Ken.
Whilst you are right in pointing out the Sunni/Shia divide being a key part of ME politics (most Arab states have autocratic Sunni monarchies with a repressed Shia majority; Syria has an autocratic Shia/Alwite leader with a repressed Sunni majority; I would not include Iran in this as although it has a sizeable Arab population it is not a predominantly Arab country) there is also a power struggle that is afflicting the Sunni kingdoms.
On the one hand there is KSA - which has a burgeoning native population which is ruled by the Saud royal family. They distrust the Muslim Brotherhood as it is seen as a genuine threat to the Saud monarchy.
Qatar, on the other hand, which has a much smaller population and this consists of many migrant workers, has been quick to back the Muslim Brotherhood, seeing it less of a threat to its ruling monarchy, the Al Thani family.

What does this mean for Egypt? I suspect the incoming regime may act more sympathetically to the minorities (in particular the Coptic Chhristian community). However I would not be at all surprised if the same old faces reappeared.
Unless Egypt can get a lot of its foodstuffs (i.e. wheat) from the likes of Russia (which is highly unlikely) it will still dancing to the neoliberal tune.

Egypt's problems aren't over - they're only just beginning...
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:

Egypt's problems aren't over - they're only just beginning...

Yes, sad but very true.
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-07-11/2-3-of-egypt-s-oil-is-gone-20-years-after-its-peak

Quote:
Egypt is estimated to hold 12,446 mmbbl initial recoverable liquid reserves. After decades of production, it is estimated that the country has approximately 1,888.9 mmbbl recoverable oil remaining, as of January 2011. These figures indicate that 83% of Egypt’s recoverable oil reserves have been depleted.
http://www.egyptoil-gas.com/admin/industry/EOG%20Newspaper%20December%202012%20Issue.pdf

Conclusion:
While most peak oil researchers are transfixed on calculating the global peak, they forget to look at the peaking in populous, strategically located countries like Egypt and its geo-political impacts. Neither US shale oil nor syncrude from Canadian tar sands will help the situation in these countries. What is happening there also tells us something about the world 20 years after the global peak.


A good article which connects the dots between the 'surface' political and economic problems facing Egypt with the 'deep' energy/physical limits facing the country.

This is where PO websites can still be of use, in effect 'predicting' the most likely countries to face severe socio-economic crisis as energy production/exports collapse. UK anyone?! Laughing
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Lord Beria3



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/06/25/egyp-j25.html

Quote:
In the wake the 2008 global financial crisis and the political upheavals following Mubarak’s ouster, Egypt’s economy has gone into free fall. With its main foreign currency earners, the Suez Canal hit by falling trade and tourism by security fears, the Egyptian pound has plummeted. This, along with the price hikes resulting from the taxes and cuts in subsidies on basic goods imposed in 2014, new import duties on several products, including nuts and fruits, and restrictions on others, has sent prices, particularly foodstuffs, medications and fuel sky high.

Inflation is now running at 13 percent a year and rising in a country where 40 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day and wages have not kept up with inflation. Prices are soaring in Egypt despite a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report showing global commodity prices falling to their lowest since June 2010.

So great is the fear that rising prices may lead to widespread protests that the government announced government stores would offer basic commodities at discounted prices.

Egypt’s Central Bank has raised interest rates twice this year, to around 12 percent, to bolster the pound. This move threatens the already limited capital investment in Egypt, following its 14 percent devaluation of the pound, which set exchange rate at 8.85 pounds to the US dollar, compared to 7.73 previously. On the black market, traders are paying up to 11 pounds per dollar. Another devaluation is expected later this year.
Egypt's budget deficit rose to 9.2 percent of GDP in first nine months of this fiscal year, up from 9.0 percent in the same period last year.

The el-Sisi regime is dependent on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States for its economic and political survival, with Washington providing at least $1.3 billion a year in direct aid. It was Egypt’s dire financial situation that led el-Sisi to transfer sovereignty of two strategic Red Sea islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia as part of an economic deal to stimulate Egypt’s economy, although the courts have unexpectedly nullified the transfer. Under the deal, Riyadh is to provide Cairo with a $22 billion oil and aid deal, including loans of $1.5 billion to develop the Sinai Peninsula, $1.2 billion to finance Egypt’s oil purchases and a $500 million grant to buy Saudi exports and products.


Egypt is seeing massive food inflation and we could see a state collapse of the military regime soon if the Saudi subsidies run out (they are running out of money as well!).
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Beria3 wrote:
wsws wrote:
Inflation is now running at 13 percent a year and rising in a country where 40 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day and wages have not kept up with inflation. Prices are soaring in Egypt despite a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report showing global commodity prices falling to their lowest since June 2010.

Egypt today... UK in 2020? Twisted Evil
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
Lord Beria3 wrote:
wsws wrote:
Inflation is now running at 13 percent a year and rising in a country where 40 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day and wages have not kept up with inflation. Prices are soaring in Egypt despite a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report showing global commodity prices falling to their lowest since June 2010.

Egypt today... UK in 2020? Twisted Evil


If anyone thinks staying in the EU it would be different, the EU will probably be close behind (or in front).
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
clv101 wrote:
Lord Beria3 wrote:
wsws wrote:
Inflation is now running at 13 percent a year and rising in a country where 40 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day and wages have not kept up with inflation. Prices are soaring in Egypt despite a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report showing global commodity prices falling to their lowest since June 2010.

Egypt today... UK in 2020? Twisted Evil


If anyone thinks staying in the EU it would be different, the EU will probably be close behind (or in front).

Agreed, I don't think there is a 'positive' trajectory... which is kinda why we started this site over a decade ago.
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BritDownUnder



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting times in the whole world. Australia seems boring by comparison but I think we will get our chance. Just a bit later than the rest of the world.

On Egypt when I was there last year I was just happy to get out alive.

I think an Egypt collapse will make the Syrian exodus look like a sideshow. Depends on how they can get to Greece or Italy I suppose.

Interestingly the Battle of Navarino was fought to prevent Egyptian / Arab settlers occupying southern Greece in 1827. Britain, France and Russia united to defeat them. My Lord. How times have changed!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
Interesting times in the whole world. Australia seems boring by comparison but I think we will get our chance. Just a bit later than the rest of the world.

On Egypt when I was there last year I was just happy to get out alive.

I think an Egypt collapse will make the Syrian exodus look like a sideshow. Depends on how they can get to Greece or Italy I suppose.

Interestingly the Battle of Navarino was fought to prevent Egyptian / Arab settlers occupying southern Greece in 1827. Britain, France and Russia united to defeat them. My Lord. How times have changed!

As I have said before this will not end well. Egypt now has a population of 93.5 million and net growth is close to a million a year. Already 22,000 people left this year.
Considering that they import half of their food now if they lose the ability to pay for it you might have 45 million refugees or bodies to bury.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This wont help bring stability.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-42118994

Terrorism is more or less normal, but a recent attack was much worse than the norm, with over 300 lives feared to be lost.

A firm crackdown is promised by the government.
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