This is the video of the June 30 protests taken by army helicopters. I had not seen it before.
Thanks to Geoffrey Aronson for sending me this, translated by Philip Sweigart. Posting here for the record.
General Sisi’s Ultimatum: July 1, 2013
In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful
An announcement from the leadership of the armed forces:
Egypt and the world have seen unprecedented protests, in which the great people of Egypt have filled the streets to express their opinions and desires in a peaceful and civilized way.Read More
Pretty, pretty, pretty much.
Meanwhile... take a look egypt.
Interesting swipe at PM Qandil here - and Morsi for keeping him.
Some good points but ends up as biased as its subject.
al-Ahram: "Egypt abandoned to fear"
al-Akhbar: "Egypt on fire"
al-Gomhoureya: "The longest day in the history of Egypt"
Rose al-Youssef: "The people wants to decide its own fate"
Private press (mostly anti-Morsi):
al-Masri al-Youm: "Revolutionaries to Morsi: one year was enough"
al-Shorouk al-Jadid: "30 June: Egypt delivered to its fate"
Youm al-Saba3e: "Red card for the president: 22 million signatures for Tamarrod"
al-Destour: "Today is the end of Morsi and of his gang"
I have been traveling for the last three weeks with only an iPad, which makes blogging difficult. Hence no recent links, so to clear things ahead of June 30 here are the last 50 or bookmarks I kept over the last month.
- Egypt, Its Streets a Tinderbox, Braces for a Spark - NYTimes.com
Good overview by David Kirkpatrick.
- Assad backers reportedly make up 43 percent of dead in Syria | McClatchy
- Twitter / nawaat: Why they hate #twitter?
- Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels - The Independent
Handy cheat sheet.
- Syria's proxy war - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition
- Tunisia's 'immunisation of the revolution' draft legislation fiercely debated - The National
Another political isolation law.
- A Pilot’s Refusal, Reimagined by Negar Azimi | NYRblog
- Dangerous Divisions in the Arab World - NYTimes.com
Good op-ed on sectarianism.
- BBC News - US warns against Egypt travel after deadly clashes
Tourists what tourists?
- Will June 30 Be Midnight For Morsi's Cinderella Story?
Nathan Brown - "Calmer language was used in Europe in the summer of 1914."
From this morning Beltone Financial newsletter, by an Egypt-based regional investment bank that does a pretty good roundup of local news:
The size of masses to protest against Morsi, the duration and intensity of the protests, the role of the army, and the support of the west including the US will all determine the outcome of the protests. We are inclined to believe that the end of Morsi’s presidency is looming, but that it will likely take deadly clashes and continued civil disobedience. This may extend beyond the week of June 30th, thus extending the length of political instability in Egypt. We also believe that it would take army intervention to control the Muslim Brotherhood before and after Morsi steps down. The Brotherhood’s dream of a caliphate in the region and beyond is at stake and they will not give up that easily. The West will stop supporting President Morsi only when they see the Egyptians themselves all turn against him. The lack of US and western support of President Morsi will definitely turn the table against him and will result in the end of his rule. The army will intervene when the clashes become deadly and widespread, yet it is unclear whether their role will end there or if they will aspire for more power and thus the scenario whereby the Egyptians turn against the army starts again.
Yup - but it's a tall order to align those conditions. So far, the army is waiting and Obama is supportive of Morsi as legitimately elected leader. But that could change fast.
We asked Nour The Intern to send us a ground-level view of the mood in Cairo ahead of #June30mageddon. This is her response.
Well, the atmosphere in Cairo is relatively calm, as opposed to other governorates, like Sharqia, Alexandria, Assiut, Suez, where unrest arrived a few days early. Whether it’s the kind of calm that comes before the storm or one that could last beyond June 30, no one knows.
The weather has officially lost its spot as the number one topic for small talk to June 30. Asking someone about their views of, or plans for, June 30 is the new "Very humid today, worse than yesterday, right?" and saying "God save us on June 30," or things to that effect, has all but replaced goodbyes.Read More
And the build-up to anti-Morsi protests in Egypt on June 30th continues... Here is a video message by world-famous activist Wael Ghonim, taking the Islamist president to task for allegedly breaking the promises he made a year ago. Translated transcript by Nour.
In the name of God, the Merciful. Allah Almighty said: “And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant will be questioned about.”
Last year during the runoff presidential elections, the then-presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi emerged with a number of pledges to the Egyptian people to win their votes. These promises did, in fact, make a difference for him -- as evidenced by him winning the elections by a very small margin, thanks to many people, a great many of whom are now considered agents of the West and haters of religion.
Three days after the elections, just like today, I attended the Fairmont (hotel) meeting with the president before the official result was announced, when the Muslim Brothers were afraid of forgery, and so decided to confirm their commitments to their promises. That day, the president promised us to be a president for all Egyptians, he promised to honor his campaign slogan: "Our strength, in our unity.” But, unfortunately, a year later the slogan is now “Our strength, in our Brotherhood.” The president, that day, promised us to respect the opposition and shared decision-making, but (now) we find that we have replaced a ruling party that considered whoever opposes it to be a traitor and an agent with another ruling party that considers whoever opposes it to be a traitor, an agent and a hater of religion. The president at the Fairmont meeting promised retribution for (the killers) of those who died in the revolution, but what we have seen is that people are still dying under his rule. The youth that took to Tahrir Sq. to chant the day (Morsi) won -- their mothers are now crying with sadness, (grieving) their (youth’s) martyrdom when they took to (the streets) to oppose him.Read More
The European Council of Foreign Relations' website is hosting a roundtable of views from around the region on the Syrian conflict that's very much worth reading to get a hold of the complexity of its regional dimension.
Hassan Hassan starts off with what the Gulf states want:
The potential demise of the pro-Iranian regime in Damascus offers the Gulf states the possibility of extending their regional influence. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in particular, believe that a friendly regime in Syria will give them influence over Shia-dominated Baghdad, over whom they have had little sway, but which is seen as a critical player in the regional balance of power. Iraq’s post-2003 alliance with Iran is perceived as one of the key reasons. for Tehran’s growing regional influence over the past decade. A Sunni state in Syria could serve to strengthen currently marginalised Iraqi Sunni forces, giving them – and their Gulf backers – greater influence in Baghdad. At the same time, regime change in Damascus would help the Gulf states bolster their standing in Lebanon, already economically dependent on the Gulf, by strengthening pro-Sunni Gulf actors at the expense of the dominant pro-Assad Hezbollah movement. For the Gulf States, the Syria conflict is thus a critical battle for control of a key pivot state in the region. Drawing Damascus away from the Iranian camp is seen as a way of cementing broader regional influence in the Levant, and reestablishing the more favorable regional balance of power that they lost following the US occupation of Iraq in 2003.
And from Haydar al-Khoei's piece on the view from Iraq:
A diplomatic incident in Damascus sheds some light on how events in Syria are being seen by Baghdad. In the summer of 2011, the Qatari ambassador to Syria invited several Arab ambassadors as well as the Syrian foreign minister to his residence. Whilst sitting around the dinner table the Iraqi ambassador remarked, “The same people who conspired against Iraq are now conspiring against Syria.” This enraged the Saudi Arabian ambassador, who responded, “I dare you to name them. I dare you!” The Syrian foreign minister attempted to calm the situation by saying, “The Iraqi ambassador is referring to al-Qaeda and the Salafis, not Saudi Arabia,” but the undertone of the message was clear.
There's much more to read there - check it out. ECFR's latest report on Syria stakes out the wise position, in my view, that any alternative to diplomacy would be disastrous.