Egypt links 15-18 August 2013

The most important piece of the last few days about Egypt, in my view, in this great reporting by David Kirkpatrick, Peter Baker and Michael Gordon in the New York Times. It's worth reading carefully because it represents the most detailed public account of efforts at defusing the post-July 3 crisis, negotiations between the army and the MB and how hardliners in the government nixed them, and gives some indication of key personalities around Sisi. It also provides details, such as that Mohammed ElBaradei meant to resign in late July after the second massacre of pro-Morsi protestors in Cairo but was convinced to remain by John Kerry. It's really sterling work.

One impression I came away reading this was that, while dynamics inside the Egyptian leadership were the most important factor, the interventions of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham may have prevented (because of their perceived arrogance from an Egyptian point of view) a breakthrough in efforts to avoid further violence. 

Update: A source familiar with the negotiations / mediation efforts (not a journalist and not an American) confirms the NYT account is, small errors aside, largely correct but that the deal had already collapsed when McCain and Graham came to Cairo. Their swagger, at most, helped the Egyptian government in providing a pretext for nationalist backlash, but the decision had already been made to close the talks and move to a crackdown. 

Below are links collated in the last few days, from different perspectives. I may come back to a few later. 

August 17-18

  • Gulf Islamist Dissent Over Egypt | Marc Lynch
  • Saudi Arabia warns against pressing Egypt on crackdown | Reuters
  • Egypt: Building the narrative | The World
  • Egypt's Brotherhood cries foul over prison deaths | Reuters
  • AUC TA Sonbul shot in Rabaa but officially declared to have died naturally | The Insider (AUC)
  • GM, BASF reopen in Egypt, Electrolux plans partial resumption - Yahoo! Finance
  • Minister of Defence Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi statement - Aug. 18, 2013 - YouTube
  • Obama balances short-term, long-term goals in Egypt - The Washington Post
  • US has lost all credibility in the Middle East says John McCain | World news | theguardian.com
  • European Union - EEAS (European External Action Service) | EU-EGYPT TASK FORCE Fact Sheet
  • Weekite أجنحة صغيرة: Head of Foreign Press Association in Egypt Exposes Foreign Media Bias
  • Bloodshed in Egypt: No End In Sight | The Nation
  • EU considers suspension of €5bn in aid to Egypt - FT.com
  • David Remnick: Speaking the Truth About the Egyptian Coup : The New Yorker
  • 4 common Misconceptions Egyptians have
  • Algérie FocusTariq Ramadan : "Les Frères Musulmans doivent cesser les manifestations, cesser la politique du pire" - Algérie Focus
  • Can Human Rights defenders in Egypt win their war for country of law? - YouTube
  • Egypt’s identity crisis - The Washington Post
  • Now Egyptians are all paying the price | Ahdaf Soueif | Comment is free | The Guardian
  • The Revenge of the Police State
  • Egypt's State Information Service Statement to Foreign Correspondents
  • Morsi Critic: 'What Happens In Egypt Is Not Very Clear Abroad' : NPR
  • U.S. military needs Egypt for access to critical area
  • For Muslim Brotherhood, A Painful Day of Reckoning - WSJ.com
  • Egyptians grieve for loved ones as massacre continues | World news | The Guardian
  • August 15-16:

  • There is still time to side with those committed to democracy in Egypt | Maha Azzam | Comment is free | The Guardian
  • Vicious Backlash Shakes One Egyptian Town - WSJ.com
  • Massacre in Cairo: Egypt on Brink After Worst Violence Since 2011 Revolution | Democracy Now!
  • Mubarak Still Rules - By Steven A. Cook | Foreign Policy
  • Working-Class Cairo Neighborhood Tries to Make Sense of a Brutal Day - NYTimes.com
  • Blood and Chaos Prevail in Egypt, Testing Control - NYTimes.com
  • Gunbattle fought in Cairo mosque as Egypt mulls Brotherhood ban | Reuters
  • Egypt - A Fire That Will Burn Us All | Transitions
  • Israel Keeps a Wary Eye on Turmoil in Egypt - NYTimes.com
  • Multinationals in Egypt Hunker Down To Keep Workers, Infrastructure Safe - WSJ.com
  • AP Analysis: Egypt enters uncharted territory - Yahoo! News
  • Things Fall Apart - By Ned Parker and David Kenner | Foreign Policy
  • Egypt’s Day of Rage - The Daily Beast
  • Ties With Egypt Army Constrain Washington - NYTimes.com
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    Issandr El Amrani

    Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.