Egypt’s Waco

Within Egypt, and in many other Arab countries, the shocking killings of Black Wednesday have elicited horror in many quarters, but have actually been supported in many others. I am in the horrified camp, and ask myself how in the world people can be indifferent to or even justified what the Egyptian military did.

It is always dangerous to try to explain an unpleasant reality, since some inept readers will assume that explanation is justification. All I can say is, it’s not.

Those anti-Muslim Brotherhood Egyptians and Arabs who feel little sympathy for the victims typically depict the Brotherhood as a violent cult stockpiling weapons and kidnapping and torturing people. That is, they speak about the sit-ins in Giza and Nasr City the way the Clinton administration spoke of the Waco cult of Branch Davidians, which US law enforcement besieged and attacked in winter of 1993. Just as the Branch Davidians were depicted as closed, cultish, deviant, violent stockpilers of weapons, so that is increasingly the language used about the Muslim Brotherhood by their critics in the region. President Clinton blamed them for the fires that killed members during the FBI assault, including children. I should underline that the Muslim Brotherhood is a major group in Egypt and not in fact analogous to a small cult like the Branch Davidians. I’m just talking about the attitude to them among the military, the old Mubarak elite and even the Rebellion or Tamarrud youth spokespeople, who led the effort to unseat Muhammad Morsi.

These observers are struck not by the body count but by what they call the clear evidence of weapons stockpiles at the sit-ins.

It is true that on Wednesday and Thursday, Muslim Brotherhood cadres did deploy firearms against the police, killing some 50 of them. There was a report of the Brotherhood actually using mortar rounds against a police station in the upper Egyptian city of Asyut. Euronews reports that Brotherhood attackers took over the governorate offices of Giza with firearms and then burned it (see also RT :

Brotherhood cadres have also burned down at least 12 Coptic Christian churches and attacked 28 others in the past two days, as well as shooting dead at least 3 random Christians. They blame the Copts for supporting the coup against Morsi, though the Copts as a minority of 10% of the population are powerless and hardly conducted the coup.

But such violence (inexcusable as it is, especially toward innocent Christians) is an outcome of the coup and of the dispersal of their protests, and was not typical of the movement in the past 3 decades.

According to opinion polling, some 57% of Egyptians either felt that the Brotherhood protesters at the sit-ins were terrorists or included terrorists among them. Only about a fifth sympathized with them. Nearly two-thirds wanted the sit-ins broken up “immediately” (though they mostly preferred it be done “peacefully.” These findings are shocking, since the mainstream of the Muslim Brotherhood gave up violence in the 1970s and has been participating in parliamentary elections (even though until 2011 they were known to be rigged) since them. Moreover, I suspect that these attitudes stem from the past year of Brotherhood rule, since Gallup found that in early 2012 some 60% of Egyptians had a favorable view of the Brotherhood, which fell to 19% in early June, 2013. Morsi’s violent crushing of protests against his constitutional decree of November, 2012 putting himself above the law, including the alleged deployment of Brotherhood paramilitary against the New Left youth crowds, seems to have been a major turning point in shaping images of the movement.

The Tamarrud or Rebellion movement of Mahmoud Badr and others had actually forwarded a memo to the United Nations asking them to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as an international terrorist organization.

A splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood, “The Brotherhood without Violence” is also making wild charges that the inner circles of the Brotherhood leadership are planning a bloody campaign of violent reprisals.

It is not only Egypt. The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Siyasa headlined on Thursday after the bloody events, “Egypt breaks up Sit-in of the Brotherhood of Terror,” saying the long-suffering Egyptian people had awaited the end of this nightmare of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had turned city squares into armed camps.

Entertainment stars even got into the action. Asked about the car bomb in a Shiite neighborhood of Beirut that killed 18 on Thursday and the events in Cairo, diva Haifa Wahba expressed anguish at the region’s terrorism problem and asked God to “save us from those cannibals and from blind hatred.” I think she was referring to the perpetrators of the car bomb, but in the general context some people in the region read her as denouncing the Muslim Brotherhood as cannibals along with the violent Sunni extremists of Beirut. (Haifa is from a mixed Shiite and Christian background, and is known for steamy music videos, so Sunni fundamentalism would certainly not like her very much).

It should just be pointed out that the far Right in the US considered Waco an unjustifiable massacre, and that the Oklahoma City bombing of the Federal building, among the worst instances of domestic terrorism in US history, came about in part as a reaction to it.

46 Responses

  1. I hear all this talk of the US government’s “leverage” that our $1.3 Billion subsidy of the Egyptian generals supposedly gives us. We are told that we cannot obey our own laws requiring an aid cut-off (aid that buys those tanks) because we will lose leverage over these bloody militarists.

    What leverage?

    There has been a military coup, an overthrow of a democratically elected government, and US law requires that the Obama administration cut off all aid to Egypt – yesterday

    • Actually, the law puts the decision to “find” that a military coup occurred in the President’s hands, and doesn’t establish any binding rules for how to do so. It’s certainly weaselly for him to remain agnostic on the question, but not illegal.

      Anyway, where were these appeals in February 2011, when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces removed the Egyptian head of state and replaced him with Field Marshall Tantawi? Big protests against the President, the military acts to remove him to thunderous applause in the streets – but I don’t recall anyone making this demand back then.

      If the US cuts off aid – and I think we should – it should be a political decision in response to the crackdown.

      • The most commonly discussed relevant law prohibits aid when the duly elected head of state is removed by military coup or decree.

        Except as provided in sections 2753 and 2799aa–1 of this title, the second section 620J [1] of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by Public Law 110–161) [22 U.S.C. 2378d], and any provision of an Act making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs that restricts assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree, and except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, amounts authorized to be made available to carry out paragraph (2) for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 are authorized to be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law.

        The United States’ official and various top political official statements indicated that the US viewed the 2005 Presidential elections as not free and fair, but as an improvement and a positive direction to follow.

        Although Mubarak was still the recognized head of state, the US was not on record as categorizing the elections as truly free and fair.

      • I disagree with you, John McCutchen, that there is a clear choice. I can respect an opinion on either side of this issue.

        Max Fisher of Wash Post has done an excellent job of laying out the tradeoffs:
        link to washingtonpost.com

      • As I understand it the aid for this fiscal year was disbursed last spring and will not come up again until next spring. Much of the aid is in the form of military hardware so I doubt that we have much leverage there, especially if orders get canceled that affect our various war profiteers.

    • Saudi regime feels threatened by democracy in the region. Unsurprisingly, Saudia Arabia (& UAE) are backing the military coup in Egypt, pledging more than $10 billion. In comparison, the US aid looks insignificant. This is not to say that US doesn’t have ‘leverage’ but there are constraints. Saudi Arabia is also one of the richest and most loyal customers of American weapons. Israel wouldn’t mind the military as well.

  2. it”s a kind of nationalist, fascist mania. The media spews out pro-military, anti-MB propaganda. People who step out of line, like El-Baradi, are called US puppets. After each massacre, young secularists are out in Tahrir with pro-military banners. Every problem must be blamed on the MB, or some foreign conspiracy. The Egyptian media attack Palestinians and Syrians, as well as the US and Israel. There having a little Maoist Cultural Revolution, and it will be years before they regain their senses.

  3. AFP interviews with MB protestors leading up to the Wednesday bloodbath seemed to show a nearly even split between those supporting nonviolent protest and those advocating violent action against the illegitimate government and military.

    And there are more than a few inside the beltway that talk about Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City in heroic terms.

  4. What coup??

    @ presser with Josh Earnest, 8/14, in beautiful Martha’s Vineyard Q&A:

    Q. Are you reconsidering the position on whether or not this was a coup?

    MR. EARNEST: As I think we’ve talked about a couple of weeks ago, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of the United States to make that determination.

    (Rather like Honduras, I think, where the only one who was willing to call it a coup was the white knight, Lanny Davis, shilling for the Honduran Chamber of Commerce.)

    • Obama called the Honduras coup a coup the days after it happened.

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let me first of all speak about the coup in Honduras, because this was a topic of conversation between myself and President Uribe.
      All of us have great concerns about what’s taken place there. President Zelaya was democratically elected. He had not yet completed his term. We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the President of Honduras, the democratically elected President there. In that we have joined all the countries in the region, including Colombia and the Organization of American States.

      link to whitehouse.gov

      They mythology that has been built up on the internet around the Honduras coup is very odd.

      • Thank you. I stand corrected. I think. I don’t remember the US ever recalling the ambassador from Honduras, however, in the wake of Zelaya’s kidnapping. Which is or is not required by US law?
        Sorry to have gone off topic in the first place…

        • The grain of truth is that the US called it a coup, but not a military coup. The State Department shut off military aid, but not humanitarian aid, like the anti-AIDS funding, until the elections were held.

          There are certainly legitimate arguments to made about the USA’s handling of that crisis, but there have been some truly weird stretches made to try to portray what happened as 1956 all over again.

          The frustrating part is that the effort to pin the tail on the Clinton State Department came largely at the expense of highlighting the very real evidence of involvement by out-of-power, Republican baddies like Otto Reich.

    • Reminds me of Jake Tapper today asking State Dept. Spokeswoman: “Is the terror alert still in effect.”?
      Ans: “That is a day to day determination.”

      Tapper: “I take note of the fact you did not answer the question.”

      My take: Tapper would love to ask tough questions but CNN won’t let him. So can we get back to important things like Trayvon, gay marriage and a movie about Hillary?

    • Victor, it is like Honduras. In spite of what Obama said, the US never officially called it a coup or cut off all the aid that the law reqired.
      Read Huffpost nov 29, 2010 : Wikileaks Honduras: State Dept. Busted on Support of Coup.

      • Official statements from the US Department of State about the Honduran coup:

        link to state.gov

        Until the June 28 coup d’etat (June coup), the country was a constitutional, multiparty democracy with a population of approximately eight million. The coup was preceded by months of political tension between ..Although the coup was bloodless, subsequent related events resulted in the loss of life as well as limitations by the de facto regime on freedom of movement, association, expression, and assembly….While civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces prior to the June coup

        link to state.gov

        because this is an electoral process that began way before the military coup took place. This is an election that began in November of 2008. When the primaries took place, the vice president resigned from office and actually became a candidate. That was Mr. Santos.

        So the coup d’état takes place while this electoral process, in fact, was coming to a conclusion.

        link to state.gov

        Efforts by the Government of Honduras (GOH) in conjunction with U.S. law enforcement agencies directly addressed the air, land and sea drug transshipment of cocaine through the country during the first six months of 2009. Prior to the coup d’état that took place on June 28, 2009, increased and improved cooperation between U.S agencies and Honduran police and military units led to a significant increase in cocaine seizures. Since the coup, the de facto regime’s deployment of security forces to the capital to maintain order and the suspension of U.S. assistance diminished the ability of Honduran police and military to fight narcotics trafficking. Honduras is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

        Would you like more? There are many, many, many more to be found by going to http://www.state.gov and typing the words “honduras coup” into the search bar.

      • I would like everyone to please read the Huffington Post piece RJLYNN cites. Here it is: link to huffingtonpost.com

        Please note that it consists of a State Department cable calling the coup a coup, followed by some discussion about whether the coup was a military coup or some other kind of coup.

        There is never, at any point, the slightest evidence provided to suggest the State Department did not immediately call the coup a coup – which is why we see this little soft-shoe routine.

  5. Prof. Cole writes, “But such violence (inexcusable as it is, especially toward innocent Christians) is an outcome of the coup and of the dispersal of their protests, and was not typical of the movement in the past 3 decades.”

    That last statement is demonstrably false. Yes, the past three decades — and more — have seen many acts of Muslim Brotherhood members using terrorist violence against Coptic Christians. The clear Party Line for the vast majority of MB members and supporters is that the Coptic Christians are a treacherous, foreign-controlled movement that needs to be severely intimidated. There is a mountain of evidence showing this.

    Prof. Cole has an excessively pollyanna-esque view of the Muslim Brotherhood. They never really renounced violence, but only claimed to renounce it for propaganda p.r. reasons. The leaders and rank and file are just as bloody-minded as the people who killed Sadat, and who founded Al-Queda. They pretended to be a “new and better” group. It was pretense. They are killers and hate-mongers, and there are volumes and volumes and volumes of evidence showing this.

    Prof. Cole, we all want peace in Egypt. Who really likes to see a military crack-down? But in a world of greater and lesser evils, the Muslim Brotherhood is a great evil–they show this by their words and deeds every day for decade after decade. Please come to terms with the ugly truth of this group, not what you wish were the rosy truth of this group.

  6. A follow-up to my point earlier:
    link to al-monitor.com

    This article is by an Egyptian who understands the MBs and what they represent, and what they really are. They are inherently, deep down in their ideological genetic code radical hate-filled jihadists who have an insane view of the world and think they alone are God’s agents

  7. It’ quite simple, if you accept that a coup is a legitimate response to a low approval rating then the people in the street now are illegitimate.

    If you think a coup is not the way to address low approval ratings than the current protesters are legitimate.

    Essentially, do you have faith in the democratic process.

    • Any post that starts off with “It’s quite simple” is unhelpful. There is no democratic champion in the three-legged stool that is Egyptian politics.

  8. I’ll offer another explanation. The Middle East is one region of the world where you can get away with murder. Literally. It’s hardly a stretch to believe that the military took a gander at what Assad is doing in Syria and concluded that they, took, would face relatively little blowback if they decided it was time to settle scores with the Brotherhood. And they can always say – with justification – that returning Morsi to power would only lead to continuing bloodshed. So what’s the solution? So far, I have not read anyone who has a persuasive idea about how to turn the page. By nature, I’m an optimist but there’s nothing about the Egyptian situation which doesn’t force me out of the pessimist’s camp.

  9. Waco?

    The Branch Davidians were generally isolationists, and posed minimal threat to anyone. They could have been waited out. The Muslim Brotherhood is a major political movement in Egypt that may be bolstered in the long run by their current persecution.

    Polls from America showed 90% approval for Bush’s War on Iraq and Afghanistan; good government does not equal following polls.

    10% of a population the Copts is never powerless. They may not be ascendant but calling them powerless is false. When the man on the street feels injustice, he may lash out. Not everyone is a mild-mannered professor; policy should take those second-effects into consideration. The violent coup bought that street violence; a coup undersigned by those who express concern for the Copts and churches now, I might add.

  10. This is a great post. Commentary with actual references is not available anywhere on MSM about the Egypt situation. Thanks Prof. Cole!!!
    I think that the MB will not go down without fighting. This is a tectonic shift in that part of the world. The “people’s Coup” was a reprimand of political Islam and was trans formative event. I think that the Egyptian people made a determination that they did not want MB as government, however are still working on making their minds up on what they want instead.
    It is easy to answer what you dont want, but it is always harder to exactly say what you really want and really like.

  11. The numbers cited point to society wide feelings of betrayal by the Brotherhood. Trust was given through their legitimate election, but then instead of addressing and adapting to Egypts continuing economic problems Morsi miscalculated that Egyptians would allow him to act like yet another junta dictator by suppressing free speech and peaceful assembly. Once the trust was lost, so began disproportionate anger and pre-emptive violence that we’ve seen the past few months and especially this week. It’s not right, but it’s what happens when the losing side didn’t have humility upon being elected to begin with and still don’t have it in their overthrow.

    But the military needs to keep its disproportionate responses properly targeted, or again widespread trust may be lost in the military and that would be hugely destabilizing for Egypt. The polling data implies they haven’t yet crossed that line, but I think it’s a fine line in the imaginations of Egyptians right now, sensitive to being betrayed by those who have power.

  12. Khalid Abdalla, the Kite Runner actor, had a good take. It really is false choices between two fascist organizations (I didn’t care for the MB being deposed, they were given a chance and they squandered it with their own sectarian theocratic antics, but an authoritarian army takeover is usually never good, especially one that had a history in backing Mubarak and violently cracked down on all activists earlier, which the opposition seems to have amnesia about and now are upset over the Algerian solution against the MB).

    The interruption of the interview at the end by some Egyptian activists shouting their questions whether he was with Tamarrud kind of raised your levels a little bit…

    link to bbc.co.uk

  13. It is clear that the Interior Minister should be replaced, especially after his recent Freudian slip about January 25.

    Stirring up mass hysteria is not a substitute for the protection of civil liberties or economic reform. Sooner or later, the Adly Mansour administration will be judged on its governing abilities, not on its will to challenge the Brotherhood. The impending changes to the constitution will provide one of several tests of the intent of this admin, as well as of its military-economic elite backers. Non-Mubarak era civilian supporters of the government should keep a close eye on its actions and not grant it carte blanche. History has demonstrated that sacrificing civil liberties at best affords an illusion of stability, not the genuine article. The state of emergency opens the door to a variety of predictable abuses and sends the wrong signal. There are better ways of addressing Egypt’s difficulties.

    The present violence has been deliberately created and orchestrated to serve the interests of two particular facets of the Egyptian political scene. Both of these factors, the Brotherhood and the military-economic-security elite have been seeking to dominate the post-revolution transitions and have serious difficulties with the notion of accepting dissent.

    El Baradei is correct that the bloodshed and mayhem only helps the extreme elements of these two sides and is harmful to the majority. These two factions do, however, risk creating a backlash against their militant approaches, as it becomes ever more apparent how deep of a hole they are trying to dig and the violence escalates to rediculous levels. Eventually, the majority will get tired of the power games by specific individuals, even those currently favoring one of the two sides of the coin. Ideally, this would lead major groups to demand a nonviolent solution to the current conflagration/impasse. Indulging politicians who want to keep the fire lit for their own personal and collective ambitions simply delays the day that a solution will come.

  14. So where is Egypt headed? Considering all the negative comments that have landed on the generals today, with the only supportive one coming from the Saudis, and considering that the Saudis are financing the country anyway, and considering that the Salafist al Noor party is still hanging around the generals, it looks like Egypt is well on the way to becoming an appendage of the virtual kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the al Noor party being the face of the Saudis in Egypt. He who pays for the music gets to call the tunes.

    • Should read some of the comments on English Al Jazeera under the article about the Saudi Wahhabi regime publicly backing the Egyptian military.

      Lots of Muslim folks (regardless of whether or not they have Wahhabi leanings or not) around the region, if not globe, who were sympathizing with the MB were ticked off more than usual with the Saudis. Wouldn’t be surprised if some independent minded Salafis and other Saudis weren’t too…

  15. A good connection of opinions from the other countries there at the end, such as Lebanon and the recent blast in Beirut.

    However, I don’t think bluntly lamenting terrorists with colourful rhetoric, like labelling murderers as ‘cannibals’, is necessarily what you call ‘wild charges’, like Haifa Wahba did, for having such legitimate fears of increasing bombings and attacks on her background communities (Shiite and Christian) in Lebanon and elsewhere. Since she’s affected closer to the ground her views will be more generalized in black and white, and can’t really judge, criticize and fault her on it. The debatable thing is whether she includes Egypt’s MB as part of the region’s terrorist problem. I don’t think she’s much inclined to say anything favourable or defend a fascist theocratic organization.

    She may have also alluded to the Sunni Syrian rebel who bit into a heart of an Alawite Syrian state soldier, and the MB’s support for jihadist groups in Syria, whom Hezbollah and most other Shiite communities oppose, besides the Syrian Christians being vulnerable. She may also been aware of the Copts being attacked in Egypt, by MB supporters, with even the Egyptian Shias being lynched earlier under MB’s rule. More reasons for her not to hold back.

  16. A contentious history of Northern Ireland suggested that as the civil rights movement was growing and putting pressure on the old guard, the Paisleyites cleverly identified the people on the streets as “Catholics” not civil rights protestors, thus resurrecting the old religious divisions and helping secure, at the cost of savage violence, the entrenched powers for years to come. I wonder whether something similar is happening in Egypt, with the army fomenting religious division and thereby securing its continued reign.

  17. I am in the horrified camp, and ask myself how in the world people can be indifferent to or even justified what the Egyptian military did.” – Juan Cole

    Count me in as horrified as well.

    It is no way to run a country or a civilization.

    The general Middle Eastern coup of about a century ago may be unravelling, and will not end well either.

  18. ““The Brotherhood without Violence” is also making wild charges that the inner circles of the Brotherhood leadership are planning a bloody campaign of violent reprisals.”

    Er, what makes you think these charges are “wild”? Elements within the MB have been pretty open about their plans to drag Egypt into a civil war if they don’t get their way. There are “reformers” but there’s no evidence any one is listening to them at the moment:

    From the NY Times:

    ” “You are here because of the evil that wanted to eliminate religion from our lives,” a mosque speaker railed on a recent night.

    Some Islamists seem to welcome the idea of a bloody contest. Posters bearing the words “Martyr Project” adorn the walls around the sit-ins, hinting at the power of fallen comrades to inflame public anger and extend the protest movement.

    Sitting in the darkness at a street-side cafe about a block from the edge of the Nasr City sit-in, Ali Mashad, 34, a former Brotherhood member, marveled at the movement’s new role as the center of an energized Islamist camp.

    “This is not the Muslim Brotherhood I knew,” said Mr. Mashad, who left the group soon after the 2011 revolution. “They are now speaking the language of the Salafis, because that is what is popular on the street.” ”

    link to nytimes.com

  19. Colour me ‘Conspiracy Theorist’.

    What were the hawks doing there ‘negotiating for peace’ then flying back to Washington to stage their ‘Shock/Horror’ Pontius Pilat act?

    I wouldn’t trust McCain and Graham as far as I could kick them.

    Also, as an added feature:
    The Egyptian military may be picking up $1.3B in U.S. pay roll these days, but that somewhat pales in proportion to the $13B from Saudi and the UAE.
    Is Saudi Arabia interested in the Muslim Brotherhood holding any level of power in Egypt?
    I doubt it.
    I think their own particular brand of fanatic Wahabi would be preferred and this is what is happening here.
    It’ll stay that way too.
    We now have 17 military officials in the new government and two police personalities, so Egypt is basically back to pre-revolution, square one.

    • I don’t like McCain and Graham, either, but it is very common for the President to send members of the opposition party to treat with foreign governments that are closer, ideologically, to the opposition than to the President’s own party. For instance, George W. Bush sent Jesse Jackson to Libya to treat with Gadhaffi when they were pursuing a warming of relations. Bill Clinton sent him to Serbia to try to talk down Slobodan Milosevic – and act which, if nothing else, gave the world this awesome visual: link to theboard.blogs.nytimes.com

  20. Haifa Wahbah’s reference to cannibals motivated by blind hatred is directed against the Free Syrian Army. It is strange that their role in this crisis is not being mentioned.

  21. Hi from Egypt to all of you ,
    now we are in a very bad condition according to what the M.B. do to our houses and churches.
    whatever it is a coup or now the great number of the Egyptian people are agree with that action simply because we were suffering from that short term of the reign of the M.B. more than what you can imagine,
    so if you please try to say something about the people rights of having thier own churches safe as will as thier lives thanks of taking care of other humans.

  22. A preferable scenario would be, Obama cuts off funds, Russia steps in to fill the gap, but with a strings-attached policy, and it wouldn’t be continung the Camp David treaty.
    Russia’s political class and Putin’s Eurasian project is much more likely to build stability in the Mideast than America’s Zionist-occupied and incompetent besides ruling class.

  23. The Middle East and the world at large are discovering the true colors of the Egyptian Junta and their diminutive gulf patrons. Human life is cheap to these carton rulers. I guess flashy buildings and Ray-Bans can’t buy you human dignity.

  24. I’m confused. Could Prof. Cole or somebody here please explain why the Saudis are supporting Sisi and the coup? (According to Debka, the Saudis have offered to replace any U.S. aid lost if Obama were ever to declare it a coup.) I get differences between Sunis and Shia and how that plays in the geopolitics of the region. But both the Saudis and the Moslem Brotherhood are conservative Sunnis. Why would the Saudis be supporting Sisi and indirectly the more liberal and secular elements who are allied with him against their co-religionists? Different theological fine points? Different economic interests? What? Thanks in advance for helping to clear this up for me. I don’t see any explanation in the mainstream press of this puzzle.

    • The Saudí princes are scared to death of democracy in Egypt. So is Israel, because the Egyptian people will force the gov’t to take a harder line and support the Palestinians. The M.B. are only considered terrorists by American funded pollsters and the official press of absolute monarchies line Kuwait. The U.S. has manager to get repugnant allies in the region.

  25. I heard the MB are not the ones behind the attacks on churches. It would make little sense as everyone knows that the Christian minority did not cause the coup – the military is behind the destruction of the churches and it is being used as a pretext to paint the MB as terrorists. Can anyone verify that?

    • you have to come and listen to the words as will as watching the people while they work hard in burning the bulidings you will be must quite sure it is done by M .B.
      with less care of the army

  26. Prof. Cole does not address the role of plainclothes organized thugs deployed by the police and military to pose as MB “terrorists” (just as they posed as “violent protesters” a year ago, i.e., posing as young pro-democracy protesters committing violent acts) – charges have been made that some of these thugs have attacked Christians & burned down churches. While there was a curfew in most parts of Cairo on the first day of the military assault, there was none around the churches, for example.

    I am not denying MB responsibility for at least some of the church attacks but the Egyptian military and police have a long widely known history of the use of these organized paid thugs committing violence and posing as members of the group the authorities are repressing.

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