A tragedy unfolding in Egypt.

Saturday 1406  – 17.08.2013.

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The photos I have used in this post are not taken by me and I have credited them where I can.

bodies wrapped

MAHMOUD KHALED

How tremendously sad and shocked I am to witness what’s happening in Egypt right now.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the events, far from it, I am, like most, just an observer but what I do see is the senseless taking of human life which, in my opinion, should never happen. Each life is precious and equal.

But here is my view and  I’m sure someone will tell me if it’s not accurate.  – I am sad for the people of Egypt who rose up against President Mubarak in February 2011; against the old corrupt order that they felt kept many of them too close to poverty with high unemployment and under emergency law which gave the state sweeping powers of arrest and curbed basic freedoms. There is no doubt that social media played a strong part in the organisation of the uprising.

egypt_morsi_army_clash_july_2013_3The people must have felt that democracy was within their grasp but it seems the only party to be well enough organised to win a democratic election was the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation that ironically had at one time been banned in Egypt and win they did by a small majority with Egypt’s first democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi promising to tackle economic and social problems.

This didn’t happen and Egypt  seemed to become polarised between Morsi’s Islamist supporters and their opponents, who include left wingers, liberals and secularists none of whom wanted a more Islamist state.  Discontent it seems grew and erupted into widespread demonstrations in the streets again, this time against Morsi and in early July he was deposed with the military taking over.  Does this all sound right so far?

From what I have read it seemed most people were happy enough about this deposition except naturally enough the Muslim Brotherhood ,who protested on the streets. The terrible recent mass killings of protesters, seemingly by the army,  has shocked the world.

To an outsider like me all this can be bewildering indeed and I am aware that what I have written is a very simplistic account and is me trying to make some sense of the history of recent events.

I was especially angered this week by US President Obama’s statement condemning the killing of civilians.

Why?  because America has been supplying arms to Egypt, for its own strategic purposes, for decades and continues to do so to this day. Did he think they were just for ornaments or only to be used when America said they could be?  Of course that’s not it is it?.. the arms being sent to Egypt are paid for by American taxes and keep Americans in work via weapons manufacturers which are situated in every state in America. It’s all about jobs and big profits for weapons companies. Here’s a couple of excerpts from an article on the website Planet Money – (the economy explained )

bodies in shrouds“Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt. The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late ’80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.”

“There’s no conceivable scenario in which they’d need all those tanks short of an alien invasion,” Shana Marshall of the Institute of Middle East Studies at George Washington University, told me.

A thousand tanks would be helpful for large land battles, but not for the threats facing Egypt today, such as terrorism and border security in the Sinai Peninsula, according to Robert Springborg, an expert on the Egyptian military at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. In fact, he said, at least 200 of the tanks the U.S. has sent to Egypt have never been used. “They are crated up and then they sit in deep storage, and that’s where they remain,”

Former Republican congressman Jim Kolbe who before he retired in 2007 was the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that approves the military aid America gives to Egypt. said ““Big toys are things that generals and military people like to have around.”

But, Kolbe said, the State Department doesn’t want to upset the status quo, the Defense Department doesn’t want to upset a valuable ally in the region, and, of course, defense contractors want to keep their contracts.

You can read the full article here and it makes alarming reading http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/08/08/209878158/egypt-may-not-need-fighter-jets-but-u-s-keeps-sending-them-anyway 

In light of this the hypocrisy of President Obama’s statement is mind-boggling,  as America’s Military–industrial complex continues to arm the world and more and more innocent people continue to be killed because of it.

Saturday girl signing off ’til next week. Wishing you all peace.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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4 comments on “A tragedy unfolding in Egypt.

  1. scillagrace says:

    When I look at the complicated tangle of threads that is woven into military/economic/foreign policy, I am incredulous. Hypocrisy is a key element, and it makes no logical sense. And how to pick it apart and straighten it out? It seems like we must simply declare a year of Jubilee or something and start all over from more peaceful premises. But that will probably not happen. More likely a major catastrophic revolution or some other apocalyptic event will be the agent of any change. Still, I can hope. 🙂

  2. Adrian Lewis says:

    Everything seems to be going exactly wrong in Egypt now – its easy to see civil war looming.

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