Egypt's "bloodbath that is not a bloodbath" has shown that the forces of hardcore suppression and corruption reign supreme, while foreign interests -- the House of Saud, Israel and the Pentagon -- support the military's merciless strategy.
Stop. Look at the photos. Linger on dozens of bodies lined up in a makeshift morgue. How can the appalling bloodbath in Egypt be justified? Take your pick. Either it's Egypt's remix of Tiananmen Square, or it's the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath, conducted by the leaders of the coup that is not a coup, with the aim of fighting "terror."
It certainly was not a crowd clearing operation -- as in the New York Police Department "clearing" Occupy Wall Street. As a Sky journalist tweeted, it was more like "a major military assault largely on unarmed civilians," using everything from bulldozers to tear gas to snipers.
Thus the scores indiscriminately killed -- with crossfire estimates ranging from the low hundreds (the "interim government") to at least 4,500 (the Muslim Brotherhood), including at least four journalists and the 17-year-old Asmaa, daughter of top Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed El Beltagy.
El Beltagy, before being arrested, said, crucially, "If you do not take to the streets, he [as in General Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, the leader of the coup that is not a coup who appointed the interim government] will make the country like Syria."
Wrong. Sisi is not Bashar al-Assad. Don't expect passionate Western calls for "targeted strikes" or a no-fly zone over Egypt. He may be a military dictator killing his own people. But he's one of "our" bastards.
Let's look at the reactions. The lethargic poodles of the European Union called for "restraint" and described it all as "extremely worrying." A White House statement said the interim government should "respect human rights" -- which can be arguably interpreted as the Manning/Snowden/droning of Pakistan and Yemen school of human rights.
That pathetic excuse for a diplomat, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at least was blunt: "Egypt is an important partner for NATO through the Mediterranean Dialogue." Translation: the only thing we really care about is that those Arabs do as we say.
A man grieves as he looks at one of many bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013 (AFP Photo/Mosaab El-Shamy)
Stripped of all rhetoric -- indignant or otherwise -- the key point is that Washington won't cut its $1.3 billion annual aid to Sisi's army no matter what. Wily Sisi has declared a "war on terror." The Pentagon is behind it. And the Obama administration is tagging along -- reluctantly or not.
Now let's see who's in revolt. Predictably, Qatar condemned it; after all Qatar was bankrolling the Morsi presidency. The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, encouraged Egyptians to keep protesting to "thwart the conspiracy" by the former regime -- as in Mubarakists without Mubarak.
Turkey -- which also supports the Muslim Brotherhood -- urged the UN Security Council and the Arab League to act quickly to stop a "massacre"; as if the UN and the Saudi-controlled Arab League would interrupt their three-hour-long expense account lunches to do anything.
Iran -- correctly -- warned of the risk of civil war. That does not mean that Tehran is blindly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood -- especially after Morsi had incited Egyptians to join a jihad against Assad in Syria. What Tehran has noted is that the civil war is already on.
"Byzantine" does not even begin to explain the blame game. The bloodbath that is not a bloodbath happened as the Sisi-appointed "government" had promised it would engage in a military-supported "transition" that would be politically all-inclusive.
Yet, fed up with six weeks of protests denouncing the "coup that is not a coup," the interim government changed the narrative and decided to take no prisoners.
According to the best informed Egyptian media analyses, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Baha Eldin and Vice President for foreign affairs Mohamed ElBaradei wanted to go soft against the protesters, while Interior Minister Gen. Mohammad Ibrahim Mustafa and the Defense Minister -- Sisi himself -- wanted to go medieval.
The first step was to pre-emptively blame the Muslim Brotherhood for the bloodshed -- just as the Muslim Brotherhood blamed Jemaah Islamiyah for deploying Kalashnikovs and burning churches and police stations.
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