Monday, June 30, 2008

Is the war on Iran imminent?

Seymour Hersh has published an amazing new article in The New Yorker.

It seems that Bush is considering air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities before he leaves office next January. Hersh told CNN that Bush and Cheney "believe that their mission is to make sure that before they get out of offices next year, either Iran is attacked or it stops its weapons program."

The Bush administration has significantly increased covert military operations inside Iran aimed at destabilising the country's government.

Covert military operations inside Iran have been under way since last year but have recently been "significantly expanded", according to Hersh, who also reported that there was considerable resistance from US generals and the defence secretary, Robert Gates, to White House pressure for an all-out attack.

This is scary shit especially after the news about the Israeli exercises that appeared to be practicing an attack on Iran.

Imagine the chaos in the region if/when Iran is attacked. It will probably retaliate against gulf states (Qatar and Bahrain) and cut oil supplies in the gulf.

I have a feeling that its going to happen because the alternative is to risk allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons and this would be even messier.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why I am secular

Try saying that you are secular in Egypt and people will give you a funny look. Secularism is considered an acronym for "athiest, immoral, religion hater, enemy of Islam son of a bitch". Actually it has nothing to do with any of that. Look at it this way, it is in our interest to separate the religious and political establishments in Egypt because from the experience of the past fifty years, both establishments have had this wonderful ability to attract dickheads to run them. Why? I dont know, but the politicians and the clerics fucked up things big time while being separate, so imagine the damage both institutions joined together are capable of. Together they would create a nightmare of galactic proportions. Keep them separate please. It is hard enough to try to deal with them one at a time.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Officers to get away with murder

Can you believe this? They're going to make the conscripts carry the can.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

More food riots

Thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in Egypt on Saturday over food rations. Talk about "reforming" the subsidies program started last December and the government seems to be going ahead with it. This government is walking on a tight rope while trying to juggle the worst food crisis in a generation, stagnant wages, unemployment, rising global food prices, rampant corruption, and a quickly advancing inflation rate. Reaching a sustainable recovery that will make life bearable for the poor (17% of the population) will not be easy.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Mohsen saw 9/11 coming

"Is there any Egyptian atheist association of any shape or form?", I was asking myself. I found this page on wikipedia which had an interesting paragraph:

There are Egyptians who identify as atheist and agnostic, but their numbers are unknown as openly advocating such positions risks legal sanction on the basis of apostasy (this occurs only if a citizen takes the step of suing the person engaging in apostasy, not automatically by the general prosecutor). In 2000, an openly atheist Egyptian writer, who called for the establishment of a local association for atheists, was tried on charges of insulting Islam in four of his books.

Remember who this guy is? He is Salaheddin Mohsen, who was arrested in March 2000 after privately publishing copies of his book, Shivers of Enlightenment, in which he expounded his anti-religious views.

Anyway, he was tried and found guilty, but was only given a six-month suspended jail sentence, so he opted to keep his mouth shut, because with a suspended sentence over your head, you can be immediately imprisoned for any similar future offence.

He described the Koran as a book of ignorance and blamed Islam for underdevelopment in Muslim countries.

Okay I understand that some may find these words offensive, but just remember what 19 dickheads did in the name of Islam in September of the following year? It might have been a good idea to let the guy express himslef (instead of trying him) and listen to what he had to say. Maybe... just maybe he had a point or two to make?


Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Copt & Muslim thingie again

There has been three mysterious incidents lately involving Egyptian Copts.

Wednesday 28 May: Gunmen storm and jewelery shop owned by Copts, kill the owner and three employees and flee without stealing anything.

Friday 30 May: A gang raids a jewelery shop in alexandria, steal money and jewelery (worth 190,000 pounds) and flee.

Saturday 31 May: A Muslim died and four copts injured in clashes that broke out when a monastery began building a wall around neighbouring property after receiving final approval from the authorities earlier this year.

Copts are rightly terrified and Muslims are on the defensive. Three incidents accross the country in less than a week. Coincidence? Trouble between Muslims and Copts will justify the state of emergency, will cast serious doubts about the ability of the Muslim Brotherhood Dickheads (the strongest political opposition) to rule Egypt. It provides a very convenient distraction from issues like corruption, human rights abuses and democracy. It will convince many people to accept autocratic police state tactics to save them from the sectarian demon. It will show Egyptians as bigoted religious maniacs who need to be ruled with an iron fist otherwise we'll become another Iraq. I'm not accusing the government of doing it or ruling out the other possible motives (criminal or sectarian), but it's definitely the biggest possible winner in this and it ultimately possesses the military oomph to crush any violence that might errupt and bring things back to order.