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“No, sire, it is a revolution…”

“No, sire, it is a revolution…”.

It’s pretty ironic that I have two visitors right now in my home– one from Ukraine and the other from Thailand.

Both of their countries are in the midst of chaotic turmoil right now, characterized by riots and violent clashes between protestors and police.

It reminds me of the old quote from Louis XVI upon being informed in 1789 that the French people had stormed the Bastille. The King asked, “Is it a revolt?”

“No, sire,” the duke replied, “It is a revolution.”

People in both of these countries have reached their breaking points. In Ukraine especially, economic conditions have deteriorated in almost spectacular form.

History is packed with examples of how people rise up in the streets whenever economic conditions deteriorate.

The French Revolution in 1789 is one famous example; the French people finally reached their breaking points after nearly starving to death.

The 2011 Egyptian Revolution and entire Arab Spring movement is a similar example.

In fact, a 2011 study from the New England Complex Systems Institute showed a clear statistical correlation between social unrest and (specifically) food prices. The higher food prices get, the greater the chances of riots and revolution.

This is not a condition exclusive to the developing world; it is a fundamental human trait to provide for one’s family.

And while human beings will take a lot of crap from their governments– stupid regulations, higher taxes, erosion of freedom, and even inflation– the moment that a man is no longer able to put food on the table for his family, revolution foments.

Europe and the US are not immune to this. And with deteriorating wealth gaps, 50%+ youth unemployment, unchecked government power, and a system that disproportionately favors the elite, the conditions are ripe.

The main difference is that Westerners have been brainwashed into believing that the civilized people voice their grievances in a voting booth rather than doing battle in the streets.

It’s a false premise. Unfortunately, so is violent revolution.

As my dictionary so perfectly defines, “revolution” has two meanings.

First, it can denote an overthrow of a sitting government, whether violent or ‘bloodless’.

But in celestial terms, ‘revolution’ denotes a complete orbit around a fixed axis. In other words, after one revolution, you end up right back where you started.

So whether violent or non-violent, or whether in a voting booth or on the streets, revolutions put a country right back where it started.

In the French revolution, people traded an absolute monarch in Louis the XVI for a genocidal dictator in Robespierre for a military dictator in Napoleon.

In 1917, the Russians traded Tsarist autocracy for Communist autocracy.

In 2011, Egyptians traded Hosni Mubarak for Mohamad Hussein Tantawi (who subsequently suspended the Constitution), for Mohamed Morsi (who as President awarded himself unlimited powers), for yet another coup d’etat.

All of this is because of a knee-jerk reaction– ‘if our country is having major problems, we should throw the bums out and let the man on the white horse take over.’

This creates a never-ending cycle in which the fundamental problems perpetuate.

It’s not about any single person or group of people. It is the system itself that needs changing.

In our system we award a tiny elite with the power to kill, steal, wage war, educate our children, and conjure unlimited quantities of paper money out of thin air.

This is just plain silly. And antiquated. We’re not living in the Middle Ages anymore where we need kings to tell us what to do, knights to keep the peace, and serfs to do all the work (and enrich the nobles).

Yet this is not too far from the system we have today.

The real answer is within ourselves. As Ron Paul told our audience in Santiago last year, become less dependent on the government and more self-reliant:

This idea is beginning to resonate with more and more people who are increasingly disgusted with the system… and all parties.

With our modern technology, transportation, and access to information, we have all the tools available to do this.

Egyptian editor backtracks after saying ‘Americans will be killed in streets’ | World news | theguardian.com

Egyptian editor backtracks after saying ‘Americans will be killed in streets’ | World news | theguardian.com.

General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi

Bakry claims there is a plot to killed General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (pictured). Photograph: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

A prominent Egyptian editor who threatened that Americans could be slaughtered in the streets has been forced to backtrack on his remarks after they were reported by western media.

In an extreme example of the growing xenophobic rhetoric by media outlets who back the country’s army chief, General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Mostafa Bakry made the threat on a major TV talkshow, also warning the US president, Barack Obama, and his “puppets” that “we will enter their houses, and we will kill them one by one”.

Bakry speculated that the US government planned to assassinate Sisi, who ousted Egypt‘s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, last July after mass protests against his one-year rule.

“There is a plot to kill General Sisi, and the security services know it well,” said Bakry – a pro-regime journalist known for his provocative behaviour. He then suggested that a similar US-backed plot had led to the assassination of Pakistani politician, Benazir Bhutto.

Such a scenario would lead the Egyptian people to rise up in a “revolution to kill the Americans in the streets”, he said.

Egypt’s foreign ministry later forwarded the following clarification from Bakry himself: “These comments were made regarding terrorism and the terrorist group that is waging a war against Egypt. I am opposed to any violence, including any violence against US citizens, and I would like to make it clear that we have no enmity with or hostility towards the American people at all.

“The intention of my comments was to highlight Egyptian independence, and our adamant refusal to allow any outside party, be that the US or any other party, to interfere in internal Egyptian affairs.”

Bakry’s remarks came as the US is reportedly poised to unfreeze millions of dollars in aid to Egypt after the successful completion of a referendum on a new constitution, and follow praise of Egypt’s post-Morsi transition by US the secretary of state, John Kerry.

Egypt’s pro-regime media have increasingly portrayed any dissent – of either a secular or Islamist bent – against the current regime as an unpatriotic act.

Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, al-Ahram, has several times in recent months used its front page to air claims that the US government has joined forces with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to divide up Egypt into smaller countries, and to spread chaos within its borders.

The Brotherhood also often uses xenophobic rhetoric to smear its opponents. In its propaganda, the US is conversely portrayed as both a supporter and instigator of Morsi’s overthrow.

But Bakry’s earlier outburst is not a reflection of the views of ordinary Egyptians, many of whom crave the return of Egypt’s decimated tourism industry.

Several dead as Egypt protests turn violent – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Several dead as Egypt protests turn violent – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

At least 11 people have been killed as Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with police in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, the country’s Health Ministry has said.

The ministry told Al Jazeera that four deaths were recorded in Cairo on Friday, two each in Alexandria, Ismaliya and Fayoum, and one in Minya in upper Egypt. Protesters said the real figure was much higher.

The ministry did not say whether the dead were protesters, police or bystanders.

Dozens more were reported injured, while at least 122 people have been arrested, according to medical and security officials.

Spotlight

Follow our ongoing coverage of the political crisis in Egypt

 

The clashes come amid an ever-widening state crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Rallies in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have turned increasingly violent ahead of a key referendum this month, which would ban religiously based political parties and give more power to the military.

It would be a further step towards the complete removal of the Brotherhood from public life after the group won every election in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011.

‘We are not afraid’

Protesters set fire to a police vehicle in Cairo using petrol bombs as police fought street battles with rock-throwing protesters in the capital.

“We are not afraid, we love Egypt and what we are doing is for Egypt,” said Mohamed Dahi, a 39-year-old protester, as he distributed leaflets calling for a boycott of the referendum.
“I am against all injustice and the military rule. I won’t accept any military rule in Egypt,” Dahi told the AFP news agency
I won’t accept any military rule in Egypt.

Mohamed Dahi, protester

as as he participated in a protest along with his 10-year-old son.

Demonstrators chanted “Down with military rule” and slogans against army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who removed Morsi from the presidency in July.

Cairo’s main squares were sealed off by security forces using barbed wire and military vehicles. They included Tahrir Square, as well as Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares, which were the sites of a bloody crackdown on Morsi’s supporters in August.

The clashes took place less than two weeks before a vote on a new constitution, a milestone in the road map which the army-backed authorities say will pave the way for a return to a democratic rule by next summer.

Protesters opposed to the army’s overthrow of Morsi have been holding daily demonstrations in Cairo and in other cities ever since the military government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” group last month, a move that upped the penalties for dissent.

Egypt’s Morsi charged with ‘terrorist acts’ – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Egypt’s Morsi charged with ‘terrorist acts’ – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

 

Morsi supporters protested outside the court where the deposed president faced the initial charges [EPA]
Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsi will stand trial on charges of “conspiring with foreign groups” to commit “terrorist acts.”Morsi, toppled by the military in July and already on trial for alleged involvement in the killings of opposition protesters, was also accused on Wednesday of divulging “secrets of defence to foreign countries” and “funding terrorism for militant training to fulfil the goals of the International Organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood”, according to a prosecutor document seen by Al Jazeera sources.

Spotlight

Follow our ongoing coverage of the political crisis in Egypt

Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered Morsi and 35 co-accused to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organisations to commit terrorist acts in Egypt and divulging military secrets to a foreign state.

In a statement, the prosecutor said that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had committed acts of violence and terrorism in Egypt and prepared a “terrorist plan” that included an alliance with the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Some defendants, including Essam Haddad, Morsi’s second in command when president, were also accused of betraying state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

The prosecution also alleged Muslim Brotherhood involvement in a surge of attacks on soldiers and police following Morsi’s overthrow, centred mostly in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Prosecutors say the intention of the attacks was to “bring back the deposed president and to bring Egypt back into the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip”.

Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste, reporting from Cairo, said the charges were tantamount to a series of very serious treason charges, which carry the death penalty in Egypt.

“I suspect a lot of Morsi’s supporters will see these as outlandish charges designed to try to sideline the opposition once and for all,” he said.

Mohamed Al Damaty, the spokesman of Morsi’s defence team told Al Jazeera that they had not seen the court documents relating to the case.

“We did not receive the court documents to this case,” he said.

“We don’t know further details and there is a gag order on this case by the prosecutor banning media from publishing its details for what they call endangering national security. No date for the trial has been set yet.”

Jailbreak connection 

The trial appears to stem from an investigation into prison breaks during a 2011 uprising against strongman Hosni Mubarak, when Morsi and other prisoners escaped, AFP reports.

Prosecutors have alleged the jailbreaks were carried out by Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups, who had members imprisoned under Mubarak.

Al Jazeera sources said that prosecutor copy labelled the trial as the “biggest case in Egypt’s history of conspiring against Egypt.”

According to the text, the Muslim Brotherhood had been involved in smuggling weapons and allowing its members to enter Gaza through tunnels in the Sinai to receive training from factions of Hezbollah and Iranians.

It also said members had received training on communication and dealing with media through communication with the West through Qatar and Turkey.

 

Egypt police arrest students in fiery clashes – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Egypt police arrest students in fiery clashes – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

A new law allows police to clamp down on all but interior ministry-sanctioned demonstrations [AFP]
Police have arrested 144 protesters over violent clashes at a university in Cairo that left five students injured, one critically, Egypt’s ministry of interior has said.

The ministry said that the critically injured student was in intensive care with a bullet wound to the chest after the clashes at Al-Azhar University  on Monday.

Riot police fired tear gas at protesters at Al-Azhar University and a security official said several police cars were set on fire and petrol bombs thrown at officers in fresh clashes.

The students, supporters of ousted former president Mohamed Morsi, have held persistent protests since the start of the academic year in September.

The clashes came as Mohamed Badie, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, appeared in court for the first time since he was arrested in a state crackdown on the group following the army overthrow of Morsi.

Mahmoud Subeiha, the head of university security, told Egypt’s private CBC TV that he asked the police to enter the  campus Monday to put down the protests, which have frequently descended into clashes with police.

The students had rallied on Sunday against the referral of 21 of their colleagues to trial for earlier protests.

Meanwhile, Brotherhood General Guide Badie, 70, denied his group had perpetrated any violence, speaking from the cage reserved for defendants where he appeared with other prominent Islamists, including Mohamed el-Beltagi and Essam el-Erian.

Badie murder probe call

“Why aren’t you investigating the murder of my son, and the burning of my house and the groups’ offices?” said  Badie, referring to his 38-year old son killed in August 17 protests ignited by the violent dispersal of Brotherhood
sit-ins.

The case being heard on Monday relates to violence that flared in mid-July near a Brotherhood protest camp at Cairo University. Badie faces charges including inciting the violence.

Morsi’s downfall triggered the worst bout of internal strife in Egypt’s modern history.

The security forces killed hundreds of Morsi’s supporters during protests and some 200 soldiers and policemen have been killed. The army deposed Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.

Most of the Brotherhood’s leadership has been arrested since then.

Morsi is himself standing trial on charges of inciting the killing of protesters during violence outside the presidential palace a year ago. His trial began on November 4.

The defendants interrupted Monday’s session with chanting against generals whom the Brotherhood says have stolen power from the country’s first freely elected head of state.

“Down with military rule,” shouted Beltagi, leading the other defendants in chants.

The men on trial in the case include Bassem Ouda, the former minister of supplies.

 

Riot police arrest students in Cairo clash – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Riot police arrest students in Cairo clash – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.(source)

Egyptian security forces have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of students protesting against military rule at Cairo’s al-Azhar university and, according to the Interior Ministry, arrested 55 students.

Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted when the students tried to move their protest out of campus on Sunday. Protesters were seen throwing rocks at security forces and a number of students were arrested.

The group organising the march was responding to a call by the Anti-Coup Alliance for a national uprising against the military-backed leadership that took power after President Mohamed Morsi was ousted on July 3.

Spotlight

Follow our ongoing coverage of the political crisis in Egypt

Protesters were also demanding the release of political detainees.

Similar demonstrations were held at Cairo University and in the district of Abu Hamad in el-Sharqiyah province.

A witness told Reuters news agency that police fired bird shot and tear gas to prevent protesters from marching to the site of a protest camp that was destroyed two months ago.

Al-Azhar is in the same Cairo suburb as the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the scene of a former pro-Morsi sit-in where hundreds of protesters were killed as security forces broke up the sit-in.

“Rabaa Square is completely off-limits,” a security source said. “Protesters are not allowed to move inside it.”

Al-Azhar university has long been regarded as the foremost institution in the Islamic world for religious studies, and many students there are supporters of Morsi.

The Interior Ministry told Al Jazeera that 55 students were arrested

Ahead of the new term starting on Saturday, the university warned students not to engage in political activity or they would risk classes being suspended indefinitely.

Since the start of the academic year in September Egyptian university campuses have witnessed a number of protests, mostly by supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

Protests for and against military rule have been held almost daily in various Egyptian cities since Morsi was overthrown and detained.

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes as security forces have cracked down on Islamist-dominated sit-ins and scores of Brotherhood members have been detained.

Morsi will stand trial on November 4 with 14 other defendants over the killings of protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012, when demonstrators took to the streets against a decree the president issued to shield his decisions from judicial oversight and a highly disputed draft constitution.

 

Egypt: Another era of military rule? – Inside Story – Al Jazeera English

Egypt: Another era of military rule? – Inside Story – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

A leaked video appears to show Egypt’s military generals deciding how to control the country’s media.

All we have been hearing since the overthrow of Morsi is that Egypt is on the path to democracy …. Well, controlling the media is not democratic …. The problem is that the army is able to get away with this because a large part of [the] Egyptian public is cheering on the crackdown on [the] media ….

Sharif Nashashibi, a Middle East political analyst

The footage was released by activists, and shows General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s army chief, addressing senior officers in the months before President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.

The recording starts with an officer urging el-Sisi to find a way of frightening journalists into not criticising the army. “We must re-establish red lines for the media. We need to find a new way of neutralising them; the media in Egypt is controlled by 20 or 25 people. We should engage with these people directly and individually – either terrorise them or win them over,” the officer is heard saying.

For his part, el-Sisi is heard saying: “I know how to win them over, but tell me how you suggest I terrorise them? … It takes a long time before you are able to affect and control the media. We are working on this.”

In another leaked broadcast, el-Sisi is heard lobbying journalists and intellectuals, arguing that he should be granted immunity from prosecution should he fail to become president: “You together with the educated elite are supposed to lead a campaign calling for an article included in the constitution granting immunity to General Sisi by virtue of his office as a defence minister allowing him to re-assume his duties in case he is not elected as a president.” …

 

Egypt Clashes Leave At Least 44 Dead

Egypt Clashes Leave At Least 44 Dead. (FULL ARTICLE)

CAIRO — CAIRO (AP) — Clashes erupted on Sunday across much of Egypt between security forces and supporters of the ousted president, leaving 44 killed, as rival crowds of supporters of the military and backers of the Islamist Mohammed Morsi it deposed poured into streets around the country to mark a major holiday.

The capital, Cairo, saw multiple scenes of mayhem as street battles raged for hours in some neighborhoods, with Morsi supporters firing birdshot and throwing firebombs at police who responded with gunshots and tear gas.

In some cases, pro-military crowds set upon supporters of the former president, with the two sides pelting each other with rocks. By late evening, several parts of the city resembled combat zones, with fires burning, black smoke rising and the crack of gunfire piercing the air, thick with tear gas. Streets were strewn with debris….

 

Egypt after Morsi by Joschka Fischer – Project Syndicate

Egypt after Morsi by Joschka Fischer – Project Syndicate.

 

Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists – Features – Al Jazeera English

Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists – Features – Al Jazeera English.

 

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