Saturday, 02 April 2011

EGYPTIAN "DEMOCRACY"

Ken Berwitz

Egypt is clearly moving toward becoming a fundamentalist Islamic state.

Can the New York Times possibly be surprised by this?  Can the "journalists" at the Times - and so many other venues among our wonderful "neutral" media - possibly be that obtuse?

Excerpted from this morning's article by Neil McFarquhar:

NAHIA, Egypt Abboud al-Zomor the former intelligence officer who supplied the bullets that killed President Anwar el-Sadat and is Egypts most notorious newly released prisoner waxes enthusiastic about ending the violent jihad he once led.

 

The ballot boxes will decide who will win at the end of the day, Mr. Zomor said during an interview in his large family compound in this hamlet on Cairos western edge. There is no longer any need for me to use violence against those who gave us our freedom and allowed us to be part of political life.

In its drive to create a perfect Islamic state, his Islamic Group and other groups like it were once synonymous with some of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in Egypt. But they are now leaping aboard the democracy bandwagon, alarming those who believe that religious radicals are seeking to put in place strict Islamic law through ballots.

The public approval of the constitutional amendments on March 19 provided an early example of Islamist political muscle, the victory achieved in no small part by framing the yes vote as a religious duty. But perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Islamist campaign was the energy invested by religious organizations that once damned the democratic process as a Western, infidel innovation masterminded to undermine Gods laws.

Mr. Zomor, 64, with his bushy gray beard and nearly 30 years in prison, has emerged as a high-profile spokesman for that sea change since he was released on March 12.

He and other Salafis, or Islamic fundamentalists, rhapsodize about founding political parties and forging alliances with the more mainstream Muslim Brotherhood to maximize the religious vote.

Several reasons lie behind this remarkable turnabout, according to senior religious sheiks, junior members and experts.

Foremost is the desire to protect, if not strengthen, the second amendment of Egypts Constitution, which enshrines Shariah, or Islamic law, as the main source of Egyptian law. The parliament to be elected in September will guide the drafting of a new constitution.

If the constitution is a liberal one this will be catastrophic, said Sheik Abdel Moneim el-Shahat, scoffing at new demands for minority rights during a night class he teaches at a recently reopened Salafi mosque in Alexandria. I think next they will tell us that Christians must lead Muslims in the prayers!

During the protests in Tahrir Square I - and many others - were warning that the media's story line - i.e. Egypt's people demanding freedom and democracy - was so much wishful thinking. 

I, and others, warned that if there were a power vacuum, the most organized group would prevail - and that, in Egypt, the most organized group was the Muslim brotherhood. 

I, and others, repeatedly posted the results of a poll by Pew Global Research, which clearly show that Egypt's population is far more comfortable with fundamentalist Islam than it is with what we consider "freedom and democracy". 

But it all went in one ear and out the other.  Our media had developed its meme and was sticking to it.

Well, this is what Egyptian democracy actually looks like.  Are you happy with it?  Is anyone still impressed by the interviews media fed us with those well educated, English-speaking Egyptians who wanted western-style democracy?  Does anyone still think they somehow represented the average citizen there?

Hosni Mubarak may have run a bad government.  But, even with a bad government, there can be far worse alternatives.

Get ready for one of them.


THE IVORY COAST MASSACRES

Ken Berwitz

I wish President Obama weren't getting so quick a lesson in the consequences of dishonesty, but the tragic massacres in The Ivory Coast are giving him one.

If we are bombing Libya for "humanitarian" reasons, what do we do about this - as excerpted from an article at MSNBC:

GENEVA  At least 800 people were killed in intercommunal violence in one town in Ivory Coast this week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Saturday, as rival forces continued to battle for power in the country.

 

We have information that at least 800 persons were killed on March 29 (Tuesday) in Duekoue in intercommunal violence," ICRC spokeswoman Dorothea Krimitsas told Reuters. "Our colleagues saw hundreds of bodies ... We strongly suspect that was the result of intercommunal violence."

 

Fierce fighting spread across Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan Friday as troops loyal to Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo fended off attacks by forces supporting Alassane Ouattara's rival claim to the presidency.

 

ICRC officials visited the Carrefour area of Duekoue on Thursday and Friday to assess needs and gather testimony, a statement said.

 

They evacuated 28 bodies to the local morgue and will continue in this work.

 

Since Monday or so, tens of thousands of people have fled the area. This is not the first time there has been intercommunal violence in Duekoue," Krimitsas said.

"Intercommunal violence"?  Is that to say one group within The Ivory Coast against another?  Like pro and anti qaddafi forces in Libya?

Will we now demand that Laurent Gbagbo step down?  That Alassane Ouattara be installed as head of state?  Someone else? 

What is our business in the Ivory Coast?  Well, if the reason we are in Libya is purely humanitarian, we should be there - because 800 or more people slaughtered in one town alone certainly cries out for humanitarian intervention.

The truth is, we are not in Libya for humanitarian reasons.  If that were true, we would have been in numerous other places around the globe already.  Rwanda, Sudan and the Congo come to mind immediately, and they're not the only ones.

Here is what then-candidate Barack Obama had to say about the subject, while criticizing our involvement in Iraq on February 10, 2007 - and making a promise about bringing troops home that he clearly could not keep:

It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008.

But now that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have set humanitarianism as the key criterion for our involvement, how can we not start bombing in The Ivory Coast?  

Or are we satisfied with simply bombing qaddafi's forces in Libya, so that an opposition which tells us in so many words of its sympathies with al-qaeda might replace him? 

Is that "humanitarian" enough for this administration?


KISSIMMEE WHERE???

Ken Berwitz

Here's one for the "you can't make this stuff up" file.

An 88 year old man in Kissimmee, Florida hires a 41 year old woman to give him oral sex.  But who would have thought it would take her a month to come?

The "care provider"  (what would you call her) claims he didn't pay up, so she came back and got it from him.  He claims it wasn't a matter of him not paying, she just kept coming back to rob him.

Here are the particulars, via an excerpt from Jeff Weiner's article in the Orlando Sun-Sentinel (great name for the writer of this story, by the way):

A woman was arrested in Kissimmee on Thursday after police said she sold an 88-year-old man oral sex, and then returned a month later to violently rob him after he didn't pay up.

Kissimmee police were called to the Elizabeth Avenue home of the elderly victim on March 11. The man told officers that he had been attacked and robbed by a woman later identified as 41-year-old Tanya Ross.

According to police reports, Ross forced her way into the victim's home, knocked a phone out of his hand when he tried to call 911, and then grabbed him by the throat and robbed him.

The man said he sprayed Ross with pepper spray, and she fled on foot. Officers reported damage to his front door and the screen door leading to his patio.

Police said the victim explained that he met Ross in mid-February, when he picked her up while he was driving home. The pair negotiated a deal for oral sex, which she performed at his home, police reports state.

Police said the man claimed Ross returned to his home twice since forcing her way in both times and stealing cash. He only called police after the March 11 incident.

I'll be there's a moral to this story.  But I just can't come up with one. 

I guess it's just too hard to come by.  But I'll try to be circumci...er, circumspect about it. 

Dave Democrat Thats HOT!! Where is her photo?? (04/13/11)


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