Thursday, August 15, 2013


So, Egypt's military regime has done what we all expected it would, and started "clearing" - massacring - peaceful camps of protesters. So far the official death toll is almost 300, and the unofficial one is 2,000. These people have been murdered purely because of their peaceful political opposition to an undemocratic military regime.

Using the official death tolls, the Egyptian massacre is bigger than Tiananmen Square. That crime resulted in US condemnation and a suspension of diplomatic ties and arms sales. But while the US is making concerned noises about Egypt, they're still continuing to fund the regime to the tune of US$1.3 billion a year, giving them the money to buy the guns to murder their opponents. And they show of wanting to call this murderous coup regime what it is and cut off the money. The message is clear: as with Bahrain, you can murder with impunity provided you line up behind the US in its war on terror.

(And meanwhile, next time an Egyptian or a Bahraini participates in an act of terrorism against the US, they'll be all "why do they hate us?" and "what the fuck did I do?"...)

Meanwhile, the message to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - and similar groups of moderate political Islamists in the wider Arab world - is also clear: there is no democratic way to get what you want. If you win an election, the army will overthrow you. If you object and demand the restoration of democracy, they will murder you. But if you close off democracy as a pathway to change, the only paths left open are the undemocratic ones. Which tend to be rather less pleasant for everyone.