Globe Trot: Skewed views of Egyptian turmoil
by Mindy Belz
Posted 8/05/13, 11:54 am
The media are giving you a skewed perspective of what’s happening in Egypt, according to Ramez Atallah, director of the Egyptian Bible Society:
Most Egyptians, despite their disdain for the MB [Muslim Brotherhood], oppose Egypt turning into a police—or worse, army—state and have been putting much pressure on security forces to be restrained in their response to the MB agitators. Most of us yearn for a civil state run democratically.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was soundly defeated in his effort to cut off military aid to Egypt last week, a result that “reinforced the proud tradition of internationalism in the body, and in the GOP,” according to The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. But others argue that the U.S. has missed a golden opportunity to declare the Egyptian military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in June a coup, which would trigger an end to United States aid, but would have allowed Congress to reinstate it with conditions. That might have precluded the kind of heavy-handed military crackdown we’re now seeing in Egypt. Or, as Hudson Institute scholar Sam Tadros argues, restructure U.S. aid away from jets and gizmos to training the military and police in counterterrorism and other procedures.
Morsi remains under investigation, but three top Muslim Brotherhood officials are set to go on trial Aug. 25 for murder and incitement, among other charges. Amnesty International has released documentation showing how Muslim Brotherhood operatives tortured and victimized anti-Morsi protesters during June demonstrations.
The United States closed 22 embassies over the weekend due to a terrorist threat security officials say is coming from al-Qaeda in Yemen. Nineteen American diplomatic posts in the Middle East and North Africa will remain closed through the week.
Islamic militants in Somalia have promised attacks leading up to the end of Ramadan, Aug. 7. Several explosions took place in the capital Mogadishu on Sunday.
The Obama administration is extending an olive branch to Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, who was inaugurated yesterday. But veteran observers say that if he is seriously a reformer, he will show it by releasing political prisoners. Between June 20 and July 20, Iran executed 97 such prisoners—and that’s just the regime’s official count.
An American from Darfur has issued an open letter to President Barack Obama asking why he is ignoring genocide in Africa. In 2007, Obama promised that “as a president of the United States, I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” But according to Sudanese-American Mohamed Suleiman, Obama has “stood by when President al-Bashir effectively ended humanitarian aid in Darfur, when civilians were killed by government forces and militias, and when the government re-initiated ethnic cleansing in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.”
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who has ruled the country since independence in 1980, won another term of office in Saturday’s national elections by a reported 61 percent of the vote. But the opposition claims widespread voter fraud and Secretary of State John Kerry cited “substantial electoral irregularities.”
A record-breaking heat wave in Chinahas killed dozens and prompted authorities to issue a national alert.