278 dead really necessary?

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  • #1
phinds
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I'm finding it hard to believe that you have to kill 278 people to break up demonstrations. I have no love for the Islamists in Egypt but this just seems like the military government is hell bent on killing people.

http://news.yahoo.com/police-storm-protest-camps-278-dead-across-egypt-203639166.html

On the scene news reports coming out right now suggest that the death toll is going to rise considerably. Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned in protest.
 

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  • #2
nsaspook
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An armed standoff with unarmed people used as shields to blunt the reaction of the military by the opposition with little military power. The current military government leaders decide they didn't give a damn about those who defend that other side. The people in the middle die and the leaders on both side regroup for the next time. Repeat until both sides run out of supporters and the leaders are forced stop because they might also be killed or some external power threatens to stop it by force if necessary.

We have all seen this play before. Lets hope there will only be one act until sanity is restored but I doubt it.

The uncensored live feed from KU band Arab stations is a nightmare of violence that is spreading but I don't think there is much anyone can do to stop it quickly.

Edit: link below contains disturbing and graphic scenes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...an-50ft-Cairo-bridge-officers-stoned-mob.html
 
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  • #3
lisab
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From Al Jazeera:

In a televised statement late on Wednesday, Hazem el-Beblawi said the decision to break up the protests "was not easy" and came only after the government had given mediation efforts a chance.

"We found that matters had reached a point that no self respecting state could accept," he said, citing what he describes as "the spread of anarchy and attacks on hospitals and police stations".
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/08/2013814224835732803.html

Does anyone know if there is evidence of attacks on hospitals and police stations? This is the first I've heard of it.
 
  • #5
chemisttree
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Does anyone know if there is evidence of attacks on hospitals and police stations? This is the first I've heard of it.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/23/us-egypt-protests-bomb-idUSBRE96M18C20130723
Attacks on hospitals is unfortunately the norm since the Arab spring. It seems that whatever is going on outside gets carried inside. The news was full of these stories last summer and fall.
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/attacks-hospitals-reveal-more-just-lack-security

Death toll now being reported at 525. Is it really necessary? The protesters are occupying important public spaces, shutting down local markets, blocking bridges and generally making life unbearable for the citizens trying to go on with their lives. We wouldn't tolerate this for long in the US. The Occupy Movement tried this for awhile but when the police moved in to break up their camps there wasn't widespread violence as there is when the Muslim Brotherhood protests are 'dispersed'.

There are no clean hands in this debacle. Probably necessary, though.
 
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  • #6
russ_watters
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Not sure I'm following your logic there: how many Occupy protesters were killed?

Beyond that, the situation is much messier anyway in Egypt, with now apparently a revolution following a coup following a revolution.
 
  • #7
chemisttree
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Not sure I'm following your logic there: how many Occupy protesters were killed?
None that I know of. Logic? I said that the occupy movement tried this (occupying public spaces and shutting down important sections of town) but they didn't get violent like the muslim brotherhood when dispersed. Not sure what is so difficult to understand.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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None that I know of. Logic? I said that the occupy movement tried this (occupying public spaces and shutting down important sections of town) but they didn't get violent like the muslim brotherhood when dispersed. Not sure what is so difficult to understand.
The OP's question was "278 dead [to break up a protest] really necessary?" (now 500)

You used the Occupy protests as a confirming example.

In order for it to be a confirming example, our government would have needed to kill several hundred protesters in order to disperse them.

Since no Occupy protesters were killed, it is a contradicting example, showing that no, you don't need to kill hundreds of protesters in order to disperse them (in that example).

Also, I'm no fan of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it was my understanding that the vast majority of the dead were protesters. Is that wrong? Are a large number of soldiers/government security among the dead? In civilized countries, unless the "protesters" have guns, they don't get mowed down, they just get....dispersed. With tear gas, rubber bullets, fire hoses, horses, batons and shields, etc.
 
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  • #9
lisab
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None that I know of. Logic? I said that the occupy movement tried this (occupying public spaces and shutting down important sections of town) but they didn't get violent like the muslim brotherhood when dispersed. Not sure what is so difficult to understand.
The authorities here in the US didn't get violent against the Occupiers, true. They didn't 'disperse' them like the Egyptian authorities did.

We in the West hold our law enforcers to high expectations. Just think what would happen if the authorities in the US tried to clear the Occupy camps using violence: if, in one or two days, the police coordinated across the country to disperse them, and ended up killing over 600 US citizens - as just happened in Egypt. There would be hell to pay! Even the most right-winged Americans would be outraged at the killing of hundreds of protesters, even if they only considered them annoying, stinky hippies!

When I let that roll around a bit in my head, I can understand how conflicted and confused the average Egyptian feels tonight.

And I realize we get highly filtered information about this. Still it's hard to be passively objective. I know the Obama administration must be working double-or-triple overtime on this, and there's so much going on that we don't see. But the response so far sure looks anemic from where I stand.
 
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  • #10
nsaspook
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And I realize we get highly filtered information about this. Still it's hard to be passively objective. I know the Obama administration must be working double-or-triple overtime on this, and there's so much going on that we don't see. But the response so far sure looks anemic from where I stand.
I wish we had more leverage in Egypt but even the military is becoming anti-america as support from the US has decreased and the Oil based Arab states have picked up the slack. We didn't say it was a coup because doing so would have stopped all US aid and eliminated what little leverage we still have.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/16/us-egypt-protests-usa-analysis-idUSBRE97F00H20130816

"The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs re-affirms its understanding of the sovereign measures taken by the Egyptian government after having exercised maximum self-control," it said in a statement posted on its website.

"What is regretful is that political extremist groups have insisted on the rhetoric of violence, incitement, disruption of public interests and undermining of the Egyptian economy, which has led to the regretful events," it added.
 
  • #11
chemisttree
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The authorities here in the US didn't get violent against the Occupiers, true. They didn't 'disperse' them like the Egyptian authorities did.

We in the West hold our law enforcers to high expectations. Just think what would happen if the authorities in the US tried to clear the Occupy camps using violence: if, in one or two days, the police coordinated across the country to disperse them, and ended up killing over 600 US citizens - as just happened in Egypt. There would be hell to pay! Even the most right-winged Americans would be outraged at the killing of hundreds of protesters, even if they only considered them annoying, stinky hippies!
No kidding. I'm way past the point of judging the Muslim world by our standards though. Remember that what happened in Egypt over the last year was that a brutal regime was toppled, a fundamentalist religious regime was installed that was becoming just as brutal and supporting terrorism and that regime was overthrown leading to violent protests resulting in hundreds of dead with no end in sight.

I think that if all of that happened in the US we might not react too differently than the coup leaders have. We just have no history living as the average Egyptian has. Remember the Detroit riot? The LA riots? These were pretty big events in our country. This scale of violence was happening every couple of weeks in Egypt since the coup on July 3.

When I let that roll around a bit in my head, I can understand how conflicted and confused the average Egyptian feels tonight.

And I realize we get highly filtered information about this. Still it's hard to be passively objective. I know the Obama administration must be working double-or-triple overtime on this, and there's so much going on that we don't see. But the response so far sure looks anemic from where I stand.
I can't blame the administration for not doing much at this point since both sides are playing us. The best policy probably was to support Mubarak in the first place. We are giving Egypt about 1.4 billion in military aid but this is tied to an obligation with Israel. That aid gives us absolutely no leverage with Egypt though since any threat to withold it leads to the unthinkable scrapping of the Camp David accords. Our hands are tied, thus we don't call an obvious coup a 'coup' and end our treaty obligation with both Egypt and Israel.

This is Obama's 'Kobayashi Maru' moment and it's painful to watch.
 

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