Well this ought to give us some new insights into what now appears to have been a bit of projection by funnywoman Chelsea Handler in 2011, when she ripped into Serbian defense minister Dragan Sutanovac not only for his Serbian name, but for daring to do what everyone else including Handler was doing at the time — criticizing tragic but out-of-control singer Amy Winehouse. When the Serb dared to join the party, he was condemned for his Serbness by Handler — and reminded of his nation’s collective guilt for a fictitious genocide of Muslim soldiers.
President Kennedy, himself a World War II naval hero, once said, “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind…War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” Whether we have put an to war remains to be seen, but the recent obituaries of two very different men, Garry Davis and Colonel George “Bud” Day, suggest that distant day has arrived when objector and warrior enjoy equal reputation.
On June 30, according to BBC, thirty-three million Egyptians marched against the Muslim Brotherhood regime, accusing Morsi’s elite of oppression, militia enabling, backing Jihadists, suppressing women and minorities, and economic failure. President Mohammed Morsi responded by a call for Jihad and promised a “bloody answer” with the help of his militia. A civil war was about to explode. Responding to the overwhelming popular revolt, as one third of Egypt’s 90 million were marching in the streets, the Egyptian military technically refused to take orders from Morsi and dismissed his government on the grounds they posed a direct threat to the country’s national security. As an interim management for the country, the military asked civilians to form a cabinet in order to oversee another transition to democracy. Heavily criticized in the West by the Ikhwan’s friends and partners, General Abdelfattah al Sisy asked the public to prove to the international community where they stood, whether the people of Egypt wished to confirm the June 30 revolution or rather desired the return of Mohammed Morsi. While in the public square of Rabia Adawiya close to 700,000 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist allies and factions marched for the Islamist state and the return of their leader, across the rest of Egypt, from Tahrir Square and seemingly in all Egyptian cities, close to 40 million civilians demonstrated against the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s voice overwhelmingly spoke to irreversibly confirm their stance on July 26.
The Ikhwan, however, decided to re-seize the country by way of “Urban Jihad.” And as al Qaeda linked cells waged terror attacks in Sinai, the Ikhwan built two armed enclaves in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, who are now acting as an urban insurgency across Egypt, in addition to the Jihadists of Sinai, have seized several blocks and two public sites, Rabia Adawiya in Cairo and the area close to Cairo University, using women and children as shields while launching raids against other neighborhoods. The Egyptian armed forces avoided using immediate maximum force in order to avoid large scale violence, but also to show that the people of Egypt are the ones resisting the Brotherhood’s terror.
Egypt’s civil society was fast to respond to the Urban Jihad. A female leader of secular democratic movement Tamarod in Egypt, responsible for mobilizing for the June 30 revolt, told al Arabiya that “the Egyptian people [are] fighting a Terrorist Cancer inside the country.” She said “the Ikhwan are using women and children as shields to demand the reinstatement of a fascist state ruled by the Islamists. Such a regime will crush women, liberals and Coptic Christians. The armed militias of the Brotherhood are threatening our civil society and our freedom. Egyptians will never accept these terrorists to rule over our destiny and the future of our children.” The Brotherhood are backed by al Jazeera anchors who have been accused by the seculars of “helping in mobilizing the Islamists of Egypt.” As an example, at 10:15 AM (EST) Wednesday, al Jazeera pressured the representative of the Islamist al Nour Party, which is not taking part in the confrontation in Egypt, to engage in the urban insurgency. The anchor repeatedly summoned al Nour to “join the fight on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood.” An observer in Cairo said “al Jazeera is now acting as a direct propaganda tool of the Muslim Brotherhood insurgency. And since this tool is owned and funded by the Qatar regime, the latter assumes responsibility for the bloodshed taking place in the country.”
Muslim Brotherhood Pogrom against the Christian Copts Rages
But more tragic are the attacks now waged across Egypt against Christians and Muslim seculars, including police stations. Reports from Egypt revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood have burned many Coptic Churches, including in Suhaj, over the past 40 hours. (Link to al Ahram Canada, reporting on Muslim Brotherhood burning churches across Egypt)
Troubling reports by “Middle East Christian Alert” are showing dramatic pictures of churches across Egypt burned by Muslim Brotherhood terror militias. These pogroms are waged, according to government, media and civil society reports, by the Muslim Brotherhood Organization in Egypt. These reports are solid evidence of the open transformation of an Ikhwan regime into a terrorist organization, similar to Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda.
Reports from Egypt are now confirming that the Ikhwan Islamist militia has committed a series of massacres across Egypt, including the execution of Egyptian police officers in several cities and towns. In Miniah, the Ikhwan militia controlled four police stations and seized all weapons inside these offices. Al Qahira TV reported: “dozens of Jihadist detainees were released by the Ikhwan.” “The Jihadi rage of the Brotherhood is uncovering their mask” said an observer in Washington. “With this barbaric behavior in its own country, the Muslim Brotherhood has to be classified as a ‘terrorist organization’ and not a ‘loose federation of secular and moderate reformers’ as the top intelligence director in the U.S. claimed a few years ago.” The observer went on to argue that “the massacre of Police officers and soldiers, the torture of citizens, the rape of women, the burning of Christian churches and the use of mosques by jihadi snipers is a clear indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood as a Terrorist organization. Those who represent its interests in the United States should be ashamed.”
Internationally, the AKP Government of Turkey and the Khomeinist regime in Iran accused Egypt’s Government of perpetrating a “massacre against the people.” An observer in Cairo said “the Islamist regimes in the region are watching a democratic revolution ending the violent Ikhwan regime in Egypt. These regimes fear popular revolutions in their own countries led by civil society forces.” In Beirut, the Committee Mashreq, a coalition of Middle East Christian NGOs, and in Washington the Middle East American Coalition for Democracy accused the Ikhwan of “pogroms against the Christians in Egypt” and called on the United Nations to condemn the terrorist attacks against the Copts and other citizens of Egypt.
At last, the Government of Egypt responded to the repetitive calls from Egypt’s civil society to save the country from the Brotherhood’s Urban Terror. Egyptian security forces, applying international norms in counter insurgency, moved on Rabia Adawiya and other armed militants spots in the Capital, forcing the Ikhwan leaders to flee. This could be the beginning of the end to the urban Jihadi insurgency but could also be the beginning of an all out Terror war waged by the soon to become the underground Ikhwan cells along with al Qaeda groups against the new post Brotherhood Egypt. Egyptians are fighting their own war on Terror, in their own midst. So are other Arabs. Western democracies should be on the side of civil societies seeking real democratic freedoms not on the side of Jihadists promising just elections
At the risk of being a critical minority of one, I have to point out that “Blue Jasmine” is a movie in which we are asked to take seriously and empathize with characters who are mostly cardboard paste-ups. Ginger, the sister of Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine, is a divorced mother who works as a bagger in a San Francisco supermarket yet lives in a 3 bedroom apartment filled with furniture and tchotchkes. Lest you think that she is being supported by her ex-husband, we learn that he has lost all his money and is planning on going to Alaska to work on the pipeline. Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins, is a blue collar creation who looks like she wandered in from Fred and Ethel Mertz’s apartment yet somehow grew up in the same household as the super-svelte, formerly nouveau riche Jasmine who almost became an anthropologist. One can envision Carol Burnett and Vicky Lawrence pulling this off as brilliant parody many moons ago but “Blue Jasmine” has pretensions to serious drama, evoking the ghost of Blanche DuBois along with all the trappings of “A Streetcar Named Desire” - the feral sexuality and boisterous alcoholism of Ginger’s Kowalski-esque boyfriend, the gentleman caller, Jasmine’s precipitous fall from grace and resultant breakdown, the bluesy soundtrack, the mixed bag of pretension and pipe-dreams that are meant to turn dross into something vaguely more meaningful.
I always get a chill when I write today’s date, August 6th. To young Americans it may mean nothing. But to those of us of a certain age, it is the anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima in 1945.
Following the attacks on our Benghazi consulate almost a year ago, President Obama said in a radio interview that “my biggest priority now is bringing those folks to justice, and I think the American people have seen that’s a commitment I’ll always keep.”