Egyptian media quote a campaign to nominate Generalissimo Abdelfattah Al Sisi for for President of Egypt. Calling itself “Demand by a Nation”, the campaign claims it has collected 7 million signatures, three million of it in only one day during the 40th anniversary of the alleged October “victory” (referring to what Americans and Israelis call the Yom Kippur War of 1973)…………
Some media are now beginning to report that Al Sisi is leaning toward running, thus formalizing the facts on the ground. It is of course possible that he and his allies are behind the whole campaign. Except that they have to do something about that pesky Muslim Brotherhood guy named Mohammed Morsi who was elected and is still rotting in a military prison. Funny, a lot of state media don’t mention his name now, they often just refer to him as “el-m’azool=the deposed”, period.
Lately the military has been using tiny bits of its not-so-secret vast wealth, distributing cash and food and gifts on the populace, often dropping them by airplanes on villages and festivals. Even the uber-decadent Macedonian Ptolemies did not do that in their hay day in Alexandria. The Ptolemies did not have access to airplanes or chewing gum or Tutti Frutti.
“Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of the global terrorist network al-Qaeda. Here are some of the milestone moments in the militant organization’s 25-year history:
Aug. 11, 1988: Founders Larry Wentworth and Mark Gold establish the organization and settle on a name
- Nov. 14, 1990: Headquarters moved to Delaware for tax purposes
- Dec. 18, 1991: Al-Qaeda pulls off the first of its trademark prankings
- July 29, 1998: With Ayman al-Zawahiri excitedly ringing the New York Stock Exchange opening bell, al-Qaeda goes public at $18 a share
- Mar. 3, 2002: PeopleSoft rolled out across the terrorist network to help operatives keep better track of hours and vacation time
- Mar. 24, 2002: Al-Qaeda leaders secretly meet with Saddam Hussein in Dick Cheney’s imagination
- July 30, 2002: Thanked in the liner notes to Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising
- Oct. 15, 2005: Al-Qaeda’s audio/visual department spins off into an independent and highly successful media production company called Lucid Entertainment
- Sept. 28, 2008: Forced to call off plot to destroy U.S. financial system after Americans take care of it themselves……………”
“Despite all that, there has been a determined drive by Egypt’s pro-coup media to present Sisi as an independent, even anti-American, figure. There’s even an effort to link him with Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s popular Arab nationalist president of the 50s and 60s. That’s partly because Nasser repressed the then US-backed Muslim Brotherhood (along with communists). But it also reflects the fact that Nasser’s reputation as a genuinely independent and progressive leader who stood up to the west and Israel is still strong in Egypt and across the region – and the coup mongers want to use it to give themselves some spurious legitimacy. The idea that the US-dependent Sisi, whose military hierarchy controls vast commercial interests, is a new Nasser is ludicrous. But the propaganda ploy is revealing. Despite his failings and authoritarianism, Nasser is remembered as a leader who stood for regional unity and independence, economic development and social justice………….A democratic 21st-century Nasser …………..”
Al Sisi is no Nasser. Nasser was a once-in-a-century phenomenon in the Arab world. As he himself opined in his manifesto Philosophy of the Revolution, he came along and found a role seeking someone to fill it. That sounded self-serving, but he was right: he appeared at the right time and in the right place. And Nasser had characteristics that no Arab leader since has shown. He had charisma and independence and humility and a feeling of responsibility to the less fortunate masses of Egyptians. All those who came after him made their families and their cronies rich from their positions. Nasser’s family reportedly lived on his state pension. Imagine if Bill Clinton or Barack Obama had to live on their government retirements? It would cramp their lifestyles.
As I said, no Arab leader ever came close to Nasser charisma and oratorical skills, not remotely close. The nearest is probably Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah, and I don’t think he comes even close to Nasser, and not only because the Lebanese, like the Syrians, make lousy crowd orators. As for Generalissimo Al Sisi, I have never heard him, but I have doubts. He is acting more like a Pinochet right now.
The Arab peoples are a good and generous people and deserve much better than the blood-sucking despotic clowns who rule them from Morocco to Bahrain. Arabs deserve better than the thuggish robber clans like Al Saud, Al Khalifa, Al-Bashir, and others. They deserve better than being pushed around and manipulated by foreign powers, both regional and far away powers. But the outlook is not promising. Not yet.
“The authorities in Saudi Arabia have begun dismantling some of the oldest sections of Islam’s most important mosque as part of a highly controversial multi-billion pound expansion. Photographs obtained by The Independent reveal how workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The building, which is also known as the Grand Mosque, is the holiest site in Islam because it contains the Kaaba – the point to which all Muslims face when praying. The columns are the last remaining sections of the mosque which date back more than a few hundred years and form the inner perimeter on the outskirts of the white marble floor surrounding the Kaaba. The new photos, taken over the last few weeks, have caused alarm among archaeologists…………….. Many senior Wahabis are vehemently against the preservation of historical Islamic sites that are linked to the prophet because they believe it encourages shirq – the sin of idol worshipping……………”
They have been at this for some years now. Nobody loudly criticizes them for it anymore. They have bought off the UNESCO and the British (Prince Chuck) and other Western governments: expensive arms deals and trade are more important than safeguarding ancient Islamic monuments.
I have posted on this, several times. It is not only the Wahhabi dogma against any historic sites, nay against history. It is also greed: properties in Mecca that are near the Kaaba are valuable. The tear them down to build expensive 5-star or 7-star hotels and apartments and shopping centers. Greed combines with Salafi dogma to doom the ancient monuments of early Islam. Homes and mosques of the Prophet and some of his early followers have been destroyed and built over with new ‘properties’. No sense repeating. I shall provide the following links to some earlier posts on this topic:
Saudi Culture: Bulldozing the Graves of Mohammed and Omar into Las Vegas
Buying the Soul of Britain, Raping the History of Islam, Sacking Mecca
Cement Shortages May not Save Mecca from its Las Vegas Future
Monuments in Wax: Salafis of Egypt and the Petroleum Pharaohs
“The American consulate in Jeddah celebrated America’s 237th Independence Day this week.
The event was attended by Ambassador James Smith and his wife Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith, Anne Casper, the American consul general and the guest of honor, Ambassador Ahmed Tayeb, director general of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Makkah region. A number of other diplomats, dignitaries and friends of America were also present. A colorful ceremony was presented by the marine security guard detachment. Casper said that the American consulate decided to celebrate the national day early because of the many people who travel out of the country in July, and because of the heat. The US celebrates its national day on July 4………………”
I must say, this is the most bizarre rendition of the Fourth of July ever, on the Ides of March. I am almost certain it is a first. Can you imagine the French celebrating Bastille Day in February to accommodate some potentates? Jamais!………. But what a waste: as if the Al Saud princes give a ripe fig (or a sheep’s fatty chiffil) about some far away people who had a revolution and overthrew a despotic king who was not even Wahhabi.
didn’t see the Will Smith film, Independence Day? …………