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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 12-Oct-2011
12-Oct-11 World View -- Criticism of Egypt's armed forces intensifies after 'Black Sunday' Copt massacre

Web Log - October, 2011

12-Oct-11 World View -- Criticism of Egypt's armed forces intensifies after 'Black Sunday' Copt massacre

European 'troika' approves Greece's next bailout payment

This morning's key headlines from

* Slovakia parliament rejects enlarged bailout fund
* European 'troika' approves Greece's next bailout payment
* Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to be freed in prisoner swap with Hamas
* Criticism of Egypt's armed forces intensifies after 'Black Sunday' Copt massacre
* Egypt's deputy prime minister resigns in protest
* Egypt's SCAF progressively losing its support
* U.S. accuses Iran of plot to kill Saudi ambassador

Slovakia parliament rejects enlarged bailout fund

Iveta Radicova, Slovakia's lame duck prime minister (Bloomberg)
Iveta Radicova, Slovakia's lame duck prime minister (Bloomberg)

Who knew that the fate of the entire world depended on Slovakia's parliament? The proposals to expand Europe's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), from its current €250 billion ($338 billion) to €440 billion required the approval of all 17 euro zone nations. Even Germany approved the expansion, as we reported a couple of weeks ago. A couple of days ago, Malta approved the expansion, leaving Slovakia as the only holdout. On Tuesday, it seemed like the whole world's attention was riveted on a minute by minute basis on the parliament of Slovakia, where there is substantial opposition to the bailout fund, since Slovakia has already been forced to pay a lot of money to bail out Greece, where people have much higher pensions than Slovakians have. In the end, Slovakia's parliament rejected the EFSF expansion, causing the government of Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova to collapse. However, there'll be another vote in a few days, and the opposition party is promising to support the enlargement this time, now that Radicova's government has fallen. Slovak Spectator and Bloomberg

European 'troika' approves Greece's next bailout payment

Despite widely publicized failures to achieve the conditions that had been set for Greece to qualify for the next bailout payment, the European "troika" (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund) auditors have recommended that Greece receive the next bailout payment anyway, despite "slippages in the implementation of some of the agreed measures." The payment still has to receive final approval by the euro zone finance ministers and the IMF. It's thought that the positive recommendation was caused by a desire to give Europe's banks more time to prepare for an inevitable Greek default. Irish Times

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to be freed in prisoner swap with Hamas

Gilad Shalit in captivity in 2009
Gilad Shalit in captivity in 2009

With Egypt acting as mediator, Hamas and Israel have agreed to a prisoner swap deal for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who has been held captive by Hamas for five years. He will be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The draft deal was signed in Cairo on Tuesday, and it was ratified by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet early on Wednesday morning. Bloomberg and Haaretz

Criticism of Egypt's armed forces intensifies after 'Black Sunday' Copt massacre

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down at the beginning of 2011, is drawing intense criticism for the role they played in the massacre of Coptic Christians on Sunday evening, during a peaceful march. As we reported yesterday, the state-run Maspero TV station incited violence by falsely reporting attacks by Copts, and the armed forces killed and injured hundreds of protestors by running them over with armored vehicles. According to one Egyptian political analyst,

"This [incident] reflects an unprecedented failure in running the country during the transitional period. Since 11 February, the country has been going from worse to worst. If the military stays in power for much longer, the country might head towards more violence, and social peace will be in jeopardy."

Another analyst added, "The SCAF's performance on the sectarian portfolio has been really bad since the revolution. They are dealing with the matter the same way Mubarak was. What new regime are we speaking of?" Al-Masry Al-Youm (Cairo)

Egypt's deputy prime minister resigns in protest

Hazem El-Beblawi, who serves in Egypt's SCAF government as both finance minister and deputy foreign minister, handed in his resignation on Tuesday in protest over the government's handling of the Sunday massacre, saying that "he can't work like this." Sunday's bloodshed was seen by many activists as a turning point in Egypt's already chaotic transition: the deadliest use of force against protesters by the military, which has touted itself as the "protector of the revolution." Criticism has been mounting that the military, which took power after Mubarak's ouster, has adopted the same tactics as the former regime and has been slow to bring real change. Associated Press

Egypt's SCAF progressively losing its support

Long before Sunday's incident, it's been clear that Egypt's SCAF government has been losing support of the Egyptian people who brought about the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The military establishment has continued in the way of the old regime by reviving the Emergency Law, trying civilians in military courts, and delaying handing over the rule to civilian authority. According to one Egyptian analyst:

"We must remember that the Egyptian revolution did not [take] the rule into its hands and is therefore not responsible for what is happening. The only one responsible is the SCAF, which is standing in for both the president of the republic and the parliament during the interim period. The Egyptians rose up against Hosni Mubarak and toppled him, and when the army [joined the protesters] on the streets, the rebels celebrated their victory and returned home, believing that the SCAF would represent the revolution and realize all of its goals. This was a serious misreading [of reality].

"The military is part of the old regime and was never part of the revolution. We were wrong not to realize that the great national role of the Egyptian military is one thing and the political role of the SCAF is another. The SCAF was not revolutionary and did not oppose [the methods of] the Mubarak regime, not for a single day. It was simply a part of [this regime]."


U.S. accuses Iran of plot to kill Saudi ambassador

Adal A. al-Jubeif
Adal A. al-Jubeif

U.S. officials on Tuesday accused Iran's government of plotting to assassinate Adel A. al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, and a close adviser to Saudi's King Abdullah. The Justice Department charged two Iranians — one of them a U.S. citizen — accusing them of orchestrating an elaborate murder-for-hire plot that targeted al-Jubeir. The Iranians planned to employ Mexican drug traffickers to kill Jubeir with a bomb as he ate at a Washington restaurant, U.S. officials said. Washington Post

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 12-Oct-11 World View -- Criticism of Egypt's armed forces intensifies after 'Black Sunday' Copt massacre thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (12-Oct-2011) Permanent Link
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