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16 August 2013


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Just a thought: Assad could invite Egypt's Kopts to Syria and guarantee them full citizen rights and freedom of religion (hardly unprecedented).

They would have still have to deal with Salafists, but at least they'd have the government on their side. My impression is that the Egyptian government is somewhat passive in that regard.

That said, what happened to Christian cvommunities iin the Middle East in the aftermath of the idiocies Bush kicked off in the region is beyond the pale. Civilisations that lived in the region for two milennia in the region are being uprooted in the resulting turmoil. Disgusting.

I'd wish Obama woukld surprise me and make the plight of Middle Eastern Christians an issue.

Charles !

God help them.


The Jews have been driven out of Egypt after the six day war, and the next best scapegoat are the Copts.

Now let us not confuse violence with strength.
The salafs/MB are violent, but are they strong?

They sure can torch churches, they can raise angry mobs, they can blow up things and people, they can shoot AKs and possibly RPGs. But are they strong enough to take over?

The army only showed its teeth. These 500 are but a slap on the wrist. They can hunt, arrest, and kill their way into civil peace. And it will be all the easier as their quarry is out in the open.

Will Reks

Pat, the title of this post implies, if I'm not mistaken, that Obama can do something about Coptic churches burning. If not then I'm not sure about the meaning of the title.

Churches burned while Morsi was in power and they are burning now that he is not. The military and security forces bears responsibility for protecting these places, no?

Syria is a worse situation where we have been actively arming a movement that has oppressed and murdered Christians and other minorities.


will reks

I do not believe that Obama can do anything about burning Coptic churches, but his policy and bloviation with regard to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Russia, etc. has shown that he thinks that he can dictate the behavior of foreigners. I am mocking him. pl


The necrosis of a big toe is manifestation of a disease in the pancreas. The necrosis of Egypt is a manifestation of an illness in the civilization that arose after 1789. It has given rights , that justify vices, and has forgotten to create a list of the Obligations of Man. Morality has been degraded to the level of the arbitrary will. The system of extensive colonialism and exploitation is coming to an end, an end in which I might also be a victim..
The troubles in the Levant are symptoms. The Muslims aren't angels, the Jews neither and ourselves? well, let each one do an examination of conscience.


Be careful mocking the boy king.
Look at what happened in Missouri.
ANY criticism, mocking, etc. is RACIST.


JL Campos

I certainly will accept the condemnation of the civilization that arose after 1789 and largely attribute that to the long term damage dome by the influence of JJ Rousseau, but Egypt was a better place when it was more affected by 19th Century European culture. pl


If the canal is affected, things will get interesting. I presume the Army has ironclad control of that asset?


I don't recall American leaders caring much about Christians in Palestine or Syria, either...



Indeed, the President can’t do anything about the religious strife ongoing in the Middle East due to the causes of the current conflicts.

The drone wars and continuing Palestine settlement testify that Islam is under attack. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somali governments were overthrown by Christians. This alone would be enough send a true believer on a Jihad.

Egypt and all of the Middle East are overpopulated and cannot feed themselves. The recent rise in the price of food incited riots and attacks on scapegoats.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are spending billions helping Sunni Jihadists overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. They are building a cadre of experienced Jihadists from Mali to Chechnya.

The “greed is good” neo-liberal ideology has conquered the world including Turkey. Christian and Islamic fundamentalists are the only adversaries willing to destroy the current corrupt system to bring back the rule of God. Secular Westerners are left to watch the circuses.

There is no chance that attacks on Coptic Christians will end. The Oligarchs would have to start caring about other humans not the billions in cash they are raking in.

Our rulers would have to end the Crusades, feed the world, create jobs, secure the borders, and apply the rule of law to everyone.



I am equally shunned by both sides. pl

The beaver

Interesting picture:


JohnH: Including Evagelicals. They walk right past Palestinian Christian villages and then side with the Zionists. "Christiandom" died a long time ago.

The Twisted Genius

I bet this gets more press in Russia than in the U.S. Looks like this crackdown will be far bloodier than China's Tiananmen Square. Probably a lot closer to the Algerian Civil War. I first thought this might draw some of the professional itinerant jihadis away from Syria, but with the Saudis strongly backing the Egyptian Army, I now doubt that.


Col. You raise an important point: the psychological dimension to the fight. How can the Egyptian military defeat the Brotherhood enough to seriously wound them? Will the event of the past few days plus the rounds ups that will follow and trials be enough? I believe there must be more steps taken and they should include humiliation if the military is to comprehensively win. Perhaps something embarrassing about Mursi's private life or his meetings with Israelis leaked should be expected?

Babak Makkinejad

I would settle for doing no harm.



I was told today by a prominent Egyptian journalist that Sisi is wildly popular with the populous and that there is nothing like a majority in favor of the mb. Killing in a good cause is acceptable in Egypt. pl


Matthew American Christian Zionists have abandoned any loyalty to heir co-religionists. pl


This is something that I always find amazing: how many among the American Evangelicals (not their leaders) even know that a sizable minority of Arabs are Christians and that they are among the most endangered people in the Middle East, largely because of the policy that they support?



Respectfully, if the preferred outcome for the US was the continuation of Mubarak as head of state, what could the US have done to achieve that outcome?

Alba Etie

Col Lang
In my opinion the American Christian Zionist have the "End of Times " syndrome so deeply embedded in their psyche that they all live in their very own time & place . We have one such family in close proximity and nothing penetrates that End of Times world view.

ex-PFC Chuck

JLC, your comment brings to mind the exchange that allegedly took place between Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai over dinner during K's secret trip to China that began the USA's rapprochement with that country. Kissinger asked, "What do you think of the French Revolution?" To which Zhou replied after a thoughtful silence, " It's too early to tell."



There were numerous options for a constitutional transition to a different Egyptian administration once Mubarak agreed to resign. The simplest was for Omar Suleiman, the vice president brought in for the task, to be supported in arranging new elections under the existing constitution. This would have provided a lawful transition under a legal caretaker government to a new administration. we did not support that process. Instead we supported the mobs in the streets, the same mobs that are now fighting on both sides of this dispute. don't think for a minute that it is the army and police on one side and the Egyptian people on the other. Many, many Egyptians support Sisi. Most of the political parties support Sisi. Two years ago instead of supporting a legal and constitutional transition we flirted with the "liberal" Islamists like the MB and encouragds immature young people in the street to howl for Mubarak's blood. As a result the military seized power without constitutional sanction of law and statred a process that resulted in an electoral coup by the MB in elections that were without the sanction of a constitutional structure. We, in our ignorance and naivete were largely responsible for all of that. pl



Do you think Sisi will be a new Sadat/Boumedienne/Ben Ali?

In history, when safety and order are number one concern the conditions are perfect for a tyrant to take over.

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