Ægypten på vej mod kaos

Arabiske forår, islam — Drokles on April 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Det står slemt til i Ægypten. Herbert Pundik i Politiken er pessimistisk og mener at det totale kollaps truer

Der er ingen tid at spilde.

Egypten vakler på randen af en økonomisk katastrofe, der kan kaste landet ud i anarki eller udløse et nyt militærkup. Eller begge dele.

Kairos valutareserver er nede på 13 mia. dollar. Kun tilstrækkeligt til at dække tre måneders import. Der er mangel på brændstof, olie, petroleum og benzin. I sidste halvdel af marts omkom fem mennesker efter skyderier i køer ved tankstationer.

Millioner af småbønder har svært ved at skaffe dieselolie til de pumper, der overrisler markerne. Om nogle uger skal hveden høstes. Hvis bønderne ikke kan skaffe benzin til traktorerne, frygter de, at kornet vil rådne på markerne. Egypten er verdens største importør af hvede. 15 mio. egyptere spiser sig mætte i brød.

(..)Med tre måneders valutareserver kan Egyptens 80 mio. indbyggere ikke vente længere. Inflationen stiger, arbejdsløsheden er formodentlig oppe på 25 pct. 4.500 fabrikker er lukket siden magtskiftet for to år siden, og priserne på importvarer stiger på grund af det egyptiske punds fald.

Efter at nogle hundrede studenter ved al Azhar-universitetet i Kairo for nylig blev ramt af madforgiftning, demonstrerede tusinder af studenter, ikke imod kokken, men mod Morsi. Anarkiet lurer under overfladen.

Hæren er opmærksom på, at det ikke blot er valutareserverne, der er ved at rinde ud, men også Mohammed Morsis popularitet.


Indtil videre er der intet alternativ til de muslimske brødre. De er den eneste disciplinerede, organiserede politiske bevægelse. Der er intet liberalt, sekulært alternativ. De forskellige grupper i den nationale front for frelse er kun forenet i en fælles modstand mod Morsi.

Pundik bruger en masse energi på at spekulere i, hvad USA og IMF kan gøre inden det er for sent, som havde nogen lyst til at snærve en med scabies i hele mundtøjet. Også tidligere israelsk ambassadør Zvi Mazel tegner et dystert billede, men i Jerusalem Post

Civil disobedience is rampant.

In Port Said the police have disappeared from the streets and the army called in to maintain law and order. Indeed here and there people are petitioning the courts to appoint popular Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to rule Egypt in Morsi’s stead. They know it won’t happen but are trying to make a point. Demonstrations calling for getting rid of Morsi and of the Brotherhood are held on a daily basis in Cairo and in cities all over the country. They are met by militant groups of the Brotherhood. Dozens have died and thousands were wounded in the resulting clashes though both sides are trying not to let the violence escalate.


Dissatisfaction is now evident everywhere. Elections held in students’ union throughout the country saw Brotherhood candidates defeated by independent candidates. Worse, elections to the key Journalists’ Syndicate saw the victory of Diaa Rashwan, head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic studies and bitter opponent of the Brotherhood.

In other words the movement is losing both the youth and the elites.

Yet the regime plods on as if unaware of the fact that times have changed and that people are no longer afraid to take to the streets to fight for the future of their country.

On the contrary, Morsi is hard at work appointing as many of his men as he can everywhere, from national to regional and local positions supervising everything from public order to food distribution – such as it is – under his direct orders.

Clearly, he is here to stay.

Army no longer refusing Islamic candidates

In a new and startling development, he is now turning to the army. For the first time since Nasser ruled, the army academy is no longer refusing Islamic candidates.


Strangely enough, while the level of violence in the streets is steadily rising, the president has nothing to say.

It is as if the Brotherhood had adopted the motto “least said, soonest mended” and had decided to keep a low profile in the hope of seeing the protests die a natural death as protesters get tired or lose hope.

Yet there is no sign of it happening anytime soon. In the wake of the last round of violence around the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters, Morsi did warn that if “hooliganism” did not stop, harsh measures would be taken. His warning only added fuel to the fire, resulting in new clashes and more wounded.


Investors have fled, tourists are scared. Hunger riots may not be far off. Yet the Brotherhood surges blindly on, not ready to let go of the golden prize achieved after nearly a century. And so the standoff goes on between the regime and the opposition, while quicksand threatens to engulf them all.

Og et par stemningsbilleder fra Business Insiders Robert Johnson, som har besøgt Tahrir Pladsen, hvor ‘Foråret’ startede. Der er stadig mennesker der bor i telte på pladsen, men det er blevet mere uklart, hvem de er og hvorfor de der er gentagne nedbrændinger af teltlejren, som teltlejrens ‘beboere’ angriber det omkring liggende butiksliv.

On Wednesday evening a man was attacked in the square, injured baldy and rushed to the hospital (we posted pictures of that Wednesday morning). Walid knew the man from the shop and told us he was from Abdeen, a few blocks away.
At 4 a.m. Wednesday, about 13 hours after the attack, Walid said he saw a group of Abdeen men guys ride in on motorbikes and attack the square. They beat its occupants, and burned the flags and tents to the ground. I’m told that, aside from one elderly man called “the father of the revolution,” the square was largely filled with criminals, former prison inmates freed during 2011 prison breaks, and drug dealers.

I could not get near Tahrir Square without being confronted, and was told repeatedly not to go at all after dark. I went with the translator. It was hostile, even before the attacks.

Throughout the day, the people living in the square brought in more tents, put up new flags and settled back in. At 4 p.m. a mob formed at the mall a couple of blocks away, and marched past my hotel calling for shopkeepers to join them in clearing the square.

Walid thought that group began with more people from Abdeen. My translator believed there was a significant Muslim Brotherhood presence after 4 p.m. when we were in the square. The Muslim Brotherhood is Egyptian president Morsi’s party, and my translator believed these men were in a group, carrying large slabs of wood or metal pipe. Many of them confronted me, one with hostile intent, and they did not look like the people staying in the square. No one I spoke with can say for sure who they were.

At 7 p.m. the people who’d now twice been attacked at the park took action. All they’d heard was the call for shopkeepers to join the mob that formed at the mall. A mall employee who’d been punched in the face trying to stop the crowd from tearing down “the father of the revolution’s” tent confirmed that’s where he joined the group.

By 7:10 p.m., the Tahrir Square residents had looted and shattered glass windows and doors in as many stores and restaurants as they could on the street my hotel is on, before employees hauled the sliding steel doors down for protection. The only spot nearby without a safety door is the pizza place where Walid works.

Og narkomanien er udbredt fortæller Johnson videre i en anden artikel for Business Insider, hvor han har besøgt en afmægtig politimand

My translator offered to provide some marijuana for me to smoke with Mohammed. I thanked him and instead asked if we could see the drug that is helping tear apart Cairo and driving the violence around Tahrir Square: Chinese Tramadol.

Despite media reports that the square is filled with protesters and revolutionaries, it’s not. Tahrir Square is a criminal epicenter, a camp from which to operate and coordinate prostitution, theft, and the flow of illicit goods throughout the city.

It’s also a major distribution point for Chinese and Indian-made Tramadol, a drug that is sweeping the city. Unlike Egyptian Tramadol, this street-level variety from China and India is supposed to be packed not only with painkiller, but amphetamines as well. I’m told the drug is creating many addicts and fueling a vast black market network.

Mohammed tells me the police know all this but do nothing. They know of the prostitution, thefts, beatings, and shootings that occur on a regular basis in the square. The police have a network of confidential informants but do nothing with the information.

“Morsi could clear the square in 10 minutes,” the police officer tells me, referring to Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. And from what I’m told he has. During special visits by foreign dignitaries or meetings, the square is empty, and stays that way until someone drops off a load of expensive canvas tents and it gets rebuilt again.

“A lot of people benefit from the square,” Mohammed tells me, and to prove it I ask if he can get us some Tramadol. “No problem,” he says without expression.

The LA Times reports the rising level of Tramadol addiction affects children as young as 11 in Cairo, and drug use by those aged 15 and older is as high as 30 percent. I’ve already been violently threatened by a man my translator claimed was high on the drug. The man had been selling t-shirts on the street that he’d supposedly gotten on credit from the Muslim Brotherhood who smuggled them into the country from China.

I’ve read that Tramadol sells on the street for as cheap as two Egyptian pounds or thirty cents apiece, but the police officer wants me to buy a pack of ten for 150 Egyptian pounds or about $22 U.S. dollars.

På et tidspunkt forlader de unge den synkende skude og så søger de mod lyset. Hvis EU nogen sinde havde havde et perspektiv af nytte var det som et ‘Fort Europa’. Men hverken viljen eller evnerne har rakt og nu håber vi på EU sammenbrud førend Ægyptens da Europa er bedst tjent som frie nationalstater der kan skabe en næsten uigennemtrængeligt klynge af redouter.

5 Kommentarer »

  1. Er et militærkup ikke at foretrække fremfor den præsident, der nu sidder som “folkevalgt”.


    Comment by falkeøje — April 19, 2013 @ 7:24 pm
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