The uprising just over a year ago at Tahrir Square, Cairo was against a military dictatorship.A military coup in Egypt now, could have disastrous consequences for this country of 85 million people, possibly damaging it irreparably.
Egyptian Military is one of the most incompetent, ill trained, corrupt and disorganized militaries of the world. Their Generals have fattened on power and graft, they are incapable of running the military, let alone run the country.
The uprising then was against the corrupt and hated regime of Hosni Mubarak, a military dictator who ruled for 25 years with an iron grip. The general public rose against the choke hold and wanted to see a democratic set up in the country. But due to manipulation of Egyptian military, (backed by U.S.) underhand deals were made with Muslim Brotherhood in the hope of restricting them to parliament only. The plan was to have a pliable candidate elected as President, so all good and independent minded Presidential candidates were barred from contesting elections.
Like most unholy deals, this too came undone. Contrary to earlier promises, Brotherhood insisted on fielding a candidate for President and withtheir extensive network, they were able to capture enough votes to control the parliament and then the Presidency. This was not the result people had demonstrated for, in fact this was a negation of their hopes and aspirations. Had the military not cut a deal, Brotherhood would probably not have won more than a handful of seats in the parliament.
The anger on the streets of Egypt today against Morsi regime is because he does not represent the the majority. Most Egyprians want a secular, democratic Egypt with freedom for all and not the theocratic state Muslim Brotherhood wants.
A military coup is neither appropriate nor an option at this stage. Brotherhood came to power through elections and they should be allowed to serve out their term. Next elections should be held without military intervention and should be free and fair. If that were to happen, chances are, Brotherhood will be voted out of office. Democratic means should be the only method for a change.
If Morsi survives, he should realize that he has come to power due to military's manipulation and he does not represent the majority. He should take the views of the majority into consideration.
A military coup now is likely to pit the Brotherhood against the military. The general public may feel relieved momentarily, but they too are in no mood for military rule again. In a worse case scenario, Brotherhood could take up arms Taliban style and inflict heavy blows on the military causing great upheaval leading to an all out civil war.
The Egypt Military and its sponsor (the U.S., the great champion of democracy) should think again before taking any steps to overthrow an elected regime, no matter how unpopular.
George W. Bush (alleged) self portrait as displayed by Towleroad.com
Ten years after America's illegal invasion of Iraq, here is the Balance Sheet.
IRAQIS DEAD: MORE THAN 110,000
IRAQIS WOUNDED: MORE THAN 800,000
IRAQIS EXECUTED BY AUTHORITIES: 447
US MILITARY PERSONNEL DEAD: 4,487
US MILITARY PERSONNEL WOUNDED: 33,183
TOTAL COST TO US DURATION OF THE WAR: $3 - $4 TRILLION
AMOUNT UNACCOUNTED FOR: $8 BILLION
Source: The Globe & Mail, March 19, 2013
While the above report puts Iraqi deaths at over 110,000, other reports suggest 150,000 to 200,000. In addition, three to four million Iraqis have become refugees, many of them professionals, causing a brain drain and severely hampering country's administrative capacity, leaving a rag tag bunch of mullahs and mediocre bureaucracy in charge.
Expenditure on this war alone is near 28% of US national debt. Strange that Republicans, who now are so adamant about cutting debt and expenses, were gungho about this war and never questioned or objected to this Bush/Cheney extravaganza.
More importantly, why is the International Criminal Court (ICC) silent and why have they not charged the alleged war criminals; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice etc.? If they cannot indict them for war crimes, then they might as well pack up their court and go home.
"THE Pontificate of Benedict XVI was controversial from the moment he stepped out onto that balcony in St Peter's Square to acknowledge the crowd on that fateful day in 2005. His reputation, fused from a combination of cliche and misinformation, as John Paul II's enforcer had done him little service as he faced into the challenge of leading the world's one billion Roman Catholics".
Says the 'Independent.ie'. in their post of February 28, 2013, link below.
Many Catholic are probably pleased to see the back of Cardinal Ratzinger - Pope Benedict, a man of dubious background with suspicions of being a Nazi soldier in younger days.
As Cardinal and as Pope, he did nothing to route out sexual misconduct of Priest. Some say he even overlooked the actions of such errant priests. The well publicised cases of child molestation in New York, San Francisco and Scotland are just a few that have come to light. It is possible that many priests have gone unpunished elsewhere. Pope Benedict probably fell on his own sword in the end, as a whiff of sex scandal in the Vatican probably nudged him out.
It is unfortunate that Benedict destroyed the good work done by Pope John Paul II, who was popular amongst his flock, especially amongst the youth. He built bridges with Jews and Muslims around the world by apologizing for the torture inflicted by Vatican several centuries ago in Spain and elsewhere.
Benedict's diatribe against Prophet Mohammad destroyed the relationship with 1.5 billion Muslims, built by the hard work of Pope John Paul II. It also endangered Christian minorities in some Muslim countries. He may have done more harm than good to the Catholic Church.
Now that a new Pope is being elected, it is a great opportunity for the 1.18 billion Catholics to reform the management of Vatican. Enough damage has been done in the past by Vatican's banker found hanging from London Bridge and allegations of money concealed in graves and cemeteries to avoid payment to molested kids and so on.
Nearly 45% of all Catholics live in South America, yet only 22 out of 125 Cardinal Electors (aged under 80) are South American and 50% are Europeans. This obviously needs to change. It also defies logic that the Pope appoints Cardinals and in turn they appoint the Pope, who then suddenly becomes holy!
Catholics need a modern and a reformist Pope, who pulls Vatican out of the 13th century intrigues and mysteries and clean up its act and makes Vatican open to public scrutiny.
President Obama wins showdown (photo courtesy The Daily Beast)
As the U.S. public (and world financial markets) watched in dismay, the Republican Party, held the whole country hostage till the very end, just to protect the top 2% earners in their country. The American voters must wonder, why they voted for such self serving politicians who only care about the lobbies that fill their election coffers.
In a deal struck earlier, between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, Senate passed a bill with an overwhelming majority of 89-8 raising taxes an those earning over $400,000 ($450,000 for families), at the same time making tax cuts permanent for those under this threshold. The bill was passed around 2AM on January, 1.
The House of Representatives then took up the bill yesterday and after much shenanigans and dramatics keeping the country and world financial markets on the fiscal edge, passed the bill late in the evening with 1/3rd Republicans voting with the Democrats.
Thus one segment of fiscal cliff was averted. But it begs the question, why was this not done a month ago and why play these foolish games to the end? Republican Party's reputation has been much tarnished by these antics.
The main components of fiscal cliff i. e. spending cuts and debt ceiling still hang in the balance as deadline for those has been extended by two months. The sensible thing to do now, is for Republicans and Democrats to sit down with White House officials and come to an agreement on these issues during next couple of weeks and certainly well before the deadline so as to send a positive message to financial markets that common sense finally prevailed.
This is win for President Obama, who had committed in election campaign to raise taxes on the wealthy. Vice President Joe Biden has especially come out of this smelling like roses. With his negotiating skills, he not only got Senate Republicans to support the bill, but he also pacified renegade members of his own party.