Egypt – perspectives and useful links

TFF PressInfo
August 19, 2013

For the discerning journalists, editors and citizens

Tragically, Egypt seems to be descending into chaos and new cycles of violence. To have access to unbiased research and comments by experienced scholars is imperative for understanding what’s going on and why. That’s what the Transnational Foundation continues to provide.

1. Can Europe, the United States and international organizations do something without making it all worse and, if so, what? It is indeed too little too late to just issue lame condemnations or cancelling a military exercise as the U.S. has done.

2. Western government as well as a series of near-governmental media used the standard formulation in Iraq, Libya and Syria that “the dictator is killing his own” as an argument for both moral outrage and discussions about possible military intervention.

In the case of Egypt, we hear nothing of the sort. But isn’t that exactly what the military in Egypt that ousted the democratically elected president through a coup is doing? One is reminded of the terrible events in 1991 in Algeria that also did not attract much moral condemnation – and also hit an Islamic-Islamist political movement.

3. There is the media propensity to focus on a square or a mosque where the violence takes place; but that is just the stage. The larger theatre – the conflict and not only the violence – is of course the immensely complex region in which Egypt is a leader and, together with Israel, the West’s closest strategic ally.

4. The Egyptians who are neither pro-Morsi nor pro-military and those who do not use violence are woefully marginalised in the media coverage. The divison of a conflict into two parties has proven completely misleading in all other complex conflicts – but it is employed again in the case of Egypt.

TFF PressInfos reach directly 13.500 people around the world, incl. about 1 000 leading media people in Scandinavia and 1 000 in the rest of the world. TFF Associates have written extensively on the crisis from day one. Here a selection:

Richard Falk
Princeton and Santa Barbara, UN S-G Envoy for the Occupied Territories on the broader background, history and prospects of the crisis
Polarization doomed Egyptian democracy

Jonathan Power
Worldwide columnist, formerly with the International Herald Tribune, predicting the Day of Rage before it happened
Is Egypt going to have another Tiananmen Square?

Mariam Abuhaideri
Lives in Cairo, peace research student, human story-teller in conflict zones
Egypt – it could have been different

Farhang Jahanpour
Oxford University, expert on Iran and the Middle East
The failure of democracy in the Middle East

Mariam Abuhaideri writing from Cairo
Global Pathways blog

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Dr Jan Oberg, TFF director
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