More Violence in Egypt

It is hard for me to say exactly what country has caused my biggest disappointment over the last year or two, but Egypt has to be in the top five. It is impossible to rule a country based on public whim. Several months ago, Egypt went through their “Arab Spring” and threw out their longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. Following this, they went through a somewhat democratic process in which they set up democratic institutions and largely elected representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood. A year later, Egyptians were frustrated. The exact source of frustration is somewhat confusing. It seems to be a combination of economic woes plus new religious restrictions imposed by the Muslim Brotherhood. What is clear is that Egyptians took to the strange. Their military deposed, ousted and overthrew the democratically elected president and his government. As far as I know, this isn’t how democracy works.

From NYT:

The police and armed civilians opened fire Saturday with live ammunition on protesters against Egypt’s new military government, witnesses said, killing scores of people as hopes faded that the Egyptian military would reach any political accommodation with the Muslim Brotherhood and its ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.

Clashes between the police and Mr. Morsi’s supporters erupted about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Witnesses said the police were trying to disperse protesters as they approached a central Cairo bridge, using tear gas at first, but then the officers, joined by armed civilians, fired birdshots and ultimately live ammunition to drive the protesters back.

By later Saturday morning the bodies of at least 29 protesters were seen laid out on concrete floors in a makeshift morgue, while there were 20 more dead at a nearby hospital. The Muslim Brotherhood put the death count at 70 people overall.

‘’They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,’’ said Gehad El-Haddad, a spokesman for the Brotherhood.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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