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Dispatches From Cairo: Blood, Money and Revolution

Posted on Feb 23, 2012
AP / Nariman El-Mofty

Egyptian women walk past graffiti depicting a military tank on a wall under a bridge in Cairo.

By Lauren Unger-Geoffroy

(Page 3)

Egypt’s de facto ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and the SCAF are obliged to play the game through, to try to keep the support of the nation’s silent majority, but more so to satisfy their U.S. ally—and not for the petty $1.3 billion alone. Military-owned public and semipublic companies, which lie in almost every sector of the economy, include partnerships and joint ventures with U.S. and foreign energy corporations and industrial consortiums: Shell, GAP, Calvin Klein, Thales, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, to name a few. How many countries have a military capable of bailing out its civil government with $1 billion, as Egypt’s military did just months ago? The fact is, the Egyptian military is no less than an economic giant whose motivation is to safeguard the feudal-like powers and privileges of its social cast, its tax exemptions, its position on the market, its free access to land and, above all, its absolute unaccountability on all levels, at the people’s cost in blood and continued ignorance and deprivation.

If the people had access to the real information, would that change the direction this country will take? Political persuasions are unpredictable. The presidential candidates will begin to declare on March 10. The Egyptian people do not know how to keep their eye on the money. They are preoccupied by so many other issues—spies, fuel shortages, violence and wondering whether they want their religion to be enforced by law. The ticking pendulum swings.

A brilliant friend has made videos showing the true nature of the SCAF economic holdings. I had posted them on three of my pseudonymous blogs and on Facebook. They were all deleted, and one of the blogs has been completely erased. (The videos have been reposted under new names.) My friend participated in the artistic explosion of revolutionary creativity under a pseudonym but recently began to use his real name. I won’t mention it here. I haven’t heard from him in a few days.

One of the videos ends with a view of people standing along a trail of blood soaking into the ground. The blood belonged to Mohamed Mostafa, 19, an engineering student who was shot with a high-velocity rifle at dawn in Tahrir Square by an Egyptian storm trooper. He was a former member of Egypt’s national tennis team and national swimming team and was a member of El Ahly Ultras. The ground was later covered with sand.


Square, Site wide

The blood-soaked ground looked the same as the earth on which the butcher tent in my square had stood. Where a woman went mad. Where the butane canisters are distributed, first-come, first-served, and where tonight the poor fruit seller who tells me to pay when I can, sits, wrapped in rough cloth in front of a meager fire, guarding his apples and guavas and finally taking a rest on the cold, bloody ground.

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By truedigger3, February 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Re: By gerard, February 24 at 12:01 pm


I lived and worked in Egypt for several years. I have fair command of the language to the extent that I can read the newspapers on the web. It is a different society with its different circumstances and its severe problems.
Democracy is the last and least of importance for most Egyptians right now. What Egyptians want most is jobs and an honest competent government that tackle the country difficult situation.
The problem with you gerard, is that you are too theoritical flying high with the clouds. It is my turn to ask you what make you a judge about the situation in Egypt and the Egyptian?. Just because you read mostly dishonest and biased reporting that make an expert on Egypt??!!

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By jimmmmmy, February 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

a little strong but almost true. using the term “everybody” assumes facts not in evidence and should be avoided.

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By gerard, February 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3: You are on dangerous territory, rationally speaking, if you think you know what is the “last thing Egyptians” (means the entire society) “think or worry about” is democracy. How could you possibly know?

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By truedigger3, February 24, 2012 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Tha last thing the Egyptians think or worry about is the so called “democracy”. All what the Egyptians think and care about is jobs with living wages and reforming the stifling government bureacracy and its corruption.
The revolution was not about “democracy” but it was about the unrelenting continuous rise of the price of food, corruption and the lack of jobs.
The Egyptians have eyes and ears too and they see and hear what the so called “democracy” did and doing in Iraq and Libya where it brought nothing but chaos, internal division, destruction and death!!

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By gerard, February 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

What upsets some commenters so much?  The article is not meant to be specifically political.  It paints an probably accurate picture of this person’s daily life—unsolved problems, oppressive uncertainties, desire for a better future, people trapped by problems so old and so large that they are extremely difficult to solve.  Varieties of types make their appearance briefly, realistically, as though her readers were actually visiting her.  Extreme tensions in the background due to unsolved problems and unanswered needs, plus the implications of independence versus outside influences, the problems of “Westernization! etc.  I think she is very good at what she does, and I apprediate her work.

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By truedigger3, February 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

That Lauren Unger-Geoffroy is full of shit and she knows it.
Yeah, gerard, she might be a talented writer, but unfortunately, that is not an obstacle against being a dishonest journalist and a grade A bullshitter.
I am sure she know the real situation in Egypt, but she opted to follow a scripted agenda.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, February 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

I wrote a post awhile back on the Kos called “Mubarak and What Army” that pointed out that the real power behind the power (America) that oppressed the Egyptian people for 30 years was the Egyptian Military.

Mubarak turned out to be a third string puppet.

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By gerard, February 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

This woman is a very talented observer and writer.

She should at the very least get the Truthdigger award for the next six months.

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Ronald Thomas West's avatar

By Ronald Thomas West, February 23, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment


In a nutshell, I attacked a specific aspect of her reporting, that is her excusing
with a few passing references these organizations with a long CIA history of
fomenting regime change. I’m sticking to that aspect.

Now, I did quote Phillip Agee for you on the matter and for my readers in my
article which is specific to the subject I have addressed, if you were to go
through Agee’s explanation, it is really quite long. The others not nearly so and
of those, the somewhat longer ones will give you what you ‘might’ be looking
for in a first quick glance.

The article is designed to be short reading with links to back the articles
assertions for those who would care to go into greater depth. You know,
attention spans are not what the were prior to Edward Bernys effect on many
mentalities wink

Speaking of laziness, if you really wanted to know, to lazy to click a link is
pretty bad

Just in case you’d ever like to give my ‘facts’ a real perusal, I’ll post the article
[exposé] on the fraud in these ‘democracy fronts’ for you as many times as need
be wink

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By jimmmmmy, February 23, 2012 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

this is a top notch article the best i’ve read in some time, and i read a lot of them. however , i think it’s kinda mis-labeled . ngo,s were infiltrated by corporate interests about 20 years ago [like planned parenthood was co-opted by anti- abortionists who shape policy] so there may be some some truth in that these ngo,s are working against what some egypttions see as their interest. pretty much the same as whats happening to brad manning and some o.w.s. people that are now jailed in the u.s.. i argue [in the coffee shop] that most of these “risings’  around the mediterrian are food riots and this article supports that contention. wonderful!

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By Evan Stevens, February 23, 2012 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

Ronald, I read that page, seeing that your post did present a link, and in the hope of finding something of use there. You do present a web of intrigue that I’m sure is, if not precise or complete, certainly representative of reality. I should think any serious person would concede this sort of organizational structure and this sort of manipulation has been going on for a very long time.

However, though you might find me lazy, I refuse to go through - what is it, twenty more links? - to finally arrive at a conclusion. On that basis, surely you can understand how I might find you lazy. Couldn’t you have used quotation marks and done some compiling of facts for the benefit of readers? Do these links prove Lauren Unger-Geoffroy, (the author in question), to be a spy or in some way unsavory? Do they prove this report to be false?

You have attacked the creditability of a report. Do you claim this specific report is false? In a nutshell, if you please.

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By sharonsj, February 23, 2012 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Anti-Jewish and anti-Christian propaganda has been unchecked in Egypt for decades.  The U.S. never did much about that, continuing to fund Mubarak instead.  Perhaps if we’d withdrawn our money, or at least made sure money got directly to the people who needed it, these problems wouldn’t exist.  Meanwhile, the author hasn’t said a word about the violent campaign against the Copts.

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Ronald Thomas West's avatar

By Ronald Thomas West, February 23, 2012 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Well, Evan, I addressed the “Freedom House” and associated organizations the
author brought up and backed my claims with facts, so love your bacon-
cheeseburger lazy fat American and read the facts provided at the link

Former CIA officer Phillip Agee quote:

”One may wonder why the CIA would be needed in these programs. There were
several reasons. One reason from the beginning was the CIA’s long experience
and huge stable of agents and contacts in the civil societies of countries around
the world. By joining with the CIA, NED and [US] AID would come on board an
on-going complex of operations whose funding they could take over while
leaving the secret day-to-day direction on the ground to CIA officers. In
addition someone had to monitor and report the effectiveness of the local
recipients’ activities. NED would not have people in the field to do this, nor
would their core foundations in normal conditions. And since NED money was
ostensibly private, only the CIA had the people and techniques to carry out
discreet control in order to avoid compromising the civil society recipients,
especially if they were in opposition to their governments. Finally, the CIA had
ample funds of its own to pass quietly when conditions required”

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By Evan Stevens, February 23, 2012 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

I for one have seen far too much incrimination of others evidently based entirely in bias and weakly delivered via innuendo.

Ronald Thomas West and sofianitz:

On or about the 13th of February, was or was not a vendors stall in Cairo violently raided and removed by military force, and has any vendor present at that time since returned to that stall?
Do either of you claim to know the exact routing of money and petroleum products in Egypt?

Your personal attacks against the author of this article don’t amount to a pinch of salt, but please do counter her claims with any facts about the specific events she reported here. Until then, eat salt and bark at the moon.

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Ronald Thomas West's avatar

By Ronald Thomas West, February 23, 2012 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

The author is either ignorant of the facts of the so-called ‘democracy
organizations’ or the article is a shallow effort to deflect attention from the
activities of the known CIA front Freedom House and affiliated groups.

With her apparent familiarity with the [CIA Military Assistance Programs
associated] Egyptian generals internal economy, I recommend ‘truthdig’ begin
digging into the extent it may have been penetrated by intelligence agencies

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sofianitz's avatar

By sofianitz, February 23, 2012 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Anyone living in Egypt who is not anti-American is either an idiot, a stooge, or a paid CIA employee, of which there are lots, particularly among the journalists there.

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