Could the Media Have Been More Wrong About Egypt?

Remember when Mohammed Morsi was voted into power in Egypt and we were told not to worry because the military had all the power? Sunday, Morsi fired Egypt’s top military leaders, including the defense minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

Not long ago, Tantawi himself vowed now to let the Muslim Brotherhood dominate Egypt. “It was an authoritative signal that the military has no intention of giving the Brotherhood free rein,” the Washington Post said on July 16.

That was less than a month ago! That was around the same time the New York Times told us how revealing it was that the Egyptian media stood behind the military. “[A]s Mr. Morsi moved this week to challenge the generals,” the Times wrote July 13, “the state media have quickly allied with the generals, persistently undercutting the new president while still ostensibly honoring his position. That apparently contradictory result has made it clear who still holds the real power over the Egyptian bureaucracy.”

On July 4, a columnist at the Toronto Star explained that the Egyptian army controlled the defense, interior and foreign ministries and the purse strings of Egypt. He wrote, “Morsi has been reduced to being mayor of Egypt.”

Sunday, the so-called mayor sacked the Egyptian military hierarchy. Morsi’s grip on power tightened last week after he fired the head of General Intelligence following a terrorist attack in northern Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian policemen. Sunday, he followed that act by firing the defense minister the army chief of staff, and the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force.

These maneuvers, the New York Times now tells us, cemented a major shift in power in Egypt.

A Washington Post columnist says it’s now indisputable that the Muslim Brotherhood has “tightened its grip on Egypt, controlling the military as well as the presidency and the parliament” (August 12).

In reading all of the coverage from the last 24 hours, you would never know that it was the major media that told us at the beginning that the Arab Spring in Egypt was a victory for freedom and democracy. They told us the Muslim Brotherhood would not gain the majority that they wanted in Parliament, that the Brotherhood would never have a candidate for the presidency or that a Brotherhood member would never be president in Egypt. And they told us when Morsi was elected that the military council would retain full control.

Today, the Washington Post acknowledges the “indisputable” truth that the Muslim Brotherhood controls the presidency, the parliament and the military.

Islamist Victory in Egypt: Morsi Fires Military Chiefs

Islamist Victory in Egypt: Morsi Fires Military Chiefs

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Egypt’s new Islamist president has sacked all the country’s top military leaders and taken additional powers away from the military.

In a move by the Muslim Brotherhood to consolidate power, President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday forced the retirement of the influential defense minister, the army chief of staff, and the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force.

Morsi also nullified the constitutional declaration made by the military shortly before he took power that gave it additional powers and severely limited presidential authority. He replaced it with a declaration of his own giving himself wide-ranging legislative and executive powers and a leading role in drafting the new constitution.

Egyptians rallied in Cairo Sunday evening in support of Morsi’s actions.

The sweeping leadership changes in the military came after Morsi fired the head of General Intelligence last week following an attack in northern Sinai that killed 16 policemen.

The ousted defense minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, in particular was a crucial ally of former President Hosni Mubarak. As head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (scaf), he was interim leader of Egypt between Mubarak’s fall and the election of Morsi. “More than any other military leader, Field Marshal Tantawi was seen as the symbol, if not the architect, of the military’s bid for increasing power after the 2011 uprising,” writes the New York Times.

Morsi appointed his own defense minister and army chief of staff, along with a vice president.

“The maneuvers by Mr. Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, cemented a major shift in power that began with his election in the face of intense opposition from the military,” the Times writes.

The Times reports there was no sign of any initial backlash from the military. This raises the possibility that that military is either in collusion with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood on some level, letting them have their way—or else simply too weak to protest.

Islamist takeover complete,” headlines Arutz Sheva, writing, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi appears to be wasting no time in consolidating his hold over power at the expense of the military, which many hoped would be a moderating power over him.”

While moves were being made to curtail the powers of the Islamist president, theTrumpet.com pointed out that they would be to no avail. Based on Bible prophecy, we wrote, Islamists would take over Egypt. Egypt’s military council is “losing its grip on power!” columnist Stephen Flurry wrote. “[T]he Brotherhood will win in the end.” For more, read “Egypt in Chaos.”

Out of the Abundance of the Heart …

Out of the Abundance of the Heart …

Jacek Chabraszewski/Fotolia

The debasing of language is a sure sign of a civilization in decline.

Once, education was built on a foundation of words. Now it’s more likely to be foisted off on the student through electronically driven video imagery. The results do not auger well for our national survival.

When our education system was underpinned by the study of language and the reading of great books espousing great ideas, the learning of a broad, colorful and precise vocabulary seemed automatic. The results were reflected in our ability to communicate clearly in speech and writing. Conversation was stimulating.

I have never regretted being educated within a British Commonwealth country whose education system during the immediate postwar years was still based substantially on the development of a rich vocabulary through reading great books and studying language.

Sir Winston Churchill’s speeches and manner of writing offer an excellent study in the use of the English language. He knew how to parse a paragraph—keeping the thread of thought flowing with a rise and fall of cadence that was psalm-like.

British historian Paul Johnson is another. His choice of descriptive words is impeccable, and, being a real wit, he usually slips one or two words into his brilliant essays that move you to reach for the dictionary and add to your own vocabulary.

The best of the books on effective management confirm that a good command of language with an extensive vocabulary is something that successful corporate executives inevitably possess.

Have you noticed that really good communicators—the most effective conversationalists and orators within society—seldom if ever stoop to using base language?

Base or bad language is used by some people in an attempt to either shock, provoke or otherwise “impress” another individual. That such language should never be resorted to by a true servant of God ought to be taken for granted.

As Jesus Christ declared, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Thus a tongue that mouths base or bad language simply reveals a mind that is not in true synchronization with that of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

The Proverbs tell us that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

The Apostle Paul gave us a wonderful admonition on how to engender clean, uplifting speech: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

The King James Bible is an excellent example of beautifully rendered language. It is an exemplar of proper syntax and parsing, coming from an age four centuries before the fashion for minimalist communication in short staccato sentences that possess few descriptive adjectives and adverbs, such as the genre of today.

The rhythmic sound and rise and fall of the cadence of beautifully constructed communication is missing from most of today’s orators and public speakers.

Churchill, perhaps the greatest orator of the 20th century, was so often able to turn a hostile parliament around to his way of thinking by the presentation of a masterful speech. He was an avid reader of the classics and great books.

Reading wide, developing a good understanding of language, is a great source of continuing education. This aspect of education is sadly lacking in many national curricula today. The result is a massive loss in ability to communicate clearly and effectively in our native tongue.

My earliest critics when I began to take a higher profile in speaking and writing were Americans. A number claimed that I used words they did not know the meaning of. Yet all I was doing was using the vocabulary that was part of a good education in my home country and most of the rest of the British Commonwealth! It soon became obvious that the quality of language generally in use in the U.S. was quite below par compared to the rest of the English-speaking world.

It is clearly demonstrated that children to whom parents read regularly during infancy, and who are encouraged to read widely throughout their years of schooling, are far better conversationalists, readers and writers by the time they reach adulthood. They thus emerge from their years of education far better prepared to obtain work in a highly competitive marketplace than those who are not so encouraged.

The other thing that reading widely imparts is a lucid, vibrant, stimulated imagination!

Imagination is one of the most underrated of gifts that God has given us. It’s by no mere accident that the great age of discovery that occurred at the time of the rise of the British peoples to their peak of greatness coincided with the rapid expansion of the availability and the distribution of books.

Reading was a prime pastime of the British folk during the time of empire. They were granted access not only to the classics during their rise to prominence, commencing in the 18th century, but increasingly to the great works of contemporary British authors. The sheer expansion of British inventiveness during the time of the British Empire was phenomenal. That this flowed from greatly stimulated imaginations is a given. It was a time of great ideas, and great ideas are gestated in our God-given power to imagine them first.

We can draw a real contrast between that time of British greatness when reading flourished, imagination was vivid, communication both graceful and truly effective, and its diminishing during the time of the decline of Britain, and the ongoing subsequent decline in quality generally of what Churchill called “the Anglo-Saxon race.”

When electronic gadgetry does our thinking, and worse, our visualization for us via video to the point of stifling the power of mental visualization, we either greatly limit or lose a powerful component of our human mind—the power to IMAGINE!

When we add to this a dumbed-down form of “communication” in abbreviated forms via texting, we compound the problem that we find increasingly extant in a non-reading population: the reduced capacity to effectively communicate with each other in a truly mature and civilized way. That is a great sign of a society in decay.

One of the greatest of tools that we can possess in our armory to fight against the dumbing down of Anglo-Saxon society is the ability to ensure that each and every word that leaves our lips becomes as “apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

Mexico Slaughters 8 Million H7N3 Influenza-Infected Chickens

Mexico Slaughters 8 Million H7N3 Influenza-Infected Chickens

AARON TAM/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico is embroiled in an effort to contain an outbreak of a strain of bird flu in the west of the country.

Agriculture Ministry officials announced last Tuesday that they have already vaccinated 66 million chickens and killed 8 million infected chickens in the egg-producing Los Altos region. Mexico plans a two-phase vaccination program that would vaccinate 80 million more chickens in the first phase. The second phase would be conducted after an evaluation of the first.

The outbreak of the H7N3 bird flu strain was first detected in Los Altos on June 20. At the beginning of July, Mexico declared an animal health emergency. Subsequently, prices of eggs and chickens increased sharply. The Mexican poultry industry has already lost $50 million since June.

Even though the disease is so far confined to the Los Altos region, the ramifications of this outbreak reach beyond Mexico’s borders. Authorities in neighboring Guatemala have beefed up checks on its border to prevent the spreading of the virus strain.

According to the United Nations, the H7N3 virus rarely infects humans and is not known to be easily transmittable between humans. However, viruses are prone to mutations, and other strains like H5N1 and H1N1 have already been fatal to humans. Former World Health Organization Director-General Dr. LEE Jong-wook, warned back in 2005: “It is only a matter of time before an avian flu virus—most likely H5N1—acquires the ability to be transmitted from human to human, sparking the outbreak of human pandemic influenza.” He added:

We don’t know when this will happen. But we do know that it will happen.This is the time to build global consensus. This is the time for every country to prepare their national action plan—and act on it.In the pandemics of 1958 and 1968, a combined total of 3 million people died. Those were considered to be mild pandemics.In 2003, in the sars epidemic, fewer than 800 people died. Yet the economic consequences have been assessed at more than $30 billion worldwide. It was a major social, political, economic and health event.If we are unprepared, the next pandemic will cause incalculable human misery. Both directly from the loss of human life, and indirectly through its widespread impact on security. No society would be exempt. No economy would be left unscathed.

An avian flu pandemic is potentially disastrous to birds, humans, societies and economies. In a world cursed with divisions and economic turmoil, building global consensus and action plans would be moving in the right direction. But more important would be gaining an understanding of the real reason behind these coming disease pandemics.

Euro Crisis—Before the Collapse

German-Foreign-Policy.com freshly reports that “The threatened collapse of the eurozone serves to emphasize the national contrasts between a dominant Germany and the southern European states.”

In its latest piece on the tensions being created within Europe by Germany’s tough stand in the face of the imminent collapse of certain European Union economies, German-Foreign-Policy.com muses that “[w]hile Berlin continues to block any crisis measures—i.e. the buying up of state borrowings by the ecb or the extension of the ‘rescue umbrella’ esm—in order to help the crisis, protests, especially in Italy, are growing against the German politic” (August 9; translation ours throughout).

German-Foreign-Policy.com cites the Italian press saying that “Germany is on the rise, ‘not with cannons but with the euro’ … declaring that Rome now must submit to the rule of ‘the new kaiser named Angela Merkel’ and Berlin’s dictate.”

The release continues,

In the meantime even formerly faithful allies of Germany are backing off from the political blockade by the federal government.The Austrian Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann declares that one must finally give the “rescue umbrella” of the esm a banking license, making it possible to “leverage” demands on it.Meanwhile, German politicians are continuing their contrary course without lowering their sights. For instance, the Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder (csu) demands that Germany should receive a stronger influence in the ecb. This would allow Berlin to cement its restrictive currency politics even more tightly, for the crisis states a fatal course of action.

And that is just the outcome that German elites want!

Euro Crisis Accelerates Division in Europe

The ongoing euro crisis continues to pave the way for the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

From Rome and Berlin—the new dominant axis in Europe—German-Foreign-Policy.com reports that cries for the ceding of the Germanic Italian province of Bolzano/Alto Adige (South Tyrol) from Italy and its realignment as an Austrian province are escalating in the wake of the euro crisis.

The moves have historically been supported by Berlin.

German-Foreign-Policy.com reports that calls by the Italian government to make extensive cuts in the state budget based on the German savings diktat insist that South Tyrol should participate accordingly.

However, “The province’s government, one of the wealthiest in Italy, is searching for a way out. A South Tyrol government member demands the province’s ‘total economic autonomy’ in order to stop the fund redistribution to southern Italy. Certain secessionist circles within South Tyrol are pressing for a referendum on the complete separation of South Tyrol from Italy and do not exclude its annexation to Austria” (August 3, translation ours throughout).

German-Foreign-Policy.com notes that “the self governance efforts in parts of the German-speaking minority of northern Italy have been supported for many years by the German Federal Republic—partially by organizations at the forefront of German foreign policy, partially by activists of the extreme right.”

German-Foreign-Policy.com further draws attention to the fact that “during the 1960s there were reports of direct contacts of high-ranking German politicians with South Tyrol’s separatist terrorists. Under the pressure of the euro crisis, the efforts of that time are coming closer to realizing their goal more strongly today than ever before.”