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Chaos in Egypt

From The Nation: Chaos and Bloodshed in the Streets of Cairo.

At the time of this report, 9 am, more than 250 were reported killed, including 3 journalists. Later in the day the count of fatalities was over 600, with thousands of injured.

Wed Aug 14, 9 am local. Hours after the raids began, Egypt’s military-backed interim president declared a month-long state of emergency, allowing security forces to detain civilians indefinitely and without charge, and imposed a nighttime curfew in Cairo and ten other governorates.

The health ministry said 235 people were killed across the country, although the death toll is expected to rise. The Muslim Brotherhood put the toll at over 2,000, calling the crackdown a “massacre.”

Among those killed were two journalists, Mick Deane, 61, a cameraman for Sky News, and Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, a reporter for the Dubai-based newspaper Xpress. Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagi said his 17-year-old daughter, Asmaa, was also shot dead.

In a press conference, the Interior Minister said forty-three policemen were also killed.

The raids came despite weeks of international diplomacy aimed at resolving the political crisis and staving off further violence, and they have all but ended the possibility of a political process that could include the Muslim Brotherhood in the near future. Morsi’s supporters had been calling for his reinstatement as president and the reversal of what they call a “coup against legitimacy.”

Security officials said Beltagi and other senior Brotherhood figures, including Essam al-Erian, have been arrested. Morsi himself has been held in an undisclosed location since he was deposed by the military on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and vice president of international affairs in the interim cabinet who had vocally urged against a forcible dispersal of the sit-ins, submitted his resignation over the crackdown. “I cannot bear the responsibility for a single drop of blood,” he said in a statement. “What happened today is only in the interest of advocates of violence, terrorism and extremist groups.” ElBaradei was the most prominent figure to take part in the transitional government following Morsi’s ouster, and his resignation underscored the fact that the military is the real power now in Egypt.

Plans to forcibly disperse the two sit-ins had been previously announced, with the police stating that they would first provide a warning, then use gradually escalating tactics. The plans came in the wake of the interim cabinet authorizing the Interior Ministry to clear the encampments and amid shrill rhetoric in much of the media that often referred to the protesters as violent terrorists.

The raids began shortly after 6 AM, according to witnesses, with security forces deploying bulldozers, helicopters, snipers, shotguns and tear gas. The smaller of the two sit-ins, at Renaissance Square in Giza, was cleared within hours. But the raid of the much larger encampment, at the Rabaa al-Adeweya mosque in Nasr City, a neighborhood in eastern Cairo, lasted far longer.

In Nasr City, the crackle of intermittent machine-gun fire punctuated the rhythmic clang of metal poles the protesters were beating to warn of the ongoing attack. Tear gas mixed with black smoke rising from burning tires and branches pulled from trees on the sidewalk.

It was a scene of chaos and bloodshed inside the Rabaa medical facility, a four story building near the central mosque. Wounded protesters were carried in every few minutes, many of them shot in the chest, neck or abdomen. The floor was covered in grime and, in places, slippery with blood. The heat was stifling, since the windows had been closed to prevent tear gas from entering.

Overwhelmed doctors and volunteer medics were forced to tend to the wounded in the crowded hallways. “We only have two operating rooms, and we can’t transfer patients because the police are blocking the exits outside,” said Mohamed Abdel Aziz, a volunteer medic.

The GCP event was set for 12 hours beginning with the bulldozing of the protest camps, following the suggestion of Hans Wendt. The result is Chisquare 43303.954 on 43200 df, for p = 0.361 and Z = 0.356. (Formal analysis was corrected after one bad egg removed.)

Chaos in Egypt

The chaos continues, and the casualties mount. One of the most important of these is the possibility of collaborating, cooperating, connecting. At this moment, these positive ways are suppressed in favor of conflict, violence, death. Who is making money? Why do we still, with modern communication, allow ourselves to do this? We are all there, shooting and being shot because we will not leap forward into the future of humanity. Are we afraid? Or is it really in the interest of the few to have the many split into foes and enemies, the other. We are not other. We are one -- and anyone who intends the splitting is evil.

Here is a graph of the continuing period of chaos in Cairo. It begins before the army and police brought the weapons of war to bear on the camps of demonstators. There is a 4 hour period leading to the bulldozing and the beginning of killing. Live ammunition, not rubber bullets. Who profits? Who let the army, designed for violence, take over?

Chaos in Egypt

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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