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War or jaw

By Philip Whitfield What did Obama mean? You can read as well as me. “We think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.” Obama was being interviewed on Israeli TV prior to visiting Israel for the …

Daily News Egypt

Brothers in alarums

By Philip Whitfield Morsi’s durability dips daily. After losing any goodwill he had among democrats, his powerbase is crumbling. He’s no use to the Muslim Brotherhood now that he can’t dictate election outcomes. On the street, former MB youth fight it out with MB holdouts in the canal cities, the Delta and, more recently, in …

Daily News Egypt

Wizards or woozies

By Philip Whitfield One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors – Plato. For what it’s worth, the election degenerates into a scrap between bigots and zealots. Tactical withdrawal? Tacit defeat? Haughty hogwash? Take your pick. Either way the self-styled democratic opposition has …

Daily News Egypt

Choking up

By Philip Whitfield Notice the traffic? Given up going out? Carrying a doggy bag on the shopping run? Good news. Nobody will be able to afford to drive soon. Everyone’s money will be spent paying the gas bill and keeping cool in ice baths. Who dares flick on the air-con? Bit chilly? Snuggle up in …

Daily News Egypt

Open sesame

By Philip Whitfield “Iftaḥ ya simsim” Ali Baba says, and the mouth of the cave concealing the 40 thieves’ treasure opens wide. The poor woodcutter becomes antiquity’s biggest Lotto winner. We grow up on myths, glorious fiction, and eternity’s morality story of hope’s triumph over melancholy. The best tales have a beautiful leading lady, a …

Daily News Egypt

Tahrir’s Tattered Trophy

By Philip Whitfield How long would it take you to vent your spleen? Me? An hour a column if I’m not distracted. This one’s been stewing, nay boiling, for months. The headline should have been The Rape of Egypt, but I toned it down not to offend the squeamish. If you don’t care to read …

Daily News Egypt

Chinese chequered

By Philip Whitfield The enemy of my enemy is my friend – Arab and Chinese proverb. Fathom this out. The Egyptian foreign policy moves towards rebelling against the United States and others who want to shape Egypt’s policies through their financial aids. The words are those of Ambassador Mojtaba Amani, head of the Iranian Interests …

Daily News Egypt

Dark daze

Egypt is alongside Fiji, Jamaica and Tonga, heading towards the dunces in Burkina Faso and Somalia.

Daily News Egypt

Folly to be wise

By Philip Whitfield Undressing the tree, the Christmas cards tease. Bundle and bung? Or pause wistfully. The ones from Palestine are most inclining. Not from bullyboys or assassins. They hail from everyday folk. One draws most attention. The writer points out that when O little town of Bethlehem is sung seldom think of today’s city …

Fady Salah

Morsy’s ghost

Morsy’s in an invidious spot. If he tries being a healing president he’s toast with the Muslim Brotherhood. If he’s arbitrarily Procrustean, he’s dead meat with the rest.

Fady Salah

In the lap of the gods

By Philip Whitfield The hounds have the fox in their sights. Unleashed, the dogged gird for affray.  Morsy is forced to flee his palatial, besieged lair. Across town the Muslim Brotherhood HQ is embattled. The overseer of the referendum calls it quits. Shakespeare: We would not seek a battle, as we are, yet as we …

Daily News Egypt

Hamstrung, humbug and hubris

By Philip Whitfield Cairo: Sheep steal elections. But you tempt fate pulling the wool over voters’ eyes.   War is not receding in the Middle East. It is building to a crescendo US secretary of state (2005 to 2009) Condoleezza Rice writes in the Washington Post. Her clarion call is trumpeted by the Tahrir Square …

Fady Salah

Expose wolves in sheep’s clothing

By Philip Whitfield CAIRO: Anyone with a mobile phone knows the truth. We are in the throws of the knowledge revolution, as meaningful as the agricultural or the industrial revolutions, which shaped social revolutions across the globe. At his farewell lunch last Thursday the British Ambassador Dominic Asquith coined an apposite phrase. Diplomats bewail hanging around …

DNE

Dial 9-1-1: Hold the phone

By Philip Whitfield Lightening the mood at a tête-à-tête with the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai coming up to 25 years after Chairman Mao’s fall from grace, Henry Kissinger asked what he thought was Mao’s contribution. Zhou replied: Too early to say. With seemingly almost everyone prepared to write off the Mubaraks, bear in mind the family’s …

DNE

Count on it: Open the Box

By Philip Whitfield Free and fair elections aren’t assured by access to the ballot box. They’re secured by counting the ballots openly with invigilators on hand to verify that each voter’s intention is honestly tallied up. The Constitutional Referendum vote was a step in the right direction. Now let’s go the whole hog. Here’s the plan. …

DNE

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