Lee Smith shares some fascinating emails from Cairo. First, he describes the matter of Islamic zombies.
“The revolution ran on two levels,” Amr Bargisi, senior partner at the Egyptian Union for Liberal Youth, emailed me today from Cairo. “There was the intellectual or ideological level, which was dominated by Islamists and leftists. This was the part of the revolution that was most visible. But there was another level as well, the street level, which was dominated by the Islamists and this same collection of young toughs, high school and technical school students who hang out around Tahrir Square. They like fights, they like to storm buildings, some, if not most, are addicted to Tramadol. It’s a great anti-police drug. You don’t feel pain. They can beat you to death and you won’t feel a thing. They’re calling it the Zombie drug. Tramadol was a big part of the revolution. The point is that for the ideological revolution to have succeeded you needed these toughs because you had to win on the street level. To take on the entire police force of a dictatorship like Mubarak’s you needed to bring them down on the street through force. That’s who these kids are. They took on the Mubarak regime alongside the Islamists, whose willingness to die for their cause cannot be underestimated.”
Zombies operating under the control of Islamists and Leftists — working together. Who said they couldn’t get along? Then there is the question of what the recent riots in Egypt were about. How about the blind sheik?
As Raymond Ibrahim first reported on Monday, an Egyptian newspaper published a story last week claiming that “Jihadi groups in Egypt…have issued a statement threatening to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the ground” unless fighters imprisoned and detained in the United States, including Guantanamo Bay, are released. According to the Egyptian media source, the group consists of many al Qaeda members and made a special point in calling for the quick release of Omar Abdul Rahman, aka the “Blind Sheikh,” sentenced for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The “mujahid sheikh,” the statement said, “was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would.”
The Salafis, that is, may be looking to embarrass Morsi. The demonstration in that case is also aimed at Egyptians, a signal that the Salafis are now in open conflict with the Brotherhood—a conflict in which the U.S. embassy and its employees, from diplomats to Marines, are being used as markers.
The blind sheikh. And there you thought it was about a YouTube video. As one of Smith’s email correspondents put it, nobody was going to get his disdasha in a twist over a friggin YouTube video.
Bargisi isn’t sure yet what, if any, relationship the revolutionary toughs have with the Islamists. “It was organized by the jihadis, like Zawahiri’s brother. But that’s not who’s dominating the crowd right now. This Salafi guy I know comes over to fix stuff in my house. He’s a carpenter. He says, ‘Why care about this movie anyway? Have these people watched every movie ever made? I am quite sure this happens often. What’s new? America sucks, nothing new.’”
But to hear the media talk, it’s all Romney’s fault for talking out of turn. Melanie Phillips though, has another idea: what people are witnessing is a policy failure.
The Arab Winter has not brought forth democracy but unleashed anarchy and religious fanaticism, with Islamic mobs hitherto kept under control by Gaddafi and Mubarak now empowered, strengthened and rampaging out of control throughout the region.
We know who are the real guilty men here. Even now, Obama is stroking the enemies of the west while kicking its allies in the crutch. “Too busy” to see Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu when he comes to Washington later this month to beg for American help in preventing Iran from obtaining the nuclear weapons which it will use to achieve its declared aim of wiping Israel from the face of the earth, Obama will nevertheless meet Morsi, who has so far issued only qualified regret for the storming of the US embassy in Cairo, demanded that the US government take action against the maker of the anti-Islamic film — and who last spring released from an Egyptian prison Mohammed Zawahiri, brother of al Qaeda’s current leader and who led the mob who stormed the Cairo embassy this week.
Phillips also mentions the blind sheik though she omits the role of zombie drugs. Well, you can’t cover all the bases. The obsession with blaming Romney might be related to the need to keep up the president’s ” long-running touchdown dance over bin Laden.” But even NBC’s foreign correspondent in Egypt is scratching his head over an Obama pronouncement that Egypt is “not an ally or an enemy.”