Final nail in the coffin of Egypt's 'Arab Spring'

An Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death for their part in a violent demonstration in 2013 that resulted in dozens of deaths.

The demonstration was part of the so-called, "Arab Spring" that was supposed to throw off the yoke of oppression by Arab governments. The regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had been under seige for months by protesters demanding free elections and other democratic reforms.

The western press heralded the violent demonstrations as a sign that the Arab people were tired of the same corrupt, brutal dictatorships most were living under and that the dawn of secular democracy was right around the corner. President Obama refused to support Mubarak - a steadfast friend of the US and a wary ally of Israel. When the terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, took power, Obama was effusive in his praise of the new government.

Of course, secular democracy was not around the corner. It was never going to turn out that way except in the delusions of western liberals who had no idea of the forces that were unleashed by the demonstrations. Mubarak was deposed and in his place, the Egyptians elected an Islamist government that turned out to be even more repressive than Mubarak. Headed by Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, he, in turn, was overthrown in a military coup following the largest demonstrations in Egypt's history. It was during one of those demonstrations in support of Morsi that Islamist violence resulted in dozens of deaths.

New York Times:

“These sentences were handed down in a disgraceful mass trial of more than 700 people, and we condemn today’s verdict in the strongest terms,” Amnesty International said on Saturday, after the court’s decision.

“That not a single police officer has been brought to account for the killing of at least 900 people in the Rabaa and Nahda protests shows what a mockery of justice this trial was,” it added, referring to Rabaa al-Adawiya and another Cairo square.

Mr. Abou Zeid was arrested with two other journalists, one from France and one from the United States, when he was covering the clashes. The foreign reporters were quickly freed, but Mr. Abou Zeid was charged with weapons possession, illegal assembly, murder and attempted murder.

An independent international jury selected him this year as the laureate of the Unesco/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize, which honors a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to press freedom.

The Egyptian government criticized the decision, with the Foreign Ministry noting that the photojournalist had been accused of “terrorism and criminal offenses.”

The Arab Spring in Egypt died that day, but the legend that democracy was the goal of the protests persisted. In fact, the people behind the demonstrations that overthrew Mubarak were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who when given the chance to govern, tried to turn Egypt not into a secular democracy but into an Islamist hell. When Morsi was deposed by the military, his supporters rioted.

The Arab Spring also touched Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and Syria. Only Tunisia escaped the chaos and death that resulted in civil war that's raging across the region. It is significant that in Yemen, Syria, and Libya, al-Qaeda linked terrorists are playing a large role in the violence. This is the legacy of the delusion that was the "Arab Spring." We will be paying for that delusion in human blood for decades.

If you experience technical problems, please write to