Into the Hands of the Soldiers PDF Æ the Hands of

Into the Hands of the Soldiers ☀ Into the Hands of the Soldiers PDF / Epub ✍ Author David D. Kirkpatrick – Thomashillier.co.uk A candid narrative of how and why the Arab Spring sparked then failed and the truth about America's role in that failure and the subseuent military coup that put Sisi in power from the Middle East cor A candid narrative of how and why the Hands of PDF ↠ Arab Spring sparked then failed and the truth about America's role in that failure and the subseuent military coup that put Sisi in power from the Middle East correspondent of the New York TimesIn Egyptians of all sects ages and social classes shook off millennia of autocracy then elected a Muslim Brother as president The military coup replaced him with a new strongman Abdel Fattah el Sisi who has cracked down on Into the PDF \ any dissent or opposition with a degree of ferocity Mubarak never dared New York Times correspondent David D Kirkpatrick arrived in Egypt with his family less than six months before the uprising first broke out in looking for a change from life in Washington DC As revolution and violence engulfed the country he received an unexpected and immersive education in the Arab worldFor centuries Egypt has set in motion every major trend in politics and culture across the Middle East from independence the Hands of Kindle Ô and Arab nationalism to Islamic modernism political Islam and the jihadist thought that led to Al aeda and ISIS The Arab Spring revolts of spread from Cairo and now Americans understandably look with cynical exasperation at the disastrous Egyptian experiment with democracy They fail to understand the dynamic of the uprising the hidden story of its failure and Washington's part in that tragedy In this candid narrative Kirkpatrick lives through Cairo's hopeful days and crushing disappointments alongside the diverse population of his new city the liberal yuppies who first gathered in Tahrir Suare; the persecuted Coptic Christians standing guard around Muslims at prayer during the protests; and the women of a grassroots feminism movement that tried to seize its moment Juxtaposing his on the ground experience in Cairo with new reporting on the conflicts within the Obama administration Kirkpatrick traces how authoritarianism was allowed to reclaim Egypt after thirty months of turmoil Into the Hands of the Soldiers is a heartbreaking story with a simple message The failings of decades of autocracy are the reason for the chaos we see today across the Arab world Because autocracy is the problem autocracy is unlikely to provide a durable solution Egypt home to one in four Arabs is always a bellwether Understanding its recent history is essential to understanding everything taking place across the region today from the terrorist attacks in the North Sinai and Egypt's new partnership with Israel to the bedlam in Syria and Libya.


10 thoughts on “Into the Hands of the Soldiers

  1. Murtaza Murtaza says:

    The 2011 Egyptian Revolution was probably the most captivating political spectacle of a generation Seven years later after watching the revolution rise try to steady itself and then collapse in the face of a brutal counterrevolution David Kirkpatrick has written what is perhaps the best history of this period to date Based on his own on the ground reporting as a New York Times correspondent in Egypt as well as access to top officials in DC and Cairo Kirkpatrick has reconstructed the events of the revolution and its fraught aftermath The book tells the story of the street movement as well as the backroom dealings that helped snuff it out His reporting as a whole helps dispel the cloud of miasma that has settled over Egypt's tragic recent history which remains unclear and contested to most On the US side the book provides access to John Kerry Ben Rhodes and a host of military officials who had dealings with the Egyptians It is clear above all else that despite some dissensions the US government absolutely green lighted the 2013 coup against an elected government that despite its flaws had not crossed any line that warranted this extreme step The US government scarcely blinked in the face of Egypt's return to militaristic fascism standing by to watch wholesale massacres of unarmed demonstrators as well as mass torture and disappearances US officials both implicitly and explicitly cheered Sisi on and continue to do so providing billions in military aid to his regime Reading Kirkpatrick's account of what his regime really represents shows how monstrous American policy has been in this regard and how drastically it diverges from its soaring rhetoricIts clear that the Egyptian military and deep state never for a moment intended to hand over real power to any elected government let alone a Brotherhood one From the moment that Mubarak fell they did everything they could to divide the revolutionaries constrain the new government's ability to function and set the stage for their own violent reassertion of power Under Sisi the police state is now back with a vengeance annihilating everyone in its path whether they be Islamists liberals leftists Christians or even nationalists who speak out against the obvious mismanagement and brutality of the regime Above all his military regime and its Western backers share a paternalistic neocolonial attitude towards the Egyptian people Despite their heroic fight for democracy witnessed by the entire world the Egyptian military Washington DC and Sisi's Gulf Arab patrons have all worked to make the ultimately racist case that the Egyptian people need to be harshly repressed by military force as they are unfit to govern themselves I saw very differently myself during my brief time in Egypt after the revolution where people were very eager to engage in real grassroots democracy and meaningful free speech even at the risk of their lives It was a vibrant contrast to older democracies where most people have long ago tired of civic life preferring instead to pass their time in entertainment The fact that Egyptian civilians were killed en masse within a year of elections for making what the world deemed to be the wrong choice it is a sad commentary on the brutalities that the liberal international order is willing to countenance against those it considers the Other Kirkpatrick tells the story of Egypt's tragedy through the lives of its people from all strata of society and he does so with a refreshing amount of humility The book eschews almost all the cliches that tend to color writing on the region and he is very self aware about his own perspective as an American with a privileged vantage point on events He doesn't fall into the trap of portraying any side uncritically but one thing that comes across clearly is how fundamentally wrong the coup was It was an act of pure barbarity waged under the banner of enlightenment and its gruesome apex the Raba'a Massacre was the trigger that turned the entire region into a vicious zero sum game between totalitarian militaries and nihilist Islamist groups One imagines how the world would've reacted if it had been the Morsi government that carried out such a massacreEgypt is perhaps the most important Arab country culturally and politically in the Middle East The tragedy of its defeated revolution is the story of the region as a whole If you want to understand how colonialism continues to persist in ways that behind the scenes are every bit as brutal and cynical as they were a century ago this is the book to read


  2. Ina Cawl Ina Cawl says:

    one of the sad truth in this book is that even Islamist who believed in democracy were failed by the West and it only strengthened ISIS point view that through explicit violence not demonstration that you will able to take control of your countryanother book which made me disillusioned


  3. Loring Wirbel Loring Wirbel says:

    Since this book clearly was a personal narrative rather than a footnoted historical work several dangers related to the Western journalist's narrative perspective were apparent Kirkpatrick while a talented domestic New York Times correspondent was a neophyte to foreign reporting in general and the Middle East in particular His family took advantage of classic instances of white and Western privilege Given the heavy propaganda barrage Gen Abdel Fattah al Sisi had engaged in since seizing power yes a 'coup' in June 2013 was there any way Kirkpatrick could get it right? The answer is a resounding yes and then some This book not only accurately describes the brutal demise of the Arab Spring it serves as a template as to how authoritarian populism spreads in many countries worldwide egged on by the stupidity of The PeopleBut before we get to the errors of the masses let's be clear that no one comes away looking good in KIrkpatrick's tale Mohamed Morsi appears as a well meaning but bumbling fool Obama as the would be good Samaritan who tries and often fails to keep consistency amid a cabinet that values order over justice But Hillary Clinton and John Kerry come off looking like defenders of fascism Mohamed ElBaradei as much as he renounced the coup later on comes across as a toady for al Sisi The second generation protesters in Tahrir Suare the 2013 Facebook oriented Tamarrod movement come off as a project of the mukhabarat And our old pals Michael Flynn and James Mattis who at that time worked for Obama were nothing less than orchestrators of the coup In short everyone is evil As we all look to the devastation caused by Trump and wish for a better outcome for HRC it is useful to remember that the grumbling Western left got one thing right everyone who is part of the global bipartisan elite or the new populist authoritarians is evil There are no good guys periodKirkpatrick is enad of the 2011 protesters in Tahrir Suare yet is realistic as to their limitations Thugs working for the deep state and the slogan carries meaning here were everywhere while Mubarak was still in power and during the brief interregnum when Morsi was elected In fact the thugs took care to not enforce too heavily under Morsi so that the people would beg for less chaos in their lives and al Sisi could ride in as their savior Remember and this cannot be repeated often enough Morsi was inept but the Muslim Brotherhood did not try to instigate a police state It advocated nonviolence until long after the massacre of thousands of unarmed protesters in Rabaa in August 2013 The fault lay with the middle class people who could not stand the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood won a free and fair election and who thereby threw their lot in with the army an army that later jailed tens of thousands and executed scores of people daily far worse than anything under MubarakKirkpatrick is right to spend a good deal of time studying the Egyptian media and bureaucratic forces behind the army and police the ones that truly allowed al Sisi's horror to spread Egyptian propagandists are like the Saudi liars who tried to turn the war on Yemen into a patriotic crusade Even the mildest skepticism or critiue of al Sisi led to shouts of Traitor from talk show hosts and celebrities in the 2013 2018 period In short the people of Egypt created their own authoritarian fascist state by mutual acclaim a pattern repeated in Turkey Poland The Philippines Hungary et al The United States does not belong fully in this camp because resistance is strong and because Trump is far too narcissistic and incompetent to be a good dictatorThe most tragic part of the book comes in the last 50 pages in the last half of the Deep State chapter and in the epilogue Kirkpatrick sincerely wonders how erstwhile Westernized liberals in Egypt could have been so blind as to put their faith in the military We know that the people live in fear and that many have retreated into private hobbies so that they don't have to think how their society has collapsed But Kirkpatrick talks to one woman about how former protesters in Tahrir Suare have turned to discussing their depression and panic attacks on Facebook on a daily basis There is trolling and mutual recrimination on Facebook to be sure but there is also a reticence among many to simply say out loud Wow we were really stupid weren't we? But becoming an activist for the long haul demands that we look in the mirror every so often and admit to ourselves how dumbass we were to engage in this or that campaign The people of Egypt are still far from that self reckoningIn the epilogue Kirkpatrick talks about Trump's first months in office and explicitly talks about Egypt as a template for global authoritarianism The lesson I take away from this book can be summarized by a discussion I had with a so called progressive activist who talked about her admiration for Putin because Russia after all needed a firm hand I told her that no one calling themselves a progressive should ever favor a firm hand under any circumstances even if the alternative is chaos and disorder Since most people prefer safety security and predictability to democracy such a vision is highly unpopular these days Yet Kirkpatrick adheres to such a view and argues that there is never any reason for citizens who have engaged in protest to be snookered by the call for a firm hand


  4. Joseph Stieb Joseph Stieb says:

    Kirkpatrick an NYTIMES reporter in the Middle East for about 5 years brings us the undeniably tragic story of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 and its regression into tyranny This is a great book for people who haven't really followed Egyptian politics since the ARab spring and need a refresher Here are some of the major themesideasKirkpatrick frames the story largely as a liberal declension You start with this stunning hopeful moment in 2011 when Egyptians toppled their autocrat and appeared poised to elect a new leadership open the press and reform the country However the liberals or what ualifies as a liberal in Egypt were isolated and disunited so the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists and nationalists seized the moment and took power in elections The post election moment was crucial liberals faced a moderate Islamist government that they detested and never really gave a chance The deep state a real thing in Egypt did everything it could to weaken and delegitimize Morsi continuing corruption intimidating Muslim Brothers and refusing to police large parts of the country to create a sense of chaos Of course the Muslim Brothers were short sighted and incompetent especially Morsi who is a bit of a Rohrscharch test figure some people saw a Westernized Muslim some saw a budding Khomeini others just saw an underwhelming and incompetent man For the most part Kirkpatrick is easy on Morsi whom he convincingly shows was not the real problem in Egypt Morsi undermined himself with his decree that his laws were unreviewable by the court system but even without this the state institutions and the army would have tried to delegitimize him The liberals chose political expediency and an outsized fear of the Brothers over a commitment to constitutionalism and the rule of law when they backed and celebrated the Sisi coup in 2013 What followed was a horrific wave of violence against Islamists and Sisi's steady takeover of the country Morsi didn't kill the democratic experiment in Egypt Sisi did and the liberals for the most part excused him or cheered him on This was a catastrophic failure about which I argued with Egyptian expats at the time I was freakin rightThe lesson of this book is probably that liberal democracy and constitutional rule cannot take hold in societies with the following conditions a small disunited middle class willing to tolerate autocracy because of its fear of chaos or Islamist rule a hugely uneducated and impoverished lower class 14 of the country is illiterate that backs either Islamists or nationalist authoritarians an entrenched venal and brutal elite that controls state institutions and deploys them for partisan ends and self enrichment and a society that has still not accepted the eual rights and citizenship of women On this last point don't tell me it has It has not America hasn't even but sexism doesn't even describe the attitudes toward women in this book They are pre modern and dehumanizing Women were effectively barred from the public suare by the threat of violence from the police remember the abhorrent finger test? the fetishization of female purity and the threat of mob assault whether from Islamists or nationalist thugs The public assaults on women in this book are things that I believe simply do not happen in the United States in public This book convinces me that most of the Arab world needs a massive reformation of the role of women and views about them before democracy really has a chanceLastly I disagreed with Kirkpatrick's criticism of the Obama admin's Egypt policy Obama lurched back and forth on Egypt ultimately refusing to condemn Sisi's coup because of the importance of Egypt to US foreign policy in the region Of course the US has reaped enormous hatred for backing such dictators and the process is ongoing as Sisi continues to radicalize Islamists But what option did Obama really have? The US maybe shouldn't give EG as much aid as it does but Egypt will get that aid from somewhere else Saudis Russians Chinese all countries that don't attach moral strings other than serving their national interests Kirkpatrick seems to believe that the US should be pro democracy in Egypt but on what foundation? On a tiny liberal middle class that bailed on constitutionalism anyway and exerts little real power? The pieces are not there and jeopardizing the national interest for these vain hopes would not be responsible foreign policy It is wishful thinking about a tragic situation but that's why international politics is a form of tragedy


  5. Denise Denise says:

    Gripping firsthand account of the political upheaval protests and eventually failed revolution of the Arab Spring in Egypt as experienced by a NY Times reporter stationed in Cairo during those tumultuous years The narrative offers plenty of detail that makes for interesting reading


  6. Jerry Jerry says:

    Enjoyable first hand account of the Arab Speing and its aftermath in Egypt The details and analysis helped me envision a the sit ins and demonstrations and I felt the emotion of the successes and setbacks of the resignation of Mubarak the election of Morsi and the coup d’etat of Sisi The deep state is real and not limited to the Middle East The secret combinations that prevail in national politics and governance is rooted strongly throughout the world and veiled by the promises of security and stability


  7. Abdullah Omar Abdullah Omar says:

    This book tells the story of how the Egyptian revolution fell apart how far can prejudice throw away months and months of protests and sacrifices and how fucked up this world is This will give you a great account of what happened there and then but be warned it is uite depressing


  8. Chris Chris says:

    I have been following the Arab uprisings since their eruption in 2011 with some vague intention to write about them somehow Actually I have been following many of the global revolts since their emergence during the Great Recession of 2007 as my scholarship and general bent towards social justice compels me but the Arab uprisings gripped me slightly in the rapidity of their spread their greatly differing manifestations they took and the impacts they had Egypt in particular probably in part because of its wide news coverage was compelling in the ways labor unions helped incite the general upheaval along with bloggers and the configurations of diasporic youth flooded the country to ally with relatives and friends The fusion of on the ground organizing with the savvy use of digital technology was reminiscent of almost twenty years prior with the Zapatistas' emergence from the Lacandon Jungle and over the web with a poetic dazzling brilliance Despite proclamations of a Twitter revolution Arab youth like the Zapatistas from various countries realized the limits of technology despite its importance and the need to forge face to face relations to maintain their revolutions Egypt out of many of the uprisings is one of the most tragic in the way it backslid into military rule and complete despotism How did it get there from such promising origins? One of the great fictional stories about the rise and fall of the Egyptian revolution is Omar Robert Hamilton's The City Always Wins a barely masked novel about his work with the video activist group the Mosireen Collective Countless other books analyze and dissect the revolution from multiple view points Yet there is always a certain level of abstraction in understanding what is exactly going on unlike Hamilton's novel The exception to this is David D Kirkpatrick's book In the Hands of the Soldiers 2018 On assignment in Egypt before the uprisings occur Kirkpatick is an observant journalist who not only immerses himself into the fray and befriends the liberal and radical youth demanding complete change but he also remains highly attuned to the Islamophobic tendencies of the West and journalists' interpretation of the MENA region Kirkpatrick's sympathies are clear so it is particularly troubling as he witnesses many of those he allied with supporting a military backed coup against Mohamed Morsi Unlike most accounts that portray Morsi as simply a corrupt stooge of the Muslim Brotherhood Kirkpatrick makes a nuanced case of how the Muslim Brotherhood fits into Egyptian politics and US international politics as a boogeyman used to bolster already repressive regimes Kirkpatrick doesn't let the Brotherhood off the hook or excuse the multiple missteps Morsi takes But he provides a much mixed and contextualized evaluation of Morsi's problematic actions like anointing himself with dictatorial powers This is often portrayed as a simple power grab by the Muslim Brotherhood Yet Kirkpatrick shows how it was a particular inept reaction to the rumors and likelihood of the military stripping away his presidential powers and shredding liberal constitutional changes Nuances such as these help a reader understand the complex socio political relations occurring at the time that dictated some of the seemingly incomprehensible actions made by the elite Kirkpatrck situates the reader in the messiness that some of the best documentary films like The Suare 2014 and various Mosireen videos of the moment can only do Despite Egypt's failure at overthrowing its authoritarian state Kirkpatrick does not feel that the revolution was failed from the start He reflects near the book's end Thirty months of imperfect steps towards democracy in Egypt had offered at least a chance at an alternative Similarly it leaves an imprint on all those who participated for both better and worse Trauma strikes a defining note by the book's end as activists grapple with their failure to enact permanent change and worse support of el Sisi the military dictator gnawing at the bit to assume power But also things cannot return back to the way they were since youth the poor women and many sectors of Egyptian society had briefly tasted in Tahrir Suare what momentary freedom felt like what bleeding into something larger than yourself can cause the fear and paranoia to temporarily wash away as joy and anticipation overtake one like twin drugs The book is a riveting account of four or so years in Egypt that we must all still grapple with from its temporary victories and the innovative ways youth employed digital media and social media in innovative directions to assist a society to revolt Walter Benjamin one of the greatest revolutionary Marxist philosophers recognized that revolutionary failures have as much to tell us as victories It is those failures trapped in time under historical conditions that led to their demise that can serve as divining rods forward as we shake them out from the past and re examine their meanings under the light of present concerns to perhaps discover future paths previously unknown to us The Arab uprisings I believe provide particularly salient keys to the future


  9. Jamie Jamie says:

    Excellent primerrefresher on the Egypt revolution


  10. Chris Jaffe Chris Jaffe says:

    Kirkpatrick spent much of the 2010s serving as a foreign correspondent to Egypt for The New York Times and this has some reflections on the rise and fall of the Arab Spring in that country While the title says Egypt and the Middle East it's almost entirely focused on Egypt which just very rare looks beyond that nation's borders One theme here is how the western mediapublic often misperceived what occurred there A google employee is involved in the initial demonstrations and some hopes he becomes a new leader in the land but he's barely than a 15 minute wonder An Egyptian woman receives accolades from the west for her work on women's rights there's hope she can be a western style feminist leader Then she makes comments about Jews that favorable uote Adolf Hitler Kirkpatrick notes that he learned over time how the military didn't control sectarian tensions they deliberately provoked them to make them worse so people would rely on the military and police At one point some Americans hope that Gen Sisi can be a Muslim Martin Luther man that is just wishcasting The general course of events is easy to follow Popular protest against Gen Mubarak rose up and to everyone's surprise threw him out of power Then there was a chaotic period that included violence as people tried to figure out what would happen next In elections Islamists won by sizable margins shocking much of secular Cairo The new president didn't seem to be very effective but he had his moments But many still didn't trust him and the generals launched a coup of their own and then cracked down on Islamist opponents killing several hundred in one massacre and probably The old liberal critics of Mubarak's regime were largely silent over this as they decided they were scared of an Islamist regime than a new military regime But the ensuing regime has been harsher and engaged on crackdowns than the Muslim Brotherhood ever did or even than Mubarak did And it's not just Islamists they crack down on They'll go after anyone who criticizes them Kirkpatrick notes how most people in Egypt and in the US view the failure of the Arab Spring as inevitable but he doesn't buy it He thinks that there was so much effort made to build a new Egypt that it could've been done And he thinks the failure of Egypt's revolution spurred on failure across the region Only after Gen Sisi took power did hope sour across the region allowing for the return of Islamic rebels and jihadists With religious dissent banished it went underground where it fed off radicalism In this I think he's being naive but he does make a solid case He believes that for all the concerns over what a Muslim Brotherhood led government would be like you actually had less repression then than before or after Both the Brotherhood and liberals made the same mistake they both thought they could trust the military Oh and throughout the process the Obama administration was all over the map There were times Obama Sec of Defense Hagel and Sec of State Kerry were all pursuing different ends You get a very interesting overview and you also get nice side points along the way discussing the circumstances of Egyptian's Coptic Christians or the women's movement or of conservative Salafis who are often funded by Saudi Arabia Overall it was a very enlightening book


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