Egypt's army chief warns of 'state collapse' amid crisis
Egypt's armed forces chief has warned the current political crisis "could lead to a collapse of the state".

General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, in comments posted on the military's Facebook page, said such a collapse could "threaten future generations".

He made his statement following a large military deployment in three cities along the Suez Canal where a state of emergency has been declared.

More than 50 people have died in days of protests and violence.

Overnight, thousands of people in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez - where some of the worst unrest has been - ignored a night-time curfew to take to the streets.

Gen Sisi's lengthy statement appears to be a veiled threat to protesters and opposition forces as well as an appeal for calm and an attempt to reassure Egyptians about the role of the military, the BBC's Yolande Knell in Cairo says.

Lemme see, here, General al-Sissy. You had a dictator who'd been in power since approximately the Upper Paleolithic. You had a state of emergency that ran for about 40 years, which meant to any logical person that "emergency" was the norm. Egypt subsisted largely on handouts, those from the U.S. going to bribe the country into respecting the peace treaty that had cost two heads of state their lives.

Then came the Arab Spring. The leaves of democracy greened right up. People took to the streets in the face of the truncheons of the coppers, live ammunition from the army, and the occasional camel charge. Mubarak stepped down from power and rather than decamping with the national treasury he and his sons were jugged.

Next step was to elect a legislature, which happened, but the courts threw the results out.

Then they held a presidential election. Everybody'd just been waiting to vote for the Moslem Brüderbund, since Islam is the answer, no matter what the question might be. Morsi won comfortably, leaving Mr. Potato Head and Jerry Lewis sidelined, the Salafists muttering into their beards, and the secularists with that cold, sinking feeling in the pit of their collective tummy.

Things looked pretty bleak for those Egyptians who didn't adhere to the theory that the answer to "What time is it?" or "What's the capital of Minnesota?" is "Islam."

Then Morsi, in a display of Islamic genius, decided that being elected president was the same thing as being in charge. He issued an executive order granting himself all sorts of power. The Moslem Brüderbund ran everybody but them out of the constitutional convention and passed an Islamic constitution, which was duly approved by the demos.

Perhaps the Moslem Brüderbund is in the majority in Egypt. Who can tell, since they're the ones counting the votes? But the non-Brothers are sufficiently sidelined that they don't like it, and they don't like it enough to bitch and moan in large numbers in public places.

Posted by: tipper 2013-01-29