The credibility of the Arab Spring took a bloody hit on Sunday October 9th when Egyptian Army forces shot dead more than thirty Christian Copts and wounded scores of them.
In addition, the action by the Army was paralleled by armed men, described as Salafi Jihadists by Coptic sources, seen also shooting and hitting demonstrators with knives.
At a few weeks from the legislative elections in Egypt, this violence impacts the debate about the Spring of Egypt but also challenges US and European policies towards the current and perhaps the forthcoming Government.International news agencies, including AP, were late in reporting the real casualties, as Coptic sources have identified more than 30 bodies seen on the streets at the time this article was filed (forty by the latest unconfirmed account). Hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting against the attacks on Christian Churches in the south of the country were also wounded and dozens were taken to the hospitals.
According to Coptic NGOs and Egyptian observers, the demonstrators were marching peacefully towards the TV central building when armored vehicles from the Egyptian military deployed in the streets, and soldiers fired against the unarmed civilians.
This is a sad day in Egypt and serves as as example of wide-spread Christian persecution on a world-wide basis.
It will take a few days before arriving at an accurate number of how many were killed in the Cairo massacre, but what is clear after today is that the Copts of Egypt, about fifteen million of them, are now under siege
In a sense this is the most dangerous event in Egypt since the fall of Mubarak
Indeed, over the past few months, Washington has been engaging with Muslim Brotherhood representatives and preparing US public opinion to accept the idea of an Islamist Government in Egypt after the “rushed elections.”
EU summit on Arab Spring overshadowed by renewed deadly violence in Egypt
Egyptian cabinet to meet over violence that left 24 dead
Report: Egypt imposes Cairo curfew after 24 killed in clashes
Video: Armored Vehicles Plow Into Protests in Cairo
In other news around the world:
Moscow reaches out to Syrian opposition to head off Western military action
Five days after defeating a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution condemning Bashar Assad's savagery against his opposition, Moscow turned the heat on him by inviting an opposition delegation for a visit Monday, Oct. 10 and offering to host talks between the Syrian government and the opposition umbrella Syrian National Council.
Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Moallem threatened unspecified "tough measures" against any countries recognizing the council, evidently fearing a repeat of the Libyan exercise which toppled Muammar Qaddafi.
Damascus views all these steps as replicating the process which led to the ouster of the Qaddafi regime in Libya and its replacement with forcible NATO backing by the National Transitional Council.
Then, after the assassination of Kurdish leader Mashaal Tammo at his home in Qamishli, the White House for the first time called on Assad to go. Spokesman Jay Carney said the Syrian ruler must "step down now before taking his country farther down this very dangerous path."
All at once, President Assad was confronted by two very strong voices telling him his time was up.
'Window for strike on Iran nuke facilities growing slimmer'
The chance for a military strike to succeed in stopping Iran’s race toward a nuclear weapon is becoming “slimmer” as Tehran continues to produce and disperse its enriched uranium and technology, according to Prof. Avner Cohen, a premier Israeli-American scholar on nuclear proliferation.
“I think we are moving to the point that the chance of success for doing something effective militarily is getting slimmer,” Cohen warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to Israel last week, Cohen said, was likely part of an American effort to ensure that Israel is not planning any unilateral military steps that would not be coordinated first with Washington.
“My gut sense is that something happened in recent weeks which was interpreted as if Israel had made clear that the military option is alive and kicking, and Panetta wanted to make sure that Israeli independent action will not happen,” he said.
Arab rock attacks on Jews escalate, world yawns
The month of September saw a 33 percent increase in the number of Palestinian stoning attacks against Israeli Jews, according to figures published by the Israeli army.
During the first nine months of 2011, Palestinian stone throwers attacked Israeli soldiers and Jewish motorists in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") a total of 3,484 times, or an average of 387 times per month. In September, there were 498 attacks, or at least 16 attacks every day.
The most serious attack occured on September 23, when Arab stone throwers near Hebron caused Asher Palmer to lose control of his vehicle resulting in a crash that killed both Asher and his infant son, Yonatan.
Volcanic Alert In Effect On El Hierro As 4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits
A 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck El Hierro, the smallest of The Canary Islands, late on Saturday night. It was the strongest earthquake to be recorded on the Spanish island since an unprecedented earthquake swarm commenced during the summer.
The Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) has reported an increase in the intensity of earthquakes recorded on El Hierro, the smallest of The Canary Islands, during the last 48 hours. The number of earthquakes recorded since July 17 , 2011 on El Hierros has now reached 10,000, figures from the IGN confirm.
Earthquakes list October 10, 2011