Monday, December 12, 2016

Deadly Church Attack In Egypt, Syrian Army Declares Victory In Aleppo, The Deep State vs. Trump

Egypt's Deadliest Church Attack 

The worst attack on Egypt’s Christian minority in recent years occurred Sunday, December 11, 2016.    St. Peter Cathedral in Cairo, packed with worshippers celebrating Sunday mass, was bombed; at least 27 churchgoers, mostly women and children, were killed and 65 severely wounded. As many of the wounded are in critical condition, the death toll is expected to rise.
As usual, witnesses say that state security was not present and that police took an inordinate amount of time to arrive after the explosion.   Preliminary investigations point to a bomb placed inside an unattended lady’s purse on one of the rear pews of the women’s section.
Mutilated bodies were strewn along the floor and pews of the cathedral.  “I found bodies, many of them women, lying on the pews. It was a horrible scene,” said one witness.
“I saw a headless woman being carried away,” said Mariam Shenouda: “Everyone was in a state of shock. We were scooping up people’s flesh off the floor.  There were children. What have they done to deserve this? I wish I had died with them instead of seeing these scenes.”
In death toll and severity, this attack surpasses what was formerly considered the deadliest church attack in Egypt: a New Year’s Day bombing of a church in Alexandria that killed 23 people in 2011.
It is to President Sisi’s shame that the deadliest church attack in Egypt occurred on his watch.  Yet it is also unsurprising considering how little has really changed for Egypt’s Christians since Sisi ousted Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. For starters, although Western and English language media do not report them, there have been several minor and unsuccessful terror attacks on churches in Egypt in recent weeks and months.  Last November, a man hurled an improvised bomb at the entrance of St. George Church in Samalout, Egypt.  Had the bomb detonated—it was dismantled in time—casualties would have been high, as the church building was packed with thousands of worshippers congregating for a special holiday service.

At least 25 people have died and 49 more are injured in the blast, with the number expected to rise, according to Egyptian state television.
Many of the victims are women and children who were worshipping in the smaller St Peter and St Paul Coptic Orthodox Church attached to the cathedral.
Security sources said at least six children are among the dead as a protest broke out in front of the cathedral.
The blast at St Mark’s Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassiya area of Cairo took place during Sunday morning prayers near the section designed for female churchgoers.
A device containing about 20kg (44 pounds) of the explosive TNT had denoted on the women’s side of the cathedral, security sources said.Video footage from the scene shows parts of the cathedral reduced to rubble, with shattered windows and a broken roof.
Security sources suggest an unidentified woman planted an IED inside a handbag in the cathedral before detonating the bomb remotely, despite heavy security around the building.

The Syrian Army has officially liberated Aleppo after ousting rebels from their last bastions in the eastern part of the city.

Earlier on Monday, the Syrian Arab Army made significant advances leaving only three residential blocks in the hands of anti-government forces. 

The rebels had little choice but to "surrender or die," Lieutenant Gen. Zaid al-Saleh, director of Syria’s security committee, told reporters in the Sheik Saeed district. 

​The Battle of Aleppo lasted more than four years after fighting broke out on July 19, 2012. In 24 hours leading up to the victory, approximately 10,000 to 13,000 civilians fled the city, bringing the total number of refugees up to around 130,000, according to reports.
After local TV outlets reported the victory, residents flooded the streets, firing guns in the air in celebration. 
Syrian government television channel Sana showed President Bashar al-Assad congratulating Syrian troops following the proclamations of victory in Aleppo. 

Meanwhile, on Monday morning some 4,000 Daesh militants launched an offensive on Palmyra, Syria armed with heavy weaponry, armored vehicles, and tanks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted the offensive may have been "orchestrated," while former UK ambassador to Syria said the US and its allies "didn't lift a finger to try to stop [the Daesh offensive] happening," despite having sophisticated and well-developed surveillance capabilities that likely could have detected the regrouping of Daesh militants and their vehicles en route to Palmyra. 

In particular, wily in the ways of Washington, the anti-Trumpers are operating behind the scenes, using their well-greased legal and political machinery to block the President-elect, or at least to discredit and de-legitimize him, such that his presidency is crippled.  And as a part of that backroom effort, the MSM is always ready with a supportive, momentum-building headline or two—or two thousand.

We all remember the anti-Trump protests that immediately erupted after the election—some of them, it would seem, funded by George Soros and his ilk. But such “guerrilla theater” in the streets was just an overture; the real battle, today, is in the suites.
Today, the looming flashpoint, of course, is the December 19 convening of the electoral college.  Normally, these sessions in the 50 states are just a formality, in which the 538 electors ratify the candidate who won the most electoral votes as the next president.  And since Trump won 306 electoral votes in November, a clear majority, there should be no doubt as to who will be inaugurated on January 20—but maybe there is.

So in the meantime, for the next week or so, the anti-Trump goal is simply to encourage chaos because from their point of view, only good things could happen.  And here, once again, the always dutiful Politico is happy to help; hence this trio of headlines, which are just a sampling: “Rogue electors brief Clinton camp on anti-Trump plan,” “Washington state presidential electors file third lawsuit in anti-Trump effort,” and “Dem congressman: Electoral College has ‘right’ to weigh Russian hacking.”

Interestingly, even as the Russia-did-it storyline played out, actual evidence, let alone proof, that the Russians aimed to tilt the election was, well, non-existent.  The New York Times, which never misses a chance to whack Trump, splashed the story on its front page, again, on December 12, but even it had to admit that there was no actual evidence that the Russians were trying to help Trump—it’s simply their new considered opinion:

The C.I.A.’s conclusion does not appear to be the product of specific new intelligence obtained since the election, several American officials, including some who had read the agency’s briefing, said on Sunday.  Rather, it was an analysis of what many believe is overwhelming circumstantial evidence—evidence that others feel does not support firm judgments—that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, and got their desired outcome.  [emphasis added]

A careful taxonomy of the Deep State must begin, of course, with the governmental bureaucracy, which, because of civil-service protections, does not change when one political party or the other takes control of the White House or Congress.  Today, there are about 2.8 million civilian federal employees, as well 1.3 million in the uniformed military.
And yet in citing the number of government employees, we’ve only scratched the surface, because for every “public servant,” there seems to be one or more private-sector operator.  To illustrate this phenomenon, we can take a snapshot of just one federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security.  It’s been estimated that at least 100,000 private contractors work at DHS—although nobody really knows, and some estimates go much higher.
So as we can see, the Deep State is much larger, and wealthier, than just the bureaucrats.  Funded by a federal government that will spend more than $4 trillion this year, the Deep State includes all the wheeler-dealers, plus the hired-gun experts, lawyers, think-tankers, foundation executives, and others that have sometimes been dubbed the “New Class.”
This anti-Trump hostility, we might note, is now more visible—even in entities that might be thought of as being on the right, such as the military and other organizations dedicated to national security.  And why is that?  One obvious reason is that liberal Democrats have controlled the executive branch for 16 of the last 24 years, and so there’s been plenty of time to cultivate liberals—even liberal activists—within the ranks and to bring them to the pinnacles of bureaucratic power.

And that institutional opposition to Trump has plenty of allies, including among many Republicans.  So the reader might ask: How many Republican Never Trumpers are to be found within the ranks of the anti-Trumpers of the Deep State?  And the answer to that question appears to be, many.

And now Graham and McCain, joined by the Democrats, are determined to push a Congressional investigation of Trump’s alleged connections to Russia.   As Graham and McCain, joined by two Democrats, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed, said in a joint statement on Sunday, “This cannot become a partisan issue,” adding, “The stakes are too high for our country.”

So there it is: the Deep State, in all its power, and its fury.  It stretches across the whole of the federal government—indeed, the entirety of the country.  And it includes not only bureaucrats, but also a galaxy of contractors, profiteers, and others in the nominal private sector.  And it includes not only Democrats, but also Republicans.  And oh yes, the MSM and the chattering class.
In other words, a great power struggle is under way: the Deep State vs. Trump.
And so one last question: Who’s likely to prevail?  We can answer by observing that Trump has done well so far, and yet we can also observe that the Deep State hasn’t given up, and probably never will.

A nurse with 15 years’ experience has been sacked after discussing Christianity and offering to pray with patients before operations.
Sister Sarah Kuteh was dismissed for breaching guidelines, even though her job involved asking people preparing for surgery about their religion.
The mother-of-three, who is now suing the hospital for unfair dismissal, said she was offering solace to patients she believed were happy to chat about their beliefs, and described her sacking as ‘disproportionate and punitive’.
The row comes after Theresa May told MPs that Christians should feel able to speak about their faith at work. The Prime Minister’s comments followed criticism by Government watchdog the Equality and Human Rights Commission, highlighted by The Mail on Sunday, of politically correct organisations that curb freedom of expression.


foretastes said...

Re: the church attack in Egypt... Horrible, horrible, horrible. How much more, Lord? How much longer? Though we know things will get worse, much worse. If these atrocities cause us grief can we even begin to imagine how they affect the Lord? Praying that "those days be shortened."

Scott said...

I agree. How much longer is my mantra it seems

Caver said...

Joining in prayer for our Brothers & Sisters enduring these horrors. To be honest, had Hillary gotten in office, I expected these atrocities to accelerate around the world and come visit us in North America.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.