Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sharm el-Sheikh Carnage

Clear thinking is hard to come by at times like this, much less analysis. I cringe to think of the avalanche of theories and "explanations" in the coming days. The death toll keeps rising, and word-of-mouth says it's exponentially higher than government reports. Interior Minister Habib al-Adli is already insisting that it's linked to the last October's Taba bombings; how can he know this only a few hours after the event? Arrests and round-ups of Bedouin locals have already begun, this after unceasing tensions between locals and security forces since October, including mass arrests and a manhunt that ended last month. Egyptians constitute by far the majority of the dead and wounded; this hospital report makes all too clear the outrageous disparity in treatment for foreigners and poor Egyptian locals. All I can think of are the dead and wounded, their families, the hard-earned livelihoods destroyed, and the ominous signs ahead.