The President of Egypt had a sensitive national security meeting, broadcast it live on TV, and forgot to tell anyone at the meeting that they were on TV.
Like, I kept trying to come up with a more dignified headline, and there just isn’t one.
The live broadcast of a consultative meeting held by President Mohamed Morsy and various political figures on Monday to discuss the consequences of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam included sensitive national security issues and suggestions for naval action.
Most of the attendants were unaware that the meeting was being aired live. Morsys’ assistant, [Pakinam] al-Sharqawy, apologized for forgetting to notify the participants about this.
Last week, Ethiopia announced the diversion of the Blue Nile’s stream as a step towards launching works on its Renaissance Dam. But the declaration and the project in general, sparked fears in Egypt and Sudan that the diversion would affect their shares of waters which they obtained under British occupation. […]
The most controversial contribution was made by Ayman Nour, chairman of Ghad al-Thawra party, who suggested that Egypt disseminate rumors that it is seeking advanced aircrafts. He said this is an intelligence technique of intimidation. “It might not be realistic, but it will bring results on the diplomatic path”. Nour, however, said he believes diplomatic efforts will not yield great outcomes: “Ethiopians have taken the decision, and it is highly difficult for them to backtrack”. […]
Younis Makhyoun, chairman of the Salafi Nour Party, said the last chip Egypt has is using its secret services to demolish the dam, describing the project as a declaration of war.
Chairman of the moderate Islamist Wasat Party, Abul Ela Mady, suggested sending army destroyers to the Bab al-Mandab strait and spreading rumors that Egypt is about to strike the dam.
Former information minister Osama Heikal said broadcasting the meeting live was “a farce” that reflects “the state of absurdity Egypt is experiencing”. “Is that the way to solve a national security issue?” he wondered in a phone-in with Tahrir satellite channel late Monday. “There should have been a meeting by the National Defense Council to determine the method of handling that crisis”.
Heikal blamed President Morsy for the confusion concerning the broadcast of the meeting: “There is no way the meeting was aired without Morsy’s knowledge. Had I been an Ethiopian watching that meeting, I would have concluded that Egypt is a failing state that has run out of options. The President invited irrelevant personalities to solve a national security issue. The whole world is now laughing at Egypt because of that meeting”.
I can’t lie, I am DEF LAUGHING. But seriously: what were half of those people even doing in that meeting? WHY BROADCAST IT AT ALL?
According to this article,* they decided to broadcast it “at the last minute” because of “the significance of the water security issue,” which—what? Like they’ve ever cared about keeping the public up to date on important issues before?
Like, this whole thing is 100% bizarre. I admit that it occurs to me that this was some sort of ploy by Morsi to try to embarrass and discredit his political rivals—look how many people who have nothing to do with national security, or in fact any government authority, were invited; notice that Morsi himself doesn’t seem to have said anything intemperate, and all the major pull quotes are from leaders of other parties; and, how random is it that this is the one time they decide to go live? But a) if it WAS such a plan, was a REALLY STUPID PLAN because hello, Ethiopia and Sudan, b) it even backfired real bad against Morsi, and c) the whole idea seems a little too far into conspiracy theory territory for me.
I JUST, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? WHAT IS THIS?
I leave you with this: another suggestion included ”backing Ethiopian rebel movements against Addis Ababa. ‘We can communicate with them and use them as a bargaining chip against the Ethiopian government,’ [Salafist Nour Party leader Khaled Makhioun] said.”
We have taught them well, everyone!
*disclosure: I volunteer as a copy editor at this site.
So I did a reblog for time zones last night, and on my personal mission to avoid reblogging text posts as links I totally forgot that this post WAS A LINK TO BEGIN WITH and I should probably not remove the source link. Oops. Here’s the post as it was originally intended, my b.