If you bought, like, things, or a thing in your life, at least at some point it came through the Suez. Everybody takes this for granted. Which is why a planned upgrade of the Canal went almost unreported throughout the global media.
And this comes at a time when the Canal’s at its most threatened state since 1973. Thanks largely to the leadership and training provided by the self-called-Islamic-State-freaks, and an ultra-repressive-regime in Overlord Sisi. And so the Sinai insurgency is now full blown.
I keep waiting for a ship to get hit hard in the Canal. And big too, not small stuff. Ships have been hit by portable rockets before, but nobody’s been able to hit a ship with large explosives or heavy weaponry. Granted, this would be very difficult to accomplish, but not impossible.
Yaaaaay! Struggle! Futility! Like throwing a pebble at a car.
The $8.5B Canal expansion effort is one of Overlord Sisi’s pet causes. Other projects include building a whole new $45B lunatic city from scratch in the freaking desert, reinvigorating Egypt’s overall economy, beating six times as many people as Mubarak did, and winning the title of the Arab world’s best sunglasses pimp this side of Medina.
Stylin’! Each time an Egyptian is sentenced to death for shoplifting or posting an anti-Sisi blog article he gets a new pair to celebrate. And so he’s got like 700 pairs now (closet full of 700 pairs of sunglasses post-coup money photo forthcoming Circa 2023). I’d mail him my pair personally, but nobody reads this blog, so my chances of being sentenced to death in-absentia are minor.
According to the BBC the Canal extension adds 72 kilometers of new channel and nearly doubles the ship traffic by 2023. It also nearly halves the southbound transit time. Over the next decade or so this should, in theory, create much lower transit costs for everything from toys, to shampoo, to smartphones. Which, I’m sure, the planet’s corporations will be very quick and happy to pass some much needed savings on to their consumers.
El Qantara, west bank of the Canal
Anyways, we’ll see if Egypt can keep the Canal safe. I suppose they can, not that it’ll do the people of Sinai any good. Egypt’s modern army is rather good at deploying main-battle-tanks onto the streets of Cairo. But I suspect they don’t possess the skills to beat a flown blown Sinai insurgency. On the other hand, neither did the American army.
Al Salam Bridge. Built by Japanese goliath “The Bad Sleep Well” construction corporation Kajima. Finished in 2001 it was originally built with the idea to connect the Sinai and mainland Egypt to increase economic growth in the peninsula. But it is now likely a big huge target. The Bridge’s multi-mile length over such flat land is to give it a massive 230 foot clearance over the Canal’s sea level.
Egyptian-Japanese friendship flags. Yours in friendship, political nepotism, and construction cronyism.
War memorial statue of a victorious Egyptian army infantryman alongside a pair of blown out Israeli M-48 tanks. Sits on the east bank of the Canal just north of the Bridge and a short walk from the East Quantara ferry. Egypt’s 1973 seizure of the east bank of the Canal and the repulse of the subsequent initial Israeli counterattack might be the finest tactical victory of any modern Arab army. But it was not to last, due to relatively weak Egyptian army leadership at the middle and upper levels, and a near total loss of air superiority to the Israelis.
The original Egyptian life, small farm plots, along a river, surrounded by desert, struggling day-by-day to make it for over five-thousand years. Good luck. Hopefully, finally, for this generation it’ll be different.