Morsi, the last caliph-president of Egypt

Israel/Palestine
on 205 Comments

Morsi
Morsi

The ousting of Egypt’s now former President Muhammad Morsi, by popular protest in some interpretations, or by a military coup in others, has raised many problematic questions on the latitudes of democracy and limits of legitimacy. While those who relate his ousting to popular protest see it as a legitimate, corrective move justified by his non-democratic conduct, those who morn his departure blame a military establishment determined to oppose any civilian rule

Both prospects are intellectually entertaining, but equally represent a profound rupture with the existing problem. There are competing conceptions of legitimacy between the Islamist administration of Morsi and the majority of the Egyptian people who associate legitimacy with substantive democracy. In Morsi’s understanding, his democratic legitimacy is the result of a formal procedure of elections and can only be (legitimately) undone if he breaks the religious contract that enhances his leadership. As such, Morsi had steadily and publicly garnered the image of a true Islamist leader throughout his one-year tenure. He has billed himself as a just Muslim who fears Allah in public, enforces public morality, and therefore deserves and expects to be judged on these grounds. Although not stated, this self-postulated religious leadership as basis for legitimacy was as much imagined as concrete.  Throughout the rich and intense debate that ended up with his ousting from power, the religious dimension of his mandate was at the forefront of the argument.

In the days he was elected, namely on June 29, 2012, Morsi pushed away his appointed presidential body-guards andopened his chest to the public at Tahrir Squire as a sign that he was not afraid of the people. By demonstrating that he was not wearing a bullet-proof vest, he was claiming an absolute trust in his constituents. During a televised speech that evening, he recited a traditional Muslim saying that goes back to the first Muslim Caliph after the Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (573-634) in which he addressed the Prophet’s companions: “Help me as long as I apply justice and righteousness among you; help me as long as I obey Allah in you. If I don’t, if I disobey Him, and if I do not abide by what I pledged to do, then there is no obedience from me upon you.” 

This was Morsi’s only binding oath of office, the religious contract with the Egyptian people: I will obey Allah in governing you, and you owe me obedience and support.  In his first month as president, Morsi’s office announced his Friday prayer schedule and the mosque that the president would be attending, and the media often showed his emotion and tears during Friday sermons.

Morsi was a memorizer of the entire Quran, whose speeches are often ornamented by Quranic verses and hadith of the Prophet that tend to narrow the gap between the palace and the mosque, the private and the public, the religion and the secular, the Muslim and the non-Muslim. There were many occasions in which the president would stop a meeting or public gathering to personally call for the adhan to prayer. Although the very act of calling for adhan or showing tears in Friday prayer sermon or making public commentary on the Quran is a sign of piety in Muslim society, how much of it collides with the bureaucratic norms of modern state leadership or peoples’ perception of the figure of the president himself?

Let’s ponder the issue of calling for adhan. On January 20 during a dinner function in Alexandria, Morsi reminded the audience of the time for prayer.  To his apparent surprise, someone shouted that he call the adhan himself, which he did.  Although this event is widely admired by his followers, there seemed to be a deeper psychological attribute to its unstated meanings. Calling adhan is often left to the lesser knowledgeable of the congregation, and more often than not, it is the responsibility of the lesser educated, more available member of the group. If a muathin (the one responsible for adhan) position is open in a mosque, it is for people with low skills and meager educational training. Although cultural variations exist in its functions, a muathin is often of low social background. In Egypt, many mosques associate the function or position with the bilal or the bawwab, neither of which is an economically admirable position in Egyptian society. How much of this image is reconcilable with the functions of highest position in the country? How can ordinary people comprehend the muathin-president of the country?

We are not disputing the values attached to Morsi’s acts and gestures. In fact, they are religiously acclaimed and morally noble. However, they are problematic in the imagination of the modern citizenry of the Egyptian state. Whether admitted or not, ordinary Egyptians have grown up with the post-colonial state, which is not an empty space to be filled with personal dogma, but to be conducted with glorified-historical presence. In more concrete terms, there is a class issue here in display. The bureaucratic state has always been the sphere of the basha nobility before the 1952 Revolution. And since then, it became the platform of the military elites since the time of president Muhammad Naguib in 1952 ending with president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egypt was governed by decorated officers with military service, legitimized by war heroism. The Islamist Morsi was neither. Hailing from a rural and humble background, he faced a challenge of societal expectations in which he was unable to match-up due to his nonexistent background in military service. Thus he quickly faded away in the eyes of many Egyptians who have been groomed to believe in the decorated leadership of the higher class.

It is no wonder, then, that there exist many comments on Facebook and other social media outlets regarding Morsi’s performance, stating thathe is “a better a muathin than a president.” In the last two months, I have interviewed tens of Cairenes from different walks of life. It is not an overstatement that all of them have described Morsi as a God-fearing Muslim, but most of them also suspect him to be unfit for the presidency. Those from the lower-class or with less education, incline to label him adversely using terms such as gabi (stupid), ‘abeet (idiot) alastabn (second-hand president) etc. ..

There are also core supporters of Morsi. Some raised him to the level of emir of the faithful, or caliph of umma. When attending Al-Azhar University’s 39th Teacher Day celebration on March 21, Morsi’s speech was interrupted by a teacher  who was yelling that “You are the emir of the faithful and we are behind you.” The prevalence of this view among jealous Islamists prompted Sheikh Ahmad Yousuf, emir of Jamaha al Jihad, and the vice-president of Shura Council of al Jamah al Islamiyya to comment, “Mursi cannot be the emir of the faithful, but only president of a country, constrained by a social contract of limited term.”

Adhan is but a selective presentation of Morsi’s misconception of functions of the bureaucratic state. On April 4, for instance, President Morsi met with Sudanese President al Bashir for a two-day state visit, ending Mubarak’s 17 year long boycott of Sudan since an assassination attempt against his life in Ethiopia in 1995, in which he accused Sudan, President al Bashir, al-Zawahiri, and bin Laden. Morsi’s visit was highly anticipated, as Sudan holds many keys to Egypt’s southern problems, namely the Nile basin, border issues on Halayebe territory, and relations with South Sudan. Unfortunately, the news from the visit was deficiently presented, and images from Morsi’s presence in Khartoum were reduced to mosque visits where he read the Quran with a group of Sudanese public figures. Although these were highly praised in Islamist news networks that saw him as engendering the lost khilafa, it did not help Morsi, the President, when two months later Sudan sided with Ethiopia against Egypt, as Ethiopia diverted the course of the Blue Nile against Egypt’s protest. Again, for many Egyptians, Sudan’s visit served the image of Morsi the Islamist leader at the expense of Morsi the President, defender of the national interest of Egypt.

Based on a previous study of the 297 world revolutions accounted for between 1900 and 2010, I am not reluctant to declare that if a popular revolution succeeds against a democratic system, then it was not a true democracy in the first place. For true democracies are well equipped to tame popular anger either by addressing legitimacy through national referenda or by satisfying demands through reforms. Morsi had a chance to do both, but he failed. His camp has continuously offered religious answers to political questions, and it has gradually reduced the democratic experience to one dependent on a two-step process: first vote, then trust.

When democracy is reduced to mere elections, then it is another form of dictatorship, like non-constitutional monarchy and oligarchy. The most common manifestations of Egyptian democracy have been an overwhelming utilization of national elections and referenda rather than politics of consensus and agreement. From President Mubarak’s abdication on February 11, 2011 to the end of 2012, Egypt witnessed three national elections and two constitutional referendums at the national level. This means an average of one election or referendum every five months or less. Election fatigue as result of this over-utilization of elections is obvious in the ever declining popular participation that Egypt has witnessed: In the first referendum on the constitution in March 2011, the level of participation was 41% of the eligible voters, and in the parliamentary elections that followed in November and January, participation reached 62%; in the first round of the presidential elections in May 2012, the turnout was nearly 50% and then in the run-off between Morsi and Shafiq participation rate fell to about 43%, and in a second referendum on a new constitution in December, 2012, participation plummeted to 31%. Therefore, it is correct to say that only 22% percent of the eligible voters elected President Morsi. However, Morsi continues to challenge his political opponents that the only valid legitimacyin democracy is that of the polls -shar’iyyat-u as-sanadiiq (the legitimacy of the polls).

Morsi seems to understand power as acting presidential, or chair-bound. Therefore, he often states, “I don’t want power,” and “that is not for me.” In his last speech after the military ultimatum, he noted, “Mohamed Morsi did not want the chair (power) and nor does he want it now; such a statement [wanting power] has absolutely  no merit to it, God knows.” This has to do with the traditional Islamist perception of power as manifested in appearance, extravagance and lavishness; while the very act of being in a position of leadership is power itself. As Michael Foucault reminds us, the dimension of power is also relational.

A related example can be read in Morsi’s visit to Brazil on May 7. He seemed very uncomfortable with the rules of protocol and presidential festivities, refusing to drink/ toast with his hosts, even after being informed by the President of Brazil, Dilma Rouseff that the glass contained no alcohol. This prompted polemical discourse on Egyptian social media regarding toasts in Islamic jurisprudence, recalling the argument of the theologian imam al-Ghazali (1058-1111) that ‘a symbolic act of drinking alcohol in a ceremonial setting is forbidden in Islam as is the very act of drinking alcohol.” Obviously, this was not the intention of the president’s visit but the misrepresentation produced by his acts overshadowed the brilliant economic objectives that were the original purpose of the visit.  In a country where more than 10 percent of the 85 million people is Christian, this type of debate reminds them of Shafiq’s most repeated slogan during last year’s Presidential run-off against Morsi, “Egypt needs a leader and certainly not a Sheikh.”

Related to this debate are Morsi’s politics toward the Syrian crisis. Although most Egyptians disagree with the Syrian regime’s aggressive measures against its people, the popular media want Egypt to be in a leadership position to solve the problem. In his article, Fahmi Huweidi, Egypt’s most revered Islamist journalist, calls for the government to work in a new framework with Turkey and Iran to solve the Syrian crisis. The liberal press overwhelmingly perceives the Qatari, Turkish and US alliance as promoting the continuation of the conflict rather than halting the hostility. It was in this context that many Egyptians celebrated the rapprochement between Cairo and Tehran, hoping that such cooperation would produce a new power dynamism in the region and therefore a final resolution to the Syrian conflict. During president Ahmadinejad’s visit to Egypt on Feb. 5, 2013, the first by an Iranian leader since 1979, Egypt conditioned improving bilateral relations between the two countries on Iran’s cooperation vis-à-vis the Syrian crisis. Both countries agreed on rejecting violence in Syria, and that people should allow the polls to determine the fate of the ruling regime. They also attended the meeting of the Tripartite Committee, which included the presidents of Egypt, Iran and Turkey, to discuss ways to resolve the Syrianconflict. Furthermore, they proposed a four-member committee inviting Saudi Arabia to come-up with plans to resolve this crisis peacefully. On April 19, Morsi reiterated this commitment to a peaceful resolution in Syrian during a press conference in Russia with Vladimir Putin.

However, all these diplomatic maneuvers of Morsi the president were nullified over night in one of those exciting moments from Morsi the Islamist leader. In an Islamist-organized international conference, called ‘Support of the Syrian uprising’ on June 13, 2013, Morsi, announced the closure of embassies in both Cairo and Damascus, and he supported the imposition of a no-fly zone in Syria, adding that “the Egyptian people and army are supporting the Syrian uprising.” Morsi made this surprising remark after Sunni Islamic preachers from around the region including the Egyptian Sheikh Yusef Qardawi andMuhammad Al-Urayfi of Saudi Arabia, declared Jihad in Syria, calling on Muslim youth to take part against Iran, Hezbollah and the Shia community. As Sheikh al-Urayfi declared in that Friday sermon at Amr Ibn Al As mosque that evening, “I swear by Allah, the Islamic Caliphate is coming back, and it looks like I can see it right now with my own eyes,” Sheikh Mohamed Hassan and Sheikh Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud called on Morsi not to allow Shia Muslims into Egypt, describing them as “unclean.” An Egyptian Salafi Sheikh Muhammad Abdul al-Maqsud, president of the Legitimate Group for Rights and Reform, seized the occasion to describe Morsi’s opponents as infidels and enemies of Islam.

The Egyptian army, many foreign policy analysts, and the mainstream media were confused by the President’s surprising decision. Many asked whether it was wise for a head of a state to be involved in such a polemical situation. The army made clear that it was not interested in getting involved in the Syrian conflict, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hesitated to comment on his office’s prior knowledge of the decision to sever relations with Damascus. It became clear that Morsi did not follow the official transcript of his speech. Amidst the excitement of the cheering audience in Cairo’s fully packed 20,000-seat indoor stadium, among zealous applause and chants from partisans and Syrian refugees, Morsi the Islamist leader took over Morsi the president. Carried away by the moment, he improvised with Quranic verses and followed the general mood of the crowd, calling for Jihad and promising divine victory over Bashar, the enemy of Islam.

In a journalistic reflection, published on June 17 in Egypt’s daily newspaper, Al Masri al Yawm, Diya Rashwan notes that Morsi has become “a president of the Muslim Brotherhood, not a Muslim President.” Arguing along the same line and in the same newspaper, another leading columnist, Dr. Mustapha al Najjar wrote a column titled,“Jihad in Syria: how can emotion govern a country,” arguing that Morsi’s attitude and emotion-based politics are detrimental to Egypt. Fahmi Huweidi, the most senior Islamist journalist of Egypt, echoes the public mood and rejection of Morsi’s actions at the event. In a June 17, article in Egypt’s daily newspaper Asshourouq, he notes that he could not believe or even find comprehensible the venue of the conference. It reflected “the inconsistency of the Egyptian position in its proposal a few months ago to play a mediation role “

In the midst of this discussion of the ‘unclean’ Shia Muslims and Jihad against Iran and Hezbollah,’  four Egyptian Shia Muslims, including the prominent Egyptian Shia cleric, Sheikh Hassan Shehata, were killed in a mob attack in the village of Abu Musallam. These ostensibly related events prompted Al-Azhar University to issue a statement condemning the killing, and calling for a more tolerant and less polemic politics in the country.

For many Egyptians, Morsi’s sudden change of mind toward Syria reflected his willingness to please the Obama administration’s announcement a day earlier that the Syrian regime had “crossed the red line by using chemical weapons in the conflict.” It was widely reported that Egypt has much to lose in severing its ties in this moment, relinquishing its commitment to Iran and Russia on solving the problem peacefully.

Morsi’s conception of the democratic package might also be a problem of persuasion rather than ignorance. During his last days in office, Morsi was still holding the keys to his survival. With a strong organization beside him, he could have called for a referendum on his government or decide on early elections as was the request of his political opponents. His failure to do so can only be explained by conviction rather than ignorance. Conviction that reduces democratic legitimacy to his favorite term—shari’yyat-u as-sanadiq (the legitimacy of the polls), a conviction that respecting his leadership is also a religious duty mandated by virtue of the communal commitment to do good and prevent evil. It is no wonder that in his last speech responding to the military ultimatum, he stated that his leadership is the will of the people and “we should all remember that Allah is talking to us [as in the following Quranic verse] ‘Allah has full power over HIS decree, but most men know not’.”

Such a perception of legitimacy obviously contradicts Morsi’s earlier version of legitimacy, which was based on popular will. When Morsi was elected to the presidency last year, Egypt’s Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) insisted in the Amended Constitutional Declaration of July 17 that the elected president must take the oath before the High Constitutional Court (read my last year’s article in this platform). Morsi was not persuaded of the worthiness of these Mubarak era judges, whom his Freedom and Justice newspaper often depicted as “corrupt” felool (reminiscent of the past). So he decided to take his first public oath at Tahrir, in front of the ‘people.’ In that Friday speech on June 29, he made it clear that legitimacy is based on the people and nothing else: “There is no legitimacy, but you; you are the source of legitimacy, you give it to whomever you want, and take it away from whomever you want.”

If Morsi’s ousting was the result of popular will, the driver of that popular will was the Tamarod (Rebel to withdraw confidence from the Brotherhood System) Movement. Established on Friday, April 23, 2013 at Tahrir Squire, the group of mostly former revolutionaries maintained that, since there is no Parliament in the country, where a vote of no confidence against Morsi can be processed, it was going to collect 15 million signatures to support a vote of no confidence in Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government. Tamarod’s one page petition notes that since Mohamed Morsi al-Ayat came to power ordinary citizens feel that they have not achieved any of the objectives of the revolution, which were decent life, freedom, social justice and national independence. Morsi has failed to achieve them all. Neither security nor social justice has been provided. He has proven to be but a failure by all sense of the word. Indeed, he is not fit to lead a country the size of Egypt. In easy Egyptian colloquial language, the petition outlines the following seven points as justifying a vote of no confidence in Morsi:

“no security on the streets; the poor have no longer a place to go; we are a beggar nation from outsiders; the lost rights of the martyrs of the Revolution; no dignity for me or for my country; the economy has collapsed and only based on begging; he [Morsi] is subservient to America”.

“Based on all this we do not want you,” concluded the petition.

Morsi’s government ridiculed the movement at its inception, describing it as ‘useless propaganda, unless it becomes a political party,’ as stated by Muhammad al Baltaji, the parliamentary leader of the Freedom and Justice Party on June 10. In a meeting with Khalid Hanafi, the Secretary General of the Freedom and Justice Party in Cairo on May 27, he downplayed the prospect of the Tamarod campaign, informing me along with the vising group of Duke students that “if any movements succeed in mobilizing the Egyptian people against Morsi, he will have to resign.” As the Movement gained more ground, announcing two million signatories and attracting both political parties and civil society groups, the Morsi government turned to religion to delegitimize it. Islam’s prospective on the Tamarod Movement was the topic of a round-table discussion hosted by Egypt’s Dream TV between Mahmoud Badr, the speaker of the Tamarod Movement, Professor Ahamd Kareemah of Al-Azhar University, Sharif al-Sawi, a self-appointed Salafi Sheikh, and Dr. Mustapha al-Jundi, a member of the government Islamic Research Academy. While professor Kareemah focused on the non-religious context of the campaign and the need to define it as a legal political tool, both al Jundi and al Sawi insisted on depicting the movement as anti-Islamic and the antithesis of the Muslim doctrine of obeying the ruler. Al Sawi catalogued many hadiths (prophetic sayings) on which he had based his fatwa prohibiting the Tamarod Movement campaign. One of the hadith he kept repeating was the Prophet of Islam’s saying: “Listen and obey even if you are governed by a habeshian (Ethiopian) slave, whose head looks like a dried grape.”

As a side note, I witnessed a few years ago a group of West African Muslims walking out of an International Conference in Khartoum, because of a a visiting Sheikh quoting this particular hadith. The Sheikh then backtracked, explaining that it was figurative language that Arabs of the time understood, rather than a value judgment toward anyone.

In responding to the Tamarod Movement, Morsi’s administration reached out to its global network of loyalists. On May 24, the Egyptian daily newspaper, Asshourook highlighted the meeting of the Executive Office of the International Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo; on the agenda was how to support the government financially and globally on tackling the threat of the Tamarod Movement. On June 25, the International Union of Muslim Scholars, led by Yusuf Al Qaradawi, a Muslim brotherhood member, issued a fatwa, stating: The Egyptian people by their free will have voted Morsito be their president for four years according to the constitution. Thus, he has become among the Muslim rulers, who should be obeyed, as stated in the Quran. “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you” (Surah 4. “Al Nisa,” verse 59). Therefore, obeying him is a religious obligation, and deviating from that unless he becomes a disbeliever or commits a major sin, is forbidden.” Ibrahim Essa, chief editor of Egypt’s daily newspaper Al-Tahrir, responded in a column on June 24 entitled, “Morsi’s religiosity will not mask his failures.”

Although many Muslim intellectuals and religious institutions, including the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University Ahmad al Tayyib have come out to dispute Qardawi’s religious backing of Morsi, Qardawi’s son, Abdurrahman Yusuf Al Qaradawi, a renowned national poet and activist, published an open letter countering his father’s position on Morsi, writing that he disagreed with his father’s religious views:

 We have a pact with the man [Morsi] to respect the constitution, he did not; he promised to form a cabinet ministry of coalition, he promised a government of reconciliation, not exclusion, but he did not;  he promised to be a president to all Egyptians. The most important of all broken promises, he promised to be the guardian of Egypt’s Revolution, then we saw him in the days of the Revolution saying to the police – which he was supposed to reform, and did not: “You are at the heart of the January, 2011 Revolution!!!.”

Hence, dad, which of God’s covenants do you want us to keep with Morsi?

As the June 30 deadline approached and the Tamarod Movement gained more grounds, the president’s allies countered by establishing a similar movement, called Tajarod (impartiality), aiming at collecting 33 million votes in support of Morsi’s legitimacy. Established by Asim Abdul Majeed, leader of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, an ally of Morsi’s government, the movement notes its aims “To support legitimacy and stability and for the president to complete his presidential term as noted in the constitution” Asim, who quickly declared the collection of 26 million signatures,questioned the validity of the Tamarod movement and  the figures announced in its campaign, noting that it was “a pariah movement, rejected by the Egyptian people, and they had only collected 170 thousand forms signed mostly by Christian Copts, evidencing that this is an attack on the Islamic  project by a dirty crusade war.” Again, an intelligent conversation between the two camps becomes problematic: one talks about defending democracy, while the other talks about defending the faith.

Morsi’s disinclination to respond politically to rising political stagnation and economic turmoil was a major factor in the success of the Tamarod Movement. There were so many crises in his government.  The absence of an agreed-upon constitution or even Prosecutor General for the country, many governors declared unwanted by their constituencies, the rising violence in the Sinai peninsula, disenfranchisement of the youth of the Revolution who believe that they sacrificed for the January 2011 Revolution in order that others reaped the benefit.

Morsi’s ineptitude in communicating timely and clearly to the mainstream brought about a steady breakdown in the Egyptian public sphere, allowing radical forces to fill the gap caused by the absence of the president’s leadership. By January 27, there were two different political spheres in the country, represented physically and virtually by competing forces that are at best incompatible. There was the Islamist camp, led by the Muslim brotherhood, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and some segments of the Salafi group led by Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. Physically, they separated in Cairo by setting up their camps at Rabia al-Adawiyya Square, in the popular neighborhood of Nasir city. Rhetorically, they shifted the language of the debate from Shar’iyah (legitimacy) to Shari’a and Shar’iya (Sharia and legitimacy). During their gathering on Friday, June 28, which was called ‘Shar’iya is the redline,’ rally attendees cried for Islam, called others to join them to defend the faith, while depicting their rival as enemies of the faith, praying to Allah to guide their opponents to the right path. On the other side of town at Tahrir squire, the Tamarod organizers established their headquarters calling for Morsi to resign, for early presidential elections, or at least for a referendum. Egypt’s polarized satellite TV channels echoed this division in a cacophony of polemical argument and religious fatwas. Islamist channels such as Misr 25, El-Nas, El-Hafiz, and Ar-rahmah supported the Morsi camps unconditionally, linking shar’iya with shari’a, while most mainstream channels, especially privately owned TV channels such as CBC, Dream TV, Mayadeen Channel, etc.,tended to see the battle as political against a religious state and Akhwanatual Dawla (nepotism based on affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood). This camp did not mask its enticing calls for the army to intervene as the last resort to eliminate the government of the Murshid (the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood).

On June 26, Morsi gave a long speech (156 minutes) in front of a friendly audience. The speech was an outline of his government’s achievements as he celebrated his first anniversary. Morsi, who seldom sticks to a script, abandoned the transcript and reverted to a speech between reading and improvising, thus offering improvised substance. As such, the speech was repetitive and redundantin many ways. He repeatedly admitted his many mistakes, but gave religious explanations for them (here he used Ijtihad, a legal term that means independent reasoning in Islamic jurisprudence). The problem here is incommensurability of concepts, while error as a result of Ijtihad is acceptable in Islamic thought and rather rewarded, erroneous judgment is not acceptable in the bureaucratic state. Rather, there is accountability for one’s actions and the resulting consequences before the people or their representatives. Morsi’s speech was an attack on many segments of society whom he considered a hindrance to progress and reform. In addressing the opposition, Morsi stated, “if you do not like the government, form a different one.” The speech was mostly a catalogue of criticism of the civil servants and their failures to do their jobs, the judiciary and its crooked background, and the media and its moral flaws. It became evident in the speech that the president was in a total disagreement and discontent with ‘the Administrative State,’ to borrow Dwight Waldo’s descriptive term for the state bureaucracy and its complexity.

The next day, the media considered the occasion another lost opportunity for the president; he failed to come up with a final solution to the impending crisis. The military had issued a call for political settlement five days earlier, describing the national interest to be at grave risk. Morsi’s political absence translated into the success of the Tamarod movement. By June 29 there were more than 22 million signatories to the Tamarod petition, including overwhelmingly prominent intellectuals, writers and almost all none-religious political parties, in addition to the Salafi al Nur party. A week earlier, on June 25, Alaa  al Aswany, Egypt’s most prominent literary figure, who is on record supporting Morsi against Shafiq and who sided with Morsi when he suddenly fired the minister Mohamed Tantawi, wrote an article in Assourouk, entitled, “Explode or Die,” in which he argued:

“The picture is now as clear as the sun. We are not before a failed president, who deserves another chance to correct his mistakes.  We are facing a fascist gang, trying to carry out a plan for the control of the Egyptian state in order to monopolize power forever. Every day spent by the Muslim Brotherhood in power leads to the loss of Egypt in all senses of the word. In the midst of this darkness emerged the Tamarod campaign, beautiful, creative revolutionary idea that would lead to the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power by peaceful and democratic means. To withdraw confidence from a president has been an inherent right in parliamentary systems. Since there is no parliament in Egypt now, the withdrawal of confidence from the president becomes the right of the people who elected him.“

On June 30, the first anniversary of Morsi’s rise to power, millions of Egyptians roamed the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, the Nile Delta cities of Mhallat El Kubra, etc.  They supported the Tamarod call for a ‘Day for Egypt,’ proof that Morsi had lost any claim to popular support. Although there were some scattered gatherings in support of the president, their numbers were extremely small compared to the more diverse, more popular crowd that was estimated between a low of 17 million people and a high of 33 million. Later in the evening, Tamarod gave Morsi an ultimatum to resign by the following day or face escalation and civil unrest. In response, a number of ministers resigned from the government, but Morsi was nowhere to be found. The political vacuum was evident: there was an eruption of violence between the two camps in Alexandria, sabotage started creeping into the Sinai region, and seventeen headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood were set ablaze throughout the country. The Egyptian Armed Forces headed by General Abdel-Fattah El Sisi, minister of Defense,  stepped in, stating that it ‘is not a party in the politics or rule of the country’ but the national security of the country is in grave danger: ‘the Army forces repeat its request for people’s demand to be addressed and it give all parties 48 hours as the last chance.’

At midnight, the next day, Morsi responded to the military ultimatum with a 46-minute speech, mostly in Egyptian dialect, mixed with some standard Arabic. Many Egyptians considered the lateness of the response an unnecessary delay to address a crucial moment, but also too late in the night for most Egyptians. Some commentators pointed to this tardiness as proof that Morsi was catering to the US, where the time was 5 pm in Washington, rather than Cairo. Again, the speech attacked the previous regime, whom Morsi called addawlahal ’amiqa (the deep state), addressed corruption in the system, enemies of the state, and new democracy.  He praised the revolution and apologized for his shortcomings, Ijtihad. Repeating the word shar’iyyah (legitimacy) more than 60 times, Morsi made clarified that he was ready “to sacrifice his own blood to maintain the legitimacy of his election and for the sake of Allah.”

To his credit, Morsi was right on the challenge posed by addawlahal ’amiqa, as he repeatedly put it. This is true and was anticipated as is the norm after the collapse of authoritarian regimes. Indeed, this was highly expected by the Muslim Brotherhood when it decided to pose a candidate in the presidential elections in late March 2012. In fact, the organization’s general assembly only passed the decision bya slim majority vote of 54 to52. Senior members who opposed the decision talked about the organization’s inability to address the country’s deep socio-economic problems at this crucial juncture. Fahmi Howeidi echoed this in an insightful article on April 2, 2012, entitled ”They were caught in the trap.” Like many senior members or sympathizers of the organization, he saw it as a grave mistake, noting,“I have previously said that the Muslim Brotherhood is exposed to three types of temptations: power, majoritarianism, and of the sedition negative attention. While I warned them of surrendering to any of those temptations, I am surprised now that they have fallen to all of them. I have also said in another venue that those who hate the Muslim Brotherhood entice them to come to  power, hoping for their down fall in the quagmire of intractable problems. Finally, when I was asked for my opinion on what happened yesterday the Muslim Brotherhood’s decision to pose a presidential candidate], I said they were caught in the trap, they have achieved the wish of their  opponents, which is hard to believe.”

However, for many Egyptians on the streets, Morsi’s speech was a disappointment, and the Tamarod Movement considered it a declaration of war and violence. Thus the President has reduced a political conflict to what Dr. Ahmad Rami, the speaker of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party calls “either legitimacy or martyrdom in protecting it.” Later the next day, the Army headed by El Sisi, who was actually promoted in rank and appointed to his current position by Morsi, isolated Morsi by way of what one can be called a gentlemen’s arrangement, a development supported by Grand Sheikh Ahmad El Tayyid, head of al-Azhar University; Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Muhammed El Baradei, representative of the opposition parties; Mamoud Badr, representative of the Tamarod Movement; Jalalul al Murra, representative of the Salafi party, al Nur;  Abdul al Muneem Abu al Futuh, an Islamist former presidential candidate, and other representatives of women and civil society groups. All attendees, one by one, took turns supporting the declaration, signaling the end of Morsi’s 12-month tenure in Egypt.

For the Grand Sheikh Ahmad El Tayyid, head of al-Azhar University, removing the current government was permissible in Islamic jurisprudence, stating that: “In accordance with the Islamic jurisprudence that ‘committing the lesser of two evils is a religious duty,’  and in order to resolve this political impasse, which divides the people of Egypt between supporters of the regime and opponents to its continuation, each sticking to his opinion, not willing to budge from it, I decided to support the agreed-upon opinion of this meeting that early presidential elections be organized, where the people decide through the polls. The integrity of these elections must be guaranteed by the great Judiciary of Egypt as well as the brave men of the armed forces and the heroic forces of police.”

It appears to me that Morsi perceives his legitimacy as coming from two angles: the free and fair elections that brought him to power and the religious contract that he often utilizes to garnish his leadership. The argument of his opponents is that Morsi was elected under a fiduciary commitment to liberal democracy, which is only valid when separation of powers and the rule of law are upheld. And with his government’s systematic dismantlement of these two institutions in the absence of an agreed-upon constitution, this political contract is no longer binding, and like Mubarak, the legitimacy of the people overrides any other sources of legitimacy. However, Morsi clinched to the religious weight of his leadership to disarm his critics. In his July 4 article in Egypt’s daily al Misri El Yawm, Najih Ibrahim noted that Morsi’s Islamists have lost a great opportunity due to their “failure to make new friends, and success in making enemies, by molding all others in one cluster. This would not had happened without the language of arrogance and egotism.”

It is true that most of those who revolted against Morsi on June 30 are organically linked to the group that revolted against Mubarak’s regime on January 25, 2011. If Morsi’s government had succeeded in replacing the political icons of the old regime, it kept the policy tenets of that regime. In foreign policy, Morsi’s government remained in line with Mubarak’s: It criticized Mubarak for being a puppet of the US, yet it has sought to remain within the orbit of United States influence. US Ambassador Anne Patterson regularly defended Morsi’s government in the Egyptian media.

I am afraid that reducing the ousting of Morsi to a mere military coup d’état is a flawed simplification of a grand occurrence that has consumed the Egyptian streets. It might be due to ignorance of the complexities of the people or arrogance that prevents one from admitting the many possible misconceptions of newly adopted democracies. In my July 7 interview with Helmi Sharawi, director of the Arab and African Research Center in Cairo, he noted, “We should not continue to consider Western means of  peaceful political change to be the only acceptable ones. Should we legitimize political change if it only happens through so called ‘youth springs,’ ‘youth movements,’ ‘green movements’ or ‘colored revolutions?”

We should look beyond the binary debate of military coup d’état or the lack of it to consider the potential of two colliding conceptions of legitimacy, which were left unaddressed in the hasty passage of the democratic transition.

Morsi’s problem is a clash of legitimacy – his own, which was reduced to procedural democracy, supported by a tacit religious contract, and that of the majority of the Egyptian people, whose revolution had brought him to power. Morsi longed to be the great Islamist leader, while most Egyptians wanted a President for the impaired Arab Republic of Egypt.   As the battle continues for a more sustainable democracy in Egypt, crafting a well-defined political contract on the decrees of democracy and the mandates of legitimacy has become indispensable.

About Mbaye Lo

Mbaye Lo has spent the last several weeks in Cairo. A native of Senegal, Lo is Assistant Professor of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic at Duke University, and a Duke Islamic Studies Center affiliated (DISC) faculty member. He has authored many books, including Muslims in America: Race, Politics and Community Building, Understanding the Muslim Discourse: Language, Tradition and the Message of Bin Laden, Civil Society-based-Governance in Africa: Theories and Practices. His current manuscript in-progress is titled “The Geography of 9/11.”

Other posts by .


Posted In:

205 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    July 28, 2013, 11:23 am

    Just great, another article delegitimizing Egypts first democratically elected leader.

    • W.Jones
      July 28, 2013, 3:11 pm

      I know, right? Military coups against democratically-elected semi-theocrats are what democracy is all about, though, right?

      • Justpassingby
        July 28, 2013, 3:51 pm

        W.Jones – I have no idea what you’re trying to say. If you are one those coup supporters you could learn 1 or 2 things about the word Democracy.

      • MHughes976
        July 28, 2013, 4:54 pm

        I take W to be expressing extreme scepticism about the justification of the military takeover by reference to democracy or other ‘western’ values. I have not had to live under a semi-theocracy and I’m sure it would be unpleasant. I do feel concern for the Egyptian Christians who were surely somewhat insecure in the face of the MB regime, just as Muslims would be if a Christian Brotherhood were running the UK. I do note the views of our respected colleague Taxi. All that said, I share the view that there are very few problems to which a military coup is the answer.

      • W.Jones
        July 30, 2013, 4:42 pm

        JP,
        It’s sarcasm. If the person is democratically elected, the act of a coup is not democracy, unless the deposed person is so repressive a coup is needed.

        If the MB killed people for converting to Christianity, then a secular coup could be an improvement, depending on how bad the new forces were. But the MB in power wasn’t doing that anyway.

    • AM
      July 28, 2013, 6:36 pm

      I very much agree.I read about half of it, and then felt it was getting too long-winded for me, and then started skimming through the first and last sentences of every paragraph or so just so I can get the gist of it. If there’s something really valuable let me know and I’ll go back and reread the whole thing

      the interpretations of the article make is just twisted if you ask me, even if the interpretations are what some people believe in think. For example, rather than say that Morsi was making a statement when he chose to announce the call to prayer by Indicating that anyone of any background can potentially reach any level of office, instead he gets lambasted because he wasn’t acting like a president by doing that.

      When we talk about democratizing a society you would think a statement about the maximum level about of mobility that could be had should be a statement that should be celebrated.

      this type of thought is riddled everywhere, especially when he tries to connect culture and sayings that aren’t even part of authentic religious text and take them to be the political soap box of the first democratically elected EGyptian government.

      the coup organizer organizers better hurry fast and secure jobs for the country so they can run the country the way China is run, because if they don’t, there will be yet another coup

  2. Arthur
    July 28, 2013, 11:44 am

    I think Israel is the only one profiting form Morsi ousting. Good or bad he should be allowed to end his term that’s the most important part of democracy. Whatever and I mean whatever thing Morsi had done has no comparison with more than 100 civilians dead yesterday.

  3. MHughes976
    July 28, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Do Egyptians have the choice between a Caliph with a sacred book and a Pharaoh with a sword?

  4. Max Blumenthal
    July 28, 2013, 12:04 pm

    This essay, yet another shameful example of coup-splaining, rests on a series of baseless statistics that have been thoroughly discredited.

    The first is that “there were more than 22 million signatories to the Tamarod petition.” The signatures on the Tamarod petition were never independently verified or counted by anyone except Tamarod, the shadowy movement currently engaged in a campaign of incitement against Palestinians from Gaza (the author doesn’t mention Tamarod’s deep ties to felool oligarchs like Naguib Sawiris or SCAF officers). It is highly unlikely, if not totally implausible, that in a country where one-fifth of the population are children, a full one quarter of Egyptian adults signed this petition.

    The author goes on to cite the ridiculous and utterly discredited June 30 crowd figure pushed by SCAF and liberal coup supporters, claiming that the anti-Morsi crowds were “estimated between a low of 17 million people and a high of 33 million.” I challenge the author to provide one credible source for this claim, which assumed that 20-40% of the entire Egyptian population was in the streets at once.

    Here, I explained how these bogus crowd numbers were introduced to the public through SCAF’s propaganda mechanism: link to aljazeera.com

    I also find the author’s deployment of Alaa Aswany’s opposition to Morsi as a commentary on the President’s legitimacy to be absurd. Aswany, a symbol of the Cairene elite, is a worshipper of Sisi and one of the country’s leading cheerleaders for the coup. Why is it surprising that Aswany’s name would appear on a Tamarod petition? He was, after all, a founder of Kefaya, the liberal group that basically morphed into Tamarod as soon as the fix was in on Morsi.

    Essays like this are not only unconvincing, in the wake of massacres engineered by coup forces desperately seeking to consolidate their legitimacy, they are increasingly distasteful.

    • crone
      July 28, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Thanks for your comments Max… totally agree with you… as does article in Counterpunch which I linked to downthread…

      • American
        July 28, 2013, 10:23 pm

        Ditto

        Typical pretentious academica bullsh@t.

    • just
      July 28, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Well said, Max. From what I have observed and the folks I have spoken to, I agree.

    • Justpassingby
      July 28, 2013, 5:18 pm

      Glad to see you here Max Blumenthal, and of course you are right in your criticism.

    • Shingo
      July 28, 2013, 7:32 pm

      Ditto Max,

      Thanks for pointing out all the falsities claims this writer’s thesis is premised upon.

    • Taxi
      July 28, 2013, 10:36 pm

      Max,

      You’re writing for Al jazeera. Need I say more?

      The only thing “bogus” going on is your fake caring for the Egyptian people.

      Why are so many westerners hellbent on keeping the middle east away from progress? Why are they fixated on keeping extremist minorities in power?

      Who the eff are you telling the majority of Egyptians to eat sh*t and stay under the triple jackboot of zionism, imperialism and islamism.

      What would you do if Hagee or such like was in the White House and the economy was tanking to boot? Get drunk and whine for four years? I think not!!

      Max, let’s face it, you understand Jerusalem better than you understand Cairo.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 1:42 am

        Why are so many westerners hellbent on keeping the middle east away from progress?

        I fail to see how you can say that about Max given his extraordinary reporting Taxi. And I fail to see how a military coup that returns the Mubarak era deep state to power in Egypt is progress.

        Who the eff are you telling the majority of Egyptians to eat sh*t and stay under the triple jackboot of zionism, imperialism and islamism.

        Don’t you realize that thei coup returns Egypt to being under the double jackboot of zionism and imperialism?

        What is it that everyone is missing about Cairo that you know Taxi? This sentiment is very uncharacteristic of you.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 9:42 am

        Come on Shingo, Max ain’t infallible, he can get stuff wrong. We all do.

        And again, I’m sorry to say that I just don’t see how the ‘revolution’ was not fundamentally the doing of the Egyptian people themselves. This is my firm understanding and position. And if one gets this part of the picture wrong, gets the essentials wrong, then the rest of one’s analysis misses the bulls eyes completely.

        Why didn’t Max take his famous camera out to Tahrir Square and ask some of the demonstrators whether what just happened to them was a ‘military coup’, or the biggest demonstration in the history of the world, created by them, the Egyptian people? Why doesn’t he go there and tell the good Egyptian folks that they’re all deluded idiots being manipulated by western forces and being blind-sighted by their army?

        Yeah well, he didn’t, and I feel that I’m speaking here on mw on behalf of the demonstrators in Tahrir and elsewhere in Egypt, who risked life and limb demonstrating for their freedom, not on behalf of western theorists and antagonists – as stimulating and alluring as some of the Egypt theories have been.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 7:24 pm

        Come on Shingo, Max ain’t infallible, he can get stuff wrong. We all do.

        I didn’t say he was infallible, but he did just refute a number of key arguments upon which this screed has been based .

        And again, I’m sorry to say that I just don’t see how the ‘revolution’ was not fundamentally the doing of the Egyptian people themselves.

        Which revolution are we talking about here? The one that ousted Mubarak or the one in which the military removed a democratically elected leader?

        Why didn’t Max take his famous camera out to Tahrir Square and ask some of the demonstrators whether what just happened to them was a ‘military coup

        Which demonstrators? The ones who are opposed to Morsi or the ones being massacred by the military?

        Anyone can take a camera to a Tea Party rally. Does that mean you are going to get definite picture of what the people of America want?

        Morsi may well have been incompetent or made some really bad moves, but in a democracy, the people remove such people by mans of elections. Democracies mean that you don’t always end up with the leader you want. When a minority takes to the streets, and the military removes that leader, that is not a democracy, that is tyranny. The reason the military opted to remove him, as opposed to demanding immediate elections, is because they knew they would not get the outcome they wanted.

        Yeah well, he didn’t, and I feel that I’m speaking here on mw on behalf of the demonstrators in Tahrir and elsewhere in Egypt, who risked life and limb demonstrating for their freedom

        You might be speaking for some of them, but not the ones risking life and limb demonstrating for their freedom. The ones you speak for were never threatened since the military was on their side.

      • Taxi
        July 30, 2013, 1:09 pm

        Shingo,

        Whatever calculus Max is using can be disputed too – after all, he himself reckons it’s impossible to get accurate figures, only estimates. It’s a joke to say ‘oh no it wasn’t 33 million, it was about 20 million protestors’. Man, it was MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE that protested across Egypt. It was THE LARGEST POLITICAL PROTEST IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. NOBODY disputes THAT distinction, regardless of the ‘accuracy’ of the number of protestors. By far more protested against Morsi that they did against Mubarak and you have the gall to call that a “minority” of protestors? Get outta town clown!

        I guess you would stick around in an abusive marriage cuz you signed the frigging marriage contract, right? That’s why you want the Egyptians to take the abuse for three more years – except by then they’d be real losers cuz Mursi would have the time to change so many laws by then and turned Egypt into a fine dictatorial islamist state, which he was already on the way to doing – which, by the way, is what israel wanted for Egypt as well.

        When political systems fail their people, including a failed democratic system, it is the right of citizens to rebel against it. We call that a revolution. And the irony of all ironies, is that in the name of democracy, you are attacking and belittling the very people who are demanding a REAL democracy headed by a sound and able leader.

        My my so many Egypt amateurs coming out of the woodwork.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 10:21 pm

        Whatever calculus Max is using can be disputed too – after all, he himself reckons it’s impossible to get accurate figures, only estimates.

        He pointed out that it was highly unlikely, if not totally implausible, that in a country where one-fifth of the population are children, a full one quarter of Egyptian adults signed this petition. and he is right. It’s even more implausible when you factor in how’s my Egyptians are illiterate.

        What’s more is that the owner of one of the most rabid anti Morso TV stations has admitted to financing the Tamarod demonstrations, so the results hare far from credible.

        Man, it was MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE that protested across Egypt. It was THE LARGEST POLITICAL PROTEST IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

        But evidently not large enough to win in a legitimate democratic election.

        By far more protested against Morsi that they did against Mubarak and you have the gall to call that a “minority” of protestors? Get outta town clown!

        Yes, it appears thathe Egyptians should have left Mubarak in place and saved everyone a lot of time and energy. After all, that is what they have apparently fought to bring back.

        I guess you would stick around in an abusive marriage cuz you signed the frigging marriage contract, right?

        Wasn’t that the casse for over 30 years under a regime they have just demonstrated to install back in power?

        I keep hearing this vague references to abuse Egyptian were living under, which is truly mysterious seeing as the Morsi regime never exercised any authority over the military , the police or the judiciary.

        except by then they’d be real losers cuz Mursi would have the time to change so many laws by then and turned Egypt into a fine dictatorial islamist state, which he was already on the way to doing.

        I thought the whole reason Egyptians took to the streets in 2011 was to change laws and being in reforms. I guess I was wrong.

        When political systems fail their people, including a failed democratic system, it is the right of citizens to rebel against it. We call that a revolution.

        Again, I thought the whole reason Egyptians took to the streets in 2011 was to achieve that outcome. That is why so many of us are perplexed why they had a counter revolution to undo all that hard work.

        And the irony of all ironies, is that in the name of democracy, you are attacking and belittling the very people who are demanding a REAL democracy headed by a sound and able leader.

        If they want real democracy, they have a very strange way of showing it. Real democracy is NEVER achieved by a military junta financed and backed by foreign interests. What I am attacking and belittling are the idiots who have been duped into participating and supporting a counter revolution while thinking their efforts will being about change.

        My my so many Egypt amateurs coming out of the woodwork.

        And so many Egyptian played for fools in restoring Israel back to a military dictatorship. Anyway, I hope the Egyptians are happy. They say you get the government you deserve.

        Again, I have to ask you how you feel about being o the same side of the debate as John “Bonkers” Bolton and Bibbi and how you feel about the Egyptian military shutting down the access to Gaza. I though you were on the side of the Palestinians? I guess I assumed wrong.

      • Sibiriak
        July 31, 2013, 1:52 am

        Shingo, excellent critical thinking on the Egyptian situation.

      • Justpassingby
        July 29, 2013, 2:01 am

        Taxi, that was just embarrassing.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 9:43 am

        To avoid being further ‘embarrassed’, use your remote control.

      • ritzl
        July 29, 2013, 9:21 am

        @Taxi Because it’s you writing this stuff I’m trying to keep an open mind. I keep (and will keep) asking myself, “What am I missing, that Taxi sees?” I confess in public that I’m just not seeing it. Perhaps that’s chauvinism on my part, but I don’t think so.

        If you accept the precept that nothing is really new (maybe not, but I’m stating my assumptions), military coups have been done since the beginning of time. Maybe a very few have been truly beneficent in the short to medium-term, but not many. So I guess the chances that the Egyptians could come up with a coup-leading-to-democracy scenario as a unique, Revolution – Egyptian Style are vanishingly slim. Not zero, but very low. The forces at work here seem so very familiar (and not just zionist, but the pattern fits in the Americas as well as SE Asia, i.e. monied interests with guns).

        Sorry to repeat myself but very low is not none, and I will keep looking for what you’re seeing.

        The other, just-thinking-out-loud, question I have is, what do you do with the 35-45% of Egyptians that voted and still support Morsi and/or the MB? Do they get radicalized (theocratically speaking) into the Salafist end of the spectrum (as the Saudis seem to want) or do they just not count [as Egyptians??; Not being snide here. I think it’s a legitimate and maybe fundamental question on this.]?

        In any event, be well. Appreciate your passion and insights. I hope this works out to embrace all Egyptians democratically and ultimately.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 1:15 pm

        Thanks ritzl,
        I appreciate your open mind and I too am keeping an open mind.

        To answer your question, many people, including hardened conservative Egyptian moslems (not islamists), had already abandoned Morsi because of his economic incompetence. It’s only the zealots who remain as Morsi supporters and they are a minority – some of them are armed.

        You know, I had an epiphany the other day that I’d like to share with you, and I hope it won’t come across as offensive to you and to others. I had this clear understanding that had I not already been in the mideast for the past two years, observing and interacting – if I’d been living back home in LA for the past two years, I too would probably be thinking of coups and hi-powered conspiracies. It’s just being here, amidst it all, collecting so much raw information on a daily basis and all day long, having endless discussions with people who are much smarter and more knowledgeable than me about the mid east region, has given me an added insight that I would never have been able to arrive at back in LA, relying there only on internet news and what have you.

        Well, I’m heading back home in a couple of months (man that was a long visit!) and I very much look forward to seeing how, and if, my perspective changes.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 8:18 pm

        To answer your question, many people, including hardened conservative Egyptian moslems (not islamists), had already abandoned Morsi because of his economic incompetence

        It’s only the zealots who remain as Morsi supporters and they are a minority – some of them are armed.

        Really? In the minority? OK. So why doesn’t the military announce new free elections rather than running around arresting and rounding up the senior MB members?

        Why are television stations, in cluding Al Jazeera, sympathetic to Morsi being scrambled?

        It’s just being here, amidst it all, collecting so much raw information on a daily basis and all day long, having endless discussions with people who are much smarter and more knowledgeable than me about the mid east region, has given me an added insight that I would never have been able to arrive at back in LA, relying there only on internet news and what have you.

        I don’t doubt that, but all theories aside, actions speak louder than words. So what we have seen so far is this:

        1. Mubarak henchmen and Deep State has resumes control of Egypt. In other words, the “revolution” of 2011 has been completely undone and reversed.

        2. The day Morsi was removed, the IMF and the Saudis approved massive amounts of money for Egypt, which can only mean that the removal of Morsi satisfies the agenda of Saudi Arabia and the international community

        3. Israel are heralding el-Sisi as a hero. Bibbi is calling for Martial Plan for Egypt.

        4. The day Morsi was removed, the Egyptian closed all the tunnels and access to Gaza, and the Palestinians are back to being isolated.

        5. The Egyptian military is seizing power by invoking a “war on terror;” and the return of the Mubarak regime with (what it perceives as) a popular mandate for dictatorship.

        6. The neocons at the AEI are celebrating this coup

        Sorry Taxi, but I for one cannot find any reason to welcome any of these developments.

      • Taxi
        July 30, 2013, 6:00 pm

        Shingo,

        My answers to your numbered statements:

        1- “Mubarak henchmen and Deep State has resumes control of Egypt. In other words, the “revolution” of 2011 has been completely undone and reversed.”

        The army is struggling with pockets of violent armed MB civilians intent on igniting a sectarian civil war, zealots intent on killing Egyptian shias and Egyptian copts – oh wait, it’s not just an ‘intention’, they’ve already been killing shias and copts and threatening secular wars and bloodbaths. The interim government is already fast at work prepping for the next election and taking care of the running of civic institutions in the meantime. They’re already sitting behind their desks working away, dear. There are no frigging Mubarakites in the building and the army is doing what it thinks it needs to do to insure national security and civic stability during intensely turbulent times.

        2. “The day Morsi was removed, the IMF and the Saudis approved massive amounts of money for Egypt, which can only mean that the removal of Morsi satisfies the agenda of Saudi Arabia and the international community”

        The several billions that Saudi gave was to buy prestige for their Egyptian Al Nour party, and also to give the middle finger to Qatar and its ousted puppet, Morsi. And another reason (I know you’re not gonna get this one): because Egypt is the most populous Arab country, it is considered in the middle east that whoever ‘owns’ Egypt, owns the manpower of the middle east – a most desirable commodity for empires and KINGDOMS, this manpower thing. And the IMF HAVE NOT “approved massive amounts of money for Egypt”. Actually they’re neutrally waiting to negotiate with an elected government, so as not to appear like they are endorsing either a military coup or a popular revolution, and also to ensure that tough economic reforms in the loan deal have broad political support in Egypt. They don’t want to invest in countries where instability is still in the air. So your second point too is underinformed/misinformed rubbish.

        3- ” Israel are heralding el-Sisi as a hero. Bibbi is calling for Martial Plan for Egypt.”

        Yeah right and you think bibi is not grinning and spinning? Good grief, it’ll be news when you tell me that Sisi is heralding Netanyahu as a hero – not the other way round! You don’t think that Bibi is having separation anxiety after suddenly losing his new pet islamist Morsi? Man, Bibi was only just getting used to having Morsi around. Consider this: the Egyptian army is better armed and outnumber Morsi’s army of zealots. Whom do you think israel would prefer to confront? There be your answer to why israel prefers Morsi to the Egyptian army. They ain’t celebrating in israel, they’re sweating in windowless rooms and back-peddling and looking for ways to show that they didn’t REALLY back a loser (Morsi); that their regional influence and power isn’t REALLY on the wan (Bashar is still around despite their vigorous covert and overt operations to oust him – oh yeah, and so are those crusty hizbollah). Sorry to say shingo, but it seems like you’ve swallowed the zio propaganda on Egypt hook, line and sinker.

        4. ” The day Morsi was removed, the Egyptian closed all the tunnels and access to Gaza, and the Palestinians are back to being isolated.”

        Hamas is Palestinian moslem brotherhood – they suckled on Egyptian brotherhood teat when they were orphaned infants. Hamas is Morsi’s armed buddies. There’s a historic antagonism between the Egyptian army and all things ‘brotherhood’, including Hamas. In a state of political crisis, and where national security is at stake, what do you recommend the Egyptian army do? Smoke a joint in the tunnels with Hamas? Support Palestinians above protecting their own land and people? Personally, I’m very distressed by any kind of Palestinian suffering and I’m especially distressed to see how hamas abandoned the cause of Palestine for a suitcase full of qatari money – in case you havent’ heard. Had hamas put their patriotism above their religiosity, had they resisted the silk and gold qatari temptation, their relationship with the Egyptian army, as well as with the Egyptian masses who demonstrated against Morsi and his Qatari master, would have been on much better footing and the tunnels would still be open. I fear hamas’s devastated credibility will not recover from their misguided alignment with qatar and Morsi. But Gaza and Gaza relief is always on the agenda of the Egyptian foreign office and I have no doubt that once a new elected democratic government is in place in Cairo, a new chapter of cooperation between them and the Gazaens will be configured and implemented.

        5. “The Egyptian military is seizing power by invoking a “war on terror;” and the return of the Mubarak regime with (what it perceives as) a popular mandate for dictatorship.”

        After Mubarak was overthrown, the army stated that it will rule until elections. And it did exactly that – it lived by its word. If the army really wanted a “mandate for dictatorship”, why did they hand over power to Morsi, their historic enemy? Why didn’t they just say: fuck it we’re here now and we’re staying for right now and for forever – why didn’t they SAY and DO this? Two weeks ago, the Egyptian army again told the Egyptian people that it will work with them towards a new presidential election. Shouldn’t you at least wait till after the new elections to see what the army ends up doing, or you prefer wasting your energy and wigging out prematurely?

        6. “The neocons at the AEI are celebrating this coup”

        How else do you expect ignoramus islamohobic/Arabphobic isreal-firsters to respond? I refer you also to my number 3 reply. Loonies attaching themselves to a good idea doesn’t make the idea a bad one. It may make it unpopular in certain pretentious circles, but it doesn’t make it a bad one.

    • Krauss
      August 1, 2013, 2:01 am

      Okay Max, but do you really defend an Islamist, even if democratically elected?
      Look at what’s happening in Tunisia with the Islamist-government there.

      (Note: not defending the coup but your complete absence of criticism against Morsi is worrying and a little bit shocking).

  5. Donald
    July 28, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I think political Islam is a disaster, but so is the idea that you deal with religious conservatives by having the security forces gun them down in the streets.

    • American
      July 28, 2013, 2:06 pm

      @ Donald

      Ditto.
      Cant see any difference in their tactics and ALQ radicals.
      Iraq still engaged in bloodbaths….could move to Egypt next…as it has to Syria.
      The returning of Egypt to the status quo may backfire..despite best laid plans of whoevers.

      • Justpassingby
        July 28, 2013, 4:50 pm

        American

        You talk like Netanyahu, bunch all muslims together, highly ignorant comment by you.

      • Taxi
        July 28, 2013, 10:17 pm

        Amazing, the arrogant racism of westerners who’ve never travelled and gone native even for just a day.

      • American
        July 28, 2013, 10:37 pm

        Justpassingby says:
        July 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm
        + Show content
        American

        You talk like Netanyahu, bunch all muslims together, highly ignorant comment by you.>>>>

        Oh, grow the hell up would you.
        I am really sick of this childish attitude that if we all dont praise the Egyptians and say they did the right thing with another ‘glorious’ revolution and everything is going to be just dandy that we are ‘putting down’ ALL Muslims.

        Time will tell buddy who the ignorant ones are.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 1:45 am

        What is it that everyone is missile here Taxi? Ar you denying that this was a coup carried out by the US backed military? Are you denying that this could represents the return to the Mubarak era?

      • Justpassingby
        July 29, 2013, 9:42 am

        American

        Connecting AlQ to political Islam is ignorant, of course I dont expect you to acknowledge that.

        What “time will tell”? You could start by judging the situation today.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 10:00 am

        I’m not denying, Shingo, I’m laughing at the proposition. A people’s revolution occurred, well documented, and funnily enough, in Egypt it is being treated as that.

        (Read my recent archives on Egypt if you want to know more about my why’s and wherefores)

        To me it looks like the post-revolution imperialist/zionist/islamist project to discredit the liberalism of the revolution has indeed gained traction with western liberals. And who best to discredit a revolution than liberals?

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 8:31 pm

        A people’s revolution occurred, well documented, and funnily enough, in Egypt it is being treated as that.

        I though the people’s revolution occurred in 2011. What took place a month ago is that the former regime has been returned to power. Now, you might be right that this is what the people wanted, but you can’t claim this is democracy.

        Secondly, if it was a people’s revolution, then why did this require a military backed coup? Why did the military not impose elections to decide the matter in a democratic way?

        Simple. The military would not have gotten it’s way.

        As for how it’s being treated, the media have been attacking Morsi since he took office. Adam Morrow, the journalist from IP who has been in Egypt covering this since before the 2011 Tahrir demonstrations, has spoken of the mind boggling propaganda that has been reported by the media. As I said, they even accused Morsi of diverting gas to Gaza, which is why Egypt has been suffering shortages.

        To me it looks like the post-revolution imperialist/zionist/islamist project to discredit the liberalism

        To me, it looks like the Egyptians have been had. In fact, were are already seeing reports that the liberals are waking up to the fact they have been fooled and are now switching sides.

        And how is it that the liberals find themselves on the same side as the Islamist and are rejecting a timetable for elections?
        link to france24.com

        What do liberals have to fear from holding immediate elections?

        And who best to discredit a revolution than liberals?

        The ones discrediting the revolution are those that support the reversals of everything the revolution achieved 2 years ago. It seems that what we are witnessing is the emergence of liberal fascism.

      • American
        July 30, 2013, 12:53 am

        Justpassingby says:
        July 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

        American

        Connecting AlQ to political Islam is ignorant, of course I dont expect you to acknowledge that.>>>>>

        Listen idiot…I DO expect you to learn how to read wthout injecting your childish whatever it is….and you owe me an apology but ”I dont expect y0u to acknowledge that”…either.
        Let’s see if you can fit this into your 3rd grade mentality.
        1) ALQ moved into Iraq and is contributing to the continuing blood baths there.
        2) ALQ moved into Syria and joined the rebels.
        3) If the the fractions in Egypt keep on warring, then that is another opportunity for ALQ to insert themselves and cause further havoc.

        Now do you want to tell me how you pulled your little insult out of what I NOTED that has happened in Iraq and Syrias and could happen in Egypt? Hummmm?????

      • American
        July 30, 2013, 1:03 am

        ”Shingo says:
        July 29, 2013 at 1:45 am

        What is it that everyone is missile here Taxi? Ar you denying that this was a coup carried out by the US backed military? Are you denying that this could represents the return to the Mubarak era?””

        They are seeing what they ‘want’ to see. They are not realist ..they are carried away with the ‘romance’ of the past glories of Egypt and the ME.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 10:15 am

        They are not realist ..they are carried away with the ‘romance’ of the past glories of Egypt and the ME.

        They are certainly sounding completely incoherent and disconnected from reality. But they will pretty soon come to realize they’ve been duped. I have read reports that following El-Sisi’s deranged call for demonstrators to come out and legitimize the military crackdown on MB demonstrators, that liberals are now siding with the MB.

        After all, why is the military general making these public statements if Egypt is supposed to have appointed an interim Prime Minister and President?

      • Krauss
        August 1, 2013, 2:04 am

        To me it looks like the post-revolution imperialist/zionist/islamist project to discredit the liberalism of the revolution has indeed gained traction with western liberals. And who best to discredit a revolution than liberals?

        So Western liberals want to discredit a liberal revolution?

        Taxi, you’re not really thinking well here.
        Most liberals praised the revolution. Since it was mostly secular. Most liberals did not celebrate, however, when the liberals in Tahrir appeared to have far less support among the average Egyptian and got wiped out at the polls.

        If you fail to make that distinction, then you fail to understand the underlying point.

      • Taxi
        August 2, 2013, 1:40 am

        Kraus,

        “So Western liberals want to discredit a liberal revolution?”

        What does it look like they’re doing? Certainly not praising it by calling it what it is: a revolution.

        The secular liberals did NOT have a candidate representing them. They had a choice only between MB (Morsi) and Shafiq (Mubarakite). Secular Tahriris voted for MB so as to block the instant return of Mubarakitism.

        Just like American undecided voters chose Obama over a continuation of Bush policies. (Little did they know at the time that Obama will pursue most of Bush’s policies anyway).

        If you fail to look into WHY Morsi won, then you fail to understand the crisis that led to his ouster.

  6. crone
    July 28, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Exactly, Justpassingby, and a verrrrry long one at that…

    The Egyptian “people” don’t have any say about their government, not with the military receiving ‘AID’ from US gov’t along with arms… and Israel has been supplying the Egyptian military with arms ~ USrael is intent on crushing Egypt as they have Iraq and Syria…

    120 plus Egyptian protestors have been shot (most through the head and chest) by the military…

    link to telegraph.co.uk

  7. crone
    July 28, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Here’s a good take on the Egyptian crisis:

    Exposing the Hypocrisy of ElBaradei and His Liberal Elites
    The Grand Scam: Spinning Egypt’s Military Coup
    by ESAM AL-AMIN

    link to counterpunch.org

  8. Taxi
    July 28, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Brilliant and immense article. Thank you, Mr. Lo.

    • Shingo
      July 28, 2013, 7:33 pm

      I can’t believe you would fall for this drek Taxi

      • ToivoS
        July 28, 2013, 11:20 pm

        Be more understanding Shingo. Taxi has expressed very strong feelings in the past for Palestinian rights. Unfortunately the Arab world is divided on this issue. Morsi has supported Hamas but he was quite willing to support Western policies that would undermine the struggle for justice in Palestine. I think this was part of his political problem, he came up with a totally incoherent foreign policy because he was trying to placate the US, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is no longer true, if it ever was, that the Arab world really supported the Palestinian people. It was clear to me in the last few months of his regime that freedom for the Palestinians was not very high on his agenda.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 12:39 am

        Shingo. Taxi has expressed very strong feelings in the past for Palestinian rights.

        I have the highest respect for Taxi, but if this is about Palestinian rights, then the removal of Morsi will only lead to Palestinian rights deteriorating.

        I mean seriously, if you are finding yourself on eh same side of the debate as Netenyahu, then red lights should be going off everywhere.

        Morsi has supported Hamas but he was quite willing to support Western policies that would undermine the struggle for justice in Palestine

        Again, I think that’s simplistic. I was listening to some excellent podcasts Scott Horton did Adam Morrow and Eric Margolis on the subject. They Kay waste to the crap in this verbose article. I strongly recommend people listen to them.

        Margolis describes the Brotherhood of being afraid of it’s own shadow, afraid of talking on the US and Egypt’s military.

        Morrow exposed just what a monumental task Morsi was facing to undo 30 of institutionalized Deep State corruption. When he tried to appoint new directors to government departments, he was accused of appointing cronies by the media which is entirely owned by big money interests. Even the IMF loans only got the green light AFTER Morsi was deposed.

        The BS being spread by the media has been relentless. They even suggested that the shortage of gas inEgypt was due to Morsi directing most of it to Gaza.

        As I already explained, the police refused to patrol the streets a ado their job, yet Morsi for the blame for failing to bring law and order.

        I have no respect for Morsi. The guy was inexperienced and out if his depth, but no one in his position would have stood a chance. The fact remains that he was democratically elected and he should have been democratically removed. The reason it took a coup to overthrow him is because his opposition knew they didn’t have the numbers to defeat him legitimately. Now, Egyot will revert to being a fascist dictatorship that is already becoming hostile to Palestinians.

        Morsi would still be in power today were it not for a military made powerful and immensely wealthy by US money.

        This was worse than a coup, it was Washington backed regime change.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 1:31 am

        Western imperialism, zionism and islamism are not the liberators of Palestine or any other Arab country. They are indeed the brutal oppressors, putting the interests of their ideologies before the interests and the freedoms of the people all over the mideast.

        I hate to part paths on this Egypt thing with good people like Shingo and American, but I cannot possibly align myself with the diabolical giant project to break up the middle east, being executed currently in the region by the west and it’s middle eastern treasonous islamists, conferring and redrawing the map with the zionists holding the pen.

        A bigger and much more dangerous game than Egypt is being played out. Let’s not get too distracted by small fires when an inferno is being set up by despicable pyromaniacs.

      • Justpassingby
        July 29, 2013, 2:03 am

        Well that makes nosense, since this Taxi seems to be more loving of the military than Mursi himself and who of those have helped palestinians the most is obvious.

      • ToivoS
        July 29, 2013, 2:15 am

        Well Shingo I agree with most of what you are saying. But I have to say that when in June Morsi appeared in that MB rally and denounced Assad as an infidel and called on Egyptians to join the jihad to topple his government many rational people could conclude that he had gone over to the other side (the other side meaning the Qatar and Saudi policies that cannot be understood in any other terms than being pro-Israel).

        This does not mean I supported or support the coup. Only that Morsi could not be trusted and I cannot criticize anyone who denounced him. To repeat what I said elsewhere in this thread, Morsi is a political moron.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 2:32 am

        I agree with you Toivos about Morsi’s position on Assad, but then again, it’s no different to Turkey’s leadership and that of the US.

        But even though Bush was a moron, I would have denounced a military coup to remove him too.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 9:16 am

        I hate to part paths on this Egypt thing with good people like Shingo and American, but I cannot possibly align myself with the diabolical giant project to break up the middle east, being executed currently in the region by the west and it’s middle eastern treasonous islamists, conferring and redrawing the map with the zionists holding the pen.

        No one would argue about that Taxi, but how can you then align yourself with a could that is being praised by Netenyahu, if indeed you are opposed to redrawing the map with the zionists holding the pen?

        How can you possibly suggest that a military coup that returns the Mubarak regime to power is a step in the right direction? How can you support a US supported coup if you are opposed to empire?

        I am sincerely interested in hearing your take on this situation, but you don;t appear willing to articulate it.

      • James Canning
        July 29, 2013, 1:53 pm

        @ToivoS – – The Saudis and Qataris apparently were partly motivated by fear of possible war in the Persian Gulf.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Thanks, Shingo.

        It’s late over here in the middle east. I would like to respond to your post (my tomorrow) when my brain energy is sharper, so please bare with me. Even though I’ve actually ‘articulated’ it already, I would like to have another stab at a simplified summation of my perspective on Egypt.

        I very much want to be understood by the people I respect.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 8:40 pm

        Even though I’ve actually ‘articulated’ it already, I would like to have another stab at a simplified summation of my perspective on Egypt.

        I look forward to reading it Taxi. I have read your comments thus far and all I have come away with is that you are happy to see Egypt return to the days of the Mubarak era.

      • piotr
        August 1, 2013, 12:43 am

        This is a classic example. “First, I did not care about my Hamas Brothers because I thought that Americans and the army will let me live in peace.” One remaining good thing about Egypt is that in some countries the concept of “backstabbing” should be interpreted as a figure of speech because in actuality it involves applying firearms and explosives, while in Egypt it mostly means double-crossing with most (but not all!) of the involved remaining alive.

  9. Walid
    July 28, 2013, 12:55 pm

    “Calling adhan is often left to the lesser knowledgeable of the congregation, and more often than not, it is the responsibility of the lesser educated, more available member of the group.”

    I think Mbaye Lo doesn’t like Morsi. Amazing how much of an expert on Egyptian politics he’s become after only a few weeks in Cairo.

  10. Citizen
    July 28, 2013, 1:16 pm

    Mmmm, I wonder what Lo would say about Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, and the Pope’s relationship with each at the time? I don’t really see a long term future for any regime in a state without separation of church, mosque, synagogue and the state, do you? I mean, we live in a global economy, and look at the influx of Arabs into Europe, etc. In the long run, the transgressions of Hitler and Tojo put an ultimate curb on religious and ethnic states that the world as a whole will never forget. And Marx died with the death of the USSR. What remains is how to curb the international bankers and the securitization of western economies. Time to face that there’s no state that really supports a totally “free market.”

  11. Citizen
    July 28, 2013, 1:48 pm

    Obviously Morsi (like Obama), promised many folks they’d be represented, part of his new regime, but the rural folks got zero in material betterment, and the secularist and Christians were ignored by Morsi. Morsi just tried to sew up institutional power for the MB while simultaneously, assuring the US he would keep kissing Israel. Since the Egyptian military is the deal breaker, the real question is will it do anything to mollify all the competing factions, or just look out for itself? Maybe somebody knowledgable can comment on the probabilities for reform of the military by itself to enhance We The People of Egypt? Any military leaders look progressive, or are they all just concerned with maintaining Egyptian military wealth and privilege?

    Does Egypt need a more transformational president (like Reagan or Wilson: “the vision thing”), or a more transactional president (managerial type, like Ike or Bush Sr: workmanlike practical results, at best, not firing a shot)?

    • Shingo
      July 28, 2013, 7:49 pm

      It appears Egypt will need a major bloody revolution to wrestle power from the military dictators.

      • Keith
        July 28, 2013, 9:03 pm

        SHINGO- “It appears Egypt will need a major bloody revolution….”

        And then what? How do you propose that Egypt break free from the tentacles of the global financial system after the bloody revolution? Whose ass are the “revolutionaries” going to have to kiss to get the loans to import the food to feed the people? At this stage of the game, I can’t conceive of the empire letting Egypt slip away. Whoever the army doesn’t kill, the IMF will starve as an example to others. In today’s world, romanticized visions of glorious revolution can lead to major disasters. A quote followed by a link:

        “(there’s no money for anything; a $36 billion annual deficit; nearly half the population is illiterate; and the country imports half of its food).” (Pepe Escobar)
        link to dissidentvoice.org

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 9:04 am

        Whose ass are the “revolutionaries” going to have to kiss to get the loans to import the food to feed the people?

        Then Egypt should just admit to being a begger nation and a slave to the US.

      • James Canning
        July 29, 2013, 1:47 pm

        @Shingo – – An end to the subsidies would likely mean uncontrollable unrest.

      • Keith
        July 29, 2013, 3:37 pm

        SHINGO- “Then Egypt should just admit to being a begger nation and a slave to the US.”

        Several points. First, the situation for the Egyptian people is extremely grim and simply putting large numbers of people in the streets isn’t going to result in significant changes. Second, if you plan on overthrowing the ruling structures and institutions of power, you must be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you have no plan on how to feed the people and run the country outside the global system, you need to develop one. Otherwise, you need to develop strategies for improving your situation within the system. Finally, the empire has transmogrified itself, it is no longer just a US empire. The empire encompasses the corporations and global elite, is heavily influenced by Wall Street, and includes the Chinese and Japanese elites as well as the traditional US and European ones. And the American 99% are facing the same problems as the Egyptian people, albeit in diluted and delayed form. Look at Occupy, look at Detroit, look at privatization and debt servitude. Of course, the US is a First World country and the 99% are relatively well off compared to Egypt. And since we are a nominal democracy, none of this would be happening if the citizenry was rational and knowledgeable rather than easily misled.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 7:56 pm

        Second, if you plan on overthrowing the ruling structures and institutions of power, you must be prepared to deal with the consequences.

        You seem to be making the assumption that the ruling structures are doing a fine job, which is clearly not the case. The police have been cashing their pay checks for a year but not turning up to work. The military has been rationing wheat and fuel to create scarcity so that they could blame the crisis on Morsi.

        I’d say that removing both would lead to significant improvements.

        The empire encompasses the corporations and global elite, is heavily influenced by Wall Street, and includes the Chinese and Japanese elites as well as the traditional US and European ones.

        Really? What role is China and Japan playing in the chaos we are witnessing in the ME?

      • Keith
        July 30, 2013, 11:00 am

        SHINGO- “You seem to be making the assumption that the ruling structures are doing a fine job, which is clearly not the case.”

        In view of my oft stated opposition to empire and rule by the 1%, I have no idea why you have made this ludicrous assertion. I would be most interested in a quote of anything I have ever said which would support this asinine comment.

        “What role is China and Japan playing in the chaos we are witnessing in the ME?”

        They purchase US Treasuries, hence, they are indirectly financing it. They also are key parts of the institutions of the global financial system which make financial control possible. Empire works just fine for the Chinese and Japanese elites and although they would like more influence in the global decision making, they aren’t about to risk what they now have. The empire is still nominally the American empire, however, it has morphed into a global corporate empire where financial power transcends borders.

        “Today’s warfare is financial in character. Creditors now achieve by financialization and privatization what armies used to seize by military force.” (p41, “Finance Capitalism and its Discontents,” Michael Hudson)

      • Sibiriak
        July 30, 2013, 2:02 pm

        Keith:

        They purchase US Treasuries, hence, they are indirectly financing it.

        True. And just to expand: the recycled dollars are obtained by exports to the U.S. Low-priced goods keep U.S. *real* wages up allowing nominal wages to stagnate or decrease, thus, among other things, increasing the social feasibility of huge income/wealth disparities. Additionally, the recycled dollars not only finance empire, but various asset bubbles, which in turn have “wealth effects” , contributing to U.S. prosperity/dynamism/inequality in various ways, on the one hand, while simultaneously increasing financial instability/ crashes/stagnation on the other.

  12. just
    July 28, 2013, 2:14 pm

    I think that all political governments which are based on one religion or another are potential disasters.

    Especially allegedly “democratic” ones, like the US and Israel.

    The military and other folks murdering the pro- Morsi people are worse than terrible.

    • aiman
      July 30, 2013, 7:34 am

      “I think that all political governments which are based on one religion or another are potential disasters.”

      Spot on.

  13. James Canning
    July 28, 2013, 2:27 pm

    I don’t think the Egyptian military “oppose civilian rule”. In fact, they would prefer to keep in the background.

    • W.Jones
      July 28, 2013, 3:10 pm

      The two things are not mutually exclusive.

      • James Canning
        July 28, 2013, 7:07 pm

        Yes, Egyptian military will insist on keeping its strong position of power.

      • Shingo
        July 28, 2013, 7:34 pm

        Yes, Egyptian military will insist on keeping its strong position of power.

        In which case, it is clearly no civilian rule.

      • W.Jones
        July 30, 2013, 5:09 pm

        OK, I see that Canning was referring to the article’s opening words that “those who morn his departure blame a military establishment determined to oppose any civilian rule”.

        Canning’s point is that one can mourn the coup while recognizing that the military would accept a compliant civilian rule that supports the army over peoples’ wishes.

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:44 pm

        @W.Jones – – Yes, fair statement (that the army prefers to stay in background provided its powerful position is protected).

  14. James Canning
    July 28, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Apparently, elements in the army were alarmed by Morsi’s support for the insurgents in Syria, and they did not like his effort to improve relations with Iran. Did some Hamas officials help the foolish attack on Egyptian troops in the Sinai?

    • W.Jones
      July 28, 2013, 3:09 pm

      Aren’t Iran and the insurgents on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict?

      • James Canning
        July 28, 2013, 7:03 pm

        @W.Jones – Yes, you put your finger on a point I hoped to be making, subtly.
        I think the link is simply that the Egyptian army feared insurgency in the Sinai, and elsewhere.

      • piotr
        August 1, 2013, 12:51 am

        On the matter of Syria, I think that we already see almost complete turn. For 10 minutes before the coup supporting the jihadists in Syria was a horrible crime against the Egyptian interests, and now it is almost halal.

  15. gamal
    July 28, 2013, 3:17 pm

    “I think political Islam is a disaster, ” on what basis do you make such a broad statement? if one takes “political Islam” to mean everything from the wasatiya and more “liberal” to al Qaida and those even more “extreme”, one is left with the strong impression that you dont know anything about the subject. What is a disaster for the region is colonial domination, as this poorly translated article makes clear, it was Morsi’s inability to deal with the issues of cost of living and jobs and other social issues that was his undoing, it was not his adherence to “political Islam” but to neo-liberalism and his low class demeanor that lost him support.

    Political Islam has the only successful revolution in the region to its credit and Iran has maintained its independence since, no doubt you feel that is a disaster, perhaps you right, Iran, one could argue, would be much better off with the Shah, its arguable, but not to the taste of Iranians. With the exception of Ba’athist Syria no other regime or movement in the region has bucked Washington’s demands.
    Yoshie Furuhashi had long and very funny debate with the best and brightest of the UK SWP where they poured scorn on her sober analysis of the Iranian revolution, feeling that all she was giving too little prominence to their insight that all wogs are irrational fuckers who need to be turned in to the nearest approximation to us freedom loving paragons in the west, asap.

    Why particularly is political Islam a disaster, was the Ghost Dance movement a disaster for the Lakota? or were there other reasons they were having a hard time, bloody thirsty savages the lot of them, eh?

    the basic division amongst Sunni Islamists from my view is between those who use Islamic principles, this Sharia paranoia in the Euro/US is one of the most irrational and contentless anxieties operant in the modern world, to address inequality and lack of development and social provision as against those for whom the Islam schtick is a way of avoiding those issues in favor of the irrelevancies of religious observance or some chimerical threats from Shia and the ever present Munafiqun.

    “but so is the idea that you deal with religious conservatives by having the security forces gun them down in the streets.”
    but this a cherished Egyptian tradition, have you not seen the pictures of the scores of Egyptians blinded by a “rubber” bullet shot in to the eye, while we may not wish to collude with them the Islamist yearning for Martyrdom is certainly an issue we can co-operate with them on, assuming they dont move too fast and that they know that taking cover is un-Islamic.

    • Donald
      July 29, 2013, 7:21 am

      ““I think political Islam is a disaster, ” on what basis do you make such a broad statement? if one takes “political Islam” to mean everything from the wasatiya and more “liberal” to al Qaida and those even more “extreme”, one is left with the strong impression that you dont know anything about the subject. What is a disaster for the region is colonial domination, as this poorly translated article makes clear,”

      It was an overly sweeping statement on my part, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix one’s religion very closely with politics, whether we are talking about Christianity, Judaism, Islam or some other faith. It tends to lead to oppression of non-believers, or the imposition of rightwing allegedly “traditional” beliefs on non-believers. I don’t in general idealize America’s dead white male founders, but on this issue people like Jefferson and Washington got it right (they were of course deeply wrong on other issues, being imperialists for one thing in their attitudes towards Native Americans). So I don’t have to think that all Islamists are the same–not remotely–to think that religion and politics tend to be a bad mix. It doesn’t mean that I think an Islamist who is peaceful and wants to work through the democratic process is the same as Al Qaeda.

      I also think that secularists can be just as hypocritical for other reasons–in particular, I’ve known secularists both American and elsewhere to justify atrocities in the name of suppressing religious fanaticism. There’s someone I argue with elsewhere at times who seems to think that the US should bring women’s rights to Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan by blowing up people in drone strikes. That’s really not any different from terrorism in my opinion. It’s also wrong to side unblinkingly with one side in a vicious civil war (as in Syria)–one can think one side is more dangerous, but that doesn’t justify pretending that atrocities by one’s favored side didn’t happen. That attitude is what unites terrorists of all ideological stripes, religious and non-religious, Zionist and anti-Zionist, American vs. opponents of America, etc….

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 8:58 am

        Donald,
        Do you even know the difference between an islamist and a moslem? Not a bad idea to check your subconscious every now and then for any latent something or another. I know you mean well, but really, some of your “sweeping statements” border on xenophobia.

        Ismalist: a supporter or advocate of Islamic fundamentalism
        link to thefreedictionary.com

        Moslem: an adherent of Islam
        link to thefreedictionary.com

      • Donald
        July 29, 2013, 2:07 pm

        “Do you even know the difference between an islamist and a moslem?”

        Yes. And there was nothing in my comment that would have implied otherwise.

        “I know you mean well, but really, some of your “sweeping statements” border on xenophobia.”

        Rubbish. The underlying thought there was a sweeping statement about mixing religion and politics, and applies to all religious believers who try to impose their beliefs on a society. Obviously this would apply to some Christians in the US and to some Jews in Israel. Stretching the point a little, it would also apply to secularists who approach their politics with an intolerant spirit (meaning a willingness to shoot down religious believers in the streets or with drones).

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 4:08 pm

        “And there was nothing in my comment that would have implied otherwise.”

        I beg to differ, Donny. Here’s a couple of examples that indicate your misunderstanding of the word “islamist':

        “So I don’t have to think that all Islamists are the same”.
        Actually islamists are zealots and are kinda the same/predictable – we know they use the koran and the sword to advance their religious cause. This is their MO. It is NOT the MO of the majority of moslems. So I think you really meant to say ‘moslems’ here and not “islamists”. I’m sure you really mean to say:’So I don’t have to think that all Moslems are the same’.

        And:

        “It doesn’t mean that I think an Islamist who is peaceful and wants to work through the democratic process is the same as Al Qaeda.”

        Again, surely you mean a ‘moslem’ who is peaceful…”. Cuz I sure as hell never heard of a “peaceful” islamist who would want to “work through the democratic process” – for real. Al Qaeda, for instance, is an ‘islamist’ group. There are others too. So when you say ‘islamist’ you’re not talking about peaceful moslems in general, you’re specifically talking about moslem zealots like Al Qaeda.

        Did you even read the definition of the words I slavishly provided you? Sure don’t sound like you did from your response.

        And to add further discredit to your blah post, you continue with a pitiful diatribe, a moralizing passage about seculars and meculars, just to compensate/distract and show off the size of your moral member. Again.

        Yes we know you’re big on morals. The biggest in fact. But my point was that you’re getting your ‘islamist’ confused with your ‘moslem’. That’s all. Piff. No biggie.

      • Donald
        July 31, 2013, 4:08 pm

        “But my point was that you’re getting your ‘islamist’ confused with your ‘moslem’. ‘

        I’m using “Islamist” to mean people who want society to run along religious lines–their religion, of course. So a person could wish to do so without using violence. If you are saying that the definition is something different, but that it’s no biggie, fine.

      • gamal
        July 29, 2013, 5:08 pm

        Dear Donald thanks for the considered response,

        “It was an overly sweeping statement on my part, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix one’s religion very closely with politics”

        as to the first part we all do that, its as well to be aware of our tendency to generalize, as to the second part, its kind of complicated. Wearing my western hat i couldnt agree more, my stomach always turns a bit when i here folk speak of the political necessity of following Gods commands, to me it seems to defile both politics and religion, but i am, not a guy from Nasser City and cant presume to know what these people want and how they need to manage their lives and affairs.

        I am assailed by depression when i hear Salafist used to refer to Muwahidun (wahhabi) ideologues, because for me Salafist is always going to be associated with Afghani, Abduh, Rida and Kawakibi et al, modernizers who arose in response to the hopelessness of the Muwahidun project, of returning Islam to the Meccan Crucible.
        My late father was an Azharite Alim whose specialty was modern Muslim thought, he was also a socialist, feminist and life long opponent of all things fundamentalist, his view of political Islam is probably not too far from yours, he felt that the project of political Islam was doomed because it incorrectly identified the malaise affecting the Muslim world as disobedience to Gods commands, rather than the more obvious problems caused to all societies by the growth of an aggressive and technologically dominant West, no society on earth has yet been able to defend itself from the depredations of the Core Modern Capitalist states, and in this the Islamists have not only singularly failed but many have become neo-liberal in outlook, so much for them then.

        Its worth also saying that the growth of political Islam in 70’s and 80’s was part of a calculated effort to frustrate leftist and other socialist movements. If our countries are to develop then they will need a coherent development policy and tariff protection of indigenous industries, this not likely in this free trade and pursuit of competitive advantage world. So yes when members of Islamic parties want to talk about womens clothes or how to properly kill a sheep, sure i want to scream, and i am not the only one.

        But my Egyptian cousins are now feverishly posting Quranic quotations on facebook and are searching their own very rich culture of political engagement and analysis, informed by their piety, they are despite their education quite simple people, valuing all the qualities of sobriety, public spiritedness, humility, alms giving and frugality they associate with their religious ideals. How these can be translated into an effective political movement, God only knows i have no idea, but i dont think that it is impossible and it may be that Islam is the only common ground that these stressed populations can find right now, and while it may be Haram to eat the rich, in Egypt i think its something we should, at least, consider till the economy picks up.

        Coming as you do from the dominant forward looking refreshingly vibrant west i can only imagine what the cacophonous decaying disaster of the Arab world must look like, a grotesque bestiary, but i would say that is because they are being assaulted by great powers who have an intimate interest in their confusion and impoverishment.

        Funnily enough it was Sadat who started the comedy of public religious ecstasy, some of the films of him pawing at his face during the Khutba were very popular among the middle classes who laughed contemptuously at both his self serving insincerity and populism but most especially at the inappropriate lower class nature of emotional displays during the Juma.

        you know something thinking about religious politics as they are acting today in Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish and Christian varieties well they all seem hopelessly belligerent, in terms of praxis whatever theoretical possibilities exist within them. So i kind of agree but i dont think all the possibilities of Islamic politics have yet been exhausted, other than cannibalism i cant think what other Bid’ah hasanah is going to help us.

        you know what really bites in your remarks about political Islam is that i can kind of see us reflected in your eyes, shit how did we get so ugly, maybe its Islah time, ihya, and we can all consider the importance of tawadu in the character of a Muslim, something that in retrospect Morsi would have been well advised to be attentive to.

      • RoHa
        July 30, 2013, 12:22 am

        “while it may be Haram to eat the rich, in Egypt i think its something we should, at least, consider till the economy picks up.”

        I am under the impression that in times of necessity, eating Haram food is permissible (al-Maa’idah 5:3, al-‘An9aam 6:119), so that sounds like a good idea to me.

        But using lower case for the pronoun “I” is never permissible.

      • gamal
        July 31, 2013, 11:33 am

        You are of course correct on all matters, I will try harder.

      • Donald
        July 31, 2013, 4:14 pm

        Thanks gamal. I almost forgot to come back to this thread–glad I remembered. I’ve got nothing to add to your very interesting post.

      • Donald
        July 31, 2013, 5:24 pm

        Spoke too soon–I should have said something about this–

        “Coming as you do from the dominant forward looking refreshingly vibrant west i can only imagine what the cacophonous decaying disaster of the Arab world must look like”

        Actually, the worst of the Middle East kinda reminds me of home sometimes. The veneer of our supposed Western ideals is pretty thin and easily scraped off–9/11 turned the US into a bunch of shrieking racist nutcases. Oh, not everyone, but for a couple of years even the blandest of statements, like that of Susan Sontag telling people not to react stupidly, was taken as a terrible almost pro-terrorist insult by a lot of people, and some so-called liberals and lefties were among the worst. Also, I spent much of my childhood in the South right after Jim Crow–irrational hatreds and bigotries are not exactly unknown in the good ole USA.

        One more 9/11 and it’s hard to imagine what the US might have become.

      • American
        July 31, 2013, 6:32 pm

        ”searching their own very rich culture of political engagement and analysis, informed by their piety, they are despite their education quite simple people, valuing all the qualities of sobriety, public spiritedness, humility, alms giving and frugality they associate with their religious ideals. How these can be translated into an effective political movement, God only knows i have no idea, “”

        I dont know why it should be so hard to translate those things into politics or political action—–if those qualities like public spiritness are put to ‘practical work, goals and applications in building up the economies of their countries…maybe they just need to ‘go bigger’ and more practically with them.

      • gamal
        August 1, 2013, 6:53 pm

        the problem is the forces that are determined to prevent the entry of the demos into the political process, there is no point in getting in to the whole coup/rev thing i would just say that the explosion of violence is a little suspicious, the idea of a sectarian war in Egypt is I would say at a probability very close to zero, the idea that Islamists facing a vigorous state repression are going to start a second front against the non-Sunni populations is questionable, people in horrific situations sometimes go crazy sure but unless one accepts that Islamists are epsilon semi morons to a man and woman its strange, the words are Emergency Regulations, its our national motto, Egypt is crawling with security operatives doing all sorts of weird stuff as always, i dont know but I was taught my politics by Arabs in Arab environments so forgive me I have bad feeling about this, despite my aspirations, we may be over emotional and snarky, but with the exception of myself, Egyptians are very tough, patient and brave, I am fearful.

    • yonah fredman
      July 29, 2013, 4:17 pm

      gamal- You wrote “Iran, one could argue, would be much better off with the Shah, its arguable, but not to the taste of Iranians.”

      Classical false dichotomy, either choose the current regime in Iran or else you must be in favor of the Shah. No, actually one can be in favor of democracy and opposed to the Shah or one can be in favor of more democracy and still be opposed to the Shah.

      It is natural for westerners to value democracy and the argument that nondemocracy might be the choice of those nonwesterners who wish to resist the imperialism (cultural or otherwise) of the west, is an intriguing one (intrigue might lead one up a false alley, but nonetheless I am curious to hear.) But when you start saying, oh the Iranian people are so happy and the choice is either Khameini and the one of the people he allows to run for president or else it’s the Shah, then obviously this is not intriguing, but plain old bushwa.

      • James Canning
        July 29, 2013, 7:11 pm

        One can favor democracy and still regret the overthrow of the Shah.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 7:58 pm

        No you can’t James.

        The Shah was a US puppet dictator, but the Shah never had any legitimacy. While the Mullahs are as bad, at least they were installed by Iranians,. as opposed to Britain and the US.

      • gamal
        July 29, 2013, 8:38 pm

        “One can favor democracy and still regret the overthrow of the Shah.”

        you a complex guy.

        without getting in to choppy waters one could argue that had the Shah not been overthrown the USA would not have sicced Iraq on Iran, which war caused inconceivable suffering continuously to this day and for Iraqi’s has been overlaid with catastrophe after catastrophe, no need to carry swords for any ideology or governmental system, whatever the ramifications of the Iranian revolution, its arguable that people would have benefited from it not happening thats all.

        i feel i have to say, even though its a digression there is something about the fact that you seem to like Arab monarchies that really touches me, even though you know we have diametrically opposed views of their qualities and utility, i have worked for a couple of Princes, and one Saudi institution in an associate capacity, i knew many highly educated and technocratic Gulf Arabs etc my views are partly shaped by personal experience, which i know is anything but infallible but there you are, its what i have.
        I am so used to the universal contempt with which Arabs of all kinds are held in the West, whatever the reason that you regard them as force for good, it touches me, that’s how degraded I have become.

        I have no idea how Iranians or Arabs should be ruled, i will have to leave that to them.

      • James Canning
        July 30, 2013, 2:16 pm

        @Gamal – – Yes, I do see overthrow of Shah as leading almost directly to catastrophe of Iran-Iraq War. And thus to occupation of Kuwiat by Iraq, and Gulf War. Which in turn helped to bring about the “9/11″ attacks.

      • James Canning
        July 30, 2013, 2:19 pm

        @Shingo – – The Shah was NOT a US “puppet”. US pleaded with him to raise oil proudction levels sufficient to bring down oil prices. The Shah wanted maximun oil prices.

      • James Canning
        July 30, 2013, 2:21 pm

        @Shingo – – Are you forgetting that the mullahs wanted Mossadegh overthrown?
        And that the mullahs insisted the late Shah’s father become Shah? They did not want a secular republic, like Turkey.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 7:31 pm

        The Shah was NOT a US “puppet”. US pleaded with him to raise oil proudction levels sufficient to bring down oil prices. The Shah wanted maximun oil prices.

        The Shah was put in place by a US coup. The. They finded and armef him as he gave multinationsl free reign over Iran’s oil. He even provided oil to Israel at below market rates. Then when he made his escape, the US gavd him sanctuary a so yes he as a USs puppet.

        I don’t know what cereal packet you are getting your history from.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 10:28 pm

        Are you forgetting that the mullahs wanted Mossadegh overthrown?

        And what is the relevance of that? It wasnt them who did it.’

        And that the mullahs insisted the late Shah’s father become Shah?

        Wrong. Carry on.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 10:29 pm

        Yes, I do see overthrow of Shah as leading almost directly to catastrophe of Iran-Iraq War.

        The overthrow of Mossadegh was the real catastrophe and the overthrow of Shah had nothing to do with the Iran-Iraq War.

      • Sibiriak
        July 31, 2013, 1:55 am

        Shingo:

        The Shah was put in place by a US coup

        Absolutely. And we also shouldn’t forget the nefarious role of the British for decades, leading up to the coup.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:41 pm

        @Shingo – – You think the hostility of the mullahs toward Mossadegh had nothing to do with the 1953 coup? Wrong.

        Eisenhower believed Mossadegh was too friendly toward the USSR. Mossadegh’s many blunders helped to bring on his overthrow.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:43 pm

        @Shingo – – Persian religious leaders refused to accept Reza Khan as president of a secular republic along the lines of Turkey. And uncle of a friend of mine knew Reza Khan, before he got involved in overthrow of the Qajars.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:46 pm

        @Shingo – – Wrong. Khomeini made reckless threats against the Gulf monarchies and almost directly caused the Iraqi attack to come about.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:48 pm

        And Shingo, of course the US (and other countries) sold weapons to Iran under the Shah.
        Some American advisers told the Shah he was spending too much money on those weapons, and that the presence of so many Americans in Iran (in support operations) posed serious social problems.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:50 pm

        You apparently accept as obvious, that Iran’s religious leaders have called the shots since the 1979 revolution. You seem curiously uninterested in the role of those leaders during previous coups.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:52 pm

        Overthrow of Mossadegh WAS NOT the “real” catastrophe. “Real” catastrophe was simply the inadequacies of the Shah, bad judgment, unwillingness to accept advice, etc etc etc.

      • Shingo
        July 31, 2013, 11:52 pm

        You think the hostility of the mullahs toward Mossadegh had nothing to do with the 1953 coup?

        No because he enjoyed large approval ratings and Iran was Scythian but Islamic at the time, so the Mullahs were where as influential then as they are today.

        Eisenhower believed Mossadegh was too friendly toward the USSR.

        Get real. The US government was using that line against any government they didn’t like. They used he same accusation against Arbenz in Guatemala when he tried to national land belonging to the United Fruit Company.

        Mossadegh’s many blunders helped to bring on his overthrow.

        He made mistakes like all politicians, but no blunders. The only mistake he made was daring to nationalize Iran’s oil.

        Are you even aware that he left politics once and tried to a second time and was persuaded to return the first time and persuaded not to leave the second?

      • piotr
        August 1, 2013, 1:36 am

        It is unclear that “US pleaded Shah to raise oil production”. For starters, Iran did not have (and does not have) that much of spare capacity to produce oil. OK, now it does because the production was forcibly reduced.

        More importantly, oil corporations thrive on expensive oil and they have something to say in American politics. They can whisper and they will be heard where needed. Israeli lobby is flashy so it is very visible, but this is by no means the only lobby in USA that gets what the sponsors need.

      • Citizen
        August 1, 2013, 10:24 am

        @ James Canning

        From Wiki:

        According to Ronen Bergman, Israel sold Iran US$75 million worth of arms from stocks of Israel Military Industries, Israel Aircraft Industries and Israel Defense Forces stockpiles, in their Operation Seashell in 1981.[1] Materiel included 150 M-40 antitank guns with 24,000 shells for each gun, spare parts for tank and aircraft engines, 106 mm, 130 mm, 203 mm and 175 mm shells and TOW missiles. This material was transported first by air by Argentine airline Transporte Aéreo Rioplatense and then by ship.
        According to Trita Parsi, Israeli support for Iran consisted of several elements:[2]
        Arms sales to Iran that totaled an estimated $500 million from 1981 to 1983 according to the Jafe Institute for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. Most of it was paid for by Iranian oil delivered to Israel.[2]:107 “According to Ahmad Haidari, “an Iranian arms dealer working for the Khomeini regime, roughly 80% of the weaponry bought by Tehran” immediately after the onset of the war originated in Israel.[2]:106
        Arms shipments from the U.S. to Iran in the Iran-Contra Affair facilitated by Israel.
        Israel’s June 7, 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor which set back Iraq’s nuclear program. In fact, Iran bombed them first, back in 1980, but they only damaged secondary buildings.[3]
        Israel is also reported to have supplied instructors and non-armaments help to Iran for the war effort.
        According to Mark Phythian, the fact “that the Iranian air force could function at all” after Iraq’s initial attack and “was able to undertake a number of sorties over Baghdad and strike at strategic installations” was “at least partly due to the decision of the Reagan administration to allow Israel to channel arms of US origin to Iran to prevent an easy and early Iraqi victory.”[4]
        Israeli arms dealer Ya’acov Nimrodi apparently signed a deal with Iran’s Ministry of National Defense to sell $135,842,000 worth of arms, including Lance missiles, Copperhead shells and Hawk missiles. In March 1982, The New York Times cited documents indicating that Israel had supplied half or more of all arms reaching Tehran in the previous 18 months, amounting to at least $100 million in sales. The Milan weekly Panorama reported that Israel had sold the Khomeini regime 45,000 Uzi submachine guns, anti-tank missile launchers, missiles, howitzers and aircraft replacement parts. “A large part of the booty from the PLO during the 1982 Lebanon campaign wound up in Tehran,” the magazine claimed.[5]

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 2:03 pm

        @piotr – – Perhaps you remember the disastrous inflation in the US in the late 1970s, that were a delayed reaction to the huge increase in the price of oil resulting from the 1973 Arab oil embargo?
        That inflation was very damaging to many major American companies. And of course to the US economy.
        The Shah wanted maximum sustainable oil prices. Yes, high oil prices often work very much in favor of giant oil companies.

      • Citizen
        August 1, 2013, 2:46 pm

        @ James Canning
        It’s true we Americans are still paying for the Arab Oil Embargo, a legacy of Kissinger/Nixon, and the Israeli threat to use the nuclear option to stop the Arabs trying to regain land lost to the Israelis in ’67. Every single war Israel has been caught up in is the result of Jewish transgressions in the Middle East, the 73 war being the only one not a war of Israel’s aggression and theft, not a war of preemption or prevention, as the Israeli jew calculate. It was a war to keep what they stole by war, and Nixon saved the Israeli Jews, not because he liked Jews, but because Kissinger and Meir cowed him with the possibility of of the Samson nuke Option.

      • piotr
        August 1, 2013, 4:48 pm

        Right now the prices of oil are probably 20% higher because of sanctions on Iran and the war in Syria. At to some interested parties in USA and the Gulf this is just fine.

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:24 pm

        Great post, Citizen.

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:31 pm

        Thanks, Citizen. True costs to the US, to “protect” Israel, runs into trillions of dollars. This fact is kept out of American newspapers, for obvious reasons.

        And you make an implicit point: that the US needs to force Israel to sign NPT and get rid of its nukes.

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:37 pm

        @Shingo – – Mossadegh was rather a hero in the US in 1952.
        Have you read “Blood & Iran – – Memoirs of a Persian Prince”, by Manucher Farmanfarmaian? He gives an insider’s view of the dispute between Iran and Britain over Anglo-Persian Oil Co. (Founded by a grandfather of a friend of mine.)

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:41 pm

        @Sibiriak – – Late Shah was restored in power by Anglo-American coup.

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:56 pm

        True, Piotr.

        How many billions of dollars has it cost the American consumer, due to nuclear dispute with Iran? A dispute fostered day in and day out by the Israel lobby.

      • American
        August 2, 2013, 12:45 am

        @ James

        You dont know what you’re talking about re Iran.
        This is why and how it all went down.

        US-Iran (1952-1953)

        Project: History of US Interventions

        April 28, 1951:
        Mosaddeq Elected Prime Minister of Iran Dr. Muhammed Mosaddeq, or Mossadegh, is democratically elected by the Iranian Parliament. Mosaddeq, who is not a Communist but receives the support of Iran’s Communist Party, intends to nationalize Iran’s oil industry.
        Opposition from US and Britain is immediate, with the CIA moving to destabilize the Mosaddeq regime and the British imposing an economic embargo on Iran. [Iran Chamber Society, 1/1/2007] (See 1952 and Summer 2004.)
        Entity Tags: Muhammad Mosaddeq
        Timeline Tags: US confrontation with Iran

        1952:
        Mosaddeq Nationalization of Iran’s Oil Industry Leads to Coup
        Time Magazine’s Man of the Year cover for 1951. Iranian President Mohammad Mosaddeq moves to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in order to ensure that more oil profits remain in Iran. His efforts to democratize Iran had already earned him being named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year for 1951. After he nationalizes it, Mosaddeq realizes that Britain may want to overthrow his government, so he closes the British Embassy and sends all British civilians, including its intelligence operatives, out of the country. Britain finds itself with no way to stage the coup it desires, so it approaches the American intelligence community for help. Their first approach results in abject failure when Harry Truman throws the British representatives out of his office, stating that “We don’t overthrow governments; the United States has never done this before, and we’re not going to start now.” After Eisenhower is elected in November 1952, the British have a much more receptive audience, and plans for overthrowing Mosaddeq are produced. The British intelligence operative who presents the idea to the Eisenhower administration later will write in his memoirs, “If I ask the Americans to overthrow Mosaddeq in order to rescue a British oil company, they are not going to respond. This is not an argument that’s going to cut much mustard in Washington. I’ve got to have a different argument.…I’m going to tell the Americans that Mosaddeq is leading Iran towards Communism.” This argument wins over the Eisenhower administration, who promptly decides to organize a coup in Iran (see August 19, 1953). [Stephen Kinzer, 7/29/2003]
        Entity Tags: Dwight Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Muhammad Mosaddeq
        Timeline Tags: US confrontation with Iran

        August 19, 1953:
        Iranian Government Overthrown by Rebels and CIA
        CIA coup planner Kermit Roosevelt. [Source: Find a Grave (,com)]The government of Iran is overthrown by Iranian rebels and the CIA in a coup codenamed Operation Ajax. The coup was planned by CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt after receiving the blessings of the US and British governments. Muhammad Mosaddeq is deposed and the CIA promptly reinstates Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the throne. The Shah’s secret police, SAVAK, trained by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad, are widely perceived as being as brutal and terrifying as the Nazi Gestapo in World War II.
        British oil interests in Iran, partially nationalized under previous governments, are returned to British control. American oil interests are retained by 8 private oil companies, who are awarded 40% of the Iranian oil industry. US General Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. (father of the general with the same name in the 1991 Gulf War) helps the Shah develop the fearsome SAVAK secret police. [ZNet, 12/12/2001; Global Policy Forum, 2/28/2002] Author Stephen Kinzer will say in 2003, “The result of that coup was that the Shah was placed back on his throne. He ruled for 25 years in an increasingly brutal and repressive fashion. His tyranny resulted in an explosion of revolution in 1979 the event that we call the Islamic revolution. That brought to power a group of fanatically anti-Western clerics who turned Iran into a center for anti-Americanism and, in particular, anti-American terrorism. The Islamic regime in Iran also inspired religious fanatics in many other countries, including those who went on to form the Taliban in Afghanistan and give refuge to terrorists who went on to attack the United States. The anger against the United States that flooded out of Iran following the 1979 revolution has its roots in the American role in crushing Iranian democracy in 1953. Therefore, I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that you can draw a line from the American sponsorship of the 1953 coup in Iran, through the Shah’s repressive regime, to the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the spread of militant religious fundamentalism that produced waves of anti-Western terrorism.” [Stephen Kinzer, 7/29/2003]
        Entity Tags: Organization for Intelligence and National Security (Iran), Norman Schwarzkopf Sr., Central Intelligence Agency, Kermit Roosevelt, Muhammad Mosaddeq, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Stephen Kinzer
        Timeline Tags: US confrontation with Iran

      • gamal
        July 29, 2013, 7:51 pm

        sorry, i have a longstanding no nutter policy. you sound both petulant and smug which is an achievement i can not but acknowledge, but thats it.

      • gamal
        July 30, 2013, 7:11 pm

        sorry this impertinence was in reply to YF.

      • James Canning
        July 31, 2013, 1:45 pm

        @Gamal – – You agree blunders by Khomeini brought about Iran-Iraq war?

        Obviously, Iraq would not have attacked Iran prior to overthrow of the Shah.

      • Shingo
        July 31, 2013, 11:53 pm

        You agree blunders by Khomeini brought about Iran-Iraq war?

        No, it was aggression by Saddam that did that.

        Obviously, Iraq would not have attacked Iran prior to overthrow of the Shah.

        How do you know? The attack was about territorial disputes. Are you going to blame Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait on Khomeini too?

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 6:27 pm

        @Shingo – – Do I assume you are aware of Khomeini’s threats to bring revolution to the Gulf monarchies?
        Who bankrolled Saddam during his war with Iran?

        I blame the American ambassador in Baghdad in 1990, April Glaspie, for Saddam’s invasion of Kuwiat.

      • gamal
        August 1, 2013, 7:02 pm

        “Do I assume you are aware of Khomeini’s threats to bring revolution to the Gulf monarchies?” but JC why would those oases of prosperity and freedom be concerned about revolutions, their loyal subjects, united joy at their Sovereigns beneficence would send those Shi’i packing, any way hardly a Causus Belli.

      • Taxi
        August 2, 2013, 1:28 am

        “No, it was aggression by Saddam that did that”.

        This is only half true. It was Saddam backed by Saudi Arabia (with kuwait/emirates) and the neocons in America that initiated the unprovoked war against Iran. After all, Saudi paid for the aggression and America supplied the weapons.

        The territorial dispute was just an excuse.

        Saddam, all sunni monarchies and America wanted to kneecap the shia islamic revolution in Iran above all else. It was not really about ‘territory’, it was about geopolitical power and the rise of shiaism in the region.

  16. Citizen
    July 28, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Looks like Morsi was taken out with express blessings from the USA, mostly because he called Israelis names in public (causing US/Israel to be suspicious he might later decide not to support treaty with Israel), and looked on HAMAS with favor, and because he put a crimp in Israel-Saudi project to divert the Nile River: link to mycatbirdseat.com

  17. Citizen
    July 28, 2013, 3:51 pm

    From middleeastmonitor:
    The Israeli ambassador in Cairo has told a minister in the interim government that the people of Israel look upon General Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi as a “national hero”. According to Israel Radio, the ambassador rang Agriculture Minister Ayman Abu-Hadid to congratulate him on his new post and said, “Al-Sisi is not a national hero for Egypt, but for all Jews in Israel and around the globe.”
    – See more at: link to middleeastmonitor.com

  18. Citizen
    July 28, 2013, 4:01 pm

    From veteransnewsnow:

    The Americans Fold their Hands
    Throughout the crisis, U.S. Ambassador Patterson played the role of defending the democratic process and the rule of law. When Gen. Sisi issued his ultimatum to the president on July 1, the U.S. adminstration showed its true colors as National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Morsi’s foreign policy advisor, Essam al-Haddad, that it was over: either Morsi should resign or he would be overthrown. She advised that he should resign which Morsi summarily rejected. Once told by Rice of the impending coup Morsi videotaped a 22 minute speech on a smart phone vowing not to resign or submit to the impending coup. His aid quickly emailed the impromtu speech to his supporters. Within the hour he was taken into custody not to be seen or heard from again.
    Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke to the coup leader Gen. Sisi at least five times during the crisis. He advised that they announce the elections would be held as soon as possible. In addition, he assured Sisi that the administration would maintain its military aid. Within days, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns went to Egypt and met with the coup leaders and their civilian enablers. While in Cairo he ignored all the facts surrounding the overthrow of an elected president. In essence, his message was to support the coup and its aftermath, as he stated, “The United States is firmly committed to helping Egypt succeed in this second chance to realize the promise of the revolution.”
    As far back as March 2012, Burns met with MB General Guide Mohammad Badie and his deputy Khayrat Al-Shater. He offered that if the MB maintains the peace treaty with Israel the U.S. would help secure $20 Billion from the GCC countries to help Egypt’s economy. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait declined to offer any real help when Morsi was in power. However, within two days of the military coup, Burns’s promise was fulfilled, but to the coup leaders. The leaders of the three countries congratulated Gen. Sisi (not the puppet president installed by the military) for deposing Morsi and pledged to send a $12 Billion aid package as a gift to help stabilize the economy.
    Furthermore, Burns promised the coup leader that the US military aid will continue and that the stalled IMF loan that has been languishing for over two years would be promptly approved. In rejecting to call the overthrow of a freely elected president by the military a coup, the U.S. administration demonstrated, yet again, that lofty ideals and rhetoric are sacrificed at the alter of misplaced short term national interests.
    Perhaps one measure to assess the regional ramifications of the latest events is the reaction by Israel and the Palestinians. When Mubarak was deposed on February 11, 2011, the Palestinians were jubilant and dancing in the streets, while Israel was in mourning. But when Morsi was overthrown by the military on July 3 the roles were reversed.

    • Taxi
      July 29, 2013, 10:14 am

      Citizen,

      The israelis aren’t celebrating Morsi’s departure in the slightest. They were just getting used to having him and his innocuousness around, actually. They want to turn the surrounding countries into mini ‘islamist’ states fighting secular wars against each other – this keeps the Arabs busy and weak and also this justifies their ‘our state NEEDS to be a JEWISH state in a sea of islamist territory’ spin. The israelis are more afraid of the Egyptian people than they are afraid of the Egyptian army. They are paranoid enough to envision millions of Egyptians rushing on foot to liberate Jerusalem, un-chaperoned by a malleable leader. Hamas ain’t letting no one celebrate with the Egptians cuz it’s their guy who just got the sack. In other words, no one in the holy lands is celebrating (in the open) Morsi’s demise. But the Egyptians sure are happy ’bout it.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 8:38 pm

        The israelis aren’t celebrating Morsi’s departure in the slightest.

        Wow, could have fooled me.

        Israeli ambassador calls Al-Sisi a “national hero for all Jews”
        link to middleeastmonitor.com

        Netanyahu proposes new “Marshall Plan” for Egyptian economy to support coup
        link to middleeastmonitor.com

        They want to turn the surrounding countries into mini ‘islamist’ states fighting secular wars against each other

        That was the original plan, but it appears the US and Israel have come to rethink that strategy, realizing how dangerous and insane it was, though it might be too late.

        The israelis are more afraid of the Egyptian people than they are afraid of the Egyptian army.

        To be precise , they are afraid of an Egyptian army that is answerable to the Egyptian people, which is why Israel has been insisting that the military “aid” to Israel continue uninterrupted. While the aid (bribery) continues to flow, the Egyptian generals are going to do as they are told by Washington as opposed to listening to the will of the Egyptian public.

      • American
        July 31, 2013, 7:42 pm

        “Wow, could have fooled me.”…Shingo

        ditto .

        In fact looks like Egypt is doing Isr ‘s job on Gaza.
        Sorry, I cant work up one ioto of respect for Egypt as the leader of Arab honor and glory after this.
        The Israelis are afraid of the Egyptan people.? …..ha!….not after this….they’ve fallen right in line. I await the next teenage rebellion with a similar ‘no back end plan” of what happens afterward or who they want to take over next either.

        Israel Preps Gaza Fuel Aid Amid Egypt Blockade Crisis
        Tunnel Economy Collapses as Junta Cracks Down
        by Jason Ditz, July 30, 2013

        For years, a harsh Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip was always mitigated by smuggling through Egypt. It is a testament to just how hostile the new junta in Egypt is toward Hamas, however, that the Gazans are now turning to Israel for help.

        Gaza’s entire economy has centered on smuggling tunnels into Sinai, to the point that there was actually an economic bubble created around investment in digging new tunnels for awhile. Since the coup earlier this month, Egypt has cracked down on Sinai, and has destroyed an estimated 80 percent of Gaza’s import capacity.
        It’s not all iPods and cars, either. For years using the tunnels was so much more convenient than Israel’s crossings that even vital goods were coming in that way, including a lot of food and fuel. All that’s being cut off.
        Israel’s already increased the amount of aid that enters Gaza over the past couple of weeks, and is said to be preparing to dramatically increase the amount of fuel allowed in through the crossings to prevent a crisis.
        Though Israel admitted to “counting calories” during the worst of their own anti-Gaza blockade, they always had to keep at least a bare minimum level of aid in to prevent mass starvation and the diplomatic backlash that would’ve caused. Egypt’s junta seems to feel no obligations in that regard, meaning the Gazans are rapidly returning to the bad-old-days when the only goods in were that bare minimum Israel saw fit to allow them.”

        Naturally Isr profits from this…..the less the Gazans can get for thesmelves, the more aid is necessary and that aid has to come thru Israel and most has to be bought from Israel.
        Has to go thru Israeli ports and airports, with customs, storage fees, and transport fees ending up in the coffers of Israeli companies. The limitations set by Israel on the number of trucks allowed to enter Gaza and the prolonged checks the goods must go through increase the transportation and storage costs dramatically.
        Much of the aid comes in the form of products – food, animal feed, petrol, cooking gas, medicine, etc. – procured from Israeli companies. These companies have thus been able to find a captive market in Gaza, get paid up-front (because checks from banks in the Gaza Strip aren’t accepted in Israel), and increase their sales. Most importantly, this aid is funded with foreign currency, but the goods come from Israeli companies which must be paid in Israeli currency. The result is that massive amounts of foreign currency are converted at the Central Bank of Israel into Israeli shekels in order to fund aid, and the Central Bank of Israel gets to keep the foreign currency. In effect, the Israeli siege of Gaza has transformed the aid industry into one of Israel’s biggest exports – companies that would normally provide domestic services have become sources for foreign currency, which contributes to Israel’s overall economic strength.

  19. ToivoS
    July 28, 2013, 4:45 pm

    This is a pretty good essay that explains Morsi’s political failings, at least in those areas that he could influence. I doesn’t explain how the forces outside of his control, i.e. the remnants of the old regime and the military, subverted his efforts to run the country. His spectacular failure was to lose the “street” and allow those forces to enter into a political coalition with the military.

    However, this sentence by Lo I am afraid that reducing the ousting of Morsi to a mere military coup d’état is a flawed simplification of a grand occurrence that has consumed the Egyptian streets. is downright naive. The current reality is that the old regime has made a spectacular comeback and the military is now in undisputed control of the government. If those deluded “revolutionaries” that invited them back begin to object, I suspect that the military will be quite willing to put them down as well as they have the MB.

    In terms of political stupidity those backers of Tamarood will be right up their with Morsi. Of course, many of the Tamarood leaders will be generously rewarded by the new military regime so that movement will be easily split into smaller ineffective units. I can see nothing positive coming out of this unless one is supporter of Western neoliberalism or Israel.

    • Justpassingby
      July 28, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Seems like you have missed that the opposition works with the military.

      • ToivoS
        July 28, 2013, 8:18 pm

        I didn’t miss anything. My point was that the military took advantage of Morsi’s political ineptitude and manipulated the situation on the street to their advantage. Max is right that the size of the opposition was greatly exagerrated but there is no doubt that those demonstrations were large enough to create the illusion of mass protest. I think most of those who were demonstrating were being duped and not aware of the bigger political picture. Of course, the Tamarood leaders were likely actively conspiring with the military.

      • American
        July 28, 2013, 10:48 pm

        “Of course, the Tamarood leaders were likely actively conspiring with the military.”…..Toivo

        Article in the Guardian reported that Daud (sp?) the 28 yr old leader of the effort to gather names for Morsi’s ouster was approached by the military who told him that ‘they would stick with him and his movement if he would stick with them.’

      • Justpassingby
        July 29, 2013, 2:04 am

        Well again you miss something, you can check videos from the protests where you have the opposition and the army fighting on ONE side against MB-supporters.

      • Taxi
        July 29, 2013, 10:29 am

        American,

        So what if the youth of Egypt were assisted by their army? Where is the wrong in this when both agree that they have the wrong leader who is about to bankrupt the country (further), impose dictatorial islamist laws the would alienate most of the population, creating sectarian strife and violence in the process?

        I should hope that our armed forces too would be supportive of an American people’s revolution if it ever came to that.

      • ToivoS
        July 29, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Just, maybe my writing is not that clear. You are attributing something to me that I did not say. Of course Tamarood supported the coup. Why they did puzzles me. I think many of their supporters will soon regret what they did.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 8:06 pm

        So what if the youth of Egypt were assisted by their army?

        What do you mean youth of Egypt? It appears you are going to great lengths to project your own aspirations on the entire Egyptian populace.

        Secondly, the fact that the military had to get involved proves that the opposition has no legitimacy. If they did, they would have expressed their sentiments at the ballot box, but they won’t because they know they would lose.

        is the wrong in this when both agree that they have the wrong leader who is about to bankrupt the country (further)

        How exactly is it Morsi’s fault that only 1 year into his governance, Egypt is bankrupt when it was bankrupt when he took office after 30 year of Mubarak? The IMF were withholding billions and the Qataris and Saudis have suddenly thrown 12 billion at Egypt.

        Are you serious going to blame Morsi for not getting the IMF and Saudis to cough up sooner?

        creating sectarian strife and violence in the process?

        Hello, what do you think is happening and about to escalate? The Military claimed they had to do what they did to maintain order, but they have failed and this is going to explode.

        I should hope that our armed forces too would be supportive of an American people’s revolution if it ever came to that.

        Are you for real? The armed forces would mow the public down in the streets. The Egyptian military doesn’t giove a crap about Egyptians. All they are concerned about in pleasing Washington so that the billion dollar welfare checks keep coming.

        Seriously Taxi. Did you ever think you’d be on the same side of an argument as Bibbi, Mubarak loyalists and nut jobs like John Bolton?

      • Taxi
        July 30, 2013, 12:12 pm

        “What do you mean youth of Egypt?”

        Egypt’s youth (under 30 years of age) constitute 24.3% of Egypt’s population. Without the dynamic energy and sheer will of the restive youth of Egypt, not a single revolution would have been possible: not the one that ousted Mubarak, nor the other that ousted Mursi. This is fact. I don’t understand why you would even bother to ask this basic question. Plus I was responding to American (responding to Tovios) regarding a meeting between a youth activist and a military representative, and you just skipped over that context in your rush to judge and gibe.

        ” It appears you are going to great lengths to project your own aspirations on the entire Egyptian populace.”
        What a lame and stupid dig. I can easily throw the same corncheeze pop-psycology at you. That’s probably the most meaningless statement you’ve ever made here on mw, and I’m a keen reader of your posts so I would know.

        “Secondly, the fact that the military had to get involved proves that the opposition has no legitimacy. If they did, they would have expressed their sentiments at the ballot box, but they won’t because they know they would lose.”
        Speculation, speculation, and more speculative deductions. I should start calling you Professor Speculus. Plus you’re ignoring that even before the demonstrations began, Egyptian shias were being murdered by Moslem Brotherhood maniacs after hearing a call out from Morsi for Egyptians to “fight a Jihad against Syria’s Bashar and his supporters (read shia)”. You got an effing nerve ignoring not just the palpably intense sectarian tensions in the WHOLE volatile region, but also all the mayhem and murder that the Mursi’s maniacs were creating pre protests – PLUS you expect the army to just stand by and let sectarian blood be shed on the streets of Egypt. WTF?!!! Where you even tuned in to the events leading up to the protests? Sure don’t sound like it. You’re just enamored with your own conspiracy theory based on sensationalist headlines lifted from the crappy liberal msm.

        I could pick out the rest of your silly analysis bone by bone and blindfolded! But I ain’t going to cuz t’s a frigging waste of my precious time. I earnestly wanted a civil discourse with you and I believe I made a concerted effort to do so (check all my posts directed to you re Egypt) and all I’ve got back from you is hostility at my (against the tide) point of view and personal attacks to boot. I can play that game too, buddy, and I can play it well – I don’t think I have to remind you of this.

        But what would be the point in even doing that with someone, anyone, who is inconsequential?

        I’m half-way writing a meditative and detailed explanation of my perspective on Egypt and I was doing this so I could give you and other puzzled readers a better understanding of WHY I think what I think about Egypt. I don’t mind being judged but I wanted to be understood before I was judged. But I ain’t gonna bother finishing my Egypt piece now cuz OBVIOUSLY I’ve already been judged and anything I may add would just be moot in your eyes.

        And if you think that “Bibbi, Mubarak loyalists and nut jobs like John Bolton” aren’t secretly crapping in their pants about what just happened in Egypt, if you actually believe every word that these monstrous liars utter in public, then you’re a sorrier man than I ever imagined and you really haven’t got a clue what the geopolitics of the middle east is all about or how that hi-powered wicked game is played.

        I have just now in this post gone from long-term admiration of you to sudden utter indifference.

      • American
        July 30, 2013, 4:01 pm

        ‘Taxi says:
        July 29, 2013 at 10:29 am
        + Show content
        American,

        So what if the youth of Egypt were assisted by their army? Where is the wrong in this when both agree that they have the wrong leader who is about to bankrupt the country (further), impose dictatorial islamist laws the would alienate most of the population, creating sectarian strife and violence in the process?>>>>

        Did say it was ‘necessarily’ wrong?
        No, what I’ve said is ‘call it what it is/was’.
        Apply the same thing to the US –say the Reds revolted against the Blues president and the Reds had the army on their side —and after winning —then proceeded to arrest and shoot down the Blues.
        Gonna come back to haunt them. You cant ‘violently go after ‘half your population’ — the ones that ‘won the democratic election’— but lost the ‘revolt war’ — after you win and and expect any kind of democracy to come of it.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 11:17 pm

        Without the dynamic energy and sheer will of the restive youth of Egypt, not a single revolution would have been possible: not the one that ousted Mubarak, nor the other that ousted Mursi.

        So the restive youth should be congratulated for ousting Muabarak and for being returning his regime back to power.
        Sorry, but attributing this outcome to youth of Egypt is simply absurd. The reason that Mubarak was overthrown was because the military refused to get involved. On this occasion, not only di the miliary make it happen, but the Washingon and Saudi Arabia had their hands all over this coup
        It was widely reported that last june and Jule, teh Saudi’s were financing groups of thugs to raise hell in Cairo and create chaos – and with the police refusing to maintain law and order, Morsi got the blame for failing as a leader.

        That’s probably the most meaningless statement you’ve ever made here on mw, and I’m a keen reader of your posts so I would know.

        Sorry Taxi, but based on the contradictions, denials and incongruence of your arguments thus far, I can’t help but come to the same conclusion that you are indeed projecting your own aspirations on the entire Egyptian populace.
        When it is pointed out to you that Israelis are overjoyed about this outcome, you say no. When I point out that the military has imposed collective punishment on the Gazans, you refuse to address the point. When I point out that you and Jon Bolton and the neocons are in agreement, you shut your eyes and place your hands over your ears. And here you are insisting that this coup was a grass roots movement even though the finger prints of the Saudis and Washington are everywhere you look.

        Speculation, speculation, and more speculative deductions.

        No, they are inevitable conclusion. As I already explained, the Tahrir 2011 demonstrations achieved the removal of Mubarak without the military involvement, because practicaly all of Egypt was united against Muabarak. This was not the case this time, so the demonstrators had to turn to the military to fight those who won the elections.
        While I am the first to call Morsi a nut for supprting the rebels in Syria and the overthrow of Assad, I have not read any independent reports about Egyptian shias being murdered by Moslem Brotherhood maniacs, or the mayhem and murder that the Mursi’s maniacs were creating pre protests.

        If you have any links, I would appreciate it.
        But this is not about Syria

        You’re just enamored with your own conspiracy theory based on sensationalist headlines lifted from the crappy liberal msm.

        Oh so now you’re anti liberal too all of a sudden is that it? I am not sure what conspiracy theory or sensationalist headlines I am buying into from the MSM. The last time I looked, IPS hardly qualify as MSM, let alone the on the ground reporting from Adam Morrow, who lives in Cairo and can spot media propaganda from a mile away.
        It is no conspiracy theory that the Washington would have been kept in the loop throughout the entire planning for this coup and that the Obama administration has gone to great lengths to avoid calling it what it is, a coup, just so that they can keep the Egyptian generals living like Kings and killing anyone who dissents.
        How can you possibly reconcile the policies of this junta with your own support for the Palestinians when not only was one of the first moves by the military to block all the tunnels to Gaza, but as Adam Morrow reports, that there is an alarming and very prevailing anti Palestinian sentiment associated with this movement.
        So Taxi, are you here to tell us that the Egyptian public has turned against the Palestinians?
        I am sorry it has come to this Taxi, given our rapport in the past. I have given you the benefit of the doubt in a number of comments here and awaited a cogent and coherent explanation from you and all you have delivered is irrational and emotive responses, and dismissed anything that contradicts your positron as a conspiracy or ignroance.

        But I ain’t gonna bother finishing my Egypt piece now cuz OBVIOUSLY I’ve already been judged and anything I may add would just be moot in your eyes.

        No you haven’t been judged at all Taxi. I would implore you to take a step back and finish your thesis, as I understand that this topic is very complex and divisive development.

        And if you think that “Bibbi, Mubarak loyalists and nut jobs like John Bolton” aren’t secretly crapping in their pants about what just happened in Egypt..

        Secretly crapping in their pants? That sounds like a conspiracy theory seeing as you can’t actually prove it.
        I was under the impression they were crapping in their pants when Mubarak was overthrown and crapping in their pants when Morsi came to power. Logic would suggest that the undoing of all that would have given them comfort, but I would enjoy reading your explanation as to what it is they have to fear.

        I have just now in this post gone from long-term admiration of you to sudden utter indifference.

        I’m sorry to hear that. My respect and admiration for you has not changed one iota, but then again, this is not as personal for me as it is for you.

      • Taxi
        July 31, 2013, 3:35 am

        “So the restive youth should be congratulated for ousting Muabarak and for being returning his regime back to power.”

        “Returning his regime back to power”? More of the same absurdist speculation/misinformation. Only the OPPOSITE is currently happening. Mubark’s era has been well over and truly buried for a good couple of years – you want me to show you the wormy corpse in the grave?

        Oh what’s the point of repeating myself to you when you’ve decided that your ‘man in Egypt’ is Adam Morrow and everything he says is gospel?

        Pity though he didn’t bother to inform you, and you didn’t bother to research yourself either with a simple google, the MB’s sectarian multiple murders:

        link to telegraph.co.uk
        link to english.al-akhbar.com

        Keep perpetuating zio propaganda against Egyptians and their revolutions. You’re doing a good job of it. It’s exactly what Jon Bolton, Netanyahu et all want you to think.

        I’ve answered, with the little keyboard time I’ve had for the past three days, many many many of your questions and concerns – and it’s all been a waste of my time because you’d already decided that your conspiracy theory is more important that investigating and researching for yourself the veracity of my information. There is no give and take with you regarding Egypt. It really is like talking to a deaf wall.

        I am not pro liberal in the slightest, whatever gave you that idea? I’d be embarrassed to call myself liberal – buncha hypocritical puzzies. And no, I am not a frigging right-winger either. I march to my own drum out of desperate disgust with the craven immorality of the whole political arena.

        “My respect and admiration for you has not changed one iota”.

        Shingo, I’m sorry old buddy, but the tone of your posts to me indicates the opposite. I don’t believe you’re sincere in your above statement. You’re scoring a cheap social point here.

        Our best option is for both to wait and see what happens in the next few months – in the hope that somewhere down the line we would both learn/confirm the truth. Not my truth, not your truth – but the truth.

        In the meantime, I would hope that your Adam Morrow will come around to writing about the imperialist/zionist/islamist project to turn the people of Egypt against the people of Palestine (did you sit through Hamas’s press conference addressing this yesterday like I did?) – a giant evil project to turn every Arab country violently in on itself to insure israel’s victory in the war that they’re preparing to launch against the ‘resistor’ Arab countries.

        p.s. I’m not gonna finish my Egypt essay only to have you tell me ‘but my guru Adam Morrow says the opposite and I would follow his vision till the end of the earth’.

      • Taxi
        August 2, 2013, 1:09 am

        American,

        All Egyptian islamists combined (moslem brotherhood, salafists, al nour, etc.) constitute an estimated 18% of the population – not half.

        During the last election, Morsi won by 52% against Shafiq not because of the popularity of Morsi, but because the secularist Shafiq was associated with Mubarak and non islamist Egyptians were tired of the old baggage. The Tahrir revolution had errupted so suddenly that they had no single major figure representing them – they were unprepared, while the moslem brotherhood, riding on the backs of the rebelling youth, were by far more organized. You can say the last vote was a rebound vote. The Tahriris have learned this lesson and they will not be caught out again in the next elections.

        After Mubarak, Egyptians had two options: MB or another Mubarakite for their leader – there was no third alternative. But there will be a third alternative during the upcoming elections. You can be sure that the secularists who voted for MB last time and tipped the scale in MB’s favor, will most certainly NOT be voting for anything islamist in the next election.

    • Shingo
      July 28, 2013, 7:42 pm

      I am afraid that reducing the ousting of Morsi to a mere military coup d’état is a flawed simplification of a grand occurrence that has consumed the Egyptian streets. is downright naive.

      No kidding. That so called grand occurrence was driven largely by public perception molded by a media that was hostile to Mubarak as well as outright sabotage by the Deep State.

  20. piotr
    July 28, 2013, 4:48 pm

    “a flawed simplification of a grand occurrence that has consumed the Egyptian streets.”

    Egypt is not the only place with “grand occurences in the streets”. Kyrgyzstan had two of those in recent years, with some “geo-political importance”, as initially the changed government was more pro-American, and in the next iteration, more pro-Russian. Thailand had several of those, currently there is an attempt of overthrowing government in Bulgaria. A rather common theme is if one political movement is more popular in the country side and another in the capital and other big cities.

    It is easy to criticize political Islam, but the “secular forces” in Egypt have profound weaknesses too. For example, why they did not wage an effective campaign against the constitution in the eve of the respective referendum? If that constitution had few supporters, they could have a valuable win. The second example is the obedient alliance with the “remnants”. It is hard to see in what way the remnants are better than Islamists.

    The third aspect is how readily Tamarod resorted to violence, burning and looting of offices, and fascistic villification: “traitors, terrorists”. Was it Day of Bastille or another March on Rome?

    • MHughes976
      July 28, 2013, 5:02 pm

      I’m sure you strike the nail on the head when you mention the rural-urban divide in developing societies. I think something of the kind is going on in Iran and in Burma. I have the impression that those on either side of this divide view each other with extreme contempt. Rule by a self-interested officer corps has surely been the bane of Egypt – and Burma too – for decades. But what force is able to take its place?

    • Citizen
      August 1, 2013, 3:08 pm

      @ Shingo

      RE: “It is no conspiracy theory that the Washington would have been kept in the loop throughout the entire planning for this coup and that the Obama administration has gone to great lengths to avoid calling it what it is, a coup, just so that they can keep the Egyptian generals living like Kings and killing anyone who dissents.”

      No. The USA won’t call it a coup because then US law forbidding financial aid to a coup regime kicks in, and all our congress folks and WH folks have been ordered by Israel to maintain foreign military aid to Egypt because the whole reason for it in the first place is so Egypt kisses Israel and supports it, no matter what it does or doesn’t do. Aid to Egypt is actually aid to Israel, with the Egyptian military class getting a slice of the bribe. Together, aid to Egypt and to Israel is 20% of total US foreign aid! Thinks about that, in terms of the whole world’s need for US aid, military or not.

      And Re:
      “How can you possibly reconcile the policies of this junta with your own support for the Palestinians when not only was one of the first moves by the military to block all the tunnels to Gaza, but as Adam Morrow reports, that there is an alarming and very prevailing anti Palestinian sentiment associated with this movement.”

      Just look at how Egypt has screwed the Gaza Palestinians since the coup.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 7:18 pm

        the middle east, including Egypt, has well buried Mubarak two years ago

        Yeah sure.

        And when Bush left the WH, US support for dictators ended, Guntabamo was closed, the 1000 military bases closed down, criminal and slavish support for Israel ended…oh wait!

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 8:48 pm

        Just look at how Egypt has screwed the Gaza Palestinians since the coup.

        Yes indeed. I am still waiting for Taxi to explain how this is supposed to be:

        1. A positive development
        2. An expression of the will of the Egypts energetic youth
        3. To the betterment of democracy
        4. Something that Taxi herself supports and is proud of, and if so, what explains her sudden hostility towards Palestinians

  21. hophmi
    July 28, 2013, 4:50 pm

    I think the lesson is that new democracies work better if the first leader has overwhelming support. That was never true of Morsi, who was elected with around 40% of the vote, and only because the liberals could not agree on a candidate, and who governed like the sectarian Brotherhood leader that he was. If you compare it to other new democracies (South Africa comes to mind), you see the difference. Nelson Mandela was elected with a huge majority, and governed like anything but a sectarian.

    The same problem plagued the PA election, in which Hamas gained well under a majority of the vote, and then tried to govern as if it had an overwhelming majority. These things work in established democracies that have been around awhile, and the people can reasonably expect another election. But in a new democracy with a history of autocracy, the people trust must less, and a leader with little legitimacy who governs in a sectarian manner will engender fear that a new election will not come and the democracy will not survive.

    I am confident that Egypt will figure it out, and I hope those who do believe in human rights have the wisdom to both reject the military’s bloody response to the pro-Morsi protesters and be honest with themselves and admit that sectarian theocrats like Morsi do best as civil society leaders, not as political leaders. There has been a cowardly reticence on the left to do this, probably because they agree with Islamic hardliners that the United States is the big enemy.

    • Shingo
      July 29, 2013, 9:07 am

      I think the lesson is that new democracies work better if the first leader has overwhelming support.

      No, the the lesson is that new democracies work better if the military is not on the payroll of a foreign power and has not grown accustomed to enriching itself and running major business interests.

      The same problem plagued the PA election, in which Hamas gained well under a majority of the vote, and then tried to govern as if it had an overwhelming majority.

      No that was a different problem. The US and Israel backed a failed coup to overthrown Hamas.

      • hophmi
        July 29, 2013, 12:43 pm

        “No, the the lesson is that new democracies work better if the military is not on the payroll of a foreign power and has not grown accustomed to enriching itself and running major business interests.”

        That helps. But legitimacy is more important.

        “No that was a different problem. The US and Israel backed a failed coup to overthrown Hamas.”

        OK, Hamas has governed Gaza in a democratic way. LOL; and another non-Hamas Gazan Palestinian goes splat. And another one is publicly executed.

        I don’t know why everything has to be black and white for some people. Hamas got 42% of vote, not 60%. And it was not a vote for Islamic governance. When a democracy is new, people are not accustomed to extending legitimacy to a sectarian group that gets 42% of the vote unless there are some checks and balances and they believe there will be another election.

      • Citizen
        August 1, 2013, 3:27 pm

        @ Shingo & Hophmi

        2 34
        Party
        Democrats 89 10 1 39
        Republicans 9 90 1 32
        Independents 52 44 4 29
        Gender
        Men 49 48 3 47
        Women 56 43 1 53
        Marital status
        Married 47 52 1 66
        Non-married 65 33 2 34
        Race
        White 43 55 2 74
        Black 95 4 1 13
        Hispanic 67 31 2 9
        Asian 62 35 3 2
        Other 66 31 3 3

        Go to Wikipedia for these results of the 08 POTUS election. What is your lesson respective learned here?

  22. Stogumber
    July 28, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Mr. Lo repeats the traditional arguments of the intellectual defenders of fascist and bolshevist governments: Procedural democracy is irrelevant and must be replaced by a “truer” or “deeper” kind of democracy. A putsch may seem undemocratic, but may well express the “political will” of “the people” and lead to a glorious future.
    But if the Egyptian people really wanted a “government of reconciliation”, they can’t achieve that by ousting the largest political party. On the other hand, the idea of a “government of reconciliation”, i.e. without antagonism between a governing party and an opposition party, is immature in itself.
    Mr. Lo gives no definite facts where and when Morsi endangered democracy. From all what he quotes, the Freedom and Justice Party seems to be the group whose understanding of democracy is (relatively) nearest to the Western concept.

    • Shingo
      July 28, 2013, 7:26 pm

      Very good post.

      A putsch may seem undemocratic, but may well express the “political will” of “the people” and lead to a glorious future.

      Never mind that the putsch was funded and backed by a foreign power.

  23. Shingo
    July 28, 2013, 7:23 pm

    For true democracies are well equipped to tame popular anger either by addressing legitimacy through national referenda or by satisfying demands through reforms. Morsi had a chance to do both, but he failed

    What shameless propaganda!!

    Morsi’s hands were tied from day 1 by the Mubarak era Deep State that remained largely in place after he was ousted. The police, who brutalized the demonstrators a year ago in Tahrir Square, defied Morsi and refused to go to work and maintain order. They went to work the day he was removed.

    Bread, wheat, gas and oil (controlled by the army) were scarce until the day he was removed, when they suddenly became plentiful.

    The corrupt judiciary, who blocked a number a number of viable and more qualified leaders than Morsi from contesting the election.

    The Deep State set about ensuring Morsi’s task of reform, was dead on arrival.

    I remember that when Mubarak fell, Chomsky warned that this is exactly what would happen. He described the tried and true method of placating a population calling for the overthrow of a US backed puppet regime – remove the figurehead, while keeping the system in place.

    The real absurdity and dishonesty of Mbaye Lo’s argument here, is that:

    1. while he criticizes Morsi for failing to deliver reforms, he supports a coup from the very interests that would have been alienated and targeted by those reforms

    2. He is pretending that this coup was some spontaneous expression of free will by the Egyptian population, when in fact, it was carried out by agents on the payroll of a foreign power.

    3. If Morsi’s removal had been a genuine democratic movement, then we’d be seeing new elections called immediately. Instead, they are being postponed until the military camp purge key Brorherhood political agents, to ensure they will not be re-elected, as they surely would were elections held today.

    • just
      July 28, 2013, 7:49 pm

      Thanks Shingo. Excellent analysis.

      • Citizen
        August 1, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Problem is, for America. Where does it go with a Tweedledee-Tweededum practical form of government? Perot showed the way, a third party, but I don’t see it coming to fruition, do you? We have the 2 Paul supporters, who else?

    • ritzl
      July 28, 2013, 8:40 pm

      #3 says it all. But Shingo, it’s all so “complicated” [to ordain the right people and get them elected]. It takes a lot of work.

      I’d be surprised if there are presidential elections within 36 months. Parliamentary elections maybe a little before, just to check to see if the national electoral mood is properly aligned.

      Thanks for summing it up.

      • Taxi
        July 31, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Parliamentary elections are in six months time. Re-writing the constitution by the new parliament will be happening in 9 months time. Followed by presidential elections.

        There’s a “road map to elections” that Egyptians are working under. I couldn’t find an English translation/version of the full ‘road map’ – the only thing I could find was a summery of the points on Reuters (via yahoo news):

        * The temporary suspension of the constitution.

        * Format of a committee including all sections of society and experts to review proposed amendments to the constitution.

        * The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, will be sworn in as the state’s new interim ruler.

        * Early presidential elections, with the head of the constitutional court managing the affairs of the country during the interim period, until a new president is elected.

        * The head of the constitutional court will have powers to issue constitutional decrees during the interim period.

        * The formation of a national technocrat government that will enjoy full powers to manage the transition period.

        * Implementation of a media code of ethics to ensure freedom of the media.

        * Executive measures to be taken to enable young people to be involved in the institutions of the state.

        * Constitutional court urged to quickly approve the draft parliamentary election law and start preparing for parliamentary elections.

        * Formation of a national reconciliation committee

        * Egyptian people urged to stay peaceful in protests.

        link to news.yahoo.com

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 1:03 am

        Thanks for the link Taxi.

        The devil of course, lies in the details, but if half of this comes to pass, I’ll be the first to retract my criticisms.

        It will be interesting to see what amendments to the constitution are and if they are implemented.

        It will be interesting to see what if the Supreme Constitutional Court bans political candidates from the next elections like they did last time. Remember that the Supreme Court are all pretty much Mubarak appointees.

        It will be interesting to see what decrees are issued by the Mubarak appointed members of the constitutional court.

        Implementation of a media code of ethics to ensure freedom of the media.

        You’ll have to forgive me for laughing at this one, given that the military junta shut down all media outlets associated with the MB and scrambled broadasts from Al Jazeera.

        Constitutional court urged to quickly approve the draft parliamentary election law and start preparing for parliamentary elections.

        I believe that when I see it. I am anticipating these will go on being delayed indefinitely.

        Formation of a national reconciliation committee

        Yeah, right. I can’t wait for this one.

        Egyptian people urged to stay peaceful in protests.

        Again, excuse me if I have a hard time taking this seriously.

        The current situation where protests are either being designated as criminal acts, the protesters branded as terrorists or plain clothed police are inciting violence in the crowds (as they did in Tahrir 2011), which is used by the military rulers to accuse protesters of turning to violence.

    • Citizen
      July 29, 2013, 6:24 am

      Shifting alliances in the Middle East: Crackdown on the MB by US-Israel-SA:
      link to counterpunch.org

      @ Shingo

      This detailed article fleshes out what you say about the coup, and includes the relationship between the outside players manipulating Egypt and Syria.

      • Shingo
        July 29, 2013, 9:11 am

        Thanks Citizen

      • American
        July 31, 2013, 7:50 pm

        Good job Shingo.

      • NickJOCW
        August 1, 2013, 4:58 am

        Thanks for the link. Brilliant.

  24. Blank State
    July 28, 2013, 8:09 pm

    Hmmmm. Horseshit is ok occassionally, if well penned. The trick, though, is figuring out how to get your crap across in a brief enough essay, so that your targeted patsies don’t loose interest before they’ve ingested the full dose of Kool-Aid.

    I made it through about a third of Lo’s attempt, and regret even that overzealous effort on my part. Fortunately, I won’t make the same mistake again, for the only words I will read is the author’s name before I move on to the next thread.

  25. bilal a
    July 28, 2013, 9:03 pm

    Moral justification of media shutdowns, serial murder of unarmed protestors, and mass arrests wont earn this professor tenure. Not only is his stock not rising higher, it Mbaye going Lo-wer.

  26. Taxi
    July 28, 2013, 10:14 pm

    Go fix your own purchased democracies before you point the finger at Egypt, a place very few posters on MW seem to understand.

    All this sanctimonious finger-wagging by westerners has become quite the spectacle.

    • Shingo
      July 29, 2013, 9:13 am

      Again Taxi,

      Please explain how a military coup that reinstates the Mubarak era cronies into power is a step towards democracy. Please explain what it is we are all missing.

      • Taxi
        July 30, 2013, 7:06 am

        Shingo,

        Sorry I don’t have time today to spend on the keyboard. I intend to write a response to one of your posts upthread – I thought I could do it today but I’m slammed with too much stuff to do – hopefully, I’ll be able to get to it tomorrow.

        But very quickly, to answer your above question. If memory serves, the Egyptian interim government is composed of THIRTY TEMPORARY ministers. THIRTEEN of them are associated with the Mubarak regime. But they’re not ideologues, they’re technocrats and professional administrators. In fact, THREE of those technocrats were offered promotional ministerial offices by Mubarak years ago and all three refused the promotion, citing their rejection of the corruption rife within Mubarak’s system as reason for their declination.

        In short, they are NOT Mubarakites, they are apolitical professional civil servants. They would have worked in government under any leader Egypt would have had in the last thirty years anyway.

        It’s alarmist and off the mark to paint the Egyptian interim government as Mubarakite. Surely you don’t think, especially after the recent ouster of Morsi, that the Egyptian people are so stupid as to pick a team that will immediately hoodwink them back to the repressive Mubarak or Morsi days? I really hope you don’t think so lowly of Egyptian people’s intelligence.

        Maybe what you’re “missing” is the nuanced info on Egypt, Shingo. Maybe not. I dunno, my friend. I will try and address this too in my next blogging session.

      • Shingo
        July 30, 2013, 10:30 am

        THIRTEEN of them are associated with the Mubarak regime. But they’re not ideologues, they’re technocrats and professional administrators.

        Muabarak wasn’t an ideologue either. Just a corrupt, brutal, self serving filthy tyrant. Such people tend to surrounded themselves with with like minded people.

        In short, they are NOT Mubarakites, they are apolitical professional civil servants.

        Sorry, but you cannot be one without the other. Anyone who “refused the promotion, citing their rejection of the corruption rife within Mubarak’s system” would have found themselves out of a job.

        And how is it that they refused promotions while continuing to serve the very system of corruption the decry?

        It’s alarmist and off the mark to paint the Egyptian interim government as Mubarakite.

        How can one not be alarmed by the the policies and actions they have implemented – Mubarakite to the letter.

        1. Massacres and crack downs of unarmed demonstrators.
        2, The mass arrests of senior MB leaders and the disappearance of Morsi.
        3. The closing of the Rafah crossing for good.
        4. The deranged call fro El-Sisi for demonstrators to legitimize the military crackdown on MB demonstrations.

        This is insanity Taxi. It’s text book fascist dictatorship.

        Surely you don’t think, especially after the recent ouster of Morsi, that the Egyptian people are so stupid as to pick a team that will immediately hoodwink them back to the repressive Mubarak or Morsi days?

        Sadly, the Egyptians are making it all to easy to come to that conclusion. Perhaps I am being unfair, but either they are being hoodwinked or they simply have no choice or say in the matter.

        It’s not a mater of thinking so lowly of Egyptian people’s intelligence, it’s a matter of how they have been manipulated to think. One cannot underestimate the power of the media. Since Morsi came to office, the media has attacked him 24/7. The lies they have spread have been insane.

        As an example of the lies being put out by the Egptian media:

        1. That the fuel shortage was due to Morsi sensing fuel to Gaza.
        2. That the MB was going to sell the Suez Canal to Qatar
        3. That Morsi was going to rent the Pyramids to rich Saudis

        Meanwhile, the coverage from Al Jazeera is actually being scrambled.

        Maybe what you’re “missing” is the nuanced info on Egypt, Shingo.

        Indeed I must be, but what we are seeing is something that looks like a counter-revolution, walks like a counter-revolution and talks like a counter-revolution.

      • Taxi
        July 30, 2013, 3:10 pm

        You’re condemning by association, my dear. When Bush Jnr was in the White House, were all government civil servants neocon warmongers too? Every single one them? Your argument is getting more and more ridiculous, Shingo. You are not looking for the truth, you are looking to prove yourself right despite the presence of facts that contradict your position.

        “Sorry, but you cannot be one without the other. Anyone who “refused the promotion, citing their rejection of the corruption rife within Mubarak’s system” would have found themselves out of a job.

        They declined the Mubarak promotion to make them ministers when it was offered them, they have that on record; and they recently cited their reason to the interim council of administrators and interviewers, as being due to the excessive corruption of the Mubarak regime. This too is on record. Now ask yourself this simple question, it’s right there in front of your nose: why would these allegedly corrupt autocrats say no to being wealthy hifalutin ministers, given half a chance? Unless of course………….. they weren’t ‘Mubarakites’ in the first place! Bingo shingo! What are you gonna attack now, their grandmother cuz there’s nothing else in their biography to attack?

        Man, your cynicism is blinding your thinking – right off the richter scale!

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 12:49 am

        When Bush Jnr was in the White House, were all government civil servants neocon warmongers too? Every single one them?

        Pretty much. Bush filled all the positions at the Pentagon with neocons warmongers.

        Anyone who didn’t tow the line was kicked out and replaced. See what happened to Powell, Shinseki, Plame/Wilson, and anyone what wasn’t on board.

        why would these allegedly corrupt autocrats say no to being wealthy hifalutin ministers, given half a chance?</blockquote

        They might not be corrupt to the core, but they were part of the system Taxi. You know as they said t Nuremberg, sayinf you were just acting on orders is no excuse.

        So yeah, they got to keep their jobs.

        Man, your cynicism is blinding your thinking – right off the richter scale!

        Maybe, or maybe it’s just that my BS meter is off the scale.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 1:13 am

        BTW Taxi,

        Yes I am being very cynical and for good reason. Egypt has no had 3 military coups. The 2 previous ones resulted in the installment of a military dictator, and this one has started the same way.

        Oh, and I also seem to remember Mubarak promising reforms. How did that work out?

      • Taxi
        August 1, 2013, 2:28 am

        Every time you say ‘Mubarak is back, Mubarak is back’, I swear I think I’m watching The Mummy Returns – same fantasy:
        link to imdb.com

        You probably think that General Franco is still alive too and about to take over the Spanish Government.

        The glaring observation here is that it’s only western idiots who are writing and commenting on this ‘Mubarak is in power again’ absurdity – the middle east, including Egypt, has well buried Mubarak two years ago. Hope you catch up with the present, Shingo, otherwise, much egg on face oooh much much egg on face.

      • James Canning
        August 1, 2013, 3:10 pm

        @Taxi – – Office of Special Plans, set up in the Pentagon to enable neocon warmongers to dupe the President with false intel. This was a crucial element of the conspiracy to set up illegal invasion of Iraq.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 6:19 pm

        Hope you catch up with the present, Shingo, otherwise, much egg on face oooh much much egg on face.

        Well Taxi,

        If you want to use movie metaphors, you make me think of someone watching re-runs of the Titanic and insisting that this time, there’s a different ending, even though the script and the cast remains the same.

        Again, not once have you addresses the crack down on Gaza and if you believe this reflects the will if the Egyotian public.

      • Citizen
        August 1, 2013, 6:31 pm

        @ James Canning
        Yep.

        I can’t help, considering how the US is a model democracy, while Egypt has no such tradition, Yes, I can’t help but think how this observation on the Egyptian people also reflects the current state of the USA:

        “It’s not a mater of thinking so lowly of Egyptian people’s intelligence, it’s a matter of how they have been manipulated to think. One cannot underestimate the power of the media.”

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2013, 6:31 pm

        BTW Taxi.

        Nothing would make me happier than to end up with egg on my face on this matter. It would mean that the situation is not as diet, desperate and dark as it looks to me right now

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2013, 9:33 pm

        TOE the line, Shingo.

      • Sibiriak
        August 1, 2013, 10:57 pm

        Shingo:

        : Egypt has no had 3 military coups. The 2 previous ones resulted in the installment of a military dictator, and this one has started the same way.

        True. Another point: If, as I think is likely, a new civilian government is elected, and the Army steps out of the limelight, that hardly means that the coup was simply leading the way for a popular “revolution”.

        On the contrary, in most cases the capitalist/imperialist goal is NOT to maintain an obviously authoritarian government, but to create an *elite-managed democracy*. Often, this requires a period of dictatorship, wherein the main obstacles to elite-control are eliminated or neutralized, neoliberal economic policies are consolidated and deepened by a “technocratic” government, the media are cleansed, the constitution and electoral process altered and fine-tuned to avoid unwanted results, and the stage is set for an acceptable, elite-friendly government to be elected.

        This can be seen on the individual-state level, but also as a broader process that marked a shift from a preference for “pro-Western” dictatorships (1950s-80s) which violently crushed socialist and social democratic forces, to elite-managed democracies that had greater domestic and international legitimacy and the capacity to deal with a less controllable media environment (the internet etc.).

  27. traintosiberia
    July 29, 2013, 1:17 am

    Is it the stage one ? Is it the foreplay? Or is it totally aborted ?
    Time will tell .Meanwhile the future leader and the masses one hopes will learn the value of patience ,stupidity of symbolism effective use of lies and duplicities blinding the corporate affiliated military and then kill the beast. This beast envelopes the whole wide world .It allows Muslim theocracy, military dictatorship, civilian democratic government,and varieties of hybrids in between as long as its core mission and interests are not endangered .it even function in the anarchy that pervade daily lives in Congo, Libya,and Nigeria or Pakistan. Will Morsi be remembered as Mossadeq of Iran or Kaseem of Iraq? Will this short lived experiment turn out to be 1905 of Russia or 1973 of Chile, or 1991 Algeria or the twitter revolution in Ukraine ?
    Today there is a report that 80 % US adult face destitution and increasingly so. May be that is not a bad thing for the rest of the world. May be it will rob the legitimacy of those youth demonstrating against Morsi or someone else wearing American paraphernalia to validate their activities in front of awe stricken poor ,unwashed,uncouth rustic Morsi supporters one day in future when another fateful moment builds up against the military dictator . The only good thing happened following WW 2 is the liberation of third world countries from the self castrated West unable to wield any power beyond its closest harbor .the other good thing was the establishment of social services in these western countries . Today Detroit has as hope as any village in Egypt or Ethiopia has. May be the Islamist one day will come to see the world through the prism of other religion as well and reach out to the distressed belonging to other faith as Americans make common cause with the aliens of Congo or Bangladesh . The corporate will not face defeat until Southern Virginia or Jefferson County of Alabama come to see that the forces that eviscerated it social fabrics are the same that have destroyed Chile, Libya, Greece, or the dreams of Morsi supporters. World rebellion will be the answer to the world domination. The power of the subliminal perception (that carry with it the dreams of Americanized life) from having better outfit,smart phones communication skill and smattering knowledge of western politics can delay the appropriate responses but only for a short interval . This psychology is what America label as soft power. The e namounted youth of Bombay or Karachi or Lagos or Cairo have one thing is common that is intellectual emptiness and dishonesty . They want to be seen a class different from the rest of the youth but has nothing to prove other than English language skill and use of gadget. They are the new reactionary in the service of the corporate structure. They will not lend a hand to girl under attack in Delhi bus but nextday wil arrange candle vigil in the college campus in memory of the victim. They are proud of not knowing Hindi or Bengali and will denounce every aspect of the commoner ‘s lives. . Their scientist and engineers will spend the resources to projects not relevant to the needs of the common folks but relevant to the western needs. There is a paralysis of mind and it is evident every where in third world countries. This in turn delegitimizes any effort to change the country political and social issues if the attempt borrow from local resources and is based on local vocabularies and images and symbols. This is what drowned Morsi he borrowed heavily from prevalent Egyptian narrative.
    Morsi was a unwashed rustic sharing same virtues with Mao, Ho Chi min and Ghandhi, in that regard but he was not a visionary like them. Next time hopefully , it will be different

    • traintosiberia
      July 29, 2013, 1:29 am

      I meant Mao, Ho Chi min and Ghandhi

    • Citizen
      August 2, 2013, 1:28 am

      @ traintosiberia

      Well, yes. No matter where you go in this world, most humans you get to know are
      not very inspiring, and as always, the test of virtue is power. I’d say the Western mind is at the very least, as inspiring as any other–or do you have in mind a proven better one?

  28. miriam6
    July 29, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Meet Egypt’s New Dictator!

    He stood with dark sunglasses addressing the people, Qaddafi style, asking a Mandate for “himself” to fight potential terrorism, and demanding that the masses decend to the streets on the 26th of July to give him that mandate. The State television along with the privately owned channels that were kept open because they supported his move against President Morsi, started playing patriotic music among which new songs made especially for him with clips showing him at the glory of his military leadership. Supported by the United States and Israel secretly and by their allies in Saudi Arabia openly, Egypt’s strong man general Abdulfatah Sissi was actually catapulting Egypt back to the Mubarak era and achieving the counter revolution, and he almost fooled us all.

    link to aboujahjah.org

    This comment’s link works.

    The one in the earlier comment doesn’t.
    Please moderate this comment instead

    • Shingo
      July 30, 2013, 10:17 am

      Meet Egypt’s New Dictator!

      I dare say, I actually agree with you for once miriam6

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2013, 1:29 am

        Me too. At least that’s my initial impression.

  29. NickJOCW
    July 30, 2013, 7:28 am

    It was never going to be possible for Egypt to move from the constrained Mubarak rule to a state of peaceful social coexistence just like that, particularly with so may outsiders stirring it up The pendulum having been so abruptly released swung almost as far the other way and now is winging back. It should eventually come to something like rest. How long this will take largely depends on the extent to which it is left alone by the US and other remote entities since what they are actually doing is using Egypt as a forum for their broader proxy conflicts.

  30. aiman
    July 30, 2013, 9:54 am

    Excellent interview with Talal Asad on Egypt: link to jadaliyya.com

    “What I have said about the situation is as much as I know–and probably even more than I know. But it is very, very distressing. Unfortunately, what I find most distressing are the activists who are neither heroes nor villains but have contributed to making the situation in Egypt more difficult.”

  31. Sibiriak
    July 30, 2013, 11:32 am

    aiman:

    Excellent interview with Talal Asad on Egypt

    Thanks. A must-read.

  32. gamal
    July 30, 2013, 4:32 pm

    there are some parallels between Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Morsi, though Bhutto was very upper class but his situation was quite similar, the 11 year post coup military regime destroyed Pakistan, link to talk by Bhutto grand daughter, niece of Benazir.

    link to youtu.be

    The founder (?) of Bangladesh has some parallels with the fate of Morsi,

    the thing that seems to distinguish Arab reactions to non-Arab ones, non-Arabs seem quite angry for various reasons many Arabs are depressed and scared, its quite a familiar feeling when we look at the likely short term results of whatever happens to be going on in our sphere, anyone who is intimate with Arabs will know what I mean, I fall into the latter category the current situation is awesome in its possibly catastrophic results, those unfamiliar with the Egyptian security apparatus perhaps do not appreciate its virulence and hostility. People have been killed on the streets where my relatives live, people were hungry and stressed many still are and the violence directed at the MB by the state has, I am told, served to unnerve everyone, and discipline the population at large.

    If this is a pre-revolutionary situation its clear that a real Egyptian revolution will be intensely chaotic and very, very violent, that die is now cast because of the intransigence of the military/business power elite. One hopes they see sense and make at least some substantive concessions to the needs and aspirations of the people.

  33. W.Jones
    July 30, 2013, 5:05 pm

    One of the author’s main points is that the coup was a popular one, and that makes it OK. He writes:

    Morsi’s problem is a clash of legitimacy – his own, which was reduced to procedural democracy, supported by a tacit religious contract, and that of the majority of the Egyptian people, whose revolution had brought him to power.

    It’s true that Morsi’s rule had become seen in a much more negative light by Egyptians, but at the same time:

    a poll has been released in which 63 per cent of respondents say they oppose the coup. This percentage is spookily similar to the Islamist majority in the parliament (which was dissolved by Mubarak-era judges) and the “yes” vote during the referendum on the country’s new constitution. Only 26 per cent, a number that looks a lot like the standard “liberal” showing in such electoral contexts, say they support the Morsi removal.

    This was seen by many as a huge swing from the last poll, conducted not long before the coup, in which a similarly large majority said that if “elections were held tomorrow” they would vote against the embattled incumbent. [But t]he last poll to compare him to opposition leaders found Morsi still had higher favourables and lower unfavourables than any other politician in the country.

    link to abc.net.au

  34. W.Jones
    August 1, 2013, 12:40 am

    I thought this was an interesting counterpoint about the Arab Spring:

    Media Disinformation and the “Arab Spring” Color Revolutions: The Tainted Legacy of I.F. Stone
    link to memoryholeblog.com

    If one takes a step back from Egypt, one can see that even Mubarek’s (and now Morsi’s) overthrow fits within a pattern of regime change going back at least to Saddam’s. The idea of using social protests to achieve it is reflected for example in Georgia’s color revolution, which brought in a new regime there that ended up fighting Russia.

    It’s true that the Arab Spring in Egypt had tons of support from Egyptian secularists and liberals, and they turned out in record numbers during Morsi’s overthrow. But this does not stop the fact that the overthrow itself was a coup. Protests themselves could just have led to Morsi changing his mind or being impeached, etc. The article “Media Disinformation” above pointed out ways in which Mubarek was stalling or slowing efforts to dominate the Middle East. This can be said about the democratically-elected Muslim president Morsi too, and his overthrow can be spun as a relief to liberals, which ends up supporting the end result and imposed amenable “secular” dictatorship.

    In any case, I think that this aspect or take on the story of the Arab Spring (despite positive aspects of the Spring) merits consideration.

  35. James Canning
    August 1, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Saakashvili’s reckless attack on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia can be blamed on American neocons and Condoleezza Rice.

    • piotr
      August 1, 2013, 9:38 pm

      I have a little different theory. Yes, Shaakashvili got some weapons from Israel and some pleasant verbiage from certain tone-death and geographically challenged American senators, yet the concept and the strategy of the attack on Ossetia was his own invention. And it was not produced by sober people.

      One thing that must be remembered is that so-called puppets are more like pets, they have their owned agendas, hatreds and smaller or bigger businesses on the side that actually account for most of their revenue. American bribes are rather paltry after all.

      So a possible narrative is that Morsi made some attempts to be American pet, but American government had no means to stop the old established pets, Egyptian deep state and Gulf money, and frankly there was not much of a motivation to do so.

      However, the plot thickens. Real men now think about Damascus. The defeat of the Brotherhood in Egypt can have an opposite effect in Syria.

      • ToivoS
        August 2, 2013, 3:10 am

        Good read on what Shaakashvili was likely thinking. I agree. He had his own agenda and heard some soothing sounds from Mc Cain and the Israelis and interpreted that as a green light to attack Russia. Bad judgement on his part for sure. Once he committed himself it became clear that he was completely on his own and no outside power was going to help him out.

        I do hope that other minor powers in that part of the world realize what could happen if they over interpret supportive statements from the West. Azerbaijan, are you paying attention?

  36. Citizen
    August 2, 2013, 1:48 am

    @ piotr
    “The defeat of the Brotherhood in Egypt can have an opposite effect in Syria.”

    Please elaborate.

Leave a Reply