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What will it take for the US to cut military aid to Egypt?

By Dr Sarah Marusek | MEMO | January 6, 2014

Ever since the 3 July military coup that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected government, the world has stood back to witness the Egyptian authorities’ brazen attempt to cleanse an entire community from Egypt’s population.

As an American citizen I have to ask: how many Egyptians need to be killed, injured, arrested and tortured, and how many families torn apart and destroyed, before the US will take decisive action against Egypt’s post-coup military regime?

And I am not the only American asking this question.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Times newspaper published an editorial under the headline “Stop coddling Egypt’s military”. The editors argue that: “It’s increasingly evident that the military rulers of Egypt are determined to intimidate and silence their political opponents, whether they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood or secular Egyptians who believe the generals are betraying the spirit of the ‘Arab Spring’. Yet the Obama administration continues to entertain the pious hope that Egypt is on the road to an inclusive democracy.”

The editors criticise the US response to the continued crackdown as being “polite to the point of pusillanimity”, and conclude that, “Clearly the current policy of trying not to offend [Egypt’s military] isn’t working.”

One week earlier, the Washington Post newspaper published a similar editorial, in which the editors denounce the Egyptian authorities’ criminalisation of the Muslim Brotherhood. The movement was designated a terrorist organisation on 25 December.

The Post’s editors lament how “Egypt has abandoned the path to democracy,” calling this a “tragedy” and asserting that: “The time has come for stronger US protests and action. To remain timid in the face of repression will invite only more.”

So why is the Obama administration not acting? After all, the US is supposedly a global superpower, and we have spent billions of dollars buying Egypt’s friendship.

Well, if we take a closer look at the two countries relations, we see that Egypt has never really been a client state of the US, and in fact the relationship is quite the reverse.

Military aid and “peace”

In February 2012, when Egypt’s military-led government under SCAF indicted 16 Americans working for non-governmental organisations in Egypt on charges of receiving foreign funds to foment unrest, US officials were quick to decry the move, and threatened a halt to American military aid to Egypt. In fact, 40 senators sent a strongly worded letter of warning directly to the former head of Egypt’s military, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee, warned the Egyptian military that, “the days of blank checks are over.”

And yet the following week, the rhetoric coming out of Washington was remarkably softened. According to the Atlantic magazine, officials had initially been so caught up in their outrage over the charges against Americans, including the son of the US Secretary of Transportation, that they did not think about how cutting Egypt’s military aid would have implications for their best friend in the Middle East, Israel.

Egypt is currently the fifth largest recipient of US aid in the world, and cumulatively second only to Israel. Foreign aid to Egypt was negligible until the mid-1970s and only ballooned after Egypt signed the Camp David Accords with Israel in 1978. Since the mid-1980s, Egypt has received annually about $1.3 billion in military aid, while Israel received $1.8 billion until the year 2000, after which military aid to Israel fluctuated between $2 to $3.1 billion.

According to the Washington Institute, military aid to Egypt was initially tied to US aid levels to Israel, which is why the figures remained proportional up until 2000, when the launch of the second Palestinian intifada altered the equation. Two other factors also contributed to the shift. The first is that by the turn of the millennium, Egypt was no longer isolated in the region as a result of its neighbourly relations with Israel. The second is that by then, the US had phased out its economic aid to Israel, allocating part of it instead for military use.

Is it aid or blackmail?

Still, continued US aid to Egypt remains an unwritten condition of the Camp David Accords, and since the January 2011 revolution in Egypt, the Israel Lobby has repeatedly voiced its concern that if the aid were to dry up, then the peace treaty would be in jeopardy.

So it is not surprising that despite being subject to the harshly worded threats, Egypt continued to prosecute the American NGO workers, a political slap in Washington’s face, all the while receiving US military aid. All 16 Americans, along with 27 of their Egyptian peers, were eventually convicted and sentenced in absentia in June 2013.

This case is interesting for two reasons. One is that it highlights how US aid to Egypt is meant first and foremost to please and protect Israel. The second is that the Egyptian military regime knows this, and thus acts with impunity. The case against the 16 American NGO workers illustrates that. But so does the history of US economic aid to Egypt.

The US has always employed its foreign aid as a political tool, and its economic assistance is handled by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Both during the Cold War and in the neoliberal era, USAID projects have come with conditions strongly favouring free markets and privatisation. But interestingly, in the case of Egypt, scholar Bessma Momani argues that: “the Egyptian government perceived the aid programme as an entitlement for signing the Camp David Accord, where equality of treatment between Egypt and Israel was supposedly guaranteed. In consequence, USAID found that the aid at its disposal did not give the organisation any real influence to induce Egypt to alter its economic policies.”

Writing in 1997, scholar Duncan Clarke also noted that Egypt views the American funds as its entitlement for making peace with Israel, thus despite the massive amounts of US aid to Egypt, “The remarkable absence of vigorous, reliable Egyptian advocates of the US is particularly striking.” In 1991, the US and its allies even agreed to forgive half the $20.2 billion debt that Egypt owed to them, in thanks for Egypt’s support during the Persian Gulf War. Nevertheless, Momani suggests that during this time, the Egyptian government was still not willing to alter its economic policy enough for Washington’s liking.

Continually frustrated by Egypt’s unwillingness to “reform” its state driven economy, in 1993 the US decided to privatise its economic aid to Egypt. Momani describes how Cairo and Washington set up a “Presidents’ Council” consisting of 15 American and 15 Egyptian corporate representatives to manage private American investment in Egypt as an alternative to official US government aid. Oil executives along with major US multinationals comprised the American team, while companies that had well-established connections with the Egyptian elite and were close to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made up the Egyptian team, which was headed by Mubarak’s son Gamal.

In this way Egypt’s rulers successfully transformed the US’s ideologically driven neoliberal policy into a crony trade relationship that directly profited the Mubarak regime.

How US aid to Egypt works

There are other aspects of the bilateral relationship that also limit Washington’s options.

All US military aid to foreign countries is deposited into an account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as part of the Foreign Military Financing programme, which is run by a division of the Pentagon called the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). Nearly all countries have to spend the funds the US allocates each year, but Egypt is allowed to place orders on credit, which means that Egypt usually has a backlog of orders before the annual aid is even dispersed. The only other country granted this privilege is Israel.

The Washington Institute cites estimates that Egypt currently has about “$4 billion in outstanding contractual commitments to be paid by cash-flow financing”. In other words, Egypt has run up a $4 billion debt to satisfy its rapacious appetite for American-made weapons and military equipment, and all at the expense of US taxpayers, whose money is being funnelled into the pockets of American weapons manufacturers.

That’s why throughout the recent crackdown, the contracts never stopped coming in. According to the Politico web site, the day of the coup the US Army asked for information from contractors interested in building and upgrading F-16 bases in Egypt. And less than one week after the Egyptian security forces massacred and wounded thousands of anti-coup protesters in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda Squares, “the US Air Force awarded a contract to General Electric to upgrade the Egyptian air force’s fighter jets. The deal, worth nearly $14 million, is to extend the lives of 18 engines used on F-16s and other fighters.”

The argument goes that cutting military aid to Egypt would mean that US companies would not get paid for the orders they are processing and this would negatively impact the US economy, resulting in job losses. However, maintaining the aid while stopping the delivery of the American-made weapons and military equipment is a possibility.

A report published by Businessweek magazine last August noted that, “Once the work is completed and the contractor is paid, it’s up to the DSCA to deliver the equipment to Egypt.” And according to the report, as of August the agency was not delivering anything.

This included helicopters, fighter aircraft and tank kits.

The magazine pointed out that: “This wouldn’t be the first time the US withheld military equipment it’s sold to a foreign country. In 1972, Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi paid $70 million for eight C-130 Hercules aircraft. After political tensions arose and relations between the US and Libya became strained, Washington simply decided not to deliver the planes. To this day the aircraft are still sitting outside Lockheed’s plant in Marietta, Ga.”

However, according to Al-Jazeera America, after the Obama administration announced in early October that it would suspend some military assistance to Egypt, “nearly 2,000 tons of critical US military equipment continued to flow to Egyptian ports.” Although there was a delay in the shipment of some fighter jets, other equipment, including several kinds of vehicles used for crowd control, missile systems and spare parts for tanks, helicopters and fighter jets, among other items, continued to depart from eastern US ports to Egypt.

And then there is “war on terror”

So if the aid was supposedly halted, what is the catch?

One problem is that the Obama administration has repeatedly vowed to continue its provision of weapons and military equipment to help the Egyptian authorities fight “terrorism” in the Sinai, which shares a border with Israel.

Another is that the shipments mainly contain spare parts. As Al-Jazeera America points out, during the 1980s and 1990s, US military aid “led Egypt to phase out its Soviet-made arsenal, replacing most of its military equipment with higher-end US products.” Since then, Egypt has amassed an arsenal of American-made weapons and equipment, including thousands of tanks and the fourth-largest fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft in the world.

“There’s no conceivable scenario in which they’d need all those tanks short of an alien invasion,” Shana Marshall of the Institute of Middle East Studies at George Washington University joked to American National Public Radio.

So while Egypt is not in need of more weapons, the existing equipment does get worn out and continues to require a constant supply of spare parts, which the US freely provides. And Marshall also told Al-Jazeera America that: “there’s a lot of pressure on Congress [from the defence industry] to maintain those production lines in their own districts.”

This helps to explain why so many members of Congress, including Eliot Engel of New York, the most senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed “concern” when the Obama administration announced that it was withholding selected aid in October.

That said, some members of Congress did actively lobby to end military aid to Egypt while the country was under the leadership of President Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood, after all, always did entertain the possibility of rethinking the Camp David Accords. Of course, these officials failed to realise that during Egypt’s short-lived democracy, US military aid went directly to Egypt’s military, and not to the civilian government.

In any case, there is public support for an aid freeze. A Pew Research survey in August found that “51 per cent of Americans believe the US should cut off military aid to Egypt to pressure the government there to end the violence against anti-government protesters.” And this number would likely be higher if Americans knew that the dispersal of military aid to Egypt could continue while the deliveries of the weapons are halted, weapons which could then even be sold to other parties for a profit, thus ensuring that American jobs are not lost.

So what is the prognosis for US military aid to Egypt? Is it even possible for the US to follow the European Union’s moral lead and suspend the export of all equipment that could be used by the Egyptian military regime in its ongoing campaign of repression?

Although in October President Obama suspended the delivery of some military equipment to Egypt pending the election of a civilian government, Washington still refuses to call the events surrounding 3 July a “coup”, a determination that would automatically halt all US military aid to Egypt in accordance with US law. And significantly, right after President Obama announced the suspension, Egypt hired a new Washington lobby firm.

Thus it should be no surprise to hear that before going on winter recess, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill on 18 December “that would allow the US to resume its full $1.6 billion aid relationship with Egypt by granting President Obama the power to waive [the federal law on the coup restriction] based on national security,” as reported by the Associated Press. Only a few days before the Senate committee passed this bill, three right wing House Republicans travelled to Cairo to visit General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi: Louie Gohmert of Texas, Steve King of Iowa and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

Considering that for Washington, US national security is mainly defined by two key concerns, Israel and the global war on “terror”, and that the three House Republicans have a particular obsession with the Muslim Brotherhood, it is no wonder that Egypt’s interim authorities subsequently declared the movement a terrorist organisation.

And yet the new US law also aims to ensure that: “Egypt continues to implement the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, is fighting terrorism, is allowing the US Army to transit the territory of Egypt, is supporting a transition to an inclusive civilian government, is respecting and protecting the political and economic freedoms of all Egyptians, is respecting freedom of expression and due process of law, and finally, is abiding by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” according to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly.

While none of these conditions are anything particularly new, Hussein Haridy, a former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister, has declared the bill “a blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Egypt” that must be firmly rejected by the interim authorities.

So despite Egypt’s continued human rights abuses and the calls from the American media for Washington to take action, US military aid to Egypt will probably continue to flow. Indeed, considering that in November Egypt negotiated a multi-billion dollar weapons deal with Russia, financed by the petrol dollars of the monarchies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the historical imbalance of power between the US and Egypt in the latter’s favour, it seems more likely that if the aid were ever to be cancelled, then it would be the Egyptian authorities making that decision, not Washington.

January 7, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Egyptian army planning eventual military intervention in Gaza Strip

Al-Akhbar | October 3, 2013

Egypt is preparing a plan for a possible military intervention in the Gaza Strip, security sources told Ma’an news agency on Wednesday.

Officials told Ma’an that Egyptian planes had entered Gazan airspace and examined a number of locations near the border in Rafah and Khan Younis to be targeted if military attacks against Egyptian troops intensify in Sinai.

Egyptian aircraft could also target vehicles traveling across the border with smuggled goods, the sources added, highlighting that “all options are open.”

Egyptian military sources claim that ongoing attacks in Sinai are carried out by organizations based both in Sinai Peninsula and in the Gaza Strip.

“The Egyptian army does not believe the population of Gaza is involved in the violence in Sinai, but certain factions strongly support Sinai groups. The tunnels play a major role in the communication between both sides,” a senior Egyptian official told Ma’an.

“In addition, Hamas, although its involvement is limited, is responsible for maintaining control of the smuggling tunnels as well as the factions operating in the coastal enclave,” he added.

Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 2,000 arrested across Egypt in the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood following the army’ ouster of President Mohammed Mursi in July.

The Egyptian military has stepped up a campaign against militant groups operating out of the Sinai Peninsula since, as attacks against the army have intensified.

The Egyptian military has accused Hamas, the current rulers of the Gaza Strip, of being connected to the violence and of having ties to Mursi.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

October 3, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sinai: Counter-Terrorism or Collective Punishment?

By Ismail Iskandarani | Al-Akhbar | September 16, 2013

On Saturday, September 7, the Egyptian army began a large-scale military campaign in the villages located south of the Sinai town of Sheikh Zoweid. Al-Akhbar toured the devastated area and found consistent reports of the Egyptian army indiscriminately targeting of civilians and their property.

Sinai – On Saturday morning, the Egyptian army took control of the central telecom building in al-Arish and cut off all landlines, mobile phones, and Internet communications in the governorate of North Sinai.

The telecom outage lasted nearly 10 hours, following which the residents of the governorate learned that the army had initiated a large-scale military operation in the border region, but could not obtain any further details. When communications were restored in the evening, a flood of phone calls ensued, complaining about the aftermath of the military operation.

A spokesperson for the Egyptian army took to Facebook to announce the results of the first day of the military campaign, writing that 107 homes were burned down along with a number of vehicles used by the terrorists in their operations. But the residents, while agreeing on some of these details, had a different version of events.

The operation lasted three days. During the communication blackout, tanks and heavy hardware were moved in under cover from Apache combat helicopters, while no media or relief personnel were allowed to enter the area of operations.

Al-Akhbar only learned that the operations had ceased once it arrived in Sheikh Zoweid on Tuesday morning, September 10. Communications had returned, and the residents had not seen or heard the choppers that day. In a quick tour to examine the effects of the military campaign on the villages of al-Zuhair and al-Mokataa, two of several villages affected by the fighting, the extent of the devastation inflicted on civilian homes and vehicles soon became clear.

Al-Akhbar learned from its field guide that Hajj Salem Abu Draa was killed. Salem is a cousin of Sinai journalist Ahmad Abu Draa, who is being detained by the military. He was killed as he left the mosque following the dawn prayer, and his children could not reach his body until later that afternoon. We also learned that Umm Sulman Abu Draa, an elderly woman, was killed after a bullet pierced a wall in her home and settled in her chest.

In al-Mokataa, the Abu Munir mosque was turned to rubble after being hit by missiles, most likely from an Egyptian army Apache. Some locals explained why the mosque would be targeted, saying it was a meeting point for some militant groups. But no one could say for sure whether any militants had actually been holed up in the mosque during the operations.

Dozens of residents gave their testimonies to Al-Akhbar about the indiscriminate collective punishment, the attacks on bystanders and civilians inside homes, and the burning of civilian cars for no apparent reason. One of the residents claimed the army stopped and searched him before sending him away and burning his car.

Not far from the charred remains of the car, a number of adjacent houses met a similar fate. Residents were forcibly evicted and their homes were searched. When the army did not find any contraband inside, they used cooking gas bottles to burn furniture and appliances, and also burned any cars parked in their yards. A taxi driver whose car was burned said he begged the army to arrest him and leave the car to his children to be able to make a living and finish payments on the car, but that the army burned it anyway, as he watched.

Disaster also stuck the extremely impoverished residents of the area’s shanties. People were driven out before their shelters were set on fire although no contraband was found inside. Even the owners of expensive homes were not spared from aerial bombardment, destruction of property, and looting, despite the improbability that their lavish lifestyles were linked to radical Islamists.

According to consistent eyewitness accounts in the two villages, homes were looted of clothes, food, and even women’s jewelry. Olive trees were uprooted and cattle were slain. The army uprooted large areas of olive groves south of al-Arish, supposedly to better expose the area and secure it against infiltration. But these measures have resulted in losses to the tunes of millions of Egyptian pounds, with many families losing their only source of livelihood.

Impact on the Armed Groups

Official army statements claimed that the military operations succeeded in eliminating dens of terrorism and criminal hideouts. However, these claims were shattered on Wednesday morning, when the military intelligence building in Rafah was destroyed in a double suicide attack. On Thursday, a takfiri group called Jund al-Islam claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group’s statement helped clarify the confusion that prevailed over whether Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, a Salafi jihadi group, was otherwise responsible for the Rafah bombing, as the latter had issued another statement on Wednesday announcing figures on the army’s casualties during the three-day operation.

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis’ statement was enclosed with a picture of a military Land Cruiser that the group claimed it had destroyed, in addition to a Hummer and three armored vehicles using explosive devices. The statement also confirmed that eight soldiers were killed, including six from Special Forces.

Accusing the Egyptian army of treason and collaboration with Israel is nothing new in the statements of Salafi jihadi groups in Sinai. What is new, however, is that the latest statement described the Egyptian military as “the infidel army.” The statement also boasted that the large-scale military campaign claimed the life of only one of the group’s members, something that a resident of al-Mokataa commented on by saying, “They destroyed our homes, burned our cars, and left us with the members of the [militant] groups sticking out their tongues and telling us they were left unharmed.”

The villages in the operation zone south of Sheikh Zoweid are at least 15 km away from the tunnels northeast of Rafah, which means that the recent bombing and burning of homes has nothing to do with these tunnels and the smuggling whatsoever.

Egyptian security forces confirmed that on Sunday, September 15, army attack helicopters bombed positions supposedly belonging to militant Islamists in villages south of Sheikh Zoweid. The sources added that the army started a new military operation against militant outposts in Sinai.

September 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Dark Theatrics

By PAUL GOTTINGER | August 30, 2013

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate himself, Obama, weighed in on the human rights abuses being carried out by the U.S. trained and funded General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt on August 23 saying “We care deeply about the Egyptian people,” and “We deplore violence against civilians.” These statements came after a vicious attack on protestors on August 14 that Human Rights Watch called, “most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history.”

The day of the Egyptian security forces attack on the non-violent protestors John Kerry did his best to conjure up indignation in response to the events. In the stiff and passionless manner of a marionette, which is convincing only in that he is “deeply concerned” with not forgetting his lines, he stated, “The violence is deplorable.”

So one would imagine this peacenik president who is deeply troubled by the violence in Egypt would unleash the hoards of humanitarians to protect the Egyptian civilians he cares so much about. But instead Obama stated, “America cannot determine the future of Egypt. That’s a task for [Egyptians].”  

Then on August 19 Chuck Hagel changed the tone slightly (he’s the Secretary of Defense, so he has to sound tough) by focusing on America’s impotence in regards to Egypt. He stated, “[The U.S.’] ability to influence the outcome in Egypt is limited” and that “All nations are limited in their influence in another nation’s internal issues”.

On August 22 the LA Times echoed much the same stating, “Obama’s inability to ease the crisis reflects America’s diminished ability to influence political outcomes in [Egypt].”

The media continued the theme of failing U.S. influence in Egypt by focusing on the fact that the three richest monarchies in the gulf pledged $12 billion in cash and loans to Egypt. The Wall Street Journal wrote, ‘The U.S.’s closest Middle East allies undercut American policy in Egypt by encouraging the military to confront the Muslim Brotherhood rather than reconcile, U.S. and Arab officials said.’

The idea we’re supposed to have about Obama’s policy towards Egypt couldn’t be clearer: Obama would really love to stop all that awful violence in Egypt, but unfortunately America just isn’t powerful enough to save everyone. Come on, Obama isn’t superman.

The consistency with which the mainstream media adhered to this message demonstrates the strict discipline the major newspapers maintain in their role as ideological managers.

But just as the population of most of the planet was about to collectively erupt in simultaneous celebration at the end of American military hegemony, Obama stated he was considering a military strike on Syria.

We’re supposed to swallow that the situation in Egypt is beyond the realm of American power, but Syria, where the U.S. has significantly less influence, is within the capabilities of the U.S.

Apparently the forecast of the decline of American power from the mainstream media was a bit premature. Perhaps there is a lesson here: whatever the mainstream media is saying about U.S. foreign policy, you can be almost certain it’s not true.

However, it is true that U.S. power has been in decline since the end of World War II when it was at its most powerful, but the U.S. still is far and away the most powerful country in the world. This will likely be the case for a long time to come.

In order to understand the cynicism of Obama’s rhetoric, one must be familiar with the U.S.’ long record of support for brutal dictators with awful human rights records. This is especially the case in Egypt where the U.S. supported Anwar El Sadat beginning in the early 1970s, and also supported his successor Hosni Mubarak until nearly the end of the 2011 protests.

If the Peace Laureate president had any sincerity with regards to stopping the human rights abuses in Egypt he could pressure the military government there. With Egypt’s small economy (a GDP of around 260 billion dollars) the military government could be easily bought, or enticed with a long stalled IMF deal and debt forgiveness. This is especially true because the Egyptian economy has suffered serious unemployment and inflation for years.

Even if the U.S. didn’t want to spend a dime on Egypt it could take Turkey’s suggestion and bring the issue of violence against civilians to the UN Security Council and Arab League with the hopes of influencing the military government.

The U.S. could also assert its influence on its close allies the Gulf States and Israel. But the U.S. is fine with the military government in Egypt and allows the aid from the Gulf States to reach Egypt.

Another instructive element to the political crisis in Egypt was the Obama administration’s fake attempts to resolve the situation diplomatically.

The New York Times reported that Chuck Hagel made, “17 personal phone calls” to the Egyptian military government, but they “failed to forestall” the crisis. Perhaps Hagel would have had more luck if he tried contacting the General el-Sisi on Facebook.

The next act in the made for New York Times special was the diplomatic trip of John McCain and Lindsey Graham to Egypt on behalf of Obama. The New York Times reports Graham spoke to John McCain about General el-Sisi saying, “If this guy’s voice is indicative of the attitude, there’s no pulling out of this thing.”

This conjures up the image of the Egyptian military commander as a runaway train and all the bros from Washington are pulling as hard as they can on the break, but somehow the general is just too strong for them.

You see it’s imperative that the media portray the U.S. as powerless to stop the violence of dictators the U.S. likes. However, when the U.S. doesn’t care for the leader, be they democratically elected like Hamas in 2006, or Chavez in 2002, or a dictator like Saddam, Qaddafi, or Assad, then the U.S. is capable of anything, usually devastating violence.

Just when you think there is not a sensible member of the U.S. government John McCain stated that he recommended the U.S. cut aid to Egypt. But the reason he gave for why he recommended this was telling. He said, “[the U.S.] has no credibility. ”We know that the administration called the Egyptians and said, ‘look, if you [have] a coup, we’re going to cut off aid because that’s the law.’ We have to comply with the law. And … this administration did not do that after threatening to do so.”

McCain’s reasoning for supporting a cut to aid has nothing to do with protecting human rights in Egypt, but is solely about American credibility. The logic is this: if the U.S. makes threats, we have to follow threw with them. This is the same logic used when raising a child, which tells us much about how the U.S. views its relationship to Egypt and much of the rest of the world.

When we put aside the dark theatrics of the Obama administration’s rhetoric it is obscenely obvious that el-Sisi and the Egyptian military have very close connections to the U.S. and serve U.S interests.

For decades the Egyptian leaders have played an important role for the U.S. by allowing U.S./Israel to act with impunity against the Palestinians.

The closeness of the ties between the Egyptian military and the U.S. is demonstrated by the fact that General el-Sisi spent a year at the Army War College in Pennsylvania in 2006. The same Army War College trains 500-1000 Egyptian military officers every year.

Since 1979 Egypt has received the 2nd most bilateral aid, behind only Israel, totaling 68 billion dollars. The U.S. buys relationships with the militaries of countries like Egypt to insure influence.

This is why Obama has allowed and will continue to allow the human right abuses to continue in Egypt. Despite his pretty talk and composed outrage, he actually is just fine with protestors being gunned down in the street, the brutal repression of a political party (Muslim Brotherhood), the prevention of freedom of speech, and the destruction of Egypt’s brief experiment with democracy (which resulted from the sacrifice of 800 hundred lives with 6,000 injured and 12,000 hauled before military courts).

Obama is A okay with military curfews and a state of emergency. Obama has no problem with attacks on Christian churches, attacks on journalists, and “Nightmare scenes that Egyptians could never have imagined could take place in [their] country.” Obama sees nothing wrong with tear gas being fired into hospitals, and Islamists being portrayed as terrorists or even animals.

Obama has no problem with any of this because he knows he can count on el-Sisi to follow U.S. orders. Egyptian civil society’s destruction simply makes controlling the country easier for the U.S. […]

Whether or not the U.S. knew about the military coup ahead of time the U.S. seems to be following a predictable PR plan.

1. The Obama administration strongly condemns the violence and calls for a return to democracy. 2. There is a semantic battle waged over whether or not to classify the events as a coup. 3. When it looks bad to support a thug overtly, you engage in superficial detachment from the leader of the coup. (This is the canceling of the joint military operations) 4.Then if necessary, as in the 2009 coup to the somewhat progressive Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, cut some amount of aid as a slap on the wrist, but then quietly restore it later.

Obama’s policies are all predictable. It’s the same story once again: the U.S. destroys yet another country. The revolution in Egypt is back at square one. Morsi is detained and Mubarak has been released from prison. The U.S. has done its best to destroy the progress of the Arab Spring.

But more protests are being called for in Egypt on Friday, August 30. The question is can Egypt regain the spirit of the January 25 revolution and continue to fight for basic rights? Perhaps for us as Americans the more important question is how much longer will Americans tolerate the dark theatrics of our government’s foreign policy? When we witness the immense bravery of the Egyptians challenging their government and getting massacred don’t we have a responsibility to challenge our government when the risks for us are far less? As Americans we must work to protect victims of U.S. violence, and the best way for us to do that is to get off the Internet and get in the street.

Paul Gottinger can be reached at paul.gottinger@gmail.com

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August 30, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Neocons, Selective Democracy, and the Egyptian Military Coup

By Stephen Sniegoski | Opinion Maker | August 2, 2013

“If one thing has become clear in the wake of last week’s military coup d’état against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, it’s that democracy promotion is not a core principle of neoconservatism,”  writes the astute commentator Jim Lobe.  Lobe points out that a few neocons (he cites only Robert Kagan) did stick with the pro-democracy position but “[a]n apparent preponderance of neocons, such as Daniel Pipes, the contributors to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and Commentary’s Contentions’ blog,” tended to sympathize with the coup.

Even Kagan’s support for democracy was far less than an endorsement of Morsi’s right to govern, which he labeled “majoritarian” rather than democratic.  Kagan wrote: “He ruled not so much as a dictator but as a majoritarian, which often amounted to the same thing.  With a majority in parliament and a large national following, and with no experience whatsoever in the give-and-take of democratic governance, Morsi failed in the elementary task of creating a system of compromise, inclusiveness, and checks and balances.” (“Time to break out of a rut in Egypt,” “Washington Post,” July 5, 2013

It should be pointed out that if democracy required compromise, inclusiveness, and checks and balances, it is hard to believe that many countries conventionally regarded as democracies would pass the test.  Certainly, Israel, as a self-styled Jewish State, would not. (The Founding Fathers of the United States in creating the Constitution took steps to try to prevent the liberty of individuals from being oppressed by a “tyranny of the majority” —democracy itself being negative term—but this has not been the case in all modern democracies.)

Instead of a military coup, Kagan held that a better approach would have been to leave Morsi in office but to rely on international pressure to compel his government to change its policies. Kagan contended that Morsi “deserved to be placed under sustained domestic and international pressure, especially by the United States, the leading provider of aid to Egypt.  He deserved to have the United States not only suspend its bilateral aid to Egypt but also block any IMF agreement until he entered into a meaningful, substantive dialogue with his political opponents, including on amending the flawed constitution he rammed through in December as well as electoral law.  He ought to have been ostracized and isolated by the international democratic community.”  In short, Kagan advocated the use of international pressure to essentially prevent the democratically-elected Morsi government from enacting measures in line with its election mandate–and the fact of the matter is that in all of the elections Islamist parties won a significant majority of the overall vote–and force it to attune its actions to the demands of the “international democratic community,” that is, the Western nations aligned with the United States.  (None of the previous statements should be considered an endorsement of Morsi’s policies but only a  recognition that his government was far more attuned to the democratic process than has been the military junta, with its dissolution of a democratically-elected parliament, arbitrary rule, mass arrests, and killing of protestors against which the neocons would react with scathing moral outrage if committed by Assad or the Islamic Republic of Iran.)

It should be pointed out that while few, if any, neocons actually sought a restoration of the democratically-elected Morsi government, there were different degrees of sympathy for the coup.  Max Boot, for example, viewed the coup largely in pragmatic terms, as opposed to democratic ideals.  The danger was that the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood might cause them to turn to violence.  “On the other hand,” Boot wrote, “if the military didn’t step in, there would have been a danger that the Brotherhood would never be dislodged from power,” which would seem to have been in his mind the greater danger even if the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties commanded the great majority of votes. (“America’s Egypt Policy After Morsi,” Contentions, Commentary, July 5, 2013,

More affirmative on the coup was Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute: “I never thought I would celebrate a coup, but the Egyptian military’s move against President Muhammad Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime is something the White House, State Department, and all Western liberals should celebrate.”  Rubin put something of a positive spin on the military’s goals: “The military isn’t seizing power for itself — but rather seeking a technocratic body to ensure that all Egyptian communities have input in the new constitution, a consultative process that Morsi rhetorically embraced but upon which he subsequently turned his back.” (“What Obama should learn from Egypt’s coup,” July 3, 2013, http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/07/what-obama-should-learn-from-egypts-coup/)

A similar interpretation was offered by Jonathan S. Tobin in his Contentions Blog for “Commentary Magazine”  (July 7, 2013, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/07/07/obamas-second-chance-on-egypt-coup/):  “[T]he coup wasn’t so much a putsch as it was a last ditch effort to save the country from drifting into a Brotherhood dictatorship that could not be undone by democratic means.”  Tobin continues:  “[R]ather than setting deadlines or delivering ultimatums to the interim government that has replaced Morsi and his crew, the United States should be demonstrating that it will do whatever it can to help the military snuff out the threat of Islamist violence and then to proceed to replace Morsi with a more competent government.”  This “more competent government,” however, did not mean democracy.  “In the absence of a consensus about democratic values,” Tobin wrote, “democracy is impossible and that is the case in Egypt right now.”

David Brooks likewise wrote on July 4 in his piece “Defense of the Coup” in the “New York Times”: “Promoting elections is generally a good thing . . . .  But elections are not a good thing when they lead to the elevation of people whose substantive beliefs fall outside the democratic orbit. It’s necessary to investigate the core of a party’s beliefs, not just accept anybody who happens to emerge from a democratic process.”  But Brooks shows little optimism about democracy in Egypt, holding that the “military coup may merely bring Egypt back to where it was: a bloated and dysfunctional superstate controlled by a self-serving military elite.  But at least radical Islam, the main threat to global peace, has been partially discredited and removed from office.”  And contrary to the neocons’ nation-building: “It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/opinion/brooks-defending-the-coup.html?_r=0)

While many commentators have portrayed the neocons as naïve adherents of universal democracy, which would make it appear that their positive presentation of the Egyptian coup, or at least failure to strongly criticize it, constituted a complete reversal in their thinking, in actuality, they never adhered to the fundamental tenets of democracy without significant qualifications.  As I pointed out in “The Transparent Cabal” (which devotes an entire chapter specifically to this issue), the idea of instant democracy would seem to have been simply a propaganda ploy to generate public support for war.  When writing at length on exporting democracy to the Middle East, the neocons generally argued that it was first necessary for the United States to “educate” the inhabitants of the Middle Eastern states in the principles of democracy before actually implementing it.  For instance, in September 2002, Norman Podhoretz, one of the godfathers of neoconservatism, acknowledged that the people of the Middle East might, if given a free democratic choice, pick anti-American, anti-Israeli leaders and policies.  But he held that “there is a policy that can head it off,” provided “that we then have the stomach to impose a new political culture on the defeated parties.  This is what we did directly and unapologetically in Germany and Japan after winning World War II.” (Quoted in “Transparent Cabal,” p. 215).  Similarly, in the book, “An End to Evil: How to Win the War” (2004), David Frum and Richard Perle asserted that establishing democracy must take a back seat when it conflicted with fighting Islamic radicals: “In the Middle East, democratization does not mean calling immediate elections and then living with whatever happens next.” (Quoted in “Transparent Cabal,” p. 216)

Max Boot, in the “Weekly Standard” in October 2001, argued “The Case for Empire.” “Afghanistan and other troubled lands today,” Boot intoned, “cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.” (Quoted in “Transparent Cabal,” pp. 216-217)  David Wurmser supported the restoration of the Hashemites and the traditional ruling families in Iraq as a bulwark against modern totalitarianism “I’m not a big fan of democracy per se,” exclaimed Wurmser in an October 2007 interview.  “I’m a fan of freedom and one has to remember the difference.  Freedom must precede democracy by a long, long time.” (Quoted in “Transparent Cabal,” p. 218)  Paul Wolfowitz was enraged by the Turkish military’s failure to sufficiently pressure the Turkish government to participate in the war on Iraq.  “I think for whatever reason, they did not play the strong leadership role that we would have expected,” Wolfowitz complained.  Presumably, Wolfowitz would have preferred a Turkish military coup over the democratic repudiation of American policy goals. (“Transparent Cabal,” p. 219)

Regarding Israel itself, it would seem that if democracy were the neoconservatives’ watchword, they would work to eliminate Israel’s undemocratic control over the Palestinians on the West Bank and try to make the country itself more inclusive—and not a state explicitly privileging Jews over non-Jews.  The neoconservatives would either promote a one-state democratic solution for what had once been the British Palestine Mandate (Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank) or else demand that Israel allow the Palestinians to have a fully sovereign, viable state on all of the West Bank and Gaza.  Instead of taking anything approaching such a pro-democracy stance, however, the neoconservatives have done just the opposite, backing the Israeli Likudnik Right, which takes an especially hostile position toward the Palestinians with its fundamental goal being the maintenance of the exclusivist Jewish nature of the state of Israel and its control of the occupied territories.

As Jim Lobe correctly points out, it is not democracy but rather “protecting Israeli security and preserving its military superiority over any and all possible regional challenges” that is “a core neoconservative tenet.”  Thus, the neocons used democracy as an argument to justify the elimination of the anti-Israel Saddam regime.  And the neocons saw the elimination of Saddam as the key to the elimination of Israel’s other Middle Eastern enemies. They currently support democracy as an ideological weapon in the effort to bring down the Assad regime and the Islamic Republic of Iran.  To repeat, the obvious common denominator among these three targeted countries is that they have been enemies of Israel.

The Egyptian military, in contrast, has been quite close to Israel (about as close as possible given the views of the Egyptian populace), whereas the Muslim Brotherhood, like other Islamic groups, has expressed hostility toward Israel, even though Morsi had not taken a hostile position toward the Jewish state.  The fact of the matter is that neocons took a tepid approach to the 2011 revolution against Mubarak, though most retained their pro-democracy credentials at that time by expressing the hope that he would be replaced by liberal democratic secularists, and expressed the fear of a possible Muslim Brotherhood takeover.  (See Sniegoski, “Neocons’ Tepid Reaction to the Egyptian Democratic Revolution,” February 4, 2011, http://mycatbirdseat.com/2011/02/neocons%E2%80%99-tepid-reaction-to-the-egyptian-democratic-revolution/)  Since that fear actually materialized, it was not really out of character for the neocons to support the military coup.

While there were definite harbingers for the current neocon support for the overthrow of a democratic government, however, what does seem to be novel is the tendency on the part of some neocons to openly express the view that democracy was not possible at the present time, at least when applied to Egypt.  This was hardly a new idea among the Israeli Right where, as pointed out in “The Transparent Cabal,” it was held that most Middle Eastern countries were too divided to be held together by anything other than the force of authoritarian and dictatorial rulers.  Oded Yinon in his 1982 article, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties” (translated and edited by Israel Shahak in a booklet entitled, “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East”) recommended that Israel exploit this internal divisiveness by military measures in order to enhance its national security.  War that would topple an existing authoritarian regime would render a country fragmented into a mosaic of diverse ethnic and sectarian groupings warring among each other. If applied on a broad scale, the strategy would lead to a Middle East of powerless mini-statelets totally incapable of confronting Israeli power. (“Transparent Cabal,” p. 50)

Lebanon, then facing divisive chaos, was Yinon’s model for the entire Middle East. He wrote: “Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track.  The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short-term target.” (Quoted in “Transparent Cabal,” p. 51)

The eminent Middle East historian Bernard Lewis, who is a right-wing Zionist and one of the foremost intellectual gurus for the neoconservatives, echoed Yinon in an article in the September 1992 issue of “Foreign Affairs” titled “Rethinking the Middle East.”  He wrote of a development he called “Lebanonization.” “Most of the states of the Middle East—Egypt is an obvious exception—are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process,” he contended.  “If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common identity. . . . The state then disintegrates—as happened in Lebanon—into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions, and parties.”  (Note that Lewis held that Egypt, which some neocons have emphasized lacks any domestic consensus, was an “obvious exception” to this problem.)

David Wurmser, in a much longer follow-up document to the noted “A Clean Break” study, entitled “Coping with Crumbling States:  A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant,” emphasized the fragile nature of the Middle Eastern Baathist dictatorships in Iraq and Syria, and how the West and Israel should act in such an environment.  (“A Clean Break,” which included Wurmser and other neocons among its authors, described how Israel could enhance its regional security by toppling enemy regimes.) (“Transparent Cabal,” pp. 94-95)

While some neocons now maintain that Egypt lacked the necessary national consensus for viable democracy, they still take a pro-democracy stance toward Syria and Iran, as they had earlier taken toward Saddam’s Iraq.  But as the neocons’ own expert on the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, indicated, these countries would tend to be less hospitable to democracy than Egypt.  Why would neocons take a position contrary to that of their own expert?  One can only repeat what was said earlier:  an obvious difference would be that these countries are enemies of Israel—the fragmentation of these enemies would advance the security interests of Israel.  In contrast, the replacement of the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood with military rule would improve Israeli-Egyptian relations; therefore, it is necessary to portray the role of democratic voting in Egypt in a negative light—that is, it would lead to chaos.  Thus, it is not so much that the neocons are naïve democratic ideologues, but rather that they use ideas as weapons to advance the interests of Israel, as those interests are perceived through the lens of the Likudnik viewpoint.  In summary, the current positions taken by the neocons confirm what I, Jim Lobe, and a few others have pointed out in the past.

August 12, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neocons Seek ‘Control’ in Egypt

By Chris Rossini | Neocon Watch | August 9, 2013 

Neocons swindle their constituents into believing that they want to spread American values throughout the world. They talk about things like “bringing stability,” yet only chaos has followed neocon-prescribed international interventions.

The cold hard truth is that what neocons really want is control. Everything else is just commentary.Let’s take recent events in Egypt for example. The unelected Hosni Mubarak, who the U.S. propped up financially for 30 years, was finally removed from power. The so-called “Arab Spring” ushered in Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

This should all sound good to the neocons, right? You would think that if a step backwards were to be taken (say a military coup), the neocons would throw a fit.

Ahh…but you would be wrong.

Jonathan Tobin tells us that, “There is more to democracy than voting.” If the military didn’t take over, he writes, “… there is little doubt that Morsi and the Brotherhood would never have peacefully relinquished power or stopped until they had remade Egypt in their own image.”

Tobin must have a crystal ball to see the future so clearly.

Tobin believes that it’s not only imperative for the Muslim Brotherhood to be ousted militarily, but they must never return to power again!

He writes that “any solution that risks giving Morsi another chance to consolidate power would be a disaster for Egypt and the United States.”

Americans might be asking themselves at this point: “Why is the U.S. involved in this at all?”

Tobin then gives his prescription: “Washington must be prepared to stick with the military no matter what happens in the streets of Cairo.”

No matter what happens? Is Tobin encouraging that the military use violence against peaceful protestors? Already dozens of protestors have been killed – does he condone this?

Why would Tobin be so comfortable making such an outlandish statement in the first place? Why is he so comfortable with the Egyptian military?

Well, Foreign Policy‘s John Reed gives an important clue. He points out that the U.S.:

“…largely built the modern Egyptian armed forces. In fact, the Egyptian Army — as the entire military is colloquially known there — may be one of the U.S. government’s best friends in the entire Arab world. American presidents have been encouraging stability in the region for more than 30 years by making the Egyptian military the muscle behind a regional superpower — one built and trained by Washington.

Whatever the U.S. builds (and continually funds) it effectively controls.

Control is the aim of neoconservatism, and what the whole disgusting endeavor in Egypt is all about.

August 12, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

A raid on Sinai

By Fahmi Huwaidi | MEMO | August 12, 2013

The bad news is that an Israeli drone strike killed five Egyptians in Sinai last week; they were, it is alleged, “jihadists” who intended to launch a rocket against Israel. Even worse news is that the operation was coordinated with the Egyptian army. More disturbing still was the fact that both sides of the current polarised political situation tried to use the incident to their favour. The pro-Morsi camp gloated while the pro-coup supporters were sceptical about the whole thing as official statements flitted between denial and confirmation.

This confusion was evident in the statement from the Egyptian military spokesman. The borders, he claimed, are a “red line” which nobody can touch; the authorities, he added, are combing the area of the explosion.

The army’s confusing and confused statement came out when international news agencies were broadcasting confirmation that Israel had carried out a cross-border strike in Egypt. Israel’s Channel 1, Channel 2 and Channel 10 were unequivocal in their bulletins: an Israeli aircraft had launched a raid in Sinai. Channel 1’s primetime “Yoman” programme is presented by Ayala Hasson. Her conversation with guests Oded Granot, the Arab affairs commentator, and Amir Bar-Shalom, the military affairs commentator, went like this:

Ayala Hasson: “Mubarak’s regime cooperated with us [Israel] greatly and deeply. His chief of intelligence Omar Suleiman served as the channel of communication for coordination and cooperation in all fields. However, both Mubarak and Suleiman kept security cooperation a secret. On the other hand, General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi cooperates with us openly and explicitly. How do you explain this?”

Amir Bar-Shalom: “If you ask any of the army leaders and the security establishment (in Israel), they will all answer that the security cooperation shown by the leadership of the Egyptian army at the moment is unprecedented and sudden. Egypt considers the cooperation as part of its relentless war on terror in Sinai. Further, the security cooperation keen with the Egyptian army is considered a message to the American officials who had been critical of the coup led by General Al-Sisi. It is an attempt to persuade supporters of Israel in the United States of the importance of moving and encircling the votes in Congress calling to criticise the coup led by the army, as Senator John McCain did during his recent visit to Egypt. On this occasion, it should be known to all that the Israeli government is very disturbed by the campaign waged by some Republicans against the new situation in Egypt. Israel believes it is important to continue to support the Egyptian army because it is the guarantor of stability in Egypt and the entire region”.

Oded Granot: “The raid carried out by Israel is considered an investment and employment of what is happening in the Arab world, especially the defections that have occurred to the waves of the Arab Spring. What is happening in Egypt and Syria represents an opportunity for Israel to ensure a large and influential margin of manoeuvre.”

At that point, Amir Bar-Shalom interrupted: “We must not forget that the Egyptian army is the one which provided Israel with the information that led to the temporary shutdown of Eilat Airport the day before the raid.”

Of course, any analysis and information emanating from Israel should be treated with caution, including praises and admiration for the military commanders in Egypt. However, what I do not understand is the Egyptian authorities’ reluctance to announce the raid in Sinai. I do not find anything wrong in admitting that this is an unacceptable assault on the sovereignty of Egyptian territory, even if it happens under the guise of combating terrorism. I believe that the Egyptian position would be more transparent and respectful when it demands of Israel an apology for what happened. It might also be an opportunity to demand the reconsideration of the security arrangements in Sinai.

Israel apologised to Egypt in August 2011, while the military were ruling the country, after it bombed a security facility in Alqontilla, killing and wounding 5 security personnel, including an officer. Israel explained then that it had been chasing jihadist groups but had to apologise because the Egyptian revolution was in its infancy and Egyptian demonstrators had attacked the Israeli embassy and forced its ambassador to flee under cover of darkness. If the latest raid was dealt with transparently it would be over and done with. Rallying behind the army against external threats is a public duty.

August 12, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

America’s Plan B in Egypt: Bring Back the Old Regime

Mahdi Darius NAZEMROAYA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 06.07.2013

The road that has been taken in Egypt is a dangerous one. A military coup has taken place in Egypt while millions of Egyptians have cheered it on with little thought about what is replacing the Muslim Brotherhood and the ramifications it will have for their society. Many people in cheering crowds have treated the Egyptian military’s coup like it was some sort of democratic act. Little do many of them remember who the generals of the Egyptian military work for. Those who are ideologically opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood have also cheered the military takeover without realizing that the military takeover ultimately serves imperialist behaviour. The cheering crowds have not considered the negative precedent that has been set.

Egypt was never cleansed of corrupt figures by the Muslim Brotherhood, which instead joined them. Key figures in Egypt, like Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Ahmed Al-Tayeb (who was appointed by Mubarak), criticized the Muslim Brotherhood when Mubark was in power, then denounced Mubarak and supported the Muslim Brotherhood when it gained power, and then denounced the Muslim Brotherhood when the military removed it from power. The disgraced Muslim Brotherhood has actually been replaced by a far worse assembly. These figures, whatever they call themselves, have only served power and never democracy. The military’s replacements for the Muslim Brotherhood – be it the new interim president or the leaders of the military junta—were either working with or serving the Muslim Brotherhood and, even before them, Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

The Undemocratic Egyptian Full Circle

Unlike the protests, the military takeover in Egypt is a blow to democracy. Despite the incompetence and hypocrisy of the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership, it was democratically elected into power. While the rights of all citizens to demonstrate and protest should be protected and structured mechanisms should securely be put into place in all state systems for removing any unpopular government, democratically-elected governments should not be toppled by military coups. Unless a democratically-elected government is killing its own people arbitrarily and acting outside the law, there is no legitimate excuse for removing it from power by means of military force. There is nothing wrong with the act of protesting, but there is something wrong when a military coup is initiated by a corrupt military force that works in the services of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Things have come full circle in Cairo. The military oversight over the government in Cairo is exactly the position that Egypt’s corrupt military leaders wanted to have since the Egyptian elections in 2012 that brought the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party into power. Since then there has been a power struggle between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Expecting to win the 2012 elections, at first the Egyptian military fielded one of its generals and a former Mubarak cabinet minister (and the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak), Ahmed Shafik, for the position of Egyptian president. If not a Mubarak loyalist per se, Shafik was a supporter of the old regime’s political establishment that gave him and the military privileged powers. When Ahmed Shafik lost there was a delay in recognizing Morsi as the president-elect, because the military was considering rejecting the election results and instead announcing a military coup.

The High Council of the Armed Forces, which led Egypt’s military, realized that a military coup after the 2012 elections would not fare too well with the Egyptian people and could lead to an all-out rebellion against the Egyptian military’s leadership. It was unlikely that many of the lower ranking soldiers and commissioned officers would have continued to follow the orders of the Egyptian military’s corrupt upper echelons if such a coup took place. Thus, plans for a coup were aborted. Egyptian military leaders instead decided to try subordinating Egypt’s civilian government by dissolving the Egyptian Parliament and imposing a constitution that they themselves wrote to guarantee military control. Their military constitution subordinated the president’s office and Egypt’s civilian government to military management. Morsi would wait and then reinstate the Egyptian Parliament in July 2012 and then nullify the military’s constitution that limited the powers of the presidency and civilian government after he worked with the US and Qatar to pacify Hamas. Next, Morsi would order Marshall Tantawi, the head of the Egyptian military, and General Anan, the second most power general in the Egyptian military, into resigning- neither one was a friend of democracy or justice.

Was Morsi’s Administration Really a Muslim Brotherhood Government?

Before it was ousted, the Muslim Brotherhood faced serious structural constraints in Egypt and it made many wrong decisions. Since its electoral victory there was an ongoing power struggle in Egypt and its Freedom and Justice Party clumsily attempted to consolidate its political control over Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to consolidate power meant that it has had to live with and work with a vast array of state institutions and bodies filled with its opponents, corrupt figures, and old regime loyalists. The Freedom and Justice Party tried to slowly purge the Egyptian state of Mubarak loyalists and old regime figures, but Morsi was forced to also work with them simultaneously. This made the foundations of his government even weaker.

The situation for the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012 was actually similar to the one Hamas faced in 2006 after its electoral victories in the Palestinian elections. Just as Hamas was forced by the US and its allies to accept Fatah ministers in key positions in the Palestinian government that it formed, the Muslim Brotherhood was forced to do the same unless it wanted the state to collapse and to be internationally isolated. The main difference between the two situations is that the Muslim Brotherhood seemed all too eager to comply with the US and work with segments of the old regime that would not challenge it. Perhaps this happened because the Muslim Brotherhood feared a military takeover. Regardless of what the reasons were, the Muslim Brotherhood knowingly shared the table of governance with counter-revolutionaries and criminals.

In part, Morsi’s cabinet would offer a means of continuation to the old regime. Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, Morsi’s top diplomat, was a cabinet minister under Marshal Tantawi and served in key positions as Mubarak’s ambassador to the United States and Saudi Arabia. Morsi’s cabinet would only have a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party whereas the ministerial portfolios for the key positions of the Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry, and the Suez Canal Authority would be given to Mubarak appointees from Egypt’s military and police apparatus. Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, Mubarak’s head of Military Intelligence who has worked closely with the US and Israel, would be promoted as the head of the Egyptian military and as Egypt’s new defence minister by Morsi. It would ironically, but not surprisingly, be Al-Sisi that would order Morsi’s arrest and ouster after extensive consultations with his American counterpart, Charles Hagel, on July 3, 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Obama Administration: An Alliance of Convenience?

As a result of the Muslim Brotherhood’s collaboration with the US and Israel, large components of the protests in Egypt against Morsi were resoundingly anti-American and anti-Israeli. This has to do with the role that the Obama Administration has played in Egypt and the regional alliance it has formed with the Muslim Brotherhood. In part, it also has to do with the fact that Morsi’s opponents – even the ones that are collaborating with the US and Israel themselves – have capitalized on anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments by portraying Morsi as a US and Israeli puppet. In reality, both the United States and Muslim Brotherhood have tried to manipulate one another for their own gains. The Muslim Brotherhood has tried to use the Obama Administration to ascend to power whereas the Obama Administration has used the Muslim Brotherhood in America’s war against Syria and to slowly nudge the Hamas government in Gaza away from the orbit of Iran and its allies in the Resistance Bloc. Both wittingly and unwittingly, the Muslim Brotherhood in broader terms has, as an organization, helped the US, Israel, and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms try to regionally align the chessboard in a sectarian project that seeks to get Sunnis and Shias to fight one another.

Because of the Freedom and Justice Party’s power struggle against the Egyptian military and the remnants of the old regime, the Muslim Brotherhood turned to the United States for support and broke all its promises. Some can describe this as making a deal with the “Devil.” At the level of foreign policy, the Muslim Brotherhood did not do the things it said it would. It did not end the Israeli siege on the people of Gaza, it did not cut ties with Israel, and it did not restore ties with the Iranians. Its cooperation with the US allowed Washington to play the different sides inside Egypt against one another and to hedge the Obama Administration’s bets.

The Muslim Brotherhood miscalculated in its political calculus. Morsi himself proved not only to be untrustworthy, but also foolish. Washington has always favoured the Egyptian military over the Muslim Brotherhood. Like most Arab militaries, the Egyptian military has been used as an internal police force that has oppressed and suppressed its own people. Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military gives far greater guarantees about the protection of US interests in Egypt, Israel’s security, and US sway over the strategically and commercially important Suez Canal. Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood had its own agenda and it seemed unlikely that it would continue to play a subordinate role to the United States and Washington was aware of this.

Revolution or Counter-Revolution?

Indeed a dangerous precedent has been set. The events in Egypt can be used in line with the same type of standard that allowed the Turkish military to subordinate democracy in Turkey for decades whenever it did not like a civilian government. The Egyptian military has taken the opportunity to suspend the constitution. It can now oversee the entire political process in Egypt, essentially with de facto veto powers. The military coup not only runs counter to the principles of democracy and is an undemocratic act, but it also marks a return to power by the old regime. Egypt’s old regime, it should be pointed out, has fundamentally always been a military regime controlled by a circle of generals and admirals that operate in collaboration with a few civilian figures in key sectors.

Things have really gone full circle in Egypt. The judiciary in Egypt is being aligned with the military or old regime again. Mubarak’s attorney-general, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, who was removed from power in November 2012 has been reinstated. The Egyptian Parliament has been dissolved again by the leaders of the High Council of the Armed Forces. President Morsi and many members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been rounded up and arrested by the military and police as enemies of the peace.

Adli (Adly) Al-Mansour, the Mubarak appointed judge that President Morsi was legally forced to appoint as the head of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, has now been appointed interim president by the High Council of the Armed Forces. Al-Mansour is merely a civilian figure head for a military junta. It is also worth noting that the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, like much of the Mubarak appointees in the Egyptian judiciary, has collaborated with the Egyptian military against the Muslim Brotherhood and tried to dissolve the Egyptian Parliament.

Mohammed Al-Baradei (El-Baradei / ElBaradei), a former Egyptian diplomat and the former director-general of the politically manipulated International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has been offered the post of interim prime minister of Egypt by the military. He had returned to Egypt during the start of the so-called Arab Spring to run for office with the support of the International Crisis Group, which is an organization that is linked to US foreign policy interests and tied to the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. Al-Baradei himself has been delighted every time that the Egyptian military has announced a coup; he supported a military takeover in 2011 and, to his benefit, he has supported it in 2013. Where he could not secure a position for himself through the ballot box, he has been offered a government position undemocratically through the military in 2013.

Many of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters are emphasizing that an unfair media war was waged against them. The Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, Al Jazeera’s Egyptian branch which has worked as a mouth piece for the Muslim Brotherhood, has been taken off the air by the Egyptian military. This, along with the ouster of Morsi, is a sign that Qatar’s regional interests are being rolled back too. It seems Saudi Arabia, which quickly congratulated Adli Al-Mansour, is delighted, which explains why the Saudi-supported Nour Party in Egypt betrayed the Muslim Brotherhood. Other media linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or supportive of it have also been censored and attacked. Much of the privately owned media in Egypt was already anti-Muslim Brotherhood. Like Gran Mufti Ahmed Al-Tayeb, many of these media outlets were supportive of Mubarak’s dictatorship when he was in power, but only changed their tune when he was out of power. The point, however, should not be lost that media censorship against pro-Muslim Brotherhood media outlets does not equate to democratic practice whatsoever.

The figures that have supported the military coup, in the name of democracy, are themselves no friends of democracy either. Many of these opportunists were Mubarak lackeys. For example, the so-called Egyptian opposition leader Amr Moussa was highly favoured by Hosni Mubarak and served as his foreign minister for many years. Not once did Moussa ever bother or dare to question Mubarak or his dictatorship, even when Moussa became the secretary-general of the morally bankrupt and useless Arab League.

The Egyptian Coma Will Backfire on the US Empire

Despite the media reports and commentaries, the Muslim Brotherhood was never fully in charge of Egypt or its government. It always had to share power with segments of the old regime or “Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s men.” Key players in different branches of government and state bodies from the old regime stayed in their places. Even President Morsi’s cabinet had members of the old regime. The discussions on Sharia law were predominately manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s opponents primarily for outside consumption by predominantly non-Muslim countries and to rally Egypt’s Christians and socialist currents against Morsi. As for the economic problems that Egypt faced, they were the mixed result of the legacy of the old regime, the greed of Egypt’s elites and military leaders, the global economic crisis, and the predatory capitalism that the United States and European Union have impaired Egypt with. Those that blamed Morsi for Egypt’s economic problems and unemployment did so wrongly or opportunistically. His administration’s incompetence did not help the situation, but they did not create it either. Morsi was manning a sinking ship that had been economically ravaged in 2011 by foreign states and local and foreign lenders, speculators, investors, and corporations.

There was an undeniable constant effort to sabotage the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule, but this does not excuse the incompetence and corruption of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their attempts at gaining international respectability by going to events such as the Clinton Global Initiative hosted by the Clinton Foundation have only helped their decline. Their hesitation at restoring ties with Iran and their antagonism towards Syria, Hezbollah, and their Palestinian allies only managed to reduce their list of friends and supporters. All too willingly the Muslim Brotherhood seemed to let itself be used by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to pacify Hamas in an attempt to de-link the Palestinians in Gaza from the Resistance Bloc. It continued the siege against Gaza and continued to destroy the tunnels used to smuggle daily supplies by the Palestinians. Perhaps it was afraid or had very little say in the matter, but it allowed Egypt’s military, security, and intelligence apparatuses to continue collaborating with Israel. Under the Muslim Brotherhood’s watch Palestinians were disappearing in Egypt and reappearing in Israeli prisons. Morsi’s government also abandoned the amnesty it had given to the Jamahiriya supporters from Libya that took refuge in Egypt.

The United States and Israel have always wanted Egypt to look inward in a pathetic state of paralysis. Washington has always tried to keep Egypt as a dependent state that would fall apart politically and economy without US assistance. It has allowed the situation in Egypt to degenerate as a means of neutralizing the Egyptians by keeping them divided and exhausted. The US, however, will be haunted by the coup against Morsi. Washington will dearly feel the repercussions of what has happened in Egypt. Morsi’s fall sends a negative message to all of America’s allies. Everyone in the Arab World, corrupt and just alike, is more aware than ever that an alliance with Washington or Tel Aviv will not protect them. Instead they are noticing that those that are aligned with the Iranians and the Russians are the ones that are standing.

An empire that cannot guarantee the security of its satraps is one that will eventually find many of its minions turning their backs on it or betraying it. Just as America’s regime change project in Syria is failing, its time in the Middle East is drawing to an end. Those who gambled on Washington’s success, like the Saudi royals, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, will find themselves on the losing side of the Middle East’s regional equation.

July 6, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Egyptian Army: State Within A State

By Barry Lando | July 4, 2013

In ousting Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian military have certainly not acted to preserve democracy. They’ve never shown much interest in that. They’re determined to put a break on the mounting political and economic chaos that is ripping the country apart. That turbulence was threatening not just the survival of Egypt, but, more to the point, it was menacing the vast state within a state that Egypt’s military presides over.

Of course, the Egyptian Army is not monolithic. Its lower ranks are very much of the people: filled with hundreds of thousands of conscripts, drawn from the most humble ranks of society—and has a strong identity with the Egyptian people.

It has traditionally been the most important means of socializing and educating the lower classes, in theory, inculcating them with a sense of pride and patriotism.

Indeed the 1971 Constitution says that the Egyptian Army shall “belong to the people”

Thus, as I have previously blogged, in 1977 when the army was called in to quell riots after President Sadat announced cuts in basic food subsidies, the generals refused to intervene unless the subsidies were reestablished. Sadat restored the subsidies.

The top ranks of the army, however, have other concerns—beginning with personal survival. They certainly will never forget the lurid spectacle of Iranian generals being publicly executed in the aftermath of Khomeini’s revolution in Iran. Iran also demonstrated that a radical revolution also means a radically transformed military. (Egypt’s generals have a constant reminder of that lesson nearby: The Shah is buried in a Cairo mosque.).

But since the fall of Mubarak, the military have feared not just a takeover by radical Muslims. There is also the fact that real civilian rule could spell an end to the system of massive military corruption and patronage that has gone on for decades in Egypt, a system that has given the military unimpeded control over an estimated 40% of the Egyptian economy–“a state within a state” as a well-informed Egyptian friend of mine puts it.

For years, Egypt’s top military ranks have enjoyed a pampered existence in sprawling developments such as Cairo’s Nasr City, where officers are housed in spacious, subsidized condominiums. They enjoy other amenities the average Egyptian can only dream of, such as nurseries, bonuses, new cars, schools and military consumer cooperatives featuring domestic and imported products at discount prices. In other areas, top officers are able to buy luxurious apartments on generous credit for 10 percent of what those apartments are actually worth.

But we’re not just talking about sensational official perks. Many of Egypt’s brass are notoriously corrupt. Vast swathes of military land, for instance, were sold by the generals to finance some major urban developments near Cairo — with little if any accounting.

Other choice military property ran on the Nile Delta and Red Sea coast boasted idyllic beaches, and exquisite coral reefs. In return for turning the land over to private developers, military officers became key shareholders in a slew of gleaming new tourist developments.

The generals also preside over 16 enormous factories that turn out not just weapons, but an array of domestic products from dishwashers to heaters, clothing, doors, stationary pharmaceutical products, and microscopes. Most of these products are sold to military personnel through discount military stores, but a large amount are also sold commercially.

The military also builds highways, housing developments, hotels, power lines, sewers, bridges, schools, telephone exchanges, often in murky arrangements with civilian companies.

The military are also Egypt’s largest farmers, running a vast network of dairy farms, milk processing facilities, cattle feed lots, poultry farms, fish farms. They’ve plenty left from their huge output to sell to civilians through a sprawling distribution network.

The justification for all this non-military activity is that the military are just naturally more efficient than civilians. Hard not to be “more efficient” when you are able to employ thousands of poorly paid military recruits for labor.

Many civilian businessmen complain that competing with the military is like trying to compete with the Mafia. And upon retiring, top military officers are often rewarded with plum positions running everything from factories and industries to charities.

Whatever the number, Robert Springborg, who has written extensively on Egypt, says officers in the Egyptian military are making “billions and billions and billions” of dollars.

But there’s no way to know how efficient or inefficient the military are, nor how much money their vast enterprises make, nor how many millions or billions get skimmed off since the military’s operations are off the nation’s books. No real published accountings.

No oversight. Even Mohammed Morsi when he became president, was obliged to agree to the military’s demand that there would be no civilian oversight of the military budget.

Of course none of the above is a surprise to U.S. officials who dole out some 1.3 billion dollars a year in military aid to the Egyptian Army, and hope that sum and the neat weapons it provides will keep the army in line. [One of the most detailed studies of the military’s non-military activities was done by a U.S. military researcher at Fort Leavenworth.]

The U.S. also has a 1.3 billion dollar carrot dangling in front of the Egyptian Army. That annual American military aid to Egypt has allowed the Egyptian officers to get their hands on some of the most sophisticated of modern weapons—as we’ve seen over the past couple of years in downtown Cairo.

The generals realize there is no way the U.S. will continue paying for those goodies if a new regime more hostile to Israel takes power in Cairo.

A perceptive look into all this came via a 2008 U.S.diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. The writer in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo ticked off the various businesses the military was involved in, and considered how the military might react if Egypt’s then president, Hosni Mubarak, were to lose power.

The military would almost certainly go along with a successor, the cable’s author wrote, as long as that successor didn’t interfere in the military’s business arrangements.

But, the cable continued, “in a messier succession scenario, it becomes more difficult to predict the military’s actions.”

No scenario could be “messier” than the mounting chaos in Egypt over the past few months.

The military acted.

July 5, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Morsi ousted with US blessing’

RT | July 4, 2013

From its inception the uprising against President Morsi was aided by the US, researcher and writer Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT. She argues that whoever succeeds the ousted Egyptian leader will likely be beholden to the forces that put him in power.

RT: What do you think the future holds for Mohamed Morsi now?

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: I don’t think Mohamed Morsi has any place to go to really. There might be a lot of jubilation that the military has removed him from office. President Morsi did make himself very unpopular not only inside Egypt but with his neighbors, the surrounding countries. But that being said, the implications are huge as he was democratically elected. And for the army to step in and remove him from office is a military coup and it is very hard for me to believe that the military would have taken this step without the blessing of the United States.

I know that the Americans said, President Obama said, that they would review aid to Egypt. But [US Secretary of Defense] Chuck Hagel had been on the phone with Egypt for two or three days. Egypt basically owes its military, owes its existence to the United States of America. This is not a step they would take without their blessings.

Mohamed Morsi may be out now, but his followers will not be and we’ll only see an escalation of clashes, which is very unfortunate for the Egyptian people.

‘People rallying against poverty – and Morsi’

RT: You talk about the support the Egyptian military got from the US. But live video from Tahrir Square suggests that there are people out there, a significant if not a majority of the Egyptian population who also want Morsi out of power.

SSU: I’m not arguing with that, I’m talking about a military that gets its support from the United States. You have to understand that a lot of people that are on Tahrir Square right now, many of them are not supporters of Morsi. The military actually put tanks against Morsi’s supporters and was very quick to arrest them.

There are people on the streets. A lot of them may be opposed to Morsi because of the laws that he wanted to establish, but a lot of it is also the economy. The [Egyptian] economy is very poor, these are very poor people. A lot of them are out there maybe protesting the fact that President Morsi was not able to improve the economic conditions better over the last year he had in office.

‘Egyptian army defends US-Israeli interests’

Again, for the military to have stepped in and removed him from power, and especially for General [Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Abdul Fatah Khalil] Al-Sisi, who was instrumental in blocking and enabling the Israelis to kill the Gazans, for them rejoicing over that is just mindboggling. The [Egyptian] military is an instrument of the United States of America, and the billions [of dollars] in support it has gotten for years now goes towards maintaining peace with Israel, not to serve Egyptian people.

Very soon the Egyptian people will wake up and realize that they are perhaps cheering the wrong faction.

American protégé ElBaradei most likely to replace Morsi

RT: The military, having pushed Morsi out of power now, do you think they have a plan who will lead the country next?

SSU: Again, America has invested a lot of time and money into this. Ever since 2007, America knew that former President Mubarak was dying of cancer. There was even a New York Times article in 2007 talking about who would be his replacement. Since 2008, they would have young Egyptians coming to America, go to the State Department, meet at the time Condoleezza Rice and others, and learn how to use modern technology to start an uprising in Egypt.

So this uprising from the very start was aided by the United States and one of the favorite horses in the race has been and continues to be [Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition leader] Mohammed ElBaradei. He is the one who actually met with the military to remove Morsi.

Interestingly enough, ElBaradei is a member of the International Crisis Group, which is funded by George Soros and also the Carnegie Endowment and Ford Foundation, which during the Cold War was a conduit for CIA money. Although some have said that Mohamed ElBaradei [when he served as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)] never pushed hard enough to say that Iran was developing a nuclear program and Israel might have had issues with that, he is in fact a favorite [to succeed Morsi] and he is coming up very prominently right now.

‘Next Egyptian president risks becoming a puppet’

RT: Do you think this is bad for the country right now? Mohammed ElBaradei is internationally respected figure, widely regarded as moderate and pro-democratic force for Egypt.

SSU: ElBaradei absolutely is. But it is bad for any country when somebody is helped from the outside – from forces without – to bring this person to power.

Then that person will automatically turn into a puppet. Their concern will not be for ‘what is good for the country’, their concern is their ambition, and that is always dangerous, whether they are moderate or fundamentalist – it does not matter. It should be an Egyptian decision.

RT: If he is elected into office – do you think that there will be a legitimate popular support for him?

SSU: I think that the people will have to decide. But ultimately, should he be elected into office, which is very likely, one has to remember where he comes from and how he got to become so prominent and whose support he has.

A lot of times it happens in every country and we’re not aware of the forces behind a figurehead or a given politician. And once that plays out, you might realize that it is a bit too late to change the course. But let’s hope for the best.

‘Chaos will prevail’

I don’t think that the followers of President Morsi will sit back and take this very quietly.

My hope and my wish for Egypt is to see a very peaceful process from here on. But I doubt that will be the case. I think chaos will prevail.

RT: Why do you say chaos will prevail?

SSU: The Muslim Brotherhood followers, the people that put Morsi into power, they feel disenfranchised. In fact, all though one does not want to see this conflict at all, they are the ones who have more right to backing the democratically elected president than anyone else.

If they feel they don’t really count anymore, that their votes and voices don’t count, they are going to show reaction, I think it is normal.

July 4, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Economics | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Egypt denies purchasing military equipment from Israel

MEMO | June 12, 2013

The spokesman of the Egyptian Army, Staff Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali, on Wednesday denied that his country had bought military wares from Israel.

An Israeli newspaper reported early this week that Israel had sold military wares to Pakistan and another four Arab countries, including Egypt. Harretz report was based on data issued by the British Government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), which oversees security exports.

The report said that these countries had purchased amounts of developed military equipment between 2008 and 2012.

According to the BIS report, this equipment included unmanned aircraft vehicles, radar systems, electronic warfare systems, head-up display (HUD) cockpit parts for fighter jets and aircraft engines, optical target acquisition systems, components of training aircraft and military electronic systems.

Ali wrote on his Facebook page that the militarisation of Egypt’s Armed Forces follows strict guidelines which guarantee what is called “product security.” These are obligatory rules that all military branches are committed to.

Similarly, Pakistan also denied that it bought military equipment from Israel based on information published by Haaretz in the same report.

The Islamabad spokesman for the Directorate of Inter-Services Public Relations denied the report. “The report is misleading and not based on facts,” The Hindu reported him as saying.

The Egyptian military official affirmed that his country is following credible measures regarding weapon purchases. However he said that the policy had “high costs in light of the new global system.”

He also called for the need to ensure that information reported about the Egyptian Armed Forces was reliable and accused the mass media of attempting to shake the credibility of the Egyptian Armed Forces with their people.

June 13, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Comments Off on Egypt denies purchasing military equipment from Israel