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Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish: Cause for Celebration, Reflection and Much, Much Caution

Mus­lim Broth­er­hood head­quar­ters gets remodeled.

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: We have spo­ken at great length in recent years about the covert oper­a­tion under­taken dur­ing the sec­ond Bush oper­a­tion and reach­ing fruition dur­ing the Obama admin­is­tra­tion. That operation–assisted by the far-right, Nazi-linked Wik­iLeaks organization–has come to be pop­u­larly known as “the Arab Spring.”

We called it “the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring,” for we stated that the goal was to install the Broth­er­hood in the Mus­lim and Third Worlds for the pur­pose of bring “cor­po­ratism” to those areas.

(The For The Record series on the “Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring” runs from FTR #733 through FTR #739. Users of this web­site are emphat­i­cally encour­aged to study this series at length and detail. The analy­sis is long, detailed, com­plex and multi-layered.)

It is our view that the Broth­er­hood forces–brought to power by the GOP/Underground Reich ele­ment of U.S. intelligence–are  also intended as foot sol­diers to be used against the U.S., U.K., Rus­sia, China and India, as well as Israel. The Islamists are intended as proxy war­riors for the Under­ground Reich.

A recent post noted the obser­va­tions by a Cor­nell pro­fes­sor that high­light the “Ger­man hand in both the Islamist and Amer­i­can gloves,” so to speak.

We note that some of the demon­stra­tors that called for Morsi’s ouster said that the CIA was back­ing Morsi and the Broth­er­hood. This is accu­rate, up to a point. It was the “bad guy” sec­tor of U.S. intel­li­gence that ini­ti­ated that coup. 

As noted in FTR #706, the U.S. intel­li­gence struc­ture is divided–a schism dat­ing back to the imme­di­ate post-World War II period. The larger, “bad guy” fac­tion is asso­ci­ated with the GOP, the Under­ground Reich, the transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions and is pro­foundly anti-democratic. The smaller, less pow­er­ful fac­tion is iden­ti­fied with the Demo­c­ra­tic party and is pro-U.S. and pro democracy.

As we con­tem­plate the over­throw of the Islamic fas­cist regime of Mohamed Morsi, there are a num­ber of things to contemplate:

  • It is heart­en­ing to see the pop­u­lar out­rage over Morsi’s dic­ta­to­r­ial regime dri­ven out of power by an army moti­vated by the public’s unwill­ing­ness to go along with the Broth­er­hood agenda.
  • As is the case with fas­cist gov­ern­ments, Morsi’s regime was incom­pe­tent in all civic respects.
  • As is the case with fas­cist gov­ern­ments, Morsi’s brand of Islamic fas­cism was unable to suc­cess­fully man­age the econ­omy. This is gen­er­ally the case with fas­cist regimes, which don’t deliver the bacon.
  • We note that the U.S. is, offi­cially at least, over a bar­rel. This coun­try is bound by leg­is­lated con­ven­tion not to pro­vide assis­tance to a regime that comes to power through a mil­i­tary coup.
  • On a global scale. The Broth­er­hood is a fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion that was allied with the axis in World War II. In all prob­a­bil­ity, they will turn to ter­ror and may­hem in order to real­ize their goals.
  • Because of the pre­ced­ing con­sid­er­a­tion, an out-of-power Broth­er­hood will likely be, if any­thing, a more effec­tive proxy bat­tle force for Ger­many and the Under­ground Reich.
  • It remains to be seen what the Egypt­ian army does to Morsi. Per­haps they will put him in a bas­ket, drop his Nazi a** in the Nile and see who–if anybody–fishes him out. This, after chang­ing his name to “Mo-z-iz.”
  • Happy Inde­pen­dence Day!

 

 

Discussion

7 comments for “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish: Cause for Celebration, Reflection and Much, Much Caution”

  1. Great news indeed! Hope you had a great 4th, Dave. =)

    Posted by Steve L. | July 5, 2013, 6:37 am
  2. There are now calls from the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood for a pop­u­lar upris­ing against the mil­i­tary (and pre­sum­ably also putting the MB back in con­trol) fol­low­ing a rally out­side of the Cairo Repub­li­can Guard head­quar­ters that led to over 50 deaths and hun­dreds injured. The Broth­er­hood is assert­ing that they were peace­fully protest­ing (the head­quar­ters is where they believe Morsi is being held under house arrest) while the army claims it was com­ing under fire. So while it’s unclear what prompted the shoot­ings, the MB’s calls for an upris­ing make it becom­ing increas­ingly clear that we’re going to see a lot more events like this in com­ing months

    Wash­ing­ton Post
    Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood calls for upris­ing after troops shoot protesters

    By William Booth, Michael Birn­baum and Abi­gail Haus­lohner, Updated: Mon­day, July 8, 8:05 PM

    CAIRO — Egypt lurched into dan­ger­ous new ter­rain Mon­day as an angry and blood­ied Mus­lim Broth­er­hood called for an “upris­ing” against the new order, and the head of Egypt’s top Islamic author­ity warned that the coun­try was headed toward “civil war,” after secu­rity forces opened fire on sup­port­ers of ousted Pres­i­dent Mohamed Morsi in the early morn­ing hours.

    In one of the dead­liest days of polit­i­cal vio­lence since Hosni Mubarak was over­thrown more than two tumul­tuous years ago, Egypt­ian sol­diers on Mon­day fired on pro­test­ers as they massed in front of the mil­i­tary head­quar­ters, where they believe Morsi — ousted by the mil­i­tary on Wednes­day — is being held under house arrest, accord­ing to wit­nesses and secu­rity offi­cials.

    A Health Min­istry spokes­woman said 51 peo­ple were killed and 435 were wounded in the shoot­ings. Mil­i­tary offi­cials said that they responded after being fired upon by pro­test­ers and that one sol­dier was killed and 42 were injured.

    Interim Pres­i­dent Adly Man­sour issued a decree late Mon­day that set the para­me­ters for a ref­er­en­dum on a revised con­sti­tu­tion within about 41 / 2 months, par­lia­men­tary elec­tions within about six months and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions after that.

    The mea­sures appeared aimed at lend­ing some sta­bil­ity to a sit­u­a­tion that threat­ened to spi­ral out of con­trol. But a prime min­is­te­r­ial appoint­ment that had been expected Mon­day never came, and the day was con­sumed with news of the vio­lence and an imme­di­ate debate about its causes and mean­ing. Both the mil­i­tary estab­lish­ment and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood pleaded their cases to the Egypt­ian peo­ple, each swear­ing it was the inno­cent victim.

    Islamist wit­nesses, includ­ing many mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, said the shoot­ings started unpro­voked as pro­test­ers were recit­ing dawn prayers in front of Cairo’s Repub­li­can Guard headquarters.

    Secu­rity offi­cials said mem­bers of the pro-Morsi camp attacked first.

    “We did not attack pro­test­ers; we were rather defend­ing a mil­i­tary facil­ity,” said Ahmed Ali, a spokesman for the mil­i­tary. “They moved on us to pro­voke our sol­diers and cre­ate this vio­lent scene.”

    Regard­less of who fired the first shots, the vio­lence shocked Egyp­tians and threw the nation’s shaky post-coup order into fur­ther dis­ar­ray, as impor­tant fac­tions pulled out of the coali­tion that lent broad unity to the effort to oust Morsi, who led the coun­try for 368 days.

    The ultra-conservative Salafist Nour party, the only Islamist polit­i­cal bloc to sup­port Morsi’s ouster, said it would aban­don nego­ti­a­tions over who should take over as prime min­is­ter to protest what it called a “massacre.”

    Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic author­ity, had expressed sup­port for Morsi’s ouster. But Mon­day, he appeared on state tele­vi­sion and said he would remain in seclu­sion at his home “until every­body takes respon­si­bil­ity to stop the blood­shed, to pre­vent the coun­try from being dragged into a civil war.”

    Another Islamist, for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Abdel Mon­eim Aboul Fotouh, who had met with Man­sour two days ago, called for him to resign after the violence.

    The Mus­lim Brotherhood’s polit­i­cal arm urged “an upris­ing,” using the lan­guage of the Pales­tin­ian strug­gle against Israel.

    Dra­matic funeral marches were expected by the dozens Tues­day, cre­at­ing more poten­tial flash points for conflict.

    Blood­shed and panic

    ...

    Abdel Naguib Mah­moud, a lawyer from the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, said he and fel­low pro­test­ers had knelt to the pave­ment for the sec­ond time, their backs to the Repub­li­can Guard head­quar­ters, when he heard shouts from the perime­ter that secu­rity forces were encroaching.

    “So we fin­ished our prayer rapidly,” Mah­moud said. He said he heard the boom of tear-gas can­is­ters being fired and the crackle of gun­fire. Run­ning toward the entrance of the sit-in area, he and sev­eral friends began to pick up the wounded, Mah­moud said. More shots rang out, and the men lay down on the pavement.

    Mah­moud said he saw forces in mil­i­tary fatigues and police offi­cers dressed in black. Moments later, he said, an offi­cer stood over him and kicked him, telling him to move. When he ran, gun­men opened fire. He said he was hit in the back with bird­shot, and he lifted his shirt to reveal a scat­ter­ing of small bloody wounds.

    To sup­port their asser­tions that they were defend­ing against an assault, mil­i­tary offi­cials played video footage at a news con­fer­ence that sought to show an increas­ing feroc­ity of attack by Broth­er­hood sup­port­ers at the scene.

    The footage showed at least one man with a short rifle and another with a hand­gun fir­ing at sol­diers in the day­light after the ini­tial con­flict started. The mil­i­tary said armed men on motor­cy­cles had started the assault, but it offered no evi­dence to back up the assertion.

    Indi­vid­u­als in the crowd are shown hurl­ing rocks at the troops and later launch­ing pieces of bro­ken toi­let bowls from rooftops and chuck­ing what appear to be spears.

    The Mus­lim Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party issued a state­ment call­ing for an “upris­ing against those who want to steal the rev­o­lu­tion with tanks” and ask­ing the world to pre­vent a “new Syria.”

    ...

    Note that the threat of a “new Syria”, with heavily-armed Islamist mil­i­tants flood­ing into the coun­try intend­ing to impose a Taliban-style state, prob­a­bly shouldn’t be under­es­ti­mated:

    Wash­ing­ton Post
    Islamist groups: Egypt’s crack­down vin­di­cates use of vio­lence as polit­i­cal tool

    By Liz Sly, Mon­day, July 8, 6:35 PM E-mail the writer

    BEIRUT — The Egypt­ian army’s esca­lat­ing crack­down on sup­port­ers of the country’s ousted Mus­lim Broth­er­hood gov­ern­ment is being seized on by many rad­i­cal Islamists as proof that vio­lence, not democ­racy, is the only solu­tion to the region’s problems.

    In the days since Egypt’s mil­i­tary top­pled the country’s first freely elected gov­ern­ment, jihadist groups in the region and else­where have rushed to assert the futil­ity of elec­tions and Western-style democ­racy, in state­ments and in chat forums on jihadi Web sites.

    Among them is Afghanistan’s Tal­iban, which issued a state­ment Mon­day con­demn­ing the coup against Pres­i­dent Mohamed Morsi after Egypt­ian troops killed at least 51 of his supporters.

    “It has become clear,” said Tal­iban spokesman Muham­mad Yusuf, that “so-called elec­tions, the demands of the peo­ple, and jus­tice, free­dom, secu­rity and peace are merely hol­low chants and slo­gans used by the West and the sec­u­lar­ists to trick the people,”

    Oth­ers had ear­lier asserted sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments. “When will the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood wake up from their deep slum­ber and real­ize the futil­ity of their efforts at insti­tut­ing change?” asked the Somali mil­i­tant group al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affil­i­ate, in a com­ment posted on Twit­ter after Morsi’s over­throw last week.

    “Change comes by the bul­let alone; NOT the bal­lot,” the group said in another tweet.

    At least two new jihadi groups have been formed in a bid to counter the chal­lenge to the Broth­er­hood. Within hours of the shoot­ings Mon­day, a group call­ing itself the Abdul­lah Azzam Brigades of Egypt declared that it had been cre­ated to counter the “crim­i­nal­ity” under­way in the country.

    ...

    Rita Katz, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the SITE Intel­li­gence Group, which has been mon­i­tor­ing these and numer­ous other responses by jihadi groups to the events in Egypt, said there is no con­fir­ma­tion of the groups’ exis­tence or of any increased jihadist activ­ity linked to the turmoil.

    But, she added, “this is a great recruit­ment tool for them. The bot­tom line is that a lot of incite­ment is going on.”

    It is also too early to tell whether the calls will have any effect beyond Egypt’s bor­ders at a time when the war in Syria has already mobi­lized thou­sands of young men across the region to vol­un­teer to fight and extrem­ists in Iraq are in the midst of an inten­si­fied bomb­ing cam­paign that has killed thou­sands in recent months, said Steven Cook, senior fel­low for Mid­dle East stud­ies at the Coun­cil on For­eign Relations.

    In Syria, gov­ern­ment oppo­nents long ago aban­doned peace­ful demon­stra­tions after troops repeat­edly fired on them, and Islamist groups affil­i­ated with al-Qaeda are gain­ing influ­ence as the war drags into a third year with no sign of a resolution.

    The biggest effect, Cook said, may be in Egypt, where Islamist extrem­ists affil­i­ated with the Gamaa Islamiya fought a low-level insur­gency in the 1990s before agree­ing to lay down their arms in 2003.

    Egypt is awash with weapons that have been smug­gled across the bor­der from Libya, and “given the polit­i­cal dynam­ics, you can see the out­lines of how this might emerge,” he said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 8, 2013, 5:42 pm
  3. @Pterrafractyl–

    As sat­is­fy­ing as it was to see the Broth­er­hood turned out of power, I cau­tioned, well, “caution.”

    This is why. It is dif­fi­cult to see how this will work out well. Mil­i­tary coups gen­er­ally (no pun intended) don’t end hap­pily ever after.

    I pre­dicted that the Broth­er­hood and other jihadis will become more effec­tive proxy foot sol­diers for the Under­ground Reich.

    How that plays into Snowden’s Ride will be inter­est­ing to watch. I HOPE that NSA REALLY main­tains a vigil on Deutschland.

    Stay tuned.

    It is also note­wor­thy that the Egypt­ian pop­u­lace, both sec­u­lar­ists and Broth­er­hood, are blam­ing Obama/US.

    And, they are PARTIALLY right, in that the GOP/Underground Reich/transnational cor­po­rate ele­ment of U.S. intel­li­gence DID boost the Islamists, as part of the “turn to the Broth­er­hood” that I dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 733–739.

    Note that the Syr­ian blood­bath is putting Obama in what psy­chol­o­gists call a “dou­ble bind” (that civil war being and out­growth of the so-called “Arab Spring”). The Beng­hazi affair is also being used by the Naz­i­fied GOP to attack Obama (that also being an out­growth of the “Arab Spring”). The desta­bi­liza­tion of Obama, which I pre­dicted at the time, is right on schedule.

    You doubt­less recall that such an out­come was one of my pre­dicted results of this Bush-era covert op.

    NEVER for­get all of the cel­e­bra­tory tones that our media engaged in at the time.

    “Egypt Is Free!” ran a San Jose Mer­cury News head­line after Mubarak’s ouster.

    Just goes to show how wrong you can be.

    There is an old say­ing: “There is noth­ing like step­ping in a cow-flop to make you real­ize just how nice trip­ping over a stone can be!”

    Keep up your mag­nif­i­cent work!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | July 8, 2013, 7:15 pm
  4. The rhetor­i­cal lines in the sand are rapidly get­ting drawn and it looks like the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is focused on esca­lat­ing the sit­u­a­tion and prep­ping for a mass show­down with the army at this point:

    Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood rejects tran­si­tion plan
    Mag­gie Michael, Asso­ci­ated Press 9:39 a.m. EDT July 9, 2013

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood on Tues­day rejected a new timetable announced by the military-backed interim lead­er­ship that sets a fast track for amend­ing the Islamist-drafted con­sti­tu­tion and hold­ing new par­lia­men­tary and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions by early next year.

    The quick issu­ing of the tran­si­tion plan showed how Egypt’s new lead­er­ship is shrug­ging off Islamists’ vows to reverse the military’s oust­ing of Pres­i­dent Mohammed Morsi and wants to quickly entrench a post-Morsi polit­i­cal system.

    ...

    Since then, the mil­i­tary and allied media have depicted the cam­paign to restore Morsi as increas­ingly vio­lent and infused with armed extrem­ists. Islamists, in turn, have talked of the mil­i­tary aim­ing to crush them after what they say was a coup to wreck democracy.

    Essam el-Erian, a senior Broth­er­hood fig­ure and deputy head of its Free­dom and Jus­tice Party, rejected the tran­si­tion timetable, say­ing it takes the coun­try “back to zero.”

    “The cow­ards are not sleep­ing, but Egypt will not sur­ren­der. The peo­ple cre­ated their con­sti­tu­tion with their votes,” he wrote on his Face­book page, refer­ring to the con­sti­tu­tion that Islamists pushed to final­iza­tion and then was passed in a national ref­er­en­dum dur­ing Morsi’s year in office.

    He said the mil­i­tary and its allies were tar­get­ing “not just the pres­i­dent but the nation’s iden­tity, the rights and free­doms of the peo­ple and the demo­c­ra­tic sys­tem enshrined in the constitution.”

    The con­sti­tu­tion passed under Morsi — and sus­pended since his fall — was writ­ten by an assem­bly cre­ated by the first post-Mubarak par­lia­ment, elected in 2011–2012. But the panel was deeply controversial.

    Reflect­ing the par­lia­ment, the con­stituent assem­bly had a strong Islamist major­ity. Most non-Islamists even­tu­ally aban­doned the assem­bly, com­plain­ing that the Broth­er­hood and its allies were impos­ing their will. Courts were con­sid­er­ing whether to dis­solve the panel but Morsi uni­lat­er­ally decreed that they could not while his allies rushed to final­ize the draft.

    The final ver­sion had a strong Islamist fla­vor, deep­en­ing require­ments for laws to abide by Shariah. The doc­u­ment passed in a ref­er­en­dum with around 60% of the vote — but only around 30% of vot­ers cast­ing ballots.

    Under the timetable issued Mon­day by interim pres­i­dent Adly Man­sour, two appointed pan­els would be created.

    One, made up of judges, would come up with amend­ments. The other, larger body con­sist­ing of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of soci­ety and polit­i­cal move­ments would debate the amend­ments and approve them.

    The new con­sti­tu­tion would be put to a ref­er­en­dum within 4 ½ months from now.

    Elec­tions for a new par­lia­ment would be held within two months of that. Once the new par­lia­ment con­venes, it would have a week to set a date for pres­i­den­tial elections.

    And note that the calls for main­tain­ing the new con­sti­tu­tion is rel­a­tively tame com­pared to the other rhetoric com­ing from the MB’s allies:

    9 July 2013 Last updated at 10:03 ET
    Is Egypt head­ing for holy war?
    By Frank Gard­ner BBC secu­rity correspondent

    Even pos­ing that ques­tion will annoy many.

    Away from the trou­blespots, life for mil­lions of Egyp­tians con­tin­ues as nor­mal. Egypt’s most fun­da­men­tal prob­lems are more eco­nomic than political.

    But in a week when the polit­i­cal arm of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood called for “an upris­ing by the great peo­ple of Egypt against those try­ing to steal their rev­o­lu­tion with tanks”, when dozens were killed in clashes between the army and Islamists and when the grand sheikh of al-Azhar warned of a civil war, an awk­ward ques­tion hov­ers in the air.

    Is Egypt now prone to a new “holy war” fought by Islamists against the authorities?

    Extrem­ist minority

    There are plenty of grounds for opti­mism that the Arab world’s most pop­u­lous coun­try should be able to avoid a descent into wide-scale, fanat­i­cal, religiously-inspired vio­lence fol­low­ing the oust­ing of Pres­i­dent Mohammed Morsi last week.

    Hav­ing lived there twice, for sev­eral years, I have expe­ri­enced first-hand how good-natured, gen­er­ous and mostly tol­er­ant Egyp­tians can be.

    There are extrem­ists in their midst but they are in a minor­ity. Their views, how­ever nois­ily they are broad­cast, do not rep­re­sent the bulk of the pop­u­la­tion.

    Egypt has also sur­vived worse crises within liv­ing mem­ory: the assas­si­na­tion of its pres­i­dent by a jihadist cell in 1981 and an Islamist insur­gency that killed more than 700 peo­ple in the late 1990s, cul­mi­nat­ing in the mas­sacre of 58 for­eign tourists at Luxor in 1997.

    But given the unhappy con­flu­ence of events and trends sur­fac­ing in Egypt this week, it would be unwise to ignore the seeds of a poten­tial holy war now being sown.

    Let’s look at the ingre­di­ents:
    ’Mar­tyr­dom’, ban­ners and rhetoric

    We will carry out explo­sions, we will shoul­der arms, and noth­ing other than death will dis­suade us from restor­ing Pres­i­dent Morsi to the palace,” the news­pa­per, al-Hayat, quoted a bearded man pro­claim­ing at one of the sit-ins by Mus­lim Broth­er­hood supporters.

    Small num­bers of young men are start­ing to be seen in the crowd wear­ing the white shrouds of “mar­tyr­dom”, a the­atri­cal show of how far some say they are pre­pared to go to return an elected Islamist pres­i­dent to power.

    Since Mr Morsi’s removal, some inter­net forums have erupted with angry calls for vengeance against Egypt’s mil­i­tary, call­ing it “the enemy of Islam” and declar­ing police and sol­diers to be tar­gets for attack, as they were in south­ern Egypt dur­ing the insur­gency of the 1990s.

    For now, these state­ments are mostly rhetor­i­cal and aspi­ra­tional — although secu­rity forces have often been attacked in the Sinai.

    The threat to main­land Egypt only becomes real when such rhetoric inspires peo­ple to trans­late it into vio­lent action.

    Avail­able weapons

    Secu­rity in Egypt has dete­ri­o­rated dra­mat­i­cally since the over­throw of the dic­ta­to­r­ial Pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but com­pared with Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen there are still rel­a­tively few firearms in pri­vate hands.

    Yet main­land Egypt is sand­wiched between two land masses awash with ille­gal weapons: Libya and the Sinai peninsula.

    The over­throw of Col Muam­mar Gaddafi’s regime next-door in Libya threw open the doors to his armouries, releas­ing a flood of firearms, many of which have ended up with jihadist groups oper­at­ing across the Sahara and in east­ern Libya.

    A UN report pub­lished in April con­cluded that “weapons used dur­ing the Libyan civil war against Muam­mar Gaddafi are being fun­nelled at an alarm­ing rate to other coun­tries in the region”.

    It said the weapons ranged from small arms to high-powered explo­sives, mines and portable air-defence systems.

    The report said this flow of weapons into Egypt was a threat to its inter­nal secu­rity because many were reach­ing anti-government insur­gents in Sinai.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 9, 2013, 8:45 am
  5. There’s a new report on the grow­ing ten­sions between Morsi and the mil­i­tary that led to Morsi’s July 3rd over­throw. It sounds like there was strong dis­agree­ment between the Morsi gov­ern­ment and the mil­i­tary over the need to crack­down on for­eign Islamist mil­i­tants oper­at­ing inside Egypt:

    Source Of Egypt’s Coup: Morsi Gave Free Hand To Islamic Mil­i­tants, Ordered Mil­i­tary To Stop Crack­downs On Jihadis
    HAMZA HENDAWI July 19, 2013, 7:08 AM

    CAIRO (AP) — The head of Egypt’s mil­i­tary, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, sat with a polite smile in the front row lis­ten­ing to Pres­i­dent Mohammed Morsi give a 2 1/2-hour speech defend­ing his year in office. El-Sissi even clapped lightly as the audi­ence of Morsi sup­port­ers broke into cheers.

    It was a cal­cu­lat­ing dis­play of cool by an army gen­eral plot­ting the over­throw of his com­man­der in chief. Just over a week later, el-Sissi slid in the knife, announc­ing Morsi’s ouster on state TV on July 3 as troops took the Islamist leader into custody.

    The move was the cul­mi­na­tion of nearly a year of acri­mo­nious rela­tions between el-Sissi and Egypt’s first freely elected — and first civil­ian — president.

    A series of inter­views by The Asso­ci­ated Press with defense, secu­rity and intel­li­gence offi­cials paint a pic­ture of a pres­i­dent who intended to flex his civil­ian author­ity as supreme com­man­der of the armed forces, issu­ing orders to el-Sissi. In turn, the mil­i­tary chief believed Morsi was lead­ing the coun­try into tur­moil and repeat­edly chal­lenged him, defy­ing his orders in at least two cases.

    The degree of their dif­fer­ences sug­gests that the mil­i­tary had been plan­ning for months to take greater con­trol of the polit­i­cal reins in Egypt. When an activist group named Tamarod began a cam­paign to oust Morsi, build­ing up to protests by mil­lions nation­wide that began June 30, it appears to have pro­vided a golden oppor­tu­nity for el-Sissi to get rid of the pres­i­dent. The mil­i­tary helped Tamarod from early on, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with it through third par­ties, accord­ing to the officials.

    The rea­son, the offi­cials said, was because of pro­found pol­icy dif­fer­ences with Morsi. El-Sissi saw him as dan­ger­ously mis­man­ag­ing a wave of protests early in the year that saw dozens killed by secu­rity forces. More sig­nif­i­cantly, how­ever, the mil­i­tary also wor­ried that Morsi was giv­ing a free hand to Islamic mil­i­tants in the Sinai Penin­sula, order­ing el-Sissi to stop crack­downs on jihadis who had killed Egypt­ian sol­diers and were esca­lat­ing a cam­paign of violence.

    “I don’t want Mus­lims to shed the blood of fel­low Mus­lims,” Morsi told el-Sissi in order­ing a halt to a planned offen­sive in Novem­ber, retired army Gen. Sameh Seif el-Yazl told AP. Seif el-Yazl remains close to the mil­i­tary and some­times appears with el-Sissi at pub­lic events.

    And at root, the mil­i­tary estab­lish­ment has his­tor­i­cally had lit­tle tol­er­ance for the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Morsi’s Islamist group. The mil­i­tary lead­er­ship has long held the con­vic­tion that the group puts its regional Islamist ambi­tions above Egypt’s secu­rity interests.

    Its alliances with Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other Islamist groups alarmed the mil­i­tary, which believed Gaza mil­i­tants were involved in Sinai vio­lence. The offi­cials said the mil­i­tary lead­er­ship also believed the Broth­er­hood was try­ing to co-opt com­man­ders to turn against el-Sissi.

    The mil­i­tary has been the most pow­er­ful insti­tu­tion in Egypt since offi­cers staged a 1952 coup that top­pled the monar­chy. Except for Morsi, the mil­i­tary has since given Egypt all of its pres­i­dents and main­tained a pow­er­ful influ­ence over pol­icy. Hav­ing a civil­ian leader over the mil­i­tary was entirely new for the country.

    The Broth­er­hood accuses el-Sissi of turn­ing against them and car­ry­ing out a coup to wreck democ­racy. Since being deposed, Morsi is detained by the mil­i­tary at an undis­closed Defense Min­istry facility.

    The Broth­er­hood had believed that el-Sissi was sym­pa­thetic with their Islamist agenda. A senior Broth­er­hood offi­cial told AP that Morsi installed el-Sissi, then the head of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence, as defense min­is­ter and head of the armed forces in August 2012 in part because he had been the con­tact man between the Broth­er­hood and the mil­i­tary junta that ruled Egypt for nearly 17 months after the Feb­ru­ary 2011 fall of auto­crat Hosni Mubarak.

    El-Sissi spoke of his dif­fer­ences with Morsi for the first time Sun­day when he addressed mil­i­tary offi­cers in a meet­ing that was par­tially televised.

    “I don’t want to count to you the num­ber of times that the armed forces showed its reser­va­tions on many actions and mea­sures that came as a sur­prise,” el-Sissi said.

    Along with the Broth­er­hood offi­cial, eight cur­rent senior offi­cials in the mil­i­tary, mil­i­tary intel­li­gence and Inte­rior Min­istry — includ­ing a top army com­man­der and an offi­cer from el-Sissi’s inner cir­cle — spoke to AP on con­di­tion of anonymity because they were not autho­rized to dis­cuss the events between Morsi and the military.

    They recounted tense con­ver­sa­tions and meet­ings with a frus­trated Morsi fre­quently remind­ing the mil­i­tary chief of his rank as supreme commander.

    As early as April, the army drew up a con­tin­gency plan to assert con­trol of the nation by tak­ing charge of secu­rity if street vio­lence esca­lated out of Morsi’s con­trol, the intel­li­gence and defense offi­cials said.

    The plan did not entail remov­ing Morsi. Instead, it was an expan­sion of the role the army took in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, which by that time had seen months of anti-Morsi protests that evolved into an out­right revolt. More than 40 pro­test­ers had been killed by police there, as Morsi pub­licly urged secu­rity forces to deal strongly with the protests. The mil­i­tary was deployed in the city, largely wel­comed by the res­i­dents, who con­tin­ued protests and strikes.

    The mil­i­tary offi­cials said Morsi had ordered the army to get tougher on pro­test­ers, but el-Sissi refused, telling him, “The peo­ple have demands.”

    About this time, in April and May, el-Sissi’s offi­cials met with com­man­ders of the Repub­li­can Guard, the army branch that pro­tects the pres­i­dent. The com­man­ders told them that Morsi’s aides were try­ing to co-opt Guard offi­cers and senior army offi­cers in a move to replace el-Sissi, accord­ing to the offi­cial in the mil­i­tary chief’s staff.

    ...

    Seif el-Yazl and the mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence offi­cials said secu­rity in the strate­gic Sinai Penin­sula bor­der­ing Gaza and Israel was at the heart of the dif­fer­ences. The region plunged into law­less­ness after Mubarak’s ouster, with Islamic mil­i­tants gain­ing increas­ing power. Soon after Morsi took office, mil­i­tants killed 16 Egypt­ian sol­diers in a sin­gle attack and smaller-scale shoot­ings on secu­rity forces mounted. In May, six police­men and a sol­dier were kidnapped.

    Morsi in each case vowed action, but he and his aides also spoke pub­licly on the need for restraint and dia­logue. At one point, he pub­licly acknowl­edged hold­ing the mil­i­tary back from a raid to pre­vent civil­ian casu­al­ties, and he also spoke of the need not to harm the kid­nap­pers as well as the cap­tives. Morsi’s ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive Salafi allies medi­ated with mil­i­tant groups to get them to halt vio­lence, although attacks continued.

    In Novem­ber, Morsi ordered el-Sissi to halt a planned Sinai offen­sive a day before it was to be launched, and el-Sissi com­plied, Self el-Yazl said. In May, the kid­nap­pers released their cap­tives after a week, appar­ently after medi­a­tion. Morsi vowed pub­licly to track them down, but the mil­i­tary offi­cials said the pres­i­dent ordered el-Sissi to pull his forces out of the area where they were believed to be. Again, the mil­i­tary com­plied. The kid­nap­pers have not been caught.

    The secu­rity and intel­li­gence offi­cials said they reported to Morsi about a ris­ing num­ber of for­eign jihadis, includ­ing Pales­tini­ans, enter­ing Sinai. The mil­i­tary iden­ti­fied Gazan mil­i­tants involved in the killing of the 16 sol­diers, but Morsi rejected a request by el-Sissi that he ask Hamas to hand them over for trial, the offi­cials said. Hamas has repeat­edly denied any role in the killings.

    Morsi instead ordered el-Sissi to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to dis­cuss the issue. El-Sissi refused, because of the military’s long­time view of Hamas as a threat, said the officials.

    The mil­i­tary saw the pol­icy of dia­logue as being rooted in the Brotherhood’s sym­pa­thy to oth­ers in the Islamist move­ment, even ones engaged in vio­lence. Another inci­dent deep­ened the military’s belief that Morsi was more inter­ested in a regional Islamist agenda than what the army saw as Egypt’s interests.

    Dur­ing an April visit to Sudan, which has an Islamist gov­ern­ment, Morsi showed flex­i­bil­ity over the fate of a bor­der region claimed by both coun­tries. After Morsi’s return, el-Sissi sent his chief of staff to Khar­toum to “make it crys­tal clear to the Sudanese that the Egypt­ian armed forces will never sur­ren­der” the ter­ri­tory, one defense offi­cial said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 19, 2013, 8:53 am
  6. With the deeply unfor­tu­nate vio­lent crack­down on the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood now offi­cially under­way in Egypt were see­ing the sig­nif­i­cant pos­si­bil­ity of a Mus­lim Brotherhood-led show­down in response that could quickly esca­late. So one of the big ques­tions going for­ward is if/when we see a mil­i­tary response by the mil­i­tary wings of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and its affil­i­ates, espe­cially those already oper­at­ing in the Sinai. Another big ques­tion is how suc­cess­ful Israel be at avoid­ing entan­gle­ment:

    The Atlantic
    How the Israeli Drone Strike in the Sinai Might Back­fire
    With nation­al­ism in Egypt ris­ing, Jerusalem’s attempts to hunt ter­ror­ists in Egypt’s restive penin­sula might only draw more mil­i­tants.
    David Schenker Aug 13 2013, 11:15 AM ET

    In April 1982, Israel with­drew the last of its mil­i­tary forces from Egypt’s Sinai Penin­sula. On Fri­day, for the first time in more than 30 years, Israeli mil­i­tary assets report­edly reen­tered Egypt­ian ter­ri­tory. On August 9, an Israeli drone oper­at­ing in Sinai air­space with Egypt­ian approval killed five mil­i­tants prepar­ing to launch a rocket into Israel.

    The proac­tive Israeli action may her­ald a pos­i­tive new dynamic in Israeli-Egyptian rela­tions. But for the Egypt­ian military–which depends on pop­u­lar good­will to gov­ern post-coup Egypt–enhanced secu­rity coor­di­na­tion with Israel might not be polit­i­cally sus­tain­able. Already, this unprece­dented move has pro­voked a back­lash against the generals.

    Ever since the top­pling of Egypt’s long­time Pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak in 2011, secu­rity in the Sinai–a region long under­served by Cairo–has become pre­car­i­ous. Dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion, Egypt­ian intel­li­gence, which had pre­vi­ously been respon­si­ble for secur­ing the Sinai, was routed, leav­ing the task to the mil­i­tary — the country’s sole remain­ing, func­tion­ing national institution.

    Unen­thu­si­as­tic about and ill-equipped for the mis­sion, the mil­i­tary did lit­tle and secu­rity in the Sinai rapidly dete­ri­o­rated. In a mat­ter of months, Al-Qaeda and other dan­ger­ous Islamist ele­ments started to take root among the increas­ingly rad­i­cal­ized local Bedouins.

    Over the past two years, Egypt­ian and for­eign jihadis–as well as Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists enter­ing the Sinai via tun­nels from Gaza– have launched dozens of attacks in the Penin­sula. While most of the oper­a­tions have tar­geted Egypt­ian police and bor­der guards, on occa­sion sol­diers have been killed and kid­napped and tourists abducted. Mil­i­tants have also assaulted and snatched troops in the Multi­na­tional Force Observers or MFO, which are deployed in the Sinai to mon­i­tor the terms of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

    More poten­tially desta­bi­liz­ing, these ter­ror­ists have infil­trated Israel–killing six civil­ians and two sol­diers in one August 2011 operation–and fired rock­ets across the bor­der. Friday’s drone strike came just one day after an unprece­dented tem­po­rary clo­sure of Israel’s Eilat air­port. At the time, mil­i­tants in the Sinai were believed to be prepar­ing to tar­get Israeli civil­ian air­craft with rock­ets or shoul­der fired mis­siles pro­cured from post-Qaddafi’s Libya.

    ...

    If those reports about shoulder-fired mis­sile tar­get­ing Israeli civil­ian air travel are accu­rate (who knows but it’s cer­tainly pos­si­ble) it’s going to be hard to see how Israel can avoid fur­ther cross-border incur­sions. And even if they aren’t accu­rate it’s still hard to see how the Sinai doesn’t become much more dan­ger­ous.

    At the same time, any whiff of al-Qaeda affil­i­ates oper­at­ing on behalf of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and/or the Egypt­ian Salafist might com­pletely alien­ate any hope by the Islamists of gar­ner­ing the sup­port of a large swath of the secular-leaning pub­lic dur­ing this period. The sit­u­a­tion simul­ta­ne­ously com­pels the more extreme ele­ments on all sides to esca­late the sit­u­a­tion while being filled with all sorts of pun­ish­ing con­se­quences for any side that appears to be doing to be doing the esca­lat­ing. That sort of dynamic often exists but it’s much more high-stakes right now. While the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood could take the path of non-violent resis­tance its his­tory sug­gests non-violent Mus­lim Broth­er­hood resis­tance cou­pled with par­al­lel vio­lent resis­tance by its mil­i­tary wing and allies. We’ll see. While this was a really dark day for Egypt it might end up being the answer to the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s prayers in terms of gar­ner­ing pub­lic sup­port and return­ing to power. But in order for the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to suc­cess­fully lever­age this moment they have to avoid a vio­lent response. And they know this. So we should prob­a­bly expect a period of provo­ca­tions on both sides as the Mus­lim Brotherhood-led coali­tion and mil­i­tary both strive to engage in con­flicts that leave the other side look­ing worse. There are a lot of ques­tions about what hap­pens next but the answer inevitably involves some­thing awful.

    Plus, there’s the ques­tion of how long some sort of vio­lent or non-violent stand­off can con­tinue because Egypt is still about to run out of cash:

    Exclu­sive — West warned Egypt’s Sisi to the end: don’t do it
    Reuters Paul Tay­lor 8/14/2013

    PARIS (Reuters) — West­ern allies warned Egypt’s mil­i­tary lead­ers right up to the last minute against using force to crush protest sit-ins by sup­port­ers of the ousted Islamist pres­i­dent Mohamed Mursi, argu­ing they could ill afford the polit­i­cal and eco­nomic damage.

    A vio­lent end to a six-week stand­off between Mursi’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the armed forces that top­pled Egypt’s first freely elected pres­i­dent seemed likely once the new author­i­ties declared last week that for­eign medi­a­tion had failed.

    ...

    SIGNAL OF DISPLEASURE

    The United States took the rare step of sig­nal­ing its dis­plea­sure to a strate­gic Mid­dle East ally, which has a peace treaty with Israel, by halt­ing deliv­ery of four F-16 air­craft under its mil­i­tary aid pro­gram last month.

    Wash­ing­ton also enlisted key Arab ally and aid donor Saudi Ara­bia to tell Sisi he needed to find a peace­ful, inclu­sive solu­tion “to retain inter­na­tional finan­cial and polit­i­cal sup­port”, a per­son involved in the diplo­matic exchanges said.

    Flanked by the for­eign min­is­ters of Qatar, a major financier of Mursi’s gov­ern­ment, and the United Arab Emi­rates, a sup­porter of the mil­i­tary takeover, U.S. and EU nego­tia­tors sought to coax both sides into a series of mutual confidence-building mea­sures. They would have begun with pris­oner releases and led to an hon­or­able exit for Mursi, an amended con­sti­tu­tion and fresh elec­tions next year.

    An Egypt­ian mil­i­tary source said the army did not believe the Broth­er­hood would even­tu­ally agree to a deal and felt they were only bluff­ing to gain time. “They tell the medi­a­tors one thing and tell their sup­port­ers another,” he said.

    The diplo­matic source said West­ern medi­a­tors tried to per­suade Sisi that Egypt would suf­fer last­ing polit­i­cal polar­iza­tion and eco­nomic hard­ship if there was a bloodbath.

    Sisi and the hard­line inte­rior min­is­ter, Mohamed Ibrahim, were explic­itly warned that ElBa­radei would resign if they chose force over nego­ti­a­tion, rob­bing the mil­i­tary of its prin­ci­pal source of lib­eral, civil­ian respectabil­ity, the source said.

    “IGNORING REALITY”

    ElBa­radei announced his res­ig­na­tion after Wednesday’s assault, say­ing he believed a peace­ful path could still have been found and the government’s crack­down helped extremists.

    “The hard­lin­ers have a remark­able abil­ity to ignore real­ity,” the source said, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity because of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the diplo­matic exchanges.

    The Egypt­ian mil­i­tary source said pub­lic out­rage after crit­i­cal com­ments by vis­it­ing U.S. sen­a­tors John McCain and Lind­sey Gra­ham last week and leaked reports of a pos­si­ble deal between the author­i­ties and the Broth­er­hood had put the army in a tough position.

    The medi­a­tors warned that any move to break up the sit-ins would likely cause hun­dreds of deaths and drive many con­ser­v­a­tive Salafi Mus­lim activists, ini­tially sup­port­ive of Mursi’s over­throw, to join forces with the Broth­er­hood in fierce oppo­si­tion to the authorities.

    The eco­nomic mes­sage was just as stark. The West­ern source said Egypt had been warned that it could not afford to go on spend­ing for­eign cur­rency at a rate of $1.5 bil­lion a month until its reserves were exhausted.

    With tourism and invest­ment dec­i­mated by polit­i­cal tur­moil since the over­throw of Mubarak in 2011, for­eign reserves had shrunk by more than half to less than three months’ import cover by the time Mursi was ousted on July 3.

    Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE and Kuwait, relieved to see the back of the Broth­er­hood, seen as a threat to their own monar­chies, imme­di­ately promised $12 bil­lion in aid to the new author­i­ties, to help over­come immi­nent fuel and wheat shortages.

    At its cur­rent burn rate, that money will keep Egypt going for less than a year.

    The source said wiser heads in the gov­ern­ment real­ized Cairo needed broader inter­na­tional sup­port, includ­ing coop­er­a­tion with the Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, to revive the econ­omy, but such argu­ments cut lit­tle ice with the secu­rity establishment.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 14, 2013, 10:37 pm
  7. Here’s a report from a few days ago that sug­gests the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port­ers were bank­ing on a ‘war of attri­tion’ with the mil­i­tary so the torch­ing of a gov­ern­ment build­ing by Mus­lim Broth­er­hood pro­tes­tors today in response to the vio­lent crack­down yes­ter­day might be a sign of things to come:

    Global Post
    For defi­ant Morsi sup­port­ers, nego­ti­a­tions with the mil­i­tary a ‘betrayal’

    The height­ened rhetoric is rais­ing con­cerns that Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­ers will ulti­mately be unable to con­trol the rad­i­cal­iz­ing crowds they deployed to pres­sure the new gov­ern­ment.
    Louisa Loveluck August 10, 2013 07:07

    CAIRO, Egypt — The thou­sands of sup­port­ers of ousted Pres­i­dent Mohamed Morsi camped out at protests across Cairo are becom­ing increas­ingly defi­ant as their stand­off with the new military-backed gov­ern­ment intensifies.

    Many of the pro­test­ers stag­ing sit-ins at the two sprawl­ing encamp­ments say they are will­ing to die in order to see Morsi, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader, rein­stated as the country’s legit­i­mate president.

    Even as their Islamist rep­re­sen­ta­tives are reported to have at least nom­i­nally entered into nego­ti­a­tions with polit­i­cal foes this week, pro-Morsi demon­stra­tors say either they do not believe their lead­ers would “betray” them by start­ing talks or that they reject any com­pro­mise outright.

    “When we read of these talks, we don’t believe them,” busi­ness­man Essam Sayed said from the pro-Morsi demon­stra­tion out­side Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adaweya mosque.

    “We trust our lead­ers and know they wouldn’t com­pro­mise on our demands. They wouldn’t sell us out like that,” he said.

    The height­ened rhetoric — fol­low­ing the mas­sacres of roughly 140 Morsi sup­port­ers by secu­rity forces in two sep­a­rate inci­dents in July — is rais­ing con­cerns that Broth­er­hood lead­ers will ulti­mately be unable to con­trol the rad­i­cal­iz­ing crowds they deployed to pres­sure the new government.

    Con­tin­ued threats from offi­cials that police are prepar­ing to dis­perse the protests is also con­tribut­ing to fears Egypt will tum­ble fur­ther into a spi­ral of violence.

    ...

    Not only are emo­tions high, but other more con­ser­v­a­tive reli­gious groups have also joined the protests. The Broth­er­hood is an 80-year-old grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion known for its mobi­liza­tion and dis­ci­pline, but wields lit­tle con­trol over the more extrem­ist fringe.

    “The Broth­er­hood could prob­a­bly impose dis­ci­pline on its own mem­bers if push came to shove,” Rabo said. “The prob­lem is that they are unlikely to make other groups fall in line.”

    One of mem­ber of the hard­line al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya move­ment — a for­mer ter­ror­ist group — says he will “hold his ground” at the demon­stra­tion, even if he has to die.

    Other pro­test­ers, the major­ity of whom do not belong to Islamist groups like al-Gama’a, also men­tion mar­tyr­dom when speak­ing of their polit­i­cal resolve.

    “The mil­i­tary have given us no choice but to offer our sons as mar­tyrs for the cause they stole from us,” said Mona Ismail Emad, an engi­neer and Broth­er­hood member.

    Emad’s daugh­ters clam­ber around her as she speaks, play­fully fan­ning their elders with a poster of the ousted president.

    In a new report, the Brussels-based Inter­na­tional Cri­sis Group says the Broth­er­hood is “clos­ing ranks [and] bank­ing on a war of attrition.”

    Nego­ti­a­tions indeed made lit­tle head­way. But if the two sides do reach an agree­ment, the trust that this diverse group of Islamists has put in their lead­ers is likely to be deeply dam­aged.

    “Even if the Broth­er­hood struck a deal and told us to go home, they couldn’t con­trol what hap­pens here,” Sayed, the pro-Morsi busi­ness­man, said. “Lots of other par­ties have joined our num­ber and we’ve all agreed on our com­mon goals. Those are the only terms we’ll consider.”

    If the above report is accu­rate it’s hard to see how the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s base is not going to allow its lead­ers to nego­ti­ate with the mil­i­tary at this point. And the mil­i­tary appears unlikely to back down any time soon. So the calls for an inter­na­tional res­o­lu­tion are likely to grow significantly.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 15, 2013, 9:27 am

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