Sunday, August 4, 2013

Who is the Egyptian Military?

This is an interesting piece from the Voice Of American English News. It is reprinted here in complete content. You can link to the article here.

August 03, 2013

Egyptian Military's Sissi Denounces US

by VOA News

Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has strongly criticized the United States for refusing to explicitly endorse his ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last month.

In a rare interview granted to a foreign news organization, an angry Sissi told The Washington Post that the Obama administration  "turned (its) back on the Egyptians, and they won't forget that."

The comments, published Saturday, were made as Washington attempted to remain neutral in Egypt's political crisis between the Sissi-backed interim government and the Islamist supporters of the ousted president.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement also has criticized the Obama administration, accusing it of acquiescing to a coup against the former president, whom the military forced from power on July 3.

Washington has declined to call the ouster a "coup" as doing so would force it to cut an estimated $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt, a key U.S. military ally.

In the interview, Sissi, who also serves as defense minister, urged the United States to press Egyptian Islamists to end a month-long series of protests and sit-ins against the ouster of Morsi.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with allies of Morsi and held separate talks with interim Egyptian leaders in Cairo on Saturday as part of Western efforts to mediate between the two sides. EU special envoy Bernardino Leon also joined the meetings. They marked the second visit by Burns to Egypt in recent weeks.

The Pentagon said Sissi assured U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a phone call that Egypt's interim government is "working toward a process of national reconciliation."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said the government has "no desire" to use force to clear two protest camps occupied by tens of thousands of Morsi supporters in Cairo.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Fahmy said all political groups are invited to take part in implementing the government's road map for restoring democracy, if those groups renounce violence.

"We cannot truly achieve reconciliation, no matter how hard we try, if there is a continuation of incitement of violence or a continuation of violence out on the street, and that will obviously lead to a reaction," he said.

In a separate nationally televised address, interior ministry spokesman Hany Abdel-Latif promised the protesters "safe passage" if they leave the camps.

But, he also accused Islamist protest organizers of brainwashing the demonstrators and being involved in murders, torture and abductions.

The Egyptian government said Friday it plans to set up barriers around the two sit-ins as part of a strategy to shut them down.

Political violence involving Morsi supporters and opponents has killed almost 300 people since his removal from power, many of them Islamists shot and killed by security forces.

Signs of possible compromises
Morsi allies showed some willingness to compromise on Saturday.

Brotherhood representative Amr Darag told the Associated Press that the group would consider entering talks with the government in return for confidence-building steps. He said they include the release of detained Islamist leaders, the unfreezing of Brotherhood assets, and the lifting of a ban on the group's TV stations.

Another spokesman for the pro-Morsi camp told Reuters that it wants to "respect all political desires" of the Egyptian people, a reference to secular and liberal groups who opposed the Islamist president and backed his overthrow.

But, Tarek el-Malt also demanded the restoration of the Islamist-drafted constitution that was suspended by the military and rejected any political leadership role for Sissi.

Previously, the Muslim Brotherhood movement has focused on its demand for the reinstatement of Morsi as president.

In an interview on VOA's Press Conference USA, William Lawrence, the former head of the International Crisis Group's North Africa Project, said the Muslim Brotherhood has continued to receive broad support because it is viewed as credible.

"The Brothers are seen as less corrupt and less corruptible," he said. "The idea is that you are going to get good governance from the Brothers, because as independent political actors, they were less corrupt and so they had a certain popular legitimacy — moral legitimacy."

Sissi told The Washington Post that he does not aspire to authority, but he also did not explicitly rule out running for president in the future.
Comment Sorting
by: Human from: Mother Earth
August 04, 2013 1:17 AM
The truth in most simple words:
* Revolution against Mobarak’s regime was launched and carried out mainly by democrats and laic people. During that decisive period, the Brothers showed much reluctance and much neutrality towards the Egyptain’s uprise. They stayed out, until they noticed the real success of the revolution and the imminent overthrowing of Mobarak’s regime. Then, they seized the opportunity. They rode the wave of the Egyptian spring on a twofold surf: Egyptians being Muslims in their greatest majority and Islam as a doctrine which actually condemns any sort of corruption, including conspiracy against the Palestinian people, especially against Hamas.
* When they came to power, the Brothers under the ruling of Morsi underestimated the pressure of Isral and the western world to preserve and promote their shared interests and dominance over the Middle East. The Egyptian Military on the other hand have always been aware of that pressure and of the dangerous consequences a resistance to those shared interests can actually have on the security of Egypt in general.
* Morsi and his supporters set up a constitution that fortifies their position and guarantees the continuity of their regime in the future, while many of the true revolutionary powers who were actually behind the fall of Mobarak were marginalized and made desperate.
* Thus, they found themselves facing enemies from inside (opposition and Military) and from outside Egypt (Israel and the west, especially USA and its allies). The opposition provided what all the other enemies needed so badly; those enemies backed and seized the opposition movement and rode the anti-Morsi wave, just like the brothers had ridden the anti-Mobarak wave.
Any solution?
Two solutions: a short-term and a long term solution.
1. Short-term solution: a compromise between the two Egyptian parties, involving an impartial revision of the Egyptian constitution. This is not a durable solution however.
2. Long-term solution: the imperial powers, namely Israel and its supporters should make up their mind by calling for deeper insights into the exigencies of the present and future world. Our world, now and more than ever before, is like a masterpiece of mosaic; globalization and modern technology has made it as such. All the parts of our composite globe do need each other, and the anomaly of one part can bring about the collapse of the whole mosaic. Israel does not fit in the masterpiece; it should be tailored to fit with its surrounding parts. We need a global religion on the basis of an international scale: on the basis of universal equality, global democracy and constructive cooperation. Our local religions, if any, should be kept to only give color to the different parts of the mosaic, not to constitute the essence of it. This requires higher-order brains and hearts. 

1 comment:

  1. Odd comment. So we need a "universal religion"? That sounds worrisome, although the commenter seems to define this "religion" in terms of human rights and democracy. Personally, I don't want any religions anywhere on this Earth. But that's me. I was glad to hear the talk of compromise today, but I still worry for the Egyptian people. The Brotherhood seems like a nightmare that's always hanging around, ready to rush back in when no one's looking. And I'm terribly disappointed in Morsi. At first, I fell for his inclusive talk. All lies, alas.