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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Hosni Mubarak’

What Egypt’s President Sisi Really Thinks

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

{Originally posted at Middle East Forum website}

Former air marshal Husni Mubarak, now 86, had ruled Egypt for thirty years when his military colleagues forced him from office in 2011. Three years and many upheavals later, those same colleagues replaced his successor with retired field marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, 59. The country, in short, made a grand round-trip, going from military ruler to military ruler, simply dropping down a generation.

This return raises basic questions: After all the hubbub, how much has actually changed? Does Sisi differ from Mubarak, for example, in such crucial matters as attitudes toward democracy and Islam, or is he but a younger clone?

Sisi remains something of a mystery. He plays his cards close to the vest; one observer who watched his presidential inaugural speech on television on June 8 described it as “loaded with platitudes and very long.”[1] He left few traces as he zoomed through the ranks in three years, going from director of Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance to become the youngest member of the ruling military council and, then, rapidly ascending to chief of staff, defense minister, and president.

Sisi makes two main arguments: Democracy is good for the Middle East; and for it to succeed, many conditions must first be achieved.

Fortunately, a document exists that reveals Sisi’s views from well before his presidency: An essay dated March 2006, when he attended the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. His 5,000-word English-language term paper, “Democracy in the Middle East,”[2] has minimal intrinsic value but holds enormous interest by providing the candid views of an obscure brigadier general soon and unexpectedly to be elected pharaoh of Egypt.

While one cannot discount careerism in a term paper, Sisi’s generally assertive and opinionated tone—as well as his negative comments about the United States and the Mubarak regime—suggest that he expressed himself freely.

In the paper, Sisi makes two main arguments: Democracy is good for the Middle East; and for it to succeed, many conditions must first be achieved. Sisi discusses other topics as well, which offer valuable insights into his thinking.

Democracy Is Good for the Middle East

Sisi endorses democracy for practical, rather than philosophical, reasons: It just works better than a dictatorship. “Many in the Middle East feel that current and previous autocratic governments have not produced the expected progress.”[3] Democracy has other benefits, as well: It reduces unhappiness with government and narrows the vast gap between ruler and ruled, both of which he sees contributing to the region’s backwardness. In all, democracy can ac- complish much for the region and those who promote it “do have an opportunity now in the Middle East.”

In parallel, Sisi accepts the free market because it works better than socialism: “[M]any Middle East countries attempted to sustain government-controlled markets instead of free markets and as a result no incentive developed to drive the economy.”

It is reasonable, even predictable that Gen. Sisi would view democracy and free markets in terms of their efficacy. But without a genuine commitment to these systems, will President Sisi carry through with them, even at the expense of his own power and the profits from the socialized military industries run by his former colleagues?[4] His 2006 paper implies only a superficial devotion to democracy; and some of his actions since assuming power (such as returning to appointed rather than elected university deans and chairmen[5]) do not auger well for democracy.

Conditions for Democracy to Succeed in the Middle East

Sisi lays down three requirements for democracy to succeed in the Middle East:

Egyptians Choose a President (Again)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Egyptians are going to the polls today (Monday) and tomorrow to elect a president in what many see as a foregone conclusion. But the issue is not whether former Field Marshal and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be elected president – the issue is how many of Egypt’s 80 million citizens will actually turn out to vote.

El-Sisi, whose opponent was socialist activist Hamdeen Sabahi, was responsible for the June 30, 2013 removal of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.

Former President Mohammed Morsi was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and elected by a popular vote that many Egyptians said was rigged. The election followed the “January 25 Revolution” that toppled the decades-old regime of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

The “intervention” – as the subsequent military government called it – came in response to months of protests against the increasingly restrictive Islamist regime.

By June, millions of Egyptians had signed a petition asking the president to resign, and were flooding the streets in major cities around the country. But the streets ran with blood as the protesters clashed with their Muslim Brotherhood counterparts, who supported Morsi and claimed the entire scene was a setup by the military.

Now new elections have arrived and the question is whether the country will turn out to support el-Sisi — the military chief who seized the initiative to remove Morsi from office, attempted to restore order to Egypt and has since cooperated with Israel in trying to eliminate terrorist camps in Sinai.

Al Qaeda-Linked Terrorists Kill Three Egyptian Policemen in Sinai

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Terrorists linked with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for gunning down three Egyptian policemen in the Sinai Peninsula Sunday, attacking the policemen’s bus with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

The Egyptian army responded through a message on Facebook, “We assure the Egyptian people of the great determination of its men to fight black terrorism and the complete elimination of the advocates of oppression and sedition and blasphemy from followers of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The military regime in Egypt has branded the Muslim Brotherhood Public Enemy No. 1 and has linked it with virtually all terror that has plagued Egypt since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi last year.

Saturday was the third anniversary of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, and at least 49 people were killed in battles, mostly with supporters of the Brotherhood. The Interior Ministry stated it arrested more than 1,000 “rioters.”

For those with short reminders, the Obama administration helped get rid of Mubarak and fostered close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which won post-Mubarak elections. Washington then figured out that maybe the Brotherhood was not so much better than Mubarak, if not worse, and backed Morsi’s ouster.

Then it backed the new military regime, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, expected to win the next election for president.

The current regime and Morsi share two things in common: violence and hatred of Israel.

Bloodbath Likely in Egypt on Next Week’s Anniversary of Revolution

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

An Egyptian government  official called on people to confront the Muslim Brotherhood “for a counter-revolution” and to celebrate on January 25 the anniversary of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told an Egyptian television channel Wednesday, “I reiterate my call to the Egyptian people: you have to take to the streets on 25 January next to celebrate because we’ve discovered Muslim Brotherhood plots aiming to wreak havoc on that day with the help of some sports groups and by inducing some anti-military and anti-Brotherhood political forces.

“The Muslim Brotherhood and those forces plan to infiltrate Tahir Square through multiple axes by mobilizing about 15,000 young people to stir chaos and revive a counter-revolution to 30 June.”

The June 30 revolution refers to last year’s protests that ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.

The revolts against Mubarak and Mori were met with brutal violence by the regimes. More than 2,000 people were killed and tens of thousands were injured.

More of the same can be expected next week.

Mubarak Free from Jail but Faces House Arrest

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Egyptian authorities released former president Hosni Mubarak from prison late Thursday afternoon but faces house arrest due to pending charges of corruption and involvement in the murders of hundreds of people whose protests helped oust him from office two years.

An Egyptian court freed him because he has been in jail for the maximum amount of time allowed prior to conclusion of a trial. He has been acquitted on one charge of corruption, and his trial for involvement in the murders has been recessed.

Another charge of corruption still awaits him.

Saudi King Says Muslims Ready to Fund Egypt if US Cuts Aid

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Saudi Arabia said Monday that it and other Muslim countries are ready to bankroll Egypt to make up for any financial aid that the United States might cut.

“To those who have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that, (we say that) Arab and Muslim nations are rich with resources, and will not hesitate to help Egypt,” Foreign Minister Prince

Saud Al-Faisal said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

As reported earlier today, The office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), head of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, told The Daily Beast that military aid to Egypt has been temporarily cut off.

The downside for the United States would be that aid from the oil-rich Saudi kingdom would give it more influence on Cairo, at Washington’s expense.

Both countries share a disdain for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the new military regime ousted but has not been able to contain without the same brutal suppression exercised by Hosni Mubarak, before he was overthrown two years ago.

“Regrettably, we see that the stance of the international community toward the current events in Egypt is contrary to its stand toward the events in Syria,” Prince Saud was quoted as saying by the Saudi Gazette. “Where is its concern for human rights and the sanctity of blood in case of Syria where innocent civilians are being killed every day and where more than 100,000 people have been massacred so far?

“The international community adheres to human rights according to its interests and whims,” the foreign minister added.

He said that a cut in Western aid to Egypt would be considered a “hostile attitude against the interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and their stability.”

Mubarak to be Freed from Jail This Week, Says His Lawyer

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Hosni Mubarak, overthrown two years ago in the Arab Spring rebellion and jailed on charges of murder and corruption, will be freed from jail this week after being cleared of a charge of corruption, his lawyer Fareed el Deeb announced Monday, but murder charges still await him.

He added that one other charge of corruption remains open and that the case will be concluded later this week. “All we have left is a simple administrative procedure that should take no more than 48 hours. He should be freed by the end of the week,” Deeb said.

Mubarak’s two sons remain in jail, and the former dictator’s trial on charges of involvement in murder of protesters in 2011 is to resume next week.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mubarak-to-be-freed-from-jail-this-week-says-his-lawyer/2013/08/19/

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