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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Morsi’

US Suspends Delivery of F-16s to Egypt Due to Political Turmoil

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

The United States was prepared to deliver four F-16 Fighter jets to Egypt as recently as last week, but on Wednesday, July 24, the U.S. administration announced that there would be no delivery at this time.

The move is one that surprised few, as the U.S. administration had been far more favorably disposed to the recently ousted President Mahmoud Morsi than it has been to either President Hosnai Mubarak who was removed in the Tahrir Square Revolution in 2011, or to the current government leaders whose tactics have been viewed as heavy-handed.

“Given the current situation in Egypt we do not believe it is appropriate to move forward at this time with the delivery of F-16s,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters on Wednesday.  Little explained that the decision to delay delivery of the warplanes came from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The delay was relayed to Egypt’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a telephone call by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier in the day.

Under a $2.5 billion deal signed in 2010, the United States is committed to providing 20 F-16 fighters to Egypt. Eight jets were delivered earlier this year and four more F-16s were due to be shipped over in coming weeks.

The Pentagon’s announcement that the F-16s would not be delivered at this time followed a decision made on July 19 by the British government to suspend arms exports to the Egyptian military.

Despite the decision to delay delivery, the United States plans to go ahead with a planned joint military exercise with Egypt known as “Bright Star.”

Egypt receives $1.3 billion in U.S. aid each year.

Meanwhile, the current Egyptian leadership continues on the path it began by ousting Morsi.  The public prosecutor ordered the arrest of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday on charges of “inciting violence.” And army chief al-Sisi called for nationwide protests, the purpose of which is to oppose “violence and terrorism.”

A Coup by Any Other Name Allows US Aid to Continue

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The fact that the White House has decided to continue providing aid to Egypt, despite what has taken place in that country over the past week, is big, big news.

The White House Spokesperson, Jay Carney, with his frequent invocation of the delay weapon known as calling a sticky situation “complicated,” made clear to reporters that the administration will take its time reviewing the matter before making any  final decision on U.S. aid to post-Morsi Egypt.

“I think it would not be in the best interest of the United States to immediately change our assistance programs,” Carney said.

Why is this big news?

Because the overthrow of the Egyptian regime headed by former President Mohamed Morsi is, technically speaking, a coup.  What happened was a coup backed and initiated by mass support for Morsi’s overthrow – technically called a “democratic coup,” but a coup is the correct term, nonetheless.

That matters, because the United States is forbidden, by law, to provide aid to governments which assume power through a coup.

And there are those who immediately pointed out the dangers of supporting any government which takes power as the result of a coup.  Most famously, perhaps, was Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

“Reluctantly, I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election,” McCain said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

Other U.S. politicians in leadership positions refused to join McCain in his call to suspend aid, some by refusing to call the ouster of Morsi a “coup,” while others simply refused to address the pertinent legal issue and instead preferred to focus – understandably, if not responsibly – on what would most promote U.S. interests in Egypt: stability.

Egypt’s Ambassador to the U.S., Mohamed Tawfik, consistently insists that the ouster of Morsi – his own boss until just days ago – does not amount to a coup.

In a National Public Radio interview with Tawfik from July 5, the interviewer attempts to corner the ambassador, forcing him to admit that Morsi’s overthrow was a military coup that renders whatever comes next as illegitimate, Tawfik is resolute.  The interviewer paints the Muslim Brotherhood as if it were a benign political organization which has now been thwarted after dutifully following all the rules.

SIEGEL: Ambassador Tawfik, your country, Egypt, has this problem, which is how to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, a very old and powerful institution in Egyptian life. And one reading of what’s happened this week is, if you’re an active member of the brotherhood, is, well, so much for electoral politics. You can win the presidency. You can win the parliament. You can win a referendum on the constitution that your guys drafted, and it’ll all be negated. Take other means of trying to advance your cause, not elections. Try to subvert the state instead, the way perhaps you used to do.

TAWFIK: That would be a completely wrong way to proceed. What we want to do now is we want to correct the mistakes made by President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. We want an inclusive process. We want everybody to be included. We want every single Egyptian, including Muslim Brotherhood members, to feel that they own the country. Everybody should enjoy their rights.

We cannot accept to have a situation in which the whole country is run for the interests of a particular group. This was the case with Mubarak, and this – again, unfortunately, Morsi repeated the same mistake. We have to stop making that mistake. This is the time for true democracy. The people of Egypt will accept nothing less.

So the US government is in a bit of a pickle.  Does it withhold support from a leadership backed by the masses of the Egyptian people? And does it do so despite pledging enormous support to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government as it giddily dispensed with freedoms and commitments of fairness and diversity so fast that millions took to the streets to boot them out?

Another significant factor the U.S. has to consider, is that the Egyptian economy is so far past being called a train wreck, there are no longer even any railroad ties with which people can make fires to warm themselves.  The only powerhouse industry in Egypt used to be tourism, and the past few years of relentless violence has crippled that industry.  Unless the US provides essential aid, what had been the most stable Arab country, the anchor of the Arab world, may disintegrate into, well, what so much of the rest of the non-oil-rich Arab world looks like.

US Backs Wrong, Evil, Horse in Egypt

Monday, July 8th, 2013

President Obama’s statement in response to the military coup in Egypt is remarkable:

As I have said since the Egyptian Revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people. The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law. Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force.

The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

Although the diplomatic language doesn’t specifically say that it would please the US if the military were to turn around and restore Morsi to power — it says “a democratically elected civilian government,” not “the … governmentand asks the army to avoid “arbitrary” arrests, presumably allowing ones for which the army can give reasons — it clearly expresses the idea that the coup is an unwarranted intrusion of authoritarianism to overthrow a democratic and legitimate regime.

Apparently, for Obama, the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood attained power after a more-or-less free election, outweighs the considerations that the Brotherhood’s own political principles are thoroughly anti-democratic, with the constitution it sponsored calling for clerical rule via shari’a, and inferior status for women and non-Muslims. It also condoned, if it it did not encourage, violence and murder against Christians, as well as employing torture and rape to suppress popular opposition. In addition, the impetus for the army’s action was nothing less than what has been called the largest political demonstration in human history.

All this can be ignored, it seems, because the regime came to power through an election, a distinction shared with Adolph Hitler and Hamas. Does anyone think that having achieved power, the Brotherhood would ever expose itself to a fair election again?

Although the official line is that the US was neutral, Barry Rubin explains what the Obama Administration did to help the Brotherhood:

Let us remember that four years ago Obama gave his Cairo speech sitting the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the front row. President Husni Mubarak was insulted and it was the first hint that the Obama Administration would support Islamist regimes in the Arab world. Then Obama vetoed the State Department plan for a continuation of the old regime without Mubarak. Then Obama publicly announced — before anyone asked him — that the United States would not mind if the Brotherhood was in government. Then Obama did not give disproportionate help to the moderates. Then Obama pressed the army to get out of power quickly, which the moderates opposed since they needed more time than the Islamists to organize.

Many will say that the president of the United States cannot of course control events in Egypt. That’s true. But he did everything possible to lead to this crisis.

Rubin suggested this question for defenders of administration policy:

Does it bother you that the United States is backing a regime led by anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, anti-women, and anti-gay rulers who are unrepentant former Nazi collaborators?

Now that the regime is overthrown, there will need to be a new policy. Let’s hope that this time it agrees with the president’s stated goal of “opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people.”

Egypt Turning Into Syria as Youths Thrown off Roof (Graphic Video)

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

In a graphic reminder of how close Egypt is to the edge, if it hasn’t crossed that line already, Islamic supporters in Egypt were caught on camera throwing  two youths off the roof of a building. If that wasn’t enough, they began beating the boy’s crushed bodies, reminiscent of the act of cannibalism that underscored the complete breakdown of civilization in Syria, when a Syrian rebel ate the heart of a Syrian soldier, on camera.

The youths were celebrating the overthrow of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi. The Islamists decided to put an end to that.

Islamic and revolutionary opponents have been fighting in the streets since the military coup. The Islamists seem to have an actual majority in Egpyt, where between 30% – 50% of the nation are illiterate.


Warning: Graphic!


As an aside, following the precedent of Hamas’s violent coup in Gaza, Judea and Samaria will clearly descend into the same chaos and anarchy if Kerry has his way, and a Palestinian state is created on this side of the Jordan river.

Monsour Backtracks: ElBaradei Not Appointed PM

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Interim Egyptian President Adly Monsour backtracked on Saturday night, and said that ElBaradei was not appointed as Prime Minister of Egypt, following the military coup that deposed the democratically elected Muslim Bortherhood leader Mohammed Morsi.

The appointment was opposed by the strict Islamic party Salafi al-Nour, and the newly appointed Eyptian president apparently decided to not oppose them.

There have been violent clashes in the streets of Cairo between supporters and opponents of Morsi and the revolutionaries.

 

 

Islamic Militants Attack in Sinai as Egypt Prepares for Friday Riots

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Armed Islamic militants attacked the positions of Egyptian security forces in Rafah and El Arish in the northern Sinai this morning. Rockets were fired at a police station in Rafah which stands right outside a base of the Egyptian military intelligence service.

At least one Egyptian soldier was reprted killed and two wounded.

Egyptian security forces in the El Arish airport were also attacked by Islamists armed with RPGs and grenades. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.

Egypt is on alert this morning, before Friday prayers in the mosques. The Islamic coalition, led by the Muslim Brotherhood whose elected president has been removed from office and placed under house arrest, have called on their supporters take to the streets after prayers and protest “peacefully” the military coup and the arrests.

The Egyptian military is urging the people to avoid revenge attacks following President Morsi’s ouster, and called for a reconciliation among the rival factions.

The Obama Administration is pressuring Egyptian officials not to jail the deposed president and his supporters, Reshet Bet reported. U.S. National Security Council officials stressed that the Egypt must have an elected government as soon as possible.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr spoke last night on the phone with his American colleague, Secretary of State John Kerry, and insisted that Egypt is not under a military coup. He told Kery the Army only fulfilled the will of the people, who are still the sovereign in Egypt.

On Thursday, a number of senior Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and placed in Tora prison, the same prison holding former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. They were accused of giving orders to murder protesters using snipers. Eight Egyptians were shot outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.

Adly Mansour, the newly appointed interim president of Egypt

Adly Mansour, the newly appointed interim president of Egypt

Adly Mansour, the judge who headed up Egypt’s Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim Egyptian president on Thursday, replacing the ousted Morsi who was overthrown by protesters and the Egyptian army.

The Egyptian main stock index rose over 7% following Egyptian president Morsi’s removal.

Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party is negotiating with the Army in an effort to reopen the religious television channels which have been taken off air following Morsi’s ouster on Wednesday, the Salafist party leader Younis Makhioun said on Thursday.

A handful of Islamist channels – including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Misr 25 and the Al-Hafez and Al-Nas TV channels – were abruptly taken off air on Wednesday, and their staff were arrested.

Those religious channels had sparked controversy in the past, according to Al Ahram, and were accused of using hate speech against Christians, Shia-Muslims and secular opposition figures.

Turkey Rejects Egyptians’ Choice, Demands Egypt ‘Return to Democracy’

Friday, July 5th, 2013

It had been one of the warmest relations between Middle Eastern leaders: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi.  Last year, Turkey pledged $2 billion in aid to Egypt whose economy, so dependent on tourism, had been battered by increasing – and realistic – fears of violence and protests.

This past spring, news stories had been floated that Morsi was going to accompany Erdoğan on a trip the Turkish leader has planned to make to Gaza. And last September, Morsi attended Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) congress in Ankara.

And then the Egyptian people, many millions strong, rejected their president’s many, rapid moves towards the rigid Islamization of their country, and the military removed President Morsi from power in the Egyptian people’s July 3 Revolution.

And as a loyal good friend, Erdoğan is now sticking up for his fellow Middle Eastern leader.  Erdoğan and his ministers are calling for a “return to democracy,” by which they mean the reinstatement of Morsi as Egypt’s president.

On Thursday, July 4, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized the military intervention in Egypt, saying “Turkey does not accept the removal and detention of elected leaders from power through ‘illegitimate means,’” according to the Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet Daily News.

Of course, part of the driving force behind the Turkish government’s outrage over the removal of Morsi by the Egyptian military may be the hot breath they feel on their own necks; the Turkish government itself has been the target of three attempted military coups in recent history.

There are other similarities between the two leaders – both Morsi and Erdoğan moved their respective countries towards increasing Islamization, albeit Erdoğan’s shift has been more of a slow but steady creep away from the secularism of Turkey’s historic leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who transformed the former Ottoman Empire into a modern, secular nation, while Morsi’s was more of a mad dash from what was only a fleeting position of potential secularism.

“Leaders who come to power with open and transparent elections reflecting the will of the people can only be removed by elections, that is, the will of the nation,” Dovutoğlu said to reporters in Istanbul, on July 4. Dovutoğlu also spoke on Thursday about the situation in Egypt with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The United States, like Turkey, seemed stunned by the rapidity of Morsi’s fall, and until even the day of Morsi’s removal were still urging the Egyptian people to retain the first elected president in Egypt’s history.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the July 3 military intervention did not reflect the people’s will and urged the country to “return to democracy.” Perhaps none of the reporters had the nerve to ask how to measure the will of the people when millions of Egyptians showed up to demand Morsi’s removal.

“The power change in Egypt was not a result of the will of the people. The change was not in compliance with democracy and law,” Bozdağ said in Ankara. “In all democratic countries, elections are the only way to come to power,” he said.

“Everyone … who believes in democracy should naturally oppose the way this power change happened because a situation that cannot be accepted by democratic people has emerged in Egypt,” said Bozdağ.

Prime Minister Erdoğan cut short his holiday and returned to Turkey on Thursday to discuss the situation in Egypt with his top ministers.

A statement was released by the Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Commission, which was signed by parties across the Turkish political spectrum: the ruling Justice and Development Party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party, the opposition Nationalist Movement Party and the opposition Peace and Democracy Party.

The ruling power that was usurped by unauthorized powers should be given back to the [Egyptian] people. All democratic individuals and institutions across the world should stand against such moves, which have the potential for human rights violations.

Thus far the people of Turkey have not yet made clear their position about the ouster of the Egyptian president, so eyes will be back on Taksim Square to see whether the Turkish opposition is emboldened by the ability of the Egyptian street to topple their leader, and if so, to see how the Turkish government responds.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/turkey-rejects-egyptians-choice-demands-egypt-return-to-democracy/2013/07/05/

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