Speaking at the State Department to leaders of multinational U.S. firms, Kerry said the Islamist group had appropriated the revolt against Mubarak from young people who started it in large part through social media in response to what they saw of other mass protests around the Arab world.
[...] Kerry’s comments are likely to raise eyebrows in Egypt where competing claims of credit for Mubarak’s ouster are still a source of major division. Mubarak’s ouster led to Egypt’s first-ever democratically chosen president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Secular politicians could not get organized enough to provide a credible contest.
- Kerry, White House Split on Egypt Policy
- Egypt turns to Russia for support
- al-Sisi: Egyptian general is idolised for deposing former President Mohamed Morsi, but can his popularity last?
- Egypt Islamist tells army chief to avoid politics
- Mursi says he was kidnapped before being removed by army
- Lifting state of emergency in Egypt may not change police behavior
- Sissi vows to avenge deaths of 11 soldiers in Sinai
- It Took Less Than 24 Hours To Deface The New Monument In Tahrir Square
- Survey: Egypt is worst Arab state for women
Clashes in Cairo and its suburbs have killed at least 989 people since security forces launched a 14 August crackdown on supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, a forensic official told AFP Thursday.
On 14 August itself, 627 people were killed when security forces stormed Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square to disperse a sit-in by Morsi’s backers, said Hisham Abdul Hamid, spokesperson for Egypt’s forensic authorities.
The protesters had been calling for Morsi’s return after he was overthrown and imprisoned by the army on 3 July.
Dozens more were also killed on 14 August in the capital’s Nahda Square when police and troops dispersed a similar sit-in.
Abdul Hamid said the death toll was based on forensic details collected by several morgues in and around Cairo. It does not include security forces’ casualties.
His presence sparked chaos in the courtroom, with Morsi’s 14 co-defendants chanting against the army who ousted him, local journalists shouting for his execution and scuffles breaking out between rival lawyers. Amid the melee, Morsi and his colleagues rejected the authority of the court before the bedlam forced the presiding judge to adjourn proceedings until 8 January.
“What is happening now is a military coup,” boomed Morsi after arriving in the defendants’ cage – his first words in public since 2 July, when he gave a rambling televised speech the night before he was deposed by the army, following days of mass protests in which millions had called for the military to intervene.
“I am furious that the Egyptian judiciary should serve as cover for this criminal military coup,” he continued.
- Robert Fisk: As Mohamed Morsi goes to trial, General Sisi should remember: Egypt is a dangerous place to rule (Independent)
- Egyptian authorities prevent journalists from covering Morsi’s trial (MEMO)
- Egypt considers expanded powers for military in new constitution (Washington Post)
- Coup leader in Egypt wants immunity for army for 10 years (MEMO)
- Egypt’s Jon Stewart Taken Off The Air Minutes Before Showtime (Wired)
- Egypt to lift curfew on Nov. 14 (Xinhua)
In the highest-level American visit here since the Egyptian military removed the country’s first democratically elected president from power, Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Egyptian leaders on Sunday to stick to their “road map” for restoring democracy.
In substance as well as tone, Mr. Kerry’s visit to Egypt reflected the Obama administration’s determination to work with a military leadership that ruthlessly put down protesters from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that put forth the successful candidacy of President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted on July 3. A military government, now firmly entrenched here, has promised to establish a civilian-led government.
“The road map is being carried out to the best of our perception,” Mr. Kerry said, referring to the plan by the Egyptian authorities to conduct a national referendum on an amended Constitution and hold parliamentary and presidential elections by next spring.
“There are questions we have here and there about one thing or another,” he added in a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart. “I think it’s important for all of us, until proven otherwise, to accept that this is the track Egypt is on and to work to help it to be able to achieve that.”
President Obama’s October 9th decision to suspend millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Egypt came after two years of intense public pressure following Mubarak’s ouster. In all likelihood, however, it is probably a temporary scheme to avoid further public allegations that Obama supports the dictatorial coup regime in Egypt.
But it may have been even more cynical than that. One of the biggest problems with U.S. military aid to Egypt is the small arms and riot gear that security forces use to disperse crowds of peaceful protesters or crack down more generally on the population’s democratic ambitions. This type of aid may not be included in the suspension, but it’s hard to know because unless the arms transfer is a multi-million dollar war plane, they often are not even publicly disclosed.
Amnesty International lays out what Obama needs to do for the suspension of Egypt aid to actually mean something. Geoffrey Mock says “It’s time to ensure that Egyptian human rights violations don’t come labeled ‘Made in the USA.,’” and lists recommendations Amnesty has sent in a letter to the White House.
- U.S. lawmakers criticize Egypt aid cuts, consider changing law (Reuters)
- Egypt’s lobby by proxy wields outsize influence in DC (Al Jazeera)
- ‘Israel bluntly told the US not to cut aid to Egypt’ (Times of Israel)
- Egypt FM: Relations With US in ‘Turmoil’ Since Military Aid Cuts (Antiwar)
- Egypt sends delegation to Russia, rejects US pressure (Egypt Independent)
- Egypt ‘looking to Russia’ for arms after US aid freeze (Times of Israel)
- European Union calls on Egypt to lift state of emergency (MEMO)
- GOP senator holds up $60M in economic aid to Egypt (AP)
- Egyptian coup leaders hire US lobbyist with ties to Israel (MEMO)
Shariah, military power haunt Egypt’s secularists as they amend Islamist-era constitution (plus other news from Egypt)
[...] Democracy advocates warn the provisions could erase other significant democracy gains that are in the final draft still being shaped.
New articles definitively guarantee freedom of faith, expression, thought and the press, better due process and bans on torture, said Bahey Eldin Hassan, head of the Cairo Institute For Human Rights. On the basis of those articles alone, “this will be the best constitution of all Egypt’s charters,” Hassan said.
But, he said, the controversial articles would “constrain those gains.” For example, Islamists could restrict civil liberties and rights of women and Christians by arguing they contradict Islamic Shariah law— an aim one ultraconservative cleric proudly boasted about when the articles were introduced last year.
Proposed amendments to ban religion-based political parties and lift restrictions on building churches could also run into contradictions with Shariah rules.
And granting an untouchable status to the military could give it political power over the government.
- Egyptian Islamists call for daily protests before Morsi trial (Daily Times)
- Egypt considers law that could sharply limit protests, months after coup against Morsi (Washington Post)
- Egyptian strongman el-Sissi is being pressed to seek the presidency (McClatchy)
- Ousted General in Egypt Is Back, as Islamists’ Foe (NY TImes)
- Egypt athlete ‘stripped of gold medal’ for Morsi support (BBC)
- Egyptian journalist sentenced to a year in prison for ‘impersonating military personnel’ (Ahram)
- Egypt satirist Bassem Yousuf hits out at Al Sisi in TV return (Gulf News)
- Egyptians Abandoning Hope and Now, Reluctantly, Homeland (NY Times)
- Egypt police to be tried over detainee tear-gas deaths (BBC)
- Mubarak trial resumes in Egypt behind closed doors (AP)
- Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood facing wave of trials (AP)
In a major new report, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations details a global crackdown on peaceful protests through excessive police force and the criminalization of dissent. The report, “Take Back The Streets: Repression and Criminalization of Protest Around the World,” warns of a growing tendency to perceive individuals exercising a fundamental democratic right — the right to protest — as a threat requiring a forceful government response. The case studies detailed in this report show how governments have reacted to peaceful protests in the United States, Israel, Canada, Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Kenya, South Africa and Britain. The report’s name comes from a police report filed in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Canadians took to the streets of Toronto to nonviolently protest the G20 Summit. A senior Toronto Police Commander responded to the protests by issuing an order to “take back the streets.” Within a span of 36 hours, more than 1,000 people — peaceful protesters, journalists, human rights monitors and downtown residents — were arrested and placed in detention. We are joined by three guests: the report’s co-editor, Abby Deskman, a lawyer and program director with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union; and Hossam Bahgat, an Egyptian human rights activist and the founder and executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. (Democracy NOW!)
The Egyptian army has established a precautionary plan for military intervention in the Gaza Strip if attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula intensify, Egyptian security officials said Wednesday.
Officials told Ma’an that Egyptian reconnaissance planes had entered the Gaza Strip’s airspace and examined a number of locations in Rafah and Khan Younis to be targeted if military attacks against Egyptian troops intensify in Sinai.
Egyptian aircraft could also target vehicles which travel across the border area delivering smuggled goods, sources added. More smuggling tunnels could also be destroyed, and sources highlighted that “all options are open.”
According to Egyptian military sources, the ongoing attacks in Sinai are carried out by organizations based both in Sinai Peninsula and in the Gaza Strip.
RECENT SINAI/GAZA NEWS:
Egypt’s army chief, who orchestrated the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July, should not run for the leadership in elections due to be held next year, the head of the biggest liberal party told Reuters.
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper that now was the wrong time to raise the issue of whether he would stand for the presidency.
But he did not rule out taking part in any contest, and speculation has been rising that the former military intelligence officer under toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak could contest the vote.
“I don’t think this is advisable and I don’t think it would be a good thing for Sisi and the country that Sisi runs for the presidency,” said Sayed El-Masry, head of the Al Dostour Party which is a major part of the country’s main leftist and liberal coalition, the National Salvation Front.
“He is doing the country the best favor he can do from his position as a military chief,” Masry said in an interview. “Sisi’s nomination will give the wrong image to the world that what happened was a coup.”
Sisi has said that he stepped in to remove Mursi in response to mass protests against the former leader’s rule, which millions of Egyptians complained had pursued an overtly Islamist agenda and mismanaged the country’s economy.
MORE RECENT NEWS FROM EGYPT:
- Post-coup Egypt swept by nationalist fervor centered around the military, its chief (AP)
- Egypt’s foreign minister says transitional government phase to end by spring (Reuters)
- Army chief calls for speedy transition in Egypt (Press TV)
- Morsi to stand trial in November (BBC)
- Egypt’s Nour party rejects changes to constitution (The Peninsula)
- Disrespecting flag can lead to prison (AP)
- Video reveals Al-Sisi asked to buy an Apache to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood (MEMO)
- Egypt Islamists rally after calling off Tahrir demo (AFP)
By suspending military aid to Egypt, Washington is pressing Cairo to end the bloodshed on the streets but its largely “symbolic” act is unlikely to have a concrete impact, analysts say.
They say the “half-measured” move reflects the lack of a clear US foreign policy on Egypt, where a political crisis since strongman Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011 has worsened after the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
On Wednesday, Washington suspended deliveries of major military hardware and cash assistance of $260 million to the Egyptian military, which ousted Morsi in a coup.
The decision will stop deliveries of big-ticket items such as Apache helicopters, F-16 fighters, M1A1 Abrams tank parts and Harpoon missiles.
Washington says the suspension will remain in place until Egypt moves towards an elected and “inclusive” democratic civilian government.
Hosni Mubarak looked like a stalwart American ally but worried for years that Washington was trying to oust him as president of Egypt, he confided to a doctor recently in surreptitiously recorded conversations that came to light here last week.
“How did the revolution start?” Mr. Mubarak mused about his ouster, in early 2011. “The Americans worked on it since 2005, and I had a feeling then.”
The conversations were recorded over a period of months this year and were authenticated over the weekend when the doctor, an ear, nose and throat specialist, was summoned to testify about them. They offer a rare, unadulterated taste of the former president’s attitudes about a host of subjects — Washington, Israel, his Arab neighbors, Jews, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s new military leaders and most of all himself.
For all the aid the United States gave Egypt during his 30 years in power, his comments suggest that Washington gained little sway over Mr. Mubarak. And he expressed nothing but pride in his rule despite the steady decline of Egypt’s economy and influence.
An Egyptian court has banned all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country. Its assets will also be confiscated according to the court ruling.
“The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its non-governmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and any organization derived from it,” said the presiding judge Mohammed Sayed.
The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters also ordered the “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets, and buildings”.
The Cabinet has ordered the formation of an independent committee to manage the money until final court orders are issued.
“This is totalitarian decision,” leading group member Ibrahim Moneir told Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV.“You are losers and it (the Brotherhood) will remain with God’s help, not by the orders of the judiciary of Sisi,” he added, referring to the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, who led the military-backed ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
The Brotherhood has been outlawed for most of its 85-year existence. It has been in its worst crisis since a similar attempt to suppress it in the 1950s.
MORE EGYPT NEWS:
- Abdel-Nour: Government does not seek to get IMF loan (Government Statement)
- Will Egypt’s strongman Sisi run for presidency? (AFP)
- Morsi vows to stand firm until ‘last breath’ (Press TV)
- Islamist Nour party walks out of Egypt’s constitution talks (Reuters)
- In Sensitive Case, Egypt Acquits Alleged Killers of 2011 Protesters (VoA)
A farmer is southern Egypt was taken into custody after putting a military chief’s name and a military hat on a donkey, state media reported.
Omar Abul-Magd was arrested late Friday as he rode the donkey through the town in Qena province, MENA news agency reported. The farmer was taken into custody for insulting General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces who led the military-backed ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July. Morsi’s overthrow occurred following nationwide mass protests against the leader.
Eight other people were detained elsewhere in Egypt for spraying anti-military graffiti.
The arrests highlight Egypt’s intensified crackdown on critics of the military since Morsi’s ouster.
The news from Egypt sounds delusional these days. Military coup, massacres, church burnings, mass arrests, curfews and vigilante checkpoints, attacks on police stations, shuttered television channels, an inflated pro-military patriotism among journalists, and, to cap the most bizarre of twists, Mubarak’s release from prison.
State and private television have been parroting baseless claims in favor of the coup with banners and somber music warning the new government is fighting an existential war on domestic terror. Ikhwan Web, the official news portal of the Muslim Brotherhood, acts as if Morsi’s one-year rule was a prophetic revelation, while Mubashir Misr, the Al Jazeera service devoted to Egypt, has shamelessly turned into an MB headquarters relaying only one side of the story.
This kind of impulsive, Fox-ified journalism would be disastrous anywhere, but it has proven catastrophic in a country where 90 percent of the population get their news from television.
So what exactly happened in the course of Morsi’s brief rule to turn the news narrative in Egypt from progressive uprisings to crippled revolution, from the hopes of free civilian rule to military rule, and from the fears of the deep state to the war on terror? Many have warned against Morsi’s aggressive power-grab policies and the Muslim Brotherhood’s meager support for more inclusive politics. But how did Egypt move from a political stalemate to a popular coup and a brutal crackdown with little public outcry? (Sixty-seven percent of Egyptians support recent military intervention.)The answer is simple and troubling. The media in Egypt today are vengeful and when revenge drives reporting, facts become secondary. If you ever wondered about the perils of Fox News’ opinionated and polarizing reporting, Egyptian media offer us a disturbing window into a society literally destroying itself. They are revealing to all of us just how deadly a concoction of fact-free journalism, dogged ideology and populism can be.
OTHER RECENT NEWS FROM EGYPT:
- Egypt extends state of emergency for two months (LA Times)
- Aides Urge Obama to Ditch Egypt Aid, But Pentagon Opposed (Antiwar)
- 6 Corporations Making Money From U.S. Aid to the Brutal Egyptian Military (Alternet)
- Visiting Republicans Laud Egypt’s Force (NY Times)
- Egypt judges recommend dissolving the Brotherhood (AP)
- Egypt’s president says Muslim Brotherhood’s fate in hands of judiciary, says security priority (AP)
- Thousands of Morsi supporters rally in Egypt (TNI)
- Mursi faces new accusations (The Peninsula)
- Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to Coptic Christians: Convert to Islam, or pay ‘jizya’ tax (Washington Times)
- The dangerous job of selling books in Cairo (DW)
- Al Jazeera sues over broadcast ban in Egypt (The National)
- Egypt shuts down four TV stations (BBC)
- Egypt minister warns of terrorism wave after assassination attempt (Reuters)
- Egypt names key constitution panel with few Islamists (Reuters)
- Amid crackdown, Egypt’s protesters shift tactics (AP)
- Egypt’s army chief rules out presidential run, but the choice may not be his (The National)
- Younger Muslim Brotherhood hoping to revive the Egyptian group (McClatchy)
- Egyptian economy faces collapse (MEMO)
- Egypt to auction $1.3 billion for vital imports (AP)
- Egypt airport official says 50 percent decline in passengers, with numbers to fall even more (AP)
The trial for deposed Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, on Saturday was postponed until next month, state media reported. He faces charges involving the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that led to his ouster.
Mubarak was convicted on the charges last year and sentenced to life in prison, but appealed the ruling and was granted a retrial.
A court ordered him released last month and placed under house arrest while he awaits a retrial.
Mubarak, 85, had been held since shortly after he was removed from power.
The ousted autocratic leader’s health has been a bone of contention during his trial and incarceration. He suffered a heart attack after relinquishing power and had said that he was physically unfit to stand trial.
- NATO Chief: No Plans for Alliance Action in Syria (The State)
- Hollande: France and US Want to Send ‘Strong Message’ (TDS)
- Paid Off?: France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract (Economic Times)
- Erdogan wants Syria regime change, not limited strikes (Al Arabiya)
- Denmark Backs Military Strike in Syria (TDS)
- Germany: No Plans to Join Syria Military Action (AP)
- Iran vows ‘immediate destruction’ of Israel if Syria attacked (RT)
- Obama Hypes Case for War, But Won’t Talk Strategy (Antiwar)
- Experts warn Syria attack could escalate violence and further destabilize region (Raw Story)
- Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria (Juan Cole)
- Sixth US Ship Now in Eastern Mediterranean ‘As Precaution’ (Reuters)
- Russia Honors Pre-2011 Contracts With Syria (UPI)
- Syria Pays for Russian Weapons to Boost Ties With Moscow (Daily Times)
- Jordanians Protest Proposed Military Action Against Syria (Washington Post)
- Amid Syria Tensions, Israel Deploys Iron Dome Battery in Greater Tel Aviv Area (Jerusalem Post)
- Syrian Strikes Would Battle-Test Chinese Radars (Defense News)
- Syrian Army Moves Scud Missiles to Avoid Strike (Reuters)
In his first intervention since the chemical weapons attack last week, the former prime minister said the west should not be neutral in protecting Syrians from the Assad regime and “affiliates of al-Qaida” seeking to exploit the instability.
He wrote: “Western policy is at a crossroads: commentary or action; shaping events or reacting to them. After the long and painful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand every impulse to stay clear of the turmoil, to watch but not to intervene, to ratchet up language but not to engage in the hard, even harsh business of changing reality on the ground. But we have collectively to understand the consequences of wringing our hands instead of putting them to work.”
Blair, who was humiliated by Assad during a trip to Damascus after the 9/11 attacks, when the Syrian president likened Palestinian suicide bombers to the Free French, said it was time to intervene against the regime.
“I hear people talking as if there was nothing we could do: the Syrian defence systems are too powerful, the issues too complex and, in any event, why take sides since they’re all as bad as each other?” he wrote. “It is time we took a side: the side of the people who want what we want; who see our societies for all their faults as something to admire; who know that they should not be faced with a choice between tyranny and theocracy.”
Former minister Yossi Beilin revealed in a column published in the Israel Hayom daily on Sunday that the Egyptian army rigged the results of last year’s presidential elections, in which Islamist Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner.
“An Egyptian official told me in person that the army rigged the presidential elections in June 2012, fearing widespread riots should the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, lose the race,” wrote Beilin.
The source who asked to remain anonymous told Beilin that former president Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, won the race “by a narrow margin. But the army generals — wanting to ensure that law and order would be upheld following the elections — feared that if Morsi was defeated, the Muslim Brotherhood would refuse to recognize the results and would end up conducting themselves just as they are now.”
“The official results, 51.73% for Morsi and 48.27% for Shafiq, were almost the exact reversal of what actually happened at the polls,” wrote Beilin.
“After the results were published, we barely heard any calls for protest or opposition among the secular-liberals, while on the religious side — loyal either to the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafi parties — voters were happy with their achievement,” he added.
According to Beilin, “Officials thought that the inexperienced Morsi would accept help from the army and would avoid crossing any red lines — regarding Israel, for example. In reality, what happened was a combinationof a pathetic lack of management skills and a string of efforts to rule by the same ideological orientation espoused by a quarter of Egypt’s population. Morsi tried running the operation with the help of several associates who were completely incapable of managing anything.”
“Many of Col. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s fellow generals,” he wrote, “tried to convince him to spring to action several months ago already, but Sissi wanted to give Morsi, who favored Sissi over other generals as defense minister and commander in chief of the armed forces, the opportunity to prove that what had happened stemmed from the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood president was an amateur.”
On the Muslim Brotherhood’s first anniversary in power, explained Beilin, according to his source, “Sissi thought that public demonstrations would be a fitting background to oust the man who led the group, if Morsi refused to meet the army’s unequivocal demands. Morsi indeed rejected the demands, included calling for early presidential elections. He acted in a manner that would have far-reaching consequences, the most significant of which was a military coup before the judicial system was adjusted, making it harder to reinstate the deposed president.”
“This same official told me that Sissi did not foresee so many casualties in clashes with Morsi supporters, adding that the general was unwavering in his conviction that demonstrators must be cleared from the squares where they were squatting. And he does not intend to let them come back,” stressed Beilin.
- Mubarak exit from jail stirs little interest in Egypt (AFP)
- Has Egypt brought back Mubarak’s police state? (CS Monitor)
- Leading activist says Egypt revolution back at square one (Egypt Independent)
- Did Amnesty International unwittingly assist the Egyptian military in its bloody crackdown on protesters? (Telegraph)
- Egypt Junta to Prosecute ElBaradei for Resigning to Protest Massacre (Antiwar)
- Egyptian Prime Minister Says He Does ‘Not Fear Civil War’ (ABC)
- Al-Sisi appears in official suit (MEMO)
- General Sisi kills his own family (MEMO)
- How Hamas helped Morsi escape (The National)
- Israeli study claims Morsi planned to revoke Camp David peace accords (MEMO)
- Who’s who in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (BBC)
- Muslim Brotherhood names new chief as it struggles to rally supporters (McClatchy)
- Egypt Widens Crackdown and Meaning of ‘Islamist’ (NY Times)
- Cairo threatens to ban Muslim Brotherhood (DW)
- Muslim Brotherhood leadership fading amid government crackdown (McClatchy)
- Analysis: Egypt crackdown may not crush Brotherhood (Reuters)
- Egypt Releases Video of MB Snipers Firing on Security Forces (INN)
- Lockdown by Government Smothers Day of Planned Protest in Egypt (NY Times)
- In Egypt, flickers of a new Islamist insurgency (Daily Times)
- Egypt after the revolution: curfew nights and blood-stained days (Guardian)
- Beards, niqab become liability in Egypt after crackdown (AFP)
- Islamists Step Up Attacks on Christians for Supporting Morsi’s Ouster (NY Times)
- Coptic church cancels Sunday mass for 1st time in 1,600 years (Times of Israel)
- Revolution 2011: Christians protecting Muslims, Muslims protecting Christians (Picture)
- Egypt’s devastating museum looting of 1,000 artifacts is the latest casualty amid turmoil (Montreal Gazette)
- Unrest delivers huge blow to Egypt tourism (AP)
- Israel quietly maintains ties with Egyptian army (AP)
- Israel Desperately Trying to Link US Aid to Egypt to Peace Talks (Antiwar)
- EU Halts Some Arms Exports to Egypt, But Continues Funding (Antiwar)
- Saudi Arabia warns against pressing Egypt on crackdown (Reuters)
- Iraq backs Egypt crackdown on Morsi supporters (AFP)
- ‘Israel behind Egypt coup’ – Turkish PM (RT)
- Graham: Egypt could become a ‘failed state’ (The Hill)
- Egyptian police ambush adds to Israeli concern over Sinai (Guardian)
As the administration of President Barack Obama continues wrestling with how to react to the military coup in Egypt and its bloody aftermath, officials and independent analysts are increasingly worried about the crisis’s effect on U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia.
The oil-rich kingdom’s strong support for the coup is seen here as having encouraged Cairo’s defence minister Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood and resist western pressure to take a conciliatory approach that would be less likely to radicalise the Brotherhood’s followers and push them into taking up arms.
Along with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, Saudi Arabia did not just pledge immediately after the Jul. 3 coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi to provide a combined 12 billion dollars in financial assistance, but it has also promised to make up for any western aid – including the 1.5 billion dollars with which Washington supplies Cairo annually in mostly military assistance – that may be withheld as a result of the coup and the ongoing crackdown in which about 1,000 protestors are believed to have been killed to date.
Perhaps even more worrisome to some experts here has been the exceptionally tough language directed against Washington’s own condemnation of the coup by top Saudi officials, including King Abdullah, who declared Friday that “[t]he kingdom stands …against all those who try to interfere with its domestic affairs” and charged that criticism of the army crackdown amounted to helping the “terrorists”.
“That review has not concluded and … published reports to the contrary that assistance to Egypt has been cut off are not accurate,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.
U.S. president Barack Obama is set to meet on Tuesday with his national security team to discuss Egypt.
Earnest’s comments on U.S. assistance follow media reports, citing a U.S. senator that the United States had quietly decided to temporarily suspend most military aid to Egypt following the military takeover.
While under review, the aid has not halted, he said. “Assistance is provided episodically. Assistance is provided in tranches,” Earnest added.
- Poll: Americans criticize Obama on Egypt, want aid cut off (Washington Post)
- Cairo Military Firmly Hooked to U.S. Lifeline (NY Times)
- Egypt Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi: Cutting aid ’bad sign’ (Politico)
- Neocon Princelings Kristol, Kagan Split on Egypt (Jim Lobe)
- McCain: U.S. has ‘no credibility’ in Egypt (USA Today)
- With Gulf aid, Egypt economy can limp through crisis (Reuters)
- Arab states ready to cover any cuts in aid to Egypt: Saudi Arabia (Egypt Independent)
- EU to ‘urgently review’ its relations with Egypt (AP)
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president overthrown in the 2011 revolution, is likely to be freed from detention within days.
Judicial authorities ruled on Monday that he had already spent too long in custody after one of the charges against him was dropped.
News of Mubarak’s imminent release looks likely to inflame a highly volatile mood in Egypt. It comes after the army’s clearance of two Cairo protest camps last week, which sparked bloodshed in which at least 900 people have been killed, and unprecedented polarisation following the military’s removal of the elected Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, last month.
The Obama administration is “reprogramming” some funds to Egypt while a review is underway — in effect, temporarily holding up some military aid to the country, a U.S. official said.
A spokesman for Sen. Patrick Leahy, David Carle, confirmed to CNN his office has been told the aid has been halted. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, is chairman of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee.
The United States gives about $1.23 billion in military aid to Egypt.
But the U.S. official emphasized no decision has been made to permanently halt the aid.
The move means the administration has taken temporary steps that ultimately allow it to move forward on either of two scenarios: pressing ahead with the aid or cutting it off. The source would not detail how the aid was being redirected.
- Senator: Obama Administration Secretly Suspended Military Aid to Egypt (Daily Beast)
- Hagel: US Has ‘Limited’ Influence Over Egypt (The Hill)
- US-Egypt Military Relationship Built to Last (Politico)
- European Union Sets Emergency Session on Suspending Aid to Egypt (NY Times)
- Sympathy for the Devil: Israel’s Efforts on Behalf of Cairo’s Generals (Haaretz)
- Israel Boosts Ties With Egyptian Army as US Mulls Cuts (Bloomberg)
- Saudi Arabia Will Cover Any Western Aid Cuts to Egypt Junta (Antiwar)
- Allies Thwart America in Egypt (WSJ)
The Egyptian military’s obvious determination to crush the Muslim Brotherhood involves serious human rights violations, apparent in the appalling scenes of the siege of members in a mosque on Saturday. A separate question, which any political pragmatist would ask, is, can it work?
If we look at long term attempts to limit political expressions of religion in modern history, it is a mixed bag. But mostly, no, it doesn’t work in the long run.
Saddam Hussein in Iraq attempted to suppress Shiite religous parties such as the Islamic Call (Da’wa) Party, the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, and the Sadr II Bloc. He made membership in Da’wa a capital crime and executed thousands. He also suppressed the Sunni fundamentalists, which is why the Bush administrations charges that he hooked up with al-Qaeda were so funny. Now Iraq is ruled by the three Shiite parties (the prime minister is from Da’wa) and they are being contested by the Sunni fundamentalists. It is true that the US overthrew Saddam, but if eradication had been successful, these groups could not have come back so quickly and taken over.
Zine El Abidin Ben Ali attempted to uproot the Renaissance (al-Nahda) Party in Tunisia, and organizationally speaking largely succeeded. But the party came back to win the 2011 elections for the constituent assembly. Not wiped out.
The Baath Party in Syria tried to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood at Hama in 1982, and after. Political Islam now rules parts of northern Syria. It may lose out, but it is unlikely to go away.
[...] Modern Egypt is built around a command economy, with military conscripts being used as trivial-income forced labor, and dominance over politics ensuring that the regulations all benefit them over any private market competitors.
Starting with the idea of cutting costs by growing some of their own food, Egypt’s military quickly transformed itself into the driving force for the nation’s whole economy. Any industry they want, they take, no questions asked.
The size and scope of this is a matter of enormous speculation, nothing is public. The military is believed by some to be upwards of 40% of the whole nation’s economy at this point, and it’s warchest, which ensures the cushy retirements of career generals turned multimillionaires, is believed to be one of the world’s great fortunes.
- At the root of Egyptian rage is a deepening resource crisis (Nafeez Ahmed)
- Egypt government paints opponents as terrorists; US journalists targeted (McClatchy)
- Egypt braces for more unrest as Muslim Brotherhood calls for fresh protests (Guardian)
- The police keep firing; the bodies pile up. In Cairo, bloodbaths are now a daily occurrence (Independent)
- Egypt on the brink of a new dark age, as the generals close in for the kill (Patrick Cockburn)
- Egypt bans vigilantes, protests go on (Washington Post)
- Islamists Killed While in Custody, Egypt Confirms (New York Times)
- Egypt Junta Suffocates 38 Detainees in Police Van (Antiwar)
- Egypt’s Christians Made Scapegoats for Coup (Antiwar)
- Massacre on the Streets of Egypt (Youtube)
- ElBaradei opposed forcible dispersals of sit-ins (Egypt Independent)
- Army Denies Military Defection Rumor (All Africa)
The irony is thick: Obama calls on Egypt’s interim government to stop its bloody crackdown on protesters, but continues to give it $1.3 billion a year in military aid.
For decades, Egypt has been one of the largest recipients of US foreign military aid, receiving everything from F-16s to teargas grenades.
So who are the companies reaping the benefits?
1. Lockheed Martin: $259 million
In 2010, Lockheed Martin provided Egypt with 20 F-16s as well as night vision sensor systems for Apache helicopters. Lockheed Martin is the biggest beneficiary of US government defense contracts — receiving a record $36 billion in 2008.
Globally, Lockheed Martin is one of the largest defense contractors. Seventy-four percent of its revenues come from military sales.
2. DRS Technologies: $65.7 million
The US Army contracted this US-operated, Italian-owned military services company to provide vehicles, surveillance hardware and other resources to Egypt in December 2010.
3. L-3 Communication Ocean Systems: $31.3 million
L3 Communications provided the Egyptian government with a $24.7 million sonar system and military imaging equipment.
4. Deloitte Consulting: $28.1 million
Deloitte, the world’s second largest professional services firm, won a $28.1 million Navy contract to provide planning and support for Egyptian aircraft programs.
5. Boeing: $22.8 million
While most people know Boeing for it’s commercial flights, it is also the second largest defense contractor in the world.
Boeing won a $22.5 million Army contract in 2010 to provide Egypt with 10 Apache helicopters. The Aerospace also received a contract to provide logistics support to Egypt.
6. Raytheon: $31.6 million
The world’s largest guided missiles provider gave Egypt and Turkey 178 STINGER missiles, missile launch systems and 264 months of technical support for the Hawk missile system.
7. AgustaWestland: $17.3 million
AgustaWestland — also owned by the same Italian company that operates DRS Technologies — secured a contract to provide helicopter maintenance for the Egyptian government.
8. US Motor Works: $14.5 million
US Motor Works landed a $14.5 million contract in 2009 to provide engines and spare parts for the Egyptian Armament Authority.
9. Goodrich Corp.: $10.8 million
The US Air Force and Goodrich brokered a $10.8 million contract to obtain and distribute reconnaissance systems for the F-16 jets the Egyptian Air Force uses.
10. Columbia Group: $10.6 million
Columbia Group provides $10.6 million-worth of unmanned vehicle systems, along with technical training, to the Egyptian Navy.
- US Aid to Egypt Is About Keeping Suez Canal Open to Warships (Antiwar)
- US arms industry would lose big from Egypt aid cut-off (Press TV)
- Egypt expert: ‘The old guard is back in power’ (DW)
- Israel Escalating Efforts to Shape Allies’ Strategy (New York Times)
- Tamarod aims to ban US aid and cancel Camp David peace treaty (Daily News Egypt)
- McCain and Graham flipflop on aid to Egypt– after AIPAC speaks up (Mondoweiss)
- Senators Join Growing Call to Cut US Aid to Egypt (Antiwar)
- Obama’s Egypt Address: A License to Kill (National Interest)
- Pro-Junta Stance Irreparably Harmed US Credibility in Egypt (Antiwar)
- Egypt expert: ‘The old guard is back in power’ (DW)
- The New Axis of Evil: Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Pentagon Are Backing Egypt’s Bloody Crackdown (Pepe Escobar)
- Over 100 Killed Across Egypt, Three Day Toll Around 750 (Antiwar)
- Mosques Are Becoming Morgues In Egypt (Vice)
- Muslim Brotherhood calls rallies across Egypt after day of bloodshed (Reuters)
- Attacks on Protesters in Cairo Were Calculated to Provoke, Some Say (NY Times)
- Egyptian Media Silences Protests (IPS)
- Egypt: resentment towards Brotherhood fuels crackdown support (Guardian)
- Morsi supporters did NOT push police van off bridge reveals new video (Truthloader)
- Egypt’s tourism faces meltdown as security fears mount (AFP)
- International companies halt operations in Egypt (Times of Israel)
- Egypt’s Christians face unprecedented attacks (Al Jazeera)
- Saudi king backs Egypt’s military rulers (Press TV)
- Israel Keeps a Wary Eye on Turmoil in Egypt (NY Times)
- Palestinians protest Egypt’s bloody crackdown (Times of Israel)
- Turkey denies ‘meddling’ in Egypt affairs as tensions rise (Daily Times)
- Hollande, Merkel call for Egypt talks (The Australian)
- German Politicians, Media Defend the Egyptian Army (WSWS)
- What does the American public want in Egypt? Not much (Washington Post)
The international outrage that was conspicuously lacking during the July military coup in Egypt has finally shown up after police attacked civilian protesters demanding the return of the elected government, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.
The condemnation was virtually universal, with nations across the world denouncing the massacre. Multiple nations, led by Turkey, called for international action, saying it was time for the UN Security Council and the Arab League to step up on a matter they have so far shrugged off.
The Obama Administration, which had so far been cheering the junta on, even issued statements condemning the massacres, with the White House adding a call for the military to “show restraint” in the future.
With President Obama on vacation, the response is being handled mostly by Secretary of State John Kerry, and opponents are quick to note that Kerry had been openly praising the junta just two weeks ago, with Sen. John McCain (R – AZ), one of only a handful of Senators to criticize the coup, saying Kerry bears some responsibility for the crackdown.
Whatever the political fallout domestically, the massacres are another black eye for the US internationally, as the Obama Administration has been seen strongly on the side of military rule, and even overtly defying a US ban on military aid to juntas on the grounds that they wanted to maintain influence with the new rulers. Instead of influence, they may have just bought themselves a piece of the blame.
- Obama cancels U.S. military exercise with Egypt in wake of violence (LA Times)
- Global outcry steps up pressure on US to suspend aid to military (Guardian)
- U.S. Condemns Crackdown but Announces No Policy Shift (NY Times)
- McCain suggests Kerry is partly to blame for violence in Egypt (The Hill)
- ElBaradei Resigns, But Others in Egypt Junta Defend Crackdown (Antiwar)
- Egypt Junta Ousts Last of Civilian Govt, Appoints Generals as ‘Governors’ (Antiwar)
- Witnessing yesterday’s Cairo massacre was shocking and awful (Vice)
- Sky News cameraman Mick Deane shot and killed in Egypt (Guardian)
- As military makes its move, forget about liberal democracy in Egypt (CS Monitor)
- Egypt slaps nighttime curfew on Cairo, 10 regions (Iron Mountain Daily News)
- Shocking photos, video show Egyptian protesters pushing armored police vehicle off bridge (Washington Post)
- Morsi supporters ‘torch three churches’ in Egypt (AFP)
- Shell closes Egypt offices, curbs business travel there (Egyptian Independent)
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said Egypt’s military was “restoring democracy” when it ousted elected President Mohammed Morsi last month.
Mr Kerry said the removal was at the request of “millions and millions of people”.
[...] Washington has refused to describe Mr Morsi’s removal as a “coup”. Doing so would require the US government to cut off its estimated $1.5bn (£1bn) in annual aid to Egypt.
Correspondents say Mr Kerry’s latest comments will be seen in Egypt as supportive of the interim government.
- Egypt Protests as US Loudly Backs Coup (Antiwar)
- Ouster of Morsi was not coup, Germany says (Press TV)
- Senate Won’t Consider Ending Egypt Aid (Antiwar)
- Egypt: the hypocrisy of the human-rights industry (Spiked)
- Egypt army seeking ‘peaceful’ way to disperse sit-ins: Spokesman (Ahram)
- Egypt protesters defy cabinet threat to end sit-ins (BBC)
- Ousted Egypt president’s supporters snub offer of protection if they end their protests (Washington Post)
- U.S. declares new push to defuse Egyptian crisis (Reuters)
- Egypt General Has Country Wondering About Aims (NY Times)