Thursday, 15 August 2013

Egypt: The West's Failed Policy.

"We appreciate the complexity of the situation...We recognise that change takes time. There are going to be false starts and difficult days. We know that democratic transitions are measured not in months or even years, but sometimes in generations.
While Mohamed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election, his government was not inclusive and did not respect the views of all Egyptians. We know that many Egyptians, millions of Egyptians, perhaps even a majority of Egyptians, were calling for a change in course."- President Obama
In the light of the the army's killing of MB street protesters, western politicians have to stop trotting out the line about democratic elections. It only gives vent to those claiming elections were all about the 'will of the people' as opposed to first having had a constitution accepted by a broad number of Egyptians beforehand.

The Arab Spring never blossomed. No new constitution was ratified in advance of the presidential election which is why even in the first run off the majority of Egyptians did not vote. In the second run off people had a choice of Mubarak's last prime minister and Morsi, whom few had ever even heard of before.

Obama's decision to cancel US military exercises with Egypt is only intended to signal that it disapproves of the manner in which the Egyptian security forces are dealing with the remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood's support on the streets of Cairo.

The coup is not a coup in Washington because if it were it could not legally send aid to Egypt to fund and train the security forces to preserve its interests. One of those is counter-terrorism so if the upshot of General Sisi's coup is to ramp up that threat then the US is hardly likely to want to suspend it.

The platitudes coming from US and EU envoys and diplomats prove that they want 'transition' but for it to be a smooth one. The Egyptian army do not give a damn about the wittering Lady Ashton's calls for the need for the need for the 'utmost restraint', the need for 'dialogue', 'inclusivity' and 'overcoming differences'.

From the outset of the so-called 'Arab Spring' of 2011, the army were firmly in control. Now the Egyptian army is claiming it is doing the sort of 'counter terrorism' operations it has been trained to enact for decades with the backing of the western powers.

The course was set for a showdown between the old regime and the Muslim Brotherhood ever since the army dissolved the Egyptian Parliament in July 2012. US and EU diplomats had little or nothing to say about that. But it meant that any future president would rule without a democratically mandated constitution.

Ultimately, neither the US nor the EU are going to let Egypt slide into chaos and it depends on the army it has backed since the 1970s being there to do so. SCAF knows that and knows that the Gulf States, which supply the oil the EU states take via the Sumed pipeline and Suez Canal back them too.


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  2. Hi,

    Just want to say that you have some spot on analysis. I have been doing my own research today, as normal, and stumbled upon one of your comments on guardian. I was impressed with the analysis. What helped me mostly, at first, was your mentioning of the Sumed. So, after I looked that up, it led me to conclude, what I saw you later concluded in other statements: 1973 crisis redux.

    Interestingly, I noticed in the Sumed history that it was initiated or agreed to be a project live around then, 1973. Next, I noticed, 1977-1978 it went live, which led me to 'click' on the Camp David Accords going in motion 1978 too! Which I have always found interesting, as well, that 1979 Iranian Revolution kicked off.

    Iran is important here too, as later, when I read your other thoughts, as I decided to read most of your posts today, until I found your blog link, is Iran, will emerge through this as a strong link. If, and it seems so, Egypt continues to fracture, Iran, with a renewed Syria Asaad (who has every right to be mad or against the West and extra regional post 'Arab Spring' meddling), will link up strongly with Hezbollah on the ground.

    Now, the beauty of this emergent geopolitical (spiritual?) poetry, is that 1979 Islamic Republic of Iran, has never forgot, rightfully so, as Americans have, (I am one or was as I consider myself transnational now), the great betrayal of 1953 by the CIA.

    Betrayal Betrayal Betrayal coming out of the Transnational Security State, presently 'led' by washington powers, but it is even more than that, but it is what I see emergent now. The snowden report helped that click for me. If you put together the national security 'mandate' period, which came around 1947-1949, and has grown stronger ever since, which matured through the Cold War, and found open reign post cold war USSR fall.

    So, 1991, where most were thinking, what now? I see it went for a go. However, it was also partnered with the TNC, TCC (trans capital class), which post Cold War decided it was the 'winner' of the cold war; that is, capital claimed victory, while the transnational security state (TSS: i call it) claimed victory too. It, however, was up until now, and still is, but changing, bound by U.S. romantic nationalism.


  3. Thanks.

    It's interesting that only now is the BBC starting to mention the crucial geopolitical context explaining why Obama's reaction to the carnage unleashed by the Egyptian army has been "muted".

    'The generals' support is crucial to maintaining the country's peace treaty with Israel, the Camp David accords signed in 1979. Washington also supports Egypt in its fight against militants in the Sinai, bordering Israel. Washington is also worried about access to the Suez Canal.

    A recent report released by the Congressional Research Service highlighted concerns within the administration and congress about how to maintain security co-operation with Egypt at a time of continued upheaval'.

    'Egypt gives the US Navy expedited passage through the Suez Canal while other countries have to wait for weeks. About a dozen US warships pass each month through the Canal, a key shortcut to reaching Iraq and Afghanistan.'.

    The Suez Canal is also a major importand export route for oil and gas, especially LNG. Something not mentioned by the BBC any more than they bother mentioning the concern among the CRS about increasing Russian and Chinese arms sales.

    One reason the US will not suspend or cut military aid is that they want to retain the lucrative market for arms exports against rival competition. One of my previous posts dealt with that in detail.

    The strategic partnership with Egypt is a cornerstone of US policy in the Middle East. The Egyptian army protects the Gulf states pipelines such as Sumed. If the US cut aid Saudi Arabia would step in, reducing US influence accordingly.

    For some years now the US has been wary on increased Chinese influence in the oil rich kingdom. One reason for the Iraq War was to control the globe's second largest oil reserves in order to diversify oil supply.

    As the Iraq war backfired, and lead to China gaining more oil concessions, the US has seen its global reach shrink and it is not going to want to lose Egypt to rival powers vying for influence in Iraq and Syria-esp Iran along with Russia and China.

    Interesting, if dangerous, times are ahead.

  4. Sad thing, was if they somehow chose to actually try and live up to 'our' romantic nationalist myths they could of bought pressure or still could on the military to work with all parties to develop a solid constitutional democracy properly-as you said. As we are coming to agree, the phantom loss of the military, may be far less dangerous, than losing the entire Egyptian people or simply half through the MB.

    It is not hard to change the military leaders, they did it with Mubarak, and little sissy was put in place, surely from background domestic and foreign powers, and he could easily have been removed. Now, with domestic loss off confidence and trust and the slow but sure break down in unquestioning faith in slavish patriot myths: nsa; Washington is going to have to fight many battles on two fronts now.

    As the world has know for many years, and is seeing even more clearly now, especially in light of Obama's inverse change, domestic citizens are starting to have a moment of 'what is going on here?". Some will fall out of the matrix... worse, if they do not, US romantic nationalist could one day become violent enemies of the 'state' to preserve there myths of 'exceptional-ism' etc...

    My thesis is: Americans are in an romantic abusive relationship with Washington (et al powers) because they think they are in love with their country. AS with all abusive relationships, since they are co-committal, deception is the name of the game: enabler plus abuser.

    If Americans, remind themselves the ONLY good thing about this country, ever, was the constitution, sep of powers, etc and that happened a long time ago in a half decade and since then has been the only thing of true binding power. Yet, marketing slavish patriotism, using RN narrative discourse, movies, fairy tales, lack up public and true education of us citizens, pseudo media, etc is all set up to blind all of us domestically and emotionally into serving them thinking they are us.

    Yeah, crazy times are ahead, and I hope to be able to escape to Rio / Brazil post 2016. I lived in Europe from 2000-2008 (London and Barcelona) and tried to get to brasil, plans fell through, ended up in Argentina then had to return to states like a baby to family's house. Two weeks after I got back, the economic crisis fraud hit in 9/2009 and i started studying that then returned to Univ to intellectualize my past experience abroad, help me figure it all out, and use loans to survive as I did not work for 5 years living off past investments in spain. I came back broke so been studying International Relations/International Studies, portuguese, POSC, econ past four years just graduated double BA, double minor at 42 and now entering Masters in Global Affairs and human security locally. Still after a year here, I hope to get back to a Miami school where I studied IR for my real preferred masters: MAGG, Masters in global governance 2014-2016 at FIU: florida international univ. solid program.

    Then I need to figure out how to escape, as I see Brazil as the future...not states, or europe as its going to get worse and worse. A hostel would be great or a place to rent rooms in brazil, but only a dream now, as broke but however I get there that is where i need to be.

  5. owning a hostel or nice place to rent to visitors, that is, as i did that in barcelona for 5 years and lived really nice doing NOTHING but i lost the place, as i was subletting. Rio would be a great place to do that... and its the best way to live near a tourist great place and welcome people, have fun, girls pay u, and u do nothing.