Thursday, July 25, 2013

Deep State-- Was The Overthrow Of President Morsi A Set-up?


No one knows if President Morsi is dead or alive. His family hasn't heard from him since he was arrested by the military in the coup. There have been rumors that he will be tried on various charges but he hasn't been charged with anything yet and the fascist dictatorship claims its holding him for "his own protection"-- if he's alive.

As soon as I heard the Egyptian military was likely to take the side of the anti-Morsi protesters, I sensed a set-up. And sure enough, the day after the coup, the impossible long lines at Cairo gas stations that were driving people insane just disappeared. Gasoline was flowing again. Everything that had been making life for Egyptians unbearable seemed to be remedied overnight... literally. It looked very much like a replay of the 1953 CIA-engineered coup in Iran against Mohammed Mossadeq. Apparently there's no institutional memory in America and our elites have forgotten how tragically for all concerned how that turned out. The Egyptian coup followed the same blueprint.

The Wall Street Journal has started preparing America readers for news about what really happened in Egypt... at least to some extent. NPR also ran a story about the "Deep State" Monday night.
In the months before the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's top generals met regularly with senior aides to opposition leaders, often at the Navy Officers' Club nestled on the Nile.

The message: If the opposition could put enough protesters in the streets, the military would step in-- and forcibly remove the president.

"It was a simple question the opposition put to the military," said Ahmed Samih, who is close to several opposition attendees. "Will you be with us again?" The military said it would. Others familiar with the meetings described them similarly.

By June 30, millions of Egyptians took to the streets, calling for Mr. Morsi to go. Three days later, the military unseated him.

Suggestions that Mr. Morsi's overthrow was planned in advance, as opposed to an emergency response, have implications for U.S. aid. "If there was evidence this…was blatantly premeditated, then it would put more pressure to cut off aid on the [Obama] administration, which is currently trying to avoid having to label this a coup d'état," said Josh Stacher, a Kent State University political science professor and Egypt expert.
No discussion of direct U.S. complicity or even U.S. complicity through its Gulf allies, which sent millions of dollars and promised millions more to facilitate the coup. There's a move to divert all the blame onto reactionaries in Egyptian society.
The meetings between the generals and the senior aides to the opposition leaders also show the workings of what is known in Egypt as the "deep state"-- an assortment of long-standing political and bureaucratic forces that wield tremendous influence. A military spokesman, Col. Ahmed Ali, acknowledged that "there was a process of getting to know people that previously the military had little dealings with."

...The secret meetings between the military and secular opposition parties were key to the political chess game leading to Mr. Morsi's departure. The meetings represented a strange-bedfellows rapprochement between two groups long at odds: Egypt's opposition, and the remnants of the Mubarak regime. Their enmity dates to the 30-year dictatorship of Mr. Mubarak, which used its security services to quash the opposition.

Today, in a reversal, the opposition and Mubarak-era forces are united. They view Mr. Morsi and his Islamist ideology as a threat.

...The two sides needed each other. Opposition parties had popular credibility, unlike Mubarak-era officials. Mubarak figures brought deep pockets and influence over the powerful state bureaucracy.

Some of these figures "are the ones who continue the methods of the so-called deep state," said Ms. Mahdi. "They are the ones who know who are the election thugs, how to hire them," she said. They know "which public-sector managers have the biggest networks of employees."

As Mr. Morsi's ouster neared, there were increasing meetings between the military and opposition. They included senior aides to Mr. ElBaradei, former presidential candidate and Arab League chief Mr. Moussa, and another presidential candidate, Hamdeen Sabahy, according to Mr. Samih, and other people close to top NSF members.

Some meetings took place at the Navy Officers' Club, where the generals said that if enough Egyptians joined public protests, the military would have little choice but to intervene, according to several activists close to Mr. ElBaradei and U.S. officials. "The military's answer was, if enough people come out into the streets, then it will be exactly like Mubarak," Mr. Samih said.

A spokesman for the NSF, Khaled Dawoud, denied that any contact took place between NSF officials and military officers before the June 30 protests.

Since Mr. Mubarak's ouster, Egypt's activists have proved woeful at grass roots organizing outside cities. But in late April a previously little-known group, Tamarod, separately launched a petition against Mr. Morsi.

Tamarod's effort took off. Its founders claim they gathered 22 million signatures in less than eight weeks. The numbers are impossible to verify, but were widely reported as fact by state and private media, two hotbeds of anti-Muslim Brotherhood zeal.

In the town of Zagazig, former Mubarak party lawmaker Lotfy Shehata said he rallied support for Tamarod using the same political networks that got him elected under Mr. Mubarak.

As agitation against the Muslim Brotherhood grew, the Brotherhood formally asked the Minister of Interior for protection of their offices nationwide. Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim, Minister of Interior, publicly declined.

Gen. Ibrahim faced pressure from powerful figures in the former Mubarak camp. On June 24, Ahmed Shafiq-- the last prime minister appointed by Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Morsi's closest rival for president-- said in a television interview that he warned the general to not show support for the Brotherhood.

"I told him…the coming days will not be on your side if you do, and these days will be very soon," Mr. Shafiq said on TV. "They will see black days," he said, referring to the Brotherhood.

Days later, Mr. Shafiq's warning materialized. Armed young men began ransacking Muslim Brotherhood offices nationwide.

In Zagazig, an hour north of Cairo, armed men showed up outside a Muslim Brotherhood office the night of June 27, according to neighbors and residents of the building housing the office. As they approached, the electricity went out, according to eyewitnesses not affiliated with the Brotherhood. Gunshots rang out, these witnesses said. Seven Muslim Brotherhood defenders were shot, one fatally.

The province's deputy governor, a Muslim Brotherhood member appointed by Mr. Morsi, called the police chief and ordered him to intervene to prevent violence, according to local Brotherhood leader Yasser Hag. Mr. Hag said the police chief said he couldn't help, citing the need to protect 7,000 antigovernment protesters elsewhere.

...Nationwide that evening and in the next few days, dozens of Brotherhood offices were hit. Mr. Ammar noted the similarities to Mubarak-era political tactics on behalf of then-ruling-party candidates. "The thugs that used to come out then, and the events happening during that time, was pretty much the same to this time," he said.
Now Egypt is a mess. The death toll has been rising as the military takes the opportunity to kill as many Muslim Brotherhood activists as it can. Zionist suck-ups in the U.S. government have decided to keep up the pretense that there was no coup, ensuring that military aid will continue-- as if anyone ever doubted it. Conventional wisdom is that there's no chance of a civil war. Conventional wisdom sometimes fails, particularly in volatile situations.



At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed it was a coup. I'm not saying "so what", but I am saying that the original revolution and the Egyptian people were betrayed when Morsi unilaterally and extra-constitutionally made his declarations above the law and even before then had forced Egypt into a constitution of the most narrow interpretation of democracy possible, even substituting a crony legislature for an elected one, as well as shut everyone but the Brotherhood and its closest allies out of government. The revolution was then thwarted and Egypt would have been well on the way to a full Brotherhood dictatorship in another three years, likely a new Mubarak-style dynasty but with secular women and others smothered. Does that justify what happened? I don't know. Sometimes though armed forces do help a situation - not U.S. forces though, as ours always intervene on the side of corporate monopolists and their local henchmen. But occasionally what bad bedfellows have in mind is less bad than what's in the mind of the bad guys they help overthrow (even Reagan helped/allowed the Filipinos to overthrow Marcos; yeah, I know, out of character for him). I'm not sure one way or the other with Egypt, but now that it's happened I'm hoping of course that a truer democratic structure is built (one that will challenge Israel's unjust supremacy more boldly than than the Mubarak-type treatment Morsi was giving Israel). In fact, a truer democracy than a future Egypt under Brotherhood domination would be a less reliable co-oppressor of Palestinians. It's for good reason that the U.S. always likes an authoritarian ally since that is a more natural arrangement for U.S. relations and way more reliably manipulable than an electoral democracy (yes, Morsi was elected, but the best educated guess is that he was rigging the system for the foreseeable future in the Brotherhood's strong favor, if not outright foreclosing opponents.) The gas lines? Maybe some conspiracy; at least very strange to suspicious. I read elsewhere by an Egyptian involved in both the original and most recent coup-volution that he thought the immediate absence of incompetent Morsi functionaries and the immediate infusion of Gulf petrodollars (even merely the expectation of the petrodollars' arrival) unclogged the financial gears that got the fuel trucks and pumps running smoothly again.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of rehashing some more hand-wringing (from NPR, yet ...."nestled by the Nile"?!? Gag me.), I suggest listening to Webster Tarpley's analysis based on Morsi's relationship with the Egyptian army.

Tarply thinks the army dumped Morsi, with whatever "set up," because he was about to commit them to joining the middle-East terrorist tag-team match (my terminology) against Syria.

John Puma


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