Tangled Web, Syria and Gas. Trump meets Egyptian President, that is a rejection of the Moslem Brotherhood, siding against Qatar in Syria and With Saudi broadly and therefore the ISIL Wahabbist and Saudi funded Al Queda. There’s Gas in them there Golan Heights remember, Israel Saudi and ISisl are all on the same side too. Iran really needs to be on Full Alert presently. Dollar Hegemony trumps European Energy Policy, Saudi is a very difficult Allie for the purveyors of geo-political Real Politick. The working Hypothesis vis Obama and Kerry is that they were pro Moslem brotherhood, there is more than one flavour of Islamism, Moslem Brotherhood. And Al Queda, The Alqueda Saud wahabbist type is Zionist friendly The other Type, the Moslem Brotherhood Type is presumably not as palatable to Zionist ideology? Kremlin watch turned Whitehouse watch sleuthery suggests that President Trump embracing General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi , who has purged Egyptian politics of the Moslem Brotherhood influence, in this we see the difference between Obama and the Washington establishment and the Trump approach.
Roger LewisHi David, I re-read your Syria Cui Bono series yesterday and listened to the podcast. I scribbled a blog https://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/…/the… wit some lazy cut and pastes but also embedded the podcast interview you did which is excellent. Yesterday marked a turning point in Trump World. The joint press conference with King Abdullah is worth watching in full. Coupled With Bannon being moved sideways, the Zionist/Wahabi aligned foreign policy has won out over the Moslem Brotherhood-aligned policy so its Saudi, Golan Heights and continued nefarious action against Assad. We will see how President Trump and XI of China get along tomorrow if they meet at all. I wonder if with this seemingly emerging taming of President Trump we will see something of the Empires hand regarding Carbon/debt based currency, with the dollar linked to Carbon emissions, this might well be woven in with some sort of Bashing the fed to pacify fly over America that is Alex Jones Awake, as opposed to being fully awake. I suspect it might be a temporary pocket of thinner fog. Have you tried any Prof Bruce Charlton? here is his latest which I find interesting. http://charltonteaching.blogspot.se/…/exit-polls-are… actually it’s the two first ones together that sort of amount to more than the sum of the parts. http://charltonteaching.blogspot.se/…/could-computers…
David MaloneMorning Roger Lewis. Read your piece. I think you could be right. I think the US establishment has indeed decided to stick with the ogres they know Saudi, oil and Israel and as you say oppose Qatar’s pretensions. I also agree that Iran is in more danger than before. Trump is being tamed and trained.
In case you would like to hear it, I was interviewed about Syria and Gas, by Claudia Cragg for NPR (National Public Radio) in the States. The interview ran on the Boulder, Colorado station KGNU. You can go to Claudia’s web page and follow the link or you can go direct to the Pod Cast […]
The official story about any intervention in Syria is that we are not after any benefit for ourselves. We are just appalled at the use of gas and feel ourselves to be the guardians of international law, freedom and innocent children. Yeah right! In part One I took issue with this ‘Simple World’ narrative. In […]
Our leaders would like you to believe that what is going on in Syria is simple – a bad man has gassed innocent victims and it is up to good people to punish him (take out his air defenses), prevent him from ever doing it again (regime change) and serve notice to other bad men […]
Once again the current rulers of the USA have decided some little dusky-brown skinned people need to be saved from some other dusky-brown skinned people. Once again they’ll be saving them by bombing. Carefully, of course, and with every effort made to kill only the bad brown ones and not the good brown ones, and […]
According to a report by RT Israel used a Turkish base from which to launch a bombing raid on Syria. Since that first report claims, counter-claims and denials have been launched on all sides. Richard Silverstein at Canada’s Global Research was one of the first to offer an analysis of the story. As he says, …this […]
The Guardian, on its breaking news ticker, is now running a report from PA news wire under the headline “Hague: Syrian Leader should quit..” The article says, Some 137 countries backed a non-binding resolution at the UN General Assembly in New York supporting an Arab League plan that calls for Assad to step down and […]
In the January–February 2011 uprising itself, the Brotherhood remained “on the sidelines”, but even before it was officially legalized it launched a new party called the Freedom and Justice Party. The party rejected “the candidacy of women or Copts for Egypt’s presidency”, although it did not oppose their taking cabinet positions. In its first election the party won almost half of 498 seats in the 2011–12 Egyptian parliamentary election,.
In the first couple of years after the revolution, critics speculated about both secret collusion between the Brotherhood and the powerful (secular oriented) military, and a looming showdown between the two. The Brotherhood and the military both supported the March constitutional referendum which most Egyptian liberals opposed as favoring established political organizations. It was said to have stopped the “second revolution” against military rule by remaining uninvolved during violent clashes between revolutionaries and the military in late 2011, and protests over the thousands of secretive military trials of civilians.
Egyptian author Ezzedine C. Fishere worried that the Brotherhood had
“managed to alienate its revolutionary and democratic partners and to scare important segments of society, especially women and Christians. Neither the Brotherhood nor the generals showed willingness to share power and both were keen on marginalising the revolutionary and democratic forces. It is as if they were clearing the stage for their eventual showdown.”
Within a short period, serious public opposition developed to President Morsi. In late November 2012, he issued a temporary constitutional declaration granting himself the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts, on the grounds that he needed to “protect” the nation from the Mubarak-era power structure. He also put a draft constitution to a referendum that opponents complained was “an Islamist coup.” These issues—and concerns over the prosecutions of journalists, the unleashing of pro-Brotherhood gangs on nonviolent demonstrators; the continuation of military trials; and new laws that permitted detention without judicial review for up to 30 days, and impunity given to Islamist radical attacks on Christians and other minorities—brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets starting in November 2012. During Morsi’s year-long rule there were 9,000 protests and strikes.
By April 2013, Egypt had “become increasingly divided” between President Mohamed Morsi and “Islamist allies” and an opposition of “moderate Muslims, Christians and liberals”. Opponents accused “Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood of seeking to monopolize power, while Morsi’s allies say the opposition is trying to destabilize the country to derail the elected leadership”. Adding to the unrest were severe fuel shortages and electricity outages—which evidence suggests were orchestrated by Mubarak-era Egyptian elites.
By 29 June the Tamarod (rebellion) movement claimed it had collected more than 22 million signatures calling for Morsi to step down. A day later, mass demonstrations occurred across Egypt urging Morsi to step down. Demonstrations in support of him were organized as a response.
After the July 2013 overthrow of Mohamed Morsi
On 3 July, the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi responded to the demands of the protesters in Tahrir Square during the 30 June Demonstration and after discussing the issue with the main political parties and religious leaders of the country and removed President Mohamed Morsi and suspended the constitution. Brotherhood supporters staged sit-ins throughout the country, setting up camps and shutting down traffic.
The crackdown that followed has been called the worst for the Brotherhood’s organization “in eight decades”. On 14 August, the military declared a month-long state of emergency in response to their violence after removing the camps. In retaliation Brotherhood supporters looted and burned police stations and dozens of churches.
The sit-in dispersal lead to clashes, resulting in the deaths of 638 people and injury of some 4000. By 19 August, al Jazeera reported that “most” of the Brotherhood’s leaders were in custody. On that day Supreme Leader Mohammed Badie was arrested, crossing a “red line”, as even Hosni Mubarak had never arrested him.
On 23 September, a court ordered the group outlawed and its assets seized. Two days later security forces shuttered the main office of the newspaper of the Freedom and Justice Party, and confiscated its equipment. Muslim Brotherhood criticized the decision to seize its assets and those of MB linked charities as opening the door to Christian charities and part of a campaign against Islam.
Some question whether the military and security services can effectively crush the Brotherhood. Unlike the last major crackdown in the 1950s, when Egypt’s “public sphere and information space” was tightly-controlled, the Brotherhood has a larger and broader international presence beyond the reach of Egypt’s government to sustain itself.
Others—such as Hussein Ibish and journalist Peter Hessler—believe its “unlikely” that the Brotherhood will return to political prominence soon, because of its aggressive but incompetent performance while in power. According to Hessler, the group antagonized the powerful entrenched government institutions, the news media and millions of non-supporters, acting “with just enough aggression to provoke an outsized response”, while not having nearly enough military resources to defend itself against that response. It “no longer leads the anti-government movement,” and has even lost its “religious credibility”, such that “at mosques, even staunch opponents of the coup told me that they wouldn’t vote for the Brotherhood again.”Hessler also argues that the strong showing for the party in post-revolution elections exaggerated MB strength, noting that in one Upper Egytpian district (El-Balyana), the MB party had dominated the Presidential vote and nearly won a parliamentary seat, but the Brotherhood itself had only ten local members in a district of approximately six hundred thousand. Since then its support has declined drastically. “.
Hussein Ibish believes the Brotherhood is being challenged by the Salafi movement, and is undergoing a crisis so severe that “what ultimately emerges from the current wreckage [may] be unrecognisably different” from the traditional Brotherhood.
A day after the 2013 bombing of a security directorate building in Mansoura, the interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist group—despite the fact that another group, the Sinai-based Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the blast. On 24 March 2014, an Egyptian court sentenced 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death, an act described by Amnesty International as “the largest single batch of simultaneous death sentences we’ve seen in recent years […] anywhere in the world.” On 15 April 2014, an Egyptian court banned current and former members of the Muslim Brotherhood from running in the presidential and parliamentary elections.
In 2015, a split appeared in the Brotherhood between an old guard afraid that resorting to violence could mean the annihilation of the Brotherhood, and a new leadership, joined by the rank and file, that believed that “only by bleeding” the regime could it “be brought to its knees.” In May, Mahmoud Hussein, the (former) secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood, reported on his Facebook page that Mahmoud Ezzat had “taken over” the Muslim Brotherhood. On the official Brotherhood website a spokesperson replied: “We affirm that the group’s institutions, which was elected by its base last February, manages its affairs and that only the official spokesman of the group and its official outlets represent the group and its opinion.”
Observers attribute the dispute to a number of factors. Robert Worth notes the disastrous situation into which the old leadership had led the MB, the disruption of the MB hierarchy by the “decapitation” of the leadership through arrests and imprisonment, and the dislocation of exile (often to Turkey and Qatar) of much of the rank and file. Samuel Tadros credits changes in the MB to the influence of Revolutionary Salafists, many of whom allied with the Brotherhood in the year before the As-Sisi coup. When Islamists broke through security barriers to join the Brotherhood at Nahda and Rab’a squares, “ideas flowed freely and bonds were created”, with the Salafists influencing MB more than vice versa. Salafist joined the anti-coup alliance of the MB, and its youth moved from using molotov cocktails in self-defense to offense. The MB structure broken, young members are now influenced by “takfiri sheikhs” on satellite channels.
Members blamed President Morsi not for alienating non-members with his non-inclusive rule, but for being insufficiently revolutionary and not crushing the state institutions that would later overthrown him. The slogan, “Our peacefulness is stronger than bullets,” has been replaced by “All that is below bullets is peacefulness.” A new body, the Administrative Office for Egyptians Abroad, clashed with the Old Guard of Ibrahim Mounir, Deputy Supreme Guide Mahmoud Ghozlan and others.
At the same time as the split, a statement titled Nidaa al-Kinana (Egypt Call) signed by 159 international MB and Egyptian Salafist Islamic scholars and endorsed by the Brotherhood was released. It declared the As-Sisi regime criminal and murderous and stated that the current regime was an enemy of Islam, and it was the religious duty of Muslims to “eliminate it by all legitimate means. … Any leaders, judges, officers, soldiers, media figures or politicians, and anyone [else] who is definitely proved to be involved (even if only through incitement) in violating the honor of women, shedding the blood of innocents and unlawful killing – [all these] are murderers according to the shari’a, and must be punished according to the shari’a.” (The punishment for murderers per sharia is death.) As of mid-2015 over 600,000 people had “endorsed” the petition.
In June 2015, the “Revolutionary Punishment” movement celebrated six months of attacks, including the killing of 157 and wounding of 452 security personal, the destruction of 162 military cars and 53 buildings.
Trump backs Sisi as he seeks to ‘reboot’ US-Egypt ties
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is visiting the White House for the first time since he led the military’s overthrow of his predecessor in 2013.
US President Donald Trump said he was “very much behind” Mr Sisi, whose deadly crackdown on dissent was criticised by the Obama administration.
Mr Sisi declared his deep appreciation for Mr Trump’s “unique” personality.
US officials have said Mr Trump is seeking to “reboot” the countries’ bilateral relationship at the talks.
He also wants to “build on the strong connection” established with Mr Sisi when they met in New York in September, during the US election campaign.
As Egypt’s defence minister and armed forces chief in July 2013, Mr Sisi led the overthrow of the country’s first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi, after mass protests against his rule.
The following month, he oversaw the violent dispersal of protests by supporters of Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, which left more than 1,000 people dead.
Human Rights Watch says tens of thousands people have been arrested in a crackdown on dissent, and that security forces have committed flagrant abuses, including torture, enforced disappearances and likely extrajudicial executions.
Mr Sisi, who was elected president in May 2014, has also presided over severe restrictions on civil and political rights that have effectively erased the gains of the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, according to the US-based group.
Barack Obama froze some US military assistance to Egypt in response to the crackdown in October 2013.
He insisted the restrictions would continue until Egypt showed “credible progress” towards democracy, but ended up restoring the military support in April 2015 because it was “in the interest of US national security”.
A senior Trump administration official briefed reporters that human rights concerns would be raised at Monday’s meeting, but that it would be handled in a “private, more discreet way.”
“We believe it’s the most effective way to advance those issues to a favourable outcome,” the official added.
HRW’s Washington director, Sarah Margon, criticised that approach.
“Inviting Sisi for an official visit to Washington as tens of thousands of Egyptians rot in jail and when torture is again the order of the day is a strange way to build a stable strategic relationship,” she said.
The two presidents are also expected to discuss a range of regional issues, including efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the battle against so-called Islamic State.
Since 2013, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in attacks by an affiliate of the jihadist group that is based in the Sinai Peninsula.
To assist it in the fight against IS, Mr Sisi is believed to want an increase in the $1.3bn (£1bn) in military aid that Egypt receives annually.
The White House has promised to maintain a “strong and sufficient” level of support, but recently proposed drastic cuts to its international aid budget.
The administration official said Mr Trump was also “interested in hearing President Sisi’s views on the Muslim Brotherhood”, which the Egyptian leader wants the White House to designate a terrorist organisation.
Brotherhood officials insist that the group opposes violence. However, members of some of its regional offshoots have condoned or committed violent acts.