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Category Archives: Egypt

Egypt’s Mubarak flown out of prison: Interior Ministry

Press TV

Egypt’s Interior Ministry says former dictator Hosni Mubarak has been flown out of Cairo’s Tora Prison by a military helicopter to a military hospital in the capital.

On Thursday afternoon, live television footage showed Mubarak being transferred from an ambulance into the helicopter to be taken to hospital.

The deposed dictator will be held under arrest at the Cairo hospital on the orders of the interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, who has been empowered to order apprehensions as long as the state of emergency is in effect.

“In the context of the emergency law, the deputy military commander issued an order that Hosni Mubarak should be put under house arrest,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

After more than two years in detention, the court ordered Mubarak’s conditional release on Wednesday after being cleared in a corruption case.

However, the 85-year-old still faces charges of complicity in the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 revolution that ended his decades-long grip on power.

Mubarak’s release threatens to increase tensions across the North African country. The country plunged into turmoil after the army overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Meanwhile, supporters of Morsi have called on the Egyptians to hold “Friday of Martyrs” demonstrations across the country to protest against his ouster.

Egyptian security forces have arrested hundreds of Morsi’s supporters in recent days as the military-backed government has tried to end weeks of protests and to stamp its authority on the deeply polarized North African nation.

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Fresh violence erupts in Egypt as security forces storm Cairo mosque

Press TV

Violence has erupted in Egypt after security forces stormed a mosque in the capital Cairo to disperse supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.

On Saturday, Egyptian security forces fired tear gas at protesters holed up inside al-Fath Mosque in Cairo.

Demonstrators inside the mosque said they were afraid of being detained by security forces. The protesters have been holed up inside the mosque since Friday night.

Meanwhile, Egyptian forces detained Salafi leader, Mohamed al-Zawahiri, who is the brother of al-Qaeda head, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood also announced that a son of its senior leader, Mohammed Badie, known as Ammar was among the dead.

Similar clashes took place in other Egyptian cities as well. According to Egyptian Health Ministry, at least 173 people, including 95 in central Cairo, were killed and 1,330 others wounded in clashes across the North African country on Friday.

The ministry added that the victims included 53 security forces.

On Friday, tens of thousands of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood activists and their supporters across the country took part in what the party called the “Friday of Rage” against the army and its hand-picked government.

This came after Egyptian security forces killed almost 640 people during a crackdown on two pro-Morsi camps — one near the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City and a another one at Nahda Square in Giza, on Wednesday.

Egypt has plunged into unrelenting string of violence since General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian armed forces, announced on July 3 that Morsi was no longer in office, declaring chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour as the interim president. The army also suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.

Egypt puts crackdown death toll at 525

Press TV

Egypt’s Health Ministry has raised the death toll from the recent fatal crackdown on the supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi to 525.

The Health Ministry also said on Thursday that nearly 3,600 people were injured in the clashes, which erupted when Egyptian security forces moved in to clear out thousands of supporters of the ousted president from two camps – one near the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City and a smaller one in Nahda Square in Giza.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood put the death toll far higher, saying more than 2,000 people had died in the police crackdown on Morsi supporters.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry says 43 of the dead were policemen.

Egyptian authorities say the interim government forces will stand firm against any more protests.

Tension has intensified in Egypt since July 3, when the Egyptian army removed Morsi from office. The army also suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.

Violent crackdown ignites tensions across Egypt

Egyptian security forces stand guard in front of a blaze in Cairo on August 14, 2013.

Press TV

Violence continues to flare up across Egypt after a violent crackdown by security forces removed encampments of the supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in Cairo.

The several incidents of violence took place after Egyptian security forces attacked supporters of Morsi in Cairo on Saturday.

Fierce clashes broke out between the Egyptian security forces and thousands of Morsi supporters in Nasr City District of Cairo with armed forces firing tear gas to disperse thousands of angry pro-Morsi protesters at the 6th October Bridge in central Cairo.

A Muslim Brotherhood official said at least 2,200 people had been killed and over 10,000 injured in the forceful evacuations, noting that the figure was provided by Raba’a hospital.

The government, however, has put the death toll at nearly 90. This comes as the army-backed government says six security forces have been killed and nearly 70 others wounded during the clashes.

Police used tear gas, armored vehicles and bulldozers to disperse the ousted president’s supporters camping out in al-Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque. Egyptian security forces stormed the main Rabaa al-Adawiya camp after evacuating the al-Nahda Square, the smaller of the two protest camps.

At least two hundred people, including a number of Brotherhood leaders have also been arrested so far.

Some reports say violence has also spread to Cairo’s Christian neighborhoods where three churches have been allegedly set ablaze.

Meanwhile, clashes have been reported from several other cities. Violence in Fayoum, Suez and Alexandria has left nearly two dozen people dead.

The country’s leading Islamic authority, al-Azhar has condemned the latest spate of deadly violence.

The Grand Mufti of al-Azhar has called on the army-backed leaders and the Muslim Brotherhood to resolve their differences through negotiations.

Ahmed al-Tayyeb says resorting to violence has never been an alternative to a political solution. The senior cleric has also called on all Egyptians to show restraint and take the nation’s interests into consideration.

Egypt has plunged into unrelenting string of violence since General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian army pushed aside the first democratically elected president and declared chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as the interim president.

On August 12, the Anti-Coup Pro-Democracy Alliance called on people to hold nationwide rallies to counter the military clampdown on their sit-ins.

The Egyptian army had earlier warned of taking action against the supporters of the ousted president.

Iran, Russia, China, EU atop NSA piority list

Al Manar

Russia, alongside the EU, China and Iran, are on top of the NSA’s spying priority list, according to a document leaked by fugitive Edward Snowden and published by Der Spiegel weekly.

In the classified document, dated April 2013, countries are assigned levels of interest for NSA surveillance from 1 (the highest) to 5 (the lowest).

Among the top surveillance targets are China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Afghanistan. The EU, as a whole is also ranking high, though individually its 28 member-states are of lesser importance to the US intelligence, with Germany and France representing mid-level interest, while countries like Finland, Croatia and Denmark are denoted as almost irrelevant in data gathering.

Specification is also provided on what areas of interest are to be mostly looked at in different countries. Der Spiegel, which published the leaked document on Saturday, focuses on which German issues interested US spying agency the most.

The top ranking areas marked with a ‘3’ are the country’s foreign policy and economic issues. Arms exports, new technology, advanced conventional weapons and international trade were all assigned a lesser priority of ‘4’. When it comes to the whole of the European Union, the spheres of interest are almost identical.

This most recent leak is complementary to the earlier ones, stating that EU offices in Brussels, Washington and New York were under NSA surveillance and that Germany was the most spied upon of all EU countries.

Chancellor Merkel has been criticized for the lack of response to the leaks, suggesting that Germany was not only spied on extensively, but actually cooperated with the NSA in its surveillance programs.

Merkel first denied all knowledge of the NSA spying, but soon afterwards turned to justifying the US, saying “intelligence was essential for democracies”.

Germans are seemingly not convinced by this type of reasoning, as Snowden’s revelations have sparked massive rallies across the country.

US pick as ambassador to Egypt ran Iraq ‘death squads’

Press TV

Egyptians are furious over reports about the designation of the US former ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford as the next American envoy as he allegedly ran “death squads” in Iraq.

Global Research, a Canadian website has claimed that Ford ran “death squads” in Iraq when he was political counselor at the embassy there from 2004-2006. The story has gone on Twitter and been reported by Egyptian media, irritating Egyptian authorities and people about the move to appoint Ford to the job.

Hashtags such as #NoToRobertFord in English and in Arabic, “We refuse the American ambassador to Egypt,” appeared on the microblogging site after media reports said Ford has been considered by the White House as the next US envoy in Egypt.

“The new sponsor of terrorism in Egypt,” tweeted one user, referring to the US career diplomat. Another warned, “Watch out Ford, if you come to Cairo .. You won’t be an ambassador .. You will b a target”.

Ford was appointed US Ambassador to Syria in late January 2011, more than a month before the crisis started in the Arab country.

Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist said in September 2011 that Ford “has been responsible for recruiting Arab “death squads” from Al Qaeda-affiliated units in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Chechnya to fight against Syrian military and police forces in embattled Syria.”

With growing anti-American sentiments in Egypt, the US would face huge obstacles in rebuilding its lost reputation, an analyst says.

“It is a very difficult task,” Mohamed Elmenshawy, director at the Middle East Institute in Washington, told FoxNews.com. “Given the level of anti-American sentiment from all Egyptian political players, Ford has serious challenges ahead of him. It will take serious initiatives by the U.S. to recover its reputation in Egypt in order to make the mission of the new ambassador easier.

US keeping Egypt on track for ‘Israel’: Senator Graham

Press TV

US Senator Lindsey Graham has expressed the Obama administration’s concerns over the fallout of the latest turmoil in Egypt for the Israeli regime.

“If Egypt goes and Israel is surrounded by more and more radical regimes … we’ll regret not doing everything possible to keep Egypt on track as a stable society,” he said on Tuesday signaling Washington’s interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.

The hawkish Republican made the remarks after President Barack Obama asked him and Senator John McCain to travel to Egypt next week.

Egypt has been gripped by deadly violence since the military ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically-elected president, on July 3.

“The president asked Sen. McCain and myself to go to Egypt next week, so we’re trying to find a way to get there,” Graham told reporters.

“So we can go over and reinforce in a bipartisan fashion the message that we have to move to civilian control, that the military is going to have to, you know, allow the country to have new elections and move toward an inclusive, democratic approach,” he added.

The Obama administration has refused to suspend its annual 1.5 billion dollars aid to Egypt despite condemning the bloody violence in the country.

Under US law, financial assistance to any country whose elected head of state is deposed in a military coup is prohibited. The White House has shied away from calling Morsi’s ouster a military coup.

However, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has introduced a measure that would end US aid to Egypt. The Senate was set to vote on the measure on Wednesday.

“We tell other countries to follow the rule of law, yet our own administration fails to do so. Sending money to Egypt under their current military coups is illegal,” Paul said in a statement. “Instead of illegally sending that money overseas, we are better off spending that money at home.”

Senator Graham said a vote now could send the wrong signal.

“If you cut off aid, that’s a destabilizing event,” Graham said, while a vote for aid would “give people the impression everything’s fine.”

Tens of people killed in Egypt clashes

At least 150 people killed in Egypt clashes

Press TV

At least 150 people have been killed and 5,200 others injured in clashes during rival demonstrations by the supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi across the country, Egyptian sources say.

The casualty figures were released by Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian medical sources.

The clashes broke out after Morsi’s supporters gathered in Cairo’s Nasr City district on Friday, demanding his reinstatement.

Mass rallies were held in response to Muslim Brotherhood’s call for a “peaceful stand” against the recent military “coup” that toppled Morsi. In a statement on Thursday, the movement’s leader, Mohamed Badie, asked Egyptians to come to the streets and demand freedom and legitimacy.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian army reportedly used live ammunition on demonstrators during the mass rallies, which swept Egypt to condemn Morsi’s overthrow by the army.

Clashes in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria also left seven people dead.

The Muslim Brotherhood said at least 31 people were killed early Saturday after security forces attacked the supporters of the ousted president in the capital, Cairo.

“They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” the Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said, adding that the protesters had been hit by gunshot in the head and chest.

Anti-Morsi protesters also assembled in Cairo’s iconic Liberation Square and around the presidential palace.

Egyptian interim Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim threatened that sit-in protests in the capital by the supporters of Morsi will be “brought to an end soon and in a legal manner.”

The country’s army chief, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, had also called for nationwide protests on Friday. Al-Sisi said in a speech that the nationwide rally will give the army a mandate to fight “violence and terrorism,” which have engulfed Egypt following the ouster of Morsi on July 3.

Earlier on Friday, Egyptian state media reported that Morsi is in detention while prosecutors investigate allegations that he “conspired” with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to carry out attacks and staging prison breaks during the 2011 revolution that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

However, El-Haddad denounced the accusations as “ridiculous,” saying they marked the return of the “old regime” of Mubarak.

Reports say the clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents continue to rage, resulting in rising casualties.

America and the generals in Egypt moved against Morsi to prevent a popular revolution

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, RT

The Egyptian military’s removal of the Muslim Brotherhood government is seen as a military coup, or an acknowledgment of the people’s demands to remove Morsi, but it also could have been a move to pre-empt a civil war from taking place.

What should be emphasized about the Egyptian military is that its leadership is Egypt’s top economic actor, no friend of democracy, and the most reliable partner of the US and Israel inside Egypt.

There is another factor that to be considered. If not delayed until 2014, the coup came a few months before delayed parliamentary elections that could have taken place in October or November 2013. If the protests in the streets amounted to a majority at the ballot box, the opposition could have had Morsi constitutionally and legally removed from power through a parliamentary vote leading to a general plebiscite.

For both the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters and opponents, at least at the grassroots level, America is the common denominator in their struggle. Morsi’s supporters and opponents alike are both accusing one another of complying with US plots against Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters say that the US had Morsi removed from power whereas Morsi’s opponents say he was a US puppet that Washington was trying to keep in power. Both are actually right.

There is one important angle that is being missed when the events in Egypt are being debated. The Egyptian military removed Morsi to pre-empt a popular revolution from taking place. The Obama administration gave the green light to remove Morsi as a means of preventing the Egyptian people from taking things into their own hands.

The Muslim Brotherhood-Obama alliance

Many have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being an American asset. Asset could mean many things and depends on what is specifically being implied by the use of the word. If asset means an actor that has no agency and is unable to make independent decisions, the Muslim Brotherhood is not categorically a US asset. Yet, the Muslim Brotherhood is not the pristine organization with clean hands that many of its supporters think it is. It is definitely a US asset, if by asset it is being implied that the Muslim Brotherhood has served US interests.

What is important to note is that the United States and Muslim Brotherhood have both tried to manipulate one another on the basis of their own converging agendas. Collaboration between the US government and Muslim Brotherhood goes back to the time of Gamal Abdel Nasser when they both worked against Nasser’s government. The particular arrangement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the US over the Arab Spring, which has seen the Muslim Brotherhood riding the 2011 wave of Arab upheavals into power, goes back to President Obama’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech that was supposed to reset America’s damaged relations with the world’s Muslims. The Obama administration specifically asked that representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood be present when President Obama delivered the widely anticipated speech in Cairo.

As a regional player, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to use the Obama administration as much as it could in its ascent to power in Egypt and the broader Middle East and North Africa. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood in many circumstances would have found it nearly impossible to act on its own if it were not for the support of the Obama administration and its regional allies, like Qatar and Turkey. On the other hand, the Obama administration has used the Muslim Brotherhood in its regional strategy against Iran and all the other regional players opposing the US and Israel. In this regard, the Muslim Brotherhood has served Washington in its war against the Syrians and Libyans and as a means to slowly nudge the Hamas government in Gaza away from the orbit of Iran and the Iranian-led Resistance Bloc that includes Syria and Hezbollah. The Muslim Brotherhood has also continued to support Israel by blockading Gaza and collaborating against the Palestinians in the military and security sectors.

The military coup pre-empted a real revolution

Swept away with romanticized notions, many people have been slow to realize that the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt was a neo-liberal regime. To put it candidly, the Muslim Brotherhood has represented a democratized continuation of the old regime of Hosni Mubarak in its policies and actions. Most Egyptian state institutions maintained old regime figures and even Morsi’s cabinet included more members of the old regime of Mubarak than Muslim Brotherhood politicians from the Freedom and Justice Party.

Despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military formed an uneasy US-brokered alliance, the one snag in America’s plans has been that inside Egypt there has been a power struggle. Be it members of the old regime or authentic democrats, there has been a reluctance by a large segment of the population to accept the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule that has polarized Egyptian society. At the same time, the Obama administration has capitalized on these cleavages as a means of trying to position itself as the arbitrator of power in Egypt.

The Obama administration supported the Morsi administration, but it betrayed him by quietly supporting the military coup. Washington did this to prevent what it feared could have led to a popular uprising and revolution in Egypt that would have overthrown Morsi. Because an authentic people’s revolution would have unpredictable results that would not safeguard their interests, both the US government and Egyptian military feared this. Specifically, Washington and the Egyptian military’s leadership could both face the potential risk of seeing the empowerment of a revolutionary government in Cairo that would be outside of their control or influence. The Egyptian military’s leaders could have lost their wealth and businesses, while America would have lost control of the largest Arab country and the Suez Canal. This is why the military acted against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Obama administration has made a huge mistake in Egypt. Maybe it will engineer a civil war to prevent the inevitable. America, however, will eventually lose Egypt.

Media disinformation: Mass resignations at Al Jazeera over “biased” Egypt coverage

Source

Reports suggest that 22 member of staff have resigned from the Egyptian arm of Al Jazeera after complaining of pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias within the organisation

Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, the Egyptian arm of the Qatari-funded broadcaster has suffered major embarrassment today after 22 staff members walked out over accusations of bias.

The 22 staff resigned on Monday over what they alleged was coverage that was out of sync with real events in Egypt, according to a report by the Gulf News website.

Anchor Karem Mahmoud announced that the staff resigned in protest against “biased coverage” of the recent events in Egypt. He explained that there was a lack of commitment and Al Jazeera professionalism in media coverage, stating, “the management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries.”

Mahmoud added that the management used to instruct each staff member to favour the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said that “there are instructions to us to telecast certain news”.

In February of this year, Ghaffar Hussain, contributing editor to The Commentator wrote, “Since the Muslim Brotherhood has come to power in Egypt, Al Jazeera has done all in its power to portray the group in a favourable light. Protests against the Brotherhood-dominated regime are presented as being led by violent thugs with no political grievances, while Morsi’s poorly constructed and shallow speeches are given positive coverage.”

Haggag Salama, a correspondent of the network in Luxor, had resigned on Sunday accusing it of “airing lies and misleading viewers”. He announced his resignation in a phone-in interview with Dream 2 channel.

Meanwhile, four Egyptian members of editorial staff at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha resigned in protest against what they termed a “biased editorial policy” pertaining to the events in Egypt, Ala’a Al Aioti, a news producer, told Gulf News by phone.

Original reporting by Ayman Sharif for Gulf News

Egypt: Mansour vowes fresh elections

Muslim Brotherhood Calls for “Uprising” as Mansour Vowed Fresh Elections

Al Manar

Egypt’s interim leader vowed fresh elections by early next year as an angry Muslim Brotherhood called for an “uprising” against the new order.

Interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree late Monday that set the parameters for a referendum on a revised constitution within about 41 / 2 months, parliamentary elections within about six months and presidential elections after that.

Mansour will announce the date for presidential elections after the new parliament convenes, according to a draft of the 33-article decree published by the official MENA news agency.

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official denounced the decree. “A constitutional decree by a man appointed by putchists… brings the country back to square one,” said Essam al-Erian in a Facebook posting.

Mohammad Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has led demonstrations against Wednesday’s military overthrow of the MB leader, called for an “uprising,” saying troops and police “massacred” its supporters during dawn prayers in Cairo Monday.

The carnage outside the elite Republican Guards’ headquarters has further delayed Mansour’s efforts to name a new prime minister, as the loose opposition coalition that backed Mursi’s ouster lost a key Islamist party.

This comes as a Health Ministry spokeswoman said 51 people were killed and 435 were wounded in the shootings. Military officials said that they responded after being fired upon by protesters and that one soldier was killed and 42 were injured.

The military blamed “terrorists”, while witnesses, including Brotherhood supporters at the scene, said security forces fired only warning shots and tear gas, and that “thugs” in civilian clothes carried out the shootings. Mansour, a top judge before his appointment as interim president, had ordered a judicial commission of inquiry into the killings.

The army had warned it would not allow anyone to threaten national security, urging protesters to stay away from military installations and to end their sit-ins.

International Condemnations

The United States called on the Egyptian army to exercise “maximum restraint”, while also condemning “explicit” Brotherhood calls to violence.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said an immediate cut-off in military aid to Egypt “would not be in our best interests”, when asked whether Washington was reconsidering the more than $1 billion–mostly military aid–it provides annually.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the latest wave of bloodshed in Egypt, calling for an independent inquiry.

International condemnation of Monday’s bloodshed poured in, with Germany expressing “shock” at the violence, Turkey calling it an attack on “humanity” and Brotherhood backer Qatar urging “self-restraint” and “unity”.

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Liberal economist Beblawi appointed Egypt’s interim prime minister

Press TV

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has appointed liberal economist and former finance minister, Hazem al-Beblawi, as the country’s interim prime minister and Mohamed ElBaradei as vice president, state media report.

Egypt interim president orders investigation into deadly clashes

RB comment: When truth becomes obscured by each party claiming things, which can’t be verified then that is the main factor for making strife. The army has been heavy handed to say the least if the numbers of the dead are really true, while at the same time the Brotherhood are trying to show themselves as victims even though their acts remind us of what the terrorists are doing in Syria. Until some verification of events are possible, I will limit spreading any news about Egypt. Thank you.

Video put by the Egyptian media that shows there are armed people within the Brotherhood ranks during the clashes:

Egypt interim president orders investigation into deadly clashes

Press TV

Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, has set up a judicial commission of inquiry after more than 40 supporters of Egyptian ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, were killed in the capital, Cairo.

The Muslim Brotherhood said its supporters were “massacred” after police and troops opened fire on them outside an elite army headquarters in Cairo.

In the deadly violence in front of the headquarters of the Republican Guard, at least 42 people were killed and more than 300 others injured.

“Morsi supporters were praying while the police and army fired live rounds and tear gas at them,” the Brotherhood said.

The military, however, said it had confronted a group of armed men who tried to enter the building, a claim which the Brotherhood’s leaders have rejected.

“The president of the republic forms a judicial commission to investigate the events at the Republican Guard” headquarters, state television reported on Monday.

Following the clashes, in a Monday statement the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), appealed for “an uprising by the great people of Egypt against those trying to steal their revolution with tanks.”

Leading opposition leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, also condemned the Cairo killings, saying, “Violence begets violence and should be strongly condemned. Independent investigation is a must. Peaceful transition is only way.”

In addition, Egypt’s Nour Party said it would no longer participate in talks over the new government in response to the “massacre” of protesters in the capital.

“We have decided to withdraw immediately from all negotiations in response to the massacre outside the Republican Guard” headquarters, the Salafist party’s spokesman Nadder Bakkar said Monday.

The party has also suggested a referendum to determine the fate of Morsi’s presidency.

Meanwhile, presidency spokesman, Ahmed Elmoslmany, said on Monday that violent clashes in Cairo would not disrupt efforts to form an interim government.

“What happened will not stop steps to form a government or a road map,” he noted.

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Morsi loyalists seize two Egypt soldiers, says army official

Press TV

An Egyptian military official says supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have seized two army soldiers in the capital, Cairo.

State news agency MENA quoted the official as saying that armed supporters of Morsi put the Egyptian soldiers, identified as Samir Abdallah Ali and Azzam Hazem Ali, in a car on Monday and forced them “to make pro-Morsi and anti-army statements on a loudspeaker.”…

The fall of Morsi and the Neocolonial project

What’s Plan C for Egypt?

by DAN GLAZEBROOK, source

London.

The revolutionary momentum currently making waves in Egypt once again is not primarily a revolt against one man or even one state, but an uprising against conditions which are fast becoming universal features of the current crisis-ridden world economic order: permanent mass unemployment, rampant inflation in the price of basic goods (food and fuel in particular) and merciless attacks on welfare for the poor. Egyptians are through with governments that are prepared to impose such conditions and sacrifice all notions of sovereignty and social justice whilst feathering their own nests in the process. President Morsi has overseen a year in office in which food prices have doubled, and has – at the behest of the IMF – committed himself to ending the fuel subsidies on which millions of the poorest Egyptians depend. He has signed up to a Free Trade Agreement with the EU that will exacerbate unemployment and rural impoverishment and has shown his commitment to imperial interests by flooding the Gaza tunnels with sewage and calling for a ‘no-fly zone’ (code for NATO bombardment) in Syria. In so doing, he has attempted to ensure that the Mubarak strategy of subservience to American, British and Israeli interests is not only maintained, but deepened – at the cost of basic living standards and at a time when the neo-colonial world order is clearly breaking down under the double hammer blows of economic crisis and third world resurgence. This is not a strategy which most Egyptians are any longer willing to tolerate. The millions-strong mobilisations of the past week have shown that they will no longer back leaders who leave economic policy in the hands of Europe and the international banking elite, security in the hands of a savage and torturing police force, and foreign policy in the hands of the US, Britain and Israel.

The revolutionary upsurge that has just forced Morsi from power, however, did not just emerge last week, last year or even in January 2011. It began in 2007 when the biggest strike wave to have hit the African continent for 50 years broke out in the Misr spinning and complex in Mahalla, quickly spreading to most other major industries in the country. This coincided with an unprecedented wave of agrarian unrest against neoliberal policies which were – and still are – devastating the rural population who still constitute the majority of Egyptian society. So taken aback were the Egyptian authorities, that they were forced to put the brakes on the ‘economic reforms’ – code for the decimation of national control and regulation – being pushed by the IMF and the EU, in an attempt to quell the emerging unrest. It did not work, and the growing movement demonstrated its strength by putting 15million onto the streets in January 2011, forcing Mubarak’s removal. The military council that replaced him backtracked on neoliberal diktat even more, reversing some of the liberalisation measures that had been implemented previously, much to the fury of the EU.

President Morsi was supposed to put a lid on this unrest. By adding a veneer of Islamism to the same neo-colonial policies of his predecessor, he was supposed to succeed where others had failed, tapping into the cultural traditions of Egyptian society in order to win ‘legitimacy’ (his favourite word, used 56 times in his last speech) for fundamentally unpopular policies. It didn’t work. The events of this week mark the defeat of neocolonialism’s ‘plan B’ for Egypt.

What plan C will look like is not yet clear. The problem for the Egyptian army council is that to win genuine legitimacy, any future Egyptian government will have to end its collaboration with the blockade of Gaza, stop privileging extortionate interest payments to international bankers on Mubarak-era loans over social spending, and reject the IMF loan conditionalities and EU trade deals that threaten to plunge millions into ever deeper poverty. Indeed, it is precisely these types of demands that were at the forefront of the Tamarod campaign of opposition to Morsi, whose petition garnered a reported 22 million signatures. These moves would be the minimum necessary to win the support of the people, but are precisely what would make the Egyptian government illegitimate in the eyes of its international backers in London and Washington.

The dividing lines, then, are clear. Much as the imperial powers would love to see Egypt implode into a sectarian disaster along the lines pioneered in Iraq and now being spread to Libya and Syria, the dividing line is NOT between Sunni and Shia, or between Islamist and secularist. It is between those who support genuine independence (the prerequisite for any meaningful moves towards social justice or democracy), and those who support continued collaboration with the imperial project to plunder and cripple the region. Long live the Egyptian revolution!

Obama backing ElBaradei?

by Franklin Lamb, Al Manar

Beirut

According to well-connected Washington sources, including a Congressional staffer whose job description includes following political events in Egypt, once it became evident that Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi might well be ousted by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), it did not take Mohammad Mustafa ElBaradei, the Sharia legal scholar, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and for 12 years (1997-2009) the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) very long to contact the Washington, DC law firm of Patton Boggs.

That was this past Tuesday. The very next day, ElBaradei’s representatives reportedly also made contact with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations which claims to represent the 52 largest American Jewish groups. ElBaradei, perhaps the current front-runner to replace his long-time nemesis, Mohammad Mursi, moved fast to organize some key allies in Cairo and Washington to pick-up where his earlier failed Presidential campaign left off in January 2011.

Patton Boggs, the K Street, NW Washington DC law firm, which last year had 550 lawyers and 120 lobbyists and is arguably the firm closest to the White House and most likely to secure for its clients what they want from the approximately 5000 key dcision makers in the US Capitol. The other nearly 11,800 federally registered lobbyists in Washington (there were only 300 as recently as when Lyndon Johnson was US President) lag far behind Patton Boggs in terms of political influence.

Patton Boggs new client wants the Pentagon and the White House to squeeze Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who deposed President Mursi and arrange for himself to be appointed the interim President of Egypt pending early elections.

What ElBaradei’s representatives are reportedly offering the White House in exchange for Obama’s discrete assistance, is that the 1979 Camp David Accord, including all its elements, will be observed. In addition, Egypt under ElBaradei can be expected to toughen its stance on Iran’s nuclear program
including publicly adjusting some of his pre-2012 comments on Iran that the White House and Israel criticized as being “soft on the Islamic Republic.”

Also being promised by ElBaradei’s agents is that security cooperation between Egypt and Israel will grow stronger. ElBaradei’s objective is to secure Barack Obama’s personal support during his jockeying for the expected forthcoming Egyptian presidential election.

Once again the Obama administration was caught by surprise as the “Arab spring,” still in its infancy, increasingly portends ill for Western-installed potentates in all the Sykes-Picot artificially created “countries.” According to Congressional insiders, Obama reportedly has some doubts. Those following events in Egypt will likely recall his praise of Mursi after the two former University Professors had a chance to sit together and get to know one another. “I like this man,” Obama reportedly told some staff members, “he thinks like me.”

When Mursi was deposed, Obama lamented: “We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove President Mursi 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 Mursi and his supporters.”

Meanwhile, the SCAF, at the urging of ElBaradei’s team, is paying sweet lip service regarding Obama’s expressed concerns. Shortly before the words were uttered by Minister of defense, Brig. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the State Department received a copy of the speech with the first paragraph highlighted to assuage Obama: “The armed forces will not interfere in the realm of politics or governance and will not overstep the role that it is assigned in a democracy, which stems from the desire of the people.” Those words sound good also in Foggy Bottom.

Patton Boggs talking points to the Congress and Obama Administration are that President Mursi had more than a year to show progress to the Egyptian people, with both institutional political legitimacy derived from their election victories, and that he enjoyed strong popular support when he assumed full power from the armed forces in June 2012 but that he failed badly and the new government — hopefully led by ElBaradei — will now act more efficiently to move the country towards credible and legitimate institutions of governance.

ElBaradei’s campaign, as reported in the July 4th edition of the New York Times also worked hard to convince the White House of what he called the necessity of forcibly ousting President Mursi, presenting several arguments that included documentation that Mursi had bungled the country’s transition to an inclusive democracy and wasted a year without following thru on any of his pledges.

Some Congressional analysts believe that one of Mursi’s biggest mistakes resulted from a deliberate policy of accommodation and not, as is commonly believed, confrontation. He allowed the military to retain its corporate autonomy and remain beyond civilian control. Furthermore, he included in his cabinet a large number of non-Muslim Brotherhood figures who abandoned him within months when the going got tough, thus presenting to the public an image that the government was on the verge of collapse.

Some have suggested that Mursi should have brought the military to heel soon after he assumed power and was at the height of his popularity, just as the military was at its lowest point in public perception. Monday morning quarterbacking is now rampant to explain Mursi’s failures.

What the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammad Mursi’s supporters do in the coming days at Tahir Square and across Egypt will likely determine the route and the ultimate success of ElBaradei growing juggernaut.

Meanwhile, as of today, it appears that President Barack Obama may well help usher Mohammad ElBaredei into Egypt’s Presidential Palace. If the Obama administration has success there will be joy in Tel Aviv, and at Patton Boggs’ victory party, where a good number of the invited guests will almost certainly be carefully vetted by AIPAC.

Marathon calls between US, ’Israel’ on Egypt

Al Ahed news

Egypt’s new revolution was the major subject of intense telephone calls Thursday night between Washington and Tel Aviv.

According to Haaretz “Israeli” daily, American and “Israeli” officials updated each other in an effort to coordinate policies, following Mohammed Mursi’s overthrow this week.”
Following US President Barak Obama’s conference over Egypt, Secretary of State John Kerry and “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone, as did Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and War Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

In parallel, newly-instated US National Security Advisor Susan Rice also spoke with her counterpart, the Yitzhak Aharanovitch.

Meanwhile, former “Israeli” chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said on Thursday that “former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi’s overthrow, and the Egyptian army’s takeover of the country, does not pose any immediate danger to “Israel”.”

“I think the Egyptian army is too busy [with domestic issues] to deal with anything that is outside of Egypt, so I don’t think there’s any danger at the moment,” Ashkenazi said.

“Even in the year the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, they did not renege on the treaty [with “Israel”],” he added.

Ashkenazi cautioned, however, that the Zionist entity needs to carefully observe the volatile situation in Egypt as the unfolding drama is still “far from over.”