Death of Democracy in Egypt — and Silence in Washington

Pages: 1 2

Just over a week ago, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi effectively precipitated a palace coup. He sacked his top intelligence chief, the country’s military leadership, and other key members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in the space of five days. A constitutional document limiting his powers was largely scrapped. Meanwhile, the Obama administration deliberately ignores the unfolding debacle, a monster of its own creation, and forges ahead with a policy completely contrary to American security interests. “We had expected President Morsi at some point to co-ordinate changes in the military leadership, to name a new team,” said George Little, the Pentagon press secretary. “The United States…look[s] forward to continuing a very close relationship with the SCAF.”

The ostensible basis of that very close relationship was initially illuminated by the Washington’s Post’s David Igantius, who contended that one of the reasons Obama administration officials “appear to have confidence” in what has occurred is because Egypt’s newly appointed defense minister, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, had “extensive contact with United States in his previous post as head of military intelligence,” and because “he spent a year of professional training in the United States.”

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy reveals the nonsense behind such an assessment, noting that even the Wall Street Journal, which he describes as “stuck on the democracy project dogma,” was forced to admit that al-Sissi “has a broad reputation within military circles as a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer.” The same WSJ article encapsulates the administration’s dogmatic thinking as well, noting that “U.S. officials expressed confidence that Gen. Sissi will maintain close ties with the U.S., which provides Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid, and uphold Egypt’s peace deal with Israel.”

Al-Sissi is hardly an anomaly. As the New York Times discovered (no doubt, much to their chagrin), the Egyptian military’s new chief of staff, Gen. Sedky Sobhi, wrote a paper seven years ago, while attending the United States Army War College in Pennsylvania as a student. In it he argued that the United States’s presence in the Middle East, along with its “one sided” support of Israel, was fueling hatred and miring the U.S. in an “unwinnable global war” with Islamist militants. Sobhi further contended that it was wrong to characterize Al Qaeda and other militant groups as merely “irrational terrorist organizations.” “I recommend that the permanent withdrawal of United States military forces from the Middle East and the Gulf should be a goal of U.S. strategy in this region,” he wrote, adding that the United States should pursue its objectives through “socioeconomic means and the impartial application of international law.”

An unnamed Obama administration official, speaking anonymously so as not to upset American/Egyptian relations, blithely dismissed Sobhi’s writings. “A lot of academic theses offer up interesting ideas that don’t go very far, and often end up as shelf ware,” he said. “This isn’t exactly causing concern. We believe we will work well with the new Egyptian military leaders.”

The Times reiterated the administration’s contention that “American officials said their confidence in Egypt was unshaken”–even as they noted that Samer Shehata, a professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University, considers it “naive” for American officials to think that positions held by Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood represent “fringe thinking.” Shehata further insisted that the Brotherhood’s ideology is tantamount to “the Egyptian Kansas,” in that its foreign policy positions “reflect rather than oppose what the Egyptian center is thinking.”

The cold reality of that so-called centrist thinking was revealed late last week by Jewish newspaper Algemeiner, which reported that Muslim Brotherhood supporters terrorized secular media members, including several Arabic websites, such as Arab News, Al Khabar News, Dostor Watany, and Egypt Now, because they all reported that people opposed to the Morsi regime were being “crucified.” A translated excerpt of the violence reads as follows:

A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others. Likewise, Muslim Brotherhood supporters locked the doors of the media production facilities of 6-October [a major media region in Cairo], where they proceeded to attack several popular journalists.

Muslim cleric Hashem Islam Ali Islam, one of Egypt’s top religious leaders, not only refused to apologize for these atrocities, he endorsed them. Characterizing a protest against the regime scheduled to take place on August 24th as an “apostasy against democracy and freedom,” he issued a fatwa urging the Egyptian people to confront these people, and “if they fight you fight them.” He continued: “If some of you are killed by them, you will go to Paradise, and if you kill them, no ‘blood money’ will be warranted, because their killing is permissible.” Hashem Islam’s advocation of violence is nothing new. In a statement virtually ignored by Western media, he also called Islamic martyrdom against Jews “a religious duty.”

Pages: 1 2

  • Steven Plaut

    Well, it is not exactly like Egypt was democractic even before this…..

    • MikeWood

      Steven, there are degrees even of tyranny.

    • WildJew

      Do you think Morsi and Mubarak are comparable?

      • trickyblain

        Depends on whose victims you ask.

    • Raymond in DC

      Indeed, Mike. More than 30 years ago Jeanne Kilpatrick wrote about mild authoritarians vs. totalitarians. I'm old enough to remember the Iran of the 1970s under the Shah before he was overthrown, with the help of "useful idiots", by Khomeini. The country is still ruled by the mullahs.

  • polnick

    Urban warriors have become prize freedom fighters in the Middle-East; tanks have become useless against them. A lone warrior with his anti-tank weapon can take command of a 200 apartment high-rise. It takes only one day to train and send a Mujahedeen off to battle. Thousands are on their way to behead the infidel, Muhammad would be proud of them.

    • Kufar Dawg

      As long as I have the artillery necessary to take out those apartment buildings I don't care how many thousands of mujadeen they send.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    The president's name is not for nothing Barack Hussein obama. This must ring bells.
    A president who loves muslims and has a dislike for Jews?

    • WildJew

      Morsi's is the kind of fascistic transition Obama would like to see take shape in this country under his watch, if he could get away with it.

      “Morsi certainly wants absolute control…."

  • JeremyBeadleshand

    As horrible as this is, I just can't get over the fact they actually have a general called Sissy.

  • Chezwick

    ALHERT: "A constitutional document limiting his powers was largely scrapped."

    This "constitutional document" was decreed by fiat…by an unelected body.

    Arnold, you've written an otherwise very good article detailing the ominous developments occurring inside what was once a close US ally. No need to indulge in such hyperbole.

  • Andy

    I don't think Obama deliberately ignores Morsi's progress. I suspect he secretly celebrates it.

  • polnick

    It is wise for infidels to pack their belongings and move to an Oasis that respects cultural diversity. The Mujahedeen has awakened; they will not be merciful to Idol worshippers and non-believers.
    Allah and Muhammad have spoken.

    • Kufar Dawg

      Such oases are becoming rarer annually.

  • Pat English

    It shows just how out of sync is Obama when he invites Morsi a representative of an radical Islamic organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, to the WhiteHouse.

    • Raymond in DC

      I suspect he'll be welcomed through the front door – unlike the Dalai Lama and Israel's Netanyahu who once had to use the side entrance.

  • cjk

    As bad as the death of a non-existent Democracy in Egypt goes, it's hard to get too excited over it as I sit here witnessing the death of a real once existent Constitutional Republic at home.

  • Irandissident

    Long term alliance with and appeasement of Islamists all over the world, seems to be the strategy of the Obama administration, just like Carter's before and just like the strategy of powerful forces limiting Bush's different global strategy from within and outside his administration.

    What happened in Egypt and Tunisia, was exactly the replay of the Iranian 1979 revolution. Same players, same teachers, same international support systems and lies. Khomeini , while in France, enjoying the greatest PR bestowed on any revolutionary leader by Western media, promised not to enter politics, not to let the Clergy run for high office etc…. The MB, hiding behind young activists ( and stupid- because they refused to see how the Iranian trick was being played on them again) and naive idealists in Tahrir square, promised not to run for Parliamentary seats, then not to run for President. Both Khomeini and Morsi, became absolute rulers soon after their hijacked revolutions. Harsh and inhumane Islamic laws, soon replaced all the "humanitarian" pretenses to deceive Western public, and lies told, before taking power.

    America and some European countries, have spent billions in bringing Islamists to power in Tunisia and Egypt and to Turkey as well. Leaving Afghanistan while negotiating with the Taliban, leaving Iraq to Iran and their Allies, part of the same deal. Some might think they are leaving the job unfinished; but to them, the job IS finished.

    These are NOT mistakes or freak events. These are long term strategic plans.

    Now, when US allies like Turkey and Egypt , openly defy US backed strategic military arrangements ( Turkey within NATO, facing down Israel in naval confrontations and joint NATO maneuvers. Egypt sending illegal aircraft and armor to the Sinai and threatening to defy the Camp David accords), this cannot be without US approval.

    As Obama would say, "any fool" can understand how detrimental these moves are to Israel. These people in charge of foreign policy, would love to cut Israel down to size ( a very small size!) by supporting enemies surrounding it with overwhelming military forces.

    The intense and abnormally hateful campaign against Bush II, was not just due to "Iraq" but really over a global strategy of long term alliance with Islamist countries and movements. Israel was and is still too small and insignificant to change this strategy and can even be sacrificed in the name of "larger interests".

  • Schlomotion

    The Israeli Politburo is really, really angry about the US not doing their bidding against Egypt. Writer after writer is raving and foaming that the sky is falling in Egypt and it's all the United States' fault. Mr. Ahlert cites as an expert AEI's Michael Rubin, who worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq during the dates that Iraq's economy was privatized and the reconstruction money for the corrupt Development Fund for Iraq disappeared. Billions of bundles of shrinkwrapped dollars on pallets. 363 tons of cash.

  • joel

    Liberals haven't been able to finish off the Judeo/Christian ethic by themselves,so they have joined forces with the islamists to accomplish the task. Of course,Jews and Christians have inadvertently been hastening their own downfall by their refusal to stand up for their faiths fully. But their defeat is not permanent like the islamist's.