Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jimmy Carter favors democracy for Egypt - in the distant indeterminate future


Jimmy Carter has become a caricature of Western colonialist from a century ago.

We'll recall Great Britain in 1922 offering formal independence constrained by a British prerogative to intervene in issues that it considered important.
When at last the combined forces of the occupying army and the Interior Ministry were able to quell months of strikes and protests, the British were compelled to reconsider their position towards Egypt. The eventual outcome of that process was the unilateral decision in March 1922 to grant Egypt a qualified independence. Although the country would be governed thereafter as a constitutional monarchy, the British retained the right to intervene in any matters seen to affect the security of imperial communications, the interests and safety of foreigners on Egyptian soil, the threat of foreign invasion, or the status of Egypt's relationship with the Sudan.
Western colonialism has always also had another aspect. Westerners presented their control over others' affairs as temporary, eventually to end, and as beneficial to the colonized. Despite the rhetoric, they actually ruled to favor their own perceived interests. But this rule was rhetorically in anticipation of later full sovereignty sometime in the indeterminate future.
British rhetoric constantly proclaimed that Britain's great colonial mission was to gradually bestow enlightened English traditions of parliamentary democracy and responsible government on "backward" colonial people.
This is exactly what Juan Cole evokes when he predicts that the military will retain power to the benefit of religious minorities and women. (A 'prediction' that the government he votes for can actively encourage, as Carter does here.) The same military that disenfranchised the entire country in favor of the United States for the last 30 years is presented, of course dishonestly, hopefully as the guardians of democracy.

Recently, Egypt's pro-US military dictatorship has committed at least to the New York Times that it will continue to control foreign policy in matters of interest to the United States.
The new majority is likely to increase the difficulty of sustaining the United States’ close military and political partnership with post-Mubarak Egypt, though the military has said it plans to maintain a monopoly over many aspects of foreign affairs.
Jimmy Carter, who is liberal compared to most Americans and Westerners, has publicly expressed support for Egypt's military's efforts to retain the power necessary to keep its promise to US news organizations.
" 'Full civilian control' is a little excessive, I think"
also
"I don’t think it is going to be detrimental for the military to retain some special status."
and
“If the civilian leadership decided to give the SCAF immunity from prosecution, say, for the death of the people in Tahrir Square over the last few months, I would have no objection to that,” Mr. Carter said. Protecting the military budget from full civilian scrutiny might be another point where civilian political leaders could compromise, he said.
So Carter believes full civilian control is both unlikely and excessive - excessive defined in English as "going beyond the usual, necessary, or proper limit or degree". But it turns out, possibly in the same interview but reported by the Jerusalem Post instead of the New York Times, that while Carter believes full civilian control is excessive for the forseeable future, he wants to send a clear message to the pro-US military dictatorship that in some indeterminate future, beyond June or this year, he would favor full Egyptian civilian control of its military like Carter's own country has had for centuries:
"I think to have an abrupt change in the totality of the military authority at the end of June or this year is more than we can expect," Carter told Reuters in an interview.

"A clear message has to go out that in the future for Egypt, whenever that time comes, there will be complete civilian control over all aspects of the government affairs and the military will play its role under the direction of an elected president and an elected parliament."

"My guess is that the military would like to retain as much control as possible for as long as possible, still accepting the results of the revolution and the election," he said.
In the future for Egypt, whenever that time comes? (Another "prediction", this from a former US president about the behavior of an institution that has followed US directions for the last three decades.)

So for now, the backwards natives of Egypt should have their foreign policy controlled by the US. For now, according to Carter it would be excessive to Egyptians to control their own foreign policy instead of the military on behalf of the US as it promised the New York Times. But in some glorious future, according to Carter, "whenever it comes" Egypt will be ready to assert full civilian control over its military.

Under Barack Obama, just as much as under George Bush, Ronald Reagan or Carter himself, the United States' great colonial mission is to gradually bestow enlightened American traditions of democracy and responsible government on "backward" colonial people. But until then, unless the people of Egypt (hopefully) thwart its plans, the US will set Egypt's foreign policy.

14 comments:

Sineva said...

This isnt true for no-where did carter state that
he wanted egypt to be run as a constitutional monarchy

Jesus Christ Dermot!,are you fucking serious!?!

Arnold Evans said...

He may be, but he's not smart or honest enough to be worth engaging.

Dermot Moloney said...

Arnold was actually the one who stated that carters view was the same as the British in the past, however he failed to show where carter supported this british style policy. 

Dermot Moloney said...

Arnold, be honest.

You are trying to censor my comments for you know that you cant counter my views, in fact the more you tried the more foolish you have appeared.

Look how you said remarkably foolish things about syria, look at the fact that you had difficulty counting to three.

Look at the fact that you werent even able to fully understand a nyt article. ( and dont pretend otherwise, first you implied carter was against full democracy, now you have been forced to back track, yet you are trying to salvage your position by claiming he is only for this in the distant future yet the evidence shows that he hopes that it will actually occur this summer)

Getting things factually wrong is bad enough but the way that you have behaved like a immature petty individual lacking in moral principles and fiber is something else. 

Dermot moloney said...

Ran across this so i thought id show it to you.

It shows that jimmy carter Carter said that he believed "the military should be completely subservient to the elected civilian officials".

Also it shows that he hoped to see this occur in june, hardly in the distant and indeterminate future.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/01/201211393442772821.html 

There we have it.

George Carty said...

If Carter is still a supporter of Western imperialism in the Middle East, why do his right-wing enemies in the US call him "Dhimmi Carter", thus implying that he's a collaborator in a Muslim plan for world conquest?

Lidia said...

It is a question like "If Obama is imperialist warcriminal why there are people from the Right who call him Muslim?" There are a lot of imperialists and they come of many colors and strips. Some of them are simply stupid, and some of them are rivals, and they fight between themselves. After all, both Churchill and Hitler were imperialists, but they were foes :)

Dermot moloney said...

This completely shows that i was right and that you were mistaken.

We all make mistakes, it happens to everyone, you, me, others. But when you were mistaken you started to throw around a lot of insults, and an apology is clearly in order.

It doesnt mean you have to concede to other things, you and i clearly have different views on certain matters. But in regards to this topic you were very clearly wrong.

George Carty said...

The Churchill/Hitler comparison is invalid as Churchill and Hitler were from different countries with conflicting ambitions (Hitler: dominate Europe -- Churchill: prevent any single power dominating Europe).  I'm wondering why the US right wing views Carter (who is also an American) not merely as misguided, or even as an anti-imperialist, but as an outright quisling.

A "dhimmi" after all is a non-Muslim living under Muslim domination, so by calling him "Dhimmi Carter" those right-wingers are implying that Carter aims to help Muslims conquer his own country!  (As Vidkun Quisling helped the Nazis conquer his own country...)

Lidia said...

GC, OK, if you chose to split hairs, it is your right. 

Both Churchill and Hitler were imperialists with the aim of world domination, all else is but footnotes.

US right wing is mostly stupid, to put mildly. I doubt they even are aware of such thing as "anti-imperialst" (which Carter is NOT). They see him not as a rival imperialist (OK, Cater too wants USA to be a world hegemon, so he is close to them than Churchill was to Hitler), because they could not afford such rivalry. I suppose the state of USA imperialism is not very solid now, what with economy going to toilet and so on, so USA imperialism feels insecure and not open even to some inner friendly opposition. It is not alike Zionists-right are calling even timid Zionist-left names like "kapo" or even worser. 

Dermot Moloney said...

I never claimed he was misquoted by the nyt nor did i claim that the link showed such a thing.

What the link did show was that your position was mistaken, you misread the nyt piece and came to an incorrect conclusion.

I pointed this out to you and you responded with insults and misinterpretations. You have even done the latter again with this response.

Lidia said...

how on the Earth one could "misread" words like "Full civilian control' is a little excessive, I think"??

Is it some sort of epidemic malady when people are cannot read and understand simple English  (their mother tongue, no less)? Or is neo-positivist philosophy to blame? :) 

Moloney Dermot said...

Lidia, the piece was misread, but not by me.

Carter believed that full civilian control was excessive due to his belief that the military would not go along with such a move.

Arnold misread it it however and seemed to believe that carter didnt want full civilian control and that carter was personally against such a move from occurring.

However from reading the piece properly and looking at other sources which provided more detail into the matter it is clear arnold was in the wrong.

Its obvious that arnold himself realises that he went too far and tried to back track with this piece, however he continues to misread carter for arnold stated that carter is for democracy "in the distant indeterminate future". This again is another mistake on arnolds part, carter is quite clear that he hopes to see full transfer of power to elected civilians in june.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/01/201211393442772821.html 


"Is it some sort of epidemic malady when people are cannot read and understand simple English "

I am also curious as to why arnold failed to understand a simple straight forward piece. I guess it has to do with the fact that certain people like arnold allow strong beliefs and bias affect their reasoning.

Moloney Dermot said...

This is unfounded, i have done anything dishoenst.

Its clear that you were wrong and i was right in regards to this matter.

"Carter said, adding that he believed "the military should be completely subservient to the elected civilian officials". 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/01/201211393442772821.html 

All this censorship on your part is just an attempt to hide your errors and defend your wounded pride.