Friday, June 22, 2012

Syria: A foreign-supported insurgency according to the New York Times

I've written earlier that no sovereign state can accept any of its territory being denied to its security forces.  The US massacre in Waco was an application of that principle. The US government killed the men, women and children there because it would not allow even that compound to be out of reach of government forces.

The New York Times has sourced the CIA admitting what honest observers have understood from the beginning, that foreign sources hostile to Syria's government are arming an insurgency there.  I'll just leave this here so it may be easier to find later.
A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nuances and lies by omission: Juan Cole on Egypt

I don't mean to pick on Juan Cole.  He just illustrates a typical American approach to the Middle East.  He is not worse than average for the US commentary community.  He may well be better than average.

On the other hand, like most Americans, including we now see Barack Hussein Obama, he is bigoted against Islam.  He is adamant that regardless of the expressed decisions, opinions and preferences of the Egyptian people,  Muslims must one way or another be prevented from setting policy in Egypt.

Cole has two agendas when reporting about Egypt.  One is to rationalize his and the US' continued support for the pro-US dictatorship as it directly opposes the principle of democracy.  For this he blames the Muslim Brotherhood for running in elections the dictatorship administered and for petitioning for and accepting positions on the ballots that were given by the dictatorship according to the rules in place at the time. 

Funnily Cole and those who think like him sometimes say democracy is about more than elections.  In the context of a group he supports voiding an election and dismissing the Parliament because he and it did not like the outcome, there is no principle in democracy as important as respecting the outcome of the election. There may be more than that, but without that, there is no democracy.  In justifying this action, Cole opposes democracy.  If there is more to democracy than elections, by breaking the principle of respecting voter outcomes, Cole is rejecting all there is to democracy more than elections as well.

His second agenda is to divert attention away from the US' role in the war currently being waged against Egypt's voters.  He lists the actors in this conflict, and the US is never one.  The US' opposition to democracy contradicts the US' founding values.  It cannot be justified or supported within the American moral system.  Instead the US' role can only be actively ignored.  For example, mentioning or even asking if the US has any impact on the situation will result in comments being blocked or deleted at Cole's website.

Cole's supporters have convinced themselves that Cole is telling a nuanced story, one that entirely leaves out any discussion of the US in favor of mostly ridiculous and certainly unsupportable assertions about the motives of the dictatorship and its opponents. He'll say he has no proof of US influence over the dictatorship.  He presents no proof though, that the military believes the Muslim Brotherhood is supported by the US.  Nobody he quotes ever said that.  He presented without proof his theory that the Brothers would conspire with the military against the people of Egypt.

So anyway Cole has this dual agenda regarding Egypt, to oppose the Muslim Brotherhood gaining power regardless of the will of the people of Egypt and to downplay the role the US plays in its client dictatorship withholding power from Egypt's elected representatives if Egypt's voters do not agree with Cole that the Muslim Brothers pose some threat to democracy.  Comments that challenge these agendas will not make it to his page.  But hiding from them will not make them go away.

Following is a comment that Cole immediately blocked, responding to his idea that all sides, the Muslim parties who were sent to Parliament with a majority and the US-supported dictatorship that opposes that majority are equally trying to "steal bases" as in a US baseball game.
Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to stack the committee writing the constitution with its members, then acquiesced when the courts intervened. There is no real penalty for at least trying to put your interest above that of the nation, and the feeling seems to be that you should try, and then back down if there is an uproar. (I think this metaphor of trying to steal bases is better for trying to understand the political situation in Egypt than the idea that it is a game with no rules at all).
And where is the US embassy?  Are we pretending the US suddenly has no influence on what has been a client dictatorship for over three decades?

Now if the elected representatives of the Egyptian people don't determine what proportions there should be in the constitutional assembly, who should? You? On what basis?

The Egyptian military's budget is kept secret from the Egyptian people.  Including the US' contributions to that budget.  Keeping it secret after a supposed transfer of power to civilian leadership is a primary demand of the pro-US military dictatorship.

Why would the Barack Obama administration not disclose to the Egyptian people where these funds that supposedly are given as aid to them are going?

This is not about stealing bases.  One side has shown a willingness to abide by the expressed majority of the Egyptian people, though that side may not have taken Juan Cole's concerns fully into consideration.

The other side, is not willing to abide by the expressed will of the majority of Egyptians.  That is the side supported by the United States, Barack Obama and whose anti-democratic policies are being rationalized by Juan Cole.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Juan Cole, like Barack Obama, you are a colonialist

A quick reaction to Juan Cole's most recent article in support of the pro-US dictatorship's voiding of Egypt's Parliament and its new assertion that it will write the constitution without any input from any elected body. Definitely not something he would publish, but I wrote it nonetheless.
If it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Muhammad Mursi, really has won the election, SCAF will likely craft a constitution reducing the president’s powers. But this step can in the nature of the case only be provisional. Nor would it in and of itself necessarily be such a bad thing for the president’s powers to be reduced somewhat. (Some elected provincial governors and mayors and judges independent of the president and his party would serve Egypt well).
I get no sense from writing like this that we're talking about a pro-US dictatorship dissolving a legitimately elected parliament because it did not like the non-fraudulently reached outcome of the election.

You obviously disagree with the people of Egypt about the amount of influence Muslim parties should have in Egypt's political system. It looks a lot like the Obama administration agrees with you. Not one word from anywhere in the US government that the billion dollars per year that the US inserts into Egypt's military establishment with no civilian oversight and that the Egyptian people are not privy to details of is at risk because of these recent actions.

But the word for the belief that your ideas of what party should rule supersedes the beliefs of the people being ruled is colonialism. Mr. Cole, you are a colonialist.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good Enough Democracy for Egypt by Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton's press statement on Egypt's move to dissolve Egypt's legitimately elected Parliament.
QUESTION: Can we do it the reverse? I’m sorry. Scott and I always do this, get it a little confused. But in any case, thank you, Madam Secretary. I’d like to start out with Egypt, please. What is your reaction to dissolving parliament? Is this a step backwards?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, with regard to Egypt, we are obviously monitoring the situation. We are engaged with Cairo about the implications of today’s court decision. So I won’t comment on the specifics until we know more. But that said, throughout this process, the United States has stood in support of the aspirations of the Egyptian people for a peaceful, credible, and permanent democratic transition. Now ultimately, it is up to the Egyptian people to determine their own future. And we expect that this weekend’s presidential election will be held in an atmosphere that is conducive to it being peaceful, fair, and free. And in keeping with the commitments that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces made to the Egyptian people, we expect to see a full transfer of power to a democratically elected, civilian government. There can be no going back on the democratic transition called for by the Egyptian people. The decisions on specific issues, of course, belong to the Egyptian people and their elected leaders. And they’ve made it clear that they want a president, a parliament, and a constitutional order that will reflect their will and advance their aspirations for political and economic reform. And that is exactly what they deserve to have. Let me also note that we are concerned about recent decrees issued by the SCAF. Even if they are temporary, they appear to expand the power of the military to detain civilians and to roll back civil liberties.
No going back? They are trying to dissolve the elected parliament!  Clinton clearly hopes to see the pro-US dictatorship remain in effective control of Egyptian policy - annulling elections whose results are unfavorable to the US' regional agenda while calling that "a president, a parliament, and a constitutional order that will reflect their will and advance their aspirations for political and economic reform".

The US, Barack Obama, Juan Cole and the Pro-US Dictatorship's Coup in Egypt

Some things about Egypt:

1) This is a coup against the elected government of Egypt. The Islamists did not write the laws or administer the voting process. Nor did they behave fraudulently or illegally when they participated in the electoral process.

What the dictatorship said is that the process they designed and administered went against their rules. They are only saying this because they do not like the outcome and any election ever in the world could be voided on a similar pretext if a deciding party that does not like the outcome is motivated to do so.

We can ignore the pretext. The pro-US dictatorship, that is accountable to Barack Obama, has overturned an election result that Barack Obama did not like.

2) There is absolutely no possibility, given the relationship between the US and Egypt's pro-US dictatorship that the US Embassy did not at least receive advance warning of this coup and it almost certainly offered advanced support for this coup. Between then and now, in the unlikely event support had not been offered before, it certainly has been offered since.

3) The United States can and should publicly take the position that the election was competed in fairly according to the rules in place at the time and the elected parliament legitimately represents the people of Egypt until they lose an election according to the fair rules in place at the time of a future election.

The United States will not do this only because the US has pure contempt for the ideal of democracy in the Middle East if democracy can result in governments that might threaten to force Jewish people to lose their enforced political majority state the way White South Africans lost their enforced political majority state.

4) I have not yet read responses from US commentators such as Juan Cole but what I expect to see is muted disapproval and for them to stretch to present any way possible to blame the Islamists for this. These commentators share Barack Obama's contempt for democracy in the Middle East and his racist and religiously bigotted idea that accountable government for over 80 million Egyptians is less important than an enforced political majority state for for fewer than six million Jewish people.

Barack Obama's puppet dictatorship dissolves Egyptian parliament

I was not long ago asked what Barack Obama would or should do if he, his administration and the United States did not hold the rights of the people of Egypt in contempt for the sake of Israel.

The answer is that the open portion of the United States' influence over Egypt is conducted through more than $1 billion per year in aid that is given to the pro-US military dictatorship.  The people, journalists and elected representatives of Egypt are prevented from see how this money is secretly disbursed.  Barack Obama can and should, right now, commit that any and all US funds allocated to Egypt be done openly.

He will not, but that's because Barack Obama prefers that the over 80 million people of Egypt live in a dictatorship to ensure that the fewer than six million Jewish people of Egypt never suffer the indignity White South Africans suffered, in losing their enforced political majority state. This is racism and religious bigotry.  Barack Hussein Obama is an anti-Arab racist and an anti-Muslim religious bigot.  A disgusting president of a disgusting country, according to his and his country's own professed values.

Obama's puppet dictatorship is now dissolving the only institution of Egypt's government legitimately elected by Egypt's people.
Egypt's High Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that the Political Disenfranchisement Law, which had been referred to it by the Presidential Elections Commission, was unconstitutional. In the same session, the court found the election of one third of parliamentary seats, reserved for individual candidates, unconstitutional.

As such, the run-off presidential election between former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and Freedom and Justice Party leader, Mohamed Mursi is to go ahead as planned, with balloting scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. On the other hand, the election of one third of parliamentary seats has been rendered null and void. Parliament is expected to be suspended until new elections are held for these seats.
This is certainly a setback in the people of Egypt's struggle for government that is accountable to them instead of to Barack Obama, the United States and indirectly to Israel, as well as a setback for the aligned struggle of the rest of the over 150 million people in US colonies of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and others.

The people of Egypt over the last year have demonstrated, fairly consistently, that they intend to be ruled by a government that reflects their own beliefs and values instead of the US President's.  I expect, despite this setback, for them to ultimately issue effective responses.