Sunday, November 25, 2012

Of course Morsi is more legitimate than the pro-US dictatorship's judges

In an absolutely breathtaking move, in June 2012 the Hosni Mubarak-appointed Egyptian Constitutional court voided the parliamentary elections and dismissed Egypt's legislature because, like Juan Cole and most Americans, it was uncomfortable with the amount of Islamists the people of Egypt voted for.

Until last week, the constituent assembly worked to write a new constitution for Egypt under the threat that this body's efforts to write an Egyptian constitution could be, in a sweep, nullified by the remaining remnants of the Mubarak government in Egypt's judicial branch. Egypt's constitutional court is a throwback to the era when Egypt was ruled by Hosni Mubarak on behalf of the United States. When Barack Obama had more influence over Egypt's policy than the people of Egypt.

Israel was probably fortunate that there was no Egyptian legislature during its recent attacks on Gaza. If future attacks happen when an elected legislature is in place, the result will likely be, by parliamentary declaration, the free movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza through Egypt, in other words, the end of the blockade where Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu are conspiring to limit the access Palestinian men, women and children have to food, to calories, to punish them for voting for a political party that does not recognize Israel.

We don't publicly know what role the US embassy played in orchestrating the dissolution of Egypt's parliament. We do know that the US foreign policy community approved of it and defied any semblance of democratic ideals to justify it. Hillary Clinton and the US state department expressed no disapproval but hoped to see Egypt continue on the path to democracy despite the parliament the Egyptian people voted for being dissolved, their votes being thrown away en mass.

Since that time, in a critical counter-move Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi accepted the sudden resignation of interim stooge dictator Mohamed Tantawi, took legislative prerogatives away from the Army and put new leaders into key positions in the armed forces. I wondered at the time why he resigned and I still wonder. It crosses my mind that it is plausible that Morsi has information that would make it impossible for Tantawi to fight to maintain power - information such as details about corruption in his relationship with the United States - and Tantawi resigned with honor rather than try to fight to stay on.

One way or another, if the United States is unable to convince Egypt's military to recapture political power or the military is unable to do so, a constitution will be produced by spring 2013, Egypt's people will vote to approve it in a referendum and the era of US control of Egyptian policy will come to a final end.

The United States is still a filthy nation, a country that would impose hunger and malnutrition on the children of Gaza forever if it could. A nation that funds and promotes civil wars that kill tens of thousands of people in countries in the region that otherwise might theoretically threaten Israel. A nation that still and without an inkling of remorse continues to hold Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and others under the yoke of colonialism on Israel's behalf today. A country that claims to hold democracy as its founding value but whose supposed liberals out of pure bigotry believe that completely throwing out entire Egyptian elections because the wrong party won is close enough to democracy for Arabs and Muslims.

But the United States' may not succeed in preventing the people of Egypt from regaining control of Egyptian policy. Mohamed Morsi, in decreeing that the constitutional assembly appointed by the elected representatives of the Egyptian people cannot be dissolved by the remnants of Egypt's previous pro-US dictatorship, is saying that the political groups that have won Egyptian elections (all three elections so far, and also every round of each of them, eight rounds in total), not the party that has won elections in the United States, will decide the policies of Egypt.

If Egypt can become free, that will be a great thing. Of course by now the US embassy is furiously working behind the scenes to prevent Egypt from producing political institutions outside of US control. Juan Cole and the US public foreign policy community are, I expect, cheerleading and justifying that effort.


Lysander said...

Hi Arnold! I'm glad you are posting once in a while. To be honest, though, I'm very suspicious of Morsi and it is quite possible the US has made arrangements with the MB comparable to what they had with the army. The deal being the US would not oppose the brothers so long as they maintain some semblance of the Mubarakesque foreign policy. The US likely understands that the previous level of submissiveness is no longer possible, so they accept Morsi's more supportive public policies towards Hamas (sending the PM to Gaza, condemning Israel, etc.) so long as the key factors don't change, such as the siege of Gaza, don't change.

And I'm afraid they haven't. Morsi is actually actively closing the smuggling tunnels that were Gaza's lifeline. He is yet to open the Rafah crossing to imports and exports. Yes, Morsi did broker a ceasefire, but then so did Mubarak in 2009. The difference is that Israel was eager for a ceasefire because Tel Aviv was being targeted (thanks to Iran, Syria, HA) and because they feared a ground war. The US wanted a ceasefire because the bombardment of Gaza could hinder the plans to destroy Syria. All Morsi did was exactly what the US and Israel would want him to do. Which is why he was recieving so much prais in the US media post ceasefire. To the extent he was better than Mubarak, it was only because of pressure from below. Which he wont have to worry about once his power is solidified.

I can assure you that there is no split in Egypt regarding policies toward Israel and the west. There is no pro Israel/pro US faction of the populace. The Non MB protesters are at least as, if not more, vigorously opposed to Zionism than the Brothers.

Also, bear in mind how the US strategic plan is unfolding. They will try to turn the entire Sunni world against Iran. They have an incentive to support the most sectarian Muslims they can find. Morsi himself may not be that sectarian, but he will allow sectarianism to prosper.

Qatar and the IMF are not giving Morsi loans and support because he is confronting Zionism.

Time will tell and again I'm glad to see you post.

Lidia said...

I agree with you, Morsi is not much better than Mubarak, but still something HAD  changed, even if not thanks to him :)

We'll wait and see. I believe in Egyptians.

Arnold Evans said...

From what I'm reading, if Morsi had not acted, the court would have released a decision on dismissing the constituent assembly on Dec. 2.

Morsi seems to have stopped that.  Also the moves Morsi took in August to submit the military to his authority, of which one was to get Tantawi's resignation, have made it so Morsi can prevent the court from dismissing these bodies the way it dismissed the parliament.

Lidia said...

You are right that Morsi is against the vestiges of Mubarak rule. Unfortunately, USA imperialism could use another puppet for the same goal. We'll see.

Pirouz_2 said...

Hello Arnold;
I am very glad that I can read your posts again. And I hope that you we will be able to enjoy your posts more often in future too.
Lysander said somthing about you in MOA with which I totally agree: "Arnold is right much more often than wrong..."
So for the sake of the people of Middle East, I hope that this time too, you will turn out right and I turn out to be wrong.

But at the moment I am more inclined to agree with Lysander: Morsi and MB will not act in an anti-imperialist fashion. They will be as anti-imperialist as Mr. Erdogan has been; meaning that they will all ally themselves with the imperialism.

A very suggestive evidence for this is Mr. Morsi's position vis-a-vis Syria, also from the way  that Presstv does its news coverage for Egyptian MB and Morsi, I get the feeling that Iran is not trusting MB/Morsi either.

And -again- like Lysander, I too base my prediction to a large degree on MB/Morsi being on Qatari (ie. US) payroll and the country being pushed more and more under the hegemony of IMF/WB.

Pirouz_2 said...

I am very sorry for the typo in the second sentence in my previous post. I wrote:
"And I hope that you we will be able to enjoy your posts more often in future too."
That bolded font "you" should not be in the sentence.

Arnold Evans said...

For me the important question in Egypt is who is going to write the constitution. Relatedly, will remnants of the Mubarak regime have a veto over the constitution or its terms.

On June 12, it looked like the Mubarak judicial branch, plus the SCAS were set to retain effective control of the country when they disbanded the parliament, and later claimed the right to veto terms of the constitution, along with their threat to disband the constituent assembly altogether.

Tantawi's resignation in mid-August, along with Morsi replacing him with someone acceptable to the MB, plus Morsi's decree at that time reversing the June SCAS decree that they would keep control of foreign policy marked a clear statement from Morsi that foreign policy will be set by the civilians who get votes - as I think it should be.

The Parliament's declaration before it was disbanded that Egypt considers Israel its enemy illustrates the impossibility of trying to have a Middle East government be both pro-Zionist and democratic at the same time.

In fact, when Parliament was disbanded it was an indication the the Obama administration along with the Mubarak remnants had decided to keep the pro-Zionist part and add the minimal trimmings so Egypt could be democratic enough for Arabs and Muslims but with the US still in control of policy. That has been US policy all along.

Morsi is not playing along with that.

Morsi had not subjugated the army in time to prevent parliament from being disbanded (but I think Morsi may figure out a way to get them back seated before the next Jan 25 anniversary). But the constituent assembly is not going to write non-civilian control of foreign policy into the constitution unless the Mubarak judges can blackmail or disband the current assembly.

The one important thing that just happened is that Morsi has taken that power away from the Mubarak judges.

How it looks now is that while Tantawi would listen to the US embassy and remove Morsi, he can't because he's out of power. Instead a constitution will be written that does not at all shield policy from Egypt's voters and I can't see how the US can stop that.

A decent constitution will be written. If the Mubarak judges claim it does not preserve army prerogatives, they will be ignored or even replaced. The people of Egypt will ratify the constitution and that constitution will place reasonable limits on Morsi's powers, but not the type of limits Jimmy Carter, Juan Cole or Barack Obama would want.

Egypt looks, if Morsi gets his way, like it will be in policy as anti-Zionist as the Egyptian people, which happens to be more anti-Zionist than Iran and more anti-Zionist than the US is pro-Zionist.

Morsi may not get his way, but if he was going along with Obama, he would be working to ensure either that Parliament is delayed (indefinitely) or elected officials can be overridden on foreign policy in the constitution. He is not doing either as far as I can see.

masoud said...

Hi Arnold,
Long time no see.

For what it's worth, I agree 100% with you. It seems that people just can't internalize what it means to be responsible for hemaphelic economy like Egypt's. In some ways, Egypt is just as bad as Gaza, in terms of dependencies on handouts. This list puts it somewhere between Belize and Swaziland:
On top of all that they have to bear the burden of having to field a an army whose equipment cost that is as expensive to maintain as any NATO nation's. These artificial constrains have been imposed on Egypt precisely to keep it as supplicant to the West as it was under the Mubarak era, no matter what political faction manages to attain power.

It really is no small thing for Morsi to have distanced himself from violence as a legitimate means to power for Islamists in Syria while reaching out to include Iran in the end solution, and at the s@af9f0b84b8cac72434c3ba8230be07a3:disqus me to cash 2 Billion dollar cheques from both Qatar and Turkey.

It really is no small the for Morsi to have flown to China and Iran and met with the leadership of both countries, before coming to the US and pointedly not meeting meeting with Obama.

It really is no small thing to for Morsi to condemn Israel, withdraw his ambassador to Israel, and secure IMF funding inside of the same week.

And I just can't believe the people criticizing Morsi for brokering the peace agreement. The score was 160-5, how many more innings did we want Gaza to go? The Resistence in Palestine simply isn't yet at the level of the Resistence in Lebanon. Some day it might be, but if today we can force Israel to stop it's indiscriminate killings within a week rather than it's customary two month time frame, that's a win for our side, and would have been impossible to achieve without the roles that played by Hamas, IJ, or Morsi.

On of Lula de Silva's first acts upon becoming president of Brazil, was to send Brazillian troops to act along side French, American and Canadian troops in Haiti. It was an inauspicious start to what turned out to be a fantastic presidency for South America. I remember Hugo Chavez making a big speech about two years into Lula's presidency at the WSF, urging Brazillian pessimists to give him time.  Chavez turned out to be right on the Money. It doesn't even look to me like Morsi needs the same benefit of the doubt. I'm no Egyptian, but if I were, I'd be thanking my lucky stars Egypt got stuck with the 'Spare Tire' of the elections.

Pirouz_2 said...

I saw your comments on MOA. As usual very brilliant.
However, I have some problems.
I think both you and I agree that Gulf countries do as USA commands.
So can you tell me what you think about the relationship between MB and PG sheikhdoms (esp. Qatar)? Also what do you think about Morsi's position vis-a-vis Syria? What do you think about HAMAS and its position vis-a-vis Syria? 
You know the history of colonialism WAY BETTER than I do (and I am not just trying to be courteous I really do mean it), so you know very well what role the "loans" from the dominating empires to the colonies played in the enslavement of those nations. Could you tell me how an independent leader who is anti-imperialist will resort to loans from Qatar and IMF? If a leader keeps pushing his country more and more into debt from PG sheikhdoms and western financial institutions, how can we expect him to push for a foreign policy independent of his creditors?
Various power groups may fight over power, it doesn't mean that either one of them is necessarily on the side of people (Americans who watch the fight between dems and reps are the best witnesses to that). Now the question is IF one believes that the main goal of both sides is "power" and that neither one of the sides is striving for anti-imperialism, then why should one be over-supportive of one side?

Arnold Evans said...

Thanks, I'm very flattered.

The threat to colonialism, especially in the Middle East where the people of the United States have a vehement disagreement with the people of the region about Israel is policy-makers who are accountable to the people.

You can bribe either Mubarak or Morsi, as long as there is nobody to compete with them for reelection who has an incentive to investigate and expose the corruption. It is much more expensive, in fact impossible to bribe Egypt's 50 million voters.

So what's important is that there is a competitive process, and that the results of the competitive political process are respected.

So once a side wins a contested election, as long as it does not abolish future elections, there is no such thing as being over-supportive of that side. The people of Egypt support Morsi and a large Islamist majority in Parliament. Who I support is irrelevant compared to that.

The United States structurally cannot get the amounts and cooperation it needs in countries close to Israel from voters, so it needs foreign policy to be outside of the control of the electorate, the way it has been in Turkey, though in Turkey it is slowly reverting in theory.

Turkey is the exact model proposed for Egypt by Juan Cole, and more or less openly by other US officials and commentators. To Cole that's good enough for Arabs and Muslims. If foreign policy is not under control of the voters, that's ok because eventually it may be in the future. For now the US Embassy will determine Egypt's foreign policy.

Cole is a pure bigot. He's a supposed liberal who represents what is disgusting about the United States. Cole lies and says the reason he wants that is to protect minorities. What does the army have to do with women's rights? How many women's rights were there under Mubarak - who Cole described as unproblematic for the US? Disgusting. I've talked about that too long already, but that is the mainstream foreign policy view of the United States.

Back to democracy. Egyptians are in Egypt. They have the close view of all of the details they need to figure out the way to manage all aspects of policy, including foreign policy, most consistent with their own values. I don't know how they will solve the problem of Egypt's seemingly structural external dependency but they'll do a better job of solving it than I could from far away.

All they need are politicians who are accountable to them, not to the US Embassy and a little time.

Qatar is a US colony today. Qatar makes a lot of pledges. Those pledges are actually fulfilled if Qatar gets US permission to fulfill them. One day Qatar will be democratic but until then, pledges of support from Qatar mean no more and no less than the pledges Egypt has already gotten from the US and Europe. They are a problem, but the people of Egypt can and will solve those problems better than I could.

The question, as always, is will Egypt get a constitution that puts control of foreign policy under the control of voters. Juan Cole opposes that. Jimmy Carter opposes that. The US state department, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama oppose that. Thomas Friedman opposes that. All because the United States is an evil nation. They'll all come up with different rationales, but look at how each of them supported Mubarak yesterday, and how each of them supports Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan today.

A competitive electoral process in Egypt whose winner will control foreign policy. The US opposes it. The SCAS opposes it. The SCAS-courts oppose it. US non official commentators oppose it. The Muslim Brothers have no reason to oppose it, especially now, after showing that they represent a majority of Egyptians. I've seen no indication that they or Morsi do in fact oppose it.

But until the people of Egypt stop voting for the Islamists, outsiders who respect democracy will support the Islamists.