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Caringheart
 
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Quote Caringheart Replybullet Posted: 10 July 2013 at 9:47am
Originally posted by Ron Webb

As a matter of fact, I've been searching the news for any concrete accusation against Morsi.  I know he has granted himself extraordinary powers, but what has he actually done with those powers that is so horrible?  The only thing I've read is someone saying -- seriously!  -- that he banned belly dancing.  Ermm  Really?  As much as you might like belly dancing, that issue couldn't have waited till the next election?


Hi Ron,
This was posted on another forum... I'm interested to know your feedback.  Thanks, Caringheart

So Much For Middle East Democracy

By Eric Margolis

July 09, 2013 "Information Clearing House - The real story behind the military coup in Cairo led by General al-Sissi is much more complex than the western media is reporting. Far from a spontaneous uprising by Egyptians, – aka “a people’s revolution” – what really happened was a putsch orchestrated by Egypt’s “deep government” and outside powers – the latest phase of the counter-revolution against the so-called Arab Spring.

A year ago, Egyptians elected Mohammed Morsi president in their first fair democratic election. Morsi came from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, an eight-decade old conservative movement of professionals dedicated to bringing Islamic principals of public welfare, politics, education, justice, piety and fighting corruption.

But the deck was stacked against Morsi and the Brotherhood from day one.

The brutal US-backed Mubarak had fallen, but the organs of his 30-year dictatorship, Egypt’s pampered 440,000-man military, judiciary, academia, media, police, intelligence services and bureaucrats, remained in place. Even Morsi’s presidential guard remained under control of the Mubarak forces.  The dictatorship’s old guard – better known as the “deep government” – sought to thwart every move of the Brotherhood. In fact, the stolid, plodding Morsi only became president after more capable colleagues were vetoed by the hard-line Mubarakist courts.

Morsi should have purged the “deep government,” notably the police, secret police, judges, and media who were sabotaging the democratic government. But Morsi was too soft, and the entrenched powers arrayed against him too strong. He never managed to grasp the levers of state. Ironically, after all the media hysteria in North America over the alleged dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood, it turned out to be a dud.

The Brotherhood stumbled from one crisis to the next as Egypt’s economy, already in terrible shape before the 2011 revolution, sank like a rock. Tourism, that provided 17% of national income, evaporated. Unemployment soared over 13%, and over 50% among angry urban young. We have recently seen this same phenomena in Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan, and Western Europe. Severe shortages of fuel and electricity sparked outrage.

Egypt’s curse is that it cannot feed its surging population of over 90 million. So Cairo imports huge quantities of wheat and subsidizes retail prices for bread. The US sustained the Sadat and Mubarak regimes with boatloads of wheat discounted 50%. This vital aid tapered off when Morsi took power. Food prices in Egypt rose 10%.

Equally important, ever since Anwar Sadat invited in the US to rearm his outdated military, Egypt’s armed forces have become joined at the hip with the Pentagon. Just as Turkey’s 500,000-man armed forces were, until eleven years ago, and Pakistan’s so remain today.

Armies of many Muslim states are designed to control their populations, not defeat foreign enemies. The only Arab military force in recent memory to beat an invader has been the guerilla forces of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

The US provides Egypt’s military $1.5 billion annually, not counting tens of millions of “black” payments from CIA to leading generals, police chiefs, commentators and bureaucrats.

Egypt’s military has been totally re-equipped with US F-16 fighter-bombers, M-1 heavy tanks, armored vehicles, radars, electronic systems, and artillery.

Washington has supplied Egypt with just enough arms to control its population and intimidate small neighbors, but not enough to wage war against Israel. Further, the Pentagon sharply limits Egypt supplies of munitions, missiles and vital spare parts. Many of Egypt’s generals have been trained in US military colleges, where they formed close links with US intelligence and the Pentagon. CIA, DIA, and NSA have large stations in Egypt that watch its military and population.

Under Mubarak, the US controlled Egypt’s military and key parts of its economy. When Morsi and the Brotherhood came to power, Washington backed off for a while but in recent months apparently decided to back the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratic government.

This fact became perfectly clear when the White House refused to call the military coup in Cairo a coup. Had it done so, US law would have mandated the cutoff of US aid to Egypt.  US politicians and media, with shameless hypocrisy, are hailing the overthrow of Morsi as a democratic achievement. In North America, anything labeled “Muslim” has become ipso facto menacing.

The counter-revolution of Egypt’s “deep government” was financed and aided by the US and Saudi Arabia, cheered on by Israel, the UAE, Britain and France. Tiny Qatar, that backed Morsi with $8 billion, lost its influence in Cairo. The Saudis will now call many shots in Egypt.

In recent weeks, mass street demonstrations in major Egyptian cities against Morsi were organized by the police, secret police and the Mubarakist structure. Fears of the Brotherhood were whipped up among Egypt’s nervous Coptic Christians, 10% of the population, who form much of the urban elite.

Then there were tens of thousands of unemployed, highly volatile young street people, as we recently saw in Istanbul, ready to explode at any excuse. Large numbers of Egyptians were fed up with stumbles of Morsi’s government – even some of his former Salafist allies. – and the threat of economic collapse. Liberals, Nasserites, Marxists joined them.

There may be some armed resistance against the coup, but it will likely be crushed by Egypt’s military and attack-dog security forces. Senior Brotherhood officials are already being arrested, and pro-Brotherhood media gagged, while Washington turns a blind eye.

As of now, the threat of a real civil war such as Algeria suffered in the 1990’s after a US and French-backed military coup seems unlikely, but not impossible. Meanwhile, the military has installed a puppet president for the time being. The old US “asset” Mohammed el-Baradei may take over as civilian frontman for the generals, who prefer civilian sock puppets get blamed for Egypt’s economic and social crises.

So much for democracy in the Mideast. The overthrow of a moderate Islamist government will send a message to the Muslim world that compromise with the Western powers is impossible and only violent resistance can shake the status quo.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2013


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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 22 July 2013 at 4:18pm

Originally posted by Caringheart

Hi Ron,
This was posted on another forum... I'm interested to know your feedback.  Thanks, Caringheart

I agree with much of what Margolis wrote, but referring to Egypt's "deep government" is unnecessarily conspiratorial.  Let's face it, this is yet another example of American imperialism, meddling in foreign governments.  IMHO it is shameful how the US can preach about democracy and yet continue to back the Egyptian army in what is obviously a military coup to overthrow a legitimate democratic government.

I remain open to the possibility that the Morsi government did something so anti-democratic that a coup was necessary, but so far I still haven't heard anything that would justify it.  It should surprise no one that an Islamic theocracy would be disastrous to the economy, especially one that depends so heavily on tourism, but bad economic policies alone are no excuse (else half the democracies in the Western world would be collapsing in chaos!).  They could have waited till the next election to boot him out, if that was the will of the majority.



Edited by Ron Webb - 22 July 2013 at 4:19pm
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Quote Caringheart Replybullet Posted: 22 July 2013 at 4:39pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

 Let's face it, this is yet another example of American imperialism, meddling in foreign governments.


Hi Ron,
Please explain.
How is this, as you put it,  'American imperialism, meddling in foreign governments'?

I don't know if I agree with you or not about the military coup, considering the demonstrations that were taking place in the streets.  I think it is quite possible they were simply seeking to avoid a situation like the one in Syria.
Voice of the people... power of the people?

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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 22 July 2013 at 5:49pm
Originally posted by Caringheart

How is this, as you put it,  'American imperialism, meddling in foreign governments'?
 
Wow, where do I begin?  It's no secret that the US uses its economic might to advance its "interests" (how I hate that word!Angry) around the world.  Foreign governments that tow the line get American cash, technology, investments and/or access to American markets; those that don't, get embargos and trade barriers.  
 
If economic pressure doesn't do the trick, don't be surprised if you get a visit from the American military.  As the most obvious example, Iraq was targeted for invasion before 911 even happened; Al Qaeda just gave them the excuse they needed.  But there are plenty of other countries that have been attacked, either in outright war or "police actions" or covert CIA operations or whatever.  There is a good list here if you're interested.

I don't know if I agree with you or not about the military coup, considering the demonstrations that were taking place in the streets.  I think it is quite possible they were simply seeking to avoid a situation like the one in Syria.
 
Yeah, I think I responded to that a week or so ago, but that conversation was lost.  No doubt the demonstrations were huge, but claims that they involved 14 million people are hard to believe.  The pictures I saw looked more like a few hundred thousand at best.
 
Voice of the people... power of the people?
 
In a democracy, the power of the people is via the ballot box.  Anything else is just mob rule.
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Quote Caringheart Replybullet Posted: 22 July 2013 at 7:18pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

In a democracy, the power of the people is via the ballot box.  Anything else is just mob rule.


Hi Ron,

What do yo think would happen in the United States if huge numbers of people turned out in Washington D.C., calling for the resignation of the president?

As far as the rest... if you had a business to run...
a business where a great number of people depended on the way you run things for their own sustenance and survival... 
Would you decide who you would and would not do business with?  Who you would import from, and export to, and who you would not, based on what best served the continuation of your business 'interests' and the support of your people?

and yes, I cringe at the way that word, 'interests', is used to.

CLynn



Edited by Caringheart - 22 July 2013 at 7:29pm
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Quote whitelion553 Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2013 at 6:27am
i try to say only facts
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2013 at 4:38pm

Sorry Caringheart, I don't think my answers below will be very satisfying to you because I really don't understand what you're getting at.  But I'll try my best:

Originally posted by Caringheart

What do yo think would happen in the United States if huge numbers of people turned out in Washington D.C., calling for the resignation of the president?

Your question is too hypothetical to answer specifically.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe defeat at the next election.  Maybe impeachment.  Maybe an assassination.

One thing I would not expect would be for the military to get involved, except perhaps at the request of the government to maintain civic order.  The military has no business meddling in politics.

As far as the rest... if you had a business to run...
a business where a great number of people depended on the way you run things for their own sustenance and survival... 
Would you decide who you would and would not do business with?  Who you would import from, and export to, and who you would not, based on what best served the continuation of your business 'interests' and the support of your people?

I'm not sure where you're going with this, but I hope you're not suggesting that government should be run like a business.  Government and busines are fundamentally different -- as different as politics is from economics.  Businesses are amoral entities, whose only goal is profit.  They are part of the reason why we need governments to create rules under which businesses operate.

In contrast, government -- good government, anyway -- exists mainly for ethical reasons.  In fact, politics is sometimes defined as a branch of ethics.  Governments make the rules that everyone, including the government itself, must abide by; and they should be ethical rules.

So to attempt to answer your question: if I were the CEO of a major corporation, I would do (almost) anything in my power to increase the profitability of my business, including taking advantage of tax loopholes, cheap offshore labour, lax environmental regulations, etc.; while simultaneously lobbying my government to close those loopholes, restrict access to offshore labour, tighten environmental regulations, etc.



Edited by Ron Webb - 23 July 2013 at 4:40pm
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Quote Caringheart Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2013 at 9:10pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb


Sorry Caringheart, I don't think my answers below will be very satisfying to you because I really don't understand what you're getting at.  But I'll try my best:

Thanks Ron.  I appreciate it.  I find I am usually in agreement with most of the things that you say.
Originally posted by Ron Webb


Originally posted by Caringheart

As far as the rest... if you had a business to run...

a business where a great number of people depended on the way you run things for their own sustenance and survival...
Would you decide who you would and would not do business with?  Who you would import from, and export to, and who you would not, based on what best served the continuation of your business 'interests' and the support of your people?

I'm not sure where you're going with this, but I hope you're not suggesting that government should be run like a business.  Government and business are fundamentally different -- as different as politics is from economics.  Businesses are amoral entities, whose only goal is profit.  They are part of the reason why we need governments to create rules under which businesses operate.

In contrast, government -- good government, anyway -- exists mainly for ethical reasons.  In fact, politics is sometimes defined as a branch of ethics.  Governments make the rules that everyone, including the government itself, must abide by; and they should be ethical rules.

So to attempt to answer your question: if I were the CEO of a major corporation, I would do (almost) anything in my power to increase the profitability of my business, including taking advantage of tax loopholes, cheap offshore labour, lax environmental regulations, etc.; while simultaneously lobbying my government to close those loopholes, restrict access to offshore labour, tighten environmental regulations, etc.

This is my point exactly; you would do whatever was necessary to ensure the survival of the business... and yes, it is personal ethics that determine business ethics...
just as ethics of governmental leaders determines the actions of government...
government is a business... the business of governance for the survival of the society...
Which is why people need to elect government officials with good moral ethics.  It is why they need better choices.  It is why the people themselves need to get involved, to step up, and provide those better options from amongst themselves.

Originally posted by Ron Webb


One thing I would not expect would be for the military to get involved, except perhaps at the request of the government to maintain civic order.  The military has no business meddling in politics.

What is better, to have a government that is unwanted by its people, turn its guns, its military on those people in order to retain power...
or for those guns, that military, to remove the person in power that is unwanted by the people, in order to retain peace?



Edited by Caringheart - 23 July 2013 at 9:16pm
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