[Marxism] Why is Obama winking at the military coup in Egypt?

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 08:45:15 MDT 2012

Why is Obama winking at the military coup in Egypt?

Jun 19, 2012 11:07 am | James North

A first sign that the Obama administration will accept the military coup in
Egypt was a mealy-mouthed statement from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
last Friday, June 16. Panetta said he had called Egypt’s real ruler, Field
Marshall Tantawi, and “highlighted the need to move forward expeditiously
with Egypt’s political transition, including conducting new legislative
elections as soon as possible.”

Panetta did not even make a veiled warning about cutting off the $1.3
billion the U.S. gives the Egyptian military every year. What’s more, Egypt
does not need “new legislative elections;” it already has a working
parliament – I watched lines of Egyptians voting for it in Cairo last
December – which was doing just fine until the Supreme Court, a military
tool, dissolved it.

The Obama administration could have demanded that this already-elected
Parliament be restored. But no. Once the military saw it could get away
with this first stage of its coup, it seized even more power. So even
though Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, almost certainly
won the just-completed presidential balloting, the Egyptian journalist Sara
Khorshad writes in today’s New York Times that, “Mr. Morsi will be a
toothless figurehead under the thumb of an authoritarian military council
that doesn’t seem likely to relinquish power anytime soon.”

The U.S. government had already gone along with earlier anti-democratic
moves to keep the Muslim Brotherhood from power. The Brotherhood’s first
candidate for the presidency, Khairat El-Shater, was a prominent
businessman with recognized broad appeal. But back in April, the ruling
armed forces council barred El-Shater on the grounds that election rules
require that candidates must be released from prison for 6 years before
they can run.

How do you say Catch-22 in Arabic? The Mubarak regime had imprisoned
El-Shater for 4 years, until 2011, even though he, like the Brotherhood
itself, had never used or advocated violence. So his reward for being a
nonviolent political prisoner under the old regime --  in all, he was
jailed for 12 years -- was that he was disqualified from running, and the
Brotherhood had to replace him with the colorless Morsi. Washington made no
noise about this injustice. Contrast this non-reaction with, say, how the
State Department would pipe up if someone it doesn’t like, such as Hugo
Chavez in Venezuela, used a similar maneuver to sideline a popular
potential opponent.

What’s ironic here is that the Muslim Brotherhood is no threat to American
interests at all. The movement is a conservative advocate of capitalism.
What’s more, the Brotherhood is on the front line in the battle against
Al-Qaeda and other violent extremists.

The Brotherhood has suggested that it would review the Mubarak regime’s
close collaboration with Israel, even though it says it will maintain the
peace treaty. Could the Israel lobby explain why the Obama administration
is letting the Egyptian generals overturn a peaceful, democratic revolution?


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