Trouble In Egypt. I Told You So.

Trouble flared in Egypt and protests threatened to turn into riots as an audacious extension of his powers by President Mubarack Morsi, leader of the Muslim brotherhood returned the country to the kind of despotic rule it endured under Nasser, Sadat and Mubarack. So Egypt is exactly back where it was under the regime that western leaders like Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, Merkel, Barroso and Ban Ki Moon were so eager to overthrow and replace with a free, democratically elected Islamic theocracy.

One again Little Nicky Machiavelli has to say, I told you so.

How has Barack Obama;a Arab Spring thing worked out for the west so far? Well, we bombed one dictator out of power in Libya, which set that nation free … to have terrorist networks, gangsters and tribal warlords openly operate and control the eastern part of the country, which resulted in the sacking of our consulate in Benghazi, and the deaths of four American diplomats. In Egypt, we started to push the longtime ally of the west out of power after just eight days of fairly peaceful protests, and then insisted on early elections in which only the radical Muslim Brotherhood could organize effectively. — now the freely elected Mulsim Brotherhood president has given himself absolute control over the government and the military.

But hey, in the fight for freeman moxy it’s always worth suffering a little fascistic tyranny on the way and at least Egypt has a transitional democracy, right?

Erm … wrong.

(from Arab news agency anaonline via Associated Press) Egypt’s president on Thursday issued constitutional amendments that placed him above judicial oversight and ordered the retrial of Hosni Mubarak for the killing of protesters in last year’s uprising.

Mohammed Morsi also decreed immunity for the Islamist-dominated panel drafting a new constitution from any possible court decisions to dissolve it, a threat that had been hanging over the controversial assembly. …

The Egyptian leader also decreed that all decisions he has made since taking office in June and until a new constitution is adopted and a new parliament is elected — which is not expected before next spring — are not subject to appeal in court or by any other authority. He also barred any court from dissolving the Islamist-led upper house of parliament, a largely toothless body that has also faced court cases.

But aren’t these just window-dressing issues, you might well ask? After all Morsi is still accountable under the law, unlike that monstrous despot Hosni Mubarak, who only represented the interests of American capitalists Morsi is still constrained by the new democratic law that the Muslim Brotherhood ushered into Cairo in the Arab Spring.

Wrong again:

Al Jazeera via Politico: The moves effectively remove any oversight on Morsi, the longtime Muslim Brotherhood figure who became Egypt’s first freely elected president last summer after the Feb. 11, 2011 fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. They come as Morsi is riding high on lavish praise from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for mediating an end to eight days of fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Morsi not only holds executive power, he also has legislative authority after a previous court ruling just before he took office on June 30 dissolved the powerful lower house of parliament, which was led by the Brotherhood. With two branches of power in his hands, Morsi has had repeated frictions with the third, the judiciary, over recent months.

“Morsi today usurped all state powers & appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh,” pro-reform leader Mohamed El Baradei wrote on his Twitter account. “A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences.”

We have gone very rapidly from having in control of Egypt, a strategically important nation of 90 million people, a US / EU friendly dictator whose regime stank of tyranny but managed to keep a lid on the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremists and enforced the peace treaty with Israel, to having in charge of the Suez Canal a dictator from the Muslim Brotherhood who wants to wipe Israel off the map and see Sharia law imposed over millions of secular Arabs. And the only people who couldn’t predict this very obvious outcome were the incompetent, narcissistic bell end in the White House who proclaimed foreign policy as “smart power” and the European sycophants who abandoned common sense in order to suck up to him.

Now how did that song from The Who go? What did they tell us should be our marching slogan? Won’t get fooled again?

But we did. We always get fooled because we trust our leaders, the professions, the media and big business too readily. And they are all totally dishonest. Don’t beat yourselves up too much though (unless you voted for global jihad and World War 3. We don’t have a lot of choice. Prising the fingers of the international; elite from the control levers will be a long, slow process.

While Syria Distracts Us Will Egypt Seize Libya For It’s Oil

If the conflict in Syria, currently showing signs of spreading to Turkey, Iraq and Kurdistan were to escalate into a regional war, a proxy for east and west to butt heads without sustaining too much domestic damage, is Egypt likely to take advantage of the distraction and seize Libya for its oilfields?

Thw Egyptians certainly have an incentive. Since the Arab Spring kicked off almost two years ago, the Egyptian economy has been disintegrating. Foreign currency reserves have more than halved and many currency traders predict the Egyptian pound, already at its lowest point in eight years, will soon be devalued. Socially, discontent is widespread. According to Gulf News, “In the past three months, Egypt has experienced increased power cuts that sometimes last for hours, while a fuel and diesel crisis has at times paralyzed the country, with mile-long queues forming outside petrol stations.” The black market price for gas canisters is 10 times higher than the official selling price; for bread it’s five times higher.

Taking into account Egypt’s political ideology, its past relationship with its large but sparsly populated neighbour, and its economic situation this scenario is being raised as a concern by increasing numbers of diplomats, businesses and media organisations.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government desperately needs a $4.8-billion IMF bailout to stop the economy bleeding out but the Islamists refuse to curtail subsidies to peasant farmers because most of its support comes from the rural vote. To comply with IMF demands for austerity could easily trigger a popular revolt of the kind that led to the fall of the Mubarak regime.

Having cut the IMF umbilical cord the brotherhood is looking for aid from the Arab oil states and the U.S.A. but even if this materializes, it will be at best a stopgap. With tourism remaining the nation’s main source of foreign exchange, but tourists steering clear of Egypt because of its anti-Western riots, persecution of Christians and other minorities and rush to adopt Sharia law this revenue stream is faltering. Meanwhile foreign investors are increasingly wary of investing in Egyptian ventures leaving few options open to the government. The temptation to look next door at the source of wealth that kept an insane tyurant like Gadaffi in power in Libya for forty years could become an irresistible, temptation particularly since Egypt views union with Libya as inevitable.

If we remember that Arab loyalties are usually to tribe and clan rather than the synthetic nation states manufactured by the western powers after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, it becomes easy to see why an Egyptian annexation of Libya looks an obvious way forward for two nations plunged into chaos by the western meddling that triggered the Arab Spring.

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Egypt, Islam and Democracy

The military are still the power behind the throne in Egypt despite the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in the Presidential election.They appear to have learned a lesson from events in a Algeria over two decades ago. In December 1991, an Islamist party calling itself the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won an outright majority in the first round of Algeria’s parliamentary election. The army immediately responded by cancelling the second round of the contest, which would have taken place in January 1992. Algeria’s ruling military council then mounted a thinly disguised coup that sealed their dominance of Algerian politics.

Since, the “Algeria option” has become shorthand for preventing Islamist parties from actually taking power even if they happen to win elections. It has also become shorthand for bloodshed, folly and failure. The Algerian army’s catastrophic decision forced the country’s Islamist movement underground, rendered it far more extreme and compelled its leaders to take up arms. The result was a terrible civil war which, by the turn of the millennium, had claimed 100,000 lives. Although much abated, this conflict continues to this day. Meanwhile, some of Algeria’s Islamists allied with al-Qaeda and helped to form a terrorist organisation that has now spread across a swathe of Africa.

So the Egyptian generals did not go so far as to rob Mohammed Morsi, a pillar of the Muslim Brotherhood, of his victory in the presidential election. They will allow him to take office, while seeking to constrain his power and solidify their own role, to the extend of overturning the results of parliamentary elections and appointing members to the assembly.

But thery have not ignited the highly volatile situation by simply installing their man as President. Such comtempt for the electorate could have triggered civil conflict. It is worth noting that the President elect, who has not taken office yet, has already said he wants closer ties with the Shi’ite regime in Iran. We cand only wait to see how the Sunni dominated Egyptian military will react to that.

All this again demonstrates why Little #Nicky has always been right to oppose intervention in the internal political affairs of middle eastern nations. They have their own ways of doing things which we do not understand. Intervention, no matter how well intentioned, in national conflicts, no matter how bloody, is far more likely to make things worse rather than better.

Goodbye to the Mad Dog? Maybe Not.

Colonel Muammar “Mad Dog” Gadaffi was last seen heading out of Libya with his arse on fire, leaving no coherent government and a bunch of loyalist crazies vowing to fight to the death.

Is that end of story for Libya, the latest chapter in The Arab Spring which so far has seen an inconclusive war in Libya, abrutal campaign in Syria which threatens to escalate into reional war according to Israeli intelligence, low level war in Yemen, a steeping up of the Saudi regime’s suppression of dissidents the replacement of a military dictator by another military dictatorship in Egypt.

The only success the uprisings, sponsored by the people who brought you World War 1 and World War 2 can claim so far is that the guy in Tunisia also disappeared over the border with his arse on fire. But his government carried on in power without him.

It’s not really what I’d call a result for all the cash we spent supporting these revolutions.

Still nobody died. Unless of course you count the one in a fifty Libyans estimated to have been killed, a few thousand Syrians and casualties elsewhere numbered in the low hundreds rather than thousands.

I think my case for not interfereing in other people’s domestics is proved.

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