Protracted conflict continues. Reports suggest Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) plans to declare the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization.
On August 19, Russia Today (RT) said Egypt’s draft constitution may prohibit religious parties from engaging in political activities. Word is expected by Wednesday.
Interim President Adly Mansour created a ten-member commission. It includes six pro-government judges and four constitutional law professors. They’re tasked with proposing constitutional amendments.
A second pro-regime committee comprised of 50 public figures will review proposed amendments. They have 60 days to decide they’re ready for a national referendum.
“Parliamentary elections are expected to follow,” said RT. Committee members agreed. Constitutional law intends banning “political parties based on religious ideology.”
Ruling generals want unchallenged power. Another amendment intends reinstating Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP). On April 16, 2011, it was dissolved. Expect sham elections when held.
According to RT, committee members said Egypt’s upper parliamentary house Shura Council will be scrapped. A source said:
“Most political factions also press for the elimination of this council, which was exploited by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies over one year to impose their Islamist ideology on the country.”
Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi wants the Muslim Brotherhood banned. It’s being studied, he said. He pointed fingers the wrong way.
“There will be no reconciliation with those whose hands have been stained with blood and who turned weapons against the state and its institutions,” he added.
Muslim Brotherhood members were blamed for attacking Coptic Christian churches and communities.
MB’s Freedom and Justice Party board member Amr Darrag said Brotherhood members always protected them.
He blamed thugs complicit with security forces, saying:
“These allegations are being propounded by the current (regime), in order to justify the aggression.”
On August 18, The New York Times headlined “Islamists Killed While in Custody, Egypt Confirms,” saying:
“The Egyptian government acknowledged that its security forces had killed 36 Islamists in its custody on Sunday, as the country’s military leaders and Islamists vowed to keep up their fight over Egypt’s future.”
“The deaths were the fourth mass killing of civilians since the military took control on July 3, but the first time so many had died while in government custody.”
Egypt’s Interior Ministry claimed detainees tried to escape. It issued contradictory reports. It gave one account, then another. MB officials called what happened “assassinations.”
An official MB statement condemned what happened. In part it said:
“No sooner do Egyptians now bury their martyrs felled by the hand of treachery and state terrorism than they receive even more martyrs killed by military and police forces of the bloody coup engaged in a war of annihilation against Egyptians opposed to the brutal putsch.”
“Dead and injured peaceful protesters have reached astronomical numbers, with the last of state-executed massacres killing at least 37 Egyptian citizens in a police van on the way to a prison on Sunday, August 18.”
Assassinations were “for their opposition to the bloody military council.”
“This heinous crime shows the total disregard of the right to life by these murderous fascist thugs.”
“But the people will not kneel and will get through this black period of Egyptian history.”
Koran 26.227 was quoted saying:
“Those who do wrong will soon come to know where they will end up.”
Israel’s complicit in what’s ongoing. On August 18, The Times headlined “Israel Escalating Efforts to Shape Allies’ Strategy,” saying:
“Israel plans this week to intensify its diplomatic campaign urging Europe and the United States to support the military-backed government in Egypt despite its deadly crackdown on Islamist protesters, according to a senior Israeli official involved in the effort.”
Israeli ambassadors in Washington and EU capitals are lobbying foreign ministers. Netanyahu’s government claims SCAF control is vital to prevent further chaos.
According to an unnamed Israeli official:
“We’re trying to talk to key actors, key countries, and share our view that you may not like what you see, but what’s the alternative?”
“If you insist on big principles, then you will miss the essential – the essential being putting Egypt back on track at whatever cost.”
“First, save what you can, and then deal with democracy and freedom and so on. At this point, it’s army or anarchy.”
Israeli journalist Alex Fishman said:
“Israel is in a state of diplomatic emergency. It has been waging an almost desperate diplomatic battle in Washington.”
It wants support for Egypt’s government continued. It wants US-supplied aid maintained. It underpins the 1978 Camp David Accords. The 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty followed.
Washington, Israel, and EU leaders agree. Public rhetoric belies official policy. Support business as usual continues.
EU’s warning about “urgent(ly) review(ing)” relations with Egypt falls short of credibility. Whatever follows will be less than what’s needed. It’ll be short-lived.
A joint European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso statement was less than convincing, saying:
“We regret deeply that international efforts and proposals for building bridges and establishing an inclusive political process, to which the EU contributed actively, were set aside and a course of confrontation was pursued instead.”
“While all should exert maximum restraint, we underline the particular responsibility of the interim authorities and of the army in bringing clashes to a halt.”
“The violence and the killings of these last days cannot be justified nor condoned. Human rights must be respected and upheld. Political prisoners should be released.”
According to Israeli Professor Yoram Meital:
“From the Israeli perspective it is security, security and security – and then other issues.”
“If we study the Israeli perspective, then (so-called) universal values are secondary to the top priorities of security and security.”
Bar-Ilan University lecturer Mordechai Kedar heads its Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam.
He opposes backing Egypt’s government. He calls it “a very big mistake to interfere in what happens.”
“Israel, by supporting explicitly the army, exposes itself to retaliation. Israel should have done things behind the scenes, under the surface, without being associated with any side of the Egyptian problem.”
Robert Fisk reported from Cairo. He’s unequivocal. He condemned state-sponsored violence, saying:
“Disgust, shame, outrage.”
“All these words apply to the disgrace of Egypt these past six weeks.”
“A military coup, millions of enraged supporters of the democratically elected but deposed dictator – reports that indicate well over 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers slaughtered by the security police – and what were we told by the authorities yesterday?”
“That Egypt was subject to ‘a malicious terrorist plot.’ ”
“The country, we are now informed, is at the mercy of ‘extremist forces who want to create war.’ You would think, on hearing this, that most of the dead these past six weeks were soldiers and policemen, whereas in fact most were unarmed demonstrators.”
Who’s to blame, asked Fisk? Obama’s very much complicit. He lied claiming most Egyptians supported ousting Morsi by coup d’etat.
General Sisi “must have been delighted” to hear it, said Fisk. He compared dissolving the MB to Britain earlier declaring the IRA illegal. “Did that make them go away,” he asked?
He’s in Cairo. He’s witnessing events firsthand. He sees state of emergency harshness. It means: “Fear. No rights. No arrest warrants. No law,” he said.
It bodes ill for what’s coming. When state-sponsored terror’s official government policy, the worst of all possible outcomes follows.
When world leaders let despotic regimes get away with brute force, mass murder, illegal detentions and torture, all bets are off.
Egypt holds its breath. Conflict continues. Resolution’s nowhere in sight. Anything ahead is possible. Worst of all would be civil war.
A Final Comment
Fareed el-Deeb represents ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. He’ll be released later this week, he said. Judicial authorities ordered it.
He was cleared of corruption charges. A second case will be cleared up later this week, Deeb said. A simple administrative procedure will free him.
For how long remains to be seen. He faces retrial on complicity with murder charges. They pertain to protesters killed during early 2011 anti-Mubarak demonstrations.
Maybe they’ll be whitewashed like corruption. A previous article discussed Mubarakism 2.0. SCAF wants what Egyptians deplore reinstituted.
Maybe ruling generals will invite Murbarak back to lead it. Rogue states operate that way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.” www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour