ElBaradei Heads Egypt’s Interim Government
by Stephen Lendman
It’s official. He’s Washington’s man in Cairo. More on that below.
Ousting Morsi unleashed widespread violence. Pitched battles erupted. Both sides clashed with each other.
On July 6, Russia Today reported Friday’s toll caused 36 deaths. One or more others followed. Over 1,100 were injured. Unknown numbers were arrested.
Neither side’s yielding so far. Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is notoriously brutal. Mercy isn’t in its vocabulary. It conspired with Washington against Morsi.
Popular outrage made him damaged goods. He’s gone. He’s under house arrest. So are other Freedom and Justice party members.
Dozens are detained. Warrants are out for hundreds more. Egypt remains a tinder box. Civil war’s unlikely but could happen. Anything’s possible going forward. Things are far from resolved.
Friday through overnight, street battles raged. They did so across Cairo. Alexandria reported some of the worst violence. Muslim Brotherhood officials urged a “Friday of Rage.”
On Saturday, Reuters first headlined “Egypt counts dead after Islamist protest violence.” It changed to “New Leader starts work as Egypt counts dead.”
He held talks with SCAF generals and political leaders. Both sides remain encamped in different parts of Cairo. SCAF chose Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court chief justice Adly Mansour as interim president.
He’s an establishment figure. He’s a convenient apparatchik. He’s appointed to do what he’s told.
So is former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei. He’s Egypt’s interim prime minister. His spokesman confirmed it. State television announced it.
The New York Times, Reuters, and other news services reported it. He’ll form a caretaker cabinet. He, Mansour, and appointed ministers will oversea affairs of state.
ElBaradei heads the so-called National Salvation Front. He does so jointly with former Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa and Egyptian Popular Current leader Hamdeen Sabahi.
It’s an anti-Morsi umbrella group. It’s pro-Western. It defends privilege against populism. It assures business as usual. Mansour ElBareidei, and appointed ministers will govern until parliamentary elections are held.
They represent what Egyptians deplore. A previous article explained. On July 4, The New York Times headlined “Prominent Egyptian Liberal Says He Sought West’s Support for Uprising.”
ElBaradei’s no liberal. He lobbied to be Washington’s man in Cairo. He’s no populist. He’s cutting deals. Reports say he’ll maintain good relations with Israel. He’ll collude against Palestinian rights. He’ll contest Hezbollah.
He’ll back Washington’s war on Syria. He’ll be hardline against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. He’ll enforce neoliberal harshness.
“In an interview,” said The Times, ElBaradei “defended the widening arrests of Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood allies and the shutdown of Islamist television networks that followed the removal of Mr. Morsi on Wednesday by Egypt’s generals.”
“The security people obviously are worried – there was an earthquake and we have to make sure that the tremors are predicted and controlled,” he said.
“They are taking some precautionary measures to avoid violence; well, this is something that I guess they have to do as a security measure.”
“But nobody should be detained or arrested in anticipation unless there is a clear accusation, and it has to be investigated by the attorney general and settled in a court.”
He vowed to ensure “everybody who is being rounded up or detained, it is by order of the attorney general – and being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood is no crime.”
He said one thing. He means another. Washington rules matter. ElBaradei’s on board to obey. His words ring hollow.
“(I)t’s deja vu all over again,” he added. (H)opefully this time we will get it right,” he said. He left unexplained what he means.
More blood in the streets is likely. Things haven’t subsided by any means. SCAF’s complicit with Pentagon commanders. Israel’s IDF is kept informed. So are Netanyahu and top Israeli officials.
A state of emergency exists. Martial law was declared. Egypt’s constitution was suspended. Junta power rules. It’s beholden to monied interests. Washington ones matter most.
In 2011, Egyptians ousted Mubarak. They did so for progressive change. They challenged Morsi for the same reason. They acted in vain. Neoliberal harshness remains policy. Washington rules run things.
Reuters, Haaretz and other news services reported attacks on Egyptian Coptic Christians. Sinai border areas could erupt.
On July 5, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Israeli military alerts prompted by Islamist mutiny threat from Sinai and first attacks.”
SCAF raised its own alert. Israel suppressed news from the region. Gaza’s Rafah border crossing was closed. It connects Gaza with Egypt.
Orders came after reported attacks on SCAF Sinai checkpoints and installations. Al-Arish, its airport, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah were targeted. Hamas is wrongfully blamed. Rafah’s border crossing remains closed.
Doing so exacerbates humanitarian conditions. It comes when Israel imposed tighter restrictions. Fuel constraints deprive households, businesses, farmers, hospitals and other public services with too little.
Gazan gas distributors have too little to supply. Some people wait weeks for allocations. Israeli rules are imposed punitively. Egypt’s crisis ups the stakes on all sides. Other vital services are denied.
SCAF targets Gaza’s tunnel economy. It helps enforce Israel’s blockade. It causes enormous human suffering. It continues unabated.
DF lied claiming Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood wants Sinai turned “into an area of revolt and a base for attacking Israel.” Expect follow-up reports against its ousted regime. DF’s credibility too often is sorely lacking.
Morsi maintained good relations with Israel. Despite popular opposition, its Cairo embassy remains open. It’s protected.
Israel v. Egypt isn’t the issue. It’s Washington/Israel/SCAF against social, political and economic justice. Egyptians demand what they won’t get. Their liberating struggle continues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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