Washington Ousted Egypt’s Morsi
by Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed it. So did The New York Times. More on that below.
Washington manipulates most regional events. It’s dirty hands orchestrate them. Geopolitical ones matter most. In 2011, Obama officials choreographed Mubarak’s ouster. They deposed Morsi in similar fashion.
Michel Chossudovsky said Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) “tows the line. (I)t takes orders from Washington, DC.”
Around $1.5 billion annually buys lots of influence. America’s long arm tolerates no outliers. Independent governments are targeted. Subservient ones are supported.
“US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as well as the US Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey were in permanent liaison with the architects of the coup in the two weeks preceding the military takeover,” said Chossudovsky.
Egypt’s the largest Arab country. It’s strategically important. It’s a vital US ally. SCAF generals don’t act without US approval.
They’re in close liaison with Israel. Controlling events on the ground is important. Washington manipulates them. SCAF’s ordered to prevent them from spinning out of control.
Given strong commitment on both sides, it won’t be easy. Civil war’s unlikely but possible. Events at times exceed what observers expect. Egypt’s a virtual tinder box. Nothing ahead will surprise.
On Monday, SCAF killed dozens of peaceful pro-Morsi protesters. Hundreds more were injured. They knelt to pray in front of Republican Guard headquarters. Morsi’s believed to be held there under house arrest.
One injured protester explained what happened, saying:
Soldiers opened fire “like pouring rain. They started shooting tear gas and then live ammunition. We were shouting ‘peaceful, peaceful,’ but the shooting continued.”
“There were dawn prayers and then I heard someone calling for help, so the imam finished the prayers quickly.”
“Just before we finished, the shooting started. The army units that were standing in front of the Republican Guard headquarters first started shooting teargas, then live ammunition above people’s heads.”
“I was taking cover with another guy behind some rubble and I felt something hit my head. I held my prayer mat in my hand and I started to cover my head with it. But I couldn’t stop the bleeding because there was so much blood.”
Another injured man said “I swear to God no one was doing anything.”
A pro-Morsi doctor said:
“We were out on the street to defend legitimacy. But then the army shot us in broad daylight.”
A SCAF spokesman lied. He claimed Morsi supporters attacked the compound with stones and live fire. They’re “armed terrorists,” he said. He defended the indefensible. He called cold blooded murder self-defense.
“The army had no choice but to return fire,” he claimed.
Evidence showed otherwise. The New York Times headlined “Video of Army Shooting Islamists in Cairo Stokes Anger,” saying:
Images showed “shots being fired by army snipers.” Protesters were killed in cold blood. Video clips were posted on Facebook and You Tube.
One was viewed about half a million times. It showed “close-up footage of a man in uniform firing down from a rooftop.”
Separately The Times said:
SCAF “provided little evidence to back its claim that the fighting had been instigated by the Islamists.”
Bullet casings proved soldiers used live fire. Independent munitions expert Nic Jensen Jones examined photos. He confirmed SCAF’s responsibility.
Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian called what happened “an outright massacre (by) a fascist coup government.”
He and other MB officials called for a national “uprising” against military dictatorship ruthlessness.
On July 8, NYT editors headlined “Bloodshed in Egypt,” saying:
It’s been “all downhill (since SCAF) ousted President Mohaned Morsi last week.”
Egypt’s “military claimed its soldiers fired in response to an attack by gunmen from an unnamed ‘terrorist group.’ ”
“But other evidence – bullet casings with the army stamp, indications that the gunfire came from the top of a nearby building – suggest a military all too willing to use excessive force.”
Obama “refused to label the coup a coup because to do so (requires) “cut(ting) of $1.5 billion in (mostly) military…aid to a country” vital to America’s regional strategic interests.
Times editors stopped short of explaining Washington’s direct role. They said America “cannot control Egypt’s future.”
Orwell explained best, saying:
“Those who control the present, control the past, and those who control the past control the future.”
What’s ongoing won’t end easily or quickly. It’ll likely continue. Resolution’s nowhere in sight.
Conditions are deplorable. They’re worse now than ever. Decades of neoliberal harshness reflect socioeconomic terrorism. People take so much before exploding.
Conditions are deteriorating in real time. Public anger on both sides is real. Longstanding grievances remain unaddressed.
Junta power runs Egypt. Politicians serve at its behest. Washington has final say. Longstanding neoliberal harshness is policy. Police state terror keeps things in check.
America benefits from instability. Egypt’s kept unable to function viably. Neocolonialism prevents it. It’s true throughout the region.
On July 6, New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh explained what NYT editors omitted. They headlined “Morsi Spurned Deals, Seeing Military as Tamed.”
Ahead of his ouster, he huddled with aides. “(H)e received a call from an Arab foreign minister with a final offer to end a standoff with the country’s top generals, senior advisors with the president said.”
The unnamed official was Washington’s emissary. He offered Morsi a deal he knew he’d reject.
He asked if he’d “accept the appointment of a new prime minister and cabinet, one that would take over all legislative powers and replace his chosen provincial governors.”
Morsi rejected a similar proposal earlier. “This before that,” he said. He repeated a “vow to die before accepting what he considered a de facto coupâ€¦.”
Essam el-Haddad was his key foreign policy advisor. He left the room. He phoned Anne Patterson. She’s Washington’s Egypt ambassador.
On return, he said he spoke to Susan Rice. She’s Obama’s national security advisor. She represents the worst of US imperial interests.
She told el-Haddad the coup was about to begin. An aide texted an associate saying:
“Mother America just told us that we will stop playing in one hour.”
During Morsi’s final days, White House and State Department officials kept low profiles. According to The Times:
“The abrupt end of Egypt’s first Islamist government was the culmination of months of escalating tensions and ultimately futile American efforts to broker a solution that would keep Mr. Morsi in his elected office, at least in name, if not in power.”
“A new alliance of youthful activists and Mubarak-era elites was driving street protests.” Strings were pulled in Washington.
Last fall, Morsi knew he might be ousted. He told close advisers:
“Do you think this is the peak? (It’ll) be when you see my blood flowing on the floor.”
He erred thinking SCAF supported him. After Mubarak’s ouster, he was MB’s designated envoy for talks with ruling generals. He thought he developed close ties.
Close aides said he was the last to know his days were numbered. An old poker saying goes “If you can’t spot the sucker in 30 minutes or less, you’re it.”
Around mid-June, Morsi’s inner circle saw imminent trouble. SCAF head General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi warned of a growing “split in society.”
Divisions between Morsi and opponents compels the military “to intervene,” he said.
Morsi didn’t expect a coup. Al-Sisi told him his statement “was to satisfy some of his men. It was nothing more than an attempt to absorb their anger.”
Steps to remove Morsi were underway. Opposition leaders were energized by the prospect. Large scale protests followed. Millions turned out nationwide.
Top Morsi advisers met with ambassador Patterson. They spoke to Susan Rice. They argued that ousting him would be “a long term disaster. Egyptians and others throughout the Arab world would “lose faith in democracy.”
An uncontrollable “explosion in the streets” would follow. They knew about Washington’s involvement.
“Nobody who knows Egypt is going to believe a coup could go forward without a green light from the Americans,” they said.
Mixed messages followed. Morsi advisers met with al-Sisi. They accepted earlier concessions he proposed.
The same evening Morsi spoke publicly. His defiant address called opponents “traitorous conspirators.”
It didn’t matter either way. The die was cast. Coup steps were underway. Obama officials ordered them.
Morsi took refuge inside Republican Guard headquarters. He chose the wrong place. After his final meeting with aides, al-Sisi ordered “Lock the gates.”
Morsi was seized. He remains under house arrest. Junta power rules. Police state repression terrorizes resisters. Expect lots more spilled blood.
Washington rules apply. America’s dirty hands run things. Obama has final say. Egyptians were again betrayed.
Longstanding grievances remain unaddressed. Bread and butter ones matter most.
Neoliberal harshness remains policy. Brute force targets challengers. Nothing ahead looks promising. Coup authority spurns democratic rights.
Egyptians are on their own like always. Unity against state terror is vital. Real change won’t come any other way. It’s true throughout the region. It’s true everywhere.
Challenging entrenched power takes organized people. It takes unity. Divisions are self-defeating.
It takes commitment for nothing less than what serves everyone equitably. It takes longterm struggle for justice. It’s never possible easily or quickly.
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.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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