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7 July 2013
The international diplomat and Egyptian politician, Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, has played a commendably liberal and courageously outspoken role on the world stage in recent years.
His most prominent international position was his role as Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a subsidiary body of the UN, from 1997 t0 2009.
His most outstanding achievement in that post was his protection of the integrity of the agency against pressure from the United States, which wanted to turn it into a tool of US foreign policy.
Wikipedia sums up his success as follows:
“During his tenure as Director General of the IAEA (1997-2009).…ElBaradei downplayed claims of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, which undermined US efforts to press Iran over its safeguards violations.
“According to a 3 July 2003 article in Time Magazine, ElBaradei also maintained that Iraq’s nuclear program had not restarted before the 2003 Iraq War, contradicting claims by the Bush Administration.”
In testimony to his dogged determination to maintain the agency’s independence from outside interference, ElBaradei, along with his agency, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
El Baradei, who was born in 1942, subsequently returned to Egypt and became involved in national politics, where his criticism of US policy continued. According to Wikipedia, he told the German news magazine Der Spiegal on 12 July 2010 that he favoured opening the border between Egypt and the Palestine’s Gaza Strip, at the same time accusing Israel of being the biggest threat to the Middle East because of its nuclear weapons. According to Wikipedia, ElBaradei has also called for an international criminal investigation of former Bush administration officials for their role in planning the Iraq War (2003-2011).
Heading Egypt’s National Council for Change, ElBaradei has led non-Islamist and youth opposition to the administration of President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in a coup d’état on 3 July 2013.
Along with other groups, ElBaradei has subsequently been involved in talks with the army about the way forward. Last night he was named by officials as Egypt’s new Prime Minister only to find the announcement disowned 24 hours later by Egypt’s new puppet President Adli Mansour, who was installed by the army. According to Adli Mansour, no decision has yet been taken on who will be Egypt’s new Prime Minister.
Mansour’s démenti comes as no surprise, in fact, as ElBaradei’s appointment as PM would not be welcomed by Islamist groups that must necessarily play a political role of some kind if the intention is to form a big-tent administration.
Regardless of ElBaradei’s outstanding roll-call of liberal credentials, Antigone1984 unreservedly condemns his naked lunge for power in exchange for public exculpation of the military putsch which has just taken place in Egypt.
Mr ElBaradei has attempted to excuse the coup on the grounds that “we were between a rock and a hard place”.
He was quoted yesterday as claiming that the military ouster of Morsi was a mere “hiccough” in the developing scenario of Egyptian politics.
No, Mr ElBaradei, no!
This is no mere hiccough.
The way to remove a president who has been democratically elected at the ballot-box is to vote him out of office at the ballot-box.
The army has no political role in a democracy.
It is not for unelected generals to take the law into their own hands and decide off their own bat how a country is to be run.
What happened last Wednesday 3 July 2013 was the overnight transmogrification of Egypt from a democratic polity, however imperfect, into a military dictatorship.
No, Mr ElBaradei, no!
The end does not justify the means.
At a stroke ElBaradei has destroyed the liberal reputation of a life-time.
Corruptio optimi pessima.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.