Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
4 November 2013
It is no coincidence that US Secretary of State John Kerry rocked up in Cairo yesterday on the eve of the show trial of the democratically elected Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, in a kangaroo court appointed by the army which overthrew him in a coup d’état on 3 July 2013.
The purpose of Kerry’s visit was to confirm publicly to Egyptians and to the world that the US is backing the generals that overthrew Morsi by force of arms.
Glad-handing Egypt’s new dictator, the leader of the putschists, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and three of his stooges – “President” Adly Mahmud Mansour, “Prime Minister” Hazem el-Beblawi and “Foreign Minister” Nabil Fahmy – Kerry confirmed that the US was committed to working with them.
According to a report in the London Guardian today, Kerry tentatively praised the attempts by the “new administration” to restore democracy.
“Thus far there are indications that this is what they are intending to do,” he is quoted as saying.
Now what would those indications be, we wonder?
Would it be the killing of 50 supporters of the ousted president that were reported to have been shot dead on the day of the coup d’état?
Or would it be the arrest and imprisonment of up to 300 senior officials from the Muslim Brotherhood party, to which Morsi belonged?
Or would it be the massacre of an estimated 2 000 Morsi supporters by the police and army in Egypt – including hundreds at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo – on 14 August 2013?
No, what Kerry apparently had in mind was a “road map” drawn up by coup leader General al-Sisi proposing constitutional reform and elections by spring 2014. Jam tomorrow, so to speak.
Moreover, since it was General al-Sisi who mounted the military putsch that toppled the democratically elected President of Egypt, he is hardly the right person to be trusted to organize democratic elections.
In any case, since the military has outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, it is to be assumed that they will not be allowed to stand in any subsequent election – thus compromising the legitimacy of any such poll.
When Morsi was brought from prison to a police compound in Cairo today for the first day of his trial, he told the judge: “I am Dr Mohamed Morsi, president of the republic. I am Egypt’s legitimate president. You have no right to conduct a trial into presidential matters.”
Morsi took office as President of Egypt on 30 June 2012 after a democratic election in which he won 52% of the vote.
Together with 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, he faces the trumped-up charge of inciting members of his party on 5 December 2012 to attack protesters demonstrating outside the presidential palace. In the melee, at least 10 people are said to have been killed.
Today’s trial was adjourned until 8 January. Morsi was then taken back to the slammer.
In our view, it is a racing certainty that the United States, which is funding the Egyptian military to the tune of an estimated $ 1.3 billion in annual aid, was briefed in advance of the impending putsch and okayed it.
So it is hardly surprising that they are now backing the putschists.
Last month, as the military crackdown on Morsi’s supporters continued, the US suspended part of its annual aid package as a public relations gesture. However, according to the today’s London Guardian, on landing in Egypt Kerry downplayed the suspension of aid, saying “it’s not a punishment”.
The fact remains that – not by for the first time – the US is giving its calculated approval to the violent ouster of a legitimate government of which it did not approve.
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.