- During the speech of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the anniversary of Achoura,Hezbollah members are standing beside a replica of Fajr-5 missile.
By Ghaleb Kandil
Morsi’s coup and the exposure of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The incidents which broke out in Egypt following the presidential constitutional declaration did not come as a surprise. It was rather the expected result of the political course of the conflict over Egypt’s future, the nature of its regime and its nationalistic choice, but also fell in the context of the ongoing change, which we deduced would be the outcome of the Egyptian popular revolution two years ago. We must recognize nonetheless we did not expect the exposure of the Muslim Brotherhood’s command in such a record time.
Firstly, the presidential declaration itself constituted a dictatorial coup against the understandings between the political powers and youth organizations which participated in the January uprising and toppled – together- former President Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, the command of the Muslim Brotherhood organization did not resort to the people or adopt democratic means, and undermined the independence of the judiciary. These violations were at the heart of the demands of the revolutionaries when they rebelled against the former regime, considering that the president became an absolute ruler, immunized against any accountability or reviewing at the level of his decisions. Now, the situation is similar to what used to prevail under Mubarak’s regime, although at the time, the absolute presidential powers relied on a security or military legitimacy and the idea of national security which lasted since the July 23 revolution. Still, the rejection of this authority was the main instigator of the popular uprising, and the principles of the revolution strip Morsi’s new regime of any legitimacy, along with the prerogatives of the president as stipulated in his constitutional declaration.
Secondly, Morsi’s coup did not rely on any Egyptian popular legitimacy. Indeed, had he issued his decision following legislative elections which confirmed that the absolute majority of the Egyptians supported the Muslim Brotherhood organization, his steps would have been relatively understood. Nonetheless, his reliance on America, the West and Israel determined the date of his move on day that followed the issuance of American and Israeli praise related to Morsi’s collaboration to reach the truce agreement between Israel and the resistance in Gaza, the Egyptian pledges to prevent the smuggling of weapons into the Strip, and Morsi’s acceptance of what Mubarak did not, especially at the level of the presence of special American forces in Sinai to monitor the measures of the Egyptian army and security forces and directly supervise the plan to besiege the resistance and prevent the delivery of weapons and ammunition to the Strip. In addition, one must point to the arrangements to monitor the crossings, in collaboration with the Israeli and American intelligence bodies in the context of the measures to tighten the siege around the Strip.
Thirdly, the Muslim Brotherhood organization was quickly exposed in Egypt. Politically, it is governed by its power frenzy, and does not enjoy any serious plan to induce change. Moreover, it is committed to its ties with the West and submission to Western colonialism. The biggest proof for that is Morsi’s submission to the rules of the role assigned to the Egyptian regime by the Camp David Accord, in terms of guaranteeing Israel’s security, relinquishing Egyptian sovereignty and continuing to play the main Egyptian role within the alliance that imposed the blockade on Gaza under American command, in addition to other steps which were not undertaken by Mubarak. Economically, the MB regime is basing its action on beggary for loans and rewards from the West, its agents and brokers in the region, instead of on an independent national vision to develop the resources and rebuild national economy. At this level, it was not a coincidence that the truce agreement in Gaza with Egyptian guarantee, coincided with the International Monetary Fund’s approval of a four billion loan, at a time when Qatar offered donations and projects to strengthen the political and economic approach that is affiliated with the West. Hence, and in all sectors, the MB behavior is reproducing the Mubarak regime, even at the level of the details, but with new symbols belonging to the group and in accordance with an American decision to appoint the MB as the basis for the reproduction of a new elite to inherit the old regime!
Fourthly, the political and popular reaction to Morsi’s coup is natural, expected and prone to escalate, and it appears to us that Egypt is entering a stage of acute political turmoil. Indeed, Morsi’s recanting of his decision would mean the defeat of the MB project and would set the foundations for new balances which are not in their favor. And his insistence on this decision will lead to the escalation of the political confrontation and the popular actions which have started to be joined by new factions of the political movement and society.
Moreover, this uprising is generating polarization against the danger of the MB dictatorship, and bit by bit, this tendency in society will mount and start to constitute a vast majority that might ask for resorting to popular legitimacy in setting an imminent date for the legislative elections, if not the toppling of the president, the organization of new presidential elections and the drafting of a new constitution under the supervision of a transitional command which might lead the military council back to the forefront of the events.
Clear Military Victory for the Resistance.
The Israeli war on the Gaza Strip revealed realities which are prevailing throughout the Arab countries, regarding the fact that the resistance option is the only one capable of securing the necessary requirements for the deterrence of Israel and the achievement of victory over its advanced war machine, which once again turned out to be closely linked to the American empire and totally affiliated with it on the political, financial and military levels.
Firstly, the war settled the fact that Israel is affiliated with the United States and that any war between Israel and the Arabs is led and controlled by the United States, considering that the Zionist entity is forced to rely on America to get weapons, technologies, ammunition and funds, as well as political support from the American administration to ensure the available exits from its war predicaments. The same goes at the level of guaranteeing Israel’s security by Arab and regional governments affiliated with the West, which was clearly seen in the presence of Secretary of State Clinton, and that of her predecessor Condoleezza Rice in the previous Lebanon and Gaza wars. This time also, the American secretary of state handle the negotiations over the understandings, and ensured the participation of the Egyptian, Turkish and Qatari governments in the renewal of the blockade on Gaza and the attempts to subjugate the resistance’s command and contain Hamas. This was done through political and financial offers made by the regional front that is loyal to the West, after having rushed to distance the brothers from the resistance and independence option and pushed them to adopt their known position towards the Syrian events.
Secondly, the resistance achieved clear military victory during that war, after it prevented Israel from securing the goals it had set for it. This in itself was a victory, considering that the resistance was not the one to initiate the fight and was in a position of defense in the confrontation. If we were to compare the goals set by the enemy for this war a few hours after its eruption and following the assassination of Commander Ahmad al-Jaabari, to what was actually achieved, we would not the following: The goals featured the destruction of the missiles stock and the leading infrastructure, and the restoration of the Israeli deterrence status. But on the ground, the resistance prevented the enemy from assassinating its leaders, especially its leading cadres, and maintained its stocks of missiles which it continued to launch until the last moments of the fight. It thus showed a high ability to protect its leading class and control its fire, while immunized by the people and cohesive in the face of the enemy which was unable to infiltrate it, whether morally or in any other way. Consequently, Israel’s deterrence status was further damaged, and what happened was the complete opposite since the resistance seemed to have the upper hand at the level of deterring the enemy.
Thirdly, the rockets which reached deep into the Zionist entity had a range of 80 kilometers, i.e. twice as far as it was expected by the Israelis which thought that the Palestinian missiles could not exceed the circle surrounding the Strip by 40 kilometers. This element of the confrontation deepened the enemy’s predicament and enhanced its intelligence failure. Moreover, it revealed the great confusion affecting its domestic front, especially at the level of the reluctance to move to the land battles due to the resistance’s deterrence capabilities on the field. It was clear at this level that the resistance had accumulated new capabilities, in parallel to the emergence of anti-shield missiles on the eve of the war. In addition, the American intervention to prevent the land operations was linked to the fear over the so-called Arab spring governments, especially in Egypt where the Americans warned against an uprising to demand the annulment of the Camp David agreement. The Americans also warned against the eruption of other radical popular uprisings in other countries, a scenario which would become more likely in case the war is sustained. As for the Israeli military command, it feared the fall of many among its soldiers in the land battles, in the face of resistance fighters who did not fear death and who have been improving their combat skills.
The resistance’s military victory is clear and undeniable. However, what is worth discussing is the political management of the battle by the command of the resistance, considering that its ceiling of demands did not go in line with the accomplishments on the field. Was it truly impossible to push for the lifting of the blockade in a way that made the resistance merely request the opening of the crossings, while maintaining the restrictions imposed by the American-Israeli alliance?
By Nasser Kandil
Let us issue mutual judgments on Tahrir Square
Had it not been for the eruption of the Egyptian revolution and the fall of Mubarak, the Arab changes would have remained limited to a popular action in Tunisia which led to the departure of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, NATO’s invasion of Libya and civil war in Yemen. Egypt was the one that gave a meaning to these changes and justified the emergence of the name Arab Spring. Had the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Yemen – knowing that these victories were all relative and dubious – and not the Egyptian elections, the talk about political Islam as a headline for this spring would have been impossible.
Following the Egyptian revolution and the victory of the MB, we are facing a new Arab stage, in which the higher command of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the Arab countries in Egypt, has become the main decision-maker in determining the future and developments of this stage. In Egypt, everything has another dimension, due to its size, status, capabilities and role on one hand, and the crises, pressures, complications and challenges on the other. Therefore, we saw the wager of the MB in Egypt, in parallel to the wager of those opposing the MB.
In Libya, the oil can cover up the flaws of the Muslim Brotherhood regime, while the Gulf aid can mutilate the revolution in Tunisia and the Saudi presence can influence the developments in Yemen. But in Egypt, the situation is completely different, considering that either the project has legitimacy, or it does not and is fiercely toppled.
There are defining issues that have been determining and continuing to determine the direction on the Arab street and especially the Egypt street: independence, Palestine, decent living and truthfulness at the level of the will to induce change. Six months after the MB won the elections in Egypt, their tests at the level of the three headlines showed the following: At the level of national independence – especially revolving around the relationship with America – the MB revealed that just like Mubarak, it found no better option for Egypt’s future than to ensure the American interests and join their project in the region under the pretext of the financial aid at times, and the need for balance in the face of the Iranian tide at others. And this was their position. In regard to Palestine, the MB discovered there was no better option than that of Anwar Sadat and Omar Suleiman, thus announcing the sustainment of Camp David, even the acceptance of what Sadat rejected when it rendered Gaza under Egyptian tutelage and announced that no weapons will enter it. It even did what Omar Suleiman did not carry out, thus destroying the tunnels and committing to the fact that Gaza’s security will not bother Israel. In regard to decent living, the MB promised the Egyptians it will ensure their livelihood. But in light of their new government programs, the people are nostalgic about Mubarak’s days, while the Egyptian pound had lost half its value and bread and gas have become scarce. In the meantime, the subsidies over the basic products have been lifted, and whatever is left of the public sector is being nationalized without shame.
In regard to credibility at the level of the wish to induce change, and since the MB discovered that everything that was done by Mubarak’s regime was right on the mark and worth copying, whether at the level of the relationship with America or Israel or at the level of decent living and the revival of the economy, it wanted to discover why this regime collapsed and came out with three answers. Firstly, this regime did not get enough satisfaction from the Americans to get them to protect it against collapse, but the MB regime is. Secondly, it did not have enough control over the state to appoint its men in the army and the judiciary, but the MB is. Thirdly, it did not dub the president a pharaoh, but the MB is. This reached a point where the Egyptians have started making jokes saying that the citizens will identify themselves from now on as being Arab – or Hebrew – Morsians.
The Egyptians gave the MB enough time, but it rushed to give samples of its authority, thus pushing the people to return to Tahrir Square. No one can predict the outcome of the conflict that is now open to all possibilities, but it is certain that a wide faction among the Egyptians has grown tired from the Muslim Brotherhood and its authority. What is also certain is that its defiance within a few months, has exceeded what was done by Mubarak in decades, which is why the people are now reiterating slogans related to the toppling of the regime. What is also certain is that the people are reminding the MB it represents 25% of the population, as per the results of the first round of the presidential elections, and that their presidential victory was secured because the Egyptians did not want to see the return of the former regime.
But now that it has indeed return with a cloak and a beard, the Square went back to being the only way out. This new alliance on the square can create a new political scene in Egypt, with a clear majority of 75% of the people who did not give the MB their votes. More importantly, those showcasing the Egyptian model, especially in Jordan and Syria, are not standing before a live example of what the MB is carrying.
On Sunday, the Israeli air raids against the Gaza Strip targeted civilians and press bureaus, leading to the martyrdom of 33 people, including women, babies, children and elderly, as well as the injuring of dozens of others. Moreover, an air-raid destroyed a three-storey home, which resulted in a horrific massacre. For its part, the Palestinian resistance continued to respond to the Zionist killing machine, thus launching missiles against Israeli settlements and positions inside the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948. In addition, the Palestinian resistance announced its responsibility for the launching of an M-75 rocket towards the occupied city of Jerusalem. The Health Ministry in the Gaza government announced that the martyrs who fell during the Zionist aggression on Gaza reached 163, including 37 children and 13 women, mentioning that there were 1035 wounded, including 312 children and 191 women.
The Security Council failed to adopt an international decision in regard to the Gaza Strip, in order to ensure an immediate ceasefire. This failure was due to the United States’ opposition as it was declared by diplomatic sources in New York. On Wednesday night, Egyptian Foreign Minister Muhammad Kamel Amr announced that a ceasefire agreement was reached in Gaza between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and that it will enter in force starting 9 o’clock, Cairo time. The agreement featured understandings over a ceasefire and the discontinuation of the rocket attacks and assassinations, provided that the Palestinian factions also commit to a similar position in the Gaza Strip.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi assured that the participants in the Syrian national dialogue conference in Tehran rejected any solution imposed by foreign sides and supported a political solution to the crisis in Syria within the context of the international charters. NATO announced on Wednesday it had received an official request from Turkey to deploy anti-rocket Patriot missiles along its border with Syria. NATO secretary general announced that the allies will discuss the Turkish request as soon as possible, adding that "the deployment of these missiles will constitute a palpable proof for NATO’s solidarity with Turkey." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov considered for his part that the deployment of these missiles could provoke a dangerous armed conflict, adding that it encouraged those who wanted to resort to even greater power.
For its part, the Syrian government believed that Turkey’s request to deploy Patriot missiles along the border between the two countries "is yet another provocative step." An official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry thus held the Turkish government responsible for the "militarization of the situation along the Syrian-Turkish border, the increase of the tensions and the damaging of the interests of the two brotherly people."
During his visit to Damascus where he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, head of the Iranian Shura Council Ali Akbar Larijani stressed the "leading role played by Syria in supporting the resistance." SANA stated that the meeting tackled the developments in the region, and that the two sides expressed "Syria’s and Iran’s insistence on the resistance approach and their ongoing support of this resistance on all levels."
The protests condemning the rise affecting the prices continued in several areas of Amman, Al-Zarka and the various provinces. The opposition parties announced the suspension of their participation in the elections in response to this step, calling for the launching of a comprehensive national dialogue and the release of all the activists participating in the demonstrations. Jordanian Monarch King Abdullah II issued a decision to annul the retirement pensions of the deputies and the members of the Senate. On Friday, the protests were renewed throughout the Kingdom, mostly calling for the toppling of the government and the release of the detainees. In the meantime, the security forces prevented dozens of protesters from reaching the headquarters of the Islamic Action Front in Amman, while they were reiterating "the people want to topple the Muslim Brotherhood." Around 1,500 electoral cards were also burned by the demonstrators.
Clashes erupted between demonstrators and central security elements in the Muhammad Mahmoud Street in the center of Cairo on the first anniversary of the Muhammad Mahmoud Street incidents. In a statement, the National Association for Change accused Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi of having "failed to manage the state. These events bring back to mind the oppressive practices of Mubarak’s regime." In the meantime, the Egyptian authorities prevented political activists and forces from crossing into Gaza to express solidarity with the Strip’s population in its war against the Israelis. On Friday, the angry demonstrations and protests expanded, against the constitutional declaration which was adopted by Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi and which granted him unprecedented powers. In addition, some demonstrators burned down the headquarters of the MB and its political branch, the Freedom and Justice Party, in eight provinces. For its part, a group dubbing itself "officers from the Egyptian army" issued statements confirming its support of the popular demonstrations and its commitment to legitimacy. The statement read: We are now addressing the first call by the army to the people, considering that the people are the sole source of legitimacy. We swear to God we are not traitors and that we do not serve any agendas. We are loyal children of the nation and would protect Egypt with our lives."
The Israeli papers issued this week focused on the ceasefire achieved in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas under Egyptian sponsorship, pointing to agreements secured under pressures deployed by American President Barack Obama on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Haaretz thus mentioned that Obama pressured Netanyahu to get him to respond positively to the Egyptian proposal to ensure calm, while according to the papers, Netanyahu earned American guarantees regarding Israel’s right to self-defense in case the ceasefire is breached. Obama also promised to increase the security aid offered to Israel, especially in regard to the prevention of the smuggling of weapons into the Strip, reiterating his commitment to seek funding for the purchase of other systems in the context of the iron dome among other anti-missile defense systems. Yediot Aharonot said that the end of the campaign left the Israeli army with many unanswered questions, adding that the soldiers and commanders on the field still had to deter many gaps in the agreement. The analysts also spoke about the outcome of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. And while some believed that no accomplishment was secured after having reached the truce agreements, others believed that the understandings marked the beginning of an upcoming round of the conflict.
In the meantime, the papers mentioned that the American secretary of state warned Israel against any steps or operations which might undermine the Palestinian authority and lead to its total collapse, especially if the authority were to insist on heading to the United Nations on November 29.
New Orient News (Lebanon)