By Ghaleb Kandil
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Apple of Tyranny
It is known that the branch of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is the most active on the intellectual and political levels, but also the most popular and open. Since the Camp David Accord, it opposed a backward regime affiliated with the colonial West and enjoying security, political and economic cooperation agreements with the Zionist enemy. Hence, it represented an environment and structure different than that of the MB branch in Syria, one which was raised in the lap of Western and Gulf intelligence to face a national and resisting political regime that constituted a pan-Arab liberation fort throughout the past decades.
Firstly, the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the Arab region is putting forward its most evolved capabilities through its Egyptian experience, thus rendering this experience a standard by which the command, project, and ideological and political handling of the nation’s greatest causes can be measured. This is without mentioning the fact that the MB command in Egypt collapsed twice. The first time was during the popular uprising or what was dubbed the Egyptian revolution which toppled President Mubarak, when it failed to join the revolution of the Egyptian people and maintained its contacts with Mubarak’s regime and the state security apparatus via its reliable representative, i.e. current Egyptian President Dr. Muhammad Morsi. The second time was when the MB leaders in Egypt got mad at the organization’s youth who participated in the attack against the Israeli embassy, thus talking about the necessity to honor the guest and uphold the pledges and treaties when referring to the Zionists who are infiltrating Egypt.
Secondly, what President Morsi and the leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood did during the last few weeks, which witnessed an overwhelming popular rise following the issuance of the presidential Constitutional Declaration, revealed the MB’s real strategic perception of many essential issues affecting Egypt and the region, the most dangerous of which are the dealings with the colonial West based on a trade-off logic, featuring the support of the MB’s control over power in exchange for services offered to Israel and the performance of the same task as Mubarak’s regime based on the Camp David Accords. Indeed, the Constitutional Declaration was issued after President Morsi performed his role in the Gaza war, when the Egyptian intelligence – and as it was done by Mubarak – ensured Israel’s interests and security. In addition, the MB’s relations with Hamas were used to impose the Israeli conditions at the level of truce, to the point where the Hamas command signed a declaration saying that the resistance’s struggle is a hostile act. On the other hand, the organization started the imposition of a tight blockade, in collaboration with the American and Israeli intelligence apparatuses, following Morsi’s regime active role in the destruction of the tunnels. And this in itself is something which Israel did not even dream of achieving under Mubarak’s regime.
Thirdly, Morsi earned Clinton’s blessing of his Constitutional Declaration, as a reward for his role in the Gaza war and his launching of a plan to contain Hamas’s role in preparation for the signing of the reconciliation agreement at the expense of the resistance option, with the help of Qatar and Turkey. This was tackled by the American press which said that the Constitutional Declaration was issued with Hillary Clinton’s blessing, after she admired President Morsi’s responsiveness towards her demands and Israel’s security conditions regarding the tightening of the siege around the Gaza Strip to prevent the introduction of weapons and missiles. As for the Constitutional Declaration, it not only revealed the replication of the trade-off mentality which characterized Mubarak’s regime, but also exceeded it at the level of the tyrannical rule it imposed via its content. Indeed, it rendered the MB-affiliated president an emperor with absolute powers, which led to dangerous reactions within Egyptian society. And now, no force can stop these reactions or prevent the lively powers within this society from expressing their options and inclinations when it comes to the major national issues. This exposed the tyrannical content of the MB project and undermined their claims in regard to democracy, after they appeared to be using certain slogans in an excessive way while awaiting the right moment to impose a tyrannical rule.
Fourthly, the moral collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood organization was revealed by its non-commitment to the pledges made to the partners. President Morsi was elected president in the face of Ahmad Shafik who got a large number of votes, knowing that the Nasseris and the resisting Islamists among the supporters of Hamdin Sabahi and Abdul Monem Abu al-Foutouh who gathered in the salvation front and against the Constitutional Declaration, were the ones who made the difference. They had carried out a second popular uprising similar to the January revolution, and the MB were the last to join it and the first to reap its fruits due to their strong organization at the time and the foreign support they received. Upon his election, Morsi pledged to uphold partnership, but monopolized power when he considered that the American-Israeli support was enough for him to cover him his dictatorial measures, which is outrageous both politically and nationally.
This pushes toward the reconsideration of the behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood in a country such as Syria, which the organization is trying to destroy under American orders and with Turkish-Gulf support through terrorist operations being carried out in all the regions. Indeed, the slogans appear to be temporary means that become without value once the group establishes its control. Its most important alliance at this level is the American-Israeli one, and its most prominent goal is tyranny, far away from the economic and social responsibilities of the regime. The power apple led the MB away from its claims, which are mere fictive ones for the closest group to the West.
By Nasser Kandil
Keep an eye on Bahrain
The explosive situation in Egypt has exited the control of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and undermined its wager on the fact that it is completely contained and almost out of the opposition’s control. Clearly, the minimum that could be done by President Morsi would be the annulment of the Constitutional Declaration and the new constitution.
Any opposition that reaches an agreement below this ceiling will not be able to end the uprising and please the street, at a time when leaving it up to the street to handle the situation will raise the upcoming ceiling of the uprising to the toppling of the regime. This week, Egypt’s fate will be determined, but it will also carry news from Bahrain where the regime is allowing the opposition to demonstrate at the heart of the capital and inviting it to engage in dialogue. The regime in Bahrain is drawing the lessons, but not the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime. But in Bahrain, there is something extending beyond the learning process, since the revolution over there – which is being met with injustice – is the key to the solutions.
Once the time comes for the major settlements in the region, keep an eye on Bahrain since this is where the solution resides, as per the program of the opposition which has so far shown patience and wisdom. The great Bahraini opposition is not embarrassed by the settlement, since its demands feature the provision of prerogatives to the king, while having an elected majority government, and the stupid opposition in Syria should have drawn the lessons.
The transformations course will be very quick and many heads will fall while Al-Assad will remain in place. Remember that.
Throughout last week, Egypt witnessed demonstrations and protests demanding the annulment of the Constitutional Declaration and the referendum over the constitutional draft, as well as the reformation of the Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution for the country, in a way that would be more balanced and expressing the views of all the Egyptians. In the meantime, the demonstrators proceeded with their sit-in on Tahrir Square until all their demands are met.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 Egyptian partisan and independent newspapers did not publish, in protest against what they described as being "a violation of freedoms, the confiscation of the freedom of opinion and expression and the non-commitment to the minimum level featured in Egypt’s previous constitutions."
Clashes erupted between the police and the protesters in front of the presidential palace, after demonstrators tried reach the palace’s gates. The clashes resulted in the fall of a number of people, after the security forces used tear gas bombs. The demonstrators also demanded the departure of President Morsi. On Wednesday, the situation exploded around the Egyptian presidential headquarters, after Muslim Brotherhood elements attacked dozens of peaceful demonstrators among the detractors of President Muhammad Morsi, leading to the fall of a number of dead and wounded. During the violent clashes, Molotov bombs and knives were used, while bullet shots were heard.
On Friday, massive numbers of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo and most of the provinces to demand the toppling of President Muhammad Morsi and the MB. For his part, Vice President Mahmoud Makki announced Morsi’s willingness to postpone the referendum over the constitution provided that his conditions are met, at a time when the opposition insisted on its demands to see the constitutional declaration annulled and the referendum postponed until an agreement is reached over a new constitutional draft.
On Wednesday night, journalist Ayman al-Sayyad, one of the members of the president’s consultative committee, announced that all the committee members had resigned in protest against the deteriorating situation. As for the high constitutional court in Cairo, it announced the suspension of its sessions for an undetermined period, after around 5,000 people from the MB and the Salafis demonstrated in front of its premises. This happened at a time when the court should have been holding its first session to look into the two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law regulating the Shura Council elections and the one regulating the election of the Constituent Assembly members to draw up a new constitution for the country.
On the other hand, the founder of Ad-Dustour Party, Dr. Muhammad al-Baradei, criticized the besieging of the high constitutional court by some elements belonging to the Islamic powers, while the general secretariat of the Democratic Front condemned the gathering of thousands among the supporters of President Muhammad Morsi and the MB in front of the high constitutional court to prevent the judges from entering its premises. It thus described what happened as being one of the facets of the state of anarchy.
On Sunday, the Egyptian president annulled the Constitutional Declaration in response to the calls on the street and after having consulted with a committee of prominent judges, calling for national dialogue with all the active forces on the political arena.
On the field, fifteen citizens were martyred and 24 others wounded with a terrorist explosion in Al-Hamra Street in the city of Homs. The terrorists also carried out explosions in other areas, leading to the fall of dead and wounded among the civilians. Moreover, the terrorists bombed a school in the Al-Wafidin camp in Rif Damascus, causing the martyrdom of nine students and a teacher and the wounding of a number of others.
In the meantime, the regular armed forces carried out a series of attacks which targeted the terrorist dens, thus killing dozens among them from the Al-Qaeda organization and the An-Nusra Front and destroying their vehicles which are equipped with heavy artillery and a weapons and ammunition warehouse. Moreover, they thwarted an attempt to detonate a number of bombs and confiscated quantities of weapons and ammunition, including Israeli-made ones.
On the other hand, crowded popular marches were organized from the Al-Salihin neighborhood towards the Al-Marja neighborhood, calling for the ousting of the terrorists from the city of Aleppo. For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the steadfastness of the Russian position towards the crisis in Syria, calling for the discontinuation of violence as soon as possible and the non-repetition of the mistakes committed in the near past in other countries.
An official source at the Foreign Ministry said that in response to the statements of American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she warned Syria against "the possible use of chemical weapons," the Syrian Foreign Ministry would like to clarify it has repeated time and time again to the American side, directly, through the Russian friends and the United Nations secretary general it will not use such weapons – if they indeed exist – against its people under whichever circumstances, adding it was fighting and struggling alongside its people against the Qaeda-linked terrorism, which is supported by known states at the head of which is the United States itself.
Dr. Faisal al-Mekdad, the deputy foreign minister, warned against any foolish acts in Syria, indicating there was a psychological war being waged against Syria since the beginning of 2011. He thus added: "Whoever thinks about waging such an attack, should look into the repercussions of this act on the region."
United Nations Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi assured that Russia and the United States will seek a creative solution to the crisis in Syria. Following his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his American counterpart Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of the meeting of the European Security and Cooperation Organization in the Irish capital Dublin, he added to the journalists: "We did not adopt any solutions and agreed that the situation was bad. We also agreed we should continue working together in seeking creative way to render this problem under control."
Iran announced it shut down an American reconnaissance aircraft which was carrying out an espionage mission in its airspace, but Washington denied having lost an unmanned drone lately.
The commander of the navy in the Revolutionary Guard stated that his forces "downed an American unmanned drone a few days ago, as it was carrying out an espionage mission in the Gulf to detect and collect information, as soon as it entered the Iranian airspace." He continued: "The defensive units and the navy in the Revolutionary Guard downed the plane which is now under our forces’ control."
Strikes were organized in four Tunisian states, while the Tunisian General Workers’ Syndicate decided to expand this strike throughout the country in a week, in a new escalatory step in the face of the government led by the Islamic Ennahda movement. For its part, the Tunisian president expressed its disappointment with this step.
The most prominent topic tackled by the Israeli papers issued this week was the visit carried out by Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal to Gaza, as Haaretz considered that Meshaal had his eye on the Palestinian presidency, believing that either Marzouk or Haniyeh might succeed to him at the head of Hamas. It backed up its claims by pointing to the strong relations between Meshaal, the prince of Qatar, Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt, all of whom will welcome him as the president of the Palestinian state.
On the other hand, the papers tackled the government’s ratification of a decision to build thousands of settlement units in the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, along with the pressures exerted by the European states on Israel to get it to freeze the decision and Germany’s warning to Israel against international isolation.
In regard to Israeli affairs, the papers addressed Deputy Amir Peretz’ announcement of his dissent from the Labor Party and his accession to the party led by Tzipi Livni.
By Ghaleb Kandil
They are burning Tripoli and lying to it
The journalists have already counted 14 consecutive confrontation rounds in Tripoli, and the people in the city are living under the mercy of armed gangs that were unleashed by the Future Movement and being sponsored and protected by its deputies and local leaders via its militias. The latter include a Lebanese, Syrian and multinational mixture of extremists and mercenaries who were rallied to invade Syria and support those fighting to destroy it from the An-Nusra Front and the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood organization under the banner of the Free Syrian Army gang.
Firstly, the one managing and leading this plan to turn Tripoli into a starting point in the context of the war on Syria is Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, supported by the Future Movement and the Information Branch which worked on the security and political levels with the intelligence officers who have been living in Al-Qalamoun since March 2011. Their goal is to turn Tripoli into an area from which they could launch the smuggling of weapons and funds brought in from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Emirates. In addition, the Tripoli Port is being used to unload boats carrying weapons coming from Libya, and this freight is then shipped to the Turkish part of Cyprus and then flown to Turkish airports close to the long border with Syria. In that area, there are numerous passageways being used by NATO’s revolutionaries and have started to host smuggling lords and the princes of terrorist groups, such as Abu Ibrahim, the star of Lebanese television channels, who is holding hostages and depicting them as being tourists.
Secondly, the prolongation of the Tripoli tragedy is due to Al-Hariri’s collaboration with the allies leading the aggression on Syria, in the hope that Syria will collapse as a prelude for the detonation of a Lebanese civil war which Al-Hariri and Geagea are seeking, in order to link it to a promised Israeli invasion aiming at getting rid of the resistance and its weapons. This would allow the imposition of a political constitutional coup cloning Bashir Gemayel’s experience, and end with the election of Samir Geagea as the president of a weak republic in the face of the Zionists, and a devastated one following a destructive war, without a supporter or an aid in the Levant. Nonetheless, the main reason behind the ongoing depletion rounds in Tripoli is the adoption of weak governmental measures in the city, in parallel to the reinstatement of the humoring policies and the revival of the liaison committees’ heritage, embodied by Minister of Interior Marwan Charbel who is leading dialogue with the outlaws and trying to tempt them with security privileges and the downplaying of the horrendous character of their crimes.
Thirdly, this leniency is due to the positions of the so-called centrists in the ruling coalition. The latter are basing their centrism on humoring the Future Movement and the Lebanese Forces, and responding to the American and Western demands not to adopt strict measures against the Free Syrian Army gang which has started to own strongholds and centers in the North, harboring thousands of elements and participating in the battles and clashes that are constantly erupting and bringing tragedies upon the Lebanese citizens. In the meantime, there are no judicial measures banning the activities of these Syrian terrorist groups in Lebanon, or pursuing the Lebanese who are dealing with them as per Lebanese law. At this level, one should point to Jumblatt’s and his ministerial team’s participation in the coalition that is hostile to Syria, and his performance of an active role in the plan to destroy the Syrian state on more than one level. The paradox at this level is that one of the most prominent partners in the abstinence government is "awaiting the floating of bodies on the water surface," but it seems he will have to wait for a long time to no avail, putting aside the repercussions that this will have on the bilateral Syrian-Lebanese agreements which were suspended by the officials and the legal and constitutional consequences which will not be forgotten with time.
Fourthly, Al-Hariri is primarily responsible for all that is happening, and the Tripoli and Northern population have rebelled against his political approach when they boycotted his celebrations and festivals because they want to live in peace. And despite the gains reaped by Prime Minister Mikati and his allies and the immunity gained by the state and the Lebanese army due to this popular climate, the officials did not have the necessary political or ethical courage to adopt the security and judicial course and impose the necessary measures to dismantle the platform of war against Syria.
The current equation in the North and the Bekaa is the following: whenever the Syrian Arab Army’s measures lead to the closing of the passageways used by the terrorists to enter Syria, they turn back to Lebanon to carry out sabotage. Hence, the question revolves around the side standing behind their introduction into the country, their funding, arming and mobilization, and everything leads back to Saad al-Hariri and the groups protected by the Future Movement deputies and some of the sheikhs of Takfir. At this level, the situation seems surreal when one a deputy starts calling on the army to hit with an iron fist all the armed men and their sponsors, before it turns out to the security sides he is the one funding 21 armed groups who are occupying the main streets of the capital of the North, and participating in the mobilization of the youth to be dispatched to Syria. This is a good enough example for the hypocrisy and imposture behind Tripoli’s and the North’s bleeding tragedy.
New Orient News