Another triumph for the State Department
Posted by Charles II on December 2, 2014
An Egyptian court on Saturday found found deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak and his former interior minister Habib Adly not guilty (or rather just dropped the charges) the killing of nearly 900 young protesters by police in January-February 2011.
Downtown Cairo and some provincial towns erupted in protests. Indeed, these were probably the largest protests since the crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood in August, 2013.
The progressive youth are weeping tears of helpless rage today, as one of the achievements of their revolution– making public officials accountable– has inexorably slipped away. Liberal parties like the Wafd are also upset. The Egyptian judiciary, once a trendsetter for the Arab world, is increasingly making itself a laughingstock.
Let’s review the tape.
Feb. 2011: Despite U.S. support for Mubarak, he resigns.
June 2012: After over a year of military rule (supported by the U.S.), the Muslim Brotherhood is elected.
Nov. 2012: Due to instability, Mohamed Morsi takes control. Protests against the Brotherhood begin.
July 2013: Using USAID money, Morsi is deposed by the military.
May 2014: Under elections held under martial law, military
dictator, eh… leader… al Sisi is elected with 96.9% of the vote.
A main conduit for channeling the State Department’s democracy funds to Egypt has been the National Endowment for Democracy. Federal documents show NED, which in 2011 was authorised an annual budget of $118m by Congress, funneled at least $120,000 over several years to an exiled Egyptian police officer who has for years incited violence in his native country.
This appears to be in direct contradiction to its Congressional mandate, which clearly states NED is to engage only in “peaceful” political change overseas.
Colonel Omar Afifi Soliman – who served in Egypt’s elite investigative police unit, notorious for human rights abuses – began receiving NED funds in 2008 for at least four years.
During that time he and his followers targeted Mubarak’s government, and Soliman later followed the same tactics against the military rulers who briefly replaced him. Most recently Soliman set his sights on Morsi’s government.
However, in Egyptian media interviews, social media posts and YouTube videos, Soliman encouraged the violent overthrow of Egypt’s government, then led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
“Incapacitate them by smashing their knee bones first,” he instructed followers on Facebook in late June, as Morsi’s opponents prepared massive street rallies against the government. Egypt’s US-funded and trainedmilitary later used those demonstrations to justify its coup on July 3.
“Make a road bump with a broken palm tree to stop the buses going into Cairo, and drench the road around it with gas and diesel. When the bus slows down for the bump, set it all ablaze so it will burn down with all the passengers inside … God bless,” Soliman’s post read.
In late May he instructed, “Behead those who control power, water and gas utilities.”
As I wrote so long ago (here), Egypt has been a dictatorship for a long time, almost always under foreign influence. Whether under the military or the Muslim Brotherhood, the opportunity for real representative democracy to emerge has been nil to zero. A major reason for that failure is because we will not let Egypt make its mistakes, learn from them, and develop. We think we have to micromanage their affairs.
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