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Mass Protests Rock Egypt
Mass Protests Rock Egypt
by Stephen Lendman
Washington engineered Hosni Mubarak's ouster. He fell from grace. He opposed Obama's regional agenda. It cost him dearly.
He became more liability than asset. Mohammed Morsi replaced him. He's Washington's man in Egypt. Hard line rule continues.
Morsi's its public face. Egypt's anti-democratic tradition persists. Junta power rules. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) runs things.
Politicians serve them. Elections don't matter. They provide a veneer of democratic change. It's illusory. It's fake. It's not real. Wealth, power and privilege are served. Popular interests go begging. Washington wields enormous influence.
Morsi's a US stooge. He's beholden to America's demands. He serves its "greater Middle East" agenda. He better or he's out.
Sham elections substitute for legitimate ones. Popular needs are unaddressed. High unemployment and poverty, unaffordable prices, government corruption, and severe repression persist.
Public anger reflects real grievances. Egyptians risk their lives protesting. Security forces confront them violently. Morsi remains defiant. Egyptians demand democracy. Morsi hijacked it.
Most Egyptians consider him illegitimate, corrupt and repressive. They do so for good reason.
On June 30, Reuters headlined "Egypt braces for storm of protest," saying:
Government run newspaper Al-Gomhuriya headlined "The longest day." Thousands of activists gathered in Tahrir Square. They're outside Morsi's suburban presidential palace.
They're massed nationwide. They demand Morsi resign. They want new elections. They want legitimate ones. Morsi supporters challenge them.
Sunday marks his first year in office. On June 30, 2012, he was inaugurated. Mass protests followed earlier ones. At least seven people died. One was a US student.
An opposition "Tamarod" (rebel) campaign called for massive June 30 protests. It collected millions of anti-Morsi signatures. Egypt's deeply polarized. The petition states:
"Because security has not returned, because the poor have no place, because I have no dignity in my own country. We don’t want you anymore."
Longstanding grievances are cited. Ghada Naguib's a Tamarod coordinating committee member. She spoke for others saying:
"We've had enough of Morsi. We don't need him to do anything anymore. We just need him to go."
"He has done nothing. He's only helped his own people."
She was shot in the back during anti-Mubarak protests. "We will finish our revolution," she said.
Egypt's National Salvation Front supports Tamarod. Former IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei heads it.
He does so along with former Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa and Egyptian Popular Current leader Hamdeen Sabahi.
It's an anti-Morsi umbrella group. It represents divergent views. It's united against Morsi. It defends privilege against populism. It's pro-Western. It offers no change. Ordinary Egyptians are on their own to get it.
During last year's anti-Morsi protests, it demanded Morsi's presidential decree/constitutional coup be rescinded, his referendum be cancelled, and a new constituent assembly be formed."
Morsi won't step down. He's defiant. He calls opponents "enemies" and "saboteurs." He claims they're undermining legitimate authority.
"The political polarization and infighting have reached a point that endangers our nascent democracy, and it threatens the whole country with a state of paralysis and chaos," he said.
He claims "conspiracies" want him toppled. He blames former Mubarak associates and Egypt's working class. They staged "up to 4,900 strikes" he said.
He has no plans for new elections. He's secure as long as Washington supports him. He's a reliable imperial ally.
He backs Obama's anti-Syrian agenda. His rhetoric endorses Palestinian rights. His policies spurn them. He attacks their tunnel economy. He keeps Rafah closed. He maintains good relations with Israel. He betrays his own people.
If protests spin out-of-control, perhaps he'll end up damaged goods. He maintains control so far.
London's Guardian interviewed him. He "defiantly rejects call for elections," it said. They'll be no "second revolution," he stressed. Egyptians had no first one.
They want a real one. They're on their own to get it. They face brute force anti-democratic power. It's ruthless. It's merciless. Many more deaths and injuries may follow. Thousands more arrests may be made.
"If we changed someone in office who (was elected) according to constitutional legitimacy," he said, there'd be "people or opponents opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later, they will ask him to step down."
"There is no room for any talk against this constitutional legitimacy. There can be demonstrations and people expressing their opinions."
"But what's critical in all this is the adoption and application of the constitution. This is the critical point."
Morsi's defiant. He's "uncannily certain of himself and his staying power," said the Guardian.
"Asked whether he was confident that the army would never have to step in to control a country that had become ungovernable," he replied: "Very."
He claimed private Egyptian TV channels exaggerated his opponents' strength. He blamed violence on loyalist Mubarak officials. He called them "the deep state and remnants of the old regime."
He lied saying media reports made mountains out of molehills. He claimed they took "small situations of violence and then magnified them as if the whole country is living in violence."
He regretted usurping presidential decree power. At the time, opponents said he launched a "constitutional coup." Public anger forced him to rescind it.
He claims willingness to dialogue with opponents. He lacks credibility. He can't be trusted. His word falls short of his bond. After police killed over 40 Port Said protesters, he praised them. He increased their powers.
Doing so enraged opponents. He's "accused of kicking into the long grass allegations of security force brutality under previous regimes," said the Guardian.
"After his election, he commissioned a fact-finding report on police and military wrongdoing during and after the 2011 uprising."
He suppressed its findings. They were leaked to the Guardian. They showed he praised security force violence. He promoted three generals.
He blames others for his own wrongdoing. He claims democratic legitimacy. He does so despite clear evidence otherwise.
He reflects rogue state governance. It's harsh. It's merciless. It's unforgiving. It's militarized. It's supported through the barrel of a gun.
Opponents want this year to be his last. He's confident he'll stay in power.
"It has been a difficult, very difficult year," he said. "And I think the coming years will also be difficult. But I hope that I will all the time be doing my best to fulfill the needs of the Egyptian people and society."
He's beholden to entrenched interests. He's pro-Western, pro-business, and pro-Washington's imperial agenda.
He's anti-democratic, anti-populist, anti-labor, anti-justice, and anti-government serving everyone equitably.
Egypt's bitterly divided. Protests continue. State-sponsored violence persists. Expect lots more repression to follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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