Human Rights Double Standards: German Government Praises the Hangman of Cairo General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

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By Johannes Stern Global Research, April 21, 2016 World Socialist Web Site “In my opinion you have an impressive president,” said the German economics minister, vice chancellor and Social Democratic Party (SPD) chairman, Sigmar Gabriel, in reference to the Egyptian … Continue reading

Five Years After Tahrir Square, Egypt’s Police State Worse Than Ever

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Intent on suppressing any protests marking Arab Spring anniversary, al-Sisi government oversaw widespread raids and disappearances By Lauren McCauley Global Research, January 25, 2016 Common Dreams Image: Egyptian flags fly over Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the 2011 uprising. (Photo: Ramy Raoof/cc/flickr) … Continue reading

The Facts Behind Russian Flight KGL9268 Crash In Egypt

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flightkgl9268

By Luke Rudkowski

We go over important recent, historical and developing context of Russia, ISIS, FSA and U.S involvement.

Video posted November 04, 2014

Sources
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015…

https://twitter.com/raqqa_mcr/status/…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMSYq…

https://vimeo.com/144222415

https://twitter.com/SameralAtrush/sta…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDFql…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piN_M…

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/po…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-cana…

http://www.9news.com.au/world/2015/10…

http://www.inquisitr.com/2532818/worl…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHkhe…

http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-new…

http://wearechange.org/

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article43323.htm

In US-Supported Egypt, 188 Protesters Are Sentenced to Die Days After Mubarak is Effectively Freed

By Glenn Greenwald

 Featured photo - In US-Supported Egypt, 188 Protesters Are Sentenced to Die Days After Mubarak is Effectively Freed

December 03, 2014 “ICH” – “The Intercept” – Ever since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a coup against the country’s elected president, Mohamed Morsi, the coup regime has become increasingly repressive, brutal and lawless. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, the Obama administration has become increasingly supportive of the despot in Cairo, plying his regime with massive amounts of money and weapons and praising him (in the words of John Kerry) for “restoring democracy.” Following recent meetings with Sisi by Bill and Hillary Clinton (pictured above), and then Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright, Obama himself met with the dictator in late September and “touted the longstanding relationship between the United States and Egypt as a cornerstone of American security policy in the Middle East.”

All of this occurs even as, in the words of a June report from Human Rights Watch, the Sisi era has included the “worst incident of mass unlawful killings in Egypt’s recent history” and “judicial authorities have handed down unprecedented large-scale death sentences and security forces have carried out mass arrests and torture that harken back to the darkest days of former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.” The New York Times editorialized last month that “Egypt today is in many ways more repressive than it was during the darkest periods of the reign of deposed strongman Hosni Mubarak.”

As heinous as it has been, the Sisi record has worsened considerably in the last week. On Friday, an Egyptian court dismissed all charges against the previous U.S.-supported Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak stemming from the murder of 239 democracy protesters in 2011. The ruling also cleared his interior minister and six other aides. It also cleared him and his two sons of corruption charges, while upholding a corruption charge that will almost certainly entail no further prison time. The ruling wasbased on a mix of conspiracy theories and hyper-technical and highly dubious legal findings.

But while Mubarak and his cronies are immunized for their savage crimes, 188 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who participated in anti-Sisi protests that led to the deaths of 11 police officers, were handed death sentences today en masse. As the New York Times notes, it was “the third such mass sentencing in less than a year,” and was handed down despite “no effort to prove that any individual defendant personally killed any of the officers; that more than 100 of the defendants were not allowed to have lawyers; and that scores of defense witnesses were excluded from the courtroom.” The judge ordering these mass executions was the same cretinous judicial officer who, over the summer, sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to seven to ten years in prison.

The implications are obvious. Reuters today reports that the Mubarak acquittal is widely seen as the final proof of the full return of the Mubarak era, as the crushing of the 2011 revolution. Political Science Professor As’ad AbuKhalil argues, convincingly, that re-imposing dictatorial rule in Egypt to mercilessly crush the Muslim Brotherhood is what the U.S., Israel and the Saudi-led Gulf monarchs have craved since the unrest in 2011. With the Gulf monarch’s rift with Brotherhood-supporting Qatar now resolved, all relevant powers are united behind full restoration of the tyranny that controlled Egypt for decades.

Beyond the political meaning, the two starkly different judicial rulings demonstrate that judicial independence in Egypt is a farce, that courts are blatantly used for political ends to serve the interests of the regime, harshly punishing its political opponents and protecting its allies:

Rights advocates argued that the juxtaposition — hyper-scrupulousness in the case of the former president, a rush to the gallows for the Islamist defendants — captured the systematic bias of the Egyptian courts.

“It is just one more piece of evidence that the judiciary is just a political tool the government uses to prosecute its enemies and free the people it wants to be freed,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director of the nonprofit group Human Rights Watch.

In one sense, it would be nice for the U.S. Government to condemn all of this, and even better if they cut off support for the regime as punishment. But in another, more meaningful sense, such denunciation would be ludicrous, given what enthusiastic practitioners U.S. officials are of similar methods.

Fully protecting high-level lawbreakers – even including torturers and war criminals – is an Obama specialty, a vital aspect of his legacy. A two-tiered justice system – where the most powerful financial and political criminals are fully shielded while ordinary crimes are punished with repugnant harshness – is the very definition of the American judicial process, which imprisons more of its ordinary citizens than any other country in the world, even as it fully immunizes its most powerful actors for far more egregious crimes.

Indeed, in justifying his refusal to condemn the dropping of charges against Mubarak, Sisi seemed to take a page from Obama’s own rhetorical playbook. Egypt must “look to the future” and “cannot ever go back,” he said when cynically invoking judicial independence as his reason for not condemning the pro-Mubarak ruling. The parallels to Obama’s own justifications for not prosecuting U.S. torturers and other war criminals – “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards” – are self-evident.

It may be true that U.S. courts don’t simultaneously sentence hundreds of political protesters to die en masse, but the U.S. government is in no position to lecture anyone on the indiscriminate and criminal use of violence for political ends. As of today, Obama officials can officially celebrate the War on Terror’s 500th targeted killing far from any battlefield (450 of which occurred under Obama), strikes which have killed an estimated 3,674 people. As CFR’s Micah Zenko put it, “it is easy to forget that this tactic, envisioned to be rare and used exclusively for senior al-Qaeda leaders thirteen years ago, has become a completely accepted and routine foreign policy activity.”

Condemnation of Egyptian tyranny has always been an uncomfortable matter for U.S. officials given how they long used Mubarak’s favorite torturers to extract information from detainees in their custody. Indeed, once Mubarak’s downfall became inevitable, the Obama administration worked to ensure that his replacement would be the CIA’s long-time torturing and rendition partner, close Mubarak ally Omar Suleiman. And, just by the way, the U.S. also imprisoned an Al Jazeera journalist – in Guantanamo – for seven years until casually letting him go as though nothing had happened.

It seemed like just yesterday that American media outlets were pretending to be on the side of the Tahrir Square demonstrates, all while suppressing the unpleasant fact that the dictator against which they were marching was one of the U.S. government’s longest and closest allies, a murderous tyrant about whom Hillary Clinton said: “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.” It’s an extraordinary feat of propaganda that all of that has been washed away – again – and the U.S. is right back to acting as stalwart ally to a repressive and incredibly violent dictator sitting in Cairo doing its bidding.

Photos: Clintons with Sisi: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Email the author: glenn.greenwald@theintercept.com

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40378.htm

Egyptian dictator al-Sisi signs military, economic deals in Paris

By Kumaran Ira

3 December 2014

In his first trip to Europe, beginning last week in Rome, Egyptian dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stopped in Paris on November 26-27, holding talks with Socialist Party (PS) President François Hollande, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, top officials including the speakers of both houses of parliament, and French business leaders.

The French and Italian governments hailed Sisi, who slaughtered thousands of protesters on the streets of Cairo during his July 2013 coup against Muslim Brotherhood (MB) President Mohamed Mursi, as a strategic partner. It was an explicit green light from European imperialist powers for Sisi to continue using mass killings to terrorize political opposition in Egypt and delay a renewed revolutionary upsurge in the working class.

Sisi’s trip to Paris came as tens of thousands of political prisoners and their families mounted a hunger strike against the Egyptian junta, and steel workers struck for back pay. The Sisi junta has killed over 1,400 people and jailed over 15,000. Sisi has banned the MB and sentenced over 500 of its members to death in mass show trials, while imposing austerity measures on the working class including massive fuel price increases.

The Hollande administration made clear that it supported the policies of Egypt’s Pinochet. Before Sisi’s visit, an anonymous source close to Hollande told the press: “Yes, we consider Sisi to be legitimate. But there’s a lot to talk about.”

Initial reports claimed that Hollande would address issues of democratic rights while meeting Sisi on November 26. The Reporters Without Borders NGO sent a letter to Hollande, asking him to raise the “crackdown in a shocking manner on journalists in the name of combating terrorism.”

None of these issues were discussed, however, when Hollande warmly received Sisi at the Elysée Presidential palace, focusing on economic and military cooperation. After talks with Sisi, Hollande praised Egypt as a “great country and a big partner for France.”

“We hope that this process, this process of democratic transition will continue, respecting the road map that will fully allow for the success of Egypt,” Hollande said at a joint news conference.

Hollande’s cynical remarks came as Alexandria courts handed jail sentences of two to five years to a group of juveniles, aged 13 to 17, for belonging to “an outlawed group,” after they participated in protests called by the Muslim Brotherhood calling for the fall of the Sisi junta.

The talks also dealt with economy, military and security cooperation. Al-Sisi said his talks with Hollande were “fruitful” and reflected a common consensus between Paris and Cairo on bilateral, regional and international relations.

Hollande revealed that he had signed economic agreements worth hundreds of millions in Egypt, including a €700 million Suez Canal deal and the refurbishing of Cairo’s subway system. On the second day of his trip, the Egyptian delegation met top French business officials.

Despite its cynical efforts to somewhat distance itself from the crimes of the Sisi junta, Paris is continuing to arm the bloodstained Egyptian military to the teeth. French shipbuilder DCNS has signed a €1 billion contract to furnish four corvettes to the Egyptian Navy. The two countries are also discussing the renewal of Egypt’s stock of French-built Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

“This deal opens doors because it is prompting enormous interest in the Gulf countries,” a French government source added.

Sisi and Hollande also discussed cooperating in the “war on terror,” with Hollande insisting, “We have to act together to fight terrorism.”

“Egypt is a country affected by terrorism, both in the past and in the present, and particularly in the Sinai Peninsula,” Hollande said. “In southern Libya terrorists are taking root, which would threaten and already threatens the entire region. We have all the proof.”

Hollande’s bogus claims to be waging a “war on terror” are a fraudulent pretext for aggressively advancing French imperialist interests in the Middle East and Africa, where it is fighting a war in Mali and threatening to mount a renewed invasion of Libya.

The bloody chaos and the growth of Islamist terrorism in Libya is a direct product of NATO’s bloody military intervention in 2011, after mass working class uprisings toppled pro-imperialist regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. The NATO powers, prominently including France, bombed Libya and recklessly armed Islamist opposition militias in order to oust Gaddafi and pillage Libya’s oil and financial wealth.

The goal of these wars, like that of Sisi’s coup itself, is to terrorize and intimidate the working class, in a region where workers have already toppled two bloody dictators. Hollande’s reference to the terrorist threat in the poverty-stricken Sinai Peninsula—which has seen a reign of terror unleashed by the Sisi regime junta, imposing martial law, arbitrary arrests, forced eviction of thousands of people after demolishing their homes

Hollande and al-Sisi claimed that they agreed on the need to establish a peace process between Palestine and Israel, after both governments backed the Israeli assault on Gaza that took the lives of thousands of Palestinians during the summer. The PS took the unusual move of banning outright protests against the Gaza war.

Hollande cynically declared, “We must set out again to demonstrate the necessity of negotiations to seek peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” In fact, this fraudulent “peace plan” aims to maintain the subjugation of Palestinian territory to the dictates of Israel and its imperialist allies, while dividing the Arab and Jewish working class along ethnic lines.

On November 27, al-Sisi visited the French National Assembly, surrounded by an honor guard, where he met with PS legislators including its majority leader Claude Bartolone, who hailed Sisi’s pro-business reforms against the Egyptian working class.

The National Assembly voted 339 to 151 to approve a resolution recognising the Palestinian state yesterday. The Senate is due to vote on the resolution on December 11.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/03/freg-d03.html

The acquittal of Hosni Mubarak

1 December 2014

The acquittal Saturday of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on charges of corruption and state murder is a statement by the regime of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that it intends to carry through the counterrevolution and make the restoration of military dictatorship permanent.

The whitewashing of Mubarak’s role in the killing of 846 people and wounding of 6,000 by police snipers and thugs during the revolutionary upsurge that toppled him in 2011 is part of the drive by the bourgeoisie and its supporters in the upper-middle class to crush the resistance of the Egyptian working class. “It is very common to find [news] anchors openly saying that 25 January was a ‘conspiracy that the West plotted,’” one foreign diplomat in Cairo told Al Ahram. Another said that officials of Egypt’s political parties now believe “Mubarak was a good man who made a few mistakes.”

Outside Tahrir Square, which security forces sealed before the verdict was announced, police attacked a protest of several thousand people with water cannon and live ammunition, killing two and wounding nine.

Like all great revolutionary upheavals, the Egyptian revolution has passed through definite stages. The revolution began with a massive upsurge of the working class against the Mubarak dictatorship, a key instrument of US imperialism and Israeli policy in the Middle East. In Egypt as in previous revolutions, the bourgeoisie responded in the initial stages by seeking to adapt itself to the mass movement, buying time and reorganizing its forces while it prepared the counter-offensive.

At this stage, democratic slogans generally prevail, and so it was in the initial days after the upsurge that began in Egypt on January 25, 2011. The Egyptian ruling class and its sponsors in Washington sought to keep Mubarak in power, vaguely promising democratic reforms. When bloody repression failed to crush the mass upsurge, in which the working class began to emerge as the major social force, US imperialism and the Egyptian bourgeoisie reluctantly removed Mubarak and installed a new, supposedly more “democratic,” military regime in the form of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The liberal bourgeoisie, represented by figures such as Mohamed El-Baradei, backed the new regime. It was joined by petty-bourgeois organizations such as the Revolutionary Socialists, who rallied behind the new military rulers and even vouched for their “democratic” intentions.

But this initial tactical shift failed to put an end to the revolutionary upsurge. The ruling class and Washington turned to the Muslim Brotherhood and engineered the coming to power as president of its candidate Mohamed Mursi. The Revolutionary Socialists and similar organizations of the privileged middle classes now came behind the Muslim Brotherhood, promoting its accession to power as a “victory” for the revolution.

The right-wing policies of the bourgeois Islamist regime only fueled the anger of the working class. In 2013, the Egyptian proletariat waged a stormy offensive against Mursi. While 2011 had seen over 1,000 strikes and protests, five times more than in the years before the revolution, the first half of 2013 alone saw 5,500.

The ruling class reacted by exploiting the political confusion of the masses, in the absence of a revolutionary Marxist leadership, to prepare a counterrevolutionary strike in the guise of a popular uprising against Mursi. Groups such as the Revolutionary Socialists, petrified by the mounting wave of working class struggles, played a critical role in promoting the military-backed Tamarod (“Rebel”) movement, which called for the military to remove Mursi from power.

The Revolutionary Socialists and other supposedly “left” groups that initially opposed Mubarak joined the liberals in supporting the July 3, 2013 coup led by al-Sisi, who proceeded to massacre thousands of anti-coup protesters in the streets, arrest tens of thousands more, and impose sweeping energy price hikes on the working class.

The acquittal of Mubarak is the outcome of this counterrevolutionary offensive, the aim of which is to restore military rule, utilizing if anything even more brutal methods than under Mubarak.

Once again, the counterrevolutionary role of the bourgeoisie, in the former colonial countries no less than in the imperialist centers, has been demonstrated. So has the impossibility of realizing the democratic aspirations of the masses outside of a revolutionary struggle under the leadership of the working class against all factions of the bourgeoisie on the basis of a program for workers’ power and socialism, and an international strategy linking the revolution in any one country to the world socialist revolution.

Inevitably in the course of a revolution, whatever the initial democratic pretensions of the bourgeoisie, the problems that drove the masses into struggle come to the fore. They seek to gain something from the struggles they have waged, while the opposition of the ruling elites to all such demands acquires an ever more vicious form. To the extent that the masses have not worked through the political challenges facing the revolution, social reaction gains strength and reconquers the positions it had lost.

The bitter experience to date of the Egyptian revolution has brought to the fore the most critical problem facing the working class not only in Egypt, but internationally—the crisis of revolutionary leadership.

Even the most enormous upsurge of the oppressed masses cannot by itself secure the basic demands and interests of the working class. The ruling classes and their agents—such as the pseudo-left organizations of the privileged middle class—are able to take advantage of the political confusion in the working class that is the result of the historic betrayals carried out by its old bureaucratic leaderships—Stalinist, social democratic, trade union.

A revolutionary party with deep roots in the working class must be built to direct the mass struggles to the conquest of power and the expropriation of the bourgeoise.

The International Committee of the Fourth International understood this very well and warned from the earliest days of the Egyptian revolution of the necessity for an independent perspective and organization of the working class. In a Perspective column published February 10, 2011 on the World Socialist Web Site, we wrote:

“The revolutionary Marxists must counsel workers against all illusions that their democratic aspirations can be achieved under the aegis of bourgeois parties. They must expose ruthlessly the false promises of the political representatives of the capitalist class. They must encourage the creation of independent organs of workers’ power which can become, as the political struggle intensifies, the basis for the transfer of power to the working class. They must explain that the realization of the workers’ essential democratic demands is inseparable from the implementation of socialist policies.

“Above all, revolutionary Marxists must raise the political horizons of Egyptian workers beyond the borders of their own country. They must explain that the struggles that are now unfolding in Egypt are inextricably linked to an emerging global process of world socialist revolution, and that the victory of the revolution in Egypt requires not a national, but an international strategy… In this global struggle, the greatest and indispensable ally of the Egyptian masses is the international working class.”

These lines have been absolutely vindicated. The bitter experience of the Egyptian revolution must become the impetus to undertake the struggle to build the necessary revolutionary leadership in the working class. The decisive question facing the working class in Egypt and in every country is the construction of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Alex Lantier

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/01/pers-d01.html

Egypt: Police Kill 3 Protesters, Injure Dozens

Global Research, November 28, 2014

egyptmapAt least three Egyptian protesters have been killed and scores of others injured after security forces clashed with anti-government demonstrators in the capital city of Cairo.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Cairo on Friday calling for ouster of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The rally turned violent after security forces opened fire on the protesters in the district of Matrya in eastern Cairo, witnesses say.

Ahead of the protests, Egyptian police arrested more than 100 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members on suspicion of planning violent rallies after Friday Prayers.

Meanwhile, government officials say two senior Egyptian army officers were killed and two others wounded during an attack by unidentified assailants in Cairo on Friday.

Egyptian security forces have already been deployed to key spots around the country.

Earlier, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim warned that security forces will use all means to counter what he called incitements.

Ibrahim added that soldiers have been authorized to use lethal force to counter any assault against public property.

The Egyptian government has so far jailed more than 15,000 supporters of the former president, Mohamed Morsi, ever since the army toppled him in July 2013.

Morsi still awaits several trials which, if found guilty, may carry the death penalty.

Human rights groups say about 1,400 people have been killed, 22,000 arrested, and some 200 people handed death sentences in the turmoil since Morsi’s ouster, which was led by the current president and former head of the armed forces, el-Sisi.

Watch video here

http://www.globalresearch.ca/egypt-police-kill-3-protesters-injure-dozens/5416860

Egyptian military regime steps up repression

By Jean Shaoul

1 November 2014

The military regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has issued a raft of decrees aimed at stamping out dissent and consolidating the military’s power.

Al-Sisi, who holds absolute executive power pending parliamentary elections that may be held in December or January, issued a decree authorising the military to guard vital public facilities. Anyone attacking such facilities, including but not limited to power stations, the electricity distribution network, pipelines, oil and gas installations and the transport network, will be subject to a military trial.

The abolition of military trials for civilians was one of the key demands of the mass uprising that toppled the dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Al-Sisi cited the ongoing violence in the poverty stricken north Sinai, and bombings and kidnappings in Cairo and elsewhere, as the justification for what amounts to martial law. He also declared a three-month state of emergency in north Sinai along with a 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, following an attack by militants that killed more than 30 security officials and injured another 30. While hundreds of security personnel have been killed in the past year since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) President Mohammed Mursi, this was the deadliest single incident.

The government has deployed 7,000 military personnel and army helicopters in north Sinai, targeting the militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and killing and arresting hundreds of people whom it claims are “terrorists”.

It has worked closely with both the US and Israel. Last month, Washington supplied Egypt with 10 Apache helicopters “to help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten US, Egyptian and Israeli security”, while Tel Aviv has allowed Egypt to deploy a larger number of troops in Sinai than permitted under the 1978-79 Camp David Accords. Cairo has in turn allowed Israel to carry out a series of drone attacks and surveillance sorties on Sinai, despite having earlier insisted that it would not allow other countries to use Egyptian territory to launch attacks.

In an act of supreme cynicism and vindictiveness, the military regime closed Gaza’s sole crossing point into Egypt at Rafah until “further notice”—claiming that the militants were operating out of Gaza—thereby intensifying Israel’s seven-year blockade of Gaza. Cairo said it would expand the “buffer zone” between Sinai and Gaza, clear all the tunnels into Gaza and demolish 680 homes along the border in an operation named “temporary demographic redistribution.”

This comes just days after a donors’ conference in Cairo that pledged $5.4 billion to Gaza, half of which is to be spent on reconstruction, much less than the $4 billion that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had asked for.

The ostensible target of these and other new laws are the Islamists and MB, as there are new powers to control the mosques and at least 12,000 clerics have been banned from delivering sermons.

Former President Mursi has been served with another charge that carries the death sentence—passing on security information to Qatar. He already faces the death penalty in three separate trials.

Last July, a court sentenced MB leader Mohammed Badie to life imprisonment and confirmed 10 death sentences on MB members, nine of them in absentia. Hundreds of Islamists and their supporters have been sentenced to death in drumhead trials.

This follows a crackdown on the Brotherhood that resulted in the deaths of at least 3,000 people, 1,000 of whom were killed in a single day, and the imprisonment of more than 16,000, according to official figures. Activists claim that the real number of those detained is 40,000.

The real target of this repression is the working class and young people. The military junta fears another mass eruption by Egypt’s restive youth and workers over increasing unemployment, poverty, power and water outages, removal of subsidies, violence, kidnappings, corruption and injustice, as well as the return to government of former Mubarak-era figures.

Such have been the tensions in the universities that the authorities delayed the start of the new semester by one month, until October 11, to enable security and surveillance measures to be put in place. Since then, police have stormed at least five universities, killing one student at Alexandria University, and detaining hundreds on charges including destroying public property and violating a protest law even stricter than those laws in place during the Mubarak era.

On Monday, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab announced that the new law applied to schools and universities, and even to school children and students, saying that they could be tried by military courts if they “sabotaged” educational facilities.

The next day, the government sent the military into Mansoura University where students were protesting, demanding the release of fellow students detained by the authorities and denouncing the deployment of troops in Sinai. Armed forces were sent in to back up police who used tear gas to disperse the students.

The government has given university presidents new powers to expel students or sack staff suspected of “crimes that disturb the academic process.” Cairo University has banned all political activity.

The police are to be expanded under new arrangements called “Community Police” to include civilians who will be allowed to make arrests, creating a vast system of neighbourhood informers and intimidation.

Restrictive laws require NGOs to register before November 10. In a vaguely worded law, any organisation or person charged with receiving money from an overseas organisation or country could end up in jail for life.

There has been a massive crackdown on the media, exemplified by the kangaroo trial of the three Al-Jazeera journalists, that has stifled any criticism of the military regime. Now the government is examining mechanisms for policing online and social media.

While the military junta has established a ruthless dictatorship, declaring it is putting an end to “terrorism” and restoring “stability”, its real aim is to impose reign of terror against the working class.

The military acceded to Mubarak’s ouster in 2011 to prevent the working class joining up with the student-led protest movement. It then worked closely with the Muslim Brotherhood after it came to power in June 2012 to contain the revolution, with al-Sisi himself heading the Ministry of Defence in Mursi’s government. In July 2013, the military launched an illegal coup to pre-empt a mass uprising by the working class and youth against Mursi and the Brotherhood.

Since then the military has used the pretext of fighting terrorism to legitimise the return of a bloody dictatorship in Egypt and carry out new attacks on the working class. It has worked closely with the most reactionary forces on the planet, including the US, the feudal House of Saud and the Gulf sheikdoms of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These are the same forces that funded, armed and trained Islamist terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to carry out wars of regime change in Libya and Syria on behalf of the imperialist powers.

More recently, al-Sisi deployed Egypt’s military forces in Libya, along with those of the UAE, on behalf of Khalifa Hifter, the renegade general close to the CIA, further destabilising the war-torn country. This is the first time in decades that Egypt has deployed the military outside its own borders.

None of this could have been carried out without the pseudo-left and liberal organisations, which consciously channelled the mass protests against Mursi and the MB behind the army.

The military coup did not constitute a “second revolution” against the MB as forces like Tamarod, the liberal and Nasserite parties of the National Salvation Front, or pseudo-left groups like the Revolutionary Socialists claimed. Instead, it paved the way for the return of a military-police state whose aim is to intensify the crackdown not only on its Islamist rivals in the Egyptian bourgeoisie, but on the working class—the main force behind the revolution.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/11/01/egyp-n01.html

Fighting for Survival in the Sinai: Egypt’s Convenient War

By Ramzy Baroud

October 30, 2014 “ICH” – Sinai is both heaven and hell. This triangular desert boasts an arid landscape of hopeless horizons often interrupted by leftover military hardware from previous wars. The land is comprised of breathtaking beaches, incredible history, and a fusion of fascinating cultures that reach back into the past as far as ancient times can possibly go. This thrilling land of contradictions is amazing, yet lethal.

But Sinai is also a place where hundreds of thousands of mostly poor people struggle to survive against incredible odds. Although poverty and illiteracy in Egypt can reach exceptional heights, hardship in Sinai is especially worse.

Since Israel returned the last of Sinai territories to Egypt in 1982, I visited the place nearly ten times, the last being two years ago. And each time, the situation seemed considerably worse.

There was once a time when Sinai thrived in hope; that’s when much of Sinai was being reclaimed by Egypt, one piece at a time. Israel bargained every step of the way, before it finally left Taba, but not before having gained many conditions. It even placed limits on the number of Egyptian soldiers that could be simultaneously stationed in Sinai at a given time. Since then, the desert the size of 60,000 sq km has been impossible to control.

Not that Sinai – perceived as unruly and ungovernable land, rife with drug dealers, kidnappers, and, as of late of “jihadists” and “terrorists” – needs more military force. Violence in Sinai often goes unreported. The area is almost vacant of any independent journalists. News of killings, arrests, torture and a whole host of human rights violations arrive in bits and pieces, hardly ever followed by informed investigations. Few, if any are ever held accountable.

But violence emerging from Sinai itself, however predicable, considering the level of misery, destitution and poverty, is often extenuated by the media and exploited by Cairo to the maximum. The overall nature of violence in Sinai remains a mystery, and not by accident. The explanation is almost always politically motivated, followed by pre-calculated moves to blame certain parties and punish others. This is unlikely to change soon.

Following well-coordinated attacks that killed scores of security personnel in northeast Sinai on Friday, 24 October, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed Egyptians in a televised speech as he was surrounded by a throng of men in military fatigues. Even before any thorough investigation, or any clear evidence, he denounced the “foreign hands” behind the attacks.

He took on the “foreign powers who are trying to break Egypt’s back,” vowing to fight extremism in a long-term campaign. Washington quickly offered its support for the proposed campaign. Even Palestinian Authority PresidentMahmoud Abbas declared his support.

Israeli media were particularly interested in the proposed Egyptian security measures. Radio Israel and the Jerusalem Post cited Egyptian media reports on 25 October, saying that “the government plans to establish a buffer zone along the Sinai frontier with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.”

Hamas, which is struggling to cope with the aftermath of Israel’s massive 51-day war on the Strip and is working to end the siege, has no interest in carrying out bloody attacks on Egyptian soldiers that will prolong the suffering of Gazans and further alienate the movement.

The Post quoted Egypt’s Al-Yom a-Sab’a: “The Egyptian buffer will extend between 1.5 and 3 kilometres. The security forces will work to clear the area of underground tunnels leading to Gaza and it will also level any buildings and structures that could be used to conceal smuggling activity.

Other arbitrary actions are also expected to be taken which will further the isolation of Gaza. Is this why Mahmoud Abbas is particularly sympathetic to the ‘anti-terror’ measures initiated by Sisi?

If the intentions are truly to curb attacks in Sinai, knee-jerk military solutions will backfire. Past government violent campaigns only frustrated a difficult situation in Sinai, where poverty stands at 45 percent.

In his speech, Sisi called on Egyptians to “be aware of what is being hatched against us”. “All that is happening to us is known to us and we expected it and talked about it before 3 July,” he said, referring to the day the military overthrewMohammed Morsi.

But Sinai turmoil has preceded the revolution, the election of Morsi, the coup and all the rest. The security vacuum that followed Egypt’s recent turmoil has indeed exasperated violence in the Sinai Peninsula, but that violence was rooted in a largely different political reality.

The deadly Sinai bombings of October 2004, and attack on tourists in April 2005, on Sharm el-Sheikh resort in the same year, and on Dahab in 2006, were all indicative of a different kind of war launched by militants and tribesmen. Sinai has been exploited by large multinationals who created perfectly serene communities for wealthy European and rich Arab tourists, but excluded the Bedouins, who had been promised major economic rewards. However, they got none.

The National Project for the Development of the Sinai was supposed to inject $20.5 billion into Sinai infrastructure between 1995 to 2017. That proved to be just hype; a mixture of unfinished projects and robust speeches. Sinai is only remembered in national celebrations to merely further highlight the might of the military that liberated it. And now, it’s demonised as a terrorist hub for the same reason.

After the final Israeli withdrawal from Sinai in 1982, the population of the Peninsula had to contend with issues pertaining to their group identity. Their tribal affiliations were too great to be discounted, but their eagerness to be included in the larger Egyptian society was euphoric. But Cairo did so little to bring Sinai’s population, especially the Bedouins, any closer. With time, disillusionment grew into resentment, and eventually violence. They are angry, and have every right to feel that way.

As long as Cairo continues to view Sinai with suspiscion and mistrust, using the desert and its inhabitants as a platform for political opportunities to be exploited, thus carrying out one violent campaign after another to reassert the relevance of the army, these sad episodes will continue. The people of Sinai have suffered tremendously from neglect and poverty and now, extreme violence. Sisi’s promised campaign of yet more security solutions, will hardly ease Sinai’s burden, or bring an iota of hope to its disheartened people.

Ramzy Baroud is a PhD scholar in People’s History at the University of Exeter. He is the Managing Editor of Middle East Eye. Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40094.htm

Washington Staged Egypt’s “Arab Spring” Revolution, U.S. Knew About 9/11 Warning, Former Egypt Interior Minister Reveals

Global Research, August 15, 2014
Activist Post 14 August 2014

Habib-el-Adly-2-400x270Over the weekend, the former Egyptian Interior Minister under Hosni Mubarak, Habib El-Adly, gave a speech at his own retrial in Cairo, Egypt. Among a number of generic statements, El-Adly made at least two bombshell claims during his testimony that have received little to no coverage in the Western press.

One of these claims was that the United States was behind the 2011 Egyptian revolution which overthrew Hosni Mubarak. The other, however, was that the Egyptian intelligence agencies and Interior Ministry received information regarding a developing terrorist operation against the United States in September, 2001 and that the Egyptians warned the United States twice ahead of time. According to El-Adly, these warnings were completely ignored.

NOTE: The translation provided below is a rough translation of the statements, not a professional one.

In his televised testimony, El-Adly stated,

In May 2001, we received information that a very huge terrorist attack will happen in the USA. How? The source of the information was inside the lair of Al-Qaeda. And we verified it, that there were preparations for the attack.

I talked to the President (Mubarak) and I told him that I have information that a huge terrorist attack will happen in the USA, and I asked him if we should tell them [the Americans]. He said “OK.”

We contacted the CIA and FBI and told them about the information, they said “Thanks.”

On August of the same year we received the information that the (operation) entered its course of implementation (is entering its final steps).

An operation like this takes time, preparations and arrangements, etc. This conversation was recorded between us and the source. I called the President and told him the information is confirmed, “Should we tell them?” He said “Tell them.” We called the people in the USA and told them that the operation entered the course of implementation. They said “OK” and “Thanks.”

Then the attack on the WTC happened. This was the operation. Do you see how cooperative we were?!?! This is why I am furious and enraged. I cooperated with them, and in return they hit my organization and destroyed (ruined) the country (Egypt)!!!

El-Adly then continued discussing how, according to him, in 2002, Mubarak questioned President Bush about the fact that the United States was warned about the impending attack but failed to act. El-Adly stated,

President Mubarak traveled to America in 2002. When there, he told President Bush, “We told you about this attack and you didn’t pay attention.” He [Bush]said “What attack?” And How?

Bush denied that they heard about that and Mubarak insisted that they did. Mubarak called me to confirm that we informed them about the information. He asked me who did I tell? I said “The CIA people.” He said “Ok” and told Bush. It seems the CIA people told Bush that they didn’t receive any news, and Mubarak told him “no, we informed you this and that.” Then they said “Oh, yes it happened but it was only told verbally.”

What Verbally?! It seems as if they wanted to receive some written memo “we received the news blah blah blah that blah blah blah would happen.”

If El-Adly’s statement is correct then it seems that the same infantile argument was used to quiet the Egyptians as was used when Condoleezza Rice was forced to confront the famous 9/11 memo.

Regardless, El-Adly’s statements corroborate what was known some time ago in terms of Egyptian knowledge of a potential terrorist attack inside the United States as well as the fact that the Egyptians passed this intelligence on to the appropriate American intelligence agencies.

The AP reported on December 7, 2001 that Mubarak claims to have been aware of an impending terrorist attack and that he warned the United States ahead of time. The AP report states,

Egypt Leader Says He Warned America BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he warned the United States that “something would happen” 12 days before the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

***

“We expected that something was going to happen and informed the Americans. We told them,” Mubarak said. He did not mention a U.S. response.

“But nobody expected the event would be of such enormity. We did not know that they would hit this target or that, and we were all surprised when planes with passengers on board hit the twin towers,” Mubarak said.

Also during the testimony, El-Adly stated that the United States was responsible for the 2011 uprising in Egypt that deposed Hosni Mubarak. He claims that the United States had a two-fold plan. The first part of the plan was to offer financial incentives to adopt the leadership model provided by the US and, if the leaders refused, to accuse them of being dictators. The second part of the plot was to mobilize the “golden youth” of these countries and use them to destabilize and overthrow the existing governments.

In essence, El-Adly revealed that the United States planned and carried out a Color Revolution in Egypt in 2011.

Specifically, El-Adly claims that the United States trained “activists” within the Kefaya and April 6 Youth Movement as well as the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar in order to act as destabilization agents in Middle Eastern countries.

El-Adly also claims that “foreign elements” were brought in to the movements that these foreigners and initiated violence in the streets across Egypt, particularly in Suez and, eventually, Cairo. El-Adly describes security forces as showing surprising restraint throughout the entire ordeal.

El-Adly also stated that there were “moles” within the Egyptian police forces who gave weapons to “Palestinian Police” who then fired on Egyptian activists for the purposes of framing Egyptian police.

As Ahram Online reports,

El-Adly, during a speech to a Cairo criminal court where he is being retried, said the US had two parts to its plan. The first part was to approach leaders of the Middle East with a democratic model and financial incentives to adopt that model. If the leaders of those countries refused, according to El-Adly, the US would accuse them of being dictators.

The second part of the US approach was mobilising youth in those countries and teaching them how to demand their rights, demand democracy and how to revolt against existing regimes, El-Adly added.

He added that the US trained youths in Egyptian opposition groups Kefaya and the 6 April Youth Movement, and Muslim Brotherhood youth in Qatar and other Arab countries, to “learn democracy.”

***

In addition, El-Adly claimed that Egyptian police had given some of their weapons to Palestinian police, who had then used these weapons to kill Egyptian protesters and frame the Egyptian police.

El-Adly described himself, as well as those prosecuted alongside him, as “national figures who have performed their duty to the fullest.

That the Egyptian 2011 uprising was nothing more than a Western-backed Color Revolution is clearly documented. As F. William Engdahl wrote for Global Research in February 2011,

The protests that led to the abrupt firing of the entire Egyptian government by President Mubarak on the heels of the panicked flight of Tunisia’s Ben Ali into a Saudi exile are not at all as “spontaneous” as the Obama White House, Clinton State Department or CNN, BBC and other major media in the West make them to be.

They are being organized in a Ukrainian-style high-tech electronic fashion with large internet-linked networks of youth tied to Mohammed ElBaradei and the banned and murky secret Muslim Brotherhood, whose links to British and American intelligence and freemasonry are widely reported.

At this point the anti-Mubarak movement looks like anything but a threat to US influence in the region, quite the opposite. It has all the footprints of another US-backed regime change along the model of the 2003-2004 Color Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine and the failed Green Revolution against Iran’s Ahmedinejad in 2009.

Engdahl’s analysis turned out to be accurate indeed.

Still, if El-Adly’s statements regarding the foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks which were passed to the American intelligence community and subsequently ignored are true (which they appear to be based on other related information), such information coming less than a month away from the anniversary of 9/11 should serve as an incentive to continue to lobby for a real investigation of 9/11 as well as the refusal to allow the official story to remain unchallenged.

Likewise, his statement regarding the 2011 uprising should stand as yet another piece of evidence that the so-called “democracy” movements taking place across the Middle East were nothing more than Western-backed coups and destabilizations.

El-Adly’s video testimony is posted below for those who speak Arabic and would like to add to or challenge any part of the above translation. 

Source:

Global Research

Human Rights Watch: Egyptian regime guilty of crimes against humanity

By Nick Barrickman 

13 August 2014

A report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch details abuses and violations of international law carried out by the military junta that took power in Egypt in the July 2013 coup that ousted the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi.

The report, entitled All According to Plan: The Rab’a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt, shows that the junta, led by then-Defense Minister and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, implemented previously drawn up plans to conduct a campaign of mass repression. In the aftermath of the coup, the military regime killed thousands and imprisoned tens of thousands.

“The unprecedented violence used by Egyptian security forces… constitutes serious violations of international human rights law,” the report states, adding that “[t]he indiscriminate and deliberate use of lethal force resulted in one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history.”

In raising accusations of crimes against humanity, the authors write that the Egyptian junta engaged in “specific criminal acts committed on a widespread or systematic basis as part of an ‘attack on a civilian population,’ meaning there is some degree of planning or policy to commit the crime.” The authors make the point that in terms of sheer numbers, the killings of protesters on August 14, 2013 at Rab’a Square in Cairo exceed events such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 and the Andijan Massacre that occurred in Uzbekistan in 2005.

HRW interviewed hundreds of witnesses in assembling the report. In addition, investigators visited the site of the massacres within hours of the killings on a number of occasions and reviewed hours of television footage and public statements released by officials. The investigators state that they made requests for government participation that were ignored.

The coup was the response of the US-backed Egyptian military to the revolution in 2011 that deposed the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak. In June 2012, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi won the first presidential election held in Egypt in the wake of the uprising. By late June 2013, the Morsi government was facing a desperate crisis. The regime’s anti-democratic and pro-business policies had provoked mass protests even larger than those that led to the fall of Mubarak.

To preempt the emergence of an independent revolutionary movement of the Egyptian working class, the military, with the support of the US and Western imperialism as a whole, orchestrated the coup that placed al-Sisi in power. The critical political role was played by the so-called Tamarod alliance, which, with the support of the Revolutionary Socialists and other pseudo-left organizations in Egypt, called for the military to intervene against the Morsi government.

While refusing to characterize the military takeover as a coup, so as not to trigger US laws that would require the termination of economic and military aid, Washington issued hypocritical and pro forma criticisms of the murderous tactics of the al-Sisi regime and, for a short period, suspended direct military aid to Egypt.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with al-Sisi and Foreign Minister and Mubarak-era official Sameh Shoukry last June to announce the resumption of $575 million in direct military aid and to congratulate the two on Egypt’s so-called “democratic transition.”

Last May, al-Sisi claimed the Egyptian presidency in a sham election marked by mass voter abstention, which the US and the European powers immediately declared to be legitimate.

The HRW report focuses on the events of August 14, 2013, when nearly 2,000 supporters of the Morsi government were massacred or detained by security forces in Rab’a Square in downtown Cairo. That morning, citing alleged disturbances and reports of “terrorism,” security forces sealed off all routes in or out of the thoroughfare. Minutes after issuing barely audible warnings of the impending crackdown, police and troops opened fire on the crowd with birdshot as well as live ammunition, killing hundreds, including women and children.

The report states that victims of the attack flooded nearby Rab’a hospital with wounds from live rounds, in many cases to the head or chest. One protestor is cited as stating it appeared to be “raining bullets” as he fled the crackdown.

Police snipers stationed above the entrance of the building fired on anyone attempting to enter or exit the hospital. Later in the evening, security forces seized the hospital, ordering all occupants, including doctors and nurses, to vacate, forcing them to leave the wounded and dead behind.

“As the last protesters left the square, fires broke out on the central stage, the field hospital, the mosque, and on the first floor of Rab’a hospital,” the report says, adding that “[e]vidence strongly suggests that the police deliberately started these fires.”

At the time, security officials sought to justify the killings by claiming self-defense against hostile protestors. Debunking such claims, HRW cites statements by Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who at the time reported finding few firearms at the scene after protestors had been dispersed.

The report indicts the Egyptian government for the attacks, declaring “the most senior security officials and key leaders in the chain of command should be held individually accountable for the widespread and systematic killings of protesters.”

It singles out Ibrahim, Special Forces head Medhat Menshawy and al-Sisi himself as bearing particular responsibility, with the latter quoted as saying that “we spent very many long days to discuss all the details to arrive where the dispersal will not result in any losses.”

In fact, leading government officials expected even higher losses of life. The report refers to a televised interview in which the interior minister stated that his staff envisioned casualties as high as “10 percent of the people” in the crowd, which he calculated to be roughly 20,000.

In all, at least 1,600 people were killed or arrested in the Rab’a Square crackdown. Those who were not killed face trumped-up charges and torture at the hands of the government.

“Many of the trials reviewed by Human Rights Watch have been grossly unfair and riddled with serious due process violations, violating both Egyptian law and international standards,” the report states. It refers to the death sentences issued to over 1,200 Muslim Brotherhood officials in March and April of this year, in which defendants were denied counsel and in certain cases not even allowed to be present in the courtroom.

Flagrant violations of democratic rights have continued in Egypt throughout al-Sisi’s time in power. “The use of excessive force escalated significantly with the overthrow of Morsi in July 2013,” the report notes, citing incidents throughout the past year in which security forces have massacred protestors.

The junta has attacked freedom of the press, shutting down television stations critical of the government. It has outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization.” Last Sunday, an Egyptian court issued a ruling dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood as an organization.

The authors of the HRW report have been denied entry to Egypt to present their work to the government.

Investigators note that while thousands have been rounded up and sentenced by the government, not even a single low-level official has been charged for his role in the killings. On the contrary, HRW notes, in addition to the officials involved receiving salary bonuses, Rab’a Square authorities have erected a monument dedicated to the police.

The massacre at Rab’a Square came against a background of mass protests against the junta’s illegal seizure of power. The report documents at least five other incidents from July 5 to August 16, 2013 in which security forces shot and killed protestors.

Other mass killing incidents include, but are not limited to:

  • The July 8 gunning down of 61 Morsi supporters at a sit-in in front of the Republican Guard headquarters in eastern Cairo.
  • The July 27 killing of 95 pro-Morsi demonstrators at the Manassa Memorial located in eastern Cairo.
  • The August 14 and 16 killings of protestors at al-Nahda and Ramses squares, which totaled more than 200 dead between them.

While issuing an indictment of various atrocities, the report is silent on the role of both the US and European governments. Calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an investigation into the killings and for charges to be brought against al-Sisi and his accomplices, the report effectively whitewashes the chief conspirators in Washington and Europe.

Source: WSWS