Thursday, February 16, 2012

Aegypt Anger

Ev since Aegypt unAssed the Undying Pharaoh Hosni last year the insanely cruel girl hating book burning land of Pyramids has enjoyed a freak show of sorts.

The Ikwhan (rhymes with 'stick one') has upped the blue pantie antie on xforming the Salafist  Surge ala l"recent electile dysfunction into a Khalifah type Imperium that the Military Dictatorship is aiding in spite of mix queering attempts to counter a time traveling experiment back to the 7th century.

See, in charge of the change from despotry to a fully crunk democrazyPyramidland's V Checking coup  Supreme Council Armed Forces  has tried to stymie the Polislamists by sucking up to pervasive anti-Great and anti-Little Satanism. Instead the mighty Aegypt military (LOLZ!!) has actually hooked up the military’s xenophobic paranoia with a surgin' m"Hammedist movement’s traditional diss for foreign peace mongering democrazy influences. 
“We are seeing an Egyptian government headed by military officials who are much less sophisticated politically. The military’s ham-handedness in politics is surpassed only by the crudeness of the force used against demonstrators that have been peaceful for the most part.
“Subjecting over 10,000 civilians to military trial, dropping cement blocks onto the heads of demonstrators from the roofs of government buildings, stripping women protesters or submitting them to virginity tests — such measures were unheard of even in the days of Mubarak.
“But these are not the days of Mubarak.”
  The result has strained ties with Aegypt's largest foreign benefactor and giver of cash n bling aid to breaking point.  
 There has been a sharp escalation in tensions between the two countries, ever since the U.S. Congress imposed new restrictions on foreign aid to Egypt in December.

Before Cairo can receive anything, the State Department must certify the government is committed to peace with Israel, democracy and freedom of speech.

The U.S. was prepared to give Egypt US$1.3-billion in military aid and US$250-million in economic aid in 2012, but that may now be in jeopardy.

Within days of Washington imposing the aid restrictions, Egyptian officials raided the offices of 17 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charged 43 people, including 19 Americans, with operating illegally in the country

The raids targeted groups that promote human rights and advocate democracy, and included three Washington-based organizations, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House.

Egyptian officials say such groups meddle in their internal affairs and accuse them of seeking regime change under the guise of building civil society.
Michele and Mara lay it out to play it out 
Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), catapulted from the barracks to the executive branch after removing Hosni Mubarak last year, has faced a steep learning curve in unfamiliar political territory. While the SCAF continues to display ineptitude in handling a series of crises, most recently the soccer-related violence in Port Said and the diplomatic fallout over the investigation of American-funded NGOs, the SCAF has pulled one tactic out of the Mubarakist playbook: the good cop/bad cop game. As the U.S. Congress threatens to suspend Egypt’s 1.3 billion military aid package over the politically motivated indictment of 19 American NGO employees, the SCAF has found a convenient scapegoat to deflect the blame: an allegedly independent judiciary.

When U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson sent a letter to the Justice Ministry in late January urging Egypt to lift the recently imposed travel ban on six Americans working for NGOs in Egypt, Judge Sameh Abu Zeid rejected the request as “unacceptable” interference in the judicial inquiry.  As domestic and international criticism of the SCAF escalated sharply with street protests on the first anniversary of the January 25 uprising, military officials attempted to distance themselves from the controversial investigation by pointing the finger at an independent judiciary operating beyond their control. On February 9, amid rapidly deteriorating relations with the United States, the SCAF issued a defensive statement denying culpability for the investigation and insisting that the NGO case was in the hands of the judiciary.

Egyptian Defense Attaché to the United States General Mohamed al-Keshki  made the same argument, claiming that the military had no authority to intervene – even if it wanted to – in an investigation that was subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the judiciary and public prosecutor.  By pinning the blame on a “bad cop” judiciary, the SCAF can watch the crackdown on NGOs unfold from a safe distance and pretend that it is powerless to stop it.

But the argument that interfering with an independent judicial investigation violates Egypt’s national sovereignty as well as the principles of democracy was a tune the Mubarak regime played frequently, and one that will be familiar to anyone who followed the politically motivated cases against civil society activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim between 2000 and 2003 and against presidential candidate Ayman Nour between 2005 and 2008.  Ibrahim was charged with the explicitly political offense of “harming the reputation of the state” as well as of embezzlement, and Nour was charged with forging signatures on the application for registration of his political party.  

But it was crystal clear to any careful observer from the way the cases were conducted—the way state media were mobilized against the defendants, evidence was made public, and judges known to be close to the security apparatus were assigned—that  they were 100 percent political in nature.  All of those things are true of the anti-NGO cases now as well.  And with the Ibrahim and Nour cases, Mubarak and all other Egyptian officials stoutly maintained that these were judicial matters and executive branch officials would not dream of interfering.

Nonetheless, at a certain point Mubarak decided that the costs of the Ibrahim and Nour cases had become too high and found a way to resolve them.  In August 2002, after Ibrahim was sentenced to seven years in prison on appeal, President Bush informed Mubarak that he was rescinding an offer of $133 million in supplemental aid to Egypt in protest.  Mubarak was furious and an anti-US campaign raged in the press for months.  But in March 2003, Ibrahim’s case was referred to the Supreme Constitutional Court, which acquitted him of all charges after the briefest of hearings.  Similarly with Nour, after years of tension with Bush over the case, Mubarak decided in January 2009 to resolve it in order to get relations with the 44th admin off on a better footing.  So Nour was released from prison on health grounds.
All of which goes to show that when the Egyptian government decides to resolve the NGO cases, it can and will do so.  And it will most likely use the judiciary to resolve them, just as it used the judiciary to pursue them.  Mubarak had a few people around who were smart enough to figure out how to do this; it is not clear so far whether the SCAF does, or whether all the smart people in the current government are on the wrong side of this issue.

Pic - "Here's to your perfect weapon - cracked bones and blind aggression"


Anonymous said...

We don't need a stinking Police State, so why did Obama sign into law the Defense Security Authorization Act. And he did it on a Sunday (Jan. 1st.) while the country was not fully awake. Same something and make it a game changer.