Roots of the Egyptian Coup—and What Comes Next

Unfolding developments in Egypt will continue to have profound ramifications for politics and regional dynamics across the Middle East.  We want to call attention to a new interview on the Egyptian coup and its implications by Abdullah al-Arian—an exceptional young historian of the modern Middle East who is, among other things, a trenchant student of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood—for CounterPunch, see here; the text is also appended below. 

Abdullah offers important insights on the roots of the coup.  Among the “revolutionary forces” in Egypt, “the Muslim Brotherhood clearly proved to be the most successful in the [post-Mubarak] transition,” winning “one election after another.”  It also “proved itself to be adept at becoming a partner in government.” 

But, Abdullah argues, the Brotherhood and, after his election to the presidency, Mohamed Morsi, were never willing or able to “take on the power of what’s called the ‘deep state’…the institutions that are deeply rooted enough to weather the storm of accountability and the calls for reform and complete overhaul.  The most obvious example of this is the security regime,” including “the police, the internal security service of the state, the military,” along with “things like the state bureaucracy, the state media, and the judiciary.  The judiciary blocked a number of attempts at reform that Morsi tried to put through.  These reforms would have started to peel back some of the layers of old regime power that continued to exercise itself long after Mubarak had left the scene.”      

Indeed, in many ways the Egyptian coup represents a re-ascendance of the “deep state”; the agenda is a return to “Mubarakism” without Mubarak.  This project is being aided and abetted by various secularist and (self-described) “liberal” parties and actors; Saudi-supported Egyptian salafis are facilitating it as well.     

In the interview, Abdullah also offers sharp comments about the impact of the coup on Egypt’s posture vis-à-vis Gaza—and sobering observations about the likely characters and trajectory of Egyptian politics in the near-to-medium term.    

All in all, it’s sad validation for a point that some of our Iranian colleagues have been making with regard to post-Mubarak Egypt and the Brotherhood’s less-than-astute approach to consolidating their political gains over the past couple of years:  if you’re going to have a revolution, then you really need to have one.  

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

The Coup in Egypt—A Conversation with Abdullah al-Arian

Interviewer:  Paul Gottinger, for Counterpunch

Abdullah Al-Arian is assistant professor at Wayne State University.  His research interests include Islamic social movements, globalization and the Muslim world, and United States policy toward the Middle East.  His writing has appeared in Foreign Policy and Al Jazeera’s websites.  Our conversation focuses on the events that led to Morsi’s fall and the likely consequences of the military coup.

Paul Gottinger:  After Morsi took power in 2012 the Egyptian military generals maintained comfortable economic privileges and political autonomy.  Would you say the Muslim Brotherhood ever had control of Egypt? 

Abdullah Al-Arian:  It’s important to understand that it was not always a zero sum game.  What you had was an opportunity for the revolutionary forces, which included at one point the Muslim Brotherhood, to try and restrict some of the power and privileges that the military had enjoyed.  Now of course, that’s not to say that the military wasn’t on its heels at certain points and time.  I think you can point to specific moments during the last two years where it was restricted to a certain extent.  This is particularly true after Morsi’s election when his popularity was quite high, and when he was able to retire senior level military generals.  He was able to easily put to bed the idea of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) actually maintaining an overt role in governance.

However, the constitution preserved the military’s immunity from prosecution and the privileges it had enjoyed under the Mubarak regime.  That was the arrangement.  It wasn’t that the military had maintained overall power to govern; I don’t think they were ever really interested in that.  I think they simply wanted to maintain their economic privileges, the lack of civilian over-sight over the military, and also immunity from prosecution for any of the atrocities that they committed when they were in power during the transition from the Mubarak regime. 

PG:  The speed with which the Muslim Brotherhood was repressed indicates that the military never lost control of the security apparatus.  Would you agree with that?

AA:  When you look at the revolutionary forces the Muslim Brotherhood clearly proved to be the most successful in the transition.  It was able to obtain certain advantages and access to political power.  The Muslim Brotherhood won one election after another and then proved itself to be adept at becoming a partner in government. 

But one thing that Morsi seemed unable or unwilling to do was to take on the power of what’s called the “deep state.”  By this I mean the institutions that are deeply rooted enough to weather the storm of accountability and the calls for reform and complete overhaul.  The most obvious example of this is the security regime.  This includes the police, the internal security service of the state, the military, but it also includes things like the state bureaucracy, the state media, and the judiciary.  The judiciary blocked a number of attempts at reform that Morsi tried to put through.  These reforms would have started to peel back some of the layers of old regime power that continued to exercise itself long after Mubarak had left the scene. 

PG:  How dangerous do you see the military’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood after Morsi was removed from power?

AA:  The military’s crackdown of the Muslim Brotherhood, which started in the first hours after Morsi was overthrown, signals a number of very troubling things.  On the one hand it certainly signals the fact that this was all premeditated and orchestrated well in advance.  We know this because they immediately went to all the media stations that were run by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and shut them down.  They even went to Al Jazeera’s offices and detained some of its staff.  Then they went to detain a number of high profile Muslim Brotherhood figures, in addition to leading a violent crackdown on the pro-Morsi demonstrators.  That situation continued to escalate itself in the days after that including, of course the bloody massacre in which over 50 people were killed and hundreds more injured.  All the evidence so far demonstrates it was an unprovoked attack by the Egyptian military on the pro-Morsi demonstrators, which were demonstrating peacefully. 

The Muslim Brotherhood now finds itself in the strangely comfortable position where it’s always been:  it is the opposition to an authoritarian and repressive regime.  This was the position it maintained for decades. I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood’s opinion on the coup will change due to the harsh military response.  They believe their cause is just and they still support the elected president.  This has serious implications for the legitimacy of the next Egyptian president.  All indications are that the Muslim Brotherhood will be boycotting the upcoming process.  This means boycotting the transition, the writing of the constitution, the referendum, and even the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for next year. 

Unless there is a serious effort by the military to reengage the Muslim Brotherhood, they will continue to boycott the transition process.  And I don’t think you can have a legitimate political process as long as you have a significant segment of the Egyptian population that is disenfranchised.  Even with the Muslim Brotherhood boycotting the process the oppression of it has not ceased.  In fact, July 10 there was an indictment for Mohammed Badie, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.  He is being charged with incitement of the events, which led to the massacre of pro-Morsi supporters.  This is something that is very troubling.  As long as people keep calling for dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, but the actions on the ground are nothing but repression and violence, it’s doubtful that the current transition process will be able to move forward smoothly. 

PG:  Do you see any threat of a militant faction of the Muslim Brotherhood forming and sectarian violence breaking out? 

AA:  Here I think we have to be careful before we jump to that kind of conclusion.  So far all indications are that the entire organization has adopted non-violent/peaceful means to protest what they perceive as the illegal overthrow of the elected Egyptian president.  This is not to say that certain people will not be disillusioned with the democratic process.  I think that is a danger anytime you undermine the democratic process.  But the Muslim Brotherhood has maintained non-violence as the cornerstone of its activist mission for the better part of the last 3 decades.  And I don’t think that is going to change overnight.  I do think there are already militant elements that exist throughout different segments of Egyptian society that could flare up into isolated incidents of violence.  But I don’t think that is something that can be traced directly back to the Muslim Brotherhood, or even to any elements of the opposition.  The only side that is focusing on violence as a means of accomplishing their goals is the Egyptian military. 

PG:  The Egyptian Military has destroyed many of the underground tunnels into Gaza nearly stopping the transfer of goods.  Given the Israeli siege, these tunnels are essential for the Gaza economy and for the population to have access to essential food and basic goods.  What effect do you think the military coup will have on the people of Gaza? 

AA:  This is a very important question considering once again that this military coup received so much support from liberal/progressive and revolutionary/leftist forces in Egypt and even beyond Egypt.  I think some of that misguided support is the inability to see the immediate effects.  This is just one area where we can see the immediate consequences of what this coup actually means.  Here we’re talking about a humanitarian situation, in which the people of Gaza have been sieged for nearly a decade now and have needed all kinds of humanitarian support.  The Mubarak regime was a chief partner in the siege of Gaza and once the revolution happened one of the bright spots was that the people of Gaza would have a little bit easier access to food, medical attention, goods, as well as an ease in the movement of people in and out of what is essentially an open air prison for 1.7 million people.  But let’s not idealize the situation.  Even under the Morsi presidency there were still an enormous degree of restrictions on the Palestinians in Gaza. 

But I think we see that situation ratcheted up tremendously the moment that the military took charge—essentially resuming the siege situation.  We’re now reading reports that not only has the military destroyed the tunnels used to deliver goods, but they’ve even closed the overland boarder, which allows the movement of people in and out of Gaza.  On top of that the Egyptian government has said that any Palestinian traveling into Cairo on any airline will be turned back and will not be allowed to continue on.  The only route to get into Gaza is to fly into Cairo and take the overland route crossing from Egypt.  A lot of these signs are deeply troubling.  I think it points to a certain brazen behavior on the part of the Egyptian military, which extends beyond the Egyptian people to include the treatment of the Palestinians as well. 

PG:  Where do you think the revolutionary energy of the youth movement will go from here?  Do you see any progressive force gaining political power? 

AA:  I would say that I’m not very optimistic for the future prospects of the transition.  The first reason is what I mentioned before:  there has already been a disenfranchisement of the largest political party in Egypt.  The Muslim Brotherhood is being completely excluded from the transition process and is being violently repressed.  We’re also seeing a certain amount of horse-trading and deal making between the remaining so called revolutionary forces.  These forces are made up of different revolutionary movements including the youth movement, the leftists, liberal political leaders within Egypt, and others.  All of these groups seemed to have made their peace with remnants of the old regime. 

So we’re seeing the temporary makeshift government is appointing former Mubarak loyalist judges to the heads of the judiciary body.  We’re also seeing this within the constitution writing committee.  We’re even seeing some of the ministries starting to go to figures whose reputation has been compromised by their behavior during the Mubarak authoritarian era.  That is not encouraging because Egypt was expected to rid itself of a lot of these elements.  We’re probably just going to see a resumption of business as usual.  Perhaps there will be some slight democratic practices in which people are able to select from among a few different bad options, but I don’t think Egypt will develop any kind of alternative leadership anytime soon.

 

85 Responses to “Roots of the Egyptian Coup—and What Comes Next”

  1. Smith says:

    When Morsi had visited Pakistan, he was received by Pakistani senator Mushahid Hussain. As narrated by Mushahid Hussain, Morsi had hinted to him that he is besieged by Mubarak remnants and upon congratulating MB for winning the election he had said: “we hold office but are we not in power”.

  2. M. Ali says:

    I am surprised that run up to the coups I would see comments from my very liberal and secural Egyptian facebook friend talking about how they everyone to protest, and tey will get it right this time, and that they won’t allow the revolution to be “stolen” again.

    This was almost the same problem with our own liberals in 2009 elections, that once they lost, they wanted to overthrow the election process.

    Until middle eastern liberals allow opposition ideas to be tolerated, liberalism in the middle east will continue to be a failure and will always be linked to tyranny.

  3. nico says:

    http://www.jta.org/2013/07/14/news-opinion/politics/u-s-lawmakers-call-for-penalizing-argentina-over-iran-ties

    U.S. lawmakers call for penalizing Argentina over Iran ties

    After Morales jet hijacking it is the wise move to further alienate Latin America.
    As for the US claim about Argentina debt default in the 1999 crisis. It would be good for the US to explain how they will pay back all their own debts and liabilies.
    Well with the FED vodoo economics, they should not think the international community does not know what it is all about.
    The US are bankrupt and still lecturing the international community.
    Amazing posturing from US politicians.

    When the frog is thrown in the burning hot water, it tries to escape.
    However when the frog is thrown in cold water and the heat is turned up slowly, then it does not realize that it is burned.
    Similarly at some point, whithout he excuse of fighinting the soviets, the US turned fascist and tyranical, but the US citizens are totally subjugated. And the US constituencies bought in the clash of civilization and war against invented war against “muslim” terrorism.

  4. Karl.- says:

    So Iran and Argentina set up a joint Commission to find out what happend at AMIA, they want the truth. Response by the US (israel)? – MORE SANCTIONS!

    presstv.com/detail/2013/07/15/313857/us-seeks-bans-on-argentina-over-iran-ties/

  5. Karl.-- says:

    nico

    Yes how dare Iran and Argentina seeking the truth!

    This is what Israel fear:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/01/311728/argentina-exminister-faces-amia-probe

  6. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty-san:

    No word back on the translation yet, but meanwhile, here are some more books for you:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e1kv8px0wupup0f/wCvnrH94eK/English%20Books

  7. Mohammad says:

    “if you’re going to have a revolution, then you really need to have one.”

    To exaggerate a bit, that’s almost conventional wisdom in Iran! I always found the notion of a revolution having happened in Egypt – or for that matter, anywhere else during the “Arab Spring”, except Libya – laughable. Almost all institutions of the former regime appear to be in place. That’s akin to the Shah-era SAVAK being intact after the 1979 revolution! Also, the Iranian Army was almost dismantled after the 1979 revolution, while the Egyptian Army remained the most important (and even the most popular) force after the 2011 protests.

  8. James Canning says:

    Is the concern within Egyptian army, that an insurgency could develop in the Sinai, realistic? Some elements of the army were also very much conerned about Morsi’s backing of insurgents in Syria.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Really amazing how MSM host refuse to call the Egyptian coup a “coup” This weekend Scott Simon could not go there.
    “Counting the Money” clip
    http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=7

    Over and over again NPR reporters push for the Syrian rebels. Never have done a show on how half the population supports Assad.

    Deborah Amos “In Southern Syria”
    http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=3&prgDate=07-12-2013

  10. James Canning says:

    “Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon chief, telephoned General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi the same day urging him not to carry out the coup, which he went on to execute 24 hours later.”
    – – Sunday Times (London), July 7th

  11. masoud says:

    I refrained from repeating two hypotheses out of fear that doing so would somehow make them more true, and out of not wanting to take a pessimistic view of matters, but I think the events of the past couple of days have simply reaffirmed my suspicions.

    1. If we are going to compare the events in Egypt to a specific historical time period in Iran, we need to forget about 1979, and talk about 1953. Egyptian society simply lacks a unifying force or figure that can spearhead a revolution, which leaves a series of impotent factions that attempt to outmaneuver on another by relying on various foreign powers and remnants of the ancien regime. I hope I’m proved wrong, but it may be decades before such a force can appear in Egyptian society.

    2. It’s not a revolution until the top level, maybe even the top two levels, of the military leadership are purged. Irreversibly purged.

  12. masoud says:

    On an unrelated tangent:

    How retarded is Rouhani? On the same day that the most pro-Atlantic German newspapers were blasting Obama for using electronic eavesdropping to spy on 6 billion German correspondences a year, this self proclaimed professional in all matters relating to national security and law, was publicly endorsing the use of Facebook and other US controlled communications services in a youth magazine in Iran, while it has become public information that the US is collecting 13 billion Iranian communications a month!

    I’d like nominate Rouhani for the prime ministership of Lebanon.

  13. jay says:

    Why would any rational person miss the fact that the story in Sunday Times regarding the call from Hagel to Al-sisi is “planted” propaganda? It is amusing and sad.

    Anyone who keeps up with the events (even moderately so) will recall that this General is a hand-picked US Army War College graduate. He was hand-picked through indirect lobbying by the Saudis and direct US lobbying. He owes his job to the US and Saudis. He knows that his survival depends on the US aid to the tune of billions every year. And, yet, the story wants us to believe that Hagel was against it and Al-sisi went ahead! Right!!

    In the tradition of unintelligent journalism, this planted story inadvertently highlights another interesting point. That the US knew about the attempt to overthrow a legitimate government. The very definition of a coup. So, Mr. Hagel and the rest of the team in the White House should have no trouble with spelling coup and using it descriptively. Surprisingly, the entire US establishment, including most of the media has been taught to avoid the “C” word. Coincidence?

  14. yemi says:

    jay says:
    July 15, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    That’s why is so important to notice that
    no single person relates with him on that.

    He actually tries by all means to justify anything
    the evil western governments do to any country at any
    point in time!

  15. Karl.- says:

    James

    According to whom? Hagel himself?
    No condemnations and no stop of aid to Egypt shows US support for the coup.

    (are the board under moderation again?)

  16. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Mohamed ElBaradei said he talked to Chuck Hagel and Obama, to tell them he wanted Morsi overthrown.

  17. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    The Sunday Times (London) also reported July 7th that some elements in the Egyptian army decided they needed to overthrow Morsi after Morsi’s reception of Ahmadineajd in Cairo early this year. Your view?

  18. James Canning says:

    Karl.-

    Does anyone think it was likely the US would stop its aid to Egyptian army etc., in wake of the coup?

  19. James Canning says:

    Borzou Daraghi has perceptive comments about Egypt today at Financial Times online: “Technocrats cannot fix Egypt’s political dysfunction”.

  20. jay says:

    James Canning says:
    July 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    If you must ask this question you must redouble your efforts in educating yourself about democratic systems.

    It matters little what Mr. El Baradei, or anyone else for that matter, wants. Egypt had an elected leader through a democratic process. Of course, Mr. El Baradei is entitled to his opinion, but you and Mr. El Baradei should know that the removal of an elected leader from office involves a process enshrined in law.

    Tell me James, are you suggesting that if Lib. Dems. in London should ask uncle Sam for the overthrow of the Conservatives through a coup, the US should go along?

  21. jay says:

    James Canning says:
    July 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    See my reply to your other (similar in nature) comment above.

  22. Karl.- says:

    James

    Thats the point, US support the coup and therefore the aid is still there.

  23. kooshy says:

    I knew this will come up soon, next Iranian item to be sanctioned by our Israeli boy in the US treasury will be “Iran’s Association of Homegrown Tomato Farmers”, and if that didn’t stop Iran’s legal enrichment, we will move on to sanction all of Iran’s water resources, for sure if we make those Eyeranians thirsty, blocking and denying them” their” water resources they will have to give up their NPT rights or else. Do them Eyeranians get thirsty?

    US bans yogurt company for transaction with Iran

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/16/314123/us-bans-yogurt-firm-for-link-to-iran/

  24. James Canning says:

    Karl.-

    US would continue the aid, coup or no coup.

  25. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Did Chuck Hagel tell ElBaradei that a coup was fine with him?

    The US appears to have had little to do with bringing about the coup, as far as I am aware.

  26. Smith says:

    Normally what happens, is like this. The gun totting Somali pirates take a a ship hostage and through their British colleagues in London negotiate a ransom which is paid through London banks to the British pirate colleagues. A portion of that payment is then physically transported from London to Somali pirates. And most of the ships being taken hostage are from poor countries. The whole operation is London based.

    And then there is ridicule and propaganda. Here is another one published today ridiculing Iran and the Iranian hostages by the British press for having failed to pay the British pirate sharks in London through SWIFT. I wonder how long more Iran can take this humiliation before it develops and points nuclear weapons at England five minutes alert. The British pirates want their cut. But the British regime does not allow it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23319457

  27. James Canning says:

    “As the sainted editor wrote in the Telegraph last week – – he’s the only wone who got it right – – the masses want and need property rights in the Arab world, not democracy.”
    – – Taki, July 12th

  28. Smith says:

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a nuclear weapon state with missiles? Some have started to say that: http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/6688/saudi-arabias-strategic-dyad

    If this is the direction the west is pushing the region to, with Saudis becoming the policeman of the region imposing wahabism on every one on the order of their British masters, then Iran has no choice but to become a nuclear weapon state in order to defend itself from the British.

  29. Dan Cooper says:

    Netanyahu went on American TV and threatened war on Iran for its alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon, while being spared any inconvenient questions about Israel’s very real – and rogue – nuclear arsenal.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35558.htm

  30. Smith says:

    ^^^ It is NutAndYahoo.

  31. jay says:

    James Canning says:
    July 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Did I say that?

    Please don’t waste my time and stop acting like you don’t understand. Or, perhaps you really don’t understand! In which case, God Speed!

  32. jay says:

    Correction: Godspeed!

  33. Karl.- says:

    James

    Yeah right, if the Muslim Brotherhood carried out a coup under Nubarak-era the aid would NOT be continued.
    It seems that you support the coup. Correct?

  34. Karl.. says:

    Do these people really exist?

    https://twitter.com/ErickMullen

    One thing if they were iranian exiles, but fullblown ‘americans’ showing deep love for this terror cult is something special.

  35. Karl.- says:

    DAn Cooper

    Best if Rohani just ignore these provocative threats by Israel. Nuttyyaho want Iran to pick up the bait.

  36. nico says:

    The Snowden case is very interesting.
    It truly unveils the current status in the world order.
    With the putrescent US polities.
    International laws and moral against the lawlessness and madness.
    Ideal and principles against real politic.

    The US are between the rock and a hard place.
    If they do nothing and let Snowden go, it will be a hit against their national security credibility.
    But if they do not let him go, it would be a hit against their morality. Not that they have much left.

    I guess it is a question of proportion. The means the US will use and implement to achieve their goal are much telling. With Morales jet hijacking and threat against Russia and other countries, we have partial answer.

    The US are still considering themselves as the sole world superpower and still are in theur unilateral moment.
    One conclusion then is that there is still no chance for a deal with Iran in the foreseeable future with such mindset.

    The other convludion shall depend on Russia or any other country offering asyilum.
    Will they really offer Asylum ?
    If yes, then what would be the consequences ?

    The Snowden case is not as much important by itself as by the wy it unveils the true nature of the US and resistance in the world.

    My position is that asylum should be offered by Russia to Snowden, no matter the consequences.
    It is a question of principle.
    It is a litmus test of the US acceptable lawlessness and bullying.
    It could also force the US polities back to some common sense and dignity.

    My take is that Mr Canning would advise the opposite in his faithless and nihilistic world views.
    For Mr Canning, tere is no duch thing as principles, with Russia getting richer (but dithout moral, dignity and sovereignty) if they sell Snowden to the US.

    My take is that Mr Canning position is that Asylum should not be offered

  37. nico says:

    Another interesting development is the diplomatic posturing of both Iran and the US.

    While Rohani refrained to make other foreign policy comment other than conciliatory ones toward the US.
    Just 2 days after Obama assured Netanyahu that pressure shall be kept up on Iran, then Rohani statement about Iran support to the resistance front.

    ….

    No deal in sight.

  38. Smith says:

    ^^^ Rohani will soon learn that there is no margin for dealing with US. The Americans want complete capitulation and humiliation of Iranians whether in nuclear issue or otherwise. When they talk of a “deal”, they actually means rape of Iran. The level of deep hatred for Iranians among them is astounding. Ironically, Rohani might be the president under whom, Iran will test its first nuclear devices. US has left Iran no other choice but to have nuclear weapons pointed at England on five minute high alert.

  39. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I know many Americans and I find it very rare that one of them expresses “hate” for Iran. Very rare indeed.

  40. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Israel lobby forces Obama to make noises about Iran, especially after Netanyahu has appeared on American TV (as he did this past Sunday).

  41. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Putin said Russia’s American partners had given his country an unwanted Christmas present. Referring to Snowden.

  42. James Canning says:

    Karl.-

    I think the US welcomed the overthrow of Mubarak.

    Are you pleased the MB support the insurgents in Syria?

  43. nico says:

    Smith says:
    July 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    “^^^ Rohani will soon learn that there is no margin for dealing with US. ”

    As long as the US do not suffer a major event such as an economic collapse or a major strategic and examplary geopolitical defeat or a internal uprising it is difficult to see how they would change behaviour.

    At least as long as other major powers accept such US ugly behaviours it will not change.

    The Snowden asylum request is a good place to start to force some common sense back in the US policymakers head.

  44. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Understand what? That the US was behind the coup? Or not in the loop?

  45. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm
    “Nico,Putin said Russia’s American partners had given his country an unwanted Christmas present. Referring to Snowden.”

    Totally useless quote from Putin.
    That is word for the sake of empty speech.
    Who care about Putin feeling. Politician of such standing never deal with pleasant situation.
    He has a situation he need to deal with. What is important is the decision he will make and which will be heavy in consequences for International relations as it is a test that will set a standard in dealing with the US.
    For Russia and for other countries.

    Your useless quote let me believe I were right in my assumption of your position.

  46. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    “Who cares about Putin’s feelings?” I do. Anyone serious about international affairs should do so too.

  47. BiBiJon says:

    Terrorists? What terrorists
    ==========================

    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/U.N._envoy_accuses_Iran_groups_leaders_in_Iraq_of_rights_abuses.html?cid=36474670

    Is aiding a listed terrorist organization for cash a crime? What crime?

  48. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you for your confirmation that you are favorable to Snowden extradition to the US.
    It tells much about what you stand for.

  49. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm
    “Nico,Israel lobby forces Obama to make noises about Iran, especially after Netanyahu has appeared on American TV (as he did this past Sunday).”

    I do not hear noises.
    What I see is the US official and actual policies in the ME.

  50. Karl says:

    James

    If you think US would accept a coup by brotherhood you are not only naive.

    Yes what about brotherhood’s stance on Syria?

  51. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I don’t think the MB could carry out a coup.

  52. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Noises are important.

  53. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I have not taken a position on Snowden.

  54. James Canning says:

    Geogg Dyer has excellent piece in Financial Times July 17th: “Obama will waste a good chance on Iran if he leans back and waits”. (FT.COM)

  55. Smith says:

    Hossein Mousavian, the colleague of president elect Roohani and the ex-diplomat, has written an article, which is a must read (also mentions Leveretts). He basically says that Roohani has only 3 real choices now (minus the two academic ones which are stupid to mention here):

    1- Continue the same path of talk-talk-talk (with ever more sanctions, pressure, dehumanization and humiliation)

    2- Surrender the nuclear program and kiss/suck the big dirty toe of America, begging for forgiveness and mercy (which would never be granted by the way)

    3- Build the nuclear bomb and let the peace prevail.

    http://www.aucegypt.edu/gapp/cairoreview/pages/articleDetails.aspx?aid=374

    I hope that Rohani understands that he only has the third choice.

  56. Smith says:

    ^^^ And this is BBC attacking Hossein Mousavian (even ad hominem) for having suggested that Iran has the right under article 10 of NPT to pull out of this “treaty” that as per Mousavian has become a national security threat for Iran.

    BBC is going kookie crazy, trying to convince Iranians that they should bend down and suck the big dirty toe of America accepting America as god of Iran and then, crying weaping and begging for forgiveness: http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2013/07/130717_l10_memarian_rouhani_nuclear_us.shtml

  57. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm
    “Nico,I have not taken a position on Snowden.”

    Your position is obvious. You think the extradition is preferable.
    Please prove me wrong.

    To be honest, I do not care that much.
    What was important was the leak.

    Now whether he is extradited or not, the US are tainted and their criminal policies unveiled.
    If he is extradited then the US shall need to deal with the Snowden case, like the Manning case but more difficult in term of PR and propaganda
    The US shall then need to prosecute Snowden.
    He could then be released with the US policies declared unconstitutional.
    The other option would be a Snowden thrown in a dugeon.

    Not sure the US will win something in either cases.

  58. yemi says:

    Smith says:
    July 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Sir, i have been so skeptical to relate with you about
    Iran building a A-bomb.

    But this day i am more convinced in total agreement with you that IRI should
    try to build one A-bomb, because it seems force begets force
    and that is the only language these western governments understand.

    And building this A-B is suffice not until it’s pointed to UK and US mainlands.
    With this action IRI would be doing good because all other cronies in the west would
    be free from UK and US slavery too.

  59. nico says:

    US dungeon, lawlessness and madness ?
    But surely necessary for the US getting richer and more powerfull. Isn’t Mr Canning ?

    “Obama wins right to indefinitely detainThe Obama administration regained the authority to indefinitely detain US citizens when a federal appeals court on Wednesday lifted a lower court order which had blocked the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act”

    http://edition.presstv.ir/iphone/detail.aspx?id=314349

  60. Smith says:

    yemi says:
    July 18, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Welcome to the truth. The language of force is universal. It is exceedingly stupid to become the last samurai, shunning the artillery and guns because “they are against humanity”. So is sword. So are sanctions. So is slavery, humiliation and losing honor everyday. Playing the role of the “honorable” dying samurai shunning superior fire power while the enemy has all its options on the table, makes only a good movie story.

  61. Avg American says:

    Nico says:
    July 15, 2013 at 5:38 am
    Time and time again I enjoy reading your well written and thoughtful comments.
    Regarding US economy your statements are absolutely on target. The only reason Americans don’t want to believe their home is becoming a wasteland is because of 1) ignorance along with a lack of understanding of reality 2) for those that realize the truth – they dig their head in the sand out of fear and denial. There is no “average middle class American anymore – show me the group. Because what they are calling middle class here does not fit the definition.

    People do not live in reality in the US – corporations rule this country. People are poor and depressed. The new source of income around here is disability. Spawned out of depression from America’s financial situation. This country is a superpower?? How is this still the case then? All I can say if I put these numbers into my equation the solution doesn’t make sense!

    Anyway, re Snowden, the guy is rational. Rarely do you see a politician whose statements make sense. Washing tons positions don’t make sense quite often. That’s usually a sign something is not right. Snowdens statements are clear and if you read his statement of reasoning as to why he did what he did, morally it’s reasonable. He did it because he thought it was the right thing. Something Washington doesn’t get or ever will anymore. Just like the man who was working for the US govt firing drones that left because of he literally couldn’t do it psychologically anymore. It’s hard to continue to force people to do another’s Evil bidding. Soon enough this doesn’t last. I’m positive there are many others who feel like snowden but they don’t have the courage to speak out or do what he did.
    It is sad when one’s home is such a immoral place, but enough is enough. America cannot continue to charade as a humanistic, morally correct power anymore – it’s a true shame. America will reap what it sows.

  62. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I have said many times the relative wealth and power of the US is declining steadily.
    DECLINING. And why? Idiotic spending on “defence”, in part to “protect” Israel. Meaning, helping Israel continue its insane colonisation programme in the West Bank.

  63. James Canning says:

    Avg American,

    You should read “Edward Snowden is no traitor”, by Philip Giraldi. (At the American Conservative)

  64. nico says:

    Here the most convincing explanation regarding the status of Gold Market.
    It also confirm my previous assumption that the western central banks are lending their gold and are still declaring their vaults full of (virtual) gold.
    Obviously the fed is leading the game in order to protect the USD.

    “The recent decline in gold prices and the drain from physical ETFs have been interpreted by the media as signaling the end of the gold bull market. However, our analysis of the supply and demand dynamics underlying the gold market does not support this thesis. In our view, the bullion banks’ fractional gold deposit system is testing its limits. Too much paper gold exists for the amount of physical gold available. Demand from emerging markets, who do not settle for paper gold, has perturbed the status quo. Thus, our recommendation to investors is the following: empty unallocated gold accounts and redeem your gold in physical form (while you still can).”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-17/eric-sprott-central-banks-bullion-banks-and-physical-gold-market-conundrum

  65. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Iran likely can obtain P5+1 acceptance of enrichment to 5% or lower. Likely. ZERO chance of enriching to 20%, in my view.

    You should read Geoff Dyer’s piece in the Financial Times today: “Obama will waste a good chance on Iran if he leans back and waits”.

  66. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    In his July 9th article that you linked, Mousavian writes: “I believe that if Washington recognized Iran’s right to enrich, a nulcear deal could be reached immediately.”

    Fair statement, in my view.

  67. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Would John F. Kennedy have gone forward with the Nuclear Test-ban Treaty with the Soviet Union, fifty years ago, if the British ambassador in Washington had not been such an effective advocate for that treaty?

    Kennedy worried about attacks from the right. Obama worries about attacks from the right (and left).

  68. Karl.. says:

    New US UN envoy want END to iranian nuclear program.

    guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/18/samantha-power-un-syria-israel-confirmation

  69. James Canning says:

    Karl..

    The Guardian did not report the actual words used by Samantha Power during her confirmation hearing (US Senate). I would expect she was referring to Iran’s potential nuclear weapons programme.

    I assume Obama told her he did not want a fight with Aipac regarding the wording Power used during the hearings, on this topic.

  70. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I would expect Samantha Power sees considerable merit in the points Geoff Dyer makes today in the Financial Times, regarding nuclear dispute with Iran (and need for leadership from the front seat by Obama).

  71. nico says:

    Karl.. says:
    July 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    “New US UN envoy want END to iranian nuclear program.
    guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/18/samantha-power-un-syria-israel-confirmation”

    A remarkably frank and honest depiction of US policies for more than 20 years.
    It seems she has not yet Obama’s skills for lies and double speech !

    Remarkable as well the senators fascist, extremist and terrorist like comments.

    And Powers called a human right activist !

    A good summary of US degeneration and lack of consistency.

    One word : grotesque.

  72. Karl.. says:

    nico

    Tremendous stupidity now when US have the chance to reach out to Rohani.
    Samantha even urged war against syria even if UN gave their approval. Certified lunacy.

  73. Karl.. says:

    edit

    should be: “even if UN NOT gave their approval”.

  74. nico says:

    Avg American says:
    July 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for the comment.

    It is sad to see the current miserable state of affairs.

    Western politicians are sold out and do not represent any shared interests of the nation but their own and those of their backers.

    Their words of full of lies when they speak about value, justice and principles.
    I agree with you, they are pushed to such contortions that their speeches are truly nonsensical.
    They pretend and feign to believe that the majority believe in their nonsense while everybody know that all the MSM us bull crap.
    Everyone is accepting the soft tyranny out of fat comfort and isolation in this individualist society.

    My take is that we are at such level of nonsense and lies coupled with evonomic crisis that it could easyly tip off into social uprising or populist coup not far in the future.

  75. nico says:

    All,

    Very nice example of the deep rooted policies of the US.
    It also clearly shows that the end of the cold war was a pivotal moment and that no major US policy shift occured ever since.

    It is interesting to note that the foreign policy doctrine was defined by the Pentagone.
    Not by the president, not by the congress or the senate or even less by the secretary of state !
    That is democratic process and one sure to lead to a better world !

    It is also a nice example of PR and propaganda.
    Just see the excerpts before and after rewriting ! Obama style !

    It is interesting to note that Cheney, Wolfowitz and co were in the Pentagone during Bush Senior time as president.
    Clinton won the election in 1992.
    He was the one to fully implement the Neocons doctrine.

    It is a direct proof that whatever party in charge the real policies are made elsewhere.
    You know like the farcical Obama, yes we can or the change we can believe in. The same one who kept the Bush patriot act in force because the US are constently under ugly muslim terrorist attacks !
    What should we call that ?
    The ploutocratic and materialistic regime of the US imposing their tyranny to the world.

    Please check the link. It is most interesting.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfowitz_Doctrine

    By the way, Mr Canning, it is proof that oil and US domination of the region are the main reason for the US policy in the ME.
    It is also proof of the US devide and rule strategy and that the goal in the case of Iran is to destroy a regional competitor. Democracy, human rights, justice, common sense be damned.

  76. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US can get by well enough with no oil from the Middle East.

    Israel lobby likes to paint a picture of imperial America, defending American interests in the Middle East. When this largely is rubbish.

  77. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Many British and American commenters on foreign policy regard Paul Woolfowitz as one of the greatest fools ever to be influential inside the Pentagon.

  78. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I join with you in seeing Samantha Power’s eagerness for American military intervention in Syria as unwise in the extreme.

  79. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Are you claiming the piece in the Guardian provided us with Samantha Power’s actual phrasing (regarding Iran’s nuclear programme)?

    I very much doubt she would be so stupid as to think the entire nuclear programme could be shut down.

  80. Avg American says:

    Mr. Canning says

    July 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I agree with you regarding the “real” reason for the US Middle East policy. Perhaps not the entire reason, but definitely a large part. However, when the stated above Wolfowitz doctrine was forged multiple parties’ agendas were present. It’s just the imperialistic power and oil hungry people there were capitalized on to some degree by another strong parties’ agenda ( we know who that is). So it just all worked out for them- at the time.

  81. Sineva says:

    nico says:
    July 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm
    I heartily agree,it makes for disgusting reading but I guess this is what passes for a us government approved “human rights advocate” these days.I found especially revolting the code words “unacceptable bias and attacks” meaning any criticism of israel is of course unacceptable

  82. James Canning says:

    Avg American,

    Wolfowitz and his gang wanted to deceive the American people to set up the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

    Dick Cheney apparently was duped by Ahmed Chalabi, into thinking Iraq would readily be transformed into an American (and Israeli) ally, producing vast amounts of oil.

    The neocon “protect Israel by employing American power” scheme was at the core of the conspiracy to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq. Halliburton and other profiteers exploited the opportunity created for them by “9/11” and the neocon conspiracy.

  83. nico says:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations

    Mr Canning,

    Here the history of the US interventions.

    Could you please for each one provide the excuse.

    The last to date being the z-eye-ooonist.

    Thanks.