Archive | July 22nd, 2013

US, EU Pose as Honest Brokers While Backing Egypt’s Military Assault on Democracy

NOVANEWS 

Burns told his Egyptian hosts: «I did not come with American solutions, nor did I come to lecture anyone. We will not try to impose our model on Egypt». With these soothing sanguine words, the American diplomat was justifying the military subversion of Egypt’s tentative political process and the ongoing annual subsidy of $1.3 billion in US military aid.

by Finian Cunningham

 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, left, meeting with Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, in Cairo Photo: AP

Egypt’s political turmoil took on surreal dimensions this week with the swearing in of the military-backed interim civilian government. The procedure was shown «live» on national television, as if to lend an image of «transparency» and «accountability».

The central figure in the cabinet photo-op, dressed in khaki military uniform, was the head of the Egyptian armed forces, General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. He was the man who led the military arrest of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, and in turn, ushered in his replacement, Adli Mansour, the country’s top judge, who had served under the ancien regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Adding gravitas to the occasion were the visits to Cairo this week by senior US diplomat, deputy secretary of state, William Burns, and the head of the European Union’s foreign office, Lady Catherine Ashton. In separate meetings, Burns and Ashton met with interim president Mansour and the new caretaker prime minister, Hazem Al-Beblawi.

In this handout picture made available by the Egyptian Presidency on July 17, Egyptian Vice President for Foreign Relations Mohamed ElBaradei meets with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Cairo. Ashton held a series of meetings with Egypt’s new leaders, including interim President Adly Mansour and army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who toppled elected President Mohamed Morsi. AFP photo

The rhetoric from Burns and Ashton could have been written by the same speechwriter, with both diplomats appearing to stress civic virtues of «inclusivity» and «non-violence».

The US State Department said that Burns would emphasize «an end to all violence and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government».

For her part, Lady Ashton said she would «reinforce our message that there must be a fully inclusive political process, taking in all groups which support democracy».

However, stripping away the trite rhetoric, the core message in practice is that Washington and the EU are endorsing and legitimizing an unprecedented military intervention in Egypt’s supposedly new democratic era. This era was supposed to have arrived following the popular ouster of the Western-backed Mubarak dictatorship in February 2011, during the heyday of the Arab Spring.

Egypt’s transition to civilian government culminating in the June 2012 presidential election of Mohamed Morsi was far from perfect. Morsi’s tight association with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood left him open to accusations of monopolizing power and not including other parties. During his year in office, street protests mounted into million-man marches that reached a crescendo on 30 June, the anniversary of his inauguration.

Nevertheless, the inescapable fact is that Morsi was legally elected. His deposition under orders from the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) can therefore be defined as a coup – albeit carried out initially with a semblance of popular support. Adding to the anomaly is that the Egyptian constitution has been suspended by the military and a cabinet of 35 unelected ministers, none of whom have a popular mandate. Like ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room, both Washington and Brussels have pointedly refrained from uttering the word «coup». To do so would put them in the invidious public position of openly supporting military coup, which is of course what they are doing in effect, but nevertheless trying to conceal with vacuous verbiage.

The man who led the military ouster of Morsi, defense minister Al-Sisi said at the time of Morsi’s arrest that the SCAF would take a backseat from the affairs of the interim government. The impression given was that the military was acting in a chivalrous manner to facilitate a new phase in civilian politics. But when the new cabinet was unveiled this week the salient position of Al Sisi in the government was underscored by his taking a second portfolio of deputy prime minister – in addition to defense. That is a clear sign that the Egyptian military establishment intends holding sway over the decision-making and policies of a nominally «civilian» administration.

Given that the Egyptian military is estimated to have a controlling stake in up to 40 per cent of the country’s economy, in sectors ranging from energy, tourism and services, it is to be expected that this institution will want to keep a close eye on the cabinet. The very idea that the military would somehow take a nonchalant backseat is rather naive and wishful.

Furthermore other ministers in the 35-member cabinet have strong associations with the military and police. Minister for the interior, Mohamed Ibrahim, is a holdover from Morsi’s government. He has been widely criticized for not introducing any reforms to the country’s powerful security forces, let along bringing any prosecutions over numerous past violations.

Meanwhile, out on the streets, millions of Morsi supporters remain camped out at landmark sites across the capital, Cairo, refusing to move until their leader is reinstated as president. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad said of the new cabinet this week: «It’s an illegitimate government, an illegitimate prime minister, an illegitimate cabinet. We don’t recognize anyone in it».

What should be even more disquieting for the new cabinet is that the wave of popular anti-Morsi protests – in whose interest the military claimed to be acting – has since abated. Not out of satisfaction with the recent outcome, but out of a sense of being sidelined by the military and its appointed caretaker administration. Indeed, the Tamarod (rebellion) movement – a lose civic society coalition that claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures in a petition calling for Morsi to stand down – has refused to endorse the cabinet nominally headed up by president Mansour and premier Al-Beblawi.

That indicates that the latest twist in Egypt’s political turmoil is not a people-led democratic transition, as some have argued, but rather it is transpiring to be military maneuver to reassert control over Egyptian politics.

Admittedly, the caretaker government – which is officially to remain in office until elections at some unspecified time next year – contains some liberal, secular and technocratic figures. There are three women ministers for health, environment and information and there are three Christians.

But it is notable that the ministry of finance is overseen by Ahmed Galal, who is US-educated and formerly worked at the World Bank. The prime minister, Hazem Al-Beblawi, was previously the head of Egypt’s Export and Development Bank for 12 years. These key figures can be expected to follow Western economic orthodoxy, which will hew to the interests of American and European dominated international capital and financial markets.

The new foreign minister is Nabil Fahmy, who was Egypt’s ambassador to Washington between 1999 and 2008 during the Mubarak dictatorship. Again, this appointment speaks of consolidating the Mubarak-era deep state that is closely aligned with the Egyptian military and Western foreign policy.

A cynical viewpoint might say that the appointments of women, Christians and a former national football star, Taher Abu Zeid, as youth minister, are simply sops for public relations to bolster an image of democratic transition. That image was certainly given brand endorsement by the American and European senior diplomats arriving in Cairo with their rhetoric of «inclusivity».

Contradicting that progressive-sounding lexicon is the glaring omission of any Islamists from the so-called transition cabinet. None of the 35 positions are occupied by the Muslim Brotherhood or the second biggest Islamist party, Al Nour. Interim president Mansour claims that these parties rejected offers to join the administration. But the Brotherhood and Al Nour deny this claim, both saying that they were not offered any participation. Those parties represent up to half of the Egyptian electorate in a country of 85 million people. Their absence flatly contradicts notions of «inclusiveness».

The arrest of over 200 senior members of the Brotherhood since Morsi was deposed would indeed suggest that Mansour and his new cabinet have little concern about including Islamists. Up to 100 supporters of Morsi have been killed by military and police over the past two weeks. The bloodiest incident was outside the Republican Guard Headquarters in Cairo on 8 July when soldiers opened fire on protesters killing up to 80, including women and children. Within hours of US diplomat William Burns arriving in Cairo at the start of this week, seven pro-Morsi protesters were also killed in clashes with state forces.

While the US and Europe are calling for the release of Morsi and for the halt to repression against the Brotherhood, the facts are that Morsi still remains in unknown detention held by the military, and the junta apparatus is proceeding apace with heavy-handed tactics against the Islamists. Days after the unveiling of the cabinet, interim president Mansour made his first television address to the nation. He spoke with grim warning against ongoing protests, using words that belied a civilian transition government. «We will fight the battle for security until the end,» he said. And he riled against those who «hide behind empty slogans and who are driving the country to the abyss».

One wonders what «empty slogans» Mansour and his military sponsors are referring to? «Reinstate Morsi» or «We do not recognize an unelected illegitimate government». In other words, what we see emerging is not a transitional inclusive civilian government, but rather an authoritarian civilian front for the military deep state.

It seems surreal that while Burns and Ashton were meeting and greeting the civilian placemen of the military junta in Cairo, the only elected leader of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, was being held in secret captivity a few kilometers away in the same city. More than two weeks after his ouster, no one has seen or heard from Morsi, although his military captors assure that he is being held in «a safe place».

The cynicism of the US and Europe is breathtaking. Not a mention of military coup or massacres, but fulsome talk about inclusivity and transition.

Burns told his Egyptian hosts: «I did not come with American solutions, nor did I come to lecture anyone. We will not try to impose our model on Egypt». With these soothing sanguine words, the American diplomat was justifying the military subversion of Egypt’s tentative political process and the ongoing annual subsidy of $1.3 billion in US military aid.

Burns went on to say that the recent events were «a second chance for Egyptians». What he didn’t add but should have was: a second chance for Egyptians to conform to the US-backed deep state of Egypt.

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The Grand Scam: Spinning Egypt’s Military Coup

NOVANEWS

The West’s tolerance (or sponsorship) of the coup in Egypt is a symptom of deap-rooted Islamophobia. Imagine if the roles had been reversed, and the secularists had swept the parliamentary elections and won the presidential race, only to be overthrown in a military coup designed to hand power to the Muslim Brotherhood. If that had happened, every hypocritical islamophobe in the West (meaning virtually the entire Western population) would be screaming bloody murder and howling about the destruction of democracy in Egypt.

Listen up, creeps: Muslims have a right to the institutions they want. If we want to ban alcohol, a vastly more dangerous drug than marijuana or mushrooms, you should THANK US for saving your livers and your sorry drunk-driving asses. And if non-Muslim-majority societies are insane enough to ban marijuana and mushrooms while allowing and encouraging alcohol, guess what – we Muslims will let you do what you want, as long as you tolerate our much saner rules. So PLEASE let us run our own societies according to our own legal traditions, and stop butting in and trying to make us “just like you.”

The vast majority of Muslims want strict enforcement of shariah in every Islamic country. (Poll data here.) The resurgence of Islamic rule will be a lot kinder and gentler if you let it happen peacefully and democratically – as it was in Egypt before this Pinochet-style psy-op. (And as it was in Algeria before the Western-supported Islamophobic false-flag massacres of the 1990s, which the liars are still calling a “civil war.”)

Kevin Barrett

The Grand Scam: Spinning Egypt’s Military Coup

By ESAM AL-AMIN, Counterpunch.org 

 

Every coup d’état in history begins with a military General announcing the overthrow and arrest of the country’s leader, the suspension of the constitution, and the dissolution of the legislature. If people resist, it turns bloody. Egypt is no exception.

As the dust settles and the fog over the events unfolding across Egypt dissipates, the political scene becomes much clearer. Regardless of how one dresses the situation on the ground, the political and ideological battle that has been raging for over a year between the Islamist parties and their liberal and secular counterparts was decided because of a single decisive factor: military intervention by Egypt’s generals on behalf of the latter.

As I argued before in several of my articles (as have others), there is no doubt that President Mohammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) committed political miscalculations and made numerous mistakes, especially by ignoring the demands of many of the revolutionary youth groups and abandoning their former opposition partners. They frequently behaved in a naïve and arrogant manner. But in any civilized and democratic society, the price of incompetence or narcissism is exacted politically at the ballot box.

Elections and Obstructionism: Do Elections Matter?

To their frustration, the liberal and secular opposition failed time and again to win the trust of the people as the Egyptian electorate exercised its free will when tens of millions went to the polls six times in two years. After overthrowing the Mubarak regime a month earlier, they voted in March 2011 by seventy seven percent for a referendum, favored by the Islamists that charted the future political roadmap. Between November 2011 and January 2012, they voted for the Islamist parties with overwhelming majorities in the lower (seventy three percent) and upper (eighty percent) houses of parliament. In June 2012, they elected, albeit narrowly, for the first time in their history, the civilian Muslim Brotherhood candidate as president in a free and fair election. Finally, last December the Egyptian people ratified by a sixty four percent majority the country’s new constitution. The next parliamentary elections were scheduled for this summer had not the Mubarak-appointed Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) intervened yet again and invalidated the new election laws.

From the standpoint of the MB and its Islamist allies the SCC played an obstructionist role throughout this process. To their consternation, in June 2012 the court dissolved the lower house of parliament within four months of its election on technical grounds. It was also aiming to dissolve the upper house of parliament as well as the Constitutional Constituent Assembly (CCA) – the body charged with writing the new constitution – days before it was to finish its work. This forced Morsi to intervene and issue his ill-fated constitutional decree on November 22, 2012, in order to protect the CCA from judicial nullification. In an attempt to force its collapse, all secular members of the CCA resigned en masse even though its formation and the parameters of the process were agreed upon in advance, as evidenced by an opposition member who announced it in April 2012.

However, Morsi’s declaration proved to be a watershed moment that galvanized the opposition, which predictably accused him of an authoritarian power grab. In turn, Morsi argued that his decree was necessary to build the democratic institutions of the state that were being dismantled by the SCC one by one. Under intense public pressure he backtracked and cancelled the decree within three weeks, but only after he ensured that the new constitution would be put to a referendum.

After a vigorous public campaign by the opposition to reject the constitution, it was approved by the public by almost two to one. The next constitutional step would have been parliamentary elections within sixty days. But even though the election laws were similar to the laws agreed upon by all parties in the 2012 elections, the opposition complained that the laws favored the Islamist parties and threatened to boycott the elections. Within four months, the SCC twice rejected and halted the elections on technical grounds, thus further solidifying the perception in the eyes of the Islamists that the Mubarak-appointed court continues to thwart the country’s budding democratic institutions.

Strange Bedfellows: The Unholy Trinity of Gulf Sheikhdoms, the Fulool, and Egypt’s Secular Opposition

On April 22, 2011, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed brought his intelligence and security chiefs to meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and his security officials to discuss the ramifications of the Arab Spring. Bin Zayed warned that unless the GCC countries developed a proactive policy to preempt the wave of popular uprisings sweeping the Arab World at the time, none of the region’s monarchs would survive. Three weeks later in an emergency summit meeting in Riyadh he delivered the same message to all the GCC heads of state. While Qatar remained indifferent to his message, the other five countries were receptive. Bin Zayed and Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the Saudi intelligence chief, were tasked with submitting an effective plan to counter the Arab Spring phenomenon in the region. Subsequently, King Abdullah solicited and received the help of King Abdullah II of Jordan to join this effort while Qatar was excluded from all future meetings.

For decades, the UAE had been very close to Mubarak and his cronies. Billions of dollars of ill-gotten fortunes looted from the country were deposited in banks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. After the overthrow of Mubarak, dozens of security officials and corrupt businessmen quietly left Egypt and relocated to the UAE. When Mubarak’s last Prime Minister, Ahmad Shafiq lost the presidential elections to Morsi in June 2012, he also moved to the UAE. By the fall of 2012, it became evident that the UAE hosted a web of individuals who were plotting the overthrow of Morsi and the MB.

Within a few weeks of the formation of the new government, Shafiq supporter and spokesman for his political party Mohammad Abu Hamid, announced on August 21, 2012, fifteen demands culminating in the goal of toppling the “Muslim Brotherhood or Ikhwan Government.” He warned against the “ikhwanization” of the state, i.e. the appointments of MB members in crucial state positions, and blamed them for the lack of basic services to the public. Abu Hamid also called for subsequent mass protests in Tahrir Square as he accused Morsi of power grab, dictatorship, and judicial interference, long before the president issued his hapless constitutional decree three months later. He further demanded the banning of the MB and its political affiliate, as well as the arrest of its leaders, who he accused of treason. All of his demands would subsequently become the talking points of every opposition party and anti-Morsi media outlet.

Even though Morsi took the reins of powers in the country and was able to force the retirement of the most senior army generals in early August, his authority was thin. Instead of purging the most entrenched elements of Mubarak’s centers of power, namely, the army, the intelligence services, the security apparatus, and the police, he naïvely thought that he could appease them. He was lulled into believing that he had earned their loyalty. In fact, these agencies, along with the judiciary, the public and private secular media outlets, as well as most of the bureaucracy, represented the interests of the “deep state,” a decades-old web of corruption and special interests entrenched within the state’s institutions.

One way corruption proliferated during the days of Mubarak was by appeasing each critical segment in society, such as the judiciary or the police, at times through the distribution of vast parcels of land at hugely discounted prices to their constituents, who in turn sold them to the public for millions of pounds. For example, when Shafiq was in charge of the Military Pilots Association in the 1990s, he sold Mubarak’s sons over 40,000 acres of prime land in the Nile Delta for a dollar per acre, while the actual value for each acre was in the tens of thousands. This sale was subsequently called the ‘Scandal of the Lands of the Pilots’ after it was exposed last year, and where Shafiq was charged with embezzlement and public corruption in connection with the scandal. But despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the corrupt judicial system earlier this year absolved Shafiq of any wrongdoing.

Slowly but surely remnants of the Mubarak regime and related corrupt businessmen, better known as the fulool, regrouped and coalesced around the elements of the deep state. Meanwhile, the secular opposition, which was in disarray, formed for the first time a united movement called the National Salvation Front (NSF) after Morsi issued his decree in late November. It included most of the failed presidential candidates and several dozen secular parties, which combined did not receive more than twenty five percent in the parliamentary elections. Its leaders included Amr Moussa, Hamdein Sabbahi, Elsayed AlBadawi, Mohammad Abul Ghar, and billionaire Naguib Sawiris. The NSF chose former IAEA head, Mohammed ElBaradei, to be its spokesperson.

In November 2012, Prince Bandar presented two detailed plans to the Americans through the CIA. Plan A was a quick plot to topple Morsi in early December while Plan B was a long term plan that involved two tracks. One track was a series of destabilizing protests that would culminate in Morsi’s ouster, while another track included uniting the opposition to form one coalition to defeat the MB at the polls if the first track failed. While the CIA was fully aware of the plan it neither endorsed nor objected to it because the Obama administration, playing both sides, was also pursuing dialogue with the Morsi government.

The plan to topple the MB was built around a plot to assassinate Morsi in his residence on December 5. However, it was exposed by a loyal mid-level presidential guard hours before it was to take place. With the help of the MB, Morsi was able to thwart the plot, though he declined to expose it or discuss it publicly.

In March 2013, NSF leader ElBaradei met with Shafiq and Bin Zayed in the UAE. They all agreed that the only way to dislodge Morsi and the MB from power was by undermining his rule and the stability of the country internally and convincing Western governments, particularly the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany, to back a military takeover. According to a recent WSJ report, a series of meetings took place in the Naval Officers Club between senior military officers, fulool representatives including the attorney of billionaire and Mubarak crony, Ahmed Ezz, the architect of the 2010 fraudulent parliamentary elections, and opposition leaders including ElBaradei. According to this report, which was not refuted or denied by any side, the army generals told the opposition that they would not move to oust Morsi unless millions of people take to the streets on their side.

The Plot Thickens

While the opposition was sending mixed messages about whether or not it would participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, the MB and its Islamist allies were preparing for the impending contests. Meanwhile, many of the youth and revolutionary groups, which spearheaded the 2011 uprising, were frustrated with the political scene: A regime that ignored their demands and an ineffective opposition bent on obstructionism. Suddenly, a new youth movement came to the fore in late April 2013. Its previously obscure leaders called it Tamarrud or Rebellion. Their stated reason for launching the movement was to collect 15 million signatures from the public, a million more than Morsi received in his presidential bid, to demand early presidential elections.

Opposition groups immediately embraced Tamarrud and promised to help it reach its goal. Billionaire businessman and severe MB critic Sawiris claimed in early July that he gave millions of dollars worth of publicity and support to the group. Moreover, the machinery of the former National Democratic Party (NDP), Mubarak’s political party, was in full force, as many of its former officials led the efforts in providing resources and collecting signatures across Egypt. Meanwhile, private media outlets started a vicious vilification campaign against Morsi and the MB. For several months, over a dozen satellite channels were devoted to the demonization of Morsi and his group. They were accused of every crime and blamed for every problem the country faced. At times even the public media, which is supposed to be neutral, joined in this campaign. In addition, the pan-Arab, Saudi-financed, and headquartered in the UAE, Al-Arabiyya satellite channel, joined the campaign in earnest by repeatedly promoting Tamarrud activities and featuring opposition figures. In one instance a famous host was inadvertently taped while holding a paper with the answers to his questions as he was interviewing a Tamarrud spokesman.

Strikingly, not only was the MB ill-equipped to deal with this propaganda warfare, but also to its detriment, it did not take it seriously. Even when their Islamist allies warned the MB leadership about the impending potential overthrow a week before Morsi was toppled, they dismissively answered that, “they (the opposition) had previously held twenty-five feeble demonstrations, and this one would just be their twenty-sixth.”

There are two major reasons why Morsi and the MB were not worried about the impending demonstrations. First, army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi repeatedly assured Morsi that the army would not topple the government and would stay loyal to the democratic process. Even when Sisi issued a call for compromise a week before the fateful day of June 30th, he told the president that he had nothing to worry about and that he had to issue this warning in order to mollify some of his military generals.  The second reason was that Morsi and the MB were regularly assured by U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson that the U.S. would not support any move by the military to depose a democratically elected president.

Meanwhile, ElBaradei was fully engaged in contacting world leaders to convince them that the only way out for Egypt was the dismissal and overthrow of Morsi. In early July he proudly admitted, “I spoke with both of them (Obama and Kerry) extensively and tried to convince them of the need to depose Morsi.” Furthermore, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait pressed the U.S. to support the impending military intervention in Egypt. Ironically, during May and June, Western leaders, including Obama and Kerry, pressured Morsi and the MB leadership to appoint ElBaradei as Prime Minister while the latter was arguing for Morsi’s overthrow.

As part of the demonization campaign to convince the West that the popularity of the MB was dwindling, the Arab American Institute (AAI) in Washington D.C. was commissioned to conduct a poll about the declining popularity of Morsi and the MB. AAI president and UAE lackey, James Zogby, called for a press conference on June 28 to announce that “Morsi heads a minority government whose public support is now limited to its own party,” and that, “Egyptians have lost confidence in President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s ability to govern.” He further predicted that, “millions of Egyptians would demonstrate in the streets against Morsi and the MB government.” No one in the press conference bothered to ask who actually commissioned and paid for the survey that claimed to poll more than five thousand people across Egypt.

Unpacking the lies

All Democracies do it: America, France, Argentina, Brazil

By mid-June, the campaign was in full force. Many political science professors and public intellectuals from the opposition including Waheed Abdelmagid and Hasan Naf’ah, as well as constitutional law professors such as Noor Farahat and Husam Issa, were arguing across several television networks that the call for “early presidential elections” was not only an acceptable mechanism available in all democracies, but that it had been used many times before. As examples, they cited Nixon’s resignation in 1974, France’s Charles de Gaulle in 1969, Argentina’s Raúl Alfonsín in 1989, and Brazil’s Fernando Collor de Mello in 1992.

The intellectual dishonesty of these liberal elites is appalling, since none of the examples they cited were actual calls for “early presidential elections,” let alone the deposing of a democratically elected president by a military coup. Nixon resigned the presidency on the eve of his impeachment by Congress. Gerald Ford, his vice president was sworn in as president. No early elections. De Gaulle voluntarily resigned the presidency after more than 10 years in power after promising that he would do so if the public did not endorse his reforms of the Senate and local governments. When the public rejected his referendum, he kept his promise although he was not obligated to do so constitutionally. After six years in power, Alfonsín was not even on the ballot for the 1989 presidential elections. However, both parliamentary and presidential elections were held simultaneously in the summer of 1989. The new president was supposed to be inaugurated five months later, but when his party’s candidate was defeated by the opposition, Alfonsín stepped down early to allow the new president from the opposition to assume power. No early elections. After two years in power, De Mello was impeached by the legislature for corruption in a constitutional proceeding and resigned. The fact that no constitutional mechanism in the world allows for a removal by popular protests did not bother these liberal figures who were intent on removing a freely elected president by the military regardless of the dangerous precedent it sets.

Noted author Alaa Al-Aswani not only cited some of the above examples as valid precedents to depose and overthrow Morsi, but he did not miss a beat or see the irony when he showered the military with accolades before ending his weekly column with his usual declaration “Democracy is the Solution.” It is a fact that some democracies have a constitutional mechanism to recall a head of state. Although there is no such mechanism for the U.S. president, many state constitutions allow the recall of their governors. In 2003, the people of California recalled Gov. Gray Davis. But that recall was not the result of street protests and the intervention of the National Guard. Rather, it was a constitutional process that involved the signing and authentication of millions of petitions by the State Supreme Court that authorized the recall process. Although the 2012 Egyptian constitution allows for the impeachment of the president by parliament, it did not allow for a recall.

Enough is Enough: End Electricity Cuts and Fuel Shortages

Throughout the month of June the media onslaught on Morsi’s government not only continued to blame it for all the ills afflicting Egyptian society, but also intensified as three particular problems were highlighted: the deterioration in security, frequent power outages that lasted hours and affected not only residential but also industrial areas, and shortages of fuel, causing hours long lines at gas stations.

Egypt has 2480 gas stations, with about 400 stations run by the government. The other two thousand sations are owned privately by business tycoons who were given these licenses during the Mubarak era because they were close to the regime and considered very loyal. Morsi’s government asserted that each station received its share and that there was no reason for the shortages. In fact, a few days before he was deposed Morsi warned gas station owners he’d revoke their licences if they refused to provide their customers with fuel. Khalid Al-Shami, a youth activist who was with the opposition until the military coup, exposed the plot when he announced in public that the handful of owners of the privately-run gas stations conspired to create the manufactured fuel shortage crisis in order to build public discontent against Morsi. The best evidence that the problem of fuel shortage was manufactured is that it evaporated overnight. Since the moment Morsi was deposed there has been no fuel shortage.

As for the security detrioration and electricity cuts, the conspiracy was deeper. The police which refused to protect entire neighborhoods during Morsi’s rule has returned back in full force. Criminals and thugs who terrorized people in the streets are back under control by the same Mubarak-era security apparatus, except for the areas where Morsi’s supporters demonstrate. Electricity outages that lasted for hours every day in almost every neighborhood have disappeared overnight. The mystery of solving these two intractable problems were uncovered this week. Out of the thirty-five member cabinet chosen by the military, eight were retained including the Interior Minister in charge of the police and the Minister of Electricity. One would assume that the first ministers to be sacked by the post-coup government would be those whom the public complained about their incompetence. The opposition who called for dismissing these ministers were now hailing them and cheering their retention. In short, many public officials who professed loyalty to the hapless president were actually undermining his rule all along, while the opposition accused him of packing the government with MB loyalists.

Numbers Game: If you tell a lie loud and long enough, people will eventually believe it

By the second week of June, Tamarrud announced that it had collected more than 10 million signatures within six weeks. Just ten days later, that number had risen to 22 million signatures. Shortly thereafter, Tamarrud’s spokesman Mahmoud Badr announced that the goal of the June 30 demonstration had shifted. It was no longer calling for early presidential elections, but now demanded the overthrow of Morsi, replacing him with the head of the SCC, the annulment of the constitution, the banning of the MB and the arrest and trials of its leaders. For the next few days the media kept up the drumbeat until the fateful day arrived.

By June 30, every actor knew his part. By mid-afternoon Tamarrud announced that the number on the streets were over 10 million. Soon the number became 14 then 17 then 22 million. Eventually the media claimed that the June 30 demonstrations across Egypt were the biggest in the history of mankind with as many as 33 million people in the streets. Military planes flew in formations entertaining the crowds in the skies above Tahrir Square throwing Egyptian flags and bottled water, and drawing hearts as a show of love and affection to the demonstrators. The army even provided a military helicopter to Khalid Yousef, a famous movie director known for his support of the opposition and hostility to the MB. Yousef recorded the crowd and produced a film that was immediately shown not only in every anti-Morsi TV network across Egypt but also on state television. Within hours, every media outlet claimed that the numbers were in the tens of millions with people in Tahrir Square alone reaching between 5 and 8 million. On the day of the coup, fireworks, laser shows, and festivities were on full display.

As I have argued before there is no doubt that there was a huge public outcry and anger against Morsi and the MB. But were the numbers as high as claimed? In October 1995, hundreds of thousands descended on the National Mall in Washington D.C. for what was promoted as the Million Man March that filled the entire area. The organizers claimed to have reached one million while the DC Park Police estimated the crowd to be four hundred thousand. The area of the national mall is about 146 acres. Thus, there were between 2750 people (police estimate) to 6750 people per acre (organizers’ estimate). In other words, there were 0.7-1.7 people per square meter.

In contrast, the area of Tahrir Square is 12.3 acres. As Amjad Almonzer, a communication engineer and a Google Earth Expert, conclusively proves: even if all side streets to Tahrir Square were included, the area would not exceed 25 acres. Even if four people were counted per square meter and dozens of surrounding buildings were removed, there would be no more than 400 thousand people on that day. If the 5-6 million number promoted by the proponents of the military coup were to be believed, it means that there were 50-60 people per square meter (5-6 per sq. ft.), clearly a physical impossibility. Even if one million were at every inch in Tahrir Square and all the surrounding streets, there would have to be 10 people per square meter, another impossibility. Even BBC eventually questioned these inflated numbers.

So at best there were less than half a million people in Tahrir Square at the peak of the demonstration and there were probably an equal number across Egypt. Therefore, the will of the Egyptian electorate was sacrificed when one or two million people protested for a day or two.

Can You Keep A Secret? The Anti-Morsi Media spells it out

Even before a single demonstrator went to  Tahrir, Okaz, a Saudi daily newspaper preemptively published the details of the scenario that unfolded three days later when the military took over. The following day, Al-Ahram, an official newspaper and Egypt’s largest circulated publication, had the headline “Either Resign or Be Overthrown.” This report foretold in frightening details how the events would unfold, including the military ultimatum, the overthrow of Morsi, the arrest of the MB leaders, and the suspension of the constitution. By July 3 nightfall, Gen. Sisi announced the overthrow of Morsi, the suspension of the constitution, and the beginning of a political roadmap. It was exactly the same roadmap President Morsi announced earlier, and the opposition rejected. The only difference was his ouster.

The Americans Fold their Hands

Throughout the crisis, U.S. Ambassador Patterson played the role of defending the democratic process and the rule of law. When Gen. Sisi issued his ultimatum to the president on July 1, the U.S. adminstration showed its true colors as National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Morsi’s foreign policy advisor, Essam al-Haddad, that it was over: either Morsi should resign or he would be overthrown. She advised that he should resign which Morsi summarily rejected. Once told by Rice of the impending coup Morsi videotaped a 22 minute speech on a smart phone vowing not to resign or submit to the impending coup. His aid quickly emailed the impromtu speech to his supporters. Within the hour he was taken into custody not to be seen or heard from again.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke to the coup leader Gen. Sisi at least five times during the crisis. He advised that they announce the elections would be held as soon as possible. In addition, he assured Sisi that the administration would maintain its military aid. Within days, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns went to Egypt and met with the coup leaders and their civilian enablers. While in Cairo he ignored all the facts surrounding the overthrow of an elected president. In essence, his message was to support the coup and its aftermath, as he stated, “The United States is firmly committed to helping Egypt succeed in this second chance to realize the promise of the revolution.”

As far back as March 2012, Burns met with MB General Guide Mohammad Badie and his deputy Khayrat Al-Shater. He offered that if the MB maintains the peace treaty with Israel the U.S. would help secure $20 Billion from the GCC countries to help Egypt’s economy. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait declined to offer any real help when Morsi was in power. However, within two days of the military coup, Burns’s promise was fulfilled, but to the coup leaders. The leaders of the three countries congratulated Gen. Sisi (not the puppet president installed by the military) for deposing Morsi and pledged to send a $12 Billion aid package as a gift to help stabilize the economy.

Furthermore, Burns promised the coup leader that the US military aid will continue and that the stalled IMF loan that has been languishing for over two years would be promptly approved. In rejecting to call the overthrow of a freely elected president by the military a coup, the U.S. administration demonstrated, yet again, that lofty ideals and rhetoric are sacrificed at the alter of misplaced short term national interests.

Perhaps one measure to assess the regional ramifications of the latest events is the reaction by Israel and the Palestinians. When Mubarak was deposed on February 11, 2011, the Palestinians were jubilant and dancing in the streets, while Israel was in mourning. But when Morsi was overthrown by the military on July 3 the roles were reversed.

Remember Human Rights? Free Speech? Freedom of Assembly?

By the time the assembled speakers behind Gen. Sisi led by ElBaradei, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and the Coptic Pope finished their blessings of the military coup, the security forces were in full force as hundreds of MB supporters including senior leaders were rounded up on the flimsy charge of instigating violence. Their assets were frozen and their buildings seized. Morsi was detained as Mubarak-era prosecutors threatened to charge him with “escaping prison” when he was illegally arrested by Mubarak security officers on January 27, 2011 during the early days of the 2011 revolution. Astonishingly, the prosecutors also announced that they would investigate the president for “contacting and communicating with foreign elements,” such as Western leaders during his tenure. More than a dozen pro-Morsi media outlets including TV channels, websites, and newspapers were raided and closed. By July 8, the army killed over 80 pro-Morsi demonstrators and injured over 1000 when they were praying and protesting peacefully in front of the Presidential Guards Club, where Morsi is believed to be detained. So far, more than 270 people have been killed and thousands injured by the army and security forces across Egypt.

With overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the military claimed that its soldiers were attacked. Liberal elites and human rights advocates as well as the media mouthpieces echoed the military’s claims and blamed the protesters for being near a military installation. But the Presidential Guards Club is no such thing. Though owned by the Presidential Guards, it is a social and sports club, where officers and their families go for recreational purposes. Since the miltary coup, the Egyptian people have been subjected to a military propaganda unseen since the Nasser era. While Morsi did not shut down a single media outlet despite the demonization campaign against him, all pro-Morsi channels and websites have been shut down or severely curtailed.

Double Standards: No to Morsi’s Decree and Prosecutor. But Yes to the Military’s

The liberal opposition was outraged and went into overdrive when Morsi issued his Nov. 2012 constitutional declaration and sacked the corrupt Mubarak-appointed general prosecutor, a major demand by the revolutionary and youth groups. Despite his good intentions of accelerating the establishment of the democratic institutions that were dismantled by the SCC, Morsi was accused of authoritarianism and heavyhandedness. Yet, most liberals and secularists praised the constitutional decree of the puppet president who was installed by the military shortly after the coup. I will discuss the details of this decree in a subsequent article but suffice it to say that it bestowed on a president chosen by the military powers that Morsi, the democratically-elected president, did not have, since much of his powers were transferred to the Prime Minister in the 2012 constitiution. Moreover, the liberal opposition was in an uproar when Morsi unilaterally appointed a general prosecutor with unquestionable integrity, to the point that corrupt judges and prosecutors harrassed him and surrounded his office for days demanding his resignation. Yet, when a new prosecutor was also unilaterally appointed by the new interim president, not a single judge, prosecutor, or opposition leader objected. Upon assuming office, the first order of business for this new general prosecutor was to freeze the assets of Islamist leaders and order their arrests.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you shouldn’t call it a chicken

ElBaradei, who was elected to nothing, is now Egypt’s Vice President, while Morsi, who was freely and democratically elected by the Egyptian electorate, is detained and his whereabouts are unknown. Both of these outcomes were determined by the will of military generals and cheered on by their civilian enablers. The deceit and lies demonstrated by the Egyptian liberal and secular elites are astounding. For years, they taunted the Islamists to respect democratic principles, the rule of law, and submit to the will of the people. They warned against dictatorships, military rule, or sacrificing democractic principles, human rights, personal freedoms, and minority protections. Believing in democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law is a lifetime commitment. One cannot say, “I will only have these values on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. But for the rest of the week, I will look the other way.” That is called hypocrisy.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on The Grand Scam: Spinning Egypt’s Military Coup

IsraHell Hit with EU War Crimes Sanctions

NOVANEWS

EU sanctions keep IsraHell guessing

Palestinian protesters confront Israeli Occupation ForcesPalestinian protesters confront Israeli Occupation Forces’ soldier near the West Bank town of Idna. (file photo)
By Gordon Duff and Press TV

In a surprise last minute move, the European Union set forth a strong set of economic sanctions against Israel, leaving that nation both surprised and reeling.

The sanctions, stimulated by what the EU refers to as “Israeli intransigence” regarding peace talks with the Palestinians, cover all financial dealings, loans, awards, transfer of “instruments” and severely limiting economic cooperation between Israel and all EU member nations starting in 2014.

The sanctions are against any Israeli “economic activity,” not just within what has been referred to as the “occupied territories” but broad areas of Israel that had been designated for the establishment of an “Arab State” in 1949.

Those territories extend in an almost contiguous line from the Lebanon border to the Red Sea.

Israel has referred to these territories as “Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.”  The term “Judea” alone could refer to the entire Roman province including large regions of Lebanon and Jordan.

Thus, one might question why the European Union would include such broad territories, clearly intended to offset Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demands for “defensible borders.”

The EU has gone much further than imagined, an act Israel sees as an “ambush.”

ISRAELI RESPONSE

Israel has responded with a number of objections citing, initially that they feel the “EU attacks us because we are small,” as cited by Gil Ronen with Arutz Sheva, Israel National News.

The sanctions, to be published Friday, July 19, 2013, will prohibit all 28 European Union member states from any economic contacts with Israeli “entities” that operate outside the 1949 Armistice lines.

These territories differ greatly from the ceasefire lines of the 1967 war and include up to 25% of the territory of Israel, according to an article in Arutz Sheva.

According to that publication, the EU has made further differentiations based on the 1967 truce lines, clearly delineating territories seized as “occupied” and requiring Israel to identify any economic activity originating from those regions for exclusion.

EU officials have commented that there has been significant pressure to modify and limit the approve sanctions prior to their upcoming publication.

SYRIA

The decision to move against Israel falls on the eve of announcements from France and then Britain to hold back materiel support for pro-Israeli factions fighting against the Syrian government.

Germany had previously announced that no aid would be forthcoming.

The United States, although announcing, in June, that arms would be supplied, has withheld promised military aid though the Syrian government has made significant advances against rebel held enclaves.

ISRAEL’S POSITION

Quoting a high ranking Israeli official:

“The attack by the EU disproportionate and is likely to have no positive effect on restarting meaningful dialog over the Palestinian question.  When it comes to disputed territories, the Europeans prefer to attack a small country like Israel instead of taking on more powerful states, because they are afraid of retaliation.

We were only informed at the last moment.”

Israel’s position was confirmed by Deputy Foreign Minister, Ze’ev Elkin.  In a statement to the press, Elkin referred to the EU directive as a “mistake” likely to undermine any progress already made.

“We are not ready to sign on this clause in our agreements with the European Union.”

Elkin also cited Israel’s failure to get in front of the issues that led to this confrontation which will, as he also stated, “halt all cooperation in economics” and be extremely harmful to Israel’s economy.

CONTRADICTORY EU POSITIONS

Speaking for the European Union, David Kriss is quoted:

“These are guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activity in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards.

(Sanctions)It makes (sic) a distinction between Israel and the entities in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.”

It’s a very worrying initiative launched at a bad time, because it only reinforces the Palestinians’ refusal to restart negotiations.”

Kriss then called for Israel to cooperate fully with the sanctions, threatening Israel with defunding of joint projects already scheduled, projects that would otherwise not be impacted by sanctions.

PALESTINIAN RESPONSE

Arutz Sheva reports that Palestinian leaders will only negotiate based on pre-1967 lines and “if Israel freezes all settlement activity in Judea and Samaria.”

Thus far, the world press has been unaware of these expanded Palestinian demands that would require Israel to not only stop all settlement activities in areas referred to as “occupied” but over wider areas now settled by up to 1.8 million Israelis.

There are already over 550,000 Israelis living in the “occupied zones,” primarily eastern Jerusalem, known as Al Quds, and the West Bank.

The EU position impacts nearly one third of Israel’s population, one third of its economic base.

ALL ABOUT MONEY

The real impetus for increased pressure on Israel has been the failure of western economies and their disastrous currencies.

The real subtext for scaling back support for Israel has been seen in the strangely unreported change in America’s deficits.

During the last fiscal quarter, the United States has shown a net budget surplus for the first time in decades.  Two of the last three months have yielded surpluses in excess of $100 billion.

The message has been clear to EU leaders, as America has drawn down its role as “policeman of the world,” the real security issue, potential economic collapse, has become less of a threat.

What is unlikely to be admitted is the simple fact that the projection of military power to secure resources, when those resources are exploited by multi-national entities, offers a very poor return.

Thus, Israel’s current dilemma is much more rooted in its role as an economic liability than in any concerns regarding human rights

Posted in Europe, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on IsraHell Hit with EU War Crimes Sanctions

European Union Adds Hezbollah to Terror List

NOVANEWS

zionistEU

nytimes.com

European Union foreign ministers Monday added the military wing of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group and political party, to a list of terrorist organizations.

“It is good that the E.U. has decided to call Hezbollah what it is: a terrorist organization,” Frans Timmermans, the foreign minister of the Netherlands, said in a statement shortly after the decision.

The move would have the effect of “limiting its capacity to act,” said Mr. Timmermans, referring to Hezbollah.

The decision to put members of Hezbollah’s military wing on the European Union terror list required the unanimous consent of the bloc’s 28 members. Sanctions are expected to include travel bans and asset freezes.

Britain led the effort after a terrorist attack in Bulgaria a year ago that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver and the conviction in March of a Hezbollah operative in Cyprus for plotting a similar attack. Britain said the attack and planning of the second attack were carried out on European Union soil, leaving members with no other choice than to blacklist the military wing.

Israel, the Netherlands and the United States, which already list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, pressed hard for the bloc’s member states to follow suit.

The decision, long sought by Israel, follows another move last week by the European Union that upset the government of Israel: imposing financing restrictions to push Israel to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians.

Support for the sanctions against Hezbollah grew in recent months because of the group’s strong support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in his military campaign against a two-year uprising.

To make the decision possible, Ireland and Austria were among the countries that dropped their opposition. Both countries have peacekeepers in the Middle East patrolling cease-fire zones like those separating Israel from Lebanon and Syria.

Those countries were wary of destabilizing Lebanon by cracking down on militant elements like Hezbollah, and of eroding their own influence on events there

Posted in Europe, LebanonComments Off on European Union Adds Hezbollah to Terror List

From Turkey with Love: Another IsraHell attack on Syria?

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Global Research

Prime Minister Erdogan and his AK Party government have a track record of being deceitful, especially in regards to both Israel and Syria.

No one should be surprised to hear that Israel and Turkey are collaborating together against the Syrians. With the aim of tightening the front against Syria, President Obama even travelled to Israel in March 2013 to directly broker a quick rapprochement between the governments of Israel and Turkey. Getting a public nudge from the Obama Administration, Israel and Turkey would announce that their diplomatic row was over only two days after NATO announced it had put together contingency plans for operations in Syria on March 20, 2013. Even when relations were publicly sour between Ankara and Tel Aviv, the two countries maintained military and commercial ties.

Despite the fact that Prime Minister Erdogan denounced Tel Aviv for attacking Syria, the first fruits of Israeli and Turkish collaboration became visible in May 2013 when Israeli warplanes attacked a Syrian military research facility in the town of Jamraya with US approval, as admitted by President Obama to Telemundo. Right after the Israeli attacks the Turkish and Israeli militaries launched simultaneous exercises on their respective borders with Syria. Although the military operations were presented as uncoordinated events, both Ankara and Tel Aviv were coordinating with one another in a military posture against Syria. The Israeli and Turkish moves on their borders with Syria were probably aimed at preventing Syria from responding through intimidation. The Turkish government would also put extra pressure on the Syrians by blaming them for a terrorist attack in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, which the Turkish activist group of internet hackers named Redhack would reveal was known about well in advance by Turkey’s Gendarmerie Intelligence.

Israeli Merkava tanks roll during a military exercise in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria on July 18, 2013. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)

Israeli Merkava tanks roll during a military exercise in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria on July 18, 2013. (AFP Photo / Jack Guez)

What Happened in Latakia?

Just when it began becoming apparent that the US and its allies were facing serious regional setbacks in the Middle East and North Africa, reports began circulating about an explosion in Latakia. Unverified reports, originating from anonymous sources in Israel in early July 2013, began claiming that Tel Aviv had launched an attack against the Syrian port of Latakia that caused a massive explosion. As the rumours began to circulate in the media, it was dubiously claimed that the Israeli attacks were launched against shipments of Russian-made S-300 air defence systems that were in the process of being delivered to Syria by the Kremlin. US officials would enter the picture by deliberately leaking more information about what happened in Latakia by claiming that Israel used its air force to bomb the port there to destroy a military depot filled with Russian-made Yakhont land-to-sea anti-ship missiles.

Then, on July 15, RT’s Paula Slier would report from Tel Aviv that Israel had attacked Latakia by using a Turkish military base. This would upset the Turkish government, which would deny it and say anyone making the claims was involved in an “act of betrayal.” In response to the Russian report, Turkish officials would up the ante by claiming that the Russian anti-ship missiles in the Syrian port were destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon and that the US and Israel had coordinated the attacks by holding meetings in Turkey with the anti-government militias operating inside Syria. Uzi Mahnaimi would complicate the matter by reporting through the British press that the Israeli attacks were launched from a German-built Dolphin from the sea, which essentially vindicated Turkey by refuting the claim that a Turkish base was used by the Israelis.

 

Syrian rebels head to the town of Bsankol in the northwestern province of Idlib to join comrades fighting regime forces for the control of the highway that connects Idlib with Latakia on July 11, 2013. (AFP Photo / Daniel Leal-Olivas)
Syrian rebels head to the town of Bsankol in the northwestern province of Idlib to join comrades fighting regime forces for the control of the highway that connects Idlib with Latakia on July 11, 2013. (AFP Photo / Daniel Leal-Olivas)

What has to be understood is that countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia conceal their collaboration with Tel Aviv due to the heavy opposition against the Israeli occupation of Palestine among their respective societies. What is also important to note is that a Turkish jet was downed in 2012 by Syria when it was following a route that was used by Israeli jets near the Syrian-Turkish border. The use of this aerial route by Tel Aviv has never really been challenged by Turkey. It is also part of an important pattern that shows how close the tactics used by Israel and Turkey against Syria are.

From Turkey with love! (The first time around)

On June 22, 2012 a Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber from Malatya in Turkey was shot down above Syrian airspace. There would be conflicting reports about the fate of the pilots. The Turkish media would report that they were rescued while Syrian sources would claim that they were captured. The fighter-bomber’s two pilots, however, would reportedly be found dead trapped under the jet’s wreckage almost two weeks later.

Perhaps coming as a surprise to many, the Syrian and Turkish governments would conduct joint search and rescue efforts to find the airplane’s wreck and the two missing pilots. Damascus would even allow Turkish rescue units to enter Syrian territorial waters and make the proposal that a joint Syrian-Turkish military committee be formed to investigate what really happened. Syria would even apologize to Turkey and argue that its troops thought that the Turkish warplane was an Israeli jet violating Syrian airspace.

Initially, it was clear that the Turkish government did not know how to react and made several contradictory statements. Erdogan would even say that he was unaware if the Syrians had shot the jet down and was waiting for precise information about the incident. Ultimately, Ankara would claim that the Turkish jet was shot down by the Syrian military without any warnings inside international airspace above the Mediterranean Sea. Later the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network—the Fox News of the Arab World—would claim that the two Turkish pilots were executed by the Syrians and had their corpses planted into the wreckage under instructions from the Russian government, which also directed Damascus to apologize and then tried to manage the entire event.

What had caught the Turks, and NATO, by surprise was the fact that the Syrians had detected the F-4 fighter-bomber. The Turkish jet was actually spying against Syria on an intelligence mission conducting low altitude reconnaissance work and testing the air defence systems of Syria. This is why the Turkish government quickly changed its position several times. Expecting to be exposed, the Turkish government at first played stupid. At the outset Turkish officials talked about the incident like it was a mistake. They even admitted that the Turkish plane had crossed into Syrian airspace, but said it was an honest accident during a training mission. When Damascus said nothing, however, Erdogan and his government began to aggressively blame the Syrians of unjustified aggression.

A Turkish F-16 fighter jet approaches the tarmac of Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish city of Adana July 4, 2012. (Reuters / Umit Bektas)
A Turkish F-16 fighter jet approaches the tarmac of Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish city of Adana July 4, 2012. (Reuters / Umit Bektas)

The Syrians would respond to Ankara’s lies by relying on the technical facts. From a technical standpoint the Turkish government’s story that Ankara’s jet was shot by the Syrian military while it was flying outside of Syrian airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was impossible. The reason was that the Turkish warplane was downed by an anti-aircraft artillery machine gun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers, which can only operate from land and operates on the basis of visual confirmation. It would have been impossible for the Syrians to use the anti-aircraft machine gun to target the Turkish jet if it were in international airspace, because it was out of firing range. Surface-to-air missiles would have had to been used instead by the Syrians. Moreover, Syria would even warn NATO as a whole, after Turkey called a NATO consultative meeting under the Washington Treaty’s Article 4, not to even think of violating Syria’s airspace, territorial waters, or land borders.

Many of the same tactics that were used against the Libyans by Turkey and NATO have been recycled against the Syrians. The failed Turkish spy mission for NATO in 2012 was actually a repeat of what happen to Libya in 2011. A Syrian pilot had defected by flying with his jet from Al-Dumayr, just northeast of Damascus, to Jordon’s King Hussein Air Base in Mafraq on June 21, 2012. The Syrian pilot, Colonel Al-Hamadeh, even sent his family out of Syria to Turkey before he defected. From Jordon his Syrian jet’s flight codes were passed to NATO and Turkey to disguise or cloak their aerial units as friendly Syrian ones. The Turkish military and NATO had tried to disguise the Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber as a Syrian jet using the stolen codes. The Syrians, however, were aware of what happened earlier to Libya when two Libyan warplanes defected to Malta and handed over their military flight codes to NATO, which used those codes months later when it attacked Libya as a means of bypassing Libya’s air defence system.

The AK Party’s dirty hands

The AK Party has dirty hands and has tried to hide many of its activities from its own citizens. When the idea that a Turkish military jet could have been involved in operations against Syria was reported in 2012 by members of the Turkish media, the AK Party government began a very aggressive campaign to censor them. The Turkish government began drafting new media laws to prevent criticism against the Turkish government and Erdogan attacked the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet and anyone that dared to question the official narrative provided by his government as a “traitor” and “enemy of the state.”

Skeptics cannot be blamed for thinking that the story about the Israeli military strike on Latakia was planted to disguise the miserable failure of Washington’s regime change project in Syria, Israel’s growing fears about the regional environment, and the regional decline of the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite Ankara’s denials, the revelation of Turkish involvement in the events surrounding Latakia is pushing the different players involved to talk more. It should be remembered that Prime Minister Erdogan and the AK Party government in Turkey have a track record of being very deceitful, especially in regards to Turkey’s cooperating with Israel and their government’s aggression against the Syrians. In this context, the news that Israel used a Turkish base against Syria to avoid detection should come as no surprise either. Even the same tactical approaches were used by both the Israeli and Turkish militaries in regards to entering Syrian airspace from the Syrian Arab Republic’s northwestern coast.

Things will become cleared once, and if, more governments start talking openly about the events that occurred in Latakia. Only then can there be a clear picture of what really happened in Latakia. Nevertheless, there should be no mistake about it that the Israeli-Turkish alliance never really ended and that Israel and Turkey are comrades-in-arms against the Syrians.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on From Turkey with Love: Another IsraHell attack on Syria?

Aid workers Targetted by Zio-NATO Syria’

NOVANEWS

British aid workers in Syria are being targeted by jihadists who are seeking to radicalise them, security sources have said.

British aid workers in Syria are being targeted by jihadists who are seeking to radicalise them, security sources have said.

The large number of humanitarian aid convoys going into the war torn country are becoming exposed to hardline groups in areas controlled by those opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, according to The Independent.

Security sources told the newspaper that there are “cadres” who come back from Syria after going on well-meaning aid missions with new training and links to extremist groups.

A Whitehall source told The Independent: “Aid groups’ work inevitably takes you to places where some serious groups could be operating.

“Some will go out there sympathetic to the general cause, but there will be a cadre that come back with new training and links to groups.”

In recent weeks Syria’s neighbours have closed or tightened several border crossings, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded within Syria’s dangerous frontier regions.

The United Nations said fighting between Assad and the opposition has driven 1.7 million people to flee. Four million people need humanitarian aid in the country.

In April the British Government began funding civilian rebels inside Syria to oversee hundreds of millions of pounds in aid, but not all of the money is reaching its intended recipients.

Aid workers and government officials told The Daily Telegraph that up to 60 per cent of earlier aid sent by the outside world had been stolen by rebel forces, sold for weapons, or squandered.

In recent days there has been confusion over whether Britain will arm the Syrian rebels, with the Foreign Secretary William Hague telling a committee of MPs that “we haven’t ruled out any option”.

The outgoing head of the armed forces, General Sir David Richards, warned in an interview with The Daily Telegraph today that Britain has to be prepared to “go to war” if it hopes to restrain the Syrian regime by implementing no-fly zones and arming the rebels.

British intelligence agencies fear aid workers will fall under the guidance of Jabhat al-Nusra, a group connected to al-Qaeda.

It is believed that among thousands of foreigners more than 100 British men have travelled to fight with opposition forces.

Another source told The Independent that Syria has become a big “ungoverned space” which is concerning counter-terrorism agencies.

David Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said that conflicts like Syria “have the potential to radicalise individuals in the UK”.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Aid workers Targetted by Zio-NATO Syria’

Zionist Puppet Saudi Crown Prince Meets With Syrian Zio-NATO Rat’s

NOVANEWS

wahhabi

al-monitor.com

Yesterday [July 18], Saudi Arabia became the exclusive patron of the Syrian National Coalition [SNC]. Two weeks after removing Qatar from the leadership of one of the most prominent Syrian opposition formations and putting in place a leadership composed of tribal, secular and Muslim Brotherhood types, Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz received a SNC delegation headed by Ahmad al-Jarba.

A member of the delegation told As-Safir that the meeting lasted a little more than an hour and discussed only generalities. But the message Riyadh wanted to send was clear: Saudi Arabia is still betting on the SNC despite its repeated failures. The other message was that the coalition is no longer just a security issue run by Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan, but an essential political ally in the war on the Syrian regime.

At the same time, the members of the Friends of Syria coalition are dragging their feet with regard to supporting the armed opposition. The United Kingdom and France have not yet fulfilled their promise to provide weapons. The Pentagon denied that it intends to train opposition fighters, which would change the course of fighting in southern Syria and in Daraa. That area still awaits the arrival of fighters from US training camps in Jordan. US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The situation doesn’t allow for a no-fly zone.” The British government has leaked that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may remain in power for years. Assad was not even mentioned in the discussion between the Saudi crown prince and the SNC in Jiddah.

The  delegation included Jarba, Secretary-General Badr Jamous and Vice Presidents Salem al-Muslit al-Jabouri, Suheir al-Atassi and Farouk Tayfur. They were accompanied by Michel Kilo, Kamal al-Labwani and SNC President George Sabra.

The Saudi crown prince met with the SNC delegation and listened to their demands. But, according to what one coalition member told As-Safir, he provided no answers because the issues raised during the meeting are not for Salman to decide. They require meetings with the Saudi “specialists” who are following up on the Syrian file.

A member of the delegation said that the Saudi crown prince, who listened to Jarba describe the Syrian people’s suffering, did not mention Assad during the meeting and did not criticize the Syrian regime. Salman told the delegation that Saudi Arabia has no special interests in Syria and all what the kingdom wants is to see a secure and stable Syria that is an ally.

When asked about Saudi Arabia’s position regarding one of the proposed settlements to be discussed in Geneva, Salman remained noncommittal.

A coalition source said that Saudi Arabia, like other countries that are helping the opposition, has no long-term strategy on how to confront the Syrian regime. The source said that — in the coming days — Jarba, Kilo and Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss will discuss relief aid and armament issues with Saudi officials.

The SNC is awaiting a Saudi decision to boost its armament aid tenfold and increase the number of joint operation rooms that are managing the distribution of weapons from Turkey and Jordan to Syria. Only the Free Syrian Army (FSA) willThe SNC is asking for more pressure on Jordan so that the latter would allow the passage of weapons into southern Syria. The SNC also wants Turkey and Jordan to mobilize thousands of officers and soldiers present in the Syrian refugee camps, to reduce the number of civilians in the FSA and strengthen it.

Jarba, Kilo and Idriss are expected to meet with Bandar bin Sultan to coordinate the armament operations. According to diplomatic sources in Paris, during his trip to France, Germany and Britain, Prince Bandar sought to assure those countries that Saudi Arabian weapons will only be given to the right people in north Syria, and that some anti-aircraft missiles donated by Saudi Arabia will not fall into the hands of extremists.

Bandar urged those countries to fulfill their promise of arming the opposition. August is nearing, which frees EU states from the arming ban.

With the exception of the Jiddah meeting with the Saudi crown prince, there is no encouraging news for the Syrian opposition abroad. Kerry toured the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, where some refugees asked that the United States impose a no-fly zone. Kerry replied, “I wish it were that simple.”

Kerry complained, “Many young American men were killed or disabled while fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been fighting for 12 years. We are trying to help you in various ways. We are looking into establishing safe areas and other options, but it is not that simple.”

The chief of staff of US forces, Gen. Martin Dempsey, was even less positive than Kerry. Dempsey told a congressional committee that the Pentagon is not planning to train Syrian opposition fighters. “It will not happen through the Defense Department, but maybe through other ways or other countries,” he said. He also said that the United States seeks to strengthen the opposition, but asserted that the situation is tilting in Assad’s favor.

The outgoing British army’s chief of staff Sir David Richards washed his hands from the Syrian file. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph published yesterday [July 18], he said that imposing a no-fly zone will not be enough without a military intervention on the ground.

Reuters quoted sources as saying that the British government has abandoned its plans to arm the Syrian opposition, and now believes that Assad may remain in office for years — and that the Geneva II conference may not happen until next year, if at all.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that Paris’ “position has not changed” regarding not giving the Syrian opposition highly deadly weapons.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, SyriaComments Off on Zionist Puppet Saudi Crown Prince Meets With Syrian Zio-NATO Rat’s

Syria government is stronger now, British PM admits

NOVANEWS

British Prime Minister David Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has strengthened his position in recent months, British Prime Minister David Cameron admits.

Speaking on the state-run BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Cameron said the Syrian government is stronger now than few months ago.

“I think he [Assad] may be stronger than he was a few months ago but I’d still describe the situation as a stalemate,” Cameron said.

He also said London is still committed to help the insurgents in Syria despite dorpping plans to arm them in the Arab country.

Britain pushed to lift an European Union (EU) arms embargo on Syria militants to open up the possibility for the West to arm the insurgents fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Cameron, however, held off after military chiefs warned over the risks of arming the insurgents.

According to reports, British public is largely against sending arms to the militats in Syria. There are also fears that any weapons Britain supply could fall into the hands of extremists.

Syrian government forces recaptured the strategically important town of al-Qusayr in Western Syria in June. Most of the much bigger city of Homs also has been retaken by the government troops.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 90,000 people have died and millions of others displaced in the violence.

The Western countries, including Britain, and their other regional allies, have been supporting over two years of militancy in Syria

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Syria says Russia committed to S-300 systems contract

NOVANEWS

A battery of a Russian S-300 missile defense system (file photo)

A battery of a Russian S-300 missile defense system (file photo)Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) shakes hands with Syrian deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil during their meeting in Moscow, on July 22, 2013.
A battery of a Russian S-300 missile defense system (file photo)
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil says Russia’s contract to supply Syria with the sophisticated S-300 air defense systems is still in place.

“All agreements between Russia and Syria in the area of arms deliveries are in place,” Jamil said after meeting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Monday.

Russia has refused to halt military and other cooperation with the Damascus government throughout the Syria conflict.

Moscow also condemns the West for openly siding with the rebels.

“Relations between Syria and Russia are strengthening for the good of peace in the region,” Jamil added.

He also stated that Russia and Syria are discussing the possibility of Moscow extending a loan to Damascus.

“We discussed it, although it is still early to talk of concrete figures,” Jamil said, adding, “We hope the question will be solved by the end of the year, experts are now discussing it.”

The Syrian official hoped for an agreement on the loan by the end of the year.

Lavrov, for his part, said Russia was pressing on with efforts to hold a peace conference to end the bloodshed in Syria as soon as possible.

He blamed the Syrian opposition for holding up the international conference in Geneva.

“We are continuing to meet with the government and all opposition groups to convince them all to accept the Russian-American initiative to convene the international conference as soon as possible,” Lavrov said.

“Unfortunately, most of the opposition including the (main umbrella group) Syrian National Coalition, in contrast to the government, is not showing this readiness,” he added.

The turmoil in Syria erupted in March 2011. Since then, many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed.

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Russia urges all Syrian parties to oust terrorists

NOVANEWS

Foreign-backed militants look at a multi-rocket launcher in a Syrian town close to the Turkish border. (File photo)

Foreign-backed militants look at a multi-rocket launcher in a Syrian town close to the Turkish border. (File photo) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Foreign-backed militants look at a multi-rocket launcher in a Syrian town close to the Turkish border. (File photo)
Russia has urged both the Syrian government and the opposition to work together to force “terrorists and extremists” out of the Arab country.

“In my opinion, this task should be a major item on the agenda of the proposed international conference on Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday in a meeting with the visiting Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil.

“To our regret, unlike the government of Syria, a significant part of the opposition, including the National Coalition, has not expressed such readiness yet,” he added.

On May 7, Russia and the United States agreed in Moscow to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012. No date has been set for the conference yet.

The Russian foreign minister added that Moscow had been in contact with the Syrian government and opposition groups in a bid to convince them to participate in the conference “as soon as possible without any preconditions.”

Jamil, for his part, said some Western countries were to blame for the lasting conflicts in his country and that their political and military attempts to overthrow the Syrian government in the past two years “have failed.”

The turmoil in Syria erupted in March 2011. Since then, many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed.

According to reports, the West and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants fighting against the government.

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