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Egypt's 'color coup'

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The military cheered the opposition Tamarod movement on--no limits to their demonstrations--providing the pretext for the coup, employing standard Great Game tactics as used in Iran (1953), Brazil (1964) and Chile (1973). (Ironically, just this week the CIA finally admitted its role in Iran in 1953.) If Sisi had really been concerned with sustaining  "the religious base, versus devaluing religion and creating instability" as he argued at the US Military College in 2006, he would have supported the reinstatement of parliament (disbanded on a technicality by his predecessor), made sure that MB officials and buildings were safe from arson and snipers, and certainly not have given a carte blanche to the subversion of the legitimate government by the Mubarakite old guard. By warning the opposition that they must work with the elected government, no Johnnie-come-lately Tamarod would have swamped the airwaves and streets, egged on by the Mubarakites; no gas shortages would have been orchestrated.

Mother America's liberals

Egypt has a well-ensconced pro-western elite, corrupt, extremely rich, and as events over the past two years prove beyond a doubt, vicious and unprincipled. When Morsi proved able to function despite the June 2012 postmodern coup, and refused to bow to this latest color revolution, it was necessary for Obama to give it a nudge. On 1 July, after the ultimatum of "Mother America" demanding Morsi resign, Washington finally sent word that the military takeover was about to begin. One of Morsi's aides texted: "Mother just told us that we will stop playing in one hour."

Mother America now insists that all these revolutions/ coups should be relatively bloodless, in keeping with the New World Order principles of "democracy' under a benign US hegemon.  The US counts on the "democracy promotion' chaos undermining the legitimate government, which is then unable to mobilize its supporters to defend it, and is easily overthrown "by the popular will'. None of this worked in Egypt, and mass slaughter has meant that the neocon poster-boy Mohamed Elbaradei had to resign in disgrace after the killings (he will now be tried for "betrayal of trust"). But there are lots of unscrupulous liberals eager for the limelight.

Qatar analyst Larbi Sadiki asks in Al-Jazeera, "Who are these Arab liberals? Who amongst them has one iota of Mill or Locke's political creativity? They have an obsession with bombing Iran, bashing Islamists, and being bedfellows with the enemies of democracy. It's not their political rhetoric but their relationship with the generals of security forces and intelligence services that is cause for most concern. Instead of learning about constitutionalism or putting together theories about legal and democratic governance, they unfortunately seek satiation of their hedonism." Well, Larbi, in answer to your question, they are the new puppet rulers of Egypt (and Libya), and their friends in Tunisia and Syria are looking on longingly, waiting for their chance.

Egypt's future

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Much like the old Communist International, Kagan and the "democracy promoters' in Washington have created a "Capitalist International", according to Steven Weissman, to promote such liberals through "democracy promotion', "color revolutions' and now "color coups'. The formula for the color coup: slap Sisi's wrists, paper over the massacre, and restore the safe Mubarakite order.

Kagan's tears over the fate of the likes of Asmaa are crocodile ones, intended to pressure the coupmakers into moving quickly to cover their tracks, though there is little room left for them to maneuver. The Haiti scenario where Jean-Bertrand Aristide was reinstated to carry out the last year of a lame duck presidency in 1994 is not possible now, given that the coupmakers would have to face the music for their crimes.

Pinochet was humiliated in the end, but died without facing the music. That is surely Sisi's worst-case scenario. He still has an ace, however threadbare: he could try to drape himself in Gamal Abdel-Nasser's nationalist cloak and turn to Russia-China for support. So the US will bite the bullet, and resign itself to a few more wintry decades subsidizing their Pinochet-on-the-Nile.

Washington must weigh the pros and cons of what follows carefully. It can't risk genuine elections in Egypt at this point. Will a frightened, weary Egypt accept phony elections, put hopes for a new, Islamic society on hold, and let their Pinochet govern with craven liberals as a cover, a la Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan? Can Egypt's dysfunctional economy be squeezed enough to keep the starving masses alive without jeopardizing either the Mubaraks or the Elbaradeis in their gated communities?

Egypt's new US Ambassador Robert Ford, with his experience in Iraq 2004--06, Algeria and Syria, is a clear sign that Obama will back the coupmakers with all the dirty tricks in the bag, including death squads, to maintain US hegemony in the region. Kagan can rest assured.

***A version of this appeared at

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Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games" and "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" are available at (more...)

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Maybe the first mistake for Morsi was to have an I... by jean labrek on Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 at 10:33:28 PM
the contitution was the main item to be decided af... by Eric Walberg on Sunday, Aug 25, 2013 at 9:17:09 AM