• Saudi Arabia, Israel, United States pour weed killer on Arab spring.
• Mideast “Big Three” realize democracy is a bad thing for hegemony.
By Richard Walker —
When it comes to democracy, the only kind of free and fair elections the West backs are those guaranteed to side with the United States and Israel. This explains why Egypt’s newest dictator, recently retired Army Chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, knows there is no one standing in the way of his military court sentencing to death 700 of his regime’s opponents. He is confident he has the backing of President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Saudi royals and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
El-Sisi, who plotted and managed the overthrow of former university professor Dr. Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the country’s first democratically elected president, is positioned to win the presidency of the country in planned elections that will undoubtedly be held against a backdrop of military oppression.
Criticism of the military, which suspended Egypt’s constitution and kicked out a government dominated by Muslims in July 2013, after a one-year democratic experiment, has been sparse. In contrast, there have been calls in Washington, London, Tel Aviv and Riyadh to give el-Sisi and his generals all the moral, military and financial support they need to crush their opponents.
In Washington, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has been a lone voice in calling for the U.S. to suspend financial and military aid to the Egyptian government while it behaves in a fashion that is more akin to a totalitarian state. But Leahy’s position stands in sharp contrast to the fact that Washington has given Egypt $100 billion in the form of foreign assistance and military aid since the 1980s, because it has been Israel’s favorite dictatorship in the region.
The bottom line is Israel has never wanted a Muslim democracy on its borders, preferring instead to deal with thugs, like el-Sisi, who can be bribed and controlled by Washington. The Saudis feel likewise, fearing democracy could jeopardize their kingdom that allegedly gave us the 9-11 hijackers and has been sponsoring terrorists ever since then.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Famhy recently pointed out there should be no reluctance on Washington’s part to withhold financial aid to his country or to deny it a gift of Apache attack helicopters because Egypt had upheld its 35-year peace deal with Israel.
In the wake of the removal of Morsi after he had been Egypt’s president for a mere 12 months, the Egyptian generals, with support from Israel and the Saudis, began a vicious campaign to crush the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt where it was founded and from where its power base reached out to the region. Israel moved quickly to influence Washington on the matter. According to Israeli writer Yossi Melman, within six weeks of Morsi’s overthrow and arrest:
“Israel has been secretly maneuvering via friendly nations, deploying heavy diplomatic leverage to stop Western governments, first and foremost the United States, from denouncing the overthrow by the Egyptian security forces, deterring them from calling it a ‘massacre.’”
Melman also claimed Israel persuaded its allies in the West not to call the murder of 1,700 civilians in 2013 by the Egyptian military a massacre.
With the help of Washington, and the Western mainstream media, Israel has effectively demonized the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way it demonized the Palestinian group Hamas. As a result, Obama and other Western leaders have been reluctant to condemn the Egyptian military’s vicious crackdown on the Brotherhood, preferring to accept the Israeli-Saudi claim that the Brotherhood is a terrorist organization.
From the moment the Brotherhood became the dominant political power in Egypt, following the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, the Saudis set about undermining it and wiping out any vestiges of the Arab Spring Obama had once heralded as a flowering of democracy in the Arab world.
Well-known British journalist Patrick Cockburn has described as “demented” claims by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the Brotherhood promoted intolerance. Cockburn suggested Blair might have been better pointing a finger at the Saudi monarchy for its intolerance and support of terrorism.
Commentators in Europe have attacked Blair’s successor, Cameron, for ordering an investigation of the Brotherhood at the behest of the Egyptian military. The purported aim of the investigation is to examine Brotherhood links to a terror attack in Egypt in February 2014. Some observers detected the cunning hand of the Saudis in Cameron’s decision since the person he appointed to lead the investigation was Sir John Jenkins, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who happened to be a friend of the Saudi royal family.
Mass trials in Egypt are expected to continue with not only Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced to death but also journalists and academics since many of them have been portrayed as enemies of the dictatorship.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.
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