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September 30 2013

ElBaradei warns against 'fascist' media campaign in Egypt Ahram Online, 29th of September 2013

ElBaradei warns against ’fascist’ media campaign in Egypt

Ahram Online, 29th of September 2013
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/82756/Egypt/Politics-/ElBaradei-warns-against-fascist-media-campaign-in-.aspx

Former Egyptian vice president Mohamed ElBaradei criticised on Sunday what he described as a fascist media campaign that does not uphold the value of human life.

On his official Twitter account, the former leader of the Constitution Party complained about a “systematic fascist campaign by ‘sovereign sources’ and ‘independent’ media that are against the insistence on upholding the value of human life and the inevitability of national consensus. Violence only begets violence.”

Several state-owned and independent media outlets have been critical of political figures, including ElBaradei, who opposed recent security measures against the Muslim Brotherhood.

ElBaradei resigned from his position as vice president on 14 August in objection to the violent dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo by security forces, which left hundreds of protesters dead, saying he was troubled by the loss of life “particularly as I believe it could have been avoided."

Following his resignation, he left the country for Europe.

The Nobel peace laureate has been subjected to a smear campaign by some journalists and politicians who charged that his resignation was “unpatriotic” and accused him of abandoning the government at a critical moment.

ElBaradei was recently accused by opponents of collaborating with the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation to sabotage the post-Morsi government.

However, no meeting between ElBaradei and members of the Muslim Brotherhood was confirmed.

August 27 2013

Une introduction à l'« Orient compliqué » : A Short Guide to the Middle East : letter to the editor…

Une introduction à l’« Orient compliqué » :

A Short Guide to the Middle East : letter to the editor published in the Financial Times

http://now.msn.com/a-short-guide-to-the-middle-east-letter-to-the-editor-published-in-the-fina

http://blu.stb.s-msn.com/i/57/21B2AE4496C34D44267F5C67C12_h316_w628_m5_cERtqKrMn.jpg

That whole Middle East deal sure can be confusing. Thankfully, in this concise and clearly articulated letter to the editor published in the Financial Times, Mr KN Al-Sabah, of London, lays it all out in a way anyone can understand. In full, his letter, entitled “A Short Guide to the Middle East,” read:

Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!
Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.
But Gulf states are pro Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!
Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!
Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!
Gulf states are pro US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!
Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.

#Proche-Orient #Golfe #US #géopolitique

August 25 2013

Arab springs, Arab falls | Ian Black

Arab springs, Arab falls | Ian Black
http://www.theguardian.com/world/on-the-middle-east/2013/aug/25/saudi-bahrain-kuwait-sectarianism-shia-sunni

In the end however it is more about power than faith. Matthiesen observes that the official discourse surrounding the alleged meddling of (the Shia) Iranian state and the transnational (Sunni) Muslim Brotherhood is actually very similar. And these allegations, he concludes, “are often about finding a scapegoat to deflect attention to an external enemy.” Saudi policy towards Bashar al-Assad — still one of the more opaque aspects of the Syrian crisis — includes the encouragement of vicious anti-Alawi rhetoric from Gulf-based Sunni clerics. (Alawis are an offshoot of Shi’ism). In Kuwait, official prejudice is directed against the Brotherhood (as it is, in spades, in the UAE), as well as the tribes and the stateless Bidoon.

August 20 2013

Why Saudi Arabia is taking a risk by backing the Egyptian coup | David Hearst | Comment is free |…

Why Saudi Arabia is taking a risk by backing the Egyptian coup | David Hearst | Comment is free | theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/20/saudi-arabia-coup-egypt?CMP=twt_gu

Why has the kingdom, famed for its caution on the diplomatic stage, put all its eggs in one basket, which, considering the volatility in Egypt, remains fragile and unpredictable. Who knows which side in Egypt will prevail, and if that is so, why back the coup leader General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi so publicly ? Sisi thanked the kingdom in fulsome terms. He said that the Saudi intervention was unprecedented since the Yom Kippur 1973 war with Israel. Praise indeed.

For Dr Maha Azzam, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, the kingdom’s fire-breathing support for the coup comes as little surprise. Not only had they been astonished by Washington’s abandonment of the kingdom’s closest regional ally in Hosni Mubarak, a point they made very clear during his trial. They had seen him replaced, at the polls, by the Brotherhood, which challenged the kingdom’s claim to be the protector of Islam.

Azzam said: “What they had was a lethal equation, democracy plus Islamism, albeit under the Muslim Brotherhood. That was a lethal concoction in undermining the kingdom’s own legitimacy in the long run. They know full well they do not want democracy, but to have another group representing Islam was intolerable.”

King Abdullah has good reason to fear the Brotherhood, which has been getting unprecedented support in Saudi Arabia since the 3 July coup. Sympathy for Mohamed Morsi has filled Twitter feeds in the country. Support for Morsi on social media has its own emblem, a four-fingered salute, known as the sign of Rabaa.

It is one thing to upset the middle class and the intelligentsia, but quite another to have the country’s religious scholars denounce you. A group of 56 of them did so, by issuing a statement describing the events of 3 July as “unquestionably a military coup and an unlawful and illicit criminal act”. The king has also been attacked in a sermon by a sheikh at the al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque in Medina, Islam’s second holiest site.

The royal family have responded to the campaign they are facing on social media by sacking a Kuwaiti TV preacher with Brotherhood links. Tareq al-Suwaidan, who has more than 1.9 million Twitter followers, was told that there is no place for those who carry deviant thoughts at the Al Resalah channel.

But this is a dangerous strategy. As president, Morsi resisted calling his regional enemies out for the money and support they gave to Egyptian opposition politicians, parties and private television channels for good reason. Up to 2 million Egyptians are employed as guest workers in the kingdom and their remittances were important for an economy on its knees. He feared that the Saudis would kick them out if he accused them of undermining his presidency. However today, Egyptian ex-pats are not the Brotherhood’s problem or responsibility. What could well follow is an unrestrained campaign by its members to destabilise the Saudi and UAE regimes.

Azzam said : “For the US and EU, there is very little grey area. Either you have authoritarian regimes, including Assad or you have the Arab spring. The authoritarian regimes are saying: ’If we use enough force, we can quell the tide of democracy.’ For Washington it means that there is no regional player that can now mediate with the Egyptian military. No one that can play the role of good cop.”

The battles lines have now been clearly drawn throughout the Arab world. The military coup in Egypt, and Saudi support for it, represents an attempt to turn the clock back, to halt the wave of democratisation heralded by the toppling of Arab dictators. It is unlikely to be the final word or battle in what promises to be an epic struggle .

August 18 2013

Egyptian youth leader backs army in battle with Brotherhood

Egyptian youth leader backs army in battle with Brotherhood
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/17/us-egypt-protests-tamarud-idUSBRE97G07220130817

Mahmoud Badr, whose petition campaign helped to bring down Egypt’s Islamist president, insists the bloodshed that has followed is a necessary price for saving the nation from the Muslim Brotherhood.

And he has a message for U.S. President Barack Obama, who has expressed alarm at the violent crackdown on the Brotherhood that has led to more than 700 deaths: “Don’t lecture us on how to deal with the Brotherhood’s terrorism.”

August 16 2013

Egyptian Military Backed Out Of Prisoner-Release Deal That Could Have Averted Killings : Sources

Egyptian Military Backed Out Of Prisoner-Release Deal That Could Have Averted Killings: Sources

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/egypt-military-muslim-brotherhood_n_3762068.html

CAIRO — A week before the Egyptian government ordered Wednesday’s deadly clearing of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps, military leaders and the Brotherhood very nearly came to an agreement that involved a prisoner release and other measures that might have averted the catastrophe, The Huffington Post has learned.

The notion of such a plan, mediated by a handful of diplomats from the U.S. and Europe — including U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and EU Special Representative Bernardino Leon — was first reported on Wednesday by Reuters. HuffPost has learned that the terms of the proposed deal would have seen the Muslim Brotherhood reduce the size of their protest camps by half, and the military release two notable prisoners: Saad El-Katatni, the chairman of the Brotherhood’s political party who was arrested during the military takeover in July, and Abou Elela Mady, the chairman of the Islamist al-Wasat Party who was locked up in the aftermath.

Brotherhood leaders had agreed in principle to the plan, but in the end the military-backed government declined to take part, sources say.

August 15 2013

Prévenez Fabius : lui et ses copains européens n'intéressent plus personne au Moyen-Orient. EU…

Prévenez Fabius : lui et ses copains européens n’intéressent plus personne au Moyen-Orient.

EU diplomat : Egyptian army rejected peace plan
http://euobserver.com/foreign/121127

The EU’s special envoy to the Middle East, Bernardino Leon, has said the Egyptian army rejected a peace deal with the Muslim Brotherhood a few hours before the killing in Cairo began.

He told Reuters that he and US diplomat William Burns in recent days brokered an agreement between the military and the brothers on how to end their month-long sit-ins in two city squares.

“We had a political plan that was on the table, that had been accepted by the other side [the brotherhood] … They [the army] could have taken this option. So all that has happened today was unnecessary,” he said.

He noted that he made a final appeal on the peace plan to military chiefs “hours” before they ordered the assault, at 7am local time on Wednesday (14 August), using armoured bulldozers and live ammunition against people in tent camps.

August 13 2013

Egypt restores ex-generals' role in provinces

Egypt restores ex-generals’ role in provinces

http://www.trust.org/item/20130813155342-akskm

Egypt’s interim president named at least 18 new provincial governors on Tuesday, half of them retired generals, in a shake-up that restored the influence of men from army and police backgrounds and flushed out Muslim Brotherhood members.

#gouverment #Egypte #armée

August 08 2013

Egypt : The Officers' War of Terror

#Egypt: The Officers’ War of Terror

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/13226/the-officers%E2%80%99-war-of-terror

This initiative began as an attempt to gather popular support for early presidential elections after Morsi’s failure to deliver on the demands of the January 25 Revolution. That effort is now ceding ground to actors that are even more hostile to the aspirations that the Tamarod petition articulated. It is true that those who took to the streets may have succeeded in overturning one the largest hurdles to revolutionary change in Egypt, namely the uneasy alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the entrenched centers of powers known as the “deep state.” The popular mobilization that culminated on 30 June made it impossible for the officers and the security establishment to hide their anti-democratic privileges behind the façade of democratic institutions and civilian punching bags. Yet the fact remains: the murderers of Khaled Said, Sayed Bilal, Mina Danial, and Gaber Salah “Jika” are emerging triumphant in the aftermath of Morsi’s ouster. They are actively exploiting popular disdain for Muslim Brotherhood rule to carve out an equally, if not more, regressive political order than the one that preceded it.

Similar to what they have done after 11 February 2011, the officers today are promoting a narrative in which they have (once again) intervened heroically to save the day and “protect the revolution.” Accordingly, after they helped oust Morsi out of power, the officers are now asking Egyptians for pay back. The people are now to offer a blind, if not supportive, eye to the military practices as it employs deadly force, repression, and xenophobia to force its challengers into submission. The fear mongering discourse that the military has used as part of its “war on terror” initiative has clearly turned into more than just “words,” after security forces killed dozens of Muslim Brotherhood protesters Friday night, and dozens others in previous attacks. Yesterday’s brutal attacks came right after millions of Egyptians rallied in nationwide public gatherings in support of Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s request for a popular mandate to deal with imminent “terrorist” threats. Many media outlets and opinion shapers in Egypt have uncritically expressed support for this alarming development. This pattern only highlights the extent to which advocates of dignity and justice in the country face an uphill battle in countering the attempts of the military and their allies to liquidate political dissent and dictate the terms of the new political order.

August 05 2013

"First they came for the Muslim Brotherhood, and I did not speak out - Because, I was not Ikhwani.…

“First they came for the Muslim Brotherhood, and I did not speak out - Because, I was not Ikhwani.
Then they came for the Trade Unionist, and I did not speak out - Because, I was unemployed.
Then they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out - Because, I was not a Christian.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Here is the original
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
By Martin Niemöller”

http://lifeandstudyinegypt.net/2013/07/29/first-they-came-for-the-muslim-brotherhood/#more-6

(On peut aussi commencer par les Chrétiens si on parle des événements de la révolution - Maspero 2011.)

#Egypte #Egypt #Rabaa

July 27 2013

Police never opened fire at protesters : Egypt's interior minister

Police never opened fire at protesters : Egypt’s interior minister

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/77529.aspx

Egypt’s interior minister has said that the Muslim Brotherhood is "purposefully causing a crisis,” denying that the police opened fire on pro-Brotherhood protesters in overnight clashes that left scores dead.

#MOI #Egypte #Rabaa

July 23 2013

Neither Heroes, Nor Villains : A Conversation with Talal Asad on Egypt After Morsi

Neither Heroes, Nor Villains : A Conversation with Talal Asad on Egypt After Morsi
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/13129/neither-heroes-nor-villains_a-conversation-with-ta

Talal Asad : l’incompétence des Frères Musulmans ne se trouve pas là où certains la situent.

You know, I think that the Muslim Brothers have no sense of what kind of politics a crisis demands in a diverse society, in a complex, interdependent world. They have acquired a very rigid mentality as a result of the political repression they endured over sixty years.
They do not seem to be able to think about the new circumstances in which they have to take a different view of politics—its potentialities and dangers—to develop new political skills, both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary. Instead, they promised all sorts of things and then reneged on their promises–most importantly, that they would not field a candidate for the presidency because, so they said, they did not want to frighten people. In fact they did frighten various elements, especially secularists, Copts and liberals–who feared (or at least pretended to fear) that the Muslim Brotherhood was determined to establish an authoritarian Islamic state. This, I think, really shows how incompetent and confused they were.

Their incompetence has often been cited in relation to their inability to restore law and order, to run a modern economy, to prosecute the military for its crimes (i.e., the murder of protesters, their arrest, and torture) during the transitional period after Mubarak’s fall. But I would argue that many of these criticisms are ill-conceived: there are so many forces already arrayed against them that there was not much scope for the Morsi government for independent action. Morsi could have tried military officers for crimes? You must be joking. He could have restored a bankrupt economy in a world where powerful institutions and governments, who have their own political agendas, control the flow of capital? He should have reduced poverty in a country dominated by a powerful neoliberal elite? This is not where the real evidence of their incompetence lies–especially considering the short period of one year in which he was president.

In my view, their total incompetence, their total stupidity, lies in not anticipating, to begin with, that they would be demonized if they acquired governmental authority. And demonized they were, with a vengeance. Part of this can be related to the crude secularist ideas that dominate most Cairene intellectuals. They were also highly incompetent in their inability, or unwillingness, to reach out to parts of the opposition. In any case, in my view they should never have aspired to the presidency–first of all as a matter of principle, and secondly because the uprising had created colossal practical problems which would be extremely difficult to address by any government. Winning an election does not mean that you are strong, as the Muslim Brotherhood thought it was. It means you are responsible for failures of the state and economy. And, despite their electoral win, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party are and were always weak. One of the things of which they were often accused was that they wanted totalitarian control of society, that they were on the verge of getting what they wanted, which is absolute nonsense, of course. They did not have such control, they could not acquire such control, and there is no real evidence that they wanted such control. This is one part of their stupidity: To be seen to behave as though they had real control of the state.

July 09 2013

‘We aired lies' : Al Jazeera staff quit over ‘misleading' Egypt coverage -

‘We aired lies’ : Al Jazeera staff quit over ‘misleading’ Egypt coverage -

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/2013/07/09/Al-Jazeera-employees-in-Egypt-quit-over-editorial-line-.html

As many as 22 Al Jazeera employees have quit since the overthrow of Mohammad Mursi, amid concern over the channel’s alleged bias towards the Muslim Brotherhood and its coverage of Egypt.
Criticism over the channel’s editorial line, the way it covered events in Egypt, and allegations that journalists were instructed to favor the Brotherhood are said to be the main reasons behind the mass resignations.

#medias

July 07 2013

Article d'il y a un mois et demi du Wall Street Journal : « Arabs ask US to lead on Syria », qui…

Article d'il y a un mois et demi du Wall Street Journal : « Arabs ask US to lead on Syria », qui éclaire les enjeux géopolitiques des évènements récents : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324244304578473212174423122.html?mod=rss_middle_east_new
ou sans le paywall, ici :
http://www.energia.gr/article_en.asp?art_id=27451

L'article évoque le fait que l'Arabie saoudite, les EAU et la Jordanie faisaient pression à l'époque sur Obama pour qu'il remette de l'ordre au Moyen-Orient sur le dossier syrien et qu'il fasse cesser le soutien du Qatar aux frères musulmans et à certains groupes syriens jihadistes, au motif qu'il nuirait à l'unité de l'opposition armée syrienne et contribuerait à prolonger le règne d'Assad :

The U.S. 's closest Arab allies are pressing President Barack Obama to take the lead in bridging the Middle East 's divisions over Syria , traveling to Washington to drive home their fears some of the region's leaders are strengthening radicals and prolonging President Bashar al-Assad's rule.
The coordinated message was delivered to Mr. Obama during separate White House meetings in recent weeks with Jordan's King Abdullah II, the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, according to senior U.S. and Arab officials familiar with the discussions.
The three royals' message to Mr. Obama was a not-so-subtle slap at Qatar and Turkey —both of which, officials in these Arab countries believe, are funneling funds and possibly weapons to groups promoting political Islam and in particular to those aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
They are also concerned that aid from Qatar has bolstered the Al-Nusra Front, a powerful Syrian militia fighting Mr. Assad's forces, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization.

Il s'agissait non seulement pour les Saoudiens et ses alliés de demander aux USA de reprendre un rôle plus actif afin que les USA leurs délèguent le leadership sur les groupes de rebelles syriens au détriment du coupe qataro-turc, mais aussi et plus généralement au Moyen-Orient comme le laisse entendre la réaction de l'émir du Qatar de l'époque :

Qatar and Turkey have sought to use the Mideast 's transition to expand their diplomatic, economic and religious influence, say U.S. and Arab officials. The two countries have been the most aggressive in seeking to overthrow Mr. Assad. Qatar has been the primary financial supporter of the new governments in Cairo and Tunis , providing billions of dollars in aid to President Mohammed Morsi's government over the past 18 months, according to Qatari officials.
“In my opinion, some of our region, they did not like what happened...and they don't like it when the Muslim Brotherhood came,” Sheikh Hamad, Qatar 's prime minister, said in Washington last month. “But we respect the [other's] will and the people's will in the other nations.”

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