Jan 31, 2013

President Morsi Public Speech

On the eve of January 25, 2013, president Morse addressed the nation expressing his concern about the protesters’ impact on Egyptian society.
The president declared Marshall law to be imposed for a whole month on three governorates: Suez, Ismailia, and Port Said. The public was astonished that those three cities were only targeted and not the whole country since demonstrators and violence have occurred in many other cities.
The media criticized the declaration because of its unconstitutionality. The foreign press has also criticized president Morsi’s decision in imposing Marshall law.
 The Egyptians, in general, are disappointed in Morsi’s policy. He failed to implement promises he made during his electoral campaign. Furthermore, it became clear that the real power behind the throne is the leader (murshid) of the Muslim Brothers and his deputy, Khayrat el Shater. Morsi lost credibility as well as his presidential authority. This is very well reflected in Egyptian humor. Caricatures, humoristic articles and TV programs have all been entertaining the disappointed Egyptian public.
The people of Suez, Ismailia and Port Said are disregarding the curfew imposed on them. The curfew is supposed to begin at 9:00 PM, and this is when then public begins to play soccer games the whole evening. Streets are filled with inhabitants, men, women and children, chanting, holding flags and shouting slogans against the Muslim Brothers’ government.
It is a kind of filibuster or marathon through which they defied Morsi’s authority, and calling for his removal. The daring of the public is one positive result of the January 25th Revolution. Egyptians are not afraid anymore.
Facing such turmoil, the minister of Defense publically declared that Egypt is facing internal threats, which is of concern to national security. He, then declared according to the Constitution, the Egyptian military is ready to assume its responsibility toward the country!
Doesn’t this ring a bell?????

Jan 28, 2013

Eye Witness to the Second Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution

January 25, 2011 my wife and I were in Egypt and witnessed the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution, which led to the collapse of the Mubarak regime. We have decided to return to Egypt every year, at the same time, to observe the yearly anniversary of the Revolution.
Unfortunately, January 25, 26 and 27, 2013, Egypt faced chaotic demonstrations.
 What caused such an upheaval? Why is the opposition angry? Why are there demonstrations occuring in many Egyptian cities? The following points are in our opinion the causes that led to the deterioration and upheaval within the Second Republic after the Revolution of January 25, 2011.

1.   The Revolution’s main objectives have not been achieved. The protestors are blaming the Muslim Brothers and their political party, Freedom and Justice, for such failure.
2.   The exclusion of other political and secular groups in the new government. The young Egyptians who initiated the Revolution were completely ignored.
3.   The failure of the Muslim brothers to implement promises made before the elections. After the collapse of the Mubarak’s regime they publically declared that their party, Freedom and Justice, would nominate candidates for the parliament to run in one third of the districts. However, they did not keep their promise and ended up nominating candidates in all districts of Egypt. Furthermore, they stated they will not nominate a candidate for the presidency and Dr. Mohamed Morsi was indeed nominated.
4.   The new president issued a constitutional decree granting him unlimited authority thus controlling the Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers. He then removed seven judges from the Higher Constitutional Court who were appointed by the deposed president Mubarak. President Morsi then transferred the authority of the dissolved Parliament to the Maglis al Shoura (Advisory Council), which is controlled by Islamist groups.
5.   The Constitutional Committee nominated by the dissolved Parliament and whose most members belonged to Islamist groups was kept to draft the new Constitution. This was in contradiction of President’s Morsi promise during the electoral campaign to dissolve such committee since it did not represent Egyptian society in Toto.
6.   The removal by the president, of the Attorney General, Abel Meguid, and the appointment of a new one. The Higher Judicial Council vehemently opposed this move.
7.   The abolition of the Higher Egyptian Military Council, established during the Revolution under the leadership of Marshal el Tantawi, and the nomination of a new minister of defense, General el Sessi. This political act neutralized the authority of the military. However, it should be mentioned here that such act was welcomed by most of the revolutionary groups. Alas, it turned out that the new military ruler is nothing but a puppet for the new president!
8.   The deterioration of Egyptian economic condition, the increase of unemployment rate, the high cost of living, the deterioration of security conditions, all led to an increase in the rate of crimes. This chaotic situation has given rise to unprecedented angst feeling among peaceful Egyptians.

Presently, Egyptians opposing the government are demanding the followings:

1.   Curtailing the influence and interference of the Muslim Brothers in governmental affairs.
2.   Recognizing the objectives of the Revolution, which was ignored by president Morsi and his cabinet.
3.   Abolition of the New Constitution, which does not reflect the interest of all Egyptians or recognized the rights of women and other segments of the society.
4.   Prosecuting those responsible for the massacring of young protestors during the past two years.
5.   Bringing an end to political corruption by removing all influence of the previous regime and narrowing the influence of the Muslim Brothers which is reflected in the new nomination of two critical ministers: the minister of interior and the minister of information.
6.   Replacing the government of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil by a capable national cabinet consisting of experts in different fields.
In conclusion, President Morsi is more interested in implementing the Muslim Brothers strategy over Egyptian national interest. He failed to reform economic and security institutions. Democracy has not been established. As a matter of fact, some of the most fanatic Islamists, such as the Salafis are claiming that democracy is in violation of Islam!!!
It is unfortunate that such groups as the Muslim Brothers and other political Islamist groups are putting their own interest ahead of Egyptian national interest. They are in the process of securing their influence and domination over all governmental institutions. The majority of Egyptians rejects such near sighted political policy as it is reflected in the recent violence. According to the statement issued by the Minister of Health, the violent protest of the past few days ( January 25, 26. 27) caused the death of 41 Egyptians and 1139 personal injuries. Egyptians are not afraid any more and the government ought to be concerned about the recent

Jan 3, 2013

Spring Revolution in Iraq

The recent mass protest movements that have been taking place in several Iraqi governates can be classified as the beginning of a spring revolution in that country. These protests took place when in al-Anbar, Nineveh, Salahuddin, Mosul Fallujah and Al-Ramadi.

The Sunni protestors are reacting to Prime Minister Nouri-al-Malik’s (Shiite) suppression against them and the jailing of some of their Sunni political leadership including the Sunni Iraqi women’s ill treatment in prison.

The arrest of members of the Sunni community in Iraq on suspicion of terrorist activities is in reality a political policy to marginalize their roles in the political arena.

The protestors were demanding:

1)   The resignation of Nouri al-Maliki’s government
2)   The release of many thousands of Sunni men and women from prisons
3)   The cancelation of the law that was initiated by the U.S. occupation forces banning the Baath party from the Iraqi political arena and permitting their reentry into public life.
4)   The cancelation of the same law that dissolved the Iraqi army and prohibited members of the previous Baath party from being employed by the government.
5)   The improvement of the economic, social and environmental conditions.
6)   Stop the Iraqi government support of the Syria regime under Bashar al-Assad.
7)   Stop taking orders from the Iranian government (Shiite regime)
8)   Removal of Article 4 from the Constitution and stop implementing death sentences of suspected terrorists.

It is unfortunate to point out that the American invasion of Iraq produced many negative consequences. First, it eliminated the authoritarian regime of Saddam Hussein, which was the most secular in the Middle East region. The previous regime suppressed any political religious group from entering the Iraqi political arena. At the same time, Iraqi secular Shiite individuals were incorporated into the regime and many occupied high political positions in both the government and the army.

It should be of interest to refer to an order that was issued by the American occupational authority in 2003 for the arrest of the 52 top Iraqi political officials. The American order was issued in the form of a deck of cards of pictures of those who were to be arrested, which included Saddam Hussein and his two sons. Thirty-seven out of the 52 people were Iraqi Shiites. This reflects that the previous regime did not permit the practice of sectarianism.

The phony type of democracy that the U.S. introduced in Iraq encouraged            sectarianism. It should also be made clear that the religious political conflict between the Sunni and Shiite sects has been part of Islamic history, which started after the death of the Prophet Mohammad more than 1,300 years ago.

The Sunni-Shiite conflict has been manipulated by Western colonialist powers, which has been part of their political strategy “divide and rule”. This conflict has been a major source of instability, especially in the Arab world and some Islamic states.

The impact of the Arab spring revolution as is reflected in Iraq at the present is also going on in Syria, where the Alawi (Shiite) minority regime is facing a Sunni majority rebellion that has been going on for nearly two years. In Bahrain, the situation is the opposite, where a Sunni minority is suppressing the Shiite majority.

The sectarian conflicts will continue to be a destabilizing source of conflict in the region. The only way to stop such a conflict is to establish real democratic institutions in the Arab-Islamic states in order to i