Februar 18, 2016

The Commitment

Source: The Commitment

Oktober 21, 2013

After Morsi.

by Alexander Schmelzer

The disempowerment of President Morsi by the army and first and foremost the overwhelming majority of the people permitted a necessary course correction for the Egyptian revolution since July of this year and has created room for a transitional Government that is now working to meet the expectations of the overwhelming majority of Egyptians.

The necessity of the decision taken by General Al Sisi goes far beyond the conditions of personal vicinity and loyalty and it obviously exceeds the grasp of many observers.

There were inappropriate responses such as Washington’s, to hold back or reduce the contributions to Egypt instead of supporting the favourable development in Egypt. But manoeuvring was applied on behalf and for the account of the democracy yet to be reached at the Nile. But whose democracy is it? Of course, the United States have the right to their own agenda and their own interests and the right to dispose of their money as they see fit; and also the right to disseminate calculated statements. Other, less influential States, behave similarly. You can feel the intention and you are annoyed.

This is flanked by media that appears as brought into line, virtually at fingertips. The use of the term “system press” is not surprising then. I don’t think that there is a controlled campaign etc., but there is a lack of ability to leave the own frame of reference occasionally, to held a different, unfamiliar  frame of reference possible; or when dealing with others (strangers) to develop a new reference framework for ideas having different content in different cultures.  A short stay in the country to report to the client is not enough for that (an inattentive, longer stay also not). So what is perceived in the own framework of reference is preconceived, squeezed and the hackneyed ideas will be at best a report, at worst a comment, but processed anyway, and eventually presented to an audience that thusly remains either misinformed or misguided. Professional voices that straighten the so created blurred image are there, but find in Western media at present little or no hearing.

Some calculations became obsolete, when some Gulf States announced to support Egypt massively and did so. The already transferred and the sums of money provided in vista exceed the amounts from Washington and elsewhere considerably. Egypt still needs this kind of support from outside. Russia expressed willingness to go even further.

General Al Sisi, who has become a symbol for the cohesion of Egypt, has welcomed the support of the neighbours and rejected an unwanted influence of foreign countries on the Egyptian identity; the country will adhere to the „roadmap“, the political agenda, until the parliamentary elections in 2014.

In the political process, there are currently two focal points: Morsi and Al Sisi. There is no room for more. Both persons are representing political ways which are mutually exclusive. There is no middle ground. The design of the route yet to be elected must and will come later.

Oktober 10, 2013

Nach Mursi.

von Alexander Schmelzer

Die Entmachtung  Präsident  Mursis durch die Armee und in erster Linie die übergroße Mehrheit des Volkes hat der Revolution  Ägyptens seit Juli dieses Jahres eine notwendige Kurskorrektur ermöglicht  und hat Raum geschaffen für eine Übergangsregierung, die nun daran arbeitet den Erwartungen der übergroßen Mehrheit der Ägypter gerecht zu werden.

Die Notwendigkeit der von General El Sisi getroffenen Entscheidung geht weit über die Bedingungen von Nähe- und Treueverhältnissen hinaus und offensichtlich auch über den Erkenntnishorizont so mancher Beobachter.

Es hat Fehlreaktionen gegeben wie die Washingtons, die Zuwendungen an Ägypten zurückzuhalten oder zu kürzen, statt die günstige Entwicklung in Ägypten zu unterstützen. Stattdessen wird taktiert, im Namen und auf Rechnung der Demokratie die es am Nil noch zu erreichen gilt. Aber wessen Demokratie ist das?  Natürlich haben die USA das Recht auf ihre eigene Agenda und ihre eigenen Interessen und das Recht über ihr Geld nach Gutdünken zu verfügen. Und auch das Recht kalkulierte Statements zu verbreiten. Andere, weniger einflussreiche Staaten, verhalten sich ähnlich. Man spürt die Absicht und man ist verstimmt.

Das alles wird flankiert von Medien, die wie gleichgeschaltet erscheinen, gleichsam auf Knopfdruck. Die Verwendung des Begriffs Systempresse überrascht da nicht. Ich denke nicht, dass es eine gesteuerte Kampagne o.ä. gibt, sondern es fehlt an der Fähigkeit, den eigenen Referenzrahmen gelegentlich zu verlassen, einen anderen, fremden Referenzrahmen für möglich zu halten oder gar beim Umgang mit Anderen, Fremden einen neuen Referenzrahmen für Begriffe zu entwickeln, die in unterschiedlichen Kulturen Unterschiedliches zum Inhalt haben. Ein kurzer Aufenthalt im Land, um für den Auftraggeber zu berichten, reicht dafür nicht (ein unaufmerksamer, längerer Aufenthalt ebenfalls nicht). So wird das Wahrgenommene in den eigenen Referenzrahmen gezwängt und das dabei zu Bruch gegangene bestenfalls zu einem Bericht, schlimmstenfalls zu einem Kommentar, jedenfalls aber verarbeitet und letztendlich als Produkt einem Publikum präsentiert, das entweder fehlinformiert oder fehlgeleitet wird. Professionelle Stimmen die das so geschaffene Bild geraderücken gibt es, finden aber in westlichen Medien derzeit wenig oder kein Gehör.

Durch so manche Kalkulation wurde ein Strich gemacht, als einige Golfstaaten verkündeten, Ägypten massiv zu unterstützen und dies auch taten. Die bereits überwiesenen und die in Aussicht gestellten Beträge übersteigen die aus Washington und anderswoher erheblich. Noch braucht Ägypten dieser Art Unterstützung von außen. Russland äußerte schon weitergehende Bereitschaft.

General el Sisi, der inzwischen zu einem Symbol für den Zusammenhalt Ägyptens geworden ist, hat die Unterstützung durch die Nachbarn willkommen geheißen und einen unerwünschten Einfluss des Auslands auf die ägyptische Identität zurückgewiesen, das Land werde an der „Roadmap“, dem Fahrplan bis zu den Neuwahlen im Jahr 2014, festhalten.

Im politische Prozess gibt es derzeit zwei Kristallisationspunkte: Mursi und el Sisi. Für mehr gibt es keinen Raum. Beide Personen stehen für sich gegenseitig ausschließende politische Wege. Einen Mittelweg gibt es nicht. Die Gestaltung des noch zu wählenden Wegs muss und wird später kommen.

September 25, 2013

REFLECTIONS

A brief picture of Egypt over the past 30+ years.

By Aida Awad

With the deterioration of the economy, a great number of Egyptians migrated for jobs in the Gulf States, where they stayed for years, building their fortunes, and unfortunately, becoming immersed in a totally alien culture, that of the very arid, ferocious desert, the Wahaby influence.

In the meantime, Egyptians who stayed, kept getting poorer and poorer, and the opium of the poor, as you know, is religion. This is where the Muslim Brotherhood comes in. Briefly, it started as a charitable organization, but after the founder died, an influential member, Sayed Kotb, took over and changed the edicts from mainly charitable to political. It was he who advocated the idea of a worldwide caliphate headed by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). He was the hawk among the pigeons, and he gained a good number of followers. Starting that time, their methods changed drastically and they started applying Machiavellian measures where the end justifies the means. Lying is one of those means, was taught as a must to anyone of the youths recruited, if they want to advance within the hierarchy. It was then that they established its militias, and  started a rather active campaign of political assassinations. Google them and you’ll get a detailed history. But besides turning into this aggressive, terrorist group, politically, they kept the facade of the charitable organization as a cover.

Over the past couple of decades, the MB was deemed a banned organization, as those in power knew their history and kept tabs on their current illegal activities (money laundering, terrorist attacks on tourists and Christians, political assassination of thinkers and politicians). Therefore it’s members were prosecuted and jailed for a number of crimes. But on the other hand, the charitable part of he organization increased its activities and laid the ground with a large base of the needy poor. They never helped them help themselves, but just gave enough for sustenance, but ensured that people remained ignorant and needy, so that they continued depending on them.

The MB took on the veneer of religion, and started imposing some rather bizarre laws or fatwas that were naively followed by those whom they influenced. The dress code changed gradually to hijab for the women, then niquab, which is total coverage. Had this been accompanied by better morality or proper adherence to Islam proper, it would not have been so bad. But a complete breakdown in morality took place. The appearance of piety was what mattered. Women cover up, men wear beards and develop a zebiba (callus on forehead to indicate continuous prayer). But cheating, lying, stealing and all kinds of immoral behavior was rampant under that veneer. An example of how bizarre it became is one fatwa by one of those supposed Sheikhs (mostly charlatans dressed as clergy), was that about breast feeding adults. A woman cannot employ any males except if she breast feeds them so that they are no longer eligible for mating!

This was Egypt when the revolution took place, by young idealistic students, who had Internet access to the world, and who compared their miserable reality to what could be. But idealism is for romantics, and the revolution was very successfully hijacked by the then junta that was ruling the army (SCAF). They represented all the corruption and decadence of Mubarak’s regime, as well as the rigidity and inherent cruelty of weak, old men. When they took over, they were a bit lost as to how to control the masses. It was a golden opportunity for the MB, which by now, was completely taken over by the hawks, or the Kotbis (followers of Sayed Kotb).

A road map was tailored to ensure that the MB take over the rule of Egypt. And that is exactly what happened. There were dissenting voices,  but these were disorganized and not at all effective. The prevalence of ignorance combined with religious fervor, ensured their winning hands down.

Once they took over, the mask of piety fell off. The first to go were the students who started the revolution, these were jailed on pretexts of „insulting the President“. Next was SCAF’s turn. They were retired. Third came the judiciary and media in tandem. But these proved to be more resilient. So in November 2012 the MB President Morsi issued a ‚Constitutional Declaration‘ giving himself full legislative and executive powers and immunity, past, present and future, from any judicial retribution. This, effectively united opposition against him, and started a wave of street demonstrations by those students who had not been jailed. It was then that the MB came back as the criminal, terrorist clan that it is. The fist young protester to be assassinated was Gaber Salah (Jika), who had established a page on Facebook called ‚Together against the Brotherhood‘ he was shot in the head at point blank range. Then assassinations of four other admins of FB pages against the MB were assassinated. They were abducted, tortured and beaten to death, their bodies either thrown on deserted  roads, or if found and taken to hospitals, were without identifying documentation. The media took up the cry and it was then that a large number of media personalities were threatened with abduction or worse, and a few were brought in for questioning as a means of intimidation. At one point Media City was surrounded by armed thugs and all those coming or going, intimidated and physically threatened, a few cars destroyed and a few people beaten up. The culmination of that was the assassination of a very active journalist Al Husseiny Abu Deif, while covering demonstrations at the Presidential Palace. He was photographing those who were doing the shooting, when he was spotted and shot point blank in the head, his camera taken.

The judiciary meantime was working on stopping all infringement on the laws and constitution. So the MB, having the Presidency, gave the Lower House (Shura Council) legislative authority, had them farcically ‚elect‘ a committee of MB and sympathizers,to set up a new constitution. All other factions of society were given minority seats on that committee to ensure their inability to block any of the controversial articles. But when push came to shove, brute force, the MB trademark, was used again. The Supreme Court was about to rule on the constitutionality of this Committee and that of the Shura Council, when it was surrounded by thugs, and the judges forced to leave so as not to render their verdict. This sit in stayed in place till the new constitution was rushed into completion, ratified by the President then put up for a referendum. Even with the rampant, proven fraud practiced during that referendum, the vote was 40-60 and that constitution was passed.

This was when the MB came completely out out of the closet. A terrorist, armed organization that has hijacked Egypt and was using it as the jumping ground for their international caliphate ambitions. Egypt as a country was just a small part, so nothing was very sacred, not the borders, as in the large scheme of things, all the neighboring countries will be under the caliphate. So the borders with Gaza were opened to let in all the armed militias of Hamas, to be the Islamic army that supports the MB. Sinai became the hunting ground for all Mujahedeen from Afghanistan and elsewhere, including Ayman el Zawhry. The southern border, Halayeb and Shalateen, were verbally given to Sudan. Egypt was being systematically torn apart, with a strong tendency towards internal division. Not only was there an added emphasis on discrimination and violence against Egyptian Christians, but also towards any Muslims who were not Sunni. The security situation became appalling and many ordinary citizens started carrying arms for self defense.  The culmination of this situation came with leaks about northern Sinai being prepared as an alternate land for the Gaza people so that Israel is spared their headache. A new, peaceful movement, started again by those educated students, initiated a signature campaign called Tamarrod (Rebel). The signatories affirmed their rejection of Morsi as President and asked for early elections. This movement took off like wildfire. The disillusioned were now the majority of those previously taken in by the MB as ‚good‘ people. By end June, the anniversary of Morsi taking over, 22+ million sheets of Tamarrod were signed. A call for demonstrations against the MB went out for the 30 June, and on that day 32 million people came out on the streets to show their anger at Morsi and his clan.

This brings us to today. This being the recent history of Egypt, you can understand the polarization perpetrated against the people. There are still some who believe that the MB are the pious clerics that they always thought they were. The tragedy is, that some of them actually ARE those pious people. But the Brotherhood’s ruling Irshad Office, has become this terrorist, power hungry group that is now cornered and is fighting for survival. After the demonstrations on June 30 there was popular demand for the army to remove Morsi BUT NOT TO RULE. That is exactly what El-Sisi did. The MB have practically unlimited funds at their disposal, so they hired a PR firm to put a spin on everything that is happening here to show them in a good light. Even so, there were several incidents where no whitewashing could work. The films that caught members of the brotherhood torturing and killing, and in some cases, throwing children off buildings, could not be swept under the carpet. The bias in the media is unbelievable. To the extent that the demonstrations out in support of El-Sisi were erroneously labeled as pro Morsi.

I live here, and have been doing so all throughout the period I have shown above so I am giving you the benefit of my first hand experience and knowledge. Egyptians who are pro Morsi are deluded by their personal experience of those few really pious Brotherhood members. And here lies the tragedy. They cannot actually see that the terrorists have taken over a previously charitable organization and is now calling for the destruction of Egypt.

Egyptians are under attack, internally by thugs wielding guns, RPG’s, arsonists, snipers, intent on physically and psychologically intimidating them, and externally by countries with their own agendas. This has solidified the peoples‘ resolve to fight for their own existence, for what is perceived as their own way of life.

God bless our beloved Egypt