Many surprises of the â€œArab Spring”, still evolving
Posted on July 1st, 2012
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ajit Randeniya
The swearing in last week of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first freely elected civilian president marked the latest development in the series of curious ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œuprisingsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, tagged the Arab Spring by the American and other western media, that gripped North Africa and the Middle-East, in late 2010, and 2011.
The ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œspringÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ began in Tunisia with the peaceful toppling of strongman and ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œperpetual presidentÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Morocco also underwent a brief, bloodless revolution when in February 2011, King Muhammed VI swiftly stepped down in response to protests. Next was Egypt, and western expectation was ripe that all the propaganda and undermining was beginning to open new doors for them, hopefully, by ousting ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œrecalcitrantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ leaders replaced by the naÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¯ve and the corruptible.
Convulsions that slightly upset the game plan were also felt against the US client regimes in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain and Jordan. However, doubts on the authenticity of the claimed spontaneity of the break out of ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œspringÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ were beginning to be generated when the protests in these US client states failed, and especially when the champions of democracy and human rights failed to ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œspeak toughÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ against the brutal suppression of protests there: the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œuprisingsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ were beginning to look more like a part of a geopolitical campaign conceived and orchestrated by the neocons within theirÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ think tankÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ seminar rooms in Washington D.C. and New York.
Such doubts were reinforced by the sequence of events that led to the violent overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in Libya: the power grab by an influential ethnic and regional minority group with military and financial ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â assistance of foreign players (the UK and Nato) hardly conformed to the model that was displayed in the other countries. Similarly in Syria, the US hand appeared clearly behind the majority Sunni Muslim uprising against the Assad regime.
It can now be revealed that theÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ Arab SpringÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ that was sold to the world as a series of ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œspontaneousÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œindigenousÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ uprisings were in fact, operations planned, assisted and funded by the US government and a number of so-called American NGOs; a number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, received training and financing from the US State Department and other disingenuous, notorious groups like the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a shadowy group created by Congress in 1983 that receives around $100 million annually from the US government. Other neocon groupings such as the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Freedom House have also been key players.
As to the shadowy past of the groups behind the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œspringÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, the NID has been a major pusher of foreign wars under the cover of bringing “democracy” to “oppressed” peoples; it was also a backer of the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œProject for a New American CenturyÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, the Hitlerian document that called for the powerful enforcement of AmericaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s global hegemony. NDI’s board of directors is led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a Democrat and the IRI’s board is led by Sen. John McCain. Freedom House was founded by Wendell Willkie, a Republican, and Eleanor Roosevelt, a Democrat and receives funding from the Dutch government too. The Obama administration cleared the way for NDI and IRI to engage with Islamist political groups, including those associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
As to their nefarious activities aimed at precipitating the Arab Spring, it has now come to light that as far back as 2008, they together with US governmental bodies including the State Department convened a bogus ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œsummitÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ named the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œAlliance of Youth MovementsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ (AYM) in New York City, with the specific objectives of providing training, networking opportunities, and financial support to the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œactivistsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ to be exploited for the operation.
The AYM 2008 summit was attended by James Glassman, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Jared Cohen of the policy planning staff of the Office of the Secretary of State and other State Department staff and advisers, along with a long list of corporate, media, and institutional representatives.
US State Department’s Michael Posner reassured the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œsummitÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ that the US government has budgeted $50 million (2008-2010) to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“authoritarianÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â governments. Posner advised the gathering that the US has organised training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world and they, upon return to home countries would need to train their colleagues, to create the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“ripple effectÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â (that would later be called the Arab Spring).
Shortly afterward, activists including the notorious ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œApril 6ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ group from Egypt were sent to Serbia to train under US-funded CANVAS, formally the US-funded NGO “Otpor” who helped overthrow the government of Serbia in 2000. They also underwent training in other US-backed regime change operations before returning to Egypt in 2010, along with UN IAEA Chief Mohammed El Baradei.
The Voice of America reported that the US funnelled at least $6 million to the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based umbrella group of Syrian exiles over the last few years. In addition, $500M was funnelled to the former Vice President of Syria Abdul Halim Khaddam, who lived in Paris and Brussels, to organise the move to topple Assad. The funds potentially originated from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states but were apparently tranferred to Kaddam’s French and Swiss bank accounts by Saad Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon.
But the neoconsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ real target was Egypt due to the need to oversee and manage events there so that the future of the 1979 ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œPeace TreatyÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ Sadat signed was not threatened. The Egyptian military however, despite their corrupt past association with Israel and the US, resented their pay mastersÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ plot to take total control of vents since Mubarak’s ouster: the generals charged that “foreign hands” were behind the opposition to their rule and that the protesters were receiving funds from abroad in a plot to destabilize the country.
In December 2011, a month after the Freedom House’s office was opened in Cairo, the Egyptian military government announced an investigation of the NGOs and raided 17 offices of 10 NGOs, and referred 19 Americans including Sam LaHood, the Egypt director of the IRI, the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and 24 other employees to trial before a criminal court on accusations they illegally used foreign funds to foment unrest in the country.
The prosecuting judge said the NGOsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ work ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“is purely political and has nothing to do with civil society,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â and one foreign NGO had sought help from a local operation to launch a website where the number and locations of churches would be listed, as well as identify the location of army units in Ismailia and Suez. The judge also said:ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“Surveys were conducted across the country by these NGOs asking Egyptians about their religious beliefs and their dress codes; the results of these surveys are never published in Egypt, but are secretly reported to their mother organisations in the US. He added: ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“One piece of evidence we found was a map showing Egypt divided into four parts: Upper Egypt, the Delta, Greater Cairo and the Canal provinces,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â, suggesting a foreign plot to divide EgyptÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â the judge said.
Hilary Clinton and the rest of the international crusader team threatened the military regime with aid cuts if the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œNGOÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ workers were not released, to no avail.
But the American beast has many tentacles; they were also working on the presidential election. They had a number of proven ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œUS compliantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ candidates like, the former Arab League chief Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister. Sensing danger that the corrupt vote was going to be divided, Moussa asked Shafiq to withdraw but he did not cooperate.
Also, there were strange developments relating to the candidacy of the ultimate winner Mohamed Morsi who was supposed to be the candidate of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood: he resigned from the Brotherhood after his election to parliament, and Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), after assuming legislative powers by disbanding parliament, vowed to support the supposedly Islamist Morsi: signs of a ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œdeal perhaps!
MorsiÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s repeated pledge that Cairo would respect its international treaties, is unlikely to meet the expectations of the Islamists who voted for him. His pledge that there would be “no Islamisation of state institutions” during his presidency also may be counter to the demands of the Islamist voters. The most radical pronouncement Morsi had made so far on middle eastern affairs relates to his solidarity with the Palestinian people ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“until they regain all their rights”.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has written to Morsi ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“urging him to uphold the 1979 peace accord and wishing him good luckÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â.
MorsiÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s performance as president is likely to come under heavy scrutiny, especially his position on the 1979 accord, with Israel by his electoral power base. Without casting doubts on the character and integrity of the newly elected President Morsi, it needs to be noted that he has US connections through the four years he spent at University of Southern California where he completed a PhD in engineering, and further three years as assistant professor at California State University in Los Angeles. Judging by the nature of power transfers that Arab Spring brought in Tunisia, Morocco and Libya, it is too early to suggest that a new era has dawned in Egypt.
Only time, and MorsiÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s actions will tell!