Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 20th, 2012

“Thugs in the Egyptian Army are still ruling”: Robert Fisk

Which Egyptian Presidential candidate won the election?

Murci of the Moslem Brotherhood that Saudi Arabia hate?

Chafic of the Mubarak regime that the Egyptian army, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US love?

The Egyptian high command of the army wants us to wait till Thursday to decide, not what the people voted for…

Is Mubarak dead yet?  The Egyptian high command of the army wants us to wait for the proper timing to declare the status of the former dictator…

Robert Fisk wrote in The Independent this June 18:

“Millions of Egyptians turn their backs on the brave young revolutionaries of Tahrir Square. Time to remember old General Mohammed Neguib who kicked off Egypt’s first post-war revolution by plotting the overthrow of King Farouk almost exactly 60 years ago.

Neguib and his fellow Egyptian army officers had been debating whether to execute the obese Farouk or send him into exile. Nasser opted to shoot the monarch. Neguib asked for a vote.

In the early hours, Nasser wrote a note to Neguib:

“The Liberation Movement should get rid of Faruk [sic] as quickly as possible in order to deal with what is more important – namely, the need to purge the country of the corruption that Faruk will leave behind him. We must pave the way towards a new era in which the people will enjoy their sovereign rights and live in dignity. Justice is one of our objectives. We cannot execute Faruk without a trial. Neither can we afford to keep him in jail and preoccupy ourselves with the rights and wrongs of his case at the risk of neglecting the other purposes of the revolution. Let us spare Faruk and send him into exile. History will sentence him to death.”

(Zionist Trosky begged to differ and executed Russia Tzar and all his family members, without trial)

The association of corruption with the ancien regime has been a staple of all revolutions.

Justice sounds good. And today’s Egyptians still demand dignity. But surely Nasser got it right: better to chuck the old boy out of the country than to stage a distracting and time-consuming trial when the future of Egypt, the “other purposes of the revolution”, should be debated.

Today’s military played an equally shrewd but different game: they insisted Mubarak go on trial – bread and circuses for the masses, dramatic sentences to keep their minds off the future – while realigning the old Mubarakites ( and Mukhabarat) to preserve their own privileges.

The ex-elected head of the judges’ club in Egypt, Zakaria Abdul-Aziz, has rightly pointed out that even if Mubarak was put on trial, the January-February 2011 killing went on for days, “and they [the generals] did not order anyone to stop it. The Ministry of Interior is not the only place that should be cleansed. The judiciary needs that.”

It was Mubarak’s senior judges who permitted the deposed dictator’s last Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafik, to stand in this weekend’s run-off for President.

As Omar Ashour, an academic in both Exeter and Doha, has observed, “when protesters stormed the State Security Investigations [SSI] headquarters and other governorates in March 2011, torture rooms and equipment were found in every building“.

And what happened to the lads who ran these vicious institutions for Mubarak, clad alternatively in French-designed suits or uniforms dripping with epaulettes? They got off scot-free.

Here are some names for The Independent’s readers to stick in their files: Hassan Abdul-Rahman, head of the SSI; Ahmed Ramzi, head of Central Security Forces (CSF); Adly Fayyed, head of “Public Security”; Ossama Youssef, head of the Giza Security Directorate; Ismail al-Shaer, boss of the Cairo Security Directorate – “shaer”, by the way, means “poet” – and Omar Faramawy, who ran the 6 October Security Directorate.

I will not use the words “culture of impunity” – as Omar Ashour does without irony – but the acquittal of the above gentlemen means that Mubarak’s 300,000-strong SSI and CSF thugs are still in business.

It is impossible to believe the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – still running Egypt and commanded by Mubarak’s old mate Field Marshal Tantawi – was unaware of the implications of this extraordinary state of affairs.

If Mubarak represented Faruk, and his sons Gamal and Alaa the future leaders of the royal family, then the 2011 Egyptian revolution represented 1952 without the king’s exile and with a shadow monarchy still in power.

The belief among journalists and academics that Tahrir Square would fill once again with the young of last year’s rebellion, that a new protest movement in its millions would end this state of affairs, has – so far – proved unrealistic.

Over the weekend, Egyptians wanted to vote rather than demonstrate – even if the country’s security apparatus would end up running the show as usual – and if this is democracy is going to be of the Algerian rather than the Tunisian variety.

Maybe I just don’t like armies, while Egyptians do?

But let’s go back to Neguib. He went aboard the royal yacht in July 1952 to say goodbye to the king he was deposing.  King Farouk told Neguib: “I hope you’ll take good care of the army. My grandfather, you know, created it.(Meaning Muhammad Ali)”

Neguib replied: “The Egyptian army is in good hands.” And Farouk’s last words to the general? “Your task will be difficult. It isn’t easy, you know, to govern Egypt…”

Neguib concluded that governing would be easier for the military because “we were at one with the Egyptian people”.

Indeed. Then Nasser kicked out Neguib, prisons reopened and torturers were installed. Then came General Sadat and General Mubarak. And now?

“Stop handout to oil and gas companies…” Robert Redford campaign

Robert Redford is launching a campaign against oil and gas multinational companies on The Heff. This article was published on June 18, 2012 (with slight editing):

“Every year, around the world, almost one trillion dollars (1,000 billion) of subsidies is handed out to help the fossil fuel industry.

Who came up with the crazy idea that the fossil fuel industry deserves our hard-earned money, no less in economic times of such harsh human consequence?

We fire teachers, police and firemen in drastic budget cuts and yet, the fossil fuel industry can laugh all the way to the bank on our dime? Something doesn’t add up here.

We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet. Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?

As they go after more expensive and harder to access fossil fuels, it is like drilling a hole in our pocketbooks. We pay more at the pump. We pay in taxpayer subsidies to a highly profitable industry.

And we pay in the rising costs of climate change in the form of floods, storms and droughts that hurt our homes and communities.

Our world leaders are gathering in Rio over the coming days for a historic meeting twenty years after the first Earth Summit.

We are looking to our governments to show leadership and commit to real timetables and actions for fighting climate change, including ending fossil fuel subsidies. Sure, they’ve made commitments to stop these unnecessary payouts.

But commitments need to become action to have any meaning.  And despite strong words, we are not yet seeing action on the ground.

In the United States, President Obama has repeatedly proposed cutting $4 billion in annual federal subsidies to the oil and gas industry and several bills to cut fossil fuel subsidies are stalled in Congress.

Think about what else we could do with one trillion dollars.

1. We could create clean energy jobs,. If you have a dollar to invest — investing that dollar in clean energy creates three times the jobs of the same dollar invested in the fossil fuel industry.

2. limit greenhouse gas emissions that create climate change and help make a healthier and more secure life for our children. Instead, we give 12 times as much in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry as we give to clean energy industries like wind and solar.

In fact, studies show that fossil fuel subsidies slow economic growth. Clean energy is a great example of building a green economy. Ending fossil fuel subsidies is good for our pocketbooks, economic growth and for our health and environment.

In poll after poll after poll, the public says they want more renewable energy and less fossil fuels.

So why aren’t our world leaders doing more to deliver what the public wants instead of what oil, gas and coal companies want? We need to hold our leaders accountable for the choices they make on our behalf.

People around the world are waking up to the absurdity of subsidizing Big Oil and Coal.

Over a million people have already signed onto a petition to end fossil fuel subsidies. And on June 18, people from all over the world will be sending world leaders message on Twitter and Facebook to #endfossilfuelsubsidies.

Just last March, President Obama said,

“Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising.”

These proposals have so far failed in the face of strong industry opposition and the fossil fuel industry is equally obstructive elsewhere in the world.

In a time of economic hardship, progressing climate change and a growing demand for reliable and clean sources of energy, using taxpayer money to help oil, gas and mining companies represent a reckless and irrational use of taxpayer money and government investment. We can do better.

We need the fossil fuel industry to stop asking us to pay the price for their greed.

We need our world leaders to turn their words into actions. And we can start by reminding them to #endfossilfuelsubsidies.




June 2012

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