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Analysis: Egyptian Violence & U.S. Foreign Policy

August 16th, 2013

08.16.2013 original publish date
08.17.2013, 1:44AM EST minor updates

Egyptians protesting by the presidential palace in Cairo. (Image Credit: Mahmud Khaled)

Egyptians protesting by the presidential palace in Cairo. (Image Credit: Mahmud Khaled)

Analysis: Egyptian Violence & U.S. Foreign Policy

original article written by Net Advisor

EXCERPT: The United States gives billions in aid to Egypt, mostly military. The U.S. forgave $20 Billion in debts to Egypt for their (moral) support of the Gulf War in 1991.

Historically, and not uncommon for the region, Egyptian rulers have been corrupt dictators who became wealthy at the expense of the people where workers earn less than $2.00 a day. Despite receiving over $60 Billion in U.S. aid over 34 years, Egypt’s unemployment, inflation and poverty level remain high.

Like Iraq and Syria, the fundamental issues with internal violence between its people are religious differences. The one thing that the Egyptian people of both religious perceptions can agree on is they can’t stand the United States. A 2011 Pew survey showed that 82% of Egyptians have an “unfavorable” opinion of America. Handing out endless money and weapons at has not changed this perception, nor has it solved any of their problems.

[1] CAIRO, EGYPT. The Egyptian military declared a state of emergency after supporters of the Egyptian Islamic Fundamentalist President, Mohamed Morsi became violent. Protests in Egypt are not new. Egypt’s last president Hosni Mubarak stepped down after heavy public protests and the Egyptian military took over.

“The people of Egypt have spoken. Their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same…”

— President Barack Obama, 02-11-2011 (Source: ABC News)

After winning his first term in office, President Obama gave what become a controversial speech in Cairo in 2009 (shown below). Obama claimed he was a “Christian,” then spouted off his history relating to Muslims since he was a child, quoted the Book of Quran, and made the implication that Thomas Jefferson‘s alleged possession of the Book of Quran suggested that Jefferson was a closet Islamic Fundamentalist (PDF Transcript).

Some have suggested that this speech launched the platform for the “Arab Spring” that soon followed. The movement was seemingly supported by President Obama, who arguably encouraged the Arab Spring further by offering economic assistance to Egypt and Tunisia.

There have been some 19 U.S. Embassies & Staff attacked since Obama’s first term; and all of them in the Middle-East and North Africa. Clearly this 2009 Cairo “New Beginning” speech didn’t quite get translated into coming together, mutual understanding, or partnership rhetoric.

[2] Muslim Brotherhood Prison Break
On or about January 30, 2011, relatives of the Muslim Brotherhood overpowered prison guards and set free thousands of inmates including 34 key members of the organization. Out of jail and no government bothering to do anything about that, one might ask if the Muslim Brotherhood prisoners participated in the organizing and helped vote in Mohamed Morsi in a narrowly won 2012 election.

Egypt’s previous president was about as corrupt as they come. Hosni Mubarak ran Egypt for 30 years and is reportedly to be one of the wealthiest persons in the world. Mubarak and his family who have vanished from the media and the law reportedly have an estimated wealth in the range of forty and seventy billion U.S. dollars. Whereas most Egyptians earn less than $2.00 a day, total U.S. aid to Egypt (mostly military) was about $60 Billion from 1979 to 2008 (Report).

John Kerry (D-MA) at previous meeting with (now former) Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Image Credit: unknown owner)

John Kerry (D-MA) at previous meeting with (now former) Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (Image Credit: unknown owner)

[3] Democratic Power Becomes Tyrant
Morsi won the 2012 election on the platform that he would bring a new democracy to Egypt, and millions fell for the deception. Time called Morisi, “The Most Important man in the Middle-east.” The problem with Morsi is that he quickly revealed his true stripes AFTER he was elected.

“Clashes erupted across Egypt over President Mohamed Morsi’s decree expanding his authority, a move that sharpened lines between Islamists and those who fear the president is stealing power in order to edge the country closer to Islamic law.”

— Source: Los Angeles Times

Morsi granted himself unlimited powers (that sounds democratic now doesn’t it?) to “protect” Egypt from the previous administration’s structure. Egypt’s highest court suspended their work (PDF) to protest the presidential power grab and demanded Morsi rescind the power back to the judicial system.

This is where the protests began. A government being ran without checks and balances of a legal system. By June 2013, the Egyptian protests increased further after an apparent fuel shortage and power-outs.

On July 1, 2013 there were some 43 reported sexual assaults against women including a foreign journalist. The victims were attacked because of their apparent peaceful protests asking Morsi to step down. Millions of Egyptians went to the streets demanding Morisi resign.

The Egyptian military, who has been thus far acting independently from Morsi, had enough of the senseless violence and brutal attacks on women. After millions of people took to the streets to resist becoming an Islamic State, the Egyptian military gave President Morsi 48 Hours to step down from power. Morsi refused to step down, which further escalated the violence. The Egyptian military deposed Morsi and placed him under house arrest.

[4] Obama Administration Supported Muslim Brotherhood, Bypassing Congress
What is disconcerting is that the Obama Administration supported Morsi despite Egypt’s movement to Sunni Islamic law. The Obama Administration continued military and other aid to Morisi’s régime.

“The Obama administration has decided to resume ($1.5 Billion+) funding for Egypt’s military and will bypass congressional requirements…The decision, which senior administration officials said will be announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…”

— Source: Washington Post

The Egyptian military began cracking down on the violent protests and arrested Muslim Brotherhood leaders who were support Morsi’s Islamic movement.

President Barack Obama talks with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest aboard Air Force One during a flight to Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011 (image: official White House Blog, image in the public domain)

President Barack Obama talks with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest aboard Air Force One during a flight to Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011 (image: official White House Blog, image in the public domain)

[5] White House’s Egyptian Fantasyland
The Obama Administration still seems to have this foreign policy fantasy about Egypt. On 08-14-2013, the White House made this press release about increasing violence over Morsi supporters.

“The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt. We extend our condolences to the families of those who have been killed, and to the injured. We have repeatedly called on the Egyptian military and security forces to show restraint, and for the government to respect the universal rights of its citizens, just as we have urged protesters to demonstrate peacefully.

Violence will only make it more difficult to move Egypt forward on a path to lasting stability and democracy, and runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation. We also strongly oppose a return to a State of Emergency law, and call on the government to respect basic human rights such as freedom of peaceful assembly, and due process under the law.

The world is watching what is happening in Cairo. We urge the government of Egypt – and all parties in Egypt – to refrain from violence and resolve their differences peacefully.”

Josh Earnest, Principle Deputy White House Press Secretary said on 08-14-2013 (Source: WhiteHouse.gov PDF)

[6] Analysis of John Earnest’ Speech
First of all the so-called, “protesters” are supporters of the Islamic dictator, Morsi. Ousted Egyptian President Morsi was a member of, and is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928, and is the largest political opposition group in the Middle-east. Their goal is to promote Sunni Islamism and develop an Islamic State. The rule of government is not by democracy as many people incorrectly think. Their rule of law is by religion – specifically the Orthodox teachings of the Quran.

Despite the cover claim that the group is all about peace, the reality is the organization is a threat to western civilization.

“The (Muslim Brotherhood) movement initially aimed simply to spread Islamic morals and good works, but soon became involved in politics, particularly the fight to rid Egypt of British colonial control and cleanse it of all Western influence.”

— Source: BBC

A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters close to the largest sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Egyptian police in riot gear swept in with armored vehicles and bulldozers Wednesday to clear the sit-in camps set up by supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president in Cairo, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out. (AP Photo/Aly Hazzaa, El Shorouk Newspaper) (caption credit: AP)

A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters close to the largest sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Egyptian police in riot gear swept in with armored vehicles and bulldozers Wednesday to clear the sit-in camps set up by supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president in Cairo, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out (AP Photo/Aly Hazzaa, El Shorouk Newspaper) (caption credit: AP).

From a behavioral analysis view point, we’d argue that the idea for “peace” by the Muslim Brotherhood organization only exists if you subscribe to their religion, their laws, their teachings, and lead their way of life according to the Quran. If one is opposed to such, or does not follow Shia Islam law, are not recognized by the religious organization. We have seen over decades what these extremists groups have done to mostly Western targets.

“The Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy for realizing its mission of “destroying Western civilization from within” was described in an undated 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document entitled “Phases of the World Underground Movement Plan.” In this part, we investigate what they’re doing to implement it.”

— Source: Center for Security and Policy (HTML) (PDF)

[7] Peaceful Protests?
We are told almost daily how Islam is a peaceful religion, and for most of its faithful followers, it probably is. There are fractions, albeit unknown in material size who believe that violence is a means to their religious end. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad called for “Friday of Anger” Marches.”

Mr. El-Haddad’s Twitter feed is full of men and women who seem to think violence is a means to an end. In fact, one flower tweeted back to Gehad El-Haddad to “…attack police stations, governmental places, burn churches and mosques, kill people, call for violence!”

In case the CIA or NSA is reading this, the above Twitter user known as “Bakabeko Ghazi” posted his apparent real name and flight information from Kuwait to Dubai last year. In case it gets deleted here is a PDF copy. If not sure what to do with this information, we’re available for consulting.

[8] U.S. Foreign Policy Concerns
In 2011, Muhammad Ghannem, an apparent leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly told Iranian news network that Egyptians should prepare for war with Israel.

“A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt told the Arabic-language Iranian news network Al-Alam on Monday that he would like to see the Egyptian people prepare for war against Israel…”

— Source: Jerusalem Post, 02-01-2011

Former U.S. Congressman Allen West (R-FL) said after the 2012 Egyptian election of Muslim Brotherhood proponent, Mohamed Morsi: “I call upon President Barack Obama to cut off American foreign aid to Egypt, denounce the results of this election, repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood, and all radical Islamist political entities.”

Allen West (R-FL) Official Portrait 112th Congress (2011-2013) (Source: Wikipedia)

Allen West (R-FL) Official Portrait 112th Congress (2011-2013) (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2013 West argued (PDF) that the Muslim Brotherhood “infiltrated” the Obama Administration.

“In 2009 President Obama traveled to Egypt and delivered a very conciliatory speech at the University of Cairo. Not much later, events termed the ‘Arab Spring’ compelled President Obama to advocate for the deposing of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak,” West posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

“Many warned of the rise of the ‘granddaddy of Islamic terrorism,’ the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt as the only viable and organized political entity. We were castigated as alarmists and Islamophobes. The Muslim Brotherhood even lied about running a candidate for president.

We are now witnessing the result of our blindness. Read the Muslim Brotherhood’s charter.

Read the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum Strategic Goal for North America that was uncovered during an FBI raid in Northern Virginia (PDF).

Read Erick Stakelbeck’s book, ‘The Brotherhood: America’s Next Enemy.’ And yes, we do have Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups and individuals infiltrated into this current Obama administration. This is serious.”

— Said FMR U.S. Congressman Allen West (R-FL) [Source: Sunshine State News, Florida (PDF)]

If not recognized by the U.S. in the past, we have seen that the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have aggressive ambitions that include violence to force others to recognize that their religious convictions are the only ones to be recognized.

A Morsi-supporter targets a homemade gun at security forces. (Caption Credit: Daily Star 08-15-2013; Image Credit: AFP/ Reuters).

A Morsi-supporter targets a homemade gun at security forces (Caption Credit: Daily Star 08-15-2013; Image Credit: AFP/ Reuters).

[9] Forgiving Debts and Arming Egypt?
The U.S. and western allies forgave some $20 Billion of Egyptian debt for their ‘support’ in the 1991 Gulf War against Saddam Hussein‘s unprovoked invasion into Kuwait.

The U.S. has been arming Egypt for decades. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama continued to arm President Morsi. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) criticized the Obama Administration for sending F-16 Fighter jets to Egypt.

“It is reckless and unwise for the U.S. to give F-16s to Egypt and its new president/dictator, controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood,” Poe explained. “This extremist group is notoriously anti-American and anti-Israel. The United States should not be arming a country ruled by a group that has the destruction of Israel in its charter.”

— Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) (Source: Breitbart PDF)

In 2010, President Morsi went on the offensive against President Obama for Obama’s apparent stance with Israel.

“One American president after another — and most recently, that Obama — talks about American guarantees for the safety of the Zionists in Palestine,” Morsi, then a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said on Egyptian TV in reaction to Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo. “[Obama] was very clear when he uttered his empty words on the land of Egypt. He uttered many lies.”

— Former Egyptian President Morsi said in 2010 (Source: Fox News PDF)

Despite all these concerns and instability in Egypt, the Obama Administration began sending Egypt’s Moris F-16 fighter jets and 200 Abrams tanks anyway (Source: Fox News PDF).

[10] Fairy Tale vs. Reality
The U.S. is bent on sending billions to Egypt – money that we don’t have and to get it we borrow from China [Report, Point 3]. There is a public and private reality in Egypt whereas we have one perception on how the U.S. wants Americans to view aid to Egypt:

How the U.S. wants Americans to view aid to Egypt. (Source: U.S. Aid - Egypt website 08-14-2013)

How the U.S. wants Americans to view aid to Egypt. (Source: U.S. Aid – Egypt website 08-14-2013)

Photo Above: How the U.S. wants Americans to view aid to Egypt (Source: U.S. Aid – Egypt website capture 08-14-2013).

Photo Below: What is really going on in Egypt. Many may have forgotten that the U.S. Embassy was attacked in Cairo, Egypt not only on 09-11-2012, but 13 other times in Obama’s first term. The U.S. Embassy in Egypt issued a subsequent apology for offending Muslims in regard to an internet video not related to the U.S. or any government that mocked Mohammad.  The Cairo Embassy deleted the apology from its website, but not before we captured it (Full Report). The U.S. gives billions in aid, and this is the support we get?

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo September 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (caption credit: Reuters)

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo September 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (caption credit: Reuters)

Principle Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “…(Egyptian) government (currently ran by the military, should) …respect the universal rights of its citizens, just as we have urged protesters to demonstrate peacefully.”

What the White House does not seem to understand is that the Egyptian military is acting on behalf of the people who are against a tyrannical (Islamic Orthodox State) government. The military is just trying to quash the violence stirred up by the Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and supporters who are actively engaged in attacking the police, military, and civilians.

[11] Egypt’s Economy
Due to the most recent military Coup d’état, and subsequent ousting of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, current data for Egypt’s economic status may be a bit inaccurate. Based on this CIA report (PDF), the following is a key summary of Egypt’s economy.

  • Unemployment Rate: 13.5% (2012 est.)
  • Percentage of Population Below Poverty Line: 20% (2005 est.)
  • Inflation Rate: 7.1% (2012 est.)
  • Bank Prime Lending Rate: 12% (min. rate charged to best customers) (2012 est).
  • Gov Revenues: +$50.8 Billion
  • Expenditures: -$77.69 Billion (2012 est.)
  • Value Egypt Stock Market: $48.68 Billion (12-31-2011), down -45.88% since 12-31-2009.

Given current instability in Egypt, we would expect to see unemployment, inflation and lending rates to increase, and the value of the stock market to fall sharply until some real stability in government occurs.

London Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi predicts Egypt’s unemployment rate to hit 15 percent this year, and GDP growth is currently in “free fall” from 1.2 percent.

“The country’s stock market and banks are closed today, and yields on government bonds have spiked. Foreign investors are rushing for the exits, though many can’t get out because Egypt’s currency can’t readily be converted into dollars. Growth, earlier forecast to reach 1.2 percent this year, “is in freefall,” and unemployment could rise to 15 percent from its current 13 percent by year-end, predicts Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital in London.”

— Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek (PDF), 08-15-2013

Many have argued that the underline goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to rid Christians as their religion is not accepted by the Orthodox Islamists.

Many have argued that the underline goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to rid Christians as their religion is not accepted by the Orthodox Islamists.

[12] Egypt (Iraq, Syria), It’s All a Religious War
Violence in the Middle-East and for most of Africa now seems pretty commonplace. There is no real democracy in the region. For the most part, Middle-East and North African governments have been historical controlled by Monarchs, Kings, dictators usually under military power. The one common view with a number of these states is a fundamental view of a religion that contains strong factions that have demonstrated much violence against the West.

These fundamental religious conflicts leading to war and overthrowing governments have been ongoing since around 632 A.D. The conflict has been religious differences between Sunni (Islam) and Shia (Islam). This is the reason why no Western government is going to make any permanent changes in Middle Eastern or North African governments. The interpretation of Islam from these two groups conflict where they would rather fight and die for their religion, than sit down and negotiate some hand-holding ideological fantasy that can be only created by Washington DC bureaucrats.

It is just insane for anyone to think that one can somehow create a public “democracy” when the Sunnis want an Islamic State ONLY advocating and supporting their hard-line religious views of the Quran. Anyone who opposes them, are deemed a threat and wallah, we have over 1,000+ years of war and instability in those regions of the world.

Favorable opinions of the United States from the viewpoint of Egyptians fell under the Bush Administration from 30% to roughly 22%. President Obama got a spike in a favorable opinion in 2009 but that opinion of Obama has tanked to just 17% favorable (Graphic: Pew Research Global Attitudes Survey. Source: Huffington Post).

[13] Egypt Has a Very Low Opinion of America
Sending billions and billions of U.S. tax dollars to Egypt has not improved their economy, created material jobs, or eradicated the poor by any stretch. In case anyone is wondering how Egypt views the U.S. and the Bush and Obama Administrations, Egypt pretty much despises the U.S. and its leadership – Republican and Democrat alike.

“The favorability rating of the United States among Egyptians has fallen sharply, from 30 percent in 2006 to 17 percent last year. More than four out of five Egyptians (82 percent) now rate the U.S. negatively, including nearly half (48 percent) who give the United States a “very unfavorable” rating.”

— Source: Huffington Post, 05-25-2011 (HTML) (PDF)

In case one is not convinced on religious intolerance (against Christians) , on 08-15-2013, CNN reported that 52 Christian churches were targeted and torched in just a 24-hr period.

“Bishop Angaelos, the Cairo-born head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said he was told by colleagues in Egypt that 52 churches were attacked in a 24-hour span that started Wednesday, as well as numerous Christians’ homes and businesses.”

— Source: CNN, 08-15-2013

President Obama’s response was to cancel military training exercises with Egypt with no explicit remarks to attacking defenseless (Christian) churches.

President Barack Obama, center, walks with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, left, and World Bank President Jim Kim, right, on Aug. 14. (Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP; Caption Credit: NY Daily News, 08-14-2013)

President Barack Obama, center, walks with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, left, and World Bank President Jim Kim, right, on Aug. 14. (Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP; Caption Credit: NY Daily News, 08-14-2013)

[14] Another Foreign Policy Fiasco. Golf Anyone?
Mr. Obama has been on vacation; recently playing golf with Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast Cable who raised $1.4 Million+ for Obama’s 2012 campaign. Of course there is no conflicts of interest of a major cable media organization head financing your political campaign while they broadcast “their views” on your political goals. Now back to Egypt.

The Obama Administration refuses to call the actions in Egypt a coup, which by definition that is what happened. The President has ignored or downplayed the fact that the U.S. Embassy in Egypt has been attacked at least 14 times under his watch.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly talked about praising and respecting the Muslim religion, but never once took leadership, equally defending Christianity. There isn’t a single instance of Christians running around the world attacking people for opposing religious beliefs, setting fire to or looting embassies, or other people’s places of worship.

Clearly, it doesn’t matter who is in power, Americans are not welcome in Egypt. These states consistently vote AGAINST U.S. resolutions at the United Nations, yet, the U.S. continues to send money and weapons arming the region without question.

Congress continues to support the Presidents’ ignore the reality manta. So keep in mind Congress when cutting checks and giving tanks and fighter jets to Egypt that the people there pretty much despise Americans; the government has been historically corrupt, and Egypt (or insert any country in the Middle-East, North Africa or East Asia here) will never do what the U.S. wishes and become some democratic state so long as enough religious radicals exist in the same land.

[15] Quiz: Three Easy Steps to a Failed Foreign Policy
In case one has not figured this out by now, here are three easy steps to a failed foreign policy.

  • What country gives endless amounts of money and weapons to people who have a very negative opinion about you?
  • What country tolerates and continues to support the liberties of other counties who are bent on breaking ours?
  • Despite knowing that these foreign states will always end up representing their own interests, what county continues running the same ideological policies over and over again expecting a different result?

Principle Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest recently said, “We urge the government of Egypt – and all parties in Egypt – to refrain from violence and resolve their differences peacefully.”

This is truly ideological statesmanship. It sounds reasonable, but the statement makes one big failed assumption. It assumes you are dealing with sound-minded, reasonable people. When applying this policy to religious-driven Islamic states, it is like building a house on quicksand; it just won’t work.

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About the author:
Net Advisor™ has long followed global events, developed military strategy games, and in 1993 while attending a major private University, wrote a research report titled: “International Terrorism: Challenge to U.S. Intelligence.” Net Advisor’s reports on National Security and Terrorism can be found here.

See more reports in our foreign policy archive

image / graphic credits: where noted.

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