Kerry offers $450 million to rescue Egyptian economy

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 4, 2013

Shortly before ending his first visit to Cairo, the new Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, said that in his meeting with President Mohamed Morsi he pledged to provide 450 million dollars (350 million euros) in aid to the Arabic country. With various regions declared in default, the government and the opposition unable to resolve their differences, and an economy on the brink of bankruptcy, the troubled Egyptian transition is going through one of its most delicate phases.

In a statement, Kerry linked financial assistance to the promise of the Islamist President to accelerate negotiations to close a loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth 4,800 million dollars. “In light of the dire need and confirmation of President Morsi who aims to complete the process with the IMF, the U.S. will now provide the first $190 million of our promise of $450 million in budget support”, read the text.

As we have already informed readers, the so-called Arab Spring was simply an attempt to seize non-aligned nations to bring them under the debt-based system that governs most of the world. Egypt is the first nation to succumb under the IMF plan to further destroy economies as it did with other third wold nations. The IMF plans to destroy economies was revealed by former insider, Joseph Stiglitz and reported on by investigative journalist Greg Palast.

The funds lent by the U.S. are said to come as rain in May for the Egyptian public coffers. The most populous Arab country has a soaring budget deficit exceeding 10%, and foreign exchange reserves have reached a critical level. Kerry described the aid as “a good faith effort to encourage reforms and help the Egyptian people at this difficult time.” But in reality, the loan is a down payment to guarantee American rights to exploit Egypt for all it has gotten.

During the past two months, the Egyptian pound has depreciated by 10%. If the country does not increase its foreign reserves soon, Egyptians believe the country will face a sharp devaluation of its currency, which could cause a social explosion. Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, so a slump in the Egyptian pound would lead to a price increase of basic products such as bread. The decay of the Egyptian economy, just as it has been done with many other third world and developing nations is part of the calculated, preplanned and controlled destruction orchestrated by the IMF.

Besides a battered economy, Egypt suffers a serious political and social stability, as Kerry could experience in his own flesh. His departure from Cairo had to be delayed about two hours because a group of amateur football club fans of Ahly blocked the road leading to the airport. The action was intended to pressure the court which issued a verdict on the slaughter of Port Said Stadium, which resulted in the death of  74 fans. It is important to remember that Egypt’s current situation is a result of Western interventionism, after countries such as the United States and a handful European powers fully supported the overthrow of their former puppet Hosni Mubarak. The same script was followed later in Libya and is now being used in Syria.

Protests in Port Said are not new. In fact, the city has become the epicenter of a recent wave of protests. Yesterday clashes escalated  between police and protesters, leaving three civilians and two policemen dead and hundreds wounded, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Health. The port city has been experiencing a general strike for the past two weeks as a result of police brutality that claimed the lives of 40 people back in in late January.

The new head of U.S. diplomacy tiptoed by the country’s internal political conflict. “Clearly, we need to work harder and make compromises to restore unity, political stability, and good health of the Egyptian economy,” Kerry said at the end of a visit that has had a busy schedule. Besides President Morsi, the former senator met with the army chief, the Foreign Minister and representatives from the opposition and civil society.

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Arab Spring in Egypt: Mission Accomplished by Western instigators

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 12, 2013

The efforts to destabilize the Middle East paid off rapidly for the Western instigators who supported and financed it from afar. Egypt, Libya and Syria exploded into street fights that ended up with the fall of their respective governments. After that, the Western instigators did what they know best: let the locals light their nations on fire until the time comes to offer humanitarian assistance, as they’ve done in Mali, which is followed by the arrival military force.

This week, the Egyptian opposition organized two marches that will take place today in Cairo to mark the second anniversary of the fall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak and to call for the resignation of the current president, Mohamed Morsi.

In a statement, the main opposition groups announced today that the marches will leave the Fatah Mosque at 17.00 local time (15.00 GMT) in Ramsis Square, and from Sayeda Zeinab in the direction of Tahrir Square.

The Islamist opposition said that the demonstrations are intended to vindicate “the fall of the regime (of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood) and to demand justice for the martyrs”, after the recent riots that have left more than fifty dead in Egypt.

“It’s the second anniversary of the resignation of the dictator (Mubarak), and it’s the right time for the revolutionary forces to achieve their demands for freedom and social justice and to join in a single front to lead the revolution to victory”, said the note issued by the opposition.

Among the groups signing the text are the Constitution Party of Nobel Peace Prize Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt Popular Current Party, from leftist presidential candidate Hamdin Sabahi,  Free Egyptians Party such as Al Wafd, and opposition movements like Kefaya.

Opponents recalled that two years have past since that day when “all people in Tahrir Square waited breathlessly for the speech which announced the resignation of the dictator Hosni Mubarak.”

On 11 February 2011, the Egyptian people celebrated the end of “thirty years of repression, corruption and sabotage,” said the statement, which criticized the movement led by Morsi since June.

The organizers of the march will stress that Morsi “has broken the confidence for telling lies and breaking promises” and during his tenure has become the cause for the  “shed the blood of the Egyptians.”

As for the recent unrest and complaints against the police for the way they attacked demonstrators, the text said that “the new system has created new forms of torture, kidnapping and repression.”

In the past two weeks, more than fifty people have been killed in Egypt and a thousand were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces that began on Jan. 25 during the commemoration of the second anniversary of the revolution that overthrew Mubarak.

Yesterday, a group of protesters blocked access to a government building known as Mugama, in Tahrir, according to local media. Government opponents said they will not let the building open until the Mugama brings about justice for the recent “martyrs” who died in protests, forms a national salvation government and amends the Constitution.

After cheating the people in Egypt, Libya and Syria into believing that the west intended to help overthrow their dictators, now the leaders of western instigators are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for three nations to collapse on themselves to extract every single resource possible, install a new puppet dictator, as it has happened in Egypt, and declare Mission Accomplished.

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Egyptian Judges set to Boycott Morsi’s Referendum

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | DECEMBER 3, 2012

After a special meeting in Cairo, Judges from the Egyptian Court, announced their resignation to oversee the referendum which is intended to ratify the Constitution adopted early Friday. The vote to approve the latest version of the Egyptian Constitution, which is composed mainly by Islamic law, will take place on December 15.

Public protest were added to the Judges’ concern after the  latest decisions of the Islamist government, especially the decree that grants almost absolute powers to Mohamed Morsi. Morsi himself signed the decree which also shields the Constituent Assembly, abandoned by liberal and secular representatives.

“We have decided to boycott the supervision of the Constitutional referendum scheduled for December 15. The protest is a response to what has been called a constitutional declaration. And we will keep it until the decree is removed, “said Ahmed al-Zend, the president of the association and famous scourge of Islamists. The Judges’ decision was taken by a majority, but it is not binding on its members, so that each judge shall endorse or not the call of Al-Zend.

The Judges’ Club, a legal association in Egypt has been organizing the judiciary so that it shows greater hostility to the decree signed by Morsi right from the first moment, urging its members to strike indefinitely until the head of state removes the controversial text. Although there are no official figures, some local media have estimated the strike track by about 100% for the courts, and 75% for appeals.

According to current legislation, judges are responsible for overseeing both elections and referendums. If we consider that in Egypt there are about 12,000 judges, and a similar number of polling stations, it is easy to conclude that the boycott organized by the Club requires only moderate support to prevent the successful holding of the referendum.

However, vice-president Mahmoud Mekki, a judge himself, is confident that his colleagues will end up doing their duty. Sources close to the Muslim Brotherhood suggested to the newspaper Al-Masry al-Youm that university professors or government officials could replace striking judges.

However, this would cast the shadow of doubt on the legitimacy of the referendum and would probably lead to the opposition to boycott. Currently, secular parties and movements are torn between not campaigning or participating in the referendum, hoping that a low turnout will delegitimize the entire constitutional process.

The Judges Club announcement came hours after the Constitutional Court defined Sunday as “the blackest day in the history of the judiciary in Egypt”, after hundreds of Islamist militants encircled their building to bar entry to judges. The Court, which would issue a symbolic verdict on the legality of the Constituent Assembly, suspended its work indefinitely.

The conflict with the judiciary is one of two open fronts that president Morsi is facing at the moment and which have made the Egyptian transition more difficult than expected. The other is the political front. Morsi’s “constitutional declaration” and his decision to accelerate the adoption of the new constitution without reaching a consensus with secular forces set the fragmented opposition up in arms. But what is worse for Morsi, is that he is beginning to show signs of incapacity to create the unity needed to move forward.

Many opposition groups that work under the umbrella of the National Salvation Front are preparing the next mobilization. Such mobilization will take place Tuesday at the gates of the presidential palace. “The National Salvation Front condemns the irresponsible act of the President to convene a referendum on a constitution which we consider to be illegitimate and that is rejected by a large portion of our supporters,” said the statement issued by the coalition.

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Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi shows his Teeth

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 29, 2012

After a modest attempt to bring opponents together, the Egyptian president turned dictator, Mohamed Morsi and his political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, have opted to shield themselves again against the political crisis gripping the country after he granted himself almost absolute power.

On Wednesday night it emerged that the Brotherhood will accelerate the process of drafting the new constitution to finish on Thursday, a move that will deteriorate even more the relations between Islamist and secular.

As we reported last week, one of the most controversial provisions in the constitutional declaration was Morsi’s shielding of the Constituent Assembly against a possible dissolution by the Constitutional Court. The Court was expected to rule on the legality of the committee, now dominated by Islamists, beginning next December 2. Secular forces had withdrawn from the Assembly, hoping that it could lead to a new more balanced committee.

The process of drafting the new constitution began almost six months ago, and had entered its final phase in October. In fact, several drafts have already been published, and the time has come to decide the content of several of the most sensitive items. The President of the Assembly, Hossan al Geriany reported Wednesday that the next day there would be a final vote of each of the 200 items.

“The decision to accelerate the vote will only serve to add fuel to the fire,” said Mohamed Abdel-Alim Dawoud to the Al Ahram newspaper. Dawoud is a member of the historic Wafd party, and one of the representatives of the Constituent Assembly that was removed. The sudden decision is directly related to the political crisis in the country.

For the Muslim Brotherhood the decision to accelerate the process is a way to double its bet on his game with the opposition, presenting some stark choices: accept the exceptional powers or a constitution that is not to their liking. Geriany was very clear: “If you are angry about the decree, nothing better than an approved constitution to solve the problem”.

Under current legislation, the majority needed to approve the Constitution is 57 of the 100 members of the Constituent Assembly. Subsequently, the voted version must be approved in a popular referendum in order to take effect. Despite the withdrawal of the representatives of the secular parties and some civil entities, experts believe that the Islamists possess a quorum to approve a new constitution

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court reacted to Morsi’s accusations about the the Court’s leaks regarding its decisions. The Court accused Morsi of launching a “campaign of relentless attacks” against the institution. In a statement, the Constitutional denies the assertion that it has politicized the political game.

Most political analysts insist that there is a need to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict and the process of drafting the new constitution. Failure to reach an agreement will certainly cause another period of confrontations, both on the media and on the streets.

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Tahrir Square rumbles against the new Dictator

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 28, 2012

A new version of an Arab revolution seems to be brewing in Egypt. Right after the people thought a new beginning was right on the horizon, suddenly the new puppet in chief showed his teeth for the disappointment of many of those who helped elect him.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested on Tuesday and Wednesday against President Mohamed Morsi in one of the largest demonstrations since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, accusing the Islamist leader of seeking to impose a new autocracy. Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths in streets near Tahrir Square in Cairo, the center of the revolt that toppled Mubarak last year.

Clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of Morsi in a town north of Cairo. But violence could not overshadow the show of force which involves both opponents and supporters of the Islamists in power. The latest round of revolts is the biggest challenge for Morsi in his five months in office.

“The people want to topple the regime,” chanted the demonstrators, repeating phrases used in the uprising of 2011. There were also protests in Alexandria, Suez, Minya and Nile Delta cities. The protest organized by leftist groups, liberals and socialists marks an escalation in the worst crisis since the election last June, which exposes divisions inside the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and its rivals.

A 52-year-old protester died after inhaling the gas, the second fatality since Morsi announced last week that he had expanded the decree powers to prevent legal challenges to any of his decisions. The Morsi Government has defended the decree as an effort to speed up reforms and complete the transition to democracy. Opponents accuse him of behaving like a modern pharaoh. United States, a great benefactor of the Egyptian army, has expressed concern, fearing more turmoil in a country that has a crucial peace treaty with Israel.

“We do not want a dictatorship again. Mubarak’s regime was a dictatorship. We’ve had a revolution to bring justice and freedom,” said Ahmed Husseini, 32. The split opposition groups composed by Egyptian Islamist not have joined in the streets, and have yet to build an electoral machine to challenge the well-organized Islamists.

“There are signs that in the last couple of days, Morsi and the Brothers have realized their mistake,” said Elijah Zarwan, a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, adding that the protests were “a clear illustration that this was a political miscalculation. ”

The Morsi measure provoked a rebellion among judges and knocked confidence in an economy struggling to recover from two years of turmoil. The president has yet to implement unpopular measures to contain the country’s crushing budget deficit, necessary to complete an agreement for a loan of 4,800 million from the International Monetary Fund.

Mursi Supporters and opponents clashed with stones and firebombs thrown some in the city of Mahalla el Kubra in the Nile Delta. Medical sources said that nearly 200 people were injured. “The main demand is the withdrawal of the constitutional declaration (the decree). This is the point,” said Amr Moussa, former Arab League chief and presidential candidate who joined the new opposition coalition called the National Salvation Front.

The group includes several leading liberal politicians. Some scholars of the prestigious al-Azhar Mosque and University joined the demonstrations on Tuesday, showing that Morsi and his supporters have alienated some more moderate Muslims. Members of the large minority of Egyptian Christians also joined.

In Washington, the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, urged protesters to behave peacefully. “The current situation is an internal  constitutional dispute in Egypt and can only be decided by the Egyptian people through democratic peaceful dialogue,” he told reporters. Human Rights Watch said that the text gives more power to Morsi of the military junta that is in control of the country. This new regime is supported by the western oppressors who helped take down their long-term puppet, Hosni Mubarak.

The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon told an Austrian newspaper that he encouraged Mursi to resolve the issue through dialogue. In an attempt to ease tensions with the judges who were outraged by his decree, Morsi said to the high court that the fragments of his decree on the immunity of their decisions will be implemented only on issues of importance regarding Egyptian “sovereignty”.

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