Egypt Unfit to Lead

3 07 2013

Any one who thinks Egypt is ready to lead the Arab world has to think twice. The coming hours will show once again that Egypt political leadership whether Muslim Brothers or “secular nationalists” are unfit to lead and manage a country in transition.

The late Gamal Abdul Nasser was the closet thing to come to an Arab leader. He was charismatic, mesmerizing in his speeches, uniting Arabs from the Atlantic to the Gulf with his vision of Pan Arabism. A vision and practice that proved a total disaster.

Despite Nasser’s rhetoric of promoting revolutionary changes in the Arab world and the transformation of the country’s rural society, he failed to address the urgent needs of the Egyptian people for freedom and liberty and true comprehensive political reforms that empower the people and not only the “effendi” and military officers. Instead, he transformed Egypt from a corrupt monarchy with ruling elites to a military dictatorship and police state. Nasser rule brought an end to intellectual discussions and debates on liberal democracies and visions of a new state. And that debate never took off again during Sadat or Mubarak regimes.

Nasser failure to transform the political, economic and social systems in Egypt into a working model for other Arab countries to follow paved the way for other Arab dictatorships to take hold across the Arab world. Although Nasser rhetoric certainly contributed to the toppling of longstanding regimes in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and even Syria, the new leaders that replaced them also transformed these countries into military dictatorships and police states.

Nasser institutionalized the role of the military and empowerment of the one party state (Arab Socialist Union). Nasser, much like his successors, never allowed for the emergence of political and intellectual diversity in Egypt for fear that such leadership may form a danger and a challenge to their leadership. Nasser was reliant on a group of military officers who were ill trained and unqualified to manage the significant problems of failing transportation, housing, health services, food production and distribution, standards of living, and poverty challenges that Egypt was facing and continue to face some 60 years later.

Nasser did initiate the industrialization of Egypt, a process started with Mohammed Ali (1769-1849) the Albanian who ruled and started the dynasty Nasser ended. Mohammed Ali was truly the father of modern day Egypt. Nasser’s political, industrial, even agrarian policies followed the Soviet model, which failed to uplift and improve the quality of life for citizen. The failure of these policies can still be seen today.

For example, Nasser’s rural reforms earned him the good will of millions of Egyptians who were “chattels” on the land. He ended “”Iqta,” the leasing of large tracks of land to the political and economic elite at the expense of Egypt’s rural poor, in place since the Mamluk Dynasty (1250-1517). Despite promises of greater prosperity for the country’s rural poor, his rural and agricultural reforms were ill conceived and badly implemented, resulting in the inability of rural farmers to sustain their needs from the small farms they gained under such land reforms. Rural Egypt became landscape of his regime’s failures in agrarian reforms.

Having failed to transform Egypt to a modern viable democracy marked by free elections, the establishment of diverse political parties, free assembly, free speech and independent judiciary, Nasser gave way for Anwar Sadat to become an absolute ruler. Sadat jailed thousands, and enabled the country’s elite to loot the country under his open policy of “Infitah” or “open door economic policy” that improvished millions of professionals and the middle class that had their hopes lifted from Nasser egalitarian educational reform.

Hosni Mubarak continued the trend of widening the income gap in Egypt and allowed his wife and sons to organize the looting of the country. Millions of Egyptians were impoverished, while the small elite became richer. Political reforms were stalled, and the rigging of elections was the standard and an accepted part of the political landscape. An independent judiciary was nowhere to be seen, corruption was everywhere, and the jailing and arresting of the opposition – mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood – became standard in Mubarak’s Egypt.

After 30 years of oppressive rule and years of mass disenfranchisement by successive Egyptian regimes, a revolution of anger and resentment fueled the people’s courage to face the Mubarak regime’s brutal oppression on the streets.

Contrary to the many revolutions (Russia, France, US, Czechoslovakia among others) that were lead by intellectuals and free thinkers, The Egyptian Uprising was lead by young energetic committed people and mostly secularist Egyptians who wanted a fair share in the country’s political life, free from oppression and corruption. Neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor the present Salvation Front leadership (exception Ayman Nour) was present in the front lines facing Mubarak police and thugs.

Only when it became clear Mubarak regime had no chance did the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood and the leaders of Salvation Front join the revolution. The thousands who died in the protests did not die for the Brotherhood or for Amr Musa or Hamdeen Sbahi. They died for Egypt.

The result of the police state institutionalized by Nasser is what we see today. Egypt never had credible political leadership with a vision for the future; a future based on social justice, fair, just and independent judicial system, equal opportunities for a quality life, free from the degrading poverty majority of Egyptians endured for centuries.

The Egyptian elites remain, with even the country’s intellectual and artistic elites lacking any connection to the millions of Egyptians living in absolute poverty and daily humiliation standing before breadline’s vegetable and meat stands. They enjoyed their private clubs, shopping sprees in Milan and Paris, being driven around Cairo in limousines, Mercedes Bens and MBWs, with a lack of awareness of the tens of millions who had to endure assault, robbery and crowded buses. They have to wait in the breadlines to get a few loafs of “paper bread.” Egypt has not changed much since Nasser further entrenched the hold that the country’s elite had on resources and political power.

Dr. Morsi and his Brothers failed to understand that his election has nothing to do with an “Islamic State” or a “Sharia.” It has every thing to do with addressing the urgent need for social justice, delivery of food to the table, improvement in public service, collection of garbage, and the delivery of health services. Morsi election’s has nothing to do with “Halal or Haram,” and it certainly had nothing to do with “Heaven and Hell” or with the “Believers and Infidels.” It was about a demand for the basic needs of the people oppressed for decades to be met.

Rather than build partnership and consensus, particularly among the young who borne the costs of the revolution, Dr. Morsi relied on his Brothers to divide the nation into believers and non-believers. And this is where he failed miserably. Rather than rely on the streets and the millions who voted for him, most of who were not Brothers, Dr. Morsi remained hostage to the “Murshid” and the powerful few within the Brothers. Dr. Morsi’s failing is what may cost him the presidency.

The Muslim Brotherhood failed to come up with a workable vision of the kind of state they want. Leaders of the Salvation Front failed to take a stand on the former regime and exonerated many of the same people who were responsible for the death and injury of thousands of Egyptians under the previous regime. The Salvation Front failure to distance itself, if not demand judicial justice for those who were killed and those who fleeced the country shows that the Salvation Front has no moral let alone political standing to lead the country. The failings of the Brothers in Egypt, will make it so difficult for them to rebuild any credibility to rule anywhere in the Arab world.

The issues facing the Arab world, especially the Arab Spring countries, are not ideological in nature. They are political issues that have to do with rights of citizenship, bread, jobs, health care, decent education, vocational training, equal opportunities, delivery of basic services such as clean water, electricity and treatment of sewage and above all, freedom from arbitrary arrests and kangaroo courts.

It is a shame that the same Egypt that gave the Arab world great intellectual giants such as Taha Hussain, Abbas Mahmoud al-Aggad, Ahmed Lutfi al-Sayyid, Ahmed Amin, Salama Musa, Taufiq al-Hakim and Ali Abdallah Raziq has failed to realize its potential. The Egypt of the 21st century is no different from the Egypt of 20th or the 19th century. It is a shame for Egypt that the Brothers proved to be unfit to rule and the liberal “secularists” too cowardly to speak out and argue their case of an open democracy, with separation of religion from the state.

In the popular revolution that toppled Mubarak’s regime, Egyptian intellectuals and thinkers and artists were almost nowhere to be seen, with the exception of few the likes of Alaa al Aswany, Nawal el Sadawi. No one tried to give such a revolution a vision or trade mark that could transform it from a popular uprising to institutional building. No matter what happens next in Egypt, it is simply unfit to lead the Arab world.


Arab Democracy; Now or Never.

3 02 2013

It seems the tens of millions the United States injected in Egypt to promote democracy went down the drain, with most of the beneficiaries of such funding are now undermining the first free presidential election in over 7,000 years. Unless Arabs; left and right, Islamists and Secularists, nationalists and independents accept the principals of “democracy” of one person one vote, free and transparent elections, citizens not government funded parties, accountability and transparency, there is no hope for democracy in the Arab world.

If the world and the Arabs think the “Arabs” are ready for democracy they better have a second look and a second thought. What is happening in Egypt now is nothing short of deliberate undermining of the fledging and infant democracy in Egypt with the opposition (National Salvation Front) and the trio of (Hamdeen Sabahi, Amr Moussa, Mohamed ElBaradei) determined to drive President Morsi out of office and bring a quick end to democracy in Egypt.

Of course President Morsi and the Muslims Brothers also share the blame for the anarchy and the collapsing of the Egyptian state having failed to understand the priorities of the Egyptian people and the priorities of those who faced Mubarak’s bullets to bring down his dictatorship. The priorities are not of rebuilding state institutions but addressing the pressing needs of a failing economy, poverty, hungers, broken down if existing infrastructures, high unemployment, personal dignity, civil and human rights abuses standards at police stations, security agencies and the courts. A new constitution was the last thing on the mind of Egyptians and this is where Morsi lacking political acumen and smarts failed and failed miserably.

The opposition, “sore losers” taking advantage of Morsi failings, lack of political experience and shortcomings not only are determine to make his presidency short one, but are active in enticing and promoting violence and anarchy in the streets of Cairo and other cities to make up for what they lack in wide popular support. Together with Mubarak “fuloul” they are working hard to have a second revolution to replace and undermine the first revolution.

President Morsi and the Muslim Brothers ignoring the “pulse” of the Egyptian streets for jobs and dignity and recognizing the “State” institutions are for the most part untouched and unaffected by the “revolutions” wrongly were determined to remaking the “state institutions” in their own image, a task that will take decades and not months or years and once again, it was not the priorities of the revolution. The fear of the Brothers complete take over of “state institutions” even if not the objective is a serious threats that Egyptians are not willing to substitute one party state with another one even if this party is the Muslim Brothers.

However Egypt is not the first country to experience undermining of a fledgling democracy and free elections. The Palestinians leadership of the PLO and Fatah were the first ones to undermine and abrogate free elections, the first and perhaps the last free elections in the Arab world.

In 2006 the Palestinians under Israeli Occupation went to the poles in the first ever-free election held in the Arab world, an election that all international observers testified to its transparency. Hamas won that election defeating long time decadent and corrupt Fatah and the PLO.

The Palestinian established leadership of the PLO and Fatah did not accept the result of the elections and decided to conspire with Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the US to undermine such transparent election, actions that lead to the bloody routing of Fatah out of Gaza and the take over of Gaza by Hamas and a division that had dire consequences if not criminal consequences for the leadership starting with the Israeli siege of Gaza and subsequent Israeli attacks on Gaza and the murders of thousands of people and the repeated destruction of Gaza.

However Palestine and Egypt are but few examples of the failings of Arab democracy. In Iraq the American invasions and the end of Saddam dictatorship did not bring democracy to Iraq but brought anarchy and sectarianism. Many thanks goes to the American legal experts who helped draft the Iraqi constitution that, rather than bring about transparent and accountable democracy and government established and entrenched evil “ sectarianism” as we see today with Almalki’s government and the start of the disintegration of the Iraqi state as we know it thus achieving the objective of the American Zionist Neocons behind the war.

Tunisia and Libya are not doing any better. In Tunisia the post revolution government so far failed to address pressing issues that lead to the uprising with priorities to economic and regional development, employments and improvements of the daily lives of people. The “Salafis” who were not in the front lines of the revolutions are now bent on transforming the civil state to a “theocratic state” in their own image and the “secularists” thus far failing to have a vision of the new state one that can accommodate “Islamists” and “secularists” or make a dent in the failing Tunisian economy and regional development.

Libya continues to suffer from armed “anarchy” with national government under constant threats from armed militias that having fought Qadafi dictatorship are now pushing to establish their own anarchist’s dictatorship. Very few in Libya are willing to put aside their weapon and spend badly needed time and talents to rebuilding state institutions, a process that needs the good will and support of all Libyans.

The recent elections in Jordan were nothing but a rerun and repeat of past elections with no real and material changes that truly and practically addresses key failings of the state, specially corruption, failing and inefficient state institutions and keeping Jordan as an international welfare state.

Perhaps Hilary Clinton is right when she stated “lack of experience” of emerging political leaders as a shortcoming. However perhaps Lt. Col. James Lacey is more accurate in describing the status in the Arab world with his prediction of the collapse of “Arab Civilizations”. This prediction came in his published article “ The Impending Collapse of Arab Civilization” in the Naval Institute: Proceedings. Concluding that it is the Arabs that are failing not Islam as predicted by Bernard Lewis and Samuel P. Huntington.

It is so ironic that the Arab world with so much natural resources, many internationally renowned thinkers and intellectuals is unable to bring about a civil change in dictatorial governments rather than bloody revolutions and uprisings. It is also unable to bring about real and material reforms in existing governments that are badly in need of reforms before the streets goes bloody.


Mahmoud Abbas and the Right of Return.

23 12 2012

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its leadership never had any legitimacy deriving from Palestinians under Occupation or in the Diaspora. The PLO and its leadership past and present incompetent to liberate, unfit to lead, failed to build and organize a modern nation state, always self serving, a political, financial mafia if not a criminal racketeering organization, a perpetual fraud and lie must disband now.

Mahmud Abbas, the head of the Palestine “liberation” Organization, head of Fatah and the president of the Palestinian Authority chose the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration to renounce on Israeli public television the “Right of Return” of the more than 6 millions Palestinians living in exile.

Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas is desperate to save the political, financial if not criminal mafia that runs and operate the Jewish Occupation from Ramallah. Hostage to salaries of an army of functionaries and civil servants managing the Jewish Occupation not to mention providing security to the Israeli army and armed Jewish settlers to the tune of $1.4 Billions annually in expenses for the Palestinian Security Forces.

Since Oslo, ending the Jewish Occupation was never a priority and was never the objective of the PLO/Fatah and the Palestinian leadership. Perpetuating the Palestinian Authority and the personal and financial interests of the leadership was and remains the only objective for the leadership and the PLO.

By renouncing the “Right of Return” for the Palestinians Mahmoud Abbas gave full recognitions to the Right of Return for all “Jews” kosher and non-kosher, authentic and suspect Jews. Confirming the fraud and lies perpetuated by the PLO and its leadership and the Zionist movement.

For over 45 years the PLO and Fatah leadership past (Arafat) and present (Abbas) have made the Right of Return a fundamental and basic issue in any peace settlement with Israel. Well it seems that Mahmoud Abbas decided to expose the fraud and lies of the PLO and renounce any rights to represent Palestinians of the Diaspora.

If one is to look at the history of the PLO and the leadership of Arafat, Abbas, Qurai one will see nothing but fraud, lies, and looting, with mafia like behavior of many of the leadership within the PLO and Fatah. What we see now in Ramallah from abuse of power, nepotism, lootings, civil and human rights abuses has been going on since the group first established military presence in Jordan and subsequent move to Lebanon where it ran the “Fakahani Republic”. Oslo is nothing but an ingathering and collections of thugs, incompetent and failed cadre that return with Arafat to run the Jewish Occupation and loot the treasury.

Desperate to save his narcissist leadership, that of the PLO and Fatah, the late Yasser Arafat decided to enter into secretes negotiations with Israel undermining the post Madrid public negotiations lead by the late Dr. Haider Abdul-Shafi. Arafat and key members of the PLO/Fatah were afraid that Dr. Abdul-Shafi might emerge as the Palestinian leader that can potentially challenge Arafat leadership.

Having lost much of his credibility after siding with Saddam, having presided over the looting of tens of billions of people’s money, and having caused irreparable harm to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Gulf and around the world, Arafat turn to Israel to recover all that he lost and he was able to do that when he negotiated and signed the Oslo Accord. Arafat and the PLO turn to Israel to regain legitimacy lost among all Palestinians.

Oslo was nothing more than legitimizing the continued Jewish Occupation by giving full and unconditional recognition to Israel an Israel without defined borders. In exchange Israel gave full recognition to the PLO as representative of the Palestinian people thus Arafat was able to secure a perpetual role for the PLO and its leadership and as long as there is an Israeli Occupation. Arafat and the Oslo team left out all key issues to an Israeli veto including Right of Return, Jerusalem, compensation and ending the Jewish Occupation. Under Oslo the Palestinian leadership gave Israel the right to “veto” any and all issues put forward. The Palestinian territories occupied in 67 were referred to as “disputed” not “occupied” territories subject to international law, thus the attempt to go to the UN.

As a consequence of these fatal if not criminal failures, Israel was able to build and expand Jewish Settlements on 58% of the “territories”, was able to build and continue to build the Apartheid Wall, continued to rob and steal water from aquifers located in the “territories”, continued to maintain and expand more than 550 “security” checkpoints that subjects millions of Palestinians to daily humiliations. In exchange for all this give away, Arafat and the Oslo team were granted a Palestinian Authority to manage and pay for the Jewish Occupation through money begged from donors and few thousand VIP passes.

More troublesome is the leadership failed solutions to a Palestinian economy that is hostage to Israel and its total control over the entire economy of the “territories”, suffering from Israel’s economic downturn while not benefiting from a robust Israeli economy. The Palestinian economy under the PLO became one of begging and looting, drowning ordinary Palestinians in debts, mortgage and consumers debts. While ordinary Palestinians become more and more poor, Palestinian leadership and Oligarchs tied to the leadership are racking billions.

The PLO and its leadership failed the Palestinians at every turn and at every level and everywhere from Kuwait and the Gulf to Lebanon and Syria, to Jordan and Egypt. It looted tens of billions that remained unaccounted for. Oslo was nothing but deliberate collaborations with the Jewish Occupation. It rendered the Palestinians people powerless reducing those under Occupation beggars and thieves and undermined any chance for the Palestinians in the Diaspora to have a so say in any final settlement. Diaspora Palestinians have no choice but organize and have their own organization that derives its legitimacy from the people not from Israel as the case with Abbas and the PLO.

Disbanding the Palestinian Authority should not be an Israel demand, but a Palestinian demand. Time to disband not only the Palestinian Authority and the PLO and bring an end to this long chapter of failures, fraud and lies.


Palestinian Prisoners; Kidnapped and Neglected

13 05 2012

In contrast to Gilad Shalit, the French-Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas on June 2006, who became a cause celebrate by heads of states, international organizations, kidnapped Palestinian civilians are ignored by Israel, by the Palestinian leadership, certainly by the world community. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama eloquent hypocrisy.

22 09 2011

At the UN President Obama chose to be candidate Obama and not the President of the United States, the leader of the free world and the statement. His message at the United Nation was worthy of delivery at AIPAC or Knesset but not at the United Nation, certainly not to the world. Read the rest of this entry »


Sabra and Shatila, never forget, never forgive!

17 09 2011

Today September 16th marks the 29th anniversary of the genocide committed against the Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila. As was expected, the Palestinian leadership sitting in Ramallah and around the world did not make a mention of or remembers the massacre of some 5,000 Palestinians civilians massacred in Tel-Za’tar on August 12, 1976, nor did it open a formal inquiry or filed criminal and civil charges. It never cared about any thing Palestinians, never cared about the thousands killed and murdered or exiles. It only cares for it Israeli issued VIP passes. Read the rest of this entry »


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