Egypt’s Revenge of the Leftovers: Mubarak to be released, Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie Arrested

Too much could easily be made of the pending release from prison of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who is still facing charges of complicity in killing some 900 young protesters during the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising. The courts couldn’t find evidence tying him to corruption (which either means that Mubarak’s accountants hid their trail with world-beating efficiency or else that the courts took a very, very narrow view of what corruption might be).

Ironically, it was another deposed president, Muhammad Morsi, who ordered that Mubarak be retried. Mubarak had been found guilty of responsibility for the demonstrators’ deaths, but Morsi apparently wanted a more robust verdict. But allowing a retrial means that Mubarak-era judges could well reverse his conviction. The reasoning of the judgment against Mubarak was rather tortured, since the judges simply reasoned that as dictator, if Mubarak had wanted to stop the killing of demonstrators, he could have– but they admitted they found no evidence that Mubarak issued an order that people should be killed.

Another irony: Morsi himself will likely be charged with ordering protesters killed in early December, 2012, when he had declared himself above the law and determined to push through a fundamentalist constitution. Outraged left-liberal youth movements massed in front of the presidential palace. On December 6 in particular, a Muslim Brotherhood paramilitary is accused of killing several peaceful youth demonstrators, and it is alleged in many quarters in Egypt that Morsi ordered the crackdown.

So, Mubarak could get off, while Morsi could be convicted on similar charges of ordering deaths of protesters.

Another irony: The current military junta has already killed more protesters than either Mubarak or Morsi did (Morsi likely had hundreds killed over several months). But its leaders, who have begun speaking of banning public protests and have actually prohibited sit-ins, and some of whom have threatened a policy of using live ammunition against Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators, won’t be charged with anything at all unless there is yet another coup or revolution.

On Monday, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide was arrested in Nasr City after local residents spotted him and called police. He is being charged with having Brotherhood cadres kill demonstrators in front of the Brotherhood HQ in the Muqattam Hills in Cairo. Since Badie is viewed by anti-Muslim Brotherhood critics as Morsi’s puppet-master, he may well be charged with Morsi’s alleged crimes, as well. Also arrested is Hassan Malek, the Brotherhood’s money man, a huge entrepreneur who is said to have helped fund Muslim fundamentalist movements around the world. Now that the Brotherhood is being redefined in Egypt as a terrorist organization (which is ridiculous), all fundamentalist movements are likely to get the same treatment, and funding them will be coded as terrorism.

Secularists tempted to cheer these developments because they appear to weaken a powerful fundamentalist movement like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood should pause to consider the methods and rhetoric that are being used. Neither bodes well for civil liberties in the Middle East in the coming decade, and the backlash from the religious right, which could well be pushed into actual, not just rhetorical, terrorism, could be extremely destabilizing.

Posted in Egypt | 31 Responses | Print |

31 Responses

    • Which “aid,” as you call that generally destabilizing, taxpayer-funded marketing activity of the Generals, like General Electric and General Dynamics and General Atomic, and of course Lockheed “We never forget who we’re working for, heh heh heh” Martin?

      From that traitorous rag, the Guardian:

      link to

      And for the Cold Warriors to get their shorts in a bundle about (losing “clients” is bad for Bidness):

      link to

      So has “the aid” been “suspended,” or not?

  1. I guess the release of Mubarak confirms (at least to me) that this was nothing but a classic counter-revolution.

  2. “Neither bodes well for civil liberties in the Middle East in the coming decade, and the backlash from the religious right, which could well be pushed into actual, not just rhetorical, terrorism, could be extremely destabilizing.”

    Yes, quite right.

    Obviously, this remains a fluid situation, both in Egypt and Tunesia. Meanwhile, Lebanon is on tenterhooks with Nasrallah threatening to import the war from Syria. So given the region’s history of the last couple of years, however, is it still too soon to offer an interim judgment on the durability of the “Arab Spring?”

    • “…Meanwhile, Lebanon is on tenterhooks with Nasrallah threatening to import the war from Syria…”
      I don’t believe the refrain repeated ad nauseum by the MSM that Lebanese Sunnis joined the fight against the Bath regime in Syria in response to Hezbollah’s involvement on the opposite side. That sounds like pure propaganda in defense of forces sympathetic to Al Qeda that the West has been backing in Lebanon for some time. Next they’ll tell us Hezbollah is setting off car bombs against their own people to garner sympathy. Yes, the Syria war is being brought to Lebanon, just not by Nasrallah.

  3. Dear Mr Cole,
    these days i’m working on the translation of a part of your book, engaging the muslim world, the two first parts, strange is feeling of leaving that history and these nowadays events!!!! does america have anything to do with all these problems in the middle east again?
    you were predicting on the coming to power of the brotherhood!!!!

  4. Why would a entrepreneur fund such a movement? Are islamic states business friendly? I don’t think so. They would put many restrictions in place.

    • You don’t think so therefore it must be true! Don’t let research get in the way of finishing your post with a baseless statement you made up either.

  5. I would like to know where Bassem Youssef (host of Albernameg) is in all this chaos. Will he criticize Gen. Sisi and poke fun at him as he did to former Pres. Morsi? If anyone knows of a clip where he does so, please reply and include the link.

    • Google “Alas, Nobody Lives There Anymore -by Bassem Youssef”. He criticizes fascist tendencies of secularists. He wrote it on 7-16. Things have gotten worse since then.

  6. Anybody trying to make any kind of sense of all this, rather than justifying a reason for wagging particular flags and using a complex mess as the basis for a claim of Rightness and Rationality for their pet visions of Correctness and The Proper Flow of Events, ought to integrate the stuff at this link into their thinking and their efforts to understand what might be done to Make The World A Better Place, even if just for THEIR tribe:

    link to

    The comments sort of tell it all, a window into the same part of “humanity” that every hour adds more excited and exciting video snippets to this repository of pain, destruction, futility and shame: link to “Allahu Akhbar! We’re bored, we got a new shipment of 4.5 inch mortar rounds and Katyushas, and there are buildings in the city that are not reduced to rubble yet! Allahu Akhbar!”

    For the “Bad MB” partisan crowd, here’s how you play the Badie event:

    link to

    See how easy it is to follow the Narrative?

    And I see that piglipstick is being applied to one orifice of Our Exceptional Empire, with a “temporary suspension of military aid” that’s apparently already been delivered to the Egyptian generals, since as the Prez says, “we cannot have normal relations with Egypt” in the present context. Wow, that’ll show ’em we mean business, er, whatever… Maybe Bill will tell us what those “normal relations” consist of. Maybe we don’t really need, or want, to know what they do in the bedrooms at State and Langley and MacDill…

    Uh-oh, says the front brain of the Apatosaurus to the posterior nerve plexus that innervates the flanks and leg muscles, is that a CLIFF up ahead? Any thoughts on what to do now?

    • Say, JT, why do you think that the United States is taking actions – which totally aren’t real or good enough – against the military government that it never took against the Morsi government?

      Because they were out to get Morsi and back the military all along, amirite?

      • you’re an bill’s and mcphees back and forth is taking up usable space and getting boring.

  7. “Morsi likely had hundreds killed over several months.” What are your sources for this statement?

    • I was wondering about that, also. I wonder also if they will put Morsi on trial, or just disappear him.

      • “Likely” translates into no sources. I think the professors fondness of the Tamarad group is causing him into making these kind of statements about Morsi, I believe events are proving the Tamarad to be on par with the protesters who toppled Mosadeg.
        I wonder if Gamal Mubarak will also be released and run for elections if they are ever held?

  8. So, if I’m following this: it was just after hearing that Saudi Arabia would pick up any slack created by the EU and U.S. imposing sanctions that the U.S. announced that it would impose sanctions (cut off aid). Will the U.S./EU likewise punish Saudi Arabia for continuing to funnel money to the Egyptian military, or was this the plan, all along? Seriously, will the same companies in the U.S. smoothly continue to profit from this and just change the shipment address on their wares from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, or would that be too obvious, even for these guys?

  9. Middle Eastern liberals and secularists should be worried about what events portend for liberalism and secularism in Egypt; likewise liberals and secularists in the West need to worry about liberalsim and secularism in the West:

    The same techniques and impunity with which the “deep state” of Egypt rolled over both the muslim majority and the leftist minority in Egypt could be used in the West, and what could anyone do about it? Wring one’s hands? Ask what-ifs?

    the “deep state” in the West is orders-of-magnitude more powerful, and merely need a convenient pretext for scuppering ancient rights. As 9/11 and Egypt have shown, in a crisis, liberalism folds.

  10. Another irony: The secular liberals are supporting General Sisi, who is financially backed by one of the most fundamentalist states in the region – Saudi Arabia.

    Gen. Sisi is said to be a “religious man” and his wife wears a niqab, a rarity in military families. When it comes to faith, he may have more in common with people being killed by his army than those supporting him and holding his placards.

    • ‘faith’ has little to do with this. it is a political battle for power. the Egyptian military has vast commercial holdings besides its prominent status. it is political Islam the military opposes, that is, the quest for a more religiously defined state that would likely limit the military’s options. in fact, the MB and military seem to be in competition on the commercial side as well.

  11. There is a strong possbility that Saudi Arabia is pushing for a best case scenario for Mubarak and his family, perhaps even believing that a reversal of the most serious charge is becoming realistic. The primary doctrine and belief of the Saudi government is in heritable succession and aristocracy. Many Romanvos displayed similar predilections during the waves of European revolutionary changes.

    Releasing Mubarak would be markedly damaging to the intermin administration, but it is increasingly hard to put anything past the elites that are pulling the strings. Like the past Egyptian admins, they say one thing and then do something completely different. The ability of some politicians and military elites to fail to grasp reality is remarkable.

    If it does happen, it will seriously split the liberals and accelerate the speed at which real liberals voice serious discontent with the interim government. April 6 and the Revolutionary Socialists already are expressing major reservations about the direction the country is heading in.

    Just today news broke of an absurd charge being brought against Elbaradei of “breaching the national trust.” Translation: Elbaradei held firm to his red line and spoke the truth. Furthermore, the incident of the Al Ahram journalist being shot dead as a result of paranoia induced by the state of emergency is not a good sign.

    • “doesn’t matter” to whom, in what context?

      Sez Reuters, and a bunch of other places:

      White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt
      (Reuters) – Media reports that suggest the United States has cut off aid to Egypt are not accurate, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday, adding that the Obama administration is still reviewing its options.

      “That review has not concluded and … published reports to the contrary that assistance to Egypt has been cut off are not accurate,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.

      He said Obama was convening a meeting with his national security team on Tuesday to discuss Egypt and the review of U.S. aid to the country.

      “I wouldn’t anticipate any major announcements related to our aid and assistance in the immediate aftermath of this meeting,” Earnest said, noting Obama holds such meetings regularly.

      The Pentagon also denied reports that military aid had been cut off.

      In recent years, Washington has authorized about $1.3 billion in annual military aid and $250 million in economic assistance for Cairo.

      link to

      From the git-go, it sure does not look like a “cutoff” as one might reasonably understand the term — maybe a little chatter, with a wink and a nudge and a walk-back, about “postpone” or “delay,” but the tax money to buy weapons still flows, as do the “made with pride in the USA (with parts and pieces from other co-ordinated countries like Israel and China)” weapons. And of course Wonder Bread. If the pseudo-“cutoff” is meant for Homeland consumption, it’s just more non-nutritional eyewash to help cover the steady growth of what it appears that the Generals and Realists are building, that planet-covering, coordinated, interoperable, network-centric Generalship that will provide what, in exchange for our wealth and our “rights”? “Security?” That has rightly come to be an ugly onion of a word, with some pretty stinky and rotten layers as you peel it down…

      Any apparent influence on the behavior of the Egyptian military rulership by virtue of the claims of a “suspension” or “cutoff,” claimed again and again to do what? try to shut off or reframe or divert discussion of the larger context?

      Those who live off the scraps of the Feast of the Beast probably have lots of reason to be laughing, but it’s not at how supposedly “uninformed” and “wrong” the critics and skeptics are, rather at how easily and how many of the rest of us get sucked into their Narrative and Repetitive Talking Points Flux…

      • And speaking of reasons for apologists to be laughing, there’s this snippet from the same Reuters article:

        Earnest also said that Egypt’s detention of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie was not in line with the standard that the United States would hope to uphold in protecting basic human rights.

        Now there’s a knee-slapper for you…

  12. The problem is, if Palin were elected President, she would face the same choice between cutting and continuing aid for Egypt. Exactly as Obama, she would not avoid this false choice and we would be exactly where we are now.

  13. I can’t help it, but laugh. Mubarak freed. Morsi jailed. The 30+ years corrupt autocrat freed, and the one elected democratically for one year jailed. What’s wrong with this picture? And oh please, don’t give me the judges or the lawyers, and all that legal stuff. I am lawyer, i would have convicted him every day of the week and twice on weekends.

    I can’t believe that so many got suckered into supporting the coup, and they tortured the dictionary to give it a nice description, while it was from the beginning just a counter-revolution. Oh please, the liberals are fighting the Islamists…what a bunch of hooey that was

  14. Our Guy, is the one that will keep the Buck$ flowing through
    the Canal, and not mention Palestine.
    All others can take a short ride in an APC,
    Made in the USA, of course.

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