Monday, June 2, 2014

Abdel Fattah al- Sisi's Triumph echoes Mubarek Era- including the Apathy

 Meant to get around to Egypt's recent election- Apathy over Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s triumph echoes Mubarak era

Couldn't help but notice how quiet the US is on this election? No big condemnation. Despite the low turnout? Despite the fact that even with the addition of another day of voting and threats being made, not too many Egyptians bothered?  No ringing endorsement either- Perhaps better to keep the attention off of a poor showing?

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared his candidacy for president while wearing his military uniform

This is an interesting item- US risks losing Suez access with continued suspension of aid
Interesting because the US didn't really suspend aid.  Some aid but not all of it.
This amount is cited
On April 29, a leading member of Congress, Sen. Patrick Leahy, placed a
hold on $650 million in U.S. military aid to Egypt.
Considering the billions received annually, overtly, from the US. I don't know how big a deal the 650 million is? It is also highly doubtful there is any real risk of the US losing access to the Suez?  But, selling that concept may be enough to get all aid reinstated and who knows, perhaps some additional aid? Can't discount a hard sell agenda.

Getting back to the election

Egypt’s former army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, won a predicted landslide victory over his sole challenger in the country’s presidential race according to provisional results released on Thursday.

But while no one had doubted an impending Sisi victory – he got 93 per cent of the vote and Hamdeen Sabahi, his leftwing opponent only 3 per cent – his success was overshadowed by panic in the former army chief’s camp about a low turnout undermining the vote’s legitimacy.

The electoral commission responded by taking the extraordinary step of prolonging the vote into a third day and threatening to fine people who did not cast their ballots.

Officials said 25m people voted, a turnout of 48 per cent. Mr Sabahi said the voter turnout figures lacked credibility and were “an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians.”
In depth
The low voter turnout is quite telling?  Because it flies in the face of that lie of a popularly supported coup!
Remember that? It was supposed to be the Egyptian people that wanted the elected leadership out last year.
The Egyptian military was supposed to be acting to benefit the populace. On behalf of the populace. That was the spin of the day. So,why didn't all that alleged popular support = a big thank you at the election poll ?

Mr Sisi had wanted an overwhelming turnout — 40m voters was the figure he cited on the eve of the poll to confirm his leadership and signal to doubters that his ousting last year of Mohamed Morsi, the elected Islamist president, was a reflection of the popular will and not a coup.
Mr Sisi did not get that overwhelming turnout. So,on whose behalf did he oust Morsi? Throwing the country into more turmoil

Voided votes as third candidate in elections

The number of voided votes in Egypt’s 2014 presidential election exceeded the votes of the left-wing contender Hamdeen Sabbahi.
Unofficial preliminary tallies which circulated in media outlets following the closure of polling stations on Wednesday showed that Sabbahi garnered 735,285 votes while the invalid votes reached over a million
 “Those who boycotted of spoiled their votes tried to express their dissatisfaction with the idea of restoring the military-based rule of Egypt, said Ishak.
 Yet another divisive election for Egypt

Don't miss Israel Shamir interview  Israel Shamir - The Ukraine in Turmoil


  1. @ how quiet the US is on this election? No big condemnation.

    No endorsement either. So:

    "What exactly is Egypt up to?The theory being advanced in some analysts' circles is that Egypt is playing a new role clandestinely, one that is a proxy between Gulf countries and Russia. They like to point to a number of specific facts and dates to support this. First, there is the fact that despite what the Egyptian media is reporting, Russia has not made any sales agreement to Egypt, yet there were two Russian military delegations that visited Egypt in less than two weeks in February, the last of which was on Feb. 24, right before the public condemnations between Russia and Saudi began. Then they point out that on March 7 Saudi Arabia made its big announcement declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, alongside Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and demanded the immediate return of any Saudi citizen fighting abroad in Syria. To those following Syria, something very strange was afoot here: Suddenly, the Saudi and Russian positions on Syrian rebels were aligned". Read more:

    "Among the most recent developments is a small but significant natural gas export deal between Russia’s Gazprom and Egypt’s EGAS, under which Russia’s state-controlled gas firm will deliver seven shipments of gas to Egypt in 2015. An Egyptian press report on the deal stresses not only that EGAS obtained a “favorable rate” for the gas, but that the agreement will allow for “grace periods” to pay for it. Taking place in parallel with Gazprom’s dramatic price increases for its exports to Ukraine — and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that Kiev pay in advance — the modest sale looks overtly political. EGAS officials note that they turned to Gazprom after negotiations with an Algerian firm collapsed due to strong European Union interest in increasing imports from the country to reduce gas dependence on Russia. Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum appears to hope that this will allow the country to import Russian gas “at a rate that is lower than market prices” beyond 2015". Read more:

    And now something from Russia’s Linkage between the Ukrainian Crisis and the Middle East:

    Top Russian political and security officials (including the defense minister and his deputy, the foreign minister and his deputy, and the chief of staff) attended the conference [the international security conference held in Moscow on May 20-23, 2014], and countries important to Russia - Iran (represented by its defense minister), Syria (the deputy chief of staff), Egypt (the deputy chief of staff), China, Pakistan, and India - were among the prominent participants.

    "In the Russian view, the upheavals of the Arab Spring were driven by the West, based on the formula and outcomes presented above. From Russia’s perspective, the only positive example of the processes of the Arab Spring is the counter-revolution in Egypt, which exemplifies the desired formula involving the strengthening of traditional state actors. Russia sees an important role for itself in this process, and as such, is strengthening its ties with Egypt in the days after the counter-revolution and supports the Syrian regime; it has also shown that it is the only country that can bring about the dismantlement of the chemical arsenal in Syria".

    1. Hey WizOz!
      Thanks for the info and links
      I should have said no big endorsement either. I am going to change the post to reflect that.

      I am familiar with this narrative of Egypt/Russia relations- and have leaned towards it being psyop at this point in time and haven't seen anything yet that would change my mind.
      It doesn't appear anything concrete has really gone on.

      Saudi has thrown much support behind the Salafists in Syria. The salafists boycotted the election- so they are the check/balance on al-Sisi
      Salafists are players in occupied Palestine- killing on behalf of and for the benefit of Israel- you may recall Salafists murdering a young Italian fellow?
      His mother said, she knew Israel was behind the killing, based on what her son had told her before he was killed.

      The shift from MB could signify a rebrand in the process, it doesn't mean anything will really change.

      The Al Monitor rightly points out that there is much obvious theatre going on
      "Despite the obvious theater here — in both Moscow and Cairo" and for the US to keep an eye on the situation

      From al monitor first link-

      "Egypt is playing a new role clandestinely, one that is a proxy between Gulf countries and Russia"

      ...."Has Egypt been secretly playing intermediary between Saudi and Russia? It is tough to say for sure, but the answer is most probably no"

      Unless Egypt and Russia make some deals, concrete deals, that are actually carried through and Egypt does something like extract itself from the NATO partnership it participates in..??
      I see the whole Russia/Egypt buddying up as just a reason for some other party to get themselves heavily involved in Egypt

      And Israel is waiting

    2. Probably what obscures the situation in Egypt is the wrong ideas that people have about the Muslim Brotherhood.

      "Despite a long campaign of feigned anti-American, anti-Israeli propaganda during the Egyptian presidential run-up, the Muslim Brotherhood had joined US, European, and Israeli calls for “international” intervention in Syria. Egypt had also broken off diplomatic relations with Syria in an attempt to further isolate the nation – however these ties wererestored almost immediately after Morsi was finally ousted from power... To understand the Muslim Brotherhood’s designs in Egypt, one must first understand the Brotherhood’s role in the West’s proxy war against Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian affiliates have been funneling weapons, cash, and foreign fighters into Syria to fight Wall Street, London, Riyadh, Doha, and Tel Aviv’s proxy war since 2011. The Brotherhood had prepared for this role since at least as early as 2007....The Brotherhood was being directly backed by the US and Israel who were funneling support through the Saudis so as to not compromise the “credibility” of the so-called “Islamic” movement....The same destabilization, step-by-step that was carried out in 2011 in Syria and Libya is now being carried out in Egypt and once again through sectarian extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Legions of terrorists are waiting in Egypt’s Sinai region for the Brotherhood to lay the groundwork in Egypt’s population centers so that they can be infiltrated and destroyed, just as has been done in Syria and Libya. And behind it all is the West, desperately trying to dislodge the Egyptian military from power with a combination of unpalatable carrots and broken sticks" ( - Author: Tony Cartalucci
      Egypt Vs. The Muslim Brotherhood – Preventing the Next Syria).