Morsi Or Not, the US Empire Has A Stranglehold on Egypt

John Glaser, July 03, 2013

In the midst of continuing anti-government protests, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has rejected the Egyptian Army’s 48-hour ultimatum (by now passed) to either call for early elections or step down. On Monday, I noted the acknowledgement of the Morsi regime that the military won’t pursue this effective coup without approval from their American overlords. Here’s Foreign Policy‘s John Reed with more on why that’s true:

Oddly enough, this might be good news for the Pentagon, which largely built the modern Egyptian armed forces. In fact, the Egyptian Army — as the entire military is colloquially known there — may be one of the U.S. government’s best friends in the entire Arab world. American presidents have been encouraging stability in the region for more than 30 years by making the Egyptian military the muscle behind a regional superpower — one built and trained by Washington.

In addition to buying Egypt weapons like 1,200 M1 Abrams tanks and hundreds of F-16 fighter jets, the United States spends millions of dollars annually to train Egyptian troops in war games in the Middle East. Egypt’s current defense chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is an alum of the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania while the head of Egypt’s air force, Reda Mahmoud Hafez Mohamed, did a tour in the United States as a liaison officer, and the recently retired head of the Egyptian navy, Mohab Mamish, did a bunch of tours in the United States . Their cases are hardly unique; more than 500 Egyptian military officers train at American military graduate schools every year. There’s even a special guesthouse on T Street in northwest Washington, D.C., where visiting Egyptian military officials stay when in the American capital.

All this gives the United States quite a bit of leverage when it comes to the Egyptian military, one of the most powerful forces in Egyptian society. (Some estimate that up to 40 percent of the Egyptian economy is controlled by the military.)

Keep in mind that, as Egyptian blogger and activist Mohamed El Dahshan wrote this week, “this is the same army that, just a few months ago, was responsible for the Maspero massacre, that unleashed angry mobs against the peaceful protesters who objected to its rule, that conducted virginity tests on Egyptian women, and that subjected 12,000 civilians to military trials.” Furthermore, if estimates that “up to 40 percent of the Egyptian economy is controlled by the military” are correct, then the military itself is responsible for much of the discontent of the Egyptians in Tahrir Square right now, which is focused almost entirely on economic despair.

Egyptians are largely viewing the military as a temporary bulwark against the loathed Morsi government, so they welcome the Army’s ultimatum, whether it worked or not. The key lesson here, though, is that Egypt is tightly within the grip of the U.S. Empire and while political leaders may change, the people are unlikely to be satisfied with their government so long as it’s Washington – and not them – who control it.




63 Responses to “Morsi Or Not, the US Empire Has A Stranglehold on Egypt”

  1. The answer to all this is the elimination of governments altogether. Government is an antiquated concept we must reject. Why do we need rulers? Unfettered free markets can do everything better, cheaper,faster and more efficiently (and without the corruption and war). It is called Anarcho-Capitalism and it is the most logical, moral ,ethical and humanitarian means of "running society". This means no politicians, no IRS, no CIA, no military, no omnipotent power behind the police and courts. Police and courts (like everything) would be competing private companies that must excell or lose your patronage. Try reading "The Market For Liberty" by Tannehill. YOUTUBE: "Anarchast" –over 70 episodes. Peace.

  2. JG is right about the continued rule of the US over Egypt.

    The US/Israel and not the Egyptian people decided on this coup.
    And now the progressives in Egypt and many in the US are welcoming the coup.
    How can that be good for the Egyptian people? How does that square with their supposed devotion to democracy?

    There was no real revolution in Egypt. Had there been, the generals and Mubarak cronies and US advisers would be long gone – along with US troops put into the Sinai well before the latest demonstrations.

    Imagine if the American revolutionaries had declared a new nation but left the Redcoats as the only armed force? People would have laughed.
    There has been no revolution in Egypt. The Middle Class played at revolution in a way that we have seen all over the world recently. And now the suffering will begin. The Muslim Brotherhood leaders are already on their way to torture chambers.

  3. Adios Morsi…

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/7556

  4. Agreed. This was a revolt not a revolution. The Army watched from the wings using the military junta appointed courts to do its dirty work. The US tightened the economic screws. A Copt billionaire and secular fascists, rump Mubarakites were used along with Al-Azhar obscurantists by the military. The pharoah has returned.
    End of democracy in Egypt, irony, foolish secularists people welcoming the military to oppress them.

  5. Excuse me, but this is a rather foolish assessment of the whole situation. The Egyptian army is obviously stepping in here to prevent Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood from tightening an oppressive sharia dictatorship. I doubt they are doing this at the behest of the U.S. – the U.S. government is perfectly fine with oppressive Islamist regimes, as long as they play along with U.S. geopolitical aims. You Western leftists have got to get it into your head, that it is NOT nice and NOT democratic to live under an Islamist regime. YOU yourself could not and would not live in such an environment! The secular people are rebelling because it's THEIR country and THEY are the ones who have to ACTUALLY LIVE THERE, unlike people who theorize and pontificate from afar – have some sympathy for their plight, please!

  6. The very same people whom were and still are against a dictatorial Islamic regime are the same that will make changes if Egyptian army would go farther and want to become a new dictator. USA imperialism always have a interests in this world, that is the nature of vulture capitalism, people's will for a functioning democracy is the iron fist of the people and no one or a regime or a system can stand in front of people's will. This is 2013 democracy is the will of the people, a functioning democracy is the demand, people not going to be fooled any longer by this or that change of face or color yet being humiliated as before, this is 2013 the time of and for a real change, for a real, honest, transparent functioning democracy for the people and by the people. Look: empire is dead what is left of his regime is his militarism, when that and the supporter of such militarism regime as Saudis and other tyrants goes then is the end of imperialism.

  7. According to Monsiour Morsi, Jews are "descendants of apes, pigs"

    Another quote:

    "As I have said before the quotes were taken out of context… I am not against the Jewish faith, I am not against Jews who practice their religion"

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Egypts-Morsi-say

    I find it interesting that some here at AW.C are quick to defend such an "antisemite"…

    —–

    Anywho…

    The Terrorist Mohamed Morsi, along with his US back Terrorist organisation commonly referred to as the so-called "Muslim Brotherhood", or the "Brotherhood" for short, 'IS GONE' from Egypt.

    What did Morsi even win by again…1/2 of a % point or 'maybe' 2???

    Terrorist Morsi called for the "ouster" of other nations; so it's somewhat ironic and fitting that it is, in fact, Terrorist Morsi who has been 'ousted'–so to speak…

  8. "As I have said before the quotes were taken out of context… I am not against the Jewish faith, I am not against Jews who practice their religion"

    –Mohamed Morsi (January 30, 2013)

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Egypts-Morsi-say

  9. Parbes….wow that is such a short memory! So which other fundamentalist regime did USA help overthrow in this very country of Egypt? Oh wait….there never has been one until the election of Morsi. Decades ago, there was a guy called Nasser who was a secular nationalist, who went the same way as Egypt’s latest Pharaoh….why? Not because he was this -ist or that -ist but purely because he , like Morsi, opposed the USA axis. The article is right. USA owns the Egyptian army so whether the nation flips from nationalist to secularist or Islamist is irrelevant as long as USA calls the real shots and gets to depose anyone who gets in its way. Morsi had no chance because he was not a US ally but the army always was. The real revolution was when the people overthrew Mubarak without the army’s help – USA was powerless to stop it as it was caught off guard. The empire has truly struck back today. Now Egypt’s only chance is if it’s military starts sourcing its hardware from Russia or China so that is loses this dependency on US military “aid” that comes with strings attached.

  10. [...] Glaser, Antiwar.com,  July 03, 2013 Print This | Share This | [...]

  11. [...] SOURCE: ANTIWAR [...]

  12. [...] Antiwar.com (03.07.2013) verweist auf einen Artikel von John Reed, der bei Foreign Policy erschien. Er kommt zu dem Ergebnis, die vom ägyptischen Militär betriebene Absetzung Mohamad Mursis sei im amerikanischen Interesse, da dieses stark von den USA abhängig sei:     „Oddly enough, this might be good news for the Pentagon, which largely built the modern Egyptian armed forces. In fact, the Egyptian Army — as the entire military is colloquially known there — may be one of the U.S. government’s best friends in the entire Arab world. American presidents have been encouraging stability in the region for more than 30 years by making the Egyptian military the muscle behind a regional superpower — one built and trained by Washington. […] All this gives the United States quite a bit of leverage when it comes to the Egyptian military, one of the most powerful forces in Egyptian society. (Some estimate that up to 40 percent of the Egyptian economy is controlled by the military.)” Insofern erscheint auch die Einschätzung der Asia Times Online (03.07.2013) realistisch, die folgende Prognose für die Post-Mursi-Außenpolitik trifft: “[A] post-Morsi Egypt will likely embed itself more firmly in the Saudi-led conservative camp, take a more assertive role vis-a-vis the crisis in Syria, provide greater assurance to Israel and put to rest the US and Israeli concerns about any regional realignment, in other words, a ‘thermidorian’ restoration of status quo foreign policy approach favored by the unreconstructed Egyptian armed forces.” (jw) [...]

  13. it is becoming clear from the British TV news and people being interviewed that the decision was taken in Washington to dump the Muslim Brotherhood. The brotherhood and its brand of Islamicism is being dumped.

    John Glaser is quite right.

    But since the same people were called out for the new round of demonstrations, Washington policymakers control Mohamed El Baradei's seculars and the army as well big time, the puppetmasters are in control.

  14. That sounds nice. But reality is much different. The military couldnt care less about Sharia law. They got rid of Morsi because he wouldnt play ball with the people who fund the military. Who is that ? Hmmmm…..

  15. ANCAP, I would like to give you 50 thumbs up. If Egypt could be broken into 20 communities without any taxing power, then I would assess the situation as positive. Just think if the U.S. were broken into 1000 city-state, village communities then our example could lead the way. Until then, "democracy"
    assures continued plunder.

  16. sad-no one wants to talk about,the recent $1.8 billon USA hand out " as military aid"

  17. http://beforeitsnews.cohttp://beforeitsnews.com/c
    or/upload/9632/images/ObamaE7.jpg

  18. Somebody appears to be engaging in some wishful thinking –or worse.

    None of the examples provided as to why the Egyptian army won't act without Washington's authority are in the least bit convincing. Morsi is Washington's choice–the Army, and more importantly, the People–are only too well-aware of this. As one can see…do you think we're blind?

  19. A spokesman for criminal Zionism spouts his Orwellian apologism. The "apes and pigs" comment may indeed be ugly, but cannot compare to Zionist crimes: the theft of Palestine (ALL of Palestine), the slow-motion genocide of Palestinians, the murder of anyone who supports justice for the Palestinians, and the subversion and assault on any government that dares to stand in opposition to criminal Zionism,…in particular the subversion of the Government of the United States.

    Anti-Zionism does not equate to anti-semitism, it equates to anti-criminality, but to the extent that J*ws knowingly and tribally support the crimes of Zionism, they become ever more complicit, and anti-Semitism becomes, like anti-Nazism ever more legitimate.

    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

    I'm an American and a J*w.

  20. @stevieb So what, there’s also idiots who think Bashir al-Assad is an American puppet. The public opinion of Arab morons who will believe any conspiracy theory peddled to them is not proof of anything.

  21. So this is a US-approved coupd'etat, even while Cameron wishes for 'democracy' to thrive in Egypt. This is while in Britain itself democracy is ignored in pursuit of promoting sexual perversion.

  22. That's not the point. My point here is that, whatever the military's exact motives in this, we should be ON THE SIDE OF THE SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC AND LIBERAL PEOPLE in Egypt. It really pains me, to see ignorant Western leftists and liberals treat things like "sharia law" as words empty of any real meaning or import – mere talking points to be thrown about carelessly. Sharia law is no joke – unless you're an Islamist yourself, it is an EXTREMELY BRUTAL AND OPPRESSIVE THING to live under; and it is also profoundly UNDEMOCRATIC. None of you people would stay in that environment for five minutes, if given any chance – and yet you think NOTHING of abandoning tens of millions of Egyptians who don't want it into the clutches of that tyranny!

    And by the way – how do you know that "the military couldnt care less about Sharia law"? In an Egypt ruled by sharia law, the members of the military and all their families, friends etc. would ALSO be subject to its strictures (unlike ignorant Westerners opining from thousands of miles away), so why shouldn't they be concerned about that?

  23. Thanks…an obvious point. But understand that the views at this website are monitored by the 'American' security establishment, so a considerable amount of them mirror 'U.S' foreign policy initiatives…

  24. I should say that my reply was to Parbes first comment…not sure if I agree with all of it though…but I agree with his/hers initial point…

  25. Nice comment

  26. LOL at Westerners assuming that because the protesters are against Morsi that they’re against “shariah law.” The Salafist al-Nour party supported the protests and military coup, does that mean they’re against shariah? Hell several people who voted for Morsi joined the protests because of his failures. Morsi was hated by most Egyptians because he was incompetent and in some cases because he wasnt’ radical enough (like with Camp David), not because he was for shariah law. You have no idea what the status of shariah will be until the next election anyway, it could easily come back. Even Mubarak had to give lip service to it, because as polls consistently show that’s what the Egyptian people want.

  27. DEMOCRATIC? You are joking right. You know you can't keep claiming that after supporting a military coup followed by massacres and incarcerations of the majority party?

    The rest of screed is hyperbolic and sloppy. You should be more worried about an Army, controlling 40% of your commerce, and accountable only to the country paying them 2 billion USD a year, and certainly not to you.

    The unemployment will remain. There be more protests. But those will not be in favour of the Army, which will simply 'disappear' them. Into a ditch. In the desert. After pulling out all their finger-nails. :)

    It turns out that Egyptians are a very clueless people. They so clueless they may actually deserve everything coming to them.

  28. No, Shafik was the US choice. And Omar Suleiman before Shafik. But Shafik lost to Mursi despite a lot of rigging in his favour. The US had no choice but to deal with the MB… until now.

  29. Grumpy is spot on. And once again to Pardes, it is of no relevance what the -ism is. America will gladly back Islamism or terrorism if its interests are served – look no further than Saudi or the rebels in Syria for proof. The point is that the Egyptians should democratically make up their own mind what ism they want….and they did that when they elected Morsi. Now USA overthrew him. The real bottom line is completely NOT that we should actively fight against Islamism wherever it takes root because that is the kind of fight that only the natives can fight against by virtue of education and the DEMOCRATIC process. We SHOULD fight ferociously against American interventionism as it is a hypocrisy-edged sword. The imperialists will backstab their way through entire nations, flipping their support back and forth to instigate war as long as their objectives of protecting Israel and oil supplies are fulfilled. Do Americans give a hoot about Arab lives, be they secular, Muslim or christian? ?? N.O.

  30. Where was this glorious Egyptian army when the people revolted against Mubarak? They did everything possible to clear the protesters from Tahrir square back then. And only when the falsely empowered dictator had no recourse did the army realise the game was up. Suddenly now they “work for the people”?? Egyptians are an ancient race, much older than you or I, with a much greater history. So why on earth should they tolerate anything that we recently established hypocrites in the west would shun? At the time of American independence, would Washington’s rebels have tolerated a British-backed usurping of their fledgling democracy by other Loyalist-leaning Americans? It may have resulted in a more stable and wealthier and more acutely beneficial government for the Americans and yet I cannot believe that 4th July would have been celebrated in quite the way it is today. No, those early rebels dared to slug it out the hard way, reject Britain totally and British financial support and instead construct a democracy from its roots up, the only way it can be done.

  31. The Egyptians are an ancient race, much older than you or I, with a much greater history. So why on earth should they tolerate anything that we recently established hypocrites in the west would shun? At the time of American independence, would Washington’s rebels have tolerated a British-backed usurping of their fledgling democracy by other Loyalist-leaning Americans? It may have resulted in a more stable and wealthier and more acutely beneficial government for the Americans and yet I cannot believe that 4th July would have been celebrated in quite the way it is today. No, those early rebels dared to slug it out the hard way, reject Britain totally and British financial support and instead construct a democracy from its roots up, the only way it can be done.

  32. Democracy has not been established yet. The revolution is in progress. And yes, for the revolution to complete, the Army has to come under the rule of the civilian government, which is going to be years from now. Revolutions do not happen overnight, or over a couple of years. But you have to admit the Egyptians already learned a lot from the first revolt again Hosni, and corrected the path of the revolution. The power of the US in Egypt is still existent. but slowly eroding. US can control the Army, but not the will of the people if they are defiant, which they have proved to be, yet again. No people are fighting for their freedom today like Egyptians. Not in the States, not anywhere.

  33. What did Terrorist Morsi actually do for the "Palestinian people" Jeff?

    Answer: Nothing…

  34. No, absolutely not. We should NOT be on the side of "the secular, democratic and liberal people in Egypt" any more than we should be on the side of the Islamists. U.S. foreign policy should be strictly non-interventionist.

    My best definition of an imperialist . . . someone who knows how to mind everyone else's business but his own. That's what U.S. support for ANY Egyption faction is — imperialism.

    Now, I grant you, you have your own personal sympathies, and you're most definitely entitled to them. But when you're speaking from within the belly of the imperialist beast, it's important above all else to condemn imperialism of any sort and to advocate for a strictly non-interventionist policy of minding our own business.

  35. You are talking nonsense. The revolution is over. It is back to a Mubarek, or becoming Algeria. Your renditions of Le Mis in Tahrir have been for nothing, because you betrayed your stated ideals. You make up propaganda, then believe it wholeheartedly.

    What you have done is discredited the MB in front of its demographic.They advocated political change to its followers (the poor majority) rather insurrection. Why should people believe a thing you seculars say in the future. You obviously have very elastic principles.

    It's over.

  36. Thanks USA for saving Democracy in Egypt.

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  53. These would be troops I would support. The German, British and French soldiers who temporarily ceased fighting during Christmas 1914 were already sick of the war that started the previous August that had debilitated into stalemate trench warfare and many must have realized the fallacy of the mutual slaughter of their White European brethren.

  54. Had the war ended then and there, many things would have been different–in this alternate history, in addition to millions of people not dying, there might not have been a Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917, no 'Lusitania' sinking in 1915, the USA certainly would not have become involved, no Versailles Treaty to cripple, bankrupt and humiliate Germany. Also a young Austrian soldier serving in the German Army named Adolf Hitler would have mustered out and probably become an artist or architect instead of going into politics as a result of the Versailles Treaty.
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  55. Even if the war ended in 1918 when it did, there might not have been a Second World War if that awful treaty with its war guilt laid at the feet of Germany and the economically devastating "reparations" forced on the German people had not been put into effect. Hard to say, but the zionists and banksters already had their plan for world domination underway prior to 1914 and creating wars are one of their major means toward that end.

  56. " Why can’t we have holidays and parades for them, those real people who chose to do something besides take the war that was offered them?"

    Well we could, I mean holidays I don't know, I don't expect the empire to make a national holiday of "anti-empire day" anytime soon unfortunately. But parades, what is involved? Applying for a city permit for the peace parade or the honor the truce parade? We could.

  57. And now there are those who want to memorialize the survivors. We have developed the same disease that poisoned the Germans, it's called 'militarism'. The cure is still the same .

  58. Same reason the USA has been doing this since its inception, kicked into high gear since 1945: to install and support governments that keep poor people in their place so they and their resources can be robbed by US international corporations.

  59. Most of the democracies the USA has overthrown (over 30) have been in Latin America. We can look at every single case, as William Blum does in "Rogue State"; they're all the same. The USA is an authoritarian empire with fascist satellites put and kept in place to rob other countries and enrich itself.

  60. Obama is doing this as we speak. No "cold war". The terrorist Obama supported a fascist military coup in Honduras in 2009 to overthrow their democracy and replace it with an authoritarian military dictatorship that has reversed all the social gains won back by the population after decades of US-backed authoritarianism, and Obama's supporting the dictatorship there to this day, in defiance of the whole world. Like all US imperialists, he hates democracy (control by the people). He is democracy's antithesis.

  61. Mr. Glaser: Thank you for this totally true article, it would be interesting if the American people would know about this situation, but leave up to the Corporate media to twist things around. Only peaceful nations such as in Scandanavia for example, know and get the accumulative benefits of peace, since is much more interesting to built than to destroy; If true peace would come to Colombia, Colombia it self would go into a cycle of creativity and progress that would perhaps be, much more beneficial to the United States than this bloody war.

  62. The USA has always interfered in the affairs of other nations. It supports Colombia's government because its an enemy o Venezuela and many other Latin American nations. It also kisses Israel's ass like the USA does. It supports Colombia's government to control drug trafficking although that doesn't always work.

  63. And now there are those who want to memorialize the survivors. We have developed the same disease that poisoned the Germans, it's called 'militarism'. The cure is still the same