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Daily News Analysis

Events take farcical turn in Egypt

Crescent International

While the military-appointed "interim president" of Egypt changed the oath the military must take removing their pledge to the president, another politician, this time the leader of the Salafi Nour Party, Youness Makhioun denounced those that oppose the military as "traitors." Grovelling at the feet of the military has become fashionable for some politicians in Egypt but it is a betrayal of the proud people of Egypt.


August 29, 2013, 16:03 EDT

The military coup in Egypt that is not a coup according to Barack Obama has become farcical despite the brutal crackdown and mass murder.

Consider the following. The military-installed “interim president” (“interim” is the operative word since he can be sent packing home if the musclemen so decide, as they did with an elected president) has “issued” a decree changing the oath of loyalty of the armed forces. They will no longer swear loyalty to the president. “Interim” president Adly Mansour issued decree number 562 on Wednesday August 28 that read as follows:

“I swear to God to be a loyal soldier to the Republic of Egypt...protecting its security and peace...protecting and defending it on land, at sea or in air, inside and outside the republic...obeying military orders, implementing my leaders’ orders, protecting my weapon which I will not leave until death...God is witness to what I say.”

Being loyal to the country is a noble objective but what does the reference to “implement my leaders’ orders” mean? What leader is the oath referring to; is it the military leader or civilian? Is the military accountable to anyone or is it above law, as it has been for more than six decades? It must be asked why there was a need to change the oath; was it because the military was clearly in violation of the Constitution (that it has suspended while claiming to uphold it!) and had taken an oath to be loyal to the president of the republic that it also violated?

More farcical developments ensued. Leader of the Saudi-backed Salafi Nour Party Youness Makhioun denounced on August 28 those opposed to the army as “traitors”. This was a clear reference to the Ikhwan al-Muslimoon whose supporters have denounced the coup calling it illegal and have demanded the restoration of the legitimately elected president, Mohamed Mursi.

"The Egyptian armed forces are a red line," Youness Makhioun announced during a joint press conference with Ahmed El-Muslimani, Presidential Media Advisor and spokesman. “It is a patriotic army and anyone who hopes for its fall is a traitor," Makhioun added on Wednesday.

The Nour Party was an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood but has since bolted to the other side realizing that a confrontation with the military would demand sacrifices that they are not prepared to offer. The Salafis have shown themselves as rank opportunists. Prior to presidential elections, they had denounced elections as “un-Islamic.” That did not prevent them from participating in them.

It is however, Makhioun’s open grovelling to the military that exposes him and his group to the charge of being cowards. The party has joined the military “road map” that will essentially institutionalize the military’s complete hold on power in the country.

Amid such grovelling by various political groups, leaders of the Brotherhood are still being rounded up and thrown in jail on trumped up charges. Since they have denounced the military coup as illegal, they are being accused of inciting violence.

The latest person to be arrested was Dr Mohamed El-Beltagy, Secretary General of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Former labour minister Khaled al-Azhari was also arrested according to media reports on August 29.

The military murdered in cold blood thousands of innocent civilians that had camped in Rabia al-Adawiya Square in Nasr City as well as in An-Nahda Square in Giza City. Beltagy’s 17-year-old daughter Asmaa was one of the first casualties on August 14 when the military and police opened fire on peaceful protesters. At least 2600 people were murdered on that day. Two days later, another 173 people were murdered in and around Al-Fath Mosque, among them 38-year-old Ammar Badie, son of the Ikhwan leader, Dr Mohamed Badie.

The mass murderers are calling themselves patriotic and defenders of democracy while those that were legitimately elected have been thrown out of office, their children and followers murdered and are accused of inciting violence.

History will render a very harsh judgment against those political groups that are siding with the military because of cowardice or opportunism.

The Brotherhood, meanwhile has called for peaceful marches against the coup starting at dawn on Friday. We will see whether the military and the police will again use live ammunition to kill more innocent people.


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