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Daily News Analysis

Sisi speaks from both sides of his mouth

Crescent International

Egypt's pharaoh Abdel Fattah Sisi tries to present a soft image to the outside world but comes down brutally hard on people inside. His special wrath is reserved for the Muslim Brotherhood thousands of whose members have been murdered, thousands of others consigned to dungeons and sentenced to death through kangaroo trials.

Cairo, Crescent-online
Tuesday May 13, 2014, 09:19 DST

General Abdel Fattah Sisi, the new Pharaoh of Egypt, presents different faces to different people. When he is speaking to foreign media outlets, he presents a soft image; internally he is all threats and warnings.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia (a joint venture of the arch-zionist Rupert Murdoch and Saudi playboy prince Waleed bin Talal), Sisi said he would resign if his presidency (that he assumes is his!) triggers protests.

“If people go down to protest, I will say I am at your service,” Sisi said in the Sky News Arabia interview on May 11. “I cannot wait until the army asks me to resign.”

Presidential elections are scheduled for May 26 and 27 and Sisi is facing a sole challenger, the secularist Hamdeen Sabahi but the former military chief is considered a shoe-in since all the odds are stacked in his favor.

When Sisi said he would resign in the face of public protests, he was clearly lying. Only two days earlier, he had warned Egyptian editors they should not demand press freedom since it undermines national security. Similarly, he is backing a new law that severely restricts freedom of assembly.

The former military muscleman also told senior editors not to press for dramatic reforms in state institutions by exposing corruption.

Several points emerge from Sisi’s statements. First, despite his resignation as military chief and defence minister, he remains the effective power in Egypt because the military is behind him.

He also alluded to the fact that the military is the real power when he said he won’t wait until the military asks him to resign. Under what authority does the military tell civilians to resign?

Sisi’s warning to Egyptian editors not to press for freedom of speech or even exposing corruption in state institutions contradicts his statement to Sky News Arabia. He wants newspapers and television stations in Egypt to follow his commands. But what is his authority?

As far as corruption in state institutions is concerned, the most corrupt is the military that controls about 40 percent of Egypt’s economy. It is more like a business enterprise than a fighting force.

Its record, like that of militaries elsewhere in the Muslim world, is dismal. Egypt’s military has not won a single battle against the external enemy—zionist Israel—its only achievement has been to repeatedly assault its own people.

Last August, Sisi unleashed the military against innocent civilians that were doing no more than maintaining peaceful protests in public squares. Thousands including women and children were murdered in cold blood.

Aware that only the Ikhwan al-Muslimoon (Muslim Brotherhood) are capable of mounting an effective challenge to military rule, the military-backed regime has come down hard against the movement.

Thousands of its members and supporters including its leaders have been consigned to the dungeons and corrupt judges trying to curry favor with the military men have handed down outrageously harsh sentences.

In several instances hundreds of Ikhwan supporters have been sentenced to death in a single sitting without even listening to defence arguments.

Since the military controls every facet of life in Egypt including the judiciary, Sisi could make the boast, as he did on May 6, that the Brotherhood was finished and that “there will be nothing called the Muslim Brotherhood during my tenure.”

He again has assumed that he will win the elections. The process is just a formality and a ritual.

Pity the Egyptian people because they are to be ruled by a cruel pharaoh who countenances no opposition. And if anyone dares point to the thieves in the military, they will disappear in Egypt’s dungeons or will be hanged to death.


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