Egypt’s Illegitimate New President
by Stephen Lendman
Egypt’s sham process has no legitimacy. Elections are farcical when held.
General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ran practically unopposed. Hamdeen Sabahi masqueraded as an opponent. He supports junta rule.
On most everything that matters he’s anti-democratic. Anti-populist. Anti-what ordinary Egyptians deserve.
Egyptian elections require more than one candidate. Doing so provides a veneer of legitimacy. It’s fake.
Junta power runs Egypt. Sisi heads its current regime. He’s Egypt’s Pinochet. He’s Washington’s man in Cairo.
He’s a US War College graduate. He maintains close Pentagon ties. He has no legitimacy whatever. He reflects fascism writ large.
Brute force is official policy. Ousting Morsi on July 3 was reminiscent of September 11, 1973. Chileans old enough to remember won’t forget.
A reign of terror followed. Sisi governs the same way. He sentenced hundreds of opposition figures to death. Thousands were imprisoned.
Sweeping crackdowns continue. Democracy is pure fantasy. Opposition elements aren’t tolerated.
It bears repeating. Elections when held are farcical. Sisi is Egypt’s new strongman. He’s its anointed new president.
Turnout was embarrassingly low. IkhwanWeb is the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) web site. On May 29, it headlined “90% of Egyptians Boycott Sham Presidential Election.”
MB issued a statement saying:
“With a 90% boycott of the blood ballot – the show presidential election, the Egyptian people have dealt a serious and humiliating blow to the illegitimate coup and its so-called roadmap.”
“This is the beginning of the end of the military coup. We hail the Egyptian People’s resilience and steadfastness.”
“The Egyptian people have turned their back to the sham presidential elections. All the military coup’s begging, pleas and threats have failed.”
“The Egyptian people have thus told the whole world that they will not abandon democratic legitimacy, freedom or dignity.”
“The people of Egypt are one nation and will continue to hold high their values and their unity.”
“The honorable patriotic people of Egypt affirm that they are the only authority that can grant legitimacy to those they can trust, and that the murderous military coup has no legitimacy or popularity.”
“They further affirm that they will continue to reject the coup and resist it until they defeat it completely – with God’s help – and with peaceful creativity and selfless devotion, patience and determination.”
“The Egyptian people will reclaim their rights and freedom, and will write glorious new pages of their homeland’s history.”
Egypt’s junta-controlled press reported 37%. Independent sources said around 15%. Two electoral days weren’t enough.
Propaganda didn’t help. It claimed Sisi enjoyed overwhelming support. Big Lies failed to convince most Egyptians.
Sisi mythology fell flat. His 95% landslide was farcical. More theater of the absurd than real. More fiction than fact. More surreal than legitimate.
Reuters said “lines outside polling stations in various parts of Cairo were short, and in some cases no voters could be seen on Tuesday.”
Authorities were desperate. They ordered an extra day of voting. They threatened fines for anyone not doing so. TV commentators called non-voters “terrorists.”
Al-Azhar is Egypt’s highest Islamic authority. It called not voting tantamount to “disobeying the nation.”
It didn’t help. Turnout was disastrously low. It reflected widespread anti-regime sentiment. It showed most people reject Sisi.
They want democracy. The real thing. Not junta rule. Or Sisi heading things. He failed to get a popular mandate.
He fell way short. He tried inventing one instead. He consolidated military rule. He represents state terrorism writ large.
Last July, he ousted Mohamed Morsi. Martial law followed. Egypt’s constitution was suspended.
Tanks patrolled streets. Peaceful demonstrators were murdered in cold blood.
Weeks before the election, he said he’d “finish the Muslim Brotherhood as a group” once and for all.
He hunted them down. He rounded them up. He imprisoned them. Kangaroo court proceedings followed. Hanging judges sentenced hundreds of its members to death.
Fascist police states operate this way. Egypt is one of the worst. Obama supports what demands denunciation.
Coup d’etat authority has no legitimacy. Claiming otherwise doesn’t wash. Diktat power rules Egypt. Tanks patrol streets. Demonstrators are shot, killed, injured and/or arrested.
War on ordinary Egyptians continues. Against its working class. Anyone protesting junta rule. Sisi defended Egypt’s anti-protest law.
He “will not let protests destroy the country,” he said. His off-the-record conversation was leaked. He asked:
“Will you bear it if I make you walk on your own feet? When I wake you up at five in the morning every day?”
“Will you bear cutting back on food, cutting back on air-conditioners?”
“People think I’m a soft man. Sisi is torture and suffering.”
His comments warned Egyptians. Anyone challenging junta rule assures his wrath.
On Wednesday, Obama told graduating West Point cadets he cooperates with Sisi for “security interests.”
Assuring Israel has a friendly neighbor. For both countries “shared efforts against violent extremism.”
They represent the worst of its dark side. Low turnout showed most Egyptians reject it.
Pew Research showed around three-fourths of Egyptians expressed dissatisfaction with junta led governance.
Sisi is Egypt’s new president. Its new strongman. Its illegitimate ruler. He represents fascism writ large.
It doesn’t matter. He enjoys full US support. Including generous annual aid.
Around $1.3 billion in military assistance in 2014. Plus another $250 million in economic support. Providing it violates US law.
The 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) and 1976 Arms Export Control Act (AECA) prohibits it.
AECA permits military related sales only for defense or legitimate internal security purposes. FAA forbids aiding governments that engage:
“in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country.”
The 2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act’s (FOAA) Leahy Law provision states:
“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to support any training program involving a unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of Defense has received credible information from the Department of State that a member of such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, unless all necessary corrective steps have been taken.”
FOAA prohibits funding foreign security forces that commit gross human rights violations unless its government “is taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”
Egypt is one of many rogue states Washington supports illegally. Its high crimes against peace, equity and justice don’t matter.
It receives generous aid. Obama approves it. Congress rubber-stamps it. Doing so violates US law. It’s forthcoming anyway.
It bears repeating. Sisi is Washington’s man in Cairo. He’s one of many rogue Obama friends.
They comprise a Noah’s arc of world class scoundrels. They’re part of America’s war on humanity.
How long oppressed people tolerate them remains to be seen.
A Final Comment
Observers found Egypt’s electoral process sorely lacking. It fell way below international standards. Eric Bjornlund heads Democracy International.
It’s an election monitoring organization. “Egypt’s repressive political environment made a genuinely democratic presidential election impossible, said Bjornlund.
European observers said much the same thing. Egypt’s election “f(ell) short of constitutional principles.”
It had no legitimacy whatever. It rubber-stamped coup e’tat rule. It prevented democratic governance.
Junta authority runs Egypt. Challengers aren’t tolerated. Rogue states operate this way. Egypt is one of the worst.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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