Usurpers of power call the shots in Egypt

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Usurpers of power call the shots in Egypt

This is for certain: The barracks hucksters of democratic and economic dynamism now parading in Cairo toppled a popularly elected civilian government.
This is also a given: Theirs was a military coup, pure and simple. It does not matter what definition Cairo or Washington give their July 3 takeover.
The men in uniform overthrew an elected government in the name of the Egyptians.
They wrestled power by sheer force of arms; they seized control from a government that drew its legitimacy from the ballot.
The men in uniform and the men in grey suits they installed in government form an alliance of usurpers of power.
I know that Washington and Cairo have argued that the military acted at the behest of the people of Egypt who were growing increasingly apprehensive about the direction the Mohammed Morsy regime was taking the country.
Cairo and Washington appear to have concluded that Mr Morsy’s regime ran the risk of becoming an Islamist clique.
What sticks in the craw is that Cairo and Washington appear to justify the overthrow of Mr Morsy, by saying that the majority of Egyptians were unhappy with what the regime was doing. But they are not saying that the military staged a coup against Morsy. Worse, they are not saying there is a crackdown against political Islam.
US Secretary of State John Kerry says that millions of Egyptians wanted the military to intercede for them and, therefore, the soldiers are restoring democracy.
Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan scathingly called Mr Kerry’s position comic relief.
If Washington says that there was a military coup in Egypt, then, as Buchanan and Republican Senator John McCain argue, American law is clear that the Barack Obama administration would have to stop aid to the Egyptian military.
Therefore, President Obama will not call the overthrow of Mr Morsy a military coup.
That is because Washington has, since the signing of the peace agreement between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, looked upon Cairo as a key player in the security of Israel. Washington also wants Cairo to remain its ally in its opposition to political Islam.
So Mr Obama will not stop the $1.5 billion annual aid Washington gives the Egyptian military.
But, is it, in fact, the case that it is the men in grey suits who are calling the shots in Cairo? The events of the last two weeks show clearly that it is Gen Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the driver’s seat. It is the military that has been issuing orders to Morsy backers to dismantle their camps, not to protest, to respect the law or to prepare to face the full force of the law.
So Washington must have supported the coup in Cairo which, in turn, means that it must have been taken aback by the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections that followed the removal of long-serving dictator Hosni Mubarak.
That reminds me that Washington wanted elections for Palestinians but when Hamas emerged victorious in Gaza, it was appalled.
And remember that when in 1991 the Islamic Salvation Front emerged victorious in Algeria’s parliamentary elections, the military moved in and voided that first round of balloting.
It was speculated that Washington and some European capitals were uneasy with political Islam taking power in Algeria.
Islamists win in Palestinian elections and Washington changes the goal posts of democracy; they triumph in Algeria and the military moves in to invalidate their victory and, when they assume power in Egypt, Washington, the presumed foremost defender of people’s rights, turns a blind eye as the military supplants Mr Morsy.
And then Mr Morsy and his supporters watch in disbelief as Washington turns a blind eye when the military unleashes terror on the streets of Cairo to forestall legitimate protest. They must have wondered if this is the same Washington that welcomed Hosni Mubarak’s exit and the elections that brought Mr Morsy to power.
Will Gen el-Sisi call elections soon? It is possible he will after making sure that he has crushed the Muslim Brotherhood and taken it out of Egypt’s political equation. This explains the ferocity with which he has gone after the demonstrators and, especially the leadership of the Brotherhood.
It is highly unlikely Gen el-Sisi would validate an election won by the Islamists.
The men in uniform, with the knowing wink of Washington, are back in power which they missed sorely for two long years following the overthrow of their mentor, Mr Mubarak. The men in grey suits are puppets! And, you cannot trust Washington.
Niccolo and Donkey