Archive | December 31, 2011

Egypt: Did the Raids Serve a Purpose?

Egypt: Did the Raids Serve a Purpose?

 

By Hwaa Irfan

It is a matter of mind over matter when someone continues to talk in a manner that makes the perpetrator look innocent, and the perpetrated look guilty. That is the nature of U.S. official delivery of its foreign policy, especially when that policy has violated the soveriegnty of the country that it accuses.

The most recent news to hit the fan – ‘Egyptian forces raid of NGO offices in Cairo’ is just another incident that will bring 2011 to a close, and will not stop there.

If one just focuses on Egypt, the human rights abuses of the interim governing body of Egypt since the January 25th Revolution that ignited the ‘Arab Spring’ and NGO’s one can quite easily fall into the pattern of belief without questioning the incident further. After all, what does it matter to you or I, accept that if we do not, we accept anything we are being told. After all, what would one expect of Arabs, bypassing that human, and civil rights abuses are being perpetrated everyday by the perpetrator in this case, the U.S. on its own people let alone that of other countries. Putting aside the longstanding covert friendly relations between the two military powers, the resulting wrong is therefore placed squarely at the foot of the Egyptian governign body – The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, SCAF. Some may even say that the raid is to fall into favor with the nations anti-U.S. sentiment in order to create a more favorable light for SCAF, but if that is the case, still that is not the focus of attention here given the recent supply of crowd control supplies like tear gas from the U.S. SCAF was quick to apologize for investigating the possiblility of foreign aid when they were both established by another country – that’s another issue!

Seventeen Egyptian and foreign NGO’s were raided. What is of issue here are the NGO’s concerned:

  • The National Democratic Institute – founded by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright
  • The International Republican Institute, which is chaired by Republican senator John McCain

The first question asked here is, can these two organizations be deemed as NGO’s?

The last time I looked, NGO stands for non-governmental organizations, therefore can the NDI, and the IRI be deemed as NGO’s?

The NDI in Egypt is one of 65 branches globally, with the HQ in Washington registered as non-profit NGO that is funded by the U.S. State Department, USAID and private donations. So technically speaking it is an NGO. All one has to do is go to the IRI website to get this information. The website also tells us that both NDI and its ‘sister’ organization IRI was created by U.S. Congress in 1983. So one could safely assume that both organizations recieve continued funding from the same or similar sources. However they are both tools of the U.S. government, and as such the question remains to what extent do they remain to be NGO’s?

The same website informs its visitors that both the NDI and the IRI were created to form:

“…building blocks of democracy, training them to create political parties and monitor elections, and helping women run for political office and participate in civic life”.

So it can be safely said that both NDI and IRI were created to contribute to or interfere with the political process or to inject the American concept of democracy which with all intents and purposes is against a people’s democracy.  Both NDI and IRI have board members that consists of former Secretaries of State, national security advisers, members of Congress, and even Clinton, Bush and Reagan administration officials. So what does that tell us?

Then there follows another question, given the great difficulty that SCAF has had taking on the responsibility of governance for which it is not equipped or trained to do, why is it that SCAF did not know any of the above or did they before raiding the premises of NDI and IRI? The problem is the statement made by the vice-head of IRI programs from the U.S.,  Thomas Garrett who states in response to the incident:

“We believe the work we do in Egypt is very transparent. For instance, a lot of the training materials we use are available on our website in Arabic. We have been interacting with the Egyptian government for the last several months, answering their questions about the source of our funding, which is the U.S. government; the types of things we intend to do in the country; our plans. And so we’re confused as to what prompted the raids.”

The NDI is also funded by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, which in 1991, one of the founders Allen Weinstein said to the Washington Post:

“A lot of what we do now was done covertly by the CIA 25 years ago.”

Propaganda Machine – Then if one reads several reports, one is presented with what is obviously designed for corporate media and ‘activists’ to spread and perpetuate, and therefore make everyone belief to be true…

On the IRI website NDI staff member, Leslie Campbell comments:

“The raid on the institute, as well as on other U.S., European and Egyptian democracy-support organizations, is unprecedented, even under former President Hosni Mubarak.

“We are deeply concerned,” a State Department official told the Guardian, U.K., and according to the Guardian the IRI repeated to the Guardian that the raids were worse than took place under Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak

Again…

“…an escalation of repression unheard of even during the Mubarak regime,” said president of another NGO office that was raided Freedom House, David Kramer to CNN.

I could go on, but it is the same mantra probably arising from IRI’s statement, but nontheless a mantra that has an agenda, which was unwittingly echoed by 28 Egyptian rights groups on Friday 29 December 2011 in their statement as using:

“Hosni Mubarak-era repressive tools” in waging an “unprecedented campaign” against pro-democracy organizations.

Then there is the threat of withdrawal of  U.S$1.3bn (£843m) in military aid, which one doubts will follow through, but the threat is enough to press the panick button, probably to remind SCAF of its U.S. relations!

Then of course there is the focus on the U.S. NGO’s NDI, IRI and Freedom House response which as if they are U.S. sovereign territories, i.e. embassies which are free from investigation by directing the attention onto SCAF fear of criticism at a time when SCAF needs to repair its image with the people it governs. This focus negates that:

a)      Foreign interference is a reality, not a conspiracy theory

b)      Part of the investigation includes violations of Egyptian laws.

The U.S. has carried out the same raids on American based Muslim organizations the result of which was not being able to give charity as a religious duty.

The situation is not as clear cut as everyone would like to believe, including Egyptian NGOs, but the raids and the reactions to the raids have acheived one goal, to demonize SCAF further rightly or wrongly to speed up a SCAF step-down in favor of….!

Here is one rendition of the situation:

Sources:

Beaumont, P. “US ‘deeply concerned’ after Egyptian forces raid NGO offices in Cairo.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/29/us-egyptian-forces-raid-cairo

Dougherty, J. and Crawford, J. “IRI’s Tom Garrett Talks to CNN about the Raid of IRI’s Offices in Egypt.” http://www.iri.org/news-events-press-center/news/iris-tom-garrett-talks-cnn-about-raid-iris-offices-egypt

“Egypt Says It Will End NGO Raids, Return Seized Items.” http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/30/world/africa/egypt-ngos/index.html

Fam, M. “Bloomberg News Covers Raid of IRI’s Offices in Egypt.” http://www.iri.org/news-events-press-center/news/bloomberg-news-covers-raid-iris-offices-egypt

Related Topics:

Reflection on Islam, Liberty and Development IV

What’s Really Going on in Syria!

U.S: Control the Media, Control the People

Egypt Votes: Phase One Day Two

Stop Indefinite Detention of US Citizens and Others!

U.S. Intentions for Egypt and Arab World

Reoccupying Egypt

Sister P Wins Jamaica’s Elections

Sister P Wins Jamaica’s Elections

 

Good things do not always happen for the general good in Jamaica, a product of American backyard dirty politriks; and when a woman wins to become Prime Minister in a culture that for so long has debased the role of women, one knows change is on the horizon, especially if she is a heading the People’s National Party. Given the tendency of women leaders in the West to take on the male mentality, I am not one of those who advances the call of women’s leadership, but in a society like Jamaica, women have had to learn at all levels to be a woman and not a man, and a woman rooted in her culture, and not class is what a society needs!

Known by the familiar Sister P, by her supporters, Portia Simpson Miller was bathed in a sea of orange, at the PNP HQ on 29 December – Election Day for victory. In a country where violent crime and corruption once dominated elections, no one actually expected the results, but the people stood up and were counted with over 50% of the eligible 1.6 million voters casting their votes against the tirade of slander by the oligarch’s JLP, against Sister P, who despite their rantings of her as a raving lunatic who couldn’t string a sentence together, Sister P came of cool calm and collected. The fact that opposition JLP’s 39 year old Andrew Holness was sworn in only two months ago also helped to boost Sister P’s landslide victory having once ran as Prime Minister in 2006-7.

Results

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) – 22

People’s National Party (PNP) – 41

National Democratic Movement (NDM) – 0

Marcus Garvey People’s Progressive Party (MGPPP) – 0

Independent (IND) – 0

Jamaica Alliance Movement (JAM) – 0

–        Courtesy of Jamaica Information Service

With unemployment running at 12%, Sister P won 41 seats out of 63, but one prays her intentions are good, her health strong (aged 66), and that she will rebuild Jamaica for the good of all like any diligent a tough task with JA running a debt of 130% of GDP and unemployment at 12%. Homeownership is far from the maddening crowd of wage slaves, and amenities like water is essentially no longer an amenity, and electricity has skyrocketed.

In 2007 Sister P said she would sound the Abeng on Nomination Day that:

“…was given to me by the Maroons of Accompong and I will sound it, the victory sound at Old Hope Road on the 27th”

The Abeng is a cow’s horn that was used by the Maroons as a warning to others whenever they spotted the English forces during the uprisings against British colonial rule.

May the Abeng be called again as Sister P promised in her victory speech to:

“…unearth the greatness that lives in every single Jamaican”

A tall order indeed, but a possible one to fulfill for those who have faith, but are in need of inspiration. With plain speaking Sister P who is also referred to as “Comrade Leader” with a reputation as a champion of the poor, and not afraid of contact with the people:

 “We will hide nothing from you. When it is tough and rough we’ll let you know. But I can assure you also, as we move to balance the books, we will be moving to balance people’s lives as well,” Sister P said.

…A promise and commitment that all politicians should make, and one that the people should ensure that that promise is adhered to, and be willing to learn from mistakes together.

PNP

Many political parties have strayed from their original calling as is the case for example of the British Labour Party, but the PNP has never lost sight. PNP came into being in September 1938 under Norman Washington Manley, a lawyer. PNP’s focus under Manley was to establish a societal framework that would create an environment that would allow Jamaicans to let go of “mental slavery” or the psychological dependence of colonialism that has been the tool used by imperial forces to prevent true independence. This was exampled by the CIA continually feeding guns and anti-PNP propaganda to the conservative JLP, hence why the leader of JLP at the time was dubbed CIAga.

The dirty politics between JLP and PNP got so bad that the only galvanizing force, the force that brought about greater personal and social awareness was Bob Marley, a dangerous tool in the eyes of the CIA has revealed by former CIA agent Philip Agee in the film ‘Rebel Music’:

“The CIA would look upon the radical political content of reggae as dangerous because it would help to create a consciousness among the poor people, the great majority of Jamaicans.”

The powers that be might not have been able to ban the music, so they corrupted it as part of a policy to a more debased form not long after the several attempts of assassination of Bob Marley. This method of crowd control to pacify a people has been well established, and works well today in the music video industry in certain genres. 1976 witnessed attempts on the lives of Bob Marley and his wife Rita who were shot and wounded at a PNP rally.

PNP had applied for an IMF loan, which in its usual process of enslavement of a country, made a set of conditions that would increase inequality, and instability, as well as plunge the country further into poverty. 1977 saw Manley refusing those conditions, and began a program of mobilizing the workforce towards a democratically run economy by means of popular participation and an emergency plan. When placed in the position of making the right choice for a whole society, with prevailing factors undermining, Manley reversed his decision and unfortunately accepted IMF conditions.

With CIAaga’s (Seaga’s) program of intimidation backed by the nations ruling classes, which in turn was backed by the global elite, something had to give.

In 1978, Bob Marley was the only man in the country who could bring together PNP’s Michael Manley and JLP’s Edward Seaga at the famous One Love Peace Concert held in the capital Kingston. Within 2 years of the concert, the organizers, Massop and Marshall were killed. It took Marley’s death for Manley and Seaga to meet and shake hands.

That is a history indelibly marked on the hearts and minds of the people, and one that they must rise from in a march away from mental slavery towards Occupying the World. As Europe galvanizes to the far right, and the U.S. plays overt dirty global politics, time will reveal what measures the U.S. will take in Sister P’s Jamaica, but what a hopeful note to end 2011 on!

Related Topics:

The People Who are Not Supposed to Exist

The World of the Hummingbird and It’s Meaning

Controlling Haiti

The U.S. Government not in the Interest of Haitians

Aristide Not Obama is the Change They Need!

Aristide’s First Speech After Seven Years in Exile

The Sleazy Money that Bankrolls the International Elite