The dawn must come.

The dawn must come.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Pentagon and Egypt’s Coup.

Synthesised by: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, March 25th 2014.
On July 5th 2013, Press TV has conducted an interview with Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalization, Montreal about the coup d’état by the Egyptian military that has deposed the elected Morsi government after large anti-government protests arose. Here are some passages from the interview.
Ø  Asked to give his impression about the overall situation in Egypt, he said:
“It is a coup d’état in the sense that the military have intervened and they have demoted a duly elected government. I should underscore the fact that the reports confirm that the protest movement against the Muslim Brotherhood government was also directed against the United States.
In other words, the protest movement perceives the Morsi government as a proxy of the United States and in particular the Muslim Brotherhood government has accepted all the conditions, which were imposed by the International Monetary Fund upon the accession to the formation of a government – namely the application of strong economic medicine, which essentially is continuity in relation to the previous period.
It’s a structural adjustment program; it’s devastating economic reforms; and I think what’s motivated the protest movement, certainly the derogation of civil liberties, the implementation of Islamic law is an issue; but more fundamentally it is the process of impoverishment.
What we have is a continuity pertaining to these neoliberal economic reforms: massive austerity measures, rising food prices, rising unemployment and ultimately this discontent is motivated by the collapse in the standard of living and also by the hope that a new government would do something different to what the Mubarak government was doing.
The press reports suggest that the protest movement is directed against the United States and that the armed forces in a certain sense are supportive of the protest movement. I think this in many regards is a smokescreen because US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as well as the US Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey were in permanent liaison with the architects of the coup in the two weeks preceding the military takeover.
We should be under no illusions, the Egyptian military may have differences within its ranks, but ultimately it tows the line, it takes its orders from Washington DC.
Egypt is the largest recipient of US military aid after Israel. It is a strong ally and if they have taken this position of intervening and demoting a duly elected government, they have done it with the green light from the Pentagon.
I think it is highly unlikely that General (now FeildMarshal.. nfa) Abdul Al Sisi who is the architect of the coup d’état would have acted without consulting his counterpart namely US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
In fact the United States is supporting both sides and that is part of its underlying strategy. It supports the military and then it supported – it no longer supports – but it supported the Brotherhood.
And what this is leading to is a situation of internal conflict, which could lead to a process of destabilization on a much broader scale”.
Ø  To explain why the US supported Morsi, then discarded him, he stated:
“Ultimately what the United States action involved was essentially to ensure that this protest movement doesn’t get out of control and the coup d’état is ultimately intend to manipulate the protest movement and prevent the accession of a real people’s government.
Morsi was not a people’s government. It was a replacement of the Mubarak government, which in effect was following in the same path, adopting the same economic measures.
that economic model dates back to 1991. I happened to be – and this is of course beyond the scope of this interview – I happened to be in the minister of finance’s office in 1991 in Cairo at the very moment when this program was being implemented and imposed by the IMF talking to senior advisers of the government, everybody was against it, but their hands were bound”.
Ø  The most interesting part of the interview came when he tried to answer a question on whether the Egyptian Military, now in power, are willing to green-light new elections for a new civilian government. To that, he answered as follows:
“That’s a very difficult question at this stage. They may have a certain legitimacy. I don’t doubt that in Washington there is already a scenario of regime change and that scenario of regime change is there with a view to ensure continuity. But at the same time there is also a scenario of political and economic destabilization on an unprecedented scale.
But what is occurring now in the streets of Cairo is a clash between two competing political movements, both of which have been misled by the people who are pulling the strings behind the scenes. It’s worth noting that  the army, which is essentially the mouthpiece of the US military establishment stated and I quote: US Defense Secretary Hagel and US Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey were walking a fine line expressing concern while attempting to avoid the impression that the US was manipulating events behind the scene.
My understanding is that in effect this whole process has been manipulated; the protest movement is infiltrated; many sectors of the opposition to Morsi are in fact supported by US foundations and in turn the Brotherhood is supported covertly by the United States and US intelligence”.
I believe that Mr. Chossudovsky is right about an important issue, and I quote him:
“But bear in mind: the United States is supporting both sides and their objective and their strategy is to destabilize this country as a nation-state”.

Pass On The Word.

Is the world paying today the bill for a Wrong Theory?

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, March 25th 2014.
When Bill Clinton promoted and signed NAFTA (North America Free Trade Treaty); he did not only create the world’s biggest free trade zone between USA, Canada and Mexico; but also triggered a process that imposed new rules on world economy. Today the ‘West’ is obliged to make front with its negative balance’s outcome: Unemployment, Sinking Revenues, Pollution, and Social Injustice.
GATT, gave birth to NAFTA, which gave birth to WTO (World Trade Organisation), as the mechanism to monitor and control International Trade transactions, taxes, arbitrations, insurances, shipping…etc. Its major achievement was the inclusion of China! A market that everybody in the West thought would be the ideal funnel to absorb western products! Instead, it became the top attraction for “Delocalisation.
Now, all European Labour Unions started to join forces with Environment Movements, Green Parties, Students Associations, and Anarchists to denounce the economic and financial degrade in Europe; being the direct outcome of Globalisation’s theory rules: all-out privatisation; drastic healthcare, education and welfare cuts; generating massive corporate delocalisation and unemployment soaring records.
On the other hand, we are witnessing another result to the issue: the extreme right movements and parties are overwhelmingly sweeping the world’s social and political circles. They are winning grounds everyday by any possible mean: Demagogic, Racial, Religious, Sectarian, Cultural, even Economic and Financial.
Next Wednesday, Barak Obama will be in Brussels trying to sell Ttip (Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investments Protocol) to the Western Old Economies. In an aggressive move, hoping to succeed in joining the two banks of the Atlantic into a strong economic bloc of Free Trade. He’s going armed with one ‘Ace’ and an ‘Atout’. His Ace id the TPP; or Trans-Pacific Partnership. A protocol, which opens a free trade zone for the USA and 11 states from both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
But his winning ‘Atout’ will be: Russia’s imperial ambitions’ eminent threats to Western and global stability. A new 20th century style Cold War, run by Generals. By contrast, and according to Obama, it should be countered by a well orchestrated and ruthlessly unforgiving Economic Cold War; run by Multinational Corporations and Financial Institutions.
New game! New rules! Bullets vs. bank-notes? Bombs vs. Gold? No one ever played that game before.
A ‘Czar’ and an ‘Emperor’ are playing together; and the rest of the world will stand watching, to place the betting for both hands. Of course absorbing the losses, but never cashing any winnings.
Not even the wildest of Hollywood’s fantasies could come up with a similar scam.
Pass On The World.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Peace and Prosperity for all.

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Castelfiorentino, March 10th 2014.
Three and a half decades ago, Bush sr. proudly declared the beginning of the “New World Order”, promising the world lasting peace and prosperity. Already we’ve lost a decade and a half of the 21st century (aka New American Century) living worse and achieving nothing.. Wars have become on every agenda’s “Order Of the Day”..  Death is everywhere.. Nations are disintegrating into tribes, cults and clans.. Maastricht, GATT and Globalisation all turned out to be the slow steady steps in the course of committing the most brilliant worldwide hustling scam ever conceived by man.. Peace.
Today, as tired and dying empires are recollecting their one last saved breathe, desperately trying to resuscitate and rise again; here is how prosperity is securing humankind:
·         Parents sell their children for a handful of crumbs.
·         Women and children became the most profiting commodity in the prostitution, slave and human parts trafficking.
·         Labour, health and education are no longer rights.
·         Freedom and Democracy are just words used by the few by which to govern the many.
Women are bartering sex for food inside Syrian refugee camps; and their men must close an eye.. Mothers in Egypt are selling anti-depressive drugs in the streets of Cairo for unscrupulous pharmacists just to make what’s almost enough for dinner.. Others are selling their minor daughters to rich old Arabs, and in Italy middle class housewives are selling their children’s’ toys!!
All are giving away their dignity along with their children’s dreams: Prosperity.
Pass On The Word.

2 Vices for 1 Goal.

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS - Montopoli, March 9th 2014
They both never seized to astonish the world. If we draw a vertical line on a sheet of paper, and try to compare their conquests* through time, we will be amazingly surprised. Or shall I say appalled?
Few days ago, the US Secretary of State had the courage to declare: “Russians are invading another country on the basis of state-of-the-art fabricated pretexts”; and he complained, like his European allies, about “violating the integrity and the territory of a Sovereign State”!!
Shortly afterwards, as if it was a green light coded sign, most of the American and European conservative newspapers and TV networks started airing and publishing opinions analysing the Soviet era invasions on ‘Sovereign States’.. Reminding:
·         1953, the Soviet tanks opposing the East Berlin workers;
·         1956, the Soviet tanks spear heading the bloody repression of the Hungarian revolution;
·         1968, the Soviet tanks suffocating the “Shy Prague Spring”.
Yet the media headings ignored the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, because it “represents a totally different political perspective”. In addition, they agreed to qualify the Russian aggressions as “The Russian Vice for Tanks”! Nevertheless, they all have deliberately overlooked the other side of the Coin.
Ø  If the Soviet, now Russian, vice are the tanks; the Americans’ and their allies’ is the “Vice for Fighter-Bombers”. Otherwise, in 1999 long before September 11, how would anyone explain the 72 days American & Co’s bombardments on“Belgrade(producing 5500 civilian casualties); if not a the “violation of the integrity and the territory of a Sovereign State”?
Ø  What will they say about the 2001 American & Co’s invasion/occupation of Afghanistan; predominantly maintained by the excessive use of a wide range of Air Force artifacts, including the well armed and remotely guided unmanned drones?
Ø  How else to define the 2003 aggression on Iraq (160000 civilian casualties officially declared), if not the “invasion of a country on the basis of state-of-the-art fabricated pretexts” (in reference to the Arms of Mass Destruction farce of Collin Powel at the UN Security Council; or the famous 45 days Iraqi readiness to launch the Nukes of Tony Blair)?
Ø  And in 2006/2007, how could they justify the aggression on Somalia, only because its Islamic Courts have committed the unforgettable mistakes of defeating local “War Lords” and bringing order and unity among the population?
Ø  Which excuse could they furnish about the 2011 aggression on Libya? To take out a dictator, and replace him by no one knows exactly who?
If the crushing roars of the tank belts seem terrible to them; the deafening rumbling of air bombing is my horrifying nightmare.. You can stand before a tank (remember the immortal resisting citizen at the Tien Nan Men square). But, there’s nothing you can do, while sitting with your children and neighbours in a shelter, (if you’re lucky to reach it in the first place) other than listening to the whistling of a delivered bomb getting stronger in its way down, until its devastating explosion over your head.
I can tell, for I have passed through a miniature of that hell (at the time they used the 155 caliber mortar shells), back in 1975 while visiting friends in the Bekfaiyeh zone, up on the Lebanese mountain just 3 days before the burst of the Civil War.
I invite you to let your imagination grasp, if you can, the complexity of feelings and thoughts passing by your entire being, mind and body, while going through a similar experience.
Uncle Sam and the Russian Bear seem to be two bullies obsessed by a consuming desire for Imperial Grandeur. Racing one another to control the world’s resources, and even possess as much as possible – if not all – of the oxygen we all are still breathing!!
Most optimists are awaiting hopefully the rise of the Chinese Dragon. While I fear the day when the two bullies would ally together to stop the Dragon’s fast stride.
Pass On The Word.

*Conquests in every domain: political, scientific, colonial, technological, economical, space, war, even crime…etc; were all geared to achieve Hegemony. Never to satisfy human needs and render human life better. These conquests destroyed too much and built too little.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Chauvinism and Misogyny.

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, March 8th 2014.
Today, March 8th  is “Women’s Day”. By now you should know the origin of the feast, which is not my concern here. In that day, some would offer ‘HER’ the traditional mimosa.. Some will settle for a warm hug.. Others a gift or maybe a cosy romantic dinner.. However, most women prefer outing alone, or with other women, to relax away from the consuming usual love/hate relationships. I decided to forward my best wishes to all ‘my’ women (please don’t misunderstand or misinterpret me or my intentions) this way.
Whether in New York or deep in the African deserts; collective popular conscience everywhere retain these two terms directly, and exclusively, related to ‘Masculine behaviour’. Yet, in our modern times, such understanding become totally inappropriate, even though it is rapidly growing parallel to the new sweeping tidal wave of Xenophobic Extreme Right movements energised by Fascist Nationalism, and its counterpart (maybe even ally) Religious Fascism.
Originally, as you may know, the term is due to a French soldier – Nicolas Chauvin – who fought the Napoleonic Wars and ended up badly wounded. Even after the abdication of Napoleon; Chauvin remained a fanatical Bonapartist. His single-minded blind devotion to his cause against general neglect and public harassment, allowed the term “Chauvinism” its widely spread use.
By extension, it has come to include an extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of any group to which one belongs, especially when the partisanship includes ill intentions, malice and hatred towards rival groups. In addition, we find that “Male Chauvinism” is the belief that men are superior to women; which mostly is used associated with “Misogyny”: the attitude of total aversion and/or repulsion towards women.
Chauvinism, as a male superiority concept, is a classic of the ‘Jewish’ and ‘Muslim’ traditions. We can distinguish it in the Patriarchal structures in the Torah and the Koran; also like many oriental cultures and traditions do, as in India, China and Japan: where male intellectuals hold, and spouse, Misogynic views openly.
If we try to define the causes of Chauvinism, as a behaviour, we can dig them out from the 1976 Sherwyn Woods’ study about the Dynamics of Male Chauvinism. The study revealed that:
Male chauvinism was studied in the psychoanalytic therapy of 11 men. It refers to the maintenance of fixed beliefs and attitudes of male superiority, associated with overt or covert depreciation of women. Male chauvinism was found to represent an attempt to ward off anxiety and shame arising from one or more of four prime sources:
1.      unresolved infantile strivings and regressive wishes,
2.      hostile envy of women, 
3.      oedipal anxiety, and
4.      power and dependency conflicts related to masculine self-esteem.
Mothers were more important than fathers in the development of male chauvinism, and resolution was sometimes associated with decompensation in wives”.
Symmetrically, women as well started to develop a similar attitude known as “Female Chauvinism” that critics normally deliberately use in relation to certain aspects of “Feminism”. If you want to elaborate on that issue, I suggest you look for a book entitled “Female Chauvinist Pigs” written by the second-wave feminist Ariel Levy, in which she argues that many young women in the United States and beyond are replicating male chauvinism and older misogynist stereotypes.
I will not comment the issue any further.. I just want to tell every woman:
“Happy women’s day; enjoy every bit of it; and remain certain that I understand your frustration and anxiety from what you and I know for sure: Man is not superior.. Was never superior, and will never be!! If men have become what you claim to be; don’t forget that you made him that way.. He has always been your son before becoming your adopted husband, companion, friend, lover…or whatever!!”.
Pass On The Word.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Blood Diamonds, Blood Uranium, and Blood Laws.

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, March 5th 2014.
Have you noticed how violent we’ve become?
Have you realised how hard most developing countries are bleeding their strategic resources, while battling against all odds to reach a minimum of freedom and democracy?

The Latin American oil; North  & Central Africa oil, water, diamonds and radio-active minerals; the Balcans, South East Asian oil and geo-political position; and now the Ukrainian lands mainly for the oil and gas supplies, but as well for its vital importance to the Russian National Security in front of NATO bases stationed in neighbouring Turkey.

The old motto “Divide & Conquer” is still shaping the world and drawing borders. As it is completely dominating the ambitious hegemony plans, drawn by today’s colonial powers: USA, Russia, India, China and Israel.

And GLOBALISATION is the major conflict provoking factor; forcing us all to strongly hold on with teeth and nails on national, cultural, sectarian, religious identities and traditions more than ever before.. It is driving us back to a TRIBAL era, where societies would subdivide into many meaningless fragments; consequently, a social value like ‘Citizenship’ will be absorbed by the blind belonging to the family, the tribe, the clan, the pack..etc.
Every conflict on today’s earth is a direct, or indirect, result of this type of consuming GLOBALISATION. As it is practiced by various manipulative overpowering techniques and politics of twisting arms; it keeps feeding the undeserving ‘HAVES’, with the resources cleverly hustled from the ‘HAVE-NOTS’.

Following the news and seeing what horrors man is capable of committing against man, for whichever invented reasons (true or false, right or wrong, justifiable or not); I came to the certainty that Freedom and Democracy do not exist.. They are just like the glittering publicity lights of Las Vegas.. Giant words, in colourful neon-light, displayed on huge billboards, especially designed to amaze and stupefy the minds and eyes of the ‘Poor Ignorant’ wherever he may live around the globe. Perceived on purpose to sell him the illusion that a better world is possible and within reach!!

But the poor ignorant, armed only with tribal traditions, good intentions and out of date ideas; will have to make front with modernity, and respond to its cruel rules. Then, beaten by the bitter frustration and hopelessness, he will find himself obliged to fight against his peers reaching out for nothing else but an illusion.. Ironically, or tragically, he cannot realise that it is an illusion, until it is really too late.

Until he feels the heavy chains, locking his mind and body inside the burning flames of a hellish fire circle: The Ancient Laws of Blood.
Pass On The Word.

Vladi Putin.. Last of the ROMANOVs!

Adapted from the New York Times¹ and La Repubblica² By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Castelfiorentino, March 4th 2014.
The chessboard image is the classic metaphor portraying the Cold War era. An era of international tensions and attractions that started right after WWII in 1948. However, that image draws a luring deception. Many choices remembered today as reference for far-sightedness and tactical geniality; were then qualified mere weaknesses. The Cold War’s costliest manoeuvres in Korea and Vietnam, proved to be uselessly unproductive.

Often rhetoric causes problems. In 1952, Eisenhower promised an aggressive policy for the “Liberalisation from Communism”. Yet, he always opted to prudence instead of conflict. Even the “Missiles Crisis”, in Cuba back in the sixties; found its solution in the secret barter deal by which Uncle Sam removes his missiles from Turkey as long as the Soviet Bear dismantles his’ from Cuba.

Regan did more or less the same when facing the Polish emergency, and the repression of ‘Solidarnosc’. He demonstrated caution. Poland, as other satellites, were liberated thanks to careful negotiations with Gorbachev.. The Cold War then was not a calculated game structured and played among masters; it was a horrifying era of high tensions, where leaders knew that the slightest false move would’ve dragged them, and the entire world, into the darkness of a bottomless abyss.

But today’s open game, between Putin and Obama, is much more than the classic game of chess that both Moscow and Washington used to play, and cleverly I may add, until 1991 using situations, countries, and governments as pawns to move at will over their global chessboard. Though, always observing the utmost caution, as not to reach a destructive frontal crash line.

In fact, the alarming element which really preoccupies the world, about the present military operations in the Crimean peninsula, is the 18th century tactics and visions that Putin’s Russia brings into the 21st century; demonstrating the profound cultural backwardness of a leadership modelling the pre-Soviet Tzarist patterns. Thus, Putin is not any longer the successor of Stalin, Khrushchev, Gorbachev nor even Eltsin; he has become the last living ROMANOV heir of Tzar Nicolas II.

Before such unexpected and much troubling shift in the Russian perception on modern politics, we discover that the United States, United Nations and the European Union stand surprised and helplessly confused with no real efficient, nor effective, instruments to use as the appropriate ‘Counter Measure (s); not even any true means of intimidation. Whether Russia is present or absent in a G8 or a G20, will not change a single bit the fact of a European dependence on the oil and gas supplies (passing all through the five major pipelines through the Ukrainian territory and Crimean ports), and always more on the capitals pumped by Russian Oligarchies.

Out from the Syrian disaster, when Obama unwisely launched a precise ultimatum knowing he can’t respect, the administration must have learned never to fall beyond the “Red Line on the sand”. Already the White House came dangerously exposed warning Putin “..not to violate Ukrainian Sovereignty”; at which the Russians have formally, and mockingly, avoided doing by sending thousands of soldiers with no shoulder patches nor flags.

Should this unidentifiable, and nameless, official army transform into an invasion and occupation force, with official signs; and if the situation would degenerate in a civil war; perhaps even reaching the still boiling crater of Chernobyl (at only 160 km from Kiev); we would then witness first hand an eruption of diplomatic initiatives, of frenetic meetings between Europeans and Americans, of meaningless appeals with toothless warnings.
But no one, certainly not the USA who are still painfully and slowly ungluing their feet out from Afghanistan, is ready to die for Crimea. In the Ukraine, the “Putin Doctrine” have no rivals, if not half the Ukrainians themselves.

Make the parallel with the Arab Spring(s), focussing on Egypt’s situation; only by then you would discover how hollow are the words of Arab leading political figures.

Pass On The Word.

¹ ©Sam Tanenhaus the NYT.
² ©Vittorio Zucconi La Repubblica.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

About Terror in Sinai.

By: Ahmed ELNAHAS – Montopoli, February 28th 2014.
On February 14th 2014, Mr. Hasib J. Sabbagh, a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, appeared in a special hearing before the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence of the United States House of Representatives 2nd Session, 113th Congress; to deliver his assessment on “Al Qaeda’s Expansion in Egypt: Implications for U.S. Homeland Security”. Here follow some passages of his statement.

Since the July 3, 2013 coup d’étât, there have been at least 22 terrorist attacks in the Sinai and a series of attacks in major population centers in the Nile Valley, including Ismailiyya, Mansoura, the Sharqiya governorate, and Cairo. A group called Ansar Bayt at Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) have taken responsibility for most of the attacks, but other groups including the previously unknown Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) and Jund al Islam (Soldiers of Islam) have also targeted the Egyptian state and security forces. Most ominously, in late July and again in early September, an extremist organization called Al-Furqan Brigade fired on cargo ships in the Suez Canal with rocket propelled grenades, though no damage was reported.

The security problems there have become deeply worrisome. It is important to note that it is the scale of violence that is new, not the problem of terrorism nor its cause. Egypt is in many ways a crucible of transnational jihad and has produced a long list of notorious terrorists. For at least a decade before the January 2011 uprising, Israeli and American officials raised concerns to their Egyptian counterparts over the drug trade, the flow of weapons, human trafficking, and the presence of various extremist groups in the Sinai. There is no evidence that then-president Mubarak took American and Israeli disquiet seriously, but even if he had, there were important political and structural impediments that would have prevented him from taking any effective action.
Ø  First, the leadership in Cairo was not inclined politically to address to grievances of the population of northern Sinai, whether they be related to the lack of economic opportunity and development or to the poor treatment of the population at the hands of the Ministry of Interior. Although the Sinai is critical to a set of national myths related to past conflicts with Israel and national redemption, the area has not been incorporated into the political and economic life of the country. Given this neglect and the cultural differences between the largely Bedouin population of the Sinai and other parts of the country, residents of the Sinai do not feel Egyptian. To be fair, this situation is not necessarily unique to the Sinai. The same can be said of residents who live in the Nile Valley who also feel disconnected from the far-flung capital and its leaders who care little about developments outside the major population centers.

Ø  Second, Egyptian-Israeli security coordination was not as robust in the late 1990s and 2000s as it is now. During the mid-2000s, for example, there was considerable mistrust between the two security establishments in addition to thinly veiled Egyptian anger over the efforts of Israel and its U.S.-based supporters to draw attention to Cairo’s lackluster approach to the problem of underground smuggling from the Egyptian frontier to the Gaza Strip.
Ø  Third, and most importantly, the primary state organizations that were (and remain) responsible for the Sinai—the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, and the General Intelligence Service (GIS)—have maintained different views on how to deal with problems there, have distinct missions, and are in competition with each other. Due to restrictions built into the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the armed forces were only permitted in certain locations in the Sinai and only with certain pre-determined types of weapons. As a result, stability in the Sinai was largely left to the Ministry of Interior, which, as alluded to above, pursued its police functions with zeal and little regard for due process or human rights. For its part, the GIS was less interested in the quiescence of the population than it was in running intelligence operations in the Sinai. The inevitable result was the development of an environment conducive to crime, extremism, and violence.
After the uprising, the Ministry of Interior was badly battered and the Ministry of Defense was consumed with running the country. This almost immediately resulted in the deterioration of the security situation in northern Sinai. Attacks on police stations, bombings of the Trans-Arab and the al Arish-Ashkelon pipelines, kidnapping of security personnel, efforts to infiltrate Israel, and brazen attacks on state facilities in the region’s capital al Arish all became frequent. Military operations during the summer of 2011 and 2012 did little to arrest this instability and violence. It is not accurate to suggest, as many in the media have, that the Sinai Peninsula is “lawless.” There are informal legal institutions in the Sinai: Sharia courts are now taking the place of the tribal ‘Urf court system, which the government under Mubarak was widely believed to have infiltrated. The spread of Sharia courts has become a way to propagate and institutionalize extremist ideologies and worldviews.

The evidence suggests that the violence in the Sinai Peninsula is largely an Egyptian affair. The Sinai may yet attract foreign jihadis, but thus far the Sinai has enticed Egyptians nationals who had been fighting in Syria and Iraq to return home in order to wage war against what they believe to be an illegitimate government. Ayman Zawahiri, the Egyptian leader of al Qaeda, has offered his support to Ansar Bayt al Maqdis and has encouraged Egyptians to take up arms against the state. There is currently a debate in Washington about Zawahiri and the extent of his control over al Qaeda and its affiliates, but it seems clear that he maintain influence among Egyptian jihadists.
This worrying situation of political uncertainty, economic deterioration, and extremist violence; this instability poses a threat to American national security interests including:
a)      navigation of the Suez Canal,
b)      providing logistical support to U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf,
c)      overflight rights, and
d)      the preservation of Egypt-Israel peace.

Nevertheless, the question remains however: “how the United States can best help Egypt?”.
Washington should speak out forcefully and clearly against, for example, human rights violations, attacks on press freedoms, and policies that contradict the rule of law; but policymakers must understand that this is unlikely to have a decisive effect on the quality of Egyptian politics.

Some observers have advocated suspending, delaying, or outright cutting U.S. military assistance to punish the military for the July 3 coup and to compel the officers to put Egypt on a democratic path. It is hard to understand how such a policy would advance democratic change or help improve Egypt’s security situation. The Obama administration has already withheld important weapons systems from the Egyptians, including F-16s and Apache helicopters in response to the military’s intervention, but this has not had a salutatory effect on Egyptian politics.

Critics also argue that U.S. support for the military will further destabilize Egypt, reasoning that the officers’ harsh crackdown is contributing to polarization and violence. This “repression-radicalization dynamic” is real, but whether the United States provides assistance or not, the military and the Ministry of Interior seem likely to continue to try to establish political control through coercion and violence. Withdrawing American support will not make Egypt less unstable

The United States has obvious security interests in Egypt that virtually all observers agree remain important in the short-run. The Egyptians have come to terms with the fact that they are likely to be battling extremists in the Sinai Peninsula for the near future. The Ministry of Defense is not always amenable to American advice because they fear that the United States wants to transform the military into a gendarmerie.
If the most optimistic assistance programmes whatsoever would be adopted, it cannot provide an immediate solution to this situation, unless first the Egyptians must break out of their outdated conception of security and rethink their doctrine to respond to the very real threats before them. This is where the United States can be most helpful, but to be successful, American policymakers will need to:

1.      reassure Egyptian officers that Washington stands with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism;
2.      the administration and the Congress should give the Egyptian military the tools and technology it needs to counter extremist violence;
3.      release suspended weapons systems, especially the Apache helicopters;
4.      establish a standing group of American and Egyptian officers to coordinate assistance coherently; and
5.       develop a trilateral American-Egyptian-Israeli security/intelligence/counter-terrorism mechanism that facilitates the flow of information among the security establishments of all three countries.

That’s about all there is in Mr. SABBAGH’s speech. Yet it should be noted that:
The now Field Marshall Al Sissi, and before his appointment as Minister of Defence & Military Production, was for a long time the top agent responsible for running the Military Intelligence activities in Northern Sinai under Tantawi and Mubarak; and among his major job tasks were:
a)      coordinating with Israeli counterparts regarding issues like smuggling arms, food, medicines, gas.. etc; and
b)     exchange intelligence plans on jihadist activists infiltrations into the peninsula.

Pass On The Word.