Obama’s Ruthless Egyptian Friends
by Stephen Lendman
Obama’s rap sheet is long and loathsome. He heads a homeland police state apparatus. He’s waging war on humanity.
He supports some of the world’s most ruthless despots. He’s in bed with criminal elements of the worst kind. He wants fundamental freedoms eliminated.
He wants all sovereign independent governments removed. He wants vile elements replacing them. He elevated Ukrainian fascist putschists to power.
Last July, he conspired with Egypt’s junta to oust Mohamed Morsi. Martial law followed. Egypt’s constitution was suspended. Tanks patrolled streets. Peaceful demonstrators were murdered in cold blood.
A previous article compared Egypt’s General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to Chile’s Pinochet. A reign of terror followed. His “Caravan of Death” reflected it. A climate of fear included mass arrests, disappearances, torture and murder.
Opposition government officials, academics, union heads, independent journalists, student leaders, activists, and other suspected regime opponents were targeted.
Death squads killed thousands. El-Sisi is Egypt’s Pinochet. He instituted reign of terror justice. Sweeping crackdowns continue.
What’s ongoing might make ordinary despots blush. Junta power runs Egypt. Democracy is verboten. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) rules.
Fascist generals control things. US-trained el-Sisi heads them. He’s a presidential aspirant. Elections are planned for around mid-year.
Perhaps he intends winning the old-fashioned way. Mubarack remained president for 30 years that way.
El-Sisi rule so far makes him look almost benign by comparison. He’s murdered hundreds of regime opponents. Thousands more were imprisoned.
Torture and other forms of abuse are standard practice. Egypt runs one of the world’s most repressive gulags.
Muslim Brotherhood members are prime targets. El-Sisi wants them entirely eliminated. He going all-out to do it.
He ordered the most outrageous mass-murder in modern Egyptian history. Even New York Times editors were outraged. More on that below.
A Muslim Brotherhood (MB) London-based press release headlined “Mass Sentencing to Death of 529 Egyptians Violates Judicial Norms,” saying:
“The shocking and unprecedented sentencing of 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters without due process is evidently inhumane and a clear violation of all norms of humane and legal justice.”
“The verdict is yet another clear indication that the corrupt judiciary is being utilized by the coup commanders to suppress the Egyptian revolution and install a brutal regime which has already surpassed decades long of oppression and tyranny in Egypt’s history.”
“We will take all legal actions to appeal the court ruling and defend basic rights of Egyptians.”
“These unjust sentences will not weaken our resolve. Egyptian people will continue their peaceful revolution until justice is served.”
On March 24, Upper Egypt’s Minya Criminal Court sentenced 529 MB members summarily. No due process. No defense arguments. No witness testimonies. No defendant statements. Diktat justice substituted.
MB’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) member Hamza Zawbaa denounced what happened. “(T)he death sentence against politicians and revolutionaries means the Revolution has entered a new phase that requires new methods,” he said.
Ali Khafagi is a Giza-based FJP youth secretary. He called the court’s death by diktat “genocide.”
He compared hanging judges to security forces killing peaceful protesters in cold blood.
Wassat party member Mohamed Mahsoub said “death sentences against 529 Egyptians for allegedly attempting to kill a police officer, who in fact did not die, are certainly a death certificate for the Egyptian justice system itself as well as the last remaining vestiges of the judges’ honor and reputation.”
Former Mohamed Morsi advisor/Egyptian political figure Mohamed Seif El-Dawla said “wholesale executions are the latest results of the military’s Road Map of the Future, a very special kind of justice never seen before by mankind, that will be registered in the name of Egypt’s junta in all the books of law and history.”
Most defendants were arrested during peaceful protests. Muslim Brotherhood members are vulnerable.
Since last July, they’ve been hunted down. Some were arrested separately. Others went underground. MB membership is banned.
Police state laws run things. Violators face long prison terms. Others face death by diktat. Obama supports fascist lawlessness.
So does bipartisan complicity. Legislation was enacted approving military and economic aid. Congress and Obama intend it for Ukrainian putschists.
Democracy is verboten. Both countries abhor it. Planned sham elections substitute. Harsh crackdowns target nonbelievers.
Junta leaders call MB a “terrorist organization.” Israel calls Palestinians and supportive groups wanting freedom and justice the same thing.
Monday’s Egyptian court verdict may be prelude for more to come. On March 25, a second mass show trial began. More on that below. Police states operate this way.
Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are the region’s worst. They’re valued US allies. Militarized ruthlessness substitutes for legitimate governance.
Kangaroo court show trials substitute for legitimate ones. Predictable outcomes follow. They resemble Nazi era Roland Freisler proceedings. He helped Nazify German law.
He was State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Justice/Judge President of the People’s Court. Show trials reflected his reign of terror.
Verdicts nearly always sided with prosecutorial charges. They were virtual death sentences. Thousands were imposed. Freisler was judge, jury and executioner. His word was law.
He humiliated defendants in court. He railed against them. He admired Andrei Vyshinsky. He was chief prosecutor during Stalinist purge trials. Freisler acted the same way.
So did Egyptian Judge Said Youssef. Hd shouted during court proceedings. He did so in response to defense counsel protests. Some were barred from his court entirely.
Judgment was rendered before prosecutions began. Defense counsel were banned from hearing Youssef’s verdict.
Reuters said “(f)amily members stood outside the courthouse screaming after” it was rendered. Defense counsel said it was unprecedented in modern times.
State television reported what happened without comment. A government spokesman said Cairo officials don’t comment on judicial matters. Junta leaders ordered them. Rubber-stamp courts enforce them.
Sayaf Gamal was sentenced to death in absentia. He’s undercover in hiding. He told Reuters by phone:
“We did not expect such a brutal sentence. But at the same time, this military regime just wants to kill anybody who wants to express an opinion” contrary to its own.
“They are willing to kill everybody so that there is no freedom of expression.”
Mohamed Mahsoub was Morsi’s legal affairs minister. On Facebook, he called the court’s decision “a ruling calling for the execution of justice.”
Dubious charges included violence, inciting murder, storming a police station, attacking state personnel, as well as damaging public and private property.
Nabil Abdel Salam defends MB members. “This is the quickest case and the number sentenced to death is the largest in the history of the judiciary,” he said.
Mohamed Zaree is Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies program manager.
He said “(a) second year student in the faculty of law would never issue this verdict. There are a lot of flaws in this verdict. I think maybe an appeal could be successful but nothing is predictable.”
Human Rights Watch’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said:
“It’s shocking even amid Egypt’s deep political repression that a court has sentenced 529 people to death without giving them any meaningful opportunity to defend themselves.”
“The Minya court failed to carry out its most fundamental duty to assess the individual guilt of each defendant, violating the most basic fair trial right. These death sentences should be immediately quashed.”
Amnesty International called the ruling “grotesque.” Its Middle East and North Africa program director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said:
“This is injustice writ large and these death sentences must be quashed. Imposing death sentences of this magnitude in a single case makes Egypt surpass most other countries’ use of capital punishment in a year.”
“Egypt’s courts are quick to punish Mohamed Morsi’s supporters but ignore gross human rights violations by the security forces.”
“While thousands of Morsi’s supporters languish in jail, there has not been an adequate investigation into the deaths of hundreds of protesters.”
“Just one police officer is facing a prison sentence, for the deaths of 37 detainees.”
“Without an independent and impartial process that can deliver truth and justice for all, many will question whether Egypt’s criminal justice system has indeed anything to do with justice.”
“In any event, recourse to the death penalty is inherently unjust, and the Egyptian authorities should impose a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing it.”
On March 25, 683 more MB members went on trial. Mohamed Badie among them. He was arrested last August. He’s MB Supreme Guide.
Trial proceedings were adjourned until April 28. Defendants face charges similar to those convicted.
Hundreds more may ahead. Egypt’s caravan of death continues on streets. It’s ongoing in court. It shows no signs of ending.
A Final Comment
New York Times editors support virtually every US tinpot despot ally. They endorse Kiev fascist putschists. They’re blind to Israeli injustice.
They whitewash state-sponsored crimes. Ones too grave to ignore are suppressed. They’re back wrong over right. They occasionally surprise.
A previous article said broken clocks are right twice daily. On March 24, Times editors surprised. They headlined “Egypt’s Miscarriage of Justice,” saying:
“Its been on an alarming downward spiral ever since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.”
“Even so, the court verdict on Monday that condemned 529 Islamists to death for the killing of a single police officer last summer was a uniquely shocking example of a judicial system run amok.”
“(I)t represents an outrageous escalation of the military-led government’s ruthless crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist supporters of its ally, Mohamed Morsi.”
Give credit where it’s due. It begs the question. Why aren’t Times editors always on the right side of history? Why only on rare occasions?
Being there is its own reward. This writer challenged Times editors before by open letter.
It asked if imperial wars bothered them. Does human suffering matter? Is business as usual OK? Are sham elections? Is democracy for the few alone?
Do corporate interests count more than popular ones? Do wealth, power, privilege, and unchallenged dominance alone matter? What about an unconscionable growing wealth gap?
How about corporate and political lawlessness? What about a private banking cartel controlling America’s money?
Is looting the federal Treasury OK? What about reckless money printing madness serving them?
Do growing poverty, homelessness, hunger and deprivation concern you? What about deepening social decay symptomatic of national decline?
How about growing millions worldwide calling America a pariah state for good reason? Is this the America you support, it asked?
Expose what’s wrong. Denounce it. Be consistent. Do it daily. Try publishing “All the News That’s Fit to Print” for real.
You’d be heroic for trying. You’d be eulogized. You’d gain worldwide support. Try it sometime and see.
Real news and commentaries substituting for managed misinformation would help reverse your tarnished image.
What better time to reverse longstanding policy than now. This writer will lead cheers if you try. So will many likeminded truth, equity and justice supporters.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.