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Iran Commentary Says Recent Egypt Crisis Part of West`s `Scenario`
Tehran-e Emruz online
Monday, December 10, 2012

Anti-Mursi protesters stand under a banner in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, December 8, 2012. Egypt`s military, stepping into a crisis pitting Islamist President Mohamed Mursi against opponents who accuse him of grabbing excessive power, said on Saturday only dialogue could avert “catastrophe”. The Arabic words read, “Down, down with the rule of the ... Guide”, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood`s leader, Mohamed Badi. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Commentary by Hasan Hanizadeh, Middle East affairs “expert”: “The Secret of the West`s Crisis Creation in Egypt”

The intensification of the internal crisis in Egypt, which was accompanied by the deaths of seven and injuries to 700, can be assessed as being within the framework of a dangerous American and Western scenario to portray Muhammad Mursi`s Islamist government as ineffective.

This crisis began at time that Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi, through the use of his authorities, in a draft of Egypt`s new constitution, fired the former prosecutor general of Egypt and appointed Tal`at Ibrahim Abdallah, someone associated with Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood movement, as the new prosecutor of this county.

The appointment of Egypt`s prosecutor general by the president of this country happened under popular pressure, because the previous prosecutor general of Egypt was considered to be one of the elements of the previous regime. The previous prosecutor of Egypt had acquitted a lot of the elements of Husni Mubarak`s regime from the accusations leveled (against them), and this affair led to public dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, the existence of Article 2 in Egypt`s Constitution, which recognizes Islam as the main source of lawmaking in the country, gave the secularists and the liberals an excuse to call their forces to Cairo`s Tahrir Square.

A National Salvation Front was formed under the leadership of Muhammad ElBaradei, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and head of the Constitution Party, Amr Musa, former secretary general of the European Union, Hamdin Sabahi, former presidential candidate, to face Muhammad Mursi and prevent the holding of a constitutional referendum.

This front claims that the existence of two articles of the constitution will result in the violation of the rights of religious minorities and therefore, based on the same consideration, has called its forces to come to Tahrir Square with the excuse of protesting the Islamic nature of the constitution.

It can be said that the elements of the previous Egyptian regime have also spent large sums to bring down the Islamist government of Muhammad Mursi and portray the Muslim Brotherhood as ineffective. The confrontation of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand and secularists, liberals, and Coptic Christians on the other hand, resulted in the intensifying of violence around the presidential palace and Tahrir Square in Cairo. Egypt`s Army as well, under the excuse of protecting security in government centers and the presidential palace, used this opportunity and concentrated in the streets of Cairo. This can be considered a prelude to the Army`s interference in Egypt`s political issues.

On the other hand, it seems that America and the West are playing a destructive role by intensifying the violence and inciting the secularists and Coptic Christians to protest against the Constitution.

Coptic Christians make up 12 percent of the 85 million person population of Egypt and possesses economic and financial influence inside and outside of Egypt.

America and the West, who are extremely concerned about the significant influence and power of Islamists in Egypt, are trying to create a crisis and to organize a velvet and color revolution in Egypt.

(Description of Source: Tehran Tehran-e Emruz online in Persian, Internet version of conservative daily aligned with Tehran mayor Qalibaf; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Editor Warns US Military Intervention in Syria Means War With Regime, Jihadists
Al-Quds al-Arabi Online
Monday, December 10, 2012

Article by Chief Editor Abd-al-Bari Atwan: “America and the `Jihadists` in Syria

With Egyptian events leaning a little toward calm, the Syrian scene is back as the headlines after an absence of several weeks and the reason for this are several main developments which can be summed up in the following points:

First: The US administration`s decision to put two fronts that are ideologically close to Al-Qaeda organizations, Al-Nusrah Front and Tawhid and Jihad Regiments, on the “terror” list.

Second: The rush of the countries supporting the armed Syrian opposition to establish a higher military council and a general staff led by Staff Brigadier General Salim Idris as the party concerned with managing the battles, receiving weapons from foreign parties, and overseeing their distribution.

Third: The assertion by the well-known British Sunday Times newspaper that the US administration has taken the decision to arm the opposition with antiaircraft “SAM 7” missiles and antitank ones which it had seized after the Libyan regime`s downfall.

Fourth: The National Coalition, the opposition`s new umbrella, held intensive meetings in the past few days to establish a transitional government that administers the country`s affairs in case the regime collapses and to announce it during the meeting of the Friends of Syria in Marrakesh in the coming two days.

Fifth: The arrival of 400 German soldiers and experts at the Syrian-Turkish borders to install the Patriot missiles in anticipation of any eventuality and confront any Iranian or Syrian missiles that target Turkish territories as presently declared.

The British and American media is asserting that President Barack Obama issued his orders to the Central Intelligence Agency, “CIA”, to intervene actively in Syria and that there are special British and American, and even Israeli, forces operating at present on the ground under the cover of searching for the Syrian chemical weapons.

This action has the character of “hastiness” and a clear desire to resolve the military situations on the ground in favor of the armed opposition. But the question that imposes itself strongly is the chances of its success and the stand of parties supporting the Syrian regime like Russia, China, Iran, and Hizballah and whether they will remain spectators and let this regime collapse?

It is obvious that Washington and its allies want to use the Syrian chemical weapons card and the danger of their use by the regime or falling into the hands of militant jihadist organizations as an excuse or cover for justifying any direct or indirect military intervention on their side. This becomes clear from the intensification of the media coverage of this dossier and the exaggeration in assessing the danger of these weapons which reminds us of a similar campaign about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The US military intervention, whether it fails or succeeds, will create a chaos in the country that will last for many years, exactly like it happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, due to the collapse of some of the state`s institutions and the presence of more than 400 military groups on the ground that is difficult to unite or control.

The more dangerous US decision is not the one about arming the opposition since the flow of weapons to the Syrian groups operating on the ground from the Gulf countries, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, via Turkey, has not stopped but putting the opposition jihadist groups, especially “Al-Nusrah” Front on the terror list.

Most of the military operations that pained the Syrian regime, especially inside the capital Damascus and before that in Homs and Aleppo, were carried out by the alliance of these groups that include, beside Al-Nusrah, the Tawhid and Jihad, Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Sham, and other forces. These regiments succeeded in attracting many Syrian youths to their ranks to carry out “martyrdom” operations against the regime`s security establishments. What distinguishes these regiments from others is the combat expertise they had gained in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Caucasus war. The forces that seceded from the Syrian regular army do not possess this expertise in guerilla warfare.

Anyone who follows these fronts` statements and articles on internet websites like “YouTube” easily discovers that they have started to prepare for a battle against the United States and the new forces operating under its umbrella on the ground in Syria.

The attacks by Al-Nusrah Front`s media on the new Syrian National Coalition were noticeable, asserting that its urgent task is “to tighten the grip around the mujahidin in Syria under the slogan of fighting terror” and “arrest anyone who joins the jihadists and the jihad to establish an Islamic state in Syria.”

More importantly, Dr. Iyad Qunaybi, one of Al-Nusrah Front`s most prominent political and media theorists, said in a video tape that putting the front on the terror list provides a cover for the opponents of the jihadists to kill whoever they want on the pretext of terror or belonging to terrorist organizations, as is happening in Afghanistan, Yemen, and before them Iraq.

America`s scenario in Iraq might be repeated to the letter in Syria with some minor changes. It is obvious that the Syrian president is not thinking of seeking refuge abroad but has drawn up alternative plans if he is cornered in the capital. He might move to the northern coast to continue the war as President Saddam Husayn did when he sought refuge in Tikrit. Thus the United States will find itself fighting two wars, one against the regime and the other against the jihadists it has included on the terror list. We will not be surprised if it established “new awakening forces” similar to what General Petraeus did in Iraq to fight Al-Qaeda organization.

The only certain thing in the Syrian dossier is that no one can predict the future and how the country will look after one, six months or one or ten years. The only certain thing is that thousands of Syrians will be martyred and beautiful Damascus will most likely be totally ruined. We apologize beforehand for this pessimistic picture.

(Description of Source: London Al-Quds al-Arabi Online in Arabic -- Website of London-based independent Arab nationalist daily with strong anti-US bias. URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Indian Editorial: Egyptian President Lost Legitimacy Over `Self-Arrogated Powers`
The Hindu Online
Monday, December 10, 2012

Editorial: “Rewriting the Morsy Code”

In a move which will resonate far beyond West Asia and North Africa, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has rescinded the decree he issued on November 22 giving himself sweeping powers including immunity from challenge to any decision he made thenceforth. The cancellation is clearly a response to widespread public protests, some of which turned violent; at least seven people died and 350 were injured in confrontations between supporters of Mr. Morsy`s movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the President`s opponents. Leaders of the National Salvation Front, a coalition favouring secular democracy, state that the President`s self-arrogated powers went beyond even those of the deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, and that Mr. Morsy has thereby lost legitimacy. The President has convinced none of his opponents that the powers in question were needed for an orderly transition to representative democracy, and the strength of public feeling was probably a shock to him; the security forces did not stop crowds from removing barricades around the presidential palace in Heliopolis. International reaction has also shown a sharp change in tone from the Mubarak era; the United States initially supported Mr. Mubarak when the uprising against him started on January 25, 2011, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has now stated that “enduring cooperation” will be hard to sustain without “democratic legitimacy and public consent.”

Mr. Morsy, however, has not cancelled the referendum he has scheduled for December 15 on the draft constitution prepared by a 100-member committee agreed by the parties after the judiciary had unilaterally dissolved the constituent assembly which had been elected a few months earlier. Amid severe disagreements, 19 members withdrew, criticising the document`s Islamism -- it would make the Sharia the main source of law -- and weak protections of rights. Yet if the public rejects the constitution, Mr. Morsy will remain in place with no specification of powers for the various institutions of state. Powerful groups from the ancient regime will do all they can to maintain their power-bases; the former ruling body, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, has been dissolved, but Mr. Morsy has added two top Scaf generals to his own entourage and made a third defence minister. Secondly, the judiciary could in effect be taking sides against Mr. Morsy and his Islamist supporters; it has said it will not supervise the referendum. Clearly, the leaders of the major blocs are yet to learn a politics legitimised by the public, whose protests are the only thing keeping Egypt from returning to the bad old days.

(Description of Source: Chennai The Hindu Online in English -- Website of the most influential English daily of southern India. Strong focus on South Indian issues. It has abandoned its neutral editorial and reportage policy in the recent few years after its editor, N Ram, a Left party member, fell out with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government and has become anti-BJP, pro-Left, and anti-US with perceptible bias in favor of China in its write-ups. Gives good coverage to Left parties and has reputation of publishing well-researched editorials and commentaries; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.


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