Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Negative Campaigning, Egyptian Style

Doctored Suleiman photo with Israeli flag

All you have to say is 'he's a tool of the Jews!' That is, if you can't actually accuse him of being a Jew himself.

The man pictured above in this Egyptian campaign ad is former Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman,whose name you may have seen on these pages before. He's running inEgypt's presidential election.

The Arabic text translates as "Omar Suleiman: Working for Israel's best interest."

Suleiman was the man who absolutely guaranteed Israel,the EU and U.S. Secretary Condi Rice that he would ensure that Hamas would never take over the Gaza Strip after Israel withdrew, and one of the chief negotiators between Hamas and Israel in the Gilad Shalit hostage for terrorists swap.

Predictably, the Muslim Brotherhood is not pleased to see him in the running. Khairat al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate threatened a violent revolt if he won saying,"I consider his entry an insult to the revolution and the Egyptian people.
Omar Suleiman has made a big mistake. He will only win through forgery and, if this happens, the revolution will kick off again."

It's also worth mentioning that Shater spent 12 years in jail during the Mubarak era.

The military junta now running Egypt has promised to turn power over to a civilian government after a presidential election due to be held in May and June.

The Brotherhood has a huge club to ensure that the military does so, and on the Brotherhood's terms. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has promised Egypt a desperately needed $3.2 billion loan - but only if there's a government with what it called 'broad political support' in Egypt. So the IMF has officially empowered the Islamists and Salafist al-Nour Party. They have the majority in parliament are calling the tune, and they know it. Without their support, the loan won't be forthcoming.

"We told them (the government), you have two choices. Either postpone this issue of borrowing and come up with any other way of dealing with it without our approval, or speed up the formation of a government," Shater said.

Like Pakistan, in Egypt the major functioning institution,perhaps the only one is the army. The Egyptian army has attempted to mimic the Pakistan model by putting together its own tax-free network of army owned industries and businesses, which also serves to personally enrich well connected officers. . The Muslim Brotherhood wants to end that, and make sure profits from these activities come into their pockets rather than going to the army.

"It is not just taxing the military that is an issue. There is the problem of conscripts who are forced to work in army economic projects without payment. What about the land that the army controls for free? All these issues will be addressed by the new government," Shater added.

Egypt is going to become the Sunni version of Iran, just as I predicted.Watch and see.

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