Foreign Policy: Sharaf following in the footsteps of Mubarak

أدعو لوقف تصدير الغاز لإسرائيل

The military junta and Essam Sharaf‘s cabinet are continuing forward with Mubarak’s foreign policy, despite all sorts of “change” rhetoric. The Egyptian people have made it clear in Tahrir and elsewhere (and all throughout our protests and campaigns these past years) that gas supplies to the apartheid state of Israel must stop completely. The gas trade deal with Israel has not only been the target of the wrath of Egyptians, but has become also a subject almost featuring daily now in the local press, with more details coming out about the extent of corruption and bribery in that deal which involved a wide array of regime officials from the Mukhabarat to the Oil Ministry and Mubarak’s own family and circle of friends.

Still, the best thing the govt can come out with is “renegotiating the prices.” Well, if the government isn’t going to stop the gas supplies, then the people will do it. For the third time in 6 months, the pipelines have come under attack by the Sinai Bedouins, which caused temporary disruptions to the supplies heading to Israel and Jordan. The regime propagandists have been trying to depict the operation as the work of Hamas or “professional terrorists” in similar manner to what they used to do under Mubarak. So much for change. Hamas is hardly implicated in any operations outside Palestine (I know when an American sneezes, the US media is usually quick to assume it’s a Hamas-Hezbollah-Al-Qaeda operation, but I’m afraid it’s not true). And knowing what sort of compromising leaders Hamas has, they’ll be seeking warm relations with the SCAF. And we forget that the Sinai Bedouins despite the defamation campaigns against them are just as anti-Zionist as many of their fellow Egyptians are. The Bedouins have repeatedly called on the authorities, before and after the revolution, to open the Rafah crossing and stop the gas supplies. There were even news circulating during the uprising, which I did not report coz I couldn’t confirm, that the Bedouins were threatening to target US warships passing through the Suez Canal if Obama didn’t drop his support for Mubarak.

The attacks on the pipelines will continue, till the govt yields to the people’s demand of severing all sorts of economic and diplomatic ties with the Zionist state.

The relations vis a vis the Arab Gulf dictatorships are even more worrying. The money flooding in to Sharaf’s cabinet from those corrupt monarchs aim at nothing but “keep[ing] Egypt in their orbit.” And as I’m reading today’s newspapers, I’m sickened to find Sharaf “praising the wisdom of the Bahraini king” on his visit to Manama, and asserting that the Bahraini “national security” is organically linked to Egypt’s. In other words, our revolutionary prime minister stands hand in hand with the Bahraini tyrant, whose hands are soaked with his people’s blood–his people who’ve been defamed by the media (and Sheikh Qaradawi) as some sectarian Shiites whose loyalty went to Iran.

نصف ثورة يساوي هلاك أمة

A revolutionary Egypt must have a revolutionary foreign policy, that seeks actively to export Tahrir and support the fight for freedom in the region and the world. We will not be able to build a democratic Egypt, while we are still surrounded by an ocean of Arab dictatorships, an apartheid regime and US military bases. What is regional is local and what’s local is regional.

US warns against nationalization of industries in Egypt

Margaret Scobey, the hypocrite who was publicly praising Mubarak as an ally in the past, only to change the rhetoric and become some Nelson Mandela following the revolution, is now trying to tell us what to do and what not to do about our economy, even when she’s leaving her post. Speaking to Ahram Online:

“A return to nationalisation will be a huge disincentive to investment,” the United States ambassador to Egypt said in a media roundtable held at the US embassy on Saturday.
“I think Egypt has to make its choice and find an economic policy that would solve its prompt problems; to create jobs and social justice,” said Margaret Scobey, answering a question from Ahram Online on whether Egypt’s growing appetite for nationalisation and public sector involvement would affect US aid policy towards the country.
“Yet I think the public sector cannot [solve its problems],” she said. “History proves privatisation has been very healthy, helpful and successful in helping many countries transform to democracy.”

History has proven that privatization has destroyed our lives, our economy, accumulated the wealth even more in the hands of few. Which history books do you read Scobey? The demand for nationalizing the privatized industries has topped the agenda of the strike wave over the past five years and during the revolution. And whether the American viceroy agrees or not, the campaign to reclaim the privatized factories will continue.

Egypt’s military junta supports Syrian dictator

Egypt’s foreign policy vis a vis Syria is hardly the actions of a revolutionary Egypt. It’s Tantawi’s Egypt. It’s Egypt which continues to be under the control of the Mubarak’s army generals, despite an ongoing revolt.

The first foreign visit of General Mahmoud Murad Mowafi, the new director of Egypt’s Mukhabarat, was to Syria where he conferred with Bashar, amid the latter’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests. And now Al-Masry Al-Youm reports:

Egypt is backing Syrian diplomatic efforts to block a Western-supported UN resolution condemning Damascus’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, a human rights advocate said on Thursday.
“Egypt has introduced amendments to a proposed UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution, according to which the council should not condemn the bloody governmental crackdown on peaceful protesters in Syria,” said Radwan Ziadeh, a Syrian human rights activist, via telephone from Geneva.

What a disgrace! My full solidarity goes to the Syrian people in their current revolt.