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Gulf States Buy Egyptian Riots
Is Saudi money undermining Cairo's Morsi government?
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A great deal of reporting on the political unrest in Egypt offers simple explanations fully comprehensible to readers in London, Paris, or New York, couched in the political expressions that those audiences are accustomed to hearing. Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi has been depicted as an Islamist with an Islamist agenda who is also an inept leader unable to solve any of Egypt’s manifold problems, most particularly its shrinking economy. This in turn is producing a revolt of the middle class—which supported genuine reform after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak—as well as of the proletariat and working class, which have seen declines in already marginal standards of living and have been on the receiving end of brutal police crackdowns that have included well-documented instances of torture both in Cairo and in the economically significant governorates adjacent to the Suez Canal.

But the conventional wisdom may not be completely accurate. Washington has evidence that as much as a billion dollars has been clandestinely introduced into Egypt since the June presidential election. The money has gone to some organizers of the riots taking place, including junior Army officers in mufti, to force the regime to react with excessive force and lose what little legitimacy it retains—which is precisely what has happened. A fatally weakened Morsi government might well have to accept a new regime of national unity that would include the military, which would become the dominant force in the arrangement without having to risk the opprobrium involved in actually forming a government. The primary objective of the new alignment would be to restore order, further enhancing the military’s status. On January 29, the Egyptian Army’s commanding general, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, not surprisingly suggested that the army might have to intervene if the civilian government proves incapable of suppressing the rioting.

So who is behind the unrest? The money fueling the confrontation comes from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, none of which are enamored of the Muslim Brotherhood or Morsi. They fear that the untidy democracy, such as it is, in Egypt and elsewhere amid the Arab Spring could spill over to their states, and they desire a return to something like the military-backed regime of Mubarak, which was politically reliable and dedicated to suppressing political extremism and even dissent in all forms. A government of national unity, backed by the army, that would give lip service to democratic institutions would be just fine.

The U.S. government is aware of how the money flowing into Egypt is being used, and it too disapproves of the messy democracy in Egypt. There is some sentiment on the U.S. National Security Council and in the White House favoring a return to something like the Mubarak rule in Egypt, if that could be arranged “democratically,” without sparking a wider conflagration.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Egypt 
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  1. Kinan says:

    When does it become obvious to the political establishment (like it has to virtually everyone else in the world) that our support for the oppressive theocrats in Riyadh and Tel Aviv are the most fundamental reason why everyone in the region despises American foreign policy? And I guess a more pertinent question – when do they start caring?

  2. Pat says:

    So essentially the White House and NSC want to have their cake and eat it too. The idea that they want to return to a Mubarak style government through means of democracy is laughable.

  3. The closest Arab allies of U.S. financial elites have always been brutal dictatorships. A government that puts the interests of its own people before those of of the financiers is anathema to the financiers who also make our own domestic and foreign policy.

    The “Mother of All Democracies” nurturing “nation-building” with Manchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

  4. Ken Hoop says:

    I should believe-or would it be hope that by now that any Arab leader viewed as submissive or even overly so to Washington will not be able to have a stable populace for long.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “The U.S. government is aware of how the money flowing into Egypt is being used, and it too disapproves of the messy democracy in Egypt. “

    So much for the “Freedom Agenda”. Our biggest weapons customer (Saudi Arabia) and our biggest foreign aid dependent (Israel) don’t approve of it either.

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    and you think the situation in egypt is unique? how ’bout
    those “popular” uprisings in libya and syria? how ’bout
    the protests after the elections in iran? seems the same
    procedure is being followed in egypt.

  7. blowback says:

    Makes you wonder if the troubles in Syria were also the result of a large infusion of cash from Saudi Arabia, rather than the alleged government brutality in Deraa which according to the bought and paid for western media was the proximate cause.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website


    Interesting you should say that. There never *were* “peaceful” protests in Syria. They were violent from the start. Everyone knows this except those who depend on the likes of the CNN or BBC for their propaganda. Er, news.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The revolution started in Deraa after the security guard kick some kids and removed their nails. Their parents became angrey and protested peacfuly but the security guards attacked them hardly and killed some of them. Hems answered with another protest against what happend in Deraa than everything start.
    stupid (ba’athi) soldiers didn’t forget to memorize killing and torturing people.
    Anyway, Alasad became a mouse and Free Army will kick him and his followers.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why does Saudis finance the instability of Egypt? It is because any true Muslim government would further expose the infidelity of the Saudi government! Please don’t deceive us Mr. CIA the Saudi government has a green light from your government to do so, both in Egypt and Syria by directly packing Bashar with weapons.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Not only the Gulf rulers fights the first civilian leader elected by millions
    But Mubarak lingering state also fight Dr. Morsi becouse he cleanses the state from systematically corrupting effects of 30 years of Mubarak’s rule

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    the west & the us needs to put real pressure on the gulf states to move forward with the reforms or else all new governments will fall back to where they were .

  13. Victor says:

    Does the current government in eygept know what saudi government doing? Why they didnt reaction against that ? Why US doesnt press gulf countries to move forward toward democracy?

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