This article appears in the October 16, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The ‘Washington Swamp,’
Enraged by Egypt’s Progress,
Promotes Muslim Brotherhood
On Sept. 9, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee for the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism (House Foreign Affairs Committee), held a hearing on human rights violations in Egypt, in order to urge the cutting of military aid to that nation. The hearing was in reaction to the extraordinary economic progress achieved by Egypt under current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. The testimony from Washington think-tankers attacked Egypt specifically for the economic, diplomatic, and military achievements it is making.
The “Washington swamp” is clearly enraged by Egypt’s development, and also by the fact that Egypt is working with all the great powers—both global and regional, and is avoiding getting entangled in geopolitical games. El-Sisi is focused on the development of Egypt by taking advantage of its geographical, human and natural resources, through mega-projects as the backbone of its improvements, in cooperation with projects in accord with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and in collaboration with Russia, Germany, and Italy. All the while, el-Sisi has kept good relations with the Trump Administration, and repaired some of the damage caused by the Obama Administration.
Exemplary of the swamp is the witness Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution, who worked in the Hillary Clinton State Department as Deputy Undersecretary of State for Middle East Affairs during the period of the Obama Administration’s criminal wars in Libya and Syria. During Wittes’s service in that position, the Muslim Brotherhood became the darling of the Obama Administration. Working with the British, Qatar and Turkey, she and her bosses wrought havoc in the region, bringing the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt in 2012. Less than a year later, the Egyptian people rose in a new revolution, overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood and bringing el-Sisi to power. The latter effectively terminated the impact of the Muslim Brotherhood on the country and consequently of Islamic terrorism.
In her testimony, Wittes stated: “Sissi, meanwhile, is bent on fighting a regional war for power and influence against his perceived adversaries: Islamist political movements, Qatar, and Turkey—and most of all, anyone inside Egypt who dares to dissent from Sissi’s views.” This is a lie, because Egypt is not involved in any wars outside its borders. Note that she says Sissi (sounding like sissy), rather than the accurate Sisi (with two long /i/ vowels), a sign of her derangement.
Wittes enumerated other supposed crimes of el-Sisi: “Sissi’s Egypt maintains diplomatic relations and open communications with the Bashar Assad regime in Damascus as well as with Tehran. He has made major military purchases from Russia, maintains trade with North Korea, welcomes Chinese investment in Egypt.” Otherwise, Wittes projected the crimes of her Obama Administration in Libya upon el-Sisi: “Sissi’s sponsorship of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has prolonged and exacerbated the Libyan civil war, giving greater space to terror groups like al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb, displacing thousands of people and bolstering the numbers of migrants and refugees seeking to flee from Libya into Europe.”
Another witness, Michele Dunne, from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, made Egypt’s mega-projects her target. “His regime is helping military companies to crowd out the private sector in the economy, as well as diverting scarce government resources away from critical needs of the Egyptian people and towards arms purchases and vanity megaprojects,” Dunne lamented. She added that, “A quick look at how Sisi has expended resources over the past five years shows that his attention has been fixed on mega-projects and arms purchases that build his stature and enrich his fellow officers.”
With crocodile tears for the poor, she lamented, “While Egyptians sank into ever-greater poverty over the past five years, Sisi has poured resources into vanity mega-projects such as building a new administrative capital in the desert 30 miles east of Cairo at an estimated cost of $58 billion. The city is being built by a military company with significant Chinese investment.”
The reality is that poverty in Egypt has been caused by IMF conditionalities imposed on successive governments as “reform,” including the current one, in order to get loans. Calling on the IMF to get tougher, she said: “Yet the IMF so far has been not been willing to take on the issue of the military encroachment on the private sector or Sisi’s spending on mega-projects and weapons.”
In fact, the economic truth is that, under the pandemic, the megaprojects are keeping Egypt’s economy running, as construction work continues, while other activities are terribly damaged—tourism, aviation, retail, and other consumer-based sectors.
Wittes, Dunne and other think-tankers were on the second hearing panel. On the first panel, priority was given to Muslim Brotherhood and other human rights activists. It was chaired by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.,) who presented Mohamed Soltan, an Egyptian-American “human rights activist,” as one of two key witnesses. Soltan was exposed as a Muslim Brotherhood activist by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Middle East Subcommittee. Wilson pointed out that Soltan had posted (but later removed) tweets praising terrorist attacks against civilians in Israel and in the region.
He and his father, Salah Sultan, were both arrested at the bloody disbanding of the Muslim Brotherhood’s major occupation of Rabaa Square in Cairo in August 2013 by the Egyptian army and security forces. The son was released in 2015, but is suing the Prime Minister of Egypt in American courts. His father, who was a prominent figure and Jihadi ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, is still in prison in Egypt.
Wilson also criticized the women from the Washington think tanks for describing an Egyptian woman as a “human rights lawyer,” while in reality she was a prominent Muslim Brotherhood activist and ideologue, who advocated “that a woman has a religious duty to obey her husband, and that a man has the right to beat his wife if she refuses to have sex with him.”
Wilson and other congressmen from both parties, however, had big issues with Egypt’s cooperation with Russia, and with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The full hearing can be viewed here.