As President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak publically to denounce any violence had toward protesters in Egypt, which have been and are carried out attacks by government-paid thugs and out-of-uniform security forces, backed by snipers who are dropping protesters from a distance and thugs pulling organizers out of the crowds, it is we, the U.S. that backs the Egyptian miliary.
Images shot by activists appear to show graphic scenes of
intense fighting in Cairo and Alexandria
Munich – The Obama administration on Saturday formally threw its weight behind a gradual transition in Egypt, backing attempts by the country’s vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman, to broker a compromise with opposition groups and prepare for new elections in September.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking to a conference here, said it was important to support Mr. Suleiman as he seeks to defuse street protests and promises to reach out to opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Administration officials said earlier that Mr. Suleiman and other military-backed leaders in Egypt are also considering ways to provide President Hosni Mubarak with a graceful exit from power.
“That takes some time,” Mrs. Clinton said. “There are certain things that have to be done in order to prepare.”
. . . . . .
Now, the United States and other Western powers appear to have concluded that the best path for Egypt – and certainly the safest one, to avoid further chaos – is a gradual transition, managed by Mr. Suleiman, a pillar of Egypt’s existing establishment, and backed by the military*.
Al Jazeera discusses meeting over the weekend with key persons.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has cast doubt on the government’s willingness to follow through on promised reforms, following talks with authorities aimed at ending the country’s political crisis.
Egyptian state television said Omar Suleiman, the country’s newly appointed vice-president, began meetings with prominent independent and mainstream opposition figures on Saturday to go through the options, which centre on how to ensure free and fair presidential elections while sticking to the constitution.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) played down Sunday’s meeting with Suleiman, saying that it was not prepared to drop its central demand of calling for Mubarak to resign as president.
“We cannot call it talks or negotiations. The Muslim Brotherhood went with a key condition that cannot be abandoned … that he [Mubarak] needs to step down in order to usher in a democratic phase,” Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a member of the MB, told Al Jazeera.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, cautiously welcomed the inclusion of the MB in talks, but said the US would “wait and see” what results the dialogue yields.
The MB, which is formally banned by whose activities are tolerated, was one of several groups taking part in those talks. Other participants included members of secular opposition parties, independent legal experts and business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, attendees said.
A representative of Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition figure, was also in attendance.
ElBaradei, however, told the American television station NBC that he had not been invited to the talks. He criticised the negotiations for being “opaque”, saying that “nobody knows who is talking to whom at this stage”.
Understanding who Omar Suleiman is. Suleiman is Egypt’s new vice president and the former head of the country’s general intelligence service, was a key agent of the CIA in Egypt for renditions.
. . . One of those whose rendition Suleiman helped oversee was al-Qaeda suspect Ibn Sheik al-Libi, who told the CIA, according to a bipartisan report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that he was locked in a tiny cage for more than three days, then beaten because, at the behest of the United States, the Egyptians wanted him to say that Saddam Hussein was going to give al-Qaeda chemical and biological weapons. “They were killing me,” he told journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn. “I had to tell them something,” and so his coerced confession wound up in Colin Powell’s now notorious address before the United Nations in February 2003, justifying war against Iraq.
Ironically, blowback from the propaganda offense claiming the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction now enhances the credibility among Egyptian protesters of a man that same campaign tried to discredit – Mohamed ElBaradei, former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and, . . . .
Insisting that his agency’s investigations proved that WMD’s did not exist – followed by his moderate stance on the Iranian nuclear program – led to angry attacks by the Bush administration, especially from Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, and even the tapping of ElBaradei’s telephone. They attack him still, yet in this current crisis he is, as one journalist wrote, “about as much of a liberal secularist as the US could realistically hope for.” . . . .