Guardian editorial takes the side of Morsi (or Mubarak?)

To get an idea of just how outrageous a recent Guardian editorial (on Dec. 7) defending President Morsi and criticizing the liberal opposition truly was, here are two tweets by commentators with otherwise unimpeachable Guardian Left credentials:

Here’s Guardian Cairo correspondent Jack Shenker.

Here’s ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Rachel Shabi:

Here are a few excerpts of the Guardian editorial in question:

[The crisis in Egypt] is not about the proposed constitution,

[The opposition is engaged in] a power battle in which the aim is to unseat a democratically elected president, and to prevent a referendum and fresh parliamentary elections being held, both of which Islamists stand a good chance of winning. Morsi, for his part, is determined that both polls be held as soon as possible to reaffirm the popular mandate which he still thinks he has.

The opposition on the other hand has never accepted the results of freely held elections, parliamentary or presidential, and is doing everything to stop new ones being held

So, the Guardian, when faced with a choice between a Muslim Brotherhood which is ideologically opposed to true democracy and individual freedoms – a political predisposition clearly on display in Morsi’s recent decision to assume dictatorial powers - and a political opposition which is at least marginally progressive, chose the reactionary Islamists.

The following post by a Lebanese writer, who blogs at Karl reMarks, is titled The Guardian’s Editorial on Egypt Re-Imagined‘, and is based on the same Dec. 7 Guardian editorial re-imagined as if it were written in January 2011, with minor changes like replacing Morsi with Mubarak.

As the crisis in Egypt develops, it is becoming increasingly clear what it is not about. It is not about the elections, or the economic crisis, or Egypt’s relationship with Israel. Nor is it about the arrangements for a successor to the president. Nor even is it about the temporary but absolute powers that the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, assumed for himself – for a mere thirty years, and which will lapse the moment the Egyptian people stop making a fuss.

Urging the opposition to shun dialogue, Mohamed ElBaradei said that Mubarak had lost his legitimacy. So the target of the opposition is not the constitution, or the emergency law, but Mubarak himself. What follows is a power battle in which the aim is to unseat a democratically elected president, with 88.6% of the vote, and to prevent fresh parliamentary elections being held, both of which the ruling NDP stand a good chance of winning. Mubarak, for his part, is determined that both polls be held as soon as possible to reaffirm the popular mandate which he still thinks he has.

In weighing who occupies the moral high ground, let us start with what happened on Wednesday night. That is when the crisis, sparked by yet another Mubarak decree when he was at the height of his domestic popularity over the role he played in stopping the yet another Israeli assault on Gaza, turned violent. The NDP party sanctioned a violent assault on a peaceful encampment of opposition supporters in Tahrir Square. But lethal force came later, and the NDP was its principle victims. NDP offices were attacked up and down the country, while no other party offices were touched. This does not fit the opposition’s narrative to be the victims of state violence. Both sides are victims of violence and the real perpetrators are their common enemy.

Mubarak undoubtedly made grave mistakes. In pre-empting decisions by the courts to derail his reforms, his decrees were cast too wide. His laws have many faults, although none are set in stone. The opposition on the other hand has never accepted the results of freely held elections, parliamentary or presidential, and is doing everything to stop new ones being held.

The Guardian is not only supporting a racist, antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-West Islamist movement, but are remaining loyal even when a more liberal alternative is possible. 

You don’t need to agree with our critique of the paper’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to acknowledge that the ‘Guardian Left’ ideology in many ways resembles the reactionary right more than anything truly progressive?

(Video) Mohamed ElBaradei stoned by Islamists in Cairo: An ominous story about the Arab revolution the Guardian won’t be reporting

H/T Elder of Ziyon

Here’s (Guardian Assistant Editor) Simon Tisdall’s “Arab street” in action:

From AFP, as reported by YNet:

Islamists hurled stones and shoes at Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace laureate and a secular contender for Egypt’s presidency, as he tried to vote Saturday in a referendum on constitutional amendments.

ElBaradei was hit in the back by a stone thrown from the crowd of hundreds but managed to escape unhurt and slammed as “irresponsible” the holding of a referendum without adequate law and order.

“We don’t want you,” the mob shouted, throwing stones, shoes and water at the former UN nuclear watchdog chief as he turned up at a Cairo polling station, five weeks after president Hosni Mubarak was ousted by mass protests.

“He lives in the United States and wants to rule us. It’s out of the question,” one of them said.

“We don’t want an American agent,” said another.

Members of the crowd interviewed by AFP before the assault identified themselves as Islamists without elaborating on their precise allegiance.

Egypt’s Velvet Coup

A guest post by AKUS

Like people waking up with a hangover, much of the world is beginning to wonder what exactly happened in Egypt this month.

The Guardian was so enthralled by the events that it started publishing articles simultaneously in Arabic, pandering, apparently, to what it must believe is a Bolshevik style group of revolutionaries taking over the country to create a workers’ paradise to Egypt. The Guardian chooses to brush aside any unpleasantness (“whatever follows …”) and continues true to form in an editorial, Egypt: brave new Arab world:

“Whatever follows, this is a moment of historic significance. It re-establishes Egypt as the leader of the Arab world and Egyptians at its moral core. This revolution – the only word that fits – was carried out by ordinary people demanding, with extraordinary tenacity, basic political rights: free elections, real political parties, a police force that upholds rather than undermines the rule of law. Try as some may to paint them as the lackeys of Islamism, they did this on their own and, to a large extent, peacefully. This was a fight in which Muslims and Christians stood side by side. No sectarian flags were visible in Tahrir Square, just the national one.”

The editor who wrote that glibly headed column should re-read “Brave New World” before wishing a similar future upon the Arabs. The Guardian editor may have been pleased to see no sectarian flags, but was not disturbed by the rabidly anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli posters on display. Egyptian media had no trouble, pro or anti-Mubarak, blaming Israel for either the demonstrations or the continuing existence of the Mubarak regime.

An article by Yehudit Barsky, “Anti-Semitism in Tahrir Square” provides examples showing Mubarak with a Magen David painted on his forehead, including pre-printed versions – clearly a popular theme:

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George Soros says Israel is the main obstacle to a democratic Egypt

Cross posted at NewsRealBlog, by Eldad Tzioni

Guess what George Soros considers the biggest stumbling block to Egyptian democracy?

Could it be the fact that there is no tradition of democracy in Egypt and democratic institutions can’t be created in an instant during a time of upheaval?

No, that’s not it.

Could it be the fact that Mubarak is sending thugs into pro-freedom demonstrations to beat up the protesters?

No, not that either.

Could it be the Muslim Brotherhood, the best-organized opposition group in Egypt, which is dedicated not to freedom but to instituting Shari’a law throughout Egypt and eventually to create a pan-Muslim state across the region?

Nope, not at all.

The main obstacle to Egyptian peace is – Israel.

As he writes in :Thursday’s Washington Post

The main stumbling block is Israel.

The way he sees it, Israel and the Jewish lobby are dead-set against Egyptian democracy, much preferring a dictatorship next door where millions of Egyptians can be oppressed. Israel, which Soros presumes is an authoritarian regime, loves Egypt as it is — a state where Israeli tourists are routinely warned to leave because of potential terror attacks, a state where the Camp David demands of normalization were never implemented, a state where well over 90% of the population hates Jews according to polls.

According to Soros’ bizarre logic, the Muslim Brotherhood’s alliance with Mohamed ElBaradei, rather than being a cynical use of a stooge who has barely lived in Egypt for thirty years and who has no governing experience — a partnership where the Brotherhood can easily bend him to their will — is “a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system.”

What is he smoking? People said the exact same thing about Hamas and Hezbollah and, at the time, the Islamists who took over Iran in 1979. The far Left has consistently embraced Islamist parties who are fundamentally and inherently against liberal values — against equality for all citizens, against non-Muslims in positions of power, against equal rights for women, the list goes on — because of such shortsighted and ignorant wishful thinking.

As a result, we have Lebanon now effectively governed by an Islamic group and turning into a satellite of Iran, we have Gaza governed by a group that has no interest in democracy or equality and that is dedicated to destroying another state — and we have an Egypt that will probably be ruled by the organization that was the forerunner of Al Qaeda.

Soros says:

“I am, as a general rule, wary of revolutions. But in the case of Egypt, I see a good chance of success.”

Based on what exactly?

“As a committed advocate of democracy and open society, I cannot help but share in the enthusiasm that is sweeping across the Middle East.”

Ah. His feelings that this will end up with a democratic, free Egypt are based on nothing more than his getting swept up with enthusiasm. It is not based on any sober analysis or of any weighing of the potential downside of such a revolution.

Rather than look at the entire picture, Soros wants to focus all his hate on Israel, which he firmly believes is an obstacle to peace — in Egypt.