Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Morsi’s Egypt totters on the edge of an economic black hole

June 28, 2013

When the Obama administration stabbed U.S. ally, President Mubarak in the back, to curry favor with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, it surely could not have expected any outcome other than a Muslim Brotherhood victory at the polls. In this sense, President Obama owns the political-economic mess that now threatens to take Egypt down an economic black hole.

President Mohamed Morsi is an ill-educated religious bigot, typical of the Muslim Brotherhood that he now leads in the aftermath of Egypt’s Arab Spring. He has forced a Sharia-based constitution down the throats of the Egyptian people. He has demonstrated supreme incompetence in his attempt to lead a nation of 85 million people into a new era of prosperity. His personal support across the country has fallen from 58 per cent at his election in 2012 to 28 per cent in May 2013.

Having inherited a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy from his predecessor, Morsi has charged backwards to make it even worse. During the past two years, the budget deficit has skyrocketed to almost 12 per cent of gross domestic product. Cash injections from Qatar, Libya and Turkey are barely providing enough foreign currency reserves to cover three months of imports. The economic slowdown that he has provoked has increased poverty and unemployment with no sign whatsoever of any turn-around.

Investor confidence has totally evaporated and businesses are widely failing amid this foreign currency crunch. Morsi has failed to conclude a loan agreement with the IMF because he refuses to undertake austerity reforms that would start with a reduction in fuel subsidies. The country owes billions of dollars to oil and gas companies. Its sovereign debt and main banks have been downgraded by rating agencies sending them ever deeper into junk territory.

Morsi is a fourteenth-century throw-back president of a backward ruling party. The now only remaining hope for Egypt sadly is a military coup designed to return Egypt to a secular state and to impose austerity-based reforms that alone will pull Egypt back from the black hole that confronts it.

Hat Tip: Heba Saleh, ‘A revolution betrayed’, Financial times, June 28, 2013

Egypt on the brink of a military coup-d’etat

January 30, 2013

No where across Arabia has the Arab spring moved more quickly into an Arab winter of discontent than in Egypt. The successful Obama-supported insurrection against President Hosni Mubarak eventually and predictably propelled a corrupt Islamist government into power. This sequence of events has ignited the fury of secular Egyptian liberals who first attracted the support of Obama’s three witches – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers – who in turn provoked President Obama into his ill-fated and singularly ill-thought -out intervention.

Now, following months of political paralysis and widespread rioting across Egypt, Egypt’s U.S. funded military has now threatened to intervene in order to restore ‘order’. Defense Minister Abdel Farrah El Sissi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Egypt’s armed forces, relayed the following message in a speech to military cadets:

“The continuation of the conflict between the different political forces and their differences over how the country should be run could lead to the collapse of the state and threaten future generations.”

The fraught, two-year long transition after three decades of relatively benign, pro-Western, authoritarian rule has frightened off foreign investors and tourists, thus depleting Egypt’s reserves to the point where they now cover only three months of imports. Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan almost certainly will be scuttled by President Morsi’s loss of political control and increasingly virulent verbal attacks on Israel. President Obama – still under the influence of his three witches – has refused publicly to condemn Morsi’s increasingly aberrant behavior. The Egyptian cauldron continues to bubble:

“The White House and State Department, rather than criticizing Mr. Morsi, have urged Egypt’s opposition parties to take up his call for a national dialogue to help stem the violence. ‘We have been gratified to see the president and his government renew their call for a national dialogue to avoid further violence,’ State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said Monday. ‘We call on all political forces in Egypt to avail themselves of this opportunity.’ This stance is increasingly drawing criticism from Washington’s Arab allies, as well as many Egypt analysts, who believe the U.S. is abetting a larger power grab by Mr. Morsi and his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood.” Matt Bradley, Ed Spindle and Jay Solomon, ‘ ‘Egypt is Warned of ‘Collapse”, The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2013

Obama and his three witches have stoked a Middle Eastern cauldron

November 17, 2012

President Barack Obama, egged on by his three witches – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, and Special Assistant to the President, Samantha Powers – intentionally destabilized the Middle East by meddling in the mis-named Arab Spring with the intent of deposing key U.S. allies, Mubarak of Egypt  and Gaddafi of Libya.  Now Obama and the three witches are reaping the predictable consequences of igniting such a bubbling cauldron of irrational hatred.

An existential dagger is now pointing at Israel, the only stable democracy in the Middle East. The Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu,  fortunately has the full measure of President Obama’s lack of spine.  Pre-emptive  Israeli strikes against known enemies will provide a degree of protection that the Obama administration assuredly will not offer.

The immediate crisis, of course, emanates from the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has launched a sequence of rocket attacks on Israel, one rocket actually reaching the outskirts of  the Holy City of Jerusalem. Israeli armed forces are now marshaled and await the order of attack on the Gaza Strip.  ‘Cry, Israel, and let slip the dogs of war’.

President Morsi of Egypt now confronts the first real test for his Islamist government. Will he offer support to Israel in its quest to stamp out Hamas insurgents in the Gaza Strip?  Or will he support the militants in their assault on Israel?  If he chooses the former course of action, will he long survive as Muslim extremism sweeps across Egypt?  If he chooses the latter,  will an Obama-led United States continue to fund the Egyptian military as it intervenes to try to force Israelis into the Mediterranean Sea?

If the Middle East cauldron finally erupts into a determined effort to eliminate the State of Israel on one thing President Obama and  his three witches can bank: Armageddon will surely follow. Israel has first and second strike nuclear capability. If the existence of its people is ultimately at stake, those weapons of mass destruction will be unleashed.  The entire Middle East will return to its original desert status – only this time the massive desert will glow continuously throughout countless days and countless nights.

Read  Shakespeare, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers, and reflect on  the terrible vengeance meted out by Lord  Macduff, Thane of Fife, on the evil Lord Macbeth, Thane of Glamis and Cawdor.

Weep for what you so stupidly set in motion across the most unstable area of the globe!

The real politics of US foreign aid

May 1, 2012

Although the United States provides more foreign aid than any other country, such aid  amounts only to a miniscule 0.2 percent of its gross domestic product. The aid that is provided pays lip-service to the amelioration of poverty. In reality, it is designed to support the foreign policy of the United States, from the short-term perspective of presidents and politicians who confront  ongoing re-election pressures.

Two principles appear to govern the distribution of foreign aid. First, how cheaply can the recipient government be bought?  Second, what will the recipient government provide in return for aid?   These two principles explain why poverty alleviation is never seriously on the table.

In terms of foreign aid cash under the table, autocracies are much cheaper to purchase than democracies. Because the minimum winning coalition is much smaller in the former than in the latter cases, a given amount of foreign aid  has a much greater per capita impact. The United States government understands this. That is why it never probes foreign governments about how they utilize aid. It simply assumes that almost all such aid ends up in the pockets of the winning coalition. It assumes this to be true even in the case of natural disaster relief.

So, for this reason alone, the United States is much more willing to aid autocracies than democracies. Where it does aid democracies it  much prefers that their governments are corrupt. These conditions guarantee a much bigger foreign policy bang for each buck expended. For if aid is distrbuted across the population at large, it has a pitifully small per capita impact, unless such aid is extremely large.

Second, the US government understands that a recipient nation will never willingly completely honor the policies that it promises in return for aid. For to do so would  be to choke off all  future supply of funds. So aid recipients always make sure that their policies are less than fully effective. Egypt, for example, surely does not want to settle for peace in the Middle East. General Musharef and his successors surely never desired to eliminate al-Qaeda.  The corrupt Afghanistan government surely does not want to wipe out the Taliban. For the ongoing survival of such  terrorist agencies are milk-cows for the ruling coalitions in Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The United States is a sucker for feigned assaults by corrupt autocrats.

So foreign aid from the United States, most especially to autocracies and corrupt democracies, is the result of an ongoing tango between willing partners. United States politicians secure their own coalition support by parading as defenders of the United States against outside foes. The recipients strengthen their own coalitions with dispensed United States dollars while minimally intervening against their supposed enemies. The entire exercise is designed to secure political power on both sides of each bargain.

After all, why worry about the poor?  The poor are always with us!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 76 other followers