June 15, 2013

Morsi Threatens Ethiopia Over Dam Project, And Backs Al-Qaeda In Syria

Morsi and Erdoğan are backing Al-Qaeda in Syria, and working against the wishes and interests of the Syrian people.

The Ethiopian Dam project called, "Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam" that began construction in April 2011 has recently made headlines because the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt have threatened to sabotage the project.

Earlier this month, numerous leading Egyptian political figures were caught in a brainstorming session on live television arguing about the kinds of methods that can be used to stop the Dam's construction. They didn't know they were being filmed, and the international backlash was immediate.

But the Egyptian leadership stood firm in its position that the construction of the Ethiopian Dam in its current course is unacceptable. President Mohamed Morsi even threatened war against Ethiopia in a speech on Monday, saying, "If our share of Nile water decreases, our blood will be the alternative." Ethiopia's foreign ministry dismissed those threats, and continues to affirm that the Dam would not damage Egypt's water security.

I wasn't share what to think when I first heard of this developing story ten days ago. The Nile is held as sacred by the Egyptian people, it is a matter of national security for them, so they originally had my sympathy. But after watching an interview of late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Egyptian television in 2011, in which he laid out the reasons for the construction of the Dam and explained how it will benefit all the countries in the area, it became very clear that the current Egyptian leadership is unnecessarily taking a hard stance against the construction of the Dam.

Zenawi described the Dam as a "win-win," and that Egypt would directly benefit because the Dam would solve its electricity problems. "Some Egyptian media and some Egyptian politicians," said Zenawi, "do not understand that building dams in Ethiopia for generation of electricity is in the interest of Egypt. And so these unwise people oppose it. But some media and some Egyptian politicians understand it and they do not oppose it."

The attachment to the Nile amongst many Egyptians is religious, so Morsi's rhetoric has made them happy. But Morsi is not taking a wise approach. For many Ethiopians, building the Dam is an issue of equality and justice more than anything else. Read this excerpt below from the article, "Damning the dam: Egypt opens floodgates against Ethiopia," by Youssef Khazem:
Without doubt, the Nile has historically played a vital role in the life of Egyptians and has been a top priority and “red line” for Egyptian officials since the days of the Pharaohs. In more recent times, the legal agreements governing the distribution of the Nile waters were all signed between the colonial powers in Africa from 1891 until the Second World War. In 1929, Egypt signed, with Colonial Britain (representing Equatorial countries), an agreement which admits Egypt’s historical rights regarding the Nile and prohibits the building of dams, irrigation projects and other measures on the river, its tributaries or lakes without prior agreement with Egypt. Britain, needing a guaranteed source of cotton for its textile mills in Lancashire and Manchester, gave Egypt the lion’s share in the Nile waters to irrigate its cotton crops. Many countries, including Sudan, Tanzania and Ethiopia, declared that they would not abide by these historical agreements signed under colonial rule and asked to renegotiate their share of the Nile water. This is not surprising given that although Ethiopia contributes 85% of the waters arriving at the Aswan Dam in Egypt and Uganda contributes the remaining 15%, Egypt and Sudan receive 90% of the total share of Nile waters, while the rest of the Nile basin countries receive one tenth of the total water share.
Khazem added near the end of his article that:
"It is highly likely that Mursi’s emotive speech is not about the Nile or the diversion of its waters but rather a political diversion from the internal crisis facing Egypt since he took office. President Mursi may talk tough to distract attention from severe domestic political and economic challenges in his country but Egypt needs to realize that it cannot take the gift of the Nile for granted anymore. As late Prime Minister Zenawi told me: “The Nile does not belong to Egypt or Sudan or Ethiopia, it is for all of the Nile Basin countries to share and we need to cooperate through dialogue for the benefit of all.”"
Morsi is seeking to divert public attention from his failed leadership through not just raising the nationalist rhetoric against Ethiopia, but also by getting more involved in the affairs of Syria. On Saturday, June 15, Tom Perry reported for Reuters that, "Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state firmly against President Bashar al-Assad."

The Egyptian leadership is also sending Egyptian Jihadists to fight in Syria alongside Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. The AFP reported on Friday, June 14: "Thousands of Islamists rallied in the Egyptian capital on Friday in support of calls by Sunni Muslim clerics for a holy war against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

Morsi criticized Hezbollah for entering the conflict in Syria, but this criticism is empty. Hezbollah only fought in a town that is close to the Lebanese border and that was under attack by foreign Jihadists and Al-Qaeda groups. You don't see Hezbollah fighting in northern Syria. There is a clear rationale and clearly stated purposes for its involvement in Syria. The Jihadists in the FSA were targeting their venom not just at Assad but at all Shiites in both Syria and Lebanon, so Hezbollah had no choice but to act decisively and retake the city. Otherwise, the Jihadists would've had easy access to Lebanon to spread their acts of terrorism.

Egypt, on the other hand, has no business involving itself in Syria's internal politics. The Muslim Brotherhood is not fighting for freedom in Egypt, so how can it say with a straight face that it is fighting for freedom in Syria?

The current conflict in Syria has nothing to do with the Arab Spring that began in North Africa and Egypt. Former French Foreign Minister said in a recent interview that plans to attack Syria were laid out before the events of the Arab Spring. Retired American general Wesley Clark said in October 2007 at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco that the U.S. was planning for regime change in Syria.

So not only is Morsi backing Al-Qaeda in Syria, but he is also siding with the United States empire and Israel against the only Arab state that is standing up for the rights of Palestinians in a concrete and consistent manner.

It is clear without a doubt that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as a whole is looking like a poisonous fruit of the Arab Spring. The Egyptian people are seeking to pluck this poisonous fruit out of the soil of their revolution. In late May, Egyptian activists gathered 7 million signatures in support of a new presidential election, which they will submit on June 30. That number is now up to 15 million.   

Their big day is only weeks away. In an article called, "Will Egypt Have Its Second Revolution on June 30?" Bassem Sabry wrote:
The protests, whose origins still remain somewhat debatable, are widely expected to be a large-scale event. In fact, some are even calling upon other anti-government protesters and anti-Islamists in Tunisia and Turkey (the latter capturing the international spotlight as of late) and others to also hold mass protests on the same date, turning the day into a regional pro-democracy marching event. On the one hand, the opposition has largely seen the scheduled demonstrations as a manifestation of anger against the president and the Brotherhood, seeking reforms and political inclusion. But on the other hand, it seems that much of the anti-Islamist (more directly: anti-Brotherhood) local public sentiment expects something much more out of this. Namely, the stated hope is that the protests could be large enough to push Morsi to step down, and for the country to hold early presidential elections.
Morsi has preemptively responded to the June 30 protests by heating up the nationalist rhetoric against Ethiopia's historic Dam Project, and officially cutting ties with the Syrian government. Both moves are intended to create an atmosphere of both domestic and foreign crisis so they can maintain their hold over power at all costs, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are looking to stir up wars, whether they be nationalist or sectarian in nature.