July 4, 2013

Tarpley On Why The Muslim Brotherhood Failed In Egypt

There are many interpretations of the fall of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Obviously, there are many causes and explanations. Morsi was too politically aggressive on behalf of his cult-like party, he alienated too many Egyptians, the new constitution was not accepted as legitimate and valid almost immediately, his faux religiosity and sectarian Islamist rhetoric was getting on people's nerves, he spat in the face of public opinion by appointing a person connected with a terrorist crime in Luxor in 1997 to be the new governor of that tourist hotspot, etc. Basically, he lost the trust of the people.

In the interview below, historian Webster G. Tarpley discusses the IMF angle, and explains how Morsi's failure to confront the IMF and defend the long-established Egyptian system of subsidies led to his political demise.

II. Tarpley On Why The Muslim Brotherhood Failed In Egypt

"As soon as they got into power last summer, they [Muslim Brotherhood] began negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. This is the main thing to understand. They threw away their chance to govern because they caved in to the IMF worse than any government in recent Egyptian history. The IMF has always targeted the system of subsidy going back to Nasser and Arab socialism. There is a bread subsidy, there is a cooking oil subsidy, there are other staples, there may be a rice subsidy, but it's wheat in particular, and fuel, household fuel or gasoline.

And the demand of the IMF was we'll give you a loan of four billion dollars if you sign a letter of intent that specifies conditionalities. What are the conditionalities? That you will immediately double the price of gasoline. That happened last November, and really it's been a slide downhill for Morsi since that moment. In other words, he doubled the price of gasoline. Think of that. I think any country in the world you'll get riots. And in Egypt there's a tradition. In 1977 Sadat tried to tamper with the bread subsidy and the whole country exploded in his face and he backed off and he never tried that again.

One of the important factors in the entire color revolution-Arab Spring situation, be it Tunisia or Gaddafi or others, is these governments were weakened in advance. They were set up for destruction by years-long IMF offensive to try to attack the system of subsidies and other government interventions to maintain the standard of living. Always the character of these things is to put a floor under the very poor. So the IMF was attacking this.

And what Morsi accepted to do was to double the price of gasoline, to raise the sales tax, and to move towards the implementation of a value-added tax which would be 10, 15, or 20 percent. That was last November. That's part of the conditionality. This is what destroyed him." -  Webster G. Tarpley, on Jeff Rense's radio show.

See: "Morsi’s Fall Set Up by Sellout to IMF, Bid to Deploy Egyptian Army vs. Syria; Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi Can Lead Egypt Out of Crisis."