Beyond the Cusp

July 7, 2013

Who Idea was ElBaradei to be Egyptian Prime Minister?

Former head of the IAEA, United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei may be appointed as the new Egyptian Prime Minister. The newly appointed transitional President of Egypt Adly el-Mansour reportedly summoned ElBaradei to the Presidential Palace appointing him as the new Prime Minister. In order to install Chief Justice el-Mansour as interim President, it was necessary to first be sworn in as head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court. One might say that Adly el-Mansour had a very good day being sworn in as not only Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, but also as the interim President of the new Military installed government. The appointment of ElBaradei as the new Prime Minister could be seen to possess some intriguing qualities. The first question that will never be asked is exactly who initially suggested ElBaradei for the position of Prime Minister. The reasoning which we will hear in much of the press surrounding his appointment is that he was a key figure in the initial Arab Spring protests which brought down the Mubarak government and that he was a popular figure among the pro-democracy segment of the Egyptian population.


One thing for sure is that ElBaradei received a good deal of press coverage during the Egyptian pro-democracy demonstrations that led to Mubarak stepping down and eventually to Morsi being elected in what was touted as Egypt’s first truly free elections. But did ElBaradei receive the favorable press because he was popular within Egypt or because he was the preferred candidate of the Western nations who were familiar with him from his time serving as head of the IAEA. David Kenner, Associate Editor of Foreign Policy magazine, reported that, “In a meeting earlier this year with a visiting scholar, Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Chairman Khairat al-Shater said that U.S. officials had called on Morsi to appoint ElBaradei as prime minister… (T)he thinking, according to Shater, was that ElBaradei’s appointment could repair the rift between the government and opposition, stabilizing the country.” So, was this the second appointment in the militarily established Egyptian government making Mohamed ElBaradei Prime Minister really chosen by the Egyptian military, or by the new President and Chief Supreme Constitutional Court Adly el-Mansour, or was he appointed to mollify the high officials of the United States Department of State? This may even cast at least a small amount of doubt about who was behind the choice for interim President.


There should be little doubt that the Military took advantage of the one year anniversary protests against President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government as they were a threat to the establishment of the military. After having virtually total control of the governance over Egypt, the military likely looked upon these demonstrations as a personal invitation to act and take back their control. The real test of whether this was a military coup or actually a move towards a new democratically selected government will be whether new elections will be announced in the near future and held as announced on schedule. The announcement should not take very long in being made and should also make preparations for the licensing of political parties and other preliminary necessities. The question that also needs to be addressed is whether the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party will be allowed to present a candidate in the new elections. Should they be allowed to run it is very possible that the elections will simply put another Muslim Brotherhood selected President in office. If this is the outcome of another election, then the people will have definitively chosen their fate and the President should be allowed to serve his entire term without any military interference. Removing a Muslim Brotherhood candidate once might be determined to be a positive act, but twice is simply the imposition of military rule through a back door. Any time the military executes a coup presumably in the name of the people it really needs to be an anomaly which occurs exactly once. Time will tell whether this was an act in service of the people or an act to return control of the Presidency to military control. We all hope that it truly was an act to restore the people’s faith in their government with new elections, for now it has all the appearances of a military coup and will continue to have that stench until a new government is washed in by the cleansing power of truly free and open elections.


Beyond the Cusp


May 17, 2012

How Long Before Announced Grand Deal Over Iranian Nuclear Program?

Don’t look to Western Media for any truthful assessments of the nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 (Permanent Five Security Council Members* plus Germany) and Iran. The Western Media has been politely and strictly following the European message which has been set by the European Union Foreign Minister Lady Catherine Ashton. Ms. Ashton is enamored of the Iranian nuclear chief negotiator and is sure that an amicable agreement should be easily within reach at the next scheduled negotiation set to take place in Baghdad next week. Meanwhile, the Iranians are touting their great success in putting off any serious concessions through deceitful negotiating and now are feeling assured that the Europeans are ready and willing to concede to Iranian right to continue uranium enrichment with likely advised limitations of how high Iran should be allowed to attain. Add to this that the Europeans have related that they are only adopting the same policies that President Obama’s Administration has intimated that they may be willing to accept if full inspections are agreed to be implemented. Well, this should really work out well considering the Iranian record on accommodating full inspections, or even partial inspections, which they have previously agreed to allow. Where the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had claimed Iranian cooperation much of the time back when it was under the leadership of Mohamed ElBaradei, since he was replaced as Director General by Yukiya Amano the truth has proven to be less agreeable. As a small matter, lately the reports submitted by the IAEA under Yukiya Amano has strongly insinuated that there is much evidence to prove that the Iranian nuclear program has a large and suspicious militarily controlled component which has been kept hidden from inspectors.

Between President Obama’s seeming desire to find something which can be touted as progress and attaining some agreement which allows closure before the election and the European desire to relieve the sanctions in order to return to business as usual including lower their fuel costs with the return of Iranian oil to the market, reaching any agreement which can be spun as having gained guarantees for inspections and the peaceful intent of the Iranian nuclear program has become more important than actually ending any chance of Iran attaining nuclear weapons status. Iranian leadership has sensed the overt need by their negotiating partners for any semblance of agreement leading to closure; they are acting the part of a genuine, honest partner also willing to guarantee the lack of any Iranian military aims along with a willingness to submit to completely inclusive inspections of their entire nuclear sites. The fact that Iran has been claiming this exact position all along does not seem to matter. The claim by the P5+1 that they have made new and real progress is as empty and false as their concern whether Iran turns into a nuclear power. Such dishonest and insincere dealings with a potential threat approaching what we are currently witnessing has not been seen since Neville Chamberlain raised the Munich Accords over his head as he deplaned in London and declared, “My good friends, this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.”

The meeting next week will possibly be the crucial meeting which will once again allow the negotiators for the Western Powers to return with worthless pieces of paper to hold aloft and again declare to the world that, “After deliberations and with mutual considerations honestly weighing our differences, we have reached that agreement which will preserve our hopes for continued peace in our time.” Then again, if such an agreement is not reached at this next meeting, it will not be blamed on the West for not surrendering sufficiently, it will be another case of Iran dodging an agreement in order to prolong deliberations as they know that as long as they are willing to talk, the fools from the West will be willing to listen almost for an eternity. Iran is fully aware that the Europeans lack the military ability to force anything and President Obama has no stomach and completely lacks the political will to do anything before the November elections. This is why Iran has ramped up their efforts to such a point that they no longer hide their activities. They are aware they have just under six months to reach their point of no return and I believe that they have a better than average chance to complete their program within that time frame. Still, as long as President Obama gets his reelection and the Europeans do not have to take on any additional problems beyond the coming economic collapse, then Iran can do what Iran can manage to accomplish within the limit of time till the American elections. Will Israel wait that long? Can President Obama continue to leak and obstruct Israeli efforts to continue to prevent their taking needful actions? You may as well ask if the world is about to burst into the greatest conflagration in human history as the answer to all of these questions are very closely related.

Beyond the Cusp

* Permanent Five Security Council Members who hold veto power over all actions before that body are China, England, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States.

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