When Justices Are Unjust

by OMAR KASSEM

Eric Walberg’s essay on Muhammad Morsi’s recent decrees stands out as an insightful article. There hasn’t been particularly good coverage of these recent events in Egypt by the general media. Morsi just comes out as a power grabber, and the rantings and ravings of the judges of the Constitutional Court appear in the banner headlines as the offended voice of justice.

Nothing is said for instance about the fact that days before the election of Morsi as President, when things looked like they were going against the old régime’s candidate (Aḥmad Shafiq), and SCAF issued it’s own unilateral Constitutional Declaration giving themselves unchecked powers in June this year, these very same judges were quietly supportive.

In fact, one of the chief judges, Tahānī al-Gebālī, crafted SCAF’s Constitutional Declaration herself, and she was personal lawyer to Suzanne Mubarak, the ex-dictator’s wife. Not that Gebālī had anything to do with this, but to give you an idea of the character of her client, you have to note that the European Union grant of $145m to new Alexandria Library had been purloined by Mrs Mubarak, and the directors of the library had to go chasing after her for the money.

These judges current rantings and ravings have the purpose of trying to unseat Morsi from the Presidency by bringing all the projects to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions to a grinding halt. Before leaving the Constituent Assembly to disable it from writing the constitution, some ex-MPs from the secular liberal parties attempted to add a blatantly political clause to the effect that there had to be new presidential elections once the new Constitution had been agreed. The small amount of stability that Egypt now possesses in having at least an elected President who is a civilian and not a soldier would have been lost.

Of course these liberal secularist parties have been fighting tooth and nail ever since the January 25th 2011 uprising to exclude the Muslim Brothers from power by encouraging a military initially in shock from the uprising to stake a direct political claim in the democratic process. So how come the opposition candidate to Morsi, essentially thus representing the liberal and secularist parties, was a soldier, and a soldier essentially motivated to stand for political office, not to help his country, but to gain immunity from prosecution for selling land under his control as Aviation Minister at a ridiculously low prices to Mubarak’s sons?

The reason is essentially that the majority of the so-called liberal secularists are on the left and fighting to maintain a failing statist system left over from Nasser’s disastrous socialist experiment of 1961/2. This state, its corruption and waste is under threat from the Muslim Brothers who want a more open economy.

Now these Muslim Brothers are far from unreconstructed neo-liberals. They realise that Mubarak’s crony capitalism fostered by neo-liberal policies has made individuals rich without making the country rich. These elements on the right are currently allied with those on the left trying to keep the old system going.

The Muslim Brothers also have an unblemished anti-colonial and anti-imperialist record and understand full well the need to maintain local control over business and resources. Michael Neumann wrote an excellent article in Counterpunch on June 25, 2012, explaining how the Muslim Brothers had earned their strong showing in the polls and in the eventual elections through 85 years of providing a welfare system and an education for the poor that Nasser’s overweening state had dismally failed to provide. The state on the other hand knew very well how to persecute and torture members of the Muslim Brothers. In fact, it did that so well, it became a torture sub-contractor of choice for unnamed foreign nations under the guidance of Omar Suleiman.

It may seem to outside observers that Morsi’s decrees have led to mayhem and disorder, but he will win through just like he did against the military. The Muslim Brothers will take the punishment meted to them, just as they have over the past 85 years, whilst keeping their counsel. The decrees are out there as a negotiating tool, to get the Constitutional Court to focus. The members of that court having been each individually extraordinary beneficiaries of the last régime, they have a lot to lose. If it seems as if Morsi backed down over trying to re-establish an unfairly dissolved Parliament, he chose then the path of conciliation on a matter where in fact he was right, but where he felt he could offer an olive branch to his opposition. When they failed to respond in the country’s interest as he had done, he had to make a move. Eric Walberg’s sense of the situation is correct.

Omar Kassem is an Egyptian living between London and Cairo; a Cambridge graduate in theoretical economics, post-graduate and Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He has taken a long sabbatical from his business to right a book on justice and the prospects of the nation-state in the light of the decline of Western state capitalism and the Arab Spring

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 04, 2015
Vincent J. Roscigno
University Bureaucracy as Organized Crime
Paul Street
Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: the Whiteness of Nominal Socialism
Ramzy Baroud
The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is White Supremacy a Mental Disorder?
Pepe Escobar
Reshuffling Eurasia’s Energy Deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan
L. Michael Hager
The Battle Over BDS
Eric Draitser
Puerto Rico: Troubled Commonwealth or Debt Colony?
Colin Todhunter
Hypnotic Trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the Looting of India’s Agriculture
Benjamin Willis
The New Cubanologos: What’s in a Word?
Matt Peppe
60 Minutes Provides Platform for US Military
Binoy Kampmark
The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
Eoin Higgins
Teaching Lessons of White Supremacy in Prime-Time: Blackrifice in the Post-Apocalyptic World of the CW’s The 100
Gary Corseri
Gaza: Our Child’s Shattered Face in the Mirror
Robert Dodge
The Nuclear World at 70
Paula Bach
Exit the Euro? Polemic with Greek Economist Costas Lapavitsas
August 03, 2015
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington