Saturday, January 21, 2012

Egyptian marshall Tantawi: videos of military attacks were falsified

Jimmy Carter at a meeting during his trip with Muhammad Mursi, the lader of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Former USA President Jimmy Carter wrote a report about his recent visit to Egypte (8-14 January) during the elections that were overseen by, among others, people from his Carter Center. He met with several important figures and made some interesting observations. Below a quotation of some remarks  that seems to be quite revealing about the mentality and thinking of Egypt's military leaders: 

 ''Since the overthrow of King Farouk in 1953, Egypt has been governed by military leaders, who have accumulated and maintained full political and military power and substantial control over economic and commercial affairs. Despite the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, the military has retained an overwhelming portion of its historic authority. Only pressure from the revolutionary forces on the streets has resulted in grudging concessions.
 I was received with a friendly welcome as I congratulated the military leaders for what seemed to be a successful election, and then asked a number of questions. It seemed that the SCAF had full confidence that there would be accommodation to their demands by the Muslim Brotherhood and their coalition partners as the new government is formed. Instead of the reported 12,000 mostly political prisoners being held for trials in military courts, the Field Marshal stated that there were no more than 3,000, all of whom were guilty of criminal acts and being tried in civilian courts. He stated that the widely promulgated videos showing military attacks on demonstrators and a woman "with the blue brassiere" were all falsified. (My emphasis, AbuP) He said the soldiers were actually helping the woman re-clothe herself with what was provocative attire. I was assured that the emergency law would be lifted before the presidential election, no later than June.
 The military leaders could not imagine any constitutional issues being unresolved through dialogue. Full civilian control of the government was envisioned by June, but it was my impression that some key elements of historic autonomy and privileges would be retained. (See later comments.) They fully supported all facets of the peace agreement and would continue to be cooperative with Israel. When I asked about the raids on offices of NDI, IRI, and other NGOs, they stated that specific laws had been violated and that action had been taken by the Ministry of Justice as required. They realize that this is a matter of contention with the U.S. and are trying to resolve the issues.''
 (click here for Carter's full report)

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