It is Saudi-backed military coup in Egypt, Obama just dragging his heels over it
Afshin Rattansi is a journalist, author of “The Dream of the Decade – the London Novels” and an RT Contributor. Afshin Rattansi began his journalism career on The (London) Guardian in the late 1980s as one of the newspaper’s youngest ever columnists. He went on to work for Britain’s Channel 4, BBC, Al Jazeera Arabic, CNN International and Bloomberg Television and many other media. In the run-up to the Lehman Brothers crash of 2008, he published a collection of four of his novels as “The Dream of the Decade – The London Novels.” As US pressure increased on Iran, Afshin moved to Tehran to anchor the news on the new satellite TV channel, Press TV which was later banned in Britain. He set up Alternate Reality Productions in London in 2010 making Double Standards, a comedy satire show as well as other TV news commissions. His writing has also appeared in the New Statesman; Counterpunch; The Oldie; Plays and Players; Mitchell Beazley’s Encyclopaedia of 21st Century; The Journal of the British Astronomical Association; Association of Lloyd's Members Journal; Critical Quarterly; Makers of Modern Culture (Routledge, 2007); “Brought To Book” (Penguin, 1994); Flaunt; Attitude. He is a founder member of the Frontline Club in London and he won the Sony Award for outstanding contribution to international media in 2002.
RT: Why this sudden generosity from the Gulf states, they are not famous for giving something for nothing? Or do they just want to help stabilize the country?
Afshin Rattansi: While people are thinking that it was America-backed coup, obviously the US were involved Susan Rice and Kerry talked about it. We now realize it is much more a Saudi-backed military coup. And as for this General al-Sisi, who is a former military attaché in Saudi Arabia, he is Saudis man. Saudi Arabia, they’ve taken over the largest country in the Arab world.
And as for President Obama, he is just dragging his heels over it– he doesn’t want to use the word coup because he doesn’t want to stop being able to subsidize the Egyptian military to the tune of so many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
RT:By tendering these loans, are they endorsing the interim president as in some way the country's legitimate leader?
AR: We certainly know that Mr. Mansour and Mr. Beblawi, the Prime Minister, they are puppets of course of Saudi Arabia. If they speak one word out of line, if they criticize Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, the way it’s killing its people or UAE – both of them will go. As for Beblawi, why he is interesting he is a near-liberal economist, so presumably if he stays on, because he just started career after the fall of Mubarak, he’ll keep on near-liberal policies, he will privatize things, there’ll be increase of austerity, and at the same time the people won’t stand for it, which means it will have to be more power to the army given and supported by the US and Saudi Arabia.
RT:How is all that cash going to impact the situation in Egypt? Do we know where the money will end up?
AR: I presume that the people of Egypt realize that these $5 billion isn’t going to go to support jobs program, clean water and health care. I know that even the ‘Tamarod’, the curiously naive, according to some commentators, people that gather in Tahrir square from the upper classes of Egypt, even they are now saying to al-Sisi: “Hang on a minute. We’re against the 6 month or 5 month timetable that has been issued”. As for al-Sisi, he is already threatening the number two party that won at the elections the Islamist Al-Noir party, saying “No political games, you back us or you’ll be in a kind of trouble the Muslim Brotherhood is in”.
RT: First the Syrian rebels, now the Egyptian opposition are we going to see the Gulf states be more and more overt with their influence in middle-eastern affairs?
AR: It’s also interesting how the media impacts, because the UA and Saudi definitely didn’t like the Muslim Brotherhood, so the Saudi station Al Arabiya headquartered in the Dubai in the UA backs the rebels and you’ve got Al Jazeera based in Qatar which is backing the Morsi government and it’s against the military coup. So you have both sides using media, using financing, using weapon sales to back their men in Egypt.
We must remember that President Obama was backing Mubarack, his pet dictator, up until the end. Now he is seemingly not knowing what he is going to do. And perhaps the Saudis are threatening him. Even John McCain, the presidential candidate, used the word coup. From Obama we get nothing. And in the mainstream media all we get is Mohammed al-Baradei, another Nobel prize winner like Obama, who is saying nothing about the house arrest without charge of a democratically elected president, let along the ending of a parliament, the disruption of a free media, which continues at the moment.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.