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Monday, 26 August 2013 00:00

No excuse for defence of military's terrorism

Having admired (and agreed with) almost everything John Haylett has written on international politics for the last 30 years or more, I find myself profoundly disagreeing with his presentation of the views of the Egyptian Communist Party and presumably his own (M Star August 22).

The absence of any condemnation, or even mild criticism, of the bloody massacres carried out by the military of supporters of the deposed president Mohammed Morsi is striking.

This has been one of the most grisly displays of uncontrollable state power in recent times and the justifications offered for it are threadbare at best.

Yes, there is "terrorism" in the Sinai and elsewhere, but no-one seriously attributes this to Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood.

Most reports have testified to the overwhelmingly peaceful conduct of those slaughtered - sometimes in police captivity - in recent weeks.

The deposed brotherhood government can be criticised on a number of counts - its embrace of IMF neoliberalism, its sectarian regional politics, its effective continuation of the Mubarak state apparatus and its desire to impose its religion on the whole country.

Nevertheless it was an elected government - the only such in Egypt's history. To describe it as fascist or terrorist is an abuse of terms.

It is obviously legitimate to demonstrate against an elected government, or even overturn it in extreme circumstances - but only in the name of higher forms of participative democracy.

That is not what has happened in Egypt.

The unreformed Mubarak apparatus - with its corrupt, business-minded army - has seized on the Morsi government's unpopularity to make an undisguised comeback.

They have been welcomed by Tony Blair, most of the US neocons, the Israeli military and Saudi Arabia, the backbone and wallet of contemporary Middle East reaction.

The idea that this is somehow a continuation of the January 2011 revolution, that the degenerate military is doing anything but protecting its privileges, or that Egyptians are now able to choose their government free of a military veto is an exercise in wishful thinking.

Here in Britain we need to clearly demand that the government stop all assistance to the murderers on the Nile to try to give the Egyptian people the chance to really determine their own future, which must start by removing the incubus of pro-imperialist military dictatorship from their country.

Andrew Murray

London N1

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