Dec 5, 2013
Al-Jazeera’s Conspiracy Theory About Obama and Egypt Is Brainless Mush
Posted on Jul 11, 2013
By Juan Cole
This piece first appeared on Juan Cole’s website, Informed Comment.
Al-Jazeera Arabic has long since lost a lot of its previous journalisic standards, once its head, Waddah Khanfar, was fired in favor a member of the royal family. Some 22 Egyptian journalists just resigned from Al-Jazeera in Cairo in protest against its Fox-News-like biases in reporting on recent events.
Al-Jazeera English usually still does a good job, having a different editorial line and generally good reporters, often former BBC or ABC reporters.
But their publication of a frankly brain dead op-ed purporting to show US support for anti-Morsi political forces is sheer conspiracy theory and very bad, unbalanced journalism.
All the piece shows is that the US State Department program in ‘democracy assistance’ granted small amounts of funding to … Suprise! democracy activists in Egypt. Many of the instances of such grants that the article mentioned actually occurred in the Hosni Mubarak period, and Mubarak often punished the pro-democracy groups that received such funding.
We’ve known about this funding for years – it is all over Wikileaks, and there are indications sometimes Brotherhood-linked groups were considered for it.
And if it weren’t for US mutual relations with youth groups like April 6, the 2011 revolution might have been opposed by Washington and Morsi would never have escaped Mubarak’s prison at Wadi Natroun in the first place.
The author commits the logical fallacy of suggesting that since the US assisted some of the groups that later called for Morsi’s overthrow, Washington funded Morsi’s overthrow.
The logical fallacy involved is post hoc ergo propter hoc. What comes after something isn’t necessary caused by that something. That the US gave a little money to these groups is not proved to be connected in any way to their favorable view of Morsi’s overthrow, where they have one.
Europe also gave some funding for democracy promotion.
Egypt’s elite, including both the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, is so xenophobic (i.e. hates foreigners) and so conspiracy-minded that they even passed a law against perfectly innocent foreign funding of non-governmental organizations and jailed people about it. Saad Eddin Ibrahim of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Human Rights got this treatment from Mubarak and went to jail on similar pretexts.
The author admits he doesn’t know about NED funding for 2011 to present, i.e. has no proof of anti-Morsi funding from that quarter at all.
Morsi was overthrown by the Rebellion or Tamarrud Movement, which was founded in late April by networked youth who had nothing to do with the United States.
US Ambassador Anne Patterson called on Rebellion to cancel their planned June 30 demonstration, and was denounced by the youth activists as pro-Muslim Brotherhood. The Obama administration lobbied Gen. al-Sisi not to make a coup, and argued for Morsi’s democratic legitimacy.
This article is muddled mush, and will be cited by the equally brainless as proof of something. It isn’t.
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