08/18/2012

Syria and Egypt: fighting colonialism...

Nasser.jpg

President Gamal Abdel Nasser

Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (Arabicجمال عبد الناصر حسين‎  15 January 1918 – 28 September 1970) was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of modernization, and socialist reform in Egypt together with a profound advancement of pan-Arab nationalism, including a short-lived union with Syria.

Nasser was keen to see Egypt free of any overtones of colonialism. 

The most obvious source of a foreign power being dominant in Egypt was the British/French control of the Suez Canal. Completed in 1869, the canal was designed by Ferdinand de Lesseps. However the vast bulk of the physical labour required to build this engineering marvel was done by Egyptian nationals. Britain had a 40% holding in the company that ran the canal. However, despite the fact that the canal was on Egyptian ‘soil’, the benefits it brought the people of Egypt were minimal.

Under his leadership, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal Company and came to play a central role in anti-imperialist efforts in the Arab World and Africa.

To support his beliefs, Nasser did what he could to restore national pride to all Arab nations – not just Egypt.

Many in the general Arab population still view Nasser as a symbol of Arab dignity and freedom.

http://nasser.bibalex.org/Common/pictures01-%20sira_en.htm

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000928/20000928...

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/gamal_abdel_nasser.htm

05/04/2011

Omar Suleiman and the torture of Pakistanis

Omar Suleiman, who was Egypt’s vice-president for a short time,  was Mubarak’s intelligence chief and close confidant of nearly two decades.

Suleiman graduated from Egypt’s prestigious Military Academy but also received training in the Soviet Union. Under his guidance, Egyptian intelligence has worked hand-in-glove with the CIA’s counterterrorism programs, most notably in the 2003 rendition from Italy of an al-Qaeda suspect known as Abu Omar.
The Norweigan newspaper Aftenposten, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Diplomatic-Security Bureau, secretly visited Suleiman in September 2005. Gilad then reported on the visit to US diplomats in Tel Aviv.  The US embassy in Tel Aviv wrote that Suleiman opposed Hamas because of fears that Islamic leadership in Gaza would strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
In 2009, Foreign Policy magazine ranked Suleiman as the Middle East’s most powerful intelligence chief, ahead of Mossad chief Meir Dagan.
Shortly after 9/11, Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib was captured by Pakistani security forces and, under US pressure, tortured by Pakistanis. He was then rendered (with an Australian diplomat watching) by CIA operatives to Egypt, a not uncommon practice. In Egypt, Habib merited Suleiman’s personal attention.
As related byRichard Neville, based on Habib’s memoir: ‘Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman … Suleiman took a personal interest in anyone suspected of links with Al-Qaeda. As Habib had visited Afghanistan shortly before 9/11, he was under suspicion. Habib was repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks.
That treatment wasn’t enough for Suleiman, so:
To loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib — and he did, with a vicious karate kick.

Well researched article by Andy Worthington on Omar Suleiman:
http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2011/01/30/as-egyptians-...

Photo: Omar Suleiman, Ehud Barak - May 12, 2008