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German Politicians, Media Defend the Egyptian Army

August 18, 2013

By Peter Schwarz

The reaction of German politicians and the media to the massacre carried out by the Egyptian army against supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi ranges from subdued criticism to outright support.

All comments, including those critical of the army, refrain from calling for the resignation or overthrow of the military-controlled regime. Instead, they call on the Muslim Brotherhood to reconcile itself with the military and work with them. Their aim is to maintain the power of the military as the Egyptian bourgeoisie’s main instrument of class rule.

This stance is common to all the commentaries—from the conservative to the liberal press, from the ruling coalition parties to the opposition Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Left Party. Not a single commentary defends the democratic rights of the Egyptian masses, which are the ultimate victim of the army’s brutal intervention and the government’s declared state of emergency.

Instead, the media and political pundits fear that the violent repression by the military, the return of old Mubarak loyalists to leading government posts, and an open civil war between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood could reignite the revolution and undermine imperialist influence over the country.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (Free Democratic Party) responded to the massacre by calling upon “all sides” to “immediately return to a political process involving all political forces.” This demand is based on the recognition that the military and the Muslim Brotherhood represent different wings of the Egyptian bourgeoisie, which are both profoundly hostile to the working class.

The German Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador after the security forces killed hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters, with thousands injured. A spokeswoman for the ministry announced subsequently that they had put forward the attitude of the German government “in no uncertain terms” and given notice of consequences that would be coordinated with Germany’s European partners. This is far from a clear condemnation of the massacre, however.

In fact, Westerwelle is poorly placed to do so, as he was one of the most consistent defenders of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, whose followers are now back in power. In a visit to Cairo in May 2010, nine months before Mubarak’s overthrow, Westerwelle praised the incumbent president as “an anchor of stability in the region” and a “man of enormous experience and great wisdom”, who had “the future firmly in sight”.  Read more in Global Research.

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