Watch my debate with Dr. Ashraf el-Bayoumi
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Ever since that army went through that coup and appointed this government, what really has occurred? This is what some of the sentiment is coming out based on some analysts in Egypt which is revealed to the media, which they have said we may not like it, but Egypt desperately needs Persian Gulf money.
The Persian Gulf was a perfect lender to Egypt as long as the Muslim Brotherhood are out, the Saudis are in. How much of the role does the Saudi Arabia play in this Dr. Barrett?
Barrett: That is absolutely right. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Americans who are actually controlled now by those countries, especially the Israelis, are the real axis of evil in the Middle East. And that axis of evil orchestrated a brutal coup, destroying the first democracy ever in Egypt.
In many thousands, maybe 5,000 years of written history in Egypt, there has never before been a democratically elected government; this was the first – and the way it is going, it may be the last democracy in Egypt. One year of democracy.
Why did the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel decide to smash democracy in Egypt? Well, I think they saw that under the relatively benign and cautious Islamic leadership of President [Mohammed] Morsi and his allies, Egypt was starting to drift out of its neo-colonialist sphere. It was starting to assert itself and it was moving in a direction of independence. It was beginning to cooperate with groups like Hamas – which terrified the Israelis; it was questioning the Camp David Treaty which was also terrifying the Israelis; but above all, the example of a true democracy in Egypt was a mortal threat to the corrupt despots in Saudi Arabia.
The house of Saud, I am sure Dr. Ashraf [the other guest of the program] knows, is probably the most corrupt and criminal organization to rule a country anywhere and that is saying something ,because we have a very corrupt and criminal organized crime syndicate ruling the US too, but the Saudi royal family has set new records for corruption.
They are well known to have made a deal with the Americans and the Zionists to be propped up in power by US and Zionist power. In return they set the worlds’ oil prices on behalf of the empire and they get to put their billions or even trillions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts and use it to jet set around the world, gambling … using drugs and other kinds of just utterly depraved un-Islamic behavior. They have sold out their country to the imperialists and the colonialists.
If Egypt becomes a democracy, that is going to energize the democracy movement in Saudi Arabia too, and this infinitely corrupt royal family would be on the way out. So that is why the Saudis played an instrumental role in overthrowing Egypt’s first-ever democracy.
(in response to Dr. Ashraf)
Honestly the guest, Dr. Ashraf is spouting a lot of nonsense. Democracy IS the ballot box, that is how you decide who gets in power – whoever wins the election! And not only did President Morsi win Egypt’s first ever free and fair presidential election, but the Muslim Brotherhood won two thirds of the vote in the assembly.
This was a bigger landslide than any party has ever achieved in any national election in US history. And of course this free and fair victory by the Muslim Brotherhood – which has its faults, I would admit, but which does represent the aspirations for an Islamically-based state of the vast majority of the people of Egypt and the rest of the Islamic world – all the polls show that between two thirds and three quarters of people in most of the Muslim majority countries, including Egypt support an Islamically-based society.
So, what happened was that, this was a sort of .. 1973 Chile style coup d’ état engineered by the axis of evil to destroy democracy and Dr. Ashraf should be ashamed of supporting this destruction of democracy in Egypt.
Press TV: Go ahead Dr. Barrett.
Barrett: Dr. el-Bayoumi is right that the Muslim Brotherhood has made some ill-advised compromises with the empire; he is absolutely right about that. I think you made some good points in your last statement; I think you are right that the Muslim Brotherhood that….the Muslim Brotherhood has made some bad compromises with the empire. It did agree to not challenge the Camp David Treaty immediately and it did not push for economic reform as hard as it should have.
I think the Muslim Brotherhood made a conscious strategy several decades ago to stop, to give up violence and let’s face it; the Muslim Brotherhood has been on the receiving end of 95 percent of the violence between the Muslim Brothers and their opponents in Egypt.
It has been the victim, not the perpetrator of 95 percent of the violence. And it is outrageous to be pointing the finger at the Muslim Brotherhood for couple of killings when the Muslim Brothers have been tortured and murdered by the tens of thousands over the many decades of recent history. And yet the Muslim Brothers did have the good judgment to decide to give up violence, to renounce violence and to work peacefully within the political process. That has been going on for decades now and look where that got them.
As soon as they win the election with an overwhelming massive landslide in the assembly vote and they win this fair and free election on the constitution and for the presidency, their opponents staged a brutal military coup, slaughtering them by the hundreds or even the thousands and destroyed democracy in Egypt.
So, even though I agree that the guest made some good points – I do not think the Brotherhood should have compromised with the IMF [International Monetary Fund], I do not think it should have compromised with the Israelis and the American puppets on Camp David; I do think that the Brotherhood should stand more strongly for social justice and emulate the Islamic Revolution of Iran in that respect.
So, I think he made some good points. But the fact is that the reason that the Brotherhood compromised in all those issues is not because they want to be puppets of the empire, it is because they want to avoid violence. Now, the empire has crushed them with some of the most brutal violence we have ever seen in destruction of a democracy anywhere on earth. And the result would be that in order to defend the interest of the majority of Egyptian people who do stand behind the general program of the Brotherhood, they are going to have to defend themselves.
And this sends a message to the whole world that peaceful, Islamic activism will be brutally crushed – and what alternative is left to Muslims who want to be political activists now…
Press TV: I would like to ask you about the military and its position itself.
Barrett: The question about Saudi financing this coup d’ état that destroyed democracy in Egypt, it does have an economic connection here. Egypt is ruled by a corrupt deep state which lives on the money received from the US and from Saudi Arabia. And the real rulers of Egypt have never changed.
They never gave up power. When Morsi was elected he was never allowed to really be president, because the Egyptian deep state which takes money from these foreign backers and controls as much as one third of the Egyptian economy does not want to give up its wealth and power.
So, I think our guest is completely mistaken (about this issue); the corrupt forces that are taking foreign money are the forces behind [the chief of the Egyptian army] General al-Sisi.
Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.
He is the host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard driving weekly radio show funded by listener donations at Patreon.com and FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN); an audio-video show produced by Tony Hall, Allan Reese, and Kevin himself. FFWN is funded through FundRazr.
He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.