Egypt, key US colony: Nasser, land reform & Morsi's removal

Tony Gosling tony at
Sun Dec 8 08:11:42 GMT 2013

THE EGYPTIAN PLANTATION (lots of links/references on original page)
By George Greenville Butler

Today the Egyptian Economy seems to be in 
shambles. Due to several major upheavals the 
society has entered into chaos and several 
factors such as a rising foreign debt service, 
decline in tourism, trade deficits, consumer 
inflation and other factors have diminished 
economic viability. Since the large 
demonstrations and overturn of Former President 
Hosni Mubarak (while Mubarak was in power Egypt 
participated in America's rendition flights) who 
had violated the basic freedoms of many Egyptians 
using The Emergency Law. Egypt has been in 
turmoil and when societies are in turmoil 
economies suffer. President Morsi was removed on 
July 3, 2013 by the military suspending the 
constitution, which is a demonstration of similar tactics of the past.
Economic Problems Article – US Today

Economic Statistics

The Plantation Prior to 1952
The Overseer of The Egyptian Plantation prior to 
1952 was King Farouk I of Egypt who had the 
support of the landed rich, the secret societies 
and the wealthy. King Farouk led a life of excess 
and opulence that his subjects resented. The land 
ownership before 1952 was concentrated in few 
hands. The reference information below sets out 
the major problems with land ownership in Egypt prior to Nasser's reforms.

Problems prior to 1952
Prior to the 1952 coup that installed Naguib as 
President, less than six percent of Egypt's 
population owned more than 65% of the land in 
Egypt, and less than 0.5% of Egyptians owned more 
than one-third of all fertile land. These major 
owners had almost autocratic control over the 
land they owned and charged high rents which 
averaged 75% of the income generated by the 
rented land. These high rents coupled with the 
high interest rates charged by banks plunged many 
smallfarmers and peasants into debt. Furthermore, 
peasants who worked as laborers on farms also 
suffered, receiving average wages of only eight 
to fifteen piastres a day. The combination of 
these circumstances led historian Anouar Abdel 
Malek to call the pre-reform Egyptian peasantry 
"an exploited mass surrounded by hunger, disease 
and death". Another historian, Robert Stephens 
has compared the state of Egyptian peasants 
before land reform to that of French peasants 
before the French Revolution.............wikipedia

Nasser For The People
The deposing of King Farouk by The Free Officers 
led by Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein - in 1952 set a 
pattern through present times of the military 
acting through coup d'états to install or remove 
political leaders from power. The Egyptian 
military has always portrayed itself as carrying 
out the will of the people in protecting Egypt. 
During the 1950s Nasser acting through President 
Naguib as his Deputy enacted land reforms that 
lasted up to the mid 1980s and were finally 
abolished under Anwar Sadat. The land reform laws 
brought about by Nasser were as follows:

Law Number 178
On September 11, 1952, Law Number 178 began the 
process of land reform in Egypt. The law had 
numerous provisions that attempted to remedy the Egyptian land problems:
Land owners were prohibited to possess more than 
200 feddansof land. However, fathers with more 
than 2 children were allowed to own 300 feddans.
A limit on the rental rate for land was set at 
seven times the land tax value of the plot of land.
All land leases were given a minimum duration of three years.
The government established cooperatives for 
farmers holding less than five feddans. The 
members of these cooperatives worked together to 
obtain supplies such as fertilizers, pesticides, 
andseeds as well as cooperating to transport their products to market.
A minimum wage for agricultural workers was set at 18 piastresper day.
Additionally, the law provided for the 
redistribution of any land that owners held over the limits it established:
Each affected owner would receive compensation 
for his excess land in government bonds worth a 
total of ten times the rental value of the land. 
These bonds would pay three percent interest and mature in thirty years.
All land bought by the government would be sold 
to peasants though no person could obtain more 
than five feddans from the government. Peasants 
who bought land would pay the government the cost 
of the land and a 15% surcharge over a period of thirty years.
Law 178 initially met opposition from Prime 
Minister Ali Maher Pashawho supported a limit of 
500 feddans for land ownership. However, 
theRevolutionary Command Council demonstrated its 
power by forcing him to resign, replacing him 
with Muhammad Naguib and passing the law.

Modifications to Land Reform
In 1958, three provisions of the land reform law were revised:
The interest on the bonds the government used to 
repay owners of seized land was lowered to 1.5%.
People who purchased land from the government 
were given forty years (in place of thirty) to complete repayment.
The government surcharge to be paid by purchasers was lowered to 10%.
In 1961, the government again revised the land 
reform program by lowering the land ownership maximum to one hundred feddans.

Initially, land reform essentially abolished the 
political influence of major land owners. 
However, land reform only resulted in the 
redistribution of about 15% of Egypt's land under 
cultivation, and by the early 1980s, the effects 
of land reform in Egypt drew to a halt as the 
population of Egypt moved away from agriculture. 
The Egyptian land reform laws were greatly 
curtailed under Anwar Sadat and eventually abolished........wikipedia

The Infitah
Anwar Sadat during his presidency tried to reform 
the economy calling this reform “The Infitah”. 
International bankers such as David Rockefeller 
and William Simon encouraged him to expand needed 
reforms more quickly. These reforms such as 
cutting subsidies and devaluing the Egyptian 
Pound ended in food riots losing Sadat much past support.

The Politics of Economic Strategy
“Once infitah was established as Egypt's economic 
strategy, intraelite conflicts centered on its 
proper scope and management. These conflicts 
typically pitted liberalizing economists, who 
were convinced that a fully capitalist economy 
would be more efficient than an economy 
incorporating a public sector, against more 
statist-minded bureaucrats and state managers, 
who wanted to reform, rather than to dismantle, 
the public sector. The latter were often allied 
with politicians fearful of public reaction to 
the rollback of populist measures such as 
subsidies and public- sector employment. One 
major episode in this conflict came in 1976 over 
pressures from the International Monetary Fund 
(IMF-- see Glossary) and foreign banks to cut 
subsidies and devalue the Egyptian pound (for 
value of the Egyptian pound--see Glossary) as 
necessary steps in the liberalization of the 
economy. Sadat's minister of economy, Zaki 
Shafii, and his minister of finance, Ahmad Abu 
Ismail, fearful of the consequences on the mass 
standard of living, urged him to resist pressures 
for rapid reform. But other economists, chief 
among them Abdul Munim Qaysuni, argued that Egypt 
could not afford costly welfare programs if it 
were to revitalize its productive bases. Top 
Western bankers, such as David Rockefeller and 
William Simon, urged Sadat to go beyond half 
measures if he wanted to make the infitah a 
success. Sadat overruled his own ministers and 
replaced them with a new team headed by Qaysuni, 
who began to cut the subsidies. But decision 
makers had misjudged their political environment. 
The subsidy cuts triggered the 1977 food riots, 
which shattered much of the support Sadat had 
carefully built up. The government backed down 
and did not again attempt such a radical cut in 
the social safety net for the poor.

Managing infitah remained the major problem of 
public policy under Mubarak. Rather than 
producing a dynamic capitalist alternative to 
Nasserite statism, infitah had stimulated a 
consumption boom that put Egypt in debt and made 
it heavily dependent on external revenues, which 
declined in the mid-1980s, plunging the country 
into economic crisis. Mubarak insisted that 
infitah would be reformed, not reversed, but the 
government's freedom of action was limited by 
conflicting domestic constraints. The interests 
created under Nasser remained obstacles to 
capitalist rationalization and belt-tightening. 
The public sector was still the main engine of 
investment, and public sector managers and 
unionized labor tenaciously defended it. The 
bureaucracy, employing a large portion of the 
middle class, was a formidable constituency. 
Meanwhile, Egypt's huge army had not been 
demobilized, and, indeed, Sadat had bought its 
acquiescence to his policy by replacing weapons 
from the Soviet Union with more expensive arms 
from the United States, for which the military 
showed a voracious appetite. Marshal Abu Ghazala 
rejected demands by Prime Minister Ali Lutfi that 
he pay off Egypt's military debts from revenues 
of arms sales overseas; instead he plowed funds 
into subsidized apartments, shops, and sports 
clubs for the officer corps. Populist "rights" 
acquired under Nasser had grown into a tacit 
social contract by which the government provided 
subsidized food to the masses in return for their 
tolerance of growing inequality. The contrast 
between the conspicuous new wealth and the mass 
poverty generated a moral malaise, making Egypt's 
debt a political issue. "We're asked to pay the 
debt," chanted demonstrators in 1986, "while they 
live in palaces and villas." Thus, attacking 
populist policies seemed likely to fuel Islamist 
political activism......excerpt from “The Politics of Political Strategy”

Mubarak inherited this reform called “The Infitah 
but was unable to effective develop this economic 
reform so he instead grew the Armed Forces 
dominance of the economy. This not only left the 
huge public sector in place but didn't threatened 
the giant bureaucracy. It must be noted before 
his death Nasser became aware of the problem of 
this large bureaucracy but died before he could solve this problem.

Today Egypt cannot feed itself and 50% of the 
wheat needed for bread is imported. In addition 
there is a subsidy that lowers flat bread to less than 1 cent a piece.

Food price rises put restive Egypt on edge

Imported Wheat Stocks Dwindle Amid Egypt's Currency Crisis

Egypt faces struggle to maintain cheap bread programme
Govt: Wheat reserve enough for 81 days
Farmers say Egypt's wheat crop hopes are "a dream
Higher prices and lower incomes burden Egyptian families
Armed Forces Owns Economy – Secret Budget - Egypt’s junta keeps budget secret
Products produced by military - Arab Organization for Industrialization

During Nasser's Presidency he instituted many 
reforms, these reforms resulted in many 
industries and businesses being nationalized 
which later provided to subsequent regimes a 
greater ownership and control by the government. 
The government has always been dominated by the 
Armed Forces of which power and control has over 
decades since 1952 migrated to the military 
resulting in an increased ownership over the 
economy by the military. Thus the Armed Forces of 
Egypt owns a major portion of the economy. Like 
stated before starting in the 1950s the 
nationalizing of industries and businesses by 
Nasser laid a foundation that later the Armed 
Forces built upon. The peace treaty in 1979 
between Egypt and Israel led to the Egyptian 
Armed Forces being reoriented to establishing 
business and industries. The cash flow set up 
future retirement and income benefits available 
to the top military leadership. In addition many 
associates and friends of the military leadership 
benefited. Once again in this latest crisis the 
armed forces is demonstrating their dominance and 
control, for its a life and death struggle for 
their continued ownership of their portion of the economy.

The Army and The Economy in Egypt
The Role of the Egyptian Military in Domestic 
Society - LTC Stephen H. Gotowicki, U.S. Army
Inside The Egyptian Military's Brutal Hold on Power
Egyptian military industry
Egypt military economic empire
Egypt's Generals and Transnational Capital
President Morsi's First Year – Now History
President Morsi assumed office on June 30, 2012 
and on July 3, 2013 - Egypt’s Defense Minister 
Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisidismissed President 
Morsi and leader of The Muslim Brotherhood.

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's – speech in dismissing President Morsi
“The Egyptian Armed Forces first declared, is 
still declaring and will always declare that it 
stands distant from political forces. The Armed 
Forces, based on its insightfulness, has been 
called by the Egyptian people for help, not to 
hold the reins of power, yet to discharge its 
civil responsibility and answer demands of 
responsibility. This is the message received by 
the EAF and heard in all of the country.
In turn this call was heeded by the EAF, and it 
has understood the essence of this message. 
Before it has come close to the political scene 
adhering to its responsibility, the EAF over the 
past month has inserted efforts, direct and 
indirect to contain the situation within and 
achieve national reconciliation among all 
institutions, including the presidency.
Since the past, the army has called for national 
dialogue, yet it was rejected by the presidency 
in the last moment. Many calls, initiatives 
followed until to date. The EAF similarly on more 
than one occasion presented a strategic 
assessment domestically and internationally, 
which contained the most eminent (this part unclear).
The EAF as a patriotic institution to contain 
division and confront challenges and perils to 
exit the current crisis. As we closely monitored 
the current crisis, the command of EAF met with 
the president on June 2nd where it presented the 
opinion of the AF on the state of (the country) 
and (relayed) the cause of masses and Egyptian 
people. Hopes were all pinned on national 
conciliation. Yet, the address of the president 
yesterday and before the expiry of the 48-hour 
ultimatum did not meet the demands of the people.
As a result, it was necessary for the EAF to act 
on its patriotic and historic responsibility 
without sidelining, marginalising any party, 
where during the meeting a road map was agreed 
upon which includes the following:
Suspending the constitution provisionally; The 
chief justice of the constitutional court will 
declare the early presidential elections; Interim 
period until president elected. Chief Justice 
will have presidential powers; A technocrat, 
capable national government will be formed; The 
committee will offer all its expertise to review 
the new constitution; The Supreme Constitutional 
Law will address the draft law and prepare for parliamentary elections;
Securing and guaranteeing freedom of expression, 
freedom of media. All necessary measures will be 
taken to empower youth so they can take part in 
decision making processes. The EAF appeal to the 
Egyptian people with all its spectrum to steer 
away from violence and remain peaceful. The Armed 
Forced warn it will stand up firmly and strictly 
to any act deviating from peacefulness based on 
its patriotic and historic responsibility.
May God save Egypt and the honorable, defiant 
people of Egypt.”.......provided by El Jazerra

General Sisi also announced on state television 
that the armed forces had suspended the country’s 
constitution provisionally. President Morsi's 
removal from office on July 3, 2013 is being 
disputed by President Morsi. He was criticized by 
many for concentrating on, the consolidation of 
his power centered around Islamic Politics. 
Additional criticizes are that he was not being 
inclusive enough, ignoring economic issues and he 
really failed when he announced his Presidential 
Decrees last November 22, 2012 which were ill 
advised. The decrees were well enumerated in this 
article “Egypt President Morsi grants himself far-reaching powers”.

Power Grabs
The single biggest mistake by President Morsi 
were his actions by decrees to consolidate a 
greater power unto himself and The Presidency. 
The reference and article below spells it out!

Nov. 22, 2012 - “Egypt's president on Thursday 
issued constitutional amendments that placed him 
above judicial oversight and ordered the retrial 
of Hosni Mubarak for the killing of protesters in last year's uprising.

Mohammed Morsi also decreed immunity for the 
Islamist-dominated panel drafting a new 
constitution from any possible court decisions to 
dissolve it, a threat that had been hanging over the controversial assembly.

Liberal and Christian members withdrew from the 
assembly during the past week to protest what 
they say is the hijacking of the process by 
Morsi's allies, who they saw are trying to push 
through a document that will have an Islamist 
slant marginalizing women and minority Christians 
and infringing on personal liberties. Several 
courts have been looking into cases demanding the dissolution of the panel.

The Egyptian leader also decreed that all 
decisions he has made since taking office in June 
and until a new constitution is adopted and a new 
parliament is elected -- which is not expected 
before next spring -- are not subject to appeal 
in court or by any other authority. He also 
barred any court from dissolving the Islamist-led 
upper house of parliament, a largely toothless 
body that has also faced court cases”............Read More Fox News coverage

These Presidential decrees set off very strong 
and virulent demonstrations which eroded 
President Morsi's influence especially with the 
opposition. They considered his decrees to be a 
power grab not inclusive and downright 
unconstitutional. He eventually had to back off 
from seeking those new powers. On Thursday July 
4, 2013 it was announced that President Morsi was 
arrested on charges of ‘insulting the judiciary'.

Was Washington Behind Egypt’s Coup d’Etat? - Did 
the Pentagon give the "Green Light"

Adly Mansour – was appointed interim president at 
the Supreme Constitutional Court building on July 
4, 2013 in Cairo. Mansour had been head of the 
Supreme Constitutional Court for only two days 
before the army named him interim president. 
Mansour suggested during his swearing in ceremony 
that all parties including the Muslim Brotherhood 
would be welcome in joining the political process 
but the Muslim Brotherhood has announced that 
they would be boycotting the process.

Court upholds verdict sacking Morsi's PM Qandil, sentencing him to prison

Mohamed ELBaradei not confirmed for Prime Minister Yet!

Prominent Egyptian Liberal Says He Sought West’s 
Support for Uprising - "In tandem with the 
military’s ouster of Mr. Morsi, the judicial 
authorities replaced the attorney general he had 
appointed, reinstating the prosecutor installed 
by Hosni Mubarak, the autocratic president ousted 
in Egypt’s 2011 revolution." The Mubarak 
appointee, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, spent years in 
office prosecuting Islamists. But Mr. ElBaradei 
said the generals had assured him that this time 
would be different because they intended to 
operate as an institution in a civilian 
democracy, with respect for due process and the 
rule of law.”..............N.Y. Times

Mohamed ElBaradei has been lobbying for the 
I.M.F. Loans and helped the Neoliberals to carry 
out change in Egypt. So now the neoliberal 
economic plan placed into effect under Hosni 
Mubarak will be re-instituted in Egypt. In 2011 
before Morsi's rise to power, Hasan Malek of The 
Muslim Brotherhood had this to say about the 
neoliberal policies placed into effect by Mubarak 
in the 80s "Manufacturing, a trained labor force 
and enabling the private sector are the solution 
to Egypt's economic slump," said Hasan Malek, one 
of the Muslim Brotherhood's leading businessmen.

One of the main financiers and business 
strategists of the Brotherhood, Malek said “the 
economic policies in force during Hosni Mubarak's 
rule were on the right track, but were 
overshadowed by blatant corruption and a culture 
of favoritism.”................Reuters

“What has happened to the country in his (Morsi's) first year of power?
Egypt has moved up the list of failed states from 
45th to 34th place (the higher up the list, the 
worse the degree of failure). Police have 
essentially stopped doing their job ­ 
significantly, they were nowhere to be seen when 
protesters torched the Muslim Brotherhoods’ 
headquarters in Cairo on the weekend. In 2012, 
murders were up 130%, robberies 350% and 
kidnappings 145%, writes opposition leader 
Mohammed El Baradei in Foreign Policy magazine. 
“You see people being lynched in public, while 
others take pictures of the scene. Mind you, this 
is the 21st century ­ not the French Revolution!”

What about the economy?
That’s also been a continuing disaster. Youth 
unemployment is at 25% and job creation is almost 
non-existent. Prices have soared and there are 
continuing shortages of gasoline, leading to long 
lineups at the pumps. Power cuts are frequent and 
farmers (the heart of Morsi’s support) can’t 
afford fuel for their tractors to cultivate their 
land. Investors and tourists are staying away in 
droves, the Egyptian stock market has hit new 
lows, along with the currency”........Read More - National Post

The President's Adversaries – July 2013 Demonstrations

There was a plethora of different kinds of 
adversaries during the latest demonstrations and 
protests. There were young people, city people, 
liberals, secularists of all kinds and the Nour 
Party also gave support to President Morsi's 
adversaries. This motley group has found it 
increasingly more difficult to live and feed 
their families and President Morsi should have 
addressed Egypt's economic problems first. This 
rising secular power group with ties to military 
and bureaucratic institutions on the streets were 
the military's excuse to dismiss President Morsi.

911 Conspiracy Advocate

One of the main reasons that the military might 
have dismissed President Morsi is his advocacy of 
911 Truth theories. Writing in The Washington 
Post By Robert Satloff and Eric Trager, had this 
to say “Getting Egypt’s Morsi to give up his 9/11 ‘truther’ talk”

Washington is worried that if enough of the 
American Public wakes up to 911 Truth then their 
little charade of myths and lies about 911 will 
unravel their control and domineering mechanism 
of 'The War on Terrorism”. In other words the 
American public is being used by the myth of 911 
being an attack from foreign terrorists which is 
manifesting in a martial law and National 
Security lock down of America resulting in our 
liberties and freedoms being destroyed.

The Hijacked Revolution

Has this seemingly revolution of reform since 
2011 been high jacked by certain players?

Neoliberal Egypt: The hijacked revolution

Chaos is Breaking out in Egypt

The Daily Mirror in an article released a video 
(caution graphic violent video) opposing groups 
fighting in the north-east city of Alexandria and 
in one segment of the video young men are seen 
being thrown off a high pedestal onto a concrete 
roof top where their bodies are further abused 
with machetes. On top of the roof is milling 
around a roving marauder with large beard 
carrying an al Qaeda flag sticking from out of his back pocket.

“The head of al Qaeda ordered its supporters to 
strike back after Islamist leader President Morsi 
was ousted in a military coup and arrested along 
with more than 200 Islamist leaders. And in a 
worrying development, a new Islamist group was 
formed in the country after what it called a 
‘declaration of war’ on its faith. Ansar Al 
Sharia, a terrorist group linked to the death of 
the American ambassador to Libya in an attack on 
the American embassy in Benghazi, said it would 
gather arms and start training its members to use 
violence in imposing Islamic law.”...........Daily Mirror

Conclusion: Army in Control

Since Nasser's days the Egyptian Army has 
portrayed itself as the people's army. Once again 
in this latest crisis, the armed forces is 
demonstrating their dominance and control. During 
the 1950s the Free Officers lead by Nasser 
reformed the economy and instituted a change of 
politics, so too today did the modern Armed 
Forces of Egypt exert their power. Today's 
Egyptian economy is an extension of Nasser's 
revolution which was a milestone in the 
transformation of Egypt from being dominated by a 
rich monarch to a people's army. Nasser 
demonstrated leadership when King Farouk and his 
family were allowed to leaved Egypt unmolested. 
The Armed Forces of Egypt has been a major owner 
of the economy so it resists any threat to its 
economic dominance. King Farouk was the overseer 
to an Agricultural Plantation and now the Armed 
Forces of Egypt are overseers to an Industrial 
Plantation. We have just witnessed in Egypt a 
strong military whose business interests have 
never been audited, disregarding a large part of 
the voters (The Muslim Brotherhood) of Egypt and 
the will of these people, suspending the 
constitution in overthrowing President Morsi and 
appointing an interim President. Politics as 
usual in Egypt. Than did not President Morsi and 
The Muslim Brotherhood over reach in their 
ambitions, finding in the end that they had 
become disconnected from the mainstream Egyptian 
public and threatened the foundations of the opposing power groups.

How Morsi, Brotherhood Lost Egypt

Did Uncle Sam Funded Programs - oust Morsi?

1984 War is Peace

The military at this time present tense is 
placing back into office Abdel Meguid Mahmond as 
Attorney General and they assured Mohamed ElBaradei as follows:

The Mubarak appointee, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, 
spent years in office prosecuting Islamists. But 
Mr. ElBaradei said the generals had assured him 
that this time would be different because they 
intended to operate as an institution in a 
civilian democracy, with respect for due process 
and the rule of law.”..............N.Y. Times

“A few contradicts after having ignored due 
process and the rule of law just recently in 
dismissing President Morsi”................



The subsidies must be adjusted

The Too Large Bureaucracy must be decreased

Farm Land – provide additional ownership to more farmers

Care not to increase foreign loans

Increase the small businesses numbers

Audit The Armed Forces – bring their ownership of the economy under control

No Secret Budgets

The Armed Forces still have a monopoly of force 
so I'm not optimistic about real reform in Egypt occurring!

Resources and Notes

"The doctrine and culture of the Armed Forces do 
not allow the adoption of any 
'military-coup-based' policies. The Egyptian 
military always stands by the will and 
aspirations of the glorious Egyptian people for change and reform

1 feddan = 24 kirat = 60 metre x 70 meter = 4200 
square metres (m²) = 0.42 hectares = 1.038 acres

In Syria, the feddan ranges from 2295 square 
metres (m²) to 3443 square metres (m²).

If the U.S. describes this as coup than us aid to Egypt cannot to be extended.

Today's Egyptian economy is an extension of 
Nasser's revolution which was a milestone in the 
transformation of Egypt from being dominated by a 
rich monarch to a people's army. King Farouk and 
family were allowed to leaved Egypt unmolested.

© 2013 George Butler

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