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ElBaradei, Former UN Iraq Weapons Inspector, Now Major Player in Egyptian Revolution

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Mohamed ElBaradei is currently the leader of the revolutionary ambition to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and is a likely contender for leadership in any regime that would follow that ouster.

Mohamed ElBaradei may be seen as having parallel interests in some ways with the United States in regard to the revolution in and the future of Egypt, but he has been very critical of the role of the United States and specifically of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton, he says, calls the government of President Hosni Mubarak stable; ElBaradei calls it pseudo-stability. Stability, ElBaradei says, only comes with a democratically elected government. He says the Egyptian Parliament is a “mockery.” The Judiciary is not independent. ElBaradei also says that the current government of Egypt has retained for 30 years what were designed as “emergency laws,” following the chilling assassination on Armed Forces Day, 1981, of Anwar Sadat by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. ElBaradei views, he says, social disintegration, economic stagnation, and political repression, and hears nothing from the Americans, nor from the Europeans.

Mohamed ElBaradei mentions Tunisia, and Iran. He says that the West believes the only options in the Arab world are “authoritarian regimes or Islamic jihadists.” This he says is “obviously bogus.” “In Egypt, there is a whole rainbow variety of people who are secular, liberal, market-oriented, and [if given a chance] they will organize themselves to elect a government that is modern and moderate. They want desperately to catch up with the rest of the world.” Speaking at a demonstration in Alexandria on June 25, ElBaradei told the crowd, “I am going back to Cairo, and back onto the streets…”

Mohamed ElBaradei has deep and timely interests in areas of nuclear energy, and nuclear proliferation. From December, 1997, until November, 2009, he was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was involved in the multi-national inspections in Iraq prior to the crippling strikes by the Western Alliance, and the war that followed. He has also been involved with Iran’s nuclear aspirations. He calls for, in all matters, a conduct of activities in a way that is cost-effective and respective of a process with equitable representation, transparency, and open dialogue. He, along with Hans Blix, led a team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. Concurrently he disputed at the time U.S. claims supportive of the invasion of Iraq. He avowed that documents purporting to show that Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from Niger were not authentic. ElBaradei further said that “we learned from Iraq that an inspection takes time, that we should be patient, that an inspection can, in fact, work, and that [he had] been validated in concluding that Saddam Hussein had not revived Iraq’s nuclear weapons program.”

In 2004 ElBaradei warned the world in a New York Times op-ed that if it did not change course it risked self-destruction. He said the notion that it is morally reprehensible for some nations to pursue weapons of mass destruction, while other nations may refine and postulate plans for their security—that notion is unworkable.

Mohamed ElBaradei’s clashes with the George W. Bush administration are legendary. In December of 2004, the Washington Post exposed that the Bush administration had intercepted dozens of ElBaradei’s phone calls with Iranian diplomats, in an effort to force ElBaradei out. Iran responded to the Washington Post reports by accusing the United States of violating international law in intercepting the communications.

ElBaradei’s calls were in connection with his work with the International Atomic Energy Agency. A spokesman for that agency at the time said the IAEA worked on “the assumption that one or more entities may be listening to our conversations.” “It’s not how we would prefer to work, but it is the reality. At the end of the day, we have nothing to hide.” The United States under Bush was the only country to oppose ElBaradei’s reappointment; it later dropped the objections. Countries supporting ElBaradei included China, Russia, Germany, and France. China strongly praised ElBaradei’s work.

Mohamed ElBaradei’s work has extended far beyond political matters of nuclear power, and of non-proliferation of nuclear armaments. He initiated a global Program of Action for Cancer Therapy. He said: “A silent crisis in cancer treatment persists in developing countries and is intensifying every year. At least 50 to 60 percent of cancer victims can benefit from radiotherapy, but most developing countries do not have enough radiotherapy machines or sufficient numbers of specialized doctors and other health professionals.” PACT went on to build cancer treatment capacity in seven member states. For this work, ElBaradei was awarded the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • John Lake

    something novel. Or unique. How curious. I shall consider those possibilities.

  • pablo

    I must say John Lake I never cease to be amazed at how your milktoast pablum articles invariably tote the MSM party line. First this article, then followed up by the one on Omar Suleiman, I am waiting for your next one on the moderating influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, that the MSM has been busy touting of late.
    ElBaradei is an entrenched gloablist firmly in the pocket of George Soros and his boss the Rotschilds. Suleiman’s record speaks for itself, perhaps he should actually run for Torturer-in-chief!
    Sometimes I think you have an IV line tapped directly from your television set into your brain John. Do you, or will you EVER write anything of substance? I don’t mean agreeing with me, I mean something novel or unique to your perspective. All I have ever seen from you articles is this milk toast pablum drivel. Just my two cents worth John.

  • John Lake

    There may be some truth to claims of pro-Mubarak supporters and others that the U.S. and the U.S. Media are interfering with Egyptian internal affairs. One instance I note, which may be directly in opposition in this case to the cause of the freedom-fighters is the call of the Media (just now, CNN) for “amendments to the constitution”. It would seem in view of the extremity of the situation that an entirely new constitution may be a better solution. A new constitution should certainly not be ruled out.
    Is it not annoying that our Secretary of State demands “this”, and insists upon “that”? Individuals “must” do one thing or another. How out of touch can she be? This is so obvious I do not even have to elaborate.

  • Menrit

    First of all I want to say I’m one of the 90% that don’t need ElBradei, you can see how much events & articals in our Newspapers , Facebook & Twitter or Fox-news evaluations that refuse Elbradei as a president.

    why we don’t want him:
    cause most of his life spent outside Egypt and all of these times he wasn’t interest in any of the Egyptian problems and we never heard his voice except from about 2 years after he left his Job, even he don’t live the hard times we lived in Egypt.yeah he was so good in his job but not in our politics.

    we do don’t want Moubark to be our president any more but not ElBadei, that is a follower to the Muslims Brotherhood.
    we need an honest election that really express our needs.

  • Francesca Goldston

    I would like to know more about why 90% of Egyptians” don’t want ElBaradei. Most serious contenders for leadership in fascist societies live outside their countries for obvious reasons. Does Minret really speak for 90% of Egyptians? And, if so, who do these same 90% see as a viable candidate? Please let us know so we can inform ourselves.

  • Glad to hear it, Clavos.

    I think the negative stuff you foresee is possible but not probable, but then I am a glass half full type myself.

  • pablo

    comment 25 in wrong thread, sorry, pablo

  • pablo

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Now I see why the warmer mongers changed the verbiage from global warming to climate change, that way no matter what the climate does hot or cold it can be blamed on that poison that plants breathe.

    As far at the EPA goes, in [edited] Glenn mind I am of the opinion that virtually anything that he himself supports politically can and should be done by executive fiat. To hell with democracy. In fact that is what many of Glenn’s fellow warmer mongers are advocating. He knows it, I know it, and so do many others following the hysterical warmer mongers arguments.

    Poor Glenn gets more hysterical and irrational by the moment. Man made global warming has been a scam from the word go.

  • Poor, unjustly maligned US media, trying their damnedest to do their job for which they get not thanks.

    My heart bleeds.

  • Some of the coverage on much maligned US news outlets has been pretty remarkable. Richard Engel on NBC and MSNBC, and even Anderson Cooper on CNN. Al Jazeera English is available to anyone with an Internet connection, which is practically everyone who would want to watch it. And the MSM is using a lot of Al Jazeera footage.

  • John Lake

    If Al Jazeera English coverage is blacked out, I don’t at this point know by whom and am not in a position to comment.

  • John Lake

    In fact like many of us I am watching the coverage on the changing face of the confrontation right now. The military is apparently not halting the pro-Mubarik forces, many of whom have been found to carry identification revealing that they are government employees.
    One hindrance to the cable coverage is the fact that the media is being roughened up and threatened. They are only human, and rightfully fearful. Some are forced to hunker in darkened rooms, as we see in the coverage.
    Although the U.S. must be deeply involved because of global interests, Israel interests, economic interests, Obama is showing wise restraint in staying to some extent of other nations internal struggles.
    Again, I feel you are wrong about the cable coverage; indeed the world, and the people of America are watching and feeling the pain and fear of the demonstrators. They may be surrounded. They must be tired.

  • zingzing

    “”Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S.” An example of American censorship at work.”

    getting it just fine on the internet… and there’s a live feed on youtube. i’m not sure that cable television is the best way to view judge or view (har?) censorship. cable works for profit, nothing else. the internet’s still free(ish… just not in canada). and a 2,500% surge in traffic to the website because of said “censorship” suggests that said “censorship” wasn’t very effective. and do you really expect the cable companies to pick up aje just because there’s a temporary influx of interest in that channel? that would take weeks of negotiations. maybe they didn’t like aj before, but you goddamn better think they like the idea now. but it’s too late to just switch it on. doesn’t work like that. i’d bet that if those execs could have foreseen the numbers of potential viewers, they’d have jumped at the chance. it’s not censorship… it’s a commercial ship that left the port before the product could get loaded. if this shit keeps spreading, as it seems to be, look out for some serious negotiations. profit is better than censorship, always. even if they’d lose a few zealots, cable companies are going to search for more content rather than less. and according to the updates in the article, it looks like that’s happening already.

  • Jonathan

    A question comes to mind. Will these countries Tunisia and Egypt move to a step closer democratic country or else a wrong turn to an Islamic fundamentalist fervent country?

    I fear the wrong turn.

  • “Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S.”

    An example of American censorship at work.

  • John Lake

    Thank you for your insight.

  • Menrit

    I’m Egyptian and most of us don’t want ElBaradei as a leader or a presdent,Mohamed ElBaradei is not the currently leader of our revolutionary he lived most of his life outside Egypt and when there was a revolution in Egypt he was abrod after the youth said thier words he came back to be a leader.
    90% of the Egyptian don’t want him.

    Ofcourse we don’t want Moubark any more but not Bradei cause he will be the same and more.

  • Clavos

    Thanks, Chris, sincerely.

    I’m fine — I have lots of love, for and from family and friends, and plenty of personal hope and optimism regarding the same family and friends cohort.

    I don’t live on the dark side, Chris, I really don’t; I’m having far too much fun in my private life to succumb to that. Most of the negatives I foresee for the rest of the world will not become reality until long after I’m worm food, and I’m just selfish enough not to care…

  • Clavos, don’t let the dark side claim you. I know you’ve seen some stuff and more recently had a tough time of it but what is life without love, hope and optimism? Pretty depressing I would say.

    You’ve only got one life, mate, so enjoy it while you can!

  • Clavos

    You know something, Clavos – I really do pity you.

    Thanks, Glenn, but there’s no need.

  • A colleague of mine wanted to reach out to the revolutionaries in Egypt. He is not a cold or as cynical as I am. He was willing to make the effort. Since he has been a good friend as a well as a colleague, I tried to help him out, sending notes looking for people who might be able to help. My own ability to reach Egyptians is not that good – my contacts go in the opposite direction from Egypt – east, rather than west.

    I have received no answers to my efforts – yet.

    Am I surprised? No. Am I disappointed? Not really. But in a situation like this, events move quickly, and failure to respond quickly can well result in failure.

    Anyway, since a lot of you know me, and I sorta know a lot of you, I’m making this a public appeal. Go to my blogspot to look for my e-mail address and let me OFF-LINE know if you do have credible contacts. I’m not looking for el-Baradei, who is most likely a stooge or cat’s paw for someone else. I’m certainly not looking for the filth of the Muslim Brotherhood – they are neither Muslim nor capable of understanding brotherhood. But there are real leaders out there, and there are real opportunities to avoid millions of deaths in war before reaching a reconciliation between the Children of Israel and the Children of Kedar and Nevayot – and even the Children of Egypt.

    I will forward messages that may bring peace.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    You know something, Clavos – I really do pity you. To be so hard-bitten, so cynical, so eager to believe that people only do things that are in their personal best interest.

    But, friend, there’s a lot of people out there who do things not because they’re profitable, but because they’re the right things to do.

    And sometimes they’re even politicians.

  • Clavos

    That, and if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

    or nothing…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    With too much cynicism and skepticism comes a dearth of gratitude…and happiness.

    That, and if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

  • “When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you,” Clavos.

    Anyway, you don’t treasure either, just take solace. Big difference.

  • Clavos

    Ah well, Christopher, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

    As I’ve traveled the world over the many decades it’s been my misfortune to live on this miserable orb, most of what I have seen has contributed to my cynicism and misanthropy.

    I now treasure both.

  • Let’s add jaded and misanthropic to the list too!

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, Clavos. There is nothing at all big or clever about cynicism whilst scepticism has its usefulness if not carried too far.

  • Clavos

    Paraphrasing Wallis Simpson’s famous paean to wealth and beauty,

    One can never be too cynical or too skeptical…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yeah, Ruvy, nobody’s a hero unless YOU say they are.

    You know what? Too much cynicism is every bit as bad as too much naivete.

  • Ruvy

    There’s no fool like an old fool.

    Big Bad Johnny, are you buying into el-Baradei’s bullshit because the media peed on him and called him “kosher”?

    Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize, too – for what – screwing all those young “pieces” (boys) his Romanian handler brought him?

    Sorry, buddy. I see too damned many “heroes” w/ clay feet and grasping claws.

  • John Lake

    Some are predicting 18 – 24 inches of snow!
    Tourism is an important source of revenue in Egypt. I am not too fond of the display of ‘mummies’, but the thousands of years old artifacts must be protected.

  • A new leader is not the biggest problem as I see it. Eventually somebody will take the reins. It’s the same problem in so many third world countries…no trickle down, no jobs for the youth.

    What about investors and the future of industry in a country dependent on tourism which takes a hit too? Mubarak is not the worse he just stayed too long with US money with no end in sight.

    Thundersnow in Chicago. Worse in Chicago history to top 1967 blowout. Glad I’m here but it’s cold here too.