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Egypt's Revolution: Obama Backing Regime Change?


By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 01 February 2011

Egypt's Revolution: Obama Backing Regime Change? - by Stephen Lendman

In July 2003, a USAF Institute for National Security Studies report titled, "Egypt as a Failing State: Implications for US National Security" suggested "Mubarak's traditionally autocratic and oppressive short-term fixes" weren't working. As a result, "the possibility of unrest is real; with the correct confluence of domestic, regional, and international events, Egypt can quickly be added to the list of failed states....This paper (thus) contends that (the appearance of) democracy is a security imperative for the post-9/11 world."

In its July/August 2010 Failed States Index 2010, ForeignPolicy (FP) ranked nations under five categories: critical, in danger, borderline, stable and most stable. Ranked 49th among 177 countries evaluated, FP called Egypt a failed state "in danger." It scored lowest in three "delegitimization" categories because of:

-- endemic corruption, including ruling elite profiteering;

-- human rights violations; and

-- an accumulation of "grievances," including poverty and unemployment among others.

Not least of its woes is an aging, ill, despotic ruler. Washington perhaps wants the appearance of a kinder, gentler replacement, the pretense of change continuing old policies. If so, it won't be the first time as a previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/01/revolutionary-change-in-egypt-inte...

Changed Washington Rhetoric

On January 30, Reuters said "Obama voiced support for an 'orderly transition' in Egypt that is responsive to the aspirations of Egyptians in phone calls with foreign leaders, the White House said on Sunday."

His rhetoric mentioned opposing violence, showing restraint, supporting universal rights, peaceful assembly and association, and free speech, what, in fact, Washington disdains globally, including at home.

Also on January 30, New York Times writer Mark Landler headlined, "Clinton Calls for 'Orderly Transition' in Egypt," saying:

She "called (for) a more politically open Egypt, stopping short of telling (Mubarak) to step down but clearly laying the groundwork for his departure." In fact, she suggested Washington wants him out. He'll get time to go, and aid will continue, despite January 28 White House comments saying it was under review.

In its January 28 editorial headlined "Washington and Mr. Mubarak," The Times suggested support for regime change, calling him "arrogan(t) and tone-deaf, (meeting) spiraling protests with spiraling levels of force and repression, (as well as showing) more....weakness than strength (by) shut(ting) down Internet access and cellphone service."

The Times has a longstanding history of supporting wealth, power, and imperial interests. It's also Washington's lead voice, so excoriating Mubarak suggests official administration policy, meaning his time has passed - gracefully if cooperative, violently if not, but one way or other he's gone.

On January 29, Haaretz News Agencies headlined "Sacking Egyptian ministers not enough, US State Department says," quoting spokesman PJ Crowley saying:

"The Egyptian government can't reshuffle the deck and then stand pat. President Mubarak's words pledging reform must be followed by action," stopping short of endorsing his departure but signaling that resolution if he hasn't left in due course.

Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School at Marantha Baptist Church, Plains, GA. On January 30, he told parishioners and guests, Mubarak "will have to leave. This is the most profound situation in the Middle East since I left office," suggesting, of course, Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution ousting Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, replacing him with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Knomeini.

On January 31, Al Jazeera headlined, "Mubarak swears in new government," saying:

"Three former senior officers are included in the line-up, suggesting a strong security presence in the new government."

Appointments included Mahmoud Wagdi as new interior minister. A retired police general, he previously headed Cairo's criminal investigations department and state prisons. A new deputy prime minister, finance minister and trade minister were also named.

Retaining their posts were Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Fheit and Defense Minister General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

Protesters were unimpressed, AFP reporting they'll:

"accept no change other than Mubarak's departure. We want a complete change of government (under) a civilian authority," they demanded.

Egyptian Security Forces Back on Streets

Police and Central Security Forces (CSF) are again deployed after letting army troops alone patrol streets. Evidence, in fact, suggested they were involved in looting, robberies, jailbreaks, violence, and break-ins into upscale neighborhoods to create instability, trying to blame protesters and undermine Mubarak's regime. Reportedly, he instructed military troops to shoot to kill if necessary. So far, they've shown restraint.

On January 31, Al Jazeera headlined, "Egypt protesters increase pressure," saying:

Protesters called for massive Tuesday demonstrations. "The so-called April 6 Movement said it plans to have more than a million people" in Cairo streets "as anti-goverment sentiment reaches a fever pitch."

Thousands were back out Monday. "Protesters say they'll stay (there) as long as Mubarak (remains) in power." They're unimpressed with new appointments and pledges, calling them "too little, too late."

On January 31, a Lebanon Daily Star editorial titled, "Egypt's battle requires focus" said:

"....the rest of the world should stay out of the drama that is unfolding in the land of the Nile, and avoid provoking the situation. Decades of double standards based on support for anti-democratic regimes, under the pretext of security, cannot be erased with breathless exclamations of support for 'the people.' "

Czech writer Milan Kudera once said "The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."

Global despots are puppets taking orders from Washington, suppressing their people as directed. For generations, America waged war on democracy and truth at home and abroad. After WW II, it was global, today enforced with high-tech military power able to strike targets anywhere with overwhelming force in short order, or deploy quickly on homeland streets to preserve order or crush dissent.

Rhetoric aside, morality, good intentions, high-mindedness, and freedom aren't part of America's agenda - just money power, military strength and global dominance. It's been that way for decades.

HL Mencken on America's Sham Democracy

In 1926, acerbic political critic HL Mencken's "Notes on Democracy" called it farcical, excoriating "mobmen" who extol it while supporting tyrants, offering thoughts like:

"What is worth knowing he doesn't know and doesn't want to know; what he knows is not true. The cardinal articles of his credo are the intentions of mountebanks; his heros are mainly scoundrels."

"The average American doesn't want to be free. He simply wants to be safe."

"I have alluded somewhat vaguely to the merits of democracy. One of them is quite obvious: it is, perhaps, the most charming form of government ever devised by man. The reason is not far to seek. It is based upon propositions that are palpably not true - and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true. Truth has a harshness that alarms them...."

Irreverent, refreshingly politically incorrect, and as relevant now as then, he eviscerated a sacred cow, with comments like "Shall we make the world safe for democracy?" To the contrary, "The world should be made safe from democracy!" - meaning the bogus kind America espouses.

He accused politicians of "shov(ing)" "plain people" into war, and will "shove (them) into the next one."

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

"The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face (to) rule it."

Mencken believed in liberty. Today he'd excoriate Washington for denying it to so many. Also its hypocrisy, with comments like "It is the theory of all modern civilized (US-type) governments that they protect and foster the liberty of the citizen; it is the practice of all of them to limit its exercise, and sometimes very narrowly."

He also called (US-style) governance "organized exploitation," preaching high-mindedness while practicing state terrorism, brutishness, intolerance, and authoritarian control, globally today like Mencken couldn't have imagined.

Prospects Ahead for Egypt

Below are variations on Stratfor founder George Friedman's four possible outcomes:

(1) Mubarak achieves stability and survives, or more likely, a senior military official or cabal replaces him.

(2) ElBaradei or someone like him becomes president, offering a facade of democracy.

(3) The Muslim Brotherhood is empowered with a moderate Islamist agenda, posing no threat to dominant Western interests, cooperating instead to keep power.

(4) Egypt becomes chaotic. Elections produce gridlock. No viable candidate emerges. Instability continues.

Odds are Mubarak will leave, and stability will return under a new regime, very much subservient to Washington like all other global despots wanting to go along to get along, or put another way - survive long enough to enjoy power and related privileges.

A Final Comment

TE Lawrence (of Arabia) once promised Arabs independence and democracy for their support in WW I. They're still waiting.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Just got the following link at www.Uruknet.info and there are a couple of videos for reports on developments with the article. Both the 11:44 and 20:08 GMT, Feb. 1, articles below provide videos and both a short. The first piece actually provides two videos and one audio report, while the second piece provides a video and an audio.

"Giant protest kicks off in Egypt
Cairo's "million-man-march" reaches its target, as multitudes call for president Mubarak to resign."

Feb. 1, 2011, 11:44 GMT

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011215827193882.html

About 1,000,000 people have gathered for the planned "march of a million" in the Egyptian capital, calling for Hosni Mubarak, the embattled Egyptian president, to step down.

(snip)

Throngs protest

Thousands of demonstrators began gathering from early on Tuesday morning in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which has been the focal point of protests in the capital and served as the meeting area for the march to begin on the eighth day of an uprising that has so far claimed more than 125 lives.

Another protest in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria attracted tens of thousands of protesters, as national train services were cancelled in an apparent bid to stymie protests. Protests were also reported in the city of Suez.

Protest organisers have also called for an indefinite strike to be observed across the country.

Soldiers at Tahrir Square have formed a human chain around protesters, and are checking people as they enter for weapons. Tanks have been positioned near the square, and officers have been checking identity papers.

The army has also blocked all major roads in the city, and tens of thousands of protesters are being held at the Kasr al-Nile bridge. They were on their way to the main protest at Tahrir Square.

'Gaining momentum'

(snip)

An Al Jazeera correspondent in Cairo said that there were reports that "thugs in certain parts of the city have been trying to stop people from driving into Cairo".

She said that "increasingly large pockets of pro-government protests" are also taking place at various locations in the city. There are fears that if the two sets of protesters meet, a violent clash could erupt.

(snip)

An Al Jazeera online producer in Cairo said that if today's protest does not go as planned, similar protests could be planned for Friday.

Protests are also taking place in the cities of Mansoura, Damnhour, Arish, Tanta and El-Mahalla El-Kubra.

The new protests come as the police have returned to the streets.

But while the police's posture to be adopted in the face of the strike and marches remains unknown, the Egyptian army stated clearly on Monday that it would not stop protests.

(snip)

Army promise

(snip)

Panic and chaos

On Tuesday, even as Egypt continued to face economic turmoil as a result of protests, the International Monetary Fund said it was ready to put in a place an economic rebuilding policy for the country.

(snip)

Meanwhile, chaos has been reported at Cairo's international airport, where thousands of foreigners are attempting to be evacuated by their home countries.

(snip)

The Egyptian Army's promise couldn't be better than it is.

And the IMF is clearly up to its usual tactics of RACKET, imperialist racket.

But what is China afraid of?

"Protesters flood Egypt streets

More than a million rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square as massive countrywide protests are held against President Mubarak." (2:43)

Feb. 1, 2011, 20:08 GMT

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112113115442982.html

This more recent article's video provides some very short but fine interviews with two or three of the Egyptian demonstrators and one is a man who proudly speaks of this being a REVOLUTION, a real one. If I understood him correctly, then he also says it's the first revolution in Egyptian history. It's great hearing and seeing them speak.

"Signal disruptions hit Al Jazeera

Broadcast on Nilesat, Arabsat and Hotbird platforms facing interference on scale not experienced before, channel says."

Feb. 1, 2011, 19:46 GMT

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112118559309958.html

I'll quote the piece since it's short, but there's a large and excellent picture, overview shot, of a huge crowd of Egyptian demonstrators that's worth seeing.

Al Jazeera has said its broadcast signal across the Arab region is facing interference on a scale it has not experienced before.

Signals on Egypt's Nilesat platform were cut, and frequencies on the Arabsat and satellite Hotbird platforms were disrupted continually, forcing millions of viewers across the Arab world to change satellite frequencies throughout Tuesday.

The latest disruption came on the day of the historic "million man march" in Egypt.

"We have been working round the clock to make sure we are broadcasting on alternative frequencies. Clearly there are powers that do not want our important images pushing for democracy and reform to be seen by the public," a spokesman for Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, said.

"We appreciate the extraordinary support from the ten channels across the region who interrupted their own programming to live-broadcast our signal to their audiences."

Al Jazeera has been widely praised for its coverage from Egypt and Tunisia despite obstacles put in their path by those governments.

Not only have its images and reporting been enthusiastically received by people in the Middle East, but there has been a massive surge in interest in Al Jazeera's coverage from across the world.

Over the past week the channel has faced multiple attempts to disrupt its coverage from Egypt, with signals being interfered with on a continual basis, and journalists being banned and detained.

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