Monday, February 21, 2011

How the United States Stole Egypt's Uprising

How US stole Egypt's uprising

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:18
By Reason Wafawarova
Zimbabwe Herald

THE frugality of the United States in particular, and that of the West inasfar as comments received after the forced stepping down of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is concerned were quite revealing in terms of what they showed about the behaviour of imperial powers in international affairs.

Below was the first reaction of US President Barack Obama as described by Nicholas Johnston and Mike Dorning of a publication known as Bloomberg: "After being told about Mubarak's action, Obama went to an outer office to watch television coverage of the scene in Cairo for several minutes," Tommy Vietor, an administration spokesman, said in an e-mail.

His deputy Joe Biden described the departure of Mubarak as "a pivotal moment" and he went on to say the stakes were "not about Egypt alone" but for the whole of the Middle East.

Obama praised Mubarak and said he had answered the Egyptians' "hunger for change" and he praised the military for taking over power from Mubarak, calling for the soldiers to revise the constitution and to organise for an election.

Yes, dear reader; the US congratulating soldiers for taking over power to govern. Quite unthinkable isn't it?

Said Obama: "Many questions remain unanswered. But I am confident that the people of Egypt can find the answers, and do so peacefully, constructively, and in the spirit of unity that has defined these last few weeks. For Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day."

Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesperson, called on Egypt's next government to uphold the 1979 peace pact with Israel. The call is very revealing and so much important for the shaken Israel.

Obama immediately promised to fund the new military regime in Egypt and he pledged that the US will uphold the alliance with Egypt, more so after the ouster of the custodian of that alliance - Mubarak.

It was quite revealing for a sitting president of a country which is occupying two Middle East countries with a view to militarily bring democracy and justice to these countries - Iraq and Afghanistan - to talk of non-violence as the way to justice.

Said Obama: "Egyptians have inspired us, and they've done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of non-violence - not terrorism, not mindless killing - but non-violence, moral force, that bent the arc of history toward justice once more."

One hopes the inspiration by the Egyptians to Obama will end the violence in Afghanistan.

But to say the protests in Egypt were violence free is just being hopelessly dishonest. Buildings were burnt down, people died, protesters were shot at, vigilante groups of business people shot at looters and so on.

The question is why the super-righteous US would choose to be blind to this violence and to openly pledge backing for a military regime and also to praise what would normally pass for an ousted dictator, at least by the pronouncements of the protestors.

The BBC captured the reasons perfectly well.

Mark Mardel wrote: ". . . despite all the brickbats that have been thrown at the White House for clumsy handling of this crisis, the administration has got exactly what it has wanted for a couple of weeks: the exit of Mr Mubarak, the entry of the military as caretakers, the promise of democracy, and the absence of violence".

So in reality the CIA got it exactly the way they wanted.

Now the US is going to "democratise" Egypt the American way, sponsoring a pliant regime to carry over from where Mubarak left off.

The victory of the Egyptian people is quite specious, but the developments in Egypt point to a continuation of a neo-colonial agenda for the Middle East being headquartered once again in Cairo.

There is enough motivation for Egyptian politicians to keep the puppet tradition left by Hosni Mubarak.

The man's Egypt ranked in the top two biggest recipients of US aid over the years and he is reported to have been quite a spendthrift, furthering US interests in the Middle East and at a personal level.

For many years Egypt has only been second to Israel in terms of receiving the most military and financial aid from the US.

To understand the US position on the latest developments in Egypt and the possible direction of US policy in the aftermath it is necessary to attend to the thinking that lie behind policy choices in the US.

Egypt did not have until these recent mass protests too much independence, or radical nationalism as was the case during the time of Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Nasser's radical nationalism was not acceptable to the West and Mubarak's tolerance for the interests of the US-led imperial authority was the basis for the 30-year-old US-Egypt alliance - itself a buffer to any possible regional resistance to Israel's unspeakable brutalities on the people of Palestine.

Radical nationalism, especially radical economic nationalism, is by definition not acceptable to the capitalist doctrine and this is precisely why the reaction of the US to events in Egypt cannot be replicated in a more independent state.

If President Robert Mugabe chose a transition where he handed over power to the security forces, there is no doubt that the subsequent transitional government would be condemned, sanctioned, attacked militarily and the White House would not be as frugal in comments over such a development.

In 2006, the Fijian military took over power from the corrupt government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and Frank Bainimarama, the military man who took over power was, and is still very popular among Fijians for this move.

The Western powers, led by neighbouring Australia, condemned the coup, and Fiji was kicked out of the Commonwealth, sanctioned heavily and is until today in economic isolation from its traditional Western trading partners.

This is precisely because Frank Bainimarama is a radical nationalist who expelled the Australian head of the Fijian Police Force and other high-ranking Australians in the Fijian Army. He has also opened up to Chinese investors and has assumed more control of Fijian industries, especially sugar production.

Bainimarama is anti-neo-colonialism, a nationalist and he pursues policies driven by economic nationalism, just like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe or Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Zimbabwe's land reform programme and its recent economic empowerment policies for the indigenous population are all part of the "rotten apple" effect of possible success and there is always the need to eliminate the "infection" before it spreads.

In Western political terms, independent nationalism is unthinkable, and never is it entertained as an option.

This is why the US has been trying to downplay the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the ousting of their puppet leader in Egypt.

The US wants to make sure that the transition is managed in such a way that they will be able to come up with another puppet as effective as Hosni Mubarak, only wearing more reflective colours of electoral democracy - of course with the electoral patterns being favourably and heavily influenced by the US-Egypt alliance.

Egypt has reached its Vietnam phase. In 1948 Washington planners recognised that the nationalist movement led by Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh in Vietnam was not a safe bet to safeguard American imperialist interests.

Ho Chi Minh was eager to co-operate with the United States, but not on the required terms of subordination.

This is the fear of the US and its allies when they look at the possibilities over the next Egyptian government. They cannot be sure that they will be able to ensure the required subordination as was provided by Mubarak over the last three decades.

More importantly in terms of Vietnam was the fear of US policymakers - a fear based on "anti-Western Pan-Asiatic tendencies in the region", undermining the "close association between newly-autonomous peoples and powers which have been long responsible (for) their welfare".

The US is quite scared of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the rise of the Pan-Arabism spirit.

In Indochina, France had been the presiding power and the legacy of France's tender care was a trail of devastated and starving countries.

Just like the case in Africa now, the West was wary of Chinese influence in Vietnam.

A US State Department statement explained that China needed to be excluded "so that the peoples of Indochina will not be hampered in their natural developments by the pressures of an alien people and alien interests"; unlike those of the US and those of France.

The right of the US to restore the US-Egypt alliance is axiomatic and the intention to perpetuate the gains of the Mubarak era is quite apparent and unambiguous.

Any problems that may arise will be attributed to anti-Semitism, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

Just like the Cold War fear that Vietnam and other newly independent states would align with the USSR, the US is dead scared that Egypt under a new people-power regime might align with the dreaded Iran, that way making life for Israel highly unbearable.

The problem as far as the US is concerned is world independence and nationalism, not imperial concerns.

The imperial aggressions in Afghanistan and Iraq are not a problem at all. These are "democratisation" programmes.

The real problems in international affairs are caused by the nationalist policies of the likes of President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

The traditional colonial economic interests of the industrialised countries must prevail as has been the case in Egypt over the years.

Melvyn Leffler was reported by Noam Chomsky as having once said that Asia needed to remain under "its traditional subordination".

This is a prevailing doctrine in the Western intellectual community and the "arrogance" of leaders like Robert Mugabe is seen as a threat to the national interest of the United States and subsequently of all its Western allies.

What happened in Egypt could have been independent nationalism fulfilled if only the US had stopped hijacking the people's project to have the Egyptian military secure its interests while buying more time to rope in a pliant replacement for the ousted puppet leader, Hosni Mubarak.

We now all know why the Egyptian military watched as protesters destroyed property and even killed each other in clashes between business vigilantes, pro-Mubarak marchers and the majority anti-Mubarak marchers.

The reticence was a US instruction calculated to make a military takeover more acceptable to the masses.

A military in antagonism with protesters would have found it extremely hard to take over power without inciting more anger on the streets.

So the revolution in Egypt was stolen just like that.

The neo-colonial puppet regime of Mubarak will have its legacy preserved and perpetuated while the radical nationalism among Egyptians will be silenced.

This is the power vested in the Empire that runs the imperial authority in our day.

Africa we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or reason@rwafawarova.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit http://www.rwafa

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