Thursday, January 27, 2011

US State Dept: Egypt Not Ready for Democracy

(Hat tip to Lenin's Tomb for this video). Al Jazeera is great. Wow. How refreshing is it to see an anchor actually take a clear look at what's going on in the world.

Yes, doesn't this make it clear just how much of a beacon from "freedom" and "democracy" the US is all over the globe? Every time there has been a progressive uprising anywhere, they have tried to sabotage it or put on the brakes. To tell the Egyptian people that they should take it easy and put on the brakes is beyond offensive, particularly given Washington's relationship with the repressive, autocratic Mubarak regime.

Now, Washington isn't stupid. Of course, Obama will come out and say something vague about the need for reform and blah blah. But the facts are rather clear cut here:
"The U.S. does not want to see the Egyptian regime fall any time soon,’’ Hamid said in a telephone interview. “But people who are protesting, the tens of thousands, do want to see the regime fall some time soon. They are diametrically opposed interests."
It hardly needs repeating that Mubarak has been propped up single-handedly by the US, from whom he receives the tidy sum of $1.3 billion each year (his regime received the annual aid every year since 1979, and he's been president since 1981... you do the math). The US doesn't do that for nothing- and it's not as though they don't already know that the $$ they give to Mubarak has been used to torture and repress the Egyptian people in order to legitimize his autocratic rule. Egypt is the second-largest recipient of military aid from the US behind Israel, and a close third is Colombia, the most right-wing and repressive government in all of South America by a large margin.

It will be interesting to watch how much longer the US foreign policy elite can successfully walk this delicate tight rope of sponsoring Mubarak's repression while appearing to take a "moderate" stance vis-a-vis the protesters who are demanding real democracy and freedom.

Obama has come out and patronizingly admonished the Egyptian protestors to be "peaceful". "Violence is not the answer" he said. It's interesting that someone who has authorized far more drone bombings than Bush is all of the sudden a fan of avoiding violence. It's interesting that someone who gladly has paid for and loaded the weapons being used against the protesters should have the audacity to tell the protesters to "calm down". It's interesting he's all of the sudden for "non violence" given that Obama, "winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has, his first eleven months in office, ordered troop escalations in Afghanistan of 21,000 and 30,000, to effectively double the U.S. fighting force—while military contractors will continue to outnumber those in uniform." As unemployment tears through millions of lives accross the US, Obama still found it in his heart to increase war funding by $100 billion in 2010. That's a lot of money to spend on devices and training devoted to exterminating human beings in a foreign country. Funny that such a person can be taken seriously for suddenly coming out in support of "peace".


fwoan said...

Holy shit, I love your last paragraph!

Richard said...

I highly recommend that people watch the video of the interview in its entirety. The real US policy (prop up Mubarak) comes through loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. "Egypt is a stabilizing force" in the region blah blah blah.