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Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The Obama Administration is Not Calling for Mubarak's Immediate Departure
I was reading an article on Egypt on Yahoo News. Yahoo News is a wonderful resource, and a valuable one from which to get a fresh perspective on the unfolding events in Egypt.
Unlike the many articles, videos, posts, and accounts I have been reading and watching these past weeks on Al Jazeera, Facebook, You Tube, The Daily Show, or Socialist Worker, Yahoo News has a broad enough readership to allow it to do a remarkable thing: report on official US positions on Mid East politics "objectively". This remarkable ability to take the words of press secretaries, department heads, and presidents at face value, with rather little snickering, editorializing, mocking, or tangent pointing out of the goddamned blatant hypocrisy of it all, is truly a rare and precious talent.
Reading the article I came across the following instructive paragraph:
"The Obama administration is not calling for Mubarak's immediate departure, saying a precipitous exit could set back the country's democratic transition. Under Egypt's constitution, Mubarak's resignation would trigger an election in 60 days. U.S. officials said that is not enough time to prepare..."
Apparently today, while Mubarak's security thugs are attacking and murdering peaceful protesters,the Obama administration remains under the impression that 60 more days of such treatment is far too little time for "democracy" to effectively germinate.
Clearly that man, and his cabinet, are all well experienced in foreign policy, democracy, and the governence of large, populous countries. I'm convinced that they must know what they are talking about. After all, they have been torturing prisoners in Guantonamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and the basement of the Iraqi Interior Ministry building for almost 10 years and as yet, both Iraq and Afghanistan remain imperfect democracies. Clearly more time is needed. There are still doors to be kicked down, fathers to be dragged away at night, buildings to be bombed, and families to be machine gunned to death for failing to stop at checkpoints. Those Americans out there protesting the war, and those Egyptians out there protesting Mubarak, would do well to head these lessons and appreciate that fact.
As history has shown time and again, the interests of Egyptians would certainly best be served by the adoption of patience on the part of the protesters while the (benevolent) Western Power uses its influence on their dictator to secure a fitting democracy on their behalf. All this hasty and reckless protesting by such great numbers of untrained and unorganized citizens is no way to go about setting up a representative government. It's not like protesting and fighting in the street has ever got any nation closer to a republic!
America itself has always provided one of the most classic and instructive example of this process. In the end, it was years of calm and patient endurance of British imposed taxes and rule that finally resulted in the local governors coming to their senses, writing up a constitution, and funding candidates to run in carefully supervised elections for Americans to vote in. As all good students of American History have studied, life in the original 13 colonies during the years 1775-1783 was best characterized by a remarkable political stability. This was key to attracting much needed foreign direct investment, IMF loans, and tourist revenue- without which the citizens never would have been capable of eventually deciding on a proper form of government. Had George Washington been so rash as to organize a revolutionary army, imprison and hang British officers and political puppets, and call for immediate elections to an organically American continental congress, he would have messed it up completely! Hell, had that occurred, we'd probably be living today in some kind of chaotic failed state of declining living standards where the news is controlled by authoritarian demagogues and politically influential religious fundamentalists oppress women and minorities. Thank God and thank the democratizing "influence" of King George's State Department that we were able to avoid this fate! My only hope today is that the Egyptians, too, will recognize before it is too late that democracy can only be won by people who are brave enough to limit their demands to what is acceptable to autocrats and foreign governments.
Sarcasm aside, the sort of thinking evident in the quotation at the start of this article betrays the profound contempt for human life in the Middle East that has characterized the thinking of every American government that has ever given the matter any thought. The democratic demands of people who have been oppressed for 30 years come dead last to the strategic importance of the Suez Canal, oil, and the convenience of having friendly dictators in the region (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, etc...). What Obama, Hillary, Bush, Mubarak, King Abdullah, and their ilk fear more than anything is the direct "interference" of citizens in the political process. They have no conception of any political system not dominated by corporate money and not orchestrated by professional politicians with all the proper credentials of graduate degrees, internships, Foreign Affairs subscriptions and memberships in established political parties.
Barak Obama is a war criminal who escalated the Afghan war and continued the Iraq war. When Israel bombed Gaza he said nothing. When hated dictator Mubarak was about to topple he came out to prop up his crumbling regime. That man never got to where he is today because of his love for, or efficiency with, democracy. He is where he is today because his campaign was bought and paid for by the financial industry, the fossil fuel energy industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Obama is a neo-colonialist in every sense of the word. The Egyptian people have nothing to gain from listening to his lies or waiting for the CIA to invent and install another puppet with a different name. Obama, like Bush, is an enemy of democracy and is today the greatest obstacle standing in the way of peace, democracy, and human rights in the Middle East.
Yankee Go Home. Long Live the Intifada!