- 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
- 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
- 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,"
- 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
- 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,"
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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
email@example.com. 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.