America’s Hypocrisy: Empty Words to Egypt’s People and Support for Mubarak
America does not want Mubarak to fall. Neither does Israel. A pan-Arabic secular revolution uniting the people of Egypt with the Tunisian Jasmine revolution, the Iranian Green revolution, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, and perhaps beginning in Saudi Arabia (demonstrations started today), is not what Israel wants. A revolution of the Arab people against corruption and totalitarian governments will not tolerate Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Mubarak has been a key figure for America in the continuously failing ‘peace process’ between Israel and Palestine. This process of failure has only been of benefit to America and Israel. Mubarak is crucial for this continued failure. America and Israel do not want to see him replaced.
This is not a sectarian conflict. This is not Islam against Judaism. This is a revolution of the young, and of the middle-class, against authoritarian governments and the exploitation of predatory capitalism. This is a revolution for human rights, social justice, economic justice, and representative government.
The Islamic Brotherhood was not involved in the genesis of this revolution. They are playing catch-up to try and get involved. Their participation may be welcome, but their leadership is not sought. This is not a replay of Iran in 1979. This, like the the Tunisian and Algerian uprisings, is inspired by massive unemployment, economic disenfranchisement, dictatorial governments, and sparked by the proof contained in WikiLeaks revelations of corruption.
American media and politicians have raised the specter of the Islamic Brotherhood and the Iranian revolution of 1979 in order to garner support for Mubarak. Fear of what happens if Mubarak should fall will provide justification for supporting his actions. America’s platitudes to the people of Egypt are to encourage acceptance of superficial reforms under Mubarak and win favor with the revolutionaries should they prevail.
While Egyptian security forces set fires and (dressed like protesters) beat people on the streets, Hilary Clinton voiced qualified support for ‘peaceful’ demonstrators and Mubarak condemned protesters for the fires and violence. The combined message of these statements is a prelude for the support of Mubarak’s government against the protesters. The protesters will be falsely accused of the violence and Mubarak will have to suppress the revolution. The U.S.A. will stand on the side of law and order; Mubarak’s version of law and order. Both Clinton and Obama have been very clear that Mubarak is a partner and political ally.
America is not in a position to win support from the Egyptian people for modest reforms under Mubarak. America has been seen as Mubarak’s guarantor providing his regime with $1.5 billion annually, much of it being spent on military and security services… none of it trickling down to the Egyptian people. America’s role in this revolution is best symbolized by the ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label on the side of the tear gas containers fired at the demonstrators. America has no political capital with the Egyptian people.
American military and economic interests in the area are America’s singular concern, all else is posturing and rhetoric. Mubarak has been supported by America for thirty years and they will continue to support him until it is no longer to their advantage. At that time they will support whomever will provide the best advantage for them and Israel.
As Vice President Biden explained in his interview with Jim Lehrer on PBS NewsHour;
“Look, Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region: Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing the relationship with Israel.
And I think that it would be — I would not refer to him as a dictator.”
If America’s motivation were anything else they would have voiced their concerns before Mubarak’s reign was threatened. They would have voiced their concern two decades ago, or even two days ago, and not waited until Mubarak’s hold on power was threatened. America will not venture into this as a humanitarian mission. They will ensure their military and economic security without any concern for reform beyond that which will stabilize their position. The last thirty years have proven that.
On Friday, January 28, leaders of the Egyptian military were in America, at the Pentagon, while the protests raged. After Mubarak’s speech, his lengthy discussion with President Obama, and the mobilization of the Egyptian army, the Egyptian Brass abruptly headed home. Mubarak has made it clear that he has no intention of leaving his office. It is unknown what directions his military have been given.
Mubarak believes that the Egyptian Army will support him. The Egyptian people believe that their Army will support their revolution. Saturday will prove to be a disappointment for either Mubarak, or the people of Egypt. There will be either elation, or blood in the streets.
Will the Egyptian Army stand with the people or back the continued reign of the American backed dictator?