America’s Hypocrisy: Empty Words to Egypt’s People and Support for Mubarak

Photograph by latenightcabdriving via TwistedSifter.com

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?

Protest pictures via Coexistencemag, Zakiraah, and  Egyptian Chronicles

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16 Responses to America’s Hypocrisy: Empty Words to Egypt’s People and Support for Mubarak

  1. -5 Vote -1 Vote +1Abu Dujanah
    January 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Nonsense! This is not an entirely secular revolution.

    just becuase it is not overtly about islam from the outset doesnt make it secular. concerns over good governance and prices are as much islamic as they are anything else. The protesters are ardent muslims and are yelling islamic slogans on the street. islam is more appealing to the Muslim masses today than it has ever been. the tide of global islamic revival is immense.

    It might be convenient in the west for this to be characterised as a secular revolution, but that it surely aint.

    Glad tidings for the rise of the Muslim masses.

    • +6 Vote -1 Vote +1contributor
      January 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      But, “good governance and prices” are not purely Islamic ideals. Muslims participating in the protests does not make it an Islamic or Muslim uprising, any more than Christians striking against their employers makes it a Christian strike.

  2. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Michael Chase
    January 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    This is all well and good Liam, but what would you have the United States do now…not thirty years ago?

    What steps should we take, and what will be the cost of those steps?

    Surely your thorough criticism of our posture is paired with an alternative.

    • +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Liam Fox
      January 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Yes. Stop backing Mubarak and allow the people of Egypt to elect their own government. Mohamed ElBaradei has support and I’m sure that there will be others to allow the people choice, consensus, compromise, negotiation and self-determination. The people of Egypt seem to have an obvious interest in equitable self government.
      If you refer to American and Israeli interests… they may have to work on their negotiation skills, willingness to compromise, and ability to make up for a lot of years of poor policy choices.

    • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Mo Maghari
      January 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Hi Michael
      your request for an alternative is a very wise remark. Let me suggest something as a Moslem, an Arab, a Palestinian and as an American. we should do what is in the interest of America. I never thought that siding with the brutal dictators was a smart choice for America. At least we should have never sent billions and militiray aid to the Egyptiopn regime to chocke the people of Egypt to death. I also agree with you, that was thirty years ago. What we should do now. We should try to win the Egyption streets. We should announce our support to the people of Egypt. we should call on Mubarak to step down. Let me also state I am a Moslem and I am against Moslem extremists. I do not wish to see Islamic extremist government in Egypt or any place else. But I have to tell you that it is the opression people felt for decades what created the extremist in the middle east. As an American, I am proud of the freedom we enjoy in the US. The sad part, we spent decades talking about freedom but supporting the opression of freedom in the middle east. That created a strong anti american sentiment in the middle east. I also believe it is not too late to change that and stand with the people. I believe we should announce to all regimes that we will not give military aid to be used in the hands of the oppressive police. We should let the people in the middle east that we are true friends and believers in freedom by supporting it instead of talking about it. I do believe that will change and eliminate the Anti American sentiment.

  3. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rod
    January 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I thought Obama’s statement at around 6.30p was threading the needle, just enough to scold Mubarak, not enough to be seen as calling for his ouster.
    You can call that “empty words,” I guess.
    There isn’t much he could say, but threaten to cut off aid.

  4. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Belle91
    January 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Abu, I am Egyptian. I am NOT Arab and NOT Muslim like you. It’s your stupid religion which throws off the rest of the world. Down with your version of Islam. I want a secular government that respects ALL.

  5. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1GordanM
    January 29, 2011 at 2:19 am

    All comes from wrongful American support for Israel. This support affects Palestinians , currently the most suppressed people on Earth and makes America’s plea for democracy a pathetic travesty. If America stopped unilateral support for Israel, peace on middle east would be easy.
    I would like to ask Americans why does USA supports Israel?
    Why is Israel more important to USA than stable ME, democracy and friendly relations with oil rich Arab countries.? Why it seems that America is more after interest of Israel than it’s own? To people like me USA-Israel relations are like Master Blaster duo from Mad Max Thunderdome movie.
    Is it because powerful Israel lobby or some agreements made after WW2 (no conspiracy theories please) ?

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1Markd
    January 29, 2011 at 7:20 am

    If the Egpytian citizenry were armed with something more powerful than the internet, the Mubarek government would have fallen yesterday.

  7. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Henrik van Dooren
    January 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

    All of my sympathy and that from my whole family for the Egyptian protesters.
    I saw on Al Jazeera oh so brave and decent people. I hope very much that you will get through your bravery what we got through the bravery of our great-grandparents and grandparents.
    It’s a shame that our own European leaders in accordance with the USA still support your suppressors.
    Henrik,
    Maastricht, the Netherlands

  8. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Henrik van Dooren
    January 29, 2011 at 7:48 am

    If the Egyptians want an islamic government, so what? They should have the opportunity to decide by themselves. As if the western democracy is the only sanctifying form of government. Anyhow it seems to me that everything is better as a from Washington manipulated regime of traitors to one’s country.

  9. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Mo Maghari
    January 29, 2011 at 8:57 am

    The most amazing thing is to see all the people who are shcked by what is happening in Egypt. What is happening in Egypt ia a natural result of 30 years of oppression, The only shocking thing is the fact that it did not happen earlier.
    The revolt was not started by the Islamic movement known as ( Moslem brothers). The Moslem brothers party only jumped on the wagon when they realized that the regime is falling down. They just did not want to be left behind. Weather the new government will be islamic government or not, we should ask our selves, what is democracy. We should respect the will and choice of the egyption people regardelss of what the result it is.( I do not expect an Islamic government), At least that what we should do of we are true to our belief in freedom and democracy. I am sure the new government will not be a very friendly goverment toward the US, after all, the US gave all the support for the dictator over 30 years of oppression to the egyption people. That is the price of the choices we made in the US. Freedom is not precious for Americans only, it is precious for all the people in this world. This is the time to remember Patrick Henry who said in 1775 ( Give me Liberty, or give me Death!).

    • +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Maria Odete Madeira
      January 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Unfortunately, the US is regressing and becoming increasingly unprepared for a WebCivilization, failing to understand the behavior of the webs, and their own position in the WebSystem.

      The World is not an American World, the World is the World, and the US occupies a place in the World, another part of the WebCivilization. But the US is placing itself outside the system, like a panoptic paranoic God, which leads to severe errors of perspective, and geopolitical mistakes of a Nation state logic being applied anachronically.

      Regarding Egypt, any of those who militated in left wing movements against dictatorial regimes, know very well that there are no such things as spontaneous revolutions, behind an angry middle class, are always practices of agitation and organized propaganda, many times orchestrated by other imperialistic vocations. Some who want an Empire to fall for another to follow. In politics there is no innocence, in politics there are no innocents.

      The problem is that the revolted masses alienate their autonomy in other predators that are waiting, changing from one owner to another, from promises to other promises, and their oppression and misery continues.

      I am reminded of the following lines from the “The Leopard” (“Il Gattopardo”):

      “We were the leopards, the lions (…) Those who will take our place will be jackals, hyenas (…) And all of us—leopards, lions, jackals, and sheep—we’ll go on thinking ourselves the salt of the earth.”

      Young people can believe many “fantasies”. I also had mine, when I was a Marxist/Leninist/Maoist militant, and thought that one could contribute to a world in which all had access to equality in dignity. But Mao was a dictator, who committed atrocities that never any of us could have expected to happen, and that made us fall into a skepticism, or, perhaps, realism, that remains even today.

      My generation fought against a dictatorial regime, and…, in the end, the misery goes on in my country, with hundreds of unemployed and people starving, with a failed Prime Minister from a Socialist Party in trouble.

      • +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Mo Maghari
        January 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

        Hi Maria
        you do bring a very interesting point. I do share you your cencerns and skepticisn. Just like you, I was young and idealistic once before. I spent my life studying every ideology under the sun. I was looking for that glopal solution that could bring peace, freedom and quality of life for all humans. Actually the ideas most of the time are not bad. On paper I would dare saying that from communism on the extreme left to capitalism on the right offer some good ideas. At least they all claim that they want better quality of life for mankind.
        Now, I do understand that the problem is not the ideologies. The problem is mankind itself. when we achieve power, we get enslaved by the glory of that power. we lust that feeling of becoming super humans and gods. then we start acting as if we are God. We dictate who should live and who should die.
        I do understand and share your cencerns and skepticism, when I was young, I myself was envolved in fighting opression and dictators and I paid a high price for that.. Now, I am older, slightly wiser and I saw even the good men when they become in power falling in love with the power more than the principles. They lust the GOD status more than the ideology. Many of them will committ atrocities to keep their GOD like status. Having said that, we have to keep trying. we migh fall and die, but we have to die trying. Living under fear and oppression is not a valid alternative. I already lived in the past under these circumistances. At least, as long as some are fighting for that freedom and human rights, there is Hope. Without hope, we have nothing. ( bt the way, I was also a big fan and student of the ideas of Mao, then he proved he is no different than all men who become Gods)

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1DJ6ual
    January 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Tear Gas Causes Anti American Sentiment in Egypt
    [http://dj6ual.viviti.com/entries/news/the-tear-gas-smoke-bombs-used-against-egyptian-protesters-were-also-used-at-g-20]

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