Egypt Under Empire, Part 4: Dancing Between Dictatorship and Democracy by Andrew Gavin Marshall

7 August 2013 — Andrew Gavin Marshall – Originally published at The Hampton Institute

America’s Mambo with Mubarak

America’s ruling elites – and those of the Western world more generally – are comfortable dealing with ruthless tyrants and dictators all over the world, partly because they’ve just had more practice with it than dealing with ‘democratic’ governments in so-called ‘Third World’ nations. This is especially true when it comes to the Arab world, where the West has only ever dealt with dictatorships, and often by arming them and supporting them to repress their own populations, and in return, they support US and Western geopolitical, strategic and economic interests in the region. America’s relationship with Egypt – and most notably with Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt from 1981 to 2011 – has been especially revealing of this imperial-proxy relationship between so-called ‘democracies’ and dictatorships. Continue reading

Egypt Newslinks 4 August 2011

4 August 2011 —

Former Egyptian Interior Minister Returns to Court
Voice of America
August 04, 2011 Former Egyptian Interior Minister Returns to Court VOA News Egypt’s former interior minister and six police commanders returned to court Thursday to face charges of ordering officers to shoot at protesters, a day after they appeared …

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Egypt Newslinks 3 August 2011

3 August 2011 —

Egypt’s Mubarak, in hospital bed, goes on trial as protesters clash
By the CNN Wire Staff Cairo (CNN) — An ailing Hosni Mubarak — once a symbol of autocratic rule in Egypt — was wheeled into a Cairo courtroom cage in a hospital bed Wednesday to face trial for allegedly ordering the killing of protesters calling for …

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Egypt Newslinks 11 February, 2011

11 February, 2011 —

A selection of news, analysis and opinion on Egypt from the independent media.

Egypt Newslinks 11 February, 2011

11 February, 2011 —

A selection of news, analysis and opinion on Egypt from the independent media.

The New York Times backs the Egyptian army By William Bowles

10 February, 2011

Update: 21:05

So he’s NOT going, instead, he’s handing over power to Sulieman. Rubbing salt in the wound, he talked about Egyptians as his “children” and completely absolved himself of the thirty years of crimes committed on his watch! Going even further, he talked about prosecuting all those who had committed crimes! The crowd in Tahrir went absolutely apeshit when it sank in, waving their shoes in the air.

Behind the scenes, I surmise that there’s been a ‘silent’ military coup.

“The command of Egypt’s military stepped forward Thursday in an attempt to stop a three-week-old uprising, declaring on state television it would take measures “to maintain the homeland and the achievements and the aspirations of the great people of Egypt” and meet the demands of the protesters. The development appeared to herald the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.” — The New York Times, 10 February, 2011

So states the opening para of the ‘paper of record’s’ take. Titled appropriately ‘Egypt’s Army Signals Transfer of Power’ after a lot of waffle about ‘confusion’ and competing claims about who, or what will be the successor to Mubarak’s three decades of rule, the NYT gets down to the nitty gritty:

“So far, the military has stayed largely on the sidelines, but Thursday’s statement suggested it worried that the country was sliding into chaos. The military called the communiqué “the first statement of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” strongly suggestive that it had arranged to take power in Egypt. (my emph.WB)


“A senior official in Mr. Mubarak’s embattled government was quoted as saying the army would “intervene to control the country” if it continued to devolve into chaos.” (ibid)

And it’s the labour movement’s entry into the affray that has sparked the urgency, this is what the NYT means by “devolv[ing] into chaos” for once the organized working class get involved everything is possible!

“The apparently hardening official line — and the stubborn resistance of the protesters — coincided with a surge of strikes and worker protests affecting post offices, textile factories and even Al Ahram, the government’s flagship newspaper.” (ibid)

The strikes are spreading as is public opposition. New cities are being occupied. The resistance is reinvigorated. No wonder the leading mouthpieces of the Empire are pumping the ‘rumour’ that Mubarak will announce his resignation on television tonight. The ‘wait and see’ policy has obviously not paid off. If anything it has been counter-productive for not only has it revealed the master-servant relationship that exists between the US and its Egyptian stand-ins, it has given much needed time for the insurrection to gain traction and get properly organized.

Given the demographics of Egyptian society with over 50% under the age of twenty-five, organized youth are central to the struggle for control of the state (see also April 6 Youth Movement) but there are no indications that US has any idea what this means. It’s 40 million people, that’s what is is!

And the Egyptian military is caught between a rock and hard place. If it assumes power under the newly constituted Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, it will have to tread extremely carefully (under US tutelage). Any attempt to clear the public occupations or force workers back to work will be resisted, and it will be done in the full view of thousands of mobile phones.

The key issues are: the abolition of the Emergency Laws; the dissolution of the government; the creation of an ‘caretaker’ government; alterations to the Constitution followed by elections. Judging by the US and Egyptian governments responses to these demands, there is an enormous gulf between them and the Egyptian people. It’s obvious that these are the absolutely minimum demands.

Do the US policy-makers have any inkling of the depth of feeling that exists amongst the vast majority of Egyptian people? It seems not and why should it? It’s had a de facto military dictatorship sitting on the people for thirty years (though the US intelligence agencies are well aware that all was not well in the Land of the Pharos).

Clearly, the decades-long collaboration between the Egyptian armed forces and the USG is central to any understanding of the role the Egyptian army could play in any post-Mubarak situation. Foremost will be keeping Egypt on its side especially Egypt’s traitorous role in supporting Israel.

But any new government if it is to reflect the will of the Egyptian people will demand that this relationship is terminated and this scares the living daylights out of the Empire. Unlike the 1967 War that took place in the context of the Cold War and a Soviet-backed Egypt, there will be no Israeli invasion of Egypt, after all they’ll be killing each other with US-supplied weapons. And in any case, what kind of pretext could the Zionists dream up that would justify an invasion?

In other words liberating Egypt from imperial control would create an entirely new ballgame in the Middle East. Aside from South Africa (at the other other end of the continent), Egypt is the most developed of all the African states with a modern army and a relatively well-developed infrastructure and strategically situated on the gateway between Europe and Asia. Indeed, it owns it!

The US, unable to openly enforce its will on the Egyptian people is in a real bind. On the one hand it’s been going off at the mouth for decades about ‘spreading democracy’ but when faced with putting its money where its mouth is, it has baulked (old habits die hard), hence all the calls for an ‘orderly, ‘measured’ and ‘sensible’ transition to what they hope will be democracy US-style.

But all bets are off. If the masses can hold the centre as well as producing a programme that satisfies the majority, then short of an army coup d’etat (not impossible but an extremely dangerous move that would, in my opinion, spell disaster for the US), things could turn out well.

Who Leads Egyptian Opposition?

10 February, 2011 — The Real News Network

Gilbert Achcar: Youth organizations emerging as new leadership in Egyptian democratic movement

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Gilbert Achcar is a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His many books include The Clash of the Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder, The 33-Day War: Israel’s War in Hezbollah in Lebanon and Its Aftermath, (with Michael Warschawski) and Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy, co-authored with Noam Chomsky.


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Yuri Tyssovski – Egypt on Fire: Statehood Wisdom Put to Test

29 January, 2011 — Yuri Tyssovski – Egypt in Fire: Statehood Wisdom Put to Test – Strategic Culture Foundation

The tide of popular protests in Egypt shows no signs of subsiding. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Cairo, Alexandria, Asyut, Port Said, and Suez to demand the immediate resignation of the current Egyptian leader H. Mubarak dubbed Egypt’s last Pharaoh by his opponents. Obviously, his regime which has been controlling the country for three decades finally ran into serious problems.

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Quick Notes on Tunisia and Egypt: The American Hand By Dyab Abou Jahjah

28 January, 2011 — MRZine

1.  The change in the composition of the Tunisian government ousting RCD ministers seems to have satisfied the UGTT.  This is a sign that the protest now will be weakened.  The protest was gathering sympathy again with an ever recurring discussion on regionalism and regional identity.  The people are aware and they are pushing their agenda, through.  The protest will continue as a pressure card and a watchdog counting every breath Ghannouchi and his crew take.  A strong anti-American sentiment is growing, now that it is clear that the Americans are trying to hijack the revolution and secure the loyalty of the new regime.

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