Democracy Now?

There are many dangerous pitfalls to avoid on the road to come in
Tunis and Egypt but just what has happened thus far?this courageous
standing up on a mass scale?is a major accomplishment and major
development in its own right.
Real revolutions?profound and foundational changes in the essential
nature of a society?do not arise spontaneously from uprisings. But the
kind of upsurge rocking Egypt, and spreading throughout the Arab
world, can be a major ingredient in sparking revolutionary sentiments
and strengthening the impulse toward revolutionary organization.

U.S. - Get Your Bloody Hands off Egypt and the Middle East
Sunday, 30 January 2011 20:57
Share Link: By Kenneth J. Theisen Recent turmoil in
Tunisia, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern nations illustrates, among
other things, the seemingly bottomless well of hypocrisy the U.S.
government draws on. U.S. officials, including the President and the
Secretary of State, have made statements of ³concern² about the
ongoing struggles in the region in recent days. What they have failed
to mention is the fact that for decades the U.S. has propped up, armed
and dominated the authoritarian governments that are now be challenged
by the masses in these nations. The U.S. is now trying to preserve its
strategic interests in the region, while pretending to be concerned
about the people in the region. We must demand that the U.S.
government get its bloody hands off the region, while exposing its
past and current roles. On January 28, 2001 Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said the following to the media: ³We are deeply concerned
about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces
against protesters and we call on the Egyptian government to do
everything in its power to restrain the security forces. At the same
time, protesters should also refrain from violence and express
themselves peacefully. As we have repeatedly said, we support the
universal human rights of the Egyptian people, including the right to
freedom of expression, of association and of assembly. We urge the
Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the
unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications.² She
failed to mention that the Egyptian government which is shooting its
own people has received more than $30 billion in aid from the U.S.
government since 1975. The majority of this aid has been military
aid. As of the writing of this article, the Egyptian government has
just called out it military forces to assist the police forces to
suppress the resistance of the Egyptian people. While the level of
violence now being used by the Egyptian government is now higher than
previously used, the fact that the Egyptian government has been using
violence, torture, imprisonment, etc. to maintain its dictatorship is
nothing new. The billions of dollars of U.S. aid have been used to
prop up the Egyptian government. Throughout the region the U.S. has
provided tens of billions of dollars of military aid to various
governments to suppress the Arab and other people in the region. This
includes aid and sales of U.S. weapons to the governments of Israel,
Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, etc. This aid and
these arms sales have allowed these reactionary governments to
maintain their suppression of their own people, and in the case of
Israel to attack Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, etc. The crimes of
the Egyptian government are well known to the American government. The
required annual State Department reports for decades have detailed the
abuse of human rights by the Egyptian government. While U.S. officials
mouths words calling for restraint or curtailment of abuse, the deeds
of the U.S. government allow the abuse to be continued. Just one
example is the fact the Egypt cooperated with Israel to maintain the
blockade of Gaza resulting in turning Gaza into the largest prison in
the world. For many years Egypt has been the second largest recipient
of U.S. aid. Israel has been number one. In 2009 Egypt received $1.3
billion in direct U.S. military aid. According to Amnesty
International¹s 2010 report, ³Torture and other ill-treatment remained
widespread in police cells, security police detention centers and
prisons, and in most cases were committed with impunity.² But U.S. aid
and support of the U.S. government has been consistent for Egypt for
decades. During these decades elections have been nothing but
electoral farces. None of this has resulted in any real action by U.S.
leaders that pretend to be concerned for the Egyptian people. The
recent crisis in the area though does cause major concern within the
U.S. ruling class. This concern is not because U.S. leaders give a
damn about the people. But the crisis could impair U.S. domination in
the region. If the authoritarian governments like Egypt and Tunisia
are overthrown, the successor governments may or may not be willing to
work in the interests of the U.S. imperialists. This is why U.S.
leaders are concerned. When the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979,
the present Islamic fundamentalists that run and ruin Iran came to
power. Since then the U.S. has tried to either co-opt of overthrow
this regime because at time it has opposed U.S. imperialist
interests. In Egypt the most organized opposition forces are those
related to the so-called Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic fundamentalist
group. In many of the other nations, the Islamic fundamentalists are
among the most organized political groups as well. The U.S. fears that
these groups may come to power and pose a challenge to U.S. hegemony.
Because of this the U.S. is now actively trying to prop up the
Egyptian government while at the same time probably trying to hedge it
bets if the opposition manages to overthrow the government. (While it
is not the purpose of this article to expose the past U.S. support for
Islamic fundamentalists, readers should be aware that the U.S. has
occasionally supported them against more progressive forces in the
region over the last several decades.) It is not in the interests of
the people of Egypt to have the U.S. supported Mubarak government to
maintain power, nor is it in their interest to have Islamic
fundamentalists come to power. Neither of these reactionary forces
have the interests of the masses of people in mind. We do not know the
full extent of U.S. government intervention at this time. But we can
be assured that what our government is doing is not in the interest of
the people of Egypt or the people of the world. What we do know is
not good. Senior Egyptian military officials were in the Pentagon on
January 28th. Officially they're attending the annual U.S.-Egypt
Military Cooperation Committee to discuss U.S.-Egyptian military
training, security assistance and defense industrial cooperation.
These meetings have been occurring for 27 years as U.S. support for
the Mubarak government has been consistent nearly from the start of
the regime which has been in power for 30 years. One of the scarier
facts is that the United States and Egypt regularly participate in
combined military exercises, including deployments of U.S. troops to
Egypt. Could such a deployment be a topic of the current meeting
between our war leaders and their counterparts in Egypt? Is the fact
that the Egyptian military is now on the streets at the same time some
of its leaders are at the Pentagon a coincidence? While we may not
know all U.S. actions at this time, we must do what we can to expose
U.S. actions and hypocrisy, while also mobilizing people to repudiate
and oppose these moves. We must also do what we can to support the
real interests of the Egyptian people to eliminate all forms of
repression whether from U.S. imperialist supported government or other
forms of reaction. World Can¹t Wait will continue to follow and report
on events in the Middle East and the action of the U.S. government
Karma, What a concept!