Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt - "It is over"

From "Death Throws of a Dictator", by Robert Fisk, Independent

Their crews, in battledress and smiling and in some cases clapping their hands, made no attempt to wipe off the graffiti that the crowds had spray-painted on their tanks. "Mubarak Out – Get Out", and "Your regime is over, Mubarak" have now been plastered on almost every Egyptian tank on the streets of Cairo. On one of the tanks circling Freedom Square was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagi. Earlier, I had walked beside a convoy of tanks near the suburb of Garden City as crowds scrambled on to the machines to hand oranges to the crews, applauding them as Egyptian patriots. However crazed Mubarak's choice of vice-president and his gradual appointment of a powerless new government of cronies, the streets of Cairo proved what the United States and EU leaders have simply failed to grasp. It is over.

The US of course, is on the wrong side of history. The great progressive, Hillary, is desperately trying to support and prop up the US' dictator.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes clear in TV interviews Sunday that the United States is not demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down. She also backs away from earlier threats to pull Egypt's billions of dollars in aid.

Hillary says she wants democracy, but she also wants the dictator, who would massively lose any fair election, and who's only in office because of rigged elections, to stay in power. Hillary's idea of 'democracy' is to have the military step forward. Interesting how the US' idea of democracy always involves armies and 'democracy' at the point of a gun.

"We are urging the Mubarak government, which is still in power; we are urging the military, which is a very respected institution, to do what is necessary to facilitate that kind of orderly transition."

Notice of course that the one thing Hillary does not call for in her idea of a 'democracy' is free and fair elections. This is the lady that apparently a major part of the Democratic party's supporters view as a great 'progressive'.  And as usual, the policies she supports are severely reactionary.  Such as favoring a military coup ("what is necessary") in a country, but not supporting free and fair elections.  The nice thing about the name of the Democratic party is that the word 'deluded' has such a nice alliterate ring to it ... as in "deluded Democrats", who apparently view Hillary and Obama as 'progressive'.  If supporting military coups over free elections is 'progressive', then I don't want to be a 'progressive'.

Meanwhile, if you go to CNN, you don't see anything like Mr. Fisk's excellent reporting. However, if you read CNN's "latest developments" page, and read between the lines in the way that citizens of the Soviet Union learned how to do, what you see is many stories of Americans fleeing Egypt on the last planes out. Of course, CNN's "latest developments" won't tell you why. The obvious fact that an American dictatorship is collapsing can not be mentioned. Instead, the story carries the obligatory CNN quote from the Israelis about what is happening in Egypt. That's "news" according to American corporate TV ... whatever the Israelis say. Along with cheering for the army to come in and shut down democracy.

But, what you won't get from the network of CNN reporters, who apparently are stationed at every Israeli government building, is the reporting from the street that says the Army is already changing sides and supporting the people instead of their dictator. For that, you need the wonderful Mr. Fisk.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera has been blocked in Egypt. Just like it is in almost all of the US. And, soon, the US Congress will consider Sen. Lieberman's bill to give US Presidents a "Mubarak Kill Switch" to shut down the internet should democracy ever start to erupt at home. Until that happens, you can watch coverage of events in Egypt at

Of course, a wise man, who's birthday we now kinda-sorta honor with a national holiday (if you can get off work that day), once tried to warn us about being constantly on the wrong side.  Obviously, in 43 years, we've failed to listen.

In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, April 4th, 1967, Riverside Church, NY city.

Mr. Obama copies Rev. King's speaking rhythms, and likes to claim connections to the Rev. King. But surely, if the occupant of the White House was a successor to Dr. King, then we would see America on the 'right' side of a revolution for the first time in a very long time.   No matter the shade of skin pigments on the surface of Mr. Obama, within he's a strong supporter of a "thing-oriented society".  His actions show this time after time, no matter what words he speaks.  The skin coloration of American presidents may have changed.  But, we are still on the wrong side.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."  We've gone from five years to five decades after JFK, but those words still haunt us.

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