Thursday, February 3, 2011
Egypt’s Revolution: US Imperialism Brought to Heel
by Finian Cunningham
With up to eight million Egyptian people defying nearly a week of military curfew in that country to insist implacably on the overthrow of the US-backed Mubarak regime, there can be little doubt that this is a people’s revolution.
In this way alone, the people have succeeded already in defying bravely – over 300 have been killed by the regime in the past week – a brutal dictatorship that has ruled their country with an iron fist.
Such is the strength and spread of the popular uprising that the regime, which has enslaved its people under a reign of terror for 30 years, has evidently been overwhelmed by shear numbers of, it has to be said, largely peaceful, but defiant protesters. A huge tribute to the morality and righteousness of their cause. They want nothing less than the immediate overthrow of Mubarak and his entire apparatus of government, and liberation from the conditions of massive poverty, unemployment, elite corruption and embezzlement, and brutal repression that the regime has presided over.
The ancient symbolism of Egypt as a land of freedom from tyranny has suddenly taken on a modern-day twist.
Mubarak is clinging on to whatever remains of his power by his finger nails – his latest ‘concession’ of vowing to stand down at the country’s next election in seven months’ time, after an intense telephone conversation with US president Barack Obama, has only served to infuriate the people further, dismissing his ‘offer’ with angry derision.
There may be a long way still to go for the people to realise their demands for full democracy and liberation, but already they have triumphed in bringing a tyrant and his henchmen to heel.
The Egyptian people’s revolution has also triumphed in bringing the might of US imperialism to heel – at least for the moment. Mubarak’s paymasters in Washington have evidently been overwhelmed by the popular rising too, which was first sparked in Tunisia last month and is fanning out across the Middle East and North Africa. Such is the enormous spontaneity of these events – a reflection of the depth of grievance under these US-backed regimes – that the puppet masters in Washington have been caught with their pants down in the full glare of the world’s media. Even the pliant Western mainstream media/propaganda machine cannot disguise the embarrassment. Almost comically, Washington is desperately, but vainly, trying to cover its unedifying image exposed to the world. Only days ago, before the revolution in Egypt won the latest battle, Washington was saying that it stood firmly with Mubarak. Now, laughably and hypocritically, Washington is saying it “hears the voice of the people’ and, while still backing Mubarak, the US government is telling him to make an “orderly exit”.
Washington’s sudden aural ability to “hear the people/share their pain” has to be put in the context of American governments having created this regime and assiduously backing it with over $45 billion in military support. The US government, past and present, has willingly colluded with Murbarak’s police state in murder, terror and immiseration of the Egyptian people. The US government has systematically equipped and used Mubarak’s regime as a garrison to project its criminal wars throughout the Middle East and beyond, including the rendition and disappearance of alleged enemies in the giant torture chamber that Egypt has become under US tutelage.
That is the stark, heinous reality of official US involvement with its “important ally”. And the Egyptian public are all too aware of this. That is why they are adamantly not buying any soft option now belatedly being proffered by Washington.
Obama’s call to Mubarak for an orderly transition over the next seven months to some kind of reformist government is nothing but a cynical ploy by the US puppet masters to rearrange the furniture and window dressing in its Middle East torture chamber/garrison. The notion that all the outstanding painful grievances of the people can be addressed merely by the installation of a few moderate individuals, such as Mohammed El Baradei (he who has lived comfortably in Vienna for years), points only to Washington’s incorrigible arrogance and ignorance towards the masses. Do these neocolonialists not get it? Their day is over.
But caution remains the word. While the Egyptian people have won an historic victory – a victory that reverberates for everyone around the world seeking the overthrow of oppression under US-dominated capitalism – the way forward is fraught with dangers. If the protest movement does not quickly formulate a clear programme to represent their political, economic, social needs, there is the danger of vacuum and counter-revolution. That’s why the US government is trying to prolong the life of its Egyptian corpse.
The mass of suffering US public has a crucial role to play. They need to know which side they are on – and it’s not that of their government. As the Vietnam era slogan put it: you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.