17 August 2013

Egypt’s US-financed armed forces have gone to war against Egypt’s people. Arab spring has become Arab winter.

So far, army and security police have scored brilliant battlefield victories against unarmed men, women and children, killing and wounding thousands who were demanding a return to democratic government.

The latest Cairo protests by supporters of the elected Morsi government have been scattered by gunfire and huge armored bulldozers resembling the giant vehicles used by Israel to smash Palestinian barricades and protesters. All Egyptians opposing the Sisi dictatorship are now officially, “terrorists.”

Egypt’s generals and hard right Mubarakist supporters have ditched any pretense of civilian government and now rely on the bayonet and tank. The men with the guns make the rules.

This is the third fairly elected Arab government to be overthrown or besieged, like Gaza, by Western-backed military regimes. Unlike Algeria, where the first elected government was crushed, Egypt’s Islamists have no arms and are unlikely to be able to mount serious domestic resistance aside from some pinprick attacks in Upper Egypt and Sinai.

The bloody Mubarakist counter-revolution, financed by Saudi Arabia and some Gulf monarchies, has put the United States, Egypt’s patron, into a serious jam. Washington was forced to denounce the coup and ongoing state repression as “deplorable,” in the words of US State Secretary John Kerry.

However, weeks earlier the clearly confused Kerry had praised the coup that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected government as “restoring democracy.” He refused to brand the military putsch a coup, for that would have meant cutting off annual $1.3 billion in US payments to Egypt’s armed forces, a key US ally. President Obama has simply ducked the whole issue.

Since Washington preaches democracy, civilian rule, and human rights, it can’t be seen to be openly backing Egypt’s brutal military and security forces. So the Obama administration has been pussyfooting around events in Egypt, pleased to see Egypt’s generals in charge and the Islamists out of power, but unwilling to say so.

US Mideast policy is run from five different power centers: the White House, State Department, Pentagon, CIA and Congress. America’s powerful pro-Israel lobby gives Congress its marching orders over Egypt, controlling financial aid, food supplies and weapons deliveries. In effect, Israel is a sixth player in this game.

Now, the White House has made a significant demarche: after delaying delivery of a few F-16 fighters, it just cancelled the annual US-Egyptian Brightstar military exercise, an affirmation of the Pentagon’s domination of Egypt’s military. This is a blow to the Pentagon and a boost for Kerry’s State Dept.

Egypt’s 440,000-man armed forces is joined at the hip with the Pentagon which controls its arms, funding, training, high tech equipment, promotion lists, spare parts and munitions supply, the latter two always kept in short supply.

So Egypt’s generals will soon have to sheathe their swords, withdraw tanks, and fabricate a figurehead civilian government that at least looks somewhat real, instead of the army-installed cigar-store Indians now supposedly running the government.

This will mollify Washington. After all, the US happily backed and financed the brutal Mubarak military regimes for three decades, turning a blind eye to its torture, executions and massive human rights violations. Western media obediently lauded the Mubarak dictatorship as a pillar of Mideast stability (US code talk for status quo).

Expect a rapid return to Mubarakism once the bloodshed dies down, and likely his release from jail. The prisons will fill again, the torturers will work overtime and Egypt will return to full-blown military-police state led, most likely, by General al-Sisi, who looks every inch a modern dictator in his dark sunglasses and medals.

For once, leading Republican senator John McCain got it right: Washington should cut off all military aid to Egypt he urged, as US law mandates. America’s image in the entire Muslim world is at risk. Remember when President Obama called for full democracy across the Mideast?

But Obama is reluctant to move because Israel, its friends in Congress, and the Pentagon brass are squarely behind Egypt’s military regime, as they were behind Mubarak. Egypt, and its US guided armed force, are a pillar of the American Mideast Raj.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2013

This post is in: Africa, Egypt, International Politics, Israel, Mideast, USA

8 Responses to “STORM ON THE NILE”

  1. George Rizk says:

    this article below is a good explanation of what took place in Egypt.

    Very informative.


  2. The song I wrote for The Idiot Bush applies for Obama.

    My country ’tis of thee.
    Land of hypocrisy .
    Our gall is key.

  3. When Mubarak was ‘turfed’ legally, by an ‘honest’ election… it was noted that the Generals were still in charge…
    Interesting to see Mubarak behind bars with Ray Bans and a Rolex… I think it says something about what sort of prisoner he was…
    Egypt is in for a pile of woe! It will be interesting to see what sort of democratic elections follow… the journalist that coined the statement that Democracy is not based on who votes, but on who rules…
    Almost makes you forget about Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria…

  4. This may back up what Mr. Margolis was saying about the return of Mubarak…or at least released from prison.


  5. I couldn’t agree more with Mr.Margolis in regards to this week’s column.He hit the nail as squarely on the head as is possible.Despite what the media is spewing about any “terrorist Muslim Brotherhood” being the bad guy here,this is simply not true.I ,for one,thought it is was too good to be true that Egypt now had a democratically elected government.So much for that and how many more innocent people are going to have to die for what they believe in?Probably somewhere in the thousands,if not TENS of thousands.

    This just reminds me more and more of the conflict in Syria as each day passes.When all is said and done,Israeli expansion and land grabbing will keep going according to plan and these “peace talks” that are going on are all but the usual smoke and mirrors game.As I have said many times before,the more things change,the more they stay the same.What a shame….an utter shame…just appalling.Thanks for an outstanding column Mr. Margolis…we need more people like you who dare speak the truth.

  6. solum temptare possumus says:

    Mr Margolis,
    A Mideast Raj; it is time for a New BOOK! You need to get the word out using every media means available!
    How else can we bring to their knees and foment a true revolution of the people, if the “Generals” cannot feed the Egyptian populace. It is a Coup, and as such the funding must stop. Once the “True Revolution” takes place, and it will be red with blood, the people of Egypt will have what they want; an elected government that will answer to ALL Egyptians.
    ad iudicium

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