The Editors of XenoXnews.com finally locate raving reporter Max Gross lying comatose on a rain-swept Far South Coast beach with an empty vodka bottle, an empty wallet and suspicious stains on his Mambo board shorts. It's time to bring him in from the cold.
“Cleopatra's Egypt was modern in ancient times and Mubarak's was ancient in modern time” - Maureen Dowd.
"...the regime that Western leaders have lauded for decades as a beacon of moderation has unleashed its salaried, plain-clothes security personnel to loot its own cities, set fire to its streets, and attack unarmed protesters with Molotov cocktails, knives, U.S.-supplied tear gas canisters, and live ammunition." - Asli Bali and Aziz Rana [ http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_fake_moderation_of_americas_moderate_mideast_allies ]
“...the Egyptian government is stable." - Hilary Rodham Clinton, January 25, 2011.
Throughout Egypt for the past two weeks the popular cry has been "Kefaya", Enough!
But in Washington, the powers that be prefer the tyranny of the status quo.
And U.S. stooge and Israeli patsy 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak is refusing to budge.
It is no surprise that the massive (and massively expensive) U.S. network of spies, surveillance satellites and “intelligence” gathering assets completely missed both the brewing Egyptian uprising and its Tunisian catalyst. After all, they utterly failed to anticipate the breaching of the Berlin Wall or the breakup of the U.S.S.R.
It is also no surprise that, despite the soaring rhetoric of his "historic" speech in Cairo just two years ago, the lame duck U.S. President Barack Obama has so far refused to endorse the protesters' call for Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak's immediate resignation.
Just one day after thousands of people joined a “day of revolt” against the despotic Mubarak regime, all public gatherings, street protests and marches were banned and an unprecedented Internet blackout imposed throughout Egypt. Anyone joining in “unauthorised action” would be be detained and prosecuted, warned the Interior Ministry.
But Egyptian citizens from across the social and religious spectrum defied official threats. Inspired by last month's Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and the ousting of its authoritarian president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who had maintained power for 23 years, they took the streets in increasing numbers demanding that Mubarak quit.
Vice President at the time of President Anwar Sadat's assassination by nationalist soldiers in 1981 (Sadat had been a C.I.A. “asset” since 1952), Hosni Mubarak seized power with U.S. Backing and for three decades "won" every election with around 90% of the "vote".
Holy Horus! What U.S. President wouldn't love those kind of returns!
But how did he do it. How has the old bastard managed to cling to power despite having the popular appeal of a fresh dog turd?
Well, how about $1.3 billion dollars per year, for starters?
That's how much the US pays off Egypt annually. And then there's the toys for the boys.
Since 1977's US-led Camp David “Peace Accords” between Egypt and Israel, Egypt has been America's second largest arms buyer, bought mostly with US aid money. Naturally the US is always happy to oblige its many pet despots, ensuring that Mubarak has enough clout to maintain his police state but not enough to threaten poor, precious, nuclear-armed Israel.
The process works this way: the US government "loans" Egypt the dollars to buy US arms, then loans are rolled over, . . . and over . . . and over . . .
The fact is, being the chief global purveyor of weapons of destruction, the US is responsible for most of the ongoing conflicts around the world.
And they have gall to wail why, oh why do “they” hate us? Oh boo hoo fucking hoo!
But I digress, ever so slightly. Included among the deadly US goodies provided to the Egyptian military are:
- 1,000 M1A1 Abrams tanks;
- Tear gas canisters marked "Made in the USA"; /
- 220 F-16 fighter planes;
- Patriot air-defence missiles, multiple launch rocket system rocket pods, and anti-armor missiles.
The army - whose officers train at American war “colleges” - seems to be biding its time but will undoubtedly be a key player in the final outcome. So far, it has pretty much refrained from firing on protesters. Some troops have even joined the civilian demonstrators.
In recent days the military has tried to keep pro- and anti-government demonstrators apart. Unsuccessfully.
Yet Obama's concern that America's favourite dictator, Hosni Mubarak, may use violence against pro-democracy protesters is bullshit of the first kind. If he were so ''concerned'' about this brutal dictatorship he would stop all military ''aid''.
In his speech delivered at Cairo University, Barack Obama proclaimed a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims", calling for democratic reforms in the Arab world. He then went home and continued supporting Mubarak's police state, Israel's atrocities against Palestinians and authorising more Predator drone missile strikes killing more people than even his idiotic predecessor, the war criminal George W. Bush.
In that same speech, Obama told "I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year".
That was in June 2009.
Guantanamo still stands, indefinite detention remains US government policy and the Obama White House is set to resume its discredited "military commissions" (aka show trials).
And just a couple of days ago, 48-year-old Awal Gul died of "an apparent heart attack" after being kept locked in a cage for more than 9 years.
He was abducted in Afghanistan in late 2001.
He was never charged with a crime.
So much for US claims to support freedom and democracy.
Meanwhile, in a laughable attempt to appease protesters, Mubarak named his former “intelligence” chief Omar Suleiman as his first-ever vice president.
This is the same bloke who personally supervised the imprisonment and torture of victims of CIA-rendition and is even more despised than Mubarak himself .
Although the spontaneous demonstrations against Mubarak have been almost uniformly peaceful, good-natured and optimistic, in recent days rampaging pro-Mubarak mobs altered the mood.
Exposed as either state employees or thugs paid to inflict violence against protesters and the media, Mubarak supporters were seen being shipped into Cairo by bus.
Some charged into Tahrir Square on camels and horseback brandishing whips and machetes while others lobbed Molotov cocktails from rooftops in an obviously orchestrated attack. In fact, pro-Mubarak forces include criminals that have long been employed by the regime to break up demonstrations and intimidate elections.
US President Obama declared the violent attacks unacceptable, saying that the Egyptian government had a responsibility to protect the rights of its people. Presumably thirty years of arbitrary arrests, oppression and torture are perfectly hunky dory. Better late than never?
Not really. In recent days Obama's notorious handicap – aka US Vice President Joe Fuckwit Biden - has told media outlets that Mubarak "is not a dictator"!
That's right, Joe, good old boy Hosni is just President for life, ruling by decree with permanent state of emergency laws and nifty prison cells the US uses as a convenient first port of call for victims of its “extraordinary rendition program”.
Well, it's a free market and a global economy, so outsourcing US torture makes good fiscal as well as policy sense: the US has the need, the Egyptian government has the skills as well as the tools.
And speaking of tools, that crooked old reprobate, Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and geriatric bunga-bunga devotee, has described Mubarak as a "wise man" and called for continuity in the Egypt's government:
"I hope that in Egypt there can be a transition toward a more democratic system without a break from president Mubarak, who in the West, above all in the United States, is considered the wisest of men and a precise reference point”.
No, really, Silvio said that.
And then today there was former US Ambassador to Egypt Edward Walker who, apparently oblivious of the past three despotic decades, blithely stated that “Mubarak has lost touch” with “his people”. WTF!
It took Mike Carlton in The Age this week to point out the big steaming pile of rotting corpses in the middle of the Oval Office:
"In the 50 years since, successive presidents have funded and encouraged some of the worst tyrants of our time, for as long as they were professed anti-communists and usefully ''our guys''. Diem of South Vietnam, Marcos in the Philippines, Suharto in Indonesia, Verwoerd in South Africa, Pinochet in Chile, the Shah of Iran and the vile Saudi royal family spring immediately to mind. And Hosni Mubarak, and even Saddam Hussein, for a while. Who could forget the pictures of Ronald Reagan's special envoy, none other than Donald Rumsfeld, embracing Saddam in Baghdad in 1983?"
In a final irony, nice guy Barack Obama, who surged into the Oval Office on a tide of inspired hope for genuine change for the good of all after the bloody, divisive kleptocracy of Bush/Cheney, has proved to be a lame duck president, hamstrung by a corrupt political system and a obstructive, irrational and hate-filled Republican party.
Obama can babble on forever about "orderly transition" and "free and fair elections" but the whole world witnessed how the residents of Gaza were pilloried, punished and just plain old slaughtered when they voted for Hamas.
For electing Hamas in a process that international observers unanimously declared “free and fair”, Israel's military descended on the people of Gaza in a bloody onslaught from which it walked away with nary a murmur from Obama and nods of approval from gutless Western leaders around the world (I'm looking at YOU, Ms Gillard!).
Democracy is what you make it.
To this day, while Dubya walks his dog in downtown Dallas and Rumsfeld rewrites history, Obama continues to peddle the same old Bush regime lies that link Al Qa’ida, the Taliban and 9/11 as justification for ongoing US atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq and anywhere else they damn well bloody please. Until the money runs out.
Sickeningly, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove etc., along with their successors Obama and Biden, and all the military honchos and policy wonks who served in both administrations, have gotten away with some of the worst crimes against humanity. For now.
So when Obama or Biden or Clinton or Lieberman or Bohmer or Kelly or Palin or Fux News and its demented Neo-Con trolls and GOP drones proclaim that the senile, paranoid Mubarak has been a loyal "ally" in their phony "War on Terror", take it as read that in Egypt there have been a lot of loyally imprisoned and tortured victims of ongoing US foreign policy.
For now, the Arab world is watching. Events in Egypt are reaching some sort of tipping point and may well have tipped by the time these words appear on your screen but one thing is certain: once the army makes its move, with or without Hosni Mubarak, it will be all over rover.
Tonight, mainstream news reports claim that slimey US tentacles are already reaching out to the hated new "Vice-President" Omar Suleiman in the hope of a "smooth transition" from one US/Israel lapdog to another. Ominously, the Obama White House will only admit that "discussions were ongoing".
What a betrayal of Egyptians' call for genuine freedom, justice and democracy.
Here's hoping that Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel laureate, former diplomat and fearless ex-chief of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, becomes the transitional government leader when – if? - Mubarak quits. And Suleiman with him.
Then again, I'm still waiting for some glimmer of change in the USA, that glowing global paragon of freedom, justice and Demo(n)cracy, which also sponsors thugs, crooks and dictators around the world.
Yes, we can?
This was Max Gross ranting for XenoXnews.com. Fair dinkum!
Now, Ed, where the hell is my chilled vodka spritzer!