Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 19, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Go West, Young Han
Weather Extremes Rise as Planet Gets Hotter and Colder






Truthdig Bazaar
Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick

By Herman Melville

more items

 
Report

What Corruption and Force Have Wrought in Egypt

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jan 31, 2011
AP / Ben Curtis

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The secular Arab regimes, backed by the United States, are discredited and moribund. The lofty promise of a pan-Arab union, championed by the Egyptian leader Gamal Abd-al-Nasser and the original Baathists, has become a farce. Nasser’s defiance of Washington and the Western powers has been replaced by client states. The secular Arab regimes from Morocco to Yemen, for all their ties with the West, have not provided freedom, dignity, opportunity or prosperity for their people. They have failed as spectacularly as the secular Palestinian resistance movement led by Yasser Arafat. And Arabs, frustrated and enduring mounting poverty, are ready for something new. Radical Islamist groups such as the Palestinian Hamas, the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon and the jihadists fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are the new heroes, especially for the young who make up most of the Arab world. And many of those who admire these radicals are not observant Muslims. They support the Islamists because they fight back. Communism as an ideological force never took root in the Muslim world because it clashed with the tenets of Islam. The championing of the free market in countries such as Egypt has done nothing to ameliorate crushing poverty. Its only visible result has been to enrich the elite, including Mubarak’s son and designated heir, Gamal. Islamic revolutionary movements, because of these failures, are very attractive. And this is why Mubarak forbids the use of the slogan “Islam is the solution” and bans the Muslim Brotherhood. These secular Arab regimes hate and fear Hamas and the Islamic radicals as deeply as the Israelis do. And this hatred only adds to their luster.

The decision to withdraw the police from Egyptian cities and turn security over to the army means that Mubarak and his handlers in Washington face a grim choice. Either the army, as in Tunisia, refuses to interfere with the protests, meaning the removal of Mubarak, or it tries to quell the protests with force, a move that would leave hundreds if not thousands dead and wounded. The fraternization between the soldiers and the crowds, along with the presence of tanks adorned with graffiti such as “Mubarak will fall,” does not bode well for Washington, Israel and the Egyptian regime. The army has not been immune to the creeping Islamization of Egypt—where bars, nightclubs and even belly dancing have been banished to the hotels catering to Western tourists. I attended a reception for middle-ranking army officers in Cairo in the 1990s when I was based there for The New York Times and every one of the officers’ wives had a head covering. Mubarak will soon become history. So, I expect, will neighboring secular Arab regimes. The rise of powerful Islamic parties appears inevitable. It appears inevitable not because of the Quran or a backward tradition, but because we and Israel believed we could bend the aspirations of the Arab world to our will through corruption and force.

Chris Hedges, who speaks Arabic and spent seven years in the Middle East, was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. He is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a regular columnist for Truthdig. His newest book is “Death of the Liberal Class.”

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, February 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Predicting the outcome of an alleged “civil uprising”
in Egypt should be based on historical precedent in
similar situations, not what a Mid-East sympathetic
person would like to see.  Fact is, quasi-puppet of
the US, and quasi-friendly to israeli Zionists,
Mubarak permits life-sustaining goods to seep thru to
Palestinians. Israeli Zionists don´t like this, as it
slows down their plan to annihilate Palestine and
residents who don´t suck up to them. 

The Obama crew marched to the AIPAC flag-pole prior
to the 2008 election and begged support. Whether
needing it or not, Obama got it.  Even though a
muslamic Kenyan, Obama must endlessly repay AIPAC
constituency, just as they plan to endlessly ride on
the wave of guilt from the Hitler-NAZI holocaust, in
order to endlessly receive spoiled brat religious-
prejudicial treatment in western world society. If
the zionists want a total puppet, Obama & pimps will
do their best to deliver one . . . without notifying
Mubarak what is going on.  The CIA - and USGov -

is expert in such secretive activities.

When former CIA insiders redundantly reveal that the
CIA was behind approx. nine thousand (9,000) such
uprisings while GHWBushSr was secretive Director,
196? til 1981, and without inside info indicating the
current, alleged uprising of “Egyptian nationalists,”
to be any different, I expect no change of historical
pattern. My wishes or desires, aside.  When the
shouting, beating and shooting in Egypt have settled
down, we will be able to see what emerges, more or
less.  Depending on the puppet media distortions.
There will be insiders who reveal adequate facts.

Report this

By Christopher Robin Cox, February 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What an amazing comment thread this has been!  I got
through almost all of them, but alas, my battery is
running low, so I wanted to make a quick point. 
There are many people who have commented on either
Chris’ pessimism or his apparent support, even
cheerleading, for an Islamic versus secular
revolution/uprising. If that is what you get from
this article, you should read it again.  Chris lived
in the area for many years and actually speaks
Arabic, as is rarely the case for many of the
reporters supposedly covering this uprising.  When he
pointed out that the main way groups have been able,
historically, to rise up against the puppet regimes
is through radical Islam, he’s right, whether you
want to admit that or not.  Furthermore, I would
argue he is not a cheer leader for this kind of
uprising, as much as he is simply willing to admit
that what we are witnessing is not some naive
American-style non-secular “democracy movement” like
CNN and MSNBC want you to believe.  The real question
is why are Americans so damn resistant to the idea of
an Islam-based revolution in a predominantly Muslim
country and region of the world?  There is something chauvinistic (as in the traditional meaning of the
word, being “excessive patriotism”) and perhaps even
racist about that.

Report this

By Edward H., February 6, 2011 at 4:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You disappoint me, Mr. Hedges.
I have started reading your articles because of your great appearances on Al Jazeera, DemocracyNow and GritTV, where you have been very critical of US foreign policy. Yet, here you are… condemning it while at the same time arguing as if you would not have it any other way. Maybe you see a third option that I do not. Freedom for Egyptians vs. no freedom vs. ?
To me, saying that freedom for people in the middle east “would be theoretically nice but we can’t let them have it because they might just pay us back what we did to them” is simply despicable!
We are all complicit in what our governments do by indulging in our luxury and not demanding change - some of us more, some less. And we should face the consequences! We should have faced them a long time ago, then maybe they wouldn’t have been so severe… but to basically say that we have to continue to oppress others so that we can be safe - that is so disgusting to me, I cannot even put it in words.

Report this

By frantheman, February 5, 2011 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

Chris makes a number of good points, but perhaps we
should see the Muslim Brotherhood in a more nuanced
fashion - as being closer in form to the AKP in
Turkey than Hamas in Gaza.

Whether one is a fan of religiously inspired
parties or not, any form of “free” democracy will
have to deal with the fact that people inspired by
religious ideals will have the basic right to
organise themselves politically around these ideals
and enter the political hustings. Then the
electorate decides. On this basis, the parties
claiming their inspiration in “Christian Democracy”
have been pretty successful in many European
countries in the past sixty years or so.

This says nothing of course about their particular
integrity or fundamental adherence to their
proclaimed ethos!

In any future Arab real democracy there will
certainly be parties hostile to Israel - just as
there are parties viscerally hostile to Arabs
campaigning for votes in Israel. A more democratic
society in Egypt (or Lebanon, Jordan or Syria for
that matter) may well be a more uncomfortable
neighbour for Israel than a US-backed puppet
dictatorship. But this does not necessarily mean
that they will want war to the knife.

If - as the Western powers continually proclaim -
democratic forms of society are superior to others
and inherently desirable for the whole world, then
this more complex, more “uncomfortable” new geo-
political reality is something that will just have
to be accepted. The alternative is to make one’s
own position completely hypocritical and
implausible; the way it is seen, with reason, in
Egypt as well as many other parts of the world.

Report this
John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, February 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

The genie is out of the bottle.  The West, by internet and media, have cultivated desire for equal opportunity, basic necessities, and in upper circles full-bore materialism has rooted and is spreading like a weed.  What no-one was watching, was our ability to provide adequately placating bread and circus. 

POOF! in a few years time, we’ve all become interconnected, tweeting, cable-TVing, youtube-ing, etc.  The mass marketing folks from Madison Ave. have stirred up DEMAND!  And alas, we are not in a position to fill the level of demand.  It’s got ahead of us. 

There is no putting the genie back, we become ever greater in numbers, lesser in civility and empathy, and unfortunately, if there are powerful conspirators guiding the big picture along, their eye apparel of choice is some form of nearsight inducing blinders. 

Apparently regional monoculture is as unpredictable and dramatic sociologically as they are biologically.  Who would have thunk it?  Shout out to TAO Walker—HokaHey

Problem is, regional diversities conflict with global ‘efficiencies’, and Darwin rules through stability and chaos. 

On a seemingly unrelated topic, I nominate China’s one-child policy as the most significant and substantial achievement in human history.  Kudos China.

Report this
basho's avatar

By basho, February 3, 2011 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

dr. kissinger

you sound just like your namesake. lol

shalom putz

Report this
Calabashe's avatar

By Calabashe, February 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Drkissinger – I’m trying to decide if you are being sarcastic or if you are wearing blinders.

“a friendly legally elected dictator”

Maybe I’m a dreamer but that’s moronic on it’s own.

“The opposition can best be categorized as street terrorists…”

Who? The pro-government thugs on Mubark’s payroll? How would you feel if Israel were to sponsor such terrorists. OH sorry - they already do. They’re called the IOF - Israeli Occupation Force.

Salaam

Report this

By drkissinger, February 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

It is important for peace that we maintain chosen control of egypt. The opposition can best be categorized as street terrorists per our patriot act trying to violently challenge a friendly legally elected dictator.
shalom dr.k.

Report this

By reynolds, February 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

the new beginning has begun. doesn’t look good.

Report this

By chelseagirl, February 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lafayette,
Are you kidding? Right wingers?
Is that the only defense you Obamabots/phony “progressives”
have left?

It’s about MORALS and BAD POLICIES.
Hello!

Report this

By firefly, February 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

As Noam Chomsky said today, the US supported Mubarak
until it looked untenable, so now it has quickly
changed sides.

My personal view is that Obama has suggested to
Mubarak that he announce that he is going, but wait
until the ‘next election’, by which time, the US and
Israel will have had time to orchestrate and plan for
a new pro-Western (pro-US “interests”) government.

The Israelis are absolutely terrified at the moment.
They liked Mubarak because he supported the
suppression of the Palestinians. Israel knows that
the ordinary Egyptians are sympathetic to the
Palestinian people and would support methods to set
them free.

The US knows that the millions of dollars that they
give Mubarak for military purposes, is spent on US-
made weapons (so really the aid goes to corporations
like Lockheed Martin and not Egypt at all).

Both these vested ‘interests’ will do anything to
maintain the status quo.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, February 2, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

“We are seeing the rise of a new Middle East, one
that will not be as pliable to Washington or as cowed
by Israel.”

Sounds good.
So did Obama´s speech. To his naïve´ admirers,
anyway.
However, all the “we” and “our” when describing
murder of tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands is
more accurate) might be a bit distorted.

Americans
were not asked if “we” wanted to invade Iraq, or
Afghanistan or Pakistan.  Abundant evidence >proves<
that a disinformation program was presented by the
GHWBushSr entourage to Americans and the world,
claiming that Sadaam Hussein had Weapons of Mass
Destruction.  A disinformation program similar to the
one GHWBushSr devised within the CIA during his
“secretive” directorship.  Which “Disinformation
Program” was announced by William J. Casey in a
summary statement ending his first general assembly.

The concept that “the Egyptian people” started the
current uprising might be a bit naïve´ also.  When
several former insiders of the CIA explained that all
such “uprisings” around the world in the last fifty
years were initiated by the CIA.  Now that the MOSSAD
are affiliated with CIA activity, and whose
leadership is genociding Moslems in Palestine, the
uninformed public thinks that CIA and MOSSAD are not
behind the “uprising” in Egypt ?  And, in addition, a
few million Yankee Dollars ?

The zionists want their own dictator in Egypt, and
their pimps in U.S.Gov support them.  This, in order
to better infiltrate Iran and bring about the same
type of “uprising” inside Iran, as superficially
appears to be happening in Egypt. And, also to shut off
support to Palestinians.

Whether the next dictator will NOT be as pliable to
Washington or as cowed by the Israeli Zionists,
remains to be seen.  As in other countries around the
world for +fifty years, a stooge of the CIA/USGov
has been installed.  Thinking that something else
will happen in Egypt is predictably, fantasy
ideation.  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, world media is
doing an excellent job of broadcasting
disinformation.  Hitler would be very proud of them,
presenting only the superficial side of the story,
that fantasizers want to hear.  Like the naïve´ folk
who think that Obama´s speech opened a new direction
for US politics.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

The US hypocrisy on the subject of liberating oppressed states(Iraq) is exposed here. Suddenly the administation is taking a hands off approach, that the Egyptian people should determine themselves. The Bush administration was chaffing at the bit looking for any pretext to occupy Iraq(lies). The US obviously has no basis for righteous indignation about anti-democratic dictatorships. Courting dictators (Sadam) actually has been more the rule than the exception. The Israli interest and its allied US military presence is more the overriding consideration than any high moral non-interference policy.
Let’s not forget where the Egyptian military has purchased its weapons.
Everything, from US disingenuousness and Egyptian government corruption is about to be publically and blatantly busted wide open. War is in the offing.

Report this
Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, February 2, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

REALPOLITIKS

PCG: Now after days of Egyptians in the streets demanding “Mubarak must go,” the US government remains aligned with its puppet Egyptian ruler, even suggesting that Mubarak, after running a police state for three decades, is the appropriate person to implement democracy in Egypt.

Yes, that’s one way of looking at a complex Middle-East situation.

Another is this, called RealPolitiks, goes like this:
*Who is our real ally there? Lebanon? No. Syria? Hell, no. Turkey? Maybe, but the US is not the EU, to which Turkey is a suitor. Iran. Nope, neither. Iran? Silly answer.
*Isreal is the right answer. So, BO & Co, recognizing the obligations of a Peace Treaty, to which the US is signatory, does indeed support both sides. But, if push comes to shove there is not the slightest doubt who gets, between the two, fuller backing. Besides, Egypt has not been invaded since the Ottomans had a go at centuries ago.

So, what’s a guy (Uncle Sam) to do? He pays off both parties, $1.8B to Egypt and $2.8B to Isreal—both of whom buy American military equipment. And it is money well spent keeping Americans at work and two Middle-east partners at peace.

What’s the purpose? Egypt sells to Israel 40% of the latter’s energy needs in terms of gas/oil. And Israel does not want at all to disturb that cozy arrangement.

Some apparently “Leftists commenters”, who must genuflect at the altar of “Capitalist Uncle Sam can do NO GOOD”, interpret every political nuance possible in a manner to bad-mouth the BO & Co administration.

One must wonder at their motivations. Do they have the Egyptians most at heart with their mental meanderings or the Replicant Right and 2012?

Methinks the latter ...

Report this
David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, February 2, 2011 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

The electoral supermajorities that routinely free-will vote for more war, repression, torture, and ruthless economic exploitation of others, whenever they vote in America or Israel, have absolutely nothing to fear in a “people’s democracy” coming to Egypt.

The “free and fair” elections in America and Israel have provided a more sustainable fascism, with a new batch of money “contribution” manufactured interchangeable fascists installed every 4 years — changing fashion fascists that are always reliably supported by enthusiastic “Yes We Can” popular vote mandates.

The amount of “contributions” that the corporate selected Obama’s 2012 campaign will spend on Post-It notes, or even the pennies the constipated Republican “electable” will spend on toilet paper, can/will dependably install a new and improved Mubarak in Egypt every 6 years, from this year ‘till the Rapture comes.

Nothing does mockery so well as demockery does.

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 2, 2011 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

February 1, 2011

Things Have to Change in Order to Remain the Same

American Hypocrisy in the Middle East

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

“The hypocrisy of the US government is yet again demonstrated in full bore force. The US government invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, laid waste to much of the countries including entire villages and towns, and massacred untold numbers of civilians in order “to bring democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now after days of Egyptians in the streets demanding “Mubarak must go,” the US government remains aligned with its puppet Egyptian ruler, even suggesting that Mubarak, after running a police state for three decades, is the appropriate person to implement democracy in Egypt.

On January 30, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “freedom and democracy” America neither seeks nor supports the ouster of the Egyptian dictator. Israeli prime minister Netanyahu told the US and Europe that criticism of Mubarak must be curbed in order “to preserve stability in the region.”

By “stability” Netanyahu means the unimpeded ability of Israel to continue oppressing the Palestinians and stealing their country. Mubarak has been for three decades the well-paid enforcer for the US and Israel, sealing off Gaza from the outside world and preventing aid flows across the Egyptian border. Mubarak and his family have become multi-billionaires, thanks to the American taxpayer, and the US government, both Republicans and Democrats, do not want to lose their heavy investment in Mubarak.

The US government has long corrupted Arab governments by paying rulers installed by the US to represent US/Israeli interests rather than the interest of Arab peoples. Arabs put up with American-financed oppression for many years, but now are showing signs of rebellion.

The murderous American-installed dictator in Tunis was overthrown by people taking to the streets. Rebellion has spread to Egypt and there are also street protests against the US-supported rulers in Yemen and Jordan.”

~~~~~~~~~

Click on link for the rest:

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts02012011.html

Report this

By domnuledoctor, February 2, 2011 at 2:27 am Link to this comment

Racked by fear, Israelis copy Nazi tactics,  not because they’re evil, but because they’re afraid. To Israelis a few casualties is defeat, no matter how many Arabs they kill. Now Arabs won’t repeat another Nakba. They stand, fight and die so long as they kill the few Israelis needed for “victory.” All Israel’s nukes, its made in USA weapons, give it no sense of security. In deathly fear, with the Holocaust propagandized into their minds, Israelis kill mercilessly.

Little wonder then they love Mubarak, a corrupt incompetent dictator. When PanArabism exploded Israel giggled at how every unity of nations led to a fragmentation in squabbles. Again, Israel giggled as Fundamentalist Jihadis killed ten Muslim for every infidel. But now there’s a new wave of educated Arab youths who no longer fear Israel nor do they fear their Arab dictators. This Third youthful wave demands modernization.

We tried to modernize Iraqis by killing them. Bush farmed the task to American corporations that bled us dry and accomplished nothing. So we killed as many as we could so they don’t kill us. Israel loved having us like its mad dog on a chain with which to dominate the Middle East. That’s how think the leaders of a nation that are scared!

But Netanyahu, for a while, was NOT scared. He thought he’d modernize the Palestinians, building modern cites, exactly like Israel’s, as a demonstration project. Unfortunately, his cabinet was scared so it cut him down.

Now, the youthful Arab revolution spreading from North Africa to the Persian Gulf demands MODERNIZATION. No Arab regime is safe. Yet Netanyahu seems to have caught the fear bug from his cabinet as he’s demanding that Obama stand by Mubarak. Instead of being the “light onto the [Arab] nations” that Israel’s founders wished to become, Israel now is a frightened killer, killing in a hopeless cycle trying to feel safe.

Netanyahu should regain his sabra moxie, realizing that Israel is not a European nation seeking EU and NATO membership and American troops will no longer be available to serve as his mad dog on a chain behind which to hide. Panicked, more Israelis emigrate to the West than Diaspora Jews immigrate to Israel. Yet, if Netanyahu regains his courage and reaches out to the rebelling young Arabs, once they overthrow their corrupt regimes, declaring: “MAZELTOV1 YOU OVERTHREW YOUR DEMONS DEMANDING MODERNIZATION. WE, YOUR ETHNIC JEWISH COUSINS ARE ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST REPOSITORY OF SCI/TECH SPECIALISTS. SO WE WILL SEND YOU ADVISERS AND WILL ACCEPT MANY OF YOU IN OUR WORLD FAMOUS UNIVERSITIES SO *TOGETHER* WE CAN MODERNIZE THE MIDDLE EAST,” this massive Arab majority will see him as family rather than enemy so it will respond with open arms as so many Palestinians did. If imitation is the best form of flattery, then look at the urban plans Palestinians drew up for new West Bank cities. They’re copies of Israeli cities!

If Netanyahu has the moxie to reach out to this new wave of Arab youth, using the Palestinians as a demonstration model of Israeli modernization know-how, he will make Israel into a beloved teacher rather than a colonial stand-in for the West. There is no anti-Semitism in the Arab World, as so many Jews can attest. All they need do is realize that Israel wants for them what it wants for itself, SECURITY rather than land, wants to liberate them from their banana republic economies based on one cash crop (oil), working together to compete with the West in a global economy.

Courage now will integrate Israel into the Mideast. Then, young sabras will no longer have to immigrate to the West for lucrative jobs; they’ll work all week helping their Arab cousins modernize and can be home for Shabbat!

We know Israelis have chutzpah; if they turn it into courage they’ll know a long historic peace of regional prosperity, no longer having to beg the Diaspora, cup in hand, for a handout.

Report this

By domnuledoctor, February 2, 2011 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

The Muslim World indeed does not want us as we see ourselves—NO ONE DOES!

I saw Americans of ever lowering educational level ARMED as the decreasing common denominator, trying to gain self-confidence through rapid fire into whatever moved, be it “gooks,” “towel heads” or rustling leaves. And those at home are still today cheering the killing of Muslims as “terrorists,” as if they were some sort of species of predatory animal slinking through sleeping villages late at night. Only Americans have the mind-set to feel that they’re engaged in “self-defense” far from home. If “one of those towel heads” shoots at us in our moment of repose, then we feel they all “aggressively attacked us with blood on their minds” and we only did “what’s right”—wipe out anything that moves wherever towel heads reside because our strength is our capacity for “shock&awe;.” 

It’s not some battle fatigued PTSD trooper too long in the field that speaks that way but almost any “average” American safe at home. And in America, lots of people have guns; and guns are not made to put on a wall as decoration; they’re made to carry…and who would be so dumb as to carry them empty? From here on there is a tool on hand that can do more than the limbic brain through the amygdala would ever wish to do. Our emotions no longer express like those of a baboon, based on the power of our hands to pull hair (the fangs are only for display, reserved for times of testosterone “heat”). Our “rage” is facilitated by the effect of alcohol upon our dopaminerigic circuits, liberated from our inhibitory social circuits, allowing us with little effort to unleash a bloodbath from a semi-automatic pistol against unsuspecting unarmed con-specifics with an extended clip of 33 bullets, as occurred in Tucson.

Looking at American culture, the gun is ever present; and, considering the almost religious state to which competition is raised, the will to “win at all cost” is frighteningly facilitated by the arms Americans can carry hidden, loaded and effortless to use.

This is not a gun-culture reserved to Texas deserts as in Western movies, but the American ever-presence abroad. The gun was the great equalizer for the puny amongst the hulks. But it has also become the voice of the uneducated simplistic mind of American soldiers trampling the whole world over as Starwar “Troopers of the Empire” defending our access based on need, based on a right to glutinous luxury. Sent in intel blind, language deaf and culture dumb to intimidate with vulnerable “presence” in armored vehicles, what are Americans to do in the dark but shoot at every rustling sound around them?

The price of being in a “unipolar moment”—a term invented by puny little men desperate to sneak in the illusion of “mensch-hood” by bravado claiming to speak for men with guns—is that you always fear inferiorly armed locals when you’re far from home and, by God, if Uncle Sam gave you one of those rapid fire “great equalizers,” why not use it, for you are doing God’s work in this great crusade.

We are a nation of almost cretins relative to the complex task of distinguishing bad from good we assign ourselves the whole world over. And when we insist: “JESUS SENT ME!” why our great guns in the air and on the ground backing up our armed Praetorians at the front makes it inevitable that our “unipolar moment” will be sustained through local decimation.

Now COIN warfare theorists speak of “separating” the people from the “bad guys.” But who’s who? And so, again, the great equalizer saves us, the deaf, dumb and blind. Can anyone imagine that the Arab World will look to us for guidance after Iraq?

Americans have a capacity for self-serving amnesia so that, as Santayana warned, we repeat all our past mistakes, great equalizer in hand mowing down everything. But now we’re running out of bullets and should heed Hedges as to what happens when we advertise: HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL.

Report this

By firefly, February 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Gmonst,

I agree with you. This is not America’s call. It could
herald a new beginning when democratically elected
leaders are REALLY decided by the people of a country,
not by America.

Report this

By rjg1971, February 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

Come on Chris, even with these wonderful developments in
the Middle East you can’t totally let go of your dour
pessimism. Yes, it’s true that this movement lacks the
institutional basis to be effect meaningful change in
Egypt, but what a great grassroots uprising we are
witnessing throughout the reason. Enjoy it.

And the spark that set this fire off? A humble, out of
work fruit seller in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, sets
himself on fire after he was shut down by the local
police for not paying them their customary bribe money,
and an unwillingness of the local government to hear his
grievances. I’m sure when Bouazizi was planning to set
him self on fire he imagined only his family and friends
would remember him. Instead he’s become a Jan Palach for
our time and a symbol for opposition to corrupt,
dictatorial regimes all over the region. The fire set by
Bouazizi has now become a raging inferno and has helped
put Mubarak’s awful regime on life support in Egypt.

This eventually had to happen. We don’t know where it
will go, but that is not for us to decide. The Egyptian
people don’t need any

Report this

By reynolds, February 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

gmonst; by his own telling, hedges is jaded. so am i.
it’s hard to imagine a good outcome, but i’m depressed.
thanks for the link.

Report this

By Gmonst, February 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Reynold’s, I am not sure if I am one of the detractors you are referring to, but Chis Hedges is undoubtedly more informed than me, but I still disagree with his assessment.  In my own personal opinion he has a tendency toward pessimism.  Others who are also very informed don’t seem to share his negative assessment of the situation or its outcome. 

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/1/mubarak_is_our_berlin_wall_egyptian

Sometimes it does seem that Chis Hedges does revel a bit in doom and gloom prognostications.  I don’t think he wants them to happen, but he does tend to feed fear rather than hope with a lot of his articles.  I still read them every week and look forward to the comments though.

Report this

By reynolds, February 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

nowhere in this article does hedges say he is glad
about what he perceives as the situation, or the likely
scenario to ensue. he calls it as he sees it.
regarding that call, i think his opinions more informed
than most, certainly more than those of his detractors.

Report this

By db schell, February 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Lost Dream Found

From our homes we came out every day;
for the 80 million that that have no say.

“We’ve been suffering for fifty years,”
said the old lady with the trail of tears.

One by one, we overcame our fear.
and marched through the streets to Midan Tahrir

No more Mubarak and his puppet regime!
It’s like we found the American dream.

Shoulder to shoulder the Left and the Right
we marched all day and marched all night.

Our stomachs empty and the throats parched.
Still, We marched for equality and for freedom we marched.

By day eight we were a several million strong
and everywhere there was celebration and song.

Report this

By Anon, February 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israeli coverage of the protest in Egypt - not what you might expect

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/163122.html

Report this

By Gmonst, February 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

I think Chris Hedges is wrong. 

I am not afraid of Egyptian or Arab self determination.  The United States has for too long supported dictators in some xenophobic belief that Arabian people and Muslims in general are crazy, backwards, primitive, and incapable of being part of the world community.  If the United States would stop being Earth’s resident bully asshole and start treating other countries with respect, we would have no need to fear even Islamic Theocracy. 

That being said I don’t think Egypt will become a Islamic Theocracy.

Report this

By felicity, February 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Firefly - The Turks of the Ottoman Empire were Muslims
and they did not force their religion on their
conquered peoples nor did they require, on threat of
death, those of other religions to become Muslims.

If history is any indication, your thoughtful post is
right on. (Interestingly, when the Empire collapsed and
Christianity became the somewhat dominant religion,
Spain ‘enjoyed’ the Inquisition.  Who’s radical?)

Report this
morongobill's avatar

By morongobill, February 1, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

Another great reading of the tea leaves from Mr. Hedges, one sure to get teeth gritting at maximum speed in some quarters as echoed in some of the above comments.

When you don’t agree with the message, kill the messenger. That might work over at Fox News but I don’t think it works here on the Left Coast.

I ,for one, think this article hit the nail on the head.

Report this
basho's avatar

By basho, February 1, 2011 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

add this to the stew.

“King Abdullah of Jordan has dismissed his cabinet and appointed a new prime minister amid large street protests.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12336960

...all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not etc etc

Report this

By NoodlyJames, February 1, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Quick comment. As much as I may agree or disagree with not only the author but
also the respondents I enjoy the conversation. It is rare indeed to stumble across
so many well thought out and (usually) respectful comments.

I appreciate the viewpoints.

To the people who persist in equating America with Hitler, please see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin’s_law

(or foxnewsialism)

Not to say you don’t have a point. But appeals to emotion detract from the crux
of your argument.

Report this

By Philip Toal, February 1, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the point yet again, Chris.
I take it that most of the commentaries eject from the U.S or Britain. If my
memory serves me well, wasn`t Bush and Blair accepted by the American and
British populace twice into office?
Now, that would say a lot to any educated and informed citizen as to how dumb
people can be, me thinks.
Aside from the fact that the average protesting Egyptian is young, educated and
above all, competent in identifying crooks when they see them.
Could be a case of mistaken identity to the benefit of Mr. Obama, E.U and sundry
alike, though. I`m just giving the benefit of the doubt, silly òl me.

Report this
fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, February 1, 2011 at 4:39 am Link to this comment

in all of this, one must keep in mind 2 things:

1. “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” - James Jesus Angelton -
Director of CIA Counter Intelligence (1954-74)

2. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”
- William Colby - Director of the CIA (1973-76)

...keeping in mind also that Angleton was trained by British Intelligence

As for Al- Jazeera, here’s something that suggests something much larger and tends to
support various claims as to who pull their strings


Palestinian Authority tells Britain it wants to question former MI6 officer


http://tinyurl.com/6gdq379

The Palestinian Authority has told Britain it wants to question a former MI6 officer
suspected of involvement in the leaking of over 1,000 confidential documents relating to
the peace process.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, said the former MI6 officer’s arrest
was not being sought, nor was he being accused of any crime

Alastair Crooke, who worked for British intelligence for over 30 years, was named as one of
three western nationals the Palestinians want to appear before a committee of inquiry.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, said his arrest was not being
sought, nor was he being accused of any crime.

Palestinian officials have not disclosed what role they suspect Mr Crooke may have played in
the leaking of the documents, which have been released in tranches this week by Al Jazeera,
the Qatar-based television network.

Mr Crooke worked for MI6 under diplomatic cover in Northern Ireland, South Africa,
Columbia and Pakistan before serving as a Middle East adviser to the European Union from
1997 to 2003. His intelligence background was exposed by an Israeli newspaper in 2002.

It is unclear what role Palestinian officials suspect Mr Crooke to have played in the leak,
although he contributed commentary and analysis of some of the documents on Al Jazeera’s
website.

As he does not work for the Palestinian Authority, it is not thought that the former MI6
officer had any direct access to the documents, suggesting that if he had any role at all it
was restricted to brokering their leak.

Mr Crooke could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Palestinian Officials said they also wanted to question Clayton Swisher, a former bodyguard
at the US state department who is now an Al Jazeera reporter, and an unnamed
Frenchman.

Report this

By Marshall, February 1, 2011 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

So Chris Hedges, what is your advice to the US govt.?  You seem to almost revel
in the potential rise of the Islamists.  Is it because you hate the US more than
you hate Jihadists?  Or are you genuinely worried about the possibility of an
ever more radicalized middle east (which of course you blame on the U.S.
because in your mind we control the world for evil)?  These questions may be
somewhat rhetorical in nature, but your article is really a big “I told you so”
followed by a “now yer gonna get it!!!” followed by giddy laughter - at least
that’s what I’m hearing.

There’s no evidence the Egyptians are rising up against the U.S. or its history in
the region, or against capitalism, or that they’re driven by what you think are
our atrocities in the middle east, or even by religious ferver.  In fact, we don’t
really know that much about what’s behind the crowds at this point because, as
you point out, western journalists aren’t well informed in this area.  So while
this is certainly your opinion on their motivations, I’ve seen no evidence to back
it up.  Just another excuse to plug your usual U.S.=Darth Vader schtick and
thus, mightily predictable.

Report this

By Igloo, February 1, 2011 at 12:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Americans have been led to believe that they were defending freedom and Democracy while supporting brutal dictators who kept their people oppressed for 30 years. The farce is not overseas—it is right here at home where a benumbed and drugged populace continues to dance to their masters tune all the way thru bankruptcy, decline and irrelevance. American exceptionalism will only triumph in the speed that decline is taking place.

Report this

By firefly, February 1, 2011 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges,

I’m skeptical of the view that the Muslim Brotherhood
is fundamentalist, radical or extremist. I have
Egyptian friends who say that while the Muslim
Brotherhood is Islamic and adheres to a more
conservative society, it is not rigid nor
‘undemocratic’.

Mubarak and Washington have actually been espousing
the ideas of a dangerous radical Islamic take over of
Egypt, i.e it is them that say, “better the devil we
know, than a radical Islamic group,” but those are
not the only two choices.

I think it is simplistic to assume that every Arab
nation that overthrows a pro-Western government will
automatically become radically Islamic. Egypt does
have a large Christian minority which for the most
part, lives beside the Islamic majority in peace.
There is every reason to believe that this will
continue even under an Islamic leadership.

It is America that has put out the notion that Islam
and democracy are mutually incompatible. I don’t
believe that’s necessarily true.

Report this

By firefly, February 1, 2011 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges,

I’m skeptical of the view that the Muslim Brotherhood
is fundamentalist, radical or extremist. I have
Egyptian friends who say that while the Muslim
Brotherhood is Islamic and adheres to a more
conservative society, it is not rigid nor
‘undemocratic’.

Mubarak and Washington have actually been espousing
the ideas of a dangerous radical Islamic take over of
Egypt, i.e it is them that say, “better the devil we
know, than a radical Islamic group,” but those are
not the only two choices.

I think it is simplistic to assume that every Arab
nation that overthrows a pro-Western government will
automatically become radically Islamic. Egypt does
have a large Christian minority which for the most
part, lives beside the Islamic majority in peace.
There is every reason to believe that this will
continue even under a Muslim leadership.

It is America that has put out the notion that Islam
and democracy are mutually incompatible. I don’t
believe that’s necessarily true.

Report this

By firefly, February 1, 2011 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges,

I’m a little skeptical of the view that the Muslim
Brotherhood is fundamentalist, radical or extremist.
I have Egyptian friends who say that while the Muslim
Brotherhood is Islamic and adheres to a more
conservative society, it is not rigid nor
‘undemocratic’.

Mubarak and Washington have actually been espousing
the ideas of a dangerous radical Islamic take over of
Egypt, i.e it is them that say, “better the devil we
know, than a radical Islamic group,” but those are
not the only two choices.

I think it is simplistic to assume that every Arab
nation that overthrows a pro-Western government will
automatically become radically Islamic. Egypt does
have a large Christian minority which for the most
part, lives beside the Islamic majority in peace.
There is every reason to believe that this will
continue even under a Muslim leadership.

It is America that has put out the notion that Islam
and democracy are mutually incompatible. I don’t
believe that’s necessarily true.

Report this

By DGBJPN, February 1, 2011 at 12:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Words you’ll never read, ‘The uprising in America’

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2011 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

Blaming and (Killing) the Messenger

A Wikileak on the US and Al- Jazeera


By KATHLEEN CHRISTISON

January 31, 2011


The United States has had it in for al-Jazeera at least since 2000, when the Qatar-based news network began reporting on Israel’s harsh treatment of Palestinians during the intifada and, a year later, covered the start of U.S. war-making in the Middle East, revealing to the Arab world a graphic picture of U.S. and Israeli brutality.  During the Iraq war, U.S. planes bombed the al-Jazeera station in Baghdad and killed one of its correspondents, in what clearly appeared to be an attempt to silence the network.  CounterPunch can show, through a Wikileaks-released cable from the U.S. embassy in Doha, Qatar, where al-Jazeera is based, that U.S. officials were still ragging the network in February 2009 in the wake of Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza, because, alone of news networks the world over, al-Jazeera had actually shown what was happening on the ground to Gazan civilians besieged by an unrelenting Israeli air, artillery, and ground attack.

The U.S. ambassador’s scolding of al-Jazeera is particularly relevant today in view of the network’s running coverage of the popular uprising in Egypt against U.S. ally Husni Mubarak.  Mubarak himself has tried to shut down the network, and one can assume that U.S. officials, undecided just how to kathyrespond to this crisis and which side to support, are at least biting their fingernails over what to do about this latest instance of al-Jazeera’s honest reporting.  There is no way to hide this uprising, even with press censorship, and U.S. networks are also reporting non-stop, but al-Jazeera is the network watched throughout the Arab world, and it is easy to imagine U.S. policymakers ruing the fact that it is once again exposing the U.S. alliance with dictatorships and oppression of Arabs.

According to the cable from Doha, on February 10, 2009, three weeks after the Gaza assault ended, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Lebaron arranged a meeting with al-Jazeera’s director general, Wadah Khanfar, to express concern that the network’s reporting from Gaza was harming the U.S. image “in the Arab street.”  Lebaron’s contorted reasoning went as follows: al-Jazeera’s coverage “took viewers’ emotions and then raised them to a higher level through its coverage.”  Then Qatar’s ruling royal family, which provides funding to the network, would point to anger on the Arab street as “a call to action,” which Lebaron contended created a vicious circle leading to “more graphic coverage, more emotion, more demonstrations, and then more calls to action”—as if the emotion-raising images from Gaza that started this circle revolving were somehow not real and not the basis of the story.  There would obviously have been no emotion and no demonstrations if Israel had not launched the assault in the first place (using U.S. arms).

Lebaron simply did not like the fact that al-Jazeera had shown what was happening in Gaza.  With jaw-dropping illogic, he complained that al-Jazeera provided no balance in its reporting because on one side it showed Israeli talking heads, while “on the other side of the scale, you are broadcasting graphic images of dead children and urban damage from modern warfare.”  Lebaron was not convinced by Khanfar’s point that, even though al-Jazeera had attempted to provide both perspectives by running reports in every news bulletin from correspondents in Israel as well as in Gaza, it was still impossible to “balance” coverage because it was Gazans who were being killed and Israelis who were talking.”

~~~~~~~~

Click on link for the rest:

http://www.counterpunch.org/christison01312011.html

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

The Torture Career of Egypt’s New Vice President:

Omar Suleiman and the Rendition to Torture Program

By Stephen Soldz


“January 31, 2011 “Dissident Voice”— In response to the mass protests of recent days, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his first Vice President in his over 30 years rule, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. When Suleiman was first announced, Al-jazeera commentators were describing him as a “distinguished” and “respected ” man. It turns out, however, that he is distinguished for, among other things, his central role in Egyptian torture and in the US rendition-to-torture program. Further, he is “respected” by US officials for his cooperation with their torture plans, among other initiatives.

Katherine Hawkins, an expert on the US’s rendition-to-torture program, in an email, has sent some critical texts where Suleiman pops up. Thus, Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman’s role in the rendition program:

  Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments….The long-serving chief of the Egyptian central intelligence agency, Omar Suleiman, negotiated directly with top Agency officials. [Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt] Walker described the Egyptian counterpart, Suleiman, as “very bright, very realistic,” adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to “some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way” (pp. 113).

Stephen Grey, in Ghost Plane, his investigative work on the rendition program also points to Suleiman as central in the rendition program:

  To negotiate these assurances [that the Egyptians wouldn’t “torture” the prisoner delivered for torture] the CIA dealt principally in Egypt through Omar Suleiman, the chief of the Egyptian general intelligence service (EGIS) since 1993. It was he who arranged the meetings with the Egyptian interior ministry…. Suleiman, who understood English well, was an urbane and sophisticated man. Others told me that for years Suleiman was America’s chief interlocutor with the Egyptian regime — the main channel to President Hosni Mubarak himself, even on matters far removed from intelligence and security.”

~~~~~~~~

Click on link for the rest:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27384.htm

Report this

By Dar, January 31, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some posts here keep alleging that Egyptians are secular. Not true, most Egyptians are, and have always been through-out their 5,000+ years of history very traditional and religious.

But then, that’s one thing about American liberals, they are convinced even more that the Right-Wing nut-jobs that the whole world wants to be just like America.

I for one don’t mind a Muslim Brotherhood take-over, as long as they fix the nation’s destroyed economy and are not puppets of the US/Israel.

And bigots who hate and fear anything with the word “Islam/Muslim” in it be damned!

Report this

By Common Sense, January 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m disappointed in this Hedges column. It seems based more on irrational fear than on fact. And some of the comments… well, commentor “surfnow” says that “15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers were Egyptian nationals”... that’s certainly news inasmuch as 15 of them were Saudis! ... please people, get the facts straight!

Report this

By sophrosyne, January 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was truly pathetic watching Obama and Hillary dance to the tune of Israeli interests this weekend.  How low can we go?  Why can’t we live up to American ideals, separate ourselves from israel and do waht is good for us for a change?

Report this
Calabashe's avatar

By Calabashe, January 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

CORRECTION - The organization I refered to is not the Islamic Brotherhood. It is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Actually Chris’s prognosis is not simply Islamophobic but more nuanced.

“The only way opposition to the U.S.-backed regime of Mubarak could be expressed for the past three decades was through Islamic movements, from the Muslim Brotherhood to more radical Islamic groups, some of which embrace violence.
” A new government, to maintain credibility with the Egyptian population, will have to more actively defy demands from Washington and be more openly ”

Report this
fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, January 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

RE: Right now CNN parroting the Amerikan party line. ” Who could’ve known
this was coming.”...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22993

[...]
The Puppet Masters Support the Protest Movement against their own Puppets

The puppet masters support dissent against their own puppets?

Its called “political leveraging”, “manufacturing dissent”.  Support the dictator
as well as the opponents of the dictator as a means of controlling the political
opposition.

These actions on the part of Freedom House and the National Endowment for
Democracy, on behalf of the Bush and Obama administrations, ensure that the
US funded civil society opposition will not direct their energies against the
puppet masters behind the Mubarak regime, namely the US government.

These US funded civil society organizations act as a “Trojan Horse” which
becomes embedded within the protest movement. They protect the interests of
the puppet masters. They ensure that the grassroots protest movement will not
address the broader issue of foreign interference in the affairs of sovereign
states.

The Facebook Twitter Bloggers Supported and Financed by Washington

In relation to the protest movement in Egypt, several civil society groups
funded by US based foundations have led the protest on Twitter and Facebook:

“Activists from Egypt’s Kifaya (Enough) movement - a coalition of government
opponents - and the 6th of April Youth Movement organized the protests on
the Facebook and Twitter social networking websites. Western news reports
said Twitter appeared to be blocked in Egypt later Tuesday.” (See Voice of
America, ,Egypt Rocked by Deadly Anti-Government Protests

[...]
The Kifaya movement, which organized one of the first protests directed against
the Mubarak regime in late 2004, is supported by the US based International
Center for Non-Violent Conflict. Kifaya is a broad-based movement which has
also taken a stance on Palestine and US interventionism in the region. 

In turn, Freedom House has been involved in promoting and training the Middle
East North Africa Facebook and Twitter blogs:

Freedom House fellows acquired skills in civic mobilization, leadership, and
strategic planning, and benefit from networking opportunities through
interaction with Washington-based donors, international organizations and the
media. After returning to Egypt, the fellows received small grants to implement
innovative initiatives such as advocating for political reform through Facebook
and SMS messaging.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=66&program=84

From February 27 to March 13 [2010], Freedom House hosted 11 bloggers from
the Middle East and North Africa [from different civil society organizations] for
a two-week Advanced New Media Study Tour in Washington, D.C. The Study
Tour provided the bloggers with training in digital security, digital video
making, message development and digital mapping. While in D.C., the Fellows
also participated in a Senate briefing, and met with high-level officials at
USAID, State [Department] and Congress as well as international media
including Al-Jazeera and the Washington Post.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=115&program=84&item=87
[...]

Report this

By richard vajs, January 31, 2011 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everything that develops in the Muslim world is interpreted by the American Establishment in light of one question and only one question -  “Is it good for Israel?”
  The truth is that the only thing good for Israel now is a graceful death for Zionism, and a humble embrace of the Palestinians that were abused. Racist, land-stealing, apartheid Israel is clearly done for in the near future. And that is worth celebrating.

Report this

By reynolds, January 31, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

ibn adolf; i appreciate your insight, not least because
you express it without insulting those with whom you
might disagree. surfamerikans and mythics alike
perceive any opinion with which they disagree to be a
challenge to their intelligence, go know.

Report this
Calabashe's avatar

By Calabashe, January 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges, I fear you know not of what you speak. You are of the mind that secular government is not possible unless ruled by an American backed dictator and that the only alternative is the bogyman. (Islamic Republic)

Egypt is a highly secular and intelligent society. Do you really think they will trade one dictator for another? There are no chants supporting an Islamic Republic

Enough Israeli lies about the Islamic Brotherhood. They are no more radical than Catholic Charities. Praises to them for acting as part of the solution rather than an alternative problem. It was the Brotherhood that “nominated” Mohamed el Baradei, a secular, Nobel peace laureate, internationally recognized and respected.

El Baradei’s platform is to install a national unity transitional government until proper and open elections can be held – currently due in September.

All in all, this uprising in Egypt is amazing and quite comparable to the Yellow Revolution of the Philippines some years back. Praises to the Egyptian street for foiling the dictator’s tactics of encouraging chaos. The current Egyptian government is non-functional and teetering. Mubarak and Suliman will be gone, if not tomorrow then next week. The world will witness the first truly democratic Arab country. I would advise other Arab leaders to stay ahead of the curve or leave for Saudi Arabia.

Report this

By surfnow, January 31, 2011 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Ibn Adolf:
Word of advice. Read something other than the New York Post, turn off the Foxnews, and maybe you won’t see anymore of those nasty “Islamofascists” under your bed at night.

Report this

By radson, January 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

Why is most everyone getting wrapped around the ‘axle’ with this Egyptian uprising ;is it due to their fear of Islam and the revenge that many are talking about .How about considering the demonstrators in general ,they are not promoting violence ,they are not denouncing the American Citizenry and as far as American Puppet ‘Regimes ’ go this manifestation is docile in comparison ;have the pundits forgotten about
Central and South America ;have the Europeans forgotten about the African ‘colonies’ .Mr. Mubarak is what eighty -one years old ,how long can the American and Jewish version of ‘stability ‘last ,have any of you considered that the dictator has run his course due to the natural life span of most human beings,and that ‘change’ is perhaps inevitable due to ‘mortality’.Mr. Brzezinski is a wise man and his analysis of the changing
Geopolitical landscape—a chess board -for some of you ,with reference to the ‘methods’ of the twentieth century being outdated in the twenty-first is accurate.The language or should I say ‘Euphemisms’ have not
changed within the political jargon ;Hillary Clinton has stated that America does not want Egypt to become another Iran ,her reference could only be understood with the Tehran hostage crises ,yet at the same time
it’s fine to have Mr.Mubarak running -not a sovereign- country but a ‘Regime’ for thirty years yet Iran is referred to amongst the ’ international ’ community as the Axis of Evil ,because they changed sides.Now
Netanyahu is calling for ‘Restrained Stability’ ,does that mean suppress the demonstrators yet don’t eliminate too many because it might be bad after all this could develop into an existential threat and while were at it perhaps Gaza might pour some gaz on the fire.So who’s in charge in Egypt ;it’s definitely not the ‘cops’ is it Mubarak ;nope he has run his course is it the Army ;that’s as clear as spring water .Can ElBaradei
stabilize the situation ,my point of view is yes ,will the Egyptian Constitution be amended ‘temporarily’ to accommodate such an eventuality that will depend on US Foreign Policy ,will there be elections damn right .ElBaradei has a good shot at forming an interim Government ,will he be elected after a national election process NO.

Report this

By surfnow, January 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Right now CNN parroting the Amerikan party line. ” Who could’ve known this was coming.”  “No one has a crystal ball.”  Says Hillary. Shades of Nicholas II and Marie Antoninette.

Report this

By norman harman, January 31, 2011 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another great piece from Mr. Hedges. I’m not sure i agree that the uprising in
Egypt is inevitably heading to the rise of radical Islam but it is certainly worrying.

One more reason for Americans to press their(?) government to stop supporting
dictators and stop working to destroy liberal democracy movements.

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Egypt: Death Throes of a Dictatorship

Our writer joins protesters atop a Cairo tank as the army shows signs of backing the people against Mubarak’s regime

By Robert Fisk

“January 30, 2011 “The Independent”—The Egyptian tanks, the delirious protesters sitting atop them, the flags, the 40,000 protesters weeping and crying and cheering in Freedom Square and praying around them, the Muslim Brotherhood official sitting amid the tank passengers. Should this be compared to the liberation of Bucharest? Climbing on to an American-made battle tank myself, I could only remember those wonderful films of the liberation of Paris. A few hundred metres away, Hosni Mubarak’s black-uniformed security police were still firing at demonstrators near the interior ministry. It was a wild, historical victory celebration, Mubarak’s own tanks freeing his capital from his own dictatorship.

In the pantomime world of Mubarak himself – and of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Washington – the man who still claims to be president of Egypt swore in the most preposterous choice of vice-president in an attempt to soften the fury of the protesters – Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s chief negotiator with Israel and his senior intelligence officer, a 75-year-old with years of visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and four heart attacks to his credit. How this elderly apparatchik might be expected to deal with the anger and joy of liberation of 80 million Egyptians is beyond imagination. When I told the demonstrators on the tank around me the news of Suleiman’s appointment, they burst into laughter.

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.”

~~~~~~

Click link for the rest:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27380.htm

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 31, 2011 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Egypt: Death Throes of a Dictatorship

Our writer joins protesters atop a Cairo tank as the army shows signs of backing the people against Mubarak’s regime

By Robert Fisk

“January 30, 2011 “The Independent”—The Egyptian tanks, the delirious protesters sitting atop them, the flags, the 40,000 protesters weeping and crying and cheering in Freedom Square and praying around them, the Muslim Brotherhood official sitting amid the tank passengers. Should this be compared to the liberation of Bucharest? Climbing on to an American-made battle tank myself, I could only remember those wonderful films of the liberation of Paris. A few hundred metres away, Hosni Mubarak’s black-uniformed security police were still firing at demonstrators near the interior ministry. It was a wild, historical victory celebration, Mubarak’s own tanks freeing his capital from his own dictatorship.

In the pantomime world of Mubarak himself – and of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Washington – the man who still claims to be president of Egypt swore in the most preposterous choice of vice-president in an attempt to soften the fury of the protesters – Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s chief negotiator with Israel and his senior intelligence officer, a 75-year-old with years of visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and four heart attacks to his credit. How this elderly apparatchik might be expected to deal with the anger and joy of liberation of 80 million Egyptians is beyond imagination. When I told the demonstrators on the tank around me the news of Suleiman’s appointment, they burst into laughter.

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.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click link for the rest:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27380.htm

Report this

By balkas, January 31, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

a protest cannot change world for better. only setting up an antipodal political
party to the existing monopolic goddevil power, can exact positive change.

and then vote for such a party. protest or passively resist millennia-old goddevil
power if ur candidates get thrown in jail or start to disappear.

only this way one cld get one or two or more generals onside. for no protest or
even armed rebellion cld succeed unless one has army on one’s side.

shah had been deposed because ‘religion’ was also involved in getting shah out.
army and spies were also for deposing shah.

however, the structure of governance in iran, differs only slightly from that of
jordan. so, one cld say that iranian protest actually failed. the ‘religion’ there still
wages nescience, inequality, etc.

u can expect tunisian and egyptian protest to fail also, regardless whether the
protest succeeds or not!

Report this
JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, January 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

Ibn Adolf

“I have no specific recommendation on how to handle
the current Egyptian situation.”

No loss, based on your post, any specific recommendation you might have, would be wrong headed.

You say,

“…because Islam is a supremacist,
totalitarian, warlike, pseudo-religious, political
doctrine that is structurally expansionist and
imperialistic.”

Islam is low on the hierarchy of being supremacist, totalitarian, warlike, pseudo-religious, expansionist, and imperialistic, Islam is lower in that hierarchy than both the U.S. and Israel.

Islam is in fact responding to supremacist, warlike, pseudo-religious, expansionist imperialism, and ending the supremacist, warlike, pseudo-religious, expansionist, imperialism Islam is responding to, is our best hope for achieving peace, but achieving peace will necessitate ending the supremacist, totalitarian, pseudo-religious, expansionist imperialism Islam is responding to.

The only problem we have had with Islam during the last few centuries, before we exerted our supremacist, warlike, pseudo-religious, expansionist imperialism on Islam, was the problem of obtaining Islam’s oil reserves.

Report this

By Palindromedary, January 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If in Egypt, why not here?!!!

Report this

By DE Teodoru, January 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Egypt, Syria, Lebanon…these Arab nations have no security importance to us whatever now that the Cold War is over. The old saw about War on Terror is also meaningless as the force behind the spreading contagious uprisings are not Jihadis nor even Islamists trying to go back in time to some sort of Sharia. They are EDUCATED Arab youth, the largest segment of the population, that demand that their countries go forward into global modernity. Yet, as expected, Israel wants Mubarek kept in power:

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/israel-urges-world-to-curb-criticism-of-egypt-s-mubarak-1.340238?trailingPath=2.169,2.225,2.226,

All the above listed countries are Israel’s neighbors and Israel wants the US to press them down under corrupt and incompetent leadership so it can expand and dominate the Middle East. The neocons who ruled Bush’s first term foreign policy saw the US as a mad dog on a chain that Israel used to frighten its Arab neighbors while the Jewish State expands ceaselessly in territory , exterminating the peoples living there already. A Greater Israel would be impossible without that American “mad dog” on Israel’s chain and so we are called upon to only support the weakest and most non-representative of Arab regimes in hope that they’re ready to bow to Israel so it can encroach over their borders as it expands.

In truth, youth is the majority in the Arab world and a good part of it is highly educated. It has no aggressive Jihadi perspective and would bear no ill feelings toward Israel if it ceases its lebensraum expansion, exterminating civilians as its “settlers” spread. Today’s Arab youth initiated the third great revolution in the modern Arab World: First was the Pan Arab Revolution; it died from toxic corruption and incompetence in a conflagration of violence; then came the Jihadi Eruption based on a twisted Fundamental Islamism. This retrogressive revolution spent itself in acts of violence against the most helpless amongst the people it claimed to seek to save, doing by hand to Muslims what Israel has been doing to them constantly from the air and with tanks. Now comes the Third Revolution, the inward looking technocratic phase that desperately only wants the Arab World to catch up to the rest of the world in a sci/tech revolution. Educated Arab youth has found its sci/tech education useless in nations mired in the backward failings of the past.


For Israel this is a golden opportunity to live up to its Founding Fathers’ admonition: be “a light onto the [Arab] nations!” Israel does little well and what it does do best is murder and massacre its neighbors. Yet, Israel has established one of the world’s best educational system. Thousands of Israelis are raised to expertise in sci/tech modernity, so qualified that they can leave immediately upon graduation for great prospects in the West. But why? These same highly educated Israelis can be the Peace Corps rather than killer invader that guides its Arab cousins to modernity. Rather than leave Israel and break their ties for new lives abroad, the educated youth of Israel can march off to the Arab world next door to guide their Arab peers and help them achieve modernity. While these Israelis would spend the week well paid and appreciated as fellow members of the region’s Semitic family, it would be so close to home that they could return home for Shabat, thus never ceasing to be Israelis as when they migrate to the West.

Report this

By Palindromedary, January 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@BarbeQue…
And they were all patsies of the criminal regime within the US that orchestrated the whole thing. Those buildings did not come down because of airliners crashing into them. They were demolished, which means it took many months of exclusive access to those buildings to set up the demolition. And Bush’s brother was not only head of the WTC “security” but also head of the company that was given access to the buildings those many months prior to the attacks ostensibly to do a complete building rewiring and other maintenance.  The inescapable visible evidence of buildings in free-fall coming straight down, molten pools of steel, eyewitness accounts of multiple explosions, nano-thermite, iron micro-spheres, and other evidence in the dust…not to mention all of the other evidence blows the official conspiracy theory out of the water. As Malcolm X said…some people won’t even admit there is a knife stuck in the backs of their victims. This is one wound that not only will never heal because so many Americans cannot see, or recognize, the real evidence of terror committed by our own.  But many Americans are easily fooled by the smoke and mirrors ploy of making them believe that it was a combination of a diabolical Muslim terrorist attack combined with government bumbling…both easy to believe by those who would find the alternative, an inside job, too horrible to even contemplate.

Report this

By Michael Shaw, January 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

I believe American hegemony is on its way out, not only in the Middle East, but around the world. The rest of the planet sees us as greedy, two faced liars with a large military and visions of world domination. Our exploitations have not only weakened our position, but also our credibility. The only place where America is still considered the greatest nation on earth is right here in the United States. In any place we have let our presence be known, average people there look at us as devils. That said, El Baradei seems like a reasonable man capable of leadership. But I agree completely here with Hedges. Israel and the United States are in a very big pickle, created solely by us. If Egypt ends up with radical Islamic fundamentalism it is our own damn faults!

Report this

By Ibn Adolf, January 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hate US imperialism just as much as any other red-
blooded American.
BUT IT IS A MISTAKE to believe that Mohammedan
fanaticism is principally or exclusively a reaction
against imperialist aggression.
FIRSTLY because the US was instrumental in financing,
organizing and supporting Islamic terrorists as long
as they were useful in the geopolitical struggle
against Soviet imperialism and Arab nationalism.
SECONDLY because Islam is a supremacist,
totalitarian, warlike, pseudo-religious, political
doctrine that is structurally expansionist and
imperialistic. Its very logic impels it to kill,
dominate, enslave and exploit.
To make any concessions to Islam in the belief that
this will pacify them is a colossal blunder.
I have no specific recommendation on how to handle
the current Egyptian situation.

Report this

By CC, January 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hedges—very well stated.
You are the reason I subscribe to Truthdig.

Report this
David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, January 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Empire America has always interpreted the right of self-determination of the peoples of other nations to be their right for America itself to determine what those other peoples’ nations would be… whom would rule for whom, and how.

America keeps repeating its crimes, because Americans aren’t changing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzuOOshpddM

“This is the result of something.”
— Malcolm X

Report this

By Bill Wolfe, January 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Western Masters of History lose another (I was reading Neibur’s “Irony of Histroy” last night).

More blowback.

Hedges sees the world as it is, not through rose colored glasses tinted by naive myths and illusions, or cynicism.

Report this

By felicity, January 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

We created Osama binLaden.  Apparently we surmised that
that worked out so well, why not continue, even step up
our overwhelming presence in the ME so we can create
even more Osamas.

In the end, does this have anything to do with
justifying/maintaining last year’s $663.7 billion (out
of the discretionary budget) allocated to the Dept. of
Defense?  Too sinister?  Think again.

Report this

By hasapiko, January 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could this be the historic turning point for the ME? Consider this: The US may have reached the apogee of its power three or four years ago, when it was seen as economically and militarily invincible. Now mired in debt, stuck with two far-off wars, an enormous defense establishment, yet with a crumbling infrastructure, an aging population, a weakened middle class and a plutocratic political system, a rising China requiring more and more investment in defense… is the picture not clear?

And the ME, young, more educated, linked together by the technological marvels of modern communication, struggling and finally able to emancipate itself from Western control - who will it turn to and who will it turn against when it is no longer controlled?

Some day we will recall the words of Thomas Friedman, who, speaking of Israel, said, it is better to negotiate a peace (with the Palestinians)from a position of strength. That position is beginning to look a bit shaky. Once Big Brother starts to decline, who knows what options will be left.

Report this

By abikecommuter, January 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Very well said Mr Hedges. We empower forces like us. Prison Gaurds from SCI-Green
take our cluture to Abu gRahib and teach a new generation of Iraquis how to capture
and excercise power and write out history in their blood. The brutqlity of the Congo for
our cellphone revolutions in the Middle East echoe the murderous ghosts of King
Leopold. Space needs to be opened for other voices to steer our children from
graduating high school to future wars in Yemen, Egypt, Nigeria, etc.- the Obama job
plan.

Report this

By reynolds, January 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

“Sounds like Chris Hedges is looking forward to all the
regimes in the the ME being ruled by extremist
“Islamic” groups…”
“...Doe(s) he REALLY want Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon
and Palestine ruled by Taliban-like groups?”

maybe they do, which is the point.
most americans seem unaware that the rest of the world
might not give a damn what most americans want.

sow the wind, etc.

Report this

By Sam, January 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding the prediction that radical Islamists will come to power….if the US pundits and politicians compliment and coddle the new regime you can be sure it is their puppet…if they instead begin a fear mongering and smear campaign you can be sure they are closer to what the people of Egypt actually want.

Report this

By hasapiko, January 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If we were to compare Egypt 2011 with Iran 1979 we could remember that both regimes relied on massive US support to supress political activity, especially the moderates and the left. In Iran the weakness on the left created an opening for the mullahs and the Islamic Revolution, so US policy backfired. So very likely in Egypt. The lesson is, repression only delays the outcome and the longer the delay, the worse the outcome.

Report this

By GogolPoe, January 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

“We’re not going to get Lech Walesa here, instead expect some sort of Middle Eastern versions of Lenin or Fidel Castro.”

I’m not sure anybody knows what we will get in Egypt post Mubarak.  Thinktank policy couldnt predict that a spat upon fruit vendor from Tunisia could have caused all this.  Though I’m pretty sure they knew (based on Wilileaks) Egypt was going to need a regime change anyway.

2012 isn’t the end of the world… but who would have predicted in 1912 everything after?

as always, you reap what you sow… and the abyss stares back at you… etc etc

Report this

By db schell, January 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m disappointed. Many of the people holding down the Egyptian protests are well
educated professional class Egyptians. They are clearly secular with real influence.
Is protest is about disenfranchisement.

Report this

By frecklefever, January 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

THE STATUS QUO CAN NO LONGER HOLD THE CENTER..AMERICAN ECONOMIC THEORIES HAVE
FAILED..THE WAR THEORIES HAVE FAILED…FOREIGN POLICY THEORIES ARE
IRRELEVANT…AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IS VIEWED WITH A JUSTIFIED LACK OF CONFIDENCE
ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE MASSIVE DEFICIT…THE CHAMPIONS OF THE STATUS QUO ARE IN
FACT…THE UNKNOWING INSTIGATORS OF THE CHANGE THEY DREAD…

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

I would have wondered about Chris’ certainty that the Muslim radicalists will take over, except that he knows the Arab situation in the ME better than most having lived there and learned the language for almost two decades.
He’s been spot on about so many things in the geopolitical world, that the odds of his being right are alarmingly good.

Report this

By Enlightened Cynic, January 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s amusing.  When Rev. Wright talked about “the chickens coming home to roost” the American Exceptionalism junkies lost it.  How dare he speak truth to power, how dare he impugn that vanguard of liberty and freedom, America.  Too bad, starry eyed American Exceptionalist junkies, blowback is a bitch. Doesn’t matter if it’s expressed by Rev. Wright or the CIA’s analysts.

As El Baradei said, “We might be poor, but that doesn’t mean we are not intelligent.”  Wish I could say the same for America, but alas, “NOT!!”  America might be “rich” but she is far from intelligent;  Arrogance and hubris are her calling cards.  Let’s see how Hillary’s “Smart Power” looks in the months and years to come.  “Smart Power” what a crock, only American Exceptionalist junkies would even buy into such a construct.  Good bye US Imperialism, goodbye Zionism, the jig is up.

This is what happens when you overplay your hand.  It should have occurred to the “junkies” post-Iraq invasion that the US was a paper tiger, should have occurred to Israel post-Lebanon invasion that she too, was a paper tiger. 

Here’s what’s fascinating, how soon will it be before America abandons Israel to her own illegitimate and evil devices?  After all, in America allies = self interest.

Report this

By alturn, January 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Egyptians are more sophisticated than we tend to see. There is also more care there for others than we assume through our society’s lens.
Egyptians also have been on the taking end of our empire stick so inevitably there are some challenges those protesting would have with the United States.  We would be in a much better position if the US was leading the way towards true people-centered democracy instead of our current corporatocracy.

“Throughout the Middle East, people are saying: “I am a human individual and I have rights.” They are questioning the conditions of politics and religion imposed on them. The doors are opening slowly.”
- World Teacher Maitreya through an associate as reported by Share International

Report this

By SarcastiCanuck, January 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great Column Chris.As Egypt and the middle east slip into theocracy,I fully expect the world to become a more violent place.As religion,or as I like to call it,‘The Great Divider of Men’,becomes more prevalent in the future,expect more cleansing(killing) of infidels,apostates,non-beleivers and unpure thinkers.Us Christians and Jews should also be responding with like violence.Oh what a future for what was supposed to be an enlightened growth for mankind.I sure hope I’m wrong….

Report this

By AnnaCatherine, January 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges wants to be the guy “who knew all along”. He has the outcome all mapped out. He might even end up being right, but he’s premature. The equivalent of making a bet. There’s too much at stake here to write one article that really sounds more like a proclamation. It’s just not that simple, even for Hedges.

Report this
prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, January 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

U.S. Dominated Dumbocracies in the middle east always betray their people, because
the last thing in the world we want is for them to be really free. Our plutocracy knows
exactly what real freedom means, an end to our control there. An end to our extraction
of their wealth, and their resources. The violence we perpetrate there is similar to our
own corporate violence against Americans, preaching freedom and justice, while
practicing debt slavery, and incarceration. We like people to believe they have a choice
so we offer them identical choices under different names the outcome is the same.
Poison. Poison, from the food we eat, to our health care, and the ideas we think.

Report this

By RdV, January 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

There is an underlying theme of Islamphobia and fear mongering running in here. Israel is Jewish and forever harping about it’s (so-called) Democracy. Israel has worked feverishly to demonize the Muslim as the terrorist to futher their own shameful agenda.
My guess would be that Egypt is more likely to find common ground with Turkey.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, January 31, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Sounds like Chris Hedges is looking forward to all the regimes in the the ME being ruled by extremist “Islamic” groups (quotations because they are as much in compliance with Islam as “Christian” fundamentalists are with Christianity, or ultra-Orthodox “Jews” are with Judaism).

Doe he REALLY want Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine ruled by Taliban-like groups?

And how can one explain Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon?  They are an extremist Shi’ite group dominating a Sunni nation.  Can you REALLY expect them to be any different than Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, suppressing the vast Shi’ia majority in Iraq?

As for Israel, the right-wing fascists in power NEVER realistically contemplated that Mubarak could fall.  Now their short-sightedness has them in a panic, which was predictable.

Report this

By M L, January 31, 2011 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Narcissistic leaders can destroy families, organizations and even entire nations. I used to think law enforcement could intervene, protect the people and set the conditions for political change and reforms. But what happens when law enforcement is on the side of a narcissistic leader and a corrupt government? If the American people are waiting for law makers and enforcers to help us, then the wait might kill us. Narcissistic leaders in our country commendeered our foreign and domestic policies years ago. They led us into two illegal and unfunded wars for personal ambitions and natural resources. Cheny’s War on Terror was a justification and rationalization for their quest to control the production of oil in the Middle East.  They turned our U.S treasury into their own personal ATM machine withdrawing money to pay off their bad debts, toxic assets and zero interest loans. They continue to use the FED to create trillions of dollars out of thin air. This money sits in bank vaults awaiting a safe environment for borrowing and lending. Our state department has supported and funded dictators like Mubarak because he continues to be a partner for Cheny’s war on terror (all smoke & mirrors)and a justification for a U.S military presence in Iraq and Afganistan.  The Pentagon, State Department and CIA are not interested in the human or civil rights of the people within these countries. They are motivated by profit, greed, control and power. But they now realize their wealth, power and control is futile against an aroused citizenry.

Report this

By FRTothus, January 31, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Some of you are still clinging to that “19 hijackers with box-cutters” fairy-tale.  Getting the details of the myth correct does none of us any good, nor does it advance our understanding of what really took place, then or since.

Only when we get a grip on the False Flag Operations of 9/11 and London’s 7/7, and the engineering of coups and so-called “revolutions” which are a regular tactic of our own imperial power-brokers in cooperation with foreign intelligence and secret police to subvert democratic struggles and fair elections, will we be able to see the extent of the deceptions and state terrorism to which we have been and continue to be subjected.

Report this

By let, January 31, 2011 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

viva, bolivar!!!

Report this

By Dave Hall, January 31, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can agree with this author that the poor (the invisible) are driving much of this movement, but it is not a foregone conclusion that religious fundamentalist elements are soon to take control, as there are at least 5 major competing groups throughout Egypt; it is interesting and hopeful that all of these groups, including Brotherhood, seem to back ElBaradei in negotiating for the dismantling of Mubarak’s dictatorship, and he is anything but fundamentalist in his approaches, and well respected around the world for international work he has done toward peace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_ElBaradei

Let us hope that Mubarak can quickly find lodging in a foreign country, while the apparatus of brutality he has stood for is converted in to a more responsive architecture for positive social change at ALL levels of Egyptian and Middle Eastern society, but especially for the poor, who need to be at the center of new social contracts and fair judicial and economics restructuring.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 31, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

madisolation
“Can’t we say the same of Obama and the leadership in Washington and in Israel? The people in our capitols don’t care about us or their country. They have “betrayed their own people for wealth and power.” It has to stop. “
Much applause.

Report this

By surfnow, January 31, 2011 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Barbieque:
Of course you’re right. But my original point is still the same nevertheless.Anyway, at least I don’t believe the hijackers wee from Iraq like most Americans still do.

Report this
JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, January 31, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

It’s much too early in events to make a knee jerk analysis of what the future holds for Egypt and other Arab Nations. It’s clear that the U.S. will use its power and influence to shape/control future political movements in Arab Nations. Whether Arab Governments seen as being controlled and financed by the U.S. will have support from the people they govern seems unlikely. Egypt is #3 on the list of countries receiving Foreign Aid from the U.S., right behind Israel. Iraq is the largest recipient of U.S. Foreign Aid. Without a military presence in Iraq and continuing Foreign Aid, political outcomes deemed acceptable to U.S. hegemony do not seem likely, and with a military presence in Iraq, and continuing Foreign Aid, political outcomes acceptable to Muslims do not seem likely.

Conjecture is not useful, and what could have been, as opposed to what is, can only be speculation, but it seems clear that the intrusion of Western Powers into Muslim Lands has created a tinderbox, and has served to destabilize, rather than stabilize Muslim Lands.

Report this
thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, January 31, 2011 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Do most Americans really care what happens in the Middle East, despite the enormous implications? No, secure in their unquestioning belief in American news propaganda they focus on matters of more vital importance, like whether or not they have enough snacks for the Super Bowl.
Chicken wings coming home to roost perhaps?

Report this
BarbieQue's avatar

By BarbieQue, January 31, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

surf:

Atta was Egyptian, 15 were Saudis.

“...Fifteen of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt (Atta), and one from Lebanon.[91]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks

Don’t worry, most people probably couldn’t find Tunisia on a map.

It *is* kind of a serious “error”, no? Oh well, It’s been 10 years.

****

“...men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them”
Julian Assange

Report this
Leo Wong's avatar

By Leo Wong, January 31, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

I also recommend Jacques Barzun’s lecture from 1986: “Is Democratic Theory for
Export?” http://bit.ly/ee5HBF

Report this

By madisolation, January 31, 2011 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

“We are soaked with the stench of these regimes. Mubarak…is seen as our puppet, a man who betrayed his own people and the Palestinians for money and power.”
Can’t we say the same of Obama and the leadership in Washington and in Israel? The people in our capitols don’t care about us or their country. They have “betrayed their own people for wealth and power.” It has to stop.
The masks are ripped off the leadership in the United States and Israel now, and we see their powerlessness. They’re equipped with nothing but sterile, meaningless words to hold onto their bloated, obscene wealth and power, and words are no longer enough.
Let the revolution—radicalized or not—spread from the Middle East to Europe to our shores. What we have and what they have now is untenable. It has to stop, and the people must take control of their governments.
And please, let’s quit putting down groups who differ from us. The people of Egypt didn’t ask if the person in the street next to them was a member of one party or another. They came together to fight the leadership, and we have to learn from them.

Report this

By surfnow, January 31, 2011 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

And the rise of radical religious fundamentalism will lead to more extremism including terrorism. Don’t forget 15 of the 19, 9-11 hijackers were Egyptian nationals. This of coure will inevitably lead to larger Amerikan security forces and a growing clampdown on civil liberties here. Our one-sided Middle Eastern policy for the past five decades, always favoring Israeli interests will prove our downfall.

Report this
Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, January 31, 2011 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Blowback. Unintended consequences. Ron Paul took a lot of heat during the 2008 presidential campaign from the Republican Party for describing exactly what Hedges describes here. Here he is at the 2008 SC debate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD7dnFDdwu0

Giuliani throws a shit fit. Ron Paul never backed down from his position, showing he is one of the only Congresscritters with any principles.

Maybe that’s why Ralph Nader recently reached out to both Ron Paul, and the National Libertarian Party.

Report this

By ardee, January 31, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

I await the usual coterie of posters who will condemn Hedges for various reasons, none of which related to the truth he speaks to with eloquence.

That the US has propped up, if not installed, various dictators in various places in the name of stable environments for our business interests is increasingly well known. That the so-called “War on Terror” is a result of US foreign policies and greedy imperialist tendencies seems less understood.

That these various radical and fundamentalist groups against whom we wage this expensive and ultimately futile effort gain popular support, not because of the attractiveness of radical Islam but ,as Hedges notes well, because they are a focal point for opposition to our brutal ways.

We , here in the USA, lead rather comfortable lives, especially when compared to the lot of so many around the world. That this ease is achieved on the backs of millions is a fact whose time has come. We the people are responsible, as much as we place the blame on self serving politicians and greedy corporations. It is time we stepped up and shouldered our responsibility thus moving to end the American Empire and move into an era of fairness for all.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 31, 2011 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

Washington agrees with Chris’s predictions - or I should say prophecy which is why they want a replacement dictator to collude with. The US powers for the most part do not side with the street revolutionaries—that is, the Egyptian people.
Kind of how they didn’t give a crap about the Iraqi people - just what they could occupy for oil. I agree with Chomsky that the American empire hates democracy.

Report this
Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, January 31, 2011 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is once again a beacon of truth. I’ve been getting annoyed by US coverage of the uprising obsessed with not even using the word “revolution” and desperately trying to compare this to the fall of Communism in 1989, so Western viewers can feel nice and safe. This is more like Europe 1848 or even the French Revolution in the sense that radical, revolutionary passions will eventually dominate, new doctrines will emerge. We’re not going to get Lech Walesa here, instead expect some sort of Middle Eastern versions of Lenin or Fidel Castro.

Report this

By L2k4FC, January 31, 2011 at 3:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Grrrreeeaaattt.

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.