Posts tagged ‘Mubarak’

On the eighteenth day: Egypt is Arab and Free

http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban
Thursday, 17 February 2011 15:45
On the eighteenth day: Egypt is Arab and FreeWhat is striking to all Arabs, and maybe to the whole world, is the blanket Arab support of the revolutionaries of Tahrir square and their honorable fight for freedom and dignity.

 

It seems that Tunisia was destined to be the catalyst for the greatest event in modern Arab history. And it seems that Mohammad Bouzeizi, who set fire to himself in protest against an insult to his personal dignity, triggered a revolt for the restoration of Arab dignity. But when Egypt is at the heart of events, it will be different from anything the Arab region has seen in the past few decades.

First, because the event was produced by the masses of Egypt, ‘the mother of the world’, the people who crossed the Suez Canal in the 1973 war, the people who built the pyramids, started the Arab revolutions of liberation from colonialism. Second, Egypt was forcefully taken out of the Arab-Israeli conflict by one tyrant and shamed, for three decades, by another through complicity with the enemy. This weakened and humiliated the Arabs who saw the West arming Israel with arrogance and intransigence while arming submissive regimes with dictatorship, oppression and tyranny. In this atmosphere of humiliation, Zionism prospered. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have enjoyed thirty years of quiet and security” during which Israel attacked Lebanon and Palestine on a daily basis, continued to build settlements and became entrenched in extremism. Third, the ‘free and democratic’ West remained unable, for 18 days, to support the revolution of freedom and democracy which they claim to support in other countries. One more reason is that the process of democracy, intended by George W. Bush and his generals to be marred by the shame of foreign occupation, is now crowned by the triumph of people’s will against oppression and tyranny.

What is striking to all Arabs, and maybe to the whole world, is the blanket Arab support of the revolutionaries of Tahrir square and their honorable fight for freedom and dignity, compared with the United States’ and the West’s opposition of this revolution.

The position taken by the United States, the West in general, and Israel towards this revolution should define the future of inter-Arab relations, on the one hand, and Western – Arab relations, on the other. The American position has been hesitant, contradictory and complicit with Israel and aimed at injecting Mubarak’s regime with life in a manner that should be embarrassing to a country which claims to defend freedom, and launches wars to spread democracy. The reason might be the shock and confusion of the American administration caused by the events in Tunisia, in the beginning, and then in Egypt, which befits a new century and ushers a new era in which Arabs make history and do not only keep its record. This position flies in the face of the values of democracy, freedom and human rights.

Arabs now realize that the main drive for Western policies in the Middle East is that Israel should impose its hegemony on the Arabs, take over their land and suppress their aspirations for freedom, dignity and democracy. They now know for sure that the West befriends some Arab rulers in as much as they befriend Israel; it is pleased with them in as much as they please Israel. Four hundred million Arabs do not mean anything to Barak Obama, Catherine Ashton and other Western politicians who have suddenly become mute while they have been extremely vociferous against Iran.

The primary concern of all Western policies in the region is Israel, then their interests in terms of oil, ransacking our peoples’ resources through laundering corrupt rulers’ money in their banks, companies and economies. It has become clear that the West looks at Arabs with Israeli eyes, which was once articulated by Golda Meir when she said that “a good Arab is an Arab buried three meters deep under”.  We should recall that Arab decadence and the deterioration of their living conditions have been in direct correlation with Israel’s creation and expansion in the second half of the 20th century. Israel has spearheaded the campaign to distort the image of the Arabs and branding them with terrorism after 9/11. It also spearheaded efforts to drum up the American war on Iraq and launched its own wars on Lebanon and Gaza under European and American protection.

People like Elliot Abrams, a staunch neo-conservative, were adamant in claiming that Bush’s policies were the right ones and that he was right in wondering whether the peoples of the Middle East were capable of living freely, or whether they are doomed by their culture and history to live under despotism (quoting a speech by Bush in November 2003). The Egyptian answer today is that the Arab people can teach the world how to fight for freedom, but not the Bush way when he killed a million people for the sake of Israel. The answer given by the Egyptians to Obama and Bush supporters is: enough rhetoric; Arab people yearn for a freedom they make, their way and for their own historical, social and political reasons. They do not trust false friendships, illusory rhetoric and claims of embracing ‘Western values’. Now everything is absolutely clear, and no power in the world can deceive the Arabs again.

The spring of democracy ushered on our Arab streets is the greatest event in Arab history since the revolutions which put an end to Western colonialism and its lackey regimes. Liberation today is rooted in the Arab will based on their conviction that the age of submission and humiliation is over; and that the dawn of pride, dignity and freedom has arrived.

Western reactions show that the West has not yet recovered from the shock; and that’s quite natural. This shock should make a shift in Western thinking from branding Arabs with terrorism to acknowledging Arabs as major contributors to civilization, that they uphold important values, reject injustice, love freedom and are willing to die for democracy. The West should also realize that the Arab identity is the common element which brings Arabs together. It informs their conscience, and no power will be able to take it away from them.

Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Warwick University. She was the spokesperson for Syria. She was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She can be reached through nizar_kabibo@yahoo.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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“Right on time Revolution” ? Mubarak in Life/Death State in Germany Hospital

http://www.sott.net

Sun, 13 Feb 2011 14:11 CST
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Aimée Kligman
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© topnews.in
Hosni Mubarak fell into coma after his resignation was announced on February 11, 2011
We have learned through foreign sources that Hosni Mubarak was flown this morning to a Baden hospital in Germany after falling into a coma. The report was confirmed this morning by Bahrain daily Al Wasat who indicated that just prior to leaving for his resort in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Mubarak became comatose.

Apparently, prior to delivering his last speech on national Egyptian television, we also learned that Mubarak had fainted. This is the explanation given for the delay between the announcement of his anticipated speech and his actual appearance several hours later.

His fragile state of health was also cited as the reason for which the army did not insist that he leave earlier.

Beginning on January 25th, 2011, Egypt witnessed massive popular protests calling for the end of its dictatorship regime, starting with the resignation of Mubarak.

Last year, we reported that Hosni Mubarak had been hospitalized in Germany for gall bladder surgery, but it was also revealed that the Egyptian President suffered from terminal cancer.

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In Egypt the seeds of a new world order and the end of Western supremacy

found on : http://mondoweiss.net

by Paul Woodward on February 11, 2011

 

obamamubarak
Hosni Mubarak, Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah II in the White House on Sept. 1, 2010.

Some think the Middle East isn’t ready for democracy — in truth it’s the West that isn’t ready.

Nicholas Kristof duly notes:

Egyptians triumphed over their police state without Western help or even moral support. During rigged parliamentary elections, the West barely raised an eyebrow. And when the protests began at Tahrir Square, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the Mubarak government was “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.”

Commentators have repeatedly referred to the Obama administration playing catch-up during the Egyptian revolution, yet its seeming inability to track fast-changing events was merely an expression of its unwillingness to embrace the direction those events were heading.

Immediately after Hosni Mubarak resigned, Jake Tapper from ABC News tweeted that he couldn’t find anyone in the administration who thought that whatever comes next would be better for U.S. interests than Mubarak had been.

The dictator’s departure is not being celebrated in Washington. The leaders of the free world have a singular lack of enthusiasm for freedom.

The administration has not merely repeatedly stumbled, but has functioned as a dead weight, attempting to slow the pace of what may become the most significant transformation in world order since the birth of Western colonial power.

America’s friends in Israel have been equally unenthusiastic about the turn of events. After Mubarak’s defiant speech on Thursday night when he insisted he would sit out his term as president, “Israel breathed a sigh of relief,” according to Israeli commentator, Alex Fishman. The respite must have felt dreadfully brief.

But if Americans want to grasp the significance of the Egyptian revolution, they need look no further than this country’s much bloodier assertion of people power: the American revolution.

For the first time in Egypt’s history, the Egyptian people have made a declaration of sovereignty and claimed their right of self-governance. Is that not something that every person on the planet who cherishes life and liberty can joyfully celebrate?

As Western leaders now line up, having no choice but to express their support for the revolution, while sagely offering guidance and assistance in managing an “orderly transition” to a democratic system, they do so with a palpable ambivalence.

People power is in jeopardy of sweeping the Middle East and undoing the carefully constructed “stability” through which for most of the last century the West has managed the control of its most vital resource: oil.

Worse for the United States, the Egyptian revolution now undermines the US government’s ability to sustain an unswerving loyalty to the preeminence of Israel’s security interests.

A democratic Egyptian government will not have the autocratic latitude that until now enabled Mubarak’s complicity in the siege of Gaza or his willingness to participate in the charade of a peace process going nowhere.

Stepping back from the most obvious regional implications of what is now unfolding, there is a more far-reaching dimension.

When in 1990 President George HW Bush used the phrase “new world order”, his words had an ominous ring both because they implied that this would be an American-defined order but also — on the brink of the first Gulf War — a militarily-imposed order. The new order was synonymous with the dubious claim that the collapse of the Soviet Union represented an American “victory” in the Cold War.

A new world order worthy of the name, however, should represent something much more significant than the strategic reapportioning of power on a geopolitical level. It should involve the reapportioning of power through which global affairs become the people’s affairs. It should mean that international relations can no longer be conducted within the confines of intrinsically undemocratic arenas where ordinary people have no voice.

The people-power unleashed in Egypt has the potential to serve as a democratizing force that not only threatens autocratic leaders in the Middle East but also technocratic and nominally democratic leaders in the West — those whose complacent style of governance has depended on the political passivity of the populations they nominally serve while providing ready access for corporate interests to exercise their undemocratic influence.

The West, far from representing a model of democracy ripe for export has instead long been mired in a post-democratic phase where the foundational concept of demos, the people, has withered.

Individual wealth has supplanted the need for social solidarity as citizenship has been substituted by consumerism. Our material self-sufficiency has robbed us of the experience of mutual reliance and worn thin the fabric of society.

In a new world order, a new democracy might spread not just further east but also further west.

There is also a bittersweet note in this moment.

The Western exporters of democracy delivered the war in Iraq and yet as we witness events unfold in Egypt, it’s hard not to wonder what might have been possible had the people of Iraq, without Western help or hindrance, been allowed the same opportunity to claim their own freedom.

This is cross-posted at Woodward’s site, War in Context.

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Egyptian military says not to hold legal power of country (Update 3)

found on : http://en.rian.ru

Riots in Cairo 

Riots in Cairo

© REUTERS/ Steve Crisp

22:20 11/02/2011
Egypt’s Higher Military Council said in a statement received by RIA Novosti on Friday that it has no plans of assuming long-term power over the country after Hosni Mubarak resigned from his presidential post earlier in the day.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 82, who ruled the country for almost 30 years, stepped down on Friday after 18 days of heated protests demanding his resignation.

“The Higher Military Council is not an alternative to the legal power that would please the Egyptian people,” the statement read.

The Higher Military Council also said it would make a number of announcements in the near future on governing the country.

The Higher Military Council expressed its appreciation to Mubarak for his contribution to strengthening and developing the country.

“We address with special thanks and appreciation to President Hosni Mubarak for his guarding of the highest national interests, in the days of peace and war, and for his contribution to affairs of the fatherland,” the statement read.

The unrest in the country that began on January 25 claimed the lives of at least 300 people and injured thousands. The majority of protestors behind the revolution are web-savvy young people who have not seen any other regime except for Mubarak’s.

After the announcement, Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the nationwide protests, erupted into loud cheers, chanting “Egypt is free, Egypt is free!”

The main accusations against Mubarak are that his regime fostered poverty, autocracy and large-scale corruption. The main goal of Egypt’s revolution was to replace Mubarak’s regime with a true democracy.

The unexpected resignation made Mubarak, who had earlier in the week said he would remain in office, the second Arab leader forced to quit from a civil uprising. Last month, Tunisia’s president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali resigned and fled the country amid massive protests against his regime.

Egyptian national TV reported that Mubarak and his family had left Cairo for his winter residence in Sharm el Sheikh, a popular resort in South Sinai.

CAIRO, February 11 (RIA Novosti)

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s speech to his nation

found on : http://www.voltairenet.org 

by Hosni Moubarak*



10 February 2011 

From
Cairo (Egypt]

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Cairo, Egypt
10 February 2011

In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate, dear fellow citizens, my sons, the youth of Egypt, and daughters, I am addressing you tonight to the youth of Egypt in Tahrir Square, with all of its diversity.

I am addressing all of you from the heart, a speech from the father to his sons and daughters. I am telling you that I am very grateful and am so proud of you for being a symbolic generation that is calling for change to the better, that is dreaming for a better future, and is making the future.

I am telling you before anything, that the blood of the martyrs and the injured will not go in vain. And I would like to affirm, I will not hesitate to punish those who are responsible fiercely. I will hold those in charge who have violated the rights of our youth with the harshest punishment stipulated in the law.

I am telling families of the innocent victims that I have been so much in pain for their pain, and my heart ached for your heartache.

I am telling you that my response to your demands and your messages and your requests is my commitment that I will never go back on to. I am determined to fulfill what I have promised you in all honesty, and I’m determined to execute and carry out what I have promised without going back to the past.

This commitment is out of my conviction of your honesty and your movement and that your demands are the demands – legitimate and just demands. Any regime could make mistakes in any country, but what is more important is to acknowledge these mistakes and reform and correct them in a timely manner, and to hold those responsible for it accountable.

I am telling you, as a president of the country, I do not find it a mistake to listen to you and to respond to your requests and demands. But it is shameful and I will not, nor will ever accept to hear foreign dictations, whatever the source might be or whatever the context it came in.

My sons and daughters, the youth of Egypt, dear fellow citizens, I have announced, without any doubt, that I will not run for the next presidential elections and have said that I have given the country and served the country for 60 years in public service, during wartime and during peacetime.

I have told you my determination that I will hold steadfast to continue to take on my responsibility to protect the constitution and the rights of people until power is transferred to whomever the people choose during September, the upcoming September, and free and impartial elections that will be safeguarded by the freedom – the call for freedom.

This is the oath that I have taken before God and before you. And I will protect it and keep it until we reach – we take Egypt to the safety and security.

I have given you my vision to get out of this current situation, to accomplish what the youth and the people called for, within the respect for the legitimacy and the constitution in a way that will accomplish security, and security for our future and the demands of our people, and at the same time will guarantee a framework of peaceful transition of power.

Through a responsible dialogue between all factions in the society, with all honesty and transparency, I have given you this vision under commitment to take the country out of this current crisis, and I will continue to accomplish it. And I’m monitoring the situation hour by hour.

I’m looking forward to the support of all those who are careful about the security and want a secure Egypt, within a tangible time, with the harmony of the broad base of all Egyptians that will stay watchful to guard Egypt and under the command of its military forces.

We have started a national dialogue, a constructive one, that included the youth who have called for change and reform, and also with all the factions of opposition and of society. And this dialogue resulted in harmony, and preliminary harmony in opinions that has placed us on the beginning of the road to transfer to a better future that we have agreed on.

We also have agreed on a road map – a road map with a timetable. Day after day, we will continue the transition of power from now until September. This national dialogue has — has met and was formed under a constitutional committee that have looked into the constitution and what was required – and looked into what is required, and the constitution reforms that is demanded [inaudible].

We will also monitor the execution – the honest execution of what I have promised my people. I was careful that both committees that were formed – to be formed from Egyptians who are honorable and who are independent and impartial, and who are well-versed in law and constitution.

In addition to that, in reference to the loss of many Egyptians during these sad situations that have pained the hearts of all of us and have ached the conscience of all Egyptians. I have also requested to expedite investigations and to refer all investigations to the attorney general to take the necessary measures and steps – decisive steps.

I also received the first reports yesterday about the required constitutional reform – reforms that was suggested by the constitutional and law experts regarding the legislative reforms that were requested. I am also responding to what the committee has suggested. And based on the powers given to me according to the constitution, I have presented today a request asking the amendment of six constitutional articles, which is 76, 77, 88, 93 and 187, in addition to abolishing article number 79 in the constitution, with the affirmation and conviction that later on we can also amend the other articles that would be suggested by that constitutional committee, according to what it sees right.

Our priority now is to facilitate free election – free presidential elections and to stipulate a number of terms in the constitution and to guarantee a supervision of the upcoming elections to make sure it will be conducted in a free manner.

We – I have also looked into the provisions and the steps to look into the parliamentary elections, but those who have suggested to abolish article number 179 in the constitution will guarantee the balance between the constitution and between our security and the threat of terror, which will open the door to stopping the martial law, as soon as we regain stability and security and as soon as these circumstances — circumstances assure the stability.

Our priority now is to regain confidence between citizens among themselves and to regain confidence in the international arena and to regain confidence about the reforms that we have pledged.

Egypt is going through some difficult times, and it is not right to continue in this discourse because it has affected our economy and we have lost day after day, and it is in danger — it is putting Egypt through a situation where people who have called for reform will be the first ones to be affected by it.

This time is not about me. It’s not about Hosni Mubarak. But the situation now is about Egypt and its present and the future of its citizens.

All Egyptians are in the same spot now, and we have to continue our national dialogue that we have started in the spirit of one team and away from disagreements and fighting so that we can take Egypt to the next step and to regain confidence in our economy and to let people feel secure and to stabilize the Egyptian street so that people can resume their daily life.

I was a young man, a youth just like all these youth, when I have learned the honor of the military system and to sacrifice for the country. I have spent my entire life defending its land and its sovereignty. I have witnessed and attended its wars with all its defeats and victories. I have lived during defeat and victory.

During the victory in 1973, my happiest days were when I lifted the Egyptian flag over Sinai. I have faced death several times when I was a pilot. I also faced it in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and elsewhere. I did not submit nor yield to foreign dictations or others. I have kept the peace. I worked towards the Egyptian stability and security. I have worked to the revival in Egypt and the prosperity.

I did not seek authority. I trust that the majority — the vast majority of the Egyptian people know who is Hosni Mubarak, and it pains me to what I have — what I see today from some of my fellow citizens. And anyway, I am completely aware of the — what we are facing and I am convinced that Egypt is going through a historical — a historical moment that necessitates we should look into the higher and superior aspirations of the nation over any other goal or interest.

I have delegated to the vice president some of the power – the powers of the president according to the constitution. I am aware, fully aware, that Egypt will overcome the crisis and the resolve of its people will not be deflected and will [inaudible] again because of the – and will deflect the arrows of the enemies and those who [inaudible] against Egypt.

We will stand as Egyptians and we will prove our power and our resolve to overcome this through national dialogue. We will prove that we are not followers or puppets of anybody, nor we are receiving orders or dictations from anybody — any entity, and no one is making the decision for us except for the [inaudible] of the Egyptian [inaudible].

We will prove that with the spirit and the resolve of the Egyptian people, and with the unity and steadfastness of its people and with our resolve and to our glory and pride.

These are the main foundations of our civilization that have started over 7,000 years ago. That spirit will live in us as long as the Egyptian people – as long as the Egyptian people remain, that spirit will remain in us.

It will live amongst all of our people, farmers, intellectuals, workers. It will remain in the hearts of our senior citizens, our women, our children, Christians and Muslims alike, and in the hearts and minds of all those who are not born yet.

Let me say again that I have lived for this nation. I have kept my responsibilities. And Egypt will remain, above all, and above any individuals — Egypt will remain until I deliver and surrender its — it to others. This will be the land of my living and my death. It will remain a dear land to me. I will not leave it nor depart it until I am buried in the ground. Its people will remain in my heart, and it will remain — its people will remain upright and lifting up their heads.

May God keep Egypt secure and may God defend its people. And peace be upon you.

 Hosni Moubarak
Hosni Mubarak is the president of Egypt. 

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The Division of Egypt: Threats of US, Israeli, and NATO Military Intervention?

http://www.voltairenet.orgby Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya*

In this final article of our series on Egypt, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reviews the different scenarios that could emerge from the intensifying popular rebellion, which range from disastrous to optimistic. Beyond that, this expert on the Middle East warns of a much darker agenda which may be afoot. Unable to control the situation, the U.S. and Israel are now working on the destabilization and division of Egypt to thwart a possible strategic challenge and to accelerate their long-standing goal of dividing the whole Arab world, as already achieved in the Sudan.


 


9 February 2011

From
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 CentCom: Control of the “Great Middle East”

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In response to massive anti-government protests in neighboring Egypt, Israel has increased its military budget.

The protests in Tunisia have had a domino effect in the Arab World. Egypt, the largest Arab country, is now electrified with popular uproar to remove the Mubarak regime in Cairo. It must be asked what effects would this event have? Will the U.S., Israel, and NATO simply watch the Egyptian people establish a free government?

The parable of the Arab dictators is like that of the spider’s web. Although the spider feels safe in its web, in reality the web is one of the frailest homes. All the Arab dictators and tyrants, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are in fear now. Egypt is on the brink of what could amount to being one of the most important geo-political events in this century.

Pharaohs, ancient or modern, all have their end days. Mubarak’s days are numbered, but the powers behind him have not yet been defeated. Egypt is an important part of America’s global empire. The U.S. government, Tel Aviv, the E.U., and NATO all have significant interests in maintaining Egypt as a puppet regime.

The U.S. and Israel want to use the Egyptian Military to Police the Egyptian People

When protests started in Egypt, the heads of the Egyptian military all went to the U.S. and consulted with U.S. officials for orders. The Egyptians are well aware that the regime in Cairo is a pawn in the services of the U.S. and Israel. This is why Egyptian slogans are not only directed against the Mubarak regime but are also aimed against the U.S. and Israel, in similarity to some of the slogans of the Iranian Revolution. The U.S. has been involved in every aspect of the Egyptian government’s activities. Cairo has not made a single move without consulting both the White House and Tel Aviv. Israel has also permitted the Egyptian military to move into urban areas in the Sinai Peninsula.

The reality of the situation is that the U.S. government has worked against freedom in the Arab World and beyond. When President Obama says that there should be a period of “transition” in Egypt, it means that Mubarak and the Egyptian regime should stay intact. The U.S. does not want a people’s government in Cairo.

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (L) and former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk attend the National Security Studies ’Security Challenges of the 21st Century’ Conference in Tel Aviv, December 2007.

Martin Indyk, a former Clinton Administration official at the U.S. National Security Council with an area of responsibility for the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and an individual closely tied to the Obama Administration, told The New York Times that the U.S. must work towards bringing the Egyptian military into control of Egypt until a “moderate and legitimate political leadership [can] emerge.” [1] Not only did Indyk call for a military takeover in Egypt, he also used U.S. State Department double-speak. What U.S. officials mean by “moderate” are dictatorships and regimes like Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Jordan, Morocco, and Ben Ali’s Tunisia. As for legitimacy, in the eyes of U.S. officials, it means individuals who will serve U.S. interests.

Tel Aviv is far less coy than the U.S. about the situation in Egypt. Out of fear of losing Cairo, Tel Aviv has been encouraging the Mubarak regime to unleash the full force of the Egyptian military on the civilian protesters. It has also been defending Mubarak internationally. In this regard, the Egyptian military’s primary role has always been to police the Egyptian people and to keep the Mubarak regime in power. U.S. military aid to Egypt is solely intended for this purpose.

Revolutionary Egypt: A Second Iran in the Middle East?

If the Egyptian people manage to establish a new and truly sovereign government, it would equate to a second Iran in the Middle East. This would cause a major regional and global geo-political shift. It would also deeply upset and cripple the interests of the U.S., Britain, Israel, France, the E.U., and NATO in what would amount to a colossal loss, like that of Iran in 1979.

If a new revolutionary government were to emerge in Cairo the bogus Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would be over, the starvation of the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip would end, the cornerstone of Israeli military security would be gone, and the Iranian-Syrian Awliyaa (Alliance) could possibly gain a significant new member.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed Tel Aviv’s fears about Egypt allying with Iran and a new gateway of Iranian influence being opened in a speech by saying: “Tehran is waiting for the day in which darkness descends [in Egypt].” [2] Netanyahu is correct about one thing, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has been monitoring the events in Egypt very eagerly and the Iranians are awaiting the establishment of a new revolutionary government that could join Iran and the Resistance Bloc. Tehran has been overjoyed and Iran is abuzz with speeches by its officials about what they believe to be an “Islamic Awakening”.

While the Arab members of the Resistance Bloc have made low-key statements about the protests in Egypt, non-Arab Iran has been vocal in its support of the protesters in the Arab World. Syria has made low-key remarks, because of its own fears of revolt at home. Hezbollah and Hamas have also been relatively low-key on their stances about the protests in the Arab World, because they wish to avoid being targeted by the Arab regimes through accusations of meddling.

At every opportunity the so-called “moderate” Arab regimes seek to demonize these Arab players. On the other hand the Turkish government, which maintains close ties to the Arab regimes, has also been virtually silent about the protests in the Arab World.

Israel is preparing itself for the possible reality that an unfriendly government will be taking office in Cairo, which is what will happen if the Egyptian people are successful. Tel Aviv has secret military-security contingency plans for Egypt. In the words of Netanyahu to the Israeli Knesset: “A peace agreement does not guarantee the existence of peace [between Israel and Egypt], so in order to protect it and ourselves, in cases in which the agreement disappears or is violated due to regime change on the other side, we protect it with security arrangements on the ground.” [3]

Threats of U.S., Israeli, and NATO Military Intervention in Egypt: Recall the 1956 Invasion of Egypt?

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1956 Suez war – Israeli conquest of Sinai.

There is also the chance of renewed war with Israel and even American and NATO military intervention in Egypt. The threat of military intervention in Egypt must be considered. In 1956, the British, the French, and the Israelis jointly attacked Egypt when President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Recalling 1956, the U.S. and NATO could do the same. General James Mattis, the commander of U.S. Central Command said that the U.S. will deal with Egypt “diplomatically, economically, [and] militarily” should access to the Suez Canal be shut by Egypt to the U.S. and its allies. [4]

In 2008, Norman Podhoretz proposed a unthinkable nightmare scenario. In this nightmare scenario the Israelis would militarily occupy the oil refineries and naval ports of the Persian Gulf to insure “energy security” and they would also launch a so-called pre-emptive nuclear attack against Iran, Syria, and Egypt. [5]

In 2008, the main questions that arose were: “energy security” for whom and why attack Egypt, where the Mubarak government has been a staunch Israeli ally?

Would the Israelis attack Egypt if a revolutionary government emerged in Cairo? This is what essentially happened a few years after Gamal Abdel Nasser took power from Mohammed Naguib in Egypt. Also, is such a military attack on Egypt tied to Israel’s secret military-security contingency plans that Netanyahu assured the Israeli Knesset about.

Is such a nightmare scenario, which includes the use of nuclear weapons, a distinct possiblity? Podhoretz has close ties to both Israeli and U.S. officials. It should also be mentioned that Podhoretz is a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his intellectual influence in the U.S. and is one of the original 1997 signatories of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) along with Elliot Abrams, Richard Cheney, John (Jeb) Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Steen Forbes Jr., and Paul Wolfowitz. The PNAC has essentially outlined plans for transforming America into a global empire through militarism overseas and domestic militarization.

“Managed Chaos” and the Threats of Balkanization in Egypt: The Yinon Plan at Work?

Egypt cannot be managed by the Mubarak regime, the U.S., Israel, and their allies anymore. Thus, the U.S., Israel, and their allies are now working to divide and destabilize Egypt, as the most powerful Arab state, so that no strategic challenge can emerge from Cairo. The attacks on the peaceful protestors in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square by Mubarak’s club-wielding thugs riding camels and horses was a stage-managed event to build public support outside of the Arab World for having a dictatorial strongman in Cairo. It epitomized every stereotype and incorrect Orientalist attitude about Arabs and the peoples of the Middle East. It would come as no surprise if the U.S., Israel, and Britain played direct or advisory roles in the event.

In a major departure from reality, the Mubarak regime’s state-controlled media is reporting popular support for Mubarak by millions of Egyptians and wide-spread approval of his speech and his “transitional government” plans. In a show of desperation, the same state-controlled media is also trying to blame Iran and its Arab allies for the Egyptian protests. Egyptian state-controlled media has reported that Iranian commandos and special forces, along with the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, have been on destabilization and sabotage missions against Egypt.

These types of accusations by the regime in Cairo are not new. Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, and Mahmoud Abbas also all do the same. The Mubarak regime has blamed Iran, Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement, Syria, and Hamas for meddling and inciting revolt several times in the past. When the Free Patriotic Movement criticized the Mubarak regime about the treatment of Egyptian Christians, the Mubarak regime accused Michel Aoun of sectarian sedition. On the other hand, Hezbollah was accused of attempting to create chaos in Egypt when Hassan Nasrallah asked the Egyptian people to show solidarity with the Palestinians and demand that their government allow humanitarian aid to go to the people of the Gaza Strip.

Managed Chaos at Work

Although Mubarak’s thugs are also creating chaos in Egypt to try to keep his regime in power, the doctrine of “managed chaos” is being used by external actors with the Israeli Yinon Plan in mind. Making Egyptians fight against one another and turning Egypt into a divided and insecure state, just like Anglo-American Iraq, appears to be the objective of the U.S., Israel, and their allies. The building tensions between Egyptian Muslims and Egyptian Christians, which includes the attacks on Coptic churches, is tied to this project. In this context, on the thirteenth day of the protests in Egypt, the Mar Girgis Church in the Egyptian town of Rafah, next to Gaza and Israel, was attacked by armed men on motorcycles. [6]

The White House and Tel Aviv do not want a second Iran in the Middle East. They will do whatever they can to prevent the emergence of a strong and independent Egypt.

A free Egypt could prove to be a much bigger threat than non-Arab Iran within the Arab World to the objectives of the U.S., Israel, and NATO.

The Return of the Egyptian Eagle as the Champion of Arab Independence?

Egypt was once a major strategic challenge to the U.S., Israel, France, and Britain in the Arab World and Africa. Nasserite Egypt aided the Algerian Resistance against the French occupation of Algeria, openly supported the Palestinians against the Israeli occupation of their homes, supported the Yemenite Resistance against the British occupation in South Yemen, challenged the legitimacy of the British-installed Hashemites and the American-supported House of Saud, and offered support to national liberation and anti-imperialist movements. Cairo under a revolutionary government, whether deeply tied to Islam or not, could give the Arab World a new leader that would revive pan-Arabism, make Tel Aviv further nervous about trying to launch wars, and rally the Arabs and other peoples worldwide in revolt against the global confederacy formed by the U.S. and its allies.

Egypt is not free from bondage yet. The Egyptian people must also address the role of global capitalism in supporting the Mubarak regime. At the same time they must remain united. If they are successful, they will make a huge impact on the history of the current century.

==

Related articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya:
- “The Balkanization of Sudan: The Redrawing of the Middle East and North Africa”, Voltaire Network, 21 January 2011.
-Revolution: Is 1848 Repeating Itself in the Arab World?“, Centre for Research on Globalization, February 5, 2011.
-Dictatorship and Neo-Liberalism: The Tunisian People’s Uprising“, Centre for Research on Globalization, January 19, 2011.
-Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a New Middle East”, Centre for Research on Globalization, November 18, 2006.

 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) specializing in geopolitics and strategic issues.

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Egypt’s Revolution: Creative Destruction for a ’Greater Middle East’?

http://www.voltairenet.org

 

by F. William Engdahl*

 

Controverting majority opinion, F. William Engdahl maintains there is nothing spontaneous about the mass protest movements in Arab countries and sees them as a replay of the US-orchestrated colour revolutions that triggered regime change in post-Soviet countries. The same script and cast of characters are at hand: local opposition leaders coached by the NED and other US-funded organizations in the art of staging “spontaneous” uprisings. The contours of a US covert strategy for the region have been clear for some time. The question is: will it work?



7 February 2011 

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Game over?

Fast on the heels of the regime change in Tunisia came a popular-based protest movement launched on January 25 against the entrenched order of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Contrary to the carefully-cultivated impression that the Obama Administration is trying to retain the present regime of Mubarak, Washington in fact is orchestrating the Egyptian as well as other regional regime changes from Syria to Yemen to Jordan and well beyond in a process some refer to as “creative destruction”.

The template for such covert regime change has been developed by the Pentagon, US intelligence agencies and various think-tanks such as RAND Corporation over decades, beginning with the May 1968 destabilization of the De Gaulle presidency in France. This is the first time since the US-backed regime changes in Eastern Europe some two decades back that Washington has initiated simultaneous operations in many countries in a region. It is a strategy born of a certain desperation and one not without significant risk for the Pentagon and for the long-term Wall Street agenda. What the outcome will be for the peoples of the region and for the world is as yet unclear. Yet while the ultimate outcome of defiant street protests in Cairo and across Egypt and the Islamic world remains unclear, the broad outlines of a US covert strategy are already clear.

No one can dispute the genuine grievances motivating millions to take to the streets at risk of life. No one can defend atrocities of the Mubarak regime and its torture and repression of dissent. No one can dispute the explosive rise in food prices as Chicago and Wall Street commodity speculators, and the conversion of American farmland to the insane cultivation of corn for ethanol fuel drive grain prices through the roof. Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer, much of it from the USA. Chicago wheat futures rose by a staggering 74% between June and November 2010 leading to an Egyptian food price inflation of some 30% despite government subsidies.

What is widely ignored in the CNN and BBC and other Western media coverage of the Egypt events is the fact that whatever his excesses at home, Egypt’s Mubarak represented a major obstacle within the region to the larger US agenda.

To say relations between Obama and Mubarak were ice cold from the outset would be no exaggeration. Mubarak was staunchly opposed to Obama policies on Iran and how to deal with its nuclear program, on Obama policies towards the Persian Gulf states, to Syria and to Lebanon as well as to the Palestinians [1]. He was a formidable thorn in the larger Washington agenda for the entire region, Washington’s Greater Middle East Project, more recently redubbed the milder-sounding “New Middle East.”

As real as the factors are that are driving millions into the streets across North Africa and the Middle East, what cannot be ignored is the fact that Washington is deciding the timing and as they see it, trying to shape the ultimate outcome of comprehensive regime change destabilizations across the Islamic world. The day of the remarkably well-coordinated popular demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down, key members of the Egyptian military command including Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan were all in Washington as guests of the Pentagon. That conveniently neutralized the decisive force of the Army to stop the anti-Mubarak protests from growing in the critical early days [2].

The strategy had been in various State Department and Pentagon files since at least a decade or longer. After George W. Bush declared a War on Terror in 2001 it was called the Greater Middle East Project. Today it is known as the less threatening-sounding “New Middle East” project. It is a strategy to break open the states of the region from Morocco to Afghanistan, the region defined by David Rockefeller’s friend Samuel Huntington in his infamous Clash of Civilizations essay in Foreign Affairs.

Egypt rising?

The current Pentagon scenario for Egypt reads like a Cecil B. DeMille Hollywood spectacular, only this one with a cast of millions of Twitter-savvy well-trained youth, networks of Muslim Brotherhood operatives, working with a US-trained military. In the starring role of the new production at the moment is none other than a Nobel Peace Prize winner who conveniently appears to pull all the threads of opposition to the ancient regime into what appears as a seamless transition into a New Egypt under a self-proclaimed liberal democratic revolution.

Some background on the actors on the ground is useful before looking at what Washington’s long-term strategic plan might be for the Islamic world from North Africa to the Persian Gulf and ultimately into the Islamic populations of Central Asia, to the borders of China and Russia.

Washington ’soft’ revolutions

The protests that led to the abrupt firing of the entire Egyptian government by President Mubarak on the heels of the panicked flight of Tunisia’s Ben Ali into a Saudi exile are not at all as “spontaneous” as the Obama White House, Clinton State Department or CNN, BBC and other major media in the West make them to be.

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Muslim Brotherhood logo

They are being organized in a Ukrainian-style high-tech electronic fashion with large internet-linked networks of youth tied to Mohammed ElBaradei and the banned and murky secret Muslim Brotherhood, whose links to British and American intelligence and freemasonry are widely reported [3].

At this point the anti-Mubarak movement looks like anything but a threat to US influence in the region, quite the opposite. It has all the footprints of another US-backed regime change along the model of the 2003-2004 Color Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine and the failed Green Revolution against Iran’s Ahmedinejad in 2009.

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“January 25 Day of Anger” poster signed by April 6 movement.

The call for an Egyptian general strike and a January 25 Day of Anger that sparked the mass protests demanding Mubarak resign was issued by a Facebook-based organization calling itself the April 6 Movement. The protests were so substantial and well-organized that it forced Mubarak to ask his cabinet to resign and appoint a new vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman, former Minister of Intelligence.

April 6 is headed by one Ahmed Maher Ibrahim, a 29-year-old civil engineer, who set up the Facebook site to support a workers’ call for a strike on April 6, 2008.

According to a New York Times account from 2009, some 800,000 Egyptians, most youth, were already then Facebook or Twitter members. In an interview with the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment, April 6 Movement head Maher stated, “Being the first youth movement in Egypt to use internet-based modes of communication like Facebook and Twitter, we aim to promote democracy by encouraging public involvement in the political process” [4].

Maher also announced that his April 6 Movement backs former UN International Atomic Energy Aagency (IAEA) head and declared Egyptian Presidential candidate, ElBaradei along with ElBaradei’s National Association for Change (NAC) coalition. The NAC includes among others George Ishak, a leader in Kefaya Movement, and Mohamed Saad El-Katatni, president of the parliamentary bloc of the controversial Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood. Today Kefaya is at the center of the unfolding Egyptian events. Not far in the background is the more discreet Muslim Brotherhood [5].

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Former IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei taking center stage in opposition front to President Hosni Mubarak.

ElBaradei at this point is being projected as the central figure in a future Egyptian parliamentary democratic change. Curiously, though he has not lived in Egypt for the past thirty years, he has won the backing of every imaginable part of the Eyptian political spectrum from communists to Muslim Brotherhood to Kefaya and April 6 young activists [6]. Judging from the calm demeanour ElBaradei presents these days to CNN interviewers, he also likely has the backing of leading Egyptian generals opposed to the Mubarak rule for whatever reasons as well as some very influential persons in Washington.

Kefaya—Pentagon ’non-violent warfare’

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Egyptian woman wearing sticker of the Kefaya (enough) Movement, the main force behind ElBaradei’s candidature.

Kefaya is at the heart of mobilizing the Egyptian protest demonstrations that back ElBaradei’s candidacy. The word Kefaya translates to “enough!”

Curiously, the planners at the Washington National Endowment for Democracy (NED) [7] and related color revolution NGOs apparently were bereft of creative new catchy names for their Egyptian Color Revolution. In their November 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the US-financed NGOs chose the catch word, Kmara! In order to identify the youth-based regime change movement. Kmara in Georgian also means “enough!”

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Kmara (enough) in Georgia.
The Technique of a Coup d’État, by John Laughland, Voltaire Network, 5 January 2010.

Like Kefaya, Kmara in Georgia was also built by the Washington-financed trainers from the NED and other groups such as Gene Sharp’s misleadingly-named Albert Einstein Institution which uses what Sharp once identified as “non-violence as a method of warfare” [8].

The various youth networks in Georgia as in Kefaya were carefully trained as a loose, decentralized network of cells, deliberately avoiding a central organization that could be broken and could have brought the movement to a halt. Training of activists in techniques of non-violent resistance was done at sports facilities, making it appear innocuous. Activists were also given training in political marketing, media relations, mobilization and recruiting skills. The formal name of Kefaya is Egyptian Movement for Change. It was founded in 2004 by select Egyptian intellectuals at the home of Abu ‘l-Ala Madi, leader of the al-Wasat party, a party reportedly created by the Muslim Brotherhood [9] . Kefaya was created as a coalition movement united only by the call for an end Mubarak’s rule.

Kefaya as part of the amorphous April 6 Movement capitalized early on new social media and digital technology as its main means of mobilization. In particular, political blogging, posting uncensored youtube shorts and photographic images were skillfully and extremely professionally used. At a rally already back in December 2009 Kefaya had announced support for the candidacy of Mohammed ElBaradei for the 2011 Egyptian elections [10].

RAND and Kefaya

No less a US defense establishment think-tank than the RAND Corporation has conducted a detailed study of Kefaya. The Kefaya study as RAND themselves note, was “sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community” [11].

A nicer bunch of democratically-oriented gentlemen and women could hardly be found.

In their 2008 report to the Pentagon, the RAND researchers noted the following in relation to Egypt’s Kefaya:

“The United States has professed an interest in greater democratization in the Arab world, particularly since the September 2001 attacks by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon. This interest has been part of an effort to reduce destabilizing political violence and terrorism. As President George W. Bush noted in a 2003 address to the National Endowment for Democracy, ’As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export’ (The White House, 2003). The United States has used varying means to pursue democratization, including a military intervention that, though launched for other reasons, had the installation of a democratic government as one of its end goals. However, indigenous reform movements are best positioned to advance democratization in their own country” [12].

RAND researchers have spent years perfecting techniques of unconventional regime change under the name “swarming,” the method of deploying mass mobs of digitally-linked youth in hit-and-run protest formations moving like swarms of bees [13].

Washington and the stable of “human rights” and “democracy” and “non-violence” NGOs it oversees, over the past decade or more has increasingly relied on sophisticated “spontaneous” nurturing of local indigenous protest movements to create pro-Washington regime change and to advance the Pentagon agenda of global Full Spectrum Dominance. As the RAND study of Kefaya states in its concluding recommendations to the Pentagon:

“The US government already supports reform efforts through organizations such as the US Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Programme. Given the current negative popular standing of the United States in the region, US support for reform initiatives is best carried out through nongovernmental and non-profit institutions” [14].

The RAND 2008 study was even more concrete about future US Government support for Egyptian and other “reform” movements:

“The US government should encourage non-governmental organizations to offer training to reformers, including guidance on coalition building and how to deal with internal differences in pursuit of democratic reform. Academic institutions (or even non-governmental organizations associated with US political parties, such as the International Republican Institute or the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs) could carry out such training, which would equip reform leaders to reconcile their differences peacefully and democratically.

Fourth, the United States should help reformers obtain and use information technology, perhaps by offering incentives for US companies to invest in the region’s communications infrastructure and information technology. US information technology companies could also help ensure that the Web sites of reformers can remain in operation and could invest in technologies such as anonymizers that could offer some shelter from government scrutiny. This could also be accomplished by employing technological safegaurds to prevent regimes from sabotaging the Web sites of reformers” [15].

As their Kefaya monograph states, it was prepared in 2008 by the “RAND National Security Research Division’s Alternative Strategy Initiative, sponsored by the Rapid Reaction Technology Office in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics”.

The Alternative Strategy Initiative, just to underscore the point, includes “research on creative use of the media, radicalization of youth, civic involvement to stem sectarian violence, the provision of social services to mobilize aggrieved sectors of indigenous populations, and the topic of this volume, alternative movements” [16].

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with “Egyptian activists promoting freedom and democracy”, prior to meetings at the State Department in Washington, DC, May 28, 2009.

In May 2009 just before Obama’s Cairo trip to meet Mubarak, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a number of the young Egyptian activists in Washington under the auspices of Freedom House, another “human rights” Washington-based NGO with a long history of involvement in US-sponsored regime change from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine and other Color Revolutions. Clinton and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met the sixteen activists at the end of a two-month “fellowship” organized by Freedom House’s New Generation program [17]

Freedom House and Washington’s government-funded regime change NGO, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are at the heart of the uprisings now sweeping across the Islamic world. They fit the geographic context of what George W. Bush proclaimed after 2001 as his Greater Middle East Project to bring “democracy” and “liberal free market” economic reform to the Islamic countries from Afghanistan to Morocco. When Washington talks about introducing “liberal free market reform” people should watch out. It is little more than code for bringing those economies under the yoke of the dollar system and all that implies.

Washington’s NED in a larger agenda

If we make a list of the countries in the region which are undergoing mass-based protest movements since the Tunisian and Egyptian events and overlay them onto a map, we find an almost perfect convergence between the protest countries today and the original map of the Washington Greater Middle East Project that was first unveiled during the George W. Bush Presidency after 2001.

Washington’s NED has been quietly engaged in preparing a wave of regime destabilizations across North Africa and the Middle East since the 2001-2003 US military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The list of where the NED is active is revealing. Its website lists Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Sudan as well, interestingly, as Israel. Coincidentally these countries are almost all today subject to “spontaneous” popular regime-change uprisings.

The International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs mentioned by the RAND document study of Kefaya are subsidiary organizations of the Washington-based and US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy.

The NED is the coordinating Washington agency for regime destabilization and change. It is active from Tibet to Ukraine, from Venezuela to Tunisia, from Kuwait to Morocco in reshaping the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union into what George H.W. Bush in a 1991 speech to Congress proclaimed triumphantly as the dawn of a New World Order [18].

As the architect and first head of the NED, Allen Weinstein told the Washington Post in 1991 that, “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA” [19].

The NED Board of Directors includes or has included former Defense Secretary and CIA Deputy head Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle Group; retired General Wesley Clark of NATO; neo-conservative warhawk Zalmay Khalilzad who was architect of George W. Bush’s Afghan invasion and later ambassador to Afghanistan as well as to occupied Iraq. Another NED board member, Vin Weber, co-chaired a major independent task force on US Policy toward Reform in the Arab World with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and was a founding member of the ultra-hawkish Project for a New American Century think-tank with Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, which advocated forced regime change in Iraq as early as 1998 [20].

The NED is supposedly a private, non-government, non-profit foundation, but it receives a yearly appropriation for its international work from the US Congress. The National Endowment for Democracy is dependent on the US taxpayer for funding, but because NED is not a government agency, it is not subject to normal Congressional oversight.

NED money is channelled into target countries through four “core foundations”—the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, linked to the Democratic Party; the International Republican Institute tied to the Republican Party; the American Center for International Labor Solidarity linked to the AFL-CIO US labor federation as well as the US State Department; and the Center for International Private Enterprise linked to the free-market US Chamber of Commerce.

The late political analyst Barbara Conry noted that,

“NED has taken advantage of its alleged private status to influence foreign elections, an activity that is beyond the scope of AID or USIA and would otherwise be possible only through a CIA covert operation. Such activities, it may also be worth noting, would be illegal for foreign groups operating in the United States” [21].

Significantly the NED details its various projects today in Islamic countries, including in addition to Egypt, in Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. In short, most every country which is presently feeling the earthquake effects of the reform protests sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa is a target of NED [22].

In 2005 US President George W. Bush made a speech to the NED. In a long, rambling discourse which equated “Islamic radicalism” with the evils of communism as the new enemy, and using a deliberately softer term “broader Middle East” for the term Greater Middle East that had aroused much distruct in the Islamic world, Bush stated,

“The fifth element of our strategy in the war on terror is to deny the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope across the broader Middle East. This is a difficult and long-term project, yet there’s no alternative to it. Our future and the future of that region are linked. If the broader Middle East is left to grow in bitterness, if countries remain in misery, while radicals stir the resentments of millions, then that part of the world will be a source of endless conflict and mounting danger, and for our generation and the next. If the peoples of that region are permitted to choose their own destiny, and advance by their own energy and by their participation as free men and women, then the extremists will be marginalized, and the flow of violent radicalism to the rest of the world will slow, and eventually end…We’re encouraging our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to take the path of reform, to strengthen their own societies in the fight against terror by respecting the rights and choices of their own people. We’re standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes, because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow… “ [23].

The US Project for a ’Greater Middle East’

The spreading regime change operations from Tunisia to Sudan, from Yemen to Egypt to Syria are best viewed in the context of a long-standing Pentagon and State Department strategy for the entire Islamic world from Kabul in Afghanistan to Rabat in Morocco.

The rough outlines of the Washington strategy, based in part on their successful regime change operations in the former Warsaw Pact communist bloc of Eastern Europe, were drawn up by former Pentagon consultant and neo-conservative, Richard Perle and later Bush official Douglas Feith in a white paper they drew up for the then-new Israeli Likud regime of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.

That policy recommendation was titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. It was the first Washington think-tank paper to openly call for removing Saddam Hussein in Iraq, for an aggressive military stance toward the Palestinians, striking Syria and Syrian targets in Lebanon [24]. Reportedly, the Netanyahu government at that time buried the Perle-Feith report, as being far too risky.

By the time of the events of September 11, 2001 and the return to Washington of the arch-warhawk neoconservatives around Perle and others, the Bush Administration put highest priority on an expanded version of the Perle-Feith paper, calling it their Greater Middle East Project. Feith was named Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense.

Behind the facade of proclaiming democratic reforms of autocratic regimes in the entire region, the Greater Middle East was and is a blueprint to extend US military control and to break open the statist economies in the entire span of states from Morocco to the borders of China and Russia.

In May 2009, before the rubble from the US bombing of Baghdad had cleared, George W. Bush, a President not remembered as a great friend of democracy, proclaimed a policy of “spreading democracy” to the entire region and explicitly noted that that meant “the establishment of a US-Middle East free trade area within a decade” [25].

Prior to the June 2004 G8 Summit on Sea Island, Georgia, Washington issued a working paper, “G8-Greater Middle East Partnership”. Under the section titled Economic Opportunities was Washington’s dramatic call for “an economic transformation similar in magnitude to that undertaken by the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe”.

The US paper said that the key to this would be the strengthening of the private sector as the way to prosperity and democracy. It misleadingly claimed it would be done via the miracle of microfinance where as the paper put it, “a mere $100 million a year for five years will lift 1.2 million entrepreneurs (750,000 of them women) out of poverty, through $400 loans to each” [26].

The US plan envisioned takeover of regional banking and financial affairs by new institutions ostensibly international but, like World Bank and IMF, de facto controlled by Washington, including WTO. The goal of Washington’s long-term project is to completely control the oil, to completely control the oil revenue flows, to completely control the entire economies of the region, from Morocco to the borders of China and all in between. It is a project as bold as it is desperate.

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The G8 Map of Washington’s Greater Middle East extends right to the borders of China and Russia and West to Morocco.

Once the G8 US paper was leaked in 2004 in the Arabic Al-Hayat, opposition to it spread widely across the region, with a major protest to the US definition of the Greater Middle East. As an article in the French Le Monde Diplomatique in April 2004 noted, “besides the Arab countries, it covers Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Israel, whose only common denominator is that they lie in the zone where hostility to the US is strongest, in which Islamic fundamentalism in its anti-Western form is most rife” [27]. It should be noted that the NED is also active inside Israel with a number of programs.

Notably, in 2004 it was vehement opposition from two Middle East leaders—Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and the King of Saudi Arabia—that forced the ideological zealots of the Bush Administration to temporarily put the Project for the Greater Middle East on a back burner.

Will it work?

At this writing it is unclear what the ultimate upshot of the latest US-led destabilizations across the Islamic world will bring. It is not clear what will result for Washington and the advocates of a US-dominated New World Order. Their agenda is clearly one of creating a Greater Middle East under firm US grip as a major control of the capital flows and energy flows of a future China, Russia and a European Union that might one day entertain thoughts of drifting away from that American order.

It has huge potential implications for the future of Israel as well. As one US commentator put it, “The Israeli calculation today is that if ’Mubarak goes’ (which is usually stated as ’If America lets Mubarak go’), Egypt goes. If Tunisia goes (same elaboration), Morocco and Algeria go. Turkey has already gone (for which the Israelis have only themselves to blame). Syria is gone (in part because Israel wanted to cut it off from Sea of Galilee water access). Gaza has gone to Hamas, and the Palestine Authority might soon be gone too (to Hamas?). That leaves Israel amid the ruins of a policy of military domination of the region” [28].

The Washington strategy of “creative destruction” is clearly causing sleepless nights not only in the Islamic world but also reportedly in Tel Aviv, and ultimately by now also in Beijing and Moscow and across Central Asia.

 F. William Engdahl
A widely discussed U.S. analyst of current political and economic developments whose articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and well-known international websites. F. William Engdahl’s numerous books include Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation. A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order has just been reissued in a new edition. He may be contacted via his website.
This author’s articles
To send a message

[1] DEBKA, “Mubarak believes a US-backed Egyptian military faction plotted his ouster“, February 4, 2011. DEBKA is open about its good ties to Israeli intelligence and security agencies. While its writings must be read with that in mind, certain reports they publish often contain interesting leads for further investigation.

[2] Ibid.

[3] The Center for Grassroots Oversight, “1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood ally to oppose Egyptian President Nasser“. According to the late Miles Copeland, a CIA official stationed in Egypt during the Nasser era, the CIA allied with the Muslim Brotherhood which was opposed to Nasser’s secular regime as well as his nationalist opposition to brotherhood pan-Islamic ideology.

[4] Jijo Jacob, “What is Egypt’s April 6 Movement?“, February 1, 2011.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Janine Zacharia, “Opposition groups rally around Mohamed ElBaradei“, Washington Post, January 31, 2011.

[7] National Endowment for Democracy, Middle East and North Africa Program Highlights 2009.

[8] Amitabh Pal, “Gene Sharp: The Progressive Interview”, The Progressive, March 1, 2007.

[9] Emmanuel Sivan, “Why Radical Muslims Aren’t Taking over Governments“, Middle East Quarterly, December 1997, pp. 3-9

[10] Carnegie Endowment, The Egyptian Movement for Change (Kifaya).

[11] Nadia Oweidat, et al, The Kefaya Movement: A Case Study of a Grassroots Reform Initiative, Prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Santa Monica, Ca., RAND, 2008, p. iv.

[12] Ibid.

[13] For a more detailed discussion of the RAND “swarming” techniques see F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, Edition.Engdahl, 2009, pp. 34-41.

[14] Nadia Oweidat et al, op. cit., p. 48.

[15] Ibid., p. 50

[16] Ibid., p. iii.

[17] Michel Chossudovsky, “The Protest Movement in Egypt: ’Dictators’ do not Dictate, They Obey Orders“, January 29, 2011.

[18] George Herbert Walker Bush, “State of the Union Address to Congress”, 29 January 1991. In the speech Bush at one point declared in a triumphant air of celebration of the collapse of the Sovoiet Union, “What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea—a new world order…”.

[19] Allen Weinstein, quoted in David Ignatius, “Openness is the Secret to Democracy”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September 1991, pp. 24-25.

[20] National Endowment for Democracy, Board of Directors.

[21] Barbara Conry, “Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy“, Cato Foreign Policy Briefing No. 27, November 8, 1993.

[22] National Endowment for Democracy, “2009 Annual Report, Middle East and North Africa“.

[23] George W. Bush, “Speech at the National Endowment for Democracy“, Washington, DC, October 6, 2005.

[24] Richard Perle, Douglas Feith et al, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm“, 1996, Washington and Tel Aviv, The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.

[25] George W. Bush, “Remarks by the President in Commencement Address at the University of South Carolina”, White House, 9 May 2003.

[26] Gilbert Achcar, “Fantasy of a Region that Doesn’t Exist: Greater Middle East, the US plan“, Le Monde Diplomatique, April 4, 2004.

[27] Ibid.

[28] William Pfaff, American-Israel Policy Tested by Arab Uprisings.

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