The U.S. Will Hijack Egypt's Revolution

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[Commentary: On Egypt]

The tactics of the Obama Administration towards Egypt has flowed from two strategic aims at this point: defending the Egyptian capitalist neo-colonialist state and maintaining Egypt as the key player of American imperialist foreign policy in the Mediterranean, North Africa and throughout the Middle East.

The poor people of Egypt and the insurgent masses must not permit themselves the slightest illusion in the intention and plans of President Barack Obama. The president and his advisors in the Pentagon and the CIA are determined to contain, defuse and eventually crush the revolutionary movement.

The events in the last few weeks took the Obama Administration by surprise. The Obama Administration did not foresee the mass revolt against Washington’s long time asset, the Egyptian head-of-state Hosni Mubarak. Even as tens of thousands of people and young were defying the police violence last Tuesday, at this point US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was vouching for the constancy of the Mubarak government.

The US is heavily invested—politically, economically and military—in the Mubarak regime. Its reluctance to dispense summarily with the dictator is not an expression of sentimentality. Rather, the United States fears that the too hasty scraping of Mubarak will demoralize and emasculate the confidence of other dictators on the CIA payroll and the dependability and trustworthiness of Washington and its support. However, in the final analysis, Mubarak’s fate is of a secondary matter. Of exceptionally greater concern to Washington is the survival of the Egyptian military and security services upon which capitalist rule depends.

At this point, the Obama Administration is concerned that an attempt to use the army to crack down on the protestors could lead to the military’s collapse. It is not certain that the troops can be relied on to shoot down citizens on the streets of Alexandria, Cairo, Dum Yat, Abu Mena and other cities that may be the only way to save Mubarak.

US policymakers are haunted by the precedent of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. For Washington had not prepared a political alternative to the Shah, Reza Pahlavi, and the Iranian military cracked beneath the pressure of the revolution. The result was the loss of a critical client state in the Persian Gulf.

Short term US policy is to shore up the Egyptian military and intelligence apparatus—hence we see the appointment of the intelligence chief and former general Omar Suleiman as vice president—and to prepare a political alternative to Mubarak if he decides not to step down. But it should be noted that any replacement that was to be endorsed and certified by Washington will be nothing but a puppet providing a pseudo-democratic illusion for a new military regime.

The one candidate for this task is a Mohamed ElBaradei, who at this point is being put forward and endorsed by most of the US media. A faithful envoy of the Egyptian comprador ruling elite, ElBaradei flew back from his home in Vienna last week for the explicit purpose of heading off a revolutionary overthrow of the Mubarak regime.

The Muslim Brotherhood has agreed to back ElBaradei as a way to have political patronage from Washington.
Clinton made the absurd and ridiculous statement: “We continue to urge the Egyptian government, as the United States has for 30 years, to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people and begin to take concrete steps to implement democratic and economic reform.”

What has this 30-year campaign for democratic reform in Egypt consisted of? Piling Mubarak with $1.5 billion a year in aid, overwhelmingly military, and lauding him as a dependable and steadfast supporter in the war against Iraq, the defense of Israel and the “War on Terror.” Not only has the US been in cahoots with the Mubarak regimes murder and torture of political opponents, but the US had also used Mubarak’s intelligence agencies and police as tortures-for-hire in
Washington’s policy of kidnapping and “renditioning" alleged terrorist.

The Obama Administration knows and understands that whatever government that it subsidizes will not end the political disaster in Egypt. For it is impossible for any capitalist regime to meet a single one of the social and  political demands of masses—for jobs, an end to poverty in the cities and countryside, and the abolition of the brutally repressive police organizations.

The social crises can't be handled by the comprador government of Egypt in alliance with Israel that has been an essential component of the country’s strategic role in the Middle East since the trip of President Anwar Sadat, Mubarak’s predecessor, to Jerusalem in 1977. The money corrupt Egyptian elite is too completely tied to US imperialism to face or carry out any genuine reform in the country.

One can be more than certain that behind all of the events that is currently going on in Egypt, behind the scenes the American Pentagon is looking into the inventory of every regiment, brigade, and branch of the Egyptian military to decide which forces can be relied upon to carry out protecting American interests in the region.

In an interview posted on Youtupe, Jon B. Alterman of the Center for Strategic and international Studies in Washington says: “As in Tunisia, the protests appear to represent a largely leaderless movement with no clear agenda and no way to seize power.”

It's this political vacuum that the US and its clients want to exploit. The development of revolutionary forces requires a clear political strategy, based on an understanding of the historical background, the international context and the class dynamics of the revolution. The mass movement cannot have any confidence in any pseudo-democratic reformer and the more than compromised representatives of the Egyptian elite.

For history is on our side, but not time.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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