As I predicted in the book, and in a column here last April, America’s Mideast Raj is now on fire.
Are we looking at a Mideast version of the 1989 uprisings across
Eastern Europe that brought down its Communist regimes and then the
There are certainly strong similarities between the old Soviet East
Bloc and the spreading intifada across America’s Mideast Raj. Corrupt,
repressive governments; rapacious oligarchies; high youth unemployment
and stagnation; widespread feelings of frustration, hopelessness and
But there is also a big difference. The principled Soviet leader,
Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Communist rulers of Eastern Europe, refused
to turn their army’s guns against the rebelling people.
In Tunisia, where the current Arab uprising began, the army has so far stayed admirably neutral.
But in other Arab states now seething with rebellion - Egypt,
Algeria, Yemen, Morocco, Libya - there may be no such reservations.
Their ruthless security forces and military could quickly crush the
uprisings unless the soldiers refuse to shoot down their own people – as
happened in Moscow in 1991. This remains to be seen.
Washington is watching this growing intifada in its Mideast Raj
with alarm and confusion. Ignore the Obama administration’s hypocritical
platitudes urging “democracy.” All of the authoritarian Arab rulers now
under siege by their people have been armed, financed and supported for
decades by the US.
The tear gas being blasted at demonstrators in Cairo bears the
mark, “Made in USA.” The brutal, sadistic secret police and other
security forces of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen were all
trained and equipped by the US. The CIA taught them “interrogation
techniques,” just as it did to the Shah of Iran’s secret police, Savak.
In yet another example of shameless hypocrisy, State Secretary
Hillary Clinton urges “restraint” on both sides. One supposes she means
those being beaten by clubs, raped, or tortured by electric drills must
show proper restraint. Washington simply does not understand that this
kind of sickening hypocrisy turns even more people in the Muslim world
against the United States.
Egypt, as this column has long said, is a ticking bomb. Half of 85
million Egyptians subsist below the UN’s $2 daily poverty level. A
third of all the Arab World’s people are Egyptian.
Husni Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist since 1981.
All opposition to his regime has been crushed. But now Mubarak’s
time may be running out. Nobel-Prize Laureate Mohammed al-Baradei has
returned to Egypt to challenge Mubarak and his designated successor,
son, Gamal. Arab league chief Amr Moussa may also stand against Mubarak.
Washington has previously lauded Mubarak for “wise leadership” and
“stability”. The US pays Egypt over $2 billion annually not to confront
Israel, to jail Islamists, and to keep Hamas in the open air prison of
Gaza. The US Congress provides half of Egypt’s food. Since Israel gives
Congress its marching orders on the Mideast, it also exercises
extraordinary influence over Egypt.
So far, none of the intifadas across the Arab world have produced effective leadership. But this could soon change.
Thanks to the bombshell “Palestinian Papers” leaked to al-Jazeera,
Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority has been exposed as an eager
collaborator with Israel and its West Bank occupation. The
endless Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” are shown to be a total
fraud. Israel’s Mossad and its Palestinian Quislings have worked closely
to destroy the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza.
We also learn from these papers that in 2008, US State Secretary
Condoleeza Rice actually proposed shipping millions of Palestinian
refugees to Latin America. This after Israel, financed by the US,
imported one million Russian settlers, many of them not even Jewish. One
is reminded of British proposals in the 1930’s to move Germany’s
endangered Jews to Kenya.
This was Washington’s modern version of US-taxpayer financed ethnic
cleansing of Muslims and Christians from the Mideast. Small wonder
these revelations have produced fury across the Mideast.
The “Palestinian Papers” and Wikileaks show the US government at
all times taking Israel’s side and defending its interests and
policies. So much for Washington being an honest-broker.
The US-Israeli backed Palestinian Authority has lost its last shreds of credibility.
This news will surely fan the flames now spreading across the Arab and
greater Muslim world as their peoples realize the full extent of the
betrayal of the Palestinians.
These dramatic events are poorly understood by most North
Americans. The US and Canadian media frame news of the regional intifada
in terms of the faux war on terror, and a false choice between
dictatorial “stability” and Islamic political extremism. Much of what’s
happening is seen through Israel’s eyes, and is badly distorted.
Platitudes aside, there is little concern in the US about bringing real democracy and modern society in the Arab world.
Washington wants obedience, not pluralism, in its Mideast Raj. As
with the British Empire, democracy at home is fine – but it’s not right
for the nations of the Arab world.
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2011