Juan Cole took the gloves off this morning and dug deep to analyze the reasons why seven pro-democracy activists died last night in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Many more will no doubt follow, as Mubarak and Egypt’s elites have no intention of allowing Egypt to become a representative democracy any more than Israeli PM Netanyahu intends to allow a Palestinian state to come into existence. Following Netanyahu, yesterday Mubarak gave Obama the bird, apparently knowing that he would wimp out in any confrontation.

To be sure, it is not Obama’s fault that the American presidency has become so weak and submissive toward Israel, a pattern Egypt is now following. It has almost become a tradition that goes back at least to Clinton when was browbeaten by Netanyahu in the oval office during his first term.

When Wikileaks published its expose of the phony Israeli-Palestinian peace process a few weeks ago, it merely repeated what skeptics like Cole knew all along.

Here’s Juan Cole:

It should be remembered that Egypt’s elite of multi-millionaires has benefited enormously from its set of corrupt bargains with the US and Israel and from the maintenance of a martial law regime that deflects labor demands and pesky human rights critiques. It is no wonder that to defend his billions and those of his cronies, Hosni Mubarak was perfectly willing to order thousands of his security thugs into the Tahrir Square to beat up and expel the demonstrators, leaving 7 dead and over 800 wounded, 200 of them just on Thursday morning.

It might seem surprising that Mubarak was so willing to defy the Obama administration’s clear hint that he sould quickly transition out of power. In fact, Mubarak’s slap in the face of President Obama will not be punished and it is nothing new. It shows again American toothlessness and weakness in the Middle East, and will encourage the enemies of the US to treat it with similar disdain.

The tail has long wagged the dog in American Middle East policy. The rotten order of the modern Middle East has been based on wily local elites stealing their way to billions while they took all the aid they could from the United States, even as they bit the hand that fed them. First the justification was the putative threat of International Communism (which however actually only managed to gather up for itself the dust of Hadramawt in South Yemen and the mangy goats milling around broken-down Afghan villages). More recently the cover story has been the supposed threat of radical Islam, which is a tiny fringe phenomenon in most of the Middle East that in some large part was sowed by US support for the extremists in the Cold War as a foil to the phantom of International Communism. And then there is the set of myths around Israel, that it is necessary for the well-being of the world’s Jews, that it is an asset to US security, that it is a great ethical enterprise– all of which are patently false.

On such altars are the labor activists, youthful idealists, human rights workers, and democracy proponents in Egypt being sacrificed with the silver dagger of filthy lucre.

Mubarak is taking his cues for impudence from the far rightwing government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which began the Middle Eastern custom of humiliating President Barack Obama with impunity. Obama came into office pledging finally to move smartly to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Netanyahu government did not have the slightest intention of allowing a Palestinian state to come into existence. Israel was founded on the primal sin of expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in what is now Israel, and then conniving at keeping them stateless, helpless and weak ever after. Those who fled the machine guns of the Irgun terrorist group to the West Bank and Gaza, where they dwelt in squalid refugee camps, were dismayed to see the Israelis come after them in 1967 and occupy them and further dispossess them. This slow genocide against a people that had been recognized as a Class A Mandate by the League of Nations and scheduled once upon a time for independent statehood is among the worst ongoing crimes of one people against another in the world. Many governments are greedy to rule over people reluctant to be so ruled. But no other government but Israel keeps millions of people stateless while stealing their land and resources or maintaining them in a state of economic blockade and food insecurity.

The policy of the United States has been for the most part to accommodate this Israeli policy and to collaborate in the maltreatment of the Palestinians. Those states and groups that refuse to acquiesce in this egregious policy of epochal injustice are targeted by the US Congress for sanctions and branded terrorists and aggressors. As a sop to all the hundreds of millions of critics of the serial rape of the Palestinians, the US at most occasionally makes noises about achieving a “state” for them, which, however, would have no real sovereignty over its borders, its land, its air or its water. The price of such a eunuch state would be for the Palestinians to renounce their birthright and acquiesce in their expropriation and reduction to the flotsam of the earth.

(by permission)

The article is too long to reprint in its entirety, but it is recommended for anyone interested in understanding the background of what is going on in Egypt today. Click HERE to continue.

shergald

shergald

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