On The Money with Peter Hebert

February 1, 2011

Egypt, “Yallah!”

Filed under: Commentary — Peter Hebert @ 9:13 PM

The turmoil in Egypt started when Hosni Mubarak flipped the state’s Internet and cell phone kill switch, and then all hell broke loose. Mubarak was afraid that Egyptians could rise up like the people in Tunisia when Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on December 17, 2010. As reported by TIME magazine, “The Tunisian man, an unemployed college graduate with children to feed, had tried finding work hawking vegetables, but was thwarted by police, who confiscated his cart. So in a grisly act of protest and anguish, Bouazizi doused himself in gasoline and set himself ablaze.” By January 14, Tunisia’s president was gone. Seven other copy cat self-immolations followed with four in Algeria, two in Egypt, and one in Mauritania.

The hunger for freedom is universal. The desire for freedom is embodied by Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Moments before being disemboweled and quartered he shouts from the depths of his soul, “F-r-e-e-d-o-m!” Freedom is not dependent on the Internet or anyone’s permission. That desire beats in the hearts of people from Tiananmen Square in China and the steps of the Himalayas in Tibet to Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. The desire for freedom beats in the hearts of people in the Western world, in the hearts of patriots, who loathe people in governments for catering to corporations and bankers at the expense of governing documents and the public well being. The pulse beat of freedom beats in the hearts of London’s students, who recently attacked the Rolls Royce with Prince Charles and Camilla inside as they shouted, “Off with their heads!”

Human beings are sovereign. Governments and their leaders that come and go are temporary. People remain. Mubarak has a track record of cracking down on democracy advocates, which is why Amnesty International, Freedom House, and Human Rights Watch gave Mubarak a poor rating for human rights.

The stability that the West and Israel favored with Mubarak’s heavy hand and repression came at the cost of a conflict of interest with the general population. As reported by Al Jazeera English, Mona posted this Tweet: “There is a price for liberty, and we’re willing to pay it.”

The populist revolt in Egypt is a bottom up call for regime change. Delusions of entrenched rule have a way of debasing history’s political thugs to fall beneath the heels of the general public so that they become trampled underfoot. It matters not if Mubarak has been “such a good friend to the United States” for such a long time. The fact is he is hated, because of that. Mubarak will end up in the failed wreckage of imperial America’s other tyrant puppet kings. My first reactions to the Egyptian protests in the last days of January 2011 were of the Shah of Iran aboard a plane looking for a place to call home. The Shah of Iran died in exile. To the people of Egypt I say, “Yallah!” Freedom will overcome tyranny. You are not alone in your struggles.

The Arab Republic of Egypt is a constitutional republic based on Islamic and civil law. The strategic location of the Suez Canal is critical for the oil shipping lane to Europe as well as Russia’s access from the Black Sea in to the Persian Gulf through the Suez. Hosni Mubarak, the de facto president for life, ran the nation for 30 years. The fact is Egypt is not a republic and its constitution is just a piece of paper. Egypt is an autocracy run through a sham called Emergency Law enacted by executive order. As my Facebook friend Hassan Deedaur stated, “With 350,000 internal security personnel and 22,000 presidential elite guards, Egypt is a Stalinist police state, ruled by a ruthless military regime since 1952.” Egypt has just over 80 million people. That’s almost one-fourth of the entire Arab world’s 330 million people. Egypt has a $500 billion economy with about 40 percent living in poverty – less than $2 per day. About 60 percent are under 30 years of age, and 90 percent of them are unemployed. Mubarak ran Egypt using Machiavelli’s play book, “It is better to be feared than loved.” But, both Machiavelli and Mubarak were wrong, because when leaders are loathed and despised, there is no fear. The defiance of curfews and stand downs with riot police and an armed military is evidence of that. Mubarak has survived seven assassination attempts, but he will not survive this widespread dissent and populist uprising.

The use of religion in public support for dissent is universal. Some believe that somehow, because Egypt’s Arabs predominantly adhere to Islam, that their reliance on religion is somehow less valid than when people of other faiths rely on religious values when they engage in public dissent. The fact is in the United States, we do the same thing. Christians use religion to protest the Roe v. Wade court decision and the barbaric practice of late term abortions performed by baby butchers permitted by law in some states. Jews have used religious values and ethics rooted in the Bible to protest against the violation of civil rights during the 1960s. What is at play here is the recognition that higher values transcend the state and culture. What is pathetic is when the state or corrupted culture thinks its in the moral right in subverting or trumping those higher values. The images of Egyptians standing in prayer as water canons sprayed them down was on par with the image of the lone man in China standing down an armed tank Tiananmen Square.

Western mainstream media has a tendency to espouse the establishment line, either a warped narrative or propaganda, but that rarely succeeds for long. Sean Hannity of FOX News, true to form, said, “We’re with the people, but I don’t think the people are going to have the final say in the end.” Egyptian blogger Mona Eltahway appeared on CNN and contradicted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and America’s “experts” on CNN International. Eltahway set the record straight – Mubarak’s new vice president Omar Suleiman, the former security chief, is a U.S. puppet and torturer. Whether it is state-sponsored torture in America’s Guantanamo Bay, Iraq’s Abu Ghraib, Iran’s brutal secret police Savak, Israel’s bone breaking policies directed towards Palestinian youth, or anything from the dark and twisted imaginations of the depraved among us – the truth and humanity will prevail over propaganda that justifies barbarism to prop up failed state policies.

There was something ironic about Mubarak swearing in a new vice president after 30 years of an iron gripped rule over Egypt. The swearing in ceremony was set amidst gold leafed chairs in the style of Louis XV and other opulent period pieces that evoked the grandeur of debauched French monarchs, who had their heads cut off by an outraged and impoverished population. If Thomas Jefferson was alive today, no doubt he would say that both Mubarak and Suleiman need to have their heads cut off in Egypt at the hands of the Egyptians. Jefferson, as we should recall, approved of the populist uprising called the French Revolution. It was bloody.

Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations would prefer to continue using secrecy as a diplomatic means. But, with the information explosion and the nature of light to expose what is in the darkness, the likelihood that this type of strategy continuing to operate is not that great.

Vice President Joe Biden, America’s number two man, refused to label Mubarak a dictator. Biden, also still believes in the hope for change slogan. Mubarak will one day be gone, and Biden will also one day be gone. And, the hope for change scam on America will also be gone.

Hillary Clinton of the U.S. Department of State urged the Egyptian security forces to exercise restraint and to permit peaceful protests. Reform is critical, and civil society is a partner to good governance, not a threat to the state. But, Clinton’s desire for gradual political change is evidence of the absurdity of American foreign policy when it comes to human dignity.

Revolutions are never civil nor gradual clean processes as is what the U.S. Department of State through Hillary Clinton and the Council on Foreign Relations through Richard Haass would like to see. They are 100 percent wrong and willfully misread the pulse beat of Egypt. Those made in the U.S. jets, tear gas canisters, and bullets that have murdered over a hundred Egyptians will not be forgotten. Mubarak is America’s idiotic stooge playing the population with a false choice of chaos versus order under business as usual. Whatever descriptive insult that may be fitting in describing Mubarak, the insult should also fall at the feet of those within the U.S. Department of State and the Council on Foreign Relations.

In foreign affairs, sometimes war becomes an extension of foreign policy. In domestic affairs, sometimes dissent gives way to revolution as an extension of the process for political change. Western governments would like to see a slow and orderly transition. It is clear, however, that the Egyptian population wants immediate change, the sooner the better.

The police stood down, permitted jailed criminals loose, and then the state unleashed the military onto the population. Water cannons were used on civilian protestors. When civilians attacked the water trucks, the trucks ran some people over. The idiotic show of brute force followed when Mubarak authorized fighter jets provided by the United States to fly over civilians as if that would somehow scare people to scurry back into a quiet desperation to huddle and cower in fear within their homes. By January 30, the state had murdered over one hundred of its civilians and had injured over 870 others.

The United States provides Egypt with $1.3 billion each year in military aid. That aid is in turn used to buy hardware from U.S.-based companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The American armed forces, moreover, provides Egypt with hand me downs of refurbished war ships and M60 tanks. As a result of the United States, Egypt today has the tenth largest military in the world.

Even with the fourth largest military in the world, Benjamin Netanyahu of the State of Israel just to the north of Egypt is no doubt quite concerned as is the rest within his government. The United States gives Israel about $3 billion each year in military aid. The March 26, 1979, Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was negotiated at Camp David with President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. That peace treaty cost Sadat his life when he was assassinated by Egyptian Islamic Jihad on October 6, 1981. But, that peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has served as the cornerstone of peace in the Middle East. The significance of this cannot be underestimated, because since Israel declared statehood, the Arab world has been in a state of objection and hostility towards a Jewish presence in the Middle East. That Jewish presence recently translated into Israel’s 22 day assault on Gaza called Operation Cast Lead that used U.S.-supplied depleted uranium and white phosphorus showered onto civilians. The 1.5 million in Gaza had nowhere to run, because Gaza is the world’s largest open prison. Aside from Israel’s U.S.-funded state sponsored terrorism, other concerns are the tug of war within Israel between being satisfied with the State of Israel and a Palestinian state alongside versus the Land of Israel, or Greater Israel, that encompasses land from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Here’s another backdrop layer: In September 2006, Mubarak expressed a desire to develop nuclear technology. So, the motives to oust Mubarak may not have been limited to the general public.

The populist rage in Egypt is fundamentally anti-Mubarak. It is not anti-American or anti-Israel. The population, however, has ill feelings towards Israel due to Gaza, because those people were once part of Egypt. Images of American made jets firing white phosphorus onto civilians in Gaza never play well anywhere. So, the ill feelings directed towards Israel make sense when we recall the historical backdrop. Mubarak is America’s idiotic stooge. The primary blame for Mubarak’s tyranny falls on the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Department of State – Egypt’s true enemies, because they promote a farce called “evolution” not the needed revolution. The secondary blame falls onto the U.S. corporations that manufactured the bullets, tear gas canisters, and of course fighter jets to manage civilian unrest with fly overs and threats of strafe and run.

Egypt’s possible move towards an Islamic republic could result in the loss of American military aid and foreign investment. This would be as dramatic for the Middle East as was the fall of Iran’s shah, who was replaced by ayatollahs to rule the Islamic Republic of Iran. Egypt’s move towards politicizing the culture’s animosity towards Israel will provoke a move to the hard right in Israel. That will spell instability and trouble for everyone in the Middle East.

The market’s reaction has been a drop in stock prices. The economic implication for political instability in Egypt could result in a loss of foreign investment. Does it matter? No. Foreign investment ultimately means corporate imposition of control followed by profits going out of the country. These are they types of things the benefit multinational corporations, not the people of Egypt.

Egypt’s populist revolt has little to do with Egypt’s opposition leader Mohamed Elbaredi or the Muslin Brotherhood, an outlawed party, that will never go away. The Muslim Brotherhood calls for Islamic rule in Egypt. And, about 67 percent of Egyptians support this. With the Internet shut down, Egyptians who identify with the Muslim Brotherhood have gone door to door to organize anti-Mubarak demonstrations.

I predict that Mubarak, the entire family, and the entire entourage will die in exile. Mubarak will be remembered as another Shah of Iran – the enemy of his own people.

When it’s over, will Egypt have a bottom up populist driven democracy? Or, will Israel pressure the United States to save Egypt from itself and impose its idea of a top down democracy? A word to the Obama Administration and the State Department: No on wants another American led fraud called Operation Enduring Freedom with shock and awe to bomb and terrorize the world into subjugation.

In pop culture, Robert Plant has a song called “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down.” The lyrics in part read: “I heard the voice of Jesus say, Satan, your kingdom must come down, Gonna pray until they tear your kingdom down.” The Hebrew prophets speak to the breaking of the arms of Pharaoh and the futility of the Jews in relying on Egypt for security. The dark nature of the prophecies also speak to Egypt laying desolate for 40 years at the hands of the king of Babylon prior to the end of satan’s rule over the nations through the network of fallen angels deceiving and weakening each nation. This is the spiritual wickedness in high places as described by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Moreover, the people of Egypt will go into captivity … scattered across the earth … for 40 years. The possibility of Egypt becoming the next Iraq with another opportunity for Haliburton and Blackwater is there. America, Babylon the Great, would no doubt welcome the boost to its gross domestic product.

The other scenario would be the basis for a major regional war that could spin out of control. What if Israel seized the Suez Canal? The Greater Israel crowd, not to be confused with the state of Israel establishment, would be all too happy to see a Greater Israel unfold as Israel enlarges its borders to the Nile. The basis for that type of move would be security and real or fictional fears of Egyptians smuggling something big into the Gaza. If Israel seized the Suez, that would be the pretext to provoke Gog and Magog – Russia, Iran, and its allies – to war against Israel.

World War III and Armageddon come before the millennial age. It is not easy to predict how things will play out. The prophet Isaiah says this:

“In that day there shall be a path from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria shall come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve Assyria. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land, which the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance.” That is from Isaiah chapter 19, verses 23 through 25.

The social upheaval in Egypt is historic. The words from the Bible concerning Egypt are cryptic, apocalyptic, and messianic. To the people of Egypt I again say, “Yallah!” You shall overcome.

2 Comments »

  1. Egyptian Revolution Blues – Sandy Cash

    Comment by Peter Hebert — February 11, 2011 @ 12:10 AM


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