Egypt: The Military Machine Remains Intact, The Political Status Quo Prevails

Published on Global, by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, February 21, 2011.

Since its inception as a Roman province, Egypt was always a valuable and important territory, its role as a breadbasket and economic hub were so significant for the Romans that it had a status as a special “imperial province” ruled directly by the Roman emperors … //

… Arab Democracy:

Hereto, there is no authentic Arab democracy. The consensus system in Lebanon is flawed and based on religious and confessional lines. Ironically, the only democratic system amongst the Arabs existed amid the occupied and downtrodden Palestinians. 

The Palestinians had instituted a democratic system that lasted until the Hamas-Fatah split and the establishment of Mahmoud Abbas as a quasi-dictator in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Washington’s contempt for actual democracy amongst the Arabs is visible from its position on the Palestinian elections in 2006 that ushered in a Hamas government. Washington, Tel Aviv, the E.U., the House of Saud, Jordan, and Egypt were all instrumental is the debasement of democracy amongst the Palestinians.

In regards to Israel, Tel Aviv relishes calling itself a democracy in comparison to the Arabs, but claims that Israel is a democracy are also incorrect. Israel can best be characterized as an ethnocracy, which also embraces militarism and aspects of a theocracy. An ethnocratic state is a state where individual rights and state laws are based on ethnicity. Although Jews are not an ethnic group in the conventional sense, in Israel discrimination of non-Jewish Israelis is systematic and legal. Israeli Jewry and Israeli non-Jews do not have the same rights. For example, a non-Jewish Israeli citizen cannot marry someone from outside of Israel and live in Israel with them, but a Israeli Jew can. This type of discrimination is justified as legal “religious discrimination” to keep the so-called Jewish identity of Israel.

Washington’s Greater Middle East Project Will Not Materialize:

If the Arab protesters are to make far-reaching changes they must persist with their demands and not back down. Nor can they ignore the role that foreign policy and economic factors play in their states.  This is essential in order for genuine changes/revolutions to take place and not bogus shows of democracy. The current transitional government in Tunis and the Egyptian military junta are continuations of the old regimes. They will either try to maintain power or wait until a “controlled opposition” takes power and “managed democracies” are established in Tunisia and Egypt.

All is not doom and gloom. The U.S. government and the Egyptian junta are not omnipotent powers either. They have limited strength. Nor can they control the lower ranks of the Egyptian military. Washington and the Egyptian generals have been worried about defection amongst the ranks of the junior officers and the non-commissioned members of the military.

A new reality is setting in. A new Middle East is coming, but it will be one that no one expects. Creative destruction and political manipulation can only go so far. What is certain is that the new Middle East will not be the one that Condoleezza Rice and Ehud Olmert bragged about when Israel was bombarding Lebanon in 2006. The U.S. establishment will eventually realize that humans cannot control chaos.

The Shifting Sands:

All things are finite and no empire lasts forever. Rome’s empire fell and eventually somewhere down the road so will the global empire of the United States. Washington and its cohorts are now beginning to sink in the sands of the Middle East. The U.S. government has put the United States on the wrong side of history. If Mubarak was the modern pharaoh of Egypt, then on the world-stage the U.S. is the pharaoh. Washington too will eventually see disgrace if it does not listen to the growing chorus.

In Washington there is a belief that the Arab protests can be manipulated, but the sands are shifting. The people of the region have realized that people should not be afraid of their governments, their governments should be afraid of them. The Rome of today, Washington, has been stopped in its tracks in the lands of North Africa and Southwest Asia.

Revolution is underway in the petro-sheikhdom of Bahrain, while the U.S. and E.U. have been silent as the Bahraini military and foreign mercenaries with Saudi and Jordanian help have been unleashed on civilian protesters. The Palestinian people’s morale has been lifted and pressure is being put on Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which simply enforces the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. In Iraqi Kurdistan protests have started against Massoud Barzani and the Kurdistan Regional Government, which the U.S. and Britain have always tried to showcase as a model of Anglo-American success in Iraq. Protests have also broken out in Algeria, Jordan, Sudan, Iran, Turkey, and Libya. Yemen is rife with revolutionary fervour.

The bravery of the sons and daughters of Tunisia and Egypt have inspired and uplifted the Arabs as a whole and stirred the Turko-Arabo-Iranic World. Despite any attempts at managing these events, no one will be able to predict how they will play out. Still, one way or another, change will take shape. (full text and Notes 1 to 12).

(Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization CRG. Global Research Articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya).

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