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Crossposted from Antemedius

The Real News Network talks with Khaled Fahmy, professor and chair of American University in Cairo's Department of History, who describes the power structure inside Egypt's Mubarak regime and explains that things in Egypt are not as simple as getting rid of Mubarak personally - that he is not a "one man show" and that there is a very well established political and social counter-revolutionary power establishment including the Egyptian military that is determined to defend the Mubarak regime, and the Egyptian Army is not nearly as much on the side of the protesters as might appear on the surface...

Real News Network - February 08, 2011

Pepe Escobar also writes today that:

The Egyptian revolution is being dissolved right in front of the world's eyes by an optical illusion.

The protesters who have been on the streets for two weeks still want President Hosni Mubarak out. Now. Yet United States President Barack Obama is firmly in not-so-fast mode, glad that "Egypt is making progress". Obama has not mentioned even once the capital words "free elections".

Washington's "orderly transition" road map - fully supported by Tel Aviv and European capitals - is a facelift. Mubarak stepping down has become an afterthought; the already anointed successor is Vice President Omar Suleiman, the former head of the Mukhabarat, whom the protesters call "Sheik al-Torture".


Egypt is a hardcore military dictatorship. The army, essentially paid for by US taxpayer money, is no "honest broker". The Mubarak regime's repression against the protests has not been even more vicious because soldiers in this conscript army would certainly have refused to shoot their own people; thus plan B, the regime's goons and the hated baltagia - state-sponsored thugs in plainclothes - unleashed last week.

Still, the regime was never shaken to the core - because the army remains in charge. Graphic example; the state-owned newspaper al-Gomhuria had a monster headline this Monday reading "New Era" above a photo of Suleiman meeting some of the opposition under a picture of Mubarak.


According to a 2006 diplomatic cable on WikiLeaks, the CIA - what else? - also loves him; "Our intelligence collaboration with Oman Soliman [sic] is now probably the most successful element of the relationship" with Egypt. Suleiman always negotiated directly with top CIA officials.

On the other side of the spectrum, Human Rights Watch stresses, "Egyptians ... see Suleiman as Mubarak II, especially after the lengthy interview he gave to state television Feb 3 in which he accused the demonstrators in Tahrir Square of implementing foreign agendas. He did not even bother to veil his threats of retaliation against protesters."

MORE: 'Sheik al-Torture' is now a democrat, Pepe Escobar, February 08, 2011

Originally posted to Edger on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 02:25 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Erm... (0+ / 0-)


    Obama has not mentioned even once the capital words "free elections".

    and this:

    President Barack Obama said Friday that talks between the Egyptian government and its political opponents were in the initial stages, but warned that the mere "pretense of reform" would not be enough to resolve that country's deepening crisis.

    The transition of power "must begin now" and lead to "free and fair elections," he declared. Negotiations must "include a broad representation of the Egyptian opposition," he told reporters.

    Asked if embattled President Hosni Mubarak needs to step down now -- as opposed to waiting for a successor to be chosen in Egypt's September elections -- Obama said Mubarak needs to consult with advisers and listen to what's "being voiced by the Egyptian people."


    I think the admin response has been muddled, weak kneed and mostly in reaction to events on the ground.

    It is more than fair to criticize it.

    But, let's be clear what it is that we're actually critizing.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 02:54:20 PM PST

    •  As a general rule (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from experience beginning with his pre-election campaign speeches up through the present, we can count on Obama nearly without reservation.

      His meaning, intentions, and follow-up actions are generally diametrically opposed to his words.

      Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

      by Edger on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:10:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe I'm too much of a literalist (0+ / 0-)

        ...but I think when you're criticizing foreign diplomacy - much of which is based on language and communication - and you say someone never "mentioned" something when it's very easy to tell that they did... weakens your overall criticism.

        And like I said, I think there's more than enough there to criticize.

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:20:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You think, or you say you think, (0+ / 0-)

          there's more than enough there to criticize. I hear your focus and criticism of one sentence fragment in Escobar's article.

          I don't hear anything from you specifically - or even in general terms - about what you think "there's more than enough there to criticize" regarding Mubarek, Suleiman, or US Foreign Policy, including Obama's policies, vis a vis Egypt and the oppression of Egyptians.

          Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

          by Edger on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:27:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right off the top of my head... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Edger, MrJayTee
            1. Mixed messages. Just take today - Gibsy does a great job of batting down Sullythetorturer's claim that the Egyptian people "don't deserve democracy"...and then Gates comes out the same day praising the military. The Prez makes the above referenced statement and then..."our man in Cairo", a seasoned diplomat, is supposedly not really "our man in Cairo" but a "private citizen" when he calls Muz a "patriot" and insists that he needs to keep his job until his term runs out.

            Stuff like that actually isn't good to maintain stability in an unstable situation - it's doing a lot of harm.

            1. Not taking enough questions from serious and critical people. BillO isn't going to ask the Prez about the "made in America" gas canister, he's just going to bliovate r/w nonsense. The Prez should have a presser to talk about issues like this and give some direct answers about US foreign policy in this country - what we've done right, what we've done wrong and what we would be committed to changing now that the country itself is rejecting business as usual.

            Without that - the Prez's statements get contradicted by other admin folks, the questions about what the US intends to do in the region and how seriously we are committed to seeing things like free & fair elections remains too much of an open question. That weakens our hand in negotiations, b/c it makes the overall US position look...muddled, at its most benign.

            1. No one from the admin has yet to answer the question of how the folks who have committed the abuses can reasonable oversee a reform of the govt to end the abuses that have been committed. This is yet another area that undercuts US statements in favor of the protesters and undercuts any positioning we think we have in terms of being an honest player in the region.

            That's just the immediate stuff. There's a lot there - so much that, like I said, it's better to point out what the actual deficiencies are.

            "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

            by grannyhelen on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:37:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The Egyptian people are up against many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Edger, MrJayTee

    formidible foes, including those in their own country and many outside.  They aren't just up against a nasty internal regime but an entire geopolitical agenda of the US, NATO, Israel and the ME countries caught up in US/NATO hegemony and their protection of Israel.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:08:50 PM PST

  •  Yes, it's a military regime! (0+ / 0-)

    The thing to remember is that the ruler and the military regime do get bound up together.  At times like this, the military must strive to separate itself from its old boss so when he tumbles, they can stay on.  

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