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The battle of Egypt and the Western hypocrisy | Race-Talk | 94

The battle of Egypt and the Western hypocrisy

Filed under: Featured,Middle East,Politics,US,World |


The media coverage of the popular uprising in Egypt has exposed the Western apparatus of social control, and the backwardness of foreign policy.  Most “experts” of foreign policy intentionally avoid engaging with the real issues and are in denial on at least three fundamental fronts:  (a) the social movements in North Africa  and the Middle East reject the neoliberal project as they seek liberation from oppressive and ruthless regimes; (b) Western conventional wisdom, based on geopolitical interests, for a long time has denied the people of the region social justice and democratization, a denial which is no longer acceptable; and (c)the lack of historical analysis within the political establishment in the United States makes it difficult to understand what is taking place in Egypt and why the Egyptian people are revolting.

The connection between the popular revolution of the Tunisian people that booted out Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, a strong-arm dictator, faithful supporter of the neoliberal project, and a key ally of the United States and European Union, and the current revolt of the Egyptian people, who want to oust Mubarak’s regime, cannot be ignored.  What do Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak have in common?  In the name of fighting a “radical” enemy and in order to achieve political “stability” both dictators – like many others in the region – create and maintain an iron-grip regime of fear and brutality upon their people with unconditional support from Western democracies.  However, the inevitable conclusion can be drawn from this peculiar picture that liberal Western democracies are only pro “democracy” when it serves their geopolitical agenda and interests.

The Tunisian regime as well as the Egyptian dictatorship relied profoundly on unrestricted support from both United States and the European Union to oppress their people in the name of “modernity” and maintain brutal, corrupt regimes that lacked any legitimacy. Politically, both dictators identified with the American foreign policy in North Africa and the Middle East.  Economically, both regimes identified with the “holy trinity” of neoliberal agenda of totalitarianism, excessive privatization, and extreme poverty as a model of unavoidable “development”.  This failed model of “development” and “modernization” has been imposed by means of extreme violence that has received warm welcomes from Western liberal democracies over the last four decades.

When the Egyptian people took the street of major cities (Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, etc.) denouncing Mubarak’s regime, the political propaganda machine of mainstream media especially in the US focused its coverage on one aspect of the geopolitics of the region – political stability. They did this without identifying whose political stability they are referring to: is it the political stability for the people of Egypt, of the region or political stability for economic, militaristic and political interests of the United States, the European Union, and Israel.  The popular uprising in Egypt and Tunisia have demonstrated time and again (similar events took place in Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Mauritania, Palestine, Sudan, and Yemen) that people in the region are rejecting the project of global neoliberalism that has only brought extreme poverty accompanied with brutality, undemocratic institutions, state terrorism, and absence of fundamental rights to life (food, shelter, education, and dignity). Now, the Egyptian people are demanding  to completely delink with the status quo rather than a cosmetic surgery;  Western liberals (i.e. Tony Blair, John KerryGermany/France/UK, etc) have suggested and pushed for “a peaceful transition” in order  to “manage” undesirable outcomes of the popular uprising and continue the Western dominance of the region.

The contradiction between the rhetoric and actions of Western democracies that only have supported the status quo and strengthened other brutal regimes in the region –like Algeria, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia against people’s aspirations for genuine democracy, social equality, rule of law, and dignity– can only be explained in terms of Western duplicity.  Political establishments of Western democracies have to realize that the time of propping up unpopular puppet regimes has come to an end.  If they desire to be part of a global system that allows people all over the world to have the equal ability to choose their own forms of government, then Western political establishments need to acknowledge that their support for ruthless dictators and regimes, and their selective stands on principle of democracy, peace and social progress can no longer be used to deceive people of the region and will only breed extremism.  Consequently, the quest of Western geopolitical interests can no longer be pursued against the value of people’s lives in the Middle East, North Africa, or elsewhere.

The time of double standard of Western foreign policy and global neoliberal project has reached a dead-end in the region. The world reality demands that Western political establishments make a wise political choice: either they stand with people demands for social justice and democratization, or they are going to face millions voices chanting and demanding to overthrow the regime like in Tunisia and Egypt.  Continuing duplicity by Western liberal political establishments, in cahoots with local sell-out leaders, has had high costs in terms of human destruction and continues to devalue hope for a different future.

At the end, important questions remain:  can Western democracies continue to support illegal, ruthless regimes in the region in the name of a manufactured fear of “Muslim fundamentalists” despite the growing secular, democratic social movements involving many millions?  Moving forward, what is the Western rationale on who is entitled to determine the future of the region?