...is a Prague Spring in the Middle East, are the U.S., Britain and the EU now going to play the role of the old Soviet Union?

Ike Solem
"As the United States and leading European nations threw their weight behind the Egyptian vice president’s attempt to defuse a popular uprising..."

Try replacing "defuse" with "violently crack down on" maybe?

Isn't this the also same General Omar Suleiman who was deeply involved in the 'secret' CIA proxy rendition-torture program of the past decade? The person closest to Mubarak? How is that not like removing Stalin and installing Beria in his place?

Suleiman and Mubarak should both be encouraged to leave the country immediately, and a rapid election schedule should be implemented, with the Egyptian military serving a temporary peacekeeping role.

From PBS, 2007:

CIA’s Confirmed Proxy Dentention Facility Prisons in Egypt:

1. Tora Prison , South of Cairo

". . . Infamous for decades, the prison has held thousands of the country’s security detainees. . . . Most prisoners are transferred to Tora after their interrogations have been completed, and it is only at this point that a detainee becomes an officially recognized prisoner. Generally, after any injuries from torture have healed, detainees may receive visits from their family or lawyer. . ."

2. State Security Investigations Stations, Lazoghly

". . .Located behind black-painted walls and defended by machine-gun nests on each corner, Lazoghly Square is one of the country’s most notorious addresses. Rounded up in early morning raids, political dissidents and Islamists are often taken here first for processing and, according to consistent accounts from former inmates, for torture. . . [which] involves prisoners being beaten, suspended over the edge of doors by arms tied behind their backs, subjected to cigarette burns and electric shocks, sexually harassed, deprived of sleep and food, and forced to watch relatives being tortured."

3. Mukhabarat al-Aama Headquarters, Cairo

"Situated in the Abdeen area of Cairo, Mukhabarat al-Aama is the headquarters of the General Intelligence and Security Services, headed by General Omar Suleiman. The Mukhabarat usually receives rendered detainees for initial interrogation. . . "

4. State Security Investigations National Headquarters, Nasr City

". . . a torture room is also allegedly close to the [50] cells so that detainees, even when not being tortured themselves, were privy to the constant screams of others."

It's now obvious that the U.S. "plan to bring democracy to Middle East" (endorsed by the G8, no less) was just window dressing to justify the war for oil in Iraq (where police just fired on protesters, another Tunisia-inspired situation being ignored by U.S. media).

Apparently, the last thing our Washington-Wall Street nexus wants is democratic outbreak upsetting their corrupt kickback-based economic relations in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia - and the center of that corruption appears to lie in the U.S. State Department, the ones pushing this ludicrous plan. Obama and Mubarak are looking more and more Carter and the Shah of Iran - and that's not a very good sign.

Of course, their larger concern is probably the spread of democratic uprisings to other countries across the region - the "domino effect."

Curiously, the last time the "domino effect" was mentioned in U.S. foreign policy circles was with respect to the spread of communism across Southeast Asia - so is democracy the new communism? Likewise, if this is a Prague Spring in the Middle East, are the U.S., Britain and the EU now going to play the role of the old Soviet Union?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amer Araim
Walnut Creek, CA

Before the fall of the former Soviet Union, the Arab world was excluded from efforts initiated by the United Nations and the West to spread democracy on the pretext that such efforts would bring about Communist control of the region. The concerns about energy(the region contains two thirds of world's oil reserves) was cited as one of the determining factors for such a policy. It is also strategically of great value to the West and it considers Israeli interest as paramount. Now the threat of Islamic movements is presented as a motive. Such pretext is aimed at ensuring that any change would lead only to remove certain faces but to maintain the same system with cosmetic adjustments. The old guards,who would protect the vested interests of those who are opposing real change, will remain. However,that will not work, and turmoil will manifest itself in different forms. Even if it disappears temporarily, the grievances will continue, which ultimately lead to other uprisings. Why did democratic governments in the West push the agenda for democratic change in East Europe, while there is a great hesitation to allow this uprising, which is the greatest revolution in modern Arab history, to achieve its goal of democratic and decent government committed to fulfill the aspirations of the Egyptian people? Is it the concern for human rights and to avoid violence? The answer is big no. Egypt is a catalyst power in the Middle East. The Egyptian people have removed their shackles and will not allow this great achievement to dissipate. It is in the interest of the United States, the European Union and the United Nations to ensure a true democratic change. Keeping the old guards will not solve the crisis but might give the appearance of calm, however, that will lead to more sufferings, discontent and upheavals. Let the Egyptian people fulfill their objectives of democracy and decent government. World governments and institutions are obliged to respect their lofty goals, and help them to achieve them rather than abort them.

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