February 9, 2011

After Egypt

Justin Elliot from Salon writes:   

So 82 percent of Americans are sympathetic to the protesters. Among those who are “following the situation in Egypt very or somewhat closely,” that number actually goes up slightly, to 87 percent. The irony here, of course, is that Americans are on the side of protesters fighting a regime that the U.S. government has been propping up for decades.

And it's an open question whether public opinion in the U.S. will have an impact on the Obama administration's Egypt policy, which has notably shifted in the past few days away from calls for immediate change.

The rest of the poll is here (.pdf).

Ah, but I hear the corporate masters and media wizards tell me they know better! And that democracy in Egypt would only undermine US principles interests, particularly its relationship with Israel. The problem however with these expert opinions is that trying to maintain an alliance with an autocratic regime like Egypt is not in the least Realistic but utterly blind in the pursuit of exceedingly short-term geopolitical geocorporate gain. Thus, Marwan Bishara puts it: “The longer the Obama administration takes to regain the initiative and declare unconditional support for democratic change, the greater would be the negative impact on its relationship with the Arab world.” 

So stumble along American power! Follow fickle “stability! Continue to gamble on the complacency of Arabs to just continue putting up with whatever shit goes their way, mutatis mutandis, no matter how fortune turns the tide, no matter how this democratic uprising in Egypt may happen to get resolved, no matter how the moribund Middle-East peace process happens to turn out, no matter how “history” is settled, and regardless of decades of US support for dictatorial regimes.     

Ah, but I also read in the NY TImes that “Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt has long functioned as a state where wealth bought political power and political power bought great wealth.” Watch also The Moustache chime in on “AE – After Egypt,” and give its take on the overall political corruption,  societal “backwardness,” and waywardness in Egypt....in the region even! Glenn Greenwald commented on the obvious penchant for Otherness in the American mainstream media:
Can you believe that ‘in Hosni Mubarak's Egypt,’ private wealth translates into great political power and vice-versa?  What is it like, wonders the curious and concerned Times reader, to live in a country like that?  No wonder there's an uprising…. Thankfully, Times readers don't live in a country where such endemic problems reign…. 

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