U.S. Out of the Middle East
Voice of Revolution salutes the heroic Egyptian people who stood their ground for 18 days and succeeded in driving President Hosni Mubarak out of office. Despite violence, intimidation, arrests, torture, and the deaths of hundreds, the Egyptian people refused to back down from their just demand that Mubarak and his entire regime step down. They have made clear that they are fighting for an Egyptian state that serves them and are persisting in achieving this aim. We congratulate them on their success and warmly salute their firm stand and undaunted spirit now to continue their fight. We denounce continuing U.S. efforts to block the Egyptian people from power and demand that the U.S. end all interference and military aid and get out now!
Egyptians do not want a government that remains a pawn for foreign interests, especially U.S. interests. They reject Egypt’s infamous role of working hand-in-hand with U.S.-Israeli efforts to maintain the criminal blockade against Gaza and the humiliation this represents for the Egyptian people. With great determination and repeated efforts, they have waged their fight for a state that sides with the just national movements of the Middle East and world’s peoples against U.S.-Zionist imperialism — for one that uses its material and human resources for the well-being of the people. And now as the struggle moves to its next stage, the battle for a new Egypt rages on. It is a battle between the people with their aspiration for the new and the reactionary forces, led by the U.S., doing everything possible to maintain Egypt’s status as a U.S. client state.
The U.S. is moving to have the military take control, as if this is not the same military that has long oppressed the Egyptian people and always served U.S. interests. President Barack Obama and the monopoly media are desperately striving to make the military appear as a force on the side of the people, capable of delivering change. As Obama said February 11, “The military has served patriotically and responsibly as a caretaker to the state, and will now have to ensure a transition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people. That means protecting the rights of Egypt’s citizens, lifting the emergency law, revising the constitution and other laws to make this change irreversible, and laying out a clear path to elections that are fair and free. Above all, this transition must bring all of Egypt’s voices to the table.”
The U.S. is responsible for guaranteeing Mubarak’s decades-long rule, including billions in military aid, supplying the weapons and tear gas used against protesters. This backing now of the military takeover is a coup attempt by the U.S., aimed at blocking the aspirations of the Egyptian people for their own empowerment. The U.S. is organizing to buy time, as they have from the start of this struggle. First they supported Mubarak remaining in office, with the call for elections in September. Faced with the Egyptian people’s fierce determination with millions repeatedly mobilized for genuine regime change, the U.S. maneuvered to put their henchman in place, the newly appointed Vice-President Omar Suleiman. He is head of the security services and deeply linked to all the machinations of the U.S.-Zionist imperialists in Egypt. And now the maneuver is for the military to be the “responsible caretaker.” And “all of Egypt’s voice,” no doubt means representatives of the reactionary forces of the old regime.
The U.S. is acting to block genuine change, while claiming to defend democracy and the "voice of the Egyptian people." When they speak of transition they mean that they want the appearance of change — "that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people" — while in fact the same forces remain in power. The U.S. backing of the military represents U.S. efforts to keep Egypt a client state. It is a desperate attempt to keep their empire in a situation where it is the imperialists who have increasingly little room to maneuver while the people remain on the march for their just demands for an Egyptian state that serves their interests.
Obama also emphasized that the people of Egypt must act “peacefully.” And that “The United States will continue to be a friend and partner to Egypt. We stand ready to provide whatever assistance is necessary — and asked for — to pursue a credible transition to a democracy.” This is leaving open the option that if “asked” by the Egyptian military the U.S. will provide armed forces. Already Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has been dispatched to the region. U.S. forces for "revising the constitution and other laws," and similar matters that belong to the Egyptian people alone, may also be dispatched.
The demand that the people of Egypt are the ones who must act peacefully, is also yet another effort to divert from the violence of the Egyptian state. The people have repeatedly used their peaceful mass democracies and organized actions to advance their just cause. News agencies and eye witness accounts report that at least 300 people have been killed, with thousands illegally detained and many tortured, by the organized forces of the state.
The U.S. will not give up easily. As Obama indicated, “there will be difficult says ahead.” And the veiled threats at military or other U.S. intervention make clear that the U.S. will continue to try and put in place a regime that favors U.S. interests. Far from backing the military and keeping it in power, we demand that the U.S. end all aid, remove all U.S. troops and warships and stop its maneuvering and interference. It is the U.S. that has imposed its dictate on Egypt and used it against the interests of the Egyptian people and all the peoples of the region for decades. It is the U.S. that has no right to decide and instead must Get Out of the Middle East!
The Egyptian people have shown they are not to be underestimated. Their proud revolutionary history includes their historic battles against British colonialism, which led to the liberation of Egypt and the rise to power of the peoples’ hero Abdul Nasser. These are the people that led the nationalist movements of the region and earned their place of honor amongst the fighting forces of the world. This is the Egypt struggling to be reborn on a new basis for the 21st century. No diversionary talk of the imperialists can change the will of the Egyptian people to realize this new Egypt. It cannot block the indomitable striving of the peoples of the Middle East for independence, democracy and the affirmation of rights. The Egyptian people are calling for the entire old regime to step down and for a new transitional government to be constituted. They have emphasized that the current government, including the military, has no right to decide what takes place.
We demand that the U.S. stop all its interference in Egypt and that it get out of the Middle East now! We reject all U.S. efforts to dictate a “credible transition to democracy” as wherever the U.S. decides, it imposes a government that serves U.S. imperialist interests and directly blocks political empowerment of the people.
We warmly salute the Egyptian people and their refusal to be diverted from their aim for an Egyptian state that serves their interests. We urge all to go all out to support the Egyptian people, including participating in the many demonstrations taking place nationwide. We stand as one in the struggle for the new, in Egypt and here in the U.S.
Salute the Heroic Egyptian People! [TOP]
The Anglo-Zionist imperialists, with the U.S. at the helm, are desperately trying to divert the people’s movement in Egypt from accomplishing its just aim of regime change and to block the further spread of this revolutionary fervor across the region. This situation constitutes arguably the greatest threat to the strategic interests of U.S. imperialism in decades, and it is a situation where the imperialists have little room to maneuver. As the Anglo-Zionist media today jubilantly declare that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation settles the question, the real play of the U.S. to block the people’s movement in Egypt has just begun. The military bid, announced today, to take over the helm of the sinking Egyptian ship is a thinly disguised U.S.-backed coup aimed at establishing facts on the ground that will block the people’s striving for empowerment.
Their desperate bid entails a constant effort to buy time so as to put the facts on the ground necessary for a transition that suits their interests. Consider the scenario. The U.S. imperialists, with the exception of a small coterie of recalcitrant elements, have always recognized that Mubarak must go but the question was always how. If, along with the rest of his regime, he was forced to step down according to the demands of the people, then the situation is grave for the imperialists. This is an equation where genuine regime change takes place, invariably leading to a renewed people’s Egypt opposed to imperialism. Instead, the U.S., Israel and other foreign powers have opted to orchestrate a situation where Mubarak goes while another U.S.-client government is established -- the much sought after and acclaimed “orderly transition” of the reactionaries including Canada -- so that the people would continue to be marginalized while the foreign rule takes another form. Hence the announcement that the newly appointed Vice-President Omar Suleiman, former head of Mubarak’s murderous intelligence agency, is assuming various presidential powers while the military has taken over control of the country.
To date the Egyptian people have refused to be diverted by either the carrot or the stick. In regard to the former, the token negotiations Mubarak claimed to conduct with some opposition forces failed to demobilize the people. There is no reason to believe that they will be demobilized by Mubarak’s resignation while the military makes promises about lifting the State of Emergency once this situation ends. In regard to the use of the stick, all efforts to use the police forces, military or hired thugs (dubbed pro-Mubarak supporters) to quell the protests through violence, torture, murder, arrest or sheer chaos have also failed. If anything, the numbers and militancy of the protestors have swelled. Workers have joined the protestors after the unions held another General Strike starting on February 8 and large numbers of expatriates continue to arrive to join the protestors. So, the flip side of the equation is that the Egyptian people have been doing everything possible to block the imperialist and reactionary strategies aimed at wiping out their movement. How will this clash of interests manifest itself in the coming days?
The People’s “Last Warning” Communiqué
Events in Egypt are unfolding quickly. Today is the day protestors, in the face of Mubarak’s appearances on TV arrogantly running governmental meetings as if all were well, declared a deadline for the entire regime to step down. Entitled “Last Warning,” the communiqué of the protestors stated that if this demand were not to be met by the deadline, they would mobilize towards the presidential palace in Cairo to arrest Mubarak for crimes against the people. In doing so, they would directly confront the military guarding the palace and the surrounding rich district where it is located. At the eleventh hour, with tens of thousands surrounding the presidential palace and millions assembled at Tahrir Square and in cities all over Egypt, Mubarak resigned, handing over the reins of power to the military, as if the Egyptian people want to exchange one form of military rule for another.
Today may yet prove to be the most decisive day since the protests erupted on January 25. The protestors’ courageous proposal to arrest Mubarak was highly significant. In taking this stand, they cut through all the forked tongue talk of the reactionary regime and imperialists, forcing them to decide: will the army be mobilized against the people? What will the likes of Obama and others do with their proclamations of democracy and non-violence if a bloodbath is unleashed by the military against the people? Managing finally to have Mubarak resign and the military take over may de-escalate the situation temporarily, but everyone knows it is far from over. After 30 years of emergency rule, the Egyptian people are no more likely to accept a military takeover in the guise of democracy than they have the current regime.
Little Room to Maneuver
The contradictions are sharp. Even though Mubarak was the head of a U.S. client state, his refusal to follow U.S. dictate to make a clean exit when he saw it as a threat to his power made life especially difficult for the imperialists. Simultaneously, Mubarak knew that without U.S.-backing he had no chance of maintaining power. The army cannot survive without the long-standing funding of the U.S. Yet it is this same military that would be mobilized to break the protests, even as the U.S. recognizes that full-scale military attack against the protestors will likely only further enrage the people against the same U.S. known to back that military.
How will the imperialists put in place the orderly transition in the region -- that neoliberal multiparty system whose aim is to block the people from exercising political power in their own interests? The dictatorships the U.S. imperialists have propped up in the region from Egypt to Saudi Arabia are opposed to this token change, which will see them lose their corrupt stranglehold in its present form. The people are refusing to accept any such U.S.-backed solutions whatsoever. A military takeover of the country will settle nothing so far as the people are concerned, even as it increases the potential for all-out military violence against the people.
This is the significance of Saudi Arabia giving refuge to the deposed President of Tunisia Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, former friend of the U.S. who was abandoned by the Americans when it became clear that he could no longer maintain their interests in the face of the popular uprising. This is the significance of the earlier threat to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, that his kingdom will prop up the tottering regime of the Egyptian president if the U.S. withdraws its support, particularly its funding of that regime. Similarly, this is the significance of their claim that they would replace U.S. funding to the military if necessary. The contradictions are sharp between an Obama administration trying to pacify through token, superficial “democratic” change the masses of people who refuse to be diverted or fooled, and the dictatorships/militaries of the U.S. client states which are quickly becoming an obstacle to U.S. imperialist interests by refusing to give up their corrupt power to safeguard U.S. interests.
Egypt Is Not Honduras
The imperialist bid to pacify popular uprisings by imposing token democracy, with controlled elections and civil institutions run by the U.S., is a strategy the U.S. imperialists and countries of the European Union and Canada have been attempting to enact in the Middle East for a number of years. This started with the Charter of Paris signed in 1991, which declared that every country had to have a free market economy, multiparty system and abide by so-called human rights. The U.S. in particular has been funding regime changes in the name of democracy to deal with the ever-rising discontent of the peoples over the havoc wreaked by the so-called free market economy and U.S. imperialism and American client states on their societies. The British have provided the so-called Civitas Project to corrupt the Palestinian Authority and sabotage the liberation movement of the Palestinian people. Canada is a partner in this project and is mandated to provide the so-called electoral and judicial arms for these so-called democracy building initiatives. In Egypt the reactionaries are hoping to use the strategy used to smash the people’s 2009 uprising in Honduras, orchestrating a coup against the popular government of Manuel Zelaya and then using ambiguity to gain time so as to declare it legal and institute the coup regime. Yet Egypt, with a population of 81,527,172, compared to 7,318,789 in Honduras, and with 1,001,449 square km compared to Honduras’ 112,090 square km is a completely different kettle of fish. Pulling off in Egypt what they did in Honduras will be much more difficult.
A victory for the Egyptian people will transform the situation across the region, affirming the right to sovereignty for all, including the long-suffering Palestinian people. A victory for the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people is a victory for the peoples of the world in their striving to hold governments responsible for providing the human rights of all with a guarantee.
Long Live the Democratic, Sovereign Movement of the Egyptian People!
(Reprinted from TML Daily, cpcml.ca)
The Bloody Events of Wednesday, February 2
We the protesters who have currently been in a sit-in at Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Cairo since January 25, 2011, strongly condemn the brutal attack carried out by the governing National Democratic Party’s (NDP) mercenaries at our location on Wednesday, February 2, under the guise of a “rally” in support of President Mubarak. This attack has continued on Thursday, February 3. We regret that some young people have joined these thugs and criminals, whom the NDP is accustomed to hiring during elections, to march them off after spreading several falsehoods circulated by the regime’s media about us and our goals. These goals that aim at changing the political system into one that guarantees freedom, dignity and social justice to all citizens are also the goals of the youth. Therefore we want to clarify the following.
Firstly, we are a group of young Muslim and Christian Egyptians; the overwhelming majority of us does not belong to political parties and have no previous political activism. Our movement involves the elderly and children, peasants, workers, professionals, students and pensioners. Our movement cannot be classified as “paid for” or “directed by” a limited few because it has attracted millions who responded to its call of removing the regime. People joined us last Tuesday in Cairo and other governorates in a scene that witnessed not one case of violence, assault on property or harassment of anyone.
Secondly, our movement is accused of being funded from abroad, supported by the United States, as being instigated by Hamas, as under the leadership of the president of the National Assembly for change (Mohamed El-Baradei) and, last but not least, as directed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Many accusations like these prove to be false. The protesters are all Egyptians who have clear and specific national objectives. The protesters have no weapons or foreign equipment as claimed by instigators. The broad positive response of the people to our movement’s goals reveals that these are the goals of the Egyptian masses in general, not any internal or external faction or entity.
Thirdly, the regime and its paid media falsely blame us, young demonstrators, for the tension and instability in the streets of Egypt in recent days and therefore damaging our nation’s interests and security. Our answer to them is: It is not the peaceful protesters who released the criminal offenders from prison onto the unguarded streets to practice looting and plundering. It is not the peaceful protesters who have imposed a curfew starting at 3.00 pm. It is not the peaceful protesters who have stopped the work in banks, bakeries and gas stations. When the protesters organized the one million strong demonstration it came up in the most magnificent and organized form and ended peacefully. It is not the protesters who killed 300 people, some with live ammunition, and wounding more than 2,000 people in the last few days.
Fourthly, President Mubarak came out on Tuesday to announce that he will not stand in the upcoming presidential election and that he will modify two articles in the Constitution, and engage in dialogue with the opposition. However, the State media has attacked us when we refused his “concession” and decided to go on with our movement. Our demand that Mubarak steps down immediately is not a personal matter, but we have clear reasons for it which include:
1. His promise not to run again is not new. He promised when he came to power in 1981 that he would not run for more than two legislatures but he continued for more than 30 years.
2. His speech did not [present any guarantee] for not nominating his son “Gamal,” who remains until now a member of the ruling party, and can stand for election that will not be under judicial supervision since he ignored any reference to the amendment of Article 88 of the Constitution.
3. He also considered our movement a “plot directed by a force” that works against the interests of the nation as if responding to the demands of the public is a “shame” or “humiliation.”
4. As regards to his promise of conducting a dialogue with the opposition, we know how many times over the past years the regime claimed this and ended up with enforcing the narrow interests of the Mubarak State and the few people who control it.
And the events of Wednesday proved our stand is vindicated. While the President was giving his promises, the leaders of his regime were organizing (along with paid thugs and wanted criminals equipped with swords, knives and Molotov cocktails) a brutal plot to attack us in Tahrir Square. Those thugs and criminals were accompanied by NDP members who fired machine guns on unarmed protesters who were trapped on the square, killing at least seven and wounding hundreds of us critically. This was done in order to end our peaceful national popular movement and preserve the status quo.
Our movement is Egyptian — Our movement is legitimate — Our movement is continuing.
The Youth of the Tahrir Square Sit-In [TOP]
The revolutionary movement unfolding in Egypt represents all sectors of the society, including the unions, professionals, diverse political parties, farmers and the unemployed, with the youth in the forefront. They stand as one, united in the struggle for a new Egypt. Against this united front, the Anglo-Zionist imperialists and the Egyptian regime and its armed forces are fighting tooth and nail to divert the movement from realizing its aim. What role is the Egyptian military playing in these events? Some claim that its role is unclear while others declare the army as neutral. Some Anglo-Zionist pundits, especially in the monopoly media, have even gone so far as to claim that the people are friendly towards the military: a protestor somewhere is said to have hugged a soldier, while the head of the military supposedly joined the protestors during one demonstration.
It must be stated unequivocally that the Egyptian military is a pawn of the Anglo-Zionist agenda in Egypt and that there has been an intentional policy of creating doubt about this simple fact. In the face of the disinformation about the role of the military, it is important to keep in mind that the Egyptian military was reconstituted by the U.S. in 1979. Since then, the army has been financed to the tune of billions of dollars by the U.S. Despite this, concerted efforts by the U.S. seek to divert attention from this obvious direct relationship between the army and the imperialists. While the police have been executing the regime’s violent, repressive measures against the people, the military is posturing as friendly, reasonable, a partner for dialogue, a cautioner for calm and orderly transition. Why is this?
The strategy is simple: the army stays “neutral” in these events so that it can be in a good position to intervene at an opportune time to maintain the status quo. The imperialists have already realized that Mubarak is finished; he can no longer be the face of their client state in Egypt. They are trying wholeheartedly (and failing) to convince the Egyptian people that if Mubarak goes then they have realized their aim for change. If the army is seen as a defender of Mubarak, it will be committing political suicide and go the way of Mubarak himself. Instead, they have opted for a tired old ploy that is sure to fail: to present the military as neutral, gain the trust of the people and be seen as a legitimate player by the international community. Then, once Mubarak is gone, the entire regime collapses or at some other opportune moment, the army will take over in the name of the people while in fact the same imperialist agenda would reign in Egypt and the people’s movement will be blocked.
Their first attempt to pave the way for the military to intervene has so far failed. This involved the Egyptian regime withdrawing the repressive police from the streets and unleashing thousands of hired thugs, including former police officers imprisoned for corruption and crimes against the people. These organized gangs, dubbed pro-Mubarak protestors by the monopoly media, attacked demonstrators in the most vicious and brutal ways. The hope was that the demonstrators would react with all-out violence and -vengefulness, making it possible to demonize the protestors as violent and extremist, then voilà, the military would have an excuse to intervene between the two violent “sides.” Similarly, the Anglo-Zionist imperialist states would then have some basis to defend whatever the Egyptian regime and military decided to do in order to stop the alleged violence. It would also ultimately justify the position of the army, which has begun cautioning that now is the time for people to go home or chaos will ensue. The plan so far has failed due to the acumen of the revolutionary forces. Outside of pure self-defense, the millions of protestors have not fallen into this trap. They have refused to take the bait and are maintaining the restrained, peaceful character of the mass actions.
The role of the army will become increasingly obvious for all to see as the time for Mubarak’s inevitable departure nears. Already, the military is shifting its discourse. For instance, on February 4, for the first time the Minister of Defense, Mohamed Tantawi and an army spokesperson addressed the demonstrations demanding that the people empty the streets because their actions are destroying Egypt as a country. Certainly, the piper is now playing a different tune.
The reactionary forces would have us believe that while the police are bad, the military is good and the hired thugs are pro-Mubarak Egyptians. They would have us believe that under a military dictatorship — i.e., Egypt is ruled by the military due to the State of Emergency declared by Mubarak 30 years ago — it is possible for the military to be neutral. The military, the police and the government are one entity — the power arrangement established by the imperialists so that Egypt is a pawn for their interests. Overall, this is the play, these are the players, but the Egyptian people are a factor in the unfolding events that cannot be underestimated and they are playing for keeps.