SPEAKING FREELY Egypt a challenge to the global conscience
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click hereif you are interested in contributing.
The hated and feared Egyptian military junta appears to have gained the upper hand through cold-blooded massacres of innocent civilians. Those civilians were demonstrating against perpetuated military brutality in what's becoming a challenge to the global human conscience.
After one year of political optimism - under the elected president Mohammed Morsi, Egypt was moving towards a rational path of democratic change and development - out of nowhere, Egyptian generals became paranoid. This also seems an incoming signal from the US government that evolving democracy doesn't suit
American policy and practices in the Arab Middle East.
President Barack Obama and others from the military-industrial complex in Washington view continuing conflicts and social-economic and political disruptions as necessary to their short- and long-terms aims in the Arab world. They need ruthless authoritarian dictators as has been the case for over half a century. US policy attainment comes at the cost of ruthlessness and military coups.
The US plan is a warrior's dream of glory and triumph to make the Arab-Muslims subservient to Western political mastery. History is repeating itself and nothing else.
With the exception of the politically elected Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, all other Arab rulers who call themselves as leaders are devoid of the knowledge, foresight and wisdom needed to assess the complex phenomenon of political change dominating the Arab world.
Most of the contemporary oil-pumping Arab rulers are uneducated and self-centered maniacs lacking any viable political imagination of the real world future. In all of their pursuits, they are subservient to the Western masters involved in extending a massive security and secret police apparatus to protect their one-sided governance from the concerned masses in the region.
Opportunist military dictators do not build progressive societies nor contribute to sustainable political change and people's emancipation. Today's Egypt under military rule is no exception to this sickening cruelty by man against man. Egyptian generals do not represent an invincible army but a camouflaged combination of in-house corruption and divided apparatus, often looking to opportunism of their own to control and manage the Egyptian economy.
It is widely known that many Egyptian political elite - including the generals - own or have investments in the construction and developmental projects being carried out with foreign assistance.
America provides some US$1.6 billion annual aid to the Egyptian development projects and military institutions. John Grant, in "Despite Having Wringing, Cairo Massacres Suit US Policy" (OpEdNews, August 17, 2013), illustrates the contemporary face of the Obama administration on the current Egyptian political turmoil:
President Obama's "condemnation"of the Egyptian military's massacre of civilians sounded like obligatory ass-covering. ... The sense of absurdity in the air takes one back to the halcyon days of Richard Nixon and his "credibility gap", which now seems like child's play. Incredibly, even John McCain has a more critical analysis of the Egyptian coup. ... We have repeatedly called on the Egyptian military and security forces to show restraint," he told the press. It was like the US was saying to General Sisi, "We wish you could be nicer."
Having watched two-faced US operations for decades now, I tend to lean toward the latter. That is, that policy formulators in Washington and Tel Aviv have concluded that an Egypt cleansed of Islamic influence is in their interests. So, therefore, it's necessary to crank up instruments of public relations like Earnest Josh to run interference with reality.
The daily planned massacres of the people cannot go unabated and unchallenged; otherwise, it is a burden on the human conscience. After all, what is the role and importance of the United Nations and its Security Council responsible for. Those occupying the five major powerful seats in the UN Security Council must initiate immediate actions to stop this unwarranted carnage. So far, the UN appears to be a silent spectator on the major political issues involving the peace and minds of the global mankind.
Some of the Arab autocratic rulers, enriched with stolen wealth generated by the oil exports, and more precisely, equipped with small wisdom and big mouth are make sluggish statements encouraging the Egyptian generals to crackdown on the public and to destroy the well organized publicly supported Muslim Brotherhood organization.
They rejoice that General Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi has geared to dismantle the democratically elected government of Egypt as it offers encouragement to all the authoritarian rulers to maintain their grips over new emerging public awareness and the movement for political change and reformation across the neo-colonial dominated Arab governance.
If the Arab rulers were wise and farsighted, they should have welcomed the peaceful change in Egypt and the election of president Morsi - a man of intellect and futuristic imagination for political change.
If rationality is to assert its place, president Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood had inherited essentially a corrupt culture of governance overthrowing more than 60 years of military governance. It was unthinkable that the phenomenon of peaceful change could produce positive economic and political results overnight for all the Egyptians. Egyptian youths and the ordinary folks showed marvelous imagination and courage to overthrow Hosni Mubarak and to get rid of the oppressive military control over the civilian life.
Jacob Heilbrunn in "Obama's Egypt Address: A License to Kill" (Information Clearing House, August 17, 2013) provides a critical insight to Obama's mind, explaining how he sees the US half-hearted cynical engagement in the whole affair:
If he was ever apprehensive, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi can relax. Obama spoke but he did not speak a language that the generals will interpret as anything but a license to kill. So much for Obama's lofty expressions about a new beginning in his address to the Muslim world in Cairo in June 2009. ... What Obama's foreign policy appears to amount to is abdication, a passive surrender to events.
Egypt is not Syria. America has long been directly, intimately engaged in its affairs. But Obama is acting as though he's an innocent bystander, wringing his hands over the terrible things he's witnessing but incapable of actually trying to influence events. No doubt Obama was right to state "America cannot determine the future of Egypt." But this is a straw man. Who said America could determine its future? What it could have attempted to do was nudge Egypt toward compromise. Now it may be too late. Obama may have acted like he was putting Egypt on notice, but the only thing the generals will end up noticing is his passivity.
America is becoming irrelevant and its global importance in political affairs is diminishing fast, observed the internationally reputable scholar Noam Chomsky, saying America acts contrary to the interests of its own people (''The US Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You'll Never Hear About It in Our 'Free Press'.'' Information Clearing House, August 17, 2013):
American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945, but it's still incomparable. And it's dangerous. Obama's remarkable global terror campaign and the limited, pathetic reaction to it in the West is one shocking example. And it is a campaign of international terrorism - by far the most extreme in the world. Those who harbor any doubts on that should read the report issued by Stanford University and New York University, and actually I'll return to even more serious examples than international terrorism... Well, another important feature of RECD ["really existing capitalist democracy"] is that the public must be kept in the dark about what is happening to them. The "herd" must remain "bewildered". The reasons explained lucidly by the professor of the science of government at Harvard - that's the official name - mirror another respected liberal figure, Samuel Huntington. As he pointed out, ''Power remains strong when it remains in the dark. Exposed to sunlight, it begins to evaporate... '' As I mentioned, Obama's now conducting the world's greatest international terrorist campaign - the drones and special forces campaign. It's also a terror-generating campaign. The common understanding at the highest level [is] that these actions generate potential terrorists. I'll quote General Stanley McChrystal, Petraeus' predecessor. He says that "for every innocent person you kill", and there are plenty of them, "you create 10 new enemies".
All the monsters of history are to be found among absolute leaders exercising absolute power in disregard of the interests of people.
Military dictators have replaced pharaohs to make Egypt a land of unpredictable warring people. It makes no sense why the Egyptian generals should intervene and stop a new chapter of democratic change and development in Egypt's modern political history.
Most Arab rulers have no sense how soon they could be redundant and replaced by the same American policies and practices. All the Arab states put together are powerless and increasingly becoming irrelevant to the global system of governance. They opted for oil-generated delusional prosperity and rejected Islam as a way of life.
The earth does not feel their weight or presence on any part of the Arabian Peninsula. They lack intelligent people in political governance to know and understand and assess the implications of the Western military and political strategies impacting all aspects of the Arab lifelines.
At times, when the Arabs were linked to the originality of Islam, they ushered new era of knowledge-based progressive societies, scientific discoveries, multicultural values and new insights into building civilization unparalleled in human history. With all the oil wealth and so-called happiness, they are modern beggars and consumers in all affairs of human endeavors.
Continued military coups and political chaos will serve the interests and priorities of the Western political masters, not the hopes of the besieged Arab people or emerging democracy. Noam Chomsky knows what America is doing in Egypt and its short- and long-terms strategic aim in the region to support Israel political supremacy over all other members of the Arab states. Arab rulers are entrapped and are willingly fulfilling the aims of the US intransigent foreign policy. They have no rational sense of time and history. There will be no peace and no stability unless the major global powers come out to stop the vengeful bloody military insanity generating greater moral and intellectual darkness and political belligerency across the Arab world.
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say.Please click hereif you are interested in contributing. Articles submitted for this section allow our readers to express their opinions and do not necessarily meet the same editorial standards of Asia Times Online's regular contributors.
Dr Mahboob A Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including his latest Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking (Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012).