Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What Egyptian revolution?

Unless the army splits, ain't nothin gonna happen.

Pepe Escobar at Asia Times lays it out.


Gilbert Achcar, professor of international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, goes straight to the point, "In order to impose such a thorough change, the mass movement would need to break or destabilize the regime's backbone, that is, the Egyptian army."

Meet the new boss ...
Egypt is a hardcore military dictatorship. The army, essentially paid for by US taxpayer money, is no "honest broker". The Mubarak regime's repression against the protests has not been even more vicious because soldiers in this conscript army would certainly have refused to shoot their own people; thus plan B, the regime's goons and the hated baltagia - state-sponsored thugs in plainclothes - unleashed last week.

Still, the regime was never shaken to the core - because the army remains in charge. Graphic example; the state-owned newspaper al-Gomhuria had a monster headline this Monday reading "New Era" above a photo of Suleiman meeting some of the opposition under a picture of Mubarak.

Mark LeVine writing in AlJazeera is correct that a true revolution would alter the world situation profoundly, for obvious reasons:

Whether Islamist or secularist, any government of "of the people" will turn against the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched regional elites while forcing half or more of the population to live below the $2 per day poverty line. They will refuse to follow the US or Europe's lead in the war on terror if it means the continued large scale presence of foreign troops on the region's soil. They will no longer turn a blind eye, or even support, Israel's occupation and siege across the Occupied Palestinian territories. They will most likely shirk from spending a huge percentage of their national income on bloated militaries and weapons systems that serve to enrich western defence companies and prop up autocratic governments, rather than bringing stability and peace to their countries - and the region as a whole.

They will seek, as China, India and other emerging powers have done, to move the centre of global economic gravity towards their region, whose educated and cheap work forces will further challenge the more expensive but equally stressed workforces of Europe and the United States.

In short, if the revolutions of 2011 succeed, they will force the creation of a very different regional and world system than the one that has dominated the global political economy for decades, especially since the fall of communism.

This system could bring the peace and relative equality that has so long been missing globally - but it will do so in good measure by further eroding the position of the United States and other "developed" or "mature" economies. If Obama, Sarkozy, Merkel and their colleagues don't figure out a way to live with this scenario, while supporting the political and human rights of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa, they will wind up with an adversary far more cunning and powerful than al-Qa'eda could ever hope to be: more than 300 million newly empowered Arabs who are mad as hell and are not going to take it any more.

Doesn't seem likely that the US and Israel would let that happen.

A revolution seems unlikely led by the twitterati. Without an insurrectionist party (which the MB assuredly ain't) able to organize a militia, hard to see the need for a coup. At this moment Khomeini looks like a genius while Osama bin Forgotten is shown to be the criminal terrorist idiot which he is.

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