Arab Revolt or a Poisoned Banquet?

March 26th 2011 | كتبها

Muhammad Abu Nasr

More and more it looks like the US is really trying to change the Arab region. The US knows that the masses there hate the corrupt dictatorial regimes, so if the US can guide the replacement of those regimes with regimes that believe in democratic procedures and are willing to sit and listen to the wise western standards of democracy, then what will happen is that the Arab World will have a whole new set of regimes that do respond to a lot of local issues, but insist on following “legality” and the “rule of law” as in international law and internationally recognized peace treaties like Camp David, Oslo, Wadi Arabah, Wye River, etc.

Then revolutionaries will find that it would be harder to mobilize people because they would have to start from square one again convincing people that the new regimes are really not that much better from the ones they replaced. Even though they will know how to say ‘we feel your pain’ and institute programs and listen to the problems.

Now how long will it take for that to be exposed?!

Right now the Egyptian youth who were on the streets seem quite discontented with what’s happening in Egypt, with the military rulers and their petty amended constitution. But somehow the momentum of the movement seems lost —-

or maybe al-Jazeera has been told not to cover the movement against the Supreme Military Council.

Syria and Libya: A Dangerous Turn

Things have taken a big and dangerous turn with Libya and Syria. Now we’ re not talking about passive demos against pro-western corrupt dictators, but about armed uprisings clearly aimed at installing pro-American regimes.

Tunis and Egypt were one thing.  But now we’ve got an armed uprising in Libya, a country that was at least to some extent anti-imperialist, and independent. Today we’ve got gunmen shooting people in Syria, again another dubious uprising against a “dictatorship” that just happens to be anti-imperialist.

(Why wasn’t it the reverse? Why were there no arms when the Egyptians and Tunisians were confronting pro-western regimes, but the arms appear when the ‘democrats’ are confronting the not-pro-western regimes?)

What Kind of Change is the Arab World Experiencing?

And here’s another analogy. An analogy doesn’t prove anything, but it might give food for thought. The west always backs non-political trade unions (TUs). The imperialist west is supposedly raping the whole third world to get super profits but they actually promote trade unions as long as those TUs talk wages, work hours, work conditions, but not national liberation, anti-Zionism, etc.

So isn’t that what we’re getting now? Demos against the regimes that avoid the key issues of imperialism and Zionism?

“Let’s solve the regime issue first and then tackle the Zionism and imperialism issue later.” How much can you really decouple them?

Also, if the new, democratic regimes want to follow rule of law and procedures and all that, they will not be inclined to tear up Wadi Araba and Camp David. There might be a debate in a democratic parliament, but then what about Egypt’s (or Jordan’s)  responsibilities? they will say. Egypt (or Jordan) has commitments. What happens to the country’s credibility if you start tearing up treaties?

It’s doubtful that open parliamentary debate will lead to truly radical choices. I don’t know why that doesn’t seem to happen, but somehow it doesn’t seem to.  Politicians don’t want responsibility for risky decisions.

The whole thing just looks very suspicious: Democracy, but only on things that don’t really matter.

“You mean employment doesn’t matter? You mean poverty doesn’t matter?” Well, they do of course, but how will democracy give young people jobs? It can’t fix the economy. Can it even nationalize things? That’s trampling on somebody’s property protected by the rule of law.

To Divide is To Conquer

Another thing, the Americans don’t have to win in order to win. That is, do they have to kick al-Qadhdhafi out of power? No, if they push him out of eastern Libya they’ve partitioned Libya and the country will descend into chronic instability, and since the Zionists don’t want any half-way strong states around them, then this controlled chaos suits them and the USA just fine.

Syria too. Maybe they can’t get Asad out, but if they can get Syrian security forces to shoot a few demonstrators, they can keep the Syrian regime preoccupied with fighting a chronic insurgency for years. Or they hope to.

I don’t think they’d want to destabilize Jordan since Jordan is a friend. But it really would be worth their while to divert all the political activists in Jordan to focusing only on domestic matters because they have been led to believe that US won’t let a revolution happen if they raise imperialist and Zionist issues.

But when will that happen? When will the US and “Israel” allow those things to be raised? When will that be possible?

An American Role in the Arab Revolt?

The US State Dept and its Jewish cadres have been agitating the Egyptian youth movement since 2008 according to many references published on the internet. So this is something the US has been working on. Not just exploited after the fact, but guided. True the millions didn’t take to the street for the love of America, but the millions don’t have any clear direction so the youth who have taken classes with America’s State Dept. Jews are giving them guidance. And if there’s no leadership that actually does raise the international issues, then those won’t be raised by the masses spontaneously.

And if the youth in Jordan are deliberately avoiding these big issues as it may seem, and if they are going to limit their activity to that which the US can accept, then what good is this activity?

First, any compass not pointing to the Zio-imperialists is broken.

Second, nowadays the US media are full of reports of “Syria shooting at demonstrators all over the country.” Or to use US propaganda-speak “Bashshar is killing his own people.” So far there’s no huge campaign against Syria – probably because Obama is trying to keep a low US profile in all this. Still, it’s obvious that Syria is coming under intense pressure from these same forces.

So what do the events reveal so far?

Here’s the picture:

1. ‘people power’ has won in Egypt and Tunis and any change that would mean anything significant is now pretty much blocked or put on a track of “under discussion” until forever. Meanwhile the military that really rules both ‘people power’ countries are helping the US conquer Libya.

2. A ‘people power’-style uprising in al-Bahrayn – be it pro-Irani or not – has been put down and there’s no noise from the media about any need for international intervention.

3. Armed violent uprisings in the name of ‘people power’ have erupted in Libya and Syria. Both of those clearly have covert western/Zionist support and obviously massive overt support in Libya.

Now draw a line under that and see what the total is. We get zero for actual reversal of the reality of subjugation to imperialism/zionism. In fact we see that subjugation to imperialism/Zionism has increased. In Egypt the referendum on meaningless constitutional amendments passed with 70 percent of the vote. In the US that would be a landslide victory. A victory for what? for saying that ‘ok, this is as far as the revolution goes.’ People may continue to assemble in Maydan at-Tahrir but at this point all the change will be within the legal system, hence it will not have any meaning as pertains to imperialism and Zionism.

Economic Concerns Are Worthless Without Addressing Imperialism

In many an Arab state, more and more the ‘people power’ youth agitation looks like what some of those “Marxist fundamentalists” do in the Third World. They look at Third World countries, ignore imperialism and think and act in terms of organizing the workers, protesting sweat shop work conditions, demanding vacation for pregnant women or other social welfare stuff (the kind of stuff Marx may have done in the 1840s) – none of which will alter the fundamental issue of Zio-imperialist domination in this age of financial imperialism. This trade union, economist approach has been a feature of those types of leftists for a long time, in fact. And it’s never done any good.

In fact, that type of work for social welfare for the workers is more agreeable to transnational companies than it is to local capitalists, so regardless of the intentions of these reformers all they manage to do is focus negative attention on national capital while letting imperialism off the hook.

More and more it seems that these people-power revolutionary movements are the same as those supporting “economist” and “trade union” approaches to the struggle exactly. At best you’ll get more freedom to let off steam but the situation won’t be any different in the key relations. In fact there will be closer and tighter integration with imperialism.

It will all be ‘rule of law’ not ‘rule of individual men.’ Get rid of dictators. Prosecute corrupt officials. International tribunal for Mubarak, for al-Qadhdhafi, for Bashshar al-Asad, and at what point do all the people who advocate armed resistance struggle become “international criminal terrorists”? Egypt and Jordan officially recognize “Israel” which can issue legal warrants to arrest anybody who advocates armed struggle as a hate monger or terrorist or whatever international law cares to call it. Under these liberal-minded, people-power revolutions, where they want to apply universal human rights standards, everything is being done according to high international legal principles and standards, so you will find that resistance is criminalized and it won’t get better from there.

Hence, as said earlier, if Egypt goes the route of ‘rule of law’ and conforming to international norms, there won’t be any room for tearing up ratified peace treaties. Open the border to Ghazza? Well bring the case to the world court. That’s the proper legal way. And then even if you get a ruling to open the border, it will require Egypt to keep out terrorists and weapons and anything that could be used as weapons because this is all an international norm.

Right now the Egyptian regime closes the border and puts up walls to please the US and the Zionists. Under people-power, it will have to commit itself to close the border and inspect goods in order to be a ‘normal’ democratic country that doesn’t allow terror attacks on other ‘normal’ members of the international community, recognized members of the UN, etc. A regime built on international norms of legality and human rights won’t be able to challenge the ‘right’ of the Zionist entity to exist or to ‘defend itself.’

These people-power revolts are globalism at work. They are destroying national borders and national sovereignty by underlining the idea that there are universal human rights, universal law, universal norms, and all the rest.

Neither Chavez Nor Morales

The Arab regimes are crap, but these people-power revolts may be leading straight to deep integration into the imperial system with all its attitudes and norms.

It’s not the issue of democracy per se, but all the atmosphere of international law and international human rights, etc. Yes, in Latin America several states have seen democratic elections of progressive and anti-imperialist leaders – Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. But these have been occurring in a period when the US was focused on the Arab World, for one thing, and for another, all the democratic campaigns waged by Chavez and Morales and the others are local-national ones, not part of this great ‘democratic wave’ coordinated by Facebook and Twitter and young people who go to take master classes at the feet of Hillary Clinton and Jaren Cohen.

So couldn’t an Arab Chavez arise in Egypt? Well, it would be more difficult because he would come to office bound by all the imperialist imposed treaties like Camp David that are the ‘rule of law.’

National (i.e., independently guided) development is death for these globalist people and that’s why the form that ‘people power’ takes is armed uprising in the independently-run countries – Libya and Syria – while it’s unarmed in Egypt, Tunis, Yemen, al-Bahrayn, where the rulers just fall in line with what fits with the needs of global big capital.

Obviously this picture greatly complicates matters for activists in the Arab World. That’s what America’s Facebook/Twitter ‘people power’ movements are meant to do.

So, this is very, very dangerous stuff. It may well prove to be a poisoned banquet.

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