Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

On the Streets of Cairo

For a few days, the imperial gang thought they had turned the tide — and their stenographers in the mainstream media followed suit. The protests in Egypt were running out of gas, we were told; now the power players were coming to the fore, in Washington and Cairo, to take charge of the situation and move things along — slowly, moderately — down a path of gradual reform and stability.

Newspapers ran pictures of the “nearly empty” Tahrir Square, sometimes in tandem with pictures of last week’s massive crowds. We saw shots of Egyptians “getting back to normal life” — going to the bank, shopping for shoes, crossing the street in suit, tie and briefcase on the way to the office. Attention was turned to the “moderate” figure who had taken the reins in Cairo, the dictator-appointed security chief Omar Suleiman. He was strongly backed by the Obama Administration as just the kind of steady, hand we needed to make judicious concessions to the opposition without allowing the country to slip beyond the control of Washington’s foreign policy agenda. The general line among the imperial courtiers and their media sycophants was that the uprising had reached its peak and was now receding.

It was all a lie, part of the remarkably witless self-delusion that has afflicted the Washington-Cairo power structure from the beginning of the uprising: the illusion that they are still in control of events, that they can tinker a bit here, recalibrate a bit there, and still end up with the same system of elite domination and corruption basically in place.

But what we did see on Tuesday? The false reality painted for us by our betters simply melted away, and Cairo saw perhaps the largest protest yet, as hundreds of thousands of people filled Tahrir Square — including multitudes who were joining the uprising for the first time. Thousands more were gathering in front of the Parliament building in what the Guardian rightly called “a second front” of the uprising. And the Cairo crowds were joined by thousands massing in Alexandria, Suez and other cities across the nation.

This was the answer of the Egyptian people to the limp package of worthless, stalling “concessions” cobbled together by the Nobel Peace Laureate in Washington and his proxy torturer in Egypt. The reply to the regime was simple, powerful, concise: “We want our freedom. You must go.”

And oh, how that stung Washington’s new lordling! Suleiman immediately resorted to the same bluster we have heard from America’s henchmen since time out of mind. He put it plainly: “There will be no ending of the regime.” He railed against the “presence of protestors in Tahrir Square and some satellite stations insulting Egypt and belittling it” — obviously a reference to al-Jazeera — and declared: “We can’t put up with this for a long time.” And he sounded the time-honored “more in sorrow than in anger” note of all two-bit tyrants, saying that he hoped the protests would end because “we don’t want to deal with Egyptian society with police tools.”

This is pretty rich coming from the man who has been directly in charge of doing just that to Egyptian society for many years. The only way the corrupt regime has kept itself in power is by “dealing with Egyptian society with police tools.”

These be your gods, O Progressives! This is the man your champion had championed to “manage” the “transition” in Egypt from the dead hand of a discredited dictator to a backroom string-puller lacquered with a new coat of PR. Of  course, when world of Suleiman’s private temper tantrum leaked out, the Obama Administration began to backpedal on the firm support for Suleiman it had shown earlier in the day (which had come complete with a long phone call from Suleiman’s long-time friend, Joe Biden). Now, the White House was troubled by these “unhelpful” remarks. Unhelpful indeed — for they gave the game away too soon. Wrong-footed by this unforeseen outpouring of popular will, Washington has not been able to cobble together a proper storyline to justify a violent crackdown by the regime.

The American power structure has been set reeling by something that is simply outside the boundaries of their mental universe: a non-violent, non-sectarian, non-ideological, leaderless revolution by ordinary people. Our power structuralists know only one thing: violent domination. Since that is what they seek to impose, they believe that anyone who opposes them must seek the same. They cannot conceive of anything different. They don’t know how to react to such an incomprehensible event. There’s no one to demonize. There are no armed groups to flex their muscles against — or to make a cynical deal with, if necessary. (Violent dominationists of every stripe have much in common; they know each other’s minds, they can often come to terms, if only temporarily — like Hitler and Stalin, or Reagan and Saddam.) The poltroons on the Potomac are dumbstruck as they look at these crowds of people who have freed themselves, who just walked out into the streets and claimed their human freedom — on their own, individual by individual, with no “authority”, no leader, no armies to “grant” them what is already theirs by their birthright, our birthright, on this our common planet.

It is now past midnight as I write. This has been a great day in Egypt — a day when truth tore through the lies and made fools of the killers, thieves and torturers trying to impose their cankered will on free people. May we see more such great days ahead — in Egypt and around the world.

CHRIS FLOYD is an American writer living in the UK, and a frequent contributor to CounterPunch. His blog, “Empire Burlesque,” can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

 

 

More articles by:

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail