FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Sadness That is Egypt

by NORMAN POLLACK

The recent repression of Islamists by the army appears to be a deliberate attempt to sabotage a genuine “people’s coup,” as though all along the military used the people cynically in order to depose Morse and then itself remain as usual the power behind the throne.  The US could not be more pleased, because confirmation of military power in Egypt pertains to a favorable relationship with Israel, the military elites of both continuing their two-to-tango dance of death.  Without long-standing US aid to the Egyptian military, it is doubtful their state-within-a-state could have survived, one more example of the internal meddling, nay, curse, of American intervention where it has no business being.  Of the many killed and wounded earlier this week, how many bore the marks of US aid, therefore making America complicit in the murders?  When the army is free to kill fellow Egyptians (and the deafening silence of the army, the interim government, and the “liberals” offering as candidates, over these crimes), a precedent is created for turning the guns on those seeking democratic government, too.

Idealism on the part of the huge political crowd is being cruelly thrown back in their face—the army was not transformed on the spot into a people’s army, and, unless mass protest is renewed and even enlarged, perhaps never will be.  What better way to move the democratic process forward than if Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, and the anti-Morsi demonstrators could unite in their demand for the complete subordination of the military and the necessity of inclusiveness in all phases of Egyptian life—whether or not this meets the expectations of the US and Israel?  If only the masses, across sectarian lines, including full toleration of a secularist position, could realize they are being played against each other, with the Egyptian army carrying water not only for themselves, but also outside powers, the chances for democratizing Egyptian society (yes, with assurances of belonging as full members, the Muslim Brotherhood would and should be given a chance!) are immeasurably improved.  As matters stand, the Egyptian people are faced with a divide-and-conquer strategy, not only for Israel’s sake, and also enlarge American influence in the region as a whole, but also to keep alive the hostility toward all things Islamic, and hence, Homeland Security in the US, massive defense budgets, open sesame to further interventions, and, I believe, the gradual fascistic direction, all pushed forward—in this case, on the backs of the Egyptian people.  My New York Times Comment (July 9) on the military repression follows:

In this situation six months may seem an eternity. What is clearly lacking is an admission of guilt by the interim president, the army, and liberals including ElBaradei for the recent atrocity (no other word will do). Condemnation is the only path to reconciliation, and even then the latter may not be possible. We are so used to demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood that we cannot see the justice of their present argument. I would also emphasize that the outsize rule of the army in Egyptian life would probably not be possible without the billions in military aid the US provides it. Yet Obama will not pass judgment on an obvious war crime! Power politics has been the elephant in the room: the US desire to stabilize Egypt on lines satisfactory to Israel where the military leaderships of both Egypt and Israel are in close working condition.

My hope remains: the Egyptian people will rise up against the army itself (as many have stated) if the timetable toward democratic constitutional government is not met, and in the immediate setting, denounce the massacre of Islamists and the closing of their media outlets. The surest way to ensure violence–and possibly civil war–is to continue repression. I am particularly disappointed in ElBaradei, who has not forthrightly condemned the anti-Morsi violence. And in America, we preach democracy but add fuel to the fire of military actions to kill with impunity. I am saddened for the Egyptian people, whose dreams deserve better.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University. His new book, Eichmann on the Potomac, will be published by CounterPunch/AK Press in the fall of 2013.

 

 

More articles by:

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
Robert Koehler
War and Poverty: A Compromise with Hell
Mike Bader – Mike Garrity
Senator Tester Must Stop Playing Politics With Public Lands
Kenneth Culton
No Time for Olympic Inspired Nationalism
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime
Irene Tung – Teófilo Reyes
Tips are for Servers Not CEOs
Randy Shields
Yahoomans in Paradise – This is L.A. to Me
Thomas Knapp
No Huawei! US Spy Chiefs Reverse Course on Phone Spying
Mel Gurtov
Was There Really a Breakthrough in US-North Korea Relations?
David Swanson
Witness Out of Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
George Brandis, the Rule of Law and Populism
Dean Baker
The Washington Post’s Long-Running Attack on Unions
Andrew Stewart
Providence Public School Teachers Fight Back at City Hall
Stephen Cooper
Majestic Meditations with Jesse Royal: the Interview
David Yearsley
Olympic Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail