Time to apologize for the west’s shameful support of dictatorship in Egypt



While Egyptians want democracy, the military wants political figureheads and the right to intervene in politics to protect its interests aka “national security” – the same demands used for decades by the rightwing Turkish military to block democracy. Egypt’s generals insist there be no investigations of human rights abuses. Washington is trying to sustain the Egypt-Israel alliance that all Egyptians detest. The military, its US backers, Israel, and some misinformed western media warn the Muslim Brotherhood will turn Egypt into another Iran. This is nonsense. The Brotherhood is conservatives, timid and focused on social issues. In Egypt’s political context, it is a moderate party. Egyptians want jobs, housing, food, education and a rescue for the deeply ailing economy, not worldwide jihad.
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EGYPTIANS WANT RECOVERY OF THEIR COUNTRY’S DEEPLY AILING ECONOMY AND NOT A WORLDWIDE JIHAD

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by Eric Margolis

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Tahrir Square, epicenter of the earthquake that ousted Egypt’s western-backed dictator, Husni Mubarak, is quite – for the moment.

There are banner-wavers, speakers, and youngsters milling about. But the by now world-famous square has a forlorn, leftover look, with more street people than revolutionaries. Violence crackles like static electricity.

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The Dead Drone sketch



A secret U.S. surveillance drone that went missing last week in western Afghanistan appears to have crashed in Iran, in what may be the first case of such aircraft ending up in the hands of America’s adversary. Iran’s news agencies asserted that the nation’s defense forces brought down the drone, which the Iranian reports said was an RQ-170 stealth aircraft. The drone called ‘Beast’ is designed to penetrate enemy air defenses that could see and possibly shoot down less-sophisticated Predator and Reaper drones. It was a stealthy RQ-170 drone that played a critical role in surveilling the compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was allegedly hiding in the months before the raid in which he was reported as killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in May this year.
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(HATS OFF, OF COURSE, TO MONTY PYTHON) 

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by Pepe Escobar 

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A group of journalists attend a United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) press conference in a nondescript room in Langley, Virginia. Journalist 1 [approaching the podium]: Excuse me, I wish to register a complaint.

[CIA spokesman/spook does not respond.]

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Dateline: Tahrir Square


The victory at the Tahrir Square lifted the bar for the Muslim world up high in the heaven. So far the image of the Muslim world has long been tarnished with violence, intolerance and extremism. With that backdrop what a contrast has it been that hundreds of thousands of long oppressed poverty stricken Egyptians coming together and with the slogan “selmiyya, selmiyya” — “We are peaceful” toppled one of the long lasted powerful tyrants in the Muslim world. The revolution that took place here on this street might very well work as a catalyst of mindset change of the fastest growing vast young generation of the Muslim world. If the 70% of the Muslim world [35 years or younger] are convinced that there is an infinitely better way than violence and bloodshed to bring about a change then extremism is already invalidated and defeated: that is the recipe for long lasting peace, justice and progress in the Muslim world.
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EXPLOSIVE ANGER, PENT UP FRUSTRATION AND YEARNING FOR REVENGE– –THE RAW MATERIAL FOR ALL REVOLUTIONS

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by Eric Margolis

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Standing at Tahrir Square, ground zero of Egypt’s revolution, is exciting and intimidating. The explosive anger, pent-up frustrations, and yearning for revenge of tens of thousands of demonstrators and onlookers breaks like waves across this vast, unsightly plaza.

This is the raw material of all revolutions.  The whiff of near-toxic riot gas supplied by the US to Egypt’s security forces still lingers in places.

Off on side streets, wait large numbers of special black-uniformed security forces, ready to have another go at the thousands of young demonstrators thronging the world’s most currently famous square.

So far, at least 45 demonstrators have been killed and thousands injured by rubber-coated bullets, riot gas, clubbing or being crushed by security vehicles.  Tens of thousands more have been arrested by the police who are not known for their gentleness.

But even stronger than the fear hanging  over Tahrir Square is the pulsating thrill of raw revolution,  and the hope it might somehow rid Egypt of decades of oppression and misrule.

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Syrian Time Bomb



The US is quietly shoring up Egypt’s large armed forces. The Saudis just slipped $4 billion to Egypt’s military.  The Saudis, with Washington’s blessings, have reportedly promised Egypt tens of billions – may be even $60 billion – more to keep democrats, nationalists, Nasserites and the stodgy Muslim Brotherhood out of power.   Side by side the situation in neighboring Syria is aggravating. The conflict arose in Syria a year ago when insurgent groups slipped in from neighboring Lebanon.  They were armed, supplied and trained by the CIA, Britain’s MI6, and Israel’s Mossad.  Their finances came from the US Congress, which voted in the 1980’s to fund overthrowing Syria’s Assad regime because of its antagonism to Israel and support for Palestine.
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BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE TO GET RID OF MICE

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by Eric Margolis

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Istanbul- November 28, 2011: It’s dark and foggy here today along the mighty Bosphorus that separates Europe and Asia. Just as murky and dangerous as exploding next-door Syria.

Turkey’s formerly very successful  “no problems” foreign policy crafted by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogolu buried old arguments with Syria, Iran, and Lebanon and opened billions of new trade for Turkey’s bustling exporters.  Turkey’s red hot economy grew 7% last year- almost as fast as China.

But that was before Libya, Syria and Egypt erupted.  Turkey’s highly popular prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was forced to take sides . Turkey called for Egypt’s terminally ill pharaoh, Hosni Mubarak, to leave office, but still kept its support with Egypt’s all-powerful army.  This was ironic since Erdogan had just waged a decade-long battle to push Turkey’s bullying army out of politics.

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Looking back on the road to folly


The grubby Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neocon architect of the war, glibly predicted invading Iraq would cost a mere $40 billion and will be paid for by plundering its oil. But Wolfie’s jolly little war has so far cost $1 trillion.  In spite of the draw-down of US troops in Iraq, funding the remaining US garrison and the American-installed Baghdad regime remains enormously costly.  Much of the cost is hidden in CIA’s $54.1 billion “black” budget. The Bush and now Obama administrations have concealed the war’s cost from Americans by refusing to pay for it through a war tax.  Instead, the total cost of  this war was put on the surging national debt, leaving future generations to pay for Bush’s folly. As we look back on this epic folly and again hear calls for war against Iran, we hear the famed words of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, “one more such victory and we are lost.”
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ATTACKING IRAN: AFTER IRAQ, ONE MORE SUCH VICTORY AND WE ARE LOST

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by Eric Margolis

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In October, 2002, I wrote an analysis of the impending Iraq War for “American Conservative” entitled “The Road to Folly.”

I observed, “A war that fails to achieve clear political objectives is merely an exercise in violence and futility.”   Having covered 14 conflicts as a war correspondent and the Mideast, I’ve seen a lot of violence and futility.

The White House launched a thunderous, utterly shameless propaganda campaign about phony threats to America and the world from President Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

On cue, US forces invaded Iraq in March, 2003.

In America, the “bodyguard of lies” that Churchill said accompanies every war swelled into an army of liars. The Bush administration’s neocons played a leading role in engineering the Iraq conflict. Media acted as megaphones for the war party.

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