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EGYPT: U.S. should be on the side of freedom

Letter by Alfred K. LaMotte, Steilacoom on Jan. 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm with 36 Comments »
January 28, 2011 2:17 pm

The U.S. has successfully used Islamophobia as an excuse to support police states throughout the Middle East. In Egypt, millions of people live on less than $2 a day, yet for decades we have supplied Egypt’s corrupt undemocratic regime with hundreds of billions in weapons.

Now we try to save face by encouraging “restraint” even as Egyptian military officers meet in the Pentagon, tear gas canisters labeled “made in the USA – Jamestown PA” rip through crowds of protesters, and elite puppets of America’s corporate empire flee Cairo airport on private jets.

Arming repressive oligarchs in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordon and Pakistan, U.S. military-industrialists turned the Middle East into a powder keg. Our government failed to heed voices of reform, stereotyping them as “Islamic radicals,” when many in fact were populists yearning for an Arabic 1776.

Isn’t it time for Americans to remember which side of history we the people chose to be on in our own struggle for independence? Franklin, Jefferson and Washington would hardly be sitting on the fence with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They would throw in their lot with the brave people in the streets of Cairo.

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  1. frankiethomas says:

    If memory serves, and believe me it is going, both Washington and Jefferson opined that the U.S should steer clear of other nation’s troubles. This is not my statement of moral duties and obligations, it is my recollection of their political view, that our country should keep itself clear of foreign entanglements. Of ocurse they did not foresee the economic depndence we would have on a particular region of the world. . . are we doing anything about that?

  2. Good call, Frank. Going deeper than the superficiality of the “wind chasers” of present political situations, a more important dimension is realizing that trying to mix democracy with Islam is like trying to mix Iron with Clay. Gen 12: 1-3…

    However, we have allowed ourselves to become entangled with these affairs as a result of Lawrence of Arabia in 1916 to garner political alignments and guarantee oil and strategic geographic influence at the expense of future neutrality. At this point one cannot turn a pickle back into a cucumber and we wait on the sidelines anticipating the lesser of evils…

  3. eagle_beak says:

    i am with you Mr. LaMotte in as far as whatever happens should be the choice of the Egyptian people and they are brave as you say.
    but i also do not think it is up to our country to police the world….. we often think we should and so we do but that gets us in to wars and makes people in many countries hate us. i know we are still dependent on oil — we could have gotten out of that dependence a long time ago as i believe we have had the technology to do so for a long time now. if not for the greed of our own oil companies and the suppression of that technology by our own auto makers we would have been free of this already.
    but another and almost bigger issue is our bad habit of “buying off” other countries and their leaders. this is i think the biggest wasting of our taxdollars and it has gone on for a long long time. we need to totally cut all foreign aid except for the humanitarian aid in disasters that we give. there are many private organizations that people can give money to to support a cause. i resent the billions we have given the Egyptian government as well as the Israeli gov and all the others for years and years. if not for this waste we would have what we need for our own people. we are not the parents, the police, or anything else of the world. let our influence be in the strength of our people and not by being bought.
    God bless America and help us keep our country great!

  4. bobcat1a says:

    This country believes in the free enterprise system except when we find it safer to co-opt the system to our own benefit, and we believe in self-determination of all people except when we’re afraid those people might do something we don’t like.

  5. Fair’s fair. We let foreign nations interfere with our internal affairs, so we should be allowed to interfere in theirs.

  6. Of course, Hosni Mubarak is in power precisely because the US meddles in foreign affairs. If Obama decides to support the revolution it won’t be out of any higher principal than shooting a lame horse so that you might be able to back the next winning ride.

    The chickens have come home to roost.

  7. Will the Egyptians get freedom or theocracy?

  8. “i resent the billions we have given the Egyptian government as well as the Israeli gov and all the others for years and years.”

    You may resent it, but is the alternative worse?

  9. fatuous – what is the alternative? Exactly what are you afraid of?

  10. Gotta go with those wanting Mubarek to step down after 30 years. What is to replace him is what worries the U.S., and especially Israel (who has enjoyed the security a U.S. bought Mubarek provided) – Gaza weapons smuggling was bad enough, without some Egyptian control it might force Israel to crack down even more.

    The cum-bah-yah crown always puts a Pollyanna spin on such popular revolts. But in the Middle-East there are always Muslim extremists who will no doubt try and take advantage of a Mubarek downfall.

    With nearby Jordan having a huge displaced Palestinian population, Iraq still in an unsettled political power struggle, Yemen a nest of al Queda vipers, and Saudi Arabia ripe for unrest (with its opulent royal family of 5000 plus princes feeding off the cream of their oil revenue) – it is not implausible to imagine this revolt in Egypt spilling over into nearby countries.

    The big question is will this be a cum-ba-yah, Coke sing-along, tide of freedom and democracy – or will it take a radical turn to Muslim extremism geared more adopting Sharia law (which to me is as oppressive as North Korea).

  11. Roncella says:

    beerBoy remember what happened in Iran, when iranians wanted to change their leaders.

    What we all have to be concerned about is the oil tankers and barges moving through the Suez Canal. That is the Worlds supply of Oil for many countries including the U.S., the price of a gallon of gas will go through the roof affecting everything we do and need to exist.

  12. the3rdpigshouse says:

    And now is the time “OH-Bummer” want to cut our military???! Only an anti-America socialist/marxist would take that position!!!

  13. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Alfred – if you believe our foreign policy and our position in the world community is going to be better served by the socialist/marxist “OH-Bummer” – stand by for heavy rolls!!!

  14. remember what happened in Iran, when iranians wanted to change their leaders

    You mean when the US backed the Shah rather than democracy movement?

  15. George Washington was right.
    This seems to be our pattern; US business and natural resource development companies begin investing and building at a foreign address hoping that the host government remains stable.
    The current leader (president, PM, King or in this case Pharaoh) begins enjoying his addiction to newly generated abundance.
    Then he’ll want a bigger piece of the pie. The companies lobby congress for preferential protection of their overseas assets. The leader gets “foreign aid” but does not allow his citizens to proportionately share in the bounty. The US rationalizes with the misnomer “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and continues to enjoy the temporary benefits of ignoring human rights issues in favor of paying more to not rock the boat. Citizens get fed up with their plight and the US has a daunting task of choosing to bail out, appearing to back the next right side or risk the opinion that the US only backs “friends” when economically or strategically convenient.
    What we should be doing is actually demonstrating why we believe what we believe, which should never just be who can make more bucks this quarter…But first we have to know what we believe regardless …

  16. Of course Mubarek is yet another one of those 30 year time bombs put into play by the Reagan administration…..

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-parry/33984/ronald-reagans-30-year-time-bombs

  17. larsman – I think we agree on this.

    I’m assuming, of course, that your acclamation for supporting democratically elected governments even when they don’t directly support our interests doesn’t extend to the election of Hamas in Gaza……..

  18. A quick review of the history of US-Egypt relations yielded this comment, which doesn’t seem to line up with your remark about Reagan, bBoy, though perhaps you can provide more information re your comment to clarify?

    “Signed on September 17 , 1978 the Camp David Accords brought an end to the conflict between Egypt and Israel and acted as the pre-requisite to the 1979 peace treaty. The event was a milestone for U.S.-Egyptian relations because the accords signed by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and were mediated by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. As an incentive for Egypt to sign the accords, the United States promised a substantive aid packages for Egypt including military aid that continues today. U.S.-Egyptian relationship has been steadily improving ever since.”

  19. “Exactly what are you afraid of? ” Theocracy!!!!

  20. You really know nothing about Egypt do you?

  21. To whom are you speaking here bBoy?

  22. to Fatuous…..Egypt is one of the most westernized, secular states in the Middle East.

  23. ItalianSpring says:

    Whatever side the muslims and the taliban are on, I am on the opposite.

  24. Sozo – you are correct . It appears that protecting Israel, Oil and the Cold War were the reasons for cultivating Egypt as a well paid ally. George the First forgave half of their debt in return for there support during the first Iraq invasion.

    IS – continuing your string of posting bizarrely tangential comments – the Muslim Brotherhood just announced its support for westernized, moderate El Baradei to lead a new government. The Taliban are a specific group of muslims and there are billions of muslims throughout the entire world.

  25. “their” not “there” support

  26. So IS – is Roger Stockham, the guy who was planning on blowing up the Dearborn Mosque a terrorist?

  27. fbergford says:

    You know, everyone on here is entitled to their own opinion on this, so I’m going to add mine! We need to stay the heck out of Egypt, see where it goes and then pick up the pieces when it is all said and done with. Egypt is an ally, we trade arms for oil…or whatever! I don’t really know what happens behind closed doors between our diplomats and theirs…shoot no one on here does! Let’s just track what’s going on over there, stay the heck out of it and go from there.

  28. Roncella says:

    fbergford, Your post hits it right on. The most important part of this uprising is not only that the Egyptians could possibly change their government to a democracy, but that the Oil Tankers and Oil Barges keep moving through the canal.

    Our cost of living will go through the roof for everything if the price of oil keeps rising.

  29. bBoy, if I am correct, help me understand your pointing the finger at Reagan, or is that specifically about Mubarak?

    FYI, I was going to forward the article provided a link to to a friend…a Reagan loyalist to get her response, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it due to the vulgar attempt at humor on the site re President Bush.

    I’m curious. Do you honestly not see how this crap disguised as comedy is every bit as toxic as the stuff everyone’s so up in arms about from the right?

  30. sozo – yes…..I was wrong….it was Carter who first cultivated Mubarak for his attempt to broker peace in Israel. Reagan cultivated Mubarak for Cold Warring. Poppy Bush paid off Mubarak for helping invade Iraq, Clinton, Bush and Obama have continued to “suggest” that reforms be made all the while Mubarak has been laughing all the way to the bank.

  31. Appreciate your repsonse, bBoy. Thanks.

  32. beerBoy says:

    sozo – I found the original site – Consortium News – for the article.

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/012811.html

    BTW – I was banned from Smirking Chimp a long time ago because I dared to criticize the Democrats and Israel and…..the guy running the site (who, rather accurately, utilized the screen name Smirky Chimpster when the site first started). I still quickly scan the site for the few articles that grab my attention but I prefer to avoid it when I can.

  33. Haviing hung out with far more liberals than conservatives in my college and early adult years, I can promise anyone who cares to accept information from a primary source, they are every bit as immature, nasty, vulgar and hateful as their right-wing counterparts. It is folly to think that the right has some sort of monopoly on toxic verbal waste.

  34. Mr. LaMotte, was it not George W. Bush who foreshadowed this when he suggested that if others in the MIddle East get a taste of democracy at work in Iraq and Afghanistan they will want it for themselves?

  35. larsman says:

    Bb- Thanks, I think that we essentially agree.
    As to your statement “.Egypt is one of the most westernized, secular states in the Middle East.”. the same might have been said of Lebanon or Iran pre 1970’s.
    The situations faced in some societies is akin to a “king-of-the-hill” mentality, as in Burmese Myanmar. Artificial support comes from an outside source ( like the US or Saudi’s or whomever) to ensure stability and resource flow.
    Human nature=You have…I want (James 4: 1).
    As to your ? of free election without prearranged outcome prejudice…..absolutely.
    That would essentially be the new global test of such a country. Egypt knows the cash flow of Sharm-El-Sheik and Giza tourism. If personal security is jeopardized, tourism ( read big income stream) dries up fast. So how many surfing resorts were actually built along the beautiful coastline from Gath to Joppa and how about that dinner train from Pelusium? We cannot continue blaming others if we act in destructive ways that repulse the business / investment climate.
    BTW, Mexican tourism is substantially down for obvious reasons…

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