by Jacob G. Hornberger
On the surface of it, one might reasonably ask how it is that President Barack Obama and other U.S. statists feel so comfortable having the U.S. government partner with a brutal dictator like Hosni Mubarak. In an attempt to excuse the partnership, U.S. statists argue that such a thing, even if distasteful, is a necessary part of protecting the national security of the United States. However, there is actually a much more realistic reason: Shared values. Barack Obama and Hosni Mubarak, and their respective statist supporters, share the same values.
Look at Obama’s proposed “solution” to the “problem” of the massive anti-government protests in Egypt. He’s willing to see Mubarak go to ease tensions but only if Mubarak’s hand-selected vice-president, Omar Suleiman, is selected to rein in his stead. Why do Obama and U.S. statists love Suleiman? Because he’s one of their type of people — the man in charge of Egypt’s CIA who was responsible for torturing people at the behest of the U.S. CIA. As such, he’s able to continue providing “order and stability” while continuing Egypt’s partnership with the United States.
After all, democracy is unpredictable. The voters can make mistakes and put the wrong person into power. Through the maintenance of “order and stability,” the military and the intelligence services are able to protect the nation from the possibility or consequences of such a mistake.
Here in the United States, you have the pretense of a democratic system, with Republicans versus Democrats, but when you pierce through to reality, you realize that it’s really just one big political charade. There is one political party — the welfare-warfare party — that is divided into two wings, Democrats and Republicans, who complete against each other to gain control over the political largess that comes with running the welfare-warfare state.
For all practical purposes, the welfare-warfare party has a monopoly on power, one that it does not intend to relinquish. That’s the purpose of the campaign finance laws — the limits on contributions — the extensive campaign regulations that are enforced with the threat of heavy fines and perhaps even criminal prosecution. The purpose of all the rules and regulations is to make things as difficult and expensive as possible for outside candidates — that is, those who oppose the welfare-warfare paradigm — to run for office and win.
For example, here in Virginia, hardly anyone outside the mainstream parties ever runs for statewide office. The reason? The monopoly party has made it too difficult and too expensive to do so. The argument against letting whoever wants to run for office do so is that the voters would be too confused having too many candidates on the ballot.
Oh, by the way, did you know that there are periodic elections in Egypt under Mubarak? See, it’s not as if they don’t have democracy, just like we do here in the United States.
What about the standing army and the military-industrial complex? Like here in the United States, the military plays a dominant role in Egyptian life. Also, like here in the United States, the dominance of the military is permanent. There is no possibility that the military in either Egypt or the United States would ever willingly relinquish the major role it plays in society.
In Egypt, the military-industrial complex is so extensive that it even owns and operates businesses across Egypt. Here in the United States, it is difficult to measure the enormous extent to which private-sector businesses depend on military contracts. And, of course, everyone is aware of the deep dependency that U.S. states and localities have on military bases.
Like here in the United States, the military and intelligence forces in Egypt justify their existence by resorting to national security, the war on terrorism, and the war on drugs. If it weren’t for the military and the intelligence services keeping people safe, the story goes, the two nations would quickly succumb to conquest from the terrorists and the drug dealers.
What about corporatism in Egypt — the system of crony capitalism by which people get rich by virtue of their connections to the state? Isn’t that what America’s system of corporatism is all about? What red-blooded American statist opposes America’s decades-long system of welfare largess for the privileged?
What about the welfare state and controlled economy that have produced so much economy misery for the Egyptian people? It goes without saying that Barack Obama and his statist supporters embrace such a paradigm as enthusiastically as the Egyptian statists.
Torture, indefinite detention, spying on the citizenry, and national-security courts? What better example of shared values than in the infringement of civil liberties? Does anyone really think it’s a coincidence that Egypt serves as one of the places that the CIA renditions its prisoners? Egypt has long been renowned for being one of the finest torture countries in the world, and it boasts some of the worlds’ finest torture facilities and most experienced torturers.
Indefinite detention and spying on the citizenry were a hallmark in Egypt long before the 9/11 attacks that were used to justify such practices here in the United States. And national security courts and military tribunals to try suspected terrorists are something that both U.S. statists and Egyptian statists enthusiastically embrace.
It’s undoubtedly a bit uncomfortable for U.S. statists to have so much publicity about the U.S. Empire’s longtime partnership with the Egyptian dictatorship. But really, no one should be surprised over the partnership. Partners usually have shared values.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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