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America is No Example of Democracy

police-brutalityIt’s very telling that the United States will not give any indication that actually makes any kind of statement on the Egyptian revolution and where America stands on the subject. It’s apparent that the U.S. doesn’t want to show it’s hand until all of the variables have been taken into account and the people of Egypt have finally accepted an alternative to the rule of Mubarak’s regime…at least not in public anyway. We have no real idea of what is happening in the background. It’s quite possible that elements in the U.S. government have clear goals as to what they want to wash out of the current stalemate in Cairo.

The fact that the U.S. isn’t taking sides publically is really very disappointing but not unexpected. If this administration openly sided with the protestors and the uprising was crushed and the regime survived (with or without Mubarak) it would be very difficult to explain why we sided with the opposition when Egypt and its current regime is supposedly our ally. Yet it places Obama in a precarious position if the popular uprising succeeds and we now have to negotiate with a new regime that we failed to support. This is what the British call “a bit of a sticky wicket”.

This however isn’t the only reason that the United States appears to remain on the sidelines. It may appear that the U.S. is just waiting on the sidelines to ingratiate America with the winner, but that is a very simplistic view of what is really happening. The facts are that we are probably doing everything in our power to discredit anyone that may not coincide with what we want in Cairo. Think about this:

The American counter-revolutionary intervention in Egypt, as described above, has followed a "standard pattern": support for an allied dictatorship until the allegiance becomes untenable, at which point it is dropped and the U.S. tries to determine or co-opt its replacement.  U.S. policy in the Middle East since WWII has consistently opposed regional independence -- or what the New York Times, gloating after the 1953 CIA-orchestrated coup in Iran, described as "fanatical nationalism".  In the Middle East, as elsewhere, the U.S. has promoted democracy where it "appears to fit in well with US security and economic interests", and has opposed it when it is perceived to conflict with those interests.” (Axis of Logic, Counter-Revolution Field Manual, By Jamie Stern-Weiner, Monthly Review, Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011.

If this statement is to be believed, and past history indicates that it is… what finally is decided in Cairo will undoubtedly have elements of U.S. intervention as part of the end result embedded with it. This is really appalling and if true, Americans need to be aware of what part our government played. Whether in the initial beginnings of the revolt in Egypt, or in the final settlement that comes out of this crisis, the citizens of the United States need to know what part America played in the entire scenario.

This is important for two reasons.  First is that our government is s supposed to represent the people of America. If it is found out later on, even ten or twenty years down the road, that the American government was instrumental in keeping Murbarak’s regime (or portions of it) in power, that will come around and bite us. Secondly, if it shows that our government helped to bring down the present regime and the area is eventually thrown into a dictatorship or a fundamentalist theocracy like the government in Iran, we will be blamed for that also. The best we could hope for out of American interference is a secular democracy, and that would be a first for Egypt.

We on the left who oppose U.S. foreign policy believe that the United States should keep out of the internal politics of another nation. Believing that the United States can provide the correct guidance to another nation would have you believe that the United States is omnipotent and those here in America have the “perfect” system of government. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our government still has a long way to go in our experiment with democracy. At this point in time, democracy is still something that most informed citizens only dream about.  The real facts are that the government we have in the U.S. is dominated by moneyed interests, that we are a corporocracy, not a democracy.

The truth is that the average citizen in the U.S. has no more power over our Federal government than the average Egyptian demonstrating in Cairo. We are currently involved in a war in Afghanistan that is opposed by 60% of the population according to the latest poll. We are in the end stages of a war based on government propaganda and outright lies. We have a government that tortures suspected “terrorists”. (The current definition of terrorist is anyone that opposes the U.S. world view). Our government currently is fine-tuning the Patriot Act, a law that removes or suspends our fundamental rights under the Bill of Rights as defined in our constitution. We spy on our own citizens, read the e-mails our citizens send and tap the phone lines of those that are “suspected” of aiding “terrorists”.

So what gives us the right to interfere in the politics of another nation? The fact of the matter is that when we intervene in any nation’s affairs, it’s for our own interests. This is one reason why the world hates America.  Our government should understand this:  until we get it right in the United States, we should stay out of the affairs of other nations.

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