US plays with fire in Egypt, Aquino blinks (Part 2)

First published on

| Continued from Part 1 |

On the break of dawn on February 25, 1986, a United States senator and confidante of former US President Ronald Reagan phoned former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and asked him to “cut and cut cleanly.” Hours later, Marcos left the Palace amid the people’s uprising. The four-day People Power ended successfully.

A quarter century later, another US-backed dictator, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is facing an outpouring of people’s anger. Yet recent developments indicate that it would not be a “cut and cut cleanly” story. The revolution wouldn’t be peaceful either.

On the tenth day of protests since January 25, violence escalated as Mubarak thugs attacked peaceful anti-Mubarak protesters gathered in Tahrir Square and other centers of protest in Egypt.

Several tweets on Egypt mentioned of “heavy gunfire” around Tahrir. The Denver Post reported “sustained bursts of automatic weapons fire and powerful single shots rattled into the square starting at around 4 a.m. and continued for more than two hours.” Dozens of journalists were also beaten and arrested.

Youtube video even showed a police car ramming through a stream of marching protesters as bodies tumbled away.

Around Tahrir Square, some of Mubarak’s thugs riding on camels with Arab-looking headscarfs stormed the anti-Mubarak assembly and whipped protesters. Why would the dictator use camel-riding thugs? Washington’s blogexplained that it was a attempt to make it appear that the violence in Egypt is all about “dusky Arabs fighting other dusky Arabs,” noting that camel is a uniquely Arab symbol.

Mubarak clearly wants to render the widespread protests against him bloody and ugly. He wants to make it appear that there is a clash between “pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak protesters” even if his thugs were the ones wielding terror and violence. Not surprisingly, the Western media, is biting the pharaoh’s bait. TIME magazineand The Guardian both described the revolution as “turning ugly.”

In an ironic twist, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman appeared yesterday on television and promised to penalize those behind the violence. He also mouthed a menu of liberal democratic processes – from constitutional amendment to elections – in a vain attempt to appease the people’s wrath. Clearly, Suleiman, just like Mubarak, is playing blind and deaf to the revolution.

And so is President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who ironically benefitted from the symbolisms and associations of a similar uprising 25 years ago which catapulted her mother to the presidency. As the title of a Bulatlat article says it, Aquino is the “Son of People Power and Nothing to Show for It – Not Even Solidarity with Egyptian People.” At any rate, it would be interesting how will Aquino address the 25th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA uprising this month.

In the meantime, the Mubarak regime, in complicity with the US, wants to play fire with the revolt. It is bent on whittling down the protests by using the standard formula of promising reforms and waging state terror. It appears that it wants to exhaust the protests until the September elections at the most. After all, Mubarak wouldn’t care if the Egyptian people and the world hate him at point. He is more focused on containing the revolt in the name of US imperialism’s interest. But can he? The fire keeps burning brighter at the moment, and there is no indication that it will die down in the coming days.

In any case, the US certainly wouldn’t tolerate another Tunisia in Egypt. Doing so would be fanning the flames to the already volatile situation of other Middle East countries and thus posing risks to its other puppets in the region. (Quite interestingly, the unrest in the Middle East is now exposing to the world that the US has well-entrenched puppets in the region, now only challenged by popular uprisings). Feigning its usual rhetoric on democracy (just like the ones it uttered against Saddam Hussein) would also be dangerous. Rather, it would opt for “orderly transition” in Egypt, as what was echoed by official statements by US President Barack Obama.

But as noted by Finian Cunningham of Global Research, “Obama’s call to Mubarak for an orderly transition over the next seven months to some kind of reformist government is nothing but a cynical ploy by the US puppet masters to rearrange the furniture and window dressing in its Middle East torture chamber/garrison.”

Recently, reports are saying that the US is thinking of pushing an interim government in place of the Mubarak dictatorship. But who will likely lead the interim government?

Based on some indications, the US will support opposition member and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed El Baradei in leading Egypt after Mubarak.

Amid protests, US ambassador to Egypt Margaret Cobey met with El Baradei and talked about possible ways for an “orderly transition.” Former US diplomatic attaché Yasser El-Shimmy saw this event as Washington’s way of preparing for a post-Mubarak scenario.

“They are trying to find a way to fill any vacuums that might be created once Mubarak leaves the country, they [Washington] are trying to see if ElBaradei can fill that hole,” El-Shimmy said.

Quite suspiciously, TIME magazine featured El Baradei last year as a a potential replacement for Mubarak. The article was written positively to favor the former head of a UN nuclear watchdog, describing him as “viable alternative candidate.”

Which reminds us of how Noynoy Aquino was featured in the same US-based magazine barely a month ahead of the elections.

The people of Egypt must be skeptical to these potential maneuvers by the US in installing a new puppet. They certainly do not deserve a UN diplomat, who has lived comfortably in Vienna for many years, in their struggle out from the rubble, inasmuch as we don’t deserve a Porsche-loving US-backed Aquino.


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