End Game in Egypt

On February 3, New York Times writers, Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, headlined, “White House, Egypt Discuss Plan for Mubarak’s Exit,” saying:

His administration is “discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for (Mubarak) to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military,” including Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, armed forces chief, and Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi, defense minister.

The alleged plan includes constitutional reform, a transitional government with opposition groups like the Muslim brotherhood, and “free and fair elections in September.”

Testifying during a February 3 Senate hearing, senior CIA official, Stephanie O’Sullivan, said earlier tracking of Cairo instability showed conditions were “untenable,” but “we didn’t know what the triggering mechanism would be.”

On February 4, Times writer, David Kirkpatrick, headlined, “Egyptian Government Figures Join Protesters,” saying:

During Friday protests, “(c)racks in the Egyptian establishment’s support for (Mubarak)” emerged with Amr Moussa, Arab League head, and other notable figures appearing on Cairo streets, including defense minister Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the first member of Egypt’s ruling elite to do so.

Non-Negotiable People Demands

Obama’s proposal is absurd, an insult to courageous people risking their lives for real change, not replacing one despot with another with the same regime in place. They demand ouster of all Mubarak officials, followed by free and fair elections for new ones they choose. Getting it is another matter, and Obama losing faith in Murabark masks his uncompromising support for continuity.

The New York Times as well in its disingenuous February 3 editorial headlined, “Egypt’s Agonies,” saying:

Attacking protesters and targeting journalists are  “familiar tactics of dictators who want to brutalize their citizens without witnesses.” Mubarak telling “ABC News that the government is not responsible – is patently absurd. (He’s) chosen survival over his people. He told ABC that he had to stay in office to avoid chaos. In fact, his presence ensures only more chaos and instability.”

Then, cutting to the chase, The Times said, “The cost of the turmoil is being felt. Tourists are fleeing. The economy is paralyzed. Egypt and its people need a quick transition….”

In other words, profits, not social democracy matter. It’s been uncompromising Times policy for decades, including support for legions of US-allied despots,  Mubarak a longtime favorite before falling from grace.

What’s Next?

Workers suffer painfully from neoliberal harshness, often hardened by IMF diktats, including mass privatizations, layoffs, wage and benefit cuts, and public debt service over people needs, causing massive impoverishment and human suffering. Replacing one regime with another with this agenda leaves deep-rooted misery unaddressed. Examples are numerous, including  Corazon Aquino replacing Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines in February 1986.

Despite two decades of loyalty, Marcos turned liability and had to go. Aquino was ideal to replace him. Wife of assassinated political opponent, Benigno Aquino, and endorsed by conservative Cardinal Jaime Sin, she represented elitist interests with generous National Endowment for Democracy funding.

Her legacy includes subservience to Washington, human rights violations, corruption, and the worst of neoliberal harshness – business-friendly policies at the expense of popular needs she ignored, as did her successors to this day, including a decade under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from January 2001 – June 2010.

She ran a death squad regime, targeting unionists, human rights activists, peasants, and anyone against state policies. Yet Washington strongly supported her like Mubarak, practicing the same agenda for three decades until falling out of favor.

South Africa Under Nelson Mandela

In 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) gained power under Mandela after generations of brutality and decades of apartheid harshness, the worst form of racism. From 1948 – 1993, pass laws segregated blacks from whites, restricted their movements, required pass books be carried at all times, and produced on demand or face arrest and prosecution. Evolving from the 18th and 19th century until their 1986 repeal, they restricted entry to cities, forcibly relocated blacks, denied them most public services, many forms of employment, and became apartheid’s most hated symbol.

An anti-apartheid activist, Mandela was imprisoned in 1962 for life, served 27 years until released on February 11,1990, days after President FW de Klerk ended the official ban against anti-apartheid organizations, including the ANC.

Addressing the nation, Mandela said:

I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress. I am therefore in full agreement with all of its (social justice) objectives, strategies and tactics.

There must be an end to white monopoly political power and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratized.

He quoted his own 1964 words saying he was prepared to die for “a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.” As president, he reneged, surrendering totally to finance capital, though not at first rhetorically.

On May 10, 1994, two weeks after taking office, he addressed parliament, endorsing ANC Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) socioeconomic issues, including, democracy, growth, development, reconstruction, redistribution and reconciliation. Specific concerns were housing, health care, land reform, jobs, education, public works, clean water, and electrification.

He called the RDP the “centerpiece of what this Government will seek to achieve, the focal point on which our attention be be continuously focused.”

Five years later in his last parliamentary speech, he ignored RDP mandates after abandoning them in principle.

During his tenure, he shifted from RDP to GEAR – Growth Employment and Redistribution Program – based on neoliberal free market diktats. It reflected IMF harshness, serving capital not popular needs.

State assets were privatized. Mass layoffs followed. Services were commodified, harmfully raising prices for millions. Markets were opened for trade. Taxes for corporations and the rich were cut, and social spending reduced. Bottom-line priorities trumped other issues. Record profits followed. Accessing health care, education and other essential services required “user fees.” Few could afford them.

Wealth distribution benefitted rich whites at the expense of poor Blacks, worse off than ever, their average income declining 19% from 1995 – 2000, while whites rose 15%.

ANC-run South Africa empowered elite Blacks, enriched white capital more than ever, and created far greater inequality, poverty and depravation than under apartheid, reflecting neoliberal betrayal, exploiting the poor for the rich.

Post-Soviet States

Free market shock therapy devastated them, lowering, not raising, living standards, Poland one of its victims. In the 1980s, Solidarnosc (Solidarity) unionized 10 million members, gaining the right to bargain and aspire to transform state-controlled companies into worker-run cooperatives. Instead, mines, shipyards and factories were privatized, subsidies slashed, and price controls lifted, skyrocketing unemployment, poverty, depression, and overall worse times than before.

On January 18, Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers headlined their article, “The Spectre Haunting Europe: Debt Defaults, Austerity, and Death of the ‘Social Europe’ Model,” saying:

(D)ecades of neoliberalism….crashed the US and several European economies. Years of deregulation, speculation and lack of investment in the real economy left them with rising inequality and little consumer demand, except for what was financed by running up debt.

In an earlier April 2010 interview, Hudson explained that suffering economies “from Greece to the Baltics and Iceland (were) directed to pay the financial sector first – international bankers, creditor-nation governments (like America, Britain, France and others), the IMF, World Bank, and financial institutions – before (spending) on sustaining their own employment and economic growth.”

In other words, depriving their people for finance capital as well as balancing their budgets on their backs. IMF diktats shrink economies. As a result, enormous hardships throughout Eastern Europe were created, targeted nations having no choice but go along.

It’s a “financial war against industry, against labor, against the post-Soviet economies, against the Third World….(It’s) a war against government, against public spending. Its solution to unpayable debts is to demand that governments sell off whatever assets remain in the public domain. (It’s) the most naked property grab since the Viking invasions.”

It’s opposite of what responsible governments should do, putting popular interests ahead of predatory foreign lenders. It’s redistributing wealth equitably and fulfilling a social contract. It’s growing their economies, not shrinking them.

Forced to go along under threat of economic and political reprisals, no wonder people yearn for the “good old Soviet days” with jobs and basic needs met. Today they’re cursed with neoliberal hardships, proving commissars were friendlier than bankers.

Economic Hit Men Enforcers

In his book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” John Perkins discussed his own work with the IMF, World Bank and other global financial institutions, saying his job was to convince countries to accept unaffordable loans for infrastructure development, contracted to US corporations.

He defined economic hit men as:

highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, (USAID, the IMF), and other foreign ‘aid organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.

His mandate was to impoverish and bankrupt countries, trapping them in debt bondage, those refusing facing economic, political or other reprisals.

Starving Third World Economies

In her February 3 article titled, “The Egyptian Tinderbox: How Banks and Investors Are Starving the Third World,” Ellen Brown explained:

that roughly 40 percent of Egyptians struggle (with incomes) of under $2 per day,” facing unsustainable annual 17% annual food price inflation. As a result, “as much as 60 to 80 percent of (their) incomes go for food, compared to just 10 to 20 percent in industrial countries.

Credit, not Fed policy, is at fault, hiking prices “by too much money chasing too few goods, but the money is chasing only certain selected goods” like food and fuel.

Speculation and market manipulation also hammer economies unwilling to deregulate and allow free capital flows. Methods include hot money created real estate, stock and other asset bubbles as well as currency attacks, causing destructive devaluations, debt bondage and impoverishment.

A Final Comment

Independent new leaders face enormous challenges, including destructive reprisals for defying Western diktats. As a result, most accede, accepting neoliberal harshness over public needs, no matter their popular mandate or desire. That’s Egypt’s dilemma whatever new regime emerges. If Mandela failed South Africans, how will new Egyptian leadership fulfill campaign pledges if doing so means economic disaster, political isolation or worse.

As a result, expect new faces continuing old policies, letting everything look changed but be the same, including deep-rooted needs. That spark ignited Tunisia and spread regionally, assuring Mubarak’s regime ends, leaving his policies in place unless heroic new figures defy risks, no matter potential consequences.

Stephen Lendman wrote How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Contact him at: lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen.

21 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on February 5th, 2011 at 8:41am #

    “Expect new faces continuing old policies” I see that Mr Lendman, like William Blum, also knows the name of the next President of Egypt: “What’s-his-name, the American Stooge”! And, of course, the parallels with 1989 must be denied at all costs! The fact that the Lobby is now ramming the article out so close to each other that their relationship is patently obvious reveals the depth of the panic among Israel’s supporters. The Fright into Egypt, so to speak!

  2. mary said on February 5th, 2011 at 11:46am #

    So much for Obomber’s and Clinton’s weasel words:

    BBC 5 February 2011 Last updated at 18:25

    Egypt unrest: Hosni Mubarak must stay – US envoy US special envoy Frank Wisner has said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should remain in power to oversee a transition to democracy.

    The remarks appear to contradict previous US calls for Mr Mubarak to begin an immediate transition.

    The State Department has not yet commented.

    Mr Wisner also welcomed the resignation of Egypt’s ruling party politburo. Senior figures including Mr Mubarak’s son Gamal have left their posts.

    Mr Wisner, a former ambassador in Egypt, was sent by US President Barack Obama to Cairo on Monday, apparently to urge Mr Mubarak to announce his departure.

    “I believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is crucial – it’s his chance to write his own legacy,” he told the Munich Security Conference by video link.

    He urged people to control their rhetoric – the more Egyptians hear demands from outside the country for Mr Mubarak to stand down, he argued, the more it could have negative consequences.

  3. Ismail Zayid said on February 5th, 2011 at 12:30pm #

    The choice, by the Obama administration, of Omar Suleiman to replace Mubarak, is perfectly understandable because he is a real friend of the US and Israel, and will continue with Mubarak’s policies in that regard. Israel’s leaders are very concerned about the loss of Mubarak, who is their loyal friend and perfect collaborator in their siege against the 1.5 million in Gaza, with which he complied fervently. They have been asking the US and its friends to continue to support Mubarak.

    The hypocricy of the US and its allies must be exposed. They talk about democracy and free elections, as long as the people in the Middle East elect the US and Israel true friends. That is their notion of democracy and free elections…

  4. Keith said on February 5th, 2011 at 5:09pm #

    Excellent article by Stephen Lendman. One ignores the reality of neo-liberal globalization at one’s own peril. The harsh reality of financial/economic control, particularly of Third World countries, is something which needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. The example of Viet Nam is illuminating. Surely, the US didn’t impose its choice of leaders on Viet Nam after the war. Yet, nowadays, Viet Nam is firmly enmeshed within the global matrix of control. So too with South Africa where black political leaders have replaced white political leaders in immiserating the largely black population for the benefit of the transnational corporations and local oligarchs. The point is that unless the whole matrix of neo-liberal financial control is rolled back, real change is not possible, particularly in economically dependent Third World countries.

  5. commoner3 said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:56pm #

    Re: MichaelKenny said on February 5th, 2011 at 8:41am

    MichaelKenny,

    You got this one wrong!
    It might surprise you, that the “lobby” wants Mubarak to go!
    He served the lobby well, but it is now a new phase with a new agenda.
    What is happening to Mubarak, is almost a carbon copy of what happened to the Shah of Iran. The Shah was a “good friend” of the US but the US shafted him real hard and helped install the Mullahs and the Ayatollahs.
    Sadam Hussein was a “good friend” of the US and it was known that he is a CIA man but he got shafted anyway! Why? Well because it is a new phase with the Iraqi oil ripe for the picking!!! Now the Iranian oil is ripe for the picking! And now ” may be” the Saini Pennensula of Egypt is ripe for the picking by the “friends of the lobby”. Got it.!!

  6. commoner3 said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:57pm #

    This is an excellent article.

  7. PatrickSMcNally said on February 5th, 2011 at 8:36pm #

    > The Shah was a “good friend” of the US but the US shafted him real hard and helped install the Mullahs and the Ayatollahs.

    That’s true, but it doesn’t seem to have much bearing on the present-day events. The Shah was taken down as a chess-move in the Cold War. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan had taken power in Kabul in April 1978. The Carter administration then began pressuring the Shah and the word spread through Iran in 1978 that the Shah was no longer supported from abroad. Revolution broke out and Khomeini took control, declaring the USA to be the Great Satan. This gave an enormous boost of credibility to the Carter administration’s plans to fuel an Islamic rebellion in Afghanistan against the PDPA and draw the USSR into “Russia’s Vietnam.” If there had been no Islamic Revolution in Iran, then it would have been much easier for Soviet propaganda to characterize the Mujahideen as mere agents of imperialism. Because of the Iranian upheaval the Islamic insurrection in Afghanistan gained a greater prestige than it would otherwise have had. The Carter administration was sacrificing a rook (the Shah) in order to better capture the enemy’s queen (by trapping the USSR in its own Vietnam).

    None of that really has much pertinence to today. I can’t see any conceivable gain which either Israel or anyone else among the upper strata here is likely to gain from this. People who are more readily associated with the traditional Bilderberg Group may be able to more easily adapt to such a shift than Tel Aviv will. But that’s all relative. It’s a clear setback for Israel, and doesn’t really offer any special gain to anybody else.

  8. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 10:01pm #

    Stephen Lendman writes …

    If Mandela failed South Africans, how will new Egyptian leadership fulfill campaign pledges if doing so means economic disaster, political isolation or worse. As a result, expect new faces continuing old policies, letting everything look changed but be the same, including deep-rooted needs. That spark ignited Tunisia and spread regionally, assuring Mubarak’s regime ends, leaving his policies in place unless heroic new figures defy risks, no matter potential consequences.

    I find myself somewhat in agreement with Michael Kenny. I now understand what Mr. Kenny was implying in his reply from the Blum article. It would appear that both Lendman and Blum seem to be suggesting that they know the outcome of the Egyptian revolution.

    Lendman here seems to be suggesting that the efforts of people in Egypt are “futile” since the suggest outcome is going to be neoliberalism anyway. However this argument also divert attention from what is actually occurring in Egypt — a National Liberation Movement from Zionist tyranny. That is who Mubarak served faithfully for the past 30 years by keeping his people down it only resulted in Israel being able to increase its own racists goals.

    Lendman, Blum, Chomsky and the “Left” cannot seem to examine events from a supremacist perspective. But the Arab commentators that I’ve heard on Press TV do. Doing so helps to understand why these events are being supported across conflicting class lines.

    Will Egypt eventually succumb to Capitalism? The chances are likely but at this stage but I would allow events to reveal themselves rather than try to predict the future and to infer the Egyptian’s fate. Doing so is hubris and neither Lendman, Blum, or Chomsky speak for the Egyptian people.

    What I can do is analyze the response of the Egyptian people to 30 years of Zionist tyranny and it appears that they’re tired of it. They should have our full support to rid themselves of this horrid ideology and to restore their once Arab pride that stood up Zionism.

    It appears to me that Lendman seems to be offering fear rather than solidarity.

  9. commoner3 said on February 5th, 2011 at 10:45pm #

    Re: PatrickSMcNally said on February 5th, 2011 at 8:36pm

    PatrickSMcNally wrote:

    “The Carter administration was sacrificing a rook (the Shah) in order to better capture the enemy’s queen (by trapping the USSR in its own Vietnam).”
    “If there had been no Islamic Revolution in Iran, then it would have been much easier for Soviet propaganda to characterize the Mujahideen as mere agents of imperialism. Because of the Iranian upheaval the Islamic insurrection in Afghanistan gained a greater prestige”

    ——————————————————————————–
    PatrickSMcNally,

    That is might be partially true, but can you explain please, why, after 30
    years, the US still locking horns with the Iranians, refusing any attempt by the Iranians for reconciliations and normal relations. Do not tell me the US is REALLY worried about the Iranian Atomic Weapons which the US started talking about just several years ago??
    And who cared whether the Islamic insurrection in Afghanistan gained a greater prestige or not. The insurrection got what it needed which were the US weapons, Saudi money and Pakistani logistics and support.
    What about Saddam Hussein??!!

  10. commoner3 said on February 5th, 2011 at 11:55pm #

    Re: Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 10:01pm #

    Deadbeat,

    Why are you blaming the messenger? Stephen Lendman is reporting the facts, and the facts are that no country whether it liked or not can isolate itself from the neoliberal world economy and survive economically, if it was not harrassed or outright attacked.
    Global finance rules the world and ,for now, there is no way around that.
    Even the Vietnamese found that they have no choice but to change course.
    Even Cuba is cutting corners and edging gradually to “the fold”.
    I am not sympathising with global finance or defending it. Global finance is ugly, predatory, exploitative and harmful.
    If there will be defiance to Global finance, it has to be collective defiance with many countries at the same time. Going it alone will foretell hardship and misery and may be worse.
    Mubarak of Egypt got no choice! Egypt imports 40% of its wheat and depends heavily on the tourism industry and both points can be easily disrupted and used as leverage against any ruler of Egypt.
    What is going on now in Egypt IS NOT a National Libration Movement!
    What it started as a demonstrations by young people demanding jobs and lower food prices, got hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood which is the ONLY opposition group that is well organised and well financed.
    Their goal since their establishment in 1928 is to convert Egypt to Islamic theocracy, and when” if they take over Egypt”, then you can kiss your mumbo jumbo about democracy very good bye!
    With all due respect, it seems that you are full of idealism and rhetoric that are completely divorced from the realities and facts on the ground and I know what I am talking about since I lived in Egypt several years.

  11. Deadbeat said on February 6th, 2011 at 4:09am #

    Commoner let me make this as clear as possible.

    [1] Lendman is not reporting the “facts”. He is offering CONJECTURE. What is factual is that Lendman HAS NO KNOWLEDGE of the final outcome of the Egyptian revolution.

    [2] As a Leftist, the support must be with the Egyptian people in their struggle to overthrow ZIONIST tyranny. The bribes paid to Mubarak were for his services to Zionism via the suppression of his people. Because Zionism is a RACIST ideology, it means that in order to serve Israel, Mubarak was paid off to RETARD Egypt’s economic development and to quash Arab aspirations.

    [3] In order to understand this dynamic, commoner, all you have to do is look at the history of the retarded development of African Americans in the United States to see how racism works and to understand the mindset of supremacists.

    [4] Lendman’s parallelism to South Africa is forced and contrived and is designed to DIVERT our attention AWAY from Zionism. Lendman’s implication via his fallacious parallelism is that the Egyptian struggle is “futile” because it will only result in neoliberalism.

    My response to that is “so what”. In order for there to be a working class struggle against Capitalism, the Egyptian first must overcome Zionist tyranny and retardation of their aspirations. That is why there MUST be a National Liberation from Zionism FIRST in order for there to be a struggle against Capitalism. The same holds true for the United States. This is why IMO the pseudo-Left is a greater enemy than the Right.

    [5] What Lendman is writing and implying is both horrible and contradictory. It is ahistorical and just plan WRONG. It won’t be Egypt that is “isolated” should their revolution succeed. The most like outcome is that Israel will be isolated. History tells us that Egypt was once the inspiration of the Arab world. For the past 30 years its development has been suppressed and the people outright humiliated — exactly what supremacists desire. Keeping a people down and humiliated are the SICKNESSES of RACISM (Zionism).

    Thus the people of Egypt is now in the process of RESTORING pride and humanity to ALL Arabs. With the global alignments that now exists, Egypt can build their political economy circumventing both the United States and Israel.

    [6] Rather than support these developments, hopes, and outcomes, Lendman, like many pseudo Leftists, reveals their true allegiances by offering fear — fear of neoliberalism and their main fear of anti-Zionist Arab republics that rivals and isolates Israel politically and economically.

    [7] In other words Lendman reveals himself to be emotionally tied to Zionism. It’s a pity really because I thought Lendman who has written well about Latin America (especially Venezuela) to be above supremacist thinking. His articles seem to have greater understanding and compassion for the downtrodden. However this article reveals a callousness and supremacist arrogance to the struggles of the Egyptian people to finally free itself of Zionist tyranny.

    Finally you write …

    Mubarak of Egypt got no choice! Egypt imports 40% of its wheat and depends heavily on the tourism industry and both points can be easily disrupted and used as leverage against any ruler of Egypt.
    What is going on now in Egypt IS NOT a National Libration Movement!
    What it started as a demonstrations by young people demanding jobs and lower food prices, got hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood which is the ONLY opposition group that is well organised and well financed.

    Mubarak had a choices. He could have chosen not to be a Zionist quisling and sycophant. He could have chosen to diversify the Egyptian economy and trading partners. Some of the finest cotton in the world comes from Egypt and the people of Egypt are quite intelligent and capable which means they could grow their own crops and feed themselves. They are not dependent on the Zionism controlled West.

    It’s a shame commoner that you’ve been so indoctrinated by the Zionist media that all you can do is ape their fears. Expand your sources of information commoner and spend some time listening to the commentaries on Press TV. There you’ll hear from Arabs who have spent their lives struggling against Zionism. It’s clear that Lendman, Blum, Chomsky have not spent their lives struggling against Zionism but has spent their lives misinforming and misdirecting us.

  12. PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 6:32am #

    > why, after 30 years, the US still locking horns with the Iranians, refusing any attempt by the Iranians for reconciliations and normal relations.

    Well, 30 years is a long time and a lot has changed. As far as today is concerned, it has been the influence of the Israel lobby which has prevented Obama & Brzezinski from sending Jimmy Carter or someone like him as a diplomat to Iran. Obama has more or less derailed the attempt to push for an invasion of Iran, but has avoided an outright offense against the Israel lobby by keeping Iran’s status viv-a-vis the USA a little bit in limbo. Russia & China can maintain open relations with Iran while the talk about invading Iran slowly fades.

    > And who cared whether the Islamic insurrection in Afghanistan gained a greater prestige or not.

    Well part of mobilizing a war is not just material but psychological. Russia was able to stamp things out in Chechnya not just because of material forces but because the ideological flames behind the Chechnyan uprising weren’t as great as some thought. Without the appearance of an Islamic Revolution against Washington in Iran, it would have been more difficult to generate the necessary enthusiasm for a sustained Islamic war in Afghanistan.

    In any event, that at least offers the best explanation I’ve seen so far for the Carter administration’s otherwise odd behavior in 1978. There is no doubt that the fall of the Shah was largely precipitated by the Carter administration’s pressures on the Shah. The word spread among Iranians that the Shah was no longer supported and suddenly things flared up. Conservatives have generally attributed this to Carter allegedly having had naive ideas about human rights. In the absence of any other geopolitical analysis, that would have to be the default explanation. I think that the above hypothesis gives a clearer explanation.

  13. commoner3 said on February 6th, 2011 at 6:50am #

    Re: Deadbeat said on February 6th, 2011 at 4:09am #

    Deadbeat,

    NO. What Stephen Lenderman reported IS NOT conjectures but actual cases that happened, e.g. FACTS.
    With the US is the only super-power in the world, helped by its lieutinant the EU having a military and economic punch that can strike any place in the world in an instant, what a single country can do?? Ask the Russians or the Chinese for help?? Ha, Ha, both the Russians and the Chines are now in the pocket of Global Finance and doing its bidding.
    Do you like what happened to Yugoslavia, Iraq and Zimbabwee when they refused to open their economies to globalization and go alnong with the “Washington Consensus”. As of now it looks like Iran, Vanzuella and North Korea are in the cross hair!!!
    As it happened, any recalcitrant country to Global Finance can find itself framed and being accused of either harboring terrorists, human rights violations or having a program of Weapons of Mass Destrutction, then an iron clad economic embargo is imposed on it.
    I am not a Zionist and I hate Zionism and Israel, but it seems that you are accusing anyone who have slightly differnt point of view than you, of being a Zionist or Zionist sympathiser. You dismiss out of hand, two great thinkers and writers like Howard Zinn and Chomsky. Anyone who read some of their writing can have a good understanding of what is going on the world to reach the conclusion that Zionism is evil.
    By attributing everything to the Zionist influence and Zionist Lobby, you are helping Zionism by giving it an aura of invincibility and unlimited power.
    Yes Zionism has influence and power, but it drives it from being a hired gun for the Empire. Zionism is the modern day version of the “Court Jews” in Medievial Europe when princes or kings when wanted to impose unpopular taxes or laws hired Jews to impliment it, and when the population almost revolted because of these new taxes or laws he dismissed the Jews and blamed everything on them.

  14. commoner3 said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:23am #

    Re: PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 6:32am

    PartickSMcNally wrote:
    “There is no doubt that the fall of the Shah was largely precipitated by the Carter administration’s pressures on the Shah.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Patrick,
    Pressure on the Shah to “do human rights”. Are you kidding me? Give me a break.
    So, pressuring the Shah to “do human rights”, while in the same time, supporting “Death Squads” in El Salvadore and butchers like Penochet of Chile and Suharto of Indonesia and the rest of other butchers and diktators around the world. Ha Ha. Thank you for a good laugh!!!

  15. PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:33am #

    > Yes Zionism has influence and power, but it drives it from being a hired gun for the Empire.

    That doesn’t really match with the way that both James Forrestal and George Marshall were opposed to Harry Truman’s decision to recognize Israel, whereas Truman made it clear that politics was what determined his choice. The Israel lobby has been more like a cyst on Rush Limbaugh’s butt from the point of view of traditional imperial planners. While I have no interest in specifically supporting the traditional imperialism, it doesn’t help any political analysis to falsify Israel’s role as a “strategic asset” either. Even if one were to accept the absurd war-for-oil thesis around Iraq, the question would still have to arise as to just what use has Israel been. Israel hasn’t been contributing any major armies to the Iraq occupation. In fact, US planners don’t desire such because they know that bringing Israeli troops into Baghdad would ignite a storm of rage among Iraqis. So Israel just continues to be subsidized while the alleged war-for-oil continues without Israel taking its share of the costs. Not much of a hired gun there.

  16. PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:55am #

    > Pressure on the Shah to “do human rights”. Are you kidding me?

    You don’t read very clearly, either what I wrote or what the historical record shows. There is no question that Carter did pressure the Shah, and that this did set off the rebellion in Iran which led to the Shah’s downfall. That’s a historical fact. Conservatives have attributed this to Carter allegedly being naively concerned about human rights. I offered you a different explanation which I think fits the facts better. This is a question which I always felt that Chomsky failed to address, and you seem to be just rehashing Chomskyism here.

    Whenever Chomsky commented on this his only point was to do as you’ve done. Point to all the other known cases of the Carter administration supporting this or that dictator, and thereby dismiss the conservative argument that Carter was all concerned about human rights. That’s valid for as far as it goes, but it does not address the fact that Carter DID pressure the Shah and this apparent loss of support for the Shah WAS a decisive influence in bringing about the collapse of the Shah. Those facts call for an explanation, even if one rejects the conservative explanation which attributes to Carter being a naive humanitarian. Chomsky never actually put forward such an explanation, but merely dissed the conservative argument.

    I’ve just given you a better explantion. The fall of the Shah, engineered by Carter & Brzezinski, was part of Washington’s project to create an Islamic uprising that would entail some costs for the USA but would be much more threatening to the USSR. It makes sense that Chomsky avoided pointing to this, because Chomsky always played down the extent to which the Cold War involved a real effort to bring about counter-revolution in the USSR. Chomsky always gave a slant to the way that the Cold War could be used as an ideological cover for overthrowing people like Arbenz or Allende, but he downplayed the reality of a strategy aimed at Moscow.

  17. commoner3 said on February 6th, 2011 at 9:24am #

    PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:33am #

    Patrick,

    Did you see what Israel did to Nasser of Egypt??

  18. commoner3 said on February 6th, 2011 at 9:30am #

    Re: PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:55am #

    Patrick,
    Then we are in agreement that Carter toppled the Shah, but don’t tell it was because the Shah didn’t “do human rights” as you claimed.
    And we are partially in agreement why did that happen. The rest of the story is still unfolding and the end of it to be seen for the final conclusion.
    We will see.!

  19. PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 11:24am #

    > don’t tell it was because the Shah didn’t “do human rights” as you claimed.

    I never claimed anything of the sort. I simply mentioned the fact that Republicans have often claimed this, and that the usual Chomyist response has been consistently incomplete.

  20. PatrickSMcNally said on February 6th, 2011 at 11:44am #

    > Did you see what Israel did to Nasser of Egypt??

    Yes, of course. Did you see how angry Eisenhower was when Egypt was attacked in 1956? Did you see how LBJ rallied in the Senate in 1957 to try to oppose Eisenhower’s threats of sanctions against Israel?

    —–
    On February 11th, 1957, Mr. John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State, submitted certain Proposals to the Israeli Government which were, in effect, that:–
    “Israel should withdraw her troops…”

    Subsequent discussions between the United States Secretary of State and Mr. Abba Eban did not bring about the withdrawal of Israeli forces…

    On February 19th, 1957, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, the Senate Majority Leader, wrote to John Foster Dulles urging that the United States oppose imposing of economic sanctions against Israel by the United Nations. The latter was endorsed by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

    On February 20th, 1957, President Eisenhower broadcast a radio address from the White House in which, in effect, he warned Israel that unless it complied with the withdrawal resolutions, the United Nations had no choice but to “exert pressure” and suggested that the United States would support such “United Nations pressure.”
    —–
    – L.M. Bloomfield, EGYPT, ISRAEL AND THE GULF OF AQABA IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, p. 152.

    Even if we were to ignore this background and somehow agree to count the 1967 war as something which really served the traditional US imperialist aims, that was more than 4 decades ago. When Nixon came into office he tried to follow up with the relationship which LBJ had already begun forming by simultaneously supporting Israel and encouraging the Rogers Plan for settling the Israel/Palestine conflict. Nixon became disgusted with the Israeli refusal to go along with the Rogers Plan, and at a time when Nixon was in trouble over Watergate the Rogers Plan was dumped by Henry Kissinger as a favor to the Israeli lobby. Any hint of Israel as a “strategic asset” which the 1967 war may have suggested was exhausted by that point.

  21. mary said on February 8th, 2011 at 9:33am #

    The actions of members of the French government with the corrupt regime, i.e. they take bribes. And this is the extent of it that we know about.

    {http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12397397}