Tag Archives: Middle East

Revolutions Lead to New Arab World Order

The events continuing in the Middle East, the revolutions in many countries is inevitably leading to a New World Order in the Middle East.  What is even more amazing is the short time it took for the revolution to spread to each of these countries.

Consider this: 12.17.2010  Tunisia…the spark that sets off unrest and rallies that spread nationwide.

Consider this: 01.14.11 Jordanians angered over prices and joblessness

Consider this:  01.25.2011 Egypt Erupts

Consider this: Algerians take to the streets

Consider this: Yemen braces for protests, and call for protests, “day of rage” on 02.03.2011

Consider this: 02.06.2011 Morocco protests

Consider this:  02.09.2011 Jordan replaces government to pre-empt protests

Consider this:  02.11.2011 Mubarak Resigns

Consider this: 0212.2011 Algerian police attack protesters

Consider this: 0214.2011 Bahrain protests, crackdown, shoot live bullets and injure 60

Consider this: 02.14.2011 Iranian protest, “Green Revolution” rallies tens of thousands to protest. Riot police beat and fire tear gas. One person killed.

Consider this: 02.16.2011 Libyians join protest, 60 people killed

Consider this: 0-2.19.2011 Bahrainian protesters reclaim central square, Army and Military withdraw

This is remarkable, in sixty days the face of the Middle East has changed and continues to change.

Make no mistake, American Foreign Policy in the Arab world will continue to as complicated as it was prior the “revolutions.”

The obvious aspect of the all these anti-regime protests that has shaken the Arab world is what they are not about: They are  not about the Palestinians under Israeli  occupation; nor are they anti-Western or even anti-American. The protesters have directed their anger against unemployment, tyranny, lack of freedom, dignity and justice in their lives.  This a huge change in the Middle East.

Many of us remember the demonstrations against the Shah of Iran in 1979, before that revolution was stolen by Islamists.  Iran had a person leader that aroused popular loyalty.  It is ironic that the Shah was exiled on February 11, 1979, and that Mubarak resigned 32 years later on February 11, 2011.

Yet the dangers to U.S. Interests of what is to come next in the Arab world are to overstate.  If protests were to spread to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, a great disaster or utter failure would be waiting. The Saudi royal family, is probably the worst form of government for that country but for the any other which might replace it.  We’ve sold all manner of weapons to the Saudis over decades falling into the hands of Wahhabi radicals. Imagine Yemen were it divided once again into northern and southern parts. The United States would be on its own fighting al Qaeda there.

Though the U.S. government ignored the ‘Green Revolution’ in the recent past, they are back.  Anti-government protests are back.  The Iranian government has called on its supporters to take to the streets to demonstrate their “hatred” for the opposition Green Movement.  We were silent during the violent anti-government protests following the disputed presidential election in June 2009.  But now it seems that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard pledges to hold fire.  They have written a letter to their commanding officer demanding assurances that they will not be required to open fire on anti-government protesters. The letter has been passed on to Mr. Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, no official response has been forthcoming.

Our foreign policy must heed the uniqueness of each country’s political and historical situation in forming U.SA. policy. President Obama and his administration must stand up for principles of civil society, nonviolence, and human rights everywhere.  When an autocrat appears on the way out, as in Egypt and Tunisia the United States must play a constructive role in easing his ouster.  Our government should not be in the position of putting our ‘interests’ above our principles.  There is Bahrain, where the relationship between Bahrain and the U.S. is very strong, our fleet is based there, but that should not interfere with the principles that we expound to the entire world, freedom, free elections, democracy, free press.  The Arab world should be treated no differently than Europe or other areas of the world.  Our principles should not change because countries have oil or other interests we might want control of.  We must stand up for what is right, make a stand and never sway. Our country’s fear of the unknown and their need for their special interests should not stand in the way of freedom and democracy.


Lost Media: US Media’s Confused Approach to Protests and Truth

Nixon gives his trademark "victory" ...

Image via Wikipedia

Public outrage spilling on the streets is treated differently in the American media depending on where the protests take place, with demonstrations seen as ‘democracy’ in Egypt and ‘chaos’ in Britain.  Riots and outrage really have the same face regardless of where on the world map they take place  It could be Europe, the Middle East when people are fed up enough to take their outrage onto the streets, the world should know that it is time to listen to what they have to say.

What we were seeing in Egypt was no different to what we saw in Greece and Italy. What was different is the way the media chose to approach coverage, depending on what country has its streets in chaos.

If you burn a bank in Greece, you are a villain. If you burn the party headquarters in Cairo, you are a hero of democracy.  I was in Greece during the riots, and they were not villains.  They were protesting the mismanagement of government and the unnecessary killing of a teenager.  The protesters ended up being portrayed as villains, when in fact the villains were the police who shot an unarmed teenager.  But that part of the story was never mentioned in the US media.  The riot was reported on and the rest was no longer relevant. As the streets of Egypt blowup into ‘chaos’, the US media portrays it a fight of the disenfranchised masses, and stressing the meed for Mubarak and the Regime to address the complaints of the masses.

Information seems to be a concept that has long been forgotten by the mainstream media. All we seem to get is the opinions or thoughts from people that are far away from the events being reported on.  Democracy as an American brand is what the media is willing to promote.  The US must stay on the winning side.  The United States has a history of funding both sides to make sure that US interests are protected.  The media have become a tool for bad foreign policy.  They should have exposed the inconsistencies in President Obama’s statements and policy.  They remained silent.

Most importantly, they don’t really report.  When they did finally get to fact-finding and reporting, it was only after journalists were being targeted, and then they didn’t really tell the truth.  There is no money in truth.  If it bleeds, it leads.  So a report that a reporter was attached had all the air time in needed.  Then what did those so-called reporters do?  They ran home.

It didn’t use to be that way.  But now ratings and new corporations are more important than following a story of beginning to end.  Getting all the facts, and telling the truth.  Real journalism.

But you could find good reporting and good coverage.  That is if you could get Al-Jazeera.  There coverage and reporting was brilliant.  I know you weren’t watching the channel on tv.  I did.  Dish network on it Free Speech TV channel, ran Al-Jazeera almost 24 hours a day for 18 days.  Of course, you could still watch live broadcasts of Egyptians standing up against Mubarak on standard network channels. You could hear from journalist from CNN and CBS ‘bravely’ report from Tahrir Square.  But to a media, news junkie like me, Al-Jazeera set the standard.  They offered viewers a chance to hear more from Egyptian activists and experts, and less from US politicians, former governmental officials, and pundits.

Like their US counterparts, when their journalists were attacked, beaten, and imprisoned, they continued reporting.  Roaming the streets, getting information, and talking to people.  They did not run.  And to protect their journalists while reporting from the streets, they did not disclose their location or give their name.  They stayed the course, did their jobs, and were the best there is.

It can be argued that Al-Jazeera brought down the Egyptian government.  They kept reporting, showing the truth.  The news got out, the world watched, and Mubarak fled like a thief in the night.  Ironically, US media used to be good at bringing down governments.  Remember Richard Nixon and Watergate?  They told the truth, search it out and told it to the world, and Nixon resigned.  Remember LBJ and the Viet Nam war?  The reporting from the war, the pictures, and the truth and facts were exposed.  LBJ refused to run for office again.

But those days seem to be gone.  Gone are the days when the story and the truth were more important than ratings and money.  Yet, maybe not.  Anderson Cooper finally decided to tell the truth.  I admit it was late, but he said it.  He isn’t stating his opinion, as he has been accused. He told the truth, verifiable facts, and that is real journalism.

It is time for facts, truth and real reporting to return to the media.  We deserve better.  Or you could just watch Al-Jazeera.

The Great American Decline

We all watched the events unfolding in Egypt and the Middle East. Those events are proof of the approaching ends of Global American Influence. The Middle East took good old George at his word,”A free Iraq will set a powerful example in the part of the world that is desperate for freedom. A free Iraq will secure Israel.” That was 2004. The “Freedom Agenda” was an abject failure.  It was democracy acquired at the barrel of a gun.  Like Viet Nam, before entering into war, the Americans had no real functional government in realty to assume power should the war be won.  Though those wars were fought for different reasons, the lack of planning for the future of those country lead to disaster.  After numerous elections in Iraq, there still is no functional government and no democracy.

The “Freedom Agenda” was an abject failure  It was the beginning of the decline.

Egypt like Tunisia put their freedom and democracy in their own hands Protesters used Western technology to demand individual rights. Ignore the fact that most of secular bloggers who paved the groundwork for the revolution speak to languages, or studied in America. Ignore the fact the Egyptians in the streets focused their demands on two parties, the Egyptian Regime and the American Government. Not the UN or the Arab League.  American police in the Middle East have never been more obvious. Thirty years of aiding a military dictator, who presided over a corrupt, u responsive government, who managed his economy into stagnation and scarcity, and who has driven any legitimate opposition toward the radical mosque have not produced stability.

The protesters didn’t even bother to burn our flag. Other countries do not express disapproval their of  lack of influence in Egyptian politics. American feel guilt at their limits of power.  We could have done more. We could have, like Turkey, Germany, France and other countries demand that Mubarak resign.  That was not in our interest.  Instead, we put his second in command, Suleiman in a position to control the country.  The Commander of the Secret Police, in charge of torture and beatings, to head the government.

The expectation of peace nd democracy in the whole of the Middle East because of a promise of democracy in Iraq by an American President is naive. Peace, freedom and democracy has been a time coming.  Since the time of Abraham and Sarah.  What we forget is that this is a war about religion.  One tribe against another, Arab against Jew.   Religion.  Our failure to understand that has led to failed foreign policy.  The decline of America. When we put our private interests above our true mission of freedom and democracy, we will always fail.

In the complex determination of national influence, those with the best story, the best narrative, have an advantage  In the Middle East, does the old dictator speaking on Egyptian state television, talking of past glories and victories really seem the wave of the future?

Yet, on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, self-government is the hope. It seems the system most likely to result in progress and national achievement.  It seems that way because it is. What happens in Egypt matters greatly to American interests A Sunni version of Iran in Egypt would be a major blow. Democratic transition, even a partial one, might eventually isolate or domesticate the extremist and defuse hatred for America. Events in Egypt is now determined by an internal balance of nationalism and religion, fear and hope, that America can only influence on the margins.

Since Franklin Roosevelt, American leaders have viewed the appeal of democratic ideals as source of national power. America now has less direct control in German and Japan than it did. But both are monuments to American influence.

Democracies will not always do what we want, but in the end they are more stable and peaceful than countries ruled by a single man.  Changes are difficult and uncertain, especially in places with shallow democratic roots. But is strangely disconnected from American history and ideals to regard a popular revolt  against an oppressive as a sign of American decline.

“Let My People Go”

We need a new “Moses” to stand up and tell Pharor Mubarack and his government to set his people free.

Where is America?  American strategy in the Middle Ease is oil, stability and Israel. American is obessed with Israel. They hold Israel as the Axis of the Middle East policy.  Arabs have always been invisible to America.  The argument in going on in America now is about “interests” and “principles.” When it comes to  policy , it comes down to what can we get. They work with people so undesirable and unreliable that they can’t be trusted. So theyhave to be under totalitarian governments The seige on Gaza is an Egyptian, Israeli, and American operation.

We must take Egypt for itself. Not ask Israel what they think or want. It is a mistake. Doing that makes what we think and do irrelevant.  We do not matter.

We have supported all autocratic leaders in the Middle East We havbe even put them into power in the name of freedom. George W Bush promised the Freedom and Democracy, remember the “Freedom Agenda?” It was freedom in Iraq will bring democracy to Israel.  We see how that worked out. The neocon agenda ha no plan built in for the peple to have a voice. The West had no reason to rock the boat. American must protect their interests.

America must stand for its principles.  American policy is paralyzed.  Why?  The answer is simple…..Keep Egypt an Allie and whoever is “elected” president must ensure that they uphold the Egypt and Israeli Peace Treaty of 1979.  Cold War policies.

We can’t alienate U.S Israelis. It would mean political suicide. In reality it is political cowardice.

The United States has long seeked to block democracy in the Arab world. This goes against all our principles.  Principles we fought for in 1776.  We had our revolution and won our freedom. We wrote the two greatest documents in the world, The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. Beacons to the rest of the world.

Neocons have gone from the “Freedom Agenda” to fear talk. We need a new Moses to stand up to the neocons and Mubarak and shout let the people go. We need a “Moses” to scream..Mubarak and his regime must go. We put them into power since the Cold War. We can now throw them out. We can do this on the principles we sand on and believe in. The same ones that made this country great and the role model. 

Though I am loath to praise William Kristol, his stand against his own conservatives and neocons is worth reading.  It will follow. Stand up for Freedom,     http://www.theweeklystandard.com/articles/stand-freedom 541404.html.

Bogeyman: Islmaist Take Over

Islamist’s would come in to power and would be against the West.  This is the lying narrative that is being peddled by the Regimes, Neocons, and Israel.  If you believe what they tell you on television, radio and in the papers, we are already being taken over by the Islamist’s.  What can expect if you listen nothing but Fox, Beck and the other neocons.  They are using unjustified and lies to make  you afraid, to stir up your Patriotism

Not since the end of WWI and Woodrow Wilson has the Arab world changed.  Wilson perpetuated social justice, self-determination,an end to external control, and social justice. The same is happening now. There is again a break from the past, but no one knows what the future will bring.

Fear is being used by the Regimes, Israel and the neocons. Social justice has nothing to do with it. What is happening here is the reality of the Arab world, masked by this lying narrative peddled by the old Regimes, Israel and the god fearing neocons. Either us or the devil. You accept a police state, you accept beatings outside poling places, you accept all kinds of horror.  This conversation, narrative, is going on now with the neocons and Israel’s comparisons of Egypt with Iran of 1979.  Fear is the ultimate weapon. They speak of freedom, liberty, free elections, change the world, and make it a better place.  But they want you to believe that it will all be replaced by a terrorist government.  Why? Because they say so. 

They are afraid.  It is beginning in other Arab countries and the remarkable thing is, there’s been no prominence of Islamic extremism either on the left or right.  It is a remarkable mix of the various trends that existed in these countries, but were masked by this narrative of fear wer were peddled. 

Question now is what happens next.  Will the police apparatus be tamed? Security forces musty be removed from the equation. The fear is a Mubarak Regime without Mubarak. The person who is in charge of the Egyptian Security apparatus is now the vice president, Mr. Sulemin. If that regime stays in place there will be no democracy and no change. It is not the matter of the man, Mubarak. It is the secret police apparatus running things in Egypt or not? Mubarak’s security command, Mr. Sulemin, who they say is very ill, may not be the man.

Egypt has been the dominate role in the Arab world. Egypt ow has the Palestinian question. Do they lift the siege of Gaza? Palestinian authority, Mr. Abbas which supported Mubarak in the seige of Gaza, can no longer be a client of a foreign country. The region is linked and they have the same aspirations.

The envoy that Obama sent has said that Mubarak must stay. He was the wrong choice. There may be a conflict of interest. Wisner works for the law firm, Patton Boggs, which advises the Egyptian military, the Economic Development Agency.  The firm has strong ties to Mubarak.

All across the Middle East, we are waiting to see the downfall of America’s friends. In Egypt, Mubarak must be wondering where he can fly to. America’s friends are collapsing.  They must if they want their freedom, rights, social justice and change. 

The Democrat’s world in the Arab Middle East is at its end.