by Noam Chomsky
February 2, 2011
“The Arab world is on fire,” al-Jazeera reported on January 27, while throughout the region, Western allies “are quickly losing their influence.”
The shock wave was set in motion by the dramatic uprising in Tunisia that drove out a Western-backed dictator, with reverberations especially in Egypt, where demonstrators overwhelmed a dictator’s brutal police.
Observers compared the events to the toppling of Russian domains in 1989, but there are important differences.
Crucially, no Mikhail Gorbachev exists among the great powers that support the Arab dictators. Rather, Washington and its allies keep to the well-established principle that democracy is acceptable only insofar as it conforms to strategic and economic objectives: fine in enemy territory (up to a point), but not in our backyard, please, unless it is properly tamed.
One 1989 comparison has some validity: Romania, where Washington maintained its support for Nicolae Ceausescu, the most vicious of the East European dictators, until the allegiance became untenable. Then Washington hailed his overthrow while the past was erased.
That is a standard pattern: Ferdinand Marcos, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Chun Doo Hwan, Suharto and many other useful gangsters. It may be under way in the case of Hosni Mubarak, along with routine efforts to try to ensure that a successor regime will not veer far from the approved path.
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The media battle for Egypt + Changing the US vision of the Middle East + Eliminate the Witnesses
Egypt – The Peoples’ Voices by Felicity Arbuthnot
US Media and Egypt Coverage: Dodging the Real Issues and Fudging the Real Culprits by Sibel Edmonds
The Egyptian Tinderbox: How Banks and Investors Are Starving the Third World by Ellen Brown
Israeli Spy Arrest in Egypt Points to High Stakes for Washington and Tel Aviv by Finian Cunningham
Robert Fisk: Obama Admin Has Been Gutless and Cowardly + Eyewitnesses to a Massacre
Egypt Protests Revolution 2011
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