Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, Anti-Gov't Protests & Mubarak Ousted But Egyptian Military 's Promises Of Reform Questionable & Opposition Movement Must Keep Up The Pressure

Update: Feb. 15, 2011 5:46 PM.
Check out Aljazeera Live or at URL: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
DRAMATIC VIDEO Bahraini police attacking pro-democracy activists
bahraini police breaking up a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration full of men and women using tear gas. Monday, feb. 14

a monarchy, a police state, and a united states ally, with no oil, with thousands of american troops stationed there to prop up a failed despot! let's make the world see whats going on there!

DRAMATIC VIDEO Bahraini police attacking peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators with tear gas

Bahrain police attacking PEACEFUL pro-democracy demonstrators in the town of bani jamra in bahrain, feb. 14th, 2011. a monarchy, a police state, and a united states ally, with no oil, with thousands of american troops stationed there to prop up a failed despot! many thanks to youtube user smohd92, a resident of bahrain, for the original arabic upload. let's make the world see whats going on there!

Iranian Uprising Supported By USA
Is it the real deal or CIA operation
The hope is that it is a genuine uprising by the Iranian people which might lead to real substantive reform and not just a regime change from the oppressive Ayatollahs and Mullahs to that of a secular authoritarian or a Dictatorship ie merely a change in Branding.

The Young Turks -Cenk uygur 's Commentary on Iran and Egypt et al.

Iran Clashes & Yemen Protests Al Jazeera

It is rather strange and hypocritical that America condemns Iran for its poor human rights record yet supported the Egyptian Regime and that of Saudi Arabia and other countries which have just as bad a human rights record as Iran.
This is the sort of statement that in the US or Canada or Britain is considered taboo in the mainstream Media. We are told by politicians and pundits and the media that Iran is evil like Iraq was under Saddam .

Saddam was evil in their view because he tortured and murdered many of his own people but so did Mubarak whom these countries defended up til the last minute. And of course what they want to replace him and his regime with may not be what the Egyptian people want.

The other point about Iran which should be stated again and again is that Iran did not begin the Iran Iraq war. Saddam started the war encouraged and supported by the USA. Without American arms and money and America playing interference on the International scene the war wouldn't have dragged on for ten years killing and wounding up to two million people.

When Iran used so called martyrs to clear minefields and thereby being assured of being killed and doing so they were told in the name of Islam this practice was criticized by the USA and its quisling media.

Meanwhile these hypocrites said and did nothing when Saddam used Mustard Gas and other chemicals on Iranian troops which is a crime under International Law.
They also said and did nothing when Saddam had thousands of Kurds killed by gassing them.
The US and Israel wanted the war to continue to punish Iranians for daring to topple one of its friendly dictators the Shah of Iran.
The war also kept the two countries preoccupied so they could not be a threat to Israel or America or America's other client states.
The war was finally won by Saddam but that was because the US military, air force navy et al interfered taking Saddam's side.

So Iran was ruled by an anti-democratic brutal repressive regime under the Shah of Iran from 1953 to 1979 supported by the USA which goes a long way to explain the anti-Americanism rife in Iran . Unfortunately for the Iranian people the Shah was replaced by the brutal repressive regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
But such outcome was not preordained and could have been prevented if the USA had supported the moderate reformers in Iran rather than digging in their heels to defend the megalomaniac paranoid Shah even after his being ousted by a popular uprising.

The current regime in Iran is still resisting reforms to move away from a repressive theocracy to a more democratic regime that is one which protects the civil and human rights of all of its citizens not just those Muslims who support the Mullahs and Ayatollahs and their strict medieval form of Sharia.

So now we have the surreal claims of the USA arguing in favor of a pro-democracy movement in Iran.

Because of the interference by the USA through its use of secret operatives in Iran and the financing of anti-government organizations and the propaganda it manages to get into the Iranian press it has become difficult to determine whether protests in Iran are a genuine reflection of the Iranian people or groups paid off or encouraged to protest by the the USA & the CIA etc.

The USA & CIA et al have used these techniques before in Iran or other countries to topple governments America does not like in the Middle East , Africa or Central and South America.
So when it comes to Iran and other nations in the Middle East getting American backing for a pro-democracy movement is a mixed blessing and may even undermine support for such a movement.

The USA as we saw in Tunisia and Egypt was not at all the driving force for the anti-government and pro-reform movements in either country until it was obvious the regimes the Americans backed were doomed- a "fait accompli".

This made for some entertaining,suspenseful and almost comical moments as the USA had to back peddle while various spokespersons for the government went public at times contradicting one another adding to the confusion and befuddlement of the Obama Regime's public stance on the issue. They went from backing Mubarak at any or all cost to claiming they were behind the Egyptian people from the beginning.
This in itself speaks volumes for the often confusing , hypocritical and contradictory foreign policies of the USA especially since 9/11 and the launching of its crusade against Islam & Terrorism that is to rid the world of evil as it were.

Meanwhile the Uberconservative Tea Party Republicans and characters such as Glenn Beck went into a frenzy trying to explain how the whole incident in Egypt was a creation of the Obama Regime in order to make Egypt into either a secular Communist state or an Islamic Theocracy depending on which hour of the day it was.

The problem here as elsewhere in American foreign policy and America's outlook that it is either Religious Extremism or evil secular socialists or what America prefers a friendly dictator to maintain stability and security in the Middle East which includes keeping Israel safe from being attacked by Egypt or any other Arab or Muslim dominated country . And meanwhile the pro-Israel pro-American lobby is fearful of the notion of a true democracy taking hold in Egypt or other Arab or Muslim nations in the Middle East.

This helps explain why the US government and the Uberconservatives see no contradiction or hypocrisy in their supporting the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia. The brutal authoritarian regime in Saudi Arabia an outdated unpopular Monarchy supported by the Mullahs .

By supporting Saudi Arabia the USA under the Obama and Bush Regimes and other administrations before them look the other way in regards to human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and its disdain for a secular democracy.
Meanwhile the House of Saud and its supporters are free to spend billions to spread their form of Wahhabi Extremist Islam to Muslims around the globe.
So we get the hypocrisy of America and its NATO allies disingenuously claiming to be concerned about the rights of women and the brutality of the enforcement of Sharia law in Afghanistan while ignoring its use in Saudi Arabia or other states considered friends of the USA or its allies.

"Iran Protests: Reinvigorated Activists Take to the Streets in Thousands
Riot police and basiji militia use teargas on protesters, with reports that one demonstrator was killed in clashes" by Saeed Kamali Dehghan The Guardian via Commondreams, Feb. 12, 2011

Thousands of defiant protesters in Iran's capital have clashed with security officials as they marched in a banned rally. One person was reported killed, with dozens injured and many more arrested.

Given doubts about the Egyptian military holding to its promises of ending the state of emergency, allowing for free and fair elections and not just the facade of democratic elections or appearance of fair and free elections like those supported in the past by the Egyptian ruling party and its military and given approval by the United States and Israel.

If Obama is unwilling to ensure that the process towards a real democracy in Egypt goes ahead then other nations need to step up to the plate. The Egyptian people should remember the corrupt and brutal Mubarak Regime for the most part was created and maintained by the United States and Israel.

The problem for the people of Egypt is that of deja vu they have been here before in 1952 and 1979 when reform was promised but then reneged on . Such a popular uprising is only one step on the way to real reform .
Reform would mean elections in which various opposition parties are given the right to run that those parties now illegal be made legal.

The military needs to release the political prisoners with apologies and possible reparations and pursuing all claims of abuse and torture seriously and not follow the American experience of cover up by just going after "a few bad apples" or other scapegoats in their desire to put aside justice in favor of defending the reputations of the US military and the CIA et al . Notions such as justice , freedoms and rights are not taken very seriously by the present regime in Washington anymore than it has been a real concern historically for most American administrations.

Is The Army Tightening Its Grip On Egypt? By Robert Fisk February 14, 2011 "The Independent" via InformationClearing House

- -Two days after millions of Egyptians won their revolution against the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the country's army – led by Mubarak's lifelong friend, General Mohamed el-Tantawi – further consolidated its power over Egypt yesterday, dissolving parliament and suspending the constitution. As they did so, the prime minister appointed by Mubarak, ex-General Ahmed Shafiq, told Egyptians that his first priorities were "peace and security" to prevent "chaos and disorder" – the very slogan uttered so often by the despised ex-president. Plus ça change?

In their desperation to honour the 'military council's' promise of Cairo-back-to-normal, hundreds of Egyptian troops – many unarmed – appeared in Tahrir Square to urge the remaining protesters to leave the encampment they had occupied for 20 days. At first the crowd greeted them as friends, offering them food and water. Military policemen in red berets, again without weapons, emerged to control traffic. But then a young officer began lashing demonstrators with a cane – old habits die hard in young men wearing uniforms – and for a moment there was a miniature replay of the fury visited upon the state security police here on 28 January.

It reflected a growing concern among those who overthrew Mubarak that the fruits of their victory may be gobbled up by an army largely composed of generals who achieved their power and privilege under Mubarak himself. No-one objects to the dissolution of parliament since Mubarak's assembly elections last year – and all other years -- were so transparently fraudulent. But the 'military council' gave no indication of the date for the free and fair elections which Egyptians believed they had been promised.

...But a clear divergence is emerging between the demands of the young men and women who brought down the Mubarak regime and the concessions – if that is what they are – that the army appears willing to grant them. A small rally at the side of Tahrir Square yesterday held up a series of demands which included the suspension of Mubarak's old emergency law and freedom for political prisoners. The army has promised to drop the emergency legislation "at the right opportunity", but as long as it remains in force, it gives the military as much power to ban all protests and demonstrations as Mubarak possessed; which is one reason why those little battles broke out between the army and the people in the square yesterday.

As for the freeing of political prisoners, the military has remained suspiciously silent. Is this because there are prisoners who know too much about the army's involvement in the previous regime? Or because escaped and newly liberated prisoners are returning to Cairo and Alexandria from desert camps with terrible stories of torture and executions by – so they say – military personnel. An Egyptian army officer known to 'The Independent' insisted yesterday that the desert prisons were run by military intelligence units who worked for the interior ministry – not for the ministry of defence.

As for the top echelons of the state security police who ordered their men – and their faithful 'baltagi' plain-clothes thugs -- to attack peaceful demonstrators during the first week of the revolution, they appear to have taken the usual flight to freedom in the Arab Gulf. According to an officer in the Cairo police criminal investigation department whom I spoke to yesterday, all the officers responsible for the violence which left well over 300 Egyptians dead have fled Egypt with their families for the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The criminals who were paid by the cops to beat the protesters have gone to ground – who knows when their services might next be required? – while the middle-ranking police officers wait for justice to take its course against them. If indeed it does.

...Now, of course, it is Egypt's turn to watch the effects of its own revolution on its neighbours. Scarcely a family in Egypt was unaware yesterday of the third day of protests against the president in Yemen and the police violence which accompanied them. And it is remarkable that just as Arab protesters mimic their successful counterparts in Egypt, the state security apparatus of each Arab regime faithfully follows the failed tactics of Mubarak's thugs.

Another irony has dawned on Egyptians. Those Arab dictators which claim to represent their people – Algeria comes to mind, and Libya, and Morocco – have signally failed to represent their people by not congratulating Egypt on its successful democratic revolution. To do so, needless to say, would be to saw off the legs of their own thrones.

" Egypt's Military Dissolves Parliament; Calls for Vote " by: Kareem Fahim and J. David Goodman, The New York Times News Service via Truthout.org Feb. 13, 2011

The military has sought to reassure Egyptians and the world that it would shepherd a transition to civilian rule and honor international commitments like the peace treaty with Israel. But even though it had begun acting on the protest movement’s demands, it was still unclear how or when military leaders would meet directly with protest leaders in order to start the process of bringing opposition figures into the government.

Exultant and exhausted opposition leaders claimed their role in the country’s future over the weekend, pressing the army to lift the country’s emergency law — which suspending the constitution would seem to do — and release political prisoners. And they vowed to return to Tahrir Square next week to celebrate a victory and honor those who had died in the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule.

The impact of Egypt’s uprising rippled across the Arab world as protesters turned out in Algeria, where the police arrested leading organizers, and in Yemen, where pro-government forces beat demonstrators with clubs. The Palestinian leadership responded by announcing that it planned to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by September. And in Tunisia, which inspired Egypt’s uprising, hundreds demonstrated to cheer Mr. Mubarak’s ouster.

and from the Guardian more caution and concern expressed over the Egyptian military actually following through on its promises to the Egyptian people.

WikiLeaks cables: Egyptian Military Head is 'Old and Resistant to Change' US ambassador to Cairo gives his opinion on Muhammad Tantawi and number two general, Sami Enan the Guardian By Julian Borger and James Ball at "The Guardian" via Information Clearing House, feb. 14, 2011

-- Nothing Egypt's military council has done in its past suggests it has the capacity or inclination to introduce speedy and radical change. Guaranteed its $1.3bn (£812m) annual grant from the US — a dividend from the Camp David peace accord with Israel – it has gained the reputation as a hidebound institution with little appetite for reform.

The frustration of the military's American benefactors shines through in leaked US cables, where the criticism focuses mostly on the man at the top, 75-year-old Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi.

In March 2008 cable [146040], the US ambassador to Cairo, Francis Ricciardone, described Tantawi as "aged and change-resistant".

"Charming and courtly, he is nonetheless mired in a post-Camp David military paradigm that has served his cohort's narrow interests for the last three decades. He and [Hosni] Mubarak are focused on regime stability and maintaining the status quo through the end of their time. They simply do not have the energy, inclination or world view to do anything differently," it reads.

The ambassador also notes that Tantawi has used his influence in the cabinet to oppose economic and political reforms which he sees as weakening central government power.

"He is supremely concerned with national unity, and has opposed policy initiatives he views as encouraging political or religious cleavages within Egyptian society," the cable says

For more on Egyptian regime's corruption, brutality, abuse and torture and its support by the USA and Israel see : Inside Egypt: The Land Of The Pharaohs On The Brink Of A Revolution by John R. Bradley pub. 2008.

and so it goes,

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