Kill the illusions… 9 March 2011Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011.
Smoke rises from heavy shelling as rebels retreat during a battle with Gaddafi’s troops outside the town of Bin Jawad [Kevin Frayer/AP]
From a post at Counterpunch on several of the revolts – and “imperial anxiety”:
[T]he slow U.S. support for the uprising in Egypt, the cautious tone with Bahrain and Yemen, and the strident language against Libya are of a piece: the U.S. is not driven by the popular upsurge but by its desire to control the events in north Africa and the Gulf to accord with its three pillars. Cracks in the consensus come here and there.
Representative Adam Smith (Democrat from Washington) admitted to reporters:
“The old days of ‘as long as we can make a positive relationship with the autocrat who is running the place, then we are friends with the country’ are dead and gone.”
This is a remarkable disclosure, and one that is rarely heard openly in Washington. It was commonplace in the 1980s, when the then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Jeanne Kirkpatrick, distinguished between “traditional autocrats” (the emirs, for instance) and the “revolutionary autocrats” (she had in mind the Communist states).
Even Smith’s cautionary note is quickly suborned to the logic of the three pillars. It is not enough to listen to the people of north Africa and the Gulf, to learn from them about their grievances and their desires. Far more important is to yoke them directly to the pillars of U.S. imperial interests, without the indirect filter of the autocrats.
“We have to be much more interested in trying to get the actual populations in those countries to be supportive of us,” Smith said. “What we have to start thinking about in the foreign policy establishment is what shifts in our foreign policy do we need to make to target the populations.”
Over the past decade, the countries of South America walked through the exit from the theatre of U.S. hegemony. Galvanised by events in Venezuela and Bolivia as well as Argentina and Brazil, these countries are no longer in the reliable orbit of U.S. policy. The Arab people seem now in search of just this exit. The struggle is on to see if they will be able to find it. The U.S. and the remainder of its allies (in the emirates mainly) want to define these revolts in their image, with Donald Rumsfeld giving George W. Bush the credit (this is his freedom agenda, apparently) and Obama’s cronies saying that all this is a result of his speech in Cairo. But these are feints. In Cairo, Obama said, “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
During the Tahrir Square standoff, protesters chanted, “We have extended our hand, why have you clenched your fist?”
From Cpunch…. this author has posted good pieces throughout the Egypt revolt, and this is from the latest, an overview of the recent weeks in Tahrir Square:
As one of the great Arab poets of his time, Nizar Qabbani described this generation of the youth that would lead the future Arab revolutions. Before his death in 1998, he foresaw their resolve for action and change when he prophesized:
We do not want an angry generation
To plough the sky
To blow up history
To blow up our thoughts.
We want a new generation
That does not forgive mistakes
That does not bend
We want a generation of giants.
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains,
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Don’t read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case.
We are as worthless as a watermelon rind.
Don’t read about us,
Don’t ape us,
Don’t accept us,
Don’t accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation
That will overcome defeat.
Oh I hope it is a virulent virus that spreads and spreads. And spreads.