|Southwest Asia News Digest
Egypt: Nothing Settled as Million-Person Demonstration Called
Jan. 31 (EIRNS)The situation in Egypt remains on edge, with continuing calls for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, and a plan launched over the past weekend for a million person demonstration to take place on Feb. 1. Throughout the weekend, demonstrators in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities continued to violate curfews and peacefully demonstrate.
In Cairo, on the night of Jan. 30, Mohamed ElBaradei emerged from reported house arrest to address a large crowd in Tahrir Square. He called on President Hosni Mubarak to step down, and promised significant changes in the situation over the next several days. He criticized the Obama Administration for its continued backing, albeit lukewarm, for Mubarak.
While news outlets led by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported that the Muslim Brotherhood endorsed the idea that Mohamed ElBaradei should be the designated negotiator for the unified opposition, well-informed sources from inside Egypt stressed that this is not the case, and that the Muslim Brotherhood has shown itself to be both estranged from the Egyptian population, especially the youth, and an ineffective organization.
However, the majority of opposition groups are supporting ElBaradei as the representative in talks with the government over how to carry out a transfer of power from Mubarak to some popularly designated new head of state. The government itself was in non-stop meetings on since Jan. 29, Omar Suleiman, the newly appointed Vice President, conferring with top military officials and with members of the military-dominated new Cabinet.
Senior U.S. intelligence sources, with decades of experience in the Middle East, said they were expecting Mubarak to step down in the coming days, and cede power to Suleiman, on behalf of the Army. But Egyptian sources warned that the popular revolt on the streets was quick to denounce Suleiman as "Mubarak's man," because of his decision to join the government.
To appreciate the Egypt situation, two things are crucial. First, Egypt is a reflection of the global breakdown process, and there are no real solutions to the underlying crisis in Egypt alone, as Lyndon LaRouche emphasized in talks with colleagues this week.
Second, the Egyptian military has its roots in the post-Civil War United States. In the 1870s, a group of 20 American Civil War veteran officersboth Union and Confederatewere invited by the Khedive (the Ottoman Empire governor general) to come to Egypt to create a modern Army, based on the West Point model. Under the leadership of Gen. Charles P. Stone, the Egyptian Army established a training system, drawing recruits from the population, not just the ruling elites. The children of the Army officers were given a first-class education, and it was this tradition that fed every successive effort at republican revolution in Egypt, from the beginning of the 20th Century, to the Nasserite revolt of the 1950s. This hidden history is scarcely known among Egyptians, but it is a vibrant tradition within the Egyptian Army to this day. Not surprisingly, when the British and French bankrupted Egypt in the mid-1880s through typical debt manipulation, they took over Egyptian finances and immediately demanded the expulsion of the Americans. But the Stone team had been in Egypt for a decade, and had a significant, long-lasting impact.
During the past week, the Army has been described by journalists, demonstrators, the intelligentsia as "protectors" of the population so far during these days of demonstrations. Demonstrators who were engaged in pitched battles against the security police cheered when the Army tanks rolled into Cairo.
There is no guarantee that this relationship between the Army and the people will hold, in the face of the ongoing showdown. But it is a factor that cannot be ignored, if one is to understand the particulars of the Egyptian events now playing out. Ultimately, the solution will not be found in Egypt, any more than it will be found in Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, or Yemen. It is the global disintegration that is playing out, not anything specific to any of these countries. In Egypt, though, the next 48-72 hours will likely be very telling, and no one can competently forecast the outcome.
LaRouche: Tucson and CairoThe Obama Syndrome
Jan. 28 (EIRNS)In response to events in Egypt reported Jan. 28, Lyndon LaRouche immediately drew the parallels between the massive turnout of young demonstrators on the streets of every major Egyptian city today, and the shooting incident in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this year.
"What we are seeing are the signs of a youth explosion. You have young people, particularly between the ages of 18-25, who are despondent, who see themselves as a lost generation." LaRouche continued, "Just as the Tucson shooter was not an isolated individual, but was characteristic of many such young people who are set to explode, over the horrible state of affairs that they have been dealt. We are seeing explosions of frustration and anger all over the world, because the entire global system is dying, particularly in the trans-Atlantic region and throughout much of the developing sector, including the Arab and Islamic world."
"In a very real sense," LaRouche explained, "what we are seeing on the streets of Egypt is a vote of no confidence in President Obama. Both the Obama Administration, and the British who control Obama, have failed miserably, and we have now reached a point of social explosion. The cumulative impact of the failed economic policies, the imperial looting, the sense of no-future for young people, no matter how well-educated they may think they are; all of these factors have reached a breaking point."
LaRouche explained: "The unfolding events in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, and many other places, are not the result of some clandestine plot. None of the usual suspects are behind these upsurges. This is the lost generation, the no-future generation, erupting. I have been warning for quite some time that, unless we have a total overhaul of global policy, beginning with a bankruptcy reorganization that wipes out all the tens of trillions of dollars in worthless gambling debts, we are going to be immediately facing French Revolution-type explosions everywhere. We are headed for a new Dark Age of social chaos and mass genocide. This is what we are dealing with, not some so-called color revolutions. And the fact that President Obama is a pawn of the British, and has so far followed British orders to kill any efforts by American patriots to re-enact Glass-Steagall and wipe out the gambling debts, is why we are facing this calamity today."
On Jan. 27, LaRouche also made this point to a private meeting in Washington.
"There is no government on the planet today," said LaRouche, "which is capable by itself of controlling its destiny," until the British Empire's control of the world financial system is ended.
"What can Middle East countries do? What can any part of the world do by itself?" said LaRouche, citing Tunisia. "The question is, 'Is the British Empire going to continue to bring this chaos down upon us, on us all?'"
LaRouche's lengthy opening statement to the meeting advised all sovereign nations like Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemenwhich is experiencing a round of mass street demonstrations todayto join him in busting up the British Empire system, and implementing a new financial order using the Glass-Steagall banking standard for which he is leading the fight in the United States.
ElBaradei Offers To Lead Egypt Transition
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), returned to Egypt today, with a pledge to join the demonstrations. In late 2009, ElBaradei had been welcomed home to Egypt as a potential Presidential candidatebut was then excluded from running because he doesn't belong to a political party, as required by law.
Just before his second return, ElBaradei wrote an op-ed published in the U.S. web publication, the Daily Beast:
"I have hoped to find a way toward change through peaceful means," he wrote. "In a country like Egypt, it's not easy to get people to put down their names and government ID numbers on a document calling for fundamental democratic reforms, yet a million people have done just that. The regime, like the monkey that sees nothing and hears nothing, simply ignored us.
"As a result, the young people of Egypt have lost patience, and what you've seen in the streets these last few days has all been organized by them. I have been out of Egypt because that is the only way I can be heard. I have been totally cut off from the local media when I am there. But I am going back to Cairo, and back onto the streets...."
Today, ElBaradei held an informal press conference on arriving at the Cairo airport. The London Guardian reports:
"This is a critical time in the life of Egypt, and I have come to participate with the Egyptian people," he stated.
"If peoplein particular young peopleif they want me to lead the transition, I will not let them down. My priority right now ... is to see a new regime and to see a new Egypt through peaceful transition.
"I advise the government to listen to the people and not to use violence. There's no going back...."