Monday, January 31, 2011

The revolution shall not be starved

I think the US and Israel are more concerned about the revolution in Egypt than Mubarak himself. They see the end of the US and Israeli order imposed through tyrans and dictators. And they are right: Obama will witness the end of the US influence in the Middle East and this is going to be added to his long list of failures. He is failing because he is a wishy-washy shifty individual who really believes that ruling the world is like being the mayor of Chicago, and that you can say something and do something else and al will be fine at the end. 

US arrogance is clearer than ever these days. They do not care to hide it any more. They want to dictate to the Egyptian people how they should lead their revolution. And they are now making positive signs about the "wish of the people" and the "rights of the people" as if they really cared about the people when they supported dictatorships and fed them and helped them oppress that same "people" for over 30 years. 

My reading of the situation is the following: The US and its allies have given up on Mubarak, and they are trying to find an alternative that wil protect their interests in the region. They are toying with a number of options, which include voicing criticism of violent repression should this happen, but eventually turning a blind eye if the armed forces of repression in Egypt decided to take the matter in their own hands and squash the revolution. I believe the army is not neutral, it is just waiting to see what is the best course of action it can take so that it can preserve its privileges and its influence. 

But my feeling is that the US has decided that they could live with a transition to a non-army government as long as it is sympathetic to their interests (and we know what these are, and Israel comes on top of the list). I tend to believe that they are promoting Al Barade`i as a choice candidate and that the Arab regimes are not opposed to this choice. This is why he received the green light yesterday to finally move in with the demonstrators in Tahreer square where he was accompanied by his son (do I detect an early positioning for succession here?). Even Al Jazeera, which has played a tremendous role in informing about the protests, reported about the event as if the messiah had been spotted among the protestors. Its reporters wouldn't stop saying: "Al Barade`i has spoken". The man himself appeared overwhelmed and not fully understanding what was going on. He said he was ready to lead a new government when no one asked him to do that, certainly not the people in the street, who do not yet have a clear organizing structure. 

What I hear from Egypt, from people who are actively participating in the Revolution, is that there is no leadership structure yet and that it is certainly NOT the Muslim brotherhood of the Youth of 6 April who are at the helm. Leaders are spontaneously emerging in neighborhoods, and they are forming committees that are in charge of organizing the protests and the protection from looters. 

The question that keeps nagging me is: how are the people on the street surviving? How are they feeding themselves and their families? How are they dealing with basic needs? Even if there is food (and other necessary items) available for purchase, they must be in need on money and resources as many live on a day by day basis. The more protracted the protests, the more people will need basic necessities. This could be part of the repression plan, to wait until the protestors cannot afford to remain in the streets. Maybe it is time to start raising funds to feed the revolution. 

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