Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The limits to the revolution

Big news in the Arab World today. Big news everywhere: in Egypt where the Youth of the Revolution have rejected the amendments to the constitution and want a new constitution drafted from scratch. Kudos to them, also because they refused to meet with Hillary Clinton as they disapprove of the US's policies in the region (that's mildly put). And Egypt has not yet resumed pumping gas to Israel, a move that few believe is due to "technical difficulties".

News from Lebanon too, where, in the wake of the demonstration of the March 14 coalition that took place last Sunday, and in which they openly confirmed their anti-Resistance stance, people are asking: "what next?" Al Akhbar has started to publish the wikileaks of the July 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, and they don't show March 14 under a very good light, especially when the French ambassador confirmed that the coalition wanted Israel to do the dirty work and terminate Hezbollah and the Resistance, and when then prime minister Sanioura appeared to have Israel's interests at heart. By and large, the wikileaks have been damning for the March 14...

Big news also from Yemen where, in spite of the US support for the regime of Ali Abdallah Saleh (and the US attempts to penetrate and sway the opposition) there are more protests and more defections from the army, and the regime is blatantly showing its brutal side.

But the biggest news comes from Bahrain, where Saudi and UAE troops have entered with tanks and personnel in order to suport the regime. This is a big story, because it shows exactly the limits of the tolerance of the imperial forces to the Arab Revolutions: the oil interests must NOT be touched. This could also explain the lamentable coverage of the Bahraini events by the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera, which is having a field day in Libya, as it had in Tunisia and Egypt. So, while the Empire has learned to live with the changes in some parts of the Arab World, and is attempting to hijack them by influencing the interim regimes and some of the middle class, it has zero-tolerance for similar drives for democracy in the Gulf.

Libya is still struggling, and is in a deadlock. The forces of Qaddhafi will attempt to regain control, and will use all the means at their disposal. The rebels are armed but they lack organization, experience and training, and these take time to develop. Meanwhile, all the Arab League could come up with was a request to however wants to hear, to impose a no-fly zone. The Empire looks as if it is pussyfooting at the idea of a military intervention. Do not be fooled. It just wants to make sure that the next regime will be subservient before it intervenes from a distance. No need for a Desert Storm here: it is too far from the Gulf. The plan is probably" let them stew and come to us on their knees, we will then install the regime we want".

Why can't Arab countries intervene in support of the rebels in Libya? Well for one, both Tunisia to the west and Egypt to the east are still operating with the ancient regime mentality, as the revolutions have not yet been completed. Two, they won't be allowed by the Empire and its European acolytes. In this case, how to oppose the plans of the Empire? I can't help thinking of the International Brigades in the Spanish civil war. 

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