Egypt in March - Analysis of a bloody week
13 Mar 2011 00:36 GMT
The Egyptian Revolution is facing major challenges to which it must find a firm and efficient response if the people's revolutionary achievements are to be protected.
Against the background of intensified demands for democratic change, the brutality of the military regime has increased to the level of unconcealed repression.
The strategy of the regime has manifested itself in the use of hired thugs to attack peaceful protesters complemented by the provocation of sectarian clashes at street level, and in the restructuring of the State Security Service, the re-deployment of Mubarak's police force and the presentation of Muhammad Al Baradei and Amr Musa as candidates for presidency at state level.
This is a spider's web of reaction carefully spun around the youthful, inexperienced and often dangerously politically naive forces of national rebirth and revolution.
The inacceptability of Musa is so obvious that it does not merit any further elaboration. He was put up as a candidate merely in order to fail. The entire purpose of his candidacy is to serve as a sparring partner to Al Baradei, who is a much more sophisticated pawn in the game.
Al Baradei embodies the type of the dynamic "progressive technocrat" we see exemplified in Barak Hussain Obama, the civilised version of George W. Bush, the master of charades with the aura of change, who may at times appear politically spineless but is strongly power-driven and enormously elastic. Being a ruthless (and willing) instrument to the aspirations of US- and global imperialism, he is yet never without one or two points to his credit. And this is true of both men. They can indeed be expected to get along with each other extremely well.
This is why Al Baradei, for his part the civilised version of Mubarak, is the ideal choice for the United States political-economic establishment, who have forever tried to make him the "leader of Egypt's opposition".
No one single person has played a more decisive role in the preparation of the ground for the invasion of Iraq than Muhammad Al Baradei, America's nuclear watchdog.
A great many of today's revolutionaries and "revolutionaries" might be too young to have followed and analysed the developments that led to the imperialist aggression against the sovereign Middle Eastern nation of Iraq, at the time one of the major powers in the region and one among a mere handful of states who, for reasons of their own, declined to bow to the whip of Western domination and resist the aspirations of neo-colonial conquest.
Masterfully manipulating internal conflicts and territorial disputes (and let us remember that all borders in the Middle East are artificial), the imperialist powers prepared the destruction of Iraq in two phases, conducting what was a long and protracted campaign of systematically undermining, step by step, the nation's defense, political coherence and economic infrastructure, hence the entire fabric of its sovereignty. In the final phase of this campaign, alleged nuclear weapons were introduced on the scene so as to provide a justification for the eventual invasion. The task of finding these was delegated to the nuclear expert Al Baradei, who sought what did not exist in full knowledge of its non-existence.
He carried out this ridiculous operation over months during which he pursued the systematic demoralisation of Iraq by means of continuous inspections and searches for weapons of mass destruction, which were nothing else but a protracted internationally sanctioned smear campaign. No one knew better than Al Baradei that none of these ever existed and could therefore not be found. The nerve gas used in Halabjah was supplied, which is another open secret, by the imperialist powers themselves, at a time when that same Saddamist Iraq was their strategic ally.
Meanwhile Bush and his European satellites decided that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were magic devices that could be rendered invisible and the existence of which did therefore no longer require verification. Thus, Al Baradei's efforts were no longer needed and the conscience-plagued socialist democrat was finally free to admit that he had failed to find any evidence for the existence of these. And mark you well, he did not say in his report that these weapons did not exist but merely that he had not been able to find them, nor did he explicitly say he was against the invasion. He merely stated that the evidence he found did not justify it.
This, in itself, was a well-calculated step, for these remarks were made at a time when they had already become entirely irrelevant. After his having prepared the ground for the invasion, they were a mere smoke screen intended to wash his hands of the bloodshed to follow. But blood sticks. It leaves traces. And the wounds of Iraq haven't healed.
Here stands the man responsible for a national catastrophe, and for a crushing defeat of the Middle East's aspirations for political independence, loosened on his native Egypt.
And worse than that: here stands the murderer of Iraq, cheered by Egypt's intelligentsia.
This raises the question of the role of the intelligentsia, as a whole, in the process of social revolution.
The privileged position of this class, in comparison to the vast deprivation and poverty suffered by the working classes, the rural masses and the tribesmen that make up the country's social identity, renders their needs for change minimal and therefore causes them to be satisfied with minimal changes. Their isolated, as it were, root-less, position as a class, as well as their Westernisation, do not promote firmness of position nor political clarity. And in this lie the limits of the idealist intellectual leaders of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition.
This is what made them cheer Shafiq's military government after the ouster of Mubarak. This is what rendered them entirely unprepared for the violence which this "honourable neutral army" was to unleash upon them at the moment they were out of the spotlights. This is what makes them cheer for the imperialist chain dog Al Baradei now. This is what renders their political steps so groping, tipsy, uncoordinated- and increasingly inefficient.
It is to be feared that a few idealists coming straight out of the lecture halls are no match for a political empire built on cynical calculation. Even though this empire is shaken by a monstrous economic crisis as well as by a series of revolutions against the neo-liberal system on which it relies (which came only partially as a surprise and which it is increasingly apt to contain), it has not lost its agility, nor its resourcefulness.
And let us be clear that neo-liberalism is merely one facet of an economic system the political expressions of which range from "social market economy", it mildest from, to fascism, which is its ultimate reaction to mortal inner crises (which is why we are seeing a rise of -increasingly "respectable"- fascist tendencies in Europe, the US and Zionist Israel).
We must not be deceived. The enemy is strong. The enemy is ruthless. The enemy is ready for everything.
The question is: where do we stand? What do we have to offer? How do we, nationally and internationally, consolidate our ranks in order to stand our ground?
We have seen 2 million at Tahrir, at the best of times. What is that more than a drop of water in an ocean within the vastness of Egypt, the most-densely populated country in the Arab world? There is indeed an ocean of people who are still silent, who cannot be reached by social media, who are a world apart from Egypt's intellectual elite.
The question is: how do we get them to speak? And most of all: when and how shall they rise to liberate themselves by their own action, to take their fate into their own hands and make this revolution their own?
The use of social media as well as the absence of a leadership structure has been a strength of the revolution in its initial stage because it rendered it resistant to the suppression and infiltration techniques of the Mubarak regime. But with the initial stages of the revolution behind us, they have become a liability. They have become the haven of an increasingly disoriented exclusivist elite and a hindrance to the revolution's gaining new momentum and new ground. What is needed now is an organised apparatus to disseminate information, analysis and revolutionary propaganda in the form of a news service created by the revolution for the revolution, providing reliable, structured information in written form as well as oral transmission.
The revolution, at this stage, must shed its urban image.
The revolution, at this stage, requires an organised and disciplined party of the masses that is effective nationwide and cross-border.
It is for the Coalition of Revolutionary Youth to support, by all means at their disposal, the formation of such a party or movement, to affiliate with it and, in the face of the candidacy of Mousa and Al Baradei, put forward a presidential candidate of its own.
Forward, workers and peasants of Egypt! Forward, women of Egypt! Forward, revolutionary youth! Forward to the consolidation of the revolution by all means necessary! Forward to the organised defense of the peoples' revolutionary achievements!
Muhammad A. Al Mahdi
APIC(APICONG), March 12, 2011