Mubarak is gone! Ordinary people took to the streets, in their hundreds of thousands, they stood their ground against state goons and hired thugs, they saw ordinary soldiers and many officers refuse to obey orders to repress them, and they have brought down a 30-year dictatorship supported by the full might of the American imperium.
I know one can never underestimate the impregnable insularity of the American commentariat, but even so, I still find my jaw dropping slightly at the weak, wan, shoulder-shrugging response of some our leading “progressives” toward the world-shaking events in Egypt.
I was among the million people who marched through London on February 15, 2003, to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq. I don't think anyone in the crowd thought a single march would stop the Anglo-American coalition from launching a war of aggression, but most felt it was important that the widespread anger and dismay at this murderous course of action be embodied, literally, on the streets, by a broad cross-section of the public.This was done. And it was not totally unimportant, as an act of bearing witness. But now, years later, the people of Egypt -- especially the young people -- have shown us what a small, feeble act that 2003 march really was, and how we all let thuggish leaders play us for fools. We showed up, we marched, we massed -- then we quietly went home, back to our lives, and let the brutal machinery of aggressive war roll on. What would have happened had we possessed the courage and commitment that the Egyptians are demonstrating today? What if we, like them, had refused to go home, and had stood our ground, thronged in the center of London, day after day, railing against a regime bent on aggressive war: "the supreme international crime, only different from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of all the others," as Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal put it. (It also added: "To initiate a war of aggression is a crime that no political or economic situation can justify.")Day after day after day, the Egyptians have withstood...
"The American power structure has been set reeling by something that is simply outside the boundaries of their mental universe: a non-violent, non-sectarian, non-ideological, leaderless revolution by ordinary people."
Below is a piece that never got posted in all the hackfoonery that was going with the site recently. It was written in the first heat of Egypt's uprising, but in some ways, it is even more pertinent today, as the Obama Administration rallies around the suave and vicious torturer they have installed in Cairo, in a desperate attempt to produce the kind of "continuity" of militarist-elitist corruption in Egypt that Barack Obama has achieved so magnificently at home in his takeover from the Bush Regime.This is when you know a regime is in on the ropes: when its security apparatchiks start the panicked, wholesale destruction of the evidence of their crimes. From the Economist:
Hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens rise up in protest against a long-entrenched dictatorship backed by the United States. The dictatorial regime warns of chaos and instability if the uprising is not suppressed; otherwise, they say, the country will fall into the hands of America's chief global enemy, the representatives of an extremist ideology that "hates us for our freedoms."In the White House, the progressive Democratic president gathers with his foreign policy advisers to consider the American reaction. In the end, they opt -- of course -- for "stability." They back the installation of the client nation's intelligence chief -- one of the key perpetrators of the regime's repression -- as the new leader.The main thing, say the progressive Democratic president's advisers, is to restore order in the short term while pressing the regime to institute some "political reforms" to ease public anger in the long term. This is considered an enlightened, "moderate" course of action.The result, of course, is the crushing of the popular movement for democracy, and several more years of harsh repression by the regime -- again, with the full backing, economically and militarily, of the bipartisan political establishment in Washington.Are we speaking of Egypt and Barack Obama in 2011? No; it is the story of Korea and Jimmy Carter, back in 1980. As'ad AbuKhalil points us to the remarkable historical account written in May 2010 by Tim Shorrock. One almost wants to say that the...
I received the following comment on my last post about the hacking of the website. I thought I would offer the exchange here, in hopes that it will clarify some things, not just about the hacking but about the website itself. And this is the last thing I'm writing about the current hack -- except to say, once again, a very heartfelt thanks to all the readers who expressed their support in so many ways.
Thanks very, very much to everyone for coming up with the lost texts of previous posts. I really appreciate all these efforts, and the very kind words of support as we sort through this latest bout of hacker wreckage.
You will have noticed that this website was hacked again on Thursday, another savage assault that hijacked the front page and, worse, ransacked files behind the scenes as well. We've lost all the most recent posts, dating back to January 18. Owing to the often difficult circumstances in which I put together most of these posts, I rarely have the text on hand once a piece has been published on the website. If in the unlikely event that any reader out there has kept a copy of the recent posts in some form -- or even remembers the headlines -- I would be very grateful if you could pass them along. If you have the text itself, then I could repost it quickly. But even a headline alone might help locate a cached version out there, which could be quarried for a re-posting. As I've said so often, if you find the website hacked, you might try the original website, Empire Burlesque 1.0, to see if there are any new posts. And again, as always, my apologies for the inconvenience.
As you may have noticed, Empire Burlesque is currently in the midst of yet another vicious hack attack. Measures are being taken to try to fend off the sleazy, greasy little cowards who are taking the site down, but it may take some time. As always, if you find the site is hard to reach consistently, you can check the old place -- Empire Burlesque 1.0 -- for any new posts. Apologies for the bother.
Here's yet another example of the shocking degradation of journalistic standards in the New York Times; they publish letters from witless cranks like the goober below: