The revolution taking place in Egypt is a direct result of rule by an evil dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who has pilfered, oppressed, kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and terrorized the people of Egypt for 30 years. Put simply, Mubarak is a monster ... bought and paid for by you and me, the American taxpayer.
Since 1948, the U.S. government has given Egypt ~$63 billion in foreign aid. For 2011, Barack Obama’s administration has requested another $1.5 billion, which comes in fourth behind Afghanistan ($3.9bil), Pakistan ($3.1bil) and Israel ($3bil) for requests for foreign aid. When combined with conventional U.S. military and economic aid, only Israel receives more of Uncle Sam’s cash and weapons. The U.S. has given the Egyptian government dozens of F-16 fighter jets, hundreds of heavy tanks, Patriot and AMRAAM missile systems, helicopters, 3-D radar systems, thousands and thousands of small arms, Pentagon grants and contracts for military and intelligence equipment, the rights to manufacture the M1A1 Abrams tank and cold, hard cash for a myriad of military, security and domestic programs. For doing the U.S.’s bidding during the first Gulf War, the U.S. also forgave billions in debt with estimates ranging from $7 billion to $200 billion. The U.S. State Department describes the majority of Egypt (and all foreign) aid as being used for "peace and security." Those with a functioning brain might wonder how Stinger missiles equate to peace and who is being secured: the people or the U.S. and Egyptian governments?
U.S foreign aid goes directly to other governments and their leaders, not to the proletariat. In Egypt’s case, which is not an exception, Mubarak has used the cash pilfered from U.S. citizens to fund his dictatorship and build a police state and intelligence apparatus that is most likely the envy or admiration of our domestic tyrants.
Tens of billions of dollars have been extracted from the family budgets of each and every American to prop-up a tyrannical regime that has now reached its logical, chaotic end. Tyranny, always and everywhere, is chaos. Being backed by American taxpayers doesn't make this any less so. As I commented at The Camp of the Saints:
The events in Egypt should give us pause about our failed foreign policy, after all, how can any red-blooded American bear witness to the atrocities carried out by Mubarak’s police against the People, using weapons paid for by US taxpayers, without feeling incredible guilt and remorse? Or decry Mubarak’s “internet kill switch” when there is a bipartisan effort to do the same in our once “land of the free”?
According to neocon mustache John Bolton, it would not be in "our" national interest to have a "hostile" government in Egypt. He's worried about the Muslim Brotherhood. But Murabak is clearly hostile towards the Egyptian people, and has been for 30 years! So much for his theory.
Of course, Bolton isn't talking about individual Americans like YOU and ME, he's talking about our Ruling Class and that of Israel. The revolution in Egypt has thrown their plans to control the world, once again, into disarray. How dare they ... So they trot out the Muslim Brotherhood fear-mongering. Israel, who has the most powerful military in the Middle East and a stockpile of nuclear weapons large enough to end all life on planet Earth, we are told, is in grave danger.
Yet, there is good reason to believe the neocon fear-mongering is way overblown.
... and ya today you know I felt Muslim Brotherhood presence for first time—these are what we call the beards you know—they made their way to the front of the protest near me where students were leading—and this elderly man in his 60’s was holding up a flag–he started chanting Allahu Akbar—and the students started
“Muslameen Mesiheen Kolina Masreen” you know… “Muslims Christians we are all Egyptians”
On New Year's Eve, a Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt was attacked by suicide bombers. For those Coptic Christians, the bombing came with a lot of added tension. Their Christmas, like that of several other Christian sects outside the Western Catholic/Protestant divide, falls after the New Year. Many expected further bombings on that holiday. Here's what happened, instead ...
Egypt's majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.
From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as "human shields" for last night's mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.
"We either live together, or we die together," was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the "human shield" idea.
First, there is no sign that the Muslim Brotherhood actually has the ability to gain control of the government in Egypt. Multiple reporters from the ground say the protesters, and a majority of Egyptians, simply want Mubarak overthrown more than the installment of the Muslim Brotherhood. The protests did not begin as an effort of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was only after days of protests that the Muslim Brotherhood decided to join the effort.
The Muslim Brotherhood simply does not have a broad appeal to the public. In the last parliamentary election in 2005, the Muslim Brotherhood only gained 20% of the vote. The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest opposition group in Egypt, but nearly all opposition parties are outlawed in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood candidates themselves had to run as independents, since Egyptian law prohibited them from running as part of the Muslim Brotherhood party. When the Muslim Brotherhood proposed a plan that would outlaw women and Christians from becoming president, they were soundly criticized by the Egyptian public. The public backlash to the proposal was so strong that the Muslim Brotherhood said the plan was "never final" and ended up giving up on the proposal altogether.
Secondly, those who say Egypt is ripe for a theocratic takeover tend to over simplify their analysis. Some say that Egypt may go the way of Iran or Afghanistan after their dictators were overthrown in the late 70's and 80's. In those countries very strict Islamic-based regimes took over after the dictatorships were overthrown. However, Egypt is very different than other countries in the Middle East. The Egyptian population, while 90% Muslim, is much more diverse and secular in nature than Iran and Afghanistan. The Egyptian population also has a significant minority of Christians who make up around 10% of the population, much larger than the percentage of Christians in countries like Iran and Afghanistan. The Egyptian economy is also much more developed, with a relatively strong middle class that is less likely to be persuaded by the propaganda of radical Islamic groups.
Finally, it is important to remember that Coptic Christians in Egypt have largely joined the protests. Mubarak hardly was seen as a "friend" to Christians in Egypt. Many accused Mubarak of purposefully leaving Coptic Christians vulnerable to attack in the country. Clearly, Christians in Egypt feel that the opposition movement is in their best interests. They would have no reason to support the protests if they believed they were heralding in an Islamic, anti-Christian regime like the Muslim Brotherhood.
In summary ... Regardless of what our Neocon Overlords have to say, I can no more be on the side of Mubarak than I could be on the side of FDR's buddy Joseph Stalin. There's a special place reserved in hell for tyrants like him, and the sooner he goes there the better.
Nobody has a crystal ball. Nobody knows which way this will go. I'm on the side of the People.
So I pray not for the false god of democracy, but for peace. I pray that the Egyptian people find freedom, independence and liberty, at least more than they have, because "all men are created equal ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."